Thursday, August 30, 2007

New Project

So I've figured out a use for the impetuously-purchased Debbie Bliss Pure Silk DK weight yarn (it's pink! bright pink!) I acquired a few months ago. (Having limited knitting time and even more limited financial resources available for yarn, I have only just recently started buying yarn without a specific purpose/pattern in mind. By how much fun this experience turned out to be, I think it may become a problem.)

I'm making it into a seafoam stitch scarf, modeled after this version, except with 1, 2 and 3 yarnovers, instead of 2, 3 and 4, which was just far too...loopy. I'm making it 37 stitches across, which is working out to be about 9 or so inches wide. (Needles are 6 mm/US10 bamboo straights, to which I'm returning after a period of circular/dpn monogamy.) I'm hoping this will be wide enough that I can wear it kind-of, sort-of as a stole, and not too bulky to wear as a normal scarf. I'm not in love with it yet, but it's growing on me as I knit it longer and the stitch pattern evens itself out. It's about 10 inches long so far, and I don't think I'm quite halfway through the first of the 3 skeins, so... it appears that I may have enough yarn to knit a decent-length scarf, and (possibly) enough to add some sort of fringe.

I'll add a photo when I'm feeling inspired to hunt down the camera and camera cable.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Cables and Lace Cardigan

It's finally finished! I started knitting this last year (July 2006, maybe?) and completely stalled when it became clear that the sweater would not be as cute as I had hoped. For one thing, I knit it a size too big, I turned out to be not-so-competent at crochet, and the drop sleeves are not terribly flattering, but... hey, it's done. It will be warm to wear around the house this winter.

Pattern: Cables and Lace Cardigan, size for 41 inch chest (I'm not sure why I imagined this would be a great fit for my 37 inch chest....)

Needles: Clover US7 bamboo circular (I think... it was a while ago)

Here's a close-up of the stitch pattern, which I really do think is pretty, with the added benefit of being simple to memorize.

So now that I've finished these backlogged projects, I'll have to start something new! I have some gorgeously indulgent silk yarns waiting in the stash... I think a scarf and/or a shrug may be next in the queue.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Birthday celebrations

Well, I'm back in Cleveland, having spent a really wonderful week visiting the family. Ben picked me up at the airport yesterday, and when we arrived home, I had this waiting for me:

Which was just so sweet of Ben. (The boxes contained a a new pair of headphones, a yarn swift and a ball winder, about all of which I am very excited. I am currently having to resist winding every ball and hank of yarn in the house, while dancing around with my suddenly fabulous-sounding mp3 player, in the hopes that I will get something productive accomplished today.) Thank you, Ben!

Since I was visiting my family for my actual birthday, this year I had an indulgent number of birthday celebrations: dinner and drinks last week with friends in Cleveland, an evening out with my family on my birthday proper, and a lovely visit to Blossom yesterday evening.

Karen and Brandon joined us:

(Here's a picture of Ben and me:)

And here's a photo of our picnic, before we made a sizeable dent in it:

Needless to say, we had a great time: good company, good food, good music. The Canadian Brass were playing, who are a brass quintet with a sense of humor. It was a delightful end to a great vacation.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Well, it's (almost) official - Ben and I will be getting married on April 25, 2009 at Saint Clements in Portland, CT! I went back for a second visit today with my parents and Katherine, and we still loved it, so we've got our date picked out and our contract in the works. One decision down, approximately 18,000 to go.... :)

The rest of the week has been lovely as well - we came back home to CT on Thursday night (there was no clamming, unfortunately, as it was really too cold to be wading around). I was able to visit twice with the fabulous Sarah, who is far too kind to me and gave me both books and yarn! (I'm still trying to decide what the 160 yards or so of Plymouth Alpaca Baby Grande wants to be when it grows up, but in the meantime it is very nice to pet.) And now I have a fantastic collection of new reading ahead of me, including The Invisible Sex and The Kindness of Strangers. Thanks, Sarah!

