Can’t Resist

lace-yarn-winding

This is what happens when your ball winder and swift are in one place, and you’re in another, and new yarn comes in the mail.

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My Version of Project Monogamy

In*shmore (back), Valley Yarns Northhampton

In*shmore (back), Valley Yarns Northhampton

I really have a very hard time with project monogamy.  I get distracted by a new idea or a cute pattern in a book and off I go, casting on.  The problem with this is that I have multiple projects in various stages of progress that never seem to get completed (duh!).  And I like them all, even if I do get bored with one or the other.  I want to finish something.  The whole point of starting them is to have a finished object at the end that I can give away or wear myself. 

With this in mind, this year I’m tackling the idea of Project Monogamy, Ebony Style.  That means  I’m going to try to stick with a project with a few little afghan blocks or stockinette car knitting socks thrown in.  My first focus project is In*shmore by Al*ce St*rmore.

Close-up of In*shmore

Close-up of In*shmore

My dad picked this pattern out as a sweater he wants to have and wear.  He wanted something with a turtleneck that “no one else would have” (his words).  I think it will be uncommon enough to suit his tastes in this regard.  The pattern itself is quite simple once you get the hang of it.  I’m cabling without a cable needle, since this pattern really lends itself to knitting this way. I searched all over the internet for a good substitute to Rowan Magpie, the yarn the sweater was originally designed in. The Northhampton from Webs was closest in terms of yardage, at 247 yds/100 grams. The Magpie was 252 yds/ 110 grams. I was able to get gauge with the needles specified in the pattern. I even did the whole knit a 6″ swatch, wash and check process. I want this sweater to fit well. I also opted for a tubular cast-on to give the sweater a finished, hand-made (as opposed to home-made) look. I’ve been working on it daily with an occasional block thrown in to relieve the cabling monotony. So far, so good.

Eyelet square, Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece

Eyelet square, Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece

This week’s block has been the eyelet lace Warm-Up America blanket block from Knitting for Peace. I love these small 7″x9″ blocks because they’re very easy but very effective when all sewn together. I should be able to get at least 2 blocks from each skein, so I’ll be buying one or two at a time after I’ve used up my stash of Vanna’s Choice on blocks for a Vanna’s Choice block exchange with one of my Ravelry groups.  I also love these Knitpicks Harmony Straights (10″).  I ordered them specifically for this project, and as needles I could use with other small block patterns.  So smooth and nice to knit with.

Grannying Along

For the last six months or so, I’ve gotten more and more interested in the idea of doing crochet again.  I see so many cute bags and afghans on Ravelry, and I know how much faster this is for me than knitting.  I learned to crochet before I learned to knit, and I think that crochet is part of the reason why I prefer to knit in the continental style.  I hold the yarn in exactly the same manner. 

When I went to  Attic 24  and saw all the beautiful projects she has made in just the last year as a new crocheter, I finally caved.  I used her pattern for a bag to make something I love and put to use immediately after finishing.  I used an assortment of Takhi Cotton Classic that I ordered from Webs, intending to make a mitered square blanket.  They have instead become this project and I love it.

granny

(forgive the horrid photo, it’s from my phone)

Then just yesterday, I ran to Michael’s looking for a pom pom maker (more on this later) and got caught up in the books.  I was hooked (no pun intended) by the Vanna’s Choice Color It Beautiful Afghans book.  I happen to love the idea of acrylic for blankets, since it’s so easy to care for.  The colors of this yarn are beautiful and they really are so well coordinated.  Early this morning I started the Baby Blanket, and it’s working up quickly.  Definitely a weekend or one day project.  This is much easier to finish than the baby blanket I started for a co-worker in Plymouth Encore, and at $2.99 a ball, much cheaper.  I’m a believer.  So much so, that I’ve joined the Vanna’s Choice Fan Club on Ravelry and have signed up for the upcoming 12″ block exchange.  Now I’ve just got to swatch for my pattern.

Welcome 2009

Hello Again,

2008 has not been very good for me on the consistent blogging front. I’m hoping to be a lot better in 2009, since I’ve joined several groups with the goal of finishing more of my ongoing projects and using up some stash. I’ve spent the last month knitting Christmas gifts and plan to post photos as I get them (not a lot of that going on as I rushed to get them done in time).

I’m also going to be very limited in the resolutions for the year, as I can never stay on target. My only plan for this year is to not buy any new books. That means all books. I have a few I’ve purchased in recent months and others I’ve had for awhile that I have not knit anything from. I want to make use of my book stash as well as my yarn stash in 2009. I’ve joined the Knitting From the Shelf 2009 group on Ravelry with this in mind. I’ve also committed to a 4 month ban on new yarn in 2009, along with the Stashalong. This one I can commit to, with the exception of my dad buying the yarn for a sweater he wants me to knit for him this month, Inishmore (Ravelry link) by Alice Starmore. But I’m not buying and I’m not stashing. If there is any left over, it’s getting turned into a hat ASAP.

I’ll leave you with a photo of one of the projects I did photograph. My cousin got David’s Hat for Christmas and reports that people thought it was store-bought while he was at home in Columbus, OH. I’m taking that as a complement.

burgundy&white1

burgundy&white4

Project: David’s Hat (Ravelry link) by Kenny Chua
Yarn: Lining- Cascade 220, Outer-Brown Sheep NatureSpun Worsted in Plumberry and Natural (leftovers from a pair of mittens)
Needles: 3.75 and 4.5 KnitPicks Options, knit Magic Loop

It was big on me, but my cousin Michael reports that it fits him perfectly since his head is big and he likes large hats (his words).