aswim in knits

Friday, February 29, 2008

WIP wrangling

Where do things stand in the world of wool? Ummm, unfinished.

The clogs of last week? Not only are they still unfelted, they are still sitting in the same place as last week. On the dining room sideboard. Yeah, I don't think hubby is thrilled with that location. (He's probably even less thrilled that my suitcase from SPA is still on the floor next to the dining table ... I'll have to do something about that ...)

I started some new stuff. A sock, for moments like these. (Please note the unintentional matching of the sweater and the sock in progress.)

sock  (by aswim in knits)
(Regia sock yarn in one of the Kaffe Fassett -- rhymes with "safe asset" -- colorways. More deets on Ravelry.)

I also started a sweater for the little sibling of this dude. He's now two years old, and expecting a brother or sister in April. The parents are friends of mine from childhood. There were 4 of us who lifeguarded together, in three different class years, at two different schools. We all went in different directions for college. Several years later, Tracie and Chris ended up back in the same area, and coaching the swim team that practices at the pool where we all lifeguarded a decade ago. They fell in love and got married, and a year later had their first kid, and now #2 is on the way. (Can I get an awwww?)

Tracie and Chris are both teachers, and the whole family (including the much-loved dog) lives at camp for the summer, the same camp where Chris spent every summer of his childhood and college years. Tracie asked for a baby sweater that kid #2 can wear at camp when the evenings are chilly.

Chocolate brown superwash wool with puppy buttons? Check!

puppy buttons (by aswim in knits)
(on Ravelry)

I'm also doing some test knitting for a friend. I'll have to ask her how much I can say about it. Here's a teaser. I think she'll let me get away with this much. This one will take some time and a wee bit of brainpower, hence the stockinette projects featured above.
xcu (by aswim in knits)

Oh, and ummm, I also have an afghan that needs some attention...

And another sock. Almost forgot about that one ... better get cracking.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

taste the rainbow

Like many other New England knitters, I spent last weekend at SPA in Freeport, ME. Many others posted photos (of which I have none) and did the linkfest (for which I have neither the time nor the patience right now). I won't be doing either. I had a great time, though! Hung out with friends, enjoyed good food and drink, and knit and spun. Oh yes, and there was a little shopping. Both in the vendor room, and in the outlets.

I also celebrated my 30th birthday some more. Kind friends bought me gifts and wished me well. I'm enjoying thirty quite a bit :)

I also acquired -- through purchases and gifts -- the rest of the sock yarn needed for a project I've had in mind for 2008 (ahem, and also 2009, most likely). I would like to knit a rainbow of socks.* Fun colors, good yarns, and interesting patterns. Here are my yarns:

Taste the Rainbow, II (by aswim in knits)

Red: Dream in Color Smooshy, In Vino Veritas
Orange: Spunky Eclectic Skinny Sock in Pop
Yellow: The Woolen Rabbit Sock Yarn in Goldilocks
Green: Shibui Knits Sock in Wasabi
Blue: Wollmeise Sockenwolle in VergiƟmeinnicht
Purple: Tess Designer Yarns Super Socks and Baby in an unnamed purple

Now, for the patterns. I have a gazillion socks queued in Ravelry. Any others I should know about? Any suggestions for a particular yarn, from my queue or elsewhere?

* And thanks to Lucia Terry for putting the idea in my head that I should start with red and work my way through in order ...

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Friday, February 22, 2008

I've been busy

I made my mother in law a pair of felted slippers (at her request) for Christmas.

slippers for mim

I was afraid to felt them down too small, so I gave them to her with instructions to felt them down further if needed. She's a knitter, who has felted before, so I thought it would be OK. But, she was afraid that she'd make them too small and asked me to finish the felting and then return them to her. No problem ...

Until we had a power outage mid-felting. The machine turned back on when the power came back on, and I didn't remember to check the clogs right away. Ooops. They're too small now.

