Monday, November 26, 2007

Romeo, oh Romeo, where for art thou, Romeo?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving (U.S.) full of family, food and knitting. I had a great Thanksgiving day and enjoyed hanging out with family and friends and then was felled by cold from hell that has had me doing couch duty pretty much since Friday. I've even been too sick to knit! Once every couple of years, I get a really bad cold and, since it has been a couple of years since the last one, it hit me this year. On the one had, it hit me when I was already off work so I didn't have to worry about taking any sick days. On the other hand, it hit me over the holidays when I was at my parents and looking forward to hanging out and having a good time with everyone. I'm finally starting to feel human again and have managed to make my way into the office today but I just can't wait to get back to being 100%. At least I had my brother's dog, Buddy, to keep me company on the couch when I was down and out.

In more exciting news, I hit one of my knitting goals and finished Juliet the weekend before Thanksgiving.

The vital statistics for this sweater are as follows:

Cast On: Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cast Off: Saturday, November 17, 2007

Yarn: Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky gray (5 skeins)

Needles: Knitpicks Options 10 1/2 on a 32 inch cord

Project notes: Juliet was a quick and enjoyable knit and was completed in 4-5 sittings. Upon reading a number of the knitter comments on Ravelry, I knit the small size rather than the medium that I usually knit in Zephyr Style patterns. I didn't know whether or not this style of sweater would suit my shape and originally planned to do the longer version. However, I went with the short version upon trying it on for size and am really glad that I did. Being fairly large chested, I think the longer version would have looked like a maternity top and stopped the cropped version at my waistline. I also really enjoyed working with the Berkshire Bulky even though it seemed stiff and itchy when I got it. It really softened up after winding and knit up beautifully. However, I would caution anyone who is thinking of using this yarn for a project to buy at least a skein more than the project calls for because I found a lot of joins and knots in it during winding.

I have cast on for Zephyr Style's Wicked using Cascade 220 Heathers in Ocean Heather. I am about 9 rows from separating the sleeves. (I would be much further along but my recent illness has precluded any knitting progress over the last 4 days.) I am knitting the worsted weight version with short sleeves and will be doing the pocket, which is my favorite part of this pattern. I also swatched for the Elizabeth Bennet Cabled Cardigan from Fitted Knits by Stephanie Japel but decided to go with Wicked instead as I was taking it to my parents for the holiday. Buddy (the aforementioned 4-legged member of the family) has no problem with sitting on my lap and not bothering my knitting but I thought it might be tempting fate a bit too much to try it with an angora yarn (or even having the WIP sitting around the house) as he does really like to chase bunny rabbits.

In blogging news, The Comfy Bev selected jsins for a "You Make Me Smile Award." Thank you, Bev! I have greatly enjoyed getting to know Bev through her blog and through the No Sheep for You Secret Swap and am honored that she enjoys checking out the blog. I'd like to pass along the good cheer to the following knitbloggers who inspire me with their knitting, crafting and blogging:

Kristina of Brouhaha Knits

Adrienne of Real Life: Live and Unscripted

Robin of Yarn Crawl

Dawn of A Simplified Life

Happy knitting everyone! I am hoping that I feel up to picking up the sticks again tonight.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Oh the weather outside is frightful but the knitting's so delightful...

Well, we've gotten our first snow of the season here in the 'burgh. It is truly prime knitting season now. What is better on a cold, snowy day than sitting with a cozy knit on your lap? (O.K. perhaps sitting on the beach with a mojito and a knitting a cute little summer top but I've got to make due with what I've got.) I actually really like fall and winter. My wardrobe is definitely more suited to it as I love sweaters and boots and velvet. I'm much more blase about spring and summer clothes. I'm ready to sit in front of the fireplace with a stack of movies and my knitting until spring.

This post marks the pictural debut of my Not So Montego Bay Scarf. Generally, I'm not a big fan of knitting scarfs but the lure of beautiful Handmaiden lace-weight yarn overcame me. This version is Not So Montego Bay because I am knitting it with Handmaiden Camelspin, which, if you haven't tried it, feels amazing, rather than Sea Silk. I'd have never thought that camels were so soft. I'm knitting this version in the Lily Pond colorway and modified the pattern by decreasing 5 lace repeats to accommodate for difference in yardage between Camelspin and Sea Silk. I also have a hank of Sea Silk in my stash in the Paris colorway that is destined to become a Montego Bay Scarf. I'm enjoying the mindless nature of this pattern at the moment. I don't think it will be my quickest knit though because I can also see myself becoming bored with the mindlessness of it as well.

My knitting goals for this weekend are to finish up Juliet so that I can cast on for the Elizabeth Bennet Cabled Cardigan from Fitted Knits to take with me to my parents' house to knit over Thanksgiving. I will be knitting the EB Cardy using the recommended Cloud 9 in a Salmon color that I ordered last winter when it was on sale at WEBS.

