Sunday, July 29, 2007

Number One Monkey

I finished my first Monkey sock and I just love this pattern. It's pretty easy but has enough going on to make it an interesting knit. And I love this yarn as well - Acero from Brooks Farms. I have to say I'm becoming a big fan of Brooks Farms yarns. I'll definitely be searching them out at Rhinebeck.

Now my Monkey needs a friend so I better cast on for the second!

Friday, July 27, 2007

R.I.P. Diamond Lace Scarf/New Project-Wisp

I definitely needed to rip my diamond lace scarf - one, because I made a bunch of mistakes and was having a hard time tinking the Rowan Kidsilk Haze and two, I was just bored with this pattern. It was not rockin' my world and I learned what I needed to learn.

Plus, I found another pattern I liked so much more (the dangers of Ravelry!) that only required a mere skein of Rowan Kidsilk Haze (although I have a tad less than a skein but enough I think). I've started Wisp by Cheryl Niamath of the Fetching Mitts fame.

Because I only have a little less than a skein, I've made mine a bit smaller, casting on only 38 stitches instead of 46 and using size 6 needles instead of 7. So far, this is a great summer/brain-dead knit - lightweight and super easy to knit.

To Rip or Not to Rip

I've knit some more on my Misty Garden scarf and was having serious reservations as to whether or not I liked it. I was pretty close to ripping it but thought I should give it another test blocking to see what I thought and now I'm actually pretty happy with it.

The first time I test blocked it, I kept the top straight when in reality it will be scalloped like the bottom so I think that made a big difference. Now I can really see the stitch pattern emerging and I just love, love, love this yarn!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Very Handspun

From this (Blue-Faced Leicester from Chameleon Colorworks):

To this:

To this:

This is my attempt once again to spin a thicker yarn. It's about a worsted weight and I've got 54 yards so far with about 1.5 ounces left to spin. Hopefully I'll get enough to make a funky hat.

It's ironic but I'm much better at spinning thinner yarns than thicker ones. I seem to have much more trouble with consistency when I spin a thicker yarn. Not that it is always a bad thing. I still think the yarn came out nice and I frankly like that my yarn looks "handspun". But there are a few places where the twist really started to come out when I was plying so I still have much to learn.

And plying - fuhget about it. I still have so much trouble plying - always getting my yarn tangled and a big mess. I threw away several tangled masses this weekend...

If I actually needed any more motivation to plunk down the $$$ for a wheel, the plying issue is certainly motivation enough.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Funky Green Goodness

I've spun up a little less than half of my Bonkers tencel 'n merino and I'm loving it so far. I used my new Spindlewood spindle to spin this up and I really love this spindle. I'm definitely going to buy some more of their spindles. I had originally planned to make this two ply but I didn't like the way it looked plied so I'm keeping it as singles. Hopefully it will knit up OK. I've got about 170 yards so far in lace weight to fingering weight yarn so I'm hoping to have about 400 or so yards when I'm done spinning.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

New Project-Misty Garden Scarf

So, the rule is that as soon as you finish a project, you get to start a new one, right??? Well, I have to confess that I never really bother with rules! I cast this on about a week ago. The yarn is Brooks Farm Primero and it's just stunning. The color transitions are really beautiful. The photo isn't doing the colors justice.

The pattern is the Misty Garden scarf by Jo Sharp from the book Scarf Style. It is a nice easy feather/fan lace pattern that couldn't be simpler. Although my yarnovers seem a bit sloppy to me and I'm not sure why so I'm trying to figure that out. The test blocking I've done definitely helps so maybe a proper blocking will help make the pattern a bit sharper looking.

FO-Rib and Cable Socks

PATTERN: Rib and Cable Socks by Nancy Bush from Interweave Knits, Fall 2005
YARN: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Multi in Vera - 80% Superwash Wool, 20% Nylon
NEEDLES: Addi Turbo circular, US Size 1 and Brittany DPNs US size 1

In spite of the Monkey fever, I've actually not abandoned my rib and cable socks. I've been going back and forth between the Monkey sock and the second rib and cable sock and am happy to say the rib and cable socks are now finished.

These are my first pair of completed socks and I'm pretty happy with them. I played around with the three needle methods starting out with a single circular doing the "magic loop" method, then switched to DPNs as the instructions were written specifically for DPNs and I wasn't sure how to translate that to the magic loop method. Then I got two pairs of 16" Addi Turbos to try the two circular method and really did not like that but I think it was partly because I hated the shortened needles. There wasn't enough to hold onto so it really hurt my hands. In the end, I like the magic loop method the best although I prefer the DPNs when picking up stitches for the gusset.

In general, I'm thoroughly enjoying sock knitting and already have plans for several more socks in my future - not to mention the Monkeys that I already started!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ravelry Rocks!

If you haven't seen Ravelry yet, definitely go check it out! This is such a fantastic idea - one of those "I can't believe someone didn't think of this before" ideas because it's so obviously great.

Of course, it's also one of those awful ideas if you want to have a life! I just got my invite the other day and have already spent hours - yes, hours - on it! It's just so fun and addictive.

For those not familiar with Ravelry, it's an online knitting/crocheting community that allows you to catalog all your projects, stash, books etc. I especially like that you can click on a pattern and see everyone who is either currently knitting it or has finished it. You can also click on a type of yarn and see all the different things that people are making with it. This is especially great for stash yarn that you're not sure what to do with.

You can keep track of what all your friends are working on. Join in groups and see what's up there. I've joined a spinning group, a lace group, an NYC group among a few others.

The features list goes on and on. Go sign up and try to be patient while waiting for your invite!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Monkey Fever Yarn

I forgot to mention that the very groovy yarn I'm using for my Monkey Socks is "Acero" from Brooks Farm Yarn. I'm using the skein on the left for the socks. It's 60% superwash wool, 20% silk and 20% viscose. I bought this at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival and it is luscious. Unfortunately, they don't give the name of the colorway on the yarn band and I don't think it's there on their site though there are many other beautiful colors. They seem to do a lot of shows and had quite a bit more to offer at the show than on their site. I love the other skein I bought from them as well and plan to buy some more of their yarn at Rhinebeck!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I've Got Monkey Fever!

This is what happens when you read too many knit blogs and flickr groups and see all the groovy stuff that other people are up to. And then you start to salivate (first symptom of the monkey fever) and then your brain goes into overdrive trying to decide if you've got the supplies you need or whether a shopping expedition to the yarn store is in order which of course it always is in order! (second symptom of the monkey fever). Then you abandon all other projects because the monkey fever has taken over your entire being...

The monkey fever is very contagious so I'm sorry to say that if you are now reading this blog you've probably just caught yourself a case of the monkey fever!

Cookie A's fabulous Monkey Socks pattern is free at Knitty.