Wednesday, December 19, 2007

No Humdrum in Sight

Thank you so much Jenn! My package arrived yesterday and the mittens are absolutely beautiful!

The colors are so pretty and great together - I don't think I would have thought to use a variegated yarn with this pattern! The cuffs are a tad tight, but I've worn them a couple of times now and they feel a bit looser already, so I'm hoping with more wear they'll relax. I think the least stretchy part is the cast on, which I'm unfamiliar with. Is it supposed to be so inelastic, or is this a needle issue (I've heard many people have to go up in needle size when using Eunny's patterns)? Either way, I'm in love with them. According to Jenn's Ravelry page, she used Artyarns Ultramerino 4, and though it's a fingering weight, I'm finding them to be very warm.

The rest of the package was filled with goodies too;

Two balls each of Elsebeth Lavold Classic AL in white and teal to make Kate Gilbert's Bird in Hand Mittens, some Eucalan wash, some fancy Italian hand lotion, a knitting key chain(!), and some yummy treats, along with a very nice note. I'm so excited about the Bird in the Hand mittens and can't wait to make them!

Everything is just so great and I'm so glad I took part in the swap. Deb is getting ready to host another round, and while I'm not sure if I'm going to take part (there's too many other things I want to knit before it gets warm again), but I had the best time getting to know Jenn and my other partner and I would recommend the swap to anyone looking for something a little different. We all deserve fancy mittens! Thank you so much!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

FO: Mittens From Lapland

Every year it seems like December goes by even faster. This year I'm scrambling to get everything done, not to mention working and getting enough sleep! I've been behind in the blogging lately, and I've missed it, but the lack of sunlight so far this winter is sure putting a damper on photo ops.

Here are the mittens in action. Pardon my cheesy hand position:

These were probably the most enjoyable thing I've knit in awhile, I think mostly because the color changes were constantly pushing me on; instead of "just one more row," it was "let me get to the next pattern!"

This picture is especially bad, and I apologize. The sun and snow didn't come until after I'd already shipped them off to my secret swap partner for the No More Humdrum Mittens Swap. I don't think she's trolling the blogs for hints on who her partner is, but I'll save her identity for another time. I sent these beauties (I'm pretty sad to let them go!) with some other goodies and hopefully they'll be keeping her hands warm very soon. As for the details:

Pattern: Mittens from Lapland, from Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski.

Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers in colors 2423 (light blue) and 2427 (red), plus some vintage Bernat worsted wool in Winter White.

Needles: Susan Bates metal DPNs in size 2 throughout.

Modifications: None, though I think my gauge might have been slightly smaller than in the pattern. The mittens turned out perfect for my hands, though more snug than other mittens I've had in the past. I hope they turn out as well for the recipient. The gauge issue might have been caused by the stranding (which I now realize I missed taking a picture of - what a bad blogger I am!), but I paid close attention to it while knitting. Like I said, they were perfect for me and hopefully they'll be fine for their new owner as well.

I would definitely make these mittens again. They were quick, interesting, and pretty inexpensive. I have my eyes on a few other patters in the Folk Mittens book, as well as the plethora of other mitten patterns available online (check out out the side bar of the swap page if you're looking for some, both free and non-free).

Now I just have to wait for my mittens!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

One Down

If they gave out prizes for the bloggers who completely ignored NaBloPoMo (a No Blog Posting Month, or NoBloPoMo, if you will), I just might win that one. I'm sorry for my unannounced absence that lasted longer than a month (I can hardly believe it!). Things were just piling up, one on top of another, and I could hardly find the time to think much less knit and write about it.

Student teaching is finished now, which is a huge accomplishment for me. The last day of school was a bittersweet one. I'll definitely miss the kids and it's weird not to be in school right now (though I am enjoying getting up a bit later!). Now I'm working my way through the holiday season: if you need a book recommendation, I'm your girl! Anyway, between finishing teaching, finishing all my homework about teaching, Thanksgiving, and starting work, knitting time has been a bit scarce. I'm hoping to do some more in the coming weeks though, especially now that it's getting really cold.

I did manage to finish the first of my Mitten Swap mittens:

This is the mitten (soon to be mittens, of course) from Lapland from Folk Mittens, and I absolutely love it. I sure hope my partner does too.

