Monday, February 28, 2011

New Word of the Week #7 - Flyover States

Flyover states: def. - Central states/region of the US.

They say this is a derogatory term but I disagree. These states allow me some uninteruppted knitting time to pass the air miles and I am grateful to them.

My travel knitting time begins once I clear security, of course, I have wood dpns for a sock or handwarmer project so I do not get hassled by TSA. The good needles are secure in the check baggage and will be unearthed at the other end.

I find a seat in the gate wating area and pull out my project, because I am an earlier arrival I usually have a hour or more to knit before boarding. It is very relaxing and great to know that there will be few interruptions. When asked about what I am working on I am able to converse because what I am working on is mostly mindless (it was planned that way).

Once settled on the plane, I ready my knitting to work on after the announcements and we are in the air. Now that I have my nook I can either refer to my pattern from there or read a book while I knit and enjoy the ride.

There is nothing better than knitting while you travel. I hope everyone has great travel knitting stories to tell~!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fun Meet-Up in Littleton

I had a fun meet-up with CatwithCats in Littleton on Saturday at A Knitted Peace.

It is a wonderful shop with great staff and a fun, knitting table to sit and meet other like minded folks.

We learned a moebius cast on trick and about a kntting retreat in CO this coming October that sounds like too much fun.

Then we had lunch at Merle's - yummy, visited The Chocolate Therapist and the Penzey Spice Company and decided that this is a good meet up place for future.

I hope everyone had a great weekend~!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

KWCG Sock of the Month Club - February Sock Finale

Another pair finished, this time well within the deadline, kitchenered the toe closed on Feb 21st.

I picked up the pair I am knitting for dad with the Ski Tracks pattern and have about 4 inches done on the first leg. They are being done with the Knit One, Crochet Too Soxx Appeal in tan with chocolate cuffs, heels and toes. They will make a nice, fast car knit for the rest of February.

March is next. I will let you know what I picked soon. Happy knitting~!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

K1B - Vest Update

After four false starts I am finallly on the way to finishing the first 11-12 inches of the bottom half of the vest.

I really like this technique and think these colors are really fun. I hope to have this done by the end of the month so I can wear it to the next PILLAR Knit O Rama in March.

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Word of the Week #6 - Flash Mob

Flash mob: def - Brief gathering for a common purpose, announced by either an email or text.
For knitters this can include Rav meetups (organized by Ravelry members); the Vesper sock photo shoot at Spring Fling in 2010 where the news was spread person to person through the knitting lounges of when and where to meet to get the photo done, and Knit in Public Day in June that is usually organized by local yarn shops through flyers and emails.

Spontaneous knitting can occur anywhere with just a little help from Twitter, Facebook, Ravelry or a random email. Like-minded folks love to share their love of the craft anywhere they are or go. Join the fun wherever and whenever you can~!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Weather of the Month - Snow

Do you know why snow is bright white? Because it reflects light instead of absorbing it. Snowflakes have a complex structure that causes the sunlight to scatter and bounce away.

Snow can also be found in colors other than white. For instance: black snow can be fall in areas of high pollution or in an area where there has been a large fire or volcanic eruption. Red snow falls when it mixes with dust particles of red sand that are in the air. When snow mixes with algae particles it can fall in a rainbow of colors including, purple, orange, green, yellow and red.

Now snow is not something we have seen a lot of here where I live this winter. I am hoping by writing about it in February that I tempt the weather gods to bring us some for spring.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On the Needles: A New Vest

This vest is the Knit One Below Reversible Vest. I am knitting it out of Plymouth Encore Worsted in Royal Purple, leftover from my Summer Cardi and Interlacements Oregon Worsted in colorway 206 aka Las Vegas Brights.

After three attempts I am finally knitting in the bottom of the body of the vest. My first attempt was a mess up of the set up rows, the second was a cast on issue, the third was 10 rows in and I measured, came up 8 inches too big. So now I have cast on the same number of stitches for the casual version with a size 6US (2 sizes smaller than recommended), so far it is looking good. I will be measuring at the 10 row mark to see if it is closer to the right size.

I find this technique is very difficult to gauge. I measured the one I had knit for the shop a year ago and when I reviewed the pattern, I realized I was way off. Good thing that was just a sample.

As usual, I am documenting my changes and notes to a copy of the pattern so I have it for future. I hope everyone has a fun, new project to knit before Spring arrives ~!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Word of the Week #5 - Exit Strategy

Exit strategy - def: Planned means of extricating oneself from a situation.

In knitting that usually means you need to learn how to bind off or cast off. As a beginner, you have mastered the knit and purl stitches by knitting a scarf and after 15-feet of scarf you realize that unless you wear this item with the knitting needle as a shawl pin you have to get the knitting off the needle somehow.

Left to my own devices I might have tried threading the tail through the loops on the needle and snugging it up to tie it off. It might not be traditional but it would have worked and I could call it a design element.

Otherwise there are many bind off/cast off methods to use to make your knitting needle-free.
The big question now becomes, which method do you use? There are many versions of this method. The most common are the knitted bind off or the purled bind off. Then there are many different versions of the same principle, like: the Gallina bind off - done on the purl side; the Modified bind off - by Lucy Neatby and done on the knit side; a Picot-Edge bind off; a 3-needle; an I-cord; as well as methods that use a crochet hook or a yarn needle.

