Knitting Olympics – Day 16

Also known as my personal closing ceremonies, one full day before the official closing ceremonies. I had invited San Diegans over for some knitting, and got pretty much the perfect turnout for my condo. Marisa, Miyon, Jessica, Krys, and Kristen came. We had lots of fun - there was sock knitting, Olympic knitting, lots of cheering each other on, and pizza. Pretty great all around. :) I had to put in my zipper, where I realized that despite me thinking on Friday night that my zipper was going to be perfect (actually the shortest of the three lengths that I ordered), I figured out after pinning it in that I was going to have to knit more collar to fold over. Not what I wanted, but no other choice. Putting in a zipper nicely is a tedious process (though I'm glad I do all the steps - for York, I skipped the basting of the front together prior to zipper placement and paid by having to stitch down one side twice). I know it would be faster to sew it in by machine, but I can't bring myself to machine stitch a hand-knit yet. Maybe when I'm sure that the first time will be perfect, but I don't want the experience of trying to rip out machine stitching in a hand-knit. Anyway, I finished the zipper placement, which is pretty much when the group thinned down to just Miyon. Miyon was making good progress on her sweater, and it was great to have her around when I finished mine (Lani just hasn't learned how to cheer yet. In fact, my progress was despite her attempts to steal my sweater every time I got up for a second). Leilani I did in fact finish, with one day to spare. Excuse the wet hair, but I didn't want to blow dry just for an FO photo. :) Finished Pattern: Sam, Cotton Angora book by Debbie Bliss Yarn: a little over 5 skeins of Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Bubblegum Pink Modifications: Added length at the narrowest part of the waist, as well as right before the armhole shaping. Needles: US 7 Addi Turbos Date Started: February 10, 2006 Date Completed: February 25, 2006 Time: 7.75 hours for the back, 5.25 hours for the right front, 4.75 hours for the left front, 6.5 hours for each sleeve, 3 hours for seaming and weaving in ends, 4.25 hours for the collar, and 2.75 hours for the zipper installation for a total of 40.75 hours. This was a remarkably smooth knit. I came out of the gate strong, and actually thought I might have underestimated myself, but you can never forget the finishing work involved. I ended up with a great Olympic experience - I knit a sweater faster than I thought I could, but I didn't hurt my wrists (I need to keep my day job, after all). I'm incredibly happy with the sweater, which is definitely going to be one of those cardigans that you can throw on whenever (well, whenever you're not wearing a color that clashes with bright pink). I'm kind of sad that I don't have more cotton-ease, especially since now I want to knit Katy too (coming soon to a blog near you). All of the rest of my CE is earmarked, and it's not like I don't have enough things to knit, but maybe I'll get to Katy later. :)

Knitting Olympics – Day 15

We're going to pretend I wrote this post in the morning, as it is actually about yesterday's progress, not today. Yesterday was my day off, and I slept in until 10:30 - clearly all of the late night Olympic nights are taking their toll. I bribed myself with an hour of knitting following an hour of cleaning, but it wasn't much incentive, since I was at the seaming and weaving in portion of the knitting. Not my favorite part at all. Anyway, after 2.5 hours, I had a sweater complete except for a flapping collar and no zipper: seaming finished I threw it in the washer (in a zippered pillowcase) and then in the dryer. It was a little nerve-wracking, since I hadn't actually washed my swatch (I normally do - I have no idea why I didn't this time). It still wasn't dry by the time I went to bed. I know this post is kind of lame, but I'm too tired to start in on today. More tomorrow, I swear. :)

