Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Warm Ewe Up Question #3

What is your favorite way to keep warm when it’s snowing outside?

Well, it is currently snowing outside, but as the powers that be deemed conditions still navigable, I had to trek into the office this morning and am not engaging in any of my favorite stay-warm activities.
However, on the rare occasions when I do get to hibernate during a snowstorm, I find nothing's better than a warm blanket, a mug of hot chocolate, and a kitty or two snuggled in my lap. Warm baked goods also help, when I have the ingredients. It's also important to have a good black and white movie on, preferrably starring Bing Crosby (I'm 28, why do you ask?).

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Feeling Warmed Up!

You're cordially invited to share in my excitement about my first package from my Warm Ewe Up spoiler, full of all kinds of goodies:

Look at that cute little matryoshka--and there's a mirror on the other side! A needle I need to finish up a project, and 2 skeins of my favorite yarn--my spoiler did a great job stalking my blog and picking out great things for me! Plus some yummy candy, and a great pattern for mittens. I was just talking about making mittens for a friend the other day, and then, poof!, this pattern appears!

Big, big thanks to my spoiler!!!

In other not so great news, my Mom is in the hospital again. She really hasn't made much progress since her last hospital stay (other than replacing smoking with drinking--I can't even decide which is the greater evil), and yesterday she managed to fall down a flight of stairs at the mall and break her hip. She's in surgery now, either having the hip repaired or replaced, depending on the extent of the damage. I don't want to seem callous, as I am very concerned about my Mom, but we have a somewhat difficult relationship even in the best of times, and have not been getting on well during the last few months--spending time with her is very taxing, but I can't leave my poor Dad to deal with her on his own. So, I'll be trekking to the hospital this afternoon. I'm thinking about just renting out a room there . . .

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

2 for the show

Happy Inauguration Day, everyone! I am, of course, staying as far away from all of the mayhem as possible--my office is about 2 blocks from the White House, which means I get the day off! And I'm quite thankful; my commute is bad on a good day, so I can't imagine how Metro is handling the horde of people descending on the District today.

But don't assume that I'm being unproductive with my vacation day--oh no. In fact, I have not 1, but 2 FOs to show off for you today.


Pattern: Classic Gloves from the Free Vintage Knitting website
Yarn: Koigu Premium Merino, 2 skeins

I originally picked up the Koigu for some boy socks, not realizing that the yardage per skein is a little on the skimpy side, so 2 skeins isn't quite enough for big boy feet. Perfect amount for these gloves though. The sunlight is a little deceptive, the color is a bit of a darker army-ish green, with just a touch of variation.

Easy pattern (after you get used to reading it--it's laid out in a table format, with separate columns for each size), and no complaints, other than one about gloves in general: so many ends to weave in. HATE! And there's no end in site, as next up in my queue is a pair of gloves for myself!


Pattern: Grumperina's famous Shifting Sands Scarf
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend, 3 skeins Pewter
Mods: courtesy of Brooklyn Tweed

I've already posted some in progress photos and thoughts about this one. Absolutely adore this scarf. Had I had more yarn (and money!), I would've made it longer--it was about 63" after blocking, but stretching it out made it so much thinner, and it was originally so sturdy and thick.

I used Jared's mods for the hems, and it turned out . . . ok, I guess. Tacking down the live stitches was new to me, and I'm sure I would do a better job and make a neater hem with some practice, but this will do for now.

So, two more projects off the needles, and I've finally got the needle I need to finish up the Tangled Yoke. Hopefully finish her up this week, and then on to new projects!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Start me up

Here we go, the first FO of 2009--and hopefully the first of many this year.

: Chevron Scarf from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Knit Picks Imagination in Damsel and Looking Glass

This was an easy-peasy knit, but sloooow. Partially because I was working on other things, and partially because you're knitting a scarf with sock-weight yarn. The yarn just would. not. end.
I love the result, although it could've been longer--I had plenty of yarn left, I just ran out of time (this was gifted to my sister yesterday for her birthday). I'm really happy with this color combo, I think it worked out quite well.

