Another Quick Knit

My recent splurge led to this next knitting project. I got a new toy this month. I got an iPad.

And, as everyone knows, every iPad needs a cozy.

And, as every *knitter* knows, all good things are made better when swathed on wool.

So, I harnessed some of my creativity and whipped up a little purple merino bag to keep my new gadget warm on the cold nights ahead.

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I used Judy’s Magic Cast On (which is really cool and if you haven’t tried it yet, you should) and worked stockinette stitch in the round to a good depth then worked some cables across the top edge, leaving gaps for the handles and button strap. I am really quite pleased with how it turned out. Of course, how could I go wrong? That Malabrigo Merino Worsted is to die for!

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Final Purchases

My last Eat Sleep Knit purchase of 2010 arrived today. Hubby got the mail. Here is the conversation that ensued.

HIM: “What was in the box?”

ME: “My last yarn purchase for a whole year.”

HIM:”Yeah, right.”

But, nevertheless, here it is in all it’s glory:

Five skeins Malabrigo Lace Sealing Wax

Two skeins Pagewood Farms Yukon New Horizon

There is, of course, one more package on it’s way. A box of Knit Picks yarn which I told the Man about, stressing that I ordered it last year. So, I still haven’t bought anything this year… and I won’t. This will have to be proven over time, though.

By the way, I just want to brag on my camera for a second. These pictures were taken in my living room, at night, under horrible lighting conditions. Yet, the color is vivid and accurate. Well, the red is a little less bright in real life, but for red, it is very close. (It is so hard to photograph red. Why is that?) Very cool. Thanks again, Mom! 🙂

My Black Friday Take

I knew that it was coming, so I didn’t buy yarn for a whole month in anticipation. The Eat Sleep Knit Black Friday Sale. This is what I scored.

Remember my Wispy Cardi that I made? I lamented that it wasn’t suited to my “maternally soft” (great phrase, Missi!) physique. However, I wear it all the time! The yarn is whisper soft and so heavenly against the skin. I don’t love the way it looks, but it just feels fabulous. And so, I ordered enough Malabrigo Lace to try another of Hannah Fettig’s sweaters, the Featherweight Cardigan. Maybe this one will look better on my frame. At least I know that I will love how it feels. (The color is Tortuga)

And, yet more Malabrigo Lace, this time in olive, for another Wispy. My cousin, if I may say, has had an amazing year – premature twins with a two year old already and her hubby between jobs. She needs a little Malabrigo to wrap herself in. When she admired my Wispy, I knew she had one headed to her. (I love you, K!)

Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Lace in  Senta. I don’t know why I bought this, except the obvious reasons – it is lace weight, it is alpaca, and it is beautiful.

I confess that this purchase was just out of curiosity. I have used Madelinetosh only once before, and it was the one-ply Tosh Worsted, which pilled so terribly that I am hugely disappointed. This here is a skien of the two-ply Vintage. I wanted to get a skien to check it out. Madelinetosh has such lovely colorways, but I won’t ever use the Tosh Worsted again. (The color here is Kale)

So, there it is. You are now up to date on all my stash enhancements of the past couple of months… I think. 🙂 The stash got shoved in the closet in favor of a Christmas tree, but will come back out in January. We will see then if I forgot anything….

And, hey! Progress is happening on the Christmas knitting. Yay!

PS I love you

While recently looking through my stash (I was just looking, mind you! I will finish my checklist! I haven’t made any progress since I last wrote about it, but I haven’t cheated, either….yet), I came upon a crumpled love letter addressed to me. This is what it said:

Darling Shelly,

Hi. Remember me? I haven’t seen you around in awhile and so I decided to write and tell you how I miss you.

I was so excited when you chose me to come home to live in your stash. You fondled my soft, merino strands and gazed at me with such adoring eyes. You thrilled me with promises of all that I would become in your able hands. When you placed me at the top of the stash, I knew it was temporary. I sat there and reveled in your stolen glances and the way you would come pet me from time to time. I understood then that you had to finish a few things before we could be together. I was willing to be patient and I knew that you would be back for me soon.

But, I am starting to wonder if those dreams we shared were nothing more than empty infatuation. Have I done something to offend? Did you replace me with some other yarn? Do you even remember my name?

Come back to me, Knitter, dear! Come back and let us find the project that will fulfill us both. I want to glide through your fingers and experience my destiny with you. Put down all those sad wips that drag you down and bore you to tears. I can make you happy, I know I can.

Love Always

Malabrigo Lace

PS – I love you

Now, Friends, tell me truly – how can I resist any longer?

The Year of the Sweater Continues….

So, a knitting update.

The goal:

Knit 7 me-sized sweaters before the end of next winter.

The sweaters:

Sweater #1 – “Pink” (Top-Down Vine Lace Cardigan in Malabrigo Chunky) status: DONE

Sweater #2- “Chai” (Tea Leaves Cardigan in Madelintosh Tosh Merino) status: DONE

Sweater #3 – “Vera” (Shawl Collared Cardigan in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes) status:

This sweater has been bad. Though I counted twice, I have three extra stitches on the left front. Debate over what to do keeps me awake at night. What’s three stitches? I ask myself. Well, in this case, three stitches is about 3/4 of an inch. Does it matter? There is a huge shawl collar yet to knit that will cover a multitude of sins… To frog means tearing back too far to think about without a glass of wine. I want to continue, but I am paralyzed by this conundrum. So, there it sits, looking very color-coordinated in it’s bag, waiting on me to make up my mind and proceed.