Knitting Olympics – Day 14

I knitted for 1.75 hours last night, and have a finished collar to show for it: collar Of course, then I was done and cut my tail without thinking about leaving it long enough to tack down the collar later. I'm normally pretty smart about leaving myself ends to seam (fewer ends to weave in later!) Anyway, I hope to finish seaming today, then wash it and dry it, and then tomorrow is for zipper installation. Miyon and Marisa both brought over yarn to wind yesterday, and that's when we found out that Brooks Farm Primero will catapult itself across the room, no matter how slowly you wind. I remembered seeing Japanese Cocoon winding instructions here and I set about stealing saving Erika's yarn. (Don't forget to take off any rings and watches!) start Obviously still looking at the instructions carefully in that one. Here's the finished cocoon still on the hand: finished I wound a little too tightly which started to hurt my pointer finger, but the yarn cocoon turned out nicely. It's something to think about when I get around to winding my own Brooks Farm, though. Then we settled down for an old episode of House that I'm SURE Marisa didn't watch without us at home, and then it was figure skating. Thank goodness for Dick Button - he really helped me understand what was going on with the figure skating. For instance, about Liu Yan: "One thing I wish she'd do is tie up her shoelaces and not leave them hanging out." Later on, he cleared up one of the biggest mysteries for me: "There's also a difference between the short program and the long and that's the amount of time." Nice.

Knitting Olympics – Day 13

But first - Jessica left a comment yesterday saying that the Blue Moon Sock Club isn't cost effective. While everyone is definitely entitled to their own opinion, and I'm not trying to sell anyone on joining, I wanted to address that so people reading my comments see the other side. :) I'm just going to do the math for the year subscription. Seven skeins of socks that rock @ $19/skein (the six kits plus the bonus exclusive colorway) = $133 Six sock patterns designed just for the club - I'm going to go with the Fiber Trends price of $4.50 each = $27 Assuming you bought those seven skeins yourself in two orders = $10 handling fees Binder - no idea what the market value of that might be, but we'll be safe and price a plain binder = $2 We're at $172 now, which is approximately the price of the year membership (off by about $1). I also have no idea if a pattern is included with that skein of the exclusive colorway, but I assumed that there wasn't. Additionally, the $19 a skein isn't necessarily true - the skeins I bought at Stitches West were 380 yards of 8 spi, and they were $21. This isn't on their site - the skeins there are 360 yards. I didn't even look to see what the other weights they were offering at what prices, and I distinctly remember Kaci saying that they came up with the price based on an average of the different yarns they would be sending out. Of course, what sold me and Miyon were the words "unavailable to the public for three months" (those are the six colorways) and "exclusive colorway just for sock club members" (the bonus colorway). Alrighty, on to Olympic knitting. collar start I spent 2 hours yesterday seaming the shoulders, weaving in a couple of ends, and picking up and starting the collar. I'm exactly halfway through knitting the collar - it will be doubled up and tacked down to the line of picked up stitches. I'll finish the collar tonight, but then I have a problem - I can't seam while watching women's figure skating. We'll either have to a) watch the three episodes of House that we're behind (tonight is knit night) or b) knit something else when the collar is done. Speaking of women's figure skating, I watched the rest of Tuesday night on DVR last night, and one comment by Dick Button really made me mad, despite the fact that my sister had already warned me it was there. I was disappointed that there weren't many google hits for "Dick Button" and hate, specifically "I hate Dick Button" so I thought I'd add one in. This is what he said after Yelena Liashenko skated: "The problem is that over that [12 year] period of time, her skating hasn't changed that much. It would be more helpful if she went to the rink to not only train, but thought about it a little bit too. (long pause) I hope that's not being unkind." Yes, Dick, that's unkind. Ass. He's so clueless it made me laugh (and I had to call Brad over to listen to it too). Back to Sam - it was pretty cold last night (we refuse to use heat in San Diego), and Lani was helping me seam the shoulders (she's rarely a couch cuddler): helping Of course, all of that tired her out, so she helped herself to a pillow: finished I really need to clean my house - there are pieces of Sam everywhere, and, well, just a lot of knitting crap. Which reminds me - Miyon, Marisa, and I threw in an extra knit night this week (well, day, really) to work on Olympic knitting. We'd like to extend the invitation to San Diegans that we've met or are in the San Diego blog ring (I'm leery of giving my home address to complete strangers). We're meeting on Saturday between 10 am to 4 pm, (come and leave whenever you want during that time). Drop me a comment or an email (gmail me button in the right corner) if you'd like to come. :)

