Tuesday, January 29, 2008

F.O.--Branching Out

Phew. Branching Out is a fun and relatively simple pattern, but it was my first “serious” project in a while, so it really winded me. I used Kaalund Expressions, a really sweet kid mohair that on a size 8 needle worked up into something frothy and quite lovely, if I do say so myself, and surprisingly warm for a fabric so light. However, did I mention how much I hate blocking? branching out blocking
Even with the new set of wires I gifted myself with, it was a pain in the butt. Or, I should say, a pain in the back. But worth it.
A tip I’d forgotten about knitting from a chart: use colored markers to denote yo’s, ssks, etc.–makes it easy to follow at a glance instead of squinting at the symbol. Hey...who are you callin' granny? Just because my eyesight isn't what it used to be...

Monday, January 28, 2008

F.O.: Peekaboo Mittens

All winter I’ve been struggling with the desire to unfreeze my hands and the need to have easy access to all the stuff I need just to get around. Since I’m still recovering from my weird hand injury, gloves aren’t working. Most of the time I’ve made do with fingerless mitts (we’ve been lucky in NYC with relatively mild weather), but these flip-tops are really great on cold mornings for getting to the change for the newspaper and the Metrocard and the bank card and the keys and knitting a couple of rows on the subway without having to totally remove my hand covering and inevitably drop it on the grungy floor. The Peekaboo is a smart, well-written pattern, which I played with a bit to use up some stash yarn: I did the first ten rows in garter stitch with black furry Katia Duende, the rest following the regular pattern in a discontinued slubby gray yarn (Adriafil Roller) (if I make it again with a fur cuff extension, I’ll keep the ribbing at full length instead of cutting it back to 5 rows like I did on these; I’d like them a tad longer). Size 7 needles, two circular method since double points give me a headache. EDITED TO ADD: since Magknits is defunct, this pattern is currently being hosted at Ravelry.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dr. King; Giveaway Winner

Happy Birthday to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Thanks for everything--not just for going to the mountaintop and having a dream and all that, but for having a birthday (which I have a dream would have been celebrated even if you had not been martyred for the cause) giving me a day off from work to reflect and...well...knit.

On the giveaway front, Cena wins; thanks so much to all who dropped by to enter. I had a nice spot of synchronicity surrounding this giveaway; I'd been meaning to post it for awhile but never seemed to get around to it...once I finally did I won a copy of Glamour Knits in a contest I barely remembered entering! Thanks, Knitting Goddess (and Potter Craft).

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mittens in Progress; A Giveaway

On the needles, the first half of a pair of Peekaboo Mittens (ingenious free pattern here). I'm feeling very virtuous, utilizing some antique stash yarn (Adriafil Roller, which I think has been discontinued) and some leftover "fun" fur (use it quick before it breeds again, I say).
On the giveaway front, in going through my books I discovered I somehow ended up with two copies of The Knitting Goddess, by Deborah Bergman. Which is kind of weird since I don't remember how I got either copy (do some books breed like novelty yarn?). Anyway, leave me a comment with a way to reach you; I'll draw a name on Sunday Jan. 20th and a gently used Knitting Goddess is yours.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Tequila Sunrise Maine Morning Mitts

First finished object(s) of 2008: Tequila Sunrise Maine Morning Mitts, from Clara Parkes’ wonderful Knitter’s Book of Yarn. The yarn is Paton’s SWS in Natural Green, although the colorway reminds me more of…well, a Tequila Sunrise. It’s an interesting yarn (thoughtfully gifted to me by a knitting pal—thanks, GFTC), a soy and wool combination—a bit splitty, would probably drive me nuts in a big project, but it’s very soft and perfect for these little mitts, accomplished in their entirety while I dipped in and out of the New Year’s Day Law & Order Marathon and last night's Presidential Debates. I used 11-inch circulars (size 7) throughout most of the pattern so things zipped along with a minimum of juggling. Notes to myself: 24 rows to the base of thumb, 7 rows in pattern after thumb gusset increases, and yes there really is one lone purl stitch in the middle of the thumb.