Thursday, June 30, 2011

Look what I got!

MarvelousToy over at 200 Shawl Project, has been generously hosting several yarn giveaways on her blog lately. I was one of the lucky ones, winning a skein of Tannis Fiber Arts Blue Label yarn in the Mallard colorway. It's a really pretty green!

I was a little worried that one of the many mail people we've been having lately (the USPS keeps switching them on us) had lost my package, but it arrived the day after I sent Leah an email, asking if it had been sent. I feel bad that I bothered her about it, and hope I didn't seem ungrateful!

And I am definitely not ungrateful. Not only did my package contain the skein that I won, but Leah also threw in a bunch of other goodies, too!

She wrote such a nice little note, and there's also a blue and purple skein of JL Bamboo Zania (also: I had mentioned in my comment how much I love blue and purple yarn; how sweet of her was it to pay attention to that little detail and send me a skein with my exact favorite colors?), some candy, and some needle holders with adorable little beaded accents. I love it all.

Here's a close-up of the needle holders:

The package arrived in the middle of a very stressful day at work, and it definitely brightened my day.

I'll definitely be sending a thank-you out in the mail to her!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

WIP Wednesday

On last week’s Work in Progress Wednesday, I had to rip out my Celebrity Tank because it was turning out huge. The designer, Rachel Dickman, read my post and messaged me on Ravelry. She had a really good point. She said that she had designed the garment with two inches of ease in the hips, then cinched it with the ribbon. Since I am omitting the ribbon, this might be why I was having a problem. She suggested that if I wanted to knit the size small sans ribbon, that I do a few extra increases to get the bust back up to the medium size. This makes total sense. I don’t think making the medium and cinching the waist would work very well for me- I have an hourglass shape and need a little more waist definition- but knitting the small with a medium-sized bust seems like it would be perfect.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear from the designer. It didn’t occur to me that she would be perusing my little blog! I was thrilled that she took the time and effort to message me with her suggestions on fit, especially when I hadn’t even asked! It was so helpful.

So there I was, working along on the tank, thinking about how to best space the extra increases, when I realized- I had twisted my knitting when I joined in the round, and had a mobius strip instead of the bottom of a sweater. I’m not even sure how I managed to do that! I was so careful to check and make sure I wasn’t twisting, but apparently I was not careful enough. Amidst much cursing, I frogged again. I have now cast-on for a third time, carefully joined, and hopefully will have a much smoother knit than the last two times. I am determined to knit this tank, but I’m not sure how much frogging I (or the yarn!) can take. On the bright side, I’m getting a lot of practice at the provisional cast-on for my folded hem- I don’t even have to look at the directions anymore!

On a brighter note, look what I found:

I’m not sure when I started these, but they have been languishing with other unfinished objects for awhile, and I had forgotten about them! They’re a nice, simple sock, following Silver’s Sock Class. I’ve turned the heel, picked up stitches, and am working on the decreases. It’s a nice, simple knit, although I did manage to sit on and break one of the needles (on the same day that I had the problems with the Celebrity Tank! Sunday was NOT a good day for knitting!)

I knit another repeat on my Clapotis, but it looks pretty much the same as it did last week, so I don’t think it’s worth posting another picture.

Head on over to Tami’s Amis and see what everyone else is working on!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

New Knitty!

Have you all taken a look at the new Knitty? I was very pleased to see the patterns this issue- during a lot of the recent issues, I haven't really seen anything too exciting, but I loved what I saw in this one! Some of them really stood out to me:

Creekbed, the cover pattern, is amazing. It's a Stephen West design, and I love his work. The colors play off of each other beautifully- I'd love to knit this scarf this winter, maybe in blues or purples. This one went right into the queue.

Rhodion is breathtakingly beautiful. I would love to knit something like this, but I think it's a bit above my skill level at this point. I think I'll just have to drool over other people's FOs as they post them on Ravelry!

I am in love with the Lingerie Socks pattern. It's so elegant and pretty! I'm a little intimidated by the fact that they're knit on size 0 needles, but it will be so worth it to have those beautiful socks! Queued!

Leaflet also went into the queue. The detail on the back is so pretty!

What do you guys think? Did anything in particular catch your eye?

Friday, June 24, 2011

FO: Revontuli Shawl

This is my second entry for 11 Shawls 2011. I’m kind of proud of myself that I finished it so quickly after the first! It sure took me long enough to post it, though, seeing as I finished it in March!

I originally tried to knit this shawl in Paton’s Lace, but had some issues with the yarn and restarted with Kauni. I love the way this turned out. It’s beautiful and drapey, and the way the pattern makes the yarn stripes zig-zag looks so cool. I can definitely see myself making another Revontuli in the future.

I was less impressed with the yarn. Sure, Kauni looks really nice, and I love the long color repeats. However, it’s really not that soft and there was a lot of vegetable matter in it. I got a splinter from knitting with it! It also varied a lot in thickness throughout the skein, from a lace weight to almost a sport weight. I found this really frustrating, as it was hard to pick needles that suited the project.

I tried doing my normal stretchy bind-off, but I ran out of yarn and had to use a regular bind-off (but went up 2 needle sizes) in order to work with the yarn I had.

