Saturday, May 12, 2012

Oh Knitting, Why Have You Forsaken Me…?

I was looking through my finished objects on Ravelry the other day, and I discovered something quite surprising. I have only completed one finished object for the year. As I have been knitting all year, albeit not as much as usual, I am stunned that I don’t have more to show for my efforts. 

I can only blame what must be a serious bout of startitis. Counting my active works in progress on Ravelry, I apparently have one shawl, five pairs of socks, one kids’ jumper, one mini monster and one pair of fingerless mitts, all in various stages of completion. If I am going to meet my goal of knitting 5km worth of yarn for the year, I’m going to have to get a serious move on and actually finish something. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cables Are My Friend

I'd never really been a big fan of cables before - they always seemed too hard and complicated. I'd completed the odd pair of Fetchings here and there, but never really got what the fuss was all about. Then Camp Loopy happened, and my whole attitude towards cables changed.

For the uninitiated, Camp Loopy was the invention of Sheri from The Loopy Ewe, who came up with completing a project each month over the Northern Hemisphere summer period. At the end of it. those who'd stuck with it, all got a free skein of Wollmeise.

Willing to do almost anything for Wollmeise, I was all gung-ho, completing the first project without any hassles. Then the second project was announced and it was my nemesis - cables!

I was almost ready to throw in the towel, but the lure of the Wollmeise was too strong to resist, so I persevered, and in the end I loved it! Cables are now my friend. They're addictive, they're easier than they look, and now I can't wait to do more. I finished the socks I had to complete for the Camp Loopy project, and I loved doing the cables so much I wanted to cast on another pair straight away.

Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan Sock - Sweet Crush
Pattern: BFF Socks by Cookie A
Duration: Started 17th July 2011 - Completed 15th August 2011

By the way, I got the free skein of Wollmeise

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Stash Dash

It's been a busy last few months for me, knitting wise, thanks mainly to a concept The Knitgirllls came up with called the 5K Stash Dash. The concept is that you knit your you through 5K worth of yarn over the period of 3 months. As part of that, I've managed to complete a lot of finished objects, including the ones below.

First up, Wendy of Wendyknits fame had a KAL for her latest mystery shawl. This was great timing, as I had a relatives birthday coming up, and as she'd admired the last shawl I made, I thought it would be the perfect present.

This gift was greatly appreciated by it's recipient, who remarked that I must have a great deal of patience to knit something so detailed. If only she knew! All up, this shawl only took 3 weeks and the clues were broken up into manageable chunks, so it was easy to keep up with everyone else.

Yarn: The Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga - Sarah's Purple Soldier Fly
Pattern: Summer Mystery Shawlette by Wendy D. Johnson
Duration: Started 20th May 2011 - Completed 4th June 2011

Next up, I decided I desperately needed a new pair of socks, especially after all the gift knitting I had been doing for everyone else. I quite surprised with these, as I was expecting either a spiraling or striping pattern out of the yarn, as that's generally what Socks That Rock is known for. Imagine my amazement when these turned out to be variegated! All these years of hoping for a STR variegated, and I finally get one.

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Mediumweight - Blue Brick Wall
Pattern: Basic Sock Pattern
Duration: Started 24th May 2011 - Completed 26th June 2011

Last up, we have a cute and easy baby hat for my newest niece. I'd received a sample of yarn in one of the Ewe Beaut Sampler pack ages ago, and thought this would be the perfect project to show it off and use up the limited yardage. I'm very pleased with how it came up, and it's another project to be used against the stash dash.

Yarn: Ms. Gusset Sock - Ewe Beaut Xmas Sampler Colourway
Pattern : Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat by Keri McKiernan
Duration: Started 24th June 2011 - Completed 28th June 2011

I really enjoyed being part of the Stash Dash, and am sad that it's over. It really inspired me to to a lot more knitting over the last few of months, not to mention making a minuscule dent in my ever expanding stash.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Oops I Did It Again

I blame it all on Tina. I had just put away my latest batch of yarn purchases, and was thinking virtuous thoughts about not buying any sock yarn for a while, and Tina from Blue Moon Fiber Arts put up a blog post about some of the STR colourways going on vacation. There were a few that I thought would be nice for gift socks and socks for me, so I put in an order for a few (seven!) skeins, thinking I'd be good for sock yarn and wouldn't need to place another STR order until late in the year. Big mistake.

Just a couple of days after I placed my order, Tina put up another blog post about STR Rare Gems coming up for sale. Rare Gems are the creme de la creme of sock yarn. They are one of a kind colourways, that are almost impossible to get unless you happen to live in the U.S., and can get your fix in person. They have only come up for sale on the Blue Moon Fiber Arts website once before, and I managed to pick up some skeins then (see here), and I'd been hanging out to get more since Tina started hinting about it late last year. Hence my other order of another eight skeins of STR, and all those virtuous thoughts of cutting down on my yarn buying habit went flying out the window.

This is what arrived this week.

First we have my initial order of seven skeins, in colourways L-R: Mmm, Mmm, Good; L.L. Cool Sock; STORM large; Femmebot; Jubilation (x2); Deep Unrelenting Grey

Then we have my other order of eight skeins, L-R: Earth (1 x mediumweight), Fire (2 x mediumweight, 1x lightweight), Water (2 x mediumweight, 2 x lightweight).

