When I started blogging, I really wanted to write something every day. Some weeks that worked, but most weeks not so much. It did put a lot of pressure on me which I relieved by avoiding my blog and knitting - creating more things to blog about. A vicious circle of unbridled creativity. I've learned that daily blogging probably isn't for me. I'm toying with the idea of blogging on Monday, Wednesday (WIPs!) and Friday (FOs!). Monday probably won't be knitting related. I'll talk about life, music, maybe share a book or recipe I've stumbled across. Maybe share an old, non-knitting FO. It's going to be random. I'll participate in Carole's Ten on Tuesday as much as I can.
So...since this is WIP Wednesday, I have more than just some unfinished knitting to write about - I have some unfinished business. The past few weeks have been quite lucky for me. I won TWO contests and scored some lovely yarn in a big stashdown sale. There's still a little bit left in that sale, and if you'll go here and buy it all, it'll help my credit card cool down a few degrees. There are some skeins still calling my name, but I'll bet they'd like you, too.
BIG THANK YOU TO...
Ivana from the wonderful Fridica blog. Ivana had a contest last month in which she asked us to send pictures wearing our knitwear in a real-life situation (NOT modeling our latest FO). I sent in this picture of me wearing my Merope Shawl and holding Austin when he was just a little less than one day old, and I won!!!
Last week, I received a wonderful package from Ivana containing beautiful yarn from Croatia and some patterns for darling little baby socks.
I love the sock patterns, but may have to hold off on them. They're knit on #0 or #1 needles, and my hands are still recovering from two little hats I made on #2s. Ouchie... But look at that beautiful yarn! I'm thinking of a darling little polo shirt or cardigan for Austin. Thank you, Ivana!!
Also thank you to Margene from Zeneedle. Margene had a blogiversary contest...and I won one of three prizes! I'll be honest and say I was terribly embarrassed to win two contests in a week, especially when I was trying to figure out how to have one of my own (and I'm still working on that...). My prize was a skein of Margene's lovely handspun yarn and a copy of Twist & Knit. Oops...I already have a copy. Soooo...when my package arrived last week, here is what was in it:
The beautiful yarn AND a darling little Namaste goodie bag...AND some delicious tangeriney/pepperminty soap from blessed juno, appropriately named "Tangent" (cuz heaven knows I can go off on one of those every now and again!). I think that yarn deserves closeup, don't you???
Thank you, Margene!! I cannot wait to cast on for that Comfy Shawl. It's next in my queue!
Last, but in no way least, a big thanks to Allison from Alaskan Purl for putting such beautiful yarn up for sale! I'm still bummed that I didn't act quickly enough to snag her mega batch of laceweight, but just look what I got:
|6 skeins Rowan Felted Tweed in Watery|
|4 skeins Rowan Scottish Tweed DK in Celtic Mix (Yes, I'm on a tweed kick...)|
|6 skeins Berrocco Ultra Alpaca in Spiceberry Mix|
|2 skeins Cascade Heritage Sock yarn in David's Eyes (really creepy name, but beautiful yarn)|
And now for the other WIPs....
Pattern: Evenstar Shawl (aka "The Project That Wouldn't End")
Yarn: Knit Picks Shimmer in Bayou
Date Started: March 3, 2010 (yes...really...it's been a year...)
Yup...I've taken Evenstar out of hibernation. There really isn't any problem with this project. It's been challenging but, for the most part, fun. That is till I got to the edging. The edging is 20 rows of 20 stitches repeated around the entire shawl...hundreds and hundreds of times. It's tedious, and it makes me crazy. I can only do one pattern repeat, two at the most, then I have to put it away for a couple days. 56 repeats of 20 rows. The good news is, I think I have only 21 or 22 repeats to go. I started out with the whole thing on a 60" circular needle and I'm now on a 24" circular with a good amount of room to spare. Heartening...I may finished it before I die. I hope so, because it is a beautiful project.
