Sunday, June 22, 2008

L is for . . .

Lace. Lots and lots of lace.

The Summer of Lace officially kicked off yesterday, on the first day of summer. As of Friday, I was 14 repeats done with Madli's Shawl. The pattern calls for 31 repeats, but I may make it a few repeats long. Even with 14 repeats, I've still go 9 grams (about 68.5 yards) of the first skein left. I haven't been tracking how much yarn each repeat takes, but I'm hoping that I can get another 3.5 repeats out of this skein. That way, I can use 2 skeins, rather than all 3, and get 35 repeats in. Right now, the unblocked shawl measures about 24" x 15"; the pattern says the final blocked measurements should be 62" x 19". I think that if I add another 4 repeats, I should get about those measurements--maybe a little longer--without too much heavy stretching.

And it would leave me one more skein of the baby camel yarn--381 yards--to play with.

Yesterday, however, I cast on for a brand-new lace project:

I was aiming for a repeat of the Waving Lace socks from IK's Favorite Socks book, but had a complete failure to read the actual chart. In the chart, the yo's stay on the sides of the pattern repeat, but for some reason I moved them over with the paired decreases. I think the effect of this is that the knitting doesn't pull from side to side in a bias, making them way less wavy than the first attempt. But I still like the way they're coming out, so I'm going to stick with it and knit up some not-so-waving lace socks.

Friday, June 20, 2008

2008 Summer Goals

Ali over at Skeins Her Way is having a little contest: post your summer goals for 2008. I, of course, am running in just under the wire (well, I have about 13 hours left to get this up!), but needed the kick in the pants to get some goals up. I've been really awful about posting goals, lately, which is too bad, since it helped me to stay vaguely organized. Month-to-month seems to have been too much for me to keep up with, maybe season-to-season will be better!

Summer Goals 2008:

  • Finish Madli's Shawl.
  • Re-start (and finish!) the Waving Lace socks.
  • Dye the two skeins of Knit Picks bare sock yarn I have. I've never dyed anything before, so this is my "learn something new" for the summer.
  • Use the newly dyed skeins to knit a shawl for my Aunt, who's having a bit of a rough time lately. My goal for dyeing and knitting this is going to be July 13, since that's the date of New Nephew's christening, and I should see her then. I want to make sort of a prayer shawl, so maybe I'll find a nice stitch pattern (maybe something that looks like tulips, 'cause she loves tulips) and just design my own.
  • Pick a pattern for the skein of Posh Yarn Beatrice that I have sitting in my stash, and knit it up for my friend R. Sooner rather than later on that one, too. Probably a stole, rather than a triangular shawl. Maybe Seascape, from the new Knitty?
  • Knit a yarn and a pattern and knit it up for my friend H's 35 birthday. Which isn't until October, so that's a back-burner kind of project. Maybe using the lovely raspberry-colored yarn I bought at Habu? Or a swallowtail out of the skein of Posh Celia I have in my stash.
Those are the main goals, mostly shawls, and all lace. Summer of Lace starts tomorrow, as well, so I'm working on that. Lots of gift knitting, although the socks are for me. I'd also like to start on the husband-sweater I've already swatched for, but that might be too warm to deal with this summer. I'd also like to make a new pirate hat for DH, as I managed to felt the last one. But I'm going to start with lace, and see where that gets me. If we hit a cold patch, or I need a more portable project, maybe I'll get started on that, as well!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Two Steps Forward (One Step Back)

Two steps forward: Basic socks with a 3x1 ribbing, in Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock (Georgetown colorway, which has more aqua/green than this photo shows). Size 1.5 needles, magic loop. For my bff L--I'll pop them in the mail to her soon.

One step back: In November, I started a pair of Waving Lace socks, from IK's Favorite Socks book. I finished the leg on one sock, put them down, and didn't pick them back up again until yesterday, at which point I couldn't quite figure out where I'd left off (for some reason, I'd stopped in the middle of a repeat, rather than at the end of one). I also couldn't get quite the same gauge.

So I've ripped them out and will restart them again, maybe on Saturday for the Summer of Lace. I like the way this pattern looks with this yarn (Sundara Sock yarn, Electric Pear colorway), though, so no change there. Just a fresh start.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Better late than never: the vacation edition

One day, I will blog things on time.

One day, I will remember to take pictures when I'm out doing interesting things, like visiting my first sheep festival.

One day, I will post actual knitting content.

Today is not that day.

The first week of June, DH and I went on vacation. With his mom. Which was actually way more fun that it sounds like, since I really like my mother-in-law. Although the cottage we rented was, indeed, rather small, it did have two bedrooms, so we could all close the doors and have a little privacy. And it was right on the water--the bay side of Cape Cod, in Truro.

