Friday, April 27, 2007

Contest Winners!

Thanks to a random number generator, the winners are as follows:

1. Green cotton sock yarn: Kodachrome
2. Blue wool fingering weight: Megan
3. Spring 2007 Interweave Knits: EnnaVic

Congratulations to all winners! I will send out emails in the morning, I'm afraid I'm too tired this evening. If you read the blog before you get your email, send me an email at elinor AT knitlawrence DOT org with your name and address and I'll get the loot out to you next week!

Many of you commented about particular blogs missing from my Bloglines list. I must confess that several months ago, my blogroll grew larger than I was publicly willing to admit so most of my newer subscriptions are now private. More than anything, a larger than a 150-count blogroll would take up way too much space in my sidebar and until I move it to its own page, that's what you get.

So many of you lurkers came out of the woodwork! I'm looking forward to getting to know you through your blogs! To that end, I was thinking of featuring a new blog read at the end of a post, every so often. With a list of new commenters a mile long, I should have fodder through the summer!

Here are some new blogs to add to YOUR blogrolls. I know I've left some off (not intentionally, to be sure) but I'm too tired to add more links. You can look back through the comments from the last post. I had intended to alphabetize the links but, as you can see, I am an incredibly lazy person. Mean Girl
Aloha N Oreos
bella knitting
Bev's Projects
Spunky Eclectic
Chocolate Sheep
Green apples - a knitting blog
heavenly days
i dream of knitting
b r o o k l y n t w e e d
The Invisible Handy Wipe
The Keyboard Biologist Knits
knit and tonic
Knits & Pieces
Knitting to Stay Sane
Midnight Purls
mind of winter
miss ewe knits
Mustaa villaa
My Fashionable Life
Neither Hip Nor Funky
Northwest Knitter
Posie Gets Cozy
Random Knits
Ruth's Crafterlies
Sheepish Annie
Smoking Hot Needles
stash, knit, repeat
Tales from the Den of Chaos
What Housework?
Yarn Is My M├ętier
Yarn Miracle
Yarn Pirate
Yo La Tejo
Dogs Steal Yarn
g.bella knits
Go Felt Yourself!
In The Pink
january one
Lolly Knitting Around
On and Off The Needles
Pat's Knitting and Quilting
The Plucky Knitter
tiennie knits
Two Left Needles
Walnut Cheeks

I must say that I found what other people look for in a knitting blog very interesting . When I look at a new blog, I want the author to show me something new, teach me how to do something or offer useful technique and/or pattern advice. And then there are the pictures. I admit that I look at your pictures before I read anything that you've written. For example, if I were reading this particular post, I would scan for pictures and seeing none, would sigh and mutter something about the blog author's long-winded ramblings before moving on to something more colorful. I assume that other bloggers feel similarly so that's why I almost always post lots of pictures. Or as my dad says, "pitchiz".

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Blog Contest!

As promised, a blog contest for free stuff! As if any of you need more yarn...

This is a destashing more than a contest, I must say. I took a good look at my stash and saw some things that don't have projects attached to them. Leave me a comment and give me a link to a knitting blog you like to read and also tell me which one of the three items you'd like. I'll draw names out of a hat for each item. Please don't all say Yarn Harlot. We all know she's great but I'm interested in undiscovered blogs, not ones with 7534875849357894375893475934 subscribers.

Enter before 5 p.m. (CST) on Friday, April 27th. I will draw the three winners while celebrating getting through another chemistry test. I'll post winners and a list of interesting blog reads on Friday evening.

The Prizes
1. )Two skeins of Fortissima Cotton sock yarn in a kelly green color, 231 yds/ball, 26sts/4 in on US 1-2. I made some socks for my mom out of this stuff and it's really soft and nice to knit with.

2.) Four skeins of fingering weight 100% wool from Jojoland, 220 yds/ball, 7-8sts/in on US 1-3. This would be good for lace. It's not scratchy wool.

3) The Spring Interweave Knits
Somehow, I wound up with an extra copy. Who wants it?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Flying Under the Blogdar: Finished Baby Cardigan

I forgot to post about this over the weekend but I just finished a project that flew under the blogdar this month. The pattern is hardly interesting but the result is a very functional baby sweater. Beatrix models it for you, although it's still too big for her!

