WIP Survey

Before looking at this weeks WIPs, go enter my blogiversary contest, if you haven’t already! And take a look at the links in people’s comments. As a community we have knit some very cool things this past year.

There are some former WIPs that are WIPs no longer. I’ve finished the Spaced Check Socks for my friend Nancy, and they await their FO post. Earlier in the summer I showed a circular lump of stockinette Lamb’s Pride Bulky in Fuchsia for a felted bag. It was not to be. Instead it will become a new felted bag with a couple other colors. I have to get the pattern (and the other colors), but it has mosaic knitting and looks really cool. The yarn is psyched too. Details to come.

As for WIPs that I knit on this week, the Minimalist Cardi has a back (folded in the back of the photo) and a goodly portion of sleeve. I love it when I start collecting a stack of sweater pieces. Perhaps that is why I like to knit sweaters in pieces, although it helps that I don’t mind seaming. All the dead leaves in the photo come from our neighbor’s sugar maple which does not like the arid, rainless California Central Valley summer. It always just gives up around this time of year.
Minimalist Cardi 082807

In addition to finishing the Spaced Check Socks from More Sensational Knitted Socks, I worked on another sock from that book that I had started when I first got the book (May?), which uses the pennant stitch. The yarn is Sundara’s sock yarn in Lenten Rose, and it is hard to photograph the knit-purl pattern, but try to visualize little pennant shaped purls all lined up in columns down the leg.
Pennant Stitch Sock

As for two other old sock WIPs, I am having difficulties. The blue-striped sock is very boring to knit in the rib, and I can’t seem to make myself knit the second. I am hoping that when the weather turns cool enough to wear the socks, I’ll be spurred on to finish. I like the different blues (Regia Cotton Surf in Pacific).
Socks of Shame
The aquamarine cable rib sock (mmmm…Black Bunny Fibers!), is too stretched out on my leg to make me happy, and I don’t like the beaded rib between the cables AT ALL. But I love the uneven, “archaic” cables (BW V1). What’s a knitter to do? Swatch! As I wasn’t worried about gauge yet but just wanted to play with cables, I used some Nature Spun Sport in natural for my swatching so my swatch would look all professional-like (I did the first swatch with leftover Chocolate Cherry sock yarn and couldn’t really make out what I was doing).
Cable Swatch 082707
The double cable on the left and I are having a wonderful little affair (I made the cables up!). We’re just deciding what other stitchy elements the cable would like in its sock. It’s rather particular. I am hoping that by the time I get the Pennant Stitch Socks done, the cable and I will be ready for the BBF Aquamarine yarn. We’re pretty excited.

I hope your knitting is exciting you!

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!

Two Forgotten FOs

My previous post has contest info and is the post in which to leave comments for the first contest. So, if you haven’t already, go check it out. The first contest ends August 25th at noon PDT. The FOs will wait.

The thick and thin mitts have been done for quite a while. Since it is summer, after I finished them I put them away, and then it was out of sight out of mind, and I forgot to do a FO post. But I think they will come in handy when reading in bed and M has the thermostat set at 62 F. He likes a “cool” head.

Thick and Thin Mitts
These look a little bluer here than in real life. The sun was too low in the sky to do a photo shoot outside. As I made these up as I went along, I didn’t do too badly. There is a third “prototype” mitt due for frogging, and I still have an entire skein of yarn left (3 mitts with a little left over took 2 skeins). I think I may make a collar or ear warmer band to also wear in bed when I find it just too cold. That will be good for a snort from M. The yarn is DiVe Fiamma, 55 yd per skein, color 42175. I used US size 10.5 (6.5 mm) dpns.

I also finished the socks for Pete a few weeks ago. They are a 2×2 rib cuff and a stockinette foot with an Eye of the Partridge heel flap. The striping and pooling of the Claudia’s Hand Painted in Chocolate Cherry is eerily matching between socks. Pete told me she knit a lot of socks for family back in the 1940s-60s (she’s now in her 80s), but no one ever knit her a pair of socks, and she asked me last spring if I would. She likes browns with reds. Well, the Chocolate Cherry is a pinky red under incandescent lights and an light orangish red in sunlight. I hope she likes them, and they fit!
Pete's Socks

I still have one FO to block, and when I finally get that done, I’ll do a post, and we can all be amazed at how we had forgotten all about it for so long. But now it’s back to knitting and trying to find a little time to do some searching on Ravelry. If you had 1600 yd of a medium blue Baby Kid Extra mohair yarn, what would you knit? Let me know–you might be the 1000th commenter and win a prize! The 1000th comment is very close.

ETA:  Did you know that people can send you messages on Ravelry?  Of course you did.  I didn’t.  Thanks to everyone, all 21 of you, who have made me a friend  on Ravelry.  Just a few minutes ago I noticed the little message icon up by my user name.  Messages?  How handy!  I’ve never claimed to be the brightest bulb on the strand.

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!