In knitting news, I have 3 buttons sewn onto the cardigan - only 4 to go! I'm hoping to finish that tonight, but it's slow going - I've apparently learned carelessness dealing solely with knitting and tapestry needles for so long, and I keep stabbing myself with the sewing needle, as the buttonholes are too small to be sewn with yarn. But I'm going to try forging ahead this evening, and hopefully I will be posting a finished object photo tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Vacation (the knit-free edition)

So I'm in Rhode Island this week, having a wonderful time at the beach. Since my sisters came up Sunday night, the weather has been pretty crummy, but we stuck it out this afternoon and put in our time down by the water. My dad engineered a shelter from the wind:

We had to find non-tanning alternatives for beach entertainment:

Although not quite as warm as tanning, Scrabble did turn out to be fun. That's my sister Jen on the right, then me, my mom, and my sister Katherine.

We weren't the only ones on the beach, but I do think the seagulls outnumbered the humans:

We warmed up after the beach with a lobster dinner:

All in all, it's been a lovely week so far, even with the sub-par weather. We've had good food, good company and I've gotten a lot of knitting and more than my usual share of reading done. (Aside from the wedding planning magazines that seem to spontantously multiply around me, I've been reading Three Cups of Tea, which reminds me very strongly of Mountains Beyond Mountains both in content and style, and an anthology of last year's best sci-fi and fantasy short stories, which have been stunning. I think I'll have a few novels to look up by the time I'm finished.)

Overall, a completely relaxing vacation, and it's only Wednesday! On the agenda tomorrow is clamming with my dad at low tide, which will be fun - hopefully I'll have some photos of clams for tomorrow's dinner!

Medrith's Little Lace

Vacation with the family in Rhode Island has been lovely, if a little cold. I had hoped to make this vacation the Week of the Finished Objects, and so far I've been doing all right with that goal: the cardigan is shrunk, seamed and buttons purchased, and the socks are finished! That's me knitting the socks over the weekend, back when there was still sun around.

And here's a photo of the finished socks:

Pattern: Medrith's Little Lace, in A Gathering of Lace

Yarn: KnitPicks Essential, in Black

Needles: KnitPicks double pointed, size 3.00 mm/US 2

No modifications that I can remember. These socks were fun, but took forever to get through - I think I started these back in March. I've realized that, in order to knit socks in any sort of efficient way, I need a pattern simple enough to memorize.

Socks are, for me, is the knitting cotton-candy equivalent. The socks should be fun, portable knitting that can go anywhere and be worked on without thinking about it too much. I liked how these turned out, but I don't think I'll ever make them again - the 20 row repeat made them feel like work.

Anyway, I'll be updating soon (possibly tonight) with photos from our beach excursion today, complete with sweatshirts, a windbreak, and a Scrabble game. It was a determined sort of day.

My sister Jen and I were totally swimming. The water was really warmer than the air.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Saturday Market Bag

The blog's first finished object!

Pattern: Saturday Market Bag

Yarn: KnitPicks CotLin in Key Lime, Linen and Desert Turquoise, about 3/4 skein each for the first two colors and less than 1/4 skein of the turquoise

Needles: 8 mm/size 11 KnitPicks Options (used throughout)

Modifications: 9 repeats of the lace pattern, instead of the 6 repeats written; 10 sts for the strap instead of the 6 written, used needle size as above.

This was, I think, the quickest thing I've ever knit - I cast on as soon as the yarn arrived, and something like 2 days later, found myself weaving in ends. I had made this bag already, but had played fast and loose with gauge, and it turned out a bit too large, but I think this set of modifications worked perfectly! The pattern is easily memorized, and I'm very pleased with the yarn, as well - the linen softens beautifully as you knit, and the bag is stretchy but keeps its shape well once it's emptied. I think friends and family might be getting these for Christmas....

In other news, the pieces for my Cables and Lace cardigan are in the dryer as I type this. Hopefully I can seam that together this evening, and finally be done with this sweater - I cast it on last summer, and the pieces languished in the closet for months until I learned how to crochet and could make the button bands. Better late than never, right?