August 31, 2007

just a touch of love

I finally learned how to crochet a few weeks ago. Well... I technically learned a while ago, but it felt so wrong and so difficult. This time I was determined to feel the speed of crochet, so, I watched endless streams of videos on youtube and finally made my first granny square. Good stuff. The motion of hooking yarn and pulling it through is so comforting to me. Like I need to do this. Like I've been waiting all my life to pull yarn through loops with a hook. It's crazy. LUCKILY, I am not fond at all of the crocheted fabric, so, it looks like it'll be knitting for me (although I've been having these reoccurring thoughts of a crocheted throw blanket for my bed x_X).

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I figure, if I just keep crocheting around.. it'll end up big enough to cover my bed?
In related news, crocheting takes up WAY too much yarn. I had to change the way I held the yarn because it needed to more freely flow through my fingers, any tension at all just messes it all up. o_O

Hmm, I finished my circular shrug. I'm still trying to find someone who can fit it so I can take a few pictures. ^_^ Hopefully I'll get one of my cousins to try it on come Sunday.

I CO for my sweater as well. My very first sweater. =) I had knit a gauge swatch and calculated how many I'd have to CO for like a month before I actually went ahead and started it. So far it's been moving pretty slowly... but quickly. In a matter of two days I had gone through my first skein of yarn (Cascade 220, btw) and my sweater only measured a bit over 6 inches. o_O So, my yarn is knitting up fast, but, I'm just not getting much length. The endless stockinette hasn't driven me insane yet, it's actually quite relaxing. I think my Harry Potter scarf could've easily been a sweater's amount of stockinette, and that only drove me crazy near the end where I rushed to finish. I'm just hoping to finish the sweater before it starts getting chilly.

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The yarn is a little grey here... in real life it has a deeper blue color. So, it's a nice medium grey-blue. Good stuff.
Hmmm, my other WIP include the Branching Out Scarf which I rarely work on. I made a mistake the other day but luckily I had a life line so it's all fixed minus a pattern repeat and a half. The Noro scarf has seen even less knitting time, but, it'll probably end up as my travel WIP once the sweater starts getting heftier. And... that's about all. =)

Knit hard!

August 22, 2007

my stash my stash my stash, my lovely yarny stash

check it out.

Stitches Midwest turned out to be... interesting. SO many stores and SO MUCH YARN. Quite overwhelming. Luckily, with the help of I was able to create a list of projects I wanted to knit in the future. My list included the pattern-suggested yarn as well as alternative yarns that other knitters used. Oh ravelry, so helpful.
I brought my friend Danielle along. Out of the 3 people I've taught to knit she's the only one who stuck with it. She already conquered cables and knitting in the round... it took me over 6 months to get that far... I guess she's a really good student... or I'm just an awesome teacher. LoL.

Tangent. ... So... here's what I managed to find:

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Mmm, silky wool. I brought my Branching Out scarf as my WIP to Stitches... I was really enjoying knitting it at the time (right now it's been waiting for me to finish my circular shrug--see below). I had already decided it would make an awesome gift so I decided to grab another ball so I could make another. I think the second one will be for my mom.

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This yarn is a long story. =)
At the end of last winter I was at Coach with my best friend Lora. They had these beautiful cashmere blend scarves for sale. Sale to them was still over $200. x_X I decided, that I would find similar colors and a similar cashmere yarn and knit them for myself.
Finding both the same colors and yarn proved to be difficult... it wasn't until Stitches that I saw 3 of the almost perfect color ways. They weren't cashmere though... they happened to be 100% alpaca. We passed up the table and I kept them in the back of my mind. Finally, on our semi-second round of the market I decided to buy them. 100% alpaca is cRaZy soft... of course, not as orgasmic as cashmere, but, would definitely make a great scarf. So, here's to my Coach knock-off.

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Mmm, sock yarn. ... I hate knitting socks. =( After my 3 separate attempts I still don't have a pair of socks that fit or match. Luckily, this skein of Lorna's Lace is for Eunny Jang's Endpaper Mitts. I've been eye-ing them ever since I fell into the world of knitting blogs. It'll be my first color work project, and, I'm quite excited. I, strangely, ended up with a very similar color choice to her original pair...

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I just love the blue-brown combo.
Well, those were my purchases from this year's Stitches Midwest. I'm already looking forward to next year. Sadly, we didn't win any prizes, but, Danielle got a free mini-hank of Malabrigo lace weight. mmmm. I ended up getting my picture taken for The Panopticon's 1000 Knitter's Project--and I'm knitter 100!
We also felt some buttery soft cashmere... sadly the small skein was $46. Definitely out of my budget. It was so soft we went back after our initial round through the market to get a second touch. ^_^

I'll leave you with one last picture.
Danielle and I decided to do our own mini knit-along. We chose the Circular Shrug pattern, and, we've been working hardcore on it since we started. So hardcore, in fact, that we both claim the project is sucking the life out of us. Hopefully it'll be done soon so she can wear it and I can take pictures and gift it.

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Knit hard!

August 10, 2007

branching out

I've been trying to find something 'nice' to knit for my old boss--the one who taught me the ways of knitting. I was considering another Clapotis... but, I don't really remember enjoying the process very much. o_O I've been eye-ing the Branching Out scarf for a while and on it's one of the most knitted projects, so, I decided to go for it. I ended up going with the recommended Silky Wool.

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It's such a complex pattern. I've even learned 3 new decreases. Branching Out is also my first lace pattern. I think I remember reading something from the Yarn Harlot about a lace project she as knitting... and how it started off as something really messy and how she regretted knitting it... but then once she blocked it then the magic started. That's sort of how my project is looking right now. I can definitely see the leafy pattern, but, blocking will DEFINITELY make this look better. I can't wait to finish. ^_^

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This lace knitting takes up 100% of my concentration... so I can't knit while "watching my stories" like I can with most of my other projects. I decided that I needed a mindless WIP to have while traveling and sitting in front of some DVDs. That project ended up being a second Noro striped scarf.

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It's still so magical to me... all the colors and the transitioning. Hahahaha. I was working on it yesterday and I ran into a few rows where both of the balls turned into brown-ish colors. o_O I didn't know what to do... I was considering cutting out the brown section on one ball, but, I really have difficulties ripping or frogging.. so, I just let it go. Hopefully the beauty of the rest of the scarf will drown out this one muddy patch.

I also wanted to share one of my only purchases from the Fiber Arts Fair thing from a few weeks ago. I ended up getting a skein of Briar Rose - Buff Beauty. It's a THICK single ply yarn. I seriously have to force myself not to try to take a bite out of it. o_O it's so springy and delicious.

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I decided to knit a length-wise scarf with it. The recommended needles are a 13... but, after my first row I found it to be too tight. The resulting fabric was quite stiff, so, I switched to a 15. Of course, I didn't restart.. I just kinda switched right in the middle of my 2nd row. o_O But, you know me. I'm a bit afraid that my scarf won't be thick enough now... but, we'll see.

I'll be going to Stitches Midwest on Sunday. Just for the market... no classes for me. I'm gonna take a guess and say I'll be the only shaved-bald Asian/Filipino boy there, if you see me say hi! =) I'm not sure which project I'll be bringing to work on... I'm leaning towards the Noro scarf though.