Thursday, October 29, 2009

Last gasp of summer

I know that I've mentioned that Doug and I go mountain bike riding. Fairly regularly during the summer, in fact. When the cool, crisp air of fall arrives I generally park my bike. My ears get too darned cold, and they hurt. I have a pattern for some ear-warmers that fasten right to the straps of my bicycle helmet, but I just haven't gotten around to it. When the warm weather hit last weekend, Doug and I jumped at the chance for one last ride. We now have photographic proof that I hit the trails late in October!
Fall riding is quite a bit different than summer riding. The fallen leaves really obscure the trail, and they are slippery as well. Fall riding is slower, which helps to keep the ears a bit warmer. I shouldn't complain, I know. But I do like the summer "bat out of hell" mentality where you can go lickety-split, fast-as-you-can down the hills. Someday that attitude is gonna get me, and it will be painful. Til then ... I'll just be kind of careful.

In other (knitting) news, I've finished yet another pair of socks. These were worked in Super Soxx, purchased at the Knitter's Frolic several years ago. Nice to see that I'm getting thru the sock yarn stash, eh?
Another "finished" object of which I am quite proud is this:
This is the Patt Tanton Hewitt square from the Great American Aran Afghan square, knit in Patons Canadiana Oatmeal. This square was really difficult -- more so than the Selesnick square from several months ago. If ever I knit this afghan again, I suspect this will be one square that does not get repeated.

Currently on needles and being actively knit is this delightful project from S.R. Kertzer:
This raglan lace tee is knit in On Your Toes Bamboo. Who knew that knitting garments with sock yarn would be so delightful? I admit that the 3.25mm needles makes progress a bit slow. With yarn as scrumptious as the bamboo, though, does it matter?!

I am also knitting a sweater for Doug. This is Sublime Organic Merino, colour no. 114, and the "Garter Rib V-Neck" from the September 2009 Creative Knitting.
The sleeves are finished, and I am within 2.5" of the shoulder shaping on the back. Admittedly the pattern calls for a knitting worsted weight and the Sublime is a DK ... Barb (my knitting buddy) and I have felt that the Sublime was actually a knitting worsted, and this sweater helps to prove it.

Of course, I can say that now. Once the sweater is done we shall see if it fits Doug. If yes, then we are correct and the yarn can be used as a worsted; if not ... well, the ball band is right after all. I *think* I have the gauge correct.

Finally, check out the updated web page for the shop: Never Enough Wool. Doug has done lots of work on it, and I am quite pleased. The one thing we are still missing is a gallery of customer finished items.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I am so boring!

Time has a habit of marching on, and on, and on. I knit, and I knit, and I knit, and then I forget to post photos of the finished items. In an effort to rectify this, I bring you yet another pair of socks:

These are destined to appear in someone's stocking on Christmas morning, but I'm not going to say whose. Notice that the toes do not appear pointed, nor are they finished with a 3-needle bind-off. Yes, folks, I have FINALLY learned the kitchener stitch! Yippee! And I finished these socks off a bit differently than normal. Instead of decreasing down to 8 stitches in total and then grafting, I started the decreases later in the foot area and decreased down to 28 stitches. Makes for a less pointed toe, and I believe a nicer look.

The yarn was purchased several years ago at the Knitter's Frolic, and is from Lana Grossa. As this was deeply discounted, I suspect it has been discontinued.

The gift exchange in which I participated has concluded and my exchange partner has received her gift. Consequently, I am able to show yet another pair of socks:

Altho not quite as boring as my plain-jane holiday socks, these are socks. Notice that the toes are more pointed than the first photo. These socks required a short-row toe and heel, and confirmed to me that I really don't enjoy doing this type of toe or heel. Give me a good heel flap any day. These socks were knit with Knit Picks wool ... discontinued.

I'm really beginning to sense a theme here. Why is it that as soon as I start knitting with a yarn/colour combination, it gets discontinued? From the last post, two of the projects are in a discontinued yarn, and two (so far) today. A girl could get paranoid ...

This past summer, I found some Debbie Bliss Cotton/Angora yarn in my stash, and a pattern called the Rusted Root from Zephyr. With a few tweaks, the yarn worked with the pattern, and I made this:
The pattern calls for a double-knitting weight yarn, and the Debbie Bliss yarn was really a worsted weight. I used the appropriate size needles for the yarn and made the small size. The result is a very, very nice sweater for me. I'm not accustomed to wearing such tight-fitting clothes, but everyone tells me that it fits beautifully. (I would, of course, expect Doug to like the close fit, so the fact that so many other folks also like it comforts me!) Again, the Debbie Bliss yarn has been discontinued.

While perusing the fall knitting magazines, I noticed that Elsebeth Lavold had a new book out. I immediately browsed my supplier's website and look what I found:
Not one, but two -- count 'em -- TWO new books! Elsebeth Lavold is one of my favorite designers. I love cables, and she has figured out how to incorporate cables into her designs without making the cables overpower the wearer. I especially enjoy The ThirdViking Knits Collection. My general rule of thumb is that if I find enough patterns in a book to bring the per pattern cost down to around $7 per pattern, I can buy it. At $27, this book needed only four designs to pique my interest.

That wasn't hard to do. In fact, I've sold three copies of this book in the store already ... and have folks still drooling -- er -- looking at it.

In fact, I liked one of the designs in this book enough that I am planning a knit-along for January:
(Better picture here) This design is called "Inggun" is made from a worsted weight yarn; if we can finish it off for March, would be a reasonable transition piece for winter to spring. Select your yarn now and get your needles cleared! I can't wait! (Hmm. Would it be cheating to start early so that I can "teach" this project? Should I trouble-shoot this design? Wanders off to fondle some wool ...)