I’m playing catch up on some early 2010 finished items, since I’m currently in the throws of knitting some super-awesome-super-secret projects for future consumption. Sure I have a lot of things in progress I can show you, but I’d rather clean the slate of lingering un-blogged finished things before we get to that.

The first thing I did in 2010, as you may recall, is make some crafty goals for myself, one of which being to finished anything lingering as a work-in-progress, and the other big one being to knit down and donate down my stash.

Well, within the first month of the year I finished a long lingering almost finished sweater. The infamous Drops cardigan.

blocking

I started this sweater in October of 2008, with hopes of it being a quick knit to become a staple for cold weather that year. Well, yes. It is a quick knit if you don’t do what I do and get antsy to cast on once you get so close to the end.

In December 2009, I picked it up and saw that I had it completely finished except for the ends of both sleeves, a collar, and seaming/blocking. Wow. How silly of me to leave it in this state for so long.

blocking

So, I finished it up and took it for a wet block. Wow. That Drops Eskimo really takes a long time to dry! Using some gray Cascade 220, I seamed this puppy up and put it on…

348/365.2 | a sea of shades

…and am not all that jazzed on it. I think it’s mostly due to me being a bit heavier than when I picked the size to knit. Luckily, since January I’ve lost some more of that finishing-grad-school-thesis-writing weight and think that this winter the sweater will be a bit more flattering.

A close up of the buttons, in case you were admiring them –
69 | 365 : Green and gray

I have often thought of reknitting this sweater, but in a worsted weight and as a top-down raglan, a la the modifications found on Canary Knits. I think her style of the sweater is much more suited to my personal wardrobe style. Regardless, having this Eskimo yarn sweater really does come in handy when the temps drop in Philadelphia and in our very lowly heated house (for environmental reasons).

setting up the camera

The Details:
Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: Really? You don’t know? It’s the 103-1 Drops Cardigan. Everyone has made one, it seems.
Needles: US 11 | 8mm
Yarn: Garnstudio Drops Eskimo in Gray (the called for yarn in the bulky version of the sweater) – 10 skeins used. Used a smidge of gray Cascade 220 for seaming
Buttons: Awesomeness from Rosie’s Yarn Cellar
Mods: Only thing was the collar. I picked up stitches and knit it on, prior to blocking the pieces. Since I had seamed the fronts to the back (only the shoulders) before blocking, this wasn’t too difficult. I also made the collar a bit shorter and asymmetrical in the front.

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I recently self-published my first design. Inspired by the Socks Revived Contest that Elinor was holding, I got the bug in my brain to design and write a pattern that Kasy would like.

When asked what kind of socks Kasy would like me to design for him, he replied with cables and knee high. Well, I got the cables down, but knee high will have to wait for another design.

Angler's Loop Socks

Knit with 2 skeins of The Fibre Company Canopy Fingering, these socks are pretty awesome…if I do say so myself. Kasy is a fan of all things wool, as anyone really should be, but I thought it would be nice to knit a pair of socks for him in a yarn blend that was a bit fancier than a pure wool. The Canopy Fingering is such a treat to work with, and he is very pleased with the feel of the fabric it makes. I’m guessing that these socks will keep his toes warm on his long bicycle commute (22 mi round trip, 5 days a week) come winter time.

Angler's Loop Socks

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The Angler’s Loop is a sailor knot that forms a fixed loop. Inspired by my partner, Kasy, a man who loves a good cabled sock and a good solid boat, the Angler’s Loop Socks are inspired by the long tradition of sailor knots…and Kasy’s stories of life on a boat. 2X2 ribbing moves seamlessly into this knot cable panel along the back of the sock, giving enough ease in the leg to allow for taller socks with less need for numerous calf increases. An asymmetrical ribbed panel runs the length of the front, creating a space for additional cables or not, as the knitter sees fit.

While every effort has been made to write clear directions to knitting these socks, if you have never turned a
heel and are completely new to socks it might help to read a bit about sock construction and gussets before
casting on. Recommendations are found at the end of the pattern.

Gauge is 9 spi and the pattern is written for a small size (7.5” circumf.) and a large size (8.5” circumf.) and is a free pdf.

Pattern pdf found here
Or queue it on Ravelry

Quick hello!

April 13, 2010

Loving the possibility of the future

Just popping in to say a quick Hi! to you all! Things are a whirlwind of crazy over here as I finish one job and move on to a new one, in the environmental sector. I’ve been so busy finishing up oldjob tasks and learning about newjob projects, but that hasn’t stopped me from finishing some projects and starting some new ones. As always, a more current update on knitting and crochet are on ravelry, but here are a couple shots of 2 things that are currently being knit and crochet for sanity sake during all my life changes.

swatching
A top-down raglan cardigan, striping Cascade 220 in gray with Madelinetosh DK (new name for her worsted weight wool) from the Magnolia Society a few years back (colorway is Carmine, I believe). I just split off the arms from the body this morning.

