Sunday, December 30, 2007

Last Finished Projects

I figured these two projects would be the last of 2007. I actually wanted to finish a pair of Spey Valley socks I'm working on, but I just didn't have enough time. I did finish these two projects, the Puff Sleeved Feminine Cardigan from Fitted Knits, and the quilt. I used about 7 balls of Knit Picks Merino for the sweater and size 6 needles. I lengthened the sweater a little bit. I think I'm going to redo the neck, and make it shorter. But the sweater fits well, and it was a good simple project. The quilt I've been working on is done now. I think I started it in March or April, and then it sat for a while until I put on the back. My sewing machine has a hard time sewing a straight line lately, so the quilting and binding isn't great. I think for my next quilt, I'm going to do a sampler, so I don't have to do the same pattern over and over.
I've been designing a sweater lately, so that's been taking up most of my time. I found a good webpage for calculating decreasing, increasing, and other stuff. It's hard trying to figure out the math equations for some of that stuff. So this makes it a lot easier. For the next year, I want to finish all my single socks, and all the WIP's I've got now. It's starting to be a lot, so I can't start any until they are done. I also want to knit from stash for the whole year, which is definitely possible. I have a couple of projects lined up that will use size 2 or 3 needles, and that alone will take time. I also want to try designing more, doing more crochet, and doing a lace project. I also want to do more artwork. This year, I ended up doing a lot more knitting than anything else. I want to try focusing less on one thing. Well, those are my goals for next year, with knitting from stash being the most important. I will force myself to do that one. I just can't look at sales posted on Knitty or Ravelry, and I should be fine.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Short Sleeved Winter Cardi

I have been working on designing a pattern for a while, so most of my other projects have been put aside. But I was tempted into starting a new one, as a quick project. I started the Short-sleeved Cardigan from Fitted Knits, in Patons Shetland Chunky Tweed. I'm not sure about this yarn, because it has acrylic in it. But I thought a bulky 100% wool sweater wouldn't be useful for more than a month or two in my climate. I just need to make quick, simple projects when I working on more difficult stuff. So far, I added short rows to the back, so it will be a little longer. I've noticed the front always sits too high and the back too low, with the top down raglans. I also didn't want to use the yo increases. I had plans to make some socks as a Christmas present, and ordered yarn in October. But I guess it was on back order, because I still haven't heard anything from the online store. I wanted that particular kind of yarn, then I ran out of time, so even if could choose another yarn, I wouldn't be done in time.
I don't really like to celebrate Christmas anyway. It would be nice, if there weren't the frenzy of buying presents. I like the idea of a winter holiday to celebrate the solstice, and to celebrate with friends and family, but I hate that it only seems to be about a shopping frenzy. A week after Christmas, the same products and sales are still there, and they are coming up with new reasons for us to shop again. Valentine's Day, Easter, etc. It cheapens the whole holiday. I guess I would feel differently if the traditions of Christmas were ones my family had practiced, but we didn't, so I don't associate them with my own life. I only see them in the media, as an advertisement, so I don't relate to it. Other people might see the whole thing differently, and not be so bothered by the media advertisements. I don't like that the media seems to tell us what we should be doing, and we all have to do the same thing, and decorate our houses and everything in the same way. I wish there more regional holidays, where each state or area celebrated a holiday differently, and there was a lot more diversity. That would be really interesting.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Unintentional Christmas Socks

I started this sock in October, I think, and was making pretty good progress on it. I'm halfway down the foot by now, on the first sock. The pattern is Roza's Socks from Spring 2007 Interweave Knits, and I'm using Knit Picks Bare. I dyed it with Kool aid, using tropical punch and lime green, and a small amount of lemonade. I like the way the colors are coming out. It's difficult to see in a photo, but in each color section, there are bits of the other colors too. I'm working on another project that due on Christmas, so I haven't done anything else lately. It burns me out to work on one project exclusively. I don't even like reading one book at a time. Another exciting thing is that I finally got the Knit Picks Options needles, which are much better than the ones that I had. I tend to use a lot of cotton, and it's so much smoother with the metal needles. Using bamboo with cotton is just too hard on my hands.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Good Luck Cats

I have been working on a bunch of different projects sporadically. Right now, I've got two socks in progress and four sweaters. They are on hold while I finish some Christmas stuff. Two of the sweaters are cotton and they were kind of hard on my hands. I'm using Cotton Ease for both of them, which I like, but it definitely isn't as nice to knit with as wool. I got some new Dream in Color Smooshy, in Strange Harvest and Good Luck Jade, and it's hard to keep myself from casting on another project. I like the muted colors.
I at least want to finish two of the sweaters by the end of winter, so I'll have to wait to cast on. I also was looking back at the first sock I did, Baudelaire, and realized it was too big. It seemed okay at the time, but now after making a few others, I realize it could definitely fit tighter. With that pattern, I originally started with the size large, and now will end up at size small. It's always hard to tell how well something will fit, even if you do know your size. If I could somehow knit two sizes at the same time, then try them both on, that would help. But, I really liked those socks, so I don't mind doing them over. A lot of the patterns I have lined up are top down, so those will be a nice change.
I happened to get this picture of my cats, which I thought was funny. They like to lick each other's ears, for some reason.