Tuesday, December 19, 2006

works in progress

Right, now I have two works in progress on the needles: I'm knitting the simple shrug from speed knitting (I really think I am addicted to that book, it's awesome!) in Rowan cotton tape in Hazy and the swirled pentagon pulllover from knitting nature by norah gaughan (a really, really beautiful book) in Lion Brand Microspun in black. Yes, I know Lion Brand sucks, but I love microspun. I think it may be their only yarn that has any redeeming value. It's so soft, and since I'm not using wool right now it seems like it would be the best choice for this project. Plenty of commercial sweaters are made of acrylic. I also hear really good things about Lion Brand cotton-ease so I will probably try that if I ever see it in a store near me. *shudder* When I first started knitting I did a project with lion homespun and lion suede and both were completely awful. Even more awful, I have leftovers of both yarns that stare at me whenever I go into my stash. Maybe I can give them away....
And now for a pic:
beginnings of the sweater:

Scarf style-lady eleanor

I have my second fo and book review- Scarf Style by Pam Allen
I think this book is just awesome. It has tons of different scarf patterns with a lot of really clear directions for different techniques. Colorwork, lace, entrelac and cabling to name a few. Also, a lot of popular designers are represented: Teva Durham, Norah Gaughan, Nicky Epstein, Annie Modesitt, etc, etc. However, the designs aren't only traditional rectangular scarves, incuded is a triangular neck shawl as well as a shrug that is a turtleneck with sleeves. For my selection from this book I chose the lady eleanor shawl, which will be a gift to my grandmother for Christmas. I found it to be a fairly quick knit, and entrelac is definitely not as hard as it looks. It is knit from 10 balls of patons sws in Natural Plum. I really liked the color of this yarn, but I think it is itchy. I actually think I may be allergic to wool, everytime I've knit with wool lately my eyes get itchy and my neck starts itching like I may break out into hives. I'm going to the allergist soon to figure it out (I have other allergies too) so in the meantime I'm knitting with non wool fibers. I was actually fine when I began this shawl, but after awhile it started bothering me, so I was knitting one tier a day to get it finished. Pics:

And a closeup:

Monday, November 27, 2006

speed knitting-a fo and a review

Woops. I started a blog and then didn't make any entries. :) But all that is about to change. First, a book review of Speed Knitting: 24 Quick and Easy Projects by Kris Percival

In general, I'm with a lot of other knitter when I say I'm not a big fan of books that include quick and easy in the title. Everything, including knitting does not have to be fast and instant gratification. With that said though, sometimes it is nice to have a quick knit for a boost while working on a large project, or try out a new technique on something small. I really didn't expect to like this book when I picked it up in the book store, but I was pleasantly surprised. I've only been knitting about a year, so I sort of consider myself an advanced beginner (I've already done a shawl, and several scarves, etc, etc.) and this book is good for beginners who want to branch out to knitting something other than scarves. I would definitely reccomend this book, the patterns are clear and well photographed, and I found 5 out of 24 that I would actually knit.
The book is divided into 5 sections: 1-getting started which is pretty much your usual discussion of needles and yarn type you find in some knitting pattern books. Section 2- Accessories which includes a 3 scarves, 2 hats, a belt, a messenger bag, wrist warmers and mittens. Section 3 includes a poncho, a capelet, a shrug, a shawl, a vest, a ballet sweater, and summer dress, a mens sweater, and a halter top. Section 4- blanket, pillow cover, baby shower set, dog sweater, cat mat, small childs tank top, baby blanket, and toddler tank dress. These projects are fairly diverse giving one a lot of different options for a quick project. I chose to do the wrist warmers. I learned dpns and magic loop on this project. Also, I think there is an error, it says to pick up 4 stitches for the thumbhole but I picked up six, 4 made too many gaps. A pic:

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Yet another knitting blog

Since there are so many knitting blogs out there I wasn't going to start one. However, I think my non knitting friends are getting a bit tired of hearing of my knitting adventures. And also, I have a premise for this blog. I've been knitting a little under a year now and in this time I have accumulated some knitting books. Enough knitting books to keep me busy for awhile and yet I still feel compelled to keep buying more. So I am going to make a valiant attempt to knit at least one pattern from every knitting book I own before I buy anymore. (Pattern books, that is. The yarn harlots next book doesn't count and technique books don't either). This blog will also include a little bit of book reviewing.
Here is a list of the books I will be knitting through: (I need to find a way to get this list in the sidebar, but be patient-I've never blogged before)

Wrap Style by Pam Allen and Ann Budd
Scarf Style By Pam Allen and Ann Budd
Knit-2-Together by Mel Clark and Tracey Ullman
Loop-d-Loop by Teva Durham
Weekend Knitting By Melanie Falick
Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan
Last Minute Knitting Gifts By Joelle Hoverson
Cables Untangled by Melissa Leapman
Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle
Speed Knitting by Kris Percival
One Skein By Leigh Radford
A Gathering of Lace gathered by Meg Swansen
Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby
Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls by Martha Waterman

I am currently working on two projects- Lady Eleanor from Scarf Style and Ribby Wrist Warmers from Speed Knitting. By tomorrow I should have a finished object and a book review of Speed Knitting.