Hexagon Blanket, part deux
Coming to terms with the fact that my tiny hexagon scrap blanket would take eternity to finish, I finished it off at the size it was (more of a throw rug…which is what it will be used for in my studio space) and started a different kind of hexagon blanket. This time using Nova’s Ruby Hexagon Blanket pattern, a palette of blues/greens/browns from the worsted scraps, and edging in a light gray Cascade 220 (not pictured).

So for now, I am keeping busy, busy, busy, counting down to April 21st and looking forward to the unknown future and where it takes me. I’ll be back in a week or so with some FO news. Until then, more knitting, crocheting, workworkwork, working on decluttering the house and continuing momentum on renovating our lovely home, and hanging out with Lolly when she is in Philly!

You know what, friends? Life is pretty great.

March 18 | Looking Up

March 19, 2010

Gosh, I thought that having a scheduled Friday theme would keep me on blogging track more, but life got busy over the past couple of weeks.

Now that there is a nice pause in the air, let me tell you about some things that I am particularly pleased with these days.

Sock Contest

Elinor‘s Socks Revived Sock Contest (rules here). I saw the post and signed up once the contest was open. I’m almost done writing up a pattern for socks inspired by my dearest Kasy (the resident expert on all things knee-sock, cabled sock, striped sock, and interesting sock). These socks are for him (that’s them early in the process in the photo above). I hope to get my pattern out to a few test knitters in the next week or so, and since I had promised Kasy knee-socks the 2nd version of the pattern will be instructions on knee-ifying the cabled crew (shaping, etc).

• The lovely weather that Philadelphia has been graced with. I know it will cool off soon, since…well…it is March, but the 65-70 degree days have been such a sweet taste of Spring/Summer after a long, snowy, winter.

• Kasy and I have been plugging away at the house renovations, and our dining room has an almost completed closet in it now. Once that is done, a built-in bookcase is next, followed by a closet (for me!) in our bedroom so we don’t have to share a teensy closet anymore, and some other things. Home renovations are being pushed into top priority right now, since we’ve slacked for a long while.

• The kindness of bloggy/knitting/international/ravelry friends. Michael had a call out for anyone with a camera to lend him, since his broke awhile back. Since I had upgraded to my Nikon D60 a year or so ago, I had an old, but excellent, Nikon P&S that I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with. Not worth anything in a trade-in at B&H (I’ve already asked), I shipped it off to him….and he’s knitting me an amazing, large, squishy Laminaria in exchange. Somehow, I think I totally win in this swap.

Our new tent. And scheduling summer camping trips on our home-calendar.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I have some knitting to show y’all soon. And there is more test knitting going on and hopefully a new sock pattern for you, in the next few weeks.

FO 2010 | Baby Vest

February 23, 2010

Our friends are having a baby in May, so what better time to try a baby knit. This is my first baby knit (!!!) and holy moly are they quick! I went into knitting knowing that the baby is a boy and will be named Elliot. Since I’m not a baby person and my friends have not started having babies yet (this is the first), I really am at a loss as to sizing for these tiny people. I didn’t want to knit something and have it be too small immediately, but I also didn’t want to knit something that would not be useful for months and months. The pattern is for a DK weight yarn, so I “sized up” by using worsted.

FO 2010 | wee vest for wee Elliott

After some sleuthing on Ravelry, I came across this adorable little vest. Buttons on both sides to easily put it on or take it off the infant, since you will not need to ever pull it over the head. Genius construction if you ask (baby-less) me.

Yarn choice was a tough one. I wanted something that could be popped in the wash, to be easy on the new mama, but not be something stiff and awful. I remembered a lone skein on Plymouth Encore Worsted I had, from my early days of learning to knit, and thought it would be perfect. Four hours later…voila!

FO 2010 | wee vest for wee Elliott

I cannot get over how damn adorable this vest is! Buttons were purposely mismatched and pulled from stash as well. I’m hoping that baby Elliot, when he arrives, enjoys wearing this.

Specs –

Pebble
size 8 needles
Plymouth Encore Worsted in dark green, less than 1 skein used
Started and finished on January 27, 2010
ravelry page

I’ve heard through the grapevine that another couple we’re friends with is expecting a wee little girl. Perhaps another little vest is on the horizon…

And boy did we!

Saturday morning

The City clocked in at 28 inches, but I think we got closer to 24 in my corner of South Philly. It started Friday night, as we were headed back to South Philly from Fishtown. A wintry, snowy, bikeride was had.

Riding home

350/365.2 | snow + bikes do mix

On Saturday, we bundled down in the house and worked on some projects and watched movies. I was supposed to be headed to New York to celebrate maslenitsa with my family, but since Bolt Bus canceled all their buses on Friday, and the trains weren’t running, I was stuck in Philly (not that I minded, cause lazy snow days are awesome!). The snow ended mid-afternoon, and the block was abuzz with everyone digging out the sidewalk.

