Monday, August 28, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Now it's yarn. In a few days, it'll be a pair of felted slippers, since they don't wear shoes in Kira's new classroom.
(Score! Sweaters were 50% off. So I got 4 for $11, including a silk/cotton one for Kira to actually wear, and a super-soft angora one that I was going to felt and make a pillow out of, but decided it looked nice on me. So I'll wear it until it's ratty, and then felt it and make a pillow out of it.)
Friday, August 18, 2006
Which reminds me.
In the future, please inform me in advance when you are going to be carrying new product, especially if you're going to do so right after I place an order.
They're carrying Jacquard Acid Dyes now, which is what I order from Dharma Trading and I really love 'em, but dang, that shipping gets expensive. (Generally doubles the cost of dye. Phoo.) KP doesn't have as many colors as DT, but that's ok. How many do you really need?
(I asked that rhetorically earlier, and Kira answered, "four". Which is true - red, yellow, blue, and black. But I think she was just guessing.)
But back to the kool-aid dyeing. I prepared the yarn by washing it in synthropol, rinsing thoroughly, and letting it soak in warm water with a glug of vinegar for about 20 minutes. Then came Kira's part.
First, we empted the packets into cups of warm water (ok, I did prepare those too, but she could have done it, no problem). We used cherry (red), watermelon-cherry (pink), and grape (purple), and Kira mixed them up into some different combinations.
...and drizzled the dye over the yarn. We did the skein about a third at a time, so it would have different patterns and stuff on it.
Then we kept it warm for about 20 minutes, even though the dye was exhausted after about 5, I think. I actually did this part covered, but it wouldn't have made a very good picture.
Then I washed it in synthropol again, and rinsed a whole bunch, and now it's outside drying on the rack. More tomorrow, when we see how it turns out...
(Also, I feel compelled to point out that Kira has lily-white, unstained hands, while mine are a Pollack of red, pink, and purple...)
Thursday, August 17, 2006
The socks! (Kindly modeled by my mother-in-law, who has smaller feet than I do and can actually put them on.)
I know some people won't, but I really like the bull's-eye effect around the heel. I've decided not to enter them in the fair, though, for a couple reasons.
1) Just today I found a SPLIT STITCH way way back just above the toe on one sock. I'm going to duplicate-stitch over it with the same color to keep it from falling apart and it should look fine, but it's not going to be fair-worthy.
2) A design feature I chose didn't work out as well as it did inside my head. It's a 76-stitch sock, and the feather-and-fan takes 72 stitches. I didn't want to lose those four stitches - it's tight as it is - so I did a four-stitch rib on the inside ankle part. On the left sock, it's great, since it also serves to disguise the row-jog, but on the right, not quite so clever. Next time, I know how to do it better.
3) The ankle is too tight. I'm not sure what to do about that, except make it bigger next time. Dur.
Anyway, they'll still make a lovely gift, except that the person who's getting them reads this blog, so I'm not sayin' who it is. Surprise!
Part of why the socks aren't done: I started a wedding lap throw thingy in Knitpicks Suri Dream. The idea is that the center square will be blue, and then it'll have a cream, knitted-on border. It's easy, and it's nice to have something quick and furry on big needles. Except that it's August, and what was I thinking? ANYway...
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
I mean, usually you'd be seeing them from this sort of distance:
It's just that I'm usually knitting them from here:
Or inspecting them from here:
So it kind of magnifies, in my mind, what their differences are. But they're pretty, and that's the important thing. And soft! Also important. So soft... I didn't finish the heel turn because I was too busy putting my hands in them to feel the inside. Oh, and rewinding the yarn, because one of my balls fell into an utter tangle. I've never had that happen before; it was very strange. I spent more than half an hour of precious knitting time making butterflies. I was going to rewind a center-pull ball from them, but they're working fine, so I'm not going to bother. (They're consecutive butterflies - it's not like I cut the yarn or anything, just made them smallish in case they decided to tangle too...)
I'm surprised that while they may have thousands and thousands of stitches, they're going pretty quickly. It helps, I think, that women have smaller feet than men. Go, women! Yay! If I stay on track, I'll be done by Monday, which will both put me a full five days ahead of my project schedule and clear my OTN projects just in time for my Knitpicks order. I may even have time to squeeze in the wedding afghans before Christmas, but let's not hold our breaths here.
