Friday, November 30, 2007

Secret Pal revealed!

Phew! I was getting a bit worried there for a while. And with good reason! Apparently, the arrival notice had gotten stuck somewhere between a work space and the wall at the post office, and the postman only noticed it today (the day the package was supposed to be returned to sender)! So at the last minute, he drove here and put it in my mailbox. And now it's finally here. Yay! This is what I found inside the box.

A really nice card (that matches my table...)

My Secret Pal is a crafty one! I've actually visited her website a couple of times, looking at these row counter bracelets! Imagine that! And isn't it just beautiful! I'm going to wear it as a regular bracelet. That way, I can always count rows whenever I feel the need to! :) She sells these on Etsy, so get over there if you want one of your own.

I also got some gorgeous yarn. It seems my pal has found her way to Socktopus. This colorway is called Monet, and I absolutely love it! And since it's from Socktopus, it comes with Eucalan! :)

And there's more! I also got tea. It smells delicious! The tea from my first package is already gone, so it's great that I get some more! And the tin is beautiful.

Did you think that was all? Oh no, there's still one more thing. Look what she made just for me! (I told you she was a crafty one)

A knitting needle case! How great is that!? I've been wanting one of these for a loooooong time, but I just haven't gotten around to getting one.

It's beautiful! I finally have somewhere to store my needles. (And look at that cute heart!)

Oh, I suppose you would like to know who she is. My AMAZING Secret Pal is:

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Santa's little helper...

There is a whole lot of frantic knitting going on here at the moment! Santa has recruited me as his little helper, and Christmas will arrive a lot sooner than one might think. I wish I could show you all the things I'm working on, but some of the gift receivers might be sneaking around here on the blog, so no photos. All I can tell you is that the mountain of knitting is already alarmingly high, and it's growing at a steady rate.

The above mentioned is one reason for this photo-less post. The other, and less pleasant, reason is the Finnish pre-Christmas weather. Horrific! It's been raining these past few days, and I can't even remember the last time I saw the sun. I've made a huge chunk of progress on my green sweater experiment, but it's just no use trying to take pictures. I'll try to stalk the sun this weekend, in case it would show its face even for a minute. Highly unlikely...

I'm also expecting my Secret Pal reveal package to arrive soon. I know it's been sent out a while ago, and I hope Mr. Postman didn't eat it! He could have, if the scent is anything like the one coming from the previous package! :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yarn heaven

I just had to show you this.

Yarn from Finnsheep wool in natural colors. Isn't it just gorgeous! Why would I even need to get dyed yarn when all my favorite colors already exist right there on the sheep?! I got these from Riihivilla. Leena dyes Finnsheep yarn with natural dyes from mushrooms and plants and she has a bunch of gorgeous selections to choose from. Just look at the Sunset Selection or the Night Sky Selection. Wow! The one I got is called the Natural Selection, and I got the larger batch, i.e. all the skeins are 60 g. I can't wait to make mittens with this!!!

You'll have to excuse me now, I need to go fondle my new yarn...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Seamless Hybrid

Dear Readers. I have officially lost my mind. These are the components of my insanity:

- one 2,5 mm circular needle
- an unknown number of skeins of Rowanspun 4 ply
- 250 cast on stitches
- an ocean of stockinette in the round using the above mentioned materials

Yes, I'm knitting Elizabeth Zimmermann's Seamless Hybrid for my significant other with 2,5 mm needles and a 4 ply yarn, which equals 250 stockinette stitches per round. I know, I know, many fair isle masterpieces have roughly the same gauge, but there you have the pattern to take your mind off the stockinette. This is just mind numbing madness.

Oh, the things you do for love! I've been wanting to knit my BF a sweater for a long time, but nothing has really caught his interest. Until I showed him this. You can always count on brooklyntweed for inspiration, can't you. The instructions for the sweater (which needs to be finished by Christmas, by the way) were the following:

- not too warm
- not too bulky, the fabric needs to be thin
- no fancy-pancy patterning
- a subtle color
- has to look good and fit perfectly

So I took out the 2,5 mm circulars (thank you Secret Pal!), dug out the Rowanspun 4 ply from my stash and started knitting. What you see in the photo is three days worth of stockinette. Surprisingly, I really like knitting it. It's the perfect tv-project. I don't even have to look at it while I knit.

And even more surprisingly, the sun came out today! Which means that I had a few minutes to photograph my sweater experiment. I finally managed to capture the real color of the yarn. The main body is almost done. Now I just need to decide if I'm going to knit the turtle neck or the sleeves next...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Legolas Socks - Disco Version

Isn't it just typical that I had to start knitting "unnecessary" things when I have a mountain of Christmas gifts that need to be knitted?!

Instead, I finished the Legolas Socks.

The weather has been appalling lately, and the chance of getting decent photos has been slim. This is the best I could do when wearing the socks.

You didn't think this was all the unnecessary knitting I've been doing, did you?

I give you: Legolas Socks - Disco Version. (Oh yes, I'm cheesy like that!)

The idea that these could be knitted in Kureyon and a black yarn just didn't want to leave my head, so I had to try. And I'm pretty happy with the result.

The leg has almost no give, and the fabric is so thick and dense that I could probably walk outside in the snow and not get cold.

So I guess these should be called Legolas Boots instead of socks.

These really give off an elf-vibe! And the pointy toe was a nice surprise.

I didn't plan that the pattern would come together like that at the toe. It just happened to be the most practical way to do the decreases.

This is definitely my favorite design project so far. I'm going to wear these all the time this winter. Now I just have to knit the second sock/boot...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Cables and Noro...

I had a little accident with my Noro socks the other day. My foot decided to come out through the heel, and it just wasn't functional. They were Noro Kureyon, however, and who throws away Noro? So I frogged them and recycled the yarn. Then I made these...

A basic, toe-up sock pattern with a front cable. For some reason, it seems to be cable season here at the moment. I guess it's because winter is coming, and cables are more "wintery" than for example lace. I just had to name these "Legolas Socks", since they really remind me of Lord of the Rings. Can't you just imagine Legolas prancing around in these?! :)

And you just have to admire the stitch definition of Noro Kureyon in cables on 3 mm needles!

Wowza! I haven't knitted cables with Noro before, and I've always knitted on larger needles, so the out-of-this-world stitch definition was a pleasant surprise for me. On the other hand, the numb fingers and aching hands were less pleasant. It's hard work knitting Noro Kureyon this tightly! I still have one more sock to go...