Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Fun

Here we are at the end of another week with the weekend ahead. Good time to make plans for finishing up projects and of course plan for (or start) a new one or two.

Last nights knitting ....
I did manage to finish up the left sleeve, but didn't get to starting the right sleeve. The reason was I was putting up a few items in the Dollar (and more) bin in the shop as well as compiling a knitting needle size conversion page which includes Japanese sizes. You can find this in the Helpful Stuff area of the shop. I know with patterns written in Japanese it is not easy to know what that size matches to in US/UK/Metric sizes so I thought I'd put it up for easy reference. Hope this is helpful... I know it will be for me.

Future plans ....

Finishing up - Tonight I will be casting on and knitting the right sleeve of Gisela. Should have this done tomorrow night and then all that is left will be sewing, collar, and bands for the front. I've changed my mind on blocking before assembly since there is still some knitting (collar and bands) after sewing together. So I hope to wash and block sometime on Sunday.

New project(s) - The new KAL for Victorian Lace Today will be starting on Tuesday, July 1st and the project will be the Myrtle Leaf Shawl. I've already picked out some yarn from my stash. Claudia's Hand Painted Silk in John B.

I do have a sock project planned and hope to have done in time for entering into the county fair but we'll see. Not like I don't already have at least 5 projects I plan on entering . This will be the first time I've entered anything at a fair and am looking forward to it. I'll share which projects will be entered towards the end of next week.

Future for The Knitting Hutch
  • More pages in the Helpful Stuff related to Japanese and Lace knitting.
  • Just placed an order with Habu and know people are looking forward to this one.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday's Thoughts

Okay, Let's jump right into it ...

Last Night's Knitting

More work on the Gisela Sweater with most of the left sleeve done and right one left to knit.
Wow, this is going to get really tedious. I do like the design of the sleve with a little slit of 3 to 3.5" at the lower outside edge. Rather than knitting the small 10 stitch section separate from the larger section and then join them when reaching the required length I knit them both at the same time and joined. This way I knew the row count and tension/gauge were exactly the same. Tonight I should finish up this sleeve and start on the right one.

Finishing thoughts ... I posted in the Cocoknits group on Ravelry asking if those who've done this one blocked and if so before or after sewing together. One response was that they blocked and before sewing and a lite block after assembly. My reason for asking is that the pattern, unlike most, makes no mention of blocking and when it should be done if at all. The other was that the shoulder 'seams' are live on holders and is unusual (for me) to have when blocking. In my opinion this one really does need a good and very agressive blocking session. So I'll go for it and use the stitches on the holders to help in the blocking, and maybe a light one after sewing as well.

Speaking of sewing this together I think I'll to a crochet seam on this one like I did for my Habu Shoulder bag. I love this method for this papery yarn and it gives a clean, serged like edge. Plus it's really easy and quick... just a series of single crochets joining each piece.
On the Job Front. Thought I'd let you all know how this is coming along, or not as the case may be. As you know in February of this year I was laid off from Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and moved to north of Seattle, WA on May 1st. Since the 2nd week of Feb I've been looking aggressively for a Reemdy Administration/Development and Oracle Development positino in CA or WA then in May narrowed my search to the Seattle area. I am registered on at least 6-8 job boards and can't tell you how many applications/resume submissions to job postings I've done to date. I have received numerous nibbles of interest and a handfull of phone/in-person interviews but no offers yet. (note optomisim in the "yet") Today alone I've submitted my resume for 6 jobs in the Seattle area. I also might hear next week if I will be asked back for another interview for a position with company in the insurance industry. Ok, so there's the latest and all positive job vibes welcome here.
Knit on ya'll

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What's Happening

I am attempting to be more consistent in my blogging and my goal is to blog every weekday.
To help with this I am trying out a theme for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays entries.

Monday - General musings about knitting projects and life.
Wednesday - Featured Project (mine or Habu inspired).
Friday - Future Plans where I'll share projects I'll be starting as well as what is on the way to The Knitting Hutch.

I'm hoping that with a little structure it will help keep me blogging regularly.
I'll also be sharing what I worked on last night just about everyday as well.

Last Night's Knitting and Featured Project -
Gisela Sweater by Cocoknits using Habu Cotton Gima.

