Monday, November 16, 2009

Fall Projects (and missed Summer FOs too)

I'm back! I didn't fall off the face of the knitting world. I lost my blogging mojo over the summer but I've finished a couple of knitting projects since my Pucker top. Pucker served me well over the warm months. It's a wonderful linen silk blend that kept me cool and comfy. Definitely one of my favorite knits.

Some stash I've acquired over the past year or two were used up. First was the Dream in Color Baby for the Whisper Cardigan. I like it but the fit of it is a little odd for me. I always feel like I have to keep pulling on the sides to cover my exposed underarms. Other than that it's a light cardi that keeps the chill off my back and shoulders.

Next is the Wabisabi shawl made from Noro Kochoran. I haven't used it yet, but will be during the winter. I'll be using it at work in my lap to keep my lower half warm while I sit at my desk. Only problem I'll have is the angora sticking to my clothing. Will need to have a lint roller on hand so I don't look like a fuzzy rabbit roaming the office.

My next project was made for Bubba's aunt...a Shetland Shawl made from Fiberphile Sock Yarn. The vibrant blue/brown yarn was much too nice to be made into a sock. It was also my first full fledged lace project. I'm not a fan of lace for myself, but I'll do it for others. In this case it was for her birthday. Bub's aunt always asks me to make something for her, I don't think she was expecting anything lacy though. I was trying to tell her that it's not something you don't have to wear just on your shoulders like a little old lady (which is exactly what she said she felt like)...but to wear it around her neck like a light scarf. Oh well, I tried (reminds me why I don't make stuff for people anymore). I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the finished product. Next time I'm at her house I'll make her dig it out of the bottom of her drawer and take a picture of her wearing it. Old lady or not.

On the search for that perfect fall project, I listened to one of the Stash and Burn podcasts and re-discovered Ysolda Teague's Vine Yoke Cardigan. I originally saw it in Twist's ( fall pattern catalog but it didn't catch my eye until I went through a list of sweater suggestions in the Stash and Burn site. I totally fell for the pattern because the yoke is beautiful! I started to knit it up with a stash of Cascade 220 I received 2 Christmases ago...a deep burgandy shade. Then I screwed up by missing some row repeats in the right arm and side. It was just as well since the yarn was awful! It kept breaking. I could only spit splice yarn so many times!!! As soon as I decided to start over I immediately went to the yarn store and purchased Cascade's Eco+. It's a really good reasonably priced yarn. The gauge is much thicker, about aran weight.

I'm now 3/4 of the way done and have 1 skein (of 3) left to use.
I really hope I don't need more than 3 skeins. I'm cursing myself for running out of the 2nd skein of yarn at work without bringing the 3rd skien with me! It's been slow at work and the co-worker that I usually stare at all day isn't here today. I thought I'd be able to secretly knit in private. What a waste of prime knitting time! I'd like to finish this to wear for Thanksgiving. I think it's a decent goal. I've got just over a week. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pucker of Sunshine

Ta daa! It's finally done!!!!!!!!!!
I may add a few more rows of reverse stockinette to the bottom to give it a little bit of length. I prefer tops to be a bit longer than hit right at my hip. I haven't had a chance to wear it and can't wait to!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Never say never

I love the colors and textures of Noro yarn. When I first learned to knit the Silk Garden sucked me in and it resulted in knitting up a shawl sized clapotis. It was beautiful. However, I hated the way how itchy and rough it felt against my skin. I only worn it a couple times and it's been sitting in my closet. In yarn project purgatory. I vowed to never use Noro again. Then I came across the Wabi-sabi shawl made out of Noro Kochoran. =/

After working on 2 clothing projects I needed a simple project to work on and had the urge to make the Wabi-sabi pattern. I know it's practically summer but it's still chilly enough to need a shawl. I figure I could keep this at my desk so when the AC gets jacked up I'll have this to put around my shoulders. I'll look like a granny but who'll be laughing when the other employees are complaining they're freezing.

I tried to find a substitute non-Noro yarn that would give the same effect but I was unsuccessful. I gave in and headed to my LYS to find some Kochoran. There weren't too many color choices that they carried but I ended up with colorway #16. I decided to make the shawl size. After going through a few runs I kinda love it. I love how the angora has a halo effect. It's looks comforting.
When I'm done I'm going to use a tip about soaking it in water with some hair conditioner to help soften up the yarn. If that works I will love this shawl even more.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pucker: Home Stretch? Think again.

