March 15, 2009

Running, Malabrigo, and other things

I keep describing my 5k as insane and awesome at the same time. I woke up Sunday morning and looked out the window... it was snowing. Hard.
Now, I expected pretty chilly weather but I was not expecting snow at all. I still went for it. ^_^
It wasn't as bad as I thought it could be; once I got running I warmed up pretty quickly. The snow was falling in my favorite type: big, puffy, drifty, clusters. The only things I really had to contend with was the strong gusts of wind (usually blowing against me), the slippery ground from the snow, and potholes ... covered by snow. But, overall it was an awesome experience--like running in a snow globe.

Maybe this wasn't the best idea but I signed up for an 8k coming up on the 29th. I barely made it through the 5k... I don't know if I'll be ready for an extra 2 miles in 2 more weeks. o_O

So, it's March. For the Malabrigo Junkies group on Ravelry, March means casting on projects in Malabrigo's Merino Wosted.
It's Malabrigo March!
I didn't Cast On anything on the 1st. I had a few ideas in mind but nothing really set. I didn't pick out yarn or finalize any patterns... I was being a bad Junkie. After a few days I pushed forward and got the pattern, some new Malabrigo, and finally CO the Dr. G's Memory Vest. It's a really awesome design and in order to get the pattern you need to make a donation towards Alzheimer's research. It's an awesome way to give.

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I haven't done cables in a while so this is fun and refreshing. The cables are small enough that you can do them without a cable needle and once you work through an entire repeat of the center tree chart you'll probably have the pattern memorized. It's not moving as fast as I'd like... but, I spend an average of only 1 or 2 hours a night working on it.

I'm also planning on Casting On for a Brioche Stitch scarf... I just need to decide on my colors.

I received the Malabrigo March prizes straight from Tobias and Antonio of Malabrigo. Here are some pictures:

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This is their new line Dos in Caribeano.

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This is an un-labeled orange in Merino Worsted. I'd say it's very similar to their Apricot colorway.

We finally have some beautiful weather here... I can't decide whether to run outside or go to the Sunday knitting group. Hmm...

Knit hard!

February 9, 2009

Fitness Goal

I don't knit as much as I used to. I still knit some every week but it's not enough to keep up a regular knitting blog so I think I'll start transitioning cashmere blend into a more... all around blog. =)

I've had personal blogs in the past but they have all retired. I actually love going back and reading what I had been doing with my life so I'll definitely be picking up the blogging again.

Lately I've become very ... intent on becoming healthy.

I've probably told this story before and I seriously tell it every time I talk about weight loss but back in high school I weighed an enormous 110 lbs. Enormous. hahaha, I was a stick. I used to actually pray to be fat so all the working out I was doing in gym class and as a swimmer would have actually have purpose: burning fat.
In college I stopped working out regularly and I would brag about how I could eat anything and not gain weight. And I would prove it by ordering and eating extra food.
It all came around and bit me in the behind.

I hit my highest weight about 6 months ago at 185. According to the BMI I was walking the line between simply over weight and obese. Yikes.
I managed to get it down a bit to 181.. just by becoming a bit more active... but, it was pretty much stuck at 181.

On December 28th, as sort of a pre-New Year's Resolution, I decided to start counting calories. I've never counted before... so I downloaded a cool little app on my iPod Touch and it's really been helping. So, a little over a month later I'm down 11 lbs! That's completely diet.
I have a 5k coming up on March 1st so I've started incorporating running again and hopefully that running will speed up the weight loss.

My current goals:
Lose about 2 lbs per week
Gain muscle
Hit my goal weight (145) by mid-April
Run the entire 5k on March 1st (I've done previous 5ks but always run/walk them)
Run the entire 8k at the end of March
Do an indoor Triathlon in July

That's a basic summary of where I'm at right now. Last week I only lost 1 lb so I'll have to crank it up a bit this week. Running should help.

On the subject of knitting... I was looking through a few projects on the Guy Knitters group on Ravelry and they always re-inspire me to push hard at finishing stuff. =) I have 2 sweaters on the needles, 1 waiting to be Cast On, yarn for 2 afghans, and a ton of other skeins waiting patiently to turn into something.

I'm working on the sleeve for my blue sweater. I'm hoping to finish tonight at Knitting Group and then Casting On for the 2nd sleeve and hopefully finishing it by next week so I can Cast On for the collar and assemble.

It's starting to get warm already so this might have to wait until next year for me to wear.

February 5, 2009

Long Time, No Blog

I'm back... not sure for how long though. But, I'm re-inspired to become a regular blogger once again.

