Yay! My yarn finally came!

Pict0013

It was waiting for me when I got home from my mother in law’s house yesterday afternoon. I probably shouldn’t admit it, but I kinda wanted to toss my Ravelympics projects and start something new with all my pretty new yarn 😉

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I’m really, really glad I didn’t wait for my yarn. According to my tracking number it’s STILL in frackin’ Phoenix. It’s been there for five days!

Ahem…moving on.

I took a few progress pics a bit ago and thought I’d post. My camera is decidely a picky bitch and only likes expensive batteries. I finally got it to work by tricking it. I used a cheap Eveready (which is the only brand of new batteries I have right now) and an old Duracell. It worked for approximately 7 minutes.

First; the Anya scarf:

anya progress

See the look of excitement on my face? Heh. I was up to the point in the picture when I got in a bit of a tiff with the Mister and dropped about five stitches. As anyone who has knit lace can attest, picking up lace stitches is near impossible. If I’d have been smart, I would have put lifelines in so I wouldn’t have had to pull everything out, but I’m not. Therefore, I ripped all that work out and started over this morning. It took me five hours to get back to the exact.same.place. I was when I ripped back. The good to come out of this though is that I changed the beads to gold and they pop out more and I’m being a lot more careful about my place in the pattern.

The Breeze socks:

breeze progress

My mother in law saw the pattern right before I started and really liked them. Her birthday is tomorrow so I thought I’d knit these for her as a late birthday gift. She’s got tiny feet, so that’s a bonus. I won’t have them finished in time to give them to her ON her birthday, but maybe a few days later. Maybe…

And the Merletto mitts:

merletto progress

I had to rip these back too. I started with a super soft, fluffy pink cashmere, but it was too delicate and thin for mitts. I changed over to black sock yarn, and while it’s knitting up well, it’s REALLY hard to see. We’ll see if these are continued or started over in yet another yarn.

So that’s my progress. Three days in and I’m feeling a little stressed about whether I’ll be able to finish that scarf in time. It’s only 51 stitches across, but it’s a doozy of a pattern with the beads added in. I’ll get in to a rhythm and then I have to stop to place a bead. If I can manage to finish it though, it’s going to be fabulous.

P.S…thank deity that WordPress actually saved my progress…Firefox crapped out and I had to close. Phew.

I always like to do bad news first. That way there’s something nice to look forward to after the bad stuff.

The bad news is that my yarn didn’t arrive yesterday.

The good news is that after I bummed around for awhile, I canceled the sweater I was planning to knit and picked three other projects to do for the Ravelympics. I chose a lace scarf (that I’m beading, because I really like beaded lace right now and I’m a masochist), a pair of cabled/lace socks, and a pair of lace fingerless gloves. I figured all three were small enough that together they’d be about as much work as a sweater. I’m using yarn I already have.

I’m betting that my yarn with arrive this afternoon. That’s just the way things work. If not, no biggie because I’ve already got started on two of my three projects. I’m still a little bummed, but I’m chugging along.

I didn’t start at 5 am like I could have, but I did get a decently early start. My mil came over and made me ride with her to a yard sale, but other than that I’ve had pretty much unlimited knitting time all day.

I hope I can finish all this in time. I’m feeling optimistic.

So, I think this is probably the first sweater I’ve ever made for myself that I actually like. Love even.

hey teach on front

I used right at 3 skeins of Caron Simply Soft Heathers in Deep Plum. I’ve loved this color since I first saw it. I bought some last year and made Shannon’s Hedgerow Coat and despite being cheap acrylic, it’s one of my favorite yarns. It’s soft, is machine washable and it’s in my price range if I want to make a sweater for myself (because sweaters for myself take a LOT of yarn usually.)

hey teach on back

It fits perfectly. For once I went against my instinct to go up in pattern size (which I couldn’t have anyway since this was the largest size) or use larger needles. Well, I take that back. I used one size larger needles, but only because that’s what gave me gauge. The only thing that rains on my parade is that I don’t like how I look. I hate how fat I am, BUT, since I can’t make it just disappear, I’ll deal and just love that I have a really pretty new sweater.

I have a few days before the Secret of the Stole III knit along starts so I’m making some mindless socks out of self striping Fortissima. I also ordered my yarn for the sweater I’m making for the Ravelympics so that should be on it’s way in the next few days. I’ll be sure to post pics of my stash enhancing as soon as it gets here.