We drove out on Saturday, and while my MIL left Wednesday morning, DH and I extended our trip by an extra night, and were there until the following Sunday.

On the first Sunday, we went to a sheep festival (my first!) at Taylor-Bray Farm, in Yarmouth Port. In a fit of camnesia, Sunday was the first of eight days that I neglected to bring the camera and take any pictures. Suffice to say, sheep are cute, as are goats and llama. The sheep dogs were the highlight. And there was yarn:

40z of lace-weight mohair, 2-ply. Incredibly evenly spun, from Knot-a-Thot Farms in West Barnstable. No idea on yardage, or what to do with it. A scarf, I suppose, in a nice repeating pattern so I can make it as long/short as I have yarn for.

And also this:
Hand spun and hand dyed, with natural dye (coreopsis flowers).

156 yards of . . . heavy worsted? maybe bulky? No idea what to do with it, but it was pretty and the DH insisted--insisted!--I needed more yarn. And the woman who dyed & spun it was very nice, and spent a lot of time talking to me about how she dyed the yarns.

Other unphotographed highlights included excellent barbecue, incredible seafood, and a trip to Truro Vineyards with my MIL for a wine tasting. Which we've done before, but which was a highlight of this trip because my MIL was highly resistant at first, and then enjoyed herself far more than she was expecting to.

Other than yarn, shopping included a trip to the Atlantic Spice Co., which I highly recommend if you're ever out on the tip of Cape Cod, window shopping in Provincetown, and a wander through Chatham. I wanted to go to Chatham because we have a set of fish salt-and-pepper shakers that I love, and which I was pretty certain we'd bought in Chatham. Memory did in fact prove correct, and we found these:

At Yankee-Ingenuity, the same store where we'd bought the other set of shakers.

I'd better get cracking on actual work, though, as my Summer 2 class starts in two weeks, and I have yet to finish my course calendar!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Summer of Lace warm-up

I've joined the Summer of Lace Knitalong (Ravelry Group here). The official start date is June 21, but in the meantime, I'm warming up with some nupps:

Madli's Shawl, by Nancy Bush, from IK Summer 2004. Size 4 needles (knitpicks Harmony interchangables). The yarn is a Baby Camel laceweight from School Products, in NYC; I bought it about a year ago and have been looking for the right pattern for it. Raveled here.

I've gone down a needle size from the pattern, since I tend to get widely open lace when I use the recommended sizes; I'm happy with the way it looks. (I also tend to run out of yarn that way.) I'm on the 9th (out of 31) repeat of the body; so far, the nupps are going remarkable well and have been surprisingly easy. I'm not sure if I'm just getting the hang of them, or if the Harmonies are simply sharp enough to make it simple. Either way, I'm just going to enjoy the ride.

I really like this pattern--I saw it on Ravelry almost as soon as I joined (13 months ago today!), and spent several months searching for a copy of the Summer 2004 IK so I could knit it. I managed to purchase one from a fellow Raveler, via the ISO/Destash board, and I'm glad I did.

My mother also really liked this pattern when I showed her the shawl, so (even though she's been telling me for years that she really doesn't want a shawl, she doesn't know where or when she'd use it, blah blah blah) this may wind up as a present for her rather than for me. We'll see how it turns out.

In other knitting news, I'm almost done with a pair of socks--just one toe left to graft. Eventually I'll take pictures. My Pi Shawl is waiting for a good blocking; the size and shape makes that more of a challenge than I'd realized when I first started. The heat wave is over, though, so maybe there will be more knitting soon.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Happy Friday the 13th, by the way! It's Colgate Day, although I'm not wearing any Colgate gear.

Monday, June 9, 2008

K is for . . .

Knitting. Of course. :)
This is my first finished project--a scarf for my dad. When my mom taught me how to knit in 2002 (okay. when she taught me again how to knit, and it finally stuck), I was hooked. It took a while to get the hang of the purl stitch (I kept holding the yarn wrong and winding up with all these extra stitches from the yarn-overs I was creating), but once I did, I searched for a nice, easy scarf and found a basket-weave pattern I liked. I bought a skein of Wool-Ease, and off I went.

I cast on the correct number of stitches, and fell under the spell of knit and purl. And when I got to the end of the skein, I decided it wasn't long enough, so I bought another one and kept going.

By the time I got to the end of that skein, I'd forgotten how to cast off.

But I was having a good time, and was going to visit my parents in the near future, so I did the only logical thing.

I bought a third skein.

By the time I ran out of yarn, I was on my way to NJ to visit my mom, who showed me how to bind off the scarf. Which was then almost 9 feet long.

My dad can wrap it around his neck many, many times. But he wears it a lot, and claims he doesn't want a new one. So my first FO gets worn every year, and every year he teases me about how long it is. Secretly, though, I think I'd have to fight him to get it back.