...seems that everyone else has. I finished this, lo, a long time ago for my grandmother's birthday. Still need to mail it out - I am so behind on the mailing side of things, as well as the blogging side of things. In Silk Garden 8, on US 8 Addi turbos, Clapotis from Knitty. I twisted all stitches beside the drop (knit-side and purl-side), along with doing mirrored decreases; these suggestions came from Needles&Hooks. I also purled the drop stitches on the right side instead of using markers; this is a common tip on the internets, and I forget who originated it. I did a swatch, mostly for my own amusement, since it is not the sort of thing that really needs one.
Yes, competition in our state fair is pretty intense. My Alice Starmore Roscalie vest only placed fifth. Trendy mosaic knitting captured the top awards. At least the dressers liked it - it was prominently displayed. (I noticed they hung an unplaced aran cardigan prominently, too - the competition was particularly fierce in the cabled categories).
Katie "Sonith" placed first with her leaf lace shawl - go Katie! (Entry forms are handwritten by the people who take the entries, and then interpreted by someone else again - it is interesting to see how the names of the winners morph from year to year.)
The sea-foam scarf pattern was a free Wednesday clinic at Borealis Yarns - first Wednesday of the month from 6-8pm, if you were wondering. One of them snagged a place in the lightweight scarf category:
And, apparently sock-monkey knitting is all the rage this year, at least in machine knitting! This post would not be complete without at least one of the dresses. The boobie sock monkey dress hasn't been getting as much love, so here 'tis: Apparently a sock monkey bikini is in the works too. These are really love 'em or hate 'em - personally, I love them. If I have to wear a dress, let it be one of these.
Now that I've actually been getting packages out, I can start sharing some of my past SP knitting. This was for my downstream SP5, mtwelovett; it was designed for Baby Bobbi Bear, but might end up fitting her typical model, Teddy, better. I designed and knit this in a fever-induced haze on the last weekend of the Olympics. I had finished the knitting on the RoscalieVest the month before, and was stuck in finishing purgatory. I wanted a nice quick fair isle project, and I wanted to try designing my own fair isle in minature, while the large one was still fresh in my mind. The designing took most of one day - I designed the fair isle patterns from scratch, but the real challenge was planning the dimensions. With the fever, I was constantly calculating and re-calculating and forgetting what I had already figured out (even with writing it down in the notebook). Fortunately the fever abated the next day, and I could knit it up without feeling like a Typhoid Mary. Then the real problem came - I had had the fun break of knitting it up, but then there was twice as much fair isle to finish.
Front of the vest:
Mini Me on the Full-sized Roscali:
I am partially consoling myself with the fun fair isle that I've done, since I only got 5th place at the state fair. Guess the first place last year was beginner's luck. Plus I think the fair has gotten a lot more competative in the past year or two. Ah well, at least it leaves me room to work my way up next year. Small Child wants a ribbon to go with the Reef fair isle cardigan I am going to knit for him (I don't know why he thinks he is going to keep it though...)
This has been a rather rough-and-tumble year so far, but hey, things have to start looking up sometime, right? That doesn't mean knitting hasn't been going on, quite the contrary, it is quite sanity-making. I haven't really been keeping up with photographing each hank of yarn and cataloging in flickr, or updating even the finished objects here. When I get new yarn, I just want to tear into it. I would like to catalogue what I've been buying, and finishing, though.
Things I've knit so far this year:
Roscalie, Alice Starmore vest, in Harrisville Tweed and EL Silky Wool, US #3 and #5 Addis.
2x2 ribbed socks, Cool Socks Warm Feet, Trekking XXL in blues on US #1.
Stockinette socks, Cool Socks Warm Feet, Trekking XXL 100 on US #1.
Hat for nephew, 2x2 rib beanie, Artyarns Supermerino in red on US #7. Pinwheel Baby Blanket, knitlist, Artyarns Supermerino in teal on US #8.
Thuja socks (modified), Knitty, Artyarns Supermerino in teal on US #4.
5 Swatches for knitblog. Artyarns teal, Silk garden clapotis, Anatolian pattern in Socks that Rock and Twisted Sisters Jazz, Trekking XXL (first swatch and first sock swatch), madiera lace in SWTC bamboo.
2 Swatches for felting, Cascade 220, US 10.5 vs 11 - currently unfelted.
Clapotis, Knitty, Noro Silk Garden #84 on US #8.
1 Swatch, Hempathy.
Lace lesson / swatch with Annie Modesitt in Hempathy.
Facecloth, falling leaves stitch pattern, Hempathy on US #4.
