A Knititng Diary

Follow me on my knitting expeditions!

Misti Alpaca feels like Heaven January 11, 2009

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Yesterday while perusing the yarn at Prairie Yarns, I caresed my first skein of Misti Alpaca chunky yarn.  Holy cow, it is soooo unbelievable soft and I wanted to curl up with it and cuddle.  I now really want to buy some and make a super soft sweater with it and I absolutely would wear it all the time.  Luckily I noticed all of this lushness after I paid for my yarn and was having my yarn wrapped into balls.  At the last second I caught some lovely skeins of Misti Alpaca sock yarn out of the corner of my eye and wandered over for just a second.  Wow, I just know that my next month’s project will be to acquire some Misti Alpaca yarn and knit myself up some socks.

For this month I have three projects in mind.  Since my yarn from KnitPicks hasn’t arrived yet (it may come within the next couple of days), I will c/o with the yarn I bought yesterday!  I bought some eco-friendly yarn in a heathered gray/brown color and in straight up cream.  Prairie Yarn was nice enough to order me one more skein of the gray/brown and will ship it to my house when it comes in!  The outline for my project is first to knit up a purse alternating the two colors and as far as decoration, I want to do 2 different cable patterns on both the front and back.  I think I would love to do the Flirtation cable (from Vogueknitting.com) in the middle and then a 6st crossover cable on either side of the Flirtation cable.  I’m really excited to get to work on it!

I picked the gray/brown color because I really liked the combination of it alternating with the cream color.  I am also very fond of putting together something classic that will last; the colors aren’t too crazy and it will go with a variety of things.  The heathered gray/brown color also reminds me of tweed 🙂

Today I plan on getting to work on that and we’ll see how far I get before my second skein arrives!

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So many balls of yarn!!! November 20, 2008

Our mini yarn hop was a huge success!  We only got lost the one time in Fergus Falls (note to self: next time write down the names of the yarn stores alongside directions); otherwise it was a breeze!  I was very pleasantly surprised to see the gorgeous yarn my MIL bought for me.  In a big bag were several skeins of bamboo yarn in a celery green and then a few skeins of corn yarn in a green/brown/cream combination.  Sofrtly after our arrival in Fargo we immediately headed out for Boucle and then Prarie Yarns.  I know I said that I wanted to buy nothing but sock yarn, but so  many other yarns were calling out my name!  At Boucle I picked up Dream in Color Smooshy Sock Yarn in Flamingo.  It’s gorgeous and I can’t wait to knit with it!  While I was there I also got some ideas on what to knit with the bamboo and corn yarn.  They had a few examples hanging up in the front.  At Prairie Yarn I saw some new yarn that I had never seen before.  It’s Wisdom Yarn Poems.  I picked up a sky blue/green/purple blend to make a scarf out of to match my mittens.  Immediately Monday night I c/o for my scarf and am working 3 different rows of the Twisted Taffy cable from Lion Brand.  So far it’s turning out just lovely.

In Fergus Falls we swung by Crate of Yarn and spent a good chunk of time touching all the soft yarn and thinking about what we should get.  I didn’t splurge here, I picked out a skein of eco-friendly recycled yarn in a cream color to knit up another doll for my cousin.  Our last yarn stop on Tuesday was at Dream in Color in Alexandria.  I loved ALL of their yarn.  Everything was amazing and soft and I truly wanted to buy just about everything I touched.  There was some Uruguay (sp?) yarn in bright orange that caught my eye and I kept wandering back over to it.  But as much as I loved it, I just didn’t know what I would knit with it!  If I knit a sweater, would I wear it?  Am I an orange color person?  Then I saw bright blue yarn that would be lovely for a sweater for Jax, but there was only one skein and I didn’t see anything that I would like to pair it up with.  So after a long perusal, I sadly left empty handed.  😦

Due to a long day and having gotten lost a number of times in the cities, we decided to take the well worn way home.  No funny highways or stops; I think we were extremely glad to be on our way back home to where roads don’t suddenly turn into one ways and ppl are nice enough to let you in when you realize that you should have made a left 3 blocks earlier.  We made a pit stop in Albertville where sadly I didn’t see any yarn stores.  Not that I was really expecting to, but that would have been cool.  But we made it home safe & sound and I am eager to work with all the yarn I got!

I can’t end this post without talking about the play!  The play was fabulous!  We were in the second row and I couldn’t have been happier.  It was so much better than I had dreamed it would be (even w/o the original cast).  The actors/actresses were superb and their singing was dead on.  I remember thinking how in awe of them I was.  To be able to sing in a strong voice and follow the music while the person you’re singing a duet with is singing on a completely different level, it’s breathtaking.  I had tears in my eyes when they sang “Defying Gravity”.  Not only is it my favorite song of the musical, but thinking of how it relates to Elphaba breaking from the mold and going out on her own and the words…I’m a nerd, I know, but I was very giddy about it.  What was super cool is that one of the ladies who sat in front of us, whipped out her knitting during intermission!  I wished I had thought to bring mine!  I was tempted to ask her what she was working on, but I didn’t know if that would make me look like some kind of weirdo.  At the end of the night I was lucky enough to get a l/s t-shirt in my size!  This is when being small comes in handy; all they had left were xs and s, so yay for me!

