Monday, February 25, 2008

And another one bites the dust...

I was able to finish my February socks this weekend!
Project Specs
Pattern: Evening Stockings for a Young Lady from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Kraemer Sterling in the original white
Needles: Addi Lace size 1
Date Started: January 18, 2008
Date Completed: February 23, 2008
Modifications: Cast on 60 stitches to knit regular socks, instead of knee-highs. Shortened the ribbing and knit 9 pattern repeats before starting the heel. Knit a slipped stitch heel rather than the ribbed heel called for in the pattern.

I will be knitting the Embossed Leaves Socks from Interweave Knits using Miss Babs Superwash Sock in the Grasshopper colorway from my stash. I have successfully avoided buying any new yarn this month, although it was very hard due to some tempting sales that I, utilizing what little willpower I have, successfully avoided.
As I showed off my new color last week, here is the debut of my new cut! When all is said and done, I am a short-haired kind of gal. I try to grow it out but it really isn't me. It feels great to have a new short do!

Happy Monday!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Presto Chango

I felt the need to spice things up a bit and banish the winter blahs this weekend. Unfortunately, I also momentarily lost the ability to take a good mirror shot (not that I am sure that I ever had the ability to take a good mirror shot but that is beside the point) so the photos are a bit blurry. I was feeling a bit bored with my natural hair color so I decided to opt for something a bit more dramatic. Here is the before pic:

On a jaunt to the store and some time spent perusing the hair color options, I selected Feria #45, French Roast "a deep bronzed brown." Although it's a bit fuzzy, here is a picture taken post-dye job. The color is actually a little bit redder than it looks in the photos. I will also be getting it cut on Wednesday as it has grown out of any bit of style it originally had. Then, the transformation will be complete.

In my switch things up a bit mood, I cast on for a new project, Violette by French Girl. This is a super quick and easy project. Knit with Rowan Big Wool, this project was cast on and cast off in 2 hours. I don't think that I am going to add the ribbon because it turned out a bit small. I am still mulling it over and will wear it a few times before I decide.

Although I do have one FO to show for the weekend, it is neither of the ones that I thought it would be. I was more in a bounce around to different projects mood this weekend than in the mood to concentrate on one project and finish it. I did do a few more lace rounds on my Evening Stockings but they pretty much look the same as the last picture I showed of them. I think I have 3 or 4 lace rounds to go before I start the toe. I should be able to finish them before the end of the month to make the deadlines for both the Socks from Stash Club and Sock a Month 5.

I resurrected 2 other UFOs this weekend to work on. I am now at the point of doing the increases for the puffed sleeves in the puffed sleeve feminine cardigan from Fitted Knits by Stephanie Japel. I still have quite a ways to go before separating the sleeves but it is nice to have a sweater progressing. There is nothing quite like donning your new sweater and wearing it out for the first time.

I also picked up the Not So Montego Bay Scarf and worked on it a bit this weekend. This is one project that will probably take me forever as I tend to get bored with knitting scarfs.

In other exciting news, I start my sewing class on Tuesday!!! I can't wait to be able to whip up a few sewing FOs.

I also did a few non-craft-related fun things this weekend as well. On Friday, I went to see a cabaret singer sing Edith Piaf songs, which was alot of fun. I love Edith Piaf's music. It's so passionate and soulful even though I don't speak French. I do have to say that I do not understand the French's love for mimes and clowns. There was a "dramatic fool" performing as well and I just couldn't see the entertainment in it. I guess to each their own. I also went to the movies to see Atonement. The movie was extremely well done and beautifully acted. I loved the period clothes and the cinematography. If you are looking for a melancholy love story, I highly recommend it.

Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Knitting in a Winter Wonderland

There's something about inclement weather that is so conducive to knitting. I left work a bit early and, after working for a while at home to make up for leaving early, the knitting was on. I popped Across the Universe into the dvd player and picked up the sticks.

