Monday, July 31, 2006
I have been in denial.

Denial that I will actually complete all of the projects I have (while already adding more to the list to be started!). So it is time to start paring down the projects, and I've joined the UFO August knitblog to make it official.

I have decided to start with my knitting projects for a couple of reasons. It is still a "new" thing for me, therefore much of this is out in front of me when I am home. My embroiderers guild does not start back up until September. AND, the list of knitting projects is MUCH smaller than the list of needlework projects.

I have been keeping a journal of sorts of my knitting projects, so I do know how many I have. In preparation for the UFO August group, I spent about a half hour going over it and deleting the projects that just don't appeal to me - the benefit of knitting projects mostly for me rather than others I guess! So here's what's left:

1. "Sweet Thing" Shawl. Don't know the real name of this pattern. Its just a simple shawl that a friend made for her son's new girlfriend (aka "Sweet Thing"). I liked it so much, I had to make one. I think I am about a third complete on this.

2. Lotus Blossom Tank. On the second repeat of the lace motif.

3. Mystery Stole 2

4. Airy Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. This is the project that lives in my office. I work on it when I don't remember to bring a project with me and I miraculously have time to knit at lunch.

5. Modified Sophie Bag. Done except the i-cord straps, planned to be the mindless project for my road trip in a few weeks. Hoping when I teach my mom how to do i-cord, she will work up one of the straps!

6. Traveling Vines Scarf (from About a third of the way on this one.

7. Cindy Sweater (Berocco). Miles of garter stitch to go. Miles.

8. Socks. Heading for the toe of the first one.

9. Dagmar. Which isn't knitting, but a hairpin lace project from Berocco. About halfway through.

10. Is not started yet, but will be. A lap blanket for my grandmother.

So that's my current project list! I've got several more that are being contemplated for "the winder" so I'll add them back if they receive a reprieve this week!

I made some progress on my lotus blossom tank. Was ready to strangle myself with a Denise cord because the cotton fleece was just not working with the denise set. I changed to an Addi turbo and it is moving along much quicker. But I do need my KnitPicks options needles to come in because the addi cable is really short for this.

This is really my first article of clothing. I had started a berocco sweater that is knitted in pieces, but that's been put aside due to boredom with garter stitch! Knitting clothing is definately becoming encouragement for me to lose weight!

In other knitting news, I've finally cast on for the mystery stole! My provisional cast on went so smoothly, it should have been a warning bell. After about 6 rows, I realized that my waste yarn had worked its way out of about 6 stitches. I held my breath and managed to work my addi through the dropped stitches and the remaining stitches on the waste yarn. I counldn't find my pins, but here's a small segment of it. Yep, that's a KnitPicks circular in there and it is working very well.

On the spinning front, I have picked back up my drop spindles. I learned to spin on a CD spindle last fall and have been attempting to spin ever since. I ended up buying spindles from Simple Market Farms - the Sleeping Beauty and Briar Rose models. My good friend Peggy gave me this Lincoln/Finn roving from Fred, a sheep from Star Gazing Farms. It spun up pretty quickly on briar rose, the yarn is very fine with a few slubs here and there. Just wish I knew what to do now that I have spun this!

Knit Nite is tomorrow night so I hope to learn from our local spinning expert on how to do this. Wish me luck!!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006
I spent yesterday afternoon at knitting and this is what I have to show for it:

Yes, that is the first 11 rows of the Lotus Blossom Tank in Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. I am so excited!!!! I started it on an Addi, but switched to a Denise needle so I could try it on later. But this is really dragging on the denise cable, so I am still thinking about getting the KnitPicks Option set.

Friday, July 21, 2006
Too many deadlines, not enough knitting
Work has been busy. So I haven't had the eyes (or the hands) to do much in the way of knitting. Or stitching for that matter.

So I yet again delay the start of the Mystery Stole 2.

And the Lotus Blossom Tank.

So I'm feeling pretty blah about having no craft content this week! To remedy that, I'm going to kick back tonight and work on my Sweet Thing Shawl. Or just act like this:

(substitute the tree for my couch of course)

I'll deal with the Stole on Sunday....


Wednesday, July 12, 2006
The Good and the Bad
Good stuff first. Here's my unblocked swatch for the mystery stole. I made a few mistakes but love the color. It is Knitpicks Shadow in the Jewels colorway...100% merino in blues and purples. I love the feel of this yarn.


