Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Summer Goals, Fall Goals

Last May, I made a list of knitting goals for the summer. Now that summer is almost over*, I think it's time to see how I fared.

*Yeah, I know that technically, summer ends on, or around, September 20, but in my mind, once you say goodbye to August, you say goodbye to summer. September is really a fall month.

So my main goals were:

Knit three pairs of socks (or more)
Well I finished two.Roza's socks and my mom's socks.

Finish Isabella

Seam the damn blue cardigan!
Blue cardigan? What blue cardigan?

Pick the Kiri shawl back up and hopefully finish it.
I did pick it back up but I definitely didn't finish it.

So I didn't reach all my goals, far from it, but I'm still happy with my summer knitting. I also started and finished a project that wasn't in my goals, Coachella.

Now I've set some goals for the fall. Let's see if I can reach them:

1. Woven Trellis scarf from Vogue Knitting (started)
2. Simple ribbed scarf for my boyfriend
3. Marina Picola socks for my sister
4. Shedir from Knitty (started)
5. Streakers shrug from Interweave Knits
6. Cablenet socks from Knitty

What are your fall knitting goals?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Weekly WIP Report

I gotta say, the Woven Trellis scarf is the ideal project to work on when you're watching TV. I am now done with the first season of Heroes (OMGbestshowever!) and I've been able to knit 63" of the first tube. Yay! Maybe I'll finish it this week... and then start little tube #2. *sigh* This is the scarf that never ends. It goes on and on, my friends...

So I wouldn't die of boredom, I cast on for a new project:

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I am making Shedir from Knitty (you need to download the pdf available on this site to see the pattern). I'm using Rowan Felted Tweed. I'm in no rush to finish it, since (hopefully), I won't be needing a hat for a few months.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Answers to some knitting questions

My Secret Pal hostess, Robyn, asked us to answer these questions, so here I go:

1. What is the one knitting accessory you could not live without?
The one I use the most is probably my tape measure so I'll say that.

2. If you're heading on vacation, do you take knitting with you? If so, how much and what type of project?
I always take some knitting with me. Usually always a pair of socks, cause it's small and portable. The last time I travelled (I went to Paris and London last year), I had brought socks and a lace shawl. That lace shawl is Kiri and it's still not done.

3. Where have you travelled to that you'd consider your favorite spot?
Germany, definitely. I was by myself and I felt so independant and strong.

4. What is your favorite knitting book at the moment? Do you own it?
That's a very difficult question. I guess I'll say Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. It's both funny and useful. And since I've read it, I've been able to knit socks without a pattern. Oh and I do own the book. If I had to choose one I don't own, it would be Fitted Knits, by Stefanie Japel. I really want to make the Back-to-School U-Neck Vest, I'm just not sure I want to buy the book just for that pattern.

5. Do you listen to podcasts? Which is your favorite(s)?
I listened to a knitting podcast a while ago and I have to admit that I found it pretty boring. I won't name it, because I don't remember which one it was anyways. ;) But I've listened to the last episode of Lime & Violet and I really enjoyed it so I'll probably continue listening to that one.

6. If you could only knit with 1 color for the rest of your life, what color would that be?
That would be impossible! Hmmm. I'll say blue, because there are so many beautiful shades of it...

7. If you were far into a project and then noticed a mistake near the beginning what would you do?
It depends. I'm not a perfectionnist, so if it was just a small mistake, I'd forget about it. But I've unravelled finished sleeves after noticing a mistake so I will start over if necessary.

8. Where is the most unsual spot you've ever knit?
Ha! I have knit on the stairmaster. It was not a positive experience and I found out that for me, knitting and exercise don't mix (unfortunately).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Socks off the needles

I finished my mom's socks!

