Friday, June 29, 2007

I am continually disappointed by the fact that schoolwork must come before knitting time. I'm taking some classes this summer that are eating up my knitting, time, unfortunately. Fortunately, however, I'm not taking the 22 units I took last semester, so I've actually got time to breathe now, ya know?

In my latest knitting endeavors, I have taken on the Icarus shawl from last summer's IK. It's a beautiful pattern, and I lovelovelove it. I've wanted to start on it for some time now. I'm using a lovely dark-fog color of grey from Skacel. I think it's called Skacel Merino? It's quite a pretty yarn, with a tiny bit of character in its loosely plied strands, and very affordable. I think I paid something like $13 for 1300 yards?

Anyhow, here's a picture, though it's not nearly as exciting since you've seen an in progress Icarus dozens of times, eh?

I also decided to teach myself to knit Continental, and I have lots of acrylic yarn left over from my younger years of making 40-foot long braids with yarn. I was...easily amused as a kid, perhaps? Anyhow, I decided that I might make an ugly afghan out of all that acrylic, and teach myself new knitting techniques in the meantime. I'm almost done with the eighth block, and I'm starting to get bored. I think I'll break out some block patterns and deviate from the garter stitch for the rest of the squares.

And on a last note, I'm still waiting for my Ravelry invite. Mope. :(

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

FO - Ravenclaw Kneesocks

These socks were knit because of a need for kick-ass socks for the premiere of the 7th Harry Potter book. I've been collecting and making various parts of a Ravenclaw Prefect costume for some years now, and the socks were the latest addition. I now have socks, a hand-sewed skirt, a tie, a collared button down shirt, a grey sweater, awesome mary jane shoes, a hand-embroidered prefects' badge and Ravenclaw crest, and a wand. YAY.

These socks were knit from some machine-knitting yarn from WEBS. It's 2/6 Donegal Tweed, and I got 1 pound of the yarn on sale for $8. I LOVE the yarn. It's a bit rough, but nothing my feet can't handle. It's got amazing blue tweed effects, too.

Not wanting to purchase another two skeins of yarn for the couple yards I would need for the stripes, I chose to dye the yarn the dark blue and the orangeish-bronze with regular food coloring used in cooking. It turned out well, and the bronze bled a tiny bit, but I think the color is set pretty fast now.

The socks were knit toe up which is awesome, and I referenced Knitty's Universal Sock Formula. Increases for the calf were of my own devising.

And I was so impressed with how easy knitting socks is. I'm definitely going to be knitting more and more of them. They're so fun, and I LOVE wearing my kneesocks around the house, even when it's getting to be in the 90's.

FO - Ram's Horn Jacket

The second I saw the book Knitting Nature by Norah Gaugan in Barnes and Noble, I knew I had to buy it. It has such a plethora of beautiful, amazing, fantastically clever designs. This was my first project from the book, and I have to say that while some parts of the direction were awkwardly worded, I totally loved knitting this.

This was knit from 7 hanks of Cascade 220, and while the color in the photos isn't exactly correct, it's still pretty close. It's a deep mahogany brown, and in the sunlight it shines with a red tinge. But, it also has a tiny bit of yellow in there. Really really pretty. I'm very pleased with my yarn choice. I think the 220 will hold up excellently to wear, and it was a good choice to get a workhorse yarn for my first sweater.

Some alterations I did: I didn't feel like sewing up hems after I was done, so I cast on the back, the fronts, and the two sleeves with provisional cast ons. I knit the required 3 inches, did the purl row, knit the rest of the three inches, and then I put the cast on onto needles. Knit those two rows together, and then proceeded with the rest of the garment. It worked very nicely, and I was happy that it feel so nice when wearing.

I also did change the length of the sleeves, making them extra long, and I added some minimal shaping too, decreasing slightly for the elbow and forearm, before increasing for the upper arm segment. My row gauge was slightly off too, so some of the pieces ended up blocking to a different size than the scheme said, but that was fine, because I planned for all that in advance too. Yay for gauge!

I might be looking for a new clasp, but for now, I am simply using a hair-stick to keep it closed. I rather like how minimal it is, and the stain on the wood matches the yarn color nicely.

Andddddd. I think that's about it! I can't wait to get started on my next Knitting Nature project. The Basalt Tank, probably.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

FO - Clapotis

Seeing the Clapotis in Knitty's magazine so long ago was what brought me back to knitting. I re-learned how to knit just for the Clapotis, and it is so strange that since Fall 04, I hadn't knit it until now.

But here it is!

I really enjoyed knitting this scarf. It's made of Paton's SWS in Natural Navy. It's a beautiful amalgamation of a yarn, having soy in it! How exciting! And the colors are absolutely beautiful. Dark blue, a varied hue of tans, greys and black, and yeah. Very nice to work with, and wearing it is a little bit itchy, but I don't think it'll be anything that I can't deal with in the summer months.

And here's a bonus picture of my cute little sisters posing with the scarf.

(Click to make them bigger)

Introduction (Why Penelope Unravels)

Hello world!

This blog has been started mainly because I'm awaiting my Ravelry invite, and I wanted a place to gush about knitting, and also a place where I could categorize my recent FOs. I'm not sure how much I'll continue with the blog after that, but chances are that I will. I'm not stopping knitting anytime soon, and I spend enough time on the internet as is. :P

So. Why Penelope Unravels? My title harkens to The Odyssey. While Odysseus is trying to get home from fighting in the Trojan War, many suitors take it upon them to start trying to win the hand of Penelope, Odysseus' wife. Those suitors thought he was dead and all. FOOLS, ODYSSEUS IS PIMP. :P

Anyhow, Penelope wards off the suitors by telling them that she would pick one of them as soon as she finishes weaving a funeral shroud for her father-in-law. She would work on it during the day, and then would unweave the work at night, so by morning, she was no closer to having to make a decision, buying Odysseus more time to get home and all.

While the Odyssey seems to make Penelope a weaver, I think it's much more likely that she was a knitter. We all know how fun ripping your work back can be. And therein do I get my title. I'm a knitter, I unravel, and I aspire to be as patient and faithful to her family as she is.

So welcome to my blog, have a sit down, and enjoy!