Bind off/cast off options are varied and many. I hope everyone has their favorite way to "extricate" their project from the needles. Happy knitting~!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Who Has Your Heart?

I can answer that question without thinking about it - Pedro, my pirate prince, my fuzzy warm, always happy to see me, likes to cuddle, and likes to play.

How can you go wrong with a cat like that? I hope everyone has an easy answer to that question.

Happy Valentine's Day to all~!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Siren Sleeves

My other fast knit is the Bohoknits Siren Sleeves. I got the yarn at Spring Fling last year, Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Black Pearl. It will be a warm addition to my t-shirt days of spring.

I have one more to knit, the first took me about 3 hours while watching a movie.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fast Hat

Two days of evening knitting got me a finished hat.

The pattern is called Starving Artist by LaLa Knits! and I found it on Ravelry for free, the yarn is from my stash, Yarn Bee Melody Bulky in Violets.

I heard about this pattern on Round the Twist with Carin. It was a great knit and learned how to do a purl increase which she calls a purl front and back.

Next time I will do just the beret version instead of the slouchy in this particular yarn. It is a little too crisp to slouch.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

KCWG Sock of the Month Club - February Update

The first sock is done as of February 9th. The second one is on the needles.

One thing I am learning about this yarn, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Lightweight, is that the next time I knit socks with it I will try size 1US in 2.5mm instead of 2.25mm. So far the finished sock is beautiful and crisp, but a wee tight for me knit in this pattern and over 64 stitches.

They are still wearable and will be worn because the yarn is so yummy and beautiful. Now I just have to find some more, searching, searching.....

I hope everyone is making good progress on their projects this month~!

Monday, February 7, 2011

New Word of the Week #4 - Cool Hunter

Cool Hunter - def: One who predicts new styles and trends.

Don't you think this design would make a cool snowboarder hat? I do!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

KWCG Sock of the Month - February Update

For this week's update I have good news, I am through the heel turn and ready to do the decreases on the first sock. I love this yarn! It is the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock lightweight and is wonderful to knit with. It does not split on sharp points, the pattern technique really pops and the color changes make it interesting no matter what part of the sock you look at.

I knit this pattern, Mock Cable Rib, over 64 stitches on size 1US (2.25mm), all the way around the leg for 6 inches, did the 2.5 inch heel flap and picked up a total of 20 stitches on each side for the gusset. The leg is stretchy while maintaining a crisp patterned look.

These socks are car project for the month until it is done. I am tracking my progress on Ravelry with the start date of February 1st. It will be interesting to see how fast they do go this time. k

I hope everyone has a fun project they are working on this month~!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Dilemma of Finishing

What do you do when you finish a project? As you know I keep two projects going at a time, one in the house and the other for the car. So this past month I finished my house project, the Summer Cardi, and was a bit delayed in the January sock project. So that became my house project on February 1st annd the February sock became the car project.

That was until I finished the January sock on February 2nd. Now I am working on the February sock full time but with no new house project to start. Dilemma! I need to pick out a new house project. Here are my choices:

Another Summer Cardi out of Caron Simply Paints in either Oceana or Harlequin, as shown.

The Envy Mitts in Claudia Handpaints in Mardi Gras or the Siren Sleeves in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Black Purl - very piratety I think, both yarns were purchased at Loopy Ewe last year.

I also have the option to start the Knit One Below Reversible Vest out of the skein of Interlacements Oregon Worsted in a bright variegate that will go with the Royal Purple leftovers in the Encore from my first Summer Cardi. The only think I have to decide is what size to do it in. I will be checking the gauge on the shop sample I knit to be sure I pick the right size.

And, lastly, the Vine and Leaf Beret from Vogue that I have some wonderful (you guessed it) purple yarn for.

So, those are my choices, and, drum roll please, the decision for this week is: The Siren Sleeves. They are now cast on and about 2 inches into the first one. I think they are going to be lovely for lightweight warmth with a T-shirt this spring.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Knitting Tool Find

Knitting tools and accessories can be found in the oddest places. For instance, Office Depot, I found a zippered bag from Mead Scholastic called a Stand and Store.

It will make a fabulous travel sock knitting bag to take on the plane to Spring Fling. I could not get a purple one so I chose one in orange that will stand out hanging on my Monroe bag that is eggplant.

I have a mini carbiner to use for hanging it. The only issue I see is the velcro pouch on the inside that could catch yarn, so I reset the fastening to cover most of it and then I can stand my folded pattern on that side to further protect it.

It will hold a sock yarn skein enough for one sock (170-200 yards), 6-7 inch wood dpns that are acceptable to TSA, a set of dpn holders, and the pattern. The other TSA approved tools will be in a little pouch holder in the larger bag easy to get to and use when needed.

This pouch can also be clipped onto the name badge lanyard to have hands free, no large bag, knitting on the go. How can I go wrong! Looks like a cool tool find to me!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

KWCG - February Sock Announced

Introducing the February Sock - The Mock Cable Rib Socks, pattern is available from Ravelry from Jen Hansen for free. This pair is being knit out of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock lightweight in Purple Rain, 360 yards. This is a skein I bought at Sock Summit 2009, my very first skein of the Socks That Rock yarn. I really like this colorway.

And the first one is on the needles and will be the car project for February. You may have noticed that I am not waiting until mid-month to get started like I did with January.

Watch for updates on the progress of this pair and my review of pattern and yarn.