Thursday, February 25, 2010

My First Sweater

Finished Project: US Olympic Sweater

Pattern: Sweater Ornament
Begin Date: 2-21-10
End Date: 2-21-10
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette – Blue (Cream, Pimento)
Needles: US 2
Modifications: None

I can’t believe I knit my first sweater in one day! Oh my gosh and it was so easy! This was a fun little project, once you got past all the rounds and rounds of knitting and got to join the arms to the body! I started this on Sunday afternoon during the Russia/Czech men’s hockey game and finished it during the US/Canada men’s hockey game (GO USA!). I had a few breaks in between (trying to take a nap and running out to the store).

I spent a could couple hours on Tuesday night doing the duplicate stitching while watching some skiing action (who would have thought it would take a couple of hours!?!). I wish I would have gone with just one solid color, but live and learn. I certainly do not want to pull it out and start over!

I received the ornament kit from Knit Picks for Christmas and I really want to knit the Sipalu (just waiting for Teal to become available (I might have to check ebay!) but I wanted to work with the Palette  first to see how it felt. I had not problem with it at all. It didn’t make me itch and feels nice on the finished project.

Perhaps next I will work one with the fair isle chart to get my feet wet on the isles!

These would be super for a gift add-on on the outside of the package or holding a gift card. You could easily settle in with a good movie and have one (or more for you fasties out there) by the time the end credits roll.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Caffeine Withdrawl and Knitting: Do Not Combine

I posted one thing and so now everyone probably thinks that I am this huge slow ass knitter. I assure you I exhausted my needles in January, I am just a slow poster!

I can’t believe that we are 8 days into February and I have one finished project! I did so good in January, what went wrong? Oh, that’s right, I got some dumbass idea to cease and desist the caffeine on February 1st, so I spent much of the first week asleep, sometimes asleep at work. Okay, not really asleep at work, but very close. As of the 5th I decided that nobody likes a quitter, so I jumped right back on that wagon. I had a little catching up to do, but I got there. Now, I sit here in the afternoon enjoying a nice Diet Mountain Dew and while I feel like I could easily take a nap, I also feel like I could knit for a few hours. It took me all of last week to finish a little Jelly Bum Elephant. Oh-Em-Gee, that is insane for me. I finished the little guy up on Friday night and have yet to get some photos. I also finished another USB sock on Saturday and got a good start on the twelve month Girl’s Summer Suit (the bootie cover is done).

I was just perusing some Yahoo Groups postings about knitting two, three, four dishcloths at a time and this knitting multiples at a time seemed to perplex some people. Whenever I do a Jelly Bum, I always knit the ears two at a time. It just makes sense. I have been tempted to read about knitting two socks at a time. Perhaps if I were to do it that way, I would knit more socks. These things where you have to make more than one are such a turnoff to me. I still have a sock I started a year ago on the needles. One sock. Just the one. I actually took the other ball of sock yarn and started a scarf…around a year ago that I have never even looked at again. Well I looked at it the other day when I was frogging projects and decided that the yarn combination was to beautiful to pull out. I just need to find that pattern again and take it back up. No reason to let some beautiful size five wood needles just sit there without being used.

Speaking of beautiful needles. I am completely adoring my interchangeable Knit Picks. I love them so much. I have the Zephyrs and the Nickel Plated Options. Oh, they are fantastic. I can use them interchangeably. I chose to use both sets of fours to do the elephant arms and they were great. As longs as I don’t need anything smaller than a four, I can use both tips on the two circular in the round stuff I like to do. What is great about this, since they are different styles, I know without using a marker which one is the beginning of the round. It is genius. I had been using my fixed circular harmony needles (I bought two of sizes 0-10.5 in the 16”) and using place marker after the first stitch or two on needle one. This is so much better. I would like to get some longer cables though so that I might try magic loop. I have the magic loop booklet, but I don’t really have a super long cable. I hope to make a Knit Picks order soon.

I have pretty much abandoned the idea of doing the Celtic Tote. After much perusing of the completed projects on Ravelry, I just can’t find a finished bag that I like. Most of them look a bit wonky and some are just damn ugly. I do not want to invest the time and sure frustration on knitting a bag that I would not be proud to present as a gift. So, I am trying to find another one to make. I want something challenging. The Celtic Tote offered the challenge of a more complex cable. I now have my sights set on Knit Picks Sipalu Bag. Oh the fair isle beauty. I want something that is magnificent and somewhat challenging. Because really if it is going to be magnificent, it must be a challenge. Nothing magnificent is every easy right? I have my sights set on the blue version, which includes some browns, creams and greens. Anyway, it is simply wonderful and I fully believe I can strand myself silly. I did after all complete a fair isle snowflake square in only my second year of knitting. So, surely in my third, I could turn out something truly stunning like this. Although I have read that there are welts and I had to google the term as it relates to knitting and while it sounds utterly daunting and dissuading, I am not letting it get to me. I want to be a fearless knitter and complete something that will firmly plant me in the knitting world and damn it this is going to be it. Plus I get to order all that luscious, even if it is 100% wool, yarn. I have some Palette sitting at home from an odd idiotic order when I thought people would like socks made from it and when I idiotically thought I would like to knit socks. I hear people say that it is the bees knees of KP wool and such a lovely product to work with. I tend to shy away from wool because 85% of the projects you have to felt and I have yet to fall in love with felted items. The thought of knitting something big and long and have it shrink to a Barbie tote makes me want to vomit. But, I digress. I would love to do this bag and get totally lost in it. I would like it to be my crowning third year achievement. Something that people would just want to look at in wonder. Or well something that might impress my mother and knitting, crocheting, quilting and all around crafter extraordinaire sister of mine. I think the first step is to download the pattern and see what I am setting myself up for. I might just end up buying a purse and saying, Merry Christmas, I fail at magnificent.

So tonight I am supposed to work on my Jack Bauer KAL. I have yet to actually work on it while watching the episode. Last week I sort of tuned out and was busy trying to figure out That is a total disaster talked about elsewhere. Truth be told, it is so boring that I don’t really want to work on it and I feel like I need more time to sit and do it than an hour at a time. But I have a plan. I have the last three episodes on DVR and I think I might just take a day this coming weekend and watch those and knit away on my project. I love the colors, but it is just garter stitch panels. It is not that boring, but it is not Sipalu challenging either. I could always cast on and work up a Jelly Bum Hippo body. I have all the other bits of this Hippo done, just never got around to doing the body. Or I could work on my Granny Square project. I realize that Granny Squares are so old and boring, but I have found a few huge GS throws that are beautiful, provided they do not use that dastardly Red Heart scratch your hands off yarn. That stuff makes my teeth itch and I seriously get a shrill that runs right through my teeth into my eyeballs and then down my spine to my butt, which puckers and my toes that curl. But, I am using the oh so fabulous Cotton Ease (why oh why don’t they have every color in the giant pack of Crayola along with some variegated?) and well it is just working so fabulously that I am loving how it is going. Seriously the Vanna I was using to crochet with before was just too fuzzy and this is a nice smooth yarn and drapes beautifully. So I might work on that. I just don’t think I am up for working on the baby outfit tonight. I just don’t think I can handle knit/purl/knit/purl stockinette over and over in black and red tonight. Plus crochet is still new to me, so new that I have really only mastered the ease of the traditional, ancient boring Granny Square that nobody loves anymore.

So that is all my friends. I hope to upload some photos tonight (perhaps even using the handy dandy card reader on my brand spanking new netbook), but please do not hold your breath waiting for that. I am the worlds foremost expert in procrastination.