Speaking of weddings... nothing to do with knitting, but my goodness, the kid is cute.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Seriously. I'm going to get some of the dyeable sock yarn. Which means I'll also be buying dye from Dharma Trading. Probably nothing else that's new. But still, for awhile there, it was like every day, a new yarn! I'm going to invest in some color cards, at the very least.
I've been testing out the needles, too. Nothing to add that everyone else hasn't already said - they're sharp, they're sturdy, they're slick, and they don't have the dratted sizes marked on them. I'm using the 0 circulars. Wish I'd gotten a shorter cord - I always think I need a longer one than I actually do. Oh well, it's not the end of the world. The main problem that I'm having with them is that they're very slippery - there's no friction on the cord, so I keep dropping 'em out of the sock. I'll adapt, though.
And while I admit that they may well be twice as heavy as the next needle, I didn't notice a difference. I guess it's worse if you're using DPNs - 2g * 5 needles is more than 2g * 2 needles. Probably less than 2g, since I think the circ points are shorter than DPNs.
The thing I really like is that they're so much sturdier than the bamboos. Haven't snapped one yet, even doing a bunch of k2togs. Yay!
I finished two projects (the hat and mittens) and I got two CDs. I like how this is working out! (Even if it turns out that the CD I wanted I didn't like as much as the CD that wasn't on my list. I know I like DeVotchKa, maybe just not this particular CD, so that's all right. And I did not know how much I'd like the Reverend Glasseye, so I win!)
Now I'm starting the socks, and I've actually ordered a third CD but I didn't realize that their "standard shipping" is media mail. I mean, I'd have picked it anyway, because I'm cheap like that, but it was a little sad when I realized. But it would be cool if it got here at the same time I finished the socks.
Where was I? Oh, right. Socks. Swatching for socks.
This is Beth:
I made her for Kira's... second Christmas? Yeah. She was too young to appreciate it, really. My mom made her wardrobe.
She's modelling my mini-swatch that I'm using to decide what to do on the top of the sock.
From right to left, since that's the order I knitted it in:
1) Some stockinette, just to double-check my gauge.
2) I forget what this ribbing was. Oh, Ripple Rib, from April 21 of the 365 Knitting Stitches a Year calendar. It looked like it was going to be nice, but after two rows I determined it was way to fiddly for a 76-stitch sock. (That's 152 stitches for both of 'em!)
3) I messed up converting the eyelet ribbing into the round. Oops.
4) What the eyelet ribbing is actually supposed to look like. I can't decide if I like it or if it's too messy in this yarn.
5) Some 1x1 ribbing, to test for stretchiness. The eyelet ribbing is stretchier. Aaron thinks I should use this for the sock's cuff, but I disagree.
6) Feather and Fan. I like it. But from anywhere beyond about 6" away, it's too tiny. And really, how much time do you spend 6" away from someone's ankles?
So it is a dilemma, indeed. I should pick what I'm going to do BEFORE I knit the socks, or there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth (and ripping out of hard work). But I haven't found what I need yet. I wonder if you can double F&F? Hmmm...
(And don't you love the yarn? I do. It's Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Georgetown. So pretty! And I didn't think I liked it in the skein. Psht.)
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
(Stupid Blogger isn't doing photos AGAIN today. Boy, I'm so glad I went to the trouble of taking some. Well, tomorrow's would be better anyway. I think I'm just a mite tired. I was looking at the neatly balled yarn and thinking, oh, this really needs natural lighting. So I started to go outside for some. You know, at 10:00 at night. No, I don't live at the North Pole. I used the flash instead.)
Anyway, I now have two freshly-balled skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Georgetown for my State Fair socks. Woohoo! It's much prettier in real life - more colors and while not exactly deeper - they're still pastels - more... colorful colors? Dunno. Still. Pretty.
Once again, I had the choice of either finishing the current project and having nothing to do tomorrow or balling yarn and not getting the current project done. I went with winding. It does make sense - it's going to take the same amount of time to get both done anyway, and it doesn't make sense to waste a whole day's knitting time - but it still feels like eating dessert first.