In the meantime, there is…

Sweater #4 – “Mermaid” (Mondo Cable Cardi in Dream in Color Classy) status:

I am loving knitting this. (Bad grammar, I know. But I am loving knitting this so much that I don’t care!) The picture doesn’t fully capture the color. It is raining today, so the lighting is bad. There are six cable crossings down the front of each side and I am almost to the fourth one. My skeins of yarn seem slightly varied from each other, so I am knitting from two balls at a time, alternating every two rows to blend them. It is a new technique for me, so that makes it interesting. And, it is also beautifully color-coordintaed with the knitting bag. (I love when that happens!)

This is an excellent pattern, by the way. Very consice and not too wordy. I hate when patterns take up ten pages describing every row, so this was fun for me. You do have to pay attention, though. At one point there are three things going on in the row with only a line or two of instruction to guide you. A lovely challenge. And, knitting from the top down is always fun. I like trying it on as I go and wearing out my husband, “Look! Another inch! Isn’t it turning out wonderfully!?!?”

Sweaters numbered 5,6, and 7 – are, in any order, Labyrinth in Louisa Harding Grace, Vine Yoke Cardigan in Malabrigo, and Tissue Cardigan in Knit Picks Shimmer. status : don’t even think about casting on till you finish one of your other projects!

I wish this was a better picture. These “mondo cables” are really cool!

The Knitting Doldrums (or “A Nasty Case of Startitis”)

I would post a picture of the Vera Sweater, but it would be redundant. Though I have knitted on it for rows and rows, it has refused to grow or change in any percievable way. I should have known. A beautiful sweater will be had at the end, but the Wool of the Andes starts to chafe after so much stockinette and the brain screams for something more interesting.

I would post a picture of the something interesting that I am working on, but that would ruin the surprise. You see, I am one of those crazy people who starts making Christmas gifts in February and I currently have a lovely on the needles. It may be for you. No pictures, no hints.

I would post a picture of a new project, but I have not started one yet. To combat this startitis I am experiencing, I have made a deal with myself. Finish knitting one ball of yarn on the Vera Sweater and one ball on the secret project and then I will allow myself to commission Year of the Sweater Project #4. Let’s see. Which should it be?

Labyrinth in Louisa Harding Grace?

Or

The Mondo Cable Cardigan in Dream in Color Classy?

Or

The Vine Yoke Cardigan in Malabrigo Worsted?

You know what I am leaning toward? The Impasto Shawlette from the new issue of Interweave Knits with The Unique Sheep Pima Petite (which I don’t have…yet).

The Good News and The Bad News

Pink. Sweater number 1 in the Year of the Sweater Project is now complete. I don’t mean “just needs ends weaved in” finished. Nor do I mean “just needs buttons” finished. I mean, this baby is ready to wear. I found the most wonderful buttons. Perfect buttons. Not too flashy, not too plain, not too big, not too small buttons. Goldilocks buttons. Yeah, baby. These are just right.

They look pretty good on the sweater, too.

That is the good news.

The bad news? I finished it just in time for Spring. Behold, a beautiful sunny California day.

Yes, I am hot. I mean tempurature-wise, of course. (disclaimer: I know this isn’t the most flattering of sweaters. It isn’t meant to be. This will be my cozy coat. My winter comfort. It is huge. I planned it that way.)

So there you have it. I call her Pink. She is the Vine Lace Top Down Cardigan from Sweater Babe in Malabrigo Chunky “Pink Frost” with only small modifications (longer sleeves, no pockets and larger collar). I am pretty happy with how it turned out. I might turn on a fan in here just so that I can wear it…

I am 1/7th finished with my huge, crazy project. Think I can make it?

Year of the Sweater

I am a knitter. We have established that. So why is it that on cold winter mornings, I am reaching for an ugly fleece sweatshirt from Walmart? I am a knitter. There are skeins of yarn stashed all over my house, but my closet is sadly lacking in wooly wonders. This must change. After all, I am a knitter.

So begins my “Year of the Sweater”. This month I have narrowed down all the patterns in my Ravelry queue to those sweaters I want to wear next winter. Out with the old, baby! I have seven (is that aiming too high?) I want to have knitted before the end of next winter. If you are a knitter, you may know some of these. Gleaned from the internet, magazines and books, I have a killer to do list! So, installment number one of this insane endeavor:

“Vine Lace Top-Down Cardigan” from Sweaterbabe.com in Malabrigo Chunky “Pink Frost”. Here’s where we are as of today:

I started with a provisional cast on. I am starting to wonder if that was a mistake, but we shall see. I LOVE this yarn. Smooshy and buttery soft. I have been knitting like a crazy person trying to get it done because I CAN”T WAIT TO WEAR IT!!! Sorry to shout. I get really excited about yarn.

Truth be told, I have cast on a couple of others already. (Anybody know the cure for “startitis”? Besides casting on, I mean….) We will save those for later. For now, I want to revel in this pink confection. Lovely….