yes there’s been knitting.

Jon + Sylvain + socks., originally uploaded by bunnieprops.

Before I left on holidays to Western Canada, I had a rash couple of days where I started a whole bunch of projects. I’ve cast on for another pair of socks (toe up, Harry Potter style Ravenclaw knee socks), started planning for a cardigan out of some handpainted cashmere blend. I’m part way through the first chart of the Deep V Argyle vest and was this close to ripping out the Adult Surprise Jacket to bring it with me.

But now that I’m here and on holiday, I’m not knitting nearly as much as I thought.

The Meg Swansen knee socks that I made for my brother were very well received. Nearly everyone at the dinner party I had earlier this week HAD to try them out. The striped foot looks SO MUCH better on a real foot than when it’s flat. I think my favourite part about knitting for other people is their reaction and appreciation when the final product is received. And socks are the perfect thing to make for someone else. The average non-knitter is so impressed that it’s possible to knit socks that it really doesn’t matter how well they fit, what they look like or if they are a colour that they don’t really like much.

In the middle of many things

Well I did finish my brother’s lovely Fair Isle stockings at the beginning of the week. They have had all ends worked in and blocked. I heart Fair Isle cause it only leaves 4 ends to work in and lots of lovely colours. I’m waiting to give them to my brother before taking and posting final pictures (mostly as they don’t fit me). They have already been commented on and favourited in Ravelry which makes me a most happy and puffed up knitting person.

Another ego booster is the lovely attention my knitting has had on Flickr. Random comments from international strangers make me most happy. I’ve even been added to someone’s contact list. Terribly good for my ego I must say. I may become tempted to knit in a public gathering type setting.

I also finished one of the Neopolitan mittens and began on the second one. I’m using quite a tight gauge on them to keep them from letting too much wind through once winter shows up again (and so they fit my small hands) but it’s causing some wrist angst so I’ve switched back to the Adult Surprise Jacket for a bit of a break and some (relatively) mindless knitting.

Reading the recipe again I’m not exactly clear on how this thing is going to be put together. I work better when I’m manipulating a real object to go along with written instructions, so I’m hoping that it will become clearer once I’m closer to finishing. One thing that confuses me in the instructions is knowing where to measure from when deciding how long the sleeves and sweater should be. Again this may become clearer once I’m at that part of the game. It’s interesting to work on something that doesn’t become clearer as you work on it. I think it will all make sense once it’s put together. At least I’m hoping.

In the midst of all this I found another knitting blog to read. Cause I really need something else to read in the morning right? Well I’m glad I found Ysolda’s Blog. It was such a good read that I was compelled to read it from the beginning up to yesterday’s post. I even commented (!!!). I’m usually such a lurker. I’ll read diligently, but don’t comment on stranger’s blogs. I barely comment on my friend’s, though I’m getting better at that. I’d say it’s not being shy so much as not having anything really to say? Maybe it’s just my own crazy. I’ll get into the commenting one of these days.

What shall I watch while knitting today? I’m thinking Ruthless People is in order.

The Attention Span of a Flea

3 scoops of yarn, originally uploaded by bunnieprops.

Right. So Ravelry has completely destroyed my discipline of working on one project at a time. I admit that I did already have two on the go before Ravelry became part of my life, but the excitement of browsing all the projects people are working on, searching through patterns, finding fun Flickr sites via the Forums has put TONS of things into my cue and it getting me thinking all creative like about planning more and more and more and more projects rather than enjoying working on my brother’s second sock which has been so so so much fun.

Coming across Hello Yarn’s version of these mittens got me started thinking about how much I want a pair.

I heart Fair Isle. And I’m quite a fan of using humour and kitschy imagery into my crafts, especially when they involve ‘serious’ and traditional techniques and styles. My career at Design school was my personal adoption of the Garden Gnome Liberation Front as defacto organization for projects over several years. I take comedy quite seriously.

I love the idea of knitting with neopolitan ice cream colours. In fact, I’m totallies in love with this trio of colours at the moment. I’m so excited about these colours and this project that I just couldn’t help myself from casting on this afternoon while listening to a podcast of This American Life.

