Kirsti Knits

Time - such a precious Gift is it; To work, to read, and Yes, to knit. - Minnie Gertz

Friday, September 30, 2005

Progress report

No pictures I'm afraid but a brief progress report. The "Sherwood Forest" fair isle hat that I cast on for on Monday night was finished as of Thursday afternoon. You've got to love chunky wool for quick knitting. I'll cast on for another one soon - I think these are going to be Christmas gift staples, as they're quicker than Booga Bags, and more fun to knit, and pretty unisex too.

And I picked up the long neglected Wavy scarf, which has now increased in length from 2 "waves" to 4-and-a-bit waves. So nearly halfway there. I'm resisting casting on for another pair of socks, or anything else, until I get this finished - plus there's all the lace-type stuff I started and then abandoned.

Self-discipline and finishing things will be the goals of the week. Then I have to sit down and make out a Christmas list, figure out who's getting what, what I have in my stash, and how much time I'm going to need between now and December to get stuff done!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

More catch ups ... and current progress

Lots of pictures, I promise.

In my final "catch up from the 2 week vacation", here's some yarn p0rn:

Baby camel yarn bought in Salem. I needed a new size 2 double pointed needle, due to Terry leaning on, and cracking, the sock-then-in-progress. And although I resisted the $42 per skein hand painted silky-wool, the idea of baby camel yarn was too fun to pass up. Plans are to make a scarf for Terry's dad for Christmas.
And this, finally, arrived when we got home. My HipKnits silk order. I originally placed this back in July, to be delivered to my parents' house when I was in London, to save on postage. Due to some postal mix up, it never arrived ... Kerrie then said that she'd send it to me in America with no extra shipping charge ... then she had a computer crash and lost all my information so was stuck until I contacted her again. So here it finally is, and it's just gorgeous. A soft pale blue, with some purple undershadows. Plan for this is a Clapotis for me, I think. And, to make up for all the time and waiting, she enclosed the picture below. Sari silk in two different shades. It's just gorgeous stuff and the photo hardly does it justice, though it's well worth clicking the thumbnail to see the larger version. I haven't a clue what I'll do with this, though I'm thinking possibly a vertically knitted scarf, to take in the full beauty of the yarn. Suggestions welcome.

So that's the vacation knitting stuff all caught up. Now onto more current matters. At Stitch'n'Bitch last night, I finished the rainbow socks for Terry ... and here are her feet, proudly modeling them:

I did the toe of the second sock slightly differently - Terry has long toes, as I discovered while getting the first one to fit. I ended up reknitting it twice, and spacing out each of the 11 decreases called for by the pattern with a straight knit row throughout all the toe. This made it too pointed and triangular (see the sock on the left below). So this sock, I did 4 rounds of decrease, knit 2 rounds straight; then 3 rounds of decrease, knit 1 round straight; then 4 rounds of decreases. Much nicer toe shape, and Terry said it was more comfortable too. (That's the sock on the right, in case it's not obvious!)

And although I'd promised myself that I'd pick up Wavy and finish that before beginning anything new ... the joys of two handed fair isle called to me. Not only did I buy a whole bunch more yarns to make two more hats ....

... but I cast on for a new one in brown and greens. This one I'm calling the Sherwood Forest. I know. I'm hopelessly addicted. A lost cause. Or something.

But in other good news of the day, my sister and the adorable Oscar are coming to stay from October 7th til the 21st. Anyone know a good place to get baby stuff....?

Friday, September 23, 2005

Two works of art

Quickly, coz we should have left 5 mins ago...

The picture

And the finished hat.

