after the gauge

so there is knitting still go on around these parts. nothing too exciting though, i finished the center panel of bathmat x2 - #2:

...a couple more rows of the stashbuster throw:

...i have managed to finish the back panel of the urban aran cardigan:

...and all in typical knitter's a.d.d. style, started some new fingerless gloves:


gauge is key

inspired by my move from one part of the office to another, i have started on a project that i have had in the queue for quite some time. you see, i am moving from a quite comfortable (in temperature) part of the office - where i had complete control of the thermostat, to side of the office where the servers are based. which means it needs to be COLD. and it doesn't help that the a/c vent is right above my new spot.

yet another project inspired by jared, the urban aran cardigan, i am having a bit of challenge on this one. based on the dimensions on the pattern and recommended needle size of my yarn, i foolishly started this one without doing a swatch. i know, what do i always tell roy? gauge is key when knitting something ESPECIALLY if you are not using the same exact yarn that the pattern calls for. so for now, the two front panels are coming out WAY too small to fit me.

the good news? let this serve as my gauge swatch.

since starting this post, i have started on the back panel of the sweater, i switched up a half needle size from a US 10 to US 10.5, and also went from knitting up the medium size to the large.

much. better.

the gauge is still not what the pattern calls for, but it's coming out to the dimensions that i want it to be, so now i am a happy boy.


and 30 days later...

bath mat x2 - #2

i've started the second of the bath mats, but i've fallen and can't get up. true to authentic knitter's a.d.d., i haven't touched this project since i started on the hats bound for minnesota.


something went wrong

terribly, terribly wrong.

josh's hat, aka littlelf's hat. (see previous post for accurate color)

project particulars
pattern: spiral hat from the opinionated knitter by elizabeth zimmerman, also known as conch, snail, or Dairy Queen hat.
needles: clover bamboo size US 10.5 dpns
yarn: elann peruvian highland worsted; #726-mid indigo heather and tosca by lang yarns in colorway 8474

the hat's done, but looks nothing like i had expected it to based on the photo in The Opinionated Knitter by elizabeth zimmerman. here's a sample of what it should look like from I Knit: Zimmermad. i chose this hat for it's elfen like quality, but in the end it looks nothing like what it should. i am contemplating doing it over again, but in the end probably won't.


winter prep


it's only september.

yeah, i know but i can already sense the temperature drop in the evening - it's going to be here sooner than we think. i've started a couple of projects to send to my pals who will be stuck with a horrid winter (compared to the lovely mild southern california winters which regardless, i STILL complain about how cold it gets) in minneapolis.

first off is bret's hat.

project particulars
pattern: Swirl Hat by S.M. Kahn (for the life of me i cannot find the link to this pattern) with a modification to the crown shaping, taken from brooklyntweed's Cap Karma crown shaping mods.
needles: clover bamboo size US 6 24" circulars
yarn: elann peruvian highland worsted; about 1.25 skeins of #616-redwood

this was a quick knit, done in just a couple of nights. why did i change the crown shaping? don't ask me, i am too embarrassed to say. in actuality, i THOUGHT i was making cap karma, until i went and looked at photos on ravelry and found that it wasn't at all like what other's had knit. i remembered jared made the mods to his cap karma crown shaping, which i took notes of. so when i started knitting based on the pattern that had written down and started in on the crown shaping, i thought something seemed kind of odd. so then i decided to go look at his blog and compare his photos to my piece. uhm...it was nothing similar. so i thought to check my notes more closely, and what did i write? right at the top in all caps: "SWIRL HAT designed by S.M. Kahn". uh...how did i miss that?!?

second is littlelf's hat.

well, it's really josh's hat, but we call him little elf. i won't go into why right here, but i've started it and should be done soon.


bathmat1, of x's2

ok, #1 is done, needs to be blocked and ends sewn in, but i am going to start #2 tonight, just so it doesn't become like all of my sock projects!! poor singleton socks, my excuse was that it was summer and i had months before the cool weather set in and i needed to actually wear them. well, that time is quickly approaching, so perhaps i need to get on the socks as soon as bathmat2 is done?

look at all the yummy rows of garter!!