I should be finishing up a few more small projects this week, and I went ahead and ordered the new needle from Knit Picks, so Tangled Yoke will HOPEFULLY not be far behind.

Since I finally finished a project, I decided I could pick my first Personal Sock Club project for the year! And the winner is:

Tidepool Socks in some Socks That Rock. This is relatively easy pattern, which is good news, because I think it will be my first attempt at knitting socks on 2 circs. Wish me luck!

And I can't sign off without sharing a bit about the wonderful package I received from Wool Girl. I hadn't ordered from her before, and I was blown away by evident care that went into the package. Unfortunately the yarn I ordered is for a secret swap, so I can't share that with you. But I can tell you it was neatly packaged, tied up with a pretty bow, and came with handwritten thank you note, as well as some extra goodies. The yarn I picked up was on mega sale, so it was a great deal, and it shipped quickly to boot. I will definitely be ordering from her again.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Warm Ewe Up bi-weekly blog question #2

If you could only knit or crochet with one brand of yarn for the rest of the year, what would it be and why?

Hmmm . . . I think I'm going to go with Manos del Uruguay. Their silk blend is just divine and the wool clasica knits up so interestingly. Plus it's produced by a women's cooperative. Having had the opportunity to visit some cooperatives in Nicaragua, I know these kinds of organizations can play an important role in developing a community and providing steady income for people who might otherwise struggle to find work.

Finally got a project off the needles, and also want to rave about Wool Girl, so I'll post again soon, promise!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

a perfectly cromulent explanation for my non-blogging . . .

I've just been plugging away trying to finish up two scarves before this weekend. And the thing about scarves is, they kinda look the same from beginning to end. Nothing to see here, people.

No progress on Tangled Yoke--just before I realized I needed a 40" size 3 circ to finish it, I placed a Knit Picks order, so I haven't been able to justify placing yet another one, although with the 40% off book sale, I may just go ahead.

I spent part of today stalking Knitterly Things waiting for the shop update--I desperately want some vesper sock yarn to make some Jaywalkers, but once the yarn was ultimately up, I decided I didn't really need to spend $24 on one skein of sock yarn right that very instant--I've got all 6 pairs of my Personal Sock Club to get through (hopefully!) this year, so Jaywalkers are on the back burner anyway.

I got a great package from the Loopy Ewe last week, and am awaiting some other yarny packages--one from Woolgirl with yarn for my Warm Ewe Up spoilee, and other of yet more sock yarn that I picked up in a Rav destash.

One of these days the actual knitting content will outweigh the yarn buying content on this blog, I swear. Someday.

(If you don't get "cromulent," I just . . . I just can't help you.)

Friday, January 2, 2009

onward and upward

It has come to my attention that 2008 was a pitiful knitting year, FO-wise. By my count I had only 13 completed projects (13 and a half, if you count one pomatomus). THIRTEEN. Quite an abysmal performance.

I really do enjoy knitting, but I am definitely a product knitter--I focus on the final result. So having completed only 13 projects is really bumming me out. One of the problems, I think, is that I really am a very slow knitter. How can I learn to speed things up? Hopefully learning to knit socks on circs will speed up my sock knitting--I ordered the very famous Addi Turbos from The Loopy Ewe, so I'll take a crack at that as soon as they arrive.

I've also got to become a better planner--I constantly find myself in the middle of projects when I suddenly realize that I don't have the right size needles/tips or am about to run out of yarn, which really derails the whole process (which, incidentally, is where I'm at now with the Tangled Yoke--I need a size 3 circular needle to finish the neckband, and all I've got is a 16", which is too short). So, more organized knitting is in order for 2009. Perhaps a notebook of some kind would help . . .

Ok, enough rambling, here are some concrete (hopefully attainable) goals for this year:

Knit 4 (adult) sweaters (and that doesn't count finishing the Tangled Yoke)
Finish at least 2 projects each month
Learn to knit socks on circs, and ultimately Magic Loop

Hope everyone's 2009 is off to a great start, knitting and otherwise!