Pattern: Thermal Socks
Yarn: Knit Picks Essential Kettle Dyed in Soot (Discontinued)
Needles: #1 (Pattern calls for #2s, but I have itty bitty footies...)
Date Started: January 7, 2011
Progress: 70% (Yes, that's right...it's the end of February, and I'm almost 3/4 of the way through the January sock. Gotta love progress!)
I've modified this pattern as much as I can, and I'm fairly happy with it at last (except for that dreaded black yarn). I decided to do a p1, k1 ribbing on those stitches that had the bizarre increase/decrease rows. It's moving along fairly quickly at this point. The heels were a little sketchy, but that's okay. This is my "learning project" for knitting two socks on one circular needle. The first heel is pretty much an (un)holey mess. The second is pretty much perfect. Can't complain about that and won't go back and fix the first one. Charging on to the February sock which is in a lovely deep red yarn. Can't wait!
Pattern: A Very Braidy Cowl
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Maxima in Currant
Date Started: February 27, 2011
I fell in love with this yarn the moment I saw it. I had to buy it and start a project with it right away. The name of this pattern made me laugh out loud, and I love the thick, chunky cables. I haven't done serious cabling in many years, so this is a fun refresher for me.
Pattern: Baby Boy 5-Hour Sweater
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted in Nautical Blue
Date Started: February 25, 2011
Made for: Austin
I can't wait to show you the first one of these wonderful sweaters I made. When I gave it to Raechel, she immediately asked for more of them. This is a perfect little cardigan for a baby. It doesn't have closures, though you could knit on a button band if you wanted to. And...this is the most amazing thing...it is knit entirely in one piece! The only "seams" are in the sleeves, and they are slip-stitched together. I really don't know if it takes five hours to knit or not. I suspect the first one took me a little longer, though I didn't keep track. I'm going to try to keep track on this one. The pattern calls for #10 needles, but I went down to #9s because Austin is still a little guy (growing fast, but still little).
Pattern: Ruffled Edge Wrap
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed DK in Watery
Date Started: February 17, 2011
For the past several months, every time I've gone into my favorite LYS, Temptations, I've seen a sample of this wrap and admired it. I don't think the sample is knit in Felted Tweed, but whenever I've looked at it, this little voice in my head told me it would be a perfect combination. This will be another "long slog" project, but luckily the pattern is easily memorized. It's a perfect project to take to knitting group on Saturday mornings.
Yarn: Araucania Ranco Multy in Brown/Gray/Charcoal
Date Started: February 16, 2011
I am the only living knitter on this planet who has not yet made (or attempted to make) Clapotis. It's my turn. Actually, this is one of those rare cases where I had yarn and couldn't figure out what to make with it. I bought this yarn on sale a couple years ago and attempted several projects with it, but none of them were good matches for the yarn, so I packed it away. A couple weeks ago, I was updating my stash page on Ravelry, noticed a picture of the yarn and lapsed into a "must find a project or get rid of the yarn" obsession. When I saw several Clapotis (Clapotees? Clapoti? Clapotisses?) knit from this yarn, I decided to give it a shot. So far, so good. I know it's another "slogger", but the color changes will keep it interesting for me, and I like the way the yarn feels in my hands while I'm knitting.
Pattern: Revontuli-huivi/Northern Lights
Yarn: Noro Sekku in #2 Black/Gray/Brown/Green/Blue (with a little purple and red tossed in just for giggles)
Date Started: January 15, 2011
I am definitely in "long slog" territory with this shawl, but I am still intrigued by the color changes, so it isn't making me crazy. I am beginning to see why people love Noro yarns. You can work on really boring patterns, and there's this constant little adrenaline rush of color change going on. I really cannot wait to finish this and wear it. This is a fun and pretty easy pattern that looks a whole lot more complicated than it is. I'm eyeing some other yarns in my stash that I think would make spectacular Northern Lights shawls.
FOs on Friday, I PROMISE - the three oldest and the three newest. It'll be fun!