Friday, February 18, 2011

2010 FOs

Even though the blogging wasn't happening in 2010, the knitting was still going strong.

First there were the Evangeline Mitts in January posted here.

There were no gold medals here during the Knitting Olympics. I didn't finish my Vilai socks by the closing ceremonies, but I did finish!

Project: Viali Socks (Rav link) by Cookie A. (Sock Innovations)
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Tiziano Red
Needles: US size 1
Started: February 12, 2010
Finished: June 20, 2010

I love Cookie A.'s designs. The patterns are interesting and fun to knit, and the socks are beautiful.

I might not have earned a gold medal during the knitting olympics, but there was gold medal-worthy knitting going on.

I made this lace wrap for my dear friend Brooke as a gift for her bat mitzvah. I impressed myself with this one. It's beautiful. And I finished it in three weeks! It totally could have been my olympic project had I started it during the time of the olympics.

Brooke loved it. And it's beautiful on her, even in her track clothes.

Project: Large Rectangle with Center Diamond Pattern (Rav link) by Jane Sowerby (Victorian Lace Today)
Yarn: Wagtail yarns 100% Fine Kid Mohair 2ply
Needles: US size 6 & 7
Started: April 10, 2010
Finished: April 30, 2010
Gifted: May 1, 2010

That's a gold medal in my book.

Over the summer I made yet another Tulip Cardigan as a gift for our friends' baby. This is my fourth Tulip. It's become my "go to" baby gift. I just love all the colors, which makes it pretty and versatile. It will go with so many things.

Project : Tulips Baby Cardigan (Rav link)
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy in various colors (I love this yarn!)
Needles: US size 7 & 9
Started: July 2010
Finished: August 2010

I also finished my Ingenue Sweater (Rav link) by Wendy Bernard which I posted about here. It was in hibernation for a very long time before I dug it out and finished it. Now it's finished, but I haven't taken a photo of it yet. It was a little smaller than I like my sweaters to be, but I'm in the process of losing weight and it looks better than it did, so I think I'll be able to take some photos in the near future.

At the end of the year, I had a very special gift to knit up. I chose to make the Dryad Scarf by Jared Flood.

Project: Dryad (Rav link) by Jared Flood
Yarn: Madelinetosh Vintage in Dahlia
Needles: I can't remember - I think US size 7
Started: November 13, 2010
Finished: December 6, 2010

Let me just say that I loved knitting this pattern. I plan to make one for myself sometime this year. The cables kept it interesting enough that it never became boring to knit, which can sometimes happen with scarves. I highly recommend this one!

There was a lot of other knitting that happened in 2010 (and yarn acquisition!), but no FOs yet. Being a process knitter, I'm not overly motivated to finish projects, but I do eventually.

And last but not least, my favorite FO for 2010 is not a knitting related project. Are you ready?

Drumroll please...

We adopted a son! I'd like to introduce you to Jordan Matthew.

Project: To become parents
Methods used: The old-fashioned way, lots and lots of fertility treatments, and finally adoption
Started: January 2006
Succeeded: December 17, 2010!

It has been a loooong journey. We couldn't be happier. We're over the moon in love with our little guy. Every moment leading up to Jordan was wboorth it. Every shot, every disappointment at not becoming pregnant, every year that went by with no success....all worth it. The Dryad Scarf that I knit above was for Jordan's birth mom. She chose us to be parents to her child when her circumstances prevented her from doing so. A handknit scarf doesn't compare to the wonderful gift she has given us, but at least it was made from the heart. We will be forever grateful to her for our son.

2011 is going to be a very good year!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Knitting Olympics 2010!

Pattern - check
Yarn - check
Needles - check

Only 27 minutes before the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. I'm making Vilai Socks by Cookie A (rav link). In seventeen days no less. I'm nervous because (1) I've only made one pair of socks before and they took me six months. Of course I was knitting other things at the same time, but still. (2) I really need to have most of it done before the 24th rather than the 28th, because I'm leaving for Stitches West that day and I don't get a lot of knitting done at Stitches, even though you would think the opposite would be true. Wish me luck!

Let the games begin...

Monday, February 08, 2010

A Whole Lot of Knittin' Going On

I have been knitting quite a bit, despite my absence from Blogland. My most recent projects have been gift related.

I finished a second Easy Wrap for my dear friend Deani. Deani is my mom's beat friend. They go back to the days when they were nineteen and newlyweds.

