Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lady February, How I Love Thee

Here is my February Lady. I just want to call her Lady February because it sounds so regal. I thought about a semi-solid yarn, but then found this Berroco Ultra Alpaca, liked the feel and the price and off I go. It's been breezy so far, with one minor irk about evenly placing the eyelet increases around the body. I don't like it when things don't divide evenly and I'm easily frustrated. I eventually started reading the Ravelry February Lady KAL discussion about this pattern and someone provided a link to this wonderful site that does the math exactly for you. I'm doing this on a size six needle instead of the eight. I'm a fairly loose knitter, and I also wanted this to be a bit smaller than the 35" bustline. We'll see if it bites me in the ass or not.

Striped Shibui socks, originally uploaded by casystotyle.

Unfortunately, I'm not capable of knitting monogamy right now. I started a pair of socks with Shibui solid and variegated yarns. I'm just going to alternate them every five or six rows or so. I hope they turn out like i want. I'm going to roll with the plain stockinette because I want something mindless for work breaks and reading.

I broke down today and bought some Hunter Wellington boots. I've been oogling them forever and just decided to go for it. I got them in chocolate brown. I think that or navy would be most versatile with my closet, but brown appeals to me more. I ordered them from Zappos this morning and within an hour and a half they had shipped, and upgraded my shipping for free. I'm so excited!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Knitting therapy

Knitting therapy, originally uploaded by casystotyle.

This is Bosco. Doggie extraordinaire that belongs to Drew's parents. He is very intelligent and darn cute too.

I am getting my master's in counseling and lately I have been thinking about how I will combine this will my passion for knitting. I feel that it is crucial for a person to have hobbies to stay mentally healthy and well rounded. I've been thinking that group therapy that involves knitting or crochet would be a good way to combine these things. I'm having a hard time finding examples of this, but then again, someone has to get the train rolling.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Give me the gold!

Give me the gold!, originally uploaded by casystotyle.

These are my finished Endpaper Mitts, my Ravelympics project. I finished them early this morning. I really liked this project, so much so that I will probably do two more pairs, but maybe tweak the design slightly. I love the way they look in photographs.

I didn't modify this pattern. I was a bit scared about the Italian tubular cast on and the kitchener cast off, but they ended up being kind of fun and I love the way they look.

These were not blocked for the photo, but are currently blocking. I'm still counting that as done. I would have finished them days ago, but I was using my size 0s on the Jaywalker socks, which are now also done as seen below.

Jaywalker socks, originally uploaded by casystotyle.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Soliciting opinions for this batch of yarn, please. It's a merino alpaca blend. Fifty fifty. I have 800 yards. I want to make a simple cardigan, no pockets necessary. I'm already going to make the February Lady soon. It doesn't have to have pockets, or even close.

Please help! I need opinions about my color combinations. The Manos is going to be a fisherman's rib hat. No help needed there, unless you have a beautiful slouchy free pattern alternative. The color is a bit more pale green in real life. It's a beautiful thing.

Of the smaller skeins, I don't know which colors to combine for Endpaper Mitts. I'm going to make two more pairs, or maybe slightly tweak the design pattern, but I can't decide on the color combos. I like them in every possibility. Right now I'm leaning towards the pale mustard with the tan and the blue with the charcoal. Please provide feedback.

This yarn is going to be the Deep V Argyle Vest by Eunny Jang. I love the feel and shine of this yarn. I'm not a great photographer, but trust me, it's gorgeous. I've been on a yellow kick lately. Can't get enough of it.

This Araucania sock yarn nearly made me go out of my mind winding it. Somehow I ended up with FOUR ends. I nearly threw a fit. I love my new swift and winder, but when I was working on the rust color and trying to keep it untangled I yelled at Drew when he tried to talk to me.

This will most likely be the February Lady sweater, unless I decide to go with the other color above for Feb Lady.