I haven't knit much since my last post. The grey/burgundy cardigan is still in the works. Technically it's on hold. The sleeves turned out really wide and ... billowy almost. They're like wings. I'm considering ripping back some inches and re-knitting them narrower but, I'm not a good ripper. hahaha. The girls in my Monday night group keep telling me to bring it in and they'll do the dirty work... so, I'll probably end up doing that.

I'm working on another sweater, however. It's coming out pretty well.

That's the front. It's a pretty deep V but it actually gets a very awesome looking scarf collar. I'm working on a sleeve right now. I adapted the pattern so I could knit it in the round instead of flat... and I wasn't about to do 2 sleeves on 2 circs so I'm doing 1 at a time with DPNs. ... I love my DPNs.

I've also become obsessed with making stitch markers. I joined a swap through Ravelry and decided my partner was going to get a set. I did a search for a bead store in my area, found one, drove there, and picked up some fresh water pearls and a few Swarovski crystals. I originally planned to pay Nina and/or Ivi to do the actual making... but then I thought I could probably do it myself... so, drove over to Joann's and picked up the whole aisle of pliers and got to work. Out of the 9 I purchased I actually only needed 3. Go figure. But, I examined a few of the stitch markers I already owned and was able to construct my own set of stitch markers.

I already sent my partner her set... but this is a set I made for myself. I found Swarovski pearls... very inexpensive but they look great. Also found some magnetic beads made of Hematite... and, those are my manly stitch markers. =)

They stick together! Yay magnets!
I can't stop making them! Not counting the magnetic markers, and the markers for my swap partner... I've made 4 other sets and I'm working on another 2. o_O
I should probably start selling them?

September 23, 2008

Right Front (among other things)

The Right Front of my cardigan is looking pretty awesome. Didn't get a chance to snap any pictures but I'm really digging the construction. It's very different from anything else I've knitted. But, who knows, maybe all cardigans are built similarly?

The "cool" parts are the button band and the pocket. When I first read through the pattern I was bit surprised at how tedious all of it sounded, but, now I'm glad I'll be able to learn new techniques.
So, with the button band... I knit about an inch at the bottom of the Right Front (and even made a button hole!) and then they had me put 12 stitches onto a holder and continue knitting the body. Once it's finished you'll pick up the live stitches and knit the button band while sewing it to the body. CrAzY! ... but awesome. The button band becomes the collar so I'll be knitting it up and attaching it around the neckline. Is that insane or what? ... I guess the "or what" would be that most cardigans are constructed the same way.

The pocket is another nifty little trick. Basically they had me knit a flat stockinette square. Once I got to the pocket hole on the Right Front I put 32 stitches from the RF onto a holder and knit the 32 stitches of the St st square in their place. Once I finish the RF I'll pick up those stitches and do a few rows of color, bind off, flip it over, and sew down the 3 remaining sides of the pocket. Tedious but AWESOME! =)

Enough of this cardigan construction excitement... how about a nice, simple, cotton dishcloth:

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I keep feeling like I blogged about this already. Hmm.
Well, during the whole Log Cabin Blanket there was a point when it became to heavy and ungainly to carry around to my knitting groups so one day I showed up to Monday night with nothing. I had been wanting to do a wash cloth for a while so I picked up some cotton (forgot what it was called, but it's really nice) and a pair of needles and cranked out a wash cloth.

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It's just some seed stitch and stockinette. I love seed stitch.

Knit hard. =)

September 22, 2008

Tastes like Cotton

I gained 6 lbs over the weekend. Yikes. I was surprised 'cause I kept pretty active all weekend... I did, however, indulge a bit on the eating side on Saturday and Sunday. Oops.

Well, I have more pictures for you. =)
I mentioned before that Deb @ Fishbed was having a Summer sale which mainly consisted of cotton yarns. I really don't use much cotton in my knitting. I did that one Coachella top in cotton but that was the only thing. .... actually... now that I think of it... those crochet bookmarks could be cotton. Hmm. I'll have to check.

Anyway, I was at her store for hours trying to decide what to buy. I could have skipped out on buying anything since I had no pattern or project ideas in mind but it was a sale! ... It wasn't just a sale it was a damn good sale. The yarn was 40% off!

I spent my whole afternoon there. I got in around 10:30 and stayed until 4:15 (with a lunchbreak in between).
I ended up buying this awesome cotton from Araucania.

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I originally was drawn to the variegated. The colors looked so smooth. So, I grabbed a couple skeins and pondered for a while and decided on a granny square afghan. I figured I'd throw in a few other colors so my first instinct was to grab some browns or blues. Unfortunately none of the browns and blues in the Ulmo worked with the yarn I had. On a whim, I grabbed a skein of the purple and it just worked.

