Monday, March 30, 2009

I'll raise you two cowls and a dumpling.

I have some FOs that I haven't shared with you. Two were part of the Feel Like a Floozy KAL my knitting group did back in January. Finishing what we cast on with wild abandon wasn't in the rule book, but it is likely that I will eventually finish them all except for one. I frogged the Toasty fingerless gloves. They were knitting up too small. I'm not sure if I'll use the same yarn, or look for something else in my stash. I do want to make myself a pair, but now that spring is here it isn't urgent.

Project: Tamarind Cowl
Yarn: Sundara Aran Silky Merino in Ruby Port
Neddles: KnitPicks Options US Size 7
Start: January 2, 2009
Finish: January 10, 2009
Mods: I only did two repeats of the pattern instead of three because I didn't have enough yarn. I used up the remains of Sundara that I had used for my Shetland Triangle Shawl. I can't think of a better use for it than to be wrapped around my neck. Even though it's shorter than the pattern, it still covers my neck to keep me warm.

Project: Dumpling Bag
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Bulky
Neddles: KnitPicks Options US Size 17
Start: January 7, 2009
Finish: February 22, 2009

Another of my Floozy knits was the Dumpling Bag. This bag is so cute. Why don't I felt more? It's so fun to see the transition from oversized knitted bag to cute little felted dumpling. I knitted this on size 17 needles because I didn't have any needles between size 11-17. The size 11s were too small. I figured if I came out with a bigger dumpling, no problem. But I left it in the wash too long and it's actually a little smaller than the pattern. It's 9.5 x 4.5. The width is comaprable to the pattern, but it came out a lot shorter. Next time I won't leave it in the wash as long. I left it in for 20 minutes, so next time I'll check it at 10. Still, I think it's cute and I'm sending it off to my friend, Teresa, in Florida.

My next dumpling will be pink for Brooke (my friend, Traci's daughter) who will be twelve in May. I'm going to work on improving my dumpling skills. ;)

Project: Tamarind Cowl
Yarn: Malabrigo
Needles: KnitPicks Options US Size 7
Start: March 13, 2009
Finish: March 24, 2009
Notes: My bind-off made this very tight going over the head, so I took it out and bound off again very loosely. It was still kind of tight. Thanks to Mary for teaching me the ssk bind-off (knit two, ssk, knit one, ssk, to the end). It had the perfect amount of stretch to go over the head easily.

Coming home from Stitches with this beautiful Malabrigo, I decided to knit up another Tamarind Cowl as a belated birthday gift for my friend Becky. Becky is one of my very best friends. We've been friends since second grade (I was in second, she was in first). We were girl scouts together, took dancing lessons together, had sleepovers at each others house, etc. As we got older, we went to parties together and tried to alter our I.D.s so that we could buy alcohol underage (unsuccessfully, I might add). People would ask if we were sisters. We look nothing alike, but we spent so much time together that I think we acted alike. We've known all of the boys and men in each other's life and have been there for each other in good times and bad. I have no doubt that we will be friends for the rest of our lives.

And the verdict:

She loves it!

And just for old times....

Here we are in the 80's. Were we stylin' or what?

Love ya Beck!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Still alive and still knitting!

I started the year out with a bang blogging four times in two weeks, and then...well...and then it fizzled like leftover champagne on New Year's Day. Hope is not lost entirely for me to be a more active blogger. I think I will make it a personal goal to increase my number of posts this year comapred to last year.

Despite my absence, I have been knitting a lot. I finished my Le Slouch hat and the Tamarind Cowl. I hope to post some FO pictures soon.

My current focus is my Ingenue sweater. I love knitting this sweater. I think it's the combination of falling hard for the Brooks Farm yarn I am using (color and knitted fabric) and the elegant simplicity of the pattern. It's not so simple that it's boring, but it's straightforward and it's knitting up quick.

I was cruising along and easily could have had the body done last week, but I set it aside for a few days. I needed to make a decision. Do I keep going and ignore the pooling of color that resulted from the waist shaping? Or do I rip it out and alternate two balls of yarn to prevent pooling? Here's a picture:

Sorry about the low lighting. When I used the flash it washed out the fabric and the pooling didn't stand out as much. Here's a closeup:

Yes, those are live stitches at the bottom. 184 to be exact. I decided this morning to rip back to where the waist shaping started and get rid of the pooling effect. I really love how this sweater is knitting up and I want to love the finished product. It's back on the needles with stitch markers in their proper places, waiting for me to continue on.

I went to Stitches West in February! I had a ton of fun and bought lots of beauties, which I'll post about soon.

Happy knitting!