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So I’m finally getting around to getting some good pictures of FOs that have been kicking around for awhile.  This was actually my second Ravelympics project.  Unfortunately it didn’t quite make the cut, as I finished four hours after the closing ceremonies ended, but since it was the same day I still feel quite good about that.

Pattern: Razor Shell Neckwarmer (ravelry)

Source: Knitology

Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas, Alpaca Silk

Needles: US 4

Started: August 8, 2008

Finished: August 24, 2008

This is a great simple cowl pattern and combined with this yarn the end result is incredibly luxurious.  The color is so rich and the sheen of the silk is just lovely.  The stitch definition of this yarn is also fantastic, which is great for this stitch pattern as you get a real sense of the diagonals.  And Alpaca Silk has a nice soft drape, which works out really well for a cowl.  I have a feeling you’ll be seeing me in this cowl a great deal this fall.

Find it on Ravelry here.

While DC’s weather hasn’t exactly headed into brisk territory yet, it is September, which means I can’t think about anything but Fall.  Fall is my favorite season.  Part, but not all of the appeal, is that it is great knitting weather.  This year however, I may have so over committed myself in the gift knitting department that I might not be enjoying that knitting time in the selfish way I normally do.  Between the projects I’ve picked out for Christmas gifts, and the fact that about half the people I know have birthdays in between now and December 25* I have my work cut out for me.

In an attempt to avoid paying shipping on a million yarn orders or making weekly trips to the yarn store I tried to plan ahead and placed one big Knit Picks order that should encompass almost all of my gift knitting.  The massive pile you see above showed up late last week.  I think it’s safe to say, I made selections based on a muted palette.

The real trickiness behind all this gift knitting is that a lot of it has to be secret until it is gifted.  Which means I may not have as much to show you all for awhile.  But there is some good news.  Due to a lack of opportunities for good photographs I have a handful of backed up FOs to share with all of you.  So hopefully soon, I can get some good space and some good light and show you what all those look like.

And to reward myself for all my generosity, I did throw in a couple things for myself.  Most likely to be enjoyed post December 25.

*If any of you autumn birthday folks are reading this don’t everyone of you assume now that you’re getting hand knit gifts.  I have some other things in the works for a few of you.  And also whether you do get a knit gift or not has nothing to do with how much I love you, only what seemed most appropriate.

Peaceful Knitter has tagged me for my first Meme. So here it goes…

Here are the rules:

  1. Link to the person who tagged you.
  2. Post the rules on your blog.
  3. Write six random things about yourself.
  4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
  5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
  6. Let the tagger know your entry is up

And here are 6 random things about me in no particular order:

* When I was younger I would get completely obsessed with foods and then burn out on them completely. I would eat something practically everyday for months and months and then one day a switch would flip and I’d never want to see them again. For a year in high school I ate fried ham for breakfast every morning (I know, seriously gross) and now just the thought of it makes me feel sick.

* I can cross my eyes, then uncross one while leaving the other crossed, cross them again and then uncross the other, alternating back and forth at length. It’s creepy. I know you think you want to see. You don’t.

* I only have one tattoo. It just happens to be right on my chest. For those of you that haven’t seen it, it’s of a book with wings.

* I’m incredibly fond of naming inanimate objects. Probably my favorite is my 1973 Campus Green Schwinn Breeze named Breezy Sheila.

* Over the course of this summer I have developed amazing mosquito stalking skills. This stems from necessity, since I’m one of those people who attracts them like crazy and reacts really badly, and they seemed to make it into the store a lot this year.

* I went to a Waldorf School, which I usually just refer to as crazy hippy school (in the most endearing way possible). That’s where I learned to knit. At Waldorf I also learned to weave baskets, bind books, paint, work wood, weave, sew (hand and machine), work stone, mold clay, make prints (wood blocks, rubber block, etc.) and all other sorts of handy things.

Alrighty, that’s me.  Now to pass it along I’m tagging:

This Chickadee

Saucy Minx Knits

Twin Knit

Radiant Twist

Pink Porcupine

Turtle Knitta

Can’t wait to find out a little bit more about all of you!

