Sunday, August 07, 2011

Liesl: In progress

The summer flies by fast when you're trying to finish a summer tunic. I'm currently working on Liesl, a tunic tank by Coco Knits.
I couldn't exactly afford to spend the amount on Louet linen yarn that the pattern called for in my size. When I saw a sample garment of Liesl on one of the the Coco Knits ladies at Stitches West, I knew it wasn't a 100% linen yarn that was used. She said it was made from Berocco Origami. I immediately went to the Webs booth and hunted that yarn down! I knew with the amount I'd need that the yarn would be discountable at 20% for purchases over $60. Berocco yarn is somewhat in my price range too, so yay me...I'm making a tank top for just under $100. =/ It's insane. I would never purchase a tunic tank top at that price. EVER. Only snobby yarn knitters would understand the psychological explanation for that one.

I like this yarn, but I wish that Origami came in solid colors. Variegated tops aren't usually my thing but I like the colors. Although it's a crazy amount of stockinette, it does keep my interest with the decreases and the construction of the pockets.

I want to be done with this before the unofficial last day of Summer...Labor Day. This gives me less than a month to go. After that i have to get a move on with Jolyne's birthday project. What that will be, I don't know but I'll only have 2 or so weeks to complete it. Fortunately it'll be a scarf or cowl. I can spit those out pretty quickly if it's an easy pattern. Even faster if it's lacey. It can be done. That's what I keep telling myself. I'm not of a fan of deadline knitting. It takes all the fun out of it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Saroyan: The increases

Saroyan increases, originally uploaded by Filipina Sakura.

I'm keeping this project at the office. I'd be further along if I didn't get distracted so easily by work, Ravelry, other internet black holes, etc.

I think I'm at the point where I'm ready to start the straight section. I'll get to that right now.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Traveling Sweater: Wanderlust

Wanderlust: Very strong or irresistible impulse to travel.

That's exactly how I'm feeling these days. I'm so sick of rain and cold. I'm ready for a little bit of camping. Maybe even a road trip. I may even splurge and get on a plane! Where? I don't care as long as it's some place I've never been to that I can explore. So yes, it seems appropriate that I'm working on this sweater. I'm so excited about it! This is 1/4 of the first wedge. 31 more of this quarter wedge to go and I've got myself a collar/body. Baby steps.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Too much on my plate?

In the past couple days I've casted on for two different projects, both of which I bought yarns specifically for at last month's Stitches West extravaganza:
    A leafy scarf sorta thing. I'm using Sanguine Gryphon Codex in Secret Garden. This murky shiny blue/greenish/black color is GORGEOUS! I've decided this will be the project to keep at work. The following project will be too much to carry in my bag everyday.
    Traveling Sweater (TS)
    A comfy open cardigan sweater. I'm using Blue Moon Fiber Arts Woobu in Deep Unrelenting Gray. It's perfectly gray. Not dark, but not light. No variegation whatsoever. This wasn't my first choice of colorways. I wanted my TS to be a darker shade of gray with some bit of dark blue mixed in, like colorways Corbie or Thraven.
    Unfortunately for me the Woobu selection was picked over and it was only Friday at 1pm at Stitches!! There were 2.5 days to go and they were cleaned out by the time I left. I'm sure I'll love this cardi when I'm done but it's ANOTHER GRAY SWEATER. =/ I say this because I just finished (but not yet blocked) Goodale, made from madelinetosh Pashmina in Composition Book Gray.
I'm being lazy with Goodale's finishing. It needs blocking, then sewing, then re-blocking to set the pockets. When the weather gets better and I have reason to wear a short sleeved OPEN cardigan I'll have it completely done in no time.

Oh, I forgot one more project I'll be casting on first mystery KAL. It's feministy's (AKA Liz Abinante) Roxanne Mystery Shawl KAL starting April 15. I'm using sock yarn stash. I'm trying real hard to not purchase the suggested yarn because the color is absolutely beautiful. I'll wait to see how my choice of yarn turns out first.

I suppose my gray phase is fitting for this awful weather we're having. Last night as I was making my gauge swatch for the TS it sounded like my house was going to get blown down by the strong wind and pounding rain. It seemed to never end. At times I love this weather, but after 2+ days of gloom I need a shot of sunshine. I don't know how you northwest folks do it! I'm especially bummed this weekend because we cancelled our trip to Safari West. I was looking forward to staying in a fancy schmancy tent cabin. If you didn't know this is a full moon weekend as well. Our photo opportunities have been duped by Mother Nature. I was looking forward to playing with my new cameras.