bath mat

inspired by brooklyntweed's love for garter, i thought i'd take time out from all of my wip's and start this simple cotton bath mat.

i'm basing the mat on the simple cotton bath mat pattern from the purl bee. i've modified the center panel from stockinette to, what else...garter. great U.S. Open knitting project, nothing to distract me from all of the great qualifiers playing this year.

my intention is for this to go in the master bath, where i would need 2 matching mats, one in front of each sink. let's hope that i don't get into the same pattern that i get in with socks, otherwise this mat is going to have to sit by itself in the missing mates pile for a while.


office recycling

ever wonder what the guy in the next cubicle does all day? the next time you go up to the kitchen, take a look at what might be sitting in the recycling bin...you just may get an idea of what your co-workers are up to.

that's right, an empty bottle of jack daniels, skin trip moisturizing lotion, and juice all wrapped up in one cellophane bag. the funny thing is, i know only one person in this office who even knows what skin trip is, and so i think my assumption of who these bottles belonged to are pretty accurate.

this explains why she looked so tore-up this morning.


cardi for jenna

project update: progress is being made!!

now that the 2008 summer olympics are at the halfway point, i guess i am right on track with my amanolympics project. the bodice is done and i am now working on the "skirt" portion, which is made up of the lace pattern. i have taken liberty with the pattern and changed the lace from a sort of herringbone type to more of a diamond lace.

i am really happy with the mod, and i am anxious to get this thing done and blocked!


party for one

i was looking forward to the banquet party my friends were throwing for over a hundred guests this weekend all week long. as i spent my saturday running errands and doing chores that is what kept me going through the heat of the day, as i usually prefer to keep my sweat glands from overworking on my days off. or at least i'd rather do such tasks in the cooler hours of the day...

so i got ready and got myself to china town...found my way to the restaurant and parked my car, i thought to myself "the parking lot is kind of empty, everyone must have found street parking..." i chose my spot, looked down into the courtyard and didn't notice a number of people heading to the front doors. i made my way to the restaurant and thought that cute shop selling the paul frank merchandise was worth checking out, but i had to hope they'd still be open after the dinner.

so i make my way into the restaurant, pausing to let a few rushing people holding huge bouquets by. no one in the lobby, "hmm that's strange" i thought. the hostess looked at me as if to imply, can i help you? and i stated, "i'm here for the [treese and pete] party..." she's like, "who?" i repeat myself. "what?" at this point, i am thinking...does this woman even speak english? i repeat myself, she starts flipping pages through her book. "OH!" she exclaims, "they moved the date" as she points to the name on the calendar. "uh...ok, thanks" i say and turn to walk out.

so at this point, you can imagine the rush of emotions and thoughts that run through my mind as i made my way back to the car. at first, embarrassment. next, confusion, then of course irritation...thinking, did they call everyone but forgot me? i finally realize that i should double check the invite and you know what? the party is tomorrow.

guess what i ended up having for dinner?

i was so flustered, i had to stop and pick up a pie for myself.


don't get too excited

as i've mentioned, i've joined the A Mano Crew to compete in the first ever amanolympics during the 2008 Olympic Games. the mission is to challenge oneself to knit or crochet something before the Games end. The official cast-on time for the amanolympics was during the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremonies yesterday and must be finished by the end of the closing ceremonies on Sunday, August 24.

last night, a friend had a get together at his place to watch the opening ceremonies and have a little chinese take-out. i guess that was his idea of a "theme". the food and the company was great, and i was excited to cast on. as i pulled out my pattern, i looked it over to get myself oriented. stitch markers, got 'em. yarn, got it. tape measure, check. stitch/row counter. check. size 6 circs...wha...? yup. i totally forgot the needles when packing up my knitting tote.

we had to run out to get the take out before the ceremonies began, and luckily my friend (who is not a knitter nor a crocheter) remembered that there was a yarn shop in the complex where the restaurant was. that feeling of disappointment and slight panic washed away as i heard this news, so we ran over to the shop as the food was ordered.