Oh, and I got my hair cut today.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

And a knitting update

I got another wonderful surpise in the mail just before going on holiday - a needle case that my mother had sewn for me. She designed it herself, and apparently it's made from two cheap tea-towels she found. It's just gorgeous and works a treat, and I'm sure she could go into business making them should she want. My mother is great :)

Here it is, closed:
Here it is unrolled:
And here it is open, with all my needles inside. Note the lack of medium size needles - that's coz they're all being used for my half-finished scarf projects.
And here's what I've been knitting recently:
The socks for Terry are coming along nicely, though it took me four attempts to get the toe to be comfortable for her. My wife has long toes, so the sock ended up looking a little more pointy at the end than I'd have liked. With the next one, I may try doing 2 rows of straight knitting between the first half dozen decreases. And to clarify the pattern, from my horribly unclear earlier description. Rows 1 and 2: k2 p2. Rows 3 and 4: knit. So you get 2 rows of ribbing followed by 2 rows of stockinette. And it makes the little squares you can sort of see in the picture (it's clearer if you click on the image here to see it in large view). The stewardess on our flight back from Providence saw me knitting these, and wants 4 pairs for her grandkids for Christmas. Looks like I might have to learn that "2 socks on 2 circulars" technique sooner than I'd planned!
And here's my latest project: two handed fair isle. It's going to be a hat, if that isn't obvious already (Here's the class model if that helps). Tuesday night was my class at City Knits, where Karen spent most of the 2 hours teaching me how to knit continental fashion, and then showing me how to carry two colours at once, and change between them. I got the first 3 rows done in class; the rest has been on my own since then. I may even have it finished before next Tuesday, and it's meant to be a three week class. Oops. I may do a bunch of these hats as Christmas gifts too. And I want to start looking for fair isle patterns that I like ... wonder how long it'll be before I can tackle Alice Starmore stuff...

We've got a benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina tonight: Terry and, from New York, wonderful bluesy singer-songwriter Trina Hamlin. We're running the whole thing, sound, lights, you name it, which is why since getting back from holiday, things have been right back to their usual hectic-ness. Anyone within driving distance of Auburn Hills is very welcome - details, time, address and information is on Terry's website. Then Friday, we're off on retreat with the Young Adult group from church for the weekend. We've even got the theme song almost written - usually that's not ready until..oh.. 2am on Friday. I'll be taking hat and socks with me, and hopefully can show off some finished objects on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Long overdue Secret Pal update

OK. So, way back on the Friday before we went away on vacation, I came home to find, inside our screen door, a rather spiffy shiny blue envelope ... addressed to me!
Inside I took out shiny green paper, and there was the cutest note, telling me why all these things just had to come to live with me, and lots of intriguing looking packages all wrapped in sky blue tissue and tied with purple ribbon (and how did my SP know that my wedding colours were purple and sky blue ?)

See how prettily they were all wrapped!

The packages contained:

  • A sheeeep tape measure! It even took me a while to figure out it was a tape measure. It's all fuzzy and soft.
  • The sheep brought with her a really really nice notions case to replace the one I lost. I sniffled a bit when I saw this. It's denim, small enough to carry around but large enough to fit stuff in, and a nice sturdy zip. And - the piece de resistance - it's got my name on it! In purple letters, it says "Kirsti's notions". Now my SP knows I'll think of her every time I knit, and nobody will ever mistake my notions case for anything else.

    • And the case wasn't empty, oh no. Inside was a riot of purple ribbon, tied around: cable needles (in purple!), a crochet hook (purple again!!), a yellow tape measure, some sock shaped point protectors (very appropriate with all the sock knitting I'm doing right now) and some really nice purple yarn scissors. I'm all set up and ready to go again!

  • And finally... some amaaazing looking chocolate by Dagoba - organic, dark chocolate (yummm) with blueberies and lavender. I've been really good and kept it in the fridge for now ... but I know that it won't last much longer.

  • So yay to my Secret Pal for making my day, and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to post. The Notions bag has now been with me on vacation and to City Knits last night and has been much admired. It'll get appreciated once more at Stitch'n'Bitch this coming Monday. Thank you so much, and I only hope that your SP is spoiling you as much as you are me.

    Monday, September 19, 2005

    Very quickly

    We're safely back from a wonderful vacation. I've got heaps to catch up on with this blog, starting with the wonderful package from my Secret Pal which arrived just before we left.

    But I just had to share this ... we saw this picture in a gallery in Provincetown and I just fell in love with it. Couldn't stop looking at it. It almost made me cry. So, with some financial help from my mother, we bought the artist's proof. The colours are slightly different from this version, and you have to imagine it as a 4 foot by 2 foot size.

