Monday, November 30, 2009

Breaking the Resolution

I swore this year (as I swear every year) that I wasn't going to knit anyone gifts this year, but my Christmas present idea for my mom (who is awesome) fell through and suddenly I had knit half of a pair of mittens for her. Oops.

They are the Keefely Mittens from Handknit Holidays (my favorite knitting book ever) and they are made of Classic Elite Lush, which I've never worked with before but is completely delightful. There's angora in it and they are just super soft with such a nice halo. I'm also using them to practice knitting colorwork with two hands, which I just learned from the Philosopher's Wool website - there's a great video - and I'm going to use this technique on the Wisconsin Heartwarmer, so I'm practicing. I'm not quite as good as it yet - my colorwork is bumpier than usual - but it's not bad and I'm hoping it will block out.

I'm also knitting a baby blanket for one of my bosses - she's due on January 2nd and she's amazing. There is an exception to Selfish Knitting if the person is a brand new human infant or is in the process of producing or acquiring a brand new human infant.

You can't really see it because it's all clubbed up on the circular needle, but it is the Pinwheel Baby Blanket (from Knitalong) and it's going to be totally cute. I have 13 skeins of Plymouth Happy Feet in colorway 21. So far I've knit almost six of them (held doubled). They don't know what type of baby they are having, but they're doing the nursery in a jungle theme, and I think this will work for either a girl jungle baby or a boy jungle baby.

To counterbalance all of the knitting for other people I have started knitting up some of my birthday stash. Those of you playing along at home may have noticed that I bought a skein of Gingerbread Dudette the week before my birthday and then received another one from Jorah. They are surprisingly different dye lots, but both beautiful and I wanted to knit some stockings for myself. I'm knitting them at the same time from both ends of the ball and switching from one to another ball every row.

I'm doing them toe up so I can make them as tall as possible. It is making for a fussy tangled mess, but I think they look great and I'm really excited.

I was planning on finishing these before I started anything else, but then this happened:

The socks that I knit for my sister were so delightful I wanted some for myself, so these are Heelless Sleeping Socks (with heels and inside out) for myself out of Gail's Autumn Joy. I love, love, love how this is knitting up. It's going quite fast too, because I just want to knit it all of the time.

I also finished the MacIntosh Socks last week and they are just super comfortable to wear and I love the colors.

They are my new pattern; Stock Socks. Like a chef uses stock as a base for a delicious soup, this pattern is a base for a great pair of socks. I like them plain too though - it really shows off the pretty sock yarns I like!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Dude

I finished some socks out of my Mediumweight Gingerbread Dude the other day. I am deeply in love. They are warm and squishy and fit great and feel great. I got the idea to make these because knitting siamese made some last year. They are the Leyburn Socks from pepperknit.

I am really loving the mediumweight too. It is soft and warm and knit up so quickly on a size 2. There is definitely more mediumweight in my future!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

It's been crazy busy this week and I'm just finally getting around to posting my birthday yarn loot. I also just got my Old Maiden Aunt Yarn Preview Club yarn this week, so I'm going to put that at the end of the post - THIS IS A SPOILER ALERT.

Here we have my delightful new Socks that Rock (all lightweights):

Left to Right they are Gail's Autumn Joy, Gingerbread Dude, Sugarplums, Grinchy, Gingerbread Dudette, ST-2, and Jonagold. The Sugarplums, Grinchy, and ST-2 are from my awesome parents in law and the others are from my awesome husband. Good taste in yarn must run in the family!

For those of you playing along at home, I now have two skiens of Gingerbread Dudette Lightweight. I'm planning on making some stockings (or at least tall socks) with them. I'm already almost finished my Mediumweight Gingerbread Dudes (I hope to have a picture for you soon - the socks are so cool!) I think I might make the Lightweight into a hat.

And here is my beautiful new Old Maiden Aunt 100% Superwash Merino, in Midnight Owl:

and Put On the Day:

I completely love them. I don't know if they're going to be socks or what, but I have the big love. I love orange, but I don't usually buy it. And if you look at my Ravelry Stash Page you'll see that I'm all over brown. I'm feeling like maybe I want to use them together, but I don't know if they are going to be the Rectangular Ulmus of my dreams or not, but whatever they become they are going to be beautiful!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

And the Winner is!

Amy of amyknit40!

Ravelry message me with the email address you would like linked to the gift certificate and I'll get that taken care of as soon as possible.

Thanks everybody for commenting!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Stash Enhancement!

Went to The Fold yesterday with some friends and got some more Socks that Rock. I'm trying out a few different weights too. I got 2 lightweight, 3 mediumweight, and 1 heavyweight. I also bought some 2.5 needles today, so I'm going to start swatching the mediumweight on that. The heavyweight is competely delightful - it is extremely soft.

