Saturday, August 30, 2008

I've got the chest to pin them on

The Ravelympics have finished and the MN State Fair is almost over - I had a marvelous time participating in both.

I feel as though the Ravelympics have been everywhere in the knit-blogosphere (with 5713 participants it's bound to be), but just in case... it's a personal challenge Knit-A-Long/Crochet-A-Long during the Olympics.
I entered two new projects - I started them after the opening ceremony and finished before the closing ceremony.

Pattern: Sassymetrical
Yarn: Elann Callista "Cafe Cream"
Needles: US 6

Sassymetrical was my first project, and my first adult sized sweater. I am working my way up from baby sweaters to adult sized, and I happened to pick the smallest adult I know - for whom I would actually knit a sweater... my sister (sorry, Dr. Ruth, I just don't know you that well).

Really size doesn't matter! I knit it for her because she is my one and only sister, and also she is a sewer, crocheter and crafty person herself, and recognizes the inherent worth of hand made items - always a plus in a recipient. So I knit her a sweater all for the low, low price of "send me a photo of you in it" (don't forget, sis!).
However... size XS and cropped for my first adult sweater... does that count? The medals say yes!

Remember this is all a personal internet challenge thing, so the medals are just digital images. However - just so you know, in my mind the music from the end of Star Wars: A New Hope is playing.

The yarn I used was a bit finicky, but it drapes well, and I think it will be a good fabric for AZ weather. I feel ready to finally tackle a sweater for myself.

My other Ravelympic project was a baby wrap (so many babies among people I know these days).
Baby Wrap - Front
Pattern: Cache Coeur for baby
Yarn: Bambolicious Zen Yarn Garden "Pine Grove"
Needles: US 3

A few weeks ago I went with a friend to Detta's Spindle. She left with a new spinning wheel, and I left with a back issue of Piecework (the one with the poetry mittens!) and a free copy of The Wheel. The free issue of The Wheel includes this darling baby wrap, a great mobius wrap by the Wollmeise, and a few other patterns. What a super freebie!
With so many babies constantly arriving around me, I had to give the wrap a go.

The bamboo/merino yarn was a perfect fit - very soft. And I only used about 168 yards - it would be a perfect "one skein of koigu" project!

Baby Wrap - Back
The button holes as written in the pattern end up being larger than needed. Large buttons on this wrap just would not be appropriate. Next time I will just do a standard YO K2tog in the center of the button tab.

Baby Wrap - Flat
The new mom seemed to love it - which is always a plus when giving away knitted gifts.
I hope to get a chance to see the baby in it this fall.

I also entered two projects already started before the olympics - they fit into a special WIP category. Sadly neither of those crossed the finish line. One is now in a "time out" until I make a decision about skein to skein color issues (this may involve much frogging), and one just didn't get touched. Oh well.

The other recent fun was the Minnesota State Fair.
So many things to love about the Fair: the food, the animals, the people watching. This year my arm was twisted, and I entered two projects.

I was thrilled to earn a ribbon on my February Baby Sweater.
Feb @ the fair

I had a fabulous time walking around the Creative Activities building with my neighbor and arm twister and taking in all of the beautiful work.
Lovely eye candy from the Fair here, here, here, here, and here.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Farfalle Free-for-all

I added my pattern as a free pdf on Ravelry on Monday night and have been blown away by the faves and queues. Thank you!
I still feel nervous that as knitters start to actually knit with the pattern, a glaring mistake will be realized.
It would be worse if there were a glaring error and no one told me, so consider this an invitation to let me know if you see any problems.

I didn't mention anything about my shoes in the last post (this is for you, Stephanie).
Farfalle Socks 1
These were a recent second hand store purchase.
They were just waiting for me in my exact size. How could I say no?
I'm not sure about the brand - the tag says "marc", and the original price tag inside was in euros. They are super soft leather across the heel - so I think they will wear really well with handknit socks this fall.

Earlier this week I finally got around to dyeing up the last three skeins of plain sock yarn I had sitting around.
Ready to Dye

Last summer I dyed a skein for these Marigold Socks:
Marigold Socks

This time I really wanted to create more rich, saturated colors. I used the same dyes (Wilton's) but this time I kettle dyed, and layered multiple shades and colors in as I went.
(More information about the specific colors I used in my stash pages)

I ended up with...

Coniferous (this color looks oddly familiar)


and Early Girl (I love this tomato color!)
Early Girl

I'm not sure when any knitting will happen with these... but now that they actually exist in the stash (undyed skeins don't count, right?) some ideas are starting to come to mind.
I'm thinking Child's First Sock for the blue skein. Any other recommendations?

I thought I was already too late for sign-ups, but I was able to sneak in just under the wire for Ravelympics. I'll be casting on tomorrow for the Sweater Sprint as well as participating in WIP Wrestling.
Go, Team MN!!

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