K. I’m going to get back to savouring my weekend treat.

Addictive Fair Isle

Chart to Stripes, originally uploaded by bunnieprops.

One stocking down, another one hot on it’s tail.

The Surprise Jacket fever has died down a tad now that I have gotten into the groove of the pattern and how the Silk Garden stripes up. I still love the colour transistions, juxtapositions and the supreme fun of split spit joinging.

But I was suddenly drawn back into the world of Fair Isle. I have feverishly been watching old epsiodes of Friends (from the beginning) and knitting row after row after row of the chart. Loving every second of it. I was tearing through the pattern so fast that I kept messing up one of the mirrored side panels and having to rip out an inch, two inches or even three or four of sock to fix it up again. I didn’t get mad, strangely happy to be able to rework the pattern once more.

These stockings are for my brother who likes to follow the ‘right’ way of doing things so I refused to let myself do my usual crazy-paranoid-wrapping-of-the-yarn-around-itself-a-bazillion-times and quite enjoy the results.

I had all sorts of measurements of my brother’s calves, legs, foot, etc. and kept measuring as I was knitting, but quickly realised that his measurements managed to fit perfectly my gauge and the standard sock pattern charts provided and gladly fell into the monotony of blindly following the pattern.

The first stocking was barely off the needles before I immediately cast on for the other stocking. Terribly exciting stuff.

When Inspiration Strikes

I’m usually a good girl. I knit one project at a time (unless some outside force causes a project to be paused). But I’ve barely started my brother’s socks and have immediately been inspired and started something else. Completely out of the knitting queue. I don’t know what’s wrong with me!

I blame the foreign invasion. I have a friend visiting from Sacramento and rainy days (plus lack of motivation) have kept us indoors. She expressed an interest in learning to knit. So I gave her some needles, some yarn and got her started. Reading Brooklyntweed’s recent adventures in Garter Stitch, and his two person knit-a-long with Hello Yarn (and her fabulous BSJ) along with seeing my friend’s resulting garter stitch scarf has given me inspiration for the Noro Silk Garden that has lived in my stash for several years. I want to make a my-sized version of the Surprise Jacket.

I am using Elizabeth Zimmerman’s instructions for the Baby Surprise Jacket in Knitting Workshop to create a prototype so that I can figure out the proportions needed to make one for me. I got so excited about using this pattern that I dropped the Fair Isle socks that I just started two days ago to get going with the Surprise Jacket. So out of character for me. But I’m really really excited about it now that I’ve started.

In between projects project

Star Decrease, originally uploaded by bunnieprops.

After finishing up the Icarus Shawl, I needed a bit of a mental break. Especially before starting the Fair Isle knee socks from Meg Swansen’s Knitting for my brother. I had come across Knit and Tonic’s Le’ Slouch pattern after seeing it on another knitting blog and was compelled to make one. Just so happened I had a few skeins of cotton on hand that I thought would lend themselves nicely to the moss stitch and got knitting. I inherited the yarn from my brother who buys pretty things from the sales bin from time to time and can’t figure out what to make with it. But the green isn’t so much my colour.

As I was knitting it, I thought it would be a great way to get rid of some of my odds and ends from my stash. Leftovers from sweaters, my own sale bin finds with no inspiration. So Le’ Slouch is going to be my in-between-projects project. One for each of my girls. This will make me feel less guilty about coveting those two luscious balls of whatever catches my eye in the sale bin in the future. Another Le’ Slouch. I enjoyed knitting it so much, that I made two.

The Ribbing, originally uploaded by bunnieprops.

I also started on my brother’s socks, despite the draw of knitting another Le’ Slouch. I began with my favourite K1 P1 rib cast on, Italian Tubular, but after a couple of rows, the Fair Isle changed the nature of the ribbing to be not quite as elastic. So I started over with a more standard cast on (which I also enjoy). Now that I’ve started them, I’m super excited to work on them. The Tongue River Sock Yarn that I’m using seemed king of scratchy when I wound the skeins into cakes (is that the proper term?) but now that I’ve started working with it, the yarn is much softer to work with. And it already feels super strong. I’m already having fun and I’ve barely started them.