Saturday, December 16, 2006

Approaching the 11th hour

Just a couple knitting days left in 2006. How did I do? I finished far more projects this year than any other. I learned some new techniques/styles (lace, two-handed colorwork, socks). I designed my first sweater (for Audrey).

Phew. I'm tired. The new job is really soaking up a lot of time that I used to spend online. You've probably noticed a dropoff in the frequency of posts here, and especially on Knittyboard. But I haven't left you! Just lurking more, reading, keeping up with you all via our blogs when I can.

My New Year's resolutions? To send my digital photos to the printer more frequently and update my photo albums. To spend more time writing. To learn to spin better (I "found" one of my Christmas gifts already. I didn't mean to, but when I was paying the bills the other week, I noticed my husband had written a check to Stephen Kundert. Took me a few minutes to figure out who he is. Woohoo! I'm getting a pretty spindle! I've heard good things about his spindles - they're supposed to be good spinners.) To knit up a good chunk of my stash.

What's on the needles? Gray socks, with a baby cable design on the leg, ribbing on the foot. My own design. Okay, someone somewhere has probably published a pattern just like this, but I haven't seen it, so I'm calling it "mine". Yarn: Knitpicks Essential solid. Oh my. Much finer gauge than the other sock yarns I've used. I'm getting 10.5 sts/inch on my US0's. So the socks are a whopping 84 sts/row compared to 60. Ick. Not a quick knit.

What's off the needles? Swallowtail! Finally finished, blocked, and ends trimmed. Just in time to give to my MIL for Christmas.

Swallowtail, completed
Designer: Evelyn Clark
Source: Interweave Knits, Fall 2006
Yarn: KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud, Moss
Needles: US 4
Began: 10/8/2006; Finished 12/6/2006
And a close-up:

Happy holidays to everyone out there! This will probably be my last post of the year - see you in 2007!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Catching up

Finally have a chance to catch my breath and catch up with my poor neglected blog. We had a nice Thanksgiving weekend with my folks, ate too much turkey, too much stuffing (Mom made a whole extra casserole full just so we would have ample leftovers for the Second Thanksgiving Dinner that couldn't be beat). We had a chance to visit some nice stores that sell pottery and wood items made by real HANDS! As opposed to a machine in a foreign country. And finished off some of our Christmas shopping. Just a couple people left to buy for!

Again, I did not bring the long-suffering Swallowtail shawl with me. I ran out to Birds of a Feather in Avon the night before we left, with Kidlet in tow, to pick out some yarn for a new hat and scarf. Requirements: worsted weight, machine washable. I was hoping for Cascade superwash or some other superwash wool, but the best I could do was an 80/20 acrylic/wool blend by Reynolds. Still, you've got to admit, the colors ROCK with Audrey's winter jacket.

Very quick knit - I started the hat in the car on Wednesday afternoon, and finished the scarf Sunday night. Hat: yarn held double, US10 needles, brioche stitch a la EZ's watch cap in "Knitting without Tears". Scarf: single strand yarn, US8 needles, brioche stitch.

Swallowtail Shawl - the end is in sight! And I don't mean everybody elses, although seeing such beautiful FO's on Laura's and Turtlegirl's blogs are really giving me hope that I might finish mine before Christmas. I finished the two Lily of the Valley sections and with the nupps behind me, I am cruising along through the last chart to the finish. Just 6 rows and the cast-off to go! Wooo Hooo! No progress photo - it still looks like a pile of green ramen.

With any luck, it will be done (and blocked, more importantly) by the next post. Thanks for your patience!