Sunday, March 16, 2008

And Then There Were Two...

This is going to be a quick post.  I just got back at 3am from a tour of the Midwest with my University's Wind Ensemble where we performed in Iowa and Nebraska at the College Band Directors National Association North Central Division Conference (whew, that was tough to say).  So what does all that translate into?  Lot of knitting time on the bus of course!

I did the math, and I spent about 23 hours sitting on a bus driving from place to place.  I didn't utilize as much of this time knitting as I wanted to (partly because it made me feel a little sick and partly because I was usually sleeping or watching a movie), but I did use enough time to FINALLY finish these eye-sores.

The one on the right has yet to be washed or blocked, but I wanted to take a picture to prove that I did work on them and they are done. done. done.  (Note: I don't normally block the socks that I make, but the yarn for these ones was so stiff and scratchy that I needed to wash them just to soften it up a bit.)

Here are the official stats:

Started: December 3, 2007, Finished: March 13, 2008
Yarn: 1 (and a bit of a second) skein of Brown Sheep Wildfoote Luxury Sock Yarn in "Deco Lime"
Needles: Knitpicks Harmony DPNs, size 1 (2.25mm)
Pattern: Six-stitch Cloverleaf Eyelet Cable from Sensational Knitted Socks
Finished Size: Hopefully the perfect size to fit a seven-year-old's foot

I am never ever going to use this sock yarn again.  I absolutely hated working with it.  I know I've ranted about it before, but it's worth doing again.  The yarn is awful.  There is definitely not a shortage of choices for sock knitters, so there is no reason I should ever need to resort back to this yarn again.  In fact, I am actually (gasp) thinking about throwing away what I have left (yes, throwing away yarn.  It's that bad).  Oh, also, when I washed the first one, the color bled a bit as well.

I really do love the needles though.  I have used Clover bamboo and Brittany birch DPNs before, but they both seem very flimsy and tend to deform after using them for too long.  These needles, though flexible, feel very sturdy and I haven't yet had any problems with them staying bent or breaking.  Sweet!

That's about it for now.  I also started and am nearing completion of my second Blue Stripey Sock, but now that I am back I need to get working on the Duffle Coat again.  Deadline? Before Easter.  Can I do it?  Um, yes.  If I feel like it.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Knitting in Circles

It seems that I have developed a recent theme in my knitting lately that encompasses all things circular.  I realized this morning that every project I am currently working on is being knit in the round.

These ugly socks are on their way to completion, although I still have a few distractions preventing me from finishing them.  My goal is to be done with them in two weeks.  Very easy.

Another project, which I haven't shown here yet, is one of the market bags I am making as part of an event at my LYS (see: Oops, I Did It Again!).  I knit the bottom of the bag first, based on a circular decrease that I learned while knitting the Mod Beanie from Never Knit Your Man a Sweater*.  I then picked up stitches all the way around the edge and began knitting up using a modified lace pattern from this top.  So far I'm not too happy with the way it looks, but I'm hoping that once I get a little more done and once it's blocked things will look a lot better.  If not, well, here's one for the frog pile.

I'm knitting this bag using Rowan Handknit Cotton.  It's my first time using cotton yarn and I'm not too excited to continue doing it.  After knitting for a while, my finger gets sore from the yarn slipping over it and I don't like the way it doesn't have any stretch.  Living in the Midwest finally has its advantage with the fact that wool is almost always an acceptable fiber to knit with.  We'll have to wait to see whether or not this project makes it to the finish line.

On a much happier note, last night I began knitting the Hemlock Ring Blanket designed by Jared Flood.

I'm using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Winter Night.  I didn't think WOTA was going to be as nice of a yarn as it is.  It is much softer than I expected and I think it's going to make a very nice, warm, light blanket.  I am definitely going to use this yarn again.  As for the pattern, it is so fun!  I couldn't stop knitting because every row is something different and it's always so exciting to see what the next one is going to look like.  I can tell I'm going to have a lot of fun knitting this blanket.

I am also knitting the sleeves on the Duffle Coat using the magic loop.  I somewhat wandered from the directions so that I wouldn't have to knit the sleeves flat and then sew the seams.  This way the sleeves are knit from the top down and in the round so that I will eliminate much of the finishing that would have been needed.