FO: Nelosys

First, a heartfelt thank you to everyone who left a comment about Rippy.  My family was very touched; many comments brought tears to their eyes.  My brother was glad to see that so many other people had had cats live so long and that became such good friends with their people.  I used a random number generator and it chose comments 3 and 19, so I have emailed Bridget and Lynn, asking for their mailing addresses to send them yarn.  Maybe next year my blogiversary, or Blog Day, which sounds even better to me, will be more cheerful.  Let’s hope.

I finished Nelosys (Never-ending Left-over Sock Yarn Shawl) way back in June, and just didn’t get around to blogging about it. I kept thinking I could get in a modeled photo shoot. However, that hasn’t worked out, and the blocked shawl lying neatly folder on my work counter finally shouted, “Just take my &*%#%@* photo and blog me!” All-righty then.
Those of you who don’t remember my posts of last April (if you do, you need help), Nelosys is a shoulder shawl of my own design, which I knit using left over sock yarn. I chose my cool-colored leftovers, transitioning to a new color through 3 rows of garter stitch so that purl ridges formed on the right side (row 1 in old color, rows 2-3 in the new color). Each new new colorway has at least one color in common with the old. This caused a shift from blue-purples to blue-greens and back ending with purple-greys on the outside edge (the shawl is knit top down from the center with 4 increases every right side row).
From the top:
1. Claudia Hand-Painted, Walk in the Woods: stockinette
2. Shibui sock yarn, Midnight: seed stitch
3. Fleece Artist Merino, Midnight: crossed stockinette
4. Cherry Tree Hill Supersock, Peacock: rice stitch
5. Fleece Artist Merino, Nova Scotia: fleck stitch
6. Fleece Artist Merino, Hercules: moss stitch
7. Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, Black Pearl: garter

I knit the shawl with size 5 needles, but bound off using size 7 needles. I didn’t pin for blocking, just laid it out nicely after a nice bath in my shampoo for color-treated (cough! cough!) hair. It is 54 inches along the top hypotenuse, and 27.5 inches from the bottom tip to the top edge. I was out of cool-colored sock yarn at this point, so I’m glad I got a shawl of a usable size. All in all, I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. We keep our house very cool, and I wanted something to keep my neck and shoulders warm when knitting or reading. This should fit the bill!

I’m not ready to start a second Nelosys, but I’m getting a good collection of leftovers in bright colorways…
Bright Leftovers for Nelosys II

Happy Autumn!

Overdue FO, a prize, and some good reads

OK, so I suppose getting around to blogging for the FIRST time about a FO I gave to my mother for Mother’s Day (she received it early too) during the first week of August is a bit tardy.  But here at Molecular Knitting, I am a strong believer in better late than never when it comes to posting FOs.  So lets take a look at the mohair scarf I sent Mom.  She likes it too!
Stained Glass Scarf
Yes, I drink my fresh-squeezed OJ from a footed, crystal glass.  Once when I was in San Francisco, I saw a man leaning out of his 3rd story flat window, sipping OJ from a footed, crystal glass one bright, sunny morning while he enjoyed what I can only imagine was a spectacular view of the city.  I thought he had the right idea.  I didn’t live in San Francisco, and I couldn’t have afforded his home even if I did.  But I could find a footed, crystal glass in clearance room at the Mikasa outlet.  Yes, I feel very special.

I call this the Stained Glass Scarf for what I think are obvious reasons. The yarn is Artful Yarns Portrait in Weeping Woman. The Potrait series of colorways are all based on famous portrait paintings, and I assume this colorway is for the Picasso Weeping Woman painting. This drop stitch pattern was the third stitch pattern I tried–yes, I did rip mohair but very, very carefully. It was the best for the short stretches of color.
Stained Glass Scarf detail
Garter Drop Stitch:
Row 1: knit
Row 2: knit, wrapping yarn 2X around the needle (I used US 9 needles)
Row 3: knit, dropping extra wraps
Row 4: knit

While my computer was on the fritz, I won a prize! I won a skein of sock yarn in Claudia’s Bike for MS fundraiser. I got sent a lovely skein of CTH supersock in the Simply Sock Yarn Company Anniversary Colors.
CTH SSYC Anniversary Yarn
I have a twisty-ribby idea in mind, but I have other socks to finish first. More on those socks in another post. But I do want to mention a new series of historical mysteries (the first two are out) that I have enjoyed very much. They are the Lady Julia Grey mysteries by Deanna Raybourn.
Deanna Raybourn novels
The setting is mid-Victorian period in Britain. Silent in the Grave is the first novel, and it deals with the death of Lady Julia’s husband. Lady Julia assumes her husband’s congenital heart problem has killed him, but one of her dinner guests, Nicholas Brisbane, a private detective to the rich and famous, is sure it is murder. When Lady Julia realizes Mr. Brisbane is right, she decides to solve the murder, and asks for Mr. Brisbane’s help. Mr. Brisbane prefers to work alone. Lady Julia insists on helping. Sparks fly, and the culprit hasn’t a prayer of escaping.