1 sock, beaded rib, Sensational Knitted Socks, CTH supersock potluck, US 0s.
Baby blanket minus edging, self-designed with cables from Viking Knits, Dream in Color, US 9s.
Scarf 1/3 done, free pattern from Borealis Yarns, CTH Silken Mohair, US 8s.
Baby blanket in swatch, brocade celtic design from Alice Starmore, Klaus Koch Clip, US 6 or 7.
Shawl in swatch, 2 leaf patterns, Schaefer Anne in red, US 5 or 6 or 7.
Shadow Shawl #3, Kinver Knits, Schaefer Anne and Annie Blatt Fine Kid, US 7. Ran out of Anne, need to rip past center point.
Kitty Pi bed, Noro Big Kureyon, need to finish last few rows and felt.
In the queue
1 pair gift socks, Mountain Colors Barefoot in Glacial Teal, US 1
2 climbing beanies, Opal (black) and Blackbunnyfibers (black and grey), US 3 or 4
1 Bauhaus hat (from kit)
1 gift cabled throw, Maidenhair shawl from Alice Starmore, Araucania Nature Wool in teal
1 aran sweater or cardigan, Two Sticks and Some String, Araucania Nature Wool in cream
to steal a line from The Princess Bride. A lot of sickness all around, unfortunately, so blogging fell by the wayside. A little bit of knitting got done, mostly the Roscalie Vest from Alice Starmore's In the Hebrides. Click through for yarn and needle info. It is still unblocked, so be kind! I took three weeks to knit the fair isle, and closer to three months to do the finishing.
I did finish my sister's shadow shawl before Christmas, along with another brioche scarf for my mom's sister. I nearly finished my shadow shawl, but ran out of Anne - so I need to rip back and re-set the centerpoint. I've also learned to knit socks, 2 pair worth. I didn't do the Knitting Olympics, since I had just knit my first vest and first socks, so I had just learned a bunch already. I did knit a pair of socks and a self-designed something for my SP.
I've finally gotten a photo of my sister's first completed project, a Windy City scarf from the first SnB. Just like mine, only without the twisted stitches and fibonacci sequence. Someday I will catch her with the beautiful cables she has been working on in her current three projects.
Obviously the sidebar projects are *long* out of date. What I've learned: I'm not a big fan of felting. Too much after-project work.
I've also discovered that I like playing with color. The two-color brioche scarves are even better than the shadow shawls, since they knit up so much more quickly. The one on the left was the first one that I knit, thought it would work well for one of my aunts. That opened Pandora's box to doing two more for my other aunts. The one in the middle I'm a bit uncertain about - it is "striking" - how many people want a striking scarf? I am also going to be working on a scarf for an aunt on the other side of the family - I can always gift that one instead of the striking scarf and make another.
Secondary result of knitting scarves for aunts - I've had numerous offers to become an adopted niece!
I get about 20-30 hits a day from searches (the background level when life takes over from blogging). I am always curious to see what people are searching for, and whether they have a hope of actually finding it here. Sometimes I know the answer, but it is not in the blog, and there is no way to communicate the knowledge. I could write a new entry with the information, but there is very little chance of the person finding it. That's just not how things work.
There was a person searching for yarn substitutions for the DNA scarf today. It is too bad that they didn't wait a day, since I've found my favorite yarn yet. My first scarf, the Plymouth Baby Alpaca, didn't have enough stitch definition - it was warm with beautiful drape, but the cables were mushy. The second one in Silky Wool had incredible stitch definition, but was too light to make a good scarf. Jamieson's DKdidn't work at all - the cables didn't pop. My swatch in Araucania Nature Wool was also abandoned - I think it would have worked if I had gone up in needle size (from an 8 to a 9) to give the cable elements enough room, but then the scarf would have been too wide.
But the Twisted Sisters Jazz 100% merino in Argent! Heaven! And knitting on 7s gave the perfect size. Soft, drape, warm, beautiful cables. I did four repeats on both sides and extended the ribbing section a bit to display the panels better. I've finally figured out that the pattern, which calls for five repeats, is too long unless you are 6'4" and wear greatcoats. The scarf took two skeins (167 yds each) and had a couple yards left over.
Further news on the DNA knitting front? I think the Classic Elite Yarns Miracle (50% Alpaca, 50% Tencel, #6 needles) comes very close to the original yarn used in the pattern, from Haneke Exotics (25% alpaca, 25% merino, 50% Tencel). So soft and shiny, I could pet it all night long. I'm thinking a DNA cabled hat.