Thursday, January 31, 2008

On a very blustery day...

I’m a 4 seasons kinda gal. I love fall color, spring buds, winter chill and summer warmth equally. After living in Southern California for a couple years, a move to the UK, and a return to seasons, has been a welcome change. In some ways, I feel as though I am rediscovering the seasons when I wake up one morning and notice a fallen leaf, or a brighter morning.

I’m not ready for spring yet. I say that at a great risk of being outcast, as most people I encounter on a daily basis have turned complaining about the weather into an art form. For my part, I’m perfectly content to have a few more weeks of cold dreariness (it’s great for curling up with a good movie and knitting the day away!).

Almost spring flowers

Nevertheless, I know spring is right around the corner, and while I’m not ready for spring just yet, I will be by the time these bloom. Until then, they’re a great reminder that time is fleeting and seasons are cyclical. I will relish what is left of winter, then enjoy spring, summer, and fall until winter returns again.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Collection of Handy Technique Links

For my own benefit, and perhaps yours, here are some links that may prove helpful in the future.

Nona Knits: Yarn Dominance
Technique for holding yarns in Fair Isle knitting to produce a clear, crisp color pattern.

Knitting Daily: Measuring Yourself
Photo guide to make sure you get your measurements right for best fit.

Sock Pr0n: Weaving ends in while kntting
Photo guide to weaving in your stray ends as you knit. Jogless Rounds
Eliminating jogs while working in the round.

Chic Knits: Zipper Installation
Photo guide to inserting zippers in your knitting project.

A Kitten Knits: The Thumb Trick
Working an afterthought thumb for mittens.

Intarsia in the Round
A way to work intarsia in the round.

Girl from Auntie: Moebius
How to knit a moebius loop.

Marnie Talks: Lace charts in Excel
Tutorial to creating charts in Excel.

HeartStrings FiberArts: Tension Blocking Tips
Blocking lace.

Persistent Illusion: Judy's Magic Cast-On
Great Cast-On technique for toe-up socks and the like.

Cosmicpluto: Short Row Heel Tutorial
Working short row heels on socks.

The Knitting Fiend: Sock Links
A collection of tips and techniques for sock knitting.

Sock Knitting Tips
More sock knitting tips.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Christmas Knitting - Part 3


Sadly, the scarves to match my parents' hats and gloves are not quite finished yet.

For mom, I'm working on Danica from Knitty.

Danica, Seahawk Style*

I haven't started Dad's yet, but I'm thinking of either doing a scarf with narrow vertical stripes, or the similar-yet-different High School Colors Scarf.


For my niece, I have in progress the Matinee Coat from Debbie Bliss' Simply Baby. I'm knitting the sides together with the back, to eliminate some seaming up. Over the holidays, I got so far as to reach the point where I finished the lace and then started working the upper, stockinette section... until I realized that at this point I needed to be knitting the back and sides separately. Much frogging and yarn detangling later, I am here:

Matinee Coat

THE HATS (again)

Mr. Tall on a snowy Christmas Day

Start-End: December 21 - 22, 2007
Pattern: A Hat Fit for a Boyfriend by Stephanie Nicole
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Solid in #152 Oxford Gray
Needles: US 8 (5.0 mm) 16 inch circular Addi Turbos
Notes: I fell in love with the way the decreases in this simple ribbed hat worked. On one of my days off, I cast on soon after Mr. Tall left for work and finished late that evening (technically, early the next morning). Perhaps it was the lateness of the hour, but I was simply amazed. About a year previous, I spent a few weeks making my first ever hat (and knitted item) - The Chocolate Ribbed Hat. It was amazing to me to think of how much I learned in just one year.

Decreases on the Hat Fit for a Boyfriend Husband

Spiderman Hat for my nephew, Wyatt

Start-End: December 18 - 27, 2007
Pattern: We Call Him Spidey from PumpkinKnits, based off the Generic Norweigan Hat from Hello Yarn.
Yarn: Patons Fab DK in #2321 (blue), #2323 (red), and #2311 (black).
Needles: US 3 (3.25mm)
New-to-Me Techniques: Fair Isle Knitting, Continental Knitting
Notes: Despite using DK weight instead of 4 ply, I kept the needle size the same as in the original pattern. The resultant hat is too small for me, but still a bit too big for my nephew. I really enjoyed this pattern and could see trying to design my own chart in the future. I taught myself how to knit Continental so that I could speed up the colorwork by knitting one color Continental and the other using the English method.

Wyatt in his Spidey hat

* All apologies for the weird WIP photos in this post. I prefer to shoot in natural light, which has been lacking a bit lately in this area.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Christmas Knitting - Part 2

Knowing that my parents heads would stay warm and toasty while watching the Seahawks games, I thought they could stand to have some warm hands as well...


