Thursday, December 16, 2010

I see Liz's underpants!

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
My friend from grad school, Liz, got married this past fall. When I heard the news, I was overjoyed and immediately resolved to knit her something special for her wedding. I used some eBay bucks and searched for yarn with free shipping - I got a nice ball of Laines du Nord pure silk for just a couple of bucks with the eBay bucks discount.

I knit the front panel very quickly. But the waist - I knit it, and decided it was WAY too big. So it sat for a few months until I realized the big event was coming up and I'd better finish it. I frogged the waistline (luckily it wasn't too hard, given it begins from a tiny triangle after the string) and started again. This time I think I got it about right.

I tied it with some ribbon I'd bought for my wedding, and sent it along with bachelorette items that Liz had gotten me at MY bachelorette (ha ha!).

Pattern: Lacy Thong, from Interweave
Yarn: Laines du Nord Mulberry Silk
Needles: size 5, probably KnitPicks 16" or something.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kniting for Christmas

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
So I knit this hat in a few hours over Thanksgiving break - cast on in the car, hit the ribbing, knit while talking between TLD's bedtime and mine, and it was done. So I decided it was doable to knit 5 more similarly. I went and bought yarn at my new favorite LYS, bought the necessary patterns on Ravelry, and cast on for the first one.

Yeah. Koolhaas, you are beautiful, but you are not fast.

Hat Most Likely to Succeed, you are faster than Koolhaas, but that's not saying much.

My original plan actually was that the men (3 total) would get hats and the ladies would get mitts. I've since decided that hats are much faster than any mitts could be.

I found some more fast-looking hats. Really fast. I don't want to repeat any of them. (Why not, asks a little voice inside my head. I've found a very nice looking, attractive, and proven FAST pattern?) I just don't.

Pattern: Nottingham
Needles: size 8, KnitPicks size 16, Takumi bamboo DPNs to finish.
Yarn: Cascade 220, 112 yds by weight.
Cast on November 24, finished November 29, and was not diligent. I might have made one of the cable crosses too late, hence ovals instead of cute little clovers. Did it all without a cable needle. Fast, fast hat. Very stretchy, should fit anybody from my huge-headed toddler to a grown man (its intended).

Next up: Finishing the forever cabled hat that must succeed, and salvaging my Koolhaas ribbing start to become a beautiful Turn a Square.

I usually avoid Christmas knitting, because I don't like to knit on deadline. But this year, I decided I was more into knitting than shopping (and I'd had one finished already). Next year, a mitt a month and I should be ready. Bonus if there's enough yarn leftover to make everyone mitts that match their hats.

Oh yeah, and it would be swell if I could finish TLD's sweater vest for Christmas. But I'm not holding my breath. The real deadline is February - a year from cast-on.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cats & Mice sweater progress

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I've finished knitting the body of the sweater. I took this photo at knitting group 2 weeks ago. I'm really pleased with how good it looks - the blocking was very gentle- just immerse in cold water, then roll in a towel and let dry spread out gently.

Next up: steeking. By now I've crocheted some stabilizing stitches in one armhole and I'm toying with the idea of actually knitting the armhole edging BEFORE cutting the steek, as I'd read here. A little piece of mind by picking up and finishing off the edge BEFORE cutting. Intriguing.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Long overdue blog entry

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I've been busy. I know you knitters with children know what I mean.

I've even knit, but haven't blogged.

But here I am. I figure if I can take a camera phone photo, at least it can make it to the blog less than 2 months later.

I did Revenge of Dish Rag Tag again this year, and it was fun! Here is what I received from my tagger. I remember taking a photo of what I sent out, but must have not saved it in my phone, because it's just not there. It's a dishcloth along with a solar powered blinky key ring and another ball of dishcloth cotton.

Hopefully I can get some more phone photo pictures to get some more of my projects up here on the blog!

BTW, as it is now November, I'm starting to think about advent calendars. While I really love some of those handmade ones, I don't have the crafty time to do it (along with knitting some small Christmas presents in the 20 minutes here and there). BUT - this I think I can handle:
Bubble Wrap Advent Calendar. My TLD loves bubble wrap! I even bought some Christmasy stickers at OfficeMax to put on the bubbles. Now to tell him to only pop one a day....this morning he was jumping up and down on a sheet.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

World Wide Knit In Public Day

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
TLD made it to his 3rd World Wide Knit in Public Day. The Girl Scouts were having cake just next to where we were set up. They asked "Would you like some cake" and TLD was enthusiastic. Later he retold the story "Doodle [that's another term of endearment for TLD, and he uses it sometimes too] ate all the frosting. Mama ate all cake."

Off for a restful 4th of July vacation!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Checking in....

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Just a quick post to check in. Easter was a blast. The Sweetie felt weird telling TLD "You see, there's this Bunny...." but after TLD found his first egg, he knew what to do. He brought a cart on wheels just in case he needed more capacity.

Sadly, I'm not knitting much. My work got a little shaky in the area of reliability, and so we rejiggered my hours so that one day a week TLD will spend the day with me instead of hanging out at daycare. The fallout is no more breaks at work, not even to visit my knitting group! No more pumping so no knitting while pumping breaks.

I'll try to get a stitch in here and there....

Monday, March 8, 2010

I can't believe it's been so long!

I totally did not intend for such a long blog silence. I've been knitting, and in fact I'm very excited. Here is the big reveal: I'm declaring 2010 the Year of Colorwork. And to kick it off, I planned to do the Cats & Mice sweater, in a waistcoat shape defined in the Elephants pattern. Both patterns are by Alice Starmore, in The Children's Collection.

I just liked the cats & mice theme, and the waistcoat shape better. Plus, I have been dying to try steeks!