I’ve taken pictures of all my yarn, I just have to get on the ball and upload them.  So as soon as I can, they’ll be posted in all their glory here!  🙂

 

Pants! November 11, 2008

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Today I finished up my knit pants in their entirety.  My son just loves to model my knitwear for me and have his picture taken.  I can’t wait until he’s old enough for these pictures to be embarrassing 🙂  Anyhow.  The pants were finished in the knitting phase yesterday afternoon.  I didn’t quite have enough of one fabric to line the pants (I honestly thought about doing an apple print for the front side and plain black in the back just to be quirky) so we made a quick run to the fabric store.  There was a little over a yard left of this cute polka dot fabric in flannel and I just knew it was the right stuff to use.  And hey, for $3 I got pant liner and can make a toy of the leftover stuff!

So here’s Exhibit A of my son wearing the pants.  I used the numbers for an 18 month old since I went to a size 6 needle (the pattern calls for size 5).  I’m hoping that my cousin isn’t too tall and that these pants will be short on her.  😦  If anything they’ll look cute with baby snow boots.  Plus I’m always forgetting that babies/toddlers aren’t like me.  I hate short pants.  I’m sure they’re wonderful for babies so they aren’t always tripping over the miles of extra leg.

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Exhibit B is the cable trim on the sides of the pants.

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Exhibit C is the polka dot flannel lining.

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And even after all of this work knitting a s/s sweater for myself and these pants, I still have 3 skeins left of the yarn.  I’ve got my eyes set on some knit toys and maybe a hat.  And if all else fails I can donate it to Prairie Yarns 🙂

 

I love my hobby October 29, 2008

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I love how relaxing it is to sit down in the afternoon, turn on some tunes (or podcasts) and slip into the ease and joy of knitting.  Hearing my needles softly clicking together as I deftly maneuver my needle through each stitch and pull the yarn through is musical.  But what I love most about knitting, is once you reach the point where your project is beginning to look like what you are knitting.  I admit that a lot of times I’ll only be a few repeats into my pattern and think “Wow, this looks ugly and nothing at all like the picture”.  But persevere I must and after a few more repeats, it finally looks just like the picture.

I’m a little more than halfway done with my Global Warming sweater.  Yesterday I knit up to where the sleeves will be added.  One thing I noticed is that the pattern calls for the yarn to be doubled up.  Which obviously I didn’t.  I remember thinking about it and then wondering if doubling the yarn would make it too thick and therefore too warm.  If it’s too warm, I won’t wear it.  I get warm pretty easily and plan to wear this s/s sweater with a long sleeve tee under it.  So with where I’m at and with how much I have to left to go, I know that I won’t be using all 11 skeins of yarn my husband bought me.  In fact, I’ve only used 2 so far and am just dipping into my 3rd.

What I’m thinking is that after I’m done with this sweater, I will see how many skeins I have left and either knit a duplicate sweater for someone (they’d have to fit into a xs/s) or knit the gorgeous tube top in the “Fitted Knits” book.  Lastly, I was thinking of knitting up a sweet sweater for my little cousin Fiona, whose birthday is in December.  So many decisions.  🙂

Hopefully I’ll finish my sweater tonight and will be able to take pictures of both of my sweaters tomorrow.

One last thing I have to think about is what projects I will want to start so when my friend and I go to the cities, I’ll know what I’m looking for.  Because I was definitely going to buy some sock yarn and then hopefully get some yarn for a specific project.  My trip is coming up quick (just a couple weeks!) and I also have to chart out our stops on a map so I don’t get lost.  One thing I’m a little nervous about is that there’s a Yarn Hop to the same stores the weekend before we are going, and I’m hoping that they don’t sell out of all the good stuff before we get there!

 

They call me….. October 24, 2008

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…quick stitch McGraw.  Okay, not really.  But this past week my mom has been staying with me and I have to giggle at the fact that I’ve already knit a pair of mittens and flew through several rounds of my pointelle shawl while she’s c/o, crocheted, rippped out and c/o again, crocheted, ripped out, and so on and so forth at least 5 times this week.

It all started Monday when I called to remind her that she should bring some knitting/crocheting because of the ladies who come to my house and knit.  So Tuesday night she wanted to get busy reintroducing herself to a project that had been gathering dust for a little bit.  This set off the chain of events that leads us to the several afghan froggings.  But as I type, she’s busily working on Stashaholics Brain Dead Afghan except instead of the purple/raspberry colors, she’s using green tones.  I really hope that she has better luck with making this one work; I’m sure she will, but I’m no help as I don’t crochet.

