Monday, November 23, 2009

This just in!

Ladies and gents, we interrupt this series of knitting flashbacks to bring you something current! Yep, hot off the needles, here is my most recent creation:
Pattern: Emerald Mitts
Designer: Lucy Sweetland
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette - Ash
Needles: US # 4
Time to Knit: 8 days here and there--a fun little project!
Made for: What's that you say? A supreeez??
Modifications: The most noticeable modification I made was knitting the rows following the bobbles tbl instead of through the front. Also, I decreased one stitch on row 16 of the chart by p2tog in the first stitch, then doing a P2K2 ribbing around the mitten except the design in the front. Lastly, I must have misread the directions for the thumb gusset on the left mitt, because it looks completely different than the right. Regardless of the change, they both fit perfectly.

How about a close-up obligatory "mitts holding tea" shot? Oh look, here it is:
Huzzah! It was a fun and speedy project--I'm pleased with the final result and excited to get them to their mystery owner. Muaha. I love knitting surprises!

Oh, and here it is Raveled!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Next Up: Scottish Habitat!

Moving right along in the series of unreported FO's from this summer, we have a burly wool hat! A wool hat you say? Rachel, what possessed you to knit a wool hat in the middle of summer? I'll give you a hint: It might have had something to do with this man...
Scottish Highlander. Mmmmm...

Okay, so, the man pictured above was the phenomenal highland tour guide from a 3-day bus excursion we took in northern Scotland. This guy is the quintecential Highland male, and he did everything possible to make sure we had a good time (this included being extra dreamy and awesome). Anyway, before the end of the trip, he comissioned a manly wool hat so he wouldn't have to steal mine before leaving. Fast forward seven days later? Meet Habitat:

Pattern: Habitat by Jared Flood
Needles: US #7 Addi Turbos
Yarn: New Lanark Donegal Aran - 100% [Scottish] Wool
Time to Knit: One glorious week
Recipient: Graeme the Highlander!
Level of Love: Cable swoonage took (and is still taking) place.
Modifications: zippo!

Here some shots of it finished on me. Not nearly as attractive as they would have been on him, but it's the best I could do.The great thing about the hat is that the more he wears it, the warmer it will become. I chose this design because the coarse fibers of the wool (when wet from the frequent rain) will felt themselves together making a denser material better at blocking out wind. Who doesn't like a hat that does that?
The intricate cables and star burst design near the crown were a bonus because (I can say from experience) the weekend bus ride was spent looking at nothing but the back of his head. I figured the future tour members might appreciate something interesting to look at (besides him, of course...oh, and maybe the breathtaking Scottish Highlands!).
Lastly, I'll leave you with this video of me [intentionally] sliding down a hill in the Isle of Skye. The filmwork is a tad shaky toward the end (motion-sickness prone be warned), but that's because the guy filming saved my DSLR from crashing to its almost certain doom. Eeegads.

Great memories in Scotland. Great memories. More knitting to come soon!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Let's Start at the Very Beginning

I've been told by my good friend Julie Andrews that it's a very good place to start. So, let's see. When we last left off, knitting wise, I was slowly but surely chugging along on this:
Between that point and the time I finished it, I reached a point of frustration. You know, the stage when you feel like you've been working on the same project for ages and it just won't finish itself? That'd be nice. If a project could just finish itself. Obviously in my case that didn't happen, and piling it on my head seemed like a more viable solution than actually getting it done at the time.
Luckily, around May 25th I found the mojo necessary to finish the edging charts and get the whole thing blocked. Just in time for my trip to Scotland (woohoo!).Isn't blocked lace awesome? It maintains to be my favorite part of the process. Okay, how about some details?

Pattern: Springtime Bandit
Designer: Kate Gagnon Osborn
Yarn: 4.5 skeins of Artyarns Supermerino - Sapphire
Needles US #8 Addis
Time to knit: laughable. I began March 15th and well...yeah. May 25th.
Level of Love: High! Very wearable, warm, colorful, and squooshy!
Mods: I added 2 extra repeats of the leaf motif--that's it!

And here are some of the FO shots!So there you have it! This project got a lot of wear during my trip and will continue to do so now that the weather is getting cooler again. I'm glad I'm finally getting to share these projects with you, there are many many more in my FO arsenal waiting to be seen--stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Analysis Paralysis

There is so much I'd like to do with this-here space of mine that I've stumbled into my common state of "analysis paralysis". Does this happen to anyone else? When you have so many ideas going on in your head about what you'd like to do that you end up not doing anything?

Sigh. This is where I'm at right now. Please forgive me. Let me make it better by giving you a friendly wave "hello":
No? that didn't fix the problem? Hmmm...

Would you like to know the worst part? I have SO MUCH to share with you! Actually, now that I think about it, that sounds like the best part. Give me a day or two to develop that-- I have a feeling I'll come up with a solution in no time.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Eye Candy - Stash update

Hiya! I'm back in the states and ready to do some serious knitting. To help expedite the matter, I decided to get organized. Take a look at these bad boys!

