30 March 2008

This Week In Review: "My Phat Lewtz"

I had a splurge since I realized I had extra money due to my tax return finally coming in. I had been meaning to make this sort of purchase for some time now, and I finally did and was pleased to see they all came in within two days this week, earlier than I expected. I did purchase a few big balls of other yarn last Friday at JoAnns, but I forgot to include those in the picture of my "phat lewtz". Also not included is the one ball of yarn that I ordered on Amazon.com this week, but that I don't really expect until next week along with my two new pairs of shoes, Crocs' Alice.

I have plans for just about all of these balls of yarn. Included in the finds are as follows: Knitpicks Suri Dream, Glossamer, Shadow, and size 8 length 40" Options needles, elann.com's Pure Alpaca Fina, Just Bamboo ribbon yarn, and another thing of ribbon yarn I forgot its name already. From an earlier purchase, I have as well KnitPicks Andean Treasure, Swish Worsted, and Swish DK. Andean Treasure, Suri Dream, and Shadow all are used in a "feather and fan" pattern with Knitpicks' free patterns. Glossamer is just the handdyed version of Shadow. As I've learned recently, lace yarn is a challenge to work with... I have never used with such fine yarn before.

With each week in review, I plan to cover a few different things such as different types of yarn I am using, status on projects I am working on, and other things of relative fun (like maybe a small rant about current events or something if I feel so inclined).

Andean Treasure vs. Pure Alpaca Fina
While I was searching online for decent priced sport weight yarns to use in "secret projects", I came across elann.com's Pure Alpaca Fina (PAF). While I had already started using Andean Treasure (AT), I was excited by the many more color options that PAF offered. It also contained more yardage than AT so I figured I would give it a shot as a adequate substitute.

When they came in the mail on Wednesday, I was very excited and opened it up and began introducing myself to it I realized, and did comparison with it. They are both "sport weight" according to their two different sites, but from what I noticed, PAF is thinner than AT. To my estimation it looked more like a fingering weight yarn (it was thicker than the lace weight yarn I also got in the mail, which made me happier). I guess I should pay a bit more attention when studying for substitutes for patterns online. I still have yet to really understand, nor develop the patience, to work with "gauges", or even understand fully that it says 50g, so maybe even though it has more yarn yardage, it may be thinner than the other ball. Oh well. I'm still planning on using it for a pattern that calls for AT in the future, I just have to figure out if I need to change needles or increase the width of the pattern. Those two things shouldn't be too difficult.

HP PoA Scarf

I have been working on the second try with the scarf since sometime in February or January (don't remember), but it has been considered a back-burner or "easy" project. I usually work on it when I feel like it or I am multitasking (watching subbed anime, reading over papers for editing). This scarf uses KnitPicks' Swish Worsted yarn, which is some of the softest yarn I had worked with up to that point (it still is by far one of the softest yarns I've ever used). I like the way this scarf is coming through. As of the time I took this picture I had just gotten to the 11th set of the yellow-red-yellow stripe pattern. The pattern itself calls for 14 of them and one final big block set and then finishing off with tassling. I am looking forward to finally getting to that part, cause I got tired of the first scarf before I got around to it. Actually it was more like I got tired of using LionsBrand Vanna's Choice because it was irritating my fingers, so I finished that one up fast to do this one.

But I never feel quite happy if I only have one (or just two) projects going on. So when I got new yarn in this past week, I started a few new projects, two of which I will detail here.

This will be what I will consider my "first sweater" although it really is more of a "warm-weather" sweater. I'm hoping to have this done enough to be a project I work on at SimTerra (as this and the above scarf are what I call "Kaylee wear"). No idea how it will get there, because I lost a few stitches today in a "packing incident". I will probably fix it later when I get around to working on it.

The pattern itself looks like a short sleeve kimono, and it even has a silky looking band just under the bust to mimic a small obi. I purchased some bamboo ribbon yarn to suit that effect, because I don't really like the idea of spending the time to make my own ribbon yarn. Bah, that's far too much effort. Since the PAF was smaller width than I thought it would be, I'm hoping the particular size I chose to make this with is just fine. Next time I try this pattern I may splurge and get the yarn it calls for and I already have another ribbon yarn around here to put with that one. I'll probably do a pattern review at some point for that and then I will provide the link.

Suri Dream Throw

This is the only feather and fan pattern that I can even show here because the others are... well, *Xellos pose* that's a secret. And I haven't really started it, I've just begun planning it. I intend to use the yarn that the pattern calls for, KnitPicks' Suri Dream. It claims to be a bulky weight, but looking at it closer, I really don't totally buy that. I am also intending on whipping out what I call "the big red and black tribble" (also known as a pound of gradient yarn I got at Jo Ann's) and blending that with the Suri Dream to add an interesting textured effect. I hope in the end I will have enough of that to go along with 10 balls of the Suri Dream, but we will have to see. I probably should do some measurement planning before I get all invested in the beginning.

Here highlights what I've been up to this past week, I hope to have next week's review up sooner than this one, but I get so easily distracted when boyfriend playing fascinating game (Mount and Blade) on my computer or Arkham Horror at Jeff and Mona's. Or even... I get too distracted by my many projects I'm working on to remember to actually write about it. I hope to get better about that, but no real promises... this week at work has the potential to be hell.

Although the knowledge of getting nice packages delivered is still warm fuzzies. I also have a story to work on so I can torture people this coming Saturday.

Coming Soon: Pattern Review: Mary Jane and Elizabethtown hats

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