Mim's clogs, part I.JPG

So, I made her another pair. Luckily, I had another skein of the upper color, and a similar color for the bottoms.

Mim's clogs II


I figured that as long as I was felting one pair, I might as well felt some other stuff.

hat trick

That's three pairs of clogs. The red ones on the bottom are for Thom, who tries to wear my clogs around the house, albeit with the back of his heels hanging out. I thought he needed some of his own. The green ones on top are for the Mafia's Little Man. She bought the yarn a while ago, and I volunteered to knit it up for her. (Who'd have guessed that she'd pick bright green yarn? Shocker, I tell you....)
stacks of wool

I have more feltable wool in the stash (!) and was thinking that perhaps I ought to make another pair for me. You know, in case my current ones wear out. You'd think I'd be sick of this pattern by now, having knit 6 pairs, but I still like it :)

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bird in Hand mittens, complete

I just remembered that I never posted finished photos of my Bird in Hand mittens.

I started these in December and finished them earlier this month. I remember why I don't knit mittens more often -- I hate knitting thumbs! Fiddly little things. (I don't know how Sandy makes so many mittens.)
Bird in Hand

These thumbs are worth the aggravation though. So cute!
Bird in Hand thumbs
(My birds each have their own personality...)

The palms are plain with little flecks of white ...
Bird in Hand palms

And the insides are almost as pretty as the outsides.
Bird in Hand insides

Full specs on Ravelry.

These are beautiful mittens, and Kate's non-repeating design was so fun to knit!

Unfortunately, I don't know when I will ever wear these. One of my many quirks is that I only like matched sets -- hat, scarf, and mittens. See my winter accessories, or my father-in-law's hat, scarf, and mittens, or Thom's hat and mittens. (Apparently, I knit both hats in the pre-blog period, so I'll have to get some photos of those. They match the mittens, suffice it to say.)

I guess I could buy more yarn and design a hat and scarf to knit, but I just don't see that happening. So, I'll just enjoy looking at them.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

letting go of the rules

You might have noticed that the last 3 posts were all about my birthday. I still have one more birthday post in my head, but I need to scan a photo first. Over the past week, the chances of me, the scanner, the photo and the laptop all being in the same room at the same time were hovering right between "when pigs fly" and "snowball in hell".

I also have a bazillion other posts in my head, but I have yet to write any of them because, well, I made myself the arbitrary rule that all 4 of my birthday posts needed to occur in sequence with no other posts in between. So, I haven't blogged about anything else because that would be breaking the rules. Dude, it's my own blog, and my own damn rules. Yet, it did not occur to me until a few minutes ago that I could actually break the rules with no negative consequences. Yeah, I'm a bit of an obsessive rule follower. (It has also been pointed out that I am a bit obsessive about, well, pretty much everything.)

Today, I wanted to show you two of my favorite pairs of socks. I love WIP posts, and FO-shows, but sometimes I wonder what happens after the blocking and photography are complete, and the paparazzi go home. So, I bring you two of my favorite pairs of socks in their everyday habitats.

First, my study break socks. I began these towards the end of last semester, and finished them up pretty quickly. The stripes and colors amuse me to no end. But, it's a truly special look when I wear these with my polka-dot pajamas.

striped socks.JPG
(I do believe that I look a bit like Bubbo here.)

I also really like my STR Monkies. I can't take credit for these, as they were a gift from the Mafia. The flash muddied the colors, so you can see a better photo here. They are super snug, which is perfect (I hate saggy socks), and very comfortable and warm.

monkeys.JPG

This might sound gross, but I have to ask this ... when my feet sweat in wool socks, they smell different than in cotton or synthetic socks. But, when I wear my STR socks, they have their own unique smell, different than any other wool socks. Has this happened to anyone else? Or it is another one of those peculiar things that only happens to me?

And, with that lovely thought, I am off to class!