Those are my most recently purchased stash all photographed and cataloged on Ravelry. As you can see, one of those photos made the cut as a new blog header; it's a handpainted, handspun yarn gifted by my wonderful sister-in-law (thank you Keri!). The change isn't too drastic, I just needed a little change of scenery to keep up with things around here--Whee!

That stash ought to keep me busy for a while, eh? More [actual] knitting updates to come soon (I promise).

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

An update!

If you're wondering why there has been a severe lack of communication on my part over the past 42 days it's because...well...

a) I'm in Scotland!
b) I'm exploring things (in Scotland).
c) I'm meeting people (in Scotland).
d) I'm taking 6 credits (in Scotland).
e) I'm having a wonderful time (in Scotland).
f) And lastly, I'm exhausted (in Scotland).

Though my blog has fallen by the wayside temporarily, I have not forsaken all internet related communication. To prove it, have a look at some photos from the past 41 days!

See! Visual proof that I am actually out doing things. Admittedly, Project 365 has temporarily taken the place of a "blog" since school ended. If you're interested in following my antics over the next few weeks (until I get back to blogging regularly again), you can do that here!
"Ummm...I'm adorable."

I promise I'll get back on a normal schedule sometime in August, but until then, take care & happy knitting!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Guess what!

It's true.

My mom is one of the most important influences in my life-- I don't know where (or who) I'd be without her.

As for the heart, it was [REALLY] quick and simple!

Pattern: Hearts
Needles: US #5 Addi Turbos
Yarn: di.Ve' Autunno (This pattern would be great for scraps!)
Time to knit: 15 minutes undisturbed (or a medium length Skype convo in my case.)
Level of love: I <3 style="font-style: italic;"> (Get it?)

That's all for now...

I love you, mom--very much. Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Hey look, a WIP!
Photographic evidence that I am still, in fact, a knitter. The project above is (an almost completed!) Springtime Bandit shawl. It's made with 5 skeins of the sproingiest yarn I've ever worked with (Artyarns Supermerino).
"OOOoooo.... Ahhhhhhhhh"

Updates on this project and others to come soon--Whee!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oh dear...

My poor, neglected little I miss you so! I have no excuses for you, other than... ummm...these:
  • College
  • A promotion (yay!)
  • flickr 365 (probably the guiltiest of the 3!)
To be quite truthful (as a result of the list above), I really haven't been knitting much lately. It pains me to admit that, but hopefully I'll regain steam sometime soon and start stash-busting like mad!

Despite not having knitting to show you, I do have an update to share!

ohai! I'm excited!

That is the expression of one happy girl who has (in her possession) the flight arrangements for studying overseas in Scotland this summer! I'll be studying both photography and history while living 15 minutes outside of Edinburgh-- I can't even begin to tell you how much I'm looking forward to this trip! The one that begins exactly ONE MONTH from today! Gah!

Apologies again for neglecting this neck of the woods for so long--I will do my best to remedy the absence!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

When yarn speaks, I listen

Though this isn't a FO post, it is a rather exciting one for you fiber addicts out there! This past Friday, my mom and I did some serious mother/daughter retail bonding at our favorite yarn shop--it was fantastic.

One of the highlights is the yarn pictured - it is [10 skeins of] Rowan Felted Tweed and it's going to be made into a longerish-length Minimalist Cardigan. Have you ever just had yarn speak to you? Well, this yarn said:

"rachel, please knit me into a wonderfully tweedy grandpa sweater"

So I listened.

More finished goodies to come soon!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Meet Ishbel

Welcome to round two of my belated project sharing! This one is a little on the larger side. With that said, let me introduce you to Ishbel:
Hello, I'm a gigantic lace project!

The details:

Pattern: Ishbel
Designer: Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Lace 2 ply
Needles: US #7 Addi Turbos
Time to knit: 6 days(...?!)
Made for: Mrs. P
Level of love: Total adoration (and exhaustion)

A closeup of the vine detail.

In short, Ishbel was a deadline project knit for a close friend's mother. She initially asked if I'd be able to complete this shawl back in July explaining that it would be needed for an event on February 20th. "February?", I thought--that's AGES away, of COURSE I'll have time by then! Well, leave it to me and my knack for procrastination to wait until the absolute last possible moment to start this project. It was begun on Sunday, February 8th and completed late Saturday, Februarh 14th. Yikes. Over 40 hours of knitting was put into making this wonder, and I must say, it gave me quite the sense of accomplishment. My roommate verified that it was the most she'd ever seen me knitting in a 6 day span of time. That's a lot of knitting.

