Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rockin' Sock Club for January

I also received another club kit this week, the Rockin' Sock Club for January, from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.

Rockin Sock Club - Jan 2011

The kit comes with an intro packet for the year, two patterns, two yarns, two mini-skeins, a sticker, and button. The button is "nsk" for "Notorious Sock Knitters."

RSC - Jan 2011 - Pinkie Swear and Aubergine

The colorways are called "Pinkie Swear" and "Aubergine." They are Socks That Rock Mediumweight. The patterns are both colorwork.

RSC - Jan 2011 - Distelfink

Both patterns use negative images between the two socks. That's a good way to make sure to use even amounts of yarn. The Distelfink pattern has a more traditional stranded colorwork look. With stranded work in mediumweight, they will be very warm, winter socks.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

January KAL Sock Done

I finished the January KAL Hedera socks.

Hedera Violeta

Ravelry project page link.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Wrixlan Jacket Completed

After three years, it is done.

A modification I should have made, but didn't, was adding one to two inches of length under the arms. Some folks on Ravelry added a whole pattern repeat to the cable pattern.

Wrixlan Done - 2

Wrixlan Done - 4

Wrixlan Done - 5

Wrixlan Done - 6

More photos and info on my Ravelry project page.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Friday, January 28, 2011

Wonderful

Wonderful
Quote of the day:

Mom: "Who's the most wonderful boy in the world?"
Mitchell: "Dad."

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Pins and Lace -- Spanish Moss

My first installment of Romi's Pins and Lace Club arrived, today.

PinsandLaceJan01Kit

I don't think I can enjoy this pale green color. I plan to use a deeper color... and I ordered some JulieSpins 435 in a blue/purple color called Orion. It is larger gauge, which I think I'll like, and I think it will look great with the iridescent blue beads that came in the kit.

25 Year Anniversary

Today is the 25-year anniversary of the Challenger disaster. I was a senior in high school.

The event provided a strange crossroads for me because I was about to embark on a college career in aerospace engineering... The disaster seemed to be a gauntlet thrown down, a direct, "Are you doing the right thing?" question from the Fates.

Ronald Reagan's address that day included, "The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted..."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Planning Next Month's KAL...

Well, the KSL KAL has sponsors each month, and if you use a sponsor's yarn, you get *two* entries to win prizes (for each pair completed), instead of just one. [Prizes are usually yarn, and you know how I *need* more yarn! Hah!] So, in the absolute interest of supporting KAL sponsors, and certainly not in the interest of *winning* anything, of course, I'm trying to knit with sponsor yarn.

Next month is the "Monkey" sock pattern, one of the most popular sock patterns, ever, and one which I have knitted already, myself. It is also known for being quite friendly to hand-painted yarns, showing them off very well without losing the knitting pattern.

Here are the (current) sponsors for February.

Blue Moon Fiber Arts
CraftsMeow
Crazy4Dyeing
Grant Creek Yarns
Pampered Knitting
Sheepaints
Stitchjones
The Painted Tiger


Would you believe I don't have any yarn from any of these sponsors? (Hard to believe...) Or, at least I *didn't* until the last few days. I wanted to use sponsors' yarn, and I wanted to use highly-variegated handpaints, so I ordered two different ones. (Monkey is a great pattern, and you do get two months to finish... they just have to be cast on in the first month. I can probably do two pairs.) So... here are my February yarns:

Socks That Rock - Jingle Bell Rock

Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Socks That Rock Lightweight, colorway "Jingle Bell Rock"


GrantCreek - Mermaids perspecitve

Grant Creek Yarns, 75% Superwash Merino, 25%
Nylon, colorway, "Mermaid's Perspective"


It was really quite strategic for Blue Moon Fiber Arts to drive new users to their site right at this time... Sign ups are open for their 2011 "Rocking Sock Club." They send yarn in the last week of the month, six months a year, starting in January. So... I'm not sure how much longer sign ups will be open since the first batch is only a week or so away. [Any wagers on whether I signed up or not?]

Luckily, one of the March sponsors is Zen Yarn Garden... I certainly won't have to buy yarn in that case!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Sick and Knitting...

...but not sick of knitting. Knitting is soothing. I knitted in the hospital a few hours after my thyroid surgery (in 2008), when every shift of position made me think my throat would pop open. (Sorry for being graphic.) So... "too sick to knit?" It happens, but not as easily as a non-knitter might think.