Knitting Olympics – Day 11/Stitches West Day 2, the Marketplace

After 2.25 hours, the second sleeve is done. sleeve two I need to seam the shoulders and pick up the collar next, but that won't happen tonight, as I have class. I have mini-clap yarn with me - maybe I can start that in econ tonight. :) On to Stitches... this is going to be the long one - in fact, I think I'll do Sat evening and Sunday morning tomorrow, so this will just be about the marketplace. We got to sleep in since the marketplace didn't open until 10, and we were there right after the doors opened. Being a registered student had its perks, as we sailed past the long, long line for people with tickets and went into the side entrance for badged students. Very nice. We hit Tess' Designer Yarns first, promising that it would be the last variegated sock yarn for Miyon and myself (still working on making Marisa a sock knitter) because we love fancy sock patterns, and some just need solid, or near solid sock yarn. By near solid I mean dyed one color, but with subtle variations in the dying. Tess actually had some of that, and we ended up with a lot of the same sock yarn colors, though we did get what was supposed to be the last variegated yarn there (I say supposed to be because I'm weak). We all fondled some silk in that booth, and I decided that if I was good (and stayed within budget) for the rest of the day, I could have the yarn. We buried it under some other stuff and left. Here's the sock yarn from Tess, and one skein from Lisa Souza, who was recommended to us by Jasmine at Tess' Designer Yarns. sock yarn Then we started going through the booths systematically, starting at one corner. We stopped to feel up some alpaca at Catalina Yarns, and the guy there gave me two free pattern books as I was leaving (Marisa and Miyon were already at the next booth). I was surprised, but happy, as I really like this one, but in one color. Brooks Farm was the next memorable booth. I didn't buy anything there, as I haven't yet touched the stuff I bought at Rhinebeck (okay, so I've touched it a lot, but I haven't knit it yet). I did shamelessly enable Miyon and Marisa into lots of yummy mohair, though. I also lost my water bottle there, noting there was a water bottle of a different brand where I thought I left mine. I figured some random person accidentally put theirs down and picked up mine, and we laughed at the stranger drinking from my water bottle. We figured out several hours later that the person in question was actually Miyon. :P The next memorable booth was Lisa Souza. The mulberry sock yarn pictured above is from her, as well as this absolutely perfect smoky blue wool lace weight (Denim) in the upper right corner: lace weight Miyon picked it up first, and after I realized that she wasn't actually pointing out a luscious blue to me, the lover of all blues, we had one of those "well if you don't want it, I'll take it" sort of conversations, and because she's so awesome, she offered it to me. I could tell she was sad about it, and so I suggested that we split it (it's 2500 yards, we can still get decent items out of half). This cheered us both right up. Backing up a little, the cone in the upper left is actually from Artfibers from the day before (I really didn't group my pictures well, and I'm not taking everything out to retake pictures). It's called Tsuki, and we think it will be a great sub for Rowan KSH. I was loving the dark green, but didn't think of a specific pattern for it (of course, as I'm writing this, I remembered I wanted to make that cardigan in the vintage section of Vogue Knitting Holiday 05, and that color would be perfect. Oops). Anyway, I thought of the beautiful shawl in the new Rowan which would look lovely in a pale color. The cone we got was Miyon's favorite color, and unavailable in smaller skeins, so the perfect solution was to buy the cone and split it. It's over 3000 yards, so we have plenty. The color is a fabulous silver/green tone. The yarn in the bottom left of that picture is 2500 yards of wool lace weight that was a really good deal at the Yarn Barn of Kansas. I don't have a specific shawl in mind, but I've been dying to start knitting many things in A Gathering of Lace. The skein on the bottom right is that Tess yarn that we hid earlier in the day. I was doing okay budget-wise, so we went back and picked it up because I was scared someone else was going to buy it. Of course, once my incentive to stay under budget was gone, I slipped a little bit. :P It's Cascade Silk, and it's luscious. At White Lies Designs, we picked up some patterns, and Miyon immediately went on search for yarn for one. We ended up at WEBS for the second time that day (the first time, the crowd was too much). It was still really busy, but we were on a mission, and Miyon found the yarn not only for the one design, but also some Jo Sharp Soho Summer. Despite the fact that I would knit that design (Krista - I can't find it on the site) with the Jo Sharp Soho Summer that I bought at WEBS in October, I did find this fabulous red that I couldn't pass up. jo sharp We picked up the rest of the yarn Miyon was looking for, and ran into Lorna's Laces at 10% off that we missed earlier in the day. I was weak and picked up the Sand Ridge I've wanted for a few months, as well as Embers. The yarn on the right is more Shelridge Farms Ultra 100% Wool Fingering Weight - I bought two shades of purple at Rhinebeck for Latvian mittens, not realizing that I needed three colors for the pattern I want to do. I was kind of shocked at how small the Stitches West booth was for Shelridge Farms, and how empty (both in people and yarn and kits). more sock yarn That's all for the full day of shopping. Clearly I have lace and socks on the brain (and lace socks!). I'll wrap up the weekend tomorrow. :)

