Monday, May 23, 2011

Doing Homework

Every once in a while you learn a lesson through experience that you wish you could learn by common sense and being observant.  I recently learned that lesson.

I have had the sweater Sprossling by Knitspot in my queue for quite some time and this spring I have really been itching to start it.  Spinning Yarns, one of my LYS, posted on Facebook that they had just gotten in a box from Madelinetosh in a couple bases including their Tosh Merino Light.  I thought it would be a pretty good match, so off I went to buy some.  I was able to get 4 beautifully matched skeins in Tart. It's a gorgeous color!
Now, this is where the common sense should have kicked in.  This yarn is actually thinner than most of the yarns I use to knit socks with.  On size 1 or 2 needles.  Did I REALLY think that this yarn would knit a fabric on size 5 needles, that I would be happy with for a sweater? Really???
Turns out the answer is no, not really.  In fact I pretty much hated it when I knit my swatch.  So much so that I didn't even take a picture of it before I ripped it back.

So I decided I had better go about this choosing yarn for this sweater task a different way.  I went to my leftover bin and picked out a few different fingering yarns and started swatching. 
These 2 swatches are Dream in Color Starry on size 4 and 5 needles.
These swatches from left to right are Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga, and Handmaiden Casbah.
They all gave a much nicer fabric, or at least more what I had expected.  My favorites, honestly, were the Skinny Bugga and the Casbah, but the cashmere content in the yarns would make this a pricey sweater. I would also have to mail order them as I don't have a local source for them.  I also want to make Henley with a Twist, which I expect I will wear against my skin, so a luxury yarn would be a better choice for that sweater.

In the end, I decided on Dream in Color Smooshy.  I was able to exchange 3 of the Tosh Merino Light skeins for the Smooshy.  I'm happy with outcome and love the In Vino Veritas color I was able to get.
I cast on last week!  I think this is going to be a great light weight sweater that I can wear year round.
I'm hoping to have it done in time for Sock Summit!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pick Me!

I finished a pair of socks last night!  I was kind of a slow-poke with these.  When I updated my project page on Ravelry I was reminded that I cast these on way back on April 4th.  Not to say that I don't have older projects kicking around here, becasue I certainly do.  But for a project that got some regular attention from start to finish, it was pretty pokey.
So what slowed me down?  Twisted stitches.  They're not hard, there was just a constant changing between regular knit stitches and twisted stitches. It's what makes the design pop though, so they were definitely worth it.  The hardest part though was the heel flap.  The heel flap is a 1x1 twisted rib, which means that on the wrong side you have to purl through the back loop every other stitch.  That may be my least favorite thing to do!  Design wise though, it's the right heel flap for the sock.
Pattern: Mona by Cookie A
Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan Sock
Color: Pick Me
Needle: 2.5mm
Cast On: April 4
Bind Off: May 18
Mods: None. They're perfect the way they're designed!  And I didn't make any mistakes personalizations either :-)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

10 Favorite Things To Do Outside

The way this weather is going this spring, it doesn't seem like it is every going to be enjoyable to be outside!  Regardless it is nice to get outdoors and enjoy. Here are some of the things I enjoy doing.

1. Watch the kids play sports. 
2. Putter in the garden.  I'm not a big gardener, but I do enjoy growing a some flowers in containers.  I tried growing some vegetable last year with very limited success, but I'm going to try it again this year.  Stay tuned!

3. Read.  An afternoon on the deck or by the lake with a book is a luxury.  I wish I was able to do it more often.

4. Eat.  We'll eat any meal outdoors if it's warm enough.  I'm not sure which I enjoy more, a good grilled steak and veggies for dinner or Sunday morning breakfast followed by a good cup of coffee and the Sunday paper.

5. Hanging out with friends.

6. Playing with the dogs.  I actually do this everyday because the Neal-the-troubled-brown-dog just plain needs that much exercise!
7. Walk.  Except during black fly season, which is right now.  I hate the black flies!

8. Knit.  I love knitting outdoors.  It very relaxing knitting on the deck.  Plus you just can't beat the natural light.

9. Go for a Boat ride, or as DH calls it... booze cruise :-)

10. Enjoy where I live!

Happy Tuesday!  What do you like to do outside?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I haven't been blogging much lately and I don't know why other than Life has just gotten in the way.  I have been doing some knitting along the way and I do have 2 projects that I can show you that are getting most of my attention.

I cast on Breaking Hearts by the fabulous Cristi Brockway, who you probably know as TurtleGirl76 on Ravelry.  Her pattern was chosen as the paid pattern for the quarter 2 KAL in the Socks That Rawk group, for which she is also a moderator.  This is an awesome pattern and I am completely loving it.  If I were focused 100% on it, the pair would be done by now.  As it is I have completed 3 more pattern repeats since I took this picture and am ready to work the heel flap.
I am just going to add, that if you are looking for a fun blog to read, and you don't already read Cristi's blog, I highly recommend it.  I read it every day, well week day because she updates her blog Monday thru Friday.

I am also working on Mona by Cookie A.  This was the pattern for April for the Knit Sock Love KAL that I'm trying to keep up with.  I have until the end of May to finish these to qualify for prizes.  I'm sure I'll be done in plenty of time.  Now that I'm focused on these they're flying.  The leg for the 2nd sock is more than half done, so I hope to be able to show you these as a FO next week!

What's on your needles right now?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Congratulations Matthew!

It was a happy day of celebration for us today.  Matthew, my oldest son, graduated from Keene State College with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Mathematics.  He was both excited and nervous before the ceremony. I'm not really sure why he was nervous, the hard work is all done, and it's now time to celebrate!

Here he is enjoying the procession.....
With Mom and Dad after the ceremony...........
All 3 of my handsome boys together :-)  And they're all smiling too!  It must be Mother's Day :-)
With 3 of his grandparents.  Unfortunately Grammy Cora was not feeling well and couldn't come today.
And here he is with a group of his friends.
Congratulations Matthew!  We're very proud of you!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Very Busy Mystery

I love a good Mystery KAL and these socks are the perfect reason why.  This was the Mystery KAL for the Sock Knitters Anonymous Group on Ravelry in March.  I was going to skip the KAL because I already had a few projects going and didn't want to add another one.  Each week as the mystery was revealed I wished more and more that I had joined in until I couldn't take it any longer!  I started these March 28 and finished them on April 30.  You may have to click on the picture and enlarge it to enjoy the details, but one of the features that I loved about this pattern is how sock 1 and sock 2 mirror each other somewhat.  The pattern is exactly the same but by shifting it 8 stitches in either direction the socks appear to be a left and right sock.  Very fun!

Here are the details!
Pattern: Cadence Socks (free Ravelry Download!)
Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan Sock
Color: Coleus
Needles: 2.5mm and magic looped
Mods: None, they are perfect the way they are!