Saturday, February 27, 2010

Froot Loop

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I finished the sweater with a day to spare. It's big and baggy but also soft and comfy. I'm not posting a picture of it. It's a big dark blue blob of knitting.

I created my own sock club a couple of months ago. I pulled patterns and yarn from my stash and made up four kits. This is the first one. The pattern's from Knitty and is called Froot Loop. The yarn is not the best for showing off the fun pattern, but I'm okay with that. It's Socks That Rock Lightweight from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. It's my all-time favorite yarn base. The colorway is Christmas Balls.

After over a quarter mile of dark blue stockinette, I had to have an antidote.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ravelympics - Day 15

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I have one more sleeve and more than two days to go. I had to take a break from the sweater, so I made pink things: the first clue of the knit along socks and a fleece parka.

Too sleepy to knit, not sleepy enough to sleep. Sigh.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ravelympics - Day 14

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
Only the sleeves need to be completed on the Imagine sweater. It's much darker blue in real life.

I got the yarn for a sock knitalong that starts next week. It came with the first clue, so I'm going to take a break from the sweater and knit 27 rounds of each of the socks. I'm a little stressed out and working with the sock (in sorority party pink) will cheer me up.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ravelympics - Day 13

Most of the sweater front is done. No jury duty, so I should be able to finish the sweater in the time I have left. I'm going to tempt fate and take care of a non-knitting project today before I pick the needles back up.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ravelympics - Day 12

The back of the sweater is done. The front of the sweater has begun. By this time tomorrow I'll know if I've got jury duty and if I'll be able to knit there if I do.

I might actually get this thing done and be able to wear it while I watch the Closing Ceremonies.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ravelympics - Day 11

I'm only a couple of inches away from starting the armhole decreases on the sweater back. This means the biggest block of boring knitting for the entire garment is nearly done. How boring is it? It's so boring that I'm not taking a picture of it and I'm excited about starting the armhole decreases.

I appear to have majorly overestimated the amount of yarn I needed to knit the sweater. I'm adding several inches to the body length, so I couldn't go by the yardage in the pattern. Oh well, at least it's better than having not enough yarn.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Good fibery stuff I found online

It has been a good couple of weeks for stuff coming in the mail:

  • Turtlepurl's yarns and notions is a shop I happened upon via Twitter. The proprietor was offering a one month Hope for Haiti yarn club, with a portion of the proceeds going to the relief effort. The offer is still available, and I'd recommend it. The sock yarn is Haiti-inspired, multicolored, and gorgeous. There are other goodies including stitch markers and Charteze. Charteze is a set of clever magnetic thingys that help you keep your place on a chart. If you don't do charts, they can also be used to keep your place if you're working on a pattern with row-by-row instructions. I like them very much. Shipping to the USA from Canada can sometimes be slow, but my package came much faster than I expected. Check out the club and the other things in her shop.
  • I needed wanted some cat print fabric for a little project. The are about a quadrillion online fabric shops and I was in no mood to go digging for just what I wanted. A little Googling brought me to the fabric shoppe at There were many choices and I ended up buying several I couldn't possibly live without. There's a half-yard minimum, with very reasonable prices and shipping. The fabric was shipped promptly. Cat fabric is probably not something everyone wants, but if you do want some, go here.
  • I had a lot of fun doing a mystery knit along from the Knitters Brewing Co.. When a repeat of a previous mystery knitalong was announced for next month, I decided I would do it. I also chose to buy their kit for the socks. My skein of Sorority Party Pink (there are several other colors available) arrived with the coordinating pink beads, the first part of the sock pattern, and a cute I (heart) 2 Knit cell phone leash. The yarn's a semisolid superwash wool/nylon blend in a generous 480 yard skein. Wendy's got all sorts of knitting goodies on her site and I'll definitely be going back there.
  • Last but not least is Kim deBroin Mailhot of the Queen of Arts Studio. She participated in the One World One Heart event and I was delighted to be one of the winners from her blog. I was lucky enough to get my favorite piece, a pink batik bird. Thanks, Kim!

Ravelympics - Day 10

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
Hat's done. I'm not happy with the intarsia portion, but it is an improvement over previous incarnations. I'm making a mental note to take an intarsia class in the future.

Moving on, it's back to the Imagine sweater. I have a week to do all but 7" of the back. It's almost all mind-numbing stockinette. If I finish it will depend a lot on whether I am called to jury duty this week. If I am and no knitting is allowed, it's doubtful.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ravelympics - Day 9

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
Yeah, I tried the moose reindeer intarsia again. It isn't as good as I'd like it to be. It is better than I think duplicate stitch would be, farther than I've gotten previously, and good enough for me to not frog it again.

