Thursday, January 27, 2011

Really Random Thursday

Hobbling along
I broke my toe almost two weeks ago.  I can’t believe how stupid a thing this is to do.  (It was also pretty stupid how I did it, if you actually want to see a picture go here).  This is not an injury that lends itself to isolation and stabilization of the affected area. About all that can be done is “buddy taping” the affected toe to its neighbor and wearing a very unattractive over-sized “boot”.  
Da Boot

I’m not walking very long or far these days and it’s a very awkward process.  Also, when the temps dropped into the single digits last weekend, I was very thankful for hand-knit socks.  I ended up with two socks on my bad foot to keep my toes warm. 

Iowa Fashion
I was at the grocery store doing a little people watching the other day and I observed that there seem to be different fashion rules in Iowa.  For example, anything with a Hawkeye logo or a Cyclone logo is considered neutral and can be worn with just about anything.  The most recent sighting was of a young girl wearing a fuscia tutu over matching polka dot tights topped with a Hawkeye football jersey… and in some weird sense it worked.  The other rule is that there does not have to be snow on the ground to wear snow boots, although that is a moot point at the moment.  There is nothing wrong with wearing anything hand-knit, especially for outer wear, and there are no restrictions in matching style or color choices. I find this a good thing.  My favorite example was the guy I saw wearing a Dr. Who scarf with a Candy Corn hat.  This may apply to other “cold climate” locations as well, but I seem to be seeing it more here, than I did in my “sophisticated” Chicago Suburb.  

I have been knitting.  Thanks in part to my recent lack of mobility and also due to our typical January weather.  I finished several projects since I last posted.   My Annis Shawl is done and turned out lovely:
Annis - Shadow Shawl
Pattern: Annis by Susanna IC (Knitty Spring& Summer 2010)
Yarn: Noro Kirameki color 158A
Size 8 needles

I liked it so much (and so did my bosses) that I will be using it as a project for an introductory lace class.  So of course I needed to knit another one (so I could use beads).  This is the Mini Version done in sock yarn:
Mini Annis Carnival Shawl
Pattern: Annis / w/mods suggested by Zuzusus from Ravelry beads replacing Nupps
 Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Sock Color S308
Size 8 Needles

I knit this over a weekend (the one where I broke my toe no less) and it made me thoroughly ashamed that it took over a month to do the first one!

My January Self-Imposed sock club socks were the Journey Cable socks:  
A walk on the beach
I started these in some of the yarn I got on my trip to AK but unfortunately the yardage was a little bit short which was very disappointing because the yarn was lovely and the pattern really worked well in that yarn, but I dug through my stash and found a nice substitute which I think also did the pattern justice.  I love this pattern and will probably repeat it in the future.

I worked up a hat for charity.  
Spiral Striped Hat
 I’ve been a little slacking in that department, so I’m going to try to do a few more charity projects here and there as I get time.  I wanted to try the spiral stripe technique and this seemed like a pretty good project for doing so. As I suspected this is one of those techniques that just made me go “duh” once I got going.  Sometimes all it takes is motivation.

 I also cast on for a pair of bonus socks since I like to have a project to carry around with me for times when I can squeeze in a little knitting.  These are just simple anklets to wear to the gym when I can go again:
sweet sweat socks
Pattern: my own basic sock
Yarn: Panda Cotton
Size 2.25mm dpn

I joined JenHanson’s KAL for the Carefree Shawl.  Go ahead and pop over to her site and see some of her designs.  She is an up-and-coming designer and indie dyer.   I am enjoying this project so far.  I also love how she has her blog set up.  If I can figure out how, I think I might try her page style (if that's okay with her). 

Carefree begins

I’ve got a few other projects on the needles, but there isn’t much to say about them at the moment.  I’ve had a bit of cast-on-itis and I’ve been trying to counter it by sticking with what I’m already working on and swatching for upcoming things.  It doesn’t completely work, but it helps.

Speaking of designers, Lucy Neatby released some new designs this week; I’m highly amused by this bag.  I’ve also been following several on twitter who have been posting and tweeting about new books and patterns getting ready to be released.  It’s fun seeing all of the lovely new designs.  (The downside is it causes cast-on-itis).  I’ve also enjoyed the stories coming out of the recent Vogue Knitting Live gathering. 

The cats are enjoying our new location because they have maximum sunlight for several more hours a day.  Each of them has established a priority spot based on the potential for sun absorption.  They then rotate to different spots throughout the day giving them many hours of sun soaked sleep.   Additionally, since we got new furniture which includes a large ottoman*, DH and I can now sit together on the sectional and each have a cat stretched out on our legs when our feet are propped up on the ottoman.  Real family time; I’d take a picture if I could, but that would require someone getting up to get the camera, thereby disturbing the cats, and well, you know….