Fair isle is a knitting skill I’ve had trouble learning.  I tried a handful of times and just couldn’t get comfortable with two hands.  Which is exactly why I made it a priority when I came up with a set of knitting goals a few months ago.  So I sat down with my Mother on Sunday and she walked me through the process of managing the two colors at the same time.  Some how this time I picked it up right away.  I’m not quite sure what’s changed but I know that how I hold the needles and my wrapping process have evolved a bit since last I tried, so maybe that has something to do with it.

I wanted to start out with something easy.  So I found a really basic fair isle hat pattern on ravelry.  It’s called the Snow Bear Fair Isle Hat by Jenny Dolan.  The pattern is really easy to memorize and it’s easy to find a rhythm which is making it a great project to practice on.  And I’m really liking the flow of the fair isle knitting.  It’s got some of the counting and rhythmic qualities you get with stitch patterns, but because you’re simply knitting every stitch it flows a little better.

The inside isn’t absolutely perfect, but considering this is my first successful fair isle project I think it’s quite neat.  Every time I pick it up I can feel how warm it will be great.  Which is great because I plan on donating it to Afghans for Afghans when I’m done.  My Mom suggested it (she knits from them a lot) thinking that way if there were a few mistakes or any unevenness no one would mind much.  So far no problems, and I feel even better sending a nice product their way.

Find it on ravelry here.

Last week I was a bad girl.  With very little money in my bank account I headed to Knit Happens to pick up some essentials.  I needed needles for two projects that were already underway and yarn for a project for a swap.  I told myself I would leave with nothing else.  But of course once I’d picked out what I needed I had to see what else was around.  And I left with this…

Yarn: Fleece Artist, Merino Sock 2/6

Color: marked as Mermaid, but looks more like it might be Aurora

Dye Lot:

Amount: one skein at 382yds

Purchased at: Knit Happens, Alexandria, VA

stashed on ravelry here

I really shouldn’t have but as soon as I saw it I was helpless to resist.  There is so much variation skein to skein in Fleece Artist colorways that I’ve always felt if you find a skein you adore you just have to snatch it up.  And to me, this was the prettiest skein of Merino Sock 2/6 I’d ever seen.  It had to be mine.  In the end I sorted out the money issues.  It just meant being super disciplined for awhile, which I managed to do.  And now I can enjoy this gorgeous yarn.

I believe I’ve mentioned before how hard it is to devote myself to even one or two projects.  Therefore, the Ravelympics were a real exercise in discipline for me.  The point was of course to challenge oneself, and it was most definitely a challenge for me to commit to two projects, especially since I mostly worked on one at a time exclusively until each was finished.  The result has been a serious backlash.  My WIP ADD has reared its ugly head, and in addition to picking back up the projects that I put aside for the Ravelympics, I’ve started 3 new projects in the last week.  And it required serious self restraint not to start another.  I thought I’d give you all a peak at the new projects in my life.

The first project I started after the Ravelympics, and the project that is furthest along is a version of the Weaver’s Wool Mini Shawl in stripes inspired by Mustaa Villaa.  The pattern is incredibly simple, but her end product looked so lovely that I couldn’t help but want one.  And we can all use a little mindless knitting every now and then.  I also can’t remember the last time I knit anything on 10s, so I pretty much can’t believe how fast it’s working up.  Find it on ravelry here.

You’d think one lace scarf at a time would be enough, but that Malabrigo Lace had just been sitting in my stash bins for too long.  So I went ahead and cast of for the Leaf Lace Scarf.  I did two pattern repeats and haven’t picked it up since, but I’m sure I’ll head back to it soon since I’ve just started and I already love the way it looks.  Find it on ravelry here.

Fifth time’s the charm, or so say I.  After starting these socks four times with different patterns and disliking how they looked in the yarn, I have finally settled on a yarn and pattern combo I like.  This is the Sunshine Yarns Soft Sock I blogged about awhile back and the pattern I finally chose is Kew.  This pattern is a bit slow moving, but at this point I firmly believe the look is worth the effort.  I decided to use a traditional ribbed cuff instead of the scalloped garter cuff.  I just tend to prefer the look of a classic rib cuff, and they really can’t be beat practically speaking.  There are few things I hate more than socks that fall down.   Find them on ravelry here.