* for more accurate color representation, see first image in this post

we get back to his place and sit down to watch the opening ceremonies and i start to cast on. not bad since i had to buy addi turbos instead of addi natura (bamboo), which i prefer - especially with the cotton fleece yarn which is kind of slippery for me. so i get 6 rows in and i stop to admire my work (which i highly recommend you do constantly to check for any mishaps along the way) and i notice my gauge is a bit loose, oh great.

i had to put the knitting back in the bag, i guess it wasn't meant to be...so this morning? ripped! i'll be casting back on shortly...



work in progress...

i've put myself on a yarn diet of sorts, although i did just buy some new yarn to participate in ravelympics 2008. whoops. in reality, i wasn't going to partake, but i found a cute cardi pattern that i want to make for my niece on knitty. so i figured that since i was going to make this anyway, and shannita had asked if i was going to participate in ravelympics...i thought i might was well since there was no logical reason not to.

but i digress...

i have been itching to knit up a chevron patterned striped throw, and i just couldn't decide on a stitch pattern to use. well, i did narrow it down to 4 but i realized that i didn't have the right yarn to showcase any of those stitch patterns. so since i had a ton of GGH solitaire and GGH esprit lying around from other projects and projects that never came to be, i decided that a simple garter throw was appropriate for using up this portion of my stash.

as you can tell, i am randomly alternating between the solitaire and esprit, as well as varying the width of the color stipes. it's probably about 12" now and i will just keep going until all the GGH is used up. i just hope it will be enough for a decent finished size.


vest for G

it's PUR-PLE.

yes! finally an F.O.. not much of a feat though, since this thing was started back in september of last year. it's been sitting around since march or april, waiting for the pieces to be seamed together which i got to in may. then the ends needed to be woven in, but that didn't happen until sometime in june. why so long? who knows. as you can probably tell i haven't been inspired much lately to knit up anything new. there's been knitting here and there, but on projects that have been lying around for much too long.

project particulars
pattern: Argyle Pullover Vest from knitting with balls by Michael del Vecchio (i made a non-argyle version)
needles: clover bamboo size US 6 24" circulars
yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted; a little less than 3 hanks of #68-violetas and less than a quarter of a hank of #123-rhodesian

i guess i don't need to reiterate how loverly working with malabrigo is. it seriously glides across the needles like buttah. i guess i should get back to my striped raglan that i have put down since last year. i don't know, i am kind of over it and am contemplating frogging the whole thing and making a vest like this one...but still with the same color and stripe combo.

but i digress, i followed the pattern pretty closely, only making a few adjustments along the way...the most obvious is foregoing the argyle portion of the vest. i actually started to knit the center diamond as the pattern calls for, but with this color scheme going, it just stood out way too much...

i figured that with varigation in the color of the yarn itself it was best to keep it simple. that plus a purple vest (albeit his favorite color) having a huge orange argyle in the middle of it wasn't helping his wardrobe any, and i think that the simpler purple field with a bit of orange accent can go a lot further for him.

i wanted to keep the pop of orange as a slight detail because he loves orange, not to mention it goes so perfectly with the besotted scarf i made him a while back.

he absolutely loves it and is quite excited and anxious to wear it, which of course just makes my day.



...working on the second of the sea otter socks. i guess it pays to look back at the first sock and figure out what i actually did.

i started the second sock on the trip back to the midwest, and somewhere between the layover in vegas and minneapolis i started to notice that the colors were pooling. luckily, i was smart enough to bring the first sock with me - i pulled it out and sure enough the colors were not coming out the same (not to mention that the brown cuff was not the same length).

hmmm, why? 

first thought...i was knitting on the wrong needle size. i checked the stitch tension on the finished sock, compared it to the one i was working on. nope, same tension. i knew that yarn looked like it was meant for a US2. so, what was the problem? i decided that i needed to count stitches. turns out, i cast on 68 for the first sock, and for the second? 

i was only knitting 64.

problem solved. 


welcome back


has it really been that long? i'd like to think that i have been on vacation since my last post, but in actuality i have been back for a while now. although our trip was 3 weeks, i just haven't had a chance to post!! that plus there really hasn't been much knitting going on. i seriously have only started knitting again this week, probably about two nights ago. but, i am proud to say that i DID get some knitting done while on our trip...although i don't have photos to prove it i was able to knit on planes, on trains, and in our hotel!

