Thursday, August 20, 2009

Finished Object - Cable Blanket

I finished the cable blanket last night with about a month to go before the baby shower. YAY! It's so nice to be able to finish early and not have to rush. I'm glad I was able to cast off last night because it was getting so big that my fore arms and wrists were starting to hurt after knitting each night. I'm excited to cast on another pair of lightweight socks next!

Pattern: Cable Blanket by Debbie Bliss in Simply Baby
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease in almond
Needles: US 6 & 3 circulars
Time frame: April 24 - August 19, 2009

Love the yarn, love the pattern - love making baby blankets as long as I have plenty of time!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Power Knitting

I have nothing exciting going on lately in terms of knitting, other than I can't wait to get started on some of the projects on my To Do list. I've been able to get down to 4 WIPs with one of them as my main project, the Cable Blanket. It's very relaxing to knit and I barely have to look at the pattern. I'm on my second to last ball of yarn and it feels good to be able to get this one done well in advance of the baby shower (not even scheduled yet).

I re-organized my stash yarn again this week with just a basic "airing of the stash" to remind me what I have. I like to do this often as it keeps me from buying more. I think my organizational pattern in my cabinet fits just like how a bartender sorts his liquor. My top shelf yarn is exquisite, total luxury and demands nothing but the perfect pairing with a pattern. Second shelf is good quality, durable yarn for my functional knitting needs. Third shelf is all acrylics for specific charity projects, just a hodge podge of yarn - and I like it that way. The bottom shelf is my left overs, oddballs and Great America Aran Afghan yarn. This is the spot where I put stuff that doesn't quite have a purpose yet but isn't ready to go to my mother-in-law for her weaving projects.

So, while I work diligently on my Cable Blanket I'm daydreaming about my top shelf yarn and how I'd really like to expand that stash with a nice sock club this year . . .

Monday, August 10, 2009

Isn't It Lovely?

Last month I braved the ridiculous heat of Austin, Texas for a work trip. On my way there I met a lovely knitter in the airport and we had a very nice conversation. She recommended that I visit Hill Country Weavers shop while I was there. I'm so glad that I did.

That shop was actually the closest one to my hotel according to my research on Planet Purl's site. I researched all the shops right after I found out that I had to go. The store didn't look like much from the outside (plus I was just trying to concentrate on breathing - not quite used to that heat) but when I stepped in it was a treasure trove of goodies.

One of the ladies gave me a tour of the store after I told her I was brand new. That store just kept going. Every time I turned a corner there was another room, then another and another. I ended up planting my feet in the lace section and then wandering back over to the sock yarn. I must have walked back and forth several times before settling on my final purchase.

1460 yard of Prism Lace Wool in smoke. This colorway is so cool, so unique, I can't wait to find the perfect pattern for it. It's a combination of black, blue, purple and grey - I've never see anything like it. One big hank of yarn probably for a nice shawl or stole. The best part is that it would look great with a simple black dress or with something more colorful. I'm having fun just looking at my possibilities on Ravelry already.

Yes, I didn't need any more lace yarn but I braved the heat just to get to the shop and I'm proud of the reward that came home with me!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Finished Object - Dad's Tampa Bay Socks

I finished Dad's second sock while on a conference call on Friday (yes it's allowed because they track which screen I'm viewing so if I can't multi-task I knit, plus it helps me focus on what they're saying). It's hideous and not what I originally had in mind but he will wear them anyway and loves them just the same. Maybe that's why I love knitting for him. He's honest and still appreciates the hard work that it takes to create a finished item.

Pattern: Gridiron by Anne Hanson

I LOVE this pattern. It's very manly and functional, easy to understand and memorize and very well-written. I don't knit too many socks so I don't remember everything that goes into knitting socks. This is a great pattern and I plan to use it again, and again, and again! I also plan to purchase more of her patterns for men.

Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock, 2 hanks

The yarn felt wonderful and knit up like a dream. 80% superwash wool and 20% nylon make it a very durable, machine washable yarn. I only found 1 or 2 thin spots in each hank - nothing to complain about. I'll definitely go back to this brand again for socks.

Yarn Color: Team Spirit #19

I make a separate note here for the color. While I love the yarn, the color didn't work out like I had hoped. It was the closest that I could find to match the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and I didn't think the amount of white would make it look as "candy cane-ish" as it did. I take this as a learning point next time when shopping for colors.

Needles: US 1 metal DPNs

I had to purchase a multi-pack of metal DPNs at my local AC Moore for these socks and I really liked working with them. I even had a coupon, yay!

Time Frame: 6/22/09 to 7/31/09

This is mis-leading because I had several charity knitting projects come up AND I worked on my Cable Blanket for a weekend once because I originally wanted the socks to be a surprise. I bet if I was monogamous to them it would probably be closer to 3 weeks or so.

So with Dad officially in possession of his socks they know have a nickname "Dad's Lightning Bolt Christmas Socks". They fit him very nicely and he loves them. I couldn't be happier!