Project: Easy Wrap
Yarn: Malabrigo in Azul Profundo
Needles: KnitPicks Options circulars, US size 10
Started: November 10, 2009
Finished: December 27, 2009
Mods: None

I made a pair of Evangeline Mitts for my friend Teresa's birthday. I plan to make another pair for myself. These knit up very quick! I could have finished them in a couple of days if I had being knitting without interruption.

Project: Evangeline
Yarn: Malabrigo in Azul Profundo
Needles: US size 7 dpns
Started: January 12, 2010
Finished: January 20, 2010
Mods: None

I'm currently working on a pair of arm warmers for Jeff to wear when he runs in the morning. No picture yet. I should finish them this weekend, so I'll try to get him to model them.

I also started a little pullover for my nephew Adam. He'll be three in May. I realized that I've made his older brother Anthony, three sweaters. Adam - 0. Adam does get to wear Anthony's after he outgrows them, but it's not the same as having something made specifically with you in mind. So I'm going to fix that and show Adam some knitterly love.

Here's how it looks so far:

This is a pattern in the Sublime book featuring their Bamboo Pearls yarn. I couldn't find a link to the pattern. It's a pullover with a little collar. I'm using Rowan Calmer in a denim blue. It's going to look gorgeous on Adam.

The sweater is currently in timeout. Can you see the mistake? Up by the needles? The three cables on the left compared to the two on the right? It's hard to see, but apparently I forgot what row I was on only for the last three cables, but not on the first two. Go figure. So a little surgery is required before I move forward. sigh

Looking at these three projects, I seem to be in a 'blue' mood lately.

On another note, I'm lucky to be alive. Or, at least not injured.

This is what happens when you get hit by a huge sheet of flying particle board while driving on the freeway. It could have been so much worse. I'm lucky it didn't cause an accident. A new windshield and a few hours later, it was as though it never happened. For the car anyway. I was shaken up for the rest of the day and had a margarita at lunch for medicinal purposes.

Coming up:
Finishing two old UFOs before Stitches West (only 17 days away!)
My self-proclaimed Year of Socks
The Ravelympics! (only 4 days away!)

Happy knitting!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Catchin' Up

Once again, I find myself dusting off the blog after a long unintentional hiatus. As you can tell, my plan to blog everyday from August 20th through the end of September lasted a mere ten days. Oh well. I enjoyed it while it lasted and I found myself coming up with lots of ideas to blog about. And, I have been missing my confessions here.

A lot of knitting has been going on. My knitting group is doing a GKAL (group knit-along) for the end of the year. We're calling in our mmmmmmMalabrigo Madness GKAL. What that means is we can knit whatever we want using yummy Malabrigo yarn. Sign me up! As always, I had BIG plans. I was going to make two Easy Wraps (Rav link), a pair of Evangeline Mitts (Rav link), a Clapotis (Rav link) and two Grinch-like Christmas Stockings (Rav link). Stop laughing. So far I've finished one Easy Wrap and I'm three quarters of the way done on the second. Our GKAL ends Dec. 31st, so I won't cast on all of the above projects, but I will get to them eventually. I'll be able to cast on one more before Dec. ends. Either the Evangeline Mitts or the Clapotis.

Project: Easy Wrap
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted, Chestnut
Needles: KnitPicks Options, US size 8
Start: October 4, 2009
Finish: November 10, 2009
Mods: I used size 8 needles instead of 10 1/2. For some reason when I swatched with even size 9's, the fabric seemed too loose to me. Using the smaller needles I cast on 107 stitches instead of 85. I also had to buy a 5th skein of yarn because I wanted it to be the same length as the store sample I had seen at Twist (my new favorite LYS).

Easy Wrap #2

This time I'm using size 10 needles. When I swatched for this one, the fabric didn't seem all that loose. Weird I know. It must be a mood thing. Anyway. I'm loving this color - Azul Profundo. Just gorgeous! And wait until you see the rockin' button I found for it.

We took a mini vacay last weekend in Santa Barbara. I always want to move there when I visit. I went to school there and it's a very nice way of life. Someday maybe. The real reason for the trip was that Jeff ran in the marathon.

He did awesome! 3:29 and some seconds! He shaved over six minutes off his PR. Amazing.

I'll leave you with this parting shot:

Until next time....

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A Day in the Life

Oops! I completely forgot to post yesterday. I almost didn't make it today either, but I would have had a better reason.