Also, I need to find something else to do while knitting. There just aren't that many more movies that I want to see and there's NOTHING on network tv. Except complete-lack-of-talent shows. Tonight I watched Last Comic Standing. It wasn't as bad as the ten minutes of One Ocean View (or whatever it was) that I watched last night, but that's not saying much.
And now I'm watching Law and Order, which I try not to do. Hey, I need those brain cells!
Sunday, July 30, 2006
So I made this:
It was a skein of Patons Classic Wool and... Twister? I think. Anyway. I think it came out fairly cute. Her wedding colors are pink and white. And it holds a glass vase - or not, my original idea was to put potpourri in it, but I couldn't find any that didn't smell ick, so flower vase it was.
Now, back to the mitten that I STILL haven't finished. Well... it goes, anyway.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
One hat, that still needs to be sewn up, and one mitten. I'm actually pretty happy with my rate of progress, since I planned on two weeks for each project and this counts as two. I'd just better find the time to finish up this weekend, that's all.
For such simple patterns, I've been having a lot of problems. Partly because these need to be above the standard galloping horse level of well done, partly because... well, I don't know. I made a change to the mitten pattern because I didn't like the way she closed up the cuff, and it took about twelve tries to get it right. Well, maybe five. Still, a lot.
(What I ended up doing was putting a ribbing panel between the cast on and off, attaching it like a knitted on border, except on both sides. (So it was (1) P1, K1, P1, K1, P2tog; (2) K1, P1, K1, P1, K2tog. Mostly. Except that sometimes it was K(or P)3tog. And when it got to the cable, it was always three instead of two. Which took some experimenting to discover. Anyway, I like the final result, and it's nice and stretchy and all, so there you go.)
They look kinda weird all floppy like that. First off, I made them a weensy bit larger, since they're for a man, and second off, the cuffs come halfway up to the elbow. I mean, they're supposed to be like that. They really do fit, they just look weird without an arm in them.
Then tonight I watched what is possibly the worst movie ever made. (And this comes from someone who happily watched Rock and Rule last night, so you know it has to be bad.) I think it melted my brain a little bit. Actually, I switched over to the Office after about 45 minutes of this travesty, but since it was my least favorite episode and everything else on was a complete-lack-of-talent show, I went back to the terrible, terrible movie. At least some of it had passed while I was flipping channels. So bad! So very, very bad! My head asplode. No words remain to describe how awfully bad this movie was. I passed Gigli at Blockbuster this afternoon, and now I regret not getting it. That's how bad it was.
Anyway, it means I got halfway through the cuff of the second mitten, which is a good thing. The mittens are fast, really.
By the way, here's the link to the Pinwheel Hat. It rawks. Aaron likes it so much that he asked me to make him one, but I dunno if someone who LOST his Baby Ull on size 0 needles watchcap gets another hat. Ok, I lie. I'll make him one. But he has to buy the yarn!
The Master Knitter swatches? What swatches? Oh yeah, those swatches. They've been done for awhile, I just haven't had a chance to block them. And tonight I did. So they're drying now. I won't get to mail them this weekend, though, but definitely sometime next week. Yay!
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
I'm halfway done the pinwheel hat, and I'm going to have to rip the whole thing out. Why? Because I didn't swatch. I know better than that. I don't know what I was thinking. Crazy lady. Anyway, it's a quick knit - I should be able to get back to where I am now by the end of this evening, I think. I found mittens to match, too, although I'm not sure if they're too girly. Links to both, later.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
I'm having a race between the two sweaters - the baby sweater that I only work on at home, and Kira's sweater that I only work on outside the home. They're about tied, I think.
I'm not much of a listmaker - or rather, I am, I just never look at them again - but I think it'll help organize things a bit if I look at what I need to get done. And while I'm at it, I'll make a list of CDs I want to pick up, because why not? Stupid Denver, making me spend all my money on music when there's still all this yarn to buy.
Munly – Jimmy Carter Syndrome
October (? - Whenever remaster released)
Mittens to match hat (need to make pattern)
Munly – Galvanized Yankee
October (?Remaster release)
baby 1 - sweater? (need pattern, yarn)
DeVotchKa - Curse Your Little Heart
baby 2 - hat + bootees
DeVotchKa - How it Ends
sock1 – AP
DeVotchKa - Super Melodrama
sock2 – MP (need yarn)
DeVotchKa - Una Volta
sock3 – Me
Denver Broncos - TBD
sock4 – KH – BC (need yarn)
cscarf – RM
16HP – TBD
Monday, July 10, 2006
Yup. It's official, I'm an old lady.
