Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

I love Ravelry and the more time I spend on it the more I find. Patterns, yarns, people. Love it! I've joined a few swaps on there as well. The latest one was Spring Has Sprung. It was a secret swap so we'd know who we were sending to but we didn't know who was sending to us. We were to knit a one skein item that reminded us of spring and include a gift of some kind that cost $10. We could add more if we wanted.
My first assigned partner was a young woman from Virginia. And she was a Hokie. Yes, she was a Virginia Tech student/alum. When I read this I about fell over laughing. My sis-in-law is a Hokie and thinks there is no town that is or ever will be as great as Blacksburg. I love her but geez. So it was funny to me to get a Hokie. I figured I would have a great little story and way to connect with her when I sent her package. She had pink, blue, purple as her favorite colors. I came across the Noro Kureyon Sock yarn. Beautiful color changes! I found one that included the colors she liked. I even got a ball in colors I like and I got both balls on sale so I paid for two what one would have cost. I started a pattern and didn't get too far before I hated it. Started over on a new pattern. I liked it but not with this yarn. Finally decided to give Storm Cloud a try. This pattern is perfect for spring and summer and can be knit with any kind of yarn. I can't wait to make one for me. For those of you on Ravelry just search for Storm Cloud in the pattern section.
Another great thing about this pattern is that it disguises the unevenness of certain yarns. The Noro gets you with the color changes but then shocks you with it's roughness and unevenness. The roughness starts to smooth out the more you work with it but the unevenness! Ugh! Some sections were so thick that it would totally change the look of your knitting. Other parts were so thin that I feared they'd snap if I wrapped it around my needle. I was lucky with this yarn, I didn't come across any knots. I've read reviews of the yarn where there has been 5 knots and the new piece wouldn't even match the color section. I will knit with this yarn one more time since I have the ball for me but I don't think I'd buy it again.

The shipping date for the swap is April 9th but we could ship as soon as we were ready. Then last week I got a message from the swap moderator. My Hokie had flaked out and had not checked in with the swap nor had she responded to any messages. I was asked to let the moderator know when I was ready to ship because she may have someone new for me. I was ready to ship on Monday so I was given someone new. I was concerned though, the Storm Cloud shawlette was knit in colors specific to my first partner. I might have time to knit another before the deadline but I wasn't sure. Thankfully, my new partner, while somewhat older then my first, listed her favorite colors as pink and purple. Still, I sent out my package with trepidation. I wanted her to like it and to be able to use it! Today I got a message from her. My package arrived and she loved the shawlette! I had also included a "Knit Happy" water bottle that has an insert that you can freeze and a small glass that has the name of my town with our lighthouse etched on it and a key chain of Michigan lighthouses.

I am excitedly waiting to see who my partner is and what she has made for me. Even with my first person flaking out I really enjoyed this swap. Everyone was respectful and I would totally join another swap held by this moderator. I've signed up for a Victorian lace scarf swap that starts soon. Sign ups are still open! We all get partnered up and knit the same (easy) lace scarf. I recommend it!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yes, Another Hat.

Yup, another hat. This one is knit using the lovely Malabrigo worsted weight yarn. I love the yarn and have all kinds of projects I'd love to knit using it. The pattern is what I call my Big Button Hat (although the button isn't that big!). The pattern starts off on straight needles. You knit the seed stitch section on the straights then join on a circular needle.
I've been knitting a lot but it has been for a springtime swap that I'm participating in on I started three different patterns before I found one I liked. Finally sent my package out yesterday. As soon as my partner gets it I will post pictures and information about it here. Of course, I forgot to take pictures of the extra goodies that I included. I'm just glad to have remembered to take pictures of the knitted item!

More to come!

Friday, March 11, 2011

That's Gap-tastic!

I have some finished projects to share with you. On my head is another hat. This is the Early Morning Beret. My hat doesn't really look like a beret because I wanted a slightly less slouchy hat that wouldn't get caught on my winter jacket. I used a brushed baby alpaca yarn from Plymouth Yarn.
I've also finished the Gap-tastic cowl. This called for Lion Brand Yarn Wool-ease chunky. The yarn was almost impossible to find! I looked in multiple stores in several towns. Finally found some at JoAnn's. Three colors only and this earthy green is the only color I liked. It is a big cowl and a warm one too.

Another hat! This one is Etta. It is supposed to be a lot more slouchy but I have not yet blocked it. It is made with Red Heart Soft. Yes, Red Heart again. Can I defend myself by telling you I am currently working on a hat with the fabulous Malabrigo?
I won a contest! Peacefully Knitting in Arizona had a book giveaway on her blog and I was lucky enough to win. Fiber Gathering by Joanne Seiff features lovely sections on Fiber Festivals across the country. There is even one in Michigan! The book also includes patterns. I was thrilled and surprised to have won.
I entered a swap on Ravelry. It is the Spring has Sprung swap. We each got assigned a person and we are to make a one skein item plus we are to include a $10 gift has a spring theme/idea. It is a secret swap so I will share all the details later.
That pretty much rounds out all the knitting news. I have a sleeping child pinning down one arm so typing is difficult. So tell me, what are you working on?