Yikes this photo hurts my eyes! I was experimenting with a new app on my iPhone that is supposed to fix low light photos I've taken with it. The yarn does have a lot of sheen but not that much.

I'm on my last skein of yarn and of course on the last bit of the instructions to finish off the neck and sleeve shaping I have to join in a new ball of yarn. I thought of just creating 2 balls out of the one last one I have but realized that I will need another new skein so I'll have enough for seaming the edges of the front and back together. Bah! Now I need to call up a few not so close LYS' to find one of the most unpopular colors of Berroco Seduce or suck it up and order it online. I would've had enough if I did as Andra from the WEBS booth at Stitches West instructed me to but I like my garments a little longer than she had imagined for me. She was also taking into account my vertically challenged body. This is why I went home with 2 less skeins of Seduce than I should have.

Oh well. I suppose I don't have any excuse now to not get off my ass and get some cleaning done. Although, I do have that vest I've been needing to get seamed up and finished. I can get that done and off my list of WIPs instead.

The other side of me is wondering why the hell I'm indoors when I should be outdoors enjoying the sunny weather. I could do the finishing outside in the backyard. That's a fantastic idea!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I *heart* this =)

At the weaving pattern class I took at A Verb for Keeping Warm earlier this month, one of the students was Michael of Yknit podcasting fame in the knitting world (WonderMike in Ravelry). He took pics of everyone's progress and my little weaving sample made it into his blog. =)

I'm sad to hear (from the last Yknit podcast) that Michael is moving on from podcasting. He is teaching beginning drop spindling at Verb and Article Pract though. If he's still teaching it by the time I get bitten by the spinning bug, I'll sign up for his class. For now I've still got weaving in my system . I'm taking things one fiber addiction at a time.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Pucker Up!

I'm 95% done with the Simply Squared vest. All that's left is joining the shoulder and adding the buttons. I wet blocked it last Thursday night and left for the weekend. By Sunday night it was still damp. I should have it completely done by this weekend. I'll get a chance to wear it before it warms up, granted it fits well. I have 2 concerns though. The first are the arm holes. They seem big. I even measured it up to a favorite vest I've been wearing all winter and the arms holes seem the right size but I won't know until I try it on completed. Second concern is that angora might make me look like a muppet. It's a brown vest so maybe Snuffalapagus from Sesame Street even. *sigh*
Vests aren't too taxing on me so I wasted no time getting Norah Gaughan's Pucker on the needles with Berocco's Seduce. I started it on the long ass drive to Tahoe last Friday. I've never knitted with a yarn like this's slippery and linen-ish. It's a little like knitting with rope. Regardless, this is going to be a great warm weather top. It's very cool to the touch and the drape is very slinky. I'm still not sold on the color though. Maybe once I get a nice tan the yellow won't look too bad against my skin.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Start of Simply Squared

Simply Squared start, originally uploaded by Filipina Sakura.

Last year I found a pretty nice stash of discontinued Elsebeth Lavold Angora at my local Tuesday Morning. I could only find about 10 skeins of this brown color called "Earthy". For my body type, this is not a lot of yardage in each compared to a Cascade 220 or a Malabrigo Worsted to make a sweater. BUT it can make a vest! An issue or two ago of Interweave Knits came across an ad for a vest called Simply Squared and thought it was perfect for the yarn. It's more of a cardigan, but it is vest-ish since it's sleeveless and great for layering. I started it over a week ago hoping that I can get some use out of it before it gets warmer.

I'm close to halfway finished but worried that I won't have enough yarn. Like I mentioned, it is a discontinued yarn. If I run out then I will have to rip it out and jab the needles in my heart. I'll cross my fingers that it won't come to that.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lookie! I'm weaving!

I've been interested in weaving for the past year but didn't know how to go about getting my feet wet. There haven't been many weaving classes offered in these parts for a reasonable fee. I've seen beginning classes that were over $500. WTF? At Urban Fauna there was a weaving class offered BUT you have to purchase a beginners loom that's over $150 for the class. I didn't want to invest in a loom until I tried it.

A couple of weeks ago I was listening to the Y knit Podcast and the subject was about Berkeley's own A Verb for Keeping Warm. They're starting rigid heddle loom weaving classes for beginners! I signed up ASAP. The first 2 hour class was yesterday and it was great. It went by fast. The majority of the class was learning how to set up the loom. Man, it takes a long time! After that it goes fast and you can get a scarf done in a day. Plus use up a bunch of stash! We were sent home with the small cricket loom to finish our scarves. I'm so glad it's not a loom we had to purchase. Instead it's to re-use for future classes.