Anyway, I'm really psyched about the needles. One set of 00's and one set of 0000's. Woohoo! I'm thinking I really shouldn't have gotten the 8" ones, but it seemed to make sense at the time. What do I know? (It's scary how much I'm charmed by the 0000's. I neeeeeeed to knit something on them! They're so tiny and... just... lurve!)
And after opening the needles, I had to laugh at the Knit Simple ad. 'Scuse me, do you offer subscriptions to Knit Complicated? Thanks.
(It's not that I'm a particularly advanced knitter - see "can't even weave in ends," below. It's just that it takes things well above my skill level to really interest me. What can I say?)
On the plus side, I did finally figure out how this end-weaving-in works. About time, I know. On the minus side, I didn't figure it out until I'd done about 10 of the 16 swatches. And I am an idiot, so I snipped the ends off. Should have waited until after I blocked, at least. Well. Things always go faster the second time, right? And I'll only have to reknit, say, 14 instead of all 16 swatches... bah.
So maybe I'm going to try to block tonight. We'll see. I don't know how I'm going to keep the swatches straight - do them one at a time? I don't know, that seems awfully inefficient.
In other news, I LOST the pattern to the ballet cardigan. Don't know what I'm going to do about that - I really don't feel like paying for a back issue of a magazine I already own, for a sweater that wasn't really that great to begin with. But I've done the whole back already...
Yes, I did learn my lesson about always working from a copy of the pattern.
I just don't understand how this could have gotten lost - it's very perplexing. It's not like I take patterns that many places... well, without the project, anyway, and I can find that just fine. It's sitting right there, mocking me with its done-enough-to-not-ignoreness.
Anyway, going to keep working on the pullover until the pattern turns up. I'm thinking about buying Square Dance by Doris Moore and making that for the actual baby gift. (The pattern only goes down to size 2, but I'm sure it can't be too difficult to resize. I mean, it comes with a spreadsheet!)
I'm also thinking about booties. Hmmm...
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Yet another "learning experience." I didn't have the right size needle, but since it's a "fun" project that I didn't want to fuss too much over, I used a smaller one. Like, a lot smaller. (It called for a 4, which for me means, "use a 2." I had a 0, so I used that.) I really liked the fabric I was getting, so I went with it. I swatched and calculated, and joy of joys! The next size up (using my gauge instead of the suggested gauge) worked out to the same measurements as the size I wanted.
I didn't think about the fact that the lengths are listed in inches, so I should still use the smaller measurements for those. But hurrah! I did think of it when I'd only knitted one extra row. Purled another one after that so I could end on the correct side, because I didn't feel like tinking and at 14 rows to the inch, what's 2 rows in length?
And of course, it was only as I was binding off the last stitches for the button thingy that I realized - hey, this fabric's really firm, and while it's exactly what I want in a sock - for a sweater that's supposed to go around a squishy baby? Not really so appropriate.
So it may just wind up as a dolly sweater. Like I said, I'm not crazy about the colors anyway, although I do like them more now than I did when it was just ribbing. And, again, Learning Experience. Now I can make a real baby sweater with many fewer mistakes.
Of course, I want to find one that involves steeking... can you steek superwash wools? We shall find out...
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
So I decided to do a sweater instead. I'm using the Knitpicks Last-Minute Stripes Pullover and Lion "Magic Stripes" in Jellybean. I'm really not in love with the color, and I know that the mother-to-be will hate it.
On the other hand, I'm enjoying knitting it and it is going quickly, and I'm sure someone I know who will like the color will have a baby at some point, so I'm not trashing it.