Pattern: Revontuli

Yarn: Kauni Effekt

Yardage: 652.6 yards (596.74 meters)

Needles: US8

Yardage: 652 yards

The Verdict: I loved the pattern, but I don’t know that I would knit with the yarn again.

This has been a part of Tami's Amis' Finished Object Friday. Go check out her links and see what everyone else is working on!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Remember my Celebrity Tank from last week? Well, this is it now:

I tried it on, and it was huge. It would have hung on me like a sack. As much as I hated to rip out all of that work, I didn’t want to put all that work into a sweater just to have it be unwearable. I’m going to try casting on for a small, instead of a medium.

I know myself well enough to know that I need to cast on for the new size immediately, to help me get over my frustration with the project, or I will put it aside and never touch it again. (By the way, it's not red- that's just the waste yarn for the provisional cast-on)

In happier news, I’m done with the “work even” section of my Clapotis. I just need to do the decreases:

The Entangled Bag is coming along nicely as well. I have finished one of the flowers and started on a vine:

This has been a part of Tami’s Amis’ Work in Progress Wednesdays. Head on over to see what everyone else is working on!

Friday, June 17, 2011

FO: Summer Mystery Shawlette

I decided to participate in WendyKnits' free mystery knit along this summer- the Summer Mystery Shawlette. Although I finished the project on June 2nd, I've just now gotten around to taking pictures.

Basically, Wendy posted a series of "clues," each one containing a chart with the next piece of the project. I suppose it was a little bit of a risk, knitting something when I didn't know what the finished product would look like- what if I didn't like it? However, I've knit Wendy's shawls before, and I love her work, so I figured it couldn't be too awful!

I picked a skein of Malabrigo Sock in Impressionist sky out of my stash. It has only a very subtle variation of blues, so I knew that it would make the lace pattern stand out really well. I also love working with Malabrigo so much- it's so soft! Here's what it looked like before blocking:

I got a little behind on the clues when I went on vacation, but caught up and finished the last clue the day it was released.

I love the finished object- it's gorgeous! The blue is just perfect to go with a lot of different outfits, and the lace pattern is really pretty. I knew Wendy wouldn't steer me wrong! The construction of the shawl is pretty neat, too- most triangle shawls are knit from the top down, but this one is bottom-up, meaning that you do all of those tortuously long rows first, making your progress seem to fly at the end. This is also my fourth shawl in 11 Shawls 2011.

This was my first knit-a-long, and I really enjoyed it. It was really cool to be working on the same project as so many other people, and to see their progress and compare it with my own. Additionally, it provided a LOT of pattern support- if anyone had a problem, so many other people had been working on the shawl that they had already figured out the solution! I definitely look forward to another knit-a-long in the future.

Pattern: Summer Mystery Shawlette
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock
Colorway: Impressionist Sky
Needles: US7 for the body, US9 for the cast-on.
Yardage: 300 yards
Dimensions: 49 inches across, 17.25 down the spine

This has been a part of Tami's Amis' Finished Object Friday. Go check out her links and see what everyone else is working on!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WIP Wednesday

It's been awhile, I know!

Right now, the projects I’m devoting the most attention to are a shawl, a sweater, and a bag.

The shawl is Knitty’s Clapotis. I knit one (coming in a future FO Friday post), and enjoyed it so much that I decided to knit another one! The first one was out of a wool/alpaca blend; this one is out of Elann Adara, a cotton/linen blend. I’m enjoying watching the different way the patterns work up! I’m a little over half-way done with this Clapotis.

I’m also working on the Celebrity Tank from the Summer 2011 Knitcircus. I saw it and fell in love- in fact, I bought the entire pattern collection because of this pattern! (Not that the other patterns aren’t gorgeous things I plan to knit, but this was thing I needed to cast on for immediately!) I was pretty surprised to see on Ravelry that I’m only the second person knitting it- apparently other people weren’t quite as enthusiastic about it as I am! I’m knitting it in Elann Pegasus, a beautiful cotton/rayon blend. The rayon provides a little bit of shine to it, and is so pretty! I’m not quite sure what color this is- Elann calls it “Opal Gray,” but it looks different in different lights. Sometimes it looks gray, sometimes beige, and sometimes lavender. I suspect this will be a versatile top that will pick up the colors of whatever I’m wearing. I was having some trouble with the lace edging and decided that I really wanted the focus to be on the ruffle, anyway- so I decided to do a folded hem bottom and omit the ribbon.

This post has not been sponsored by Elann, I swear, even though both of these WIPS were made from Elann products- I just really like their yarn!

Last but not least, I’m working on an Entangled bag. The bag body itself has been knit and felted, and I’m working on the embellishments at the moment.

I’m knitting the flowers out of Frabjous Fibers Recycled Silk, and the vines and leaves out of Frabjous Fibers Banana Silk. These are both special skeins that I picked up at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I’m going to go fabric shopping for the bag’s lining when I visit my parents this weekend, because they have better fabric stores than I do.

What are you working on? Want to see everyone else’s creativity-in-progress? Head over to Tami’s Ami’s Work in Progress Wednesday!