This will be two pairs of striped socks. All Shibui yarn. I'm going with a variegated and pale blue for one pair. I hope it turns out just crazy enough. I'm not sure about that teal and green on the other pair. I'm kind of regretting not just sticking with the green color at this point, but then again, it could be really fun in the end. I think narrower stripes for the green/teal combo and thicker ones for the blue/variegated combo to show off the variegation.

Project pics still to come, probably tomorrow. This is a very post heavy day, but I've been away and I don't usually purchase this much yarn at once.
Muir Woods

Muir woods, originally uploaded by casystotyle.

This is a shot from Muir woods. I would love to go back and spend more time there. It's a very peaceful and beautiful place. I wish it had less tourists!

I didn't want to overload the blog with vacation pics, so if you want to see more you can check them out at my flickr page. I just thought this one was pretty. I've been remiss about labeling them, so I apologize about that if you look at them.

IMG_2847, originally uploaded by casystotyle.

Here is a mid progress shot of my Jaywalkers. I'm much further now, at least five or six inches up the ankle. The beach was kind of chilly, but I was able to knit and take a nice nap there. I will put up some shots of the Endpaper Mitts soon. Maybe just a finished shot. All I have is the ribbing at the top to go! I've been holding off because I'm using my size 0s for the Jaywalkers, but more are coming in the mail.

You might have noticed that this is the yarn from the top of my blog. I've been stashing it for awhile.

IMG_2825, originally uploaded by casystotyle.

I'm back from San Francisco! I went to Imagiknit and Artfibers in San Francisco and Stash in Berkeley, and I'm in love with all of the stores...although a little bit more in love with Imagiknit. You were right Cristina. Hands down the best yarn store I've ever been in.

The staff was very friendly. They seemed like family to each other. I was very impressed with the amount and kinds of yarn. They had everything I wanted at the time. I went in looking for Shibui sock yarn, Noro Silk Garden Lite, and Koigu. I ended up not buying the Noro or Koigu, but a bunch of other stuff. I was wishing there were more colors of Shibui, but they said it had been selling quickly.

I will put up some pics or all my yarn soon. I've just been lazy and in pain since I got back. I will explain that in a second. Ok, Artfibers. I loved the shop too. They had little samples of everything so you could swatch, which I think is very awesome. I was looking for more colors for Endpaper Mitts and found an awesome aquamarine color, but no other color of the same type to go with it. I found some in a much fuzzier yarn, but thought I wouldn't be able to stand the texture difference. I wished for more color variety in the different types of yarn.

Stash was really cool too. The woman working there was friendly, but let me have my space, which I like. I bought a bunch of sock yarn for Endpaper Mitts and more Shibui for socks. They had much more Shibui than Imagiknit. They also had a ton of Manos in solid colors. I bought some for a hat.

All in all I was very pleased with my yarn purchases. I got yarn for two sweaters, the Deep V Argyle Vest, four pairs of socks, and two pairs of Endpaper Mitts or some interpretation of that. I also broke down and ordered a ball winder and swift. The nostepinne is quaint and lovely, but I need to get this stuff moving faster. I'm impatient and taking three hours to wind a 291 yard ball of sock yarn (granted, I'm probably extra slow) is more than I can stand.

Oh yeah, the pain. I had to get a root canal the day after I got back. Yuck. They could only do half because they think I have this hidden freak tiny canal, so they put some meds up there and closed it up. It's throbbing like crazy and I can only sleep five hours at night because the hydrocodone and ibuprofen wear off after that and I wake up in hella pain. Grrr. I will get it finished on Sept. 2nd. I pray that it mellows out soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

DSC03954, originally uploaded by casystotyle.

Leaving on a jet plane.....

I leave for San Francisco in the morning for a week. I'm very excited. I'm planning on visiting ImagiKnit, ArtFibers, and Greenwich Yarn, and maybe Noe Knit. Even if I only make it to ImagiKnit I will be satisfied because their stocklist has all of the brands I want. I'm buying for one, or maybe two sweaters, sock yarn of course, maybe some of it for more Endpaper Mitts.

The mitts are coming along swimmingly. I'm up to the thumb increases on the palm. I only had to rip back once about a half inch more towards the beginning. I love doing them both at once. Then neither has to be lonely while I suffer from second mitt syndrome.

