Tuesday, July 31

Happy Birthday to Me Contest!

I have spend a bunch of time recently looking through my yarn stash and setting aside things that no longer hold the same appeal as they did when I purchased them. Sometime in the near future I am going to be listing them all here for sale, and this will hopefully help the two reasons I have not bought yarn in a Very Long Time: lack of funds and guilt over existing unused yarn.

So I was thinking it might be fun to do a drawing and give a away a little bit of this yarn to a lucky blog-surfer. And what better time to start then on my birthday! So if you would like to become the new owner of these 8 skeins of Mission Falls 1984 Cotton,

contest yarn

here is what you have to do: send an email to contest (at) yarndreams (dot) com and put Birthday Contest in the subject line. I will pick a name randomly, let's say on next Wednesday the 8th. Anyone can win and I will ship your new yarn as soon as possible. Good Luck!

EDITED TO ADD: I should have thought of this earlier, but please include your blog or website address in your contest entry. Not required to win, of course, I just want to look! =)

Friday, July 27

Kind of a slow week.

I have done only small amounts of knitting this week, in between reading HP7 and fighting the dreaded summer cold. Blech.

(Oh, and I haven’t finished HP yet so shhh! No spoilers!)

I finally finished clue 1 on the mystery stole, and am looking forward to started clue 2 tonight. Now that I am going to be working across a fixed number of stitches (i.e. the increases are finished), I am going to place markers every 10 stitches and block off the chart in groups of 10 so it will be easier to find my place at a glance and (hopefully) catch mistakes sooner. I made some non-dangle stitch markers for the occasion:


I know I am going to jinx myself be saying this, but so far I have caught any mistakes before the end of the row so I haven't had to tink back more than a few dozen stitches. I mainly attribute this to not knitting while distracted and luck. Lots of luck.

Saturday, July 21

Good Mail Day.


As much as I want to, I am not going to start reading it today. I have to leave in just a few hours for a BBQ and concert and don't want to spend the whole night thinking about getting back to the book!

I have a feeling my knitting progress is going to slow drastically in the next few days. Which is a shame, since I am only managing a few rows a night on the mystery stole as it is. I am still on clue 1:

mystery stole 3

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, July 17

Colorful Coincidence?

I am back home and (mostly) recovered from my long weekend at the Chicagoland Speedway. I started my MS3 last night and am pleased with the results so far. I am not adding beads, mostly because I didn't have any that looked nice with the yarn and I was too cheap/anxious to start to buy some.

there was no swatching anywhere near this project

Last week I divided the top of my Bluebell Boatneck pullover and connected the body under the sleeves. I need to knit a few more plain rows and then put the whole thing on a long piece of yarn to try it on. I know this is an essential step, not to mention the whole point of knitting from the top down, but I am not looking forward to moving all those stitches off and then back on the needle.

Bluebell Boatneck pullover

I realized as I was taking these photos that the yarn colors in the two projects are very similar. This happens to me quite a lot, and I never seem to realize what I am doing until after the fact. For example, around the time I knit a lime green Bob I also knit a lime green dishcloth and purchased a lime green purse. I go in spurts where everything I buy matches - I had a brown clothing run a few months ago, and now have way to many brown tops (and how often do I really want to wear brown in the summer?).

Friday, July 13

I have yarn!

ms3 yarn

My yarn for Mystery Stole 3 came yesterday in the mail. It is Knitpicks' Shadow in "Sunset". I am already hopelessly behind everyone else, but still looking forward to starting soon. Unfortunately, I am going to be away from home all weekend and won't be able to start until at least Monday.

And I probably should force myself to swatch instead of just jumping right into the pattern. Probably.

Tuesday, July 10

Very Impatient.

Since I am still waiting for my Mystery Stole yarn to arrive, I needed a new project to work on in the meantime. I purchased Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel a few weeks ago, and thought it should be the source of my next project.

Fitted Knits book

This is an excellent book. If you haven't had a chance to look at it yet, I'd highly recommend you do so. There are only one or two patterns in the entire book that I don't think I would want to knit. And those are only maybe nots.

I am starting with the Bluebell Boatneck Pullover with some Cascade 220 tweed from I'd Rather Be Knitting.

Bluebell Boatneck Pullover in progress

Hot and humid July in Chicago is the perfect time to knit a wool sweater, yes?

Saturday, July 7

What next?

Since I finished my mini-Clapotis, I have been without a project to work on. (What? No, you are supposed to ignore the pile of unfinished objects next to my chair.) While contemplating things I could start, I stumbled upon the Yarn Harlot's post about joining Mystery Stole 3.

I had seen references to this project around the knit blog world for a week or so but didn't think it was for me. For some reason that night I became very excited at the idea and had to join in. I got in the day before the yahoo group closed. (I think this is why I joined - I've always been a great procrastinator and get some weird satisfaction from getting in just under the wire. Like, HA - you didn't think I would make it but it did!)

Nevermind that I am usually not much of a "joiner". Nevermind that I have never completed a large scale lace project. Nevermind that I don't think I'd ever even wear a stole or the fact that I am already two weeks behind everyone else. I am so totally excited to start.

I ordered some Shadow lace yarn from Knitpicks two nights ago and have printed out the clues (charts) that had been released already.

Now to find something to occupy myself with until my yarn arrives...

Mystery Stole 3 button

Thursday, July 5

Finished Project: Mini-Clapotis

Mini - Clapotis finished

started: June 16, 2007
finished: June 30, 2007
pattern: Clapotis from Knitty. See below for modifications.
yarn: 1 skein (280 yds.) Cherry Tree Hill Superwash Merino DK in color "Monet". This yarn was a gift from my aunt last Christmas. I loved working with it!
needles: size 5 US bamboo
finished size: approximately 7" by 51"

I am very happy with how my mini-Clapotis turned out. It was much quicker to knit that I was expecting and as I mentioned before, I got a kick out of dropping the stitches every few rows. I did end up blocking it lightly to help control edge-roll, but was careful not to completely flatten the waves. Here is what I did to make my Clapotis scarf-sized using 1 skein of yarn:

1) Work section 1.
2) Work section 2 two and a half times.
3) Work section 3 until long edge measures approximately 50"
4) Work section 4 decreases until 23 stitches remain
5) Work section 5

Obviously the above instructions will only make sense if you have read the pattern! I did have a small amount (maybe a 2 inch diameter loosely wound ball) of yarn left, but I don't think it would have been enough to add another repeat so I think I did pretty good estimating my yarn-usage before starting the decrease section.

Sunday, July 1

Finished Project: Felted Flowers

Well, I supposed these are an almost finished project.

Felted daffodil Felted Calla Lily Felted Sunflower
Daffodil, Calla Lily, Sunflower

They are finally dry and I used some invisible nylon sewing thread to snug things up and help the petals fall in the right direction (especially on the daffodil). I am having trouble jamming the wire through the stem to hold them up, however, and need to wait for my hubby to have time to help.

I like how these turned out, but now feel the need to make more felted flowers to fill a vase!

You can find the kits I used at Pick Up Sticks.