WIPs with a Green Tape Measure

Before I WIP it for this week, I want to say I received my Ravelry invite on Sunday. I’m still learning my way around the site, where I can be found under the sobriquet of MolecularKnit, but I have already found several projects to put in my queue. I even found a few people whose blogs I read, and I made them my friends. I still need to find a picture of myself to use. I might try to get M to help me do something fun. I may wait a day or two to ask him though, as today in lab he thought it was “fun” to keep squirting me with lab bench water bottle. But let’s look at those WIPs!

The back of the minimalist cardi is up to 11 inches! 3 more inches and I get to decrease for the sleeves. I got to just over 10 inches with the first skein of Cascade 220. I know I have to stop knitting on this when I do a row of seed stitch instead of moss.
Minimalist Cardi Back 081407

In addition to knitting all the pieces for the Cardi by October, I would also like to get the Habu silk scarf from VLT done. The Clarence Border isn’t shown here as I can’t get the tape readable and show the whole scarf as it is now a yard long. Half way done.
VLT scarf on 081407

By Thanksgiving, I would like to get the Pinnacle Chevron Scarf in Ultra Alpaca done for M. I took it to Wisconsin and knit on it there, so now I am up to 21 inches. M is very tall. Thanksgiving is not an unreasonable finish date. I love knitting with this yarn–soft but durable.
&Pinnacle Chevron length 081407

WitW sock and Delicato Mitt

Finally, by October I would like to finish the Delicato Mitts and this new pair of socks. I started the sock for myself; the yarn is Claudia’s Hand Paints in Walk in the Woods. The pattern is the Spaced Check from More Sensational Knitted Socks, which I realize is hard to see here; it’s better on the foot. However, the sock is rather large for me. I was bummed at first until I remembered that my friend Nancy, to whom I have promised a birthday gift of hand-knitted socks, has bigger feet than me. So instead of using the LL Mother Lode yarn for her socks (you may remember I had tragic pooling issues), I shall do a switcheroo. Now I am almost done with her first sock instead of not having started!

Well, those are all the WIPs that are fit to print.  I hope all your WIPs are going well!

Minimalist Cardigan

I am always, always on the lookout for throw-on-throw-off cardigans due to my job. The lab is kept reasonably cool unless I need to wear a labcoat, work in the cell culture room, or environmental services decides to “make improvements.” So an easy cardigan is perfect, and when I saw Ruthie Nussbaum’s Minimalist Cardigan in the Fall IK, I knew I had to have it. (I took a photo of the magazine photo, but Flickr is giving me the wrong code for inserting the photo, so you’ll have to use the link and scroll down).

Luckily, she used a worsted weight yarn, and I had more then enough bright navy Cascade 220 in stash. I made the moss stitch swatch, and I got both stitch and row gauge. I never get row gauge. I even got gauge with the specified size needles. I was a bit worried the knitting gods were setting me up for a great fall, but I decided I needed to continue in a suitably grateful and humble manner.

Saturday morning, after finishing THE BOOK the night before, I cast on and knit throughout most of the day. I also did six loads of laundry and cleaned the house, but I got half way to the arm hole decreases of the back.

Minimalist Cardi--back start

I really like the moss stitch fabric, and since I knit continental, the switch between knit and purl is easy. I need to email IK as the pattern tells the knitter to knit the ribbing of the back and sleeves to 1.5 inches, and 1.25 inches for the fronts. Clearly, that isn’t correct. But otherwise, the pattern is very clear and easy to follow.

My plan is to have the pieces all knit by October along with a few select WIPs that I’ll talk about on Wednesday. This schedule should fit well into a Master Knitting Plan that I have been concocting in my feeble, little brain. I would then, in theory, have time to also knit something like Icarus for holiday wearing. Time will tell if I can bring all this to fruition.

I hope you have had a good knitting weekend!

Returning with Eye Candy

M and I went on a junket to visit my family in Wisconsin for the first week of August. We had a wonderful time. I thought I would get a lot of knitting done, but that was not the case. I worked on a WIP for M, and I started an entirely new sock for myself. I have single socks and partial socks all over the place, but we don’t have to discuss that right now.

I do have three FOs to post about and several WIPs. However, the Fall IK was in the mailbox when we returned. Tonight is a swatch. I must do it. The pattern won’t leave me alone. But you’ll have to wait to see what I am swatching (keep your fingers crossed that I get gauge!). Yes, I’m mean. I will say it’s a sweater. I hope the yarn I want to use will work (I can’t find the blog post of the yarn, so you’ll have to wait for that too I’m afraid). It was intended for a different sweater last Fall. But I’m 18 pounds and a couple inches smaller now, and the old sweater has six inches between sizes. What would have been generous ease before would be ridiculous now. So, it’s the Fall IK to the rescue!

It’s less than three weeks until my 1st Blogiversary! And I am nearing my 1000th comment. Contests are coming! Pictures of FOs are coming! WIPs and new projects are coming!

But I have to get my act together first.

In the meantime, here’s a little garden eye candy all the way from Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Hollyhock, Mom’s garden.

Coleus at Paine Art Center
Coleus, Paine Art Center Gardens.

Happy Knitting!