Total Change of Plans…

Just as I was settling in to the knitting and purling of the Gansey Sock pattern, I get the uncontrollable and completely ridiculous urge to knit for Christmas. Lmao. I am a glutton for punishment. 
Here’s the new list of wips (pictures of yarn, progress etc. to follow):
The Bubble Haze Shawl I’d almost finished. That will be done in time, no problem.
Pinstripe Shawl : Found this gem on Ravelry tonight. Was looking through the color combinations, saw the black w/ pink striping and I knew it had to be knit, inmediately.
Maddy ‘ s Hat: Quick baby sized knit. This will be my first attempt at faire isle.  I’m feeling ambitious.
Brad ‘ s Socks: I have to frog and redo sock #2. The heel went wonky somehow. The problem is that I started these almost three years ago. I want them done and gone, but I dread working on them. I will finish them though.
I need two more relatively quick and easy knits still.  I’m thinking hats and/or fingerless mitts for gaming. Any suggestions for either of these for boys/men would be appreciated.
I also discovered a shawl called Tattered which I will talk about next time. 

Cobweb Lace

First and foremost I have to be a total dork and squee about 14 new followers, this week. Thank you, all of you, for being interested in the things I rattle on about. I hope I will continue to interest you.  Are people more interested in reading strictly about knitting or does a smattering of personal life stories make the blog a little more interesting? Personally I like to feel like I’m getting to know the blogger a little bit better.  I’ve always wondered how other people feel about that. What can I say, lol, I wonder about weird things…
Onto the knitterly goodness.  I’m looking for opinions today.  I was going through my yarn drawers (I really need to do a stash flash) last night. It always cheers me up or calms me down or just makes me happy.  I found myself sitting on the floor fondling my lace weight yarn. It seems to me that there are 2 kinds of lace yarn:  There’s the lace weight that has some substance and feels more like fingering, but it’s finer than that. Then there is the stuff that is SO fine. That’s the yarn I find myself drawn to. I’ve never knit with yarn that fine, but I want to.  I need a 2nd project to work on and I think it needs to be fine lace…after all the Gansey Socks should be my relaxing knit.

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These are the yarns dragging me to the fine side of knitting…lol.

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This is The Great Adirondack Yarn Co.’s Cobwebs in the Pineapple Polly colorway.  It’s 865 yds. of amazing color. I’m in love with it.

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This one is The Alpaca Yarn Co.’s Suri Elegance in the gorgeous Spring Frost colorway. 875 yards of gorgeous.
I’m obsessed now…lol. I’m looking for suggestions for a project worthy of a beautiful cobweb yarn like these. Not a full blown amazing shawl like Shipwreck or Evenstar, not ready for that. I’m looking for something that will give me a taste of working with yarn this fine. My goal, one day, is to complete Shipwreck (I’ve already got the yarn and beads, just not the confidence). Can’t wait to see what you come up with for suggestions. Thanks in advance…

96 Yards of Handspun lace/fingering weight

I just finally (I actually finished spinning and plying the yarn in December) skeined up and finished the singles that were left after spinning and plying my Girl Insane top.  The colors in the top were light to medium pinks, shades of grey to black, light to dark purples and white. (Don’t have a picture of the top, so here’s the link to the original listing in etsy: Girl Insane Top.  I split the colors into lights and darks, spun the singles fairly thin (I’m still terrible about figuring out things like what drafting method I used or how many twists per inch etc.) and then plied the two together.  It came out really pretty.  When I was through, I had just under 100 yards of singles left from the dark batch, so I skeined it and finished it tonight – it’s drying right now.  Pictures to follow once it’s dry and I get off my lazy ass and take the pics.

Any suggestions on what to do with just about 100 yards of light fingering to heavy lace singles?  I’m stumped, but this came out so pretty that I want to use it.  I thought about plying it with itself after it finishes drying, but then I’ll only have 50 or so yards and I know there’s not a lot I can do with that.  Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

The Coriolis socks are coming out beautifully.  I’m back on track after the frogging incident and I’m really enjoying these socks.  I’m going to buy the book (I’ve had it out of the library for two renewals now and I don’t want to keep it out of the hands of others who might want to read it) before I leave for CA (on Tuesday) and work on the last sock on the plane ride.  It seems like a good, portable project for the plane.  It’s either that or my Clapotis and that thing is pretty big and bulky for a plane ride at this point.

