Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Ugly Truth About the UFO situation

So, I bit the bullet and rounded up all of my knitterly UFOs, in order to begin preparations for "February is For Finishing." After piling 19 (yes, that's as in "Nineteen") projects on my bed, many begun over 2 years ago, I considered renaming the month "February is for Quitters who hide under their beds rather than face up to three years of accumulated unfinished crap"—but really, that's too long and not at all catchy.

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After ruthless consideration, I've frogged and flung my way down to 8 projects that I intend to finish. At least three of them are major, large scale projects. And whose stupid idea was this anyway?

February is For Finishing:
The two shawls, the afghan and the poncho are each more than enough to be going on with. February isn't 'til tomorrow and I'm already feeling the onset of panic. Dude. There ain't no way.

Friday, January 27, 2006

February is for Finishing

February is also for Frogging, and Flinging (as in “out of a moving vehicle”).

I hereby declare February the official month of uFo banishment. Who’s with me?!? Who else would love to start March with out any unfinished knitterly objects? Who else wonders if that’s actually possible?

But wait! We’ll have none of that silly “You’ve got to be out of your frickin’ mind” kind of talk here, no sirreebob. February has 28 entire days in it. That’s *drags out virtual calculator* 672 entire hours! How much could you finish in that amount of time?

oFFicial rules For February is For Finishing
  • during the First week of February, uFos should be Found and indentiFied
  • appropriate ways of dealing with uFos include: Finishing, Frogging and in certain extreme cases, Flinging
  • blogging should occur to detail the process. It’d be cool if we had a running tally of FFOs —February Finished Objects

The observant among you will have noticed that February is For Finishing might interfere with The Olympics. To that I say… Not necessarily! After all, part of the whole point of Stephanie’s challenge is to finish whatever project you choose. Now, I can certainly see that those 16 days might cut seriously into some UFO banishment time, but hey, there are 12 entire other days in February. Ya bunch of whingers.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

New Kniting Shop in the Boro!

Gretta and I made a wonderful discovery last week. There is a new LYS in town. (By "Gretta and I" please understand that she said "Hey, did you know that there is a new yarn shop in town?" One of her co-workers told her about it.)

She and I had a date for lunch and fiber-frolicking last week (Hobbidy Lobbidy had their knitting paraphernalia on sale 1/2 off). So, after she made her startling pronouncement, I set to Googling, found the place and called to ask for their hours.

Let me just say now that I am both quite pleased, as the place is beautiful, reasonable in terms of their prices, and really accessible, but also more than a little bit jealous. Man, I want a Knitting/Quilting store when I grow up.

Anyway, with Meredith's permission, I made a button, and have linked to their website. To size it for my side bar I set it at height=50 width=120

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Oh, and the store's name? The Knaughty Knitter. Hee.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Flower Basket Shawl

For my first major accomplishment of 2006, I knit "grown up lace"—Evelyn A. Clark's Flower Basket Shawl, initially published in Interweave Knit's Fall 2004 issue.

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(For those keeping score, I also really want to knit the sweater on the front cover).

The shawl was knit from Knitpicks' Shadow in Campfire. It's a 100% merino wool laceweight yarn at an insanely affordable price. Something like $2.39 per 440 yard hank. I am absolutely in love with this yarn. On size 7 needles, it knit up into a gorgeous fabric that blocked like a dream. Oh yeah baby, will I knit more shawls outta this stuff. (I already have Oregon Coast lined up for the MS2, and have four skeins of Vineyard for I dunno know what yet.)

Now, on to the pictures!

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Why this lace pattern is called "Flowerbasket" is beyond me. Looks more leafy-like, ya know?

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I call this shot "Shawl with Obligatory Cat"

Project Specs

  • Pattern: Flower Basket Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark. Published in IK F'04
  • Yarn: Knitpicks' Shadow "Campfire" 100% Merino Laceweight one 440 yd. hank
  • Needles: Addi Turbo size 7 24" circulars
  • Date begun: December 28, 2005
  • Date finished: January 7, 2006
  • Total cost for materials: $2.39
Go Me!

Monday, January 23, 2006


I have recently discovered that I really like knitting socks. I like it enough that I'm bound to get myself in trouble with it. (6 Sox Knitalong and 200Sox spring to mind....)

I have Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks and Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. I haven't actually knitted anything out of the second yet, but I've heard nothing but good things about Nancy Bush. I have used Schurch's book, and I love it. It has instructions for 4 dpn, 5 dpn and 2 circular methods, side by side in a chart, and includes enough variations to keep you busy for the rest of your natural life. Its a book that encourages design, rather than a "recipe" book for socks. Bush's book is more the latter, but her recipes are so good, its hard to complain.

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My first pair of "grown up" socks were knit from Schurch's book. I used the garter rib pattern with two size 2 circulars. The yarn is Peter Pan Wendy (a baby fingering yarn) and my only regret is that, at the end of the day, its acrylic. Its a lovely soft, ickle acrylic, but acrylic nae-the-less. So, they make better "wear in the house socks" than "wear in the tennis shoes" socks. In any case, they are pretty good lookin' if I do say so myself. (And I do).

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I have also been working on socks for Rhiannon (who, at 11 has feet almost exactly the same size as mine). I've been designing PoA-style Ravenclaw socks for her. I'm not entirely happy with how they came out, but she seems pretty pleased. The yarn is Knitpicks' Essential in Navy and Ash. I used two size 2 circulars for the cuff and leg, and switched to size 1 dpns for the foot. If I had them to do over again, I'd do the whole sock in 1s. I like the fabric much better that way. They are finished save the toes—they turned out about 1/2 an inch too short, so I'm ripping back and doing the toes a second time.

