August 31, 2012

I'm running out of adjectives

So, in typical Jackie-fashion, I only managed to squeeze in about 15 minutes of knitting my entire trip.  Boo!  So the shawl is still in its very, very beginning stages.  Hopefully I can squeeze in some knitting time this weekend, but things are already filling up--I can sense summer coming to an end, and I'm trying to get as much outdoor time as possible before its cold and miserable.  Ugh, I hate the cold--but it does give me an excuse to wear my knits.

On my adventure, I did manage to go to a few yarn shops (shocker).  My favorite was in Salt Lake City, called Blazing Needles.  The name is awesome, and the shop itself is super cute!  The staff was very friendly and helpful as well, so if you're ever out that way, I recommend making a stop.  I also made attempts to visit a couple shops in Colorado, near the Denver area: Showers of Flowers and The Recycled Lamb (hee!).  Sadly, Shower of Flowers was closed the day I tried to go there (computer problems), but I peeked in the windows and it is HUGE.  Really wish I could have checked it out.  Recycled Lamb was nice, and again, the staff was super friendly and helpful--they had a decent selection of yarns and quite possibly EVERY COLOR of Brown Sheep yarn possible.  Seriously.  I should have taken a picture (what kind of blogger am I?!)

So, even though I didn't manage to get any knitting in I did manage to satisfy my fiber freak ;)

August 20, 2012

Away we go...

I've settled on the Traveling Woman shawl as my next project.  I just started it yesterday, and already had a hiccup.  The start of the shawl uses what is apparently called a "garter tab," which is not uncommon to shawl starts (so I read, anyway), but very new to me.  It took me a couple of tries before I felt mostly comfortable with what I had, and I'm still unsure of it--mine didn't turn out rectangular like it did in the video I watched...more like a softly curved half-circle.  I'm going to plow ahead and hope for the best.

This week I'll be off on a semi-vacation (for a friend's wedding), and I'm hoping to get some knitting time in. Alas, I'm driving, so there won't be any travel time knitting, but I don't have very many pressing plans so I expect at various junctures I'll be able to chill out and knit.  Cross your fingers for me!

August 16, 2012

Choices are hard

Now that I've finally finished the Wingspan, I'm trying to decide what to work on next.  This is proving more difficult than usual, because I've been bitten by the knitting bug (must be that time of year).

First, I've been dying to try knitting a huge version of the Traveling Woman shawl by Liz Abinante out of Mushishi yarn.  My friend Sam has done two of these now, and its gorgeous.  Lace is not usually something that always appeals to me (I think its beautiful and am amazed at the talent it takes, but its not something I typically wear), but something about the Mushishi makes the whole thing more causal.

I'm also itching to try my hand at knitting some monsters for a friend's children for Christmas presents.  I've been wanting to experiment with toy knitting for quite awhile (mainly due to all the lovelies I always see on the Little Cotton Rabbits blog).

Then, of course, I've been wanting to knit a sweater.  I've found a couple of patterns I like, but I'm currently leaning towards the Julissa (scoop neck version).  It, however, calls for fancier yarn than I have the funds for at the moment.  Must save up!

I've also been dying to try colorwork again, and really want a pair of big, comfy mittens (I particularly like Bella's Mittens).

And there's always the amigurumi I've been meaning to teach myself to do.

TOO MANY THINGS!  I'm not very good at doing multiple projects at once, but I keep trying.  Does anyone have any tips for multiple project management?

(In totally random news, I am in love with the "scheduling" option on Blogger--I can write up a bunch of posts while I have the ideas in my brain, and just schedule them to post at any time I want!  Yay technology!)

Hail the conquering hero!


The wingspan is done and happily blocking as I type (actually, I started blocking it last night, it's probably close to being dry).

I'm very proud of it--I love the colors in the Chroma and it was lovely and easy to knit without being too tedious (since it was just all knit stitch).

I only did seven triangles (the pattern calls for eight) because I wasn't sure if I'd have enough yarn or not...after completing it, though, I think I could have done the eighth.  Next time (because I'd totally make more of these).  I also slipped all my stitches knit-wise, with the yarn in back, and quite like how the edges came out.  I didn't do anything to deal with the holes (which result from the short rows), but as I mentioned previously, I actually like them; you can hardly seem them anyway.

