Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bad Bad Blogger

Bad because I'm remiss in posting. I do on my general blog but this sad little knitting blog is neglected somethin' fierce! So here's a quickie post to show that yes, I do actual knit sometimes!

Knitting lately consists of holiday quick knits. When you've got 17+ WIPs on the needles (and that's a true count...not a guesstimate with a few stragglers hiding in corners, uncounted) it's hard not to feel anxious and unfocused. My usual response: cast on something new! For some reason I just feel unfocused and find it hard to commit to a knit. Hence my urge to do something fast and quick to get my knittin' mojo flowing smoothly. Enter the Zakka Tissue Cozy
Oh the joys of practically instant gratification! Literally this went from cast on to FO in less (yes less) than 24 hours! Joy of joys, I did it!

Now a roll call of WIPs with recent favorites first! A Morning Surf Scarf in Malabrigo Silky Merino.
This color is a bit green for my liking (and when ordered thought it was more pale aqua than bright green) but it's looking good in this pattern. Finally. After trying oh let's see, about 4 different patterns! Sometimes it happens like that. Just can't mesh the yarn and pattern at the same time. But finally this Spring Green Malabrigo may just possible have form.

What else...oh yes here's another lovely Malabrigo knit. My second Clapotis in Silky Merino, Caribeno colorway. Yep. That's a whole lot of intense blue, green and purple! So intense my beloved Addi Natura needles have a distinct greenish cast now. But man is this a soft yarn to knit and will be a stunning Clappie, that's for sure. A real pleasure to knit.

Just one more project that I'm loving. Amy Singer's Tuscany shawl in Elann Peruvian Highland Wool in just the prettiest Sky Blue! Oh I adore, truly adore this pattern! The most complicated semi-lace type pattern I've attempted to date and after a couple mis-starts it's now flying on the needles. Once you get the pattern straight in your head it's a great knit. Highly meditative and so lovely to look at as the stitches form this pretty pattern before your eyes. It's my current cotton candy knit, for when I need some indulgent knitting that just makes me plain happy!

Seeing today is Sunday, Husband's in the field and it's a nice sunny (yet chilly) autumn day...I want to knit...and knit lots. Now I'm all revved up to do more once I back away from the laptop. Here's my shortlist today:
Morningside Neckwarmer from the current Classic Elite Newsletter. Designed by the highly cool brooklyntweed.
I know! Yet another new cast on but I've been waiting oh so long to find the perfect pattern for my Debbie Bliss Pure Cashmere and by golly...I think I've found it! I'll let you know how it goes. Off to go cast on!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day at My House

Yep...the Mother's Day Gift was great! We've worked out a nice little system in our house: I email Hubby a link; he saves the link in his gmail folder titled "Kim's Gift List"; he orders from this folder when an occasion approaches; my sister receives something via UPS or USPS on her doorstep; Hubby picks it up and wraps it the night before and the next morning I've got a lovely gift waiting for me at the breakfast table! He's happy to have direction with his shopping. I'm happy because I get something I'd not actually buy myself but really, really covet. But Hubby is especially happy he doesn't have to actually go into a store to shop. A win-win situation all round.

And as for the Knitter's Block. Oh my gravy! It's the bees-knees in triplicate. See the cute blue shrug in the picture?
Mother's Day at My House
It's been very wet since it's bath on Friday night. Drying on towels that are stacked on the washer in our dark, airless little laundry room just doesn't cut it. But now, thanks to Hubby, I'm "cooking (or should I say blocking) with gas!" In a few hours the cotton shrug is drying nicely. Wacky Auntie will not be late for this birthday present!
Mosey's Birthday Shrug
Mosey...honey your shrug is on it's way!

So for any other Hubbys out there: Knitter's a great gift for the Knitter you love!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Clappy is happy and chugging along

Clapotis de Jojoland
Originally uploaded by WackyAuntie
Here's my Clapotis. Progess is slow but a satisfying knit. Perfect for nightime tv knitting. The pattern just chugs along with those spreadsheets. It just seems confusing at first, but it's really not.