Unfortunately, I only have colors *I* like in my sockyarn stash. Well, and this Jellybean, don't ask how it got there. (I think it was on double-discount sale, or something). Anyway, none of it is appropriate for a baby sweater. I don't like Knitpicks striped yarn, either. Couldn't find anything at Elann or Webs, so I'll probably just get some Dale wossis... er, Ull, and make something not stripy. But still a sweater. I may also wait until the end of this month, when she finds out the gender. I'm glad I didn't find out before Kira was born, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to take advantage of the situation if someone else DOES find out about their baby. Especially if they're of the traditional, pink-and-blue, I'm-not-buying-any-clothes-until-I-know-what-it-is mindset.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
And I'm suffering Extreme Design Paralysis with my box of Palette. I'm waffling between two different strategies. A) I've always said that if I ever won the lottery, I'd put it in a CD for 6 months while I decided what to do with it, so I wouldn't be tempted to go all stupid. This may be the strategy I adopt with the yarn, so as not to be pressured into using it and then deciding later that I really wanted it for something else. B) Individual balls of Palette are really not expensive. I should just dive in headfirst, and if I decide I want the yarn for something else, I'll just order more.
So those are my ridiculous knitting neuroses. On to the thrills!
I'm unreasonably excited about these needles from Knitpicks. Like Addis, but sharp? If so, bring on the smelling salts, I'm feeling faint. If not, oh well, I'm out $5. Definitely going to add some to my next order, whatever the case. I only wish they came in sizes smaller than 0 - I'm definitely getting to the point where I'm feeling the need to knit on needles the width of a human hair. What is that urge, anyway?
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
My friend liked her shawl, even if it is technically a baby blanket the whole family can pile under. More on her liking it later.
The socks came out pretty spiffily. My friend (the toe-almost-losing friend, not the baby-having one) is going to send me a picture of himself wearing the socks, but until then, here are some last-minute, oops-they're-not-going-to-be-dry-in-time shots.
First, the inappropriately girly ruffle - unfortunately, I didn't manage an in-focus picture before I ripped it all out:
Then, the finished socks, drying:
And now, back to my friend liking her shawl. At one point, I'd sent her an email that had my bloggy-sig at the bottom, and she clicked on it to see what it was. I mentioned saving up for the Knitpicks Palette sampler. So she got it for me, as a very generous combination thank you/birthday present. Wow:
Woohoo! It was all I could do not to pull it all out and roll around in it last night. I promised myself I'd finish all my current projects first, though. (Stopped doing swatches because I RAN OUT OF YARN. But then I saved up enough for another ball and another Addi Turbo, so I can make socks again, too... it is a world of choices out there!)
Thursday, June 01, 2006
So I can't make more socks until I buy another US0 Addi. Well, won't, because really I COULD, but I don't feel like suffering through a whole pair of socks with bendy, grabby, catchy-join, stitch dropping, out-of-the-socket-pulling bamboos.
And I don't have that kind of cash.
So I'm trying to finish up a few things that I have the materials/equipment for, if not the motivation. I've gotten half of my Master Knitter swatches done, but it's REALLY hard to motivate for them. Like, it's ridiculous. Know why I'm posting right now? Because it's avoiding making another swatch. Dunno what's wrong with me there. It's not like they're hard, and I do want them done - I just can't make myself want to do them. I like finished products, I guess, and little squares just don't do it for me.
I think next, I'll put some time in on that sweater for Kira and maybe finally do the sleeves for the Skully I started, what, almost a year ago now? Yeah.
And then... SOCKARAMA, BABY! WooooooT!
(And after I save up for a new Addi, I'm totally starting a fund for the Palette sampler from Knitpicks. I've dabbled in cables and lace, now it's time for COLOR!)
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
I was annoyed with those needles anyway. The joins caught every single stitch. Yuck.
And today I was busy. Plus there's something strange going on with my eye, so I'm probably just going to bed tonight instead of trying to get anything done. Socks washed, blocked, and dried by Friday, I hope.
Monday, May 22, 2006
I'd take a picture, but I'm redoing the computer. So... well, I'll probably take a picture anyway, but it won't get posted until later.
I'm also trying to find a babysitter who takes handknitted socks as payment. WTF happened? It's not like I sat that long ago, and back then it was a less-than-minimum-wage job. Now they want $15 an hour, which, just... no. Somehow this CPR certification thing lets you demand college-graduate wages? It's just babysitting, not rocket science. I don't need Super Nanny, just someone to make sure the kid doesn't jump off the roof or set herself on fire. I guess it doesn't help that I live somewhere that gentrified. (You know it's a bad sign when all the useful shops get replaced by antique malls and the corner grocery becomes a real estate agent.) Probably people around here think that $15 an hour is a perfectly reasonable wage for eating snacks and watching Dora videos. Anyway, I can't go to this wedding if it's going to cost over $100 in sitter fees, but it's not too late to un-RSVP if I can't find someone who works on a barter economy.