I think if I did this again, I would definitely try the "Angel" version, where the holes are more obvious and there on purpose.  I like the airy look that gives the whole thing.

August 14, 2012

Knitting skillz

The end of the Olympic Games always makes me a little sad.  I've always loved watching the Olympics on TV, and as a little girl had dreams of ice skating and gymnastic gold.  As it turns out, I was never really into either of those sports, and stuck with ballet instead (which is not an Olympic event, but that's another kind of journal post entirely).

This year, I seriously considered taking part in the Ravellenic Games.  The last Olympics (2010), I was still very new to knitting and hadn't felt I had the skills to complete a project in only two weeks.  This time around, I really thought I could do it, but as we all know, I have project finishing issues, so in the end I bailed on the idea. 

I got to thinking though--the last time, I considered myself a beginning knitter, and that was basically my excuse not to do it.  This time around, I couldn't use that term--but where do I rank my knitting skills?  Am I an advanced beginner?  Intermediate?  How does one judge where the line is between beginning and intermediate, or intermediate and advanced?  I've never knit a sweater or lace, but I've been knitting for a few years now, so I'd say I'm intermediate--but do I really have to have knit those kinds of projects to be advanced?

Anyone have any thoughts?  Where do you consider your skill level to be and why?

August 13, 2012

Podcasts might actually be a bad thing...

Recently at work I've been doing a lot of data checking, which is as boring as it sounds.

However, I actually don't mind it too much, because I can kind of get into a zone and tear through it.  Also, it gives me ample time to catch up on Podcasts.

Now, my interest in Podcasts is fairly new.  Awhile back, my friend Rachel listed a whole bunch that she enjoyed on our old team blog, FiberFreaks (the post is likely still viewable here, but the blog itself is no longer updated).  I tried to listen to a couple of the knitting ones, but not too many of them appealed to me, so I lost interest.

Recently, though, I've re-discovered a few of them and found several that I really enjoy, both knitting-related and not.  However, my wallet is bracing itself because so many of the knitting ones have listed books, yarns, projects, accessories, or yarn clubs that I have been intriuged by.  I have a giant list of sticky notes that I have to go through with things mentioned in various podcasts.

I don't listen to very many because I have a hard time keeping up with them.  If you're interested in what's currently on my Podcast list, though, click past the break.

August 10, 2012

Creature of habit

Not long ago, I ventured into my LYS with fresh birthday money in my pocket that was just aching to be spent on yarn.  I cruised around the shop, fondling my favorites: Malabrigo, Mini Mochi, etc.  As I debated about my yarn choice, I found myself gravitating towards my favorite colors: blue and purple.

Now, I know most everyone has a favorite color, or palette of colors, and people tend to gravitate towards the colors that suit them best.  One of my friends favors earthy tones, which she always looks fabulous in.  I tend to love really bright jewel tones.  I always knew I had a thing for the color blue (especially turquoise), but my love of fuchsia, bright purple and even bright yellow did not really come to my attention until fairly recently.

I happened to peak over my Tumblr archive and Pinterest pages and noticed I had habit of posting photos with similar color schemes.  For example: here, here, here and here.  Very bright, saturated colors in cooler tones.

I took a look at my stash and saw that my tastes were similar:

What can I say?  I like what I like.

However, I did want to make an attempt to find a color of yarn that wasn't too similar to something already in my stash, but was also a color I liked/wouldn't mind wearing.

I bought purple sock yarn.  Eh, at least I can say I tried!

August 8, 2012

Wingspan update

My Wingspan is so close to being done I can almost taste it.  I'm about a quarter of the way through my 6th triangle (out of 7--I think the Chroma yardage will make it likely I won't make the 8 the pattern calls for, but that's okay).  I had high hopes at the beginning that this wouldn't take super long, but of course real life got in the way of all my knitting plans.  I'm hoping to make it by the month mark, though!

I plan on blocking it pretty aggressively, like many others have, so it looks more wing-like.  I've never *really* blocked anything, though, so we'll see how that goes!

As you can see in the above picture, some of my triangle edges are a little messy.  This is because I used the (new to me) knitted cast-on for those; blocking will set it straight though, and I think it will look quite nice!