Pattern: Baby Cardigan from Baby Knits Book by Debbie Bliss
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted in dark brown
Needles: US 7

I've made so many of these for friends and family. The sweater is cute but the knitting is quite unremarkable with lots of stockinette framed in 2x2 rib. *snore*

Since I will have little knitting to post about this week, stay tuned for a destashing blog contest tomorrow!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

FO: Canal du Midi Socks

Progress continues on the Gentleman's Fancy Socks. Thanks for your feedback on the color. I wasn't sold on it at first but I've grown to like it quite a bit!

The knitting will slow down a bit this week since there's another Organic Chemistry test on the horizon. *sigh* The good news is that another aunt has asked for a pair of socks! Hopefully, I'll be pattern gazing again soon!

Lately, there has been more exercise than knitting around here, which is always a good thing. Christine and I ran a 5K last week, which was so much fun! Go congratulate her on a power finish! We're definitely planning to meet up again for another run soon. There are a bunch of races coming up that I intend to run but I'll tell you more later.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nancyfest: Gentleman's Fancy Socks and Canal du Midi Socks

Progress continues on the Canal du Midi socks. I've made it down to the heel flap on sock #2 and there's hope that I'll have the pair done this weekend!

In the meantime, I cast on for a pair of the Gentleman's Fancy Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks. The yarn is Lang Jawoll from Knitsense! Stash knitting too! I can't read and work a twisted stitch pattern very well so I went looking for a good rib pattern. These will be for my stepfather-in-law. My MIL and sFIL spend their summers in Montana so I'd like to have their socks done before they leave in May.

What do you think of the color? Is it too bright to be a manly sock?

Lastly, I made Yarnival! Go check it out! There are some really interesting blog posts in this issue!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Progress: Canal du Midi socks in Louet Gems Fingering

There have been some really amazing FOs in blogland this week! Stacey's Turkish Stockings and Brooklyntweed's Saddle Shoulder Aran Cardigan are my two favorites. Both Stacey and Jared exhibit a discipline for knitting that I only wish I had!!! Perhaps I'll get there someday when Beatrix is older...

As I said last week, I've been working on a pair of Canal du Midi socks in Louet Gems Fingering (Fern Green colorway). I have mixed feelings about the pattern, the yarn and the pattern/yarn combination.

I like the pattern, although if I were to knit these again, I would prefer that the twisted stitch pattern weren't so squished on the instep stitches. I would probably throw in a few purls on the instep to spread out the panels of twisted stitches.

One thing that I do like about the pattern is the square heel. I personally prefer round heels but Aaron thinks that his mom's heel is like his: narrow. I think the square heel will be best for her.

The only modification I made was to use a Sl1, K1 heel instead of straight knit:

If I had been around to blog earlier this week, you would have read a fairly grumpy post about how Louet Gems Fingering has such poor yardage (185 yds/skein) that it was doubtful that I'd be able to get a pair of large women's socks out of two skeins. As it turned out, this is what remained of one skein after finishing one sock:

While I did not have to buy that third ball, I would certainly never choose Gems for larger socks in the future. If my pattern had been more cabled, I would have needed that third skein. Why not just plan on buying 3 skeins, you ask? One of my greatest pet peeves is patterns/designers that require that last skein but hardly use any of it; I find it both wasteful and indulgent. Besides, I'm not very good at using up sock yarn scraps so that last skein would likely sit in my stash forever and I would grow to resent it. Yes, I know, I'm cranky.

Pattern/Yarn Combination:
Is it just me or do the zigzags down either side of the cables look like reptilian scales? If the yarn weren't green, it would never have occurred to me. It's not awful, but I think I would prefer the Canal du Midi socks in a different color.

The second sock is already on the needles! More progress next week!

Friday, April 06, 2007

FO Child's First Sock, Frogged Conwy Sock

Wow, so you guys really liked that kaftan! I wasn't expecting that much of a response from a rediscovered FO! I think Aaron was pleased to read the positive comments too.

