Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday, Mama...

I finished knitting this in June. Just blocked it this past weekend. My mom's birthday was in October. Yeah, I'm a slacker.

On the upside, though, she absolutely loved the blanket. I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes. Not the softest yarn in the world, but its light as a feather and warm, according to my mom. She's already snuggled under the blanket a few times now. I think I used a size 8 needle. You can find the directions and links to charts and such over at Brooklyn Tweed.

Jared's blanket is great. But I decided to make mine a little larger. I only made it through one more pattern repeat than he did. The rounds got too long. And I really didn't want to make a blanket big enough to put on the bed.

I did modify the bind off a little. I didn't do all the fancy loops, just kinda made it up on the spot. The pattern looks great either way. I've heard though, that the fancy bind off take a lot of yarn. So if you want to do that, just make sure you have enough yarn.

There are a couple of KAL groups out there that have done this blanket. I know one is on Yahoo. They're a great source of information if you have any questions. And I'd be happy to answer any you have as well, should you decide to take on this project. And you should do it. It looks much more intimidating than it actually is.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lady in Red

I should be knitting blanket squares for the Knit Knack exchange. But I can't. I have a sweater's worth of the most awesome red Malabrigo just sitting in my stash, begging to be knit up into something fabulous. So I gave in. I admit, I'm weak in the face of such beautiful yarn. I cast on a new project, Oblique by Veronik Avery.

I've had this queued on Ravelry for quite some time, just waiting for the perfect yarn. And I think I've found it. My last experience with Malabrigo didn't turn out so well. My sweater turned out much larger than I thought it would. I'm not sure if it was the yarn or the pattern, but it grew significantly when I blocked it. (I really hope it was the pattern. I would really hate to end my love affair with Malabrigo. I just don't think my heart could take it.) This time, I did a gauge swatch and I'm going down a size than what I would normally wear. I'm hoping that when I block it, and the sweater grows, that it will turn out the right size.

I'm almost done with the left front piece. Considering I only cast on 2 days ago, I'm moving right along. The pattern is a little more difficult to follow than any I've done before. That's because the neck and waist shaping are done at the same time, but after a couple of "Oh no! I messed something up and now my stitch count is off!" moments, I'm on track. Turns out, I had the right number of stitches all along. I only did 15 stitches in the moss stitch section instead of 19. That's why the right-leaning lace had one more repeat than I was supposed to. Thankfully it all works out. I made some notes on the pattern so that I can repeat my "mistake" on the other front piece and possibly the back piece.

I don't have a picture of the actual WIP at the moment, but I'll try to swing back by later tonight and post one. In the meantime, here's a picture of the yarn I'm using. Red doesn't photograph well, so keep in mind that this yarn isn't quite as orange as it looks.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

So, here it is the first day of the new year and I must admit that I'm looking forward to the next 364 days ahead of me. I've decided this is my year. For what, I don't know, but it will be. I have a good feeling about it.

Some quick, non-knitting news. I've been called for jury duty next week. Not really looking forward to that because I have to be at the courthouse at 8:30 a.m. My brother is leaving that morning to go back to Honduras and I won't be able to go to the airport to see him off. Also, I'm not looking forward to getting up quite that early. My brain doesn't function until noon. But, I have decided that the bright side to this is plenty of knitting time. Especially if they don't get rid of me right away. I just hope they allow me to bring my needles into the courtroom.

Now, to the good stuff. I've been pondering what to do with a beautiful skein of yellow Malabrigo laceweight yarn that my bestest buddy brought back to me from Key West. I've started work on the Easy Flame Lace Scarf from Knit and Tonic. I love her site. She always has such beautiful patterns and they're really easy to follow. Here's what I have so far...

This was taken a few days ago and I've progressed pretty quickly. The pattern is easy to remember, so I don't have to carry the paper around with me.

I am going to put aside the scarf until I finish the blanket squares I've been putting off. I'd post pictures of those, but they're just plain garter stitch 10"-by-10" squares. I will post pictures of my finished blanket once I get the squares from everyone else.

Alrighty then ... with that out of the way let me get to the point here. It is after a new year and with new years come new resolutions. This year, I intend to keep them. But I am being realistc here. No outlandish resolutions for me. I never stick to those anyways.

1) Use more stash yarn before buying new yarn. The only exception to this will be special occasions like a massive sale or when I go to Stitches in April.
2) Get back to church. I haven't been in a long time and I really miss going. Even if I find a different church, I need to start going again.
3) Make a list of "Must Read Before I Die" books and actually read something off that list.
4) Keep my house cleaner so I can invite people over at the drop of a hat and not be worried about the state of my living room and kitchen.

I was going to do more, but I decided to stop here. I figured that's good enough. Right? What are your big resolutions this year?