California needs the rain before the dry season begins but when it interrupts my plans that bitch needs to calm down. Space it out a little bit, lady! If her intention was to blow off the final bits of blossoms off my plum tree, she succeeded.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Annual Yarn Bender: Stitches West 2011 Haul

Friday's damage:
5 skeins Blue Moon Fibers Woobu in Deep Unrelenting Gray
2 skeins Miss Babs Tierno in A Day in Mansfield Park
2 Coco Knits patterns - Leisl and Ruby (which are practically the same but one has pockets)
2 skeins Valley Yarns Superwash merino in #200 Gray - to add to what I already have for the Solstice cardigan
1 ring from Hartstring Jewelry that I could not resist.

Saturday's Damage:
3 skeins Miss Babs Yowza-Whatta Skein! in Blackwatch
2 skeins Sanguine Gryphon Codex in The Secret Garden + Soap bar called Tangerine Dream
13 skeins Berroco Origami in Cucumber Water
1 skein Sunshine Yarns Luxury Sport in Cliffdiving
3 Lo-Lo Bars (1 travel tin, 2 regular tin)

I went way over budget. This is the most I've ever spent at Stitches West EVER. I went in only wanting to blow most of my budget on Woobu for the Traveling Sweater. ..then I lost focus. This is what happens when you go two days in a row. The ring, Lo-Lo bars, Miss Babs Tierno, and the skein of Sunshine Yarns were definitely impulse buys. Yikes.

From this point on I CANNOT buy anymore yarn till I finish:

Traveling Cardigan
Tea Leaves Cardigan

I can do it! This is when I wish I was a size 2. I'd be able to squeeze in so many more tops/sweaters. Sadly, knitting up my size takes more time and yarn.

Somewhere in there I'll squeeze in a shawl for my mom's birthday gift in April. I'm thinking of making Traveling Woman by Liz Abinante. I missed her at Miss Babs booth on Saturday. However, the only knit rockstar I spotted were Cookie A at the Habu booth on Friday. If I was a fanatical sock knitter I would've been more excited. It was cool to see her in person though. As I was leaving Saturday (or was it Friday?) Jess and Casey of Ravelry fame were in the lobby of Stitches West walking into the Market Place.

Thursday, February 10, 2011 public! public!, originally uploaded by Filipina Sakura.

Another one of those projects where I'm so happy to be a knitter. I love this shawl. When I had this project in mind it was always meant to be worn as a scarf.

This has me amped up for Stitches West next week!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Have I mentioned I don't like knitting lace?


Ishbel + A Verb for Keeping Warm's Annapurna = New found LOVE for lace.

Let me clarify about not liking knitting lace. I prefer lace that's not knitted from fingering or lace weight yarn. Annapurna's sport gauge and drape is a wonderful choice for this project. I like how weighty it feels. Unfortunately, Verb is discontinuing this yarn. At Stitches they'll be selling whatever is left at a discount. *sad face* As soon as I hit Blue Moon to get my Woobu fix, I'll be heading to the Verb booth soon after. (Note to self: Print out Stitches booth layout and come up with a game plan.)

As you can see, the edging is a different color. I ran out of Silk Velvet and shortly after I got the news about Annapurna getting discontinued. Naturally, I freaked out. What to do with an unfinished Ishbel and no available yarn? I asked the Verb board on Ravelry if anyone had some in their stash they're willing to part with and sell to me. No luck. Instead I got an idea from a member to use a different color to finish.

Idea #1 - Rip back to the stockinette part and use a new color for the lace.
Idea #2 - Rip back to the beginning of the edging section and use color for edging.

As you can see, you can tell what option I took. Frogging all the lace work is equal to stabbing my chest with a knife and twisting it. I couldn't do it. Going back two rows and starting the edging over was less painful.


The 2nd color is Thai Iced Tea. It was the only color on Verb's shelves that looked like it could work. What do you think?

I was worried that I wouldn't get the finished dimensions so I blocked the crap out of this shawl. I'm able to wrap my neck so it worked. The only thing I shouldn't have done is made the points so pointy. I got overly excited using my blocking wires for the first time while watching The Bachelor. My mind clearly wasn't all there.

I'm so stoked I finished 2 shawlettes within a week! Citron is off the needles too.


I apologize for the shitty iPhone pic I took in my dark cave cubicle. Next time I wear it I'll take better photos with a real camera.