And in other exciting news, THERE IS A LYS OPENING LESS THAN A MILE FROM MY HOUSE TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (jsins checking account screams in agony and her atm card tries to run away.) I can't wait to check it out. I am going to head over there after work today. The LYS is called Natural Stitches and it's located in the Village of East Side in East Liberty at 6401 Penn Avenue. (Pittsburgh, PA 15206 in case anyone wants to get directions to the store online.) If you're in the 'burgh, you should stop by and check it out.

Have a great weekend everyone and happy knitting!!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

La la la la la la, La la la la la la...

My cherie amour, lovely as a summer day... I had a wonderful weekend! I went to the Stevie Wonder concert here in the 'burgh. That Stevie sure can bring it! The music was amazing, the joint was poppin' and I was boogie'n. (Hey, I'm from Pittsburgh. We use 'n for just about everything.)

I have some much belated thanks to my AWESOME Secret Pal!!!!! I received my second package recently and, once again, it's like she knew exactly what to get me. I've been thinking alot about trying to create my own knitting pattern lately and, lo and behold, my secret pal sends me a graph paper notebook and a set of pencils to get to it. I immediately hopped online and ordered two of the Barbara Walker books: A Treasury of Knitting Patterns and Charted Knitting Patterns. Now all I need is inspiration to strike.

Also included in the package was some lovely vanilla sugar scented lotion, shower gel and body scrub. Last but not least, was a beautiful sock yarn, Country Sock. It is in a great springy colorway that I think I am going to save for when I am heavy into the winter doldrums to cheer me up. All I can say about this yarn is "Isn't she lovely? Isn't she wonderful?"


I also owe a huge thanks to Kristen of the Finish Me group for the awesome notions holder that she sent me for the September UFO Challenge. This little hippo is perfect to hold all of my notions. THANK YOU KRISTEN!!!!!

I also have some knitting progress to report. After a short hiatus, I've picked up the garter rib socks again and have started the heel for the first sock. This is the first time that I have knit 2 socks at the same time and the first time that I have knit a sock using a different yarn for the cuff, heel and toe. I'm hoping to finish these up by Thanksgiving so that I can move onto other projects.

I am also plugging away on the fair Juliet. I should only have 1 or 2 more lace repeats to go before I can wrap this baby up.

I am also working on the Not So Montego Bay Scarf and will try to snap a pic of it this week to show my progress.

On a sadder note, I frogged the Lady Detective Hat. I was able to do a really good job of dealing with the double stranded Noro when I got to the second two skeins and realized that the trick was to rip it out slowly while winding one strand onto my ball winder and the other onto my swift. However, I was not that smart when I started to rip it and now have two balls of badly (and I do mean badly) tangled Noro Kureyon that I would like to be able to salvage. Does anyone have any tips for dealing with this problem? Thank you to anyone who can pass along any suggestions.

Have a great Tuesday!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

And now for something completely different...

I saw the following meme on Bespoke by Brouhaha and thought it would be fun to give it a whirl. Feel free to do it yourself if you would like.

What's in a name?

YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car) = Kelly Explorer
YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fav. ice cream flavor, favorite cookie) = Vanilla Oreo
YOUR "FLY GIRL" NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of last name) = jsin
YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal) = Red Dog
YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born) = Lynn DuBois
YOUR STAR WASH NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first) = Sinje
SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd favorite color, favorite drink, put "The" first) = The Purple Martini
STRIPPER NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne, favorite candy) = Burberry Snickers
WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother's & father's middle names) = Kay Edward
PORN STAR NAME (name of first pet and name of first street you lived on): Kelly Weber

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Still knitting and trying to find some time to take some proper pics.

I'm still out there knitting. I am working on Juliet, which should be finished this weekend and cast on a Montego Bay Scarf in Handmaiden Camel Spun last night as the weather here has taken a turn toward winter and snow is in the air. I also have a skein of Handmaiden Sea Silk that is intended to be a Montego Bay Scarf as well but fell in love with an acid green colorway and the extreme softness of the Handmaiden Camel Spun when I was at the Ravelry meet-up at Knit One last night and cast on for the scarf as soon as I got home. I haven't gotten much new work done on the garter rib socks and will return to them as soon as I finish Juliet. I have to frog my Lady Detective Hat and reknit it as I goofed up on my calculations and double stranded Noro Kureyon for it. I could fit at least 2 heads, possibly 3, in it at this point. I am going to frog it this weekend and cast on again as I need a new winter hat and I love the way it looks, just not the size. Fortunately, it is a quick knit and I should be able to finish it in a day or 2. I am going to use the leftover Noro to make a matching My So Called Scarf.

I had a great time at the Ravelry meet-up. It was nice to hang out with other knitters and chill out for an evening. The folks at Knit One were super nice and got pizza for the group. I hope that we can make this a regular event as none of my friends knit and it was great to be part of a knitting community.

I must take pictures this weekend. My Secret Pal, PurlyGirly, sent me an amazing package and I must get pics to post a proper thank you for the awesome surprise. I am also setting a new blogging goal for myself to post at least twice a week for the rest of the year. Hopefully, I will actually post more than that but I'd hate to set a goal that I can't accomplish.

Happy knitting everyone!