Hopefully I'll have some fun vacay pics up soon, as well as more progress on the mitts. I got all paranoid about getting through my projects too fast so I brought some extra sock yarn and a couple of possible patterns. I must be getting cocky. I'm sure I'll buy yarn there that I would rather play with first, and I can't keep the Jaywalkers hanging forever.

By the way, that nostepinne makes really nice yarn cakes, but I'm pretty darn slow with it so far. I'm hoping to get faster. The cakes I made for the mitts are keeping me sane because I didn't have to separate everything into four little balls.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Knitting Olympics! Here is my project. The Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang. Not loving my colors as much as when I picked them. I realized they match little in my wardrobe. I'm probably going to make another pair in a mustard and gray color. Or dark gray and pale pale turquoise. I went to my LYS and was in a hurry to pick out two Koigu PPMs that would go together.

I'm doing them both at once magic loop because I can't break myself of this habit. So far so good. I just have to be gentle and pay attention so that I don't twist the yarn. I'm not a speed demon at this anyway since it's my first fair isle. I haven't knit English style in awhile. I'm knitting Continental with my left hand for the MC and English for the CC with my right hand. Have to say, I don't miss the English.

The Jaywalkers are on hold for now because I only have on size 0 needle and I needed it for this project. I might finish before the olympics are over, but I will also be in San Francisco for 7 days, so there's no guarantee of solid knitting time like I have at home. The Jaywalkers will go with me too just in case. If anyone knows of an awesome yarn store to go to in San Francisco (or any other must see spot) please let me know. I've been there once, but it was a very touristy trip.

Cave cat, originally uploaded by casystotyle.

Introducing Oscar. He's a Maine Coon cat. I don't think I've put a picture of him on this blog yet. He's a bit reclusive because Seymour plays the alpha male far too often. Oscar is a sweetie. He loves to snuggle and lick your face. It's a bit dog-like.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Jaywalkers , originally uploaded by casystotyle.

Here are my sweet Jaywalkers. The Koigu colors are, of course, much more vibrant and beautiful in real life. I've been saving this Koigu for a long time and I'm really happy about the way these socks are turning out. The pattern is pretty fun and easy. I had to go smaller on the needles and number of stitches. My feet are not particularly small either. I'm a nine and nine inches circumference, but I tried twice before with crazy looseness. Anyone have suggestions for other patterns that work well with variagated yarn? I have more Koigu to use and some Colinette semi-solid yarn. I think I will do something lacy for the Colinette, but I want a fairly mindless and cute pattern for the Koigu.

IMG_2739, originally uploaded by casystotyle.

This came in the mail yesterday! A nostepinne is for winding center pull balls without the winder. It was about half the price of a winder and supposedly is easier on the yarn. I wanted something portable since I'm going to San Francisco in a week and probably will buy something to start there. Plus I like the idea of something kind of old fashioned and I actually have no table that I could mount a regular ball winder on anyway. I ordered it from finnsheep on etsy. I ordered it last Thursday night and received it on Tuesday, so the whole transaction was pretty fast. They have lots of pretty wood too.

IMG_2740, originally uploaded by casystotyle.

I actually finished these a couple of days ago, but I'm a lazy blogger. When I took these pictures outside there was an extreme heat advisory with high humidity in effect. Nasty hot. And I was handling wool. I feel like a warrior.

These socks are not blocked yet. Waiting till I finish my current Jaywalkers. I have been having some difficulty with these Jaywalkers. I guess I'm a pretty loose knitter because I had to go down to a size 0 needle and 56 sts around the foot before the pattern increases. So now they have 28 on the sole and 34 on the pattern side. They still seem a bit loose to me, but I ripped them out twice and I'm not going to do it again. Saying that is probably a recipe for disaster. I will post pictures soon.