I've had either strep or flu since Monday... (still waiting for the verdict on this... depending on whether antibiotics work), and I've done a lot of sleeping, some lying about with no energy to do anything but shiver, but, when the Tylenol is working, I've also done some knitting here and there.

I did finish off the first sock for the Knit Sock Love KAL, though it was not much of an accomplishment... I had it done through the first two rows of ribbing (toe up) on Sunday, and I didn't get sick until Monday. (I hope I didn't make Grandma or anyone else at the party sick. Bluh.) I only had to do 13 more rows of ribbing and bind it off.

Hedera Violeta, one completed
First Hedera Sock for KSL KAL


I also finished the sleeves (only about an inch from being done, anyway), and seamed the shoulders and knitted the collar on the Wrixlan Jacket. The sleeves are blocking (slowly, because I blocked them on top of each other, to force them to be the same), but here is a picture of the body with the collar. Unfortunately, I used selvedge stiches on the front neck edges. They should have been slip stiched, because the collar is picked up on the *inside*, which means the selvedge stitches show. Oh, well...

Wrixlen body done
Wrixlan Jacket, waiting for sleeves


I also cast on the Draped Cardigan. Love the yarn. Love the color. Love it, love it, love it.

Draped Cardigan cast on
Draped Cardigan, Back Ribbing Started


So, I've knitted about an inch on a sock, about an inch on two sleeves, made one collar, and knitted a couple of inches of green ribbing. This is not a great deal in 2.5 days, but, after all, I'm sick. (Knitting makes me feel better, even going slow.)

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Grandma E

My dad's mom turns 90 tomorrow. We had a special gathering, yesterday, with cake and people we don't see very often. We loaded Mitchell into the car for the 3.5 hour drive (each way), not quite sure how it would go. The portable DVD player earned its purchase.


Mitchell sign
Mitchell signed the guest book, which I found a special gesture


4 gen
Four generations: Me, Mitchell, Dad, Grandma Lorene


Lisa and Dennis
My dad's brother, Dennis (hard to tell, huh?)


cake
90 years... Life goes too fast


Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Saturday, January 8, 2011

January Sock KAL

I joined a KAL group on Ravelry for Cookie A's new book, Knit. Sock. Love. They're doing a different sock every month, with two months to finish. (If it takes two months, you'll only be able to do every-other one, apparently.)


The January KAL is the Hedera pattern. I'm doing mine in Malabrigo Sock (Malabrigo is one of the sponsors this month), in the colorway "Violeta Africana."

ksljan11 - cast on

I modified the pattern for toe-up, casting on 14 sts and increasing to 62. I'm using 3 repeats of the 10-st pattern in the instep, plus one extra twisted knit stitch for symmetry.

I also received the Berroco Ultra Alpaca and Ultra Alpaca Light in "Pea Soup" to make Norah Gaughan's fabulous Draped Cardigan.

Ultra Alpaca - Pea Soup

Ultra Alpaca Light - Pea Soup

However, first, I am planning to finish the Wrixlan Jacket. I started it about three years ago, finishing only the back at that time, and now I have the fronts about half done... I seems to be going a lot faster this time. I'm cabling without a cable needle, a new trick in my repertoire.

Wrixlan fronts partly done

The book with the Wrixlan Jacket pattern, "Jamieson's Shetland Knitting Book," is out of print, but I could still find it on Amazon at the time of this writing...

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Hoodie Test Knits

Ellen has posted her hoodie test knit, here. Very pretty! :)

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Friday, January 7, 2011

Little Knitted Creatures

Mitchell found a new way to employ my knitting, in addition to monsters. We came across this cute book on an outing this week. It is full of a variety of fun little characters.

cover picture

contents

He particularly likes these two little guys:

cletus claw - book pic
Cletus Claw


tentacle terry - book pic
Tentacle Terry


I guess I have a new way to use leftovers!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Mitchell's Cartoons

Mitchell got into the act with some cartoons of his own. He seems to have his dad's gift of capturing the sense of a thing with a few dashes of a pencil.

daddy
"Daddy"


Walking Yarn
"Walking Yarn"


Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Monday, January 3, 2011

MLF Follow-up

Roxanne at Zen Yarn Garden is offering a 15% discount on multiple skeins of Serenity Sock purchased to knit Morgana le Fay. For more information, see the Ravelry thread. Roxanne will be receiving the yarn base, soon, and she is receptive to custom order batches. Enjoy!

Here is Roxanne's original photo of the Midnight Green that I used. Fabulous!


Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

P.S. By the way, my dad took the photos in the previous post, the Morgana le Fay shots. Thanks, Dad!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Morgana le Fay

I am just jumping the gun on the test knitters... I gave them until today to finish, and here I am at a few minutes after midnight, posting the pattern. :) The test knitters, a group on Ravelry, were fabulous, by the way. Thanks, everybody!

Morgana le Fay is a hoodie and sock matching set. The lace pattern is a simple leaf repeat that is easy to memorize, but the shaping for armholes, sleeves, shoulders, and hood are all charted in the pattern. I'm really pleased with how beautifully the pieces seam together.

The yarn is Serenity Sock from Zen Yarn Garden. It is a cashmere blend and wonderfully soft. Roxanne's colors are amazing.

MLF - Face and hood

MLF - Waterfall back-side view and sock-sm

MLF - Waterfall back view and sock - sm

MLF - Waterfall front view and sock - hood up - sm

MLF - Back - standing

MLF - Waterfall Sock with shoe - sm

MLF - Waterfall Sock mannequin - sm

I've posted the pattern on Ravelry, and it is available for download. It includes both the hoodie and the sock. Enjoy!



Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Knitting Illustrations

My husband is an artistic wonder. It is so neat how he can capture expressions with a quick dash of a pencil. I story-boarded the cartoon, below, and he whipped it out... with a few little jabs worked in. I gave him a hard time about what was an obvious tease for my hair style. He then pointed out that he drew in sweaty armpits, too. After that, I asked him why he gave himself a comb-over. He said he was playing it meek and mild to my "Lucy" character. Sheesh. So, he is not only a great cartoonist... but a comedian, as well.

sleeve cartoon

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Gaga for Gaughan

I think Norah Gaughan is the bee's knees. She does fabulous stuff and is absolutely everywhere. Of course, as the design director of Berroco, she has fingers in many pies (or knitting baskets)... but I continue to be amazed at how widely she publishes, and how constantly. She online, as well as print, including the Knitty Fall 2010 "cover" design. I have several books that include her designs, including her own book, Knitting Nature: 39 Designs Inspired by Patterns in Nature.

Still, the sweater that has me swooning is a brand new one in the Winter 2010/11 Vogue Knitting, which just popped into my mailbox this week...

Gaughan vogue cardigan

The yarn is Berroco's Ultra Alpaca. The ruffle is Ultra Alpaca Light. Because of the multiple weights of yarn in the same colorways, it will be a challenge to substitute other yarns. (Dream in Color Classy and Smooshy, perhaps???) But I think the "Pea Soup" color is spectacular, so why switch? :)

This design isn't loaded in Ravelry, yet, or it would already be in my "queue."

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Steel (Iris II)

Mom, Mitchell, and I, visited Knitty Couture, this week, for the last time. Thi is closing her shop. :( There were only a few things left, but one was an Iris kit. Mitchell immediately latched onto it, and I couldn't say no.

We already made an Iris, of course, a Danger Crafts and Lorna's Laces kit which we also found in Thi's shop, but now we have another one. Mitchell said it is Iris' sister. We named her Steel, for the color of the yarn.

steel 2
Steel, made with Lorna's Laces "Revelation"


steel
Steel is a ham, like Iris


Steel in glasses
Mitchell thought she should try Harry Potter's glasses


steel m and iris
With Mitchell and the original Iris


Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Spring Waistcoat and Socks

I really enjoy my knit vests, even though they are all store-bought. They are extremely fine gauge, and thin, and I like to wear them over dress shirts with the tails out. I decided to make my own variation, and I used some fancy cable patterns from a Japanese stitch pattern book that I found at Knit One, Weave Too in Edwardsville. I really like the result. :)

The yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in the color "Creme de Menth." It took just under 2.5 skeins on US size 3 (3.25 mm) needles. Ravelry page here.


waistcoat front

waistcoat back

waistcoat closeup

I also fiddled around with a sock, and I do mean *fiddled*, including a "gusset in the front" in a style I've seen, such as here. The whole sock turned out a bit snug. I think this may be more due to the thin, un-stretchy yarn than the front gusset, but I think the gusset feels tight. In any case, I don't think I'll make a second sock like this. I have just over a skein left, and I think I'll make a pair of socks in a plainer design... perhaps just the seed stitch cables and no flowers/bobbles... and a regular gusset.

waistcoat matching sock front

waistcoat matching sock side

waistcoat matching sock back

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay