Sunday, December 30, 2007

Yarn overload

I finally got around to entering my stash (well, most of it) on Ravelry. Guess how many kilometers of yarn I have... seventeen!!! Yes, if it all were strung out, it'd take me about 5-6 hours to walk from one end to the next. That's just absurd!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Next knit?

I have a luxury problem coming up:

December has been a pretty productive month in terms of knitting - I started and finished my Beta, I'm almost done with the Bubble pullover, I knit a Koolhaas hat for my Shell adviser Andy and I'm halfway through another of those for Shan. Last but not least I finally finished the second Droplet hat (my long-term bus knitting project), which I gave away to my friend Paula. Now all I have left of my WIP's is to finish Shan's Koolhaas and finish the Bubble... that is, attach the sleeves and buttons. This should take about a day or two, or a return car ride to NYC to celebrate New Year's.

The impending problem is, of course: What do I do next???

Being the over-analytical person that I am I start to think, why do I like knitting so much in the first place?? Why can't I just stare into the middle dimension like normal people while sitting in the car or sipping a latte at the coffeeshop? Why isn't it enough for me to rest my hands idly while reading a book (yes, I knit while I read. A lot) or watching a movie?

Well, I like the practical aspect of things here: Knitting helps me converting otherwise useless time into useful time. I also enjoy the creative aspect: In this useless turned useful time, I can create something. Granted, as long as I'm using patterns I'm not the "real" creator, but you catch my drift. Also, I'm learning something and, very importantly, connecting to an ancient skill that wasn't so much a skill as a vital necessity for my foremothers (and for the odd egalitarian forefather, I hope).

Where do these musings leave me in terms of my next knitted project?

I think I'll focus on the foremothers and learning for my next cast-on. For Christmas I got a wonderful book full of patterns for traditional Icelandic shawls, mostly made from Icelandic lace-weight wool. Anticipating the gift, I bought several skeins of this wool last time I was home. Judging from the yardage given for the projects it seems that this wool multiplies while in the skein - it's amazing how you can make these things from virtually no yarn! So, I plan to knit an Icelandic shawl (gosh, I wish my grandmas could see this!) and in the process, do my first-ever lace project. Ihaw!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bubble - progress

Although I can't possibly contain myself to just one project at a time (I've three in progress at the moment), I am making some headway into the Bubble Pullover:

The perspective may be a bit odd but trust me, if you rotate the picture by 180° your head will positively spin! The cowl neck has grown to measure 8.5" now, and since I may be short on yarn for this project, I´m putting the cowl on hold for now.

The sleeves are already 10" long, only 8" more to go before the armhole shaping:

Once the sleeves are done, I plan to make the bottom ribbing and then use whatever leftover yarn I have to lengthen the cowl neck to the full 10" specified in the pattern.


For the longest time I've had a few skeins of Rowan Ribbon Twist in my stash, not really knowing what to do with it. It's a glorious, expensive and now sadly discontinued yarn, and I didn't have the guts to blow the bucks on enough for a sweater. However, the patterns in the Rowan RT Collection, all by Kim Hargreaves, are just too beautiful to pass up, so I finally bought some more of the yarn online and set out to knit "Beth":

The extra skeins I ordered online are, predictably, from a different dye lot, and the difference in color is very large; the older yarn (of which I have three skeins) being much yellower than the new. I'm tricking my way around this by starting each "bottom" part of the sweater using the old/yellow yarn and letting it then be gradually replaced by the whiter one. It seems to work just fine on the body of the sweater so I'm hoping it'll come out ok on the sleeves as well. My progress to date:

If you look carefully you can see the color differences between the two dye lots in the lowermost part of the body, above the garter edge.

If I recall right I started this about a week and a half ago - this yarn knits up FAST! I remember a one-hour car ride when I actually got about 30 cm of body done!! I've modified the pattern to be knit in the round/one piece as much as possible, I think that speeds things up considerably.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

More scarves

Just after I arrived in Houston my blog-pal Mike, who is an amazing photographer, sent me one of his beautiful photos, hand-picked (by moi!) and framed and all, to brighten my day at the office. I felt like returning his generosity, so I knit a scarf for him to make the Ohio winter a bit more bearable:

This was my first time knitting the "mistake ribbing" as the ladies in my Friday night knitting gang call it (basic ribbing that's consistently offset by one on one side). It's an amazing effect for little effort :) When I make one of those again I'll make sure to cast on an even # of stitches (for a 1x1 rib) and not odd as I did this time.

Yarn used: 2 skeins Paton Classic Wool in brown and 3 skeins Paton SWS (Soy Wool Stripes) in ... forgot. The yarn is held double the entire time, with one strand from the Classic Wool and another from the SWS. I think I knit this on 6.5 mm needles.

And now there's nothing left for me to do but hope that Mike enjoys it!

Scarf time

The scarves for my niece and nephew are ready. My niece gets the green/Hawaii-pink one:

and her brother gets the brown/Kunterbunt one:

Lilja's scarf is made from ~ 1 skein each of Nashua Creative Focus Chunky in colorway Grass and Naturwolle from Black Forest Yarns in colorway Hawaii. Tomas' scarf is made from 1 skein each of Brown Sheep's Lamb's Pride Chunky in colorway Sable and Naturwolle from Black Forest Yarns in colorway Kunterbunt.

Both of these are worked on 6 mm needles, 160 stitches for ~30 rows. This yields a scarf that's ~50 inches long and 4 in wide. The random number generator dictated color choice every other row.

I absolutely l-l-ll-l-love how the scarves came out. I love it so much, in fact, that I picked up another skein of Hawaii on my last trip to the LYS and plan to turn it (together with the leftover skein of the NCF) into a scarf for myself :)