First, I got to work on my Evening Stockings for a Young Lady. I had made it through one heel and the gusset on Saturday and had get the second sock caught up so that I could get them both back on the needle and enter the home stretch with them. I'm hoping to put these puppies to bed by the end of this weekend. Then, I will be diving into the sock yarn stash for a yarn for my March socks. I love what I am learning about shaping by knitting socks. I think doing a pair of socks a month this year will greatly improve the look of my other knitted garments as well. I did a slipped stitch heel on these socks instead of the ribbed one called for in the pattern.

Feeling like I needed a change of pace, I moved on to the heartbreakingly cute baby kimono. I have started the increases for the sleeves. I am also hoping to finish this by the end of the weekend. I think this is doable as it is tiny and all garter stitch.

In gift knitting, I finished two more dishcloths. These will go into my gift pile.

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Snow Daze

Does anyone know what happened to the Interweave Knits KAL? I've noticed lately that the page isn't coming up and it has been removed from my blogger dashboard?

In knitting news, I'm plugging away on the Evening Stockings for a Young Lady. I have finished the first heel and gusset and am now working on the second sock. Once the heel and gusset are finished on that sock, I will put the second sock back on the needles and should be able to finish these fairly quickly. I'm hoping to have them completed by the end of next weekend. I'm starting to get more intuitive about knitting socks and modifying a pattern to suit my personal taste. I've made the legs much less high on these than I did on the previous socks I've made to be more in line with the type of socks that I prefer. None of the socks that I wear on a regular basis are as high as most sock patterns call for. The only time I wear higher socks is when I am wearing boots and I don't think I'll be wearing any of my handknit socks hidden under boots anytime soon.

I am also knitting away on the Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono. As this should be a fairly quick knit, I think it will be my February sweater because I haven't made much progress on the puffed sleeve cardi.

We've gotten a heck of alot of snow here in the 'burgh. It's supposed to turn into freezing rain later so I am probably going to head out of work early today.

Friday, February 8, 2008

OMG! It's finally the weekend!

I am looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend of knitting and chilling out.

I cast on for the Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting last night. I am about an inch into it and think that this will be a quick fun knit. I am going to use some ducky buttons instead of ribbons for the closure. I am knitting this project for the February KAL in a KAL at Stashalong 2008.

My other weekend knitting plans include working on my Evening Stockings for a Young Lady. I have knit 3 more lace repeats and have probably 3 more to go before I start the heels on the Evening Stockings. think I am also going to frog the Puffed Sleeve Cardigan and recast on as I am not pleased with the existing cast on.

My Stashalong 2008 goals are as follows:

1. I will allow myself one free day a month. If I do not use my free day in the month, I will give myself 1 point. If I get 6 points, I can consider going to Stitches East. If I don't get at least 6 points, Stitches East is out.

2. I will not buy any sock yarn and only used stashed sock yarns for both this KAL and the Socks from Stash Club.

3. I will knit at least 5 sweaters from stash before I can purchase the yarn for a sweater that I do not have the yarn in my stash to knit.

Hopefully, my goals will help me stick with my debt free in 2008 plan as well.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Quick Update

Things have been fairly quiet in jsinsland lately. I've cast on for the puffed sleeve feminine cardigan from Stephanie Japel's Fitted Knits. I am only on the collar so I do not have a picture to show. I love the red from the version in the book so I am unoriginally knitting it in the exact same yarn in the exact same color. I've used the same yarn that a pattern called for before but I think this is the first time that I am also using the same color. (It's Knitpicks Merino Style in Maple Leaf.)

I have also knit 2 dishcloths as part of the Year Long Gift-A-Long. If I can keep focused on folding in gift knits with my standard selfish knitting, I may actually have a stress free Christmas this year.

In non-knitting but other crafting news, I have signed up to take a sewing class at the Community College of Allegheny County. I am really looking forward to taking this class. I have a sewing machine and have made curtains and pillows with it but I would like to become more proficient with sewing and tackle some more complicated projects.

Happy Monday!