That’s it for this week.

Happy Knitting,


* the cause of my broken toe, you can guess what happened :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Me and the cats

Me and the cats
Originally uploaded by nanaknits21

This isn't the greatest picture because my DH took it on his cell. Both cats wanted on my lap and it is rare to see the cats this close together so I felt it was a picture worthy occasion.

Glancing Back, Moving Ahead

Since the weather was so uncooperative last week, I never really got a chance to show off these:

Scarborough Fair Socks by Melanie Gibbons
Yarn: Knitivity Down Home Art Yarns sock in Italian Ice - Grape
Size 2.25 DPN

Or these:
Finished 10:35pm Dec, 31 2010

Tropical Stripe Socks
Pattern: Basic sock (Top Down) with a 2, 1, 1, 1 stripe sequence
Yarn: Noro Kuryeon Sock in colors S180 (MC) and S149 (CC)
Size 2.25 DPN

I decided halfway through the Scarborough Fair socks that I needed a simpler pattern for carrying around because although the pattern on Scarborough Fair is not difficult to memorize, the stitches are fiddly and I need to have the chart out more often than not to stay on track so it wasn’t very good for public knitting.  The first socks I knit in Jan 2010 were the Noro Stripey socks that I love, so I decided that the last pair for 2010 should also be Noro Stripeys and keeping in my experimental mode with stripes I changed up the stripe sequence just enough to keep them interesting.  I finished the Scarborough Fair socks on the 27th and even though I only had a portion of one leg done on the Stripey socks, I decided I would kick it into high gear so these would actually be finished in 2010.  I made it with hours to spare and I love the way these socks turned out.  (I also have enough yarn leftover for another pair sometime this year.)  In case anyone is wondering, I did futz with the yarn a wee bit to get the color sequences to match.  I didn’t have to try too terribly hard due to a happy little coincidence; the (inevitable) knot 
I think I was going to write a post about this, but it got OBE
in that skein of Noro (S180) was almost perfectly placed to divide it into two cakes of almost equal weight with not too much pulling out to get to the same starting point in the color sequence. The brown was harder to judge and so I did end up with different starting points.  They are not a perfect match, but that's okay. Heck, I think I would be both too hard on my self and too hard on the yarn if I expected a perfect match using any Noro yarn.

So those are the final two projects that I completed in 2010.  

Oh, and speaking of happy little coincidences, I was pleasantly surprised by this the other day:
1500 Yards of Golden Sunrise in Dura Lace
Ray, of Knitivity, had a little drawing back in December  for customers who ordered yarn during a certain week.  I needed to order a skein to match one I already had for an upcoming project and didn’t really think about the timing of my order in regards to the drawing.  I hadn’t been very active on line in December and subsequently missed the note on his website that I was the winner of the drawing, so imagine my surprise when I got this skein of yarn in the mail!  I do order quite a bit from him because I really like Ray’s yarn. I would highly recommend it if you’ve ever thought about adopting an indy-dyer to support.   

Moving on to 2011; I set up a few personal challenges for myself (rather than actual goals). 

I am continuing in the Sock A Month Knit-a-long and have set up another year’s worth of personal sock club bags to keep me knitting from stash and patterns I have accumulated.  I started my first installment on Monday and am pretty happy with the mix of yarn and pattern so far, but afraid the yardage could be a bit short, though.  If I can get by with making shorter cuffs I will, but if I end up needing to switch yarn, I’ll do that because I really do like the pattern so far.  The pattern is Journey Cable Socks which I bought some time ago and never got around to knitting.  The yarn is Rabbit Ridge Designs, one of the yarns I brought back from my trip to Alaska in 2009.  (See a trend here?)  Here’s a peek at what it looks like so far:
I'm actually quite a bit farther now
I am going to try to knit four shawl patterns (one a quarter?) that I’ve had in my queue forever.  I haven’t matched yarn for all 4 yet, and I’m cheating a little by counting the Annis that I started last month as one of the four.  There’s still not much progress there by the way, but I can show this:

I'll be happy when I get past the nupps
I’ve got sweater quantity in my stash for at least two sweaters.  Patterns not determined on both yet.

I have a couple patterns I love that I’d like to do up for my Granddaughter (not that I need an excuse to knit for her).

I would like to get on with it and actually complete my Level I of the Master Knitter’s course.  (Still working on that motivation).

I’d also like to do a little more charity knitting again and maybe a little more designing this year. 

Really, that’s quite a lot to have on my plate, but hey, that’s why they are challenges rather than goals… no pressure, just an organized way to keep my knitting going in a productive direction… and to try to use up yarn I already have.  

So I hope you'll drop by from time to time to see how I'm doing on my 2011 challenges.  

Happy Knitting,