Monster Knit Rally

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Knitting Away

I've done quite a bit of knitting this week, and reached my goal of finishing all the knitting for my sweater by the end of the Olympics. Yay me. (Pictures soon!) This week I will do the finishing - weaving in ends, seaming, blocking, and wearing (if all comes out as planned).

I also worked on another craft project today - a paper bowl made out of recycled magazines (not so detailed tutorial on craftster in the featured projects section). I think mine needs a little work before I'm willing to share a photo. But I like projects that use materials that would otherwise be thrown away, so I'm definitely into this project, and may try out a few variations on it as well. Details to come.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Going strong

Despite my complaint about the repetitiveness of the pattern, my olympic sweater is progressing quite nicely. I now have both a back and a front! Sleeve number one will be started tomorrow, and my goal is to complete it by the end of knitting group on Wednesday... we'll see.

This evening I also made tea eggs.

Both the eggs and the shells are so pretty. I almost didn't want to throw the shells away. The eggs are also quite tasty. These were made from a recipe in the Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates cookbook, which Mr. Cool's parents gave us for the holidays. The eggs are boiled for 5-6 minutes in plain water, then you crack the shells all over with the back of a spoon, then the eggs are boiled again for an extended period of time in black tea with some other seasonings. I will definitely be making these again - and most likely in a larger batch.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Corners of my Home

I've been seeing this theme/meme/whatever on other folks blogs for a while, and I really like the idea. This is my first post in this theme, and I decided to photograph something that has had different incarnations in most of the many apartments I've lived in. It's my tea stash. Mostly, I've stored my tea on shelves or counters, or in cabinets or drawers. Drawers seem to be my favorite, but this is the first time I've used the top rack of a dishwasher as my tea drawer. (No, the dishwasher is not used for washing dishes.) The tea fits quite nicely, but the dishwasher does have a faint chemical smell from whatever people who lived here before washed their dishes with.

Olympic progress

So how's Team Northern Arizona doing, you might ask? Well, the only people asking are probably Amanda and my mom, but I'll share anyway. (Amanda, I hope you're doing a bit better than in your last post! I know it's frustrating when patterns seem to have been written in an alternate dimension). I'm probably a bit behind where I should be, but am making decent progress. This photo is the back of the sweater in progress earlier this week.

Here's the completed back of the sweater (finished Thursday evening). I've started the front, but since I'm only 4 or 5 inches in and it's identical to the back (until the neckline), I didn't bother with a photo.

No offense to the yarn (which is lovely to work with), or the pattern (which is adorable and well-written), but I'm getting a little bored already. Perhaps I should have picked something more challenging than ALL stockinette. It's my first sweater though, so I didn't want to choose something discouragingly hard. That'll be my second sweater.

Friday, February 10, 2006

My first sweater and some hat photos

Hats in progress...

Recently finished hats:
This one will be for sale.

And this one is all mine!

My first real sweater is from a pattern in the Fall issue of Interweave Knits. I've made one cap sleeve sweater before, but this will be my first sweater with sleeves. The yarn is so soft and wonderful to knit with - it's Baby Alpaca Brush from Plymouth Yarn Co. I wasn't going to do the Knitting Olympics, but the yarn for this sweater just came in, so I think I'll use it as an excuse to drop all my other projects and just work on this. Plus, I just found out Zhinka Dinka Doo is also from Northern AZ, so I have to join her team and put up the cute button she made. I haven't joined officially, but I will try to follow the rules and go along with the spirit of it.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Project update & Denise needle review

Currently I am working on an afghan (with the Lion Homespun pictured at the end of this post), which is more of a long term project, and a few hats. Two of them would have been finished yesterday during a seminar at work, but I forgot to bring my dpns (double pointed needles). I've also finished two other hats in the last couple of weeks and have been wearing one of them non-stop. I'm having lots of fun mixing some very different yarns together and knitting with two or three yarns at a time. I hope to have photos up soon.

I've been using my new Denise interchangeable needle set for most of this knitting, and I am quite pleased with it. I've heard that the interchangeable needles that screw together have a tendency to work themselves loose as you knit. These needles snap together instead (they lock into place with a quarter turn) and I only had them come apart once when I was first trying them and didn't quite snap it into place right. I got used to how they work quickly though, and it hasn't happened again. Yes, the needles are plastic, so they don't feel quite as nice on the hands as say, rosewood. But they are very pointy and easy to knit with. My new favorite trick when knitting in the round is to use a needle one size down for the needle the stitches are coming off of (since the needle that creates the guage is the needle you're knitting on to) so the stitches slide off the needle extra easily as you knit along.