Saturday, June 21, 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane . . .

. . . in 30 hours I will be in Rome! I'm taking 4 pairs of sock yarn with me on my trip. What's that? Yeah I know it's WAY too many projects, but I bought my 6 skeins of Regia Nation Colors sock yarn more than 8 months ago and I plan to take the yarn my vacation so it can soak up the air in each country, so when I come back home and knit it I know it took the trip with me (silly I know but it will make me smile).

So I have red and orange for Barcelona, Spain. I have red, white and green for Rome, Naples, Venice, Florence, Pisa and Sicily. And I have red white and blue for both Cannes, France and Dubrovnik, Croatia. It's all the same yarn basically (wide stripes of color not my favorite but it works so well) so in order to break it up I'm bring I'll Call You from Politically Incorrect (really such a treat, I can't wait to cast on).

So Ciao I'll return July 11!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Love At First Sight

You know it when it happens, you see it and know that you are falling hard. This is what happened to me when I saw Politically Incorrect Yarns and Fibers website. The yarns and fibers are dyed by a super talented woman named Chris whose colors are nothing short of amazing. The intensity of her color are striking and the color combinations are truly beautiful. Sometimes with hand-dyed yarn you get parts that sometimes do not take up dye and you get some white through. But this yarn is fully saturated color with intense color and brightness, no muddiness at all. Here is a picture of the first skein that I ordered, the colorway is called "I'll Call You" gorgeous right? On the website "I'll Call You" was only available in a DK weight but I convo'ed Chris and asked it I could have it 400 yards of fingering to make socks out of and she generously agreed to dye it for me. Seriously go get yourself some of this NOW, before it ends up like Twisted Fiber Arts (how I long for the Etsy days gone by).

There were also a ton of extra goodies that came along with the wonderful yarn; two cards of the picture that is one the yarn label (the Mona Lisa with "funny glasses" with knitting in hand), a personal card from Chris, a pencil, a small spiral notebook, and lovely stitch markers. See?
super nice of her to send all the extra goodies.

So if course when I saw how wonderful this yarn truly is the moment I was done looking at it I went back and ordered to more skeins in "He's Just Not That Into You" and It's All About the O", I love the names she has for her colorways.

I also order a skein of Rio de la Plata from The Loopy Ewe, I'll show you when it gets here. I also ordered a skein of Red Sox Red in sock yarn from the Marta Vineyard Fiber Farms (of which I'm a shareholder). Needless to say there has been some online shopping going on lately.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Rivendell Sock Progress

I'm not a Lord of the Rings fan but I really like this pattern. I pre-ordered the book and there are 3 other patterns I can't wait to cast on. I love the rings at the top of the sock (Janel Laidman calls them clusters) they were a bit of a problem for me, but once I understood how they are formed I got the hang of it. The chart is easy to read and I like the way it's turning out. I saw this pattern when Yarn Harlot finished them for her friend Denny in a lovely purple color (eggplant). I purchased J.Knits yarn in colorway Boston. It is very similar in tone and depth that the Harlot's yarn was, but I don't know if it's showing the pattern very well. The other thing is the yarn in places is splitty. I think this might be the kind of project that is a bit difficult to photograph well, sort of like my Koolhaas hat. The texture isn't easy to capture but I can tell you in person the pattern is a little more clear. Just like my Cables and O sweater I LOVE the twisted stitch they look so great.

Here is a close-up picture:

I'm done with both charts and with the heel so it's pretty much decreases, the twisted stitch pattern and the toe. Oh yeah and then doing it all over again for the second sock, but the dreaded SSS hasn't been a huge problem for me.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A WIP . . . nope make that a FO!

It was a WIP for a very short amount of time, about 20 hours maybe. This is my new Koolhaas hat, the pattern is by the very creative Brooklyn Tweed. The pattern was inspired by the architecture of Rem Koolhaas. For those that aren't familiar Koolhaas a Dutch architect, architectural theorist, urbanist and "Professor in Practice of Architecture and Urban Design" at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. This picture is a picture of Seattle's Central Library this space is what inspired Brooklyn Tweed's pattern:
I would say it's a great reflection of that space.

The pattern requires a lot of 1 stitch cables and since I have wanted to learn cabling without a cable needle I thought this project would be a great time to learn since it was a small project and the yarn was easy to tink/rip. There are a few ways to cable without a cable needle but I liked Grumperina's the best, the pictures were clear the directions solid and it was nice to see that it just wasn't shifting the stitches. After the first repeat I was off and running, the pattern was really nice, it was easy to follow and once you knew what it looked like you could easily follow without much looking at the pattern.

I dropped a needle size instead of knitting with 6 and 8 I knitted with 5 and 7, I wanted a bit of a heavier fabric and reading what people said on Ravelry (thank goodness for Rave) dropping a needle size with worsted seemed to be a good idea. The yarn I used was part of my wonderful Christmas present from ItShe from last year. It's merino and 30% possum, yup possum, the yarn is wonderful perfect for the hat and I only needed 1 skein (so I still have 1 left), the color is great and I can't wait to wear it in Beantown when the weather gets cold.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Tuscany Finito!

Here is a close-up:

My Tuscany for my mom is finally finished. I think I have figure out a little something about lace and I. I like it sort of. I know very decisive. I like the initial excitement of learning the pattern and seeing how it forms, but I don't really like all the repeat, but I do love the end blocking (really love it). So I think I might have to move to more complicated lace projects. Things that change panel by panel maybe. I love the look of the all the shawls that Guilty Pleasure knits perhaps in the near future I can tackle the Print O' Wave Shawl by Eunny Jang.

The details of the project are I used 2 a skeins of Handmaiden Seasilk (not cheap but well worth it) and my new Addi Turbo Lace Circular in size 5. The shawl will be a thank you present for my mom for taking me on a cruise to the Mediterranean. I knew I wanted to use the Handmaiden Seasilk because it is made out of sea cell (cruise on the ocean seaweed connection) and I chose the color Capri because we will be traveling close to the island of Capri and my mom really likes the color blue so it worked out well. The shawl is 75' x 55' so it's a nice size.

But anyways this is the last WIP I had, how is that you ask you had Big A's long over due sweater and the Twisted Flower Sock by Cookie A. O.K. I didn't have enough yarn to finish the first sweater that I started (which was within the first 6 months I learned to knit). Which leads me to the next problem I found the once "challenging" pattern super boring. So I told him I would attempt to knit him Na Crag by Alice Starmore (you know I love him now) we have been together for 11 years (married for 4) so I think I'm well outside of the sweater curse.

Twisted Flower was frogged a while back, I liked the pattern and the yarn but after Tuscany I'm giving lace a break for a while, I will get back to it, but since I frogged it it's not a WIP.

So of course this means that I don't have any, that's right no WIP's !!! Yippie! That is until 2 seconds after I publish this post, I have 2 projects I want to start.