As for my two baby gift projects:  I’ve hit a wall with the Moderne Baby Blanket as the book is still packed up in a box somewhere in this house (I swear we’ll never be fully moved in) and I was able to find the pattern as a freebie through Ravelry, but it’s a scan of the book and doesn’t include the border, so until I find the book I’m kind of stuck.  I know I could just come up with my own border, but I’m just not feeling that creative with this one.  I draw a blank whenever I try to think of a good border pattern for this…again, suggestions are welcome and appreciated.  The Anouk pattern is coming along nicely.  The baby it’s for is due in July and I’ve got the first half done and am ready to start on the second.  The first went really quickly so I’m hoping the second will be as swift.  These are the only projects I plan to bring on the trip, along with some needlepoint that I’ve been working on for awhile on and off.  I figure if I don’t have many choices I can’t get caught up in “startitis” and might actually finish a few things on time…

An actual knitting post

This post is actually going to be about knitting and only knitting.  It won’t be super long, as I’m in the midst of WIP’s and have no real FO’s at the moment.

Having finished my Christmas knitting, sort of (I still have the shawl to finish, but am working on it rather slowly b/c I got so sick of it in those last months of trying to finish it in time), I’m not really in the middle of anything, rather at the beginning of several things.  I’ve gotten one of a pair of Fetching mitts done in Alpine Pearl Malabrigo (there should be a law about wool singles that butter soft) and I’ve been totally slacking about finishing number 2.  It’s the knitting ADD I tell you.  I know it would only take a day at most to finish, but I’m all caught up in trying to pick patterns, yarns etc. for new projects.

First up I have Secret of the Stole ii.  (BTW, Emily, it is still open for sign ups, in case you didn’t already check for yourself)  I’ve chosen my yarn:  a rayon/silk blend from Over the Rainbow yarns.  It’s listed as sport weight, but feels a bit lighter than that to me.  The colorway is Vanilla Parfait and it’s gorgeous.  The instructions say we shouldn’t use varigated yarn for this shawl, but the varigation is so subtle that I think it will be okay.  Even if it’s not, so what?!?!  It’s my shawl and I can do whatever I want with it, so there!!  LOL  It’s a blend of cream and some very pale taupe and tan.  I really love this colorway and plan to snap up more of it if/when it’s offered.  I’m thinking about socks with this yarn, but I don’t think that rayon/silk is a great combination for socks; not enough elasticity and I think they would sag terribly.  We’ll see.  I’m in the process of swatching it right now, from written directions that I copied by hand b/c the printer is being a butt.  LOL  I like the pattern thus far and I think that I’m going to like the number 4 Harmony needles for this, although I have to finish the swatch before I’m sure.  It may not be lacy enough.  This will be my first mystery knit-along.  I’m going to be gone for 3 weeks of it and I’m not sure if I’ll have my laptop with me as it has some “issues” (like it’s falling apart and I need a new one, but won’t be getting one before I go) and I’m worried about getting behind, so I’m going to make sure that I’m up to date before I go and hope that I’ll be able to borrow an aunt or cousin’s computer a few times a week to check in on stuff.  My email alone will get completely out of control with me not checking it for 3 weeks.

Next project in my mind:  The Silken Cowl from Sensual Knits.  This is a pattern and a garment that I REALLY love.  I used to have a silk tank top just like that.  I loved that thing and have no clue what happened to it.  I’m guessing one of the roommates from hell has it in her collection of clothing at this point.  I started swatching with the same rayon/silk yarn that I’m using for SotS ii but in a different colorway, but the gauge is off.  The weight called for in the pattern is worsted/aran and the rayon/silk is more like a heavy fingering to light sport weight, so I’m having trouble getting to where I need to be gauge-wise.  I don’t want to spend all this time and yarn on something that isn’t going to look right.  I have a fingering weight 100% silk that I might use, doubled in two different, but similar colorways.  I would just double one colorway, but I don’t have enough of it and I bought it at least 2 years ago from Ebay and doubt I could get an exact match for it, or even a close one.  It kind of sucks, b/c I really had my heart set on the colorway in the rayon/silk blend.  Any suggestions on using a much different weight yarn for a project like this?  My only real concern, other than weight, is that the pattern states that the yarn is un-elastic, which seems to be true of the pure silk yarn that I have as well.  The rayon/silk combo, however, does have some stretch to it.  Will that be a problem in the wearing of the tank top?  Any suggestions/opinions are appreciated.  Thanks.

