Sock 1 of 11 in 2011

I finished my first pair of socks for 2011 and am so happy to be right on point with doing 11 pairs in 2011. Just between you and me, though, I’m pretty sure that I will end up with more than 11 pairs when all’s said and done, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens! 🙂

Hedera Socks - FINISHED

Meet Hedera, the first sock in the Sock.Knit.Love KAL going on over on Ravelry. I had never knit this Cookie A pattern before but I was happy to see it was a very easy and quick knit, taking only two days for each sock.

Hedera Socks - FINISHED

And the yarn was a dream to work with! I’m actually a little sad that these socks are now my sister’s as it was my only BFL/Nylon blend and being from Fiberphile the color is just gorgeous. Not an easy one to let go of, let me tell you… and somehow I’m seeing a pattern here from my last post. Maybe I need to be a more selfish knitter? Hmmm…

Hedera Socks - FINISHED

Pattern – Hedera by Cookie A (project link | pattern link)
Yarn – Fiberphile BFL/Nylon Sock in Black Cherry (rav link | store I used)
Needle – US1 (2.25mm)
Cast on – January 11, 2010
Cast off – January 26, 2011
Modifications – none

PS: To my dear readers: I’m way behind on replying to comments, but am slowly getting through it… bear with me while I get them done please!


Momma’s Vest

Wood Hollow Vest - Finished!

I am so excited to share this gorgeous vest with you! After making that mistake in the beginning, the vest was pretty smooth knitting. That doesn’t mean it was easy – far from it, actually, with all the intensive cabling and lots of stitch patterns in any one row – but it does mean that I didn’t have many problems as I was working on it. And maybe because of the time it took I love this one a whole lot! And I honestly am having the hardest time letting it go and shipping it on to California, where I hope my mom will love it as much as I do.

Wood Hollow Vest - Finished!

This vest turned out perfect! I knit it using negative ease, which was important as I think it looks much better than the boxy look of the original on the pattern page – at least, that’s how I like to see vests!

Wood Hollow Vest - Finished!

The color/yarn combo was perfect too. I love MadTosh DK (this is my third garment knit out of it!) and the Betty Draper’s Blue color is the perfect blue, IMO! Just gorgeous and a wonderful shade… which should look very pretty next to my mom’s pale skin.

Wood Hollow Vest - Finished!

I had a lot of fun knitting this one and can’t wait to hear what my mom thinks… I think it will look awesome on her and she should be able to wear it to work too, which is great as this is definitely one that can work as casual or work-related wear. Looking forward to seeing it on her… and maybe she’ll take a picture that I can share with you, but I doubt it… she’s much worse than me about getting in front of a camera, LOL!

Wood Hollow Vest - Finished!

Pattern – Wood Hollow Vest by Kirsten Kapur (project link | pattern link)
Yarn – Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Betty Draper’s Blue (rav link | store I used)
Needle – US4 (3.5mm) and US5 (3.75mm)
Cast on – January 4, 2010
Cast off – January 22, 2011
Modifications – I modified the pattern to knit in the round up to the armholes. I took out 4 stitches from the total count to make up for the selvedge edge. I knit the body to 14″ and the armhole to 9.5″ as my mom is petite. In actuality, I think this length would be something I’d prefer (I’m not petite) because I don’t like long vests. If I had knit as the pattern wanted, I’d have added 2 extra inches overall to what I made, which I think I wouldn’t have liked personally.

After knitting this one up I think it’s safe to say that it’s harder to knit a garment for someone else when they are the same size as you (well except that my mom is like 5″ shorter, LOL!) because if it looks good on you then it’s really really hard to give up. I honestly was seriously thinking about keeping it, but my mom’s very special 55th Birthday won out, so it’s already all packed up and ready to head her way… in a sealed box too so I can’t be tempted to open it up again and take it out. 😉

And btw, yes, I call my mom Momma, and, no, you can’t make fun of me about it! 😉

Pretty snow

I know what you’re thinking… what the hell is she talking about? Wasn’t she complaining just yesterday that all the snow and gray skies were so depressing and a much-needed yarn therapy was in order? Yeah, okay, you got me… but after I posted that complaint I was surprised and delighted with a gorgeous sunset last night. Now I’ve seen my share of beautiful sunsets from our apartment because of our view but this one in particularly stuck me as amazing because it was snowing at the same time! That’s right, we had snowfall AND a sunset. Now how often does that happen? And, of course, I had to document it… you know, because I was sure no one would believe me unless I did. 😉

Snow + Sun

Snow + Sun

As the snow turned into a flurry, a more respectable (though still pretty) sunset emerged!

