Sunday, March 22, 2009

WIPs: pink socks / Tilia pullover

Weekend update. I took some pictures of recent knitting progress - some lovely light today. I have been working for awhile on this pink sock, and I'm nearly out of yarn on the first ball, which means I'll be starting some ribbing very soon and this thing will be as long as it is.

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It will be interesting to see if I can find the mojo necessary to cast on for the second sock. This one has been nice to knit because it's so simple and portable, but knitting more usable things seems like a better idea than more socks.

At the end of February I went over to a friend's place for tea and knitting and purposely brought some silky wool and the Tilia pattern, and got cracking at last on a second sleeve. I had put this project down in the fall and it fell to the bottom of the project bag. I like the color, I like the yarn, I like the pattern. So why haven't I finished it yet?

I added some short rows in the chest area so that the front wouldn't ride up - and put them in too close to the armscythes, so they looked wonky. I've finally ripped back, and just knit the front as the pattern is written.

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The back is finished, two sleeves are finished, all I need to do is finish the front and seam the sleeves into place and up their edges. And I'll have a lovely pumpkin colored spring sweater.

The only problem is the Ene's scarf is distracting me!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gaiman on Colbert

I just couldn't resist. I'm sitting here knitting my sock and Neil Gaiman was on the Colbert Report last night, so check it out if you like:

On The Comedy Network

On YouTube.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

more fiber goodness

At last, a moment to share some of the other yummy pictures I snapped at Gaspereau Valley Fibres in late February. Just the colorful thing to snazz up your Sunday evening - especially if you can't quite tell that spring is on its way!

A shelf-full of goodness, including a bunch of O-Wool from Vermont, and fabulous Green Mtn Spinnery yarns:

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In the cupboard on the left are some yarns apparently spun and dyed from the very sheep who were relaxing in the sun in the barnyard:

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I love the bathtub full of color:

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And this was a few shelves of random Fleece Artist, all on for $20. Canadian. Perhaps due to a dyeing mishap or some other confusion? Most of it was the mixed lots of mohair boucle and some merino blend in coordinating colorways for using in mixed-yarn projects or holding both strands together - not my favorite effect.

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I snapped up two skeins of Nyoni - a whopping 1600 yards or so, in gorgeous green and coppery forest tones. I just couldn't resist the price, and I love fine gauge projects that show off lovely yarns so we will see what this grows up to be. There were actually four skeins in very nearly the same colorway, and one of my friends picked up two as well - for manly socks. We were at the register at the same time when he realized that two of the four skeins had a bit more of a yellow-bronze tone running through them - and of course we were each holding one and then the other had less of that color. I hadn't noticed that there was much variation. Putting all four skeins on the counter he rearranged them, pairing them more effectively by color, and then looked at me like, now what do we do? We each though that the other one would want the pair we wanted - so it worked out perfectly! I wanted the one with the slightly higher contrast.

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I just love how this place is set up! The natural wood sets off all the color so well. Last one:

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

WIP: Ene's Scarf pt 2

Progress continues on the lovely Ene's Scarf. I am so enjoying working on this. I've just finished chart 2, and slowly but surely the number of sts is decreasing. It's still pretty hard to see visual evidence of the progress, but it is happening!

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It will be so interesting to see how large it really turns out to be... I'm using a 40" size 6 circular.

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It's hard to think of any other project!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

WIP: Ene's Scarf

Today's page from the Yarn Harlot's page-a-day calendar says:

"Life's too short to knit bad yarn. Buy the best you can afford."

I so agree.

On the fiber fun field trip in late February (one of my friends picked up a book in the shop and said, did you know there was SEX involved? - She'd discovered the Stash Enhancing eXpedition acronym) I picked up two skeins of gorgeous Fleece Artist Somoko in an unidentified colorway:

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30% off! I had picked up just the one skein and then went back to fondle some more and unearthed a second basically matching skein. One skein of something like this is tricky - too pretty for me to do socks, as I've just started knitting them and am still a bit unconvinced about using expensive and gorgeous yarns for things I put on my feet - but two, now two you can do something with.

Trawling through patterns and my Rav queue and thinking about making something I could really get some use out of - I remembered Ene's Scarf. Here's a pretty red one. Here's a pretty green one. The construction is unusual because you cast on for the two decorative border edges and decrease at the middle all the way up, casting on your largest number of sts (375) and decreasing from there so your rows are always getting shorter. Not having quite enough yarn is a bit of a risk you have to take. I hope I will be ok in this case - we'll see if this comes back to bite me!

This is most of the border chart, though it doesn't look like much at the moment:
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Now that I can look at my knitting and see the yarn overs and k2togs, it's getting a lot easier to be confident that I'm following a chart correctly. Hooray!

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I've been doing a few rows a day, which has been a lovely treat as the yarn has a bit of silk in it and a bit of kid mohair so it is soft as well as a tiny bit shiny, and has more drape than just wool would. It's a lovely blend. Unfortunately I managed to leave the pattern behind at a friend's house Sunday night - she has just emailed me that she has found it so I should be able to get it back today - which is great because it's knit night and I'd like to bring it - I was casting on last week, so now it is possible to see how the colors are coming together. I am really pleased with the colors so far - I was nervous it would be too busy but the colors are so rich, they look lovely.

Friday, March 6, 2009

sheepy goodness

Woah. These pictures are already a week old. How times flies. Last week on 'reading week' break from university a few friends and I headed inland to find some quality fiber...

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And they were for sale! Gaspereau Valley Fibres...

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And there was a beautiful shop as well as lovely sheep and a friendly shop dog. I got some great yarn... And all at a great price!

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I'm already using some of the Fleece Artist for Ene's Scarf. It is coming out great but we had a surprise snow storm today so no light for good photos. Maybe tomorrow - when it is supposed to be an unseasonable 10 degrees (C) - yay!! I'll update you as soon as possible.

Monday, March 2, 2009

FO: February Lady Sweater

She may be sans buttons, but I wove in the final ends with an hour left in February. Atlantic Time. Voila:

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I finished it Saturday night, late, wore it Sunday to a knitting gathering and then today as well. So far I've gotten way more compliments on the hair pin holding it together than the sweater but then people realize I knit it and they compliment the sweater as well. I'm happy. It was a great knit, simple, and lovely in the semi-solid yarn. I used very nearly all of the KP Wool of the Andes Kettle Dyed yarn, 8 skeins for a size "38.5". Size 7 needles. I actually had to tink out the last row I knit as I had hoped to have enough for just one more row before binding off. I backtracked a little and bound off when I should have. And there are a few feet of yarn leftover.

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That's another great thing about this project - knit top down, you can make the most of your yarn. I might have made slightly longer sleeves if I'd had another skein. I like this yarn a lot and the color is lovely but there was a lot of variation within the same dyelot. Several skeins were nearly solid, so I had to do a bit of alternating to spread out the darker sections of more solid yarn. I would knit with this again, definitely.