Knitting Olympics – Day 10/Stitches West Day 1

I knit for an hour and a half in the airport and the plane, and am now on row 106 of the second sleeve. I'm almost at the sleeve cap shaping! sleeve two I spent a lot of time inventorying the new stash and putting it away when I got home. I did take pictures, of course. I'm going to try to do this somewhat systematically, over several days. On Friday, Miyon and I took the Fair Isle class taught by Beth Walker-O'Brien. She was really wonderful - very well prepared with handouts, set schedule (which I love), and she was very informative and hands on. Miyon and I had both practiced continental, but she helped us with tension, and now we both feel really good about two handed knitting. I was sorry I was using my Denises (we needed 16" circs for the class, and I didn't want to spring for Addis just for class). I think I've outgrown the Denises - I was so jealous that Miyon was working with Addis. Knitting is so tactile, I want it all to be loverly feeling, and that includes the tools. Anyway, I'm sure we didn't learn anything that we couldn't have eventually picked up with books, a lot of trial and error, and time, but the class was worth it for all of the time and frustration saved! You can't beat seeing things done in person, nor can you overlook the benefit of having someone look at your progress, give you tips, and evaluate the quality of your floats. I highly recommend this class. I was kind of sad we weren't taking the Fair Isle finishing class too, but I feel like I have a good foundation for figuring out the rest of it using the great resources on the web (specifically the incredible steeking instructions by Eunny). I'm not going to talk specifically about the people in our class, since Jen did it so well here here, I'll just say we had the expert, rushy, and confusy (the homework clearly said practice knitting with your other hand). In our Sunday class, we had a woman who was simultaneously complaintrix and fightess, and one bailer. It was all funny rather than annoying, partially because I was well prepared by Jen last year. :P Anyway, here's what I made in class: Fair Isle class Two handed Fair Isle, tacking down long floats, and corrugated rib. There's more to do to complete the last exercise (she doesn't expect the last one to be finished, but having it specified gives the faster people something to start on if they're done with previous stuff). After I finish that, I'm knitting a small snowflake bag based off of one in Handknit Holidays (I have to swap out their chart with a snowflake one) with the yarn I have left to practice some more, then I'm diving into Eunny's stranded argyle vest with Miyon. Stash report for the day - most of the Artfibers haul (I accidentally put our coned mohair in the laceweight picture that I'll post tomorrow, and I'm seriously not taking more pics). artfibers I have enough Kyoto for a custom designed sweater (they have pretty cool software in the store), enough Golden Chai for the Silk Corset, and enough Kurasawa for a scarf (all they had). I just couldn't leave behind the only brown I ever loved - we should probably be happy they didn't have any more of it. A scarf will be lovely. :) Of course, we actually did hit two booths on Friday before heading off to Artfibers, Blue Moon Fiber Arts and Commuknity. At Blue Moon, I got exactly what you'd expect: Socks That Rock That is Lapis, Cobblestone County, and Romancing the Stone. I desperately wanted Prove it All Night, but the booth was already picked over when we got there (at noon on Friday!) and they didn't have the weight we wanted in that color. That will just have to wait a little. We then went right next door to Commuknity and got more sock yarn, Claudia's Handpainted Yarn: Claudia's Handpaint That's Blueberry Tonic, an oops, and Chocolate Cherry. Lovely. More yarn tomorrow.