Snow + Sun

Today we woke up to gorgeous blue skies and a bitterly cold morning that turned into an equally bitterly cold day. We didn’t let that stop us from having any fun, though, as our nephews were visiting us from California and a quick trip to the roof was definitely in order!

Snow on the Roof

Kubrick’s face up there? That’s how happy the dogs were to be on the roof! And, of course, they weren’t the only ones.

Snow on the Roof

Are my nephews gorgeous or what? Too bad I can’t take credit for any family resemblance as they are my brother-in-law’s kids! But they do look a lot like my husband, so I guess I picked a good one. 😉

Snow on the Roof

Snow on the Roof

They had lots of fun playing in the snow… and so did the dogs!

Snow on the Roof

Snow on the Roof

Snow on the Roof

What’s with kids constantly eating snow? LOL!

Snow on the Roof

Snow on the Roof

Snow on the Roof

Snow on the Roof

Snow on the Roof

And then it got too cold to stay up there anymore and we headed downstairs… not before I got this one last shot of pretty, though!

Sun sets through

Hope your weekend is treating you well!

Eye Candy

It’s snowing here (again, *sigh*) and amidst all the gray skies and white-snow-turning-to-black-sludge streets, a dose of color and pretty has been needed. In other words, some eye candy! I usually just stare at my yarn cabinet in those moments and soak in the color so I thought I should share some of my latest acquisitions with you dear blog readers in an attempt to bring the pretty to you! Although I’ve been very very good about knitting from stash lately (I’ve seriously learned how to control impulse buying), I’ve had a few additions to the stash in the last couple of months that I’m very proud of. In particular the last few sweater quantities that have crossed my doorstep are quite lovely and definitely worthy of sharing!

First up is a dyer that quite a few of you readers encouraged me to try during the Blogiversary contest: Hedgehog Fibres. And boy oh boy am I glad I did! Take a look at this beauty:

Hedgehog Fibres Blue Faced DK

That’s her new Blue Faced DK base in the color Shamrock and I pretty much gasped when I saw the color and gasped AGAIN when I touched it! Oh so soft and luscious. I cannot wait to knit this one up. Right now it’s destined to become a Parcel (rav link), though I’m withholding final word until I’m ready to knit with it. That being said, I do think it will look just lovely knit up in that sweater!

Madelinetosh Tosh Sport

And this one I’m particularly in love with! It’s Madelinetosh Tosh Sport in Ophelia and it’s just a beauty to look at! Even though it’s extremely variegated, which I don’t usually knit with (though lately they’ve been drawing me in… not sure why!), I just had to buy it when I saw it come up on her Etsy site… and it also has a sweater all lined up for it too! The beautiful Cria (rav link) out of the new Little Red Knits book by Ysolda Teague – which I preordered the minute it became available! Love all those sweater patterns! And Cria should be the perfect sweater for such a variegated color as it’s all stockinette and garter stitch. By the way, if you haven’t tried the Tosh Sport base yet you should… it’s so wonderfully springy and soft and the stitch definition is beautiful. I knit a Bitterroot out of it earlier this year and am looking forward to a sweater made out of it!

Madelinetosh Pashmina

Tosh Lace

Last, but certainly not least, are the skeins above that I bought specifically with a sweater in mind. This is very rare for me, as I usually buy yarn and THEN commit to a pattern (not sure if that’s been the best approach for me, to be honest!), so I was very excited about this one coming in and I believe it will be my very next sweater pattern! It’s the Fred+Ginger Cardigan (rav link) by Laura Chau and I love everything about it… the stockinette stitch, the little lace ruffles (I have such a weakness for ruffles!), the fit, everything! I cannot wait to cast this one on and I think the Tosh Pashmina and Lace in Fjord will just look gorgeous in it.

And although I do have some new single skeins lying here and there (very few, though – I promise I’ve been good!), I think I will save those for another time… probably one when more Eye Candy is needed!

And for an extra dose of Eye Candy, I changed my blog layout and banner today. I love seeing all those trees in color up there! So pretty. 🙂

Pretty VS. Wearable

I’ve been thinking about this question quite a lot lately… what is pretty and what is wearable? I know that I tend to admire a lot of patterns, and will favorite them immediately on Ravelry, without truly thinking about not only whether I’d ever wear it, but also how often I’d be using that knitted item. In fact, although I’ve gotten much better about making things that actually look good on me, I have quite a few items that people think are gorgeous that do not get worn very often… and vice versa! Quite a few knitted items I’ve made that I wear over and over again do/did not get as much attention as I was expecting hoping they would. It’s funny too because all the knit items I’ve made for other people get compliments as they are walking down the street (seriously, I get text messages from friends reading “Wearing your hat today and just got three compliments on it! :)”) but when I wear my own knit items I very rarely get complimented… if ever! Perhaps I’m not as friendly a person as I think I am? Or maybe I’m not as pretty as the friends who wear the knit items I make them? In either case, since I don’t get people stopping me to say “OMG I love that hat! Where did you get it?”, I have to go elsewhere to see how those knit items are being received. So, of course, my first resource for seeing how much people love something is Ravelry and this blog. The blog I feel is not as easy because you have to actually sit down and type a response, which can be tedious and perhaps tiring for some, but on Ravelry it’s as quick as pressing a “Add to faves” button, which people seem to do quite easily judging by the number of favorites in many users’ accounts… like mine, boasting a full 1,230!

So the other day I decided to sit down and actually pay attention to those little hearts under my projects and I was very surprised with the tally on some, and not at all surprised on others. For example, my number one favorited project is the Applewood Cardigan I made last year.

Vine Yoke Cardigan - FINISHED

While I’ve worn this one quite a bit, it’s not one of my most-worn sweaters at all. Why? The only reason really is because it’s too short and that really bothers me. I am constantly finding myself pulling down on it as I wear it and that really drives me batty. It’s definitely a beautiful sweater, I just wish I had made it longer! In fact, out of all the sweaters I’ve made my favorite ones to wear are Sunniva and Effortless, both look and feel beautiful and yet one (Effortless) has a ton of favorites and the other (Sunniva) not so much.

Sunniva - FINISHED

Effortless Cardigan - FINISHED

Is that because of the number of projects tied to each of those sweaters? That would totally make sense except for the fact that the Children of Lir shawl I test knit has no other projects knit but my own and the designer’s and yet I have a lot of favorites on it…

Children of Lir Shawl - FINISHED

And my sister wears this shawl almost every single day and gets a LOT of compliments on it when wearing it too! On the other end of the spectrum, I have items that I wear every single day in the winter that have almost no favorites on them whatsoever – like this Jane hat!


Which, surprisingly, I have gotten compliments on from other friends while wearing it. The other item I’ve been wearing pretty much every day this winter is my Folha Luz shawlette which I wear as a scarf like this:

Folha Luz - FINISHED

This one has a fair number of favorites and I have gotten a couple of compliments on it as well, but not nearly enough for how often I wear it! 😉

And not to say that any of this plays a role in what I knit (or wear!) but I do find it interesting to note the difference between what people find pretty to look at compared to what I find that I like to wear every day. And it might all come down to the picture or the number of projects on that pattern, or even maybe how pretty I look during the photo shoot that day… I’m not sure. But in either case, I will keep on knitting and wearing my knitted items and musing about the Ravelry favorites system. Certainly it’s fun to find that others like your work… even if it’s not as much (or as little) as you do!

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