Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bella Belleza!

I figure if I keep posting every day someone will eventually comment (though I did get a comment on Ravelry, so I guess that counts). Since I took it off the blocking pins and did the three-needle bind-off on the shoulders, it's time to share. So glad to finish something for me this month.

Anyway, I am really happy with how this project came out. It looks as nice as the sample at Kid-n-Ewe! This picture shows that even with my recently added poundage, it's pretty flattering.
Here's the front, which will look a lot better once I put a button on it (I am using a pin on it right now). The vest is very, very light and airy now that it is stretched out, so I need to probably put a lighter button on than I thought yesterday, like something hollow or from light-weight wood. And definitely a backing button will be needed!

On the above photo, I hope you can see the scalloped border. It's subtle, but nice. The rest of the vest has a traveling 3x3 rib pattern. It's just enough to be interesting but not so much that it detracts from the thick-and-thin yarn.

You can really see how airy Belleza blocked out in the back photo. The light parts are where the yarn is really thin. It's pretty. I also like the length of the vest, which is lucky--I was not at all convinced that would work out! And the yarn was very, very enjoyable to knit with. I think it would make a lovely simple triangular shawl or a scarf in a simple pattern.

This close-up gives you a bit of a better idea of the color, now that it is dry, and how pretty the stitches are. It is such a hard to describe color. It is definitely "green" but an interesting bronze-ish tinge makes it interesting. I have a feeling that this particular item will get worn a lot, in all four seasons.

I guess I had better zip along on the socks so I will have something else to blog about soon. I do have a video to share, so maybe that will show up soon!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Belleza Blocking (Wow 2 Posts in a Day)

I guess I should have waited to blog. First, things are better and I will have some work to do the rest of the week. I am now waiting for the twitching muscle in my shoulder to realize that I am not a-wallow in worry now--it has been making knitting a challenge.

But it did not prevent me from finishing the Belleza vest to the point where I needed to block it. The instructions said to block before attaching the shoulders, so Beccano and I collaborated to wet it and stretch it out to the correct dimensions. I am grateful that it stretched, because it sure looked short and lumpy before I blocked it.

You can tell Beccano helped, because as he was pinning, he suddenly ran to pick up a paper and scissors and said, "It's a monster, Mom!" And sure enough, when he added the face and claws, there it was!

By the way, I later stretched the back and fronts out a bit more so they'd be the right size.

Beccano also took a nice close-up of how the thick-and-thin yarn looks in its pattern. I like this because it is sparkly from the water. The photos don't show how pretty the color of the yarn looks, because it is wet. I can't wait to finish the shoulders with a three-needle bind-off and get a button for the vest. I hope I can find something bronze and celtic.

Right now I am going to work on putting a crochet edging on that purple long vest I made a while back and see if I can do something with its shoulders. Then I'll work on my two pairs of socks, though I think gloves out of my two-color alpaca yarn may get started!


If you are a celebrator, I hope you had a good Christmas weekend. If not, I hope you have been happily knitting away at something!

I had a freelance indexing thing last week that made me not want to look at the screen much, hence no blogging. Besides, who wants to read about how worried I am that my work hasn't picked up again yet. No clue how the bills will get paid, but something always works out.

I am actually almost finished knitting the Belleza vest, and I have to block it before putting it together. Should have a finished photo of that soon! I hope it stretches out when blocked. Otherwise, it's beautiful.

The navy Angee socks are going slowly, since I can only work on them when I can concentrate. But they are pretty. I started a pair for my sister, who wanted black and white socks. I found some Knitivity sock yarn that is mostly black and white--I think it was a "mistake" version of his Doberman colorway with much less brown, but I am not sure because for some reason it's not in my Ravelry listing. I am doing a simple toe up ribbed sock, though I may make one rib travel, for fun, when I get to the leg. I got a lot of that done last week waiting at the driver's license place to get my son's permit.

I got no yarn for Christmas, so nothing to show after the bounty of my last post. That was plenty, though! Maybe things will perk up and I will have something to show you next post, or more interesting commentary. I am not at my creative peak right now.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Got Me Some Yarn

It is amusing that the day after I ordered a bunch of yarn I got told there was no more work for me for a while. I don't believe in such things, really, but if I did, I would think I jinxed myself for thinking, "Well, we are both employed this holiday season, so for once I can treat myself." but, I could not undo the Loopy Ewe order, so I will just enjoy it. And besides, some of this yarn is from other sources!

This first one certainly cheered me up when it arrived. It's Dream in Color Starry in my favorite of their colorways, Pansy Golightly. I also have a skein of their laceweight "Baby." I'd sure like to use one of those to make the Bitterroot shawl I talked about in the last blog entry. Since I did get two skeins of the Starry, though, I could make a larger Shetland-style shawl that glistened from that. Mmm. I do know I love the colorway so much that I want to make something large from it.

Here's another color that I fell for. These are very saturated colors--it's all blue with purple and green overdyed in it somehow. It's from Fiberphile Alchemy and appears to be on the same base as Smooshy--it's called Squooshy, which is a hint, huh. I think these colors (called Pacifica) are subtle enough that you might be able to knit socks in a complicated stitch pattern out of it and the colors not detract from the patterning. This is all good, since I have a LOT of such socks on my To Knit list! There's that whole Cookie A book, for example!

