American Wool Series

Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years, New Mitts

I stayed up fairly late (for me) last night finishing up the increase sections of the Endpaper mitts. This has been my favorite project so far. I stepped out of my color comfort zone and am so happy I did. All I have left on the first one is to finish up the contrast ribbing on the thumb. The goal is to zip through the second one just as quickly so I have an FO for the New Year - I think it's a good way to start the year off, don't you? Second in line is the Tangled Yoke Cardigan which I started what seems like a long time ago (pre-holiday knitting era) and which I want to finish as soon as possible. It's difficult after knitting through so many small projects to tackle a big one but I've got some brand new O-wool burning a hole in my knitting bag for the Minimalist Cardigan. I've got sweater-lust big time and the only cure is to finish a couple off before it gets warm (ha!) in Seattle. Safe and Happy New Years to everyone! Cheers!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Post-Christmas Funk

The last week has been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride. Christmas was great but taking my sister to the airport was hard followed by an even harder few days of work. The end of month/end of year push at work is unpleasant to say the least and coupled with returning from a short holiday with family... well, you get the idea. On the upside I picked up this rockin' Japanese knitting book at Kinokuniya and although I can't read Japanese there are some great charts and diagrams I can hopefully follow. I also got to get together with some of the gals from my knitting group (thanks Katie!) for a good block of group knitting time as our regular group won't meet until after New Years. There's nothing like four kinds of cheese and a pear cider to get you in the knitting zone. My endpaper mitts are moving right along and I should finish up the first one tomorrow (pictures I promise!) . Knitting is in high gear at chez moi as I'm trying to ignore the impending return of homework and forget that my older brother is in the hospital with a hopefully not-too-serious heart condition. Really, not so serious as it's possible my mom has the same one (as she found out through stroke-like symptoms this year) and it's treatable by medication. I'd like to ask for good thoughts his way, aim them toward the greater Wichita area, and a speedy recovery and return to his family in the New Year. So you see, I wasn't kidding about the rollercoaster ride but the knitting is keeping me in a wonderfully Zen state and really, that's all you can ask for in times like this.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Covet! Post-Christmas Edition

Knitting Motherlode
Originally uploaded by zombiegirl1
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with limited insanity and beaucoup delicious vittles. Rather than posting about the things I am in covet-envy for I thought I would post about gifts I received. My sister picked up Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush and I'm already drooling over all of the pretty patterns. I've got a yen for vintage items so this is perfect. In addition to that she threw in a couple of skeins of pretty pretty sock yarn. Araucania Nature wool in one of the multy colorways (Ranco) and Alpaca Sox in a gorgeous blue-gray color. I'm already contemplating the patterns for these even though I have three (!) projects on the needles at this very moment. The man also stepped in with GREAT generosity and gifted me with all four volumes of Barbara Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. That's hours of stitch pattern perusal and swatching. I've already spent a good deal of time flipping through them. It's hard to believe that New Years is next week and I'm back to class. It's also weird to think that I've been knitting less than a year and I'm so completely enamored with this craft. Knit Happy!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Knit on, lightning speed!

Citrine Socklets
Originally uploaded by zombiegirl1
Yes, I did say that my Holiday knitting was finished. Yes, I lied. I did think I was done but now that my sister is here for Christmas I feel the need to send yet another gift back home with her. I had started this pattern before and decided I didn't like how it was turning out, that, and I dropped a stitch and decided to throw a hissy fit rather than calmly pull out my crochet hook. Second time around I'm pretty satisfied and hope Grandma will be too. Pattern: Citrine Socklets from Holiday Gifts IK in Rowan Cashsoft DK in a pretty dusty rose color on #2 (3.0 mm) needles. I think I cast on Friday night and I'm into the foot, pretty good for being out all day yesterday.
Did I mention how great it is to have my sis here? She's a knitter too so I've been able to troll my favorite yarn store without worrying about the person with me. I also get to experience having another knitter with me on the sofa while watching movies. There's a lot of knit-speak going on at home right now and it makes me uber-happy since the knitting group doesn't meet till after the New Year. Hooray for knitting siblings!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Covet! Wednesday

Happy almost Holidays everyone! I know you're all probably scrambling to get everything done before next Tuesday but take a break, have a nice cup of coffee (or tea if you're into that kind of thing) and give yourself a minute. Take a deep breath and tell yourself it's okay if things aren't perfect. Okay. I've been a little scrambled myself lately and pulling out my knitting project to take a breather is perfectly fine even if I am late getting down to UPS. I've done a little browsing for myself over the last few days in anticipation of some Christmas scrilla. Yay. Yet another Etsy shop has made me drool and wish that shipping overseas didn't take so darn long. All the pretty fibers has gorgeous handspun fibers and they all look so good it's hard to choose, and the colors! Beautiful jewel tones and Autumnal colors to bright candy-colored yarns. Did I mention she's got spinning fiber too? It's a bit spendy but that's to be expected for handspun and hand-dyed yarns. I say go for it, you deserve a treat after all of the pre-holiday madness, right?

If you're looking for some cool holiday crafts to do with some of your older younguns, or by yourself, take a look at Custom Paper Toys. He's got some amazing movable paper toys, I love the bobble-head reindeer rockin' out, as well as free downloadable pdfs. The instructions look easy to follow and most print out on one sheet of paper. Enjoy your crafty holidays and don't forget to take some time for yourself! Happy knitting!

