Sunday, May 30, 2010

Unique Sheep Wonderland Sock Club

Apparently a common business practice for artisan dyers and designers is to offer clubs.  It is a great way to get customers to try new products and to get exposure for your designs.  This year I have joined several.  This is the first shipment from the Wonderland Sock Club offered by The Unique Sheep.  All of the sock designs are inspired by Alice in Wonderland.  How could I resist.  I was not, however, expecting such a wonderful kit.  It makes me want to brew a cup, eat my Snickerdoodles, and cast on.

So what are the advantages of joining a club?  Well, often the yarns/colorways are exclusive, sometimes the patterns are, and then there are the little extras that you may receive.  And don't underestimate the surprise factor.  Plus, it helps you to stretch yourself as a knitter by trying patterns and colorways that you might not have considered.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Calla Lilly Socks - Finished!

My first pair of socks.  Well, actually, my second pair.  The first pair ended up being too big and I gave them to Bruce.  But that was several years ago.  I've gotten better at getting gauge since then.  I can really understand this sock fascination, though.  They are a lot of fun to knit.  And to wear.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tools of the Trade - Project Caddy

And speaking of too many projects on the needles, here is a peek into my Project Caddy.  I have been trying to control some of the clutter and had bought this caddy a while back, and it had been sitting mostly empty for some time while my works in progress were scattered around the room on convenient flat spots that were more or less out of the reach of the kitty.  Jasmine (my cat) is actually extremely well-behaved around yarn.  When I first got her she went after a ball of yarn and I told her that if she did that again I would send her back to the rescue shelter I had rescued her from.

This past weekend I went on a bit of a cleaning frenzy (I even mopped the kitchen floor and we won't talk about how long it has been since I had done that) and I gathered up all of my works in progress that were sitting around and put them in the caddy.  That is four lace shawls that you see in there, plus yarn for two more, the socks (the dark bit in the upper left hand corner) and the first ZenGoddess Lace yarn (the other darker yarn in the bottom center).  The little metal boxes hold beads for those shawls that take beads.
This is the exterior view.  The charts and directions for all of the projects are sitting on top.  It is very sturdy.  The only down side is the velcro on the lid (velcro being death to yarn), but it has not been an issue as long as I am careful taking things out of the caddy.  It has pockets on the front side, as well as the interior, to stash your notions in.

Calla Lilly Socks - One Sock Complete!

I finished up one of the socks this evening.  I was motivated by the arrival of the second sock pattern in the Decadently Dark Sock Club, and the PayPal email telling me that the yarn was on its way.  It fits pretty well, but I can tell that I have a lot to learn about socks, fortunately I have some very good books on the subject.  For now I am knitting them according to the pattern and not doing anything too fancy.  I can understand their appeal, they can be a very quick project, if you don't have lots of other things on your needles...I have already cast on the other sock and done a couple of rows.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mystery Shawl 17 - Clue 1

Yes, another mystery shawl by Goddess Knits.  I know, I'm out of control here, but they are just so much fun!  This one has beads.

Calla Lilly Socks - Progress Update

I have one of the socks almost to the toe shaping, so now I need to go read one of Cat Bordhi's books on toe shaping, because a symmetrical toe just isn't going to work on my foot.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mystery Anniversary Shawl (Mandala II) - Clue 3

I finished up Clue 3 (Chart D) this afternoon.  Pretty easy knitting.  Unfortunately I am once again in the position of having too many works in progress.  A Unique Sheep mystery knit along started today (Moonfleet shawl), but I don't have the yarn yet.  The first clue was waiting in my email this morning, the edging, so I'll learn a new cast on.  And it has beads.  Plus, there is another Goddess Knits Mystery Shawl (#17) starting tomorrow, and she hasn't even finished up this one.  Sigh.  And then there is the first kit from the ZenGoddess Lace Club, which I haven't even wound into a ball yet, and the first Year of Lace kit, which I have wound into a ball, both of them crying out to be started.  I have been making progress on the Evenstar Shawl and the Calla Lily Socks.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fuchsia - Finished!

I finally finished up this sweater, after starting it at least 3 times.  I spent about 20 hours in the car (my red Honda Element, license plate YTTRIUM) this past weekend, which gave me a lot of knitting time.  We had to go down to Kennesaw, Georgia for a funeral (Bruce's uncle passed away) and Bruce does all the driving when we're out together because he says that I am a better co-pilot than he is.

The sweater fits very nicely, although I will probably fine tune the pattern just a little when I make another one. The sleeves could be just a little longer, right now they are almost too short.

The yarn is Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK, I used a little over 8 balls.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Vintage Vogue 2402

From 2002 to 2004 I lived in a loft apartment in Center City Philadelphia.  Living the cosmopolitan lifestyle was a sort of dream come true.  I had a season ticket to the Opera and went to concerts.  I also sewed a lot of clothes, including this little number.  I love the Vintage Vogue patterns.  They are timeless, classic, styles.  I finally got a chance to wear this dress this past weekend.  I made the matching belt.  It also has a little jacket with three-quarter sleeves.
The buttonholes are bound, and the buttons are covered in matching fabric.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Evenstar Shawl - Clue 4 - Done!

I finally finished Clue 4.  It has been pretty slow going.  Lots of stitches, and 6 repeats of the 4 row pattern.  On the first row I actually counted the stitches on each repeat as I knit them.  Once I had the pattern established it was pretty easy.  The only challenge was that the row was long enough and the row patterns similar enough that I occasionally forgot which one I was doing, even with the chart sitting next to me.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mystery Anniversary Shawl (Mandala II) - Clue 2

I picked chart C again for Clue 2.  The picture is a little dark because I didn't use the flash, but the details of the lace show up better.  Love the pattern, love the yarn, love the color.  It reminds me of lemon sorbet.  Yellow was my favorite color when I was much younger.  My bedroom was yellow and I had a ceramic daisy clock on the wall.

Phoenix Rising Shawl - progress update

I've almost finished 3 of the 5 repeats of the main chart pattern.  I have been focusing on the Evenstar shawl, trying to get caught up, so this has not been getting the attention that it wants.  Right now this is my treat knitting, because it is an easy pattern and the yarn is such a joy to work with.  I also love the colors, they make me smile.