Wednesday, November 21, 2007


It started as a comfort project. The plan was to work on it every Wednesday night, in an effort to fill a giant void. It didn't really work, and in the end, summer proved to be too hot for working on a wool/alpaca blanket. But, I recently got a second wind, a newfound love, and my throw/afghan/blanket/whatever you want to call it is complete:

Colorful Waves Throw - 1 of 2

Pattern: Knit Picks
Yarn: Here goes (all from Knit Picks)... Wool of the Andes Bulky Hand-Dyed, Storm, 1 skein; Shamrock, Fitzpatrick, 2 skeins; Shine Worsted, Sea Spray, 2 skeins; Suri Dream Hand-Dyed, Stucco, 2 skeins; Sierra (now Cadenza), Natural, 1 skein; Quarry, Empress Green, 2 skeins; Shine Worsted, Cream, 2 skeins; Suri Dream, Stone, 2 skeins (and that's in order of the stripes)
Needles: US 10.5
Timeline: 4/11/07 - 11/14/07

Of course, weaving in the ends was a big pain on this project - I couldn't think of a way to carry all of those yarns up the side, so I had to cut every 2-5 rows. :-( Once I got in the habit of weaving in the ends as I went, things went much, much faster (or at least it felt like that). In my last repeat, I had about 5 inches of Sierra/Cadenza to spare.

I don't particularly like how the bottom and top edges curl. If I were to do it over again, I would start and end with 2 rows of garter stitch, instead of going straight into the pattern. But... I probably won't be making this again, or at least not for awhile (who likes to weave in ends?).

I did want to at least attempt to block it, and it definitely needed a bath (I think all knits do) before I considered it done done. But... this was not going to fit in my bathroom sink, where I normally wash my handknits. So, I put it in the washer (gulp), put in some wool wash, made sure it was on cold water, and put it on a soak and spin cycle. Worked like a charm! When it was done, I laid down a few towels on my dining room table, and let it dry overnight.

The finished blanket is about 40" by 60" and is the perfect size to curl up on the couch with (which I do frequently, now that the temperatures have really taken a fall). It's soft, it's warm, and I guess in the end it provides some comfort, even if it failed to meet what was probably a totally unachievable goal in making me feel better.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Loopy Ewe Swap

It seems that there are a lot of different swaps out there, and I've always been curious about them, though never participated. That is about to change! I joined The Loopy Ewe Swap (okay, I joined more than a month ago) and I'm really excited about it!

The rules have us knitting something for our swap partner with yarn purchased from The Loopy Ewe. We also should send along something that reminds us of home. Well, I have big plans for the "something that reminds us of home" (Boston Baked Beans - the candy - and a skein of sock yarn from Mind's Eye Yarns come to mind first), but I decided to stretch that theme to the limit with my knitted object selection.

First, the yarn:

J. Knits Superwash Me - Boston

The yarn is from J. Knits, a Massachusetts dyer (which is the state in which I live). The color of the yarn? Boston. :-) I'm not sure if I'd say that Boston is blue, but hey, who am I to judge, particularly since my swap partner likes this color. :-)

And the pattern comes from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road, and is titled "New England". I think it's a really cute pattern, fits with my theme, and comes from a book that I don't think my swap partner owns.

I really can't wait to start working on these, but I need to finish Lenore first (first sock will be done tonight, maybe a picture next week)!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Southwestern Socks

Last week my camera was dead, and this week I've just had too much to do! But, there are several things to talk about around here, and I'll start with another FO. :-)

Southwestern Socks - 1 of 3

Pattern: From The Loopy Ewe by Wendy Knits
Yarn: Fiesta Boomerang, Misty Morning, 1 skein
Needles: US 3 (US 2.5 for the cuffs)
Timeline: 9/13/07 - 10/27/07

If you remember, I started these socks in Italy. I bought Brittany Birch DPNs especially for the trip (after some I ordered didn't arrive on time, thanks to my own stupidity), and one of them broke before I even got to my hotel. That was okay, right? Because I could still make socks using only four needles. Well, while working the gusset increases on the second sock, ANOTHER needle broke. I had to put these aside, but the people at Brittany Needles are great - I emailed them once I returned, and I had three new needles within two weeks. So, these socks took awhile, but I was eventually able to complete them!

I really, really love this yarn. It's almost... velvety. The colors were really great, too, with no noticeable pooling. Next time I'd like to try something a little brighter and richer, but this was nice because it was outside the colors I normally knit with. This yarn is technically worsted weight, though it knits up to a good sport weight tension. They also have a new sport weight version out, and I'd love to try that one, too. Ohh, and these socks are a pretty good size and I had plenty of yarn left over.

Southwestern Socks - 3 of 3

I had someone ask me on Flickr what I thought of the heel. I really like it, actually. It was easy to execute - gusset increases along the foot (these were done toe-up, by the way), and then you turn the heel... and you're done! So, it certainly seems like a combination of short-row and gusset heel. Short-row heels can definitely be kinda shallow.

I photographed these socks on Sunday, and then proceeded to wear them for the rest of the day. They were definitely very comfy. I'm very happy to now have enough pairs of hand knit socks that I can wear them whenever I want. :-)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Making New Friends

I went to a Stitch 'n Bitch Thursday night at Bloc 11, which is in Union Square, Somerville, MA (near where I live). The SnB was organized on Ravelry, and there were about nine people there, including Shauna, who comments frequently. I had a really nice time, which was a little surprising to me, mostly because I have a lot of trouble meeting new people. This was really comfortable, though - it was nice to meet people I only know from the internet (who are not axe murderers!) and to be able to talk about knitting things in a place where people actually understand what I'm saying! There was also a lot of knitting happening, too, which was nice, because that's what I would be doing at home anyway! I will definitely be going back.

In other news, I've made some good progress on the Colorful Waves throw, and I think I'm about two-thirds done (or more, depending on where I run out of yarn). The pictures are not very interesting, because it just... gets bigger. At one point last weekend I wove in all of the ends so far, and since then have been weaving in as I go - weaving in a set of ends every time I finish a color repeat (25 rows). This is making me feel much better about my progress! The nice thing is that the afghan is big enough now that it keeps me warm while I'm knitting it, and I sometimes throw it on me even when I'm working on something else, because it's so cozy! Who cares that I have live stitches! :-)

Also in progress: I'm about 75% done with the Summer of Love Lace socks and about 50% done with my dad's Irish Hiking Scarf (that moves pretty quickly when I actually work on it). I also have a couple of recently completed projects that just need some nice photographs (the rectangular stole from Victorian Lace Today and my Southwestern Socks). Hopefully I'll be able to get to those soon!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Last Blue Plate Special Shipment

The Chewy Spaghetti Blue Plate Special Sock Club was only three months long, so October meant the last shipment:

Chewy Spaghetti Blue Plate Special Club - October

We got a skein of Chewy Spaghetti Spaghettoni in Nostalgic, a clear plastic notions bag, a stitch marker from zerO markers, Vanilla Nut lib balm from bath life and a little bag of coupons from the vendors that provided the goodies throughout the club. I'm already planning a purchase from both bath life (the lip balm is awesome) and zerO markers!

This club was certainly fun, and probably the best club I've been a part of in terms of goodies. I may join one again (Khris has new ones coming up all the time, it seems), but I'm holding off for now - I already have enough sock yarn to knit!