Dreaming about colors

You know you have gotten too obsessed about Fair Isle when you start dreaming about colors. I have been really involved with planning a new project. I saw the Alba Jacket by Alice Starmore in her book The Celtic Collection and fell in love.  Since this time, I have made a lot of choices and have changed my mind just as much!

I tried to take my time and plan it well, but I may have jumped the gun a wee bit. Money is tight, so I was going to wait until after the tax return before starting it, but I really needed to see the yarn colors in person. I had also planned on making it with Spindrift. I had checked other people that had made this sweater and many of them used Spindrift.  Another knitter from Ravelry generously went through her stash and mailed me samples of many of the colors I was interested in, plus quite a few other colors. She also sent me 2 hanks of Jamieson DK. I ordered the rest of the colors from SheEweKnits and planned on just making a swatch for Gauge and to see how the colors turned out in the pattern. 

It wasn’t until after I got the yarn from Marina and knit up this hat for Victoria with it that I decided to use DK to make the sweater. Since I already had most of the colors now in Spindrift I went ahead and ordered 2 more that I need to make a color swatch in Spindrift as well. I have spent about $40 already on yarn I won’t use for the sweater. Not so good, but lesson learned.


Victoria hat made with Jamieson DK

Victoria hat made with Jamieson DK

So not only have I changed my mind on the yarn to use, but also the colors. Since getting the Spindrift and looking at it (see previous post) I have changed my mind. Here is an idea of what it may look like. Keep in mind I won’t know really until I get the 2 missing colors and knit up a swatch.



edited to add: I really did dream about colors last night!

No Second Sock Syndrome for me!

I know I said in my last post that I would not start the second sock right now.   Well, the first one felt so soft and warm on my foot that I couldn’t bear to wait any longer and started knitting the second one. This yarn is so soft, I just love it! It is KnitPicks Gloss.

Here is where I am at now with the socks. Currently working on the gussett.


Wave Socks

Wave Socks

I need to get a size 5 needle to make the dress for Victoria. I wonder if I should use 24″ or 32″. The pattern is written flat, but I will knit it in the round. and switch to back and forth when I get to the arm holes. That will be my next project. 

I should be getting some Jamieson Spindrift sample in the mail soon. A wonderful person on Ravelry is sending me some of her leftovers so I can at least do a gauge swatch and see what the colors look like. I had to order some full skeins from SheEweKnits to complete the color pallet. I can’t wait to see how it looks. I also found a copy of Simply Shetland 4 so I can make an Autumn Rose Sweater for Rachael. I will be able to make this sweater for under $40 using KnitPicks Palette yarn! You can’t beat that! If I made it with the suggested yarn, it would cost $115. I can afford to make so much more projects because of Knitpicks. They are great!

So that’s it for now. Nothing new and exciting.

Update on the Wave Socks

Just a little update on the wave socks. I am still on the first one. Almost done. This yarn is Gloss from Knitpicks and it is wonderful. I love the colors and the yarn is sooooo soft. I recommend it highly, but with one minor criticism. It is so soft it slides right through my fingers and I find it hard to keep tension on the yarn.

I know I swore I would never do the second sock syndrome thing, but I may knit a plain ribbed pair after this. I need something mindless I can pull out once in a while that only uses one color. Here is the first sock.


Wave Sock

Wave Sock

Here it is on my foot so you can see how far I have left to go.


The first Wave Sock

The first Wave Sock

On another note, I had to frog the St Brigid sweater I started with the Lopi Lite. My cast on was twisted and I didn’t notice until the fifth row. It’s ok. I am still on the fence with this. I can’t make up my mind if I should use the Lopi or order some Wool of the Andes from Knit Picks.

Plans set for 2009

OK, I have a tentative schedule for 2009. It is very ambitious, but of all the projects, only 4 are “must do’s”

I broke them out between big projects and little ones. The intention is that I can have a couple of small projects going and one major one. First the “must do’s”

  1. The Emma Peet dress for Victoria. This will be next. I ordered the book from the library and as soon as it comes in I will start this. Should be a quickie.
  2. Autumn Rose for Rachael. This will be next in queue. Will be for her birthday but want to ensure it gets done in time. I must buy the pattern book for this. Knit Picks won’t have it until June. May have to wait.
  3. My husband deserves a special gift. He is the most wonderful man so I am going to make him the beautiful St Edna by Alice Starmore.  Here is a picture of someone else’s completed project. It is nice and loose fitting the way he likes.
  4. Kimono Baby Sweater from the book Mason Dixon Knitting. This will be for DJ’s baby coming in April and will be a quick knit.

