Friday, October 31, 2008

08:24 Oak Ribbed Socks

::whew:: Who would have thought at this moment, other than Obama and McCain, there would be somebody else in this world sprinting to the finish line? LOL!

Happy Halloween, everybody! The kids in the neighbourhood haven't come out yet ... but the candies are ready. And my October socks are also ready just in time for my SAM:



I have started this pair quite some time ago. The yarns had been sitting in the stash for a long time. They are some very basic Elann sock yarns ... which I have determined to use up gradually. They are not yummy buttery yarn, but would be very hard wearing.

Details:
Pattern: Oak Ribbed Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks
Yarn: Elann SITM Collection Puzzle (75% Superwash Wool; 25% Polyamide) a little bit more than 1 skein
Needles: Hiya Hiya Staninless Steel dpns US1
Cast On: 08-31-08
Cast Off: 10-31-08

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Problem with HaloScan

I use HaloScan for you to leave comments. Francesca kindly informed me that the link to the HaloScan comment didn't show up on the blog (big big thanks, Francesca!). Obviously, I don't know how to fix it. But if you want to leave a comment (which is always welcome!), you can click "Link to this post" ... which will take you to the post with the HaloScan comment section.

I'm sorry for this hiccup ... I'll try to figure out what the problem is. :) But thanks for visiting and your patience.

Happy Knitting.

Monday, October 27, 2008

08:23 Eastlake Sweater

Yeah! It's finished! and everything works out fine! ::high five::

The greatest worry - the neckline - also turns out great.

Looking at the freshly finished Eastlake, I suddenly had the realization: I do love sweaters with a flared shape - DROPS jacket, Ink Flared and the latest Eastlake ... and I have a couple on my mental to-do list. Actually, I have started a new project which happens to be in a similar shape! But that's for the next post ... LOL!




Details:
Project: Eastlake Sweater designed by Norah Gaughan from Berroco: Norah Gaughan Vol. 3
I bought this pattern book mainly for Eastlake Sweater and Calvert. The pattern of Eastlake is actually very simple with just one unconventional feature ... which turns out great because the neck extention wraps around the back of the neck.

The whole sweater is mainly in stocking stitches, with the main eye-catching wheat-pattern and the eyelet rows adding to the interest. I love it! Love it! Love it!

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease Col: 156 Mint 4 balls
Same yarn same colour as another Norah Gaughan project ... love this yarn, love this colour!

Needles: Audi Turbo Circular 4.5mm

Cast On: 10-16-2008
Cast Off: 10-25-2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Man Who Made History

No matter what the result would be on November 4, Barack Obama has left his mark in history.

I got this link from Kerstin ... do go there and have a look as there are some fantastic shots of Obama's campaign trail.

Husband's favourites: Obama cleaning after himself in an ice-cream shop and the famous shot of the holes under his shoes. I love these too, but the one that most captured me is the one with the 2 little boys' eyes fixated on an Obama not in the picture. Remember to read the caption ... it brought tears to my eyes.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Unconventional

Every time when there is something unconventional in a knitting pattern, I am always eager to try it out ... to see if it works. But at the same time, I am very worried that the doubt would turn out to be true.

For the Eastlake Sweater, it is the neck extentions:
It is not that obvious in the photo from the last post. This is how it works:
- the two neck extentions are joined at the back (as you can see in the photo).
- the shoulder seams are sewn together.
- the joined neck extention would be sewn to the back of the sweater.

I'm sure it would work. What I'm not sure is if the sweater works on me. I guess we'll know very soon ... both sleeves are done now (3/4 sleeves ... so even faster). Stay tuned.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Update on the Weekend knitting

This is why people like thick yarns big needles ... the projects basically just fly off the needles. Cotton Ease is far from being a "thick yarn", but if your last sweater project used 2 strands of lace yarns, Cotton Ease would feel pretty rope-like.

The back of Eastlake sweater was finished in one day. The front took a bit longer but was done over the weekend:
I didn't read the pattern in detailed and just did the decrease along the chest evenly across. This is why you would see the wheat pattern kind of pushed the purled rows up a bit. I may have to see how that fits when I wear it. Hopefully, I won't have to change anything. ::fingers crossed::

Thursday, October 16, 2008

19 more days to go

I watched the debate last night, did you? One of the post-debate comments on Obama was that he was very calm and composed, almost too much as to appear aloof, not as passionate as McCain. This is a great strength in a leader, no? You keep your cool, you listen, analyze and work out a way to solve the problem or handle the situation. I've seen Obama giving speeches on tv. When it came to issues he cares about, he is definitely passionate.

Some said he was not engaged in the debate. I think, to be more specific, he was not engaged in areas his opponents wished him to. This is exactly the way to deal with them, I think. You decide what you think most deserves to be engaged in, not falling into the traps laid by you opponent ... just like you don't get into a stupid fight in a bar when provoked by a drunk.

I almost threw a pattern book at the tv when McCain did the air-quote.

I hope after his 15-minute today, everybody would leave Joe-the-plumber alone.