Other things I’ve been playing with:  I’ve got yarn and needles chosen for a pair of Jaywalkers (my very first pair of socks).  The yarn is also from Over The Rainbow Yarns (do we have a pattern here or what?  LOL) and it’s rainbow colored. In the skein it transitioned from red to violet ala ROYGBIV and wound into a yarn cake it’s just as spectacular in a different way.  I’ve been holding onto it for about 2 1/2 years or so.  I wanted to make sure my knitting skills were up to par for sock knitting and not end up wasting the yarn on a non wearable effort.  I bought the Giselle pattern from Stitch Diva; I’ve been stalking the site waiting for this to come out for a LONG time.  It’s also one of the Sexy Knitter’s Club KAL’s this time around.  I’m going to do it.  In fact, I might put my thoughts of the Silken Cowl aside for now and concentrate on Giselle or Belle Paquita (the other SKC KAL choice for Jan-March).  I figure three weeks in CA without a computer to speak of will allow me to get a lot of knitting done – I hope.  At least I’ll have 5 hours of plane ride each way, if Jake cooperates.  I’ve also got the pattern for Fiber Trends Felted Clogs and lots of Cascade 220 and Philosopher’s Wool also, as well as the first SotS pattern, Guenivere.  It’s an unusual stole in that it’s got a forked end, like a renaissance  banner or flag.  Very pretty.

I guess that’s it for now.  Oh, I also got two spin your own sock kits from Fiber Fiend that I can’t wait to work on.  I have two of my three Spinsanity spindles (She does AMAZING spindle work, btw, go get a spindle from her right now, you won’t be sorry) full of singles right now waiting to be plied.  I also want to be a little more proficient at sock knitting before tackling them.  Any advice for spinning yarn for sock making (I have one braid of superwash Merino and one of Angora to spin) would be much appreciated.

That it for me.  I hope all of you are doing well, and 2008 has been full of joy thus far.

Beat the repeat and other adventures

I finally beat the lace repeat from hell!!!  I swear the thing was trying to drive me insane.  I’ve been cruising along on the BJLL shawl and then I got to repeat number 12 (you would think it would have been #13 that was unlucky…lol).  For some reason, I just couldn’t get through this repeat.  Something went wrong with one of the 8 rows of it 4 different times.  Good thing I moved the repeat at the beginning of each repeat, so I only had to rip back 8 rows or less each time.  I just kept having to go back to the beginning of the repeat and I was getting more and more frustrated with it.  After three days of trying,  though, I finally got through it the other night.  I let out such a whoop of joy, I startled the cat who jumped up and then fell off the bed.

Last night was my first Zombie Prom Date Knitters without Andrea with me; my first knitting anything without her.  I still didn’t have to drive, though.  Shannon was kind enough to pick me up and drive me to Water Street and then TJ and little man picked me up.  I really do have to start driving, but the snow makes me really paranoid about driving.  Give me a nice, clear, warmish day and I’ll be all over it!!

Got more yarn in the mail yesterday:  some kidsilk spray (yummy) and some hand-dyed rayon/silk in pretty pink shades.  Will photo and put up later or tomorrow…

I’m not pregnant

There’s an interesting title for a blog post. It’s true, though. The hubby and I have been talking about/trying to get pregnant for a little while now, but to no avail.

****WARNING*** Personal, somewhat icky (to some) information re: my reproductive system coming up… Will let you know when it’s over…

Getting pregnant with Jacob was fairly easy. I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler and started charting. It worked. Within 3-4 cycles, I was pregnant with Little Man. Periods were slow to come back after I stopped pumping (he wouldn’t nurse adequately and I was determined to give him only breast milk for the first six months…that’s a whole post of its own, though) and weren’t regular to say the least; number of days ranged from 30 days (not bad) to 90+ days (kind of crazy). Didn’t really think much about it at the time since we weren’t interested in getting pregnant at the time. Since my back has been better, though, it’s become more and more an obsession of mine. It’s kind of like knitting and spinning but without the pretty yarn. So I’ve been keeping an eye on things and discovered something terrible. I’m not ovulating at all, nor am I getting a period without the help of Provera every three months. This is very disconcerting to say the least. My doctor has been rather casual about the whole thing, not wanting to get too crazy with treatment or even tests too soon. Frustrating, but I’ve been going with it. A few weeks ago, she gave in and ordered a panel of blood tests (which I’m still waiting to hear anything about the results on) and said that after getting them she’d call in a Progesterone cream script for me. Hasn’t happened yet. The frustrating thing is that my body is giving me all the signs of the regular hormonal things happening: My cervical mucus (that’s such an ugly sounding phrase) regularly goes from dry to sticky to wet and egg whitey several times per “cycle”. I regularly have three or four days of “egg white CM” which tricks me into thinking I might be fertile. I have to admit that I haven’t been great about the morning temping (by this I mean I haven’t been doing it) so I don’t have that information to look at. I also get the pregnancy/period on its way symptoms on a regular basis. Take this month for example: my boobs are heavy, rounder and sore, the veins in them are much more noticeable (it’s like a road map on my chest), I’ve had heart burn on and off for about a week and a half (that was the first sign with Jacob), not to mention the cramping which has been going on for a few days.