I'm finally started dropping stitches! Who knew dropping could be fun. Granted this Jojoland yarn is a bit wooly and likes to grab hold and not let go willingly. So I coax it along with my cable needle and then it finally relinquishes itself to its dropped destiny.

Halfway mark is just around the corner!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Clapotis de Jojoland is in the House

Yes my first Clap. It's coming along slowly due to fact that there's some maniacally secretive birthday knitting taking precedence but after tomorrow...Clapotis-Land here I come.

It's a great knit. One that seems intimidating upon first inspection of the pattern but after jumping into the deep realise, hey I can do this! I'm really a knitter after all. Kate Gilbert is a genius designer. My next project of hers to attempt: Bird in Hand Mittens.

The Clapotis spreadsheets are a god-send! Thank you, thank you Soulknitting and somebunnyslove for your fantastic spreadsheet creation abilities. It's what is making this project a joy to knit. For anyone wanting to join the rank of the gotta have these spreadsheets.! They are so inspiring that I've started making my own for the Lady Eleanor Stole I'm anxiously awaiting to tackle as my next project ( of the many queued up projects).

The other wonderfully helpful tool: the Fashionably-Late in '08 Clapotis KAL. This blog site has some great tips, links and inspiring photos of other Claps-in-the-making. Of course the deadline is March 31...I had no idea there was a once again it's Knit-Against-The-Clock in my world.

Deadlines aside, this is a lovely knit. I'm already fantasizing about my next Clapotis! Along with fifty-million other projects! You should see my Holiday Knitting Goals 2008 List; it's a beast!

Gotta go knit...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Yarn, yarn, yarn as far as the eye can see!

Clapotis de Jojoland
Originally uploaded by WackyAuntie
Back from Stitches West 2008, my first, and loaded up with yarn goodies and projects galore. Loved meeting the geniuses behind Ravelry, Jess and Casey. They truly have created something phenomenal. And they're so young too! What a fantastic example of entrepreneurial spirit in the technological age. Knitting will never be the same again.

Finally took the plunge and entered the Realm of Clapotis with a lovely bunch of yarn from Jojoland, in Rhythm, a worsted weight. It's a soft blend of blues, camels and sand. Reminds me of the beach...without the smell of salty seaweed, barking seals or sand blowing into my eyes. Upon my return home I promptly prepared my stuff and got knitting. I do believe I'll love my Clapotis! Fantastic pattern and I can even concentrate on it and my nightly Tivo queue. Always a good combination. I absolutely can't, can't wait until the dropping of stitches begins! True to form I've only gotten several inches into it and already I'm dreaming of what yarn to use in my second, then third; who will I knit one for at Christmas....

What else was snagged at Stitches: Two adorable hat patterns and hat kit at the WhitKnits booth (her colors and designs are amazing and quite whimsical) and (drumroll) two absolutely, divinely soft skeins of Malabrigo in the most decadent, deep peacock-turquoise blue....ahhhhhhhh, it makes my heart sing...and they were on sale too!
Lately I'm very "blues" possessed/obsessed. Most of my purchased involve some form of blue, particularly this shade of jewel-toned loveliness. Even it's name is evocative: Tuareg. I've no idea what it is, where it is, what it means but it just about sums up the exotic richness of this yarn and colorway. Now the hard part . . . what to use it for? Or do I just let it sit on the shelf and admire it's beauty?

What else... Oh yes, my first purchase was at the WEBS booth and was it fun wandering the seemingly endless aisles touching, stroking and gazing at yarns I've ogled online but never witnessed first hand. This booth held my main impulse buys: many many skeins of Debbie Bliss Silk Alpaca in my favorite colors of cornflower blue and cream. I confess. . . my purchase was abruptly decided upon when I saw others circling the bins and only a few bags left. That was all it took and I found myself juggling yarns-clutching them to my chest-trying not to drop everything on the floor. Willpower was in effect though: I put back the bag of "to-die-for-royal-blue" and only kept one and a half bags of the cornflower and cream. There's something about blue and cream that just soothes my soul. No idea what I'll make and don't care. I just love looking at them sitting here peacefully together, enjoying each other's company immensely!

Then when I didn't think it possible to carry more, I saw the perfect cable scarves samples hanging on a bin, calling out to me. Boom...grab a pattern, then it's decision time as to colors. Oh the agony! After much deliberation I made my choice. . . . and it was, yes, Blue! This time a sky blue in Valley Yarns Lenox. I'm nothing if not predictably obsessed.

These sample scarves are examples of savvy retailing at its best. I bought not only the pattern (it was so cheap I had to buy it and contains not one, but two patterns!) but the same yarn, in a different color. The yarn is absolutely buttery soft and something I'd never had considered if left to my online shopping. This yarn needs touching in person to convince you to buy. And I did! The Webs booth was a highlight and I adored seeing not only Steve and Kathy Elkins manning the tills (and putting faces to the podcast voices) but also seeing Grandpa right next to them ringing up sales. A wonderful thing to see: a thriving, well run, independent family store in this era of chain stores.

My "deal of the show" was literally found as I was leaving (with Aaron circling out front waiting for me to appear at the entrance). At The Knitter's Studio.

Why oh why did it take until I'm leaving to find the best deal? These balls of eye-popping colors caught my eye first, then the 40% off sign second. So, my cell phone ringing with an inquiring husband wondering what's taking so long, I'm frantically purchasing enough (I hope) to make something lovely. . . eventually . . . someday. At the moment these lovely Elle Alpaca Merino skeins, Misses Shiraz and Sheba, are sitting up here with Miss Tuareg of Malabrigo, keeping each other company in my "Pooh Room". And looking quite cheeky too, pleased they've found a home.

Enough talking about yarn . . . time to go knit (Or in reality: Go make dinner and see what mischief Mr. J-Man has got up to while I was preoccupied with my blogging - I shudder to think of the messes I'll find)!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Knitting and Hawaiian Vacation...Hmmm...

Knitting did occur on my Hawaiian vacation; not as much as I'd like. A lot of ripping out and starting over did occur; more than I'd like. Here's a photo of I think my third attempt at casting on the Knit Picks Wave Scarf pattern (in Elann Peruvian Highland Sport for those who like to know). We're exploring the wet, rainy upcountry roads on the Kona Coast trying to avoid the horrible traffic down below in Kailua-Kona. I became so frustrated the knitting was set aside and the camera was picked up for some blurry, "artistic and interpretive" photographs of the Hawaiian scenery.

Back at home now and this is the present state of the Blue Waves Scarf, in its fourth...or maybe fifth...version. Hopefully there will be no more ripping and recasting with this project! We'll see. I'm not convinced that the pattern will yield the lovely waves in the pattern pic. But the yarn is such a gorgeous shade of blue I'm happy!

Airplane Knitting is much more productive however. On the drive down to airport I worked on my version of Pam Allen's Knitting Bag and so loved it that it ended up going to Hawaii too! Despite the fact that it's in chunky, bulky wool yarn and I had to shove the extra skein into my luggage. It kept me busy on the plane and that's always a good thing...and the half a Xanax didn't hurt any either! Here's what it looks as of today:

I'm now working on the back side and still loving the bobbles!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Knitting Like a Fiend....Or Trying to At Least

It's 2008 and I'm in the midst of a knitting frenzy. I think about knitting all day, dream about yarn, and only feel like reading books about knitting. This is unlike me!

Well, no I guess I do tend to find pet interests then focus on them exclusively for a bit. But this time it's different. I feel this passion for knitting is here to stay. Partly thanks to my need to keep hands busy and productive, partly to my initiation into Ravelry, and partly to the need to knit up this growing stash.

So what am I doing to feed my knitting appetites? Right now I've just completed my first post the the Year-Long-Gift-Along a collaborative blog where crazy knitters like myself are setting knitting goals and (hopefully) creating beautiful finished objects that are ready to wrap and give as gifts. Nifty idea and I have high hopes it'll help me stay on task and actually produce a solid body of work this year. A girl's gotta have goals, right?

Can't really post the list here since that could inadvertently ruin a few gift-giving surprises away, but I'll document my progress here along the way as a kinda knitters journal. But right now I must fix a cuppa-I'm parched!