Soooo, what do you think of the new blog theme? I was getting bored with the old one and I thought it was time for a change.

On the knitting front, I seem to be on a sock-knitting kick. When I first started knitting socks, I was facinated by Pomatomus. It looks so intricate and difficult and there was no way I was going to even attempt them until I felt that I could do them justice. I originally thought I would do it in some sort of blue colorway to match the pattern but then I saw these on Ravelry. The idea of Pomatomus in red, not to mention the fact that I loooove Colinette Jitterbug AND I just happened to have the some Jitterbug in Fire in my stash…well, that is just too many coincidences so last night I cast on these…

I love this colorway and it’s funny…I don’t have any red socks even though I do wear quite a bit of red these days.  So far, they are moving fairly quickly so hopefully I will have a FO post sometime next week!

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I think this is kind of a sad name for a pattern but the end result is worth it…

Pattern:  Broken Dreams by Kristin Benecken

Yarn:  Numma Numma Saucy, Cucumber Mint colorway

Needles:  US 2 Addi Lace

Date Started:  January 17th, 2009

Date Finished:  January 25th, 2009

Mods:  Knit toe up, 2 at a time, Magic Loop – cause that’s how I roll!!

First of all, I LOVE these socks.  The pattern was easy to memorize and the yarn is incredible.  The most amazing thing about this yarn is the yardage…after finishing my socks, this is how much I have left over…

I can definately get another pair of socks out of this, but I think I will knit another Dream Swatch instead – and this one’s for me!

You probably thought that I had fallen off the face of the Earth since it has been about 2 months since my last post but life (and the holidays) got it the way. I am happy to say that I was able to find the time to knit 13 Christmas presents as well as a ton of washcloths…

After spending so much time knitting for others, I decided to cast on for a sweater for me…

 

Pattern:  Swing Swing by Janine Le Cras (from Knotions, Winter 2008)

Yarn:  Cascade 220 Superwash, Colorway 802

Needles:  US 8 Knitpicks Options

Date Started:  December 23rd, 2008

Date Finished:  January 16th, 2009

Mods:  Given the fact that I am very “hippy” I did two more sets of increases in the body.  For the arms, I chose to only do two sets of increases because I wanted them to be a bit less flared.  Other than that, the pattern was absolutely perfect.

 

I just love cables and although I have knit many cabled projects, this is the first one I have knit for me!  I chose to keep the sleeves about 3/4 length because I tend to be on the warm side (although I think they would look great full length)!  The pattern is very well written and easy to follow and the cables are very simple – this would be a great sweater for a first-time cabler.

I started a pair of socks yesterday to match the sweater…remember this yarn?  I don’t know if I will wear them together but I don’t have any socks this color so they will be a nice addition to the ever-growing sock collection!

 

For my neice’s 2nd birthday I decided to knit her a cardigan and hat but I couldn’t decide what to make.  This is one of the main reasons I LOVE Ravelry.  Being able to search for what you want and actually see many different interpretations of the pattern and yarn combinations really gives me some great ideas.

Pattern:  Stripey Baby Beret by Stacy Mar

Yarn:  Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, Berry colorway

Needles:  US 8 Knitpicks Options, Magic Loop

Date Started:  October 10th, 2008

Date Finished:  October 11th, 2008

Mods:  This pattern is meant for a baby so I knew I would need to up-size it.  As it turned out, my neice’s head is 20″ and I found that when I changed needle size to US 8 I could just cast on the same number of stitches as the pattern called for and it turned out perfect. 

Pattern:  Eyelet Yoke Cardigan by Stacy Hoadley

Yarn:  Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, Berry colorway

Needles:  US 8 Knitpicks Options

Date Started:  October 24th, 2008

Date Finished:  October 28th, 2008

Mods:  This pattern, as written, requires a lot of seaming.  I decided to knit the body in one piece.  I also replaced the seed stitch (not my favorite) with a picot cast on at the bottom of the body and the sleeves, and with 1×1 ribbing at the button band and the neckline.

This was my first time using Cotton-Ease I I will definately be using it again.  The stitch definition is great, it is very soft and it doesn’t hurt my hands like other cotton yarns.

My kids call their grandmother Mormor (Swedish for grandmother) so I was so excited to find a pattern called Mormor Shawl one day while I was looking around in Ravelry.  Of course, I had to make this for her as a Christmas Present.

This shawl is a very interesting (and quick) knit.  It is basically garter stitch with a lace insert and the increases on each side are stair-steps.  My mother-in-law loves earth tones so I think she will really love the color and I hope she get a lot of use out of it…if not, I may steal it back!

Pattern:  Mormor Shawl by Randi K. Design

Yarn:  Araucania Ranco Multy, colorway 308

Needles:  US 5 Knitpicks Options

Date Started:  October 15th, 2008

Date Finished:  November 9th, 2008

Mods:  The only modification I made was to make the stair-step decreases at the neckline match the increases at the outside of the shawl (the fact that they weren’t symetrical was really bugging me!)

