Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lots of knitting, not a lot of finishing...

This week I feel like I've done a lot of knitting, but there seems to be little to show for it.  I worked on the Lawrence sweater, my daughter's socks and my Ashton shawl came out of hibernation.

FO's (Finished Objects)

Just one finished object this week.
Socks for Janie

Yarn--Four Seasons Gr√ľndl Hot Socks
Needles--US size 2, 2.75mm

I cast on 48 stitches, did 20 rounds of 1x1 rib and went straight to the heel.  That made this a very quick project.

WIP's (Works in Progress)
Lawrence Sweater

Yarn--Cascade 220, colorway 9572
Needles--US 8, 5mm

I finished the cowl!! It seemed to take forever, but I'm past it now and have started the lace detail.  The sweater has a lace detail, slightly off center, down the front and the back.  Very pretty.

Ashton Shawlette

Yarn--Gerschubie Fiber Arts, Cottage Sock in the Picot colorway
Needles--US 5, 3.75 mm

I absolutely LOVE the color of this yarn!  It is exactly what I imagined for this shawl.  It has shades of brown, gold, tan (like a fresh hay bale) and little bits of purple and periwinkle.  The photo just doesn't do it justice.

This is my first lace shawl and the pattern is written for novices.  There's lots of hand holding and that has made a huge difference for me.  I've made lots of mistakes, but it's still gorgeous and I've learned loads about reading a chart and knitting simple lace.

The Ashton still looks bunched up and puckery (Is that a word? It is now.) but I think it will be fine once it's washed and blocked.  I'm hoping to get this finished in the next few days.
Podcast Corner
This week's featured podcast is The Knitting Den, hosted by Denise Shulz.  Denise is from the UK, but now lives in Colorado with her husband and daughter.  She has a video podcast which is recorded at her lovely home.  Denise sometimes takes her viewers for a walk around her house.  We get to enjoy the view of the Rocky Mountains, the snow in winter and her welcoming porch in summer.
Denise does a particularly good job of making me feel as though we're enjoying a cup of tea (and a KitKat) with her and chatting about knitting.  The Lawrence sweater I'm knitting is part of  KAL (knit-a-long) with Denise.  I'm inspired by her and the projects she does.  Join Denise for a cuppa!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

It's been a year?!

Well, almost a year, since my last post.  I'm calling it a "sabbatical" because that sounds much better than saying "I was too lazy and distracted to write". 

So here's a quick review of 2014:

February--went to New Zealand.  It's really, REALLY far away from South Carolina, but it's beautiful and the people are amazingly nice.

May--older daughter graduated FROM COLLEGE.  Yes, I'm using my outside voice to say that because it seems impossible that she's old enough to be finished with college.

July--went to Beijing, China.  It's really, REALLY far away from South Carolina.  It's such an incredible place to visit with it's huge cities and ancient history.  It's also very hot in the summer.

August--started our homeschool year with the younger two kidlets, ages 13 and 9.  We are working on Latin and Greek.  Don't tell them I said this, but they are way better at both than I am.

December--wonderful Christmas with family.

On to 2015!!

In November I started a couch-to-5K program.  The idea is that it takes you from slug on the couch to 5k runner in about 2 months.  You start by running short intervals, broken up by walking intervals.  It has worked really well for me so far.  I am now running 25-30 minutes at a time.  I'm really slow (pretty sure I walk faster than I "run"), but I'm doing it!  Go me!

I have been knitting for just over two years now and I'm completely addicted.  I would have said "hooked" but that's only funny when talking about crochet.  It's a pretty good bet that this blog will take a definite turn toward fiber art--knitting and spinning with an occasional crochet project thrown in.

Recent FO's (finished objects):

Zigzagular socks by Susie White
Yarn--Yarn Zwerger Garn Opal 4-ply in the Sweet and Spicy colorway

Fun socks with a twisted stitch, zigzag pattern on the side.  It's a free pattern on Ravelry (thanks, Susie!).  The pattern is clearly written and very easy to follow, including moving the zigzag for left and right socks.

Chill Chaser Cardigan by Sylvia Hager
Yarn--Spud and Choe in Toast and Grape Jelly

This was a Christmas Day cast on.  It took just under three weeks to complete it, made possible by taking time off school and watching the Mythbusters marathon.  I was a little concerned that the sleeves were going to be too tight, but a little blocking and this sweater fits just fine.

Currently on the needles:

The Lawrence sweater by Melissa LaBarre
Yarn--Cascade 220, colorway #9572

I started this sweater about a week ago and the cowl is taking forever.  It's miles of garter stitch in the round, which isn't difficult but it eats up the yarn and my time.  I'm so ready to get to the body of the sweater.  It has a lace detail in the front and the back. 

A KAL (knit-a-long) with The Knitting Den podcast and the Apple Blossom and Ewe podcast prompted me to give this sweater a try.  It's beautiful and pushed me to learn to do welts (the rolled edge looking things in the middle of the photo).

Plain vanilla socks
I also cast on a sock this morning.  It's for my daughter who gave me sock yarn for Christmas.  She didn't request anything for herself but I want to make her socks anyway.  She has small feet, so hopefully a quick project.


About this time last year, I discovered knitting podcasts.  There are a ton of them and they are fun, inspiring, and great company while I'm knitting or running.  There are both video and audio podcasts available.  I'm planning to write a little about one or two favorites in each blog post.

Prairie Girls Knit and Spin

This podcast is hosted by Susie (of Zigzagular Socks fame) and Danie.  They do an audio-only podcast from Nebraska.  Episodes include their finished projects, current projects and future plans.  Projects gone awry are included in a segments called "Son of a Stitch", which always makes me giggle. 

They also chat about other knitting related topics like Knits on Screen where they point out knitting from television or movies, Stash Enhancement which is an audio version of show-and-tell about yarny purchases, and Truth in which Susie and Danie reveal a little about themselves such as how often (or not) the wash their handknits.  The Prairie Girls have inspired me to try lots of new projects, knowing that even my failures will lead to some pretty funny stories.

Do you have any favorite podcasts or blogs?  I'd love to hear about them.