Dove Knits

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I can stop any time I want.

And this, folks, is why I needed to go on a yarn diet!

That's ten (10. TEN. TEN!!!) Rubbermaid bins full of yarn, plus that big cardboard box, plus the canvas bag on the left, plus several skeins in my work basket (not shown). When I pulled it out into the dining room, I couldn't get around it.

I have since organized and catalogued all of it, and will post a list at some point, maybe!

Incidentally, I've been doing very well with the yarn diet, only buying things needed to finish a project. I got four skeins of Wool of the Andes for my dad's DNA vest, and when that turned out to be too much, turned the skeins into a teddy bear. I bought black Wool-Ease to finish the crazy-square afghan. And I bought 8 skeins of Shine Worsted for the secret publishing project, which I haven't even started on, so that was out of keeping with the diet, but hey, I'm human. And I've done a decent job destashing, too!

I've been tagged for the 7-things meme by both Amanda and Cara, so I guess I have no choice but to answer. So, here goes! (I did a similar one a bit ago, but this is all new.)

1. I married my first serious boyfriend, and I was his first girlfriend. In a word, we really lucked out!

2. I came very close to having a black belt in Shuri-Ryu karate.

3. I pierced most of my own ear piercings. With a stud earring. Only one ever got infected, and it was because I was fiddling with it after I pierced it.

4. I floss twice a day, every day. Incidentally, I haven't had a cavity since I started flossing regularly.

5. I've never been able to do a cartwheel.

6. I've lived in Moscow, Atlanta, middle-of-nowhere-Ohio, and Chicago. To people's disappointment, I have neither a Russian accent (though some claim that I do have a very slight one, most agree that I do not) nor a Southern one. If anything, I have a Midwestern accent. I attribute my general lack of accent to learning English by watching TV.

7. I had my very first Circus Peanuts last night, and I must say, they are as vile as I've always heard they are.

I'm not tagging anyone, because most of y'all have already done this, but hey, if you want to, go for it.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Summer knitting goals

So, there's apparently a fabulous knitting contest thrown by Skeins Her Way. You know that cute tank you see in all the advertisements for Blue Sky Alpaca? Well, she designed it. Yeah.

(By the way, it's kinda a long story of how I heard about this. I found out about the contest from Lolita Blahnik's blog. And the way I found out about HER blog is by using Google Analytics, which is a free service that tracks traffic to your site. It records where people are coming from. Try it, you'll be surprised how many hits your blog gets! I get about 60-100 visitors per day, mostly from Knitting Pattern Central, where I posted my free patterns (see sidebar). Anyway, Lolita Blahnik apparently found my Cold Shoulder capelet. So, yeah, anyway, that's the story of that.)

So, here are my summer goals. I'm a bit boring, so many of them are just finishing old stuff:

1. Finish my lovely, delicious Rona Lace Shawl. It just screams summer.

2. Finish that circle cardigan I've had on the needles for a year now.

3. Finally make that original pattern I intended to publish in Knitty, and try to get it in SOMEWHERE.

4. Start (and maybe finish!) a new sweater for myself. That's a bit vague, but I'm just still undecided about what to make first.

There. Modest, but I'm busy, since I'm starting my last (I hope) year of grad school!

So, go post yours!


Monday, May 21, 2007

Knitting on the road

No, not the book. The ACTION!

What's the best way to clear off the WIPs on your side bar? Well, lock yourself into a car for 14 hours one weekend with nothing but unfinished knitting projects to work on. Voila! Before long, everything is done!

Like the Plymouth Sockotta socks I started a few months ago. I actually completed an entire sock and the cuff of the second one, but stopped when I came to the heel. See, I have flap-and-gusset heels memorized, but not short-row heels, and the self-striping yarn really looks better with those. So I put the socks down until I could sit down long enough to work the heel from instructions. And, of course, once I lost momentum, it took a while to regain it.

In fact, it took a car drive. In the dark. Yes, I knit these in the dark without looking. I mean, they are just stockinette. Although I goofed and made them longer than the first pair and had to go back and fix it.

I like these. I wore them, but just to bed. I can't say I enjoy the feel of Plymouth Sockotta -- it's too...cottony and rough, and not very elastic. But the socks feel nice on. Plus, I shaped them to fit my calves. They're slouchy at the ankles, but don't let that fool you -- they actually DO stay up.

Also, they are not identical. Obviously, the yarn striped differently, especially since my gauge was quite a bit looser for the second sock than for the first -- don't know why -- but I also did the cuffs differently. I don't know why, but the first sock has 2x2 rib and the second 1x1. I just didn't look closely enough or something.

But, yeah, to sum up: Sockotta yarn, size 1 needles. Basic top-down stockinette sock with short-row heel.

And then there's these socks that I started back in July (!!!):

See? These were finished on the road. And modeled on the road. And I still had 4 hours to go, with no more knitting. I somehow survived.

These socks are in Knitpicks now-defunct Sock Garden in Daffodil, and are wonderfully soft and snug, but I'm sure will wear out quickly when I wear them with boots in the winter. They're knit on size 1 needles, top-down, using the Chevron pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks (where else?).