That's fifteen skeins of sock yarn that arrived in one week. A years worth of yarn arrived in one day! I have no idea when I'll end up knitting it (some of it's earmarked for gifts, so at least some of it will be knit up this year), but on top of the usual sock club shipments (Cookie A & Vesper), that is a phenomenal amount of yarn that has come in the mail this week, and I have no idea where on earth I'm going to store it. I'm almost to the stage of putting it in the roof as insulation, except then I wouldn't be able to admire it's squishy yumminess. Somebody save me from myself and my yarn buying addiction quick, because unless my sock yarn starts to knit itself, I'm in serious trouble!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

An Addictive Combination

You have been warned.... I have just discovered the knitting equivalent of The Red Shoes - Socks That Rock and Signature needles. Once you start knitting with this combination, you can't put it down. This is how I completed one sock in three days, which is a brand new combination for me. The second sock in this pair took longer, only because I didn't touch my knitting at all for several days, as I knew I wouldn't be able to put it down once I started.

These socks were for mum's Mother's Day present this year. In fine tradition (and in accordance with my habit of deadline knitting) these were finished the night before they were due to be gifted. Mum loved them though, and put them on right away. My dad was actually disappointed that they weren't for him, as he'd been admiring the colours.

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Medium Weight - Pixie Park
Pattern: Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Duration: Started 22nd April 2011 - Completed 7th May 2011
Modifications: 56 stitches instead of 64 that the pattern calls for to give a nice snug fit, and a short row wrap & turn heel

I also found time to knit a little something for me. It's been very chilly here recently, with more nasty weather on the way, so I knit some nice grey fingerless gloves for me to wear to work.

Yarn: Lush Yarn Cashcotton - Haze (Yarn company now out of business)
Duration: Started 26th February 2011 - Completed 8th May 2011

Now that mum's socks and the fingerless gloves for me are done, I'm at a loss as to what to work on next. Should I finish up one of my many WIP's or cast on something new. You help me decide...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Gift Giving Galore

The last few months, I haven't had much knitting that I could show because it's been super secret swap and gift knitting. Now that the packages have been received though, I'm free to show off what I've been working on of late.

The first is for a swap organised through The Knitgirllls forum on Ravelry. I decided on a deceptively simple and elegant shawl for my swappee, out of a gorgeous silk/merino blend yarn. Although the pattern doesn't look complicated, the mesh pattern was actually harder than it looks, although it flows easily once you get the hang of it.

The shawl was much appreciated by its recipient, who loved the colour and yarn I picked out. I also enclosed some samples of Australian goodies, as my swappee lives in America.

Yarn: Knitabulous Fifty Fifty - Tokyo Rose
Pattern: Sarai by Vanessa Smith
Duration: Started 29th January 2011 - Completed 15th March 2011

The other item I've finished recently is a pair of socks that my mother asked me to knit for her manager's birthday. Always looking for opportunities to induct another person into the cult of hand knitted socks, I readily agreed and worked my fingers to the bone to make sure these were completed in time.

My mum's boss was absolutely blown away by the socks, as she wasn't expecting them at all. She had admired my mum's socks, but was told that only 'special' people got socks knitted for them. She actually spent the entire weekend after receiving them, showing them off to all her friends!

I wasn't too happy with some of the pooling on one of the socks, as I'm a little obsessive regarding socks matching, but other than that, I'm quite happy with how these socks turned out.

Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug - Raphael
Pattern: Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Duration: Started 13th March 2011 - Completed 31st March 2011

Now that I'm finished with all this gift knitting, I can actually work on something for me, before I start work on mum's Mothers Day socks. The weather's getting cooler, and I desperately need another pair of fingerless gloves. Nothing like a bit of cold weather to get the motivation going...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Last Of The Old, First Of The New

Things have been a little slow in my knitting world of late (it's difficult to find the energy to knit when doing house renovations), but I finally have some finished objects to show.

For my last finished object of 2010, I knitted Mum a pair of socks for Christmas. It is now something of a tradition that I give Mum a pair of hand knitted socks every year for a Christmas gift. Another part of the tradition is, that no matter how much I plan ahead, I always seem to be up late on Christmas eve, doing a mad dash to finish them while watching Carols by Candlelight.

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Medium Weight - Hollyday
Pattern: Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Duration: Started 20th November 2010 - Completed 24th December 2010
Modifications: 56 stitches instead of 64 that the pattern calls for to give a nice snug fit, and a short row wrap & turn heel

For my first finished object of the new year, I have finished another pair of socks to add to my sock drawer, which brings my collection of hand knitted socks up to 13. These are the Loopy Ewe Sock Club installment from September 2010, and despite the fact that brown is not a colour I normally choose to knit with, the skein looked so pretty that I had to cast them on immediately.

Yarn: Madelinetosh tosh sock - Loopy's Favourite Season
Pattern: Berries and Leaves by Ruth Greenwald
Duration: Started 2nd October - Completed 16th January
Modifications: Extra repeat in the legs to add length

Hopefully I should have some more finished objects to show soon. At the moment I'm have two different pairs of socks on the needles (one for the S62011 KAL, and one for Dad), and a shawl for The Knitgirllls swap, so as long as I don't get distracted with casting anything else on, I should be able to finish something. Fingers crossed...