Friday, May 19, 2006
I did, however, get yarn for the co-worker's baby blanket. Because, of course, as we all know, I need more yarn. (But it's for a project... Yeah, whatever.) I'm going to make the third variation of the Hoover blanket from Knitty, in Bernat's baby coordinates - one side orange-and-white-striped, the other side and border in plain white. And she's due in December, so if I start now and keep it around as my mindless knitting project, I should get it finished by then no problem.
And I'm almost done turning the heels of the socks. (Does it still count as "turning" if you use short-row heels? Well, whatever.) I could, if I pushed, finish them this weekend, but I wouldn't be able to wash/dry/gift them by Sunday night, so I might as well relax about it.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Who knew Berrocco had such nice patterns? I'm in love with Meenie. Or I was until I figured the yarn'd cost $100. Um. I like my co-worker, but... no. Also Endora, but again, price, man. Although I think that one will be easier to find good yarn substitution for. Maybe. Haven't found anything for Plush so far, but haven't been looking that hard, either. Time for a trip to AC Moore!
I have to get fray-check anyway. All the ends are behaving themselves very nicely after washing/drying except one - the one in the very center worked totally free. And of course I've already snipped it too short to do anything useful with it. I am totally never using this yarn again or recommending it for anything else, though. (Lion Microfiber sport) Even though I'd read about how well it wears, my shawl looks like it's 10 years old. The middle is badly fuzzed and completely ratty looking. I'm going to pick up a sweater-shaver-thingie too, and hopefully that will help, but still. Disappointed. I mean, otherwise it's fine - but that's a pretty big problem.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Saturday, May 13, 2006
I figured out what happened to that other ball of yarn - I knit it into the shawl. Dur. So the total was fifteen balls. I like to calculate how much I'd charge for things if I were making a fair wage - I hope my friend enjoys her $800 shawl.
Then again, that's one of the reasons I knit - to have unique, valuable things that I otherwise couldn't have. Or gift.
Oh, and that, "I'm about a quarter ball short?" Yeah. Here (on the left) is what was left of the last ball. On the right is the snipped-off ends after I wove them in.
And here's one of the socks. Or its toe, anyway.
Friday, May 12, 2006
I'm down to about an hour of knitting left on the shawl. And I had about three hours of knitting time today. If I'd finished the shawl, I wouldn't have had anything to knit today. So I figured I'd start on the socks, but to do that, I had to wind the yarn into balls. Of course, I managed to drop one of the skeins, leaving it looking like a visitation from the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It took more than an hour to untangle/wind. And then I had to do the other skein, but I figured out the trick of winding from your own arms without tangles. (Use both arms, keep the skeinned part taut.) So then I was so excited with my new technique, I had to wind up the skein of Aaron's sock yarn, which is the next project in line after my Master Knitter swatches. I'm a little bit in love with the yarn I got for him. So smooth! So shiny! So pretty! I understand why people describe yarn as "yummy" - I really just wanted to take a big bite of it. But, y'know, didn't. I'm not that crazy. Anyway, I finished winding yarns and went to bed. The shawl'll get finished tonight. For real, this time.
(My favorite part is how friggin' huge it is. Baby blanket? This thing covers me from head to toe. With my toes stretched out. Apparently the "thought process" (for lack of a better term) that went into this was, "swatch? It's a blanket, who cares if it's to gauge?" which, ok, fair enough. The part that I really can't understand is the bit where I thought I'd use bigger yarn on bigger needles and somehow get a product that was... smaller. Um, what? Anyway, I hope she likes it. One hundred and forty hours of work, to my best estimation. Whew! The next kid gets booties.)
