Sunday, May 25, 2008

Weekend Update

We're having another lovely weekend here in Seattle, which was definitely not what the weather folks predicted. It was supposed to be 65 and raining all weekend - yesterday it was probably 80 and sunny all day, and it's cooler today but still quite nice. Yesterday I did a triathlon worth of athletic endeavors. I biked to the gym, went running, lifted weights, went swimming, then biked to the lab and then home. All told that's about 9 miles of biking, 2 miles of running, and 800 yards of swimming (800 yards = 3.6 skeins of Cascade 220). And, Dave and I walked a mile or so each way to go toss the frisbee at Gas Works Park after dinner, so I was a bit tired by the time I went to bed! I expected to be sore today but I feel alright. So, I walked to work (2.5 miles). I would walk home but my ancient Birkenstocks decided today would be a good day to cause blisters, so I will be walking part of the way and then taking the bus. Why am I telling you this? I have no idea.

What you really want to see is something related to knitting, right? Well, I am here for you! I have a new project, started a couple of weeks ago but not yet blogged, that I can show you. This is the start of a Montego Bay scarf, which I'm making as a gift:Montego Bay, start These aren't really my colors but the scarf is lovely, and has been fun to work on. I'm about 35% finished. Yesterday I hit my first snag when I picked up an errant yarnover (or something) and ended up with an extra stitch, which it took me quite awhile to fix. It would have been easy had I just gone back and fixed it immediately, since I noticed it immediately, but instead of ripping back I tried to fix it by knitting three together (instead of two) when I got to the problem spot, and that seemed okay so I carried on, but then I had too few stitches and in the end I had to unknit six rows instead of one. But, I'm back on track, and although a trained eye could probably notice where the issue occurred, it's not really that noticeable.

I've also finished Anais, although we haven't taken photos yet. Soon I promise. Yesterday would have been a good day, I'm not sure what went wrong there. It took me awhile to decide on my next garment, but I'm going to make Bayu (Ravelry link here). I have loads of black bamboo in the stash that should work well for this. I love the off-white color in the pattern, and I do have enough ivory Hempathy for it, but I think the Hempathy gauge would be a bit too small. The bamboo I have is the old put-up of the SWTC bamboo, so it's a bit rough and slubby, and I think it'll be perfect. Plus, having used it before I know what needles I used and the gauge, so I can proceed recklessly with this one. No one except (apparently) the designer has knit it yet, so I will be a pioneer!

Oh, and I apologize to everyone who might have gotten spam from my Hotmail account yesterday. I have no idea what happened but hopefully it will be a one-off thing. I contacted Hotmail and I'm waiting to hear back from them. I never even received the email I supposedly sent to everyone I've ever known on Hotmail - gotta love the Internets...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I, my friends, am a yarn snob. I do not own acrylic. I have no fun fur. Novelty yarns of any stripe are thin in the stash. This, by the way, does not mean that I haven't used these things (aside from the acrylic), just that I've grown out of them. So, when I saw that Cindi was organizing a special swap for yarn snobs as part of the Cuppa Tea Ravelry group, I was really excited. And I was not disappointed:
Tea Snob Package from VivianThis is the package I received from Vivian in Australia. Australia! I think this is my first international swap package, and it's really cool because everything is unique. The yarns are exquisite. Here's a close-up of the Live 2 Knit skein:
Live 2 Knit GingerVivian wrote that it was specially dyed, and it is just my colors. The yarn is Ginger and the colorway is Sea Glass, and it has 2% silver thread (hence the shine). It's really lovely, and definitely not getting hidden away as socks; I have to come up with the perfect project for it. The other yarn is 100% bamboo laceweight Xie from Southwest Trading Company, which I've never seen before (this particular yarn; the stash is hiding plenty of SWTC products). I suspect it will be quite soft and drapey but it's so tightly wound on the cone that it's tough to say. It looks really fine, but I think that's from being so tightly wound as well. They say it's for weaving but I suspect it will work for lace, and there is a lot of yardage, so we'll see!
There are also lovely stitch markers and great smelling soap. The tea is Australian and smells really good but I haven't tried it yet. I got the package on Friday and we had a really warm weekend so there wasn't any hot tea drinking. There was sunburn though, and knitting outside (new project!), so it was a fair trade. Thank you Vivian, I love my package!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Almost Anais!

