Monday, December 30, 2013

Yarn Review Monday 11: Madelinetosh DK (Worsted)

What is YRM: I honestly believe there are good things and bad things about every type of yarn, no matter how much you save or how much you break the bank. 

This is for the lay-knitter, not professionals. This is for people like me who might not necessarily be fiber experts despite being a crocheter or knitter for a long time, but need an honest opinion about yarn before they dive into a project with it.

The yarn:
Madelinetosh DK (worsted)
225 yd/205.7 m
100% Merino wool
Mala colorway

The project: Stargazing shawlette (PDF link) (URL with link to PDF)
(photo true to color, subtle yet bright)

What I liked: Blocks out really nicely. Feels softer when you're wearing it than it does when you're knitting with it. I've never experienced that with yarn before now. Probably due to the higher quality of yarn, which is something I'm not used to working with. Very light, very warm.

What I didn't like: The cost! Also, until I blocked the shawl it was disappointingly small and while quite springy, I had some doubts about whether it would block to the correct size. (It did.)

Affordability: I paid $21 for one skein. This is way more than I care to spend but you definitely get what you pay for.


Only because, you know, $$$. If I could afford to spend that much on yarn all the time I'd definitely give it five stars.

Previous yarn reviews:
Bernat Boa ( Eyelash yarn; "unofficial" yarn review)
Berroco Vintage (TM) Chunky
Caron Simply Soft Solids and Simply Soft Light
Cascade 220 Sport Weight
Deborah Norville's Serenity Chunky Sprinkles
DGB Confetti
Fisherman's Wool by Lion Brand
Paton's Classic Wool
Plymouth Yarns Galway (TM) Worsted
Regia Angora
Vanna's Choice by Lion Brand

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this or asked to review this yarn by any store or the company itself. Opinions are my own.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

December Love Your Library: Year End Review

I noticed Snapdragon Crafts has a year-end post up now, including the Library Challenge wrap up, so I thought I'd get a post in on how I did with her challenge.

These are the projects I completed this year with patterns that were in my library before January 1:

Below are library projects that I started but have yet to finish. The little coat is hibernating. The afghan is in a bag under my bed. It probably thinks it's been put in hibernation, but I just haven't had time to work on it lately:


I know I'll get even less knitting done next year since nursing school will be starting but as long as I set my bar even lower for next year....
I'm just kidding. A little.
Here are the rest of my Library Challenge posts:
January Goals
January Wrap-up
February Goals
February Wrap-up
March Goals 

April Goals
April Wrap-up/May goals
May Wrap-up
June Goals
June Wrap-Up/July Goals
July Wrap-Up
August/September Update
October Goals

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!
Not too much to say here today except that I'm relieved my knitting is done, wrapped, and opened.

And they actually fit too! He wore them all night last night and after we got home from Mass this morning he had them under his arm, carrying them around the house. Cracks me up.

My Christmas gift progress as of right now:
Saroyan for my sister
Saroyan for my mom
Saroyan for my M-i-L
Narcissa socks for a friend (1 sock done - Ravelry link for pictures)
Fred and George socks for my husband
Stargazing Shawlette for my sister in law

I'm so relieved I got the extra yarn on time, and got the toe finished in time. I really hope I did a decent enough job with the transition that it doesn't feel uncomfortable when he wears them.
I can take my time with that last sock since I won't be seeing my friend until after the new year. I'm seriously proud of myself for actually getting all those projects done on time.

My awesome husband fixed my tablet yet again. The connection wasn't good with the screen so that is why it wasn't working. It must have been knocked loose after he replaced it for me. This is how it went:

Haha. Just kidding. He's always pretending it's no big deal, even though I can tell he's irritated when I break something.

My mom loved the Saroyan scarf I gave her. I gave her the pinkish lavender one since it goes better with her winter coat.

My sister is getting the deep purple one, my mother in law, the ruby red one.
So far everyone has loved their hand knits. My mom said she hasn't stopped wearing hers since we did our Christmas celebrating with them Saturday.

Thank you for all the encouragement on my socks last week. You're all wonderful.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Knitting v. 4.0, or: I Hate Sock Knitting

So here's where I'm at with these %#&@ socks. I was chugging away happy as can be when I realized just how little yarn I have left.
In true yarn chicken fashion, I started knitting as fast as I possibly could. I ran out of yarn literally eight mother-$%&#ing rows from the bind off.
I ordered more yarn, which just so happened to be on sale.  A $3.12 skein that I am paying $9 for because one skein of yarn costs an arm and a leg to ship from Michigan to Wisconsin. For real, you guys, THAT is the reason I am pissed. I just wanted to get these done. To see my husband open this on Christmas and see that despite the fact that I $%#&@ hate knitting socks, I knit him an awesome pair and ideally, in this fantasy in my head, they fit perfectly.
So I'm just hoping I can get it before the weekend so I can sneak away from the hubby and finish the eight rows  and wrap it before Christmas.
Here are the link-ups for Wednesday WIPS.
Oh, the blue sock still had yarn leftover. I'm using the same brand of yarn and everything for both colors. I had to cut the green in the fair isle section in order to knit two at a time. I underestimated, had to add more green length to the top of the blue sock, and the loose ends were just enough to screw me on the second sock. [Insert more profanities here]

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Just a Check-In: Christmas Knitting 3.0

Don't worry. I haven't gone AWOL. I'm just posting a photo from last week since I think the last time you saw my husband's Christmas socks I had only just finished the fair isle sections on both. The photo itself is from last Wednesday night. Monday night was my first opportunity to use a functional computer so I was actually able to upload a photo. (My phone won't let me do that...)

On Sunday afternoon I turned the heel on the green sock but could not begin the circular knitting again since the men were present for the rest of the evening. Then I forgot my knitting bag at the in-laws...

I'm starting to feel less stressed out about getting these done. I've only got half a sock left to absolutely finish by Christmas. Then all I'll have left is the second sock for my friend which I intend to finish before I start nursing school on the 13th of January. All the lace on her socks makes for slow going what with my hand cramping problems but I think the goal is attainable.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

I Spoke Too Soon

Well, I hate to say this but I'm once again in possession of a tablet that doesn't work. I had a couple hours to get excited and then let it charge for a day. When I got home it wouldn't turn on or emergency boot.

So once again, I won't be blogging until these issues are all sorted out. It is a huge pain to write on my phone and when I use my phone I can't upload photos.
Please bear with me and my knack for destroying technology.

Have a wonderful Advent season. Today is the first day of Advent . And good luck with all the Christmas and other gift knitting you're all rushing to finish.