Monday, December 17, 2007


Originally uploaded by zombiegirl1
I am so incredibly not into Mondays. That is all.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Done & Done

I've finished a lot of knitting lately but haven't got up the gumption to, you know, post about it. But I've fallen in love with this one, it's for my younger brother (19-ish) for Christmas. The pattern is free from Hello Yarn, available in the French for all of you bilingual folk. It took about a week to complete and most of that was just putting off knitting up the lining and tacking it down. I used Rowan Cashsoft in black and cream for the outside and used up the rest of the ball of black for the lining. Needles #3 & #1 just like the pattern calls for but instead of a provisional cast on (I didn't like fiddling with knitting into that) I used a cable cast on and knit my way up and then picked up from the purl bumps on the inside and knit the lining which gave a really pretty finished edge. Phew. I'm pretty darn sure I'm done with this knitting for other people crap for right now and to reinforce that point I cast on for the Tangled Yoke Cardigan. For me. It feels really strange to knit something on a larger scale than, say, mittens or hats. The yarn is beautiful and I'm totally digging the color which is helpful when you're hoping to get a whole darn sweater done before the seasons change.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Covet! Wednesday

Drops design. Oh yes, I love it and best of all the patterns are FREE! Yay! They've got some beautiful stuff and lots and lots of stuff in general. Socks, purses, felted items, and awesome sweater patterns like the one pictured (pattern # 103-1). If you're on Ravelry you can queue them up like nobody's business and get knitting tout-suite.
The Winter edition of Knitty is chock full of pretty little things. I'm especially fond of Ice Queen. I haven't knit with Kidsilk Haze yet but it looks great with the little sparkly beads. I've also got an urge to knit Sally the eco fairy just because she's so darn cute. I suppose it's a little late to get a couple done for my nieces but it's not too early to start for next year, right? Am I totally insane? Pretty much.
In the best of the best wonderful knitting news I'm practically done with the Holiday knitting just in time to ship off to various homes. I'm finishing up the hem for We Call them Pirates and trying to bust out the Citrine Socklets. It's liberating (and not just for my needles) to be practically done and able to knit for me. I've got three sweaters worth of yarn ready to knit up as soon as I'm really truly done, not to mention the cornucopia of socks.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Take Another Dip

Back to the FO Sea for yet another dip. I'm only moderately pleased with the outcome of this one since I screwed up somewhere right before the crown shaping. Do I care? Kinda. I'm going to chalk up the non-tinking to the fact that this is going to my older brother who is a non–knitter and won't even notice the mistake. But he will be incredibly excited about a hat made just for him and the bald glory that is his noggin. Specs: Koolhaas Hat from Holiday Interweave Knits in Cascade 220 Superwash on #8 needles.
In other knitting news I cast on We Call Them Pirates as soon as the aforementioned hat was finished and am already past the first skull repeat. I love stranded colorwork, I would lick it to death if it weren't fuzzy and I would get some crazy yarn hairball thing happening. Even better is that the yarn is Rowan Cashsoft and it is by no means difficult to work with. In fact as soon as I'm finished gabbing it up with y'all I'm going to retire to a brightly lit room and have some one on one time with it. Best knitting wishes to everyone this week and may you make your holiday knitting deadlines.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

So Close, So Far

Hiram H Chittenden Locks
Originally uploaded by zombiegirl1
Today I turned in my last homework assignment this quarter. All that is left to me is to study study study for my final next Wednesday. It'll help that we have two days of review scheduled and then about 4 days off of class (weekend included) to practice. I've got just under two months to get my admissions for UW ready to go and one more quarter at North, then I'm hopefully, finally, at last ready to move on. I feel ready.

On a knitting note I received two packages in the mail yesterday and am only waiting for better (read: not night time at 5pm) lighting to take pictures. I'll just tease you with one word: Sundara.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Covet! Wednesday

The new winter Knitty is out. I've been trying to actually take a gander and the server keeps failing. Looks like everybody else is trying not to work as well. Last week I posted about those Acorn socks from Knitspot. I did indeed go back to Fearless Fibers and she had put more up on her site so I snatched that up before I could blink. I should get it this week depending on the crazy Seattle weather. Last weekend I hit the craft fair and really wanted to pick up some of the beautiful yarn from Spincycle up in Bellingham - then the snow started and I decided getting home safely was probably more important. How could I? So now I'm contemplating hitting up the Bellingham Farmer's Market to gorge myself on handspun. So pretty and the ladies at the booth were so very very nice. Definitely on my wish list. I think that's about it for this week, my holiday knitting is ramped up to warp speed and my final is next week. So much knitting time in my future over this Holiday break I can't wait.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Let it snow!

It is indeed snowing in Seattle. We were out and about planning on lunch in Queen Anne and maybe some record shopping when it started. I'm from California. I'm not really confident in my snow-driving abilities and according to what I saw driving (sloooowly) home Seattleites shouldn't be so confident either. So we're hunkered down with movies and food to make for the family gathering tomorrow and my knitting and we're good. Cozy and safe in our little nest and I can finally admit to myself that Christmas is coming and that I think I'm excited for it. So, let it snow!