I got this skein specifically to knit one of Cookie's patterns. The colorway is called Passion Flower and is exactly the purple of the flowers on that vine. A bluish purple but not quite violet, nor grape exactly. It's a perfect semi-solid for one of the Sock Innovation patterns, or one of the other highly textures ones I've been wanting to make! this completes my Loopy Ewe order, so you can see I didn't go totally bonkers over it.

Next is a skein I got at the LYS, which had been sitting there a while looking at me. I do have some red semi-solid socks (plain ones that I am actually wearing right now!), but this Pagewood Farm Chugiak is a orangey red, and my others are on the blue-red side. I wanted something fiery. I guess in the back of my mind, I knew I was going to run into the perfect pattern for that yarn. Because, lo and behold, while browsing Ravelry this morning (which I can do, since I am not working!) I saw this pattern, Flaming Desire by good ole Anne Hansen, who I believe wrote the first sock pattern I ever knitted. Go look at it and then come back and agree with me that it is a really fun-looking pattern. Nice big motif, multiple sizes--yep!

And by the way, the yarn above is more orange-ish than it appears in the photo. I made it a bit orange, but could not quite get it to appear accurate on my computer screen. Just take my word for it that the Fruit Freeze colorway really does look like fire. If it weren't for having to make black-and-white socks for my sister, these would start soon!

Now, to take a break from skeins of yarn, I did finally take a picture of the Angee sock in progress. It is blurry on one side because I took the picture of it on my arm. But, I think you can see how nice the color looks and how intriguing the pattern repeat is. It just squiggles and wiggles around, going here and there. These will be some fine socks, and I guess if I don't have a lot of work and spend my days at the Division of Motor Vehicles trying to get Beccano's driving permit taken care of, they will be done soon.

But wait, I have one more skein of yarn. Last night was the holiday gathering at the LYS, and while a lot of the regulars weren't there (late notice on the festivities), we had a nice crowd, and enough folks to make a sock yarn exchange fun. I started out with some Plymouth Sockatta that I already own a skein of, so was thrilled to have someone "steal" it so I could get this. I am amused because last year I ended up with pink and gray yarn, too. But, this is from a vendor I'd never tried before (but did see on someone else's blog today), Scout's Swag. It's the regular twisty base yarn a lot of dyers use, and 100% superwash merino. It is called Rowing Home and says it is inspired by Winslow Homer. OK, I believe that, though not sure what painting of his it goes with!

The Belleza vest is cranking along. I am almost finished with the first skein of yarn, but I noted that the armholes are only 9" and use fewer stitches than the body of the vest, so I think I will end up with a bit of yarn to spare. I find that I lose count, even though all I am doing is counting to 3 over and over. This makes me laugh, but I am using the excuse that the textured yarn makes telling whether you are looking at a knit or a purl on the previous row rather difficult. I also really ought to stop trying to knit and read music at the same time. The choir director will appreciate it, too.

More from me soon--it is nice to have a bit more time to blog these days! Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Purple Passion

Good for me. I finished the sparkly purple gloves for college student Tuba Boy (who got his report card and has an A average!). He certainly is secure in his masculinity. He plans to take them on his ski or snow trip to Colorado this week. I also got him some waterproof gloves, don't worry. I know how snow is!

As you can see, he is fond of the gloves. The photo is a little scary, but you can see that the gloves came out quite stripey and happy!

One thing about my kids is that they like to pose for the camera. So glad I gave them good self esteem, or that they just came out that way! I do think the Berroco Sox Metallic is a good glove choice. You can see its sparkles better!

I finished these on Saturday at the LYS, where I bought another skein of Pagewood Farms Chugiak in an orangey-red color. I'll show you a photo next time. I think it will look good on a Cookie A sock, which I am still determined to make more of.

Speaking of which, you know that period when I had no socks on the needles couldn't last long, and sure enough, once the gloves were done I felt like I could start more socks. I am using the Navy color of Chugiak to do the Angee (Ravelry link) socks from Sock Innovation. Ah, good thing I went and looked for that link, because I saw that there was errata for the pattern, and I fixed it on my pattern! See, blogging is useful for the blogger, too. I HAVE to remember to check for errata before I blithely start knitting things!

I just started the socks and have done the ribbing and set-up rows, but am enjoying the yarn a lot. Well, except for the fact that dark blue yarn is sure hard to see what you are doing on. It shows up fine once I have done it, but definitely is more of a challenge than lighter yarn would be. The yarn looks just like nice, dark denim, very snappy.

I mailed the mitts away and was resting on my laurels, relieved that I had no more "obligation" knitting to do for a while. I was looking forward for a week or so of blissfully working on the Belleza vest and the Angee socks, when I got a message from my sister, hinting that she wanted socks for Christmas. Um, it is December 14. But, I haven't made her any in a while, so I asked what color, yet pointing out that any socks would show up AFTER Christmas. She has requested black and white. Um, whee. But, I perked up when I realized I just bought that ball of very interesting German sock yarn with the slow color changes, the Zauberball. That could be fun. So, I'm up for some sisterly knitting after all. I'll make sure to pick a simple pattern so it can be my "portable" sock work.

