Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Hogmonay!

Did you know that Scotland shuts down for the new year for like 4 days to celebrate Hogmonay? Yeah, apparently when you tell a people they cannot celebrate Christmas they get really creative. So I'll get an answer to my question from our Scottish friends when they "stagger back in on Saturday". I love this! I think I will have to add this to my annual celebrations in honor of my ancestors. Then when my friends tease me "you drink like an Irish lass!" I can retort "and party like a Scot!" I should have discovered this in my 20's! :)

My year end party is being spent with my six year old nephew which is apparently a "Family Tradition". My niece gets Christmas Eve's-eve. I'll fill you in on that later.

The Alba swatch is complete. I finally used all of the 17 colors at least once so it is no longer a swatch. It was quite fun because while I had all of the colors in front of me, I wasn't too sure what decisions I had made last year when I re-worked my colors. I like it!

Ophelia is still ahead on number of rows and has not disappeared into the river as yet. She will get more attention once I finish at least one repeat on Alba.

On other fronts, I am preparing to join in with with Ravelry Forum "Spinners Central" to spin for a sweater in the first quarter of 2009. I always thought I would need to be close to a perfect spinner to accomplish something like that but they got me to give it a try and I was delighted.

I dyed up, blended, spun, set and knit my sample. Started out with some basic cables which held up well and then threw in some of Lavold's, they hold up too. The color way is too much like the Shepherd's Wool in my stash so for the actual sweater I dyed up 3 lb's in a brighter mix, everything from deep purple, black, six shades of red, and even some various pinks with a bit of white. I'm blending up the batts now for a nice deep heathered raspberry shade. I think this will help the cables show nicer as well.

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tis the Season

For sparkly lights! The lights are always my favorite part. When I was a kid we used to have live trees with those really big actual bulbs on the tree. And it was always a huge deal to see how many lights we could actually get on the tree. I have never outgrown that and have been known to challenge the circuit breakers on occasion in my delight. This is as far as I got this year though because I totally broke out in hives by this point. But it looks pretty :)

So while I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I haven't developed allergies to any of my other decorations, I was delighted to find this in the mail when I got home. I must admit, I ordered the kit for stash. Everyone else has "just stash" so I wanted some too. Instead of my standard of "WIP Stash" ;-) We'll see how long this works for me.

I ripped it open, jumped on the bed, and dug them all out to oooo and ahhhh over. Dam I love these colors!! And now that I've been able to check 'em all out I have my choices for St. Aula!!!! Now just to see if the exchange rate will cooperate with my budget. Wheee!!!!

Thanks Sonya, Brigitte and Marina for all of the enabling, you guys are good! But I think it was really worth it!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Back to School for Me

I have mostly been camped out with google and just about every knitting book I own researching all the various nuances of sleeve construction. Eventually, I will actually knit sleeves for my sweaters, that would actually make them sweaters, as opposed to a pile of potential oddly shaped vests. So to achieve actual sweaters, I find myself needing to understand the "why" of how sleeves are done for that magical transformation. This is so not very blog worthy.

I have also been researching cast-on and cast-off methods - while I understand them and can use them, figuring out why one is the best option for the project at hand - not so intuitive. Most times, the basics work fine. But apparently it's a whole new ball game when it comes to lacey knitting. This is also, so not very blog worthy. But these things take time, and that's what I've been doing with my time, so that's what you get :)

I have also become obsessed with the stranded knits again. I keep trying to do other things, you know, those things with less stitches and bigger needles? Those things that actually let me *finish* something? Yeah, what a unique concept. I like this concept and will learn it eventually, but not this week. This week I had to start Lorraine's Ophelia.

I didn't realize it until I got the pattern that it is exactly what I was looking for when I was playing with traditional charts in the this colorway previously. Still waiting for the two colors I didn't have enough of in stash. Karen was out of stock in the main one but Anne had plenty so they'll be here soon and I can use the J&S 90 that I'm obsessed with :)

I'm loving it but I've had to start exploring different join methods because I was getting blisters from felting. More back to school for me - Schoolhouse Press being on the list.

I ran out of needles and colors to swatch for St. Aula too, so I had to order more of those as well. I really hope the mail comes soon, because these aren't working for me.