Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Cones!!

Looky what UPS delivered while I was home for lunch today...













I was so bummed to have to leave my new treasure and go back to work. And I didn't figure calling in sick with yarn fever would work either (I kind of think they are on to my knit
ting obsession.)

I'm thinking of using this Williamsburg Blue for a machine knit sweater.













These are the colors I thought about for the rugs, but I'm not so sure now that I see them together. I'll do some swatching after dinner and see how it works out. I'm considering just knitting garter-stitch rectangles for the rugs rather than log-cabins. Hopefully my path becomes clear once I start swatching.














By the way, Absorba washed up great. Was just a tad damp out of the dryer, but hung it over the shower bar and it was fine. Softened up nicely and the stitches seemed to tighten up.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Can you say obsessed?

Yep, another BallBand dishrag down. This one knit with leftovers from Absorba, cream and soft violet. It was my first knit per the pattern with two colors. I'm finding it best to twist the yarns at the start of each right side row, this prevents that loose float when you carry the color A up the side. Number four is on the needles already.



This time I'm using cream and Orange Sherbet . I've got ALOT of cream left, I imagine it will feature prominently in many dishrags! We had run to Walmart for a fan yesterday and I looked to see what colors of Peaches n Creme they had. The selection was slim. Mostly ombres, only cream, ecru and blue solid (and I've got those already). I'm on a hunt for solids in orange, brown, red and green.

Oh yeah, I broke down and orde
red 6 cones from Elmore-Pisgah on Friday. Enough (hopefully) for two kitchen rugs and a sweater. Not sure how long it will take to arrive. The lady only said it would ship "soon". On the plus side, she also said it would come via UPS and it should only take 2 days to get here. So hopefully soon is like the beginning of the week and it arrives for the holiday weekend. I ordered a color card too, but they are back ordered at the moment.

I finished Shop on Blossom Street this week. It was a good little summer read. I thought it was awfully slow to start, but got better towards the end. I had a hard time relating to any of the characters and found them all to be pretty self absorbed and whiney. The plots were easy to predict and the ending was good. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Remember those cucumber plants I planted on Memorial Day? The ones with just 4 leaves apiece? Less than 4 weeks later and look at them now!

Despite those few scorchers, the weather's not been too bad. The garden has certainly been showing it's appreciation for the good weather. It's nice and rainy today, rain we could definitely use. Now if I could just get rid of those weeds!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Absorba, the Finished!

In only 7 days, I have completed Absorba. Final tally, just under 6 balls of Ecru (literally, there were only a few yards left on the last two balls), 2 2/3 balls Soft Violet (I was surprised to find the yardage to be more in these balls) and an unknown amount of Cream (since it was a cone, it’s hard to tell, but there’s a ton left!) It measures 30 ½ by 22 inches (pre-washing). I put extra rows on the ends to get it close to the size of the bathmat I had been using since it was the perfect size for in front of our shower. I have some trepidation about washing this puppy, though. As the book describes, it looks like it will easily soak up a couple of gallons of water. Great for bath time, not so great when it comes to washing time. It just missed laundry day and I’m not making a special load just to see what happens. Will report how it washes up next week.

Now I’m kind of in knitting limbo land. The rug was such a quick and satisfying project. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do next. Yes, there are still the half finished CC Tunic and the similarly half finished 3 Seasons Cardi, but it is WAY too hot to even think about touching their wooliness. I’m on the fence about the Country Silk Shawl. There is only a touch of wool in it, but it still seems to stick in my fingers in this hot weather. The dishcloths seem to be the favored project this summer. They are little, so they don’t heat up your lap while you are knitting. The cotton doesn’t stick to sweaty hands. Everyone can use dishrags, so I can give the extra’s away. I’ve still got a couple of colors of Sugar n Cream to go and yarn left over from Absorba too so I can actually work from stash for once!

I’m still thinking about ordering some cones of Peaches n Crème to make matching kitchen rugs for in front of the sink and inside the side door. I’m leaning towards the Seabreeze ombre colorway, but buying it in individual colors (teal, dark brown, white, tan). I’m afraid 3 or 4 strands of the ombre together wouldn’t turn out very well. It would be neigh onto impossible to keep the color changes matching up for a whole rug. With the individual colors held together, I think the color would be more homogenous throughout. Again, I’m shite with colors, so if anyone has experience with mixing colors to knit a rug, I’d love the advice.

It was a movie weekend here in the Smith home. We haven’t been to the video store in ages so there was a good bit to choose from. Every time we rent movies, I end up not getting to watch them. Either something comes up or I just am not in the mood for the movies we rented. This time, it worked out well. Hubby picked out Batman Returns and War of the Worlds, I picked Alexander, Dodgeball and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I was disappointed with Alexander, but the rest were all really good. Dodgeball was laugh out loud funny. Rip Torn was hysterical! I’d say Batman was the best of the bunch. I don’t usually care much for the superhero movies, but this one was excellent, by far the best of the Batman movies. Also watched Bridgett Jones 2. Very funny, as good as the first (can’t say that often of sequels!)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

More dishcloth cotton love

Parade o' warshrags


The first in Peaches n Creme, Shades of Green. Using the BallBand Dishcloth pattern.





The second, using K1C2 2nd Time cotton in a blue color (lost the label so I don't know the name), using the Bee Stitch. This one shrank up a bit in the wash but is quite usable. The yarn is made from recycled textile waste. This color looks like it's made from old jeans and oh so soft.





The 3rd, back to the BallBand pattern in Sugar 'n Cream Landscape. The yarn is neatly dividing itself up the middle with brown on one side and green on the other. Everytime I see it, it reminds me of mint chocolate chip ice cream.



