Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

Things have been busy around the SpiderKate household.  In the last couple of weeks we've taken a long weekend vacation to Canyon Lake, TX and have bought a used car which was promptly followed with selling my (old) car.  I was sad to see my car go, as it was my first new car that I bought all on my own, but glad that it was going on to someone else to get good use out of it.  We had already replaced the car (Hyundai Elantra) with a 2003 Subaru Forester and were lucky in that it (the Hyundai Elantra) sold about a week after Mr. SpiderKate listed it on Craig's List. 

We had a lot of fun at Cayon Lake, but I forgot my camera!  It was really good to get away and do some relaxing.  Highlights of the trip include drinking too much champagne (me), hiking, reading, knitting, visiting Natural Bridge Caverns, and watching movies.  Mr. SpiderKate also did all our dishes and most of the cooking, maybe even all of the cooking, so that gave me a really nice break from doing all of that.  The other great thing about being away was getting away from one of our cats, Merlin, who can be difficult at times.  This week alone he's woken us up anywhere between 3-5 AM by screaming in our faces.  Nothing is wrong with him, he's just very peculiar and wants things when he wants them.  Sometimes it is really difficult to deal with and it's good to get a break from him.

Now on to the knitting! While at Canyon Lake I finished the Sweetheart socks with the exception of the after thought heel.  I also knit a little on my new shawl design.  I was struggling with the yarn choice I made for this shawl, but after pinning out what I had knit and staring at it for a couple days (maybe it was even a week), I decided that I liked it after all. 

The biggest thing I've finished this month is the Mystery Medallion Shawl KAL by Jen at Knitting Like Crazy.  I really enjoyed being a part of this KAL!  One thing I've learned from it it was that I like structured knitting.  It was surprisingly nice to have a "deadline" in which to have knitting completed by.  She also did a great job of dividing up the clues since each clue was reasonably sized to complete in a week.  The pattern was well written and problem free!  Yesterday Mr. SpiderKate helped me take pictures of the shawl, so I have him to thank for the lovely pictures in today's blog.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mystery Shawl KAL

I've signed up and started a shawl KAL being held by Jen (@knitlikecrazy on twitter; knitting like crazy on ravelry).  This one is a mystery shawl KAL and I've decided to use my Asylum for Wayward Yarn Dinger Sock in the color The Dark Crystal.  This yarn was originally intended for the CraftyDiversions KAL, but I just couldn't wait to work with it any longer!  

 I am totally loving this yarn.  Erin at The Asylum for Wayward Yarn was really great at working with me when I was trying to decide between what color to get - re: she was very patient with me!  She has a ton of really great colors to choose from; you can find them here: Asylum Yarn colors.  She definitely goes above and beyond and I couldn't be happier with the yarn.  The color is gorgeous and the yarn is very nice to knit with.  The stitch definition can't be beat either. 

This is my first KAL ever and I am really loving it.  It's fun to see people post their progress pictures as they've finished the clue.  There are some really fast knitters out there!  The KAL calls for using fingering weight yarn and a size 4 needle.  I did some quick swatching and decided that my yarn looked better on size 5 needles.  The only problem is that I only had a size 5 with a 24 inch circular.  This didn't stop me from starting the clue, but you can probably guess what quickly moved to the top of my priority list.  Yup, it was time for a trip to the local yarn store.  I picked up some Addi turbos in a size 5 with a 40 inch cord.  40 inch circulars are quickly becoming my preferred knitting needle size.  Pretty soon I'm gonna have a pair of 40 inch circulars in every needle size!