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(N.B. They aren't quite as squanchy in real life. They look funny because I'm holding the 16 live stitches at the top with 2 dpns.)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

New Side Bar Tally Dealy

I think that I should start a running tally of projects completed vs. projects started during 2006. I mean, afterall, how better to know whether or not I'm living up to my goal of finishing more than I start? Plus, that'll give me something else to crowd up my sidebar.

Since it's only January 21, I figure I still have time to get my math sorted out before it becomes impossible to keep it straight.

Begun in 2006:
  • Flower Basket Shawl
  • Tank Top, loosely (very loosely) based on a design from a Knitter's mag

Finished in 2006:
  • Flower Basket Shawl
  • Half-circle pi shawl for Morgan (begun in 2003, more on that later)

Hmm.... so far I'm two for two.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Olympic Knitting Hopefuls

Still pondering the big Olympic Knitting question. Above and beyond Stephanie's requirements (mainly that the project be personally challenging and that it not be cast on before February 10), I have some individual requirements of my own.

  • Its gotta be out of my stash. I am a bit on the financially impaired side these days, so my desire to knit Knitty's Bristow is to be temporarily thwarted. Not that I don't have yarn, mind you…. I mean I totally do have yarn. I just don't have the yarn for Bristow. Or for anything else I'm ever likely to ever want to knit. But really that's a post for a different day.
  • It has to be something that I can knit while at work. There is a fine line between interesting enough to keep me occupied, but yet not so "interesting" that I can't knit it and call stores about their Online Reserve Alerts at the same time.
  • It cannot be mind-numbingly boring. Maybe this should be a subheading of the above requirement. I mention it because I'm actually considering doing my PoA-style Griffindor scarf. It definitely meets my first two requirements, but I'm not sure it meets this one. It does have the "every yea so often color change" to keep it from total yawn-dom, but 9 billion miles of stockinette is still 9 billion miles of stockinette.
  • Must not be hinky, manky, funky, or any other derogatory adjective that ends in "-ky"

  • At this point my real contenders seem to be the Mystery Shawl Along 2 Shawl and the previously mentioned Harry Potter scarf. Also in the running, however, are the Mystery Shawl Along 1 Shawl, the wassname Shawl from last Fall's Vogue Knitting (this presupposes that I can find the bloody magazine its in), or possibly some groovitundinous socks. The socks would have to be a bit above and beyond the standard rib-cuff/stockinette foot style in order to qualify.

    Maybe I should spend tomorrow hunting through my stash, in order to more fully appreciate my options.

    ETA: I found the Vogue Knitting magazine, and the other shawl is #15 "Lace Wrap."

    Tuesday, January 17, 2006

    2006 Knitting Olympics

    Stephanie, aka "The Yarn Harlot," has proposed a challenge. She has declared "The Knitting Olympics" and dares anyone fool enough to follow her to cast on a project of olympic proportion on February 10th, and moreover to have it finished by February 26, when the Olympics are over. That's 16 days of hard core knitting time.

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    I, being fool enough to follow nearly anybody anywhere if there's knitting to be had, signed up at once. I have a little less than a month to train.....and I don't know what sport I'm competing in yet. What would constitute a goodly challenge for me to complete in 16 days? By "goodly challenge" I mean a project that it is physically possible to knit in that period. Those of you itching to suggest "Acura Cozy" can just shut right the hell up.

    To date, I have knitted some wondrous, dare I say pre-Olympic feats. I made Rowan's Weasley in 8 days. I knitted the Flower Basket Shawl in 9 (I just finished blocking it last weekend. Pictures to be forthcoming.) I made Rhiannon's birthday shawl last year in about a week. I need a challenge. I need my head examined.

    What to knit? What to knit....

    Friday, January 13, 2006


    I know I'm a mite late getting on the resolution band-wagon, but well, we're doing our January Full Moon (when we traditionally state our goals for the year) tomorrow night, so actually I'm early. Yeah.

    I've been cruising some blogs, looking at other people's resolutions, and thinking about my own. Initially, I had been separating my "real life" resolutions from my "knitting" resolutions. But you know, that's kinda silly. A) I knit in my real life. That's part of who I am. Der. B) If I am to genuinely make real and meaningful changes in my life, they will (ideally) affect all aspects of my life. So what's to separate?

    My primary goal this year is to establish, or in some cases reestablish meaningful routines into my life. Since I've gone back to work, many of my old routines no longer apply. Also, the addition of two adults into our household has changed the shape of my life. New routines must be established.

    I figure I can get a lot of mileage out of this:

    • diet and exercise -- I'd like to pack a "real" lunch more often, rather than a frozen one. Also, I'd like to start walking in the evenings
    • financial -- wouldn't it be lovely to pay all of one's bills, balance one's checkbook and maybe even save a little at the end of the day? <----- work in progress
    • personal -- I want to take an extra 10 minutes at the end of the day to pamper me. Lotion up my legs, drink some tea.... that sort of thing
    • knitting! -- (you knew I was going to bring it up eventually, eh?) I want to finish more of what I start. In fact, this year I want to go out on a crazy limb and finish MORE than I start. Trust me, I have enough UFOs that this ought to be possible. Furthermore, I want to push my envelope. I want to get better at this craft, try new things. I also want to make myself a real garment. The trick here is getting over feeling like I'm knitting for Omar the tent-maker. Just cuz I'm fat doesn't mean I don't deserve lovely things to wear, does it?
    I suppose this is enough to be going on with. Oh, one more thing. I want to blog more often, more consistantly, and Christ-on-a-cookie, with better pictures. Santa, can I have a digital camera?