Today's goals are finishing the hat and going outside and refilling the bird feeder.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ravelympics - Day 8

I've been reading a bunch of posts and looking at a bunch of pictures of the Team USA moose elk reindeer hats. I originally wanted to do as accurate a copy as possible. I've now decided that enough is enough and I'm just going to finish the darn thing.

The band at the bottom of the hat goes all the way around on the team hats. On the pattern I have, it's two pieces separated by plain knitting. I got the two piece version right the second time and I'm not frogging it again.

The next section is animals and trees in intarsia. I've frogged this at least twice because it came out badly. I'm knitting it plain white and will be doing the design in duplicate stitch. The originals have more/thicker trees. I'm adding two trees but not changing their size. Some people are knitting the mating moose chart instead of the animals from the original. I think that's funny, but I'm not going to do it. As for where the original says POLO? Mine will say PAULA.

The last two bands are stranded knitting. I got some good practice with the Iron Knitter socks, so I'm cautiously optimistic that they can be performed without incident. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ravelympics - Day 7

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
This is Hello Lucky Kitty and (year of the) Tiger. I got my first medal for finishing the little guy.

I noticed that there's a part of the downhill skiing course that's called Frog Bend. To do the moose Reindeer hat the way I want to, a portion has to be done as intarsia in the round. I keep crashing off course at Frog Bend. Today's goal is to keep careful track as I knit so I stay ON course. Also, I'm going to take the time to read the Ravelry postings of those who've gone before. Maybe that'll help, too.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ravelympics - Day 6

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
My Iron Knitter socks are done.

I think I'm going to do the two amigurumi patterns next.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ravelympics - Day 5

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
The Iron Knitter socks are not done yet, as you can see. I'm motivated to keep going by the hope of having something different to work on soon. It's the feet. Whenever I knit top down socks, I start getting really really really bored once the gusset's done. The band of pattern in the middle helps a little bit. Insomnia got me last night, so I'll probably fall asleep with the knitting in my hands. As long as I don't drop any stitches in the process, it's fine.

Monday, February 15, 2010

One World One Heart giveaway

The random number generator has spoken, and the giveaways go to:

Tammy in Connecticut
Carole in Ontario
Susan in New Jersey
Heather in Florida

Thank you to everyone who visited. I've visited most of your blogs and intend to finish the list once the Ravelympics are over (I'm a little tangled up in my knitting at the moment).

Ravelympics - Day 4

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
This is the Iron Knitter sock I worked on yesterday. It's called The Shop Around the Corner or something like that. Can you see the little buildings? I'm pleased with how much better my two-color work came out on this. The only required pattered portion of the sock is what you see here. There's a chart for continuing the bottom section of the pattern all over the foot. Unfortunately, I chose a contrasting yarn that I don't have enough of to do the whole foot in pattern.

I put this sock on holders and have started the second sock. I'll split whatever yarn remains and do the pattern on the top of each foot until it runs out.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ravelympics - Day 3

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I worked on the hat yesterday. I got most of the way through the mooses reindeer and then didn't like how they were coming out. I took a long, cold swim in the frog pond.

The next Iron Knitter sock pattern arrived and hokey smokes it is going to be a big honking challenge. I think I'm going to drop everything and work on it until it is done. It's serious stranded colorwork. It makes reindeer look as hard as several miles of plain stockinette (which is what I would be doing if I didn't have the hat and the socks to do).

I was taking a look at the white on blue pattern on the hat and see some major screwups. I may start this completely over. I don't want a Ravelympics medal as much as I would like this to be right.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ravelympics - Day 2

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
You know the thing about plans? They change.

The Iron Knitter sock pattern I'd planned on working on won't be released until later today. This meant that I cast on the Imagine sweater last night. While I was watching the opening ceremony, a couple of things happened to modify the master plan again. I knit about 7" of stockinette on the sweater back and got really bored (see picture). I knew this would happen, which is why quicker projects were worked into the plan. Then I saw the hats that Team USA was wearing and I became obsessed with finding a pattern so I could make one. You too? Go to Ravelry and look up Olympic Reindeer Hat. Somone reverse-engineered it and is offering the pattern for free.

Since I actually had the right weight and close-enough colors in my stash, I dropped the sweater and started in on the hat. The blue in the hat's really close to the blue in the sweater, so maybe that will help motivate me to work on it some more.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ravelympics - Day 1

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
Opening Ceremonies start in over 9 hours. I'll be casting on using the purple (Dream in Color Smooshy) and off-white (Knit Picks Bare in a wool/silk blend). I don't have the pattern yet. I'll get it by answering a bunch of trivia question which won't be posted for about 6 hours.