I'm a little concerned about the fact I still made errors in this swatch. So, I am going to have to work on this only when my eyes are fresh. Which will likely mean weekends.

And now for the bad. Behold, my Icarus shawl.


It isn't a pretty site is it? After two starts and two major issues, I think I need to stick a pin in this project for now.

Friday, July 07, 2006
Guess what the mailman brought me!

Yep, that would be the new Knit Picks needles, specifically the #3 circular and a #8 of the Options with two cable needles.

I'm on lunch break so I can't play with this, but here's my quick look at the tip of the #8 against my #8 Addi:


Knit Picks is on the left. Much sharper, which can be useful in some situations. Another note was the Knit Picks cable becomes almost straight when you take it out of the package, which is WONDERFUL!!

The first clue for Mystery Stole #2 has been released so I am printing that out as I type because I just can't wait any longer to see it. Then I am off to work!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Summer Dreaming
It's really hard to do the practical things, like paying bills, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, when you find these marvelous things are published and online now:

Summer issue of Spindlicity

Summer issue of Knitty

and Sizzle from Knit and Tonic Wendy


Yeah, yeah, I'm still trying to decide a yarn for the Lotus Blossom Tank, I'm not making much progress on Icarus, and the Mystery Stole 2 starts on Friday. So, what's yer point?

And let's not talk about the other projects I've got going, 'K? Leave me basking on the banks of D'Nile with my knitting, cross stitch and the hunky cabana boy that brings me drinks and can give a great massage.

Yes, I have truly got a case of Knitters ADD, actually it is the more inclusive Crafters ADD. But I'm finding as my knitting progresses, my tastes are really starting to change. I have been trying to reassess my projects in progress more frequently, prepared to give some a time out and retire those that just don't excite me.

OK, back to my dream....another cosmo and a shoulder rub Marco!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Swatching up
Well I swatched up the Oasis last night and I think my concerns may be valid. Here's the swatch I finished last night:


I made an error somewhere along the way, but I am just not thrilled with how the pattern looks. It seems very thin as well. So this morning, I swatched up in Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece:


The cotton fleece has the same ballband gauge as the Oasis, but it swatched up a little larger and a little firmer. I am leaning towards the cotton fleece, since this will be around my middle and the cotton fleece might drape a little better (and I think the oasis may cling a little more than I want!).

Monday, July 03, 2006
Stash and a finish
Here is the Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn that I got on Saturday. It is the colorway called Water. It is a wonderful combination of purples, greens, blues, and pinks (not looking too correct on my screen, but trust me it is beautiful). I also purchased the Cherry Tree Hill "Flamewalker Socks" pattern, which was created by a good friend of mine. She was kind of enough to sign my pattern for me. :)

I also finished a Kitty Pi, using a variation of Wendy's pattern. I used Lambs Pride Bulky in Khaki. I think I have made this a little small, but we will see how it felts.

Tonight I am going to swatch for the Lotus Blossom tank from Interweave Knits. I got SWTC Oasis in purplexed, but am now having some concerns that the varigated yarn may not look that great. Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 02, 2006
Birthday Goodness
No pictures because, well, I'm too lazy to load them right now.

Yesterday was my birthday! The week was rather stressful as I went through my traditional "it's almost my birthday" angst, which evolves into "it's my birthday!" joy. Probably didn't help that it was work evaluation time as well and I had to do a "self-evaluation" form prior to meeting with my boss. So things were a little strange around Casa Shell. Had two lovely dinners to celebrate - one with friends and one with family and tonight we celebrated my grandmother's 91st birthday! I am truly blessed.

As part of my birthday celebration, I went to the yarn shop yesterday armed with cupcakes to share. Everyone was sweet and sang "happy birthday" to me. Some new sock yarn came in so I snatched it up, thinking I would do the Icarus Shawl in it. I'm rethinking that now, and picked back up the laceweight that I had originally screwed up in. The sock yarn seems to want to be clapotis, so it is going to have to get in line. Hopefully some progress pics tomorrow.

There are just not enough words to express how thrilled I am that I have two more days off. I need to do some house reorganizing, particularly in my bedroom closet and in my craft room. Both are in sad shape. Not sure how much I am going to get done, but I am going to give it a try!