So I did start the socks this morning (2-on-2-needles, toe-up, short-row toes and heels). I'm also really digging this sockyarn. It's from Shelridge Farms - their Soft Touch Ultra wool/nylon fingering weight in "opal". (I don't think the direct link works, but you can find it on the site, although the picture doesn't do it justice.) It's really soft. Which is funny, because at the festival I was really torn between it and the all-wool, which is much softer and I was bummed at how rough the "with nylon" was, because I really wanted nylon. So, yeah, that 100% wool yarn must be really soft, because this stuff? Very soft. And in the picture and when you first meet it, it looks like a sort of greeny-turquoise color, but when you knit it up, it gets these spots of purplish haze... kind of a peacock, I think. And re-reading my description, it sounds kind of gross, but it's beautiful. Which in a way bums me out, because why aren't there more manly sock yarns? Why are they all so feminine? I mean, yeah, more women than men knit, but some of us knit for men, and we like options, y'know? (I did find someone on Etsy who sells manly variegated sockyarns, but now I can't find the link and I've blown the sock yarn budget for the near future anyway.)
Anyway, I think it's manly enough, as long as I don't do it in lace. I still haven't decided if I'm going to do little cables or anything on the leg, but I've definitely decided to keep the in-the-shoe part smooth. (I really want to do a picot edging, but I'll wait until I do my own socks. I mean, really, I complain about manly colorways and then try to give the poor guy doilies for his feet? No.)
So I'm liking these short-row toes. Never done them that way before. Not that I've made that many socks. For the record, I used the Sockulator III to calculate the pattern, although obviously I adjusted it to be 2-on-2. Not that that's not falling-off-a-log easy, I'm just mentioning it. I will never again make socks one at a time. Too easy for me to make the second one a half-inch smaller, and once I finish one I REALLY REALLY don't want to do another. I was happy that this quarter's Cast On talked about that method, although a little disappointed that they didn't do toe-up, which I also think is vastly superior to top-down.
My only complaint is that I wish I'd bought another Addi instead of another Crystal Palace. Need slickness, and these bamboo needles bend alarmingly when dealing with all those wraps... (Then again, would I even be able to pick up those wraps with
Thursday, May 11, 2006
(I know I'm not the only one who does this. I do it on road trips too - I'm at mile X, and I'm going Y MPH, so I should get to my destination at Z o'clock... And the less thinking I have to do, the more I recalculate. Now that I've got this edging pattern down, and I have to do it howevermanyhundred times, there's a lot of pointless math going on in my head... Oh, and all that miscalculation? I never said I was good at it. But I really and truly have about an hour and a half left to go. On the edging. And what, an hour to weave in ends? Give it two, I'm slow and don't know how I'm going to do it yet. But I will finish this. TONIGHT!)
Also: HULK SMASH!. I had to go buy ANOTHER ball of yarn. But not because I miscalculated - because I lost one. I just know as soon as I get this finished, it's going to turn up. What am I going to do with a ball of Cherry Red Lion Microfiber Sport? NOTHING. I'm tired of knitting with it. So there. PBLBLBLT. At least I got the same dyelot as at least one of the other dyelots in this thing, not that it's seemed to matter at all. I can't tell a difference, anyway.
And I ordered yet more sockyarn, because WEBS is having a closeout on Regia Strato Color and I can't pass up $6/pair of socks in wee little stripes. I bought five balls. And that's it. No more! Hopefully once I've used it all up the STR craze will be over and I can pick some up on the cheap. (Ha ha, I made a funny!)
Monday, May 08, 2006
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Of course I forgot to take the camera to the actual festival. Dur. I wish I had - there were so many things I would have liked to record. (Deep-fried Twinkie included.) Alas, I'll have to follow Kira's lead and use my imaginary camera.
I did have a really good time, even though I was disappointed. I brought $100 with me, thinking I'd have to make hard decisions, and only managed to force myself to spend $60. Here's the grand total of my purchases (not including the book, the finger puppet, or the twinkie):
(Go, on - guess which sock yarn's for whom - my husband, myself, my friend. If you said the one on the right is for Aaron, you win! The one in the middle's for me. And the one(s) on the left are for my friend. Yay, socks!)
I don't know if I'm picky or jaded or it really just wasn't my year. First off, I was looking for sock yarn particularly. Possibly I just failed my "spot sock yarn" check. (DC+10 for having a 3-year-old with me. And, this being the Internet, I promise that this is not the only blog to mix D&D metaphors with knitting.) I'd find these beautiful, luxurious yarns - in heavy worsted boucle. Or thick-and-thin plied with a glitter strand. All very lovely, but not anything I'd ever use. Georgous hand-painted colorways - in bulky mohair. And then I'd finally find some sock yarn, and it'd all be some weird olive/fuschia/mustard/turquoise combination, and just - yuck. And then I'd find stuff that was ok, but that was it - if I'm just getting "ok" yarn, I'm not driving an hour and a half for it and paying five times as much as Knitpicks. (Not that I'm against paying for quality - but that's just it, I wasn't impressed by the quality of most of what I managed to find.) Possibly I needed to get there earlier - maybe someone with a sockyarn fetish and the same taste as mine got there at 9 and bought it all up. No idea.