    It's called "Into the Light" by Mike Massengale (and it's worth clicking on the picture for a slightly larger image.) Oh, and for anyone who doesn't know, I've been playing the flute since I was about 8.

    Friday, September 09, 2005

    Socks, socks and more socks

    So here's the photos I promised yesterday. I stopped by the Ferndale Stitch'n'Bitch last night - Michelle, I missed you! There was only one other person there, but I did get an inch or two onto the new sock. Which will be coming up in a moment. But first, the finished pair of pairs:

    Here are Terry's turquoise socks - my very first pair. They're a little small for her, and the heel flap is a little too short. But I'm pleased with how they turned out anywy.
    These are my finished broadripple pair, though the colour isn't quite right - it's less yellow-y and definitely brighter. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version where you can see the lace pattern more clearly. Really fun to knit, even with the stretchy Cascade Fixation yarn.

    Full information on those socks are in my Finished Object blog. And here is the current pair (well, single if we're being precise...):
    Can you see how the ribbing is sort of forming these little squares? I gave the pattern in the previous post - basically you knit two rounds in k2 p2 ribbing, followed by two rounds in k2 p2 stockinette. I'm onto the heel flap, and hope to get onto the foot by the end of today. I'm playing flute at a wedding this afternoon, which will cut into my knitting time, but it should be relatively fast knitting from here on.

    Have a great weekend! We're off on vacation to Provincetown next week, from Tuesday til the following Monday. I'll be taking a bunch of knitting with me - socks, of course, and probably the long-neglected Wavy scarf to finish. This'll be Terry's first vacation this summer, and we're really looking forward to the time alone together. We'll be staying with her sister and sister's partner, who have a summer house in P'town. I've never been out to the cape before, but love being near water. If anyone knows of any yarn stores around there, or anything else fun to do .... leave me a comment!

    Thursday, September 08, 2005

    Bad bad blogger

    I know. I tease you with pictures and promises of socks and then ... silence. Suffice it to say that the Broadripple socks were finished by last Friday and have been worn several times since then, despite the sunshine and heat in Detroit this past week. And yes I have pictures of them on my feet, and the turquoise First Socks Ever on Terry's feet, and yes, I still have to get them off the camera.

    I have, of course, already cast on for pair number 3, using some of the Regia sock yarn I ordered from LittleKnits. They're definitely on the thick/wooly side, but should be nice and warm for winter. Plus Terry likes how the colours are coming out, so this pair may be for her, to make up for the not-quite-big-enough turquoise pair. I'm knitting the leg in the pattern stitch from the frogged cotton one - Rows 1 & 2: k2 p2 all round. Rows 3 & 4: knit. It's coming up with a sort of grid-like ribbing, where it's actually the pearl bumps that are making the horizontal lines. Hard to describe, but I'll see if I can get a photo that shows it.

    I've also discovered I'm very very good at losing sock needles. I went to pick up the sock last night and could not find my free needle to start knitting. Nor could I find the 5th one that came in the set. This is not good. I can see me having to invest in 5 pairs of size 1, 2 and 3 double pointed needles just to get through the next few sock adventures.

    In other news, the new Knitty is out. I'm rather like the Samus cardigan (though definitely not in orange), but was also pondering trying to adapt it to a sweater like this eerily similar Kepler one. However, the Kepler sizes are just too small (since when does 41" count as XXL - Samus's XXL is 56" around. That's quite the discrepancy!), so I'd need to use the Samus cable and stitch count, but just knit it like the Kepler, and try to adjust the shaping as I go. Plus then I tend to prefer V neck sweaters coz they're more flattering, and if I spend all this time knitting something for me I want it to look as fabulous as possible ... so that would mean more sweater alteration. And I don't think I'm that advanced a knitter to try combining two patterns and creating a brand new neckline all at once. I may just forget it and either knit Samus "as is" but in a nice deep green, or start on Mariah instead.

    And now I have a paper to finish writing, so I'd best get back to reviewing literature... Pics will be coming soon, honest.