***END OF TMI WARNING***

All of these signs/symptoms led me to believe that it was possible that I really might have ovulated without realizing it and might indeed be pregnant. I didn’t get my hopes up too far b/c I knew just how unlikely it was that after all this time I’d just start ovulating, but I couldn’t help getting the tiniest bit excited at that thought. Another mid to late summer baby wasn’t a great thought, but at this point, I’ll take what I can get. Did a pregnancy test last night and, of course, it was negative. What was I expecting though. I’m starting to wonder if I don’t have to just accept the fact that Little Man will be the only baby I have. It’s not like I’m getting any younger. I really wanted to go with a more aggressive stance on testing and treating my fertility problems, but Dr. M doesn’t think it’s a good idea. I’m not concerned enough, yet, to push it to another doctor, but I’m not sure how far away that is, either.

Onto other topics. Color Wonder fingerpaints. Can I just say Hooray for these. Jacob wants to draw/paint etc. all the time. The problem with this is that, like any three year old, he has no comprehension that the bed, walls, cat etc. are not the appropriate places to do this. For example, I lay down with him one day last week for nap time and he woke up before me, rather than wake me up like he normally does, he got into my knitting notions bag and pulled out my dry erase markers that I use for marking up the page sleeves I keep my patterns in and drew all over my $200 dollar (my one real luxury item are my sheets) sheets, my pajamas and himself. I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or kill him. I chose laugh b/c really, what could I do. After that TJ and I sat him down and had a talk with him, but I really don’t think he gets it. We tried the Color Wonder line when he was a little younger – the marker and coloring book set – but he didn’t show much interest in it. He didn’t have the patience to wait for the chemical reaction to make the color develop. Those markers really do take a long time to develop the color. We bought the finger paints at the same time, but after his reaction to the markers we didn’t bother to get them out. The other night while TJ and I were making dinner, I got them out as a last ditch effort to get him to behave while we were cooking. Amazingly enough, he was fascinated by it. For the last few days it’s all he’s wanted to do. Of course we don’t let him finger paint all day, but it’s a great way to give him something to do that isn’t messy and totally engrosses him. I strongly recommend them to all parents of toddlers who have any interest in coloring/painting etc.

Knitting content: I figure, since the word Knits is in the title of this blog, there should be something said about knitting. The BJL&L Shawl is coming along nicely. I’ve got 10 1/2 of 25 repeats done. I don’t see a problem with getting it done long before Christmas, though. Or at least on time. I’m also working on the Circular Shrug which is my mindless knitting project. It’s all k2p2 ribbing and a mock rib pattern. I’m enjoying working on it and hope to have it done before Christmas so I can wear it. I’m making it with Noro Silver Thaw and it’s soft and very vibrant. The main colors are oranges and blue greens. I’ll post a picture when I get around to it. I’m really glad I only committed to two projects for Christmas this year. Anymore and I would have been screwed. There are actually a few more gifts I’m planning to make, but they are for people who know that they won’t be done until after the holiday. Small things like a ball band bag etc.

Secret of the Stole ii

I’ve joined my first mystery knit-along. I’m really kind of excited about it. I wish it was already January so I could start. I’ve been reading people blogging about the mystery knits that they are involved in for over a year now and I’ve always found out too late. BAH!! This time, though, I found it early on – the supplies aren’t even up yet – and I’m going to find a way to stay on top of the clues! It’s Secret of the Stole 2 and I’ve heard really good things about the first KAL so I’m looking very much forward to this one. I’ve been obsessed with lace knitting for about a year now and I’m finally getting the hang of it, I think. I’m about 1/5 of the way through the Blue Jean Lacy Leaf shawl already and no major boo-boos so far. I can’t wait to see how many other people, especially bloggers that I read, join this KAL.