Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bottom 5? Top 5!

Wow, 2 weekends in a row with finished objects! A girl could get used to this!

Pattern: Pembroke by Kirsten Kapur from Petite Purls
Yarn: Encore worsted
Result: Nauseatingly cute.

Not to mention this was fun. Fast, interesting, came out looking very much like the one in the pattern photo-always a plus. I love it. I'm going to visit my nephew next week and I'll be there for his 1st birthday so this is one of his gifts. Anyone considering making this pattern I say make it-I think it would be a great choice for beginners who want to practice cabling or basic construction. Also-I would love to see one made in pink or purple for some brainy little girl toddler too, I just think that would be awesome.

But what to knit next? Well, I've developed a new strategy to deal with this very question. I'm calling it-Bottom 5, Top 5! From the bottom of the stash to the top of the queue!

I was a little at odds what to knit next. I know I should probably be starting Christmas gifts, but I do already have a couple done, and I still have a lot of time right? I figured that I really want to do is to knit the yarn that I’m always passing over. The yarn at the bottom of the stash. So I decided to single out my bottom 5. They are clockwise from the left-2 balls (one in the form of a cowl that needs to be frogged) of Katia Nepal, an odd ball of Misti Alpaca Sport, Lorna's Laces Shepherd's Sport Multi, one hank of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Seduction and a mystery amount (1 skein? 2?) of purple Louet Gems Opal which is now discontinued. Now there’s nothing specifically wrong with any of these yarns. Except maybe the fact that 3 of them are sport-weight (not a lot out there for sport weight in terms of patterns it seems). I think maybe they’re only fault is that they were purchased with no set pattern in mind and as a result, they’ve never been matched up with the patterns that are their destiny. So I decided that what I needed to do was to find these yarns some patterns. I’ve finally singled them out, poured over and over Ravelry and have found them 5 acceptable patterns to work with. And voila-these yarns and their patterns have moved from the bottom of the stash to the top of the Ravelry queue. Bottom 5-Top 5! More on the patterns that I've picked later but I will mention that I'm hoping to tie this in with some entries in the Single Skein September Knitalong over at the Stash and Burn Podcast. Just for the heck of it. I am starting a little late, but I also have some good travel knitting time coming up so it's possible to at least have a couple of entried finished by the end of the month. Also I have a feeling that while I do really love these yarns, I just don't feel like I see some of them (especially that crazytown Katia Nepal and that 'meh' purple Louet) fitting into anything I'd ever wear or any upcoming gift opportunities I have in the near future. It's likely some of the finished items will end up going to charity too. And I haven't knit for charity in awhile, and I do love knitting for charity so I'm happy to get to do that again.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Labor Day Wrap Up

I'm ending the summer on a peachy note. The berries picked earlier this summer are now gone and I miss have a huge frozen fruit stash to dip into for smoothies every morning... To deal with this I went peach picking this weekend and came home with several pounds. Let me just say that peach picking is something that I think everyone should do at some point in their lives. Even if you don't really like peaches, it's quite an event to be in the orchard on a beautiful morning, with that fresh peach scent just clobbering you right over the nose. And these peaches are just perfect. No marks or bumps or bruises. They should be, they haven't been touched by anyone in a store or given some kind of crazy chemical bath along the way. We'll be enjoying them for awhile.

Something else that's perfect? My new shawl.

Pattern: Simurgh by Anne Hanson of Knitspot
Yarn: Mistralee Silk and Wool
Needles: Knitpicks Options Size 5

Yep, it's done and yep I adore it. I did make one huge mistake in the pattern-I was supposed to start off knitting the center motif for 4 repeats, finish half of the shawl and then pick up and knit the other half-starting with 4 repeats in the opposite direction. Instead, I guess I just got a little carried away and ended up knitting 8 repeats right away. Therefore, it is not symmetrical. Do I really give a whit? Heck no. I love this. I want to wear this all the time. With work clothes. With jeans on the weekend. With my pajamas. Love it. And all it's woolly silky goodness too.

Also btw I totally love this yarn. When I bought it at Stitches last year I bought it from the woman who owns the Mistralee Farm Studio. Along with the other people shopping in her booth I just could not get over the quality and beauty of the yarn and it's reasonable, reasonable price. When I paid I asked the owner if she had a website she said she does not. I asked if there is a catalog and there is not. She only sells at shows like Stitches. I was surprised. If you come across her booth or any of the yarns scoop them up. There was not one variation or knot or imperfection in any of the six skeins I used to knit the shawl. Also when I blocked it-not the tiniest tinge of red on any of my white towels. For an independent vendor and not a major manufacturer-I was pleasantly surprised by this.

Now that the shawl is finished I'm wrapping up a little vest for my nephew. This is Pembroke by Kristin Kapur as featured in the new online magazine, Petite Purls. In regular tried and true Encore Worsted it's fun and fast and almost done!

And there's only more knitting to come. I've been sifting through my Ravelry queue trying to find projects for some older yarns that have been, ahem, moldering away in the stash. (Remember Stitches 2006? Yikes!) And with fall knocking at the door, I figure it doesn't hurt to be prepared.