Yes I am still alive...
.. but my laptop isn't, hence the lack of recent updates. It won't boot up in anything other than safe mode, and even then, it is constantly accessing the hard drive, and seems to have no memory at all. Not good. I'll have to find some geek squad or store to take it to, as I've tried running spybot and a virus scan to no avail - but I couldn't use live update for my virus definitions in safe mode, so that may be part of the problem.
So.. knitting progress since I last blogged. We have some finished socks (scroll past the inevitable space that Flickr inserts before a table - if anyone's figured out how to avoid this, please let me know!)
|Full details on these are in my finished objects blog. On the left are my Jaywalkers, in Socks that Rock Fire on the Mountain colorway, and on the right are my Lorna's Laces socks from my "2 socks on 2 circulars, toe up, short row heel" City Knits class. I'm really pleased with the toe up ones. Here's a close up of the lace pattern, as modelled by my hand - hence the bad fit!|
|We also have major progress on my Sockapaloooza socks. My pal had no real preferences except nothing fun fur or acrylic, so I dug this yummy Mountain Colors Bearfoot from my stash, and looked for a suitable leaf pattern to go with it. I love this Fiber Trends one, and the leaves are more distinct when the sock is stretched out than they look in this picture.|
|I had one false start on size 1 needles, and got worried after two pattern repeats in when it wouldn't fit over my heel, but they're knitting up just fine on size 2 Addis. I also had to reknit the toe of the first sock, as I managed to do the three needle bind off without re-arranging my stitches, so it was perpendicular to the sock toe. Ooops. My only concern is that they're definitely "autumn/winter" socks, and we're just starting spring ... I guess my pal will just have to hold onto them for 6 months or so.|
And so with 2 pairs of socks finished, of course, I have to start on some more.
|On the left is the second Hippo Beast sock, this one being knitted toe-up, so as to reverse the pattern. I figured out how to turn the "end of pattern decreases" into "set up pattern increases" and the few rows I've got are looking good. My only concern is how much my guage has tightened up since knitting the first - I may switch to continental carry, as I do knit more loosely with the yarn in my left hand.|
|And on the right are my Socks That Rock sock club yarn. Again, very little progress, but I do love how the yarn is knitting up. The socks also have a fancy picot edging. Much as I hate knitting 3 rounds only for them to disappear and be folded underneath, I do like how it looks. Here's a close up:|
|I've got a couple of larger projects that I'm about to embark on as well. The first is an Aran cabled sweater in a pale blue for our friend and household angel, Gregg. The pattern is the "His and Hers" Aran Sweater from Aran and Fair Isle Knitting. The book is mostly a collection of stitch patterns and some history of both techniques, but this is the few actual object patterns in there. And I'm glad that Gregg preferred that one to any of the Alice Starmore designs!|
|So I've swatched, and after going down two needle sizes, finally got guage. This will be my first "big" project and my first real sweater, and I don't want to mess things up from the start. So I swatched, and then washed and blocked the swatches before measuring them. The yarn was chosen by Gregg - it's Elann's Peruvian Highland Wool, worsted weight, in Blue Vista.|
|We've worked out a bartering system for this: for each hour I spend knitting, he will put in an hour of work on the house - painting, organizing, decorating, etc etc. Our house wouldn't look nearly as nice as it does without Gregg; so far, he's painted four rooms for us, used his flower arranging talents to make the place look gorgeous for our Christmas party, cleaned out our basement after it was flooded last year ... he's been a lifesaver. Hopefully this sweater will meet his standards!|
|Here's the other experimental project: I had such fun knitting ThreadyBear that I didn't want to stop the Fair Isle knitting, but I was having a hard time finding projects that I'd actually wear. I love some of the Philosophers Wool designs, for instance, but can't see myself actually wearing any of them.|
|So I combined my love of Fair Isle with my love for knitting Booga Bags, and have come up with a slightly larger scale booga base, with a fair isle pattern up the sides. I used motifs from the book above, as well as one or two that I liked in ThreadyBear, and have bought Cascade 220 in 7 colours: 3 shades of purple/dark blue; 3 shades of yellow/gold and a deep red for an accent colour. I just started casting on the base in purple, so we'll see how this turns out. My first design project, almost a year to the day since I picked up knitting needles.|
|This book, however, contains a whole load of things I would like to knit. It arrived from Amazon yesterday, and I've already learned a whole lot about design and project selection from the first chapter, which is worth the price of the book alone. Then there's all these wonderful projects. Here's two that are calling my name at the moment:|
|There's also a gorgeous cabled skirt by the wonderful Jodi Green that could be a fun design to knit and I could almost see myself wearing.|
So that should be enough updates to keep people happy for a while - at least until my laptop gets fixed. And my mother is visiting from England this weekend, so I won't be around much til next week at the earliest. Thanks for missing me!