I played around with colors a bit more and decided I needed a 3rd... so, picked up a skein of red and it balanced everything out.

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I still haven't decided on the exact squares I'm going to use. I 'swatched' the variegated in the traditional granny square and I'm kinda digging it. There's another square I want to try out where the only open spaces are the corners of each 'round' so you create an X of open spaces rather than a checkery-grid thing. I'd rather have the variegated be the more.. dominant color so I think the more solid X square would work best and then I'd use the traditional granny square for the solids. We'll see. =)

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Knit (and crochet) hard!

September 19, 2008

Pictures for the last post

I took pictures this morning (at the cost of being quite late for work).
I'm actually still at work so for now I'll just share my sweater.

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Mmm, RYC Cashsoft. It was one of the first 'nice' yarns I ever purchased. I loooooved it back then and I still love it today. It's really soft and it has an almost silky feel... plus it's machine washable. Go figure.

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I finished the back last night. I had hoped to finish it earlier but I encountered a few setbacks.

1) I got engrossed in Stargate SG-1. I think for each sweater I'll watch a new TV series. I've never seen Stargate so I started from the beginning and I've been using it as a knitting aid.
After shaping the armholes I needed about 9.5 inches of ribbing. After watching a good third of the first season I realized that I had 12 inches of ribbing. Oops. I considered ripping back but instead chose to meticulously tink.

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2) During the 9.5 inches of ribbing a ball had run out and so I joined a new one. On my return row I knit one of the tails that crossed my needle and resultingly increased one of the 7 stitch rib columns to 8 stitches. I didn't realize it until I had reached the top and was doing shoulder shaping and couldn't figure out why my 2 shoulders weren't decreasing symmetrically. o_O So, I ended up ripping back about 5 inches.

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3) I shaped the first shoulder completely wrong. For some reason I was decreasing at the beginning and end of each row... I was actually only supposed to be decreasing at the neck side. I bound off the shoulder and realized my count was all off so I ripped back and realized where I had gone wrong.

So, that's the back. =) I was going to Cast On for the Right Front last night but decided to knock out early. I will be casting on tonight though. Hopefully all the mistakes I've made in the back have fulfilled the karmic error quota and the rest of my pieces will flow a bit more smoothly.

September 16, 2008


I haven't had a chance to take pictures but I have some new projects and yarns going on. I thought I'd share.

On the needles:
I have this awesome cardigan from Knitting for Him. It's mainly grey with a dull lime-green edge. I ended up using an eggplant-ish color for the edge. Totally digging it. I'm about 3/4 finished with the back.

Did I mention my insane idea to attempt a sweater a month? So far it's looking pretty doable. Actually... I still have 2 fronts and 2 sleeves to go. Hmm... and of course the whole putting together of. Yikes. I think I'll try to finish the back tonight so I can get started on the rest.
The sleeves are done flat and then seamed... but I'm thinking of doing them in the round... 2 at a time. Is that crazy? I'd imagine the pattern wouldn't be too hard to adjust, and I have about 20 rows of 2 round things at one time (on one circ!) under my belt. Hmmm... although... 2 flat pieces at the same time would be super easy... I'd just have to seam later. Well, I'll look into it and let you know what I decide.

I have yarn for...
I bought a bunch of chunky wool for my October sweater... which will be the sweater-a-long I'm doing with Nina, Ivi, and Amy7. The pattern for that is from this little pamphlet I bought from Wool & Co. It has an awesome collar.

Deb @ Fishbed had a big cotton sale... so I bought a ton of Arucania cotton in 2 solids and 1 variegated to crochet an afghan. I'm gonna be doing two or three types of really basic granny squares and putting them together. I still have to work out exactly how this will be assembled (e.g. can I connect a square to another as I'm working on it? ... can you do a square from outside in? etc).

For November, I found a cool Fair Isle sweater in a magazine... I think I might do it... just to be able to conquer Fair Isle and stranding... I have a feeling that it might actually take me more than a month to do a sweater like that though. We'll see.

Last night at knitting Deb got in this knitting magazine from Europe. It had about 8 sweater patterns for men (and 2 scarves!). So, I think one of the cabled sweaters will be for December.

So.. yeah, those are my projects right now. I also need to finish Amy7's grass, my double knit mittens, and an Irish Hiking Scarf. I think my enormous pile of hibernating UFO's will be frogged before the end of the year so I can move on with my life and not feel any project guilt. =) I actually have a Malabrigo sweater in that group that might end up being my January sweater.

Hopefully I'll have pictures for my next update!
Knit hard!