Absorba is speeding right along. I hope to finish it up tonight. It's just about the right width now, but I'm going to need to put a stripe on each end to get it long enough. This is a fantastic, easy, fast to knit pattern. I'm already looking at colors to make matching rugs for in my kitchen. Will probably break down and order from Elmore-Pisgah since they have such a wide selection of colors. Depends how much they want for shipping, though, some say it's pretty high.






Finally, looky what the UPS guy dropped off yesterday. I won a tee-shirt from the nice folks at PotterCraft (the publishers of Mason-Dixon). They were giving away shirts in honor of the release of Big Girl Knits (wish they had given away the book too!)


Monday, June 12, 2006

What I did tonight

I should have been doing this...
(vacuuming the basement)

...or this...
(mulching the flower bed)

...or even this...
(getting my first book read for the summer reading program)

But instead, I tore into this...
Yes, that's right, the yarn for Absorba was waiting on my doorstep when I arrived home today. The colors are blending wonderfully. I'm using 2 strands of Ecru, 1 strand of Soft Violet and 1 strand of Cream Sugar & Cream on US size 13 needles.

I maybe got an hour or so of knitting done tonight. I finished the center and started up the first side. This is knitting up very quickly. Plus, I LOVE the feel of this fabric. Nice and thick. For now, I'm off now to try to get a few more rows in before bedtime.

Oh, on the dishrag front...2 done, third on the needles. Pictures soon.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Finished and begun

Finally, after almost a year (yes I'm slow, but I have a lot of stick-to-it-ivness), I have finished the Landscape Shawl. Washed & blocked it last night and wore it to work today. It is so cozy and soft, soft, soft. It is knit from Knit Picks Elegance in Grass using Fiber Trends Landscape Shawl Pattern. I used US size 10.5 needles and the numbers for fingering weight yarn. I ended up not doing the fifth panel since I ran out of yarn and it was plenty big enough anyway. There are mistakes (of course) and I’m not crazy about some of the yarn joins, but in all I am just thrilled to bits with it.

Since finishing the shawl, I’ve been splitting my time between the Country Silk shawl and this…

Apparently there are subliminal messages hidden between all the blatant warshcloth love talk in Mason-Dixon that make it impossible not to knit a BallBand dishcloth. I had picked up a couple of balls of Peaches & Crème and Sugar & Cream with the intent of knitting some dishrags one of these days (see previous posts). I wasn’t immediately taken with the BallBand pattern and have been looking online for something to catch my fancy. Nothing has. I’m just not a dishcloth kind of person. Then yesterday I just felt I HAD to do the BallBand dishrag. So I settled in with my yarn and needles and pattern and had at it. The pattern is exceptionally easy to memorize. After the first repeat I had it down. I’m only using one color rather than the two called for in the pattern, but I think the ombre yarn has enough interest on it’s own. This is the first I’ve knit with Peaches & Crème and am finding it very nice to work with. Soft and smooth, even for a cotton yarn.

Ann & Kay have had a lot of sway over my knitting this week. I got to page 82 and fell in love. Absorba, the Great Bathmat. I MUST KNIT THIS. I have been searching for a cooshy, absorbent, pretty bathmat forever. This one suits the bill to a T. I came up empty on the double worsted Peaches & Crème called for in the pattern. That’s not exactly true, several people pointed out it could be purchased from Cotton Clouds. But in the end, I decided to go with Sugar & Cream from Knitting Warehouse. I was able to get a cone of Cream, and balls of Ecru and Soft Violet for cheap and it will be here Monday (in plenty of time for my long weekend coming up!) Already told hubby I plan on spending alot of time knitting so don't make too many plans! I'm shite at picking colors though, so I hope these work well together. My bathroom is blue with purple accents so I'm thinking this will work. This girl can pick colors! Who'd have thought purple and orange would work so well? I feel...inspired!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

First impressions: Fiddlesticks Country Silk

My new shawl yarn arrived Friday from Handknitting.com. It only took 2 weeks from Canada, not bad.
The yarn is Fiddlesticks Country Silk, manufactured by Fleece Artist. Everyone raves about Fleece Artist yarns, so my expectations were pretty high.
The yarn is 50% silk, 30% wool and 20% nylon. The feel is neither too soft or too scratchy. It has an incredible sheen in natural light. There is no gauge or needle size recommended on the tag. I would say the yarn is about a sport weight (although the website lists it as suitable for DK weight patterns).

The color, Marrakesh, is perfect, a blend of purple, teal, gold and green.
The hank is 250 grams/800 meters. This one HUGE hank produced three equally huge balls of yarn. I was a bit concerned to discover quite a bit of vegetable matter in the yarn as I was winding it off the swift. However, it pulls out easily and does not really detract from the overall appearance of the knitted fabric.

I fully intended to finish up the Landscape shawl before starting a new one. I really only have about 10 rows or so to go until it's finished. I'm not going to have enough yarn to put the fifth texture panel in, so I'm going to end it when I complete the 4th. But now that each row is over 250 stitches, it's taking me forever to complete a row. I made a valiant effort yesterday. Put in Star Wars Episode III, figuring a good action pic might get me moving, and I did get several rows done. But I just couldn't resist the Country Silk. I decided it might be good to go ahead an swatch it. Funny how the swatch looks an awful lot like the beginnings of a shawl...

I'm making the "Thinking Woman's Shawl" found here. I love the way the eyelets start in the center then veer off to each side. I'm using US 8 needles and getting 5 1/4 stitches per inch in garter stitch. I think I could have even gone up a needle size or two for a lacier effect, but I think this will be prefect. It's nice and light weight. I'm so in love.