Pretty much every one that reads this blog knows I’m “big”. Therefore, when I knit for myself it usually takes several weeks of seriously dedicated knitting or months of agonizingly short bursts of knitting to get a garment finished for myself.

That’s why I’m absolutely thrilled I decided to try Hey, Teach! from Knitty. It’s a cropped cardigan with a lace bodice. It’s beautiful! Now, I’m not really sure how this is going to look on me when it’s finished, but it’s going quickly enough that I’ll soon find out!

hey teach back

I started the back on Saturday morning and I just cast off on it about an hour ago. Unbelievable! I’ve NEVER knit a sweater back that quickly; not even for someone skinny! I’ll attribute that mainly to the fact that it’s cropped, but it’s a nice boost after it taking me so long to finish the Central Park Hoodie. I’m actually hoping to finish this sweater by next weekend!

I think that I’m going to be seriously busy knitting here soon. The Secret of the Stole III knit along starts on August 15th and I just signed up for the 2008 Ravelympics. It’s just like the Knitting Olympics, but within Ravelry. If you don’t know what the Knitting Olympics is, it’s basically a challenge to knitters (and crocheters!) to finish a challenging project between the time the Olympics begin until they end. It starts on August 8th (5 a.m. my time) and ends August 24th (at 5 a.m. my time). I’ve decided to knit the Curvy Knits Flare Top by Jillian Moreno. It’s a cute, simple top with seed stitch panels around the hem and sleeves. I’m pretty sure I can finish it in 17 days if I put my mind to it. Should be exciting to try, one way or another! This year marks the first time I’ve participated in a secret knit along OR any type of knitting Olympics.

After sitting on that first swatch for a couple of days I decided I didn’t like it. I liked the color a lot, and I liked the beads a lot, but I didn’t like the way the yarn drew in on itself when I took the pins off it. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the four or so POUNDS of the stuff, but it won’t go towards something I’m going to hate because it won’t block properly. I also got a comment from DK, the one running the KAL and she mentioned the blocking issue as well and there was enough doubt in my mind about it that I completely scrapped it.

So; I dug to the very bottom of my stash and found a bag full of reclaimed yarn. The teal/green sweater that was in the stack from when I did the reclaiming yarn post was in neat little hanks in the bottom of the bag. I balled a hank up and set to work making another swatch.

swatch 2

I love this so much more.  The yarn is like buttah, if not a little delicate.  Knit up it’s strong, but I do have to take care when actually knitting it.  Luckily, spit splicing this yarn is the easiest thing ever.

I wasn’t sure about what color beads to use so I used five each of three different colors.  I started with some “oil slick” colored beads (I don’t really know what to call these things)  Then I did some pearly ones and then the ice blue again.  I think it’s obvious from the picture which I’ll be using.  The pearl ones pop out really well.  I wanted to go for something really sparkly, but I’m impatient and wanted to try stuff I already had.  I guess I could have waited and bought a bunch of tubes of various colors to “try”, but I’m feeling stingy with money right now.  I’ll buy a couple tubes of the pearl ones and call it good.

I’m happy with the color choice.  I wouldn’t mind if it were a little darker really.  I may wind up overdying it when the KAL is over.  It depends on what the finished stole looks like.  It’s a little brighter and teal-y in real life.

I finished my swatch for the Secret Of The Stole III knit a long. The KAL (knit a long) doesn’t start with the real knitting until August 15th, but the leader of this KAL put up the swatching chart and the yarn/bead requirements so we could all decide what we were going to use and get an idea of what size needles we wanted to use.

The suggestion for yarn is something light colored, like white, pastel pink or blue. Not only do I not really care for light colors, but I don’t have any in my stash. I’m considering ordering a lighter color to do the stole in, but for now I used some rich coffee bean colored lace weight yarn with some ice blue beads.

sotsiii swatch

And a close up so you can see the beads better:

sotsiii swatch closeup

I’m not really sure how I feel about it. The yarn is okay, but being an acrylic/wool blend I’m really worried about the blocking qualities. Acrylic doesn’t really block and lace NEEDS to be blocked to really look fabulous. I love the color combo personally, but be honest…do the blue beads with the brown yarn look okay? I don’t want to knit something that people think looks like a hunk o’ poo covered in ice chips. I have some pink merino in my shopping cart over at Knitpicks but I was hoping to save a few bucks by using what I already had.  Luckily, if I decide to go that route, knitpicks has great prices and it’ll cost me less than $20 for the yarn and a new set of size 3 circulars.  Still pondering.