I had never worked with Misti Alpaca Lace before, but I had heard lots of swooning over it by other knitters (always a good sign). The project was requested in a neutral color-- Ivory, grey, or black. Since I'd already completed an ivory shawl, black won hands down. Until this project, fingering weight yarn was the lightest yarn I'd used, and I couldn't really imagine knitting with anything any lighter. Right. At many times I had to adjust my tension due to fear of breaking the yarn mid stitch (that never happened) -- a tad on the nervewracking side.

Looking back, I'm certainly glad I have the experience of 2 ply under my belt, but boy did it slow things down! The end fabric was absolutely to die for--one of the softest materials I've ever felt. How so much warmth can come from something so lightweight and dainty, I'll never fully understand.

Ysolda's pattern, as per usual, was absolutely fantastic and easy to follow-- I will definitely be making this again (but maybe in the smaller size). That said, however, I will NOT be doing any more crazy marathon knitting in the near future. As a knowledgeable fellow knitter said to me:

"A stopwatch is for athletes; not knitters".

Well spoken.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Straun: Too much rock for one state

Well hello! By now I'd imagine my absence for over month is [unfortunately] seen as nothing out of the ordinary. Though no excuse is a good excuse, I can say that I've been so wrapped up in the new semester and Project 365 that my poor blog has gone by the wayside.

On the positive side? It means I have quite a bit share! These next few posts might be slightly out of order as far as finishing dates go, but I promise they all happened within the last month. First up? Straun:

Pattern: Straun
Designer: Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Worsted - Blue graphite (.8 skeins)
Needles: US #5 Addi Turbos
Time to knit: 1/26 - 2/5
Made for: Darren aka Darius Twin
Level of love: total BAMFness

I had been itching to cast on for this hat for quite a while, but (as is often the case with knitting projects) just because I see something I love doesn't mean I'll then have a use for it upon its completion. Luckily, I was able to find an open and willing recipient who possessed the "cool factor" necessary to pull this hat off (unlike me pictured below...*ahem*).

Technique-wise, this project has added a few to the belt. First of all, the invisible loop cast on method. It was a tad on the tricky side initially, but lent itself well to the final product (plus the links in the pattern were very helpful). Because the hat was knit from the top down, it ended with the hemming of the brim portion. Mind you, that process involved grafting 105 live stitches up inside a hat that needed to be kept even vertically while also minding the hem length & brim tension. FUN!

All things considered, however, I really love how this hat turned out and am very (very) pleased with the final product. I'm not 100% certain, but from the looks of it, it would appear the recipient is too!

(Photos & artistry below are a product of Darren Pearson!)
Glad you like it Darren, you rock.

And what's to come? Looks to me like a hat, a pair of mittens, and *gasp* a lace shawl-- Hooooo boy!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A hat for Sam

Just a quick post to share a [very] quick project. I seem to be developing a trend...

Pattern:'s more of a recipe, really
Gauge: 5.5 sts per 2"
Needles: US #10 Addi Turbos
Yarn: 2 half skeins of Cascade 220 Heathers held double
Made for: Sam
Time to knit: 2 discs of Arrested Development (Season 2)
Level of love: easy, peasy, & awesome

Hi, I'm Sam.

This hat was so fast and enjoyable it makes me smile. It was made to recreate a hat that he currently has in black & white and wears all the time. I took a gauge, some length measurements, did some swatching and went to town. I really am pleased with the finished product (and I'd like to think he is too)!

Hey look, a label!

Sigh. All in all, these little projects are basically all I have time for these days--I'm in the middle of taking a very condensed (and intensive) interim accounting course which leaves little to no brain power for knitting. I do have a several more challenging projects lined up for when I'm not spending every waking moment dealing with debits, credits and posting to T accounts. That day can't come soon enough...really.

Monday, January 5, 2009

It's official

Okay, this really isn't knitting related (well... maybe a little), but definitely exciting enough for me to share! Today I stopped by the Office of International Education to get the application needed to study abroad this summer... Scotland.

(that's one VERY happy college knitter.)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Wham bam

First project of the new year is completed! Let me tell you folks, it was a quickie. (And I said I was going to challenge myself this year? Hah! It's a garter stitch rectangle-- doesn't get much simpler than that!)

Pattern: Wham Bam Thank you Lamb (ravelry)
Designer: Insaknitty
Yarn: 75 yards of handspun, handpainted (in my favorite colors) merino wool gifted by my [wonderful] sister in law, Keri!
Needles: US #13 Addi Turbos
Time to Knit: 2 hours? really? are we serious?
Level of Love: Well considering I haven't removed it since these photos were taken, I'd say unreasonably high.

Talk about instant gratification, this project was great. Not only was it quick and easy, but it was a great piece for showcasing the beautiful yarn too. And yes, I've gone a little bit from hat happy to cowl happy, but (in my defense) I didn't actually get to keep the last two. Anyway, this pattern comes highly recommended--I'm sure I'll be making it again!

**Oh! Also, I've decided to start Project 365 on Flickr for 2009--who thinks I can do it?