this is the boyfriend sock. i was able to start it on the plane to paris, and got it done between the hotel room, the train ride from paris to belgium, and in belgium where i ultimately finished it.

by the way, while waiting for our train to depart i decided to try to get to hogwarts, but i wasn't aware there wasn't a connection from Gare du Nord.

i also brought along the sea otter sock revisited...

i was able to work on this on the plane from brussels to barcelona, in barcelona at the park guell, back in belgium at G's parent's place, and ultimately finished it in the plane back to the US. sad. not finishing the sock, but having to come back home.

in all, i got two first socks done, and now i have those added to the pile of first socks.

oh, did i mention i also started yet ANOTHER new sock?

btw, i was able to get in some time on [real] clay courts!! totally exciting since most clay courts in the US are not as luxurious as the real stuff in europe. this stuff is actually much closer to what is used at roland garros!


sea otter socks revisted

i have been dying to pick this yarn up again but could not figure out a pattern that would showcase the beauty of this yarn. i kept trying different patterns that would either get lost in the colorway or it would just end up pooling like no one's business.

so i went back to a basic...the basic rib that is.

as you can see, i am about 3/4ths of the way done with the first sock.

i may just save the second for our trip to europe next week. i am having a difficult time on deciding what projects to knit while away, three weeks is a long time, i am thinking of bringing maybe three different socks to knit up. the hexagon blanket would be too much to carry and knit on the plane and on trains. a sweater? also pretty bulky. i guess socks it is since i am not in the hat nor scarf mood...

i've also managed to finish putting together the malabrigo vest, all that's left is weaving in the ends and she'll be ready for her closeup.


mystery chest

when this super huge package arrived for me, i couldn't imagine that it could have been my FCS3 package. i was expecting something smaller but to my surprise...behold the mystery chest:

seriously, my pal went above and beyond. first, let's talk about this trunk. oddly enough, a friend and i have been talking about those little cosmetic trunks that our mothers had back in the days of hot rollers and such, and how they would make the perfect knitting case. imagine my surprise when i ripped into the package to find this trunk so carefully wrapped in scrunched paper for protection.

it came over the weekend but i haven't had a chance to take any photos until tonight, so please forgive the lighting. check out it's amazing contents!

there are two hanks of malabrigo worsted in citrus, three hanks of manos cotton stria, three luxurious skeins of royal bamboo, and one skein of life style by zitron; 3 bags of licorice...OMG, i am about to faint over those i love them so much...3 bars of dark chocolate...seriously, someone catch me...some amazing glass knitting needles, a set of 000 addi dpns, "things i learned from knitting...whether i wanted to or not" by the yarn harlot, a cottage cotton collection pattern book by manos del uruguay, some lovely rain dots stickers for my windows, an embroidered "c" initial iron-on (i am having serious thoughts of putting my initial on all my shirts a-la laverne) and last but not least yarn ball cat toys for miusey!! whew.

first of all, how she managed to get all that into that trunk is beyond me, i can't seem to get the top shut again with all that stuff in there.

second of all, there is way more in here than i could have imagined, my secret pal went way above and beyond. thirdly, she certainly was good at keeping her identity a secret, i had to do a little investigative searching to find out who she was...there was no note enclosed!!

a little birdie told me who she was, thanks kathleen (Serya of Duntrune)!!


gauge the gauge

ok, so i guess i am not having the best of luck with the socks these days...i've been knitting this sock up for the past week, with frogging and starting over twice, and tinking back a few times, i finally got on a roll.

today i decided to slip them on to check the fit. as i've been knitting i thought it looked a little small, but with the pattern i was using i figured that was just how it looked in it's relaxed state, with stretching to allow for my calf. well, i quickly found out that it was indeed too small...barely able to get the cuff over my heel.

i've slightly modified ann budd's "elegant ribbed stockings" pattern to be less of a stocking and more of a sock. and left out the eyelet row for a ribbon and a bow. oh, and instead of the sportweight specified by the pattern, i am using sock yarn. so a few calculations were invloved. ergo the problem: i am not a math major. in fact, as a designer i see things visually, so what seems to make sense to me on paper, doesn't always come out in reality. especially where numbers are concerned.