I've already cast on for the second one (not giving myself a chance to forget about it), and hopefully it'll go quickly. The pattern actually moves very fast because all the color changes make you want to keep knitting until the next one.

I'm also working on a super secret project for Christmas. I wonder if I can keep Guy from reading the blog so I can show you what it is. If not, I'll be able to show you the FO, which, I've just noticed, hasn't happened for awhile around here. It's so good to be back with you all, so I'll try my hardest to actually finish something!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

DROPs and Mittens

The days are just flying by lately. This fall has been one of the busiest I can remember, so forgive me if posting is a little unpredictable. I'm down to the final few weeks of student teaching, so hopefully I can stay strong and get everything done and then things will calm down a bit.

This fall has also been a strange one weather wise - two weekends so far in October with 80 degree temperatures?! It sure isn't helping me keep on track with the beautiful Drops Jacket. So far I've finished the back and one front and I'm about half way with the second front piece.

This was supposed to be my quick, easy knit to keep me warm. Now, since the air is keeping me warm all by itself, I've gotten a bit lazy.

I will finish this beauty, but it might take a blast of cold air to get me back on track...

In other news, I got my partner for the Mitten Exchange! I'm super excited about this swap and my partner's color preferences and the prospect for a very nice package in the near future. So excited, that I cast on pretty much immediately and quite a bit to show for it.

This is mitten number one (of course), using the Mittens from Lapland pattern from Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski (a beautiful book if you're looking for interesting mittens). I'm using Cascade 220 and size 2 DPNs, but it's turning out to be quick, pretty easy, and so interesting because the color patterns change so frequently. The only thing that is slowing me down a bit are the rounds where all three colors are used. I haven't figured out an efficient way to hold all three yarns yet. Any suggestions?

And to my Mitten Pal - I'm so glad you're as excited about this project as I am and that I could oblige with the color choices! That's so cool that we have things in common - I hope a lot of us in the swap will make some friends! Anyway, I would have to say my favorite artist is Cezanne because of all the advances he made for modern art, but I'm also a pretty big fan of Andy Warhol, Edward Hopper, Neil Jenney, and Dana Schutz. Feel free to email me if you have anymore questions!

Monday, October 8, 2007

A Day Off

Today's Columbus Day for those in the U.S., so I celebrated by having a day off of school, sleeping in, watching some trashy court shows on TV, knitting, eating a warm lunch for once, reading, knitting, and cleaning (not much progress with the cleaning, so I'll spare you the photos from it).

The Easy Flame Lace Scarf is coming along, though to you it doesn't look much different than before. I promise it's longer. I'm loving the pattern and the yarn (Laceweight Malabrigo) since the pattern is ridiculously easy and yarn feels like butter, but the Susan Bates metal needles I'm using are holding me back. After awhile of knitting it all just feels tight and metallic - yuck. I'm not sure why this happens after knitting for some time (maybe I just don't notice it at first?), but I'm taking some breaks and trying to get through it.

And I love this stuff so much that I bought another couple of skeins. I'm not sure yet if I'll make more Easy Flames or not, but they sure are pretty to look at, no?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Too Hot to Knit

While it seems like fall has come to the rest of the country, the Midwest is still definitely in summer. I suppose that gives me some time to finish up the jacket, but the piles of wool are just too much right now.

I found this instead:

m A K e_McElman_070716_2345
A R_McElman_070717_2639 T

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Easy Peasy

Tuesday and Wednesday were busy and hard. A bad day followed by a busy day of picking up the pieces. Nothing too dramatic or interesting, but they didn't leave any room for blogging or even knitting (and I think I'm pretty good at finding the spare moment to knit!).

But today was better. School is going well and I'm really excited about what is happening and what will happen.

The Easy Flame Scarf is exciting as well:

I'm loving the pattern and just how easy it really is, and the laceweight Malabrigo is amazing, but these tiny needles and yarn sure are making this thing last awhile. I can't wait for it to be done because I know it'll be beautiful, but the Drops jacket is carrying me away with it's quickness.

The days are getting shorter all the time, but this weekend promises to almost set a record for high temperatures, so I'll try to stick with the scarf for now. A nice little scarf is much better quasi summer knitting than a huge pile of chunky yarn anyway. Even if I could finish that sucker in a couple of hours if I tried. I'll try not to think about it as I toil away.