Posts Tagged ‘project’

It’s been a while

Where do I start? That’s the thing with a blog, if you don’t update often enough. It starts becoming a daunting task, you keep falling further behind so then you think, where do I start? Do I just pick it up again like I was never gone, or do I do a full update?

For several months after Iceland I had a lull in my knitting. I lost interest, I still knit often, maybe not daily, but somehow the fun had worn off. In fact, I started a post about it:

I tend to have this problem: I get into something (such as a new hobby). And I obsess over it. It engulfs my life and I drop everything else that I have an interest in. It becomes my life. Every free minute is poured into said hobby. And when I can’t be doing the hobby, I spend time online researching it, posting on boards, learning all I can. And then at my pinnacle of my obsession, when I feel like I could spend my whole life just doing this one thing…

Something happens. It’s like somebody flipped a switch, and the lights suddenly went off. I loose my drive, my passion quickly evaporates and then my life goes back to normal until I find the next thing to obsess over.

I swore this would not happen with knitting. I want knitting to be part of my every day life, I want it to be a lifelong hobby.

And then I went to stitches west. It must have been the yarn fumes. Or perhaps it was this pattern.
Lovely yak down and cormo sheep. Diagonal opening. Shorter sleeves. A little lace. Whats not to love?

Alice Cardi

It turned out a little bit on me, unfortunately. (I’m still working the nerve to throw it in the drier for a few minutes to see if it will shrink). It’s alright, I still love it and the most important thing… I got my knitting mojo back. The Monday following stitches west was a holiday; I cast on the sleeves. 2 Mondays after that the cardi made its debut. It went quick, about a week and a half to knit, and a few days to finish up and dry.

I think my “yarn diet” also contributed at my lack of enthusiasm in knitting. I did slim down my stash in the past few months, but after all my stitches west purchases I think it’s close to what it was at its “worst” (and by worst I mean bad in the boyfriend’s book, good in mine!).

stitches west loot

Since my last true update I have finished quite a bit of projects, so a quick rundown:

more like ruby
The Ruby Safire (blogged about as WIP)

Dark Red Hederas. (blogged about as WIP)

The urchin that only took me 4 tries (blogged about as WIP)… I’m glad I finished it because it turned out to be the hat I wear the most. I had a near catastrophe almost loosing the hat a few weeks ago. I had no idea it was missing until I saw a crumpled black knitted thing by my car one day… my first thought was that some bum lost his hat by my car, and then I realized it was MY hat. It had been sitting out there for a few days and had been driven over and covered in mud during the rains. A good soak and it was as good as new.

Babette Uber Alles
The damn blanket that took me a million years. A month to crochet up all the squares and almost a year to crochet the border all the way around. I love it though!

The clapotis in Uruguyan yarn bought in Iceland. Love this malabrigo silk/merino yarn, but boy does it pill.

Lubov Detail
Lubov from the Brave new Knits book. Made it skinnier and a little longer. Although the lace stretched quite a bit and it turned out to be about 8 feet long!

OpArt blanket for the dog (destashing the cheap acrylic!). I think this is the most used and loved piece of knitting I have churned out yet.

Bee mitts
Bee fingerless gloves I knit up during our disneyland trip. I need to get a completed picture. The black ribbing along the top is extra long so I can have it folded down when its not so cold or unfolded up when I want to cover my fingers.

Monkey Socks
Monkey socks… I thought I had a finished picture but I need to dig it up. I wanted to get these done to wear to my Cookie A class at stitches (I know, dorky). Reclaimed this yarn from a messy shawl attempt I blogged about a while back, it worked much better with the socks.

Spiral Cowl
Spiral cowl also knit up during my disneyland trip. Cute pattern that I saw a Erica from my knitting group work on, shipped off to mom.

Kindle pocket pre-felting
Felted kindle cozy for Mike for the kindle I got him for his birthday. He never asks for anything knitted so I was happy to make it for him, yay!

Hedgerow socks… I needed a simple pattern to take to stitches and I thought they looked cute. I need to stop knitting red socks.

Wheew, quite an update. I have a few WIPs… but I’ll save those for later.