Monday, August 04, 2008


At work in the library at the reference desk. I have only 25 minutes to go! My stomach is eating itself. Knitting progress is good. Finished another ball band dishcloth. Cream and brown colors. Kinda boring. Finished the toe-up socks with the Charade pattern stitch. This stitch pattern is simple but beautiful and a pleasure to knit. I will post some pics soon, but probably not on foot until I give them to the recipient.

I've started some new socks. I'm going toe-up again because I can't resist it. It's some lovely green Koigu that I've been hoarding for a couple of years because I thought socks were tedious back then. I was discounting their portability and fun colors, obviously. I'm doing the Jaywalker pattern in the toe-up version I found on Ravelry. Yes, everyone has done this sock, and I'm jumping on the bandwagon. Thanks Grumperina for making that possible.

I love Ravelry. It's so awesome to be able to find out so much information about a pattern quickly, see other people's results, and have access to tons of free patterns. Thank you Casey and Jess for building it.

Speaking of loves...I may have fallen hard for Addi Turbo Lace needles. I used them for the first time on the Charade socks, and now I will for the Jaywalkers. I have sweaty hands a good deal of the time, which can be kind of a handicap for knitting. I never use wood. That's like gluing the yarn to the needle for me. Probably grossing you out...who am I one reads this blog.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I've been meaning to post this for awhile. My birthday was mid-July. Twenty-seven now. Think it will be a good year. I will graduate with my master's and hopefully move somewhere a bit more exciting. I'm aching for a bigger city. We'll see. Anyway, this was made by my boyfriend's mom for me. It was a complete and beautiful surprise. Holding it in the light does it the most justice for a photograph. I love it.

Cat in couch, originally uploaded by casystotyle.

Just for laughs. Seymour is pretty laid back. I swear, we don't abuse him with the couch stuffing. As soon as he got in there he started cleaning his face. He wasn't even mad.

Ah yes. Many have made these. I am yet another in the band of followers. Quick and fun. Looking at it before I saw the pattern I thought they would be kind of crazy and weird to do. The pattern is actually really simple and fun. i haven't woven in the ends here. I'm just hiding them from you. These are intended as a housewarming gift for my upcoming trip to San Francisco. Going with the boy and staying at his parent's house. I wanted to give a little knitted gift and thought this might be a useful one. Is it lame and too domestic?

Finished stripers for Drew, originally uploaded by casystotyle.

Can't stop posting the FOs, but if I don't do it now I'll put it off forever. More Regia self-striping. Super anal about the stripes matching up. Not much more to say. I was happy with them, and so is the boy.

IMG_2710, originally uploaded by casystotyle.

Here is my most current project. There are about three more inches per sock now, but I was too lazy to update the picture. These are a gift for a person that I'm sure never reads this blog. I think she'll be excited. She's not a knitter, but an artist, and seems to have a high appreciation of knitted goods. I'm very excited to gift them.

They're smaller than my feet allow, so I'm not cramming my feet into them for the picture. The plant just wanted to provide a nice color background. It's the Charade sock pattern. Really just the herringbone stitch the toe up magic loop way.

Seriously, part of the reason I'm so obsessed with toe up is my irrational fear of the kitchener stitch. I'll get there someday. I hear it's a breeze once you get the hang of it, but I've only had one successful run of it and a whole lot of mess otherwise.

IMG_2701, originally uploaded by casystotyle.

Swear I'm not kicking the cat. Just tried to get him involved in the photo shoot.

Socks in the grass, originally uploaded by casystotyle.

Most recent FO. Tried to sharpen the pic since it was a little blurry, but I don't know if that just made it weird looking or not. I used some Regia Jaquard self striping yarn. I was pretty fun and rewarding so see knew color after color appearing. It was a boring ol' stockinette sock so the colors kept my spirit up. I was kinda anal about the stripes matching up. When one was behind I changed my tension to catch them up, and it seemed to work out okay. I really like the KnitPicks sock pattern for two-at-a-time, toe up magic loop with a heel flap. What more could I want in a sock pattern? I love using almost every last scrap of the yarn. I am thinking I will try to adapt all future sock patterns to use this method. A worthy challenge.