The plot is clever and the characters are a great deal of fun. Furthermore, Ms. Raybourn is a good writer. She has an ear for dialog too. I am a very picky reader. My dad, a literature professor, taught me to recite from T.S. Eliot’s and Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poems when I was in grade school. I learned a love of words from this which led to an aversion of flat, lackluster writing. I am happy to report that I didn’t groan once while reading these two mysteries. I liked the first so well, I had to go out immediately and buy the second. Now I wait in loneliness for the third. Good mysteries are hard to find; I highly recommend these.

Third Contest Winner and Autumn Plans

Saturday morning, M pulled the winning name for my First Blogiversary contest from a crystal bowl (a wedding gift). It was all on the up and up, as he was doing computer stuff and never even looked at the bowl or, for that matter, the name he pulled out. And that name was Nova, Archivist on the Edge. I’ve emailed her, but I think she is still in Chicago at a big archivist convention, so I have yet to hear from her.

I hope everyone has been a smarter knitter than I have been. I was working so hard on my Minimalist Cardigan, along with a lot of hand work at lab, that I made my hands sore in a repetitive stress sort of way. Not smart. I’ve had to slow down on the cardigan; it has 3/4-length sleeves, and if I deform my hands and wrists, it will really show. But it should still be done in time for cool weather (late October). To get gauge and nice sweater fabric, I need to knit the cardi as tight as I can, which contributes to the stress. So I was thinking about what sorts of knitting projects could be worked along side the cardi that didn’t have such a tight gauge. And lace would fit the bill quite nicely. I am nearly done with the VLT scarf in Habu silk (it shall appear in the next WIP post on the couch-o-meter!), so I thought, What Next? While photographing my lace yarn stash for Ravelry, I found yarn I had forgotten I had:
Frog Tree Brushed Suri.JPG
Brushed Suri Alpaca in Christmas Red!!
Wouldn’t that make a lovely wrap for Christmas? I think Kiri is the way to go here. I have more yarn than I need (I seldom worry about using up all the yarn), and Kiri will let me stop when I want. It is also a good first top-down triangular shawl pattern. So, I think I have a plan to get good handknits and not deformed hands.

As I only have three socks left to knit (and I mean 3 socks, not 3 pairs) for Christmas giving and M’s scarf (which has the same tight gauge issues as the minimalist cardi), I think this shall all be doable with some fun sock projects and the like for myself. But now it’s time for a cup of tea…

Happy Knitting!

Blogiversary Contest Begins and Two Winners

First the Two Winners (then the Actual Blogiversary Contest):

On Saturday afternoon, Janet of Twisted Knitter submitted the 1000th comment to Molecular Knitting. In her comment she mentioned that the Sockomo Autumn yarn wanted to go live with her. I hadn’t decided which yarn to give for each prize, and I thought it would be pretty bitchy to tell her she was Commenter 1000 but she had to take a different yarn, so the Sockomo Autumn will be finding a home with her (she was more than ecstatic in reply to my email). She also chose Anne’s Orchid Lace Scarf from Knitspot, an excellent choice, as I intend to order a copy of that for myself as well (I may even have an order from Knitpicks on the way with some yarn for that scarf and the mitts–the pattern for the mitts is coming soon). Art Deco lace rocks.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a suggestion in the Pre-Blogiversary Contest Contest (PBCC)! They were all excellent ideas. One, however, really struck me as appropriate for a First Blogiversary Contest. That idea came from Kim of Knits with a Silent K, who is a knitting fiend when it comes to knitting donations for charity or handknits with a UC-Berkeley (Cal) theme. Kim has won the Seacoast Merino/Tencel and also a Knitspot pattern, although I don’t know which one she wants yet.

Actual First Blogiversary Contest!!
This contest, in the words of Kim, will be like a blog-hosted state fair. To enter, leave a comment telling what your favorite FO of the past 12 months is that you have completed (whatever craft) and why it’s your fave. If you can leave a link to the FO post or to an online picture of the FO that would be most excellent, however, I’m not making that essential to entering. The contest will close at the last minute of August, so leave your comment before the clock strikes midnight on Friday evening in PDT. I hope this is both easy and fun. Everyone who comments with a favorite FO will go into a random drawing. A skein of sumptuous Sleeping Dragon sock yarn in Pool and a Knitspot pattern of the winner’s choosing are the prizes!