Late in 2009, I researched the yarn. I wanted it fingering weight, soft, and washable (it's kids wear, after all). I chose Berocco Ultra Alpaca Fine, a fingering weight wool/alpaca/nylon blend. It's super soft. I'd used the worsted weight in a scarf and it was yummy. It came in 14 colors, and I chose 12 of them, all jewel tones with a good contribution of light and dark.

I did it up right. I charted with colored pencils. I made a swatch. I washed the swatch, and took gauge measurements.

I learned from my swatch. I decided not to vary the color of the cats, as the whitish head on a brown body just seemed odd, and the dark brown tail got a little lost in the dark green. I learned that the lightest color, which I had been planning as "tan" actually reads "oatmeal". And I learned that the charcoal colored mice on the burgundy background do not get lost but actually look pretty good.

Then I declared it to be my knitting Olympics project, just to get to cast on already! Okay, I never intended to finish it during the Olympics. But for the duration of the games, this would be my #1 project. Certain household tasks could be put off for working on this. I wanted a real start on the project by the end of the games. I first aimed to get to the armholes. Then (when I had setbacks) turned it back to finishing one complete repeat.

I decided on a corrugated ribbing edge, and I started. I'm now just a few rows shy of that one complete repeat, but it feels good.

I know I've got some unfinished business (ahem, blogiversary prizes) and I'll get to them soon. But I finally took a photo of my swatch with my camera phone and finally got it uploaded. Still struggling with the new camera, although "struggling" isn't accurate so much as "ignoring the fact that I haven't figured out how to get the pictures off". But some recent events that I took pictures of should get me to put it at the top of my list soon.

Happy Year of Colorwork!

Monday, January 25, 2010

FO: Birth Hat for Susan's baby

The Sweetie's cousin just had a baby boy. I'd planned to make this hat over the Christmas break, but you know what happened. Then the baby arrived 2 weeks before the due date (thankfully, my lack of knitting progress didn't hold the baby up). So I quickly whipped this out as I was able.

Pattern: The birth hat pattern I'm still tinkering with, with a fussy tubular cast-on that turned out looking okay after all.
Needles: Size 3 for cast-on, size 5 for knitting.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.

I didn't have a chance to weigh it, as I wanted to get it in the mail ASAP - I cast on 72 sts instead of 64 but neglected to knit it for a full 4 inches before starting the decreases (more like 3 inches - eek!).

Notes: The fiddly tubular cast-on was TechKnitting's 1x1 "Provisional tail" method, with extra help from commenter Rose Fox on how to slip the stitches when doing it in the round.

I cast on 72 stitches instead of 64, since I was running a bit late. I think I'll keep it bigger anyway. The trick was that I then had 9 repeats instead of 8. I continued with the decreases the way I had been anyway, and when I got down to 9 sts, I did 3 double decreases (centered, but I don't think that mattered much), then did the I-cord in 3-st I-cord instead of 4 stitches. I like it. Might keep it.

Next hat (and I've just found out a 2nd cousin of mine is expecting his first in May) I might try to do top-down, starting with the I-cord and finishing with a tubular bind-off. That might allow for less fiddling.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bullet post

Stopping in for some bullets:

  • Barbie is choosing a new profession. Go here to vote for Computer Engineer!
  • You can donate shoes to Soles 4 Souls. They are starting a new drive to send shoes to Haiti, but it's not clear from the web site how to designate that your shoes be used for that.
  • It's better when donating for disaster relief, to leave donations unrestricted anyway. That way the organization can use unspent money for the next disaster. Choose wisely.
  • I got a new camera for Christmas. One of the side effects is that I have to figure out a new system for downloading photos.
  • Yes, it should be easy with a cardreader. But it's a different one from my previous one, and apparently my computer doesn't like it.
  • I want to post with photos. Hence my blogging is being held up by technology. But heck, I wouldn't have a blog without technology. So we can be patient for a little while longer, mmm?

Friday, January 8, 2010

3rd Blogiversary

Recent purchases
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Three years ago today, I started this blog. The first few posts were very list-y: listing fos, wips, future plans. This was the first photo I posted, several posts later.

Last year I was so busy starting up work and daycare I missed my blogiversary. This year, I'm a much more accomplished mom and knitter.

I wanted to take this opportunity to note the passage of time, and thank you, my readers, for your encouragement over the years.

And a contest! Leave a comment here, saying anything at all. I'll choose one randomly and send you a nice goodie. The contest is open until midnight Pacific time, one week from today, the 15th of January. If you don't leave contact info, please check back in a week (of course you'll be back to read about my grand plan for 2010, right?) and see if you've won.

Knit on!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2009 FO Wrap-up

2009 FO Mosaic
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
This was a very productive year, knitwise, in terms of # of objects finished. Like last year, it consists of mostly small items. And I narrowly missed finishing the final two items, due to this year's Christmas plague, which is just now clearing up.

  • 9 dishcloths (1 of them a NICU blanket, but I'm counting it as a dishcloth anyway)
  • 8 hats (all for babies)
  • 3 baby footwear
  • 1 baby sweater
  • 2 misc.
Incidentally, this year I finished the exact same number of projects as in 2007 - 23!

I finished all of the knitting but not the duplicate stitch or blocking on 2 Christmas stockings for TLD's cousins, before the Christmas plague hit. Oh well, they'll have them next year. They didn't miss them much this year, I expect.

TLD got a sinus infection which spread to his eye, and in order to prevent sharing his germs with his cousins (aged 1 year, and 3 months) we high-tailed it home on the 23rd. The Sweetie and I managed to also get sick (big surprise) and now we're mostly well again. TLD recovered splendidly and was a challenge to keep up with over new year's! But we were sad not to be with our extended family on Christmas.

Stay tuned for big knitting plans for 2010!