As I have mentioned, I have been very busy knitting up Christmas presents and while I will never, ever match the extreme mastery that is Bezzie’s Cheap Ass Christmas, I can honestly say that the vast majority of the items I am knitting for Christmas presents are from the stash.  There has been a little yarn that I have had to buy but five skeins of Dark Horse Fantasy Yarn have netted me two hats (knit with yarn doubled) and a 6 foot long scarf – all for $25…you can’t beat that with a stick!

Here are my latest FO’s…both from stash yarn:

First up is Prickle.  For quite a while I have wanted to attempt a moebius project but I was just never sure which one to tackle and then about a month ago I got a message on Ravelry from ewephoric who asked if I was willing to swap my Verde Malabrigo for some Emerald Green Malabrigo that she had in her stash.  I jumped at the chance because Emerald Green is one of my favorite colors of Malabrigo and I have had the Verde for a while with absolutely no idea what to do with it.

In the back and forth messages, she mentioned that she was planning to make something with the Verde for her swap partner and she was thinking about a Prickle since she had already made one for herself and really liked it.  Once I took a look at hers, and the other variations of the pattern, I was hooked and bought the pattern the same day.

I chose Option 2 with the lace edging and in addition to being a very quick knit, it is lovely and soft and although I plan to give this to my cousin for Christmas, I definately see another one (for me) in my near future.

The moebius cast on can be a bit tricky but once you get the hang of it, you can do it in your sleep.   I love the moebius but I can’t decide if Cat Bordhi is a genious or seriously demented!  She definately thinks outside the box and this cast on is a prime example!

Pattern:  Prickle by Huan-Hua Chye

Yarn:  Malabrigo Worsted, Emerald Blue colorway

Needles:  US 10 Knitpicks Options, 40″ cord

Date Started:  October 8th, 2008

Date Finished:  October 11th, 2008

Mods:  None at all.  This is a very well-written pattern and I particularly love the lace edging which also serves as the bind off.  I was worried about running out of yarn but I ended up with enough left that when I knit this again (and I definately will) I will probably add a few more repeats of the porcupine lace pattern before starting the lace edging.  I love this one so much, I am going to have a hard time letting it go.

I also finished the socks for my Nana:

Pattern:  There really isn’t one.  It is a basic toe up sock with a short row heel.

Yarn:  Cascade Fixation, Purple

Needles:  US 2 Addi Lace for the toe, US 3 Addi Lace for the rest of the sock

Date Started:  September 8th, 2008

Date Finished:  September 25th, 2008

Mods:  None since it isn’t a written out pattern…it is all in my head. 

Nana loves ankle socks and these are soft and stretchy so I think she will love them!

Another list of items to knit for Christmas presents and another batch of orange and black items to be sent to my cousin’s house for Christmas.  This year, at least, they kept their requests simple…hats for the kids and a scarf for my cousin’s husband.  My cousin is getting a non-orange and black gift that will be blogged about later.

First up…Center Square Hat for Caitlyn (graciously modeled by DS#2)

Pattern:  Center Square by London Nelson, Knitty Winter 2006

Yarn:  Dark Horse Fantasy, Orange and Black

Needles:  US 11 Knitpicks Options

Date Started:  September 28th, 2008

Date Finished:  September 29th, 2008

Mods:  I had a major issue with gauge on this.  In order to get the gauge in the pattern, I had to go down to size 9 needles but when I cast on the called for amount of stitches I ended up with a hat that could never fit comfortably on an adult-sized head.  I tried a few larger sizes before ending up with the needle size suggested in the pattern (but no where near the called for gauge)…go figure. 

Anyway, this was a very fast knit – I love the hat and I think my cousin’s daughter will too.

Moving on…Tychus (also modeled by DS #2)

Pattern:  Tychus by Brooke T. Higgins, Knitty Summer 2005

Yarn:  Dark Horse Fantasy, Orange and Black

Needles:  US 9 Knitpicks Options

Date Started:  September 27th, 2008

Date Finished:  September 27th, 2008

Mods:  Absolutely none.  This is a great pattern…well written and easy to make!

And the last one…a Garter Stitch Scarf knit on the bias

Pattern:  None – I just made it up as I went along

Yarn:  Dark Horse Fantasy, Orange and Black

Needles:  US 10 Knitpicks Options

Date Started:  October 11th, 2008

Date Finished:  October 19th, 2008

I would have been finished with this scarf much quicker but I ran out of yarn and had to wait until last Saturday to get some more.  As it was, I got the last skein of Dark Horse Fantasy black yarn that my LYS had in stock!  Boy was that close!!!