I was able to finish the back of a new sweater (Eastlake) last night watching the debate:
As you can see, the front was also started. I would put turbo charge on this project ... hopefully I won't need wool sweaters until the end of November.

Surely, I also started the Booby Socks:
So far so good. However, there is one thing I am not too happy about:
I don't have too serious problem with laddering like this when the stitches are knit ones. Purl stitches, however, are bad ... really bad. :(

Monday, October 13, 2008

08:22 Austrian Alpine Treasure

Too bad the mythical Bigfoot is still in hiding, otherwise I would invite him/her to model my new project. It is indeed a pretty big sock to fill in, but I did my best:


It has been quite a fun project to work with as I love the travelling stitches and the intricacies of the patterns. But towards the end, the stocking has become quite heavy ... and I was just relieved that we usually just made one Christmas stocking instead of a pair!

Since this is a Christmas stocking, we need presents! Husband jokingly said that I could put an SUV inside "that thing"! LOL! But what's better than yarns as presents for knitters?
Answer: Yarns overflowing from the Christmas stocking! YAY!



Details:
Pattern: Austrian Alpine Treasure (Ravelry) designed by Candace Eisner Strick from Christmas Stockings: 18 Holiday Treasures to Knit
The problem with knitting Christmas stocking for me is that in non-Christmas time, I am not really a fan of those Christmas colours. This means I usually don't have those colours in my stash ... and I would be very reluctant to buy those colours. The Austrian Alpine Treasure is perfect for me in this aspect.
Have I told you I love the travelling stitch?

Yarn: Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool in Natural (100% wool)
I forgot to weigh the stocking so I can't tell you how much yarn I have used. The yarn was recycled from an unsuccessful attempt at making the Must-Have Cardigan. I like this yarn though it doesn't belong to the "buttery soft" category. I am still going to use this yarn for a cardigan ... just waiting for the right pattern. The more exciting news is there is a chocolate brown colour available now.

Needles: Addi Turbo Circular and Addi Lace Circular in 3.5mm
I have to use 2 circulars as I don't have a shorter one.

Cast On: 10-02-2008
Cast Off: 10-13-2008

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It is October. When I received the newsletter from the LYS that they were carrying the Skacel's Booby Sock kit, I jumped on my car (it was too far to walk and I still don't have a bike yet) and hauled this back home:
Not only is Skacel donating the proceeds to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research Center, but the LYS is also donating 25% of the kit's sales to the same institution. If your LYS don't carry this kit, you can follow the link above to get one.

I am very eager to start this project. So, I have been working hard on my Christmas stocking:
The second pattern in the centre panel is a Christmas tree! Cute, huh? Now I have one more pattern to go before heel turning.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Prepare for Christmas

If you ask me now, I would tell you what I wish most now is for the Election Day to be held tomorrow. Though I know these are mainly acts of desperation, nasty low blows like these still make my blood boil. I hope the Obama camp can continue to stick to the important issues instead of falling into the traps.

Oops, slipped into politics again. Sorry.

2 months before Christmas. If you've been here this time of year before, you should know that I am not an avid Christmas-gift knitter. No exception this year. But this year, I do want to do something more Christmasy (?) and I have wanted to knit Christmas stocking for some time. The SKA Sockdown gives me a push.

I have chosen a gorgeous pattern (Austrian Alpine Treasure) from Interweave Press's Christmas Stockings:
There are 3 main patterns in the centre panel and I have finished one of them:
The written instructions and explanation of travelling stitch from the book were a bit confusing to me. So, I dropped reading that completely and just followed the charts (hooray for knitting charts!). I especially love the intricate side panels:
For the yarn, the designer's notes didn't recommend substituting the original yarn (Rauma 3 ply Strikkegarn) ... which I fail to understand why. Luckily I had experience of using this yarn ... and I felt that Lion Brand's Fisherman Wool would be a possible candidate for substitution. So far I am happy. :)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

08:21 Maude

I finally made the decision ... no long sleeves. This is not just because I was lazy. I did give some thought to the sleeve-lengthening, and it is actually do-able. But the weather lately made me realize having Maude in its original short-sleeve version is better for layering. Besides, I felt like having spent enough time on this.



Details:
Pattern: Maude designed by Diane Mulholland from The Inside Loop
I am glad that I decided to start with the size S first. The size of the neck opening is just right for me. Actually, everything is just right. The sweater looked pretty damn cute on the Inside Loop model ... and when I decided to make it, I did wish it would do the same on me ... hahaha ... and it doesn't disappoint! I love it! Okay, other than some hiccups with the lace pattern and the fatigue from knitting in the round, I love this pattern!
I found some vintage golden-coloured buttons in my stash. I think the bling goes well with the black ... LOL!

Yarn: JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18 lace weight(50% Chinese Tussah silk, 50% fine grade Merino wool) in Ebony used doubled
Honestly, I don't mind knitting with this yarn all the time. It is just good stuff. ;)

Needles: Addi Lace Circulars 3mm; Clover bamboo dpns 4.5mm (for binding off)

Cast On
: 09-03-2008
Cast Off: 10-01-2008