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Pattern: I didn't use one. I used a 3X1 rib on the leg and the top of the foot.
Yarn: Austermann Step. I love that yarn. It's very soft and the colours are great.
Needles: 2.25 mm bamboo dpns

They took me a while to knit because my mom's feet are so much bigger than mine. My next socks will be Kate Gilbert's beautiful Marina Piccola. They will probably be for my sister who thankfully has small feet like me!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weekly WIP Report - Short and Sweet Edition

I've been working on two projects this week. I've made good progress on mom's socks:

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I even managed to make them match, something I usually don't care much about.

Also, I've cast on for the Woven Trellis scarf:

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*sigh* 23 inches done, 67 inches to go... and that's only for the first little tube (there are six total). The scarf is going to be so gorgeous and soft (seriously, I'm loving the yarn - Berroco Ultra Alpaca). But I'm not sure I'll finish it in time for winter ;)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

25 cents sock blockers

I've been wanting sock blockers for a long time and I was looking at those beautiful wooden ones. They're fabulous but expensive. So I decided to make my own. I found a fantastic tutorial (gotta give credit where credit is due) and I made some tonight. I swear it took less than 10 minutes. I got placemats at 2 for 1$ at the dollar store and I can get two blockers with one placemat so each one cost me 25 cents. That's what I call a good deal.

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(Sorry about the bad lighting on all the pics.) The first ones I made where great but I made the cuffs a little bit too short so I tried again.

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These were perfect and so pretty, don't you think? Here's one modeling Roza's sock:

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A little bit of yarn porn to start the day...

I went to my LYS, just because I felt like it and to see if I could find something for my Secret Pal. I did find something really lovely, but I can't show you in case she reads this.

I was also looking for yarn to knit a scarf for my boyfriend. I fell in love with this one, but I couldn't find the exact same colours of Noro Silk Garden. I could have opted for other colours, but they all seemed a bit too girly.

So I was looking at the (very soft) Misti Alpaca and then I noticed a sample (unfinished) scarf in the store. It was very simple (a 2X2 rib) but it was so beautiful and soft. So I decided to make one and bought the yarn:

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I showed it to my boyfriend and he likes the colour. Plus, it goes well with the hat I made him two years ago.

I don't know when I'll cast on for the scarf. I just started the Woven Trellis one for myself. I have about 15" done on the first little tube. It's a very easy and boring knit, but it's a great project to work on while watching TV or a movie. And the yarn I'm using (Berroco Ultra Alpaca) is so soft!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

No more yarn that hurts!

Here's another FO for you:

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For some reason, I could not take a good picture of it (I feel like I say that for every picture I post here).

Pattern: I used the "pattern" that was on the ball band, but it's really just a 2X2 ribbed scarf with a fringe.
Yarn: Bernat Masala, a bulky acrylic.
Needles: Knitpicks options circular, size 10½ (6.5 mm)
Comment: Argh! I hated that yarn! My mom gave it to me last Christmas and hinted that she'd like it as a scarf and I was tired of seeing it in my stash so I cast on last month. But the yarn hurt my hands while I knit so I dubbed the scarf the Hurtful scarf. Ouch! That being said, I really like the colour and the scarf itself is pretty soft. I know my mom will like it.

I will probably start a new project soon. Probably the Woven Trellis scarf from last winter's Vogue Knitting. I expect a pretty boring knit but a beautiful scarf.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Two Years

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Two years ago, I found out that the guy I had a crush on liked me back. My boyfriend and I started dating and things have been going well ever since. I've never had a relationship that was so fun and easy (and fight-less!) before.

I got beautiful flowers, as you can see. I love flowers.

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Now, back to the knitting content with a Weekly WIP Report. Well I worked exclusively on Coachella for the first part of the week (see it finished, two posts down). I worked a little bit on Kiri, but I didn't make enough progress for it to show in a picture. But I did finish the first sock-for-mom:

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I just love working with Austermann Step. I wish my mom had small feet like mine though. Her socks take much longer to knit!

Shut up, I'm counting has a contest where you can win books and yarn (see here). If you participate, please mention you got the link from my blog so I get an extra chance of winning. Thank you!

