Sunday, January 24, 2010

loco for coco

I broke down and made some cupcakes today ... pina colada cupcakes! Pineapple, coconut and rum cupcakes, with coconut icing, topped with toasted coconut. Mmm! The recipe is from Cupcakes Galore.I have been focusing on trying to finish the big gray monstrosity that is my cable sweater. I've actually made good progress; I re-knit the sleeves, sewed all the seams, and am now working on the collar. I'm about half done the collar. I was so excited to be so close, then I remembered I still have to make the belt. But that shouldn't take too long, so hopefully I'll be finished fairly soon.

I also used my swift for the first time today to wind some Diamond Luxury Alpaca lace yarn. Here is the finished product! Next on the shopping list - ball winder.I've been good though - have not bought anything this month yet, including yarn. I'm sticking to my no-consumption January again. Although I think this year I will try to not buy yarn for longer than just January, I have a lot of stash I need to start working through.

I plan on making the Triinu Scarf from Knitted Lace of Estonia with the alpaca. I really want to start it RIGHT NOW but I'm resisting the urge in order to focus on the sweater. Soon it will be finished ... Soon!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

new year, new yarn

Happy new year! I know I'm a little bit late but I've been busy being lazy. It's wonderful.

We had a great holiday, the puppy tolerated the 14 hour drive to see family very well. Probably even better than we did, given that he didn't have to drive ... On the trip, I managed to start and finish a new garment for him, the Biscuits and Bones sweater from Patons. It's so cute, as evidenced here:Once he figured out that wearing his sweater and booties (yes, we bought him booties, and yes, he wears them proudly!) lets him go for long walks in the freezing cold, he gets so excited when we put it on him!

An older knitting project, that I could not mention before as it was a gift, is my latest lace work. It was a shawl for my mom, her Christmas present! I used the Sari Lace Triangle pattern by Sylvie Beez, which is painstakingly charted in a series of 10 charts, each from 1 and 3 pages in length. So many charts!! But the finished project is gorgeous:
I've told my mom to send pictures of the shawl in action so hopefully I can post those soon. It is really quite an amazing pattern.

And since I've decided that I need to start working off my stash this year, I started some basic toe up socks. I am trying a new technique for me - two at a time on one needle using magic loop. It is really quite simple once you figure it out. Since I am using my lovely Lana Grossa patterned yarn for this one, I am just doing a basic sock so the pattern comes out.

Also, I've pulled out my sweater from hell. I am determined to finish it. After a year of stalling on the button band, I finished it (then ripped it out and finished it again - buttons go on the left for women!!) in 2 days. Of course, then I decided to rip out the sleeves and knit them again slimmer. The ripping out part was fun, but the re-knitting will take a while. It is not difficult, but it is a large sweater and I am not good at cables. I have also ripped out the seams since I recently discovered the mattress stitch and my old seams look pitiful now.

I also plan on starting up my whisper cardigan again. I have no desire to work on it, I just like petting the yarn, then putting it back again. I was thinking of maybe switching to bamboo needles, as one of the reasons I don't like knitting it is the lace merino slides on the aluminum needles so much, you have to knit slowly and carefully. Maybe with some bamboo needles I'll get more traction and be able to speed up my stocking stitch.

And of course, new yarn! First up, some malagrigo lace I found in Winnipeg at the Woleseley Wardrobe, for knitting up Citron: And of course lots of yarn from the Ram Wools Co-op in Winnipeg, some bought, some gifted by my knitting enabling mom:Last year's knitting was all about knitting for me. This year is about catching up to me! I have bought so much yarn with intentions to knit but I don't like how big my stash is getting. So I am going to resist buying new yarn without some stash knitting. I have many projects in line for my stash knitting so that shouldn't be a problem. I also received this book for Christmas, so I should have some intricate lace projects to work on! Oh, and I almost forgot, my Christmas present from T was a swift! Whee!

Resolutions for the year are small: knit from stash, vacation more, and run a half marathon. Well, train for a half marathon. We'll see if I ever actually get there. But even if I don't, I'll still be in good shape!