After the organic chemistry exam and four comprehensive exams, I returned home Friday to find loot! Mintyfresh of Pepperknit sent me two skeins of Claudia's Handpainted yarn from her recent blogiversary contest.
What a great prize! Thanks, Minty!! I've been thinking that I really need to get some variegated and give it a try. When scanning through my Flickr gallery last weekend, I came to the conclusion that I am the most boring knitter alive. Same types of patterns, same types of yarns. I need to expand my knitting horizons a bit, lest you readers die of boredom.

Next up, a package from my secret pal! Before I continue, I should say that there has been some Secret Pal craziness that resulted in me having two spoilers. SO... while Heatherly works that out, you can look at pretty pictures of what Secret Swapper sent me from Australia!

A beautiful card, a teddy bear for Beatrix, a great folk music CD for kids, some chocolate and...

some soft Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in one of my favorite colors:
and another look:
Thanks, Secret Swapper! Just in time for my yarn diet!

For those of you have remarked the lack of much knitting progress in these last few weeks, I give you some FO photos of my Child's First Socks for my cousin Ida:

Pattern: Child's First Sock from Vintage Socks
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Boldly Red on US 2s

In my excitement about having the weekend free from studying and encouraged by a great example on Flickr, I cast on for some Conwy socks from Knitting on the Road. I was looking for a conservative pattern for my mother-in-law that wouldn't tie me to a book (so fairly easy to memorize). As it turns out, Conwy is the perfect pattern.

Unfortunately, because it was the perfect pattern, I found it so tedious and boring that I frogged it a few inches later and started Canal du Midi, inspired by Grumperina's version. I could not face the prospect of two large socks with Conwy. Stay tuned for Canal du Midi progress photos next week!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Debbie Bliss Baby Kaftan

Well, it seems that many of you think that I am asking a bit much on the superwash socks. Maybe I am. It's not too big of a problem, since Aaron says the fuzz makes them softer. However, he also says that it makes them more like store-bought wool socks. *cringe* What a muggle.

Since I'm procrastinating taking a break from studying, I thought I'd post some FO photos from a sweater I recently discovered in the baby knits pile. I made this sweater about two years ago, certainly with no intention of having a baby who would wear it. I knit it simply because I wanted to learn to embroider. The embroidery project was a failure (at least, on my part) so Aaron figured out how to embroider and he did it for me. I was so impressed. So was his grandmother, who reminded him that his grandfather, who learned to knit for soldiers in World War I, knit blankets for all of his grandkids (at a gauge of 10 sts/in too). There's certainly lots of needlework skill in his family! In any case, here is your ever willing model showing off her new (albeit a bit big) sweater:

Pattern: Baby Kaftan from Baby Knits Book by Debbie Bliss
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Wear Test: Knit Picks Swish Superwash

It has been brought to my attention that while I will not consume any calories knitting the aforementioned chocolate yarn, neither will I burn any calories sitting on my butt knitting! You can see why I've come to depend on a complementary, non-sedentary hobby like running. Speaking of which, Christine of the Knitting Virgin (whose knitting skills reveal that she's been around the block a few too many times to continue calling herself that) is coming to Lawrence in a few weeks and she and I are going to run a 5K together. Not only that but I recently joined Colleen on an indoor soccer team in town! I'm just meeting up with knit bloggers everywhere!

I'm still studying like mad for my exams this Friday so I haven't actual knitting content for you. This blog fodder comes to you from Aaron, who recently washed his newly acquired misread Gentleman's Socks in Railway Stitch. If you will recall, these socks were knit using Knit Picks Swish Superwash on US 2s. I've used Swish several times now, although only on gifts. I was curious to see how super this superwash yarn would be. First, I should say, the socks didn't completely felt after a run through the washing machine. That's something, isn't it? I chose not to machine dry them when I saw the beginnings of felting. Behold, the fuzzy halo:

What, you want to see the damage close up?
I know some people would roll their eyes at the promise of true superwash and say I surely can't expect to machine wash and dry handknits. Well, I do, especially when the label says I can. Furthermore, certain sock manufacturers have convinced me that good superwash wool is possible. If I purchase more Swish, it will be for its soft, spongy quality rather than for its washability.

For those unencumbered by a yarn diet, WEBS is having a sale on Regia. Those nice folks at WEBS must have heard about my diet and decided to test my willpower so go! Get it while you can! Knit g.bella's Clessidra socks from the latest Knitty. I will live vicariously through you!