But although it sounds like I'm awfully whiny, I'm really glad I went. I had a great time. The kid had fun. Everyone was very nice, and we saw lots of neat stuff (like alpacas and llamas and goats, oh my!) I'm happy with the yarn I did get. And I picked up a few cards from shops whose yarn I liked but wasn't what I wanted right then, which I think was a good idea. I'm definitely going again next year, but I think with different expectations. And possibly another kid-wrangler along. (Really, she was great, but it would have been nice to do some shopping without having to navigate a stroller through the barns.)
In other news, I completely missed my self-imposed deadline to finish the blanket before the baby gets here. He's coming tomorrow. The blanket will be done... Wednesday, maybe? We'll see... Also I have to figure out what to do with the ends. But here you go, pictures of it "nearly" done. (I ought to call it the "Pi=2" shawl for the number of times I've miscalculated something about it. Also, I can't find that last ball of yarn and I'm going to Hulk out if I have to get yet ANOTHER one...)
Saturday, April 29, 2006
I wasn't crazy about the sock I'm making. Too girly. And it was the least girly yarn I could find. Of course, then I discovered a hole in the toe - apparently I managed to knit the wraps together without the actual stitch. Now that there's a hole, they're the BESTEST MOST BEAUTIFUL socks I've ever seen in my whole whole life, and I'm saddened beyond all description that this hole exists. I've got the stitches on the second needle now, and I'll sew them up next time I get a chance to work on it. Anyway.
So, socks = too girly. I figured I'd go see what kind of sock yarn Knit Happens has. I'm a Springwater Fiber girl myself, and I keep forgetting that KH exists. I found out what kind of sock yarn they have. Beautiful! Amazing! Drool-worthy, lust-inducing, georgous, perfect sock yarns. That cost more money than I have in a month to spend on yarn. For enough for one sock. Oh. I mean, I love my friend, but I just can't spend that kind of cash on socks for him. Especially since I already bought yarn. Which is looking better and better by the minute.
So I left without buying anything, and apparently I'm really confused by this turn of events. I keep wanting to swatch my new yarn, or get it out and look at it, or at least check and see what kind of pattern might look good with it. But the "new yarn," she does not exist. No skeins have entered my home in the last week. It's a weird, phantom-limby feeling. Actually, last night I dreamed that I was sleeping. It's a lot like that.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
"What's an alpaca?"
"It's kind of like a llama."
"What's a llama?"
"It's kind of like an alpaca."
For months, this has been an acceptable explanation. The other day, she went, "heeeyyyyyy..." So I'm bringing her to Maryland Sheep and Wool with me. Which may be crazy, but I think she'll have fun. Oh, and in the evening, we have to go to the Scottish Festival, so it's going to be a very busy, very sheepy day.
Other good stuff - MS&W is about a month before my birthday, so I'm taking as much money as I think I'll reasonably be able to cover with birthday checks. Hooray for family who'll support your habits! I'm going to try to concentrate on patterns and books, I think - I Have. Enough. Yarn.
I'm also taking the stroller. I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid.
The baby blanket continues. I'm on the edging now. I miscalculated. It should take about 24 hours to do the whole edging. I've done less than 2. GRAH! BE FINISHED ALREADY!!!
On a positive note, I learned to knit backwards. It's so much easier than I thought it'd be, I don't know why I didn't do this earlier. I don't know that it saves that much time, but it's more fun than turning and purling, anyway. (And, I mean, even if it saves only one second per row, that's... um, over 17 minutes saved total!)
I also cast on for the socks. I have 1/4 of 1/2 of the toes done. But, y'know, no hurry on those. I'm doing two-on-two-circs, and man, speaking of things I wish I'd done before... Love it. Want to spend my summer making socks now.
Actually, I'm thinking I'm going to make kilt hose for the stