Sunday, July 29, 2007

Works in Progress

I'm continuing work on the following:

1. Mystery Stole 3. I am through Clue 2, and about one-fourth through Clue 3. I have decided to shorten my stole, because it will be a gift for a dear friend who just turned 50. She is shorter than 5 feet, though, so I think shortening it will be the best choice. I hope to be into Clue 4 by next Friday's Clue.

2. Clapotis. I am working on Clapotis as part of the Knitty KAL.
I am making Clapotis from Makalu Yarns Lambgora, (80% Lambswool, 10% Cashmere, 10% Angora). I feel like I might be the last person to cast on Clapotis. It has been an enjoyable project, though, and a rare item that I am knitting for myself. I am aiming to complete it by Christmas time, but would be thrilled if I finished it in time for the fall.

3. Koigu Feather and Fan. My mother-in-law saw a feather-and-fan scarf made from Koigu at a LYS. She fell in love with it, so I am working on one for her. I hope to finish it by her birthday in September.

4. Annie Modesitt Lace Scarf. I took a workshop with Annie Modesitt last fall, and this lovely scarf has stalled on my needles. I am trying to pick it up and complete a few rows each week. I really love the project, so I am not sure what holds me back from finishing! I am making it from Classic Elite Post, a 30% Cashmere, 70% Silk blend. It has been an absolute joy to knit with!

Sadly, there are many other things on the needles, but these are the most pressing, I suppose. I am really trying to keep myself from casting on, even though I did have a productive weekend of finishing!

Back to the bloggin' again

I started this blog just a month or so ago, and at that time, I was so excited. I remember thinking that I would update regularly, and it would be such fun. Well, it has been fun, but my updates have not been all that frequent. Other things just seem to get in the way, I suppose! But, I bring with me today proof that even if I haven't been blogging, I have been knitting!

Let's start with the finished projects - first, shown up top, are the baby bell bottoms. They were knit in KnitPicks Shine Sport. I do still need to add the elastic and the crochet chain tie, but I am happy with their mostly completed state. It was my first time using shine sport. I liked it for the most part, and given its cost, it is a great value. Thank you to the blue blog patterns for a great pattern!

And here we have one completed Husband Sock. I need to finish one more for Christmas. These are being worked in Celestial Merino Dream, Bittersweet Chocolate. It's lovely!

Nothing too exciting, sockwise - straight cuff down, stockinette. But, he'll like them, and he'll wear them.


And finally, I finished a fun, striped dress for my daughter, from a Filatura di Crosa pattern booklet. It used five yarns. It doesn't look great in the picture, but is adorable in real life, and will look particularly lovely on the beautiful baby.

That's it for the completed works. I will post my WIPs next.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Heading out

ZEN and I are taking a road trip to see her grandparents. My sister is along for the ride, so I should be able to get some knitting done. I have packed two socks, two sweaters, clapotis (which I am starting for the knitty KAL, a lace scarf, and a feather-and-fan scarf. We'll see what progress is made! I am leaving MS3 at home because it just is not a travel project for me. Hopefully I will make a lot of progress on the others and be able to focus a lot on MS3 upon my return. No pictures of the WIPs at this time, but I will add some upon my return.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The ugliest sweater in the world... but it's finished!

I have finished the ugliest sweater in the world. It was a strange thing, because I was compelled to finish, even though I knew it would be ugly, and would be something that would be worn only within the confines of my own home on a very, very cold day. It's knit from Rowan Biggy Print. It's not the yarn's fault. It's the fault of the fool (me!) who decided that a sweater made from such bulky yarn would ever be pretty (or even remotely flattering). Alas. It is complete, and now it can be squirreled away until the winter comes. Why do bad sweaters happen to good people?
It's good to have it off my back, though. I expect to finish a dress for my daughter today or tomorrow, too. According to my math and my destash/finish schedule, that means I can cast on a new project! I think that I am going to begin work on a pair of baby bell bottoms, pattern courtesy of Alison at the blue blog.

And in happier Independence Day news - here's a picture of my beautiful blog namesake (her initials are ZEN) celebrating her first 4th of July.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Knitting Into the Mystery...

I have begun work on Clue 1 of the Mystery Stole. I am fairly confident that I will finish it before Clue 2 is posted on Friday. The holiday on Wednesday should help. I am quite pleased with how it is coming together so far. I am using beads, but I am wishing I had selected a more contrasting color. I might switch beads once I get to the long rows. My yarn is a wine-colored Zephyr and my beads are the same color, but iridescent. I am including a picture of my progress to date. It is unblocked - clearly - and I am certain riddled with mistakes. However, I am thrilled to be to row 34 - only 65 left to go!

I am happy to report that this does not seem to be as daunting of a task as I had worried it would be. However, my thoughts on that might very well change - drastically - come Friday.

I am looking forward to the week that the Harry Potter book publishes. I don't read the Harry Potter series, so the extra time should be a real boost to me!

I'm off to search other blogs to see how everyone else's mystery knitting is coming along.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

My new approach

I can't sleep, and when I can't sleep, I typically think about yarn. On good nights, when I can sleep, I dream about yarn. Either way, it's not so bad. Foremost on my fiber-brain was the destashing/finishing aspirations I have. This new found interest in actually using my stash yarn arose just a couple weeks ago when I happened upon the wonderful world of knitting podcasts. Yes, it is 2007 and I am fairly media savvy, but I was absolutely stunned (and overjoyed to boot!) to discover that there are people everywhere who take the time to talk about stuff I'm interested in, and then put it on the web so I can download it to my ipod. It strikes me as the most wonderful thing in the world, and I'm completely captivated.

The first podcast I listened to was a KnitPicks podcast ( , and it was a pleasant discussion of knitting slumps and knitting goals (I've listened to several podcasts in the interim, so I don't mean to completely destroy the gist of her topic). Anyway, she decided to follow Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Almanac for the year, knitting the projects Elizabeth suggests, month-by-month. That's way too daunting of a task for me, but my hat's off to her. I hope that we will get an update on her progress. Apparently she has a yahoo group, so perhaps I'll check that out just to see how everyone does.

The cool thing about itunes is that it makes suggestions for you of other podcasts that may interest you. I suddenly had dozens to choose from. I've listened to only three others so far: Cast On, Stash And Burn (, and Lime & Violet ( I've enjoyed all three, but I am not current on any of them! I just discovered that I am listening to Cast On podcasts from 2005!

I am closest to current with Stash and Burn. I've listened to nine episodes, and I believe they are up to 15. Those ladies can be credited for motivating my stash overhaul/project finishing. I have come up with the following parameters, which I hope will help with both the stash and the UFO issue:

1. For every two UFOs complete, I can cast on one new project. (2:1 odds in favor of UFOs - I've seen many people recommend this, and I hope it works for me).
2. After I have cast on four new projects from stash, I can purchase new yarn. This, I hope, will create a cyclical motivation. Must finish UFO to cast on new project. Must cast on four new projects before I can purchase new yarn.

For my purposes, the following rules apply:
1. A project is not complete until it is completely blocked, seamed, all ends woven in (and if it's a gift - wrapped and/or in the mail).
2. One sock counts as a finished object. I suspect this is my biggest "cheat". However, given my serious degree of Second Sock Syndrome, and given the fact that I have no problem wearing unmatched socks, I'm sticking with it.

This week I finished two projects - the baby hat and vest discussed in my earlier blog posting. This allows me to cast on the Mystery Stole tomorrow. I had Zephyr in my stash, so I am on track to remain true to my goals thus far.