Michelle linked to the Lime and Violet Knitwar, which is a D&D-like little game, but for knitters. You get points and gold for each knitting/crocheting/spinning task you complete. I'm still just a Level 1 Fighter, but I'll go up in the ranks, I promise. Now I'm off to earn me a few points for posting in my blog... :)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Secret Pal 11 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Sock yarn is always my favourite yarn to knit with (though I realize there are many different kind of sock yarns, as long as it's not acrylic, I'm ok). Wool-wise, I like merino the best. I hate acrylic, though I do have some that I'm trying to use.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Storing? They're all over the place! I really should come up with a better storing solution.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
Kitting is all there is, unless you count cooking. I don't spin but I'd love to learn.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
These days, I listen mostly to French-Canadian artists. But I also like Tori Amos, Björk, Beck, Placebo, Radiohead and many more.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love blue and I love reds. I love earthy tones. I like yellow but I don't think I'd make me a whole yellow sweater ;). There aren't any colours I can't stand, though I tend not to wear green close to my face unless it's a very dark green. It makes me look sick.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I don't have any kids. I live with my boyfriend. I'm allergic to pretty much anything that has fur so no pets.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes, yes, yes and no.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Socks, definitely. I could knit only socks for the rest of my life and I'd never get bored. I also love to knit hats because they're a very quick knit, but you can only have so many hats...

13. What are you knitting right now?
I'm making a plain ribbed pair of socks for my mother, and a ribbed scarf, also for my mom. I'm also trying to make progress on the Kiri shawl I started over a year ago. I'm itching to begin new projects but I want to at least finish the scarf before I do.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Of course!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I prefer circular, except for socks, for which I almost always use DPNs. I really like bamboo needles, but aluminum is good too. I'm not a fan of plastic, even though I like my Denise set.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Unfortunately, I don't.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
It's the Kiri shawl I mentionned above. I started it in May 2006. I also have a cardigan that I need to seam. I started it in August 2006.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Does sock yarn count?

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I do not subscribe to any mags, but I always get Interweave Knits and the fall and winter issues of Vogue Knitting as soon as they hit the shelves. The yarns I'm dying to knit with are pretty much all sock yarn (though I do like regular yarn too), mainly Socks that rock, Koigu, Lorna's Lace and many of the indie yarns. As for books, I love many of them but the ones I'm coveting the most are the Charlene Schurch sock books and one on Latvian mittens.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I want to try some colourwork. It's my goal for the next year.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I'm sure you can guess the answer to the first question ;) My shoes are a size 6.5 or 7 (I'm in Canada, I don't know if sizes are different elsewhere).

23. When is your birthday?
December 3. Turning 30 this year!

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
I am on Ravelry and my username is Caroline.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I'm bringing sexy back...

I finished my sexy Coachella:

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Pattern: Coachella from Knitty
Size: S
Yarn: Schachenmayr Nomotta Micro
Needles:Two sets of circulars, size US6 and US8 (I used my Denise set)
Modifications: I chose not to do the short rows on the bust because a lot of people who did them said that the cleavage area went way too low. I didn't want that. I also added some ribbing at the bottom because I didn't want a rolled edge. And I added more increases for the hips (5 instead of 3) and probably could have added 2 more (I have big hips).

I'm very happy with it. It was quick and easy. Oh and no seaming. Yay!

I bought the new Vogue Knitting yesterday and I love it. It's the 25th anniversary edition and it's a beautiful issue. Of course, I don't like all the patterns (I dislike many of them in fact), but I love Veronik Avery and Debbie Bliss' "cover patterns" (there are a bunch of covers under the real cover). They also have a lot of interesting looking articles, though haven't had the chance to read them yet. There's one on "Fits that flatter" that I'll try to read today.

Now working on: socks for my mom, the masalat scarf that was put aside while I worked on Coachella and Kiri.