As with the previous pair, I knit the first sock and half of the second one, to the heel. These have "afterthought" heels, and I worked the first one per Charlene Schurch's instructions -- you cast on separately for the heel as you come to it and basically work it like you're doing a toe decrease, then knit the foot of the sock. Well, of course, since this isn't flap-and-gusset, I didn't know how to do this off the top of my head, and lost momentum. As it was, I ended up working the heel of the second one differently -- rather than working the heel immediately, I knit half the stitches on scrap yarn and then continued knitting the foot of the sock as a tube. Then I undid the scrap yarn stitches and decreased the heel after the rest of the sock was done.

I really prefer "forethought" heels to short-row heels. They LOOK nicer, are easier to do, and don't have those holes. I just can't avoid holes along the sides of short-row heels, no matter how hard I try!

Also, for some reason, the second Daffodil sock took alot less yarn than the first. And I have a decent amount left over of the Sockotta. I'm saving my sock yarn scraps so that I can one day make crazy leftover socks, with different-colored heels and toes and stuff.

Finally, the reason we were on the road:

My little brother-in-law graduated from college this weekend. This was one of his gifts. The pattern -- you guessed it -- is a Jean Greenhowe (from Knitted Animals).

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Monday, May 14, 2007

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck... is a duck!

I finally got my butt in gear and finished off the duck-surprise for my good friend's baby, E. I saw the pattern in Fiona McTague's Knitted Toys, and couldn't resist. He's such a folk-art style toy. He just had to be made.

Speaking of butts, his is a different color from the rest of him:

I was running out of my the yellow, so I found a nicely coordinated lighter yellow in my extensive acrylic stash. The undersides of the wings are like that, too.

As you can guess from having read my blog before, it's all in Simply Soft acrylic. The feet are Perfect Match, and the gauge is slightly off, but, eh, it worked out:

I knit the body in the round, as always, but followed directions pretty much to a T for the rest of it.

Anyway, I'm pretty happy with him. He's soft, too.

I forgot what all I was going to say on here...

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007



My best friend's birthday bear still needs clothes.

My other best friend's baby's surprise gift is still in pieces.

I was planning on making my brother-in-law a Jean Greenhowe graduation owl mascot for his college graduation next weekend.

And then there's the project I was going to design and submit to Knitty.

And we won't even mention all the incompletes on my side bar.

Have I been working on any of these things? Of course not.

Meet the current object of my affection obsession: the Rona lace shawl

I know it doesn't look like much, all scrunched up like that. But this shawl is an evil, evil temptress. I started it on the drive to Cleveland last weekend, thinking it will be an innocent enough project. Little did I know that it possessed charms that would prevent me from putting it down for the next week and a half!

I love everything about this shawl. I love watching the pattern grow and change. I love having to read instructions for every single row rather than being able to memorize and repeat, ad nauseum, the same several rows over and over. I love the lovely soft Misti Alpaca laceweight yarn, airy-soft in my hands. I love how relatively quickly it goes -- I'm on row 107 of 153. It won't be a very big shawl at all. (I've completed quite a few rounds since taking the picture.)

I'm a bit confused, though, at the fact that it doesn't really increase in stitch number round to round. It does, but slowly. This makes it go faster, but also makes me, someone inexperienced in knitting flat circles, wonder if I made a mistake somewhere. We'll find out soon. Tonight, though, I have to put the shawl down and work on the surprise baby gift.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Color me crazy

First of all, I am so sorry for not keeping up with y'all's blogs for so long. I've been pretty out of sorts and not really following knitting online. I promise to catch up.

Secondly, I finally completed a project so bright, you may want to put on sunglasses before proceeding.

I'll wait for you to go get them.




See, I told you it was bright. Here's the other side:

I started this blanket right after we got married. Yes, that's almost two years ago. I basically pulled out my stash of Caron Simply Soft and started going through 200 Blocks to Crochet by Jan Eaton. It was a wonderful project for my nonexistent attention span. I was always doing something new! I loved it.

The problem was, even though all the blocks are designed to be the same size, and even though I used the same yarn and hook throughout, the sizes were all over the place. I sorted all my squares and decided that the most commonly occurring size was, and redid the other squares -- half of them -- to be that size.

Then there were the ends to weave in. Yeah. Ouch.

Then there was the joining. I just didn't have yarn that went with it, until recently. So two weeks ago, I sat down and started joining. I did a sc border in black around each square and then joining them using the slip stitch method and going in a diagonal like the book recommended. Then I ran out of black yarn and that lead to the crochet spree seen in the previous post. Then I bought more yarn and finished joining (during which I lost a square, made up a new one, joined it, and found the one I lost), did a border (two rows of dc, then a shell border), and then wove in all THOSE ends. And now, I'm done!

Now, I know it's ugly. But I love it. I can't help but smile when looking at it, and what more can you as for of an FO. It's big enough to use as a real blanket, too, and I've been sleeping under it.

The specs:

Size I Susan Bates hook. Various colors of Simply Soft for the squares, and Simply Soft, Wool-Ease, and Microspun for joining and borders. All square patterns are from the book indicated above. The finished blanket is about 6 feet by 4 feet, and is not nearly as lopsided as it looks hanging on our fence.

And I'm sure you're just dying to see all the squares individually. You can do that here. The colors are more washed out here, and the full blanket pics are much more representative.

Tune back in soon if your retinas are still intact!

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