What else is cool is I signed my mom up for an invitation to Ravelry and told her to head straight to Boucle’ next week and inquire as to a knitting group or some help relearning to knit.  Whether or not she does this, I’m not sure, but I hope she does.  Some of the stuff she made back when she was really into it is super amazing.  In her house there’s this huuuuuge (and it is ginormous) tan colored knit blanket.  It is super thick and miles long and amazing.  Anyhow, I know that she’d have a blast connecting with other knitters much like I have!

So my hubby’s coming home Saturday and he’s brought me a little gift from a yarn store in Seattle!  I can’t wait to see what exactly he got me and then to start knitting up my second sweater!  It’s funny that the first item you make when you’re learning to do something (use circular needles, make clothing, etc….) can make you so nervous.  Then after you’re done, you feel like you can conquer the world!  Maybe it’s just me, but I am ready to take on some more knitting challenges!

 

I am not allowed October 12, 2008

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…..to go into a yarn store unsupervised ever again.  Yesterday we did a surprise trip to the in-laws.  Since we were going, I wanted to pick up some yarn and circular needles so I could start knitting a simple crewneck sweater.  At Barnes & Noble last night I didn’t find a single knitting book that caught my interest (okay, didn’t catch my interest at $25+).  So I decided to just buy yarn and a needle and have a go at it.  Fate decided that wasn’t to be so today.  😦

I ended up choosing this gorgeous green yarn (I really wanted the buttercup yellow, but had a few reservations about me wearing that particular color) and picked up a pair of size 7 needles.  The ladies asked if I had a pattern and I said no.  They seemed shocked and said “Oh, well you will need a pattern, it will help you determine what you need!”  I was too nice to say “No thank you, I’m just going to hammer it out on my own” and ended up spending $70 on a book, my yarn and size 10 needles.  Not only that, but my son and husband spent a wonderful hour hanging out in the car while I did so.

Despite my mega spending there, I love all the sweaters in the book.  So it wasn’t a complete waste.  I picked a sweater that is labeled as medium difficulty and am excited to c/o for it.  🙂  My hubby told me that he is going to accompany me the next time I go in so I’m not gone for hours on end.  Plus, he said that when I go to Mpls, I’m going to need $1000 to dedicate to my yarn addiction.  I told him in rebuttal that at least I buy yarn that I plan on using, not just to have pretty yarn.

 

Ripping Out September 11, 2008

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Today I eagerly wound up my JitterBug yarn and anticipated starting my socks tonight.  This evening I cast on for the Bintje Socks and started going.  While we were watching a movie, I started on the round where you join the cast on stitches with the current stitches you are working on to create the cuff.  In theory it sounds very easy.  But, leave it to me to misunderstand the directions and completely eff it up.  I was unsure how I would knit the c/o stitches with the live ones and didn’t know how I would be able to simply stitch them with my darning needle either.  So I went the only route that made sense to me and that was to pick up stitches from the c/o row and then do a ssk like stitch.  It was going along merrily until the last dpn where I snapped it in half.  And the only person I have to blame for that is myself.  Along the way one of my needles started to get curved from the precarious position I was putting them into and I thought that I could slightly curve it back.  And then SNAP!  Being a smartass my husband asked me if I was Hulk knitting.

After that I rearranged my stitches and took a look at the next set of directions.  It was here that I realized in doing my version of the cuff, I twisted all the stitches so it looked pretty ugly.  For a minute I honestly considered letting it be and getting on with my life.  But I knew that I would hate ths sock and never wear it if I didn’t correct myself.  Plus the adorable cuff of the sock is one of the many reasons I chose to knit it.  *sigh*  But all hope wasn’t lost yet at this point.  I was thinking that I could rip back to the part where you join the stitches and simply knit them together with no dpn’s holding my live stitches, they would (hopefully) sit there and be patient.  But as I was organizing myself, my yarn slowly slipped out of more and more stitches until I was forced to admit defeat and simply rip everything out.

My husband re rolled my yarn while I ripped and my kitty kept his huge green eyes on the yarn that dangled in front of his face.  He swiped at it a couple times but after a few remonstrations from myself, contented to gaze greedily at it instead and wait for my attention to wane.

Tomorrow’s another day for me to begin anew and I now know what my plan of attack is.  I’m thinking that instead of beginning with the dpn’s, I will simply knit the first 13 rows on straight needles, create the cuff, and then change to my dpn’s.  In her pictures she illustrates how to join the stitches on a straight needle and I am more confident in myself to simply begin with straight needles and then change to the dpn’s instead of flip flopping between the two a few times.  Wish me luck!