My day started out fine. I had an appt. in LA, so I took the opportunity to visit my good friend Traci. We went to Santa Monica to run an errand, so I suggested that we stop at Wild Fiber. When you're that close to a yarn store, you just have to go in. I taught Traci how to knit when she was first pregnant fifteen years ago. She knitted for several years when her kids were little, but then stopped completely. I guess motherhood took over.

We roamed the store admiring and petting the yarn. We were just about to leave when my friend spotted a sample scarf that she really liked. I told her she could easily make that. Ha! She walked out with the yarn and pattern. Hook, line and sinker! Maybe it will stick this time. Just doing my part to spread the joy of knitting.

After we enjoyed a nice lunch, I headed home. Before I got there, I learned my 2 year old nephew was in the hospital, so I headed straight over. Turns out, he has a bad case of the croup. They're keeping him overnight for observation. I hope he is well enough to come home tomorrow. He looks so sad. I'm going back tomorrow. Even though I can't do anything to make him better, I can at least give my sister some moral support.

Get better soon Adam!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Farmers' Market

One of my favorite things to do on Sunday morning is go to the farmers' market. Claremont's is a small one, only spanning the length of one block, but there's a good variety of fruits and vegetables.

There are even a few artists that sell their work. Jewelry, pottery, photography, handmade soap, etc.

I especially love these little ceramic jars. They're so delicate and beautifully made. The little figurines on the lids add a touch of whimsy. I always admire them and yet I don't own one. Someday. Part of the problem is choosing which one I want to bring home with me. I just can't choose only one.

This is how I spent my morning. I'm glad I went early. We've been having very hot weather. Yesterday it was 104.

The market always inspires me to buy vegetables I usually don't buy and to try to use the ones I do in new ways. Today I bought figs. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them yet. I bought stuff for salads too, but the figs were the unique ingredient of the day.

After the market, I went to a local cafe for coffee and a pain au chocolate.

The recipe for a perfect Sunday morning.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Interview with Jeff

I had seen this interview a long time ago on a couple of blogs I read. I always wanted to do it and now I'm finally getting around to it.

Me: What is your favorite thing about my knitting?
Jeff: That it gives you a creative, constructive hobby.

Me: What is your least favorite thing about my knitting?
Jeff: That it distracts from other things you could be doing.

Me: What is something I have knitted that you recall as being good?
Jeff: My gray sweater.

Me: Do you think knitters have an expensive hobby?
Jeff: No. An expensive hobby would be like collecting cars, racing motorcycles or golf. I think men have more expensive hobbies. Knitting isn't a cheap hobby, but it's not expensive. It's average.

Me: Do you have any hobbies?
Jeff: Yes

Me: What are your hobbies?
Jeff: Running and watching NFL Football on TV.

Me: If we compared money spent on hobbies, who would win?
Jeff: What does winning mean? Spending less money or spending more?
Me: Who spends more?
Jeff: I think mine are more expensive.

(Let me explain, because you're probably wondering how just how expensive running and watching football can be, right? Jeff is a serious runner. He runs 2-3 marathons a year. He buys new shoes every two months and we travel to other cities for marathons, so he's figuring in these costs.

As for football, we have NFL Sunday Ticket which is a service Direct TV offers which gives you access to every football game being played each week. He's also in three fantasy football leagues and traveled twice this year for two of the drafts.

I think we're probably even when you factor in my expenses at Stitches. But I'm glad he doesn't think so. wink)

Me: Has my knitting in public ever embarrassed you?
Jeff: No

Me: Do you know my favorite kind of yarn?
Jeff: No. I know that you don't like synthetics, but I don't know what your favorite type of yarn is. I don't even know if you have one. I thought it depended on what you were going make with it.

Me: Can you name another blog?
Jeff: Brooklyn Tweed. And then there's also the Yarn Harlot.

Me: Do you mind that I want to check out yarn stores everywhere we go?
Jeff: No.

Me: Do you understand the importance of a swatch?
Jeff: No.

Me: Do you read my blog?
Jeff: Yes

Me: Have you ever left a comment?
Jeff: Yes

Me: Do you think the house would be cleaner if I didn’t knit?
Jeff: Yes

Me: Is there anything you would like to add in closing?
Jeff: I'm happy that you have a hobby that you enjoy. I'm glad that you're into your thing and it makes you happy.

Jeff: What is the importance of a swatch? Is that what you knit first when you start a FO?

And with that, I'm off to explain the importance of swatching and what a FO is.....