In the meantime, I'll be tidying the house, doing a final supply check, and maybe even a test swatch of the sock yarns. I'll prep the OWOH prizes for mailing, too. If I get really ambitious, I may work on a sewing project that's been sitting in the corner. What will more likely happen is that I'll make another cup of coffee and zone out to the live updates on Ravelry. Mmmmm, slideshow yarn pr0n.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ravelympics Preparations

  1. Sign up for teams (Big Damn Heroes and Copper Boom!). Check.
  2. Select projects (Iron Knitter sock #3, amigurumi tiger, amigurumi cat for the first team, Imagine sweater for the second). Check.
  3. Gather all necessary patterns and supplies and organize them into their own project bags. Put bags where I can find them. Check.
  4. Add all projects to Ravelry with all of the correct team and event tags. Update Ravatar. Check.
  5. Work ahead on paintbox quilt squares so I won't slip any farther behind. Check.

  6. Clean house. about 25% done
  7. Get groceries, especially food for kitties. later today, if I get some sleep.
  8. Do laundry. same as above.
  9. Remember to add the final OWOH giveaway when the comments go over 150. Check-ing.
  10. Remember to generate the winner numbers early Monday morning. Check.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Squares squared

This is week 4 of the Paint Box Quilt-along. It's still green. Note to self: just like the carpenters, measure twice, cut once.

I'm also doing a Granny Square a Day. In theory, it's a square a day for a year. In practice, not quite so many. I want this to be fun, so I'm not going to do a square on a day I don't want to do one. I don't need 365 squares, so skipping days is also practical. Right now I'm working my way through a pattern book of what they call crocheted medallions. I'm attempting to make all of the squares the same size. This involves extra time around using the pattern I'm working on if I'm feeling adventurous. If I'm not, it involves boring rounds of single or double crochet. My goal is to use good stuff exclusively (no Red Heart or its squeaky little friends). I've got tons of leftover worsted weight and some bits of my own handspun. I expect to have to buy yarn in a single color to put all the squares together, but I've got months to think about that.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Simply Knitting

About a year ago, I got a copy of Simply Knitting magazine as part of a swap. I really enjoyed it. According to the cover it's the UK's no. 1 knitting magazine. You can buy it at the big chain bookstores here in the USA, but it's a bit expensive that way. Santa gave me some money at Christmas so I decided to subscribe. My first subscription issue arrived last week.

There are lots of reasons why I find this magazine appealing. First of all, it comes with free gift with each issue. This is the knitter's equivalent of a surprise in a box of cereal (except nicer). I won't say what came with this issue. If the OWOH post goes over 150 comments, you can see there what it was.

There are lots of patterns, lots of different kinds of patterns, and patterns for a wide range of sizes. The March 2010 had adult, teen, and child sweaters, a hat and wristwarmer set, an Alan Dart cat pattern, and a whole section of quick and easy knits. An article compared various brands of double-pointed needles and another featured British yarns.

There are a few contests and giveaways that I think are only for people in the UK. For the most part, though, you can take advantage of the many things Simply Knitting has to offer. They've got a subscribers-only area on the Web where you can download free patterns. There are URLs to practically everything. In the off chance that you weren't able to track down something that you found in the magazine, there are all sorts of shops that advertise and I'm sure at least one could help.

I'm going to sit down and finish reading through this issue in a minute. I think I'll have to see if I can find a US source for some adorable Australian dolls they mentioned in this issue.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Paintbox Quilt - Week 3

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I just barely got these done this week. The sewing machine and I have come to an agreement about what 1/4" actually is, and most of this week's block were the correct size. I was relieved to read the Flickr postings associated with this quilt-along. It looks like I'm not alone in not getting my blocks to be the correct size.

I'll probably do next week's tomorrow. I might do two weeks tomorrow, since I'll be knitting my brains out for Ravelympics when the end of the week comes. That'll be a good thing because all of the next set of blocks are green and I'm getting tired of it. Woo hoo, I'll be able to start some blue!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Disappearing act

The second Iron Knitter sock pattern will be released tomorrow afternoon. I expect to be offline for a while once it is in my sticky little paws.

In the meantime, I've made another giftie for the giveaway, should the comments go past 100. It's cute and I won't be unhappy if I have to keep it. I could make another one if it does, so it's all good. If you watch my Flickr picture, you just might be able to figure out what it is. Hootie hoo!