Sunday, we decided to get out of the house for a long walk up to Center City.

photowalk to Rittenhouse Square

Rittenhouse Square

grace tavern

Stopping off at Grace Tavern for a couple of beers on the way home.

Did you hear? We’re supposed to be getting more snow tonight too.

—–

Oh, don’t worry. I haven’t just been staring at snow all of 2010. There has been knitting happening and I’m working hard on finishing up old WIPs. I have a new FO and an old WIP that was finished to show off to you. But I’ll leave those to posts later this week. In the meantime, please behold my latest love…

Shetland Triange

The Shetland Lace Triangle, that everyone has made, knit with Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock heavyweight in the Grawk colorway. I have 2 skeins and am at repeat 8 with 1/3 of the first skein used. A kind friend on Twitter told me to watch my yarn usage when I get to the edging, since it is apparently a big yarn muncher. I’ll be saving the last half of the second skein for that. Anyways, this is going so quickly and I’m having a hard time putting it down. Let me tell you…this monogamous knitting thing…it really lets you finish things pretty quick, don’t it?

Finished knits of 2009

January 8, 2010

Well, as many of you may be acutely aware of, this January is particularly chilly. I love winter and cold temperatures, but whew…only a week in to January and I’m counting down to warmer weather.

We had a brief flurry in the wee hours this morning…

a slight dusting to start the morning off

…which, coupled with the weird slightly warmer temperature of yesterday and the coldness of last night, created the ideal conditions for a lot of black ice in South Philly.

Regardless, I saddled up on the old steed and got myself to the office…

“Smile, breathe and go slowly” -  Thich Nhat Hanh [photo 6 for 2010]

…where I now sit, about to tell you the tale of the finished knits of ’09.

—————

Finished in 2009

This year was the year of accessories and test knitting, it seems. Mind you, that might be more apparent to me since I know the vast amount of works-in-progress languishing in my studio.

I test knit a couple of big hitters, as you might re-call — the gorgeous Honeybee Cardigan by Laura Chau and the lovely Ulmus Rectangle by Kirsten of Through the Loops — but there were a few other test knits as well — Simple Things by the lovely Mary-Heather, Lavalette and the Miller Hat by Kirsten of Through the Loops and New Boots and Contracts by Ann of Weaverknits (as of 12/31/09, however, only 1 sock of the pair had been completed, so it isn’t included in my finished tally). None of those have made it to the blog quite yet…

So, what are the numbers for 2009?

six hats:
1. Thorpe (ravelry link) (blog post)
2. Felicity (ravelry link) (blog post)
3. Miller Hat test knit (ravelry link)
4. Handspun Felicity striped hat (ravelry link)
5. Turn a Square 1 for brother in law (ravelry link)
6. Turn a Square 2 for brother in law (ravelry link)

1 cowl:
Rowan striped cowl (ravelry link)

8 triangular scarves/shawls:
1. Landscape Shawlette in blue (ravelry link) (blog post)
2. Lavalette test knit (ravelry link)
3. Beaded Seraphim (
ravelry link)
4. Textured Shawl Kerchief, in garter stitch (ravelry link)
5. Simple Things test knit (ravelry link)
6. Cashmere Landscape shawlette (ravelry link)
7. Tweedy Textured Shawl (ravelry link)
8. Striped shawl (not shown in mosaic, cause I forgot about it!) (ravelry link) (blog post)

2 rectangular scarves:
1. Ulmus Rectangle (ravelry link) (blog post)
2. Melody Shawl (no FO pics were taken before it was gifted (ravelry link)

1 pair of socks:
toeless Charade socks (ravelry link)

2 toys:
Kiwi birds (ravelry link) (blog post)

1 circular shawl
Vortex Shawl (ravelry link)

2 sweaters
1. Honeybee Cardigan (ravelry link) (blog post)
2. Monday Morning Cardigan [still haven’t taken proper FO pictures] (ravelry link)

Wow, so looking at this makes me see how much I didn’t blog about. I’d like to blame it on finishing graduate school and the resulting summer of freedom, which pulled me out of the house and away from the computer (phew!).

What am I hoping to accomplish in 2010? I do have some crafting goals for the year:

-Reduce my knitting stash by 30%, which will involve crocheting a Hexagon blanket with a lot of scraps and lone skeins, and things without designated projects in mind.
-blog projects more regularly
-get back to sewing again, since I have many a quilt in progress and in mind

And the biggest of all…

Finish or Frog! I’ve gathered up my works-in-progress and want to finish the ones I know I will want and rip out the ones I’ve lost complete interest in.

What are your crafty, or non-crafty, goals for 2010?