I suppose I should post my favorite FO since I’ve started blogging. It’s the Landscape Shawl from Fibertrends that I knit in CTH Supersock Green Mountain Madness. It came out like it was supposed to, the colors are great, and people who know me are amazed that I could knit it (that’ s a bit lowering actually). It became a little tedious toward the end, but it was all worth it, and when it is cool I wear it often.

GMM Landscape Shawl

Landscape Shawl

So, what was your favorite FO of the past year? We all want to know…

Contest Updates and Prizes!

The Pre-Blogiversary Contest Contest is officially closed. Thanks to everyone who sent in ideas! I shall announce the winner and her idea (starting the Actual Blogiversary Contest) on Monday, August 27th, my official First Blogiversary. But don’t think you can’t win a prize this weekend! If I get the usual number of comments on this post, someone will be the 1000th commenter and win a prize! So what are the prizes? Let’s take a look–

1st Blogiversary 2007
Left to right: Sleeping Dragon Superwash Merino in Pool, Seacoast Handpainted Merino/Tencel in Silver and Gold, Fleece Artist Sockomo in Autumn.

And how about up close:
1st Blogiversary 082707

I’ve been in contact with Anne, the totally fab designer of Knitspot fame, and we have worked out how I can provide each winner with the Knitspot pattern of the winner’s choosing. You pick the pattern, I pay the bill. I’ll be picking some patterns for myself too (Wing o’ the Moth, Honeybee stole, orchid scarf, etc., etc.). I think this is a brilliant plan, if I may say so. I was surprised I was able to think of it. I really appreciate Anne’s enthusiasm and help–she figured out instantly how we could do this.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I’ll be knitting on the first sleeve of the Minimalist Cardi and swatching some archaic cable to rework a sock cuff that wasn’t turning out to be all that it could be.

Happy Knitting!

WIPs and Contests!

You’ll have to wade through the WIPs to get to the contest info (or skip to the bottom if you are a heartless blog reader). I didn’t do any knitting on either scarf this past week, so I don’t have couch-o-meter progress this week. Last week I used a green tape measure and was told in the comments that the couch-o-meter was missed. The one scarf is dark pink and the couch is bright red, but as soon as there is more progress on it, onto the couch-o-meter it goes! But this week saw action on three WIPs.

The first delicato mitt is done. All I did this week was the thumb. Three times. It’s as good as it’s going to get. I have a short, stumpy thumb and need little more than a gusset. It’s rather pathetic in a trivial way. Delicato Mitt #1

I am half way up the armscye on the back of the Minimalist Cardi. I had illusions of having the back done for this post and the first sleeve started, but I got caught up in other things. Still, to stick to my schedule, I have until Saturday to get the back done.
Minimalist Cardi Back 082107

What I got caught up in was working on the Spaced Check Socks for my friend Nancy. I finished the first sock, and am half way done with the heel flap of the second. The Walk in the Woods colorway is doing some pooling, but so do woods. You don’t find a violet here and a violet there. There will be a mass of violets here, then a grove of evergreens, another mass of violets, a stream, etc. So, I think this pooling is fine.
Spaced Check Socks 082107

I have received over 900 comments. The 1000th commenter will receive a yarn prize!

August 27th is my First Blogiversary, so naturally there will be another contest. But what to have people comment upon? My last contest, wherein I asked readers to tell me why they had named their blogs what they had, met with great success. Many, many commenters remarked how much they enjoyed reading why blogs are named what they are.

How do I top that? I will have a Pre-Blogiversary Contest Contest! So, to enter the Pre-Blogiversary Contest Contest (PBCC), leave me a comment to this post on what you think I should have you do for my Actual Blogiversary Contest. The PBCC is open until noon PDT, Saturday, August 25th, when I will choose a winner based upon which idea I like best. Then, on August 27th I will announce the Actual Blogiversary Contest based upon the PBCC winner’s idea. Simple as pie! Who ever said I make everything needlessly complicated?

OK, but I’m working to have some good loot for prizes. I’ve done some shopping at Simply Sock Yarn Company, and I have (or am expecting) Sleeping Dragon sock yarn, Fleece Artist Somoko, and Seacoast merino/tencel! If I get a lot of entries to the Actual Blogiversary Contest, the prize pool may increase. So, start your commenting for the PBCC now! You may even be the 1000th commenter!