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Upon turning 30, part III

Normally, I try hard not to be too materialistic. (A battle I am ever losing, but that's another story for another day.) But, on my birthday, I am all about the gifts!! Today, the fibery gifts.

This year, I've met so many lovely bloggers in person for the first time ever. At Rhinebeck, I got to chat with Kate for a while, and we've exchanged some emails in the months since. We're both knitting from the stash in 2008, and trying to make a dent in the yarn piles. But, since yarn received as a gift is an exception to the stash rules, I can gratefully receive this lovely skein of sock yarn.

dicentra

This is a new-to-me line of hand-dyed yarns called Dicentra Designs. The colors are gorgeous, and they remind me of Noro Kureyon, colorway 40. (One of my favorite handknits is my Klaralund sweater in color 40. I made this sweater pre-blog, so I'll have to go take a photo of it for Ravelry.) This skein of sock yarn is 476 yards, so it might also be a candidate for a baby sweater. Wouldn't this make a gorgeous BSJ? Thank you, Kate!!

This year, I've also made friends with new bloggers that I have yet to meet in person. Phoe is one of these new friends. Always a generous knitter (she gives away knitted gifts on her blog!), Phoe celebrated HER 30th birthday by giving gifts to others. I was lucky enough to win the turquoise prize, which arrived at the end of last week.

laceweight

This is a skein of laceweight yarn from Yarn Ahoy. The color, Desert Wind, is a subtle blend of pale turquoise and shades of brown and gold. I'm considering using this to knit the Artemis stole, designed by Alison Green Will. (In case I don't knit that one, Phoe also included a pattern for a lovely triangular shawl.) This skein is somewhat different from my normal knitting color palette, yet I realized that it will match many items in my wardrobe. I love it. Thank you, Phoe!

I have one more post about turning 30 that is rattling around in my head. After that, back to my normal semi-lucid blogging.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Upon turning 30, part II

Last week, I mentioned that Thom got me a new toy for my birthday.

I've never owned an iPod before, so this is all quite new to me. I do listen to podcasts on my laptop, but I don't have a huge list of favorites. And my music collection is, at best, pathetic.

So, enlighten me --

What are your favorite podcasts, knitting or otherwise?

What music should I check out -- new, classic, or inbetween? (My tastes are all over the map, so fire away!)

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Upon turning 30, part I

Thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes last week. Every time I got a comment, or an email, or a Ravelry message, I smiled and laughed. I feel lucky to be part of such a wonderful, and often irreverent, community.

So, this week, I shall post a bit more about turning 30. It's a big birthday, so let me milk it for a while, okay?

First, I must thank the Mafia, yet again. She was one of the ringleaders of a birthday celebration at work.

She had nothing to do with this lovely carrot cake. I repeatedly demanded expressed my fondness for carrot cake to our office's chief cake orderer several weeks ago. Apparently, I was successful in making my voice heard.

However, the Mafia may have had something to do with this gift ...

Pretty, huh? What was inside?


Apparently, turning 30 makes me officially geriatric. Although I can't give her all the credit hold her entirely responsible for this gift. I do believe that our Fearless Leader (that would be Boss Lady's boss, for those playing along at home) may have aided and abetted her. Luckily for me, there was a gift receipt included in the bottom of the bag :)

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Friday, February 01, 2008

the sound of a thousand spanks

Yes, the rumors are true. I turn 30 today.

I'm enjoying my day already. Thom got me one of these little lovelies.


Clever man that he is, he wrapped it up and put it in my knitting bag so that I would be sure to stumble upon it early in the day. Clearly, there will be some procrastinating happening at work today.

This evening, I intend to enjoy a lovely dinner at L'Espalier where I will ignore all of the good eating habits that I have been cultivating for the past month. I plan to indulge in all of my favorite food groups -- cheese, butter, chocolate, and alcohol. And then, get back up on the wagon tomorrow.

Thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes in my comments, emails, and Ravelry. I'm feeling the love. I like 30 so far.

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