It looks like I'll be feeding another addiction. After I finish the current knitting projects and have a little more money saved up I'll definitely be looking for a rigid heddle loom of my own.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Stitches West '09

I've been seriously lagging on my blogs lately but here it goes...

I attended Stitches West the weekend before. It was exhausting. On Friday I woke up butt crack early for my 6 hour class. It was my first time taking a class at Stitches. I was so excited! I signed up for the Understanding Japanese Knitting Patterns class. It's not something that the average local yarn store has available to the general knitting public. (Of course, just a week before listening to the Stash and Burn podcast Jenny and Nicole took the same type of class in their neighborhood yarn store in SF. I wish I knew about it beforehand!)
6 hours was not enough time to cram all the information you should know to feel comfortable on your own to understand japanese patterns. From what I concluded you just have to go with your gut and look for clues for what you need to know such as gauge. It was more of a lecture type of class than a hands-on knitting class. The last hour of class we were able to try a japanese chart on our own. I did ok. I think I may have to do more research. I think if I were given a simple scarf pattern I would be able to figure it out. Anything more difficult I'd probably have to pay someone to translate it for me.
I didn't splurge too much at the expo since I spent a good portion on the class. However, at the WEBS booth there was a cute top that caught my eye. The pattern is called Pucker by Norah Gaughan. It's the cutest warm weather top made out of Berroco's Seduce (as seen below). It has a beautiful sheen.

They were out of the green I wanted like they had used for the sample and you know how much I LOVE green. I was bummed. Andra (the wonderful WEBS saleslady) convinced me to get this golden yellow shade. It kind of reminds me of Goldilocks' hair. I wasn't completely sold until she asked a panel of ladies (all waiting for her help) vote between the yellow and a purple color that I liked. The yellow won hands down. I've already swatched it but have yet to cast on. It's very airy/lacy so I hope it doesn't take me too long to work on it.

And here's the annual Stitches postcard of me and Erin.

Till next year!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Olympic Rainforest sock

Olympic Rainforest sock, originally uploaded by Filipina Sakura.

I'm taking forever finishing just one sock. My goal is to finish the pair before Stitches West (EEEEE can't wait!). Stockinette gets boring after awhile but the colors make up for it. Did I mention I LOVE this colorway?! This crap cell phone pic doesn't do the colors justice.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Got Sock Yarn?

I'm sitting at work bored out of my mind and itching to break out my current sock project to secretly (shhh!) knit at my desk. It's just a generic toe-up pattern to learn a better way to knit socks toe up but the color of the yarn I'm using is beautiful.

Hazel Knits Yarn - Olympic Rainforest

It's Hazel Knits yarn in a colorway called Olympic in Washington State's Olympic Rainforest. It reminds me of the description of the little town of Forks, WA that the Twilight book series is set in. I think Hazel Knits did an excellent job with the colors representing the name of the yarn. It makes me want to pack my bags and head to Seattle or Portland.

I have another skein of yarn that I bought from an indie sock dyer who made Twilight themed sock yarn called Forks, WA.

Forks, WA

To me the colors don't really remind me of the the Pacific Northwest...too yellow-green for me I guess. The colors are very muted compared to the Hazel Knits yarn but I can't wait to knit this up. It's a silk merino blend and feels very cushy.

My final sock yarn purchase for awhile (at least until Stitches West) is this yarn from indie dyer, Fiberphiles who sells her yarns on
I got it in the mail last week and it the vibrant colors in this picture are just as gorgeous in person! The wonderful turquoise color is what caught my eye and made me have to have it.
With all this yarn buying I finished my Charade socks the other day. Yay!

Charade Socks (blog)

It was simple and mindless with enough detail...a great pattern. Mana (kitty) wouldn't leave me alone and get out of the shot. (So glad the stubble on my legs didn't show up though!)
I was listening to the Stash and Burn podcast this morning and Nicole (or Jenny?) mentioned the Vestuary group in Ravelry. Vestuary? Well, it's a group for those who want to fight off the February blahs by knitting up a vest of your choosing. I have a vest cardi pattern that I purchased last month called Simply Squared. It's perfect for this group! I need the motivation to knit something bigger than socks or a cowl. After last year's Tilted Duster disaster I didn't want to go through the heart break of screwing up another sweater project. The pattern is a nice baby step back into the sweater knitting world.