(see this at The Knitting Hutch)

Ok it is cheating a little since I already introduced this project before but I promise to be better prepared next week. Last night just about completed the back of this sweater and will easily finish the back tonight. Since I started by knitting the fronts this will leave the sleeves, sewing and blocking. This is a quick and enjoyable project and will be perfect for Summer evenings .

I planned for using 4 balls of the Habu Cotton Gima but looks like 3 should do it. I'll save the "What I've Learned" for the final post for this project.

Gisela on Ravelry

Check back with ya tomorrow

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Summer Solstice

Just popping in to wish everyone a Happy Summer Solstice...
and that your Summer is Peacefull, Plentiful and Productive.

I'll check back in on Sunday with a week in review.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Projects Finished and Projects Started

Thought I'd share with you a project completely finished and another started.

French Trellis Scarf - Finis
I cast this one on last Sept (07) and stalled when I came to the final knit on border.
While finishing the Spider's-Web Fichu I finally broke through the single knitted on border block and came back to this project while it was fresh in my mind. This was a fun project from Victorian Lace Today. Here's some stats.
Yarn: Habu Kusaki-Zome A-4 2/10 (3 balls)
Needles: US5
Blocked this yesterday afternoon and pulled up this morning... Love it!
The color in the center pic is a little closer to the actual color.

Gisela Sweater - Started

So with this done I just had to cast on a new project especially since my Habu order for the shop came in and this yummy cotton gima (fake linen) was waiting for the Gisela pattern that came last week..... how's that for a terribly long run on sentence.

I am using 4 balls of the Smoke (pink) color and am making the largest size using US8's since it seems to run quite small. Cast on last night and already finishing up the left front. Very quick knit.

New Arrivals at The Knitting Hutch

Speaking of new things in the shop. My order from Habu arrived first thing yesterday morning and I spent most of the day doing related tasks to receive it in and get it up on the website. In this shipment was...

  • Bunches of the Cotton Gima in 5 (now 4) colors for the Gisela pattern
  • More of the Tsumugi Silk
  • Kusaki Zome Silk ... see above fini project... in several colors
  • Restock of Silk Mohair
  • Kusha Kusha and Shippo Tail scarf kits ... which won't last long.
  • Along with a couple Habu Patterns (Feather & Fan Scarf and Cotton Gima Sweater)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sunday summary

Spider-Web Fichu Shawl

Last Thursday I finished the Fichu sized Spiders-Web shawl from Victorian Lace Today.

I cast on for this project on Jan 1st during the Rose Bowl Parade for the VLT Jan 08 KAL and I had finished the body of this fairly quickly then found it difficult to find beads with the right color and size.
Then a few weeks ago I found them and got on with the border. This was my first knitted on border and am happy with it and now feel more comfortable with the process.

Yarn: 2 balls of Habu Textiles Hand-Dyed Kasuri Cashmere A-171 2/24
Needles: Hiya Hiya Stainless Steel circulars US 6 / 4.0 mm

I love the yarn and was pleased after hearing how short the yardage estimates in the book tend to run that I only needed 2 balls and still had some left. It probably helped going down a needle sized from the recommended size.

The fichu style is one of my favorites because of the fit and this is small but perfect for wearing with a t-shirt or tank to dress up a casual outfit.

So, what's next on the needles?

I've taken my Sonnet sweater out of hibernation. This is a free pattern on from the Fall 2003 issue. This week I've finished the first sleeve and well into the second and should have it bathed, blocked and all sewn up by the end of next weekend.

Since the 1st of May I've been really good at focusing on finishing up all my Works In Progress and am enjoy it very much. Seems like I am more of a project oriented knitter rather than process oriented. This is good since I have quite a few WIPs waiting to be completed. So you knitters out there... are you a process or project oriented knitter? and how many WIPs do you have waiting for you? ;-)

... everyone back to your knitting

Friday, June 06, 2008

Sock it to me...

Yes, I am old enough to have watched, and loved Laugh In and Goldie Hawn's line.

However this blog is devoted to the last three socks that were in progress for quite awhile and have recently completed. At the beginning of this year I joined the Weekly Sock project group and was doing really well at doing a sock a week. Then with events of February I seemed to have lost my knitting mojo for a bit. Don't worry... it's back and I'm moving along nicely finishing up the many projects I've started over the past year.

