aswim in knits

Monday, October 30, 2006

purple alpaca scarf; yarn to give away

I finished the Friday Harbor socks -- I'll post a photo once they are blocked.

I also finished -- finally!!! -- the purple alpaca scarf that I started a long time ago. I bought the yarn at WEBS about two years ago, and started the scarf about a year ago, only to abandon it shortly thereafter. Here is a good view of the lace pattern ...

And one that shows the color nicely...

This will be a gift to a college student I know. Nice and warm for walks across campus in the winter!

There was also some yarn acquisition this weekend. I will save that for another post. But, in finding a spot for it in my yarn storage bins, I decided to make some room by cleaning out some yarn that I most likely will not use.
This is 6 skeins of Bernat Cotton Tots. There are three skeins of a variegated pink, one skein of solid pink, and one skein of solid white. There is also a second skein of white, which is partially used, although I never cut the abandoned project from the skein or frogged it.

If you want this, just send me an email to aswiminknits AT yahoo DOT com. The yarn is free, but I will ask that the recipient sends me $5 for shipping. (It's getting expensive to keep mailing things out!)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Koigu cashmere

I think the post title says it all.

Koigu cashmere. Yum.

(Dear Santa, please bring me a sweater's worth of C462. I promise to be a very good girl. Love, Danielle)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

trying to stay above water ...

Wow. It's busy.

The home buying continues ... (this week's chapter: "A Brief Tutorial in Asbestos Testing and Remediation").

The coaching continues. Apparently, many teenagers have not yet learned the meaning of the word commitment or the difference between required and optional. Nor are they very familar with compromise or communicate. Remedial lessons continue.

Knitting. It keeps me sane. Below are the "Bed Socks for Boss Lady". (Summary: Last spring, my boss requested a pair of bed socks for a Christmas gift.) I decided to knit something not totally boring, based on the good advice of many of you. These are the Friday Harbor socks from Knitting on the Road, in a light blue Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. Yummy. I took this photo a couple of days ago. One is now about halfway down the foot. One is up to the toe shaping. I should finish these this week!
Another FO too, but no photo... soon, I hope :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

some hats, some socks, and some mitts, all completed!

First of all, thank you all for your kind words of congratulations about what will (hopefully) soon be our new house! We still need to do a home inspection tomorrow, and then all of the paperwork and legal stuff that comes next. We don't want to count on anything until it happens, but we are optimistic that things will go smoothly. If so, we will close in mid-December.

Although I was very stressed before posting that entry, I felt much calmer after putting it all out there. We haven't been talking too much about the house hunt/house buying process. It's kind of like having a new baby -- fascinating and all-consuming for the parents/home-buyers, but not nearly that interesting to everyone else. Because I hadn't been talking about it, I was getting freaky about it. Getting it out there really helped. And thanks again for all your great comments!

So, back to the knitting. Apparently, stress leads to the need for de-stressing. In my case, that's knitting and crafting. Which leads to a lot of FO's.

I finished the Baudelaire socks that will be my MIL's Christmas gift. It's only October. How responsible of me!
Note to anyone using dark red Koigu -- this is what the water looked like when I washed them the first time:
By the fourth wash, it looked like this, so I put finally them out to dry:
Here's a closer view of the pattern and the toe-up heel flap:
Yarn: Koigu, some dark red color
Needles: Size 1 Clover DPNs
Gauge: 8 sts/in
Pattern: Baudelaire
Pattern mods: subbed short row toe (from Wendy's pattern)

Next up, a hat. This was going to be a gift for a teenage girl (a former swimmer, now a freshman in college, and like a little sister to me!), but it turned out too big after blocking. Instead, it will be off to Afghanistan or Mongolia.