Here are the things I would like to do, but may not have time:

  1. Alba Jacket by Alice Starmore. This is so beautiful I would love to have this one day.
  2. St Brigid sweater by Alice Starmore. Another breathtaking beauty. Maybe this year? The woman in the link made hers with a hood. What a great idea! I would never be that bold.
  3. Frog “the Thing” and make EZ’s Aran Jacket
  4. Lots of socks!
  5. Hats with leftover Lopi
  6. Moebius scarf with the black alpaca
  7. Still not sure what to make with all that Lopi Lite I have.  I don’t think it will serve well with the St Brigid. It is too dark to see all the beautiful cable work.

Here is The St Brigid I started. I am using the dark burgundy Lopi Lite and I made gauge using US4. The pattern calls for 7’s and I am thinking maybe I should go up to a 5. I am going to continue until I finish one set of the cable pattern and measure again. See if my gauge is too tight. Then I will frog it.  I need a different yarn for this. Maybe some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes. 


Started St Brigid in Lopi Lite Cordovan

Started St Brigid in Lopi Lite Cordovan

As you can see this is too dark a color for a cable sweater.


Here is the St Edna I want to make Marc. This photo I got from ravelry. It is not my work. Just borrowed the photo so you could see what it will look like.


St Edna for Marc

St Edna for Marc

Making plans for 2009

I was listening to the Knit Picks Podcast yesterday and the topic was New Year’s resolutions. I wish I could be as resolute as Kelly Pektun, but I have long since given up on setting resolutions. However, I don’t see why I can’t make some knitting plans. Sounds like a good idea. This way when I finish my next pair of socks and the Fair isle for my MIL, I won’t start scratching my head wondering what to do.

So first thing I must do is sort through my available stash. I am not a big stash hoarder. I simply don’t have the room in my tiny little row house. I do have some yarns leftover from old projects and I have a bunch of Lopi lite that I can’t decide what to do with. I also have a nice selection of sock yarn that can keep me busy making socks for the rest of the year for sure.

Step 2 is to decide what I want to do with all my stashed yarn. I could make hats and I want to try some moebius knitting. I could also make that adorable Alan Dart Gnome that I bought the pattern for. I will make a Zimmermann sweater with my Lopi yarn. My Zimmermann books should be here in the mail any day now. I purchased them with the Knit Picks gift certificate I got from my sis for Christmas.

I also have some cotton yarn I won from the Mason Dixon blog. With this I will make the dress from their book, Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines for Marc’s Goddaughter, Victoria. It will look really cute with some leggings. I think I will make that next. Or maybe even start it right away so she can wear it this year. Looks like a quick knit and  I could give it to her for her birthday.

Step 3 – decide very carefully what big projects I want to work on and invest in. I know one is the sweater that my DD Rachael wants. It is the Autumn Rose pullover and it can be made very economically using Knit Picks Yarn. Trouble is they won’t have the pattern book available until June of this year. That means I would have to knit it over the summer for her Bday in September. Should be doable. I could order the pattern book from CVF but that means big shipping costs.

I also know that I want to make an Alice Starmore design this year. I think my skills are now worthy of her beautiful designs. There is also a beautiful design by her daughter Jade called Firebirds that I would love to knit some day. It will be very difficult to pick the design to make. They are all so beautiful, but at $200 a kit, I must be choosy. This is not something I can afford to do often. This will be a tax return treat.

Lastly, I will allow myself to splurge a little when I go to Rhinebeck this year. Maybe a Philosophers kit? 😀 I love their wool even if it is a little pricey. It is not all dried out. It is soft and I just love it. They will be there and this will also save me shipping so, yes, perhaps a new Philosophers sweater to make in 2010!

So that should do it for 2009. So, over the next couple of days I will make a set plan of exactly what I want to make and in what order. I will post it here once I have made the decisions! This should be fun and I really don’t have to hold myself to anything if I don’t want to.