Today's offering will be Socks

First up - Love Waving Lace Socks
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Fingering
Color: Love in Idleness
Needles: Hiya Hiya Circs US1 (2)
Pattern: Waving Lace by Evelyn Clark in Favorite Socks

BMFA's fingering weight is one of my very favorite sock yarns ever... nice and soft/squishy and lovely to work with. This is a really nice pattern that I enjoyed knitting; easy to memorize and read the knitting.
I really loved the detailed cuff. A little fiddly in the beginning but worth the effort. Nice pattern that I would do again... but a little bit shorter as these are a little longer than I typically wear.

Next up - Flamingo Feather Socks
Yarn: Opal Rainforest
Color: Flamingo
Needles: Hiya Hiya Circs US0 (2)
Pattern: Ridged Feather from Sensational Knitted Socks

OK, I have to say that I didn't really like this yarn... a little to thin and stringy for my liking but I made it work and like them. This pattern I another one of my favorite and will be a 'go to' pattern I'm sure.
It's very, very easy to memorize and read and like the garter stitch cuff.

Last but not least- Mossy Basket Socks
Yarn: Claudia Hand Painted Fingering Weight
Color: Woodland Moss
Needles: Hiya Hiya Circs US1 (2)
Pattern: Stansfield 27 from More Sensational Knitted Socks

I have loved Claudia's fingering weight wool for socks since the first time I used them. Like BMFA it's a very squishy, soft yarn that is a true pleasure to knit with and wear. That said, she has changed her source for yarn and I haven't tried the new base and hope it is just as nice. This colorway is also one of my favorites of hers but it did present some problems with finding the perfect stitch pattern that didn't make it look so camo. My sister and I looked through More Sensational Knitted socks and she thought a more geometric pattern might work better than a biased lace and she was right. This is sort of a basket weave effect that I really like and I know I'll be looking at the geometric patterns closer now. Love it!
Ok, enough of the socks ... for now. Last night I finished the border of the Spider's-Web Fichu shoulder shawl from Victorian Lace Today (picture on the right) Today I wove in the ends, washed and blocked. Pictures and details this weekend.
Tonight I will be back on my Sonnet Sweater (also pictured on the right) and hope to finish this up this week - Finally!
Knit on ya all

Monday, June 02, 2008

Back in Action

... well mostly.

On May 1st I drove with my kitty up to our new home in Washington state while all my belongings made it up with the movers. It was a nice drive with perfect weather and I was so, so glad I had the forethought to take miss Fifi to the vets to get kitty sedatives for the drive. This helped both of us retain our sanity (grins). She is adjusting very well to her new environs and quite content to have me home all the time. Yes, I'm still pounding the Internet for a job up here and not having the kind of luck I was hoping. It really has only been 4 months next week but it is discouraging. Wishing I could make a living doing what I love but I'll keep at it while looking for a job to support my knitting habit.

Knitting. I have been knitting more now that I've settled in and no longer preparing for a big move. I've finished up 3 pair of socks that were in progress. Icarus is done and beautiful and I'm in the middle of completing the border on the Spider's Web Fichu Shawl from Victorian Lace Today. This week I'll devote a posting to each of these with pictures. I've also found a great group of women to knit with here in Marysville that meet every Tuesday night.

During the drive from CA to WA I had plenty of time to think about the shop and whether or not to finish closing it down or keep it going but in a new direction. I really enjoy running this little knitting shop on the web and the customers I get to know even if it is virtual. What I've decided is to keep The Knitting Hutch going but to refine the focus to specializing in yarns and kits from Habu Textiles and knitting needles from Hiya Hiya as well as some select accessories. The first shipment from Habu arrived last Thursday and is already going out very quickly. I will be placing another order with them tomorrow. This shippment was to restock a few colors of the Tsumugi Silk, kusha kusha scarf kit, a couple of the purse kits and a new shippo tail scarf kit. This next order will include more scarf kits and favorite silk and cotton yarns. I'm thinking about doing a weekly post spotlighting one of their yarns or kits with reviews and project ideas.

You will still see some non Habu items in the shop and these are or will be reduced for close out.

Check out the remaining Claudia Hand Painted Mohair and small loop Boucle at 45% off!

Well that's all for now and promise to not go so long before posting again.