Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mystic Waters KAL

I started this KAL because I love lace and thought it would be a great forum for a 'first leap'. So far that's very true! I also promised myself I would not allow 'keep up' anxiety because even I know the fastest way to muck up lace is to rush madly along. I've done some great mad-rushing in my time and the frogging afterwards is not worth it!

That said, I finished chart A today - it's probably a little less than half the first clue and I'm pretty happy with the results - first laceweight, first chart attempt! The red background is AWFUL but it was the best I could do at work - I pinned it to the door of an overhead cubicle bin.

I think I see a missing loop but it's far enough back that I'll probably just chalk it up to experience and try to block it open later.

I also have several socks going and an absolutely HORRID hot pink/black hat for this gal at work that's clearly palette-challenged (shudder) People look at me on the bus and I say "She picked her own colors" defensively before they even ask. You'll not see pictures of that till it's finished in all it's horrible glory. Bleh.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Knitting about

I haven’t been blogging this week; I’ve been knitting! I finished a hat/scarf in Kochoran for my friend Nancy’s birthday and tried to knit the swatch for the Mystic Waters Mystery KAL a dozen or so times in the Alpaca Cloud from Knit Picks. I kept finding mistakes and ripping back which sort of scared me since the shawl starts today. I’d already swatched once in a laceweight (Shimmer) so I decided that the knitting goddesses would not strike me down if I started in the alpaca. Here it is 15 rows along:

This is my first laceweight project, my first KAL and my first mystery knit. I think it’s pretty fun and I swear I’m not going to necessarily pressure myself to ‘keep up’. Deadlines and knitting combined make me very cranky. Just ask Jack.

I’ve also finally started socks again since lace and the Chicago Transit Authority (aka The Bus) don’t get along well – I decided I was attempting a pattern that was too ambitious and reverted to my nice, neat k2 p2 ribbing. I read on one of my lists where someone did both socks at once in sections to avoid second sock syndrome and I’m trying it. I have one cuff done:

I’m starting the second cuff on my new Knit Picks dpn’s – I’ll be interested to see if my gauge is any different with the metal! I’m also still doing a few stitches here and there on the Adara shawl, I refuse to give up on it!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Virtual Vacation Swap!

Good grief! It’s been such an exciting morning! Months ago, I joined the Knitters Virtual Vacation Swap. Well, my secret tour guide was unable to complete my tour for whatever reason so I was assigned an ‘Angel Pal’ and today my package arrived from Laurie! It was sooooo heavy and I could not wait till I got home to open it! Inside I found:

A ‘tour’ of Lowville, New York – Laurie told me she learned a lot about her town that she never knew from this!

Two patterns – one sock pattern and one for legwarmers and a hat!

Knit Picks ‘Dancing’ sock yarn in a beautiful fall colorway and Sassy Stripes (which I LOVE), enough for 2 pairs of socks.

Two lavender ‘wands’ made from lavender out of Laurie’s garden – These are SO clever, I adore them! Also, a bar of lavender soap from a soap company just up the road.

Trail Mix (with M&M’s!) and Garlic Sesame sticks from an Amish grocer in the neighborhood.

A yummy pineapple sage candle and CafĂ© de Oriente coffee – this is going to be soooooo wonderful next Saturday morning – I love coffee!

A jar of honey peach jam (Laurie, did you make this yourself?) that I can barely wait to open. Can I have jam for lunch??

Dearest of all to me was a little felted pumkin that Laurie made herself! I adore knitted gifts from others, knowing the work that goes into it! I love seasonal decorations but Jack and I don’t have very many yet ‘together’. This pumpkin will spend the rest of the season on our kitchen table J

Laurie, I can’t thank you enough for putting such thought into my package. It really made my day and probably my week!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Mystic Waters Lace

I have joined the Mystic Waters Mystery Shawl KAL and it is due to start October 24th. Anna is still accepting knitters so if you’re interested go here:

I have some Lorna’s Laces Helen’s Lace for this but I have to take it back to Loopy and have it wound. A swatch was published and I couldn’t wait to try it so I used some Knit Picks Shimmer I already had wound and here’s what I got:

It is 6 inches wide by 6.5 inches tall and I love it! This is my first attempt at lace weight knitting and also my first KAL! (My damn cat grabbed it off my desk while I was looking for a needle to weave in my ends! X@!*#) (In 10 seconds she ATE the entire 10 inch thread, gnawed it off right at the edge – see above where it says DAMN CAT)

I decided I was going to make my own blocking board since my honey works at Home Depot and just adores it when I send lists of ‘bring this home’. We are tight on space so I want it in pieces that I can join depending on the size of the project. I’m going to use Velcro strips for the joins. Below are the materials – we’ll see how it works out!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Branching Out

I came right down to the wire on the Branching Out scarf for my mother's birthday, what with spinning my homework and my typical 'home stretch' loss of interest in looking at that yarn for several more inches. I stopped at 37 inches in the Panda Cotton yarn which has a bit of elastic.

After blocking (and I'm sure I was tenatively blocking, it's the first time I've done this!) I ended up with 57 inches of 6 inch-wide lace. I was blocking Saturday morning and it had to be dry by 6 PM for the birthday dinner so outside it went into the breezy day. (I nearly died later while out running errands when it looked like rain). I'm quite pleased with it (and myself!) now that all is said and done. So pleased that like a total masochist I signed up for the Mystic Water KAL. Sign ups are open till 10/24. (yes, I'm enabling, so what).