By the way, the Belleza vest is coming along well. I am into the second pattern and thinking I will have enough yarn, so it's quite stress-free at this point. Just lovely yarn making lovely textures. I can't complain about it at all!

One more thing--love the new Knitty. At the slow rate I am going, I doubt I will knit anything from it any time soon, but the sweaters all look fun. If I made anything, though, it would be Zora. That is one fine cardigan in some fine (literally) yarn. I was also impressed by the Bitterroot shawl from Romi. I would love to make that one. Yeah, we'll see. I am working so much that my production is way down. But, then, knitting is fun, not a race. And I am still enjoying it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

More Mitts!

While not the most exciting knitting on earth, I must say these mitts knit up fast and nice! I wore these for quite a while last night and really like how they warm my hands but don't interfere with anything I am doing. Even the little bit of thumb on my spiral mitts bugs me after a while, so I think I will work on more variants of this and even make me and Lee some.

This is the last of the set for my friend's grandchildren, and will go off to south Texas in the mail tomorrow. I used yarn that I made another pair of mitts -- Dashing from Knitty -- from a few years ago. I gave those away and can't even remember to whom. I hope they liked them. Guess I should make some to KEEP.

And since I have very little knitting content to share, here's another random photo, of a cool caterpiller we found on the front porch:

Well, I think it is cool.

Monday, December 7, 2009


As much as I like to knit and crochet, I never got to like making toys much. Mine never look as cute as the ones in the pictures. I envy people who make cute "things" out of their craft, like Jennifer, who makes food and stuff.

If my mom were still alive, I'd see if she would crochet me this toy turtle. It is so cute. I love its face and its little turtle outfit. I wonder when you get too old to receive toys as holiday gifts? Sometimes I really miss my mom, though my step-mother has always been great with little treats (I hope she gets me nothing this year--she's had a broken arm and hurt leg).

I don't think anyone's getting a toy this year at my house. Beccano got a bass, which he plays on, but not with. Tuba Boy's getting an iPod, which he will play, but not play with. And I am afraid the couch Lee and I were going to get has morphed into a hot water heater.

I'll get my spirit back as I work on gifts for others. And I did send off a knitted gift to a Yule exchange partner today. I hope it makes the recipient happy!

Back to dreaming about toy turtles!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

More Gift Knitting

As much as I wanted to make Belleza bigger this week (and I did work on it some, as you can see in this photo by Cindy, taken at the LYS on Wednesday), I knew I had to get my knitting for others done, so I managed to concentrate on that this weekend.

You can see that I am wearing that fun "Shag" triangles scarf I made year before last, too. And keeping the yarn in the nice bag Jennifer knitted for me. Awww, knitting friends.

So, here are the latest, another pair of the Textured Thumbless Mitts, first of two pairs I am making for a friend's grandchildren (a teen and pre-teen). I love the yarn I found, which was hanging around in my stash from an old sock of the month club I was in. The yarn is either black or extremely dark purple, with little bits of lighter purples in it that may just be lighter bits of the same color. I think the yarn will work for either a boy or a girl.

The ones I am working on now are blue, purple and white worsted, ones I already made some mitts for someone else from a year or two ago. I figure this will also be unisex, but different enough that one will appeal to one grandchild and the other will appeal to the other grandchild. I'll let them or their grandmother pick!

Heh, knitting the same pattern three times is one way to make it look like my pattern is popular on Ravelry! Ha ha! I also think I will crochet around the edges of the thumb opening on this pair. I think it will thicken it a bit and give it a more finished appearance. I added that to the pattern instructions.

And since I have been decidedly less than inspired with my blog content lately, I figure a photo of my good ole pug, Scrunchy, would liven the blog up a bit. Beccano loves to take pictures of him, though, to me, he looks pretty much the same in every picture. But he's a lovable feller. Just sheds a lot. At least it's short, not like the other two dogs!

I'll go knit some more now. I got Tuba Boy his last couple of little h0liday gifts today, and since Lee and I are mostly buying each other a new couch this year, I don't have to shop a lot. I feel quite festive, though. For the first time in a long time, I am not panicked over paying for things. So, whatever you're celebrating this season: enjoy your family and friends and don't stress over decorating, buying and doing (unless that is what you LIKE).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Errata for Belleza Vest Pattern

I've corresponded with the author of the Belleza Vest pattern, Diane Martini, and she agreed with me that there is an issue with the chart for the Welting Fantastic pattern.

However, the written-out version is fine, so if you make the vest, just use the written-out version and all will be well. It's a short repeat, so it's not a pain or anything!

If you have a copy of the pattern and want to fix the chart, just switch where there are 2 K stitches for 3 K stitches and vice versa EXCEPT in the first repeat, which is on the right of the pattern. That part is correct and matches the written-out version.

I am assuming Diane will let Brooks Farm know about the mistake and get future printings fixed.

PS: I am still really, really enjoying the pattern and the Brooks Farm Ellie yarn!