now that i've got the photo snapped and the post up, i am off to rip it all out and start again!


sea otter...in the pool?

back at stitches west, i picked up this stunning yarn

it's baywood yarns' pearly twist sock yarn - 100% superwash merino in medium weight, the colorway is "sea otter". i absolutely was drawn to the hank as it was sitting amongst the 17 million other hanks, the combination of the aqua amongst the shades of brown took my breath away...well, not really, but somehow my eye went straight to it and i don't even remember anything else about what the vendor was selling.

my plans for this little lovely are socks, i swatched up a little square to see what pattern i wanted to do, and how the color would knit up.

swatch looks great, right? so i started knitting up the sock and it never dawned on me that the color might sort of pool when knitted in the round, which it is. i am not sure i am liking it, or rather, like the way it comes across with the stitch pattern i am using.

i may have to put this aside and come back to it again, perhaps i may have a better appreciation for how the colors are pooling together. if it bothers me i will frog and figure what else i can do with the yarn. in the meantime look who was laughing at my dilemma...


go anywhere....ANYwhere

a couple of weeks ago i started working on these fingerless gloves - i thought they would be great to use in the mornings as the office is usually pretty chilly after a night of being empty during the winter time. i also wanted a small project to bring with me "on the road" to knit in free time during the tournaments. well, being that 10 of us shared a house in palm springs, and with all the activities at the LA Open, there was little to no time to knit. although somehow i did manage to lose one of my dpns somewhere between palm springs and LA...grrr

project particulars
pattern: go anywhere gloves from The Knitting Man(ual) by kristin spurkland (i made the fingerless version)
needles: clover bamboo sizes US 2 and US 3 dpns
yarn: koigu's kpppm, color p330; less than 1 skein

these were a breeze to knit, in total time and in difficulty. if i were to do them again though, i would probably knit up maybe an inch more after the cuff before starting the increases for the thumb, they feel a bit short for my lanky, err...graceful wrists. also, just for comfort i may do the little half fingers instead of just one big opening (it just feels a little strange). oh, and maybe plan things a little better - since spring has sprung, it hasn't been chilly enough in the mornings lately to need them in the office.


another recovery

i am just about recovered from yet another weekend of tournament tennis (i was sore all day monday and could hardly stay awake while at work). this time, it was the LA Open where i entered in both singles and doubles, this being the first ever tournament i played singles in. although i lost first round of the main draw, and then went into consolation round (where i also lost) i had a lot of fun and it was a great experience, oh and of course i was able to watch all of the LB crew in their matches.

the tournament started on friday and was held at the vermont canyon courts, burbank tennis center, and the riverside courts. vermont and burbank are pretty nice places to play for different reasons. vermont canyon is in griffith park, so you get the trees and you play right up against the hills with a very nice backdrop. the burbank tennis center is a real tennis facility with a pro shop, and show courts for the exciting matches. riverside? that's a different story. it's right up against the 5 freeway so you can hardly hear any of the line calls or scores being said by the server. and nasty bathrooms. hello, how is a world class athlete supposed to prepare and change outfits?!?!

the group of us from the lakewood (LB) league stayed in a hotel in beverly hills, the Thompson (where the help all look like they are right out of some 20-somethings drama series) so that the drive to the courts at 7am weren't a nightmare.

we all attended the "banquet" saturday night at the sportsmans lodge where they had "entertainment" and "food". uhm, next year let's skip this event and therefor skip the unnecessary trips to the restroom the next day from the mystery meat. the swans were nice, but oddly enough when we left there seemed to be a lot less of them in the ponds. i love dennis to death and he did a great job organizing the tournament, but that banquet killed.

g and i once again paired for doubles, where we made it all the way to the semi-finals of the main draw. unfortunately we had to meet our good friends there, since they were also in the same part of the draw, and lost to them. we were happy though that they made it into the finals where they beat their opponents.

in all it was a great showing for us aside from the whispers about our outfits as we walked by about how we looked like we just broke out of prison, as our group went home with 5 trophies. way to go us. this is it for the month but there a still quite a few more tournaments in the works being that this is only march, but we're already talking and starting to plan the tournament schedule for 2009, there are a lot of fun places we'd like to go play in nationally and internationally.