Thursday, January 30, 2014

It Is Decided.

After weighing the pros and cons, I have made an executive decision that I'm going to start knitting again!  Yay!  Just a little bit, like maybe 3 half hour sessions a week or something like that.  I honestly don't think that small amount of knitting is going to adversely effect the cyst on my hand and I know that it is going to vastly improve my quality of life to be able to knit again, so... I'm doin' it!!

Also, an update on my hand: I am going in for a consult with a hand surgeon in the first week of March to get it checked out.  I'm really hoping an actual surgery isn't required to fix this, but, either way, I will just be happy to get it over with!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Patty Lyons and The Secrets of Yarn Substitution

I know I mentioned on here that I signed up for Patty Lyons' "Improve Your Knitting" course on Craftsy, but I think I failed to mention how utterly fabulous it is!  I took it because I wanted to learn how to knit continental style, but I learned so much more than that!  I really think it has helped vastly improve my knitting.  I bring this up today because there is a discussion in the Craftsy Ravelry group about how awesome Patty's classes are and I just discovered that she has an online class through Knitting Daily called "The Secrets of Yarn Substitution".  I'm really interested in this course because I sub yarn all the time and, I must admit, sometimes I regret it!  I would love to know some tips and tricks on how to improve my subbing success. I've never taken a web class from Knitting Daily before and I doubt it could possibly be as good as the Craftsy platform, but I might just give it a try.

In related news, the Craftsy Ravelry group has a running wishlist of classes we'd love to see on Craftsy and someone recently suggested a History of Knitting class.  Wouldn't that rock?  I'd take it in a heartbeat!  I know there are some good books out there on the subject, but I'd love to listen to a great lecture on the subject instead.  Maybe I should learn something about knitting history and pitch the class myself??  I'd finally put my history degree to use.  That would be strange indeed.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Maybe Monday: TicTac Toes Socks

Welcome to Maybe Monday!  This week's pattern isn't so much of "maybe" as it is a "definitely" because I have already bought the pattern and yarn to knit these socks!  And, I even bought the class on Craftsy to teach me how to do stranded colorwork!  Yay!  Check 'em out:



Why I'm Going to Knit These:  They just look too awesome not to knit, am I right?  In addition, I really want to try some stranded colorwork, but I'm not really up to knitting a whole fair isle sweater so socks sound like a great project to give it a try!  Also, I love that this is only two-color stranded work but it looks so much more complex because of the variegated yarn.  Neat!

The Only Reason I Might Not Go Through With It:  If, after taking the Craftsy course, I decide I hate stranded colorwork, I might not do it.  If, after taking the Craftsy class, I learn I suck at stranded colorwork, I will have to knit a different project first to practice before I attempt these... like the mittens featured in the course.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

FO: Vancouver Fog II

When I was thinking about knitting myself the Vancouver Fog fingerless mitts, I posted the photo on facebook and asked my friends if I should knit them.  The response was overwhelming that I should make them with lots of "make me some too!" comments.  After I knit my first pair, I decided they were so easy and fun to knit that I should make some more pairs for my friends.  I made this pair in a lovely burgundy colored superwash wool that is super soft (unlike my first pair, which are just slightly itchy).  The only problem is... I can't decide which friend to send them to!  So, for now, they are just chillin' here with me.  Perhaps I'll just keep them for myself afterall!?!


yarn details
Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Merlot Heather
dye lot 32067
100% Superwash Merino Wool
worsted weight
machine wash gentle/ tumble dry low
110 yards / 50 grams @ $4.69 per ball

project details
pattern: Vancouver Fog, by Jen Balfour, free pattern available here.
needles: size 8 nickle-plated circs (knit using magic loop)
gauge: 10 st and 11 rows over 2'' in stockinette st
yarn used: 1.52 balls, apprx 167 yards
finished size: 14 inches long, circumference about 6''
duration: November 1 - December 6, 2013

notes:

  • Cast on using this method, except, unlike last time, I just used the same size needle.  Also, I did the cast on on the circular needles instead of the straights.... because I forgot I was supposed to switch the needles, frankly.
  • Like last time, worked one extra cable repeat before starting on thumb gusset and only worked four rounds of ribbing on the hand and thumb instead of eight.
  • Did not use a stretchy bind off, and all turned out fine!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Maybe Monday: Simpatico Alpaca Stole

I remember back in college, they had a day called "Academic Monday" where it wasn't Monday, but you pretended it was and went to all your Monday classes. Well, I guess today is an Academic Maybe Monday, cuz I'm doin' the Maybe Monday thing on a Thursday.

I am really loving this stole from Sweater Babe, #174 Simpatico Alpaca Stole.  I love how the cables and the leafy lace combine together so well and it just looks super warm, which I'm dreaming about on this icy winter day.


Why I might knit it: it looks challenging enough to keep me engaged while I knit, and I love the finished product

Why I might skip it: it looks like it would take a long time to finish...  but maybe looks are deceiving?




Monday, January 20, 2014

Measuring Yourself: A Necessary Evil

Please tell me that I'm not the only knitter who hates taking her measurements?  I find it so depressing.  I also hate those little perfect-hourglass stick-figure illustrations they always use to show you where to take your measurements.  Talk about a hit to the self esteem.  This is why I'm in love with today's Knitting Daily post about taking your measurements where they use photos of a curvy woman for illustration.  Finally!  A measuring demo that makes sense for my body!  I love that they include a section on taking your belly measurement.  No one ever does that and I feel bad because my belly is pretty ample and I need to take it into account when measuring myself for a sweater.  Again, no guilt here - they're just like, "Hey!  Here's how to take your belly measurement!  Adjust your waist decreasing accordingly..."  I like it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Shh... It's a Secret!

Guess what I did this weekend?  I made a whopping 180 knitting buttons - that's 30 sets!  Man, is my thumb sore!

Why did I do it?  Well, I was going to save it for a secret surprise in a few months, but....  I'm going to be featured in Knit Today magazine!  It's a UK knitting magazine and they are going to do a little write up of my etsy shop and I am giving away ten mega prize packs to their readers of all 18 of my knitting buttons.

I'm super excited to be working with them.  Can't wait until I have more info to post!


Monday, January 13, 2014

The Great Depression

It has been one month since the doctor ordered me to stop knitting and, not to be melodramatic or anything, but it has been one of the most depressing months of my life.  :(  Woe is me.  I have been trying to distract myself with some other crafts.  Mostly sewing and some scrapbooking/card making.  But it's just not the same!