Sunday, October 29, 2006

Long time no blog

Remember all that crap I said about not freaking out about my huge pile of Christmas knitting? Yeah, well, that was the denial talking. Or perhaps I was drunk blogging. Whatever it was, it has now disappeared and been replaced by anxiety. And panic. There is absolutely NO way I will be done in time to get these goods shipped off for Christmas. What the hell was I thinking? I'm such a slow knitter that I could have started knitting in January and still not have finished in time. Ok, I'm not that slow but I'm certainly no Eunny, who has the enviable ability to knit sweaters in less than a week. But no worries, I'm still plodding along, hopeful that somehow I'll manage to pull this off. I work better under pressure.

Anyway, it's unlikely I'll be blogging any more than once a week because I'll be spending much of my spare time knitting. Speaking of which, here's this week's progress report:

One half of backyard leaves

That's one half of "Backyard Leaves," off the needles. I haven't made much progress on the other projects, mostly because I've been doing a little bit of work on all of them instead of concentrating on one or two. But I prefer to do it that way because it keeps things interesting and it's more efficient than spending days on a single project while the others languish in my knitting basket.

As for yarn purchases, I bought what Zeb and I agree is the perfect shade of red for his sister Chantal's scarf, which will be "Here and there cables."

Chantal's yarn

The color looks really dark in that photo but I swear that red is possibly the brightest red I've ever seen. It's so bright it hurts my eyes when I'm knitting with it, and that's just a slight exaggeration. According to Kuna, Chantal likes really bright shades of red, so I'm sure she'll be happy with the color choice.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Progress report

Christmas may be rapidly approaching but I'm not freaking out over the fact that I have yet to complete a single gift. I may not have finished anything but I've started four gifts and plan on starting three more before the end of the week. Furthermore, of the four I've started it looks like two of them will be finished by the end of next week. So really, I'm doing just fine for someone who waited far too long to start knitting her Christmas gifts. Here's what's currently on the needles:

Forbes forest

That's "Forbes Forest" and it's going to be a gift for Zeb's brother Bjorn. This picture was taken last week when I'd just started working on it but I've done a lot of work on it since then and it should be done by next week. Can I just say how much I love this scarf? I'm so in love with the pattern that I find myself stopping at the end of each row just to fondle the scarf. The pattern may look complicated but it's really just made up of basic knit and purl stitches with a few cables, bobbles and popcorn stitches thrown in to jazz things up a little. I'm always amazed by the fact that you can create such beautiful designs just by arranging simple stitches in a certain pattern. It's one of the things I love about knitting. Forbes Forest has been knit by quite a few knit bloggers out there but if you want to see a particularly gorgeous specimen I suggest you check out Brooklyn Tweed's version.

Up next is a gift for my friend Kelsey, who loves all things soft and pastel. Presenting, Misty Garden:

Misty garden

And if you think that looks wonderfully soft and fluffy, take a look at the yarn from which it sprung:

Fluffy goodness

Aaah, such glorious fluffaliciousness! For those of you who can't be bothered to read the print on the tags, those are two balls of Jo Sharp's Rare Comfort Infusion Kid Mohair which is now being produced under the brand name Queensland Collection Comfort Mohair. Don't you just want to bury yourself in a tub full of this? Misty Garden is a very easy knit which is perfect because after all the cables and chart-reading, it's nice to be able to sit back and relax with an uncomplicated project.

I can't share gift #4 with you because the recipient reads this blog but to make up for that, here's a gratuitous yarn shot instead:

My first Knit Picks order!

I'm a KnitPicks virgin no more! My very first KnitPicks order arrived last week and I'm impressed by the quality of these yarns. I'm no yarn snob but I'll admit that despite all the positive reviews of KnitPicks yarns I was a bit skeptical. How could yarns as inexpensive as these could be any good? Silly me! I'm using some the Merino Style yarn for Forbes Forest and it has a nice, soft texture and great stitch definition. The Andean Silk (the gray skeins) feels exquisite although I can't comment on its performance because I haven't used it yet. But I'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Yarn, glorious yarn

Look at what the mailman brought me:


Cascade 220

Crappy photo quality and messy apartment background aside, aren't the colors beautiful? Especially that blue-green yarn, it's so vibrant. These are the colors that will be used in my Fair Isle Jazz scarf which will be started once I finish winding all those hanks of yarn into balls, hopefully this weekend.

As far as Christmas knitting goes, I'm currently working on a scarf for my sister Funmi. Here's what I've done so far:

Backyard leaves

Look familiar? Well, Backyard Leaves has been knit by practically everyone in the knitting blogoverse so it could be because you've seen one of the jillion photos of it floating around the internet. Or perhaps you recognize the pattern from the picture of my own Backyard Leaves scarf that I posted back in June. Sadly, I didn't get very far with my scarf because I found the pattern a bit too challenging. Funny, because I haven't had any problems with the pattern this time around and actually find it very easy. Maybe my chart-reading skills have improved? Who knows...

Monday, October 02, 2006

All wound up

Perhaps the best thing about knitting for others is that I get to buy yarn without feeling the least bit guilty. I get to come home every other day with yet another yarn package and Zeb can't "tsk-tsk" me for spending more money because it's for a gift. In fact, I think the only reason I decided to give knitted items as Christmas gifts this year is so I would have the perfect excuse to selfishly indulge in two of my favorite pastimes: knitting and buying yarn. Anyway, here are my latest purchases:

Blue Sky & Blackberry Ridge

The blue yarn is Blue Sky Alpaca Silk that I bought from Fabulous Yarns. Besides being a very pretty shade of blue, this yarn is wonderfully soft, possibly the softest yarn I've ever felt. A lot of knitters rave about Blue Sky yarns and I must say the praise is well deserved, although I might be a tad premature in my assessment considering I've yet to start knitting with the stuff. But judging by looks and feel alone, I'd say it's a winner. The red balls are Blackberry Ridge Silk Blend Lace weight yarn which is a blend of 25% Silk and 75% wool. It's a very rich and dark shade of red, a lot darker than it looks in the picture. Both yarns arrived in hanks which I then had the pleasure of winding into centre pull balls, a task which took me 3 hours but only because one hank of yarn got so badly tangled. Still, winding yarn into balls is such a tedious process that I may have to invest in a ball winder. Anyway, the projects for which these yarns are intended will be kept under wraps until after the recipients get them at Christmas. But don't worry, I'll have plenty more projects to share with you in the coming weeks including my very first Fair Isle project which will be this.