Pardon the 12:15am hair-do, but here is what I've accomplished on Anais:
Anais, pre-seaming
The reason for the late night photo shoot is that, after not working on Anais for quite a few days I became obsessed with finishing the front piece. At about 9:00 I got it out of the bag and got to it. I hadn't been working on it because I was at the armhole shaping + neck shaping part, and I thought that might be tough to keep track of, but it really wasn't that bad. In the photo it's only pinned loosely under the armpit and at the bottom, but I think it's going to fit well. Oh, and the lace inset is just flopped on. I'm wondering how it's going to fit in there, it seems like the right size now and it's not blocked yet, so I'm worried it's going to be too large. I might have to rip it out and reknit on smaller needles, but we'll see. I'm hoping to get the sides seamed tonight and then I'll deal with the lace. The shirt is a bit shorter than I hoped, but I'll probably wear something under it anyway. Having a white tank sticking out the bottom will be a cute look.

Oh, I might be on TV! I was stopped by the King 5 news folks this morning on my way to work and interviewed about bike commuting. I'm sure I wasn't the only person they talked to, but maybe I'll be on! We're Tivoing all the news today just in case...

ETA: I was on TV! Friday morning, and it will probably rerun in the evening as well. Or, you can find me online here, at least for the moment. I'm a little ways into the exciting!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

In honor of my birthday, I had lunch and some tasty cupcakes with Anne-Marie: From the left, we have Cardamon Chai (delicious), Hummingbird (to be eaten soon), and Mint Chocolate (Anne-Marie). They were tasty. We spent some time knitting with our cupcakes (new project! Will get it's own post soon), and we went on a bit of a yarn crawl (to be honest, I've been crawling since Thursday, due to the Weaving Works my birthday Mother's Day sale, but I didn't really buy that much). It was a fun day, thank you Anne-Marie!
Dave had to work today, but yesterday we visited the Seattle Art Museum, which honestly was nicer than I expected. Because I lived in Chicago for several years, I have gotten a bit snobby about art museums. The Art Institute has such a great collection that I'm really spoiled. But, there is a some cool stuff at the SAM, so I'm glad we went. We also had a nice dinner at our favorite greek restaurant. Tonight we went out for margaritas and Mexican at El Camino - if this post is at all coherent it is in spite of two fairly strong margaritas! So, I had a lovely birthday weekend, and I promise to talk about some knitting soon!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Sleeveless Tuxedo Shirt (finally!)

I love it! It's great! It's blue! It fits! I am out of short exclamatory sentences! Seriously though, I'm really happy with the way this tank top came out. It started out fraught with difficulties (twisted cast-on, bad needle/yarn combo, etc) but ended well. Granted, it took awhile, but there was an intervening fall and winter not being tank top weather situation, so overall it wasn't too bad. I started in August sometime and finished in late April, but I don't think I worked on it all from late-September until probably February, when I took it to work to be my lunch project. But, what you really want to see are the photos, right?
Sleeveless Tuxedo Tank