Yarn: Big Kureyon
Needles: Size 9 Addi Turbo, magic looped
Gauge: 4 sts/in before blocking, something less than that after blocking
Pattern: based on the numbers in Ann Budd's Handy Pattern Book (or whatever it's really called -- I call it "the green Ann Budd book")

So, since that hat did not work out for the intended recipient, I resurrected a WIP from this time last year ... the purple alpaca scarf. I decided to finish the scarf and make a quick hat to go with it, and give that to my former swimmer instead. I finished the hat, but the scarf is still going. On 10 1/2 needles, I should just buckle down and finish it. But, I didn't.
Instead, I finished my Denise Schmidt oven mitts. I made some pieces of blue patchwork, and used them for the top of the mitts, with plain navy blue palms. All the better to hide the food stains!
They probably should have a hanging loop on each, but I didn't do that yet. I love how they look, but the DS pattern gives you a pretty small mitt, ok for me but too small for Thom. I'll probably make more mitts at some point, but make them bigger.


So, where does that leave me on my list of 5?
  • Still need to work on the Cabled Seaman's scarf for FIL's Christmas gift. It will match the mittens I made him last year, and a hat that I made the year before.
  • Still need to get cranking on the poncho for grandma
  • But I'm really working on a NEW WIP!!!
Now, before anyone notes that the list of 5 only has 3 items, one of which was NOT a WIP that needed finishing, let me point out a few things:
  1. I think I've finished most of my languishing WIPs. I have a bunch of other items that I have materials for, but haven't started yet. I'd like to finish the actual "works in progress" before I start the "things I bought supplies for but didn't actually start yet".
  2. WIP #3 (which will be discussed in a post of its own, soon) is a Christmas gift. So, it's actually responsible of me to have started it now.
  3. The three items on the list above are all gifts.
So, once I am done all these gifts, here are some contenders for a spot on the crafty list of 5 ...
  • A Must Have Cardi for my mom. She bought the yarn 2 years ago. I should work on it :)
  • more socks for me
  • a possible Christmas gift (sewn) for my parents
  • some beverage coasters and/or hot pads (you know, put hot pans on these on the table) and/or placemats to match the DS oven mitts...
  • A crafty gift for MIL's birthday, which is December 29.
  • Fingerless mittens for me, using Olympic doorprize yarn
  • A crafty gift for Grandma for Christmas. Probably beaded jewelry.
So much to do, so little time!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

new storage unit for yarn and fabric supplies

Starting in 2007, my yarn, fabric, and other crafty supplies will be stored ... IN HERE!

After some deliberation, Thom and I put an offer on this house. Sunday morning, after several rounds of negotiation, our offer was accepted.

I'm so excited! At the same time, I am terrified. This is one of the biggest decisions we will ever make. We've thought long and hard about buying a house. We've been saving for years. We took a first-time homebuyer course four years ago, just to get ready. We looked at pretty much every house in our price range in our desired area. We've run the numbers. Several times. We have a fabulous financial planner, realtor, and mortgage broker who all agree that we are ready to buy a house, and that we can afford this house.

It's a lovely house, warm and inviting. My dad (who built his house, and has worked on many more) agrees that the house is solidly built. The elderly couple who live there now have kept the house in impeccable condition. It even has finished basement space that we will use for an office and a craft room.

Did you hear that? A craft room!! Not just a table in the corner of a bedroom, or a repurposing of the dining table, but a place where I can really work. Yippee!

So, while I am still a bit jittery, I am also very, very excited!!

Tomorrow (or later today): Some more FO's and a new WIP. I got my sock mojo back ...

Friday, October 13, 2006

list of 5 updates

The list of 5 continues.
  • Baudelaire socks for MIL's christmas gift -- done but for 16 rows. May finish tonight.
  • Cabled Seaman's scarf for FIL's Christmas gift. It will match the mittens I made him last year, and a hat that I made the year before.
  • a poncho for grandma
  • Denyse Schmidt potholders

That's only 4. Can I add one more? No, I should finish something else first...

Goal: finish the Baudelaires tonight. Then, maybe back to a looooong ago WIP that I found a new use for.

No socks yet. Although I'm thinking about it. A lot. Koigu, Fleece Artist, Claudia's Handpaint, and Artyarns Ultramerino are top contenders... but those are all for me.

Gotta work on the Grandma poncho and FIL Xmas present first. And an Xmas gift for the Boss Lady... Oy.


Eh. That's how I'm feeling.

I knit some socks. The yarn is nice -- Sweet Georgia Handdyed. But the socks are just eh. Boring. Stockinette. Maybe should have been knit tighter.