From L-R, they are Brick Heavyweight, Sugarplum, 24 Karat, and Gingerbread Dude Mediumweight, and Jinglebell Rock and Gingerbread Dudette Lightweight. I can't wait to start knitting them!

Don't forget to comment between now and November 11th for a chance to win a $26 gift certificate to Blue Moon Fiber Arts for your own STR!

Friday, November 6, 2009


I feel like I have finished cleaning something that was hanging over my head, which is ridiculous because all I've been doing is sorting my yarn. I have sorted and photographed my yarn and frogged lots of unloved projects I'm never going to finish.

There are still one or two balls of yarn elsewhere in this house, but the lion's share is done and I'm calling it. That crosses off the fourth goal on my Last Year's Goals list!

Don't forget to leave a comment on any post between now and my birthday, 11/11/09 for a chance to win a $26 gift certificate to Blue Moon Fiber Arts.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Finished Objects & Contest!

I finished my sister's Sleep Socks! They're just delightfully soft and snuggly and I hope she really likes them. Now I just need her to Skype me back so I can get her new address!

Here they are, Classic Elite's Alpaca Sox in a pattern from the lovely Knitting Vintage Socks - Heeless Sleeping Socks. As you can see, I did put a heel in, my standard heel. I also knit the pattern inside out - it's supposed have the mostly purl side out, but I knit much faster than I purl so I reversed them.

I have another skein of this yarn so I'm thinking about making some for myself. They are awfully squishy.

In the meantime, I have started some socks for the sock class I'm teaching starting on Monday. I wasn't a big fan of the pattern they were using - it wanted you to cast on 64 for the large and be knit at 7 sts/inch. I really don't think that works for socks - I'm much more into about 9/inch. I think it makes a big difference for wearability and longevity. So anyway, I'm going to write up the pattern and give my students a choice.

I just picked up this yarn this weekend because I wanted something new to knit the socks but find myself completely in love with it. It's htNevele's Sock Yarn - she's an etsy seller, but she's also local to Madison and apparently goes to Guild. I love love love this colorway. It's called Coleus, which according to Wikipedia is a genus name for those colorful ferns like hostas. I actually despise hostas, but I think this is beautiful. I'm calling them the MacIntosh Socks because I think they look like MacIntosh apples.

I also have Leaving Patterns Behind on Sunday so I need to really get down to brass tacks and sketch out exactly what I'm going to say. I'm super excited about this class - I think it's going to be a great one.

Incidentally, if you're reading me in Madison, come on out to Lakeside on Thursday - we're having our 10th anniversary party. All yarn except for Cascade 220 is going to be 10% off and Susan B. Anderson is going to be signing her new book, Itty Bitty Toys in the Coffee Room. We will also have snacks. The sale is going to be from 6-8 and we will be closed from 5-6 to prepare.

And now, for the contest. My birthday is coming up - November 11th, the best birthday all year. I've also been blogging for just over a year now, so I thought it was time for a little contest (I do so love contests!) Leave a comment on any post between now and November 11th and I'll do a random number drawing to find one lucky person who will get a $26 gift certificate to Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Finished Objects & Stash Enhancement

***The stash enhancement is going at the bottom of the post. If you are in the Old Maiden Aunt Yarn Preview Club and don't want to see it, this is your spoiler alert!***

Am I knitting as much as ever and just not blogging? Yep.

In the last couple of weeks I've taken on some extra classes at the yarn store so I've been working my way through the patterns for the classes so I could teach them. I made a pair of mittens from Ann Norling and an Ann Norling hat out of some stash yarn. They're pretty delightful.

I made them with some Catalina Baby Alpaca I bought in Three Rivers on a vacation years and years ago with Jorah's parents. We found a tiny little yarn store and there were four skeins of butter soft baby alpaca mixed in with mountains of arcrylic yarn. I couldn't just leave them there so I spent all the money I got from selling textbooks back to rescue them!

I don't think I can wear the hat though . . . I'm super pale (my Scotch and German blood combine to make me the whitest person in all the land) and I need more color next to my face.

Speaking of color . . .

Meet bitter bug and strange rock n' rollers! They are just delightful and so soft. I sprang for the double membership so I got four beautiful huge skeins of yarn. I don't know if I want to go crazy and cast on Ulmus with these or wait to see what else I get. To be honest, my favorite base is the Merino/Cashmere/Nylon - should I wait to see if I dig those colors and do my Ulmus out of that?

This is an acdemic discussion of course. My top priorities are to finish my sister's socks and then get one sock done for the sock class I'm teaching starting a week from tomorrow. I'm also working on a Christmas stocking for Jorah (needlepoint, not knitting) and really want to have it finished for this, our third Christmas as a married couple. But needlepoint isn't knitting and I do so love to knit . . .