Project Stats: Sleeveless Tuxedo Shirt
Pattern: Sleeveless Tuxedo Shirt (which I've also been called the Ruffled Tuxedo Top), by Theresa Schabes, from the Summer 2007 Interweave Knits. I made the 36" size.
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy, navy blue (color 011). About 4.3 skeins. I bought 7, so clearly a math error or a gauge error was made at some point here. Yarn purchased at Acorn Street.
Needles: Size 3 Clover bamboo circulars.
Time on the needles: August 2007-April 2008.
Modifications: Many. First off, I didn't see a good reason for this to be knit in pieces, so I knit it in the round until I had to separate. And even when I had to bind off the center front for the lace panel I knit the rest in one piece flat until the armpits. Second, I didn't see the point of most of the crochet, so the only place I crocheted was around the bottom of the armholes, which looked messy due to the stepped bind-off. My upper armholes looked crocheted already because I had been slipping the first stitch of every row, and the other places that were supposed to be crocheted (straps, front edges, bottom) had nice garter stitch edges already. Aside from the bottom of course, but I didn't think one round of single crochet would keep it from rolling and anyway I like the little roll it has. Then, since I was jettisoning so much crochet, I decided to heck with the scallop crochet around the front lace inserts, which look fine as is. AND, why button it? I like it open, thus open it shall be!
Impressions: I love it, as I might have mentioned earlier. I really like the Hempathy (good thing, as I have a lot of it in the stash from the Webs extravaganza of '08). It was nice to knit with and it feels nice to wear, although I think if one had sensitive skin it might be a bit scratchy for something close to the skin. I'll always be wearing something under this so it's fine. The color in the second photo is more accurate - the first one has some flash issues. The fit on this is perfect - I was a bit worried because I was between sizes and decided on the larger of the two, since this is supposed to be loose-fitting. It worked out as well I could have hoped. Honestly, I didn't measure it when I was finished, so I'm not sure if my gauge was right in the end (I did swatch), or if I'm bigger than I think I am, but either way it fits.

So, I'm really happy with this, and if Anais turns out half as well I'll be thrilled! I'm on a roll garment-wise and I hope it lasts! By the way, the necklace I'm wearing is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry. I got it from my parents for my birthday a couple of years ago and it's a simple silver clasp-type charm that holds a marble. It's interchangeable and fits any small marble, so there are infinite possibilities. I love it, and wear it quite often.

I finally got around to mailing my Yarn Snob Swap package today. I haven't gotten mine yet but the mailing deadline isn't until this Saturday. I'm hoping my package arrives on Saturday as a one-day-early birthday present!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

It's May Already?

I guess that means it's time for another goal post. I like these because they give me something to talk about on a day when I might not have had anything else to say. I'd love to show you the Ruffled Tuxedo Top (Mine has no ruffles - it's actually called the Sleeveless Tuxedo Tank, now that I think about it.) but the weather is NOT cooperating. It's in the 40s and raining again today. We've had a fairly eh spring really - it started out well but then it never warmed up. Anyway...

The April Goals were as such:
1. Finish Ruffled Tuxedo Tank - DONE. I promise there will be photos as soon as the sun shines, or at least when it's warm enough to be outside in a tank top.
2. Get through trellis repeats on Hanami Stole - NOT DONE. Haven't even touched it :(
3. Finish secret project pieces - DONE - you still can't see it, sorry, but believe me that I finished it!

Really that's not so bad, but these weren't exactly lofty goals. I was a fair way into both #1 and 3 when April started. But, better to accomplish small goals than to be perpetually frustrated! This is a good motto for science as well...

So, what will I do this month?
May Goals
1. Finish Anais - I've got the back almost finished (hopefully today, with Oliver and Jane Austen for assistance), and the lace inset already completed. This should be doable.
2. Knit a secret small gift project - this you'll likely see before #3 from April.
3. Finish trellis repeats on Hanami - I want to work on this, I do, I don't know what happened in April. I think I just felt like I needed simple knitting all the time, so that's what I did. Must push past that barrier!

Right now I am in the lab making RNA, which is really quite a lame way to spend a Saturday. Then again, it is cold and rainy, and Dave is at work, so I guess I might as well be here. And I do have a Starbucks Chai, so all is not lost.
I don't want to have a post without any photos, so check out the lovely Silky Wool I got at the Fiber Gallery sale last weekend:
Silky Wool, dusk blueI have six skeins (only $4.10/skein!) - if you have any good project suggestions let me know! As my mother pointed out in the comments last week, I am apparently in a blue phase. I just finished a blue tank top, I'm knitting a blue t-shirt, and I bought this blue yarn and some blue Manos (also very on sale). I don't usually wear that much blue because I don't like to wear anything but light blue with jeans (unless they're light jeans, but I don't have any of those). But, in the summer I wear a lot of khaki shorts and capri pants, and those go well with dark blues, so maybe that's what's going on subconsciously with all these blue projects...