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Iceland was awesome. Now, not everything on the trip went as planned, or as good as I hoped. I think I went with overly optimistic expectations which were not fully realized but I saw, experienced, and did some amazing things that kind of balanced the whole adventure.

I took about a thousand pictures, which need to be sorted and uploaded. I also want to document my trip in detail before memories start fading but I need a little bit more motivation and time to sit down and do a proper job of it. I met some wonderful people, and made some friends that I hope I will be able to stay in touch with. I finished all the projects I wanted to take on my trip, but surprisingly I did not do much knitting on my knitting vacation. It might have been partially that I was all knitted out before my trip, partially that I don’t like to knit when it feels like an obligation/expectation, and partially that I was so busy doing other things that I frankly did not have much time or energy to knit at the end of the day. Aside from the swatches we knit during our classes the only piece I worked on was my Icelandic Ishbel, cast-on during my first flight and bound-off a couple days after returning home. It was mostly knit in iceland so… It will be the piece to remember my trip by.

The cookies they served on the plane were excellent. And I get nervous about flying so I always order orange juice. It’s just one of those things.

I am really happy with how it turned out in the end, even got Ysolda’s help with finding a mistake. The pattern is really easy but it requires attention to the lace pattern since every row is slightly different, so in knitting it while sleepy I found myself tinking a lot. It will get a lot of use as a scarf:

I did buy some wool in Iceland… 38 *cough* skeins to be exact. It was a knitting trip after all! Lopi yarn is really cheap there, and while a bit on the rough side it’s very durable and “sticky” making it ideal for steeking. The whole steeking deal makes me nervous but I will steek my lopi sweater, hopefully my hand wont shake too badly when I start cutting. So yeah, the yarn:

13 Lett lopi, 7 Einband lace weight lopi, 2 Alafoss lopi, 5 bulky lopi, 4 Novia Passion, 2 Nammi, 2 Aslan Trends Santa Fe, 2 Malbrigo silky merino, 1 Zauberball. Not a bad lot! The malbrigo and zauberball I can buy at home but these colors are a little rarer and I was on a mad yarn-buying frenzy. How could I have avoided it being surrounded by tons of yarn?

Oh, and I did finish the owl sweater, and wore it proudly for a good chunk of the trip. I even finished sewing on all 38 buttons the day before. I think I’m pretty good at sewing buttons now. Sorry about the crummy picture:

I’m not sure I want to start on my lopi sweater yet, I feel like I need more sweater practice. I started swatching for Safire this afternoon, hopefully I can put all the garment shaping that I learned into use.

Well, after all the lava-field walking, sheep-wrangling, thermal pools, erupting geysers, waterfalls, and adventures, getting back to real life has been tough.  Details and pictures coming soon!

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It was absolute love at first sight, and I had to take them home with me.

A Fluevog store near(ish… still a mile’s walk but worth it) to my work just opened. I spotted it a few weeks ago when I went to a new haircutting place. They close at 6, I get off work at 6, so I had to settle with drooling through the window because they were closed every time I passed by. Well… yesterday when I went to purchase the buttons for my Owls during my lunch break I had the brilliant idea of stopping by Fluevog before heading back to work, to try on a pair of strappy shoes that I was particularly salivating over. Those shoes ended up being too pointy for my taste, but these made my heart skip a beat:

I sigh every time I look at them. Not only are they omgCUTE, but they are also omgCOMFORTABLE. Comfortable heels. WHAT? Really, more comfortable than some of my flat shoes. I love retro-y heels but I walk a lot and I hate uncomfortable shoes. I’m still amazed at how nice they feel to walk in. I’m still lusting over the Bond girl boots too. Been wanting Fluevog boots since I saw an amazing pair of my friend Michelle, but I just can’t buy shoes I can’t try on. But now I can!!! *happy dance*

Enough on shoes. By some sort of miracle, I was able to dodge the weekend work bullet today and got to stay home to finish projects, pack, and run errands. I finished a ton of projects today!!!! The owls are blocked and I sewed on most of the buttons, I finished the ever-dragging-on houndstooth scarf (when I get back I want to write up the pattern and post it), finished the neckwarmer and bought some cool buttons for it, and finished the thumbs on the mittens. Pictures posted soon! I also tried to do some packing, but somehow every time I tried I went into zombie mode I managed to move my clothes from one pile to another, and then back but I didn’t manage to actually pack anything. I’m stuck on “how many pairs of pants/skirts do I need vs. how many I want to take”. It’s a continuous battle in my brain. The travel jitters have really really hit me, I can’t sleep, and all can do is circle my suitcase moving clothes around. It looks like a closet barfed on my livingroom floor.