And I had problems with holes at the corner of my short-row heels, and weird laddering at the place where my Magic Loop changes from one side to the other. Not ladders between stitches, but one stitch is looser than the others and has a ladder right between the two sides of the "V" of the stitch. WTF?

Project Specs:
Yarn: Sweet Georgia, superwash sock, color "Fondant"
Needle: size 1 Addi Turbos
Gauge: 8 sts/in
Pattern: Toe up, short row toes and heels 60 st circumference

I'm working on some other socks (Baudelaires). They're boring me too. Photos maybe tomorrow, as I only have 16 rounds left, and 4 ends to weave in...

I want to make some Koigu socks for me (from stash). But, I'm afraid they will suck. I need my sock mojo back!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Marimekko in the USA

Apparently, I live and work not so very far from the first Marimekko concept store in the US. Must visit.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

afghans for Afghans contribution

Afghans for Afghans is trying to collect 900 wool vests and sweaters for school kids between now and mid-October. Full details are here.

This is my contribution -- a vest for a 10-year-old. Those are the needles I used, shown for scale. They're size 11's!

And, my friends, that's why you've never seen this project before. Size 11 needles = weekend project! Except that I screwed up the neckband, and the vest sat in time-out for several days. Otherwise it would have been a quick 2-day project. Even so, it only took about a week.

Project specs:
Pattern: vest pattern from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns, sized for 10-year-old
Yarn: double stranded wooliness. The 4 colors of the main body -- not sure what brand -- came from the MDK Hefty Bag. The black came from Chris in a jar-swap. I used 2 strands of different colors, changing one color at a time.
Needles: Size 11 Susan Bates. (LYS was out of Addi's in that size!)
Gauge: 3 sts/in

If anyone is interested in a quick project for charity, I highly recommend making a kids' vest. Quick, minimal finishing, and satisfying!

news of note ... and not

Cotton Ease is coming back!!

The Mafia knits her short row toes with 10 stitches. Just sayin'.


Life goes on, as busy as it was last week. I have a little time to catch up today, so here's what's on the list of things to update:
  • fabulous swap exchanges, and other crafty gifts
  • charity knitting
  • new WIP's
  • progress on old WIP's
  • new office
  • search for a house
I definitely won't get through all of these today. So, let's start at the top ...

Swap-a-roonie and gift-a-palooza:

Remember these colorful jars? They have been sent off to live in new homes. In exchange, I got lots of good stuff.

Katie sent me some great fabric pieces, and three patterns too! I can't wait to use some of these -- especially the pink ones -- in some gifts I have planned. The bag patterns are perfect -- simple enough to add my own embellishments, if I want. And, a fun summer tank pattern ... with plenty of time left to make one for next year :)

Jennifer sent me some sock yarn. And, when I say "some sock yarn", I mean "lots of fabulous sock yarn that I cannot resist"... Sweet Georgia handdyed on top. Lorna's Laces in the middle. Claudia Hand Painted on the bottom. Drool. Some may be on its way to being a new WIP.

Chris sent me some black wool yarn, per my request. Bad blogger, I did not take any photos! But, I've used it in a project already. Photos soon...

Susan was one of the winners of my MDK giveaway. She got the ugly yarn! And yet, despite the retina-searing neon "yarn" that I sent to her, she still thought kindly enough of me to send me some vintage fabrics that she picked up in a farm sale in Oklahoma. How fabulous! The pink and orange one in the middle is in the EXACT colors that I was thinking of using to make a Hop, Skip, Jump quilt for my niece.

Autum sent me a collection of scraps from her bag-making and other sewing projects. She had a photo of her puppy sleeping in a basket of scraps, and when I left her a comment, she offered to send me "some pieces". Well, this was a whole box of scraps, some of which are huge, and enought to make a project on their own!! She also sent a cute handmade "quilted" patchwork card, and some ribbons and flower trim. These are definitely going to get used in some projects that I've been thinking about....

Thank you to all my generous bloggy buddies!!! I am so inspired by these presents. I can't wait to use the long weekend for some crafting.

And that's all the time I have today. More to come tomorrow.