What's on the needles now? Goodale made with madelinetosh Pashmina. OMG. So luxurious. At about $30 a skein it better last me through my old age. My freakin' great granddaughter better be able to wear it or re-purpose the yarn into something else. I can't wait to get it done by the time the weather warms up! It's a lot of boring endless stockinette. Kill me. On the other hand, it's great for mindless knitting at work during down time.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New found love: Annapurna by A Verb for Keeping Warm

A Verb for Keeping Warm Annapurna in Silk Velvet

This gorgeous skein of Annapurna has been in my stash since Dec. 2009. This purchase was an impulse buy during one of my first visits to Verb. On my last visit to Verb last November I was inspired to make this into Ishbel, a triangular shawl by Isolda Teague. I've seen many an Ishbel made with fingering or lace yarn. Note that I don't care much for dainty lace shawls. It's not my thing. The store's knit sample of Ishbel out of Annapurna (i don't recall the color) is absolutely beautiful. It was a small version that you can wrap around your neck. I tried it on to see if it suited me. I fell in love with it as soon as I put it on. I loved the drape and weight of the yarn. It felt like the perfect match and I had to make my own. I liked it so much I could probably make one in another color but I held back. It's another excuse to plan another visit to Verb. I have a feeling I'll be seeing the crew at Stitches West at the end of February first.

I tried really hard to not buy any yarn this year until Stitches but I failed miserably over this past weekend. This is what happens when I'm wasting time and find myself at a yarn store. Bubs had plans so I was left to make myself busy by dropping in to Yarn Boutique in Lafayette for a few minutes. I specifically went into buy 1 skein of Malabrigo worsted that I need to finish a project but YB didn't have it. I ended up leaving with a Namaste circular needle keeper (that looks like a mini accordian file), Addi clicks 10.5 needles (because it doesn't come with the set), and a big bottle of Eucalan wash (can you believe I ran out of wool wash?!). The next day I was in the City, again wasting time. I took advantage of going to Imagiknit. Their supply of Malabrigo is amazing so I hoped to find that skein I needed. There was nada. =/ Did I walk away empty handed? Of course not. If I had an endless pit of money I would've bought everything Madelinetosh on their shelves. I held back and walked away with 3 (very pricy!) skeins of the Pashmina to knit up the Goodale cardigan. If things work out I should have it done by spring and I can't wait! I mean, have you seen the pocket construction on that thing? It's a perfect layering garment.

Time to give my cat some attention and power through Ishbel. Maybe actually eat some breakfast too.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Getting reacquainted with Malabrigo

I recently got my Aidez off the needles. Everything has been blocked and dried except for the sleeves which are now currently being blocked and drying. Ten skeins were the perfect amount to complete the knitting but not the seaming. I didn't want to spend too much on another skein and didn't want to have to order online (because NO ONE LOCAL has Berocco Peruvia Quick!) and wait another week for it. I went to Michael's to find a similar yarn to use for seaming. It also helped that I've been holding on to a Michael's gift card I received 2 birthdays ago. Because of the holidays there wasn't much selection of what I needed on the shelves. Lion Wool-ease Thick and Quick in Oat was the closest I could find. It's lighter in color to what I need but I'll cross my fingers and hope it works. Seaming yarn isn't supposed to show anyway. Did I say I hope this works?

While I wait the sleeves to dry I immediately put The Last Hour Hat on the needles. It HAD to be. I mean, did you see how cute and simple and Anthropologiesque it looks? I'm not much of a hat wearer but maybe after I finish Last Hour I will be. I think the pattern author has been published in Vogue Knitting numerous times and definitely want to knit her Eternity Scarf pattern as well. So many projects and so little time.

I originally wanted to make the hat for my sister-in-law as a Christmas gift but time got away from me. I had bought a couple balls of Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran to make it with but changed my mind the moment I found Malabrigo Worsted at Imagiknit. To my knowledge, they have the largest stock of Malabrigo in the area. They always have a ton whenever I go there. I haven't been to Article Pract as much but I have a feeling they have a huge stock of it too. I think what turns me off from going is the sometimes sketchy location and not easily finding free and close parking.

So back to Malabrigo...I forgot how much I love it! I know I just made an earflap hat with the much chunkier version of Malabrigo, but worsted is so soft on the skin that I wish I could sleep on a pile of skeins. I can imagine it would feel like sleeping on a cloud. I'm sure I'll finish up the hat by next week at the lastest because I'm determined to get Ishbel on my needles ASAP. With what yarn? A Verb for Keeping Warm's Annapurna. I purchased it over a year ago and haven't known what to do with it until now. There was a store sample at Verb's new store opening and it was beautiful. I'm also not much of a triangular shawl wearer but it could easily be wrapped around my neck instead to show off the lace pattern.

I think 2011 will be a great year of knitting projects. Let's get knitting!