Colorwork socks

I have been working diligently on my second pair of socks and they are coming along nicely. I find I enjoy knitting socks for a few reasons:

  • They are quick
  • Not a lot of finishing work
  • Stay interesting by changing often

I don’t get bored knitting socks because the heel and gusset break it up and keep it interesting. The only finishing work is grafting the toe, which I think is easy.  I also love to knit with lots of colors. 

This pair is a learning experience as far as knitting with 2 colors at a time. I knit the leg part of the sock the way I do my fair isle sweaters which is weaving through every other stitch. The problem doing this on the sock is it makes it very tight and not enough stretch to get the sock on easily. For the foot part I have started knitting inside out and now I am carrying the yarn instead of weaving it. This should enable a little more give when I try to get the sock on. I sure hope when this is done I will be able to get this sock on my foot!

Here it is inside out:


The sock inside out

The sock inside out

and turned right side out:


Right side out

Right side out


I picked up the Barbara Walker book from the library. It is the 2nd of her knitting pattern series called A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns. Wow, there are a lot of patterns in this book! I don’t think I would ever purchase any of her books. I don’t need this many patterns. This book is for the designers out there who love to design their own patterns. Maybe I will design my own sweater some day, but if that day comes I would just borrow it again from the library. I think I will cancel the holds on the other books. My curiosity is satisfied.

In the Barbara Walker book there are other helpful articles including one on changing a pattern to knit in the round which I found interesting and helpful. Her introduction was nice reading too, but I will save my $30 for other things. Like the designer I just discovered, Alice Starmore!

What beautiful designs! I am in love with them and I can’t wait to get my hands on some of her books. I have ordered some via the library and I put the ones that are still available for purchase in my Amazon wish list. Maybe when I get my tax return I will allow myself this little treat. A lot of her work is out of print, but you can still get them if you order yarn from her store. It is a little pricy and then the exchange rate makes it even more expensive. One day I am going to order one of her kits. I must have one, but I will have to take my time choosing. This will be a tough decision!

Not only are her patterns works of art, but the colors she has created for her yarns are just breathtaking. She has 4 colorways named after different aspects of nature. I love all the colors and the way they go together. Amazing. The stories that are behind the colors are so interesting. You must go read about them on her site! The colorways are named Moor and Mountain, Sea and Shoreline, Birds, and Summer Isle. The colors she has are all taken from her natural surroundings in Hebridean island where she was born and still lives. She takes you there with her stories. It makes me want to make a sweater with her yarns so I can wear a piece of that beautiful island’s beauty. Go see for yourself!

Moebius knitting

I have been checking out patterns for Moebius knitting on Ravelry. I am excited about trying this and have put a hold on Cat Bordhi’s Magical Knitting book at the library. I think a nicely draped shawl in a soft yarn I would love. What yarn to use? I would probably buy a cheap one for my first try but eventually would like to make one in a soft decadent fiber. 

Since finishing the Icelandic Yoke Sweater which is much better now that I adjusted the neck line, I have decided to pick up the Fair Isle sweater I am working on for my MIL. I am working on the second sleeve right now and it is coming along well. I am wondering if I might run out of yarn though, so I may change it up by switching around where I use the different colors. I think it will still look fine if I do this. The other option is order more yarn from Philosopher’s Wool, but I would rather make due with what I have.

Here is a picture of one of the sleeves:


Fair Isle - fist sleeve

Fair Isle - fist sleeve

The wave socks are pretty much hibernating right now. I really should finish it up. Maybe I will work on that today instead. I really should, shouldn’t I? OK , sock it is. 

Oh, I also have a book to pick up from the library. It is one of Barbara Walkers stitch books. I want to take a look at them to see if it is something I would want to add to my library in the future.

Happy Knitting!

Fuzzy Yarn

I am not good with fuzzy yarns at all. Perhaps if I had sharper pointed needles it would have been easier. I am using Suri Dream from Knitpicks. It is a lovely yarn. So soft and I like the color very much too. It came with a simple lace scarf pattern that I thought I would make for my Mother in Law. I quickly became frustrated. It is so fuzzy, I couldn’t see what I was doing. 

I ended up crocheting it instead. It is easier for me to crochet with this yarn, but not as pretty. I wish I could knit with this yarn. I really love it, but I don’t have the patience.

By the way, it doesn’t frog well either.