Fetching for Mom

Pattern: Fetching by Cheryl Niamath
Yarn: RYC Cashsoft Aran in Haze (#00004)
Needles: (KnitPicks Options) Used 5.0mm needles for cabled wrist portion, switched to 4.5mm for the next 6 rows and then 3.75mm needles to the thumb opening. Worked the remainder of the gloves in 4.5mm needles.
Notes: I put 20 rows of ribbing between cable and thumb opening instead of 18. I think if I was to make these again, I would find away to make the cuff section longer by a couple inches to cover the wrist/lower arms a bit better. I would also leave off the picot binding. While it's nice, it's just not my thing :)

This pattern was really fun and quick to work up. It was my second cabling project, and I still am thrilled with how slick cables are. Perhaps I'm a bit too easily amused...

Dashing for Dad

Start/End: December 10-22, 2007
Pattern: Dashing by Cheryl Niamath
Yarn: RYC Cashsoft Aran in Tornado (#00008)
Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm)
Notes: For these, I worked each glove to the first cable, then transferred the stitches to two circular needles so that I could work both gloves at the same time. For some reason, I just couldn't wrap my head around how to start both gloves on two circs, but this worked just as well. I also only worked 16 rows after the thumb holes instead of 18 as the gloves seemed to be getting a bit long.

I haven't yet decided where my Christmas knitting recap will go next, so stay tuned and be surprised!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Christmas Knitting - Part 1

Ok, so I'm finally getting to the point where I can catch up and move forward. Luckily, not much else is happening at the moment (oh, except I got a new JOB!) so you're not missing much.

My parents are Seahawks season ticket holders, and have been for some time. Back in the day, they had four tickets as brother and I were a bit young to stay home. That was in the days of the Kingdome and the end of the Steve Largent era.

They still go to the games - no longer with brother and I, and no longer at the Kingdome. While Qwest Field is a nice stadium, it lacks something the Kingdome had - a roof.

To help keep my parents warm next season, I decided to knit them each a hat/glove/scarf set. Earlier this year, I found a bunch of RYC Cashsoft Aran on sale. Even better, in Seahawk colors!


Mom's hat

Start-End: I did each in a couple days, but I didn't write down which ones.
Pattern: "Classic Ribbed Hat" from Frugal Knitting Haus
Yarn: RYC Cashsoft Aran in Haze (#00004), Tornado (#00008), and Bud (#00006).
Needles: US8 (5.0 mm) 16" circular Addi Turbo.
Notes: This pattern was really easy to follow and worked up really quickly. I absolutely loved this yarn, it was like buttah - I am really glad it was on sale because I wouldn't have bought it at full price.

Dad's Hat

Next up... the gloves!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Our Christmas, Sans Knitting

Hey again, I'm going to catch up with you guys in two parts. First, the brief non-knitting portion.

We were to fly out of London Heathrow on Christmas Eve. On the 23rd, there was a great deal of fog and nearly 140 flights to/from Britain had been canceled. We arrived at the the airport on the 24th, and were told we weren't even allowed to enter the terminal until they were ready to check us in for our flight.

There were tents set up outside for us to wait in. To TPTB's* credit, they were heated, there were chairs and TV monitors tuned to the news, and coffee and tea available. Regardless, we were anxious to start our journey in this less-than-certain state.

Inside the tent, outside the airport

Thankfully, our flight to Seattle was called not long after I pulled out some knitting. The upshot to all this was that we had been upgraded to business class!

Mr. Tall is very happy to stretch out his legs!

Unfortunately, BAA regulations prohibit knitting needles in carry-on luggage. I amused myself by watching some movies (Death at a Funeral was absolutely hilarious! A must see for any fans of Alan Tudyk) and playing around on my computer.

Somewhere over Iceland (we think) we were treated to this gorgeous view:

Moon and sunset

Our time in Seattle was nice and relaxing. I got to meet up with some friends, and we both enjoyed being Americans again. Before we knew it, it was New Year's Eve and time to head to Orange County, CA (home of the Talls). A second good Christmas was had, more friends were visited with, and soon enough that time was over as well.

Much to our surprise and delight, we had been upgraded to business class for the trip home as well! All in all, a great Christmas and great start to the new year.

* The Powers That Be

Friday, January 11, 2008

Knitting is more dangerous than...


Comic from kxcd

This, of course, means that by blogging about knitting, I'm really living dangerously. Don't worry, Mr. Tall knows where my will is so y'all don't end up fighting over my stash should the seemingly inevitable happen.

I'm still here, still finishing Christmas knitting (yeah, I know). I hope to get some stuff posted this weekend.