Ahhh! Its almost 4am, that means I have 24 hours until I need to be at the airport. *panic!*

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Excellent indeed!

Great news! The snapdragon tam shrunk a good amount after 25 minutes in the dryer. I am ridiculously happy about this because I was dreading having to rip it out, and I knew I wasn’t going to wear it huuuuuge since it looked like a floppy chef’s hat on me.

Regrettably I wasn’t able to finish my owls tonight, but I am awfully close. Just need to do collar ribbing and grafting the arms and blocking, and its done! YAY! I couldn’t resist taking a picture. Sorry for the crummy quality and and the dirty mirror:

I’m so excited! My first garment with arms. Note the owl on the left sleeve and the thumbholes. *dances*

Laundry for my trip is done, and I’ve put aside most of the clothes I am taking with me. This vacation prep is going quite smoothly. I might have a relatively stress free weekend while I wait for the day to come. Imagine that!

Off to bed!

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The time is ticking down for my Iceland trip! As of now I have 3 days, 17 hours and 37 minutes until my first flight takes off. Not that I’m really keeping track or anything.

I will be in Iceland for 8 days of knitting and hiking and sight seeing and good-food-eating and geothermal-bath-soaking. It should be a fun adventure, hopefully full of thrills and learning new stuff. I can’t wait!!!!

I set a few knitting goals for things I wanted to make and take (it will be on the quite chilly side there…) and so far I haven’t finished any of them! I knit up snapdragon flip-top mittens which I haven’t finished the thumbs on, snapdragon tam which is done but is WAY too big (I’m going to stick it in the dryer to see if I can get it to shrink down, and if not I’ll frog and start over *teary eyes*). I’m more than halfway done with my cashmere neckwarmer which should be an easy simple knit but it keeps getting bumped for all the other projects. I wanted to finally finish the houndstooth crochet scarf that was been kicking a round for months because its been too warm to wear (well, not really but it seems so wintery). And lastly, I was crazy enough to start my first sweater project on Saturday to finish in time for the trip because I realized I don’t have any wool sweaters:

Body was done over the weekend, sleeve one on Monday and sleeve two on Tuesday. I worked on the owl yoke yesterday, but after getting almost halfway through I was quite unhappy about how loose my purls were turning out. No matter how tightly I knit those purls, they were sloppy. So I did some digging and found out about Norwegian purling. *cue angelic music*

I’m in love! It’s wonderful, and looks a bit tricky at first but with a tad of practice its fast and more importantly, its NEAT. Super neat, so neat that I can’t wait to start the ribbing (which I normally hate because it looks sloppy when I do it). So I ripped back those owls and started them over with my new purl and they look 100 times better.

Owl closeup

Here is the video I learned from, its super clear:

I need a game plan to get everything done that I need to do, and have time to pack (relaxed and focused, not panicked and scrambling 2 hours before my flight).

– I need to finish owl sweater tonight and start blocking.

– I need to stick the snapdragon tam in the dryer when I do laundry (note: MUST DO LAUNDRY).

– I need to finish the last few inches of my neckwarmer and block.

– Hopefully finish my houndstooth scarf with enough time for blocking.

– Do the thumbs on the mittens. These don’t need blocking so I can do them last minute or on the flight.

– Wind yarn and print patterns for traveling projects. Read patterns ahead of time in case there is something I don’t understand and need to research.

– Find and purchase buttons for Owls and neckwarmer (eek!) Probably sew these on the plane.

– Pack!!!! This throws me into a panic, at least I made a packing list.

Wow, that’s a lot to finish in the next 3.5 days, specially considering I might need to work late on Friday, and for sure have to work on Saturday. Time to use every free minute wisely! Off to knit some owls during lunch hour.

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