Knitting Olympics – Day 8

This is sad. The only knitting I did yesterday was before the Fair Isle class, less than half an hour. No knitting happened last night. So, sorry for the crappy progress photo (I'm only on row 18, which I think is maybe 8 rows more than yesterday's photo). sleeve two I had accidentally put my project in the trunk on the way to SF, and it was dark on the way back, so I lost some car knitting time. Then, by the time we got back together, went to the grocery store and a sushi place, it was pretty late. And then there was the wine. Yeah. Anyway, today is a full day. :) We've got the Stitches West marketplace all day (they open in an hour). After that, we're meeting up with knitters for dinner, and then heading over to CommuKNITy for their knitting event tonight.

Knitting Olympics – Day 7

Late today with the update, but it's been a little busy. :) Yesterday I got a total of 30 minutes of knitting in waiting for the delayed flight to board, so I basically just cast on for the second sleeve. sleeve Impressive, I know. While on the plane, I switched to practicing continental for my Fair Isle class. Luckily, the scarf I knit last year continental had stayed with me, so I felt pretty comfortable after the flight. We didn't get to the hotel until 1 am last night, and had to be up again at 6 for our classes. Marisa spent the day in a finishing class, and Miyon and I were in the Fair Isle class. We had so much fun! I'm so excited to start some fun color projects. :) Marisa's class was all day, while the Fair Isle class was just the morning. We spent lunch hitting the sock yarn hard (Blue Moon Fiber Arts and CommuKNITy for their Claudia's Handpaint), and then Miyon and I headed to downtown San Francisco to ArtFibers. Wow. I was underwhelemed when I first walked in - the store is pretty small and not fancy, but after just a few minutes feeling the swatches (provided for every yarn and every color), we were enthralled. The cool thing is that the woman helping us knew about blogs (I'm shocked at the amount of those that don't, but I swear they exist). When I was using Claudia as a measure of how much Chai to buy for the silk corset, they knew what I was talking about. When Miyon was picking up Chai for a Flower Basket Shawl, they knew how many skeins Stephanie had used (apparently the completion of her shawl necessitated the revival of a discontinued color). Three hours later, we left a lot poorer. I'll provide detailed stash reports when I get home, but for now, I give you this: haul Keep in mind that Marisa hasn't bought any yarn yet. Also, note the wine. I wouldn't expect impressive Olympic updates tomorrow.

Knitting Olympics – Day 6

I knit for 3 hours last night. I didn't mean to stay up that late, but I wanted to be caught up on Olympic coverage, since I'm missing Thursday through Sunday. Then I was so close to finishing my sleeve that I just stayed up and finished it. I'm going to pay for it at work today. sleeve one Luckily I can now do the tubular cast-on in my sleep, as I'll have to do it on the road tonight - maybe on the plane. I went with the majority and wound the yarn for the mini-clap: yarn Even prettier than in the skein, I think. I love the sheen that the tencel gives. This is about 400 yards of wool/tencel sock yarn that they handpaint at Mind's Eye in MA. I don't really know anything beyond that... I did weigh it, and it's 114 grams. I'll need to weigh during the knitting of the mini-clap to see what kind of straight section I can get out of it. That is, assuming that sleeve two is done. Off to Stitches West tonight! :)

Knitting Olympics – Day 5

I knit for 1.5 hours yesterday (in my econ class), and am now around row 90 out of 130 on the sleeve prior to the sleeve cap shaping. sleeve one Getting sick of pink around here? Not me - I'm trying to figure out if I should take Hard Rock socks (pink) with me to Stitches West (in case I run out of sleeve two) or my mini-clap out of sock yarn (also pink). I thought it might be nice to stay with my Olympic color theme. What do you think - mini-clap with this: mini-clap Or 3x1 rib socks with this: Hard Rock I got a nice package in the mail yesterday - Anj had spun up the rest of my Fleece Artist roving left over from these mittens, and I got it yesterday. Isn't it lovely! fleece artist I had originally intended to knit something else for Erin with it, but I'm going to steal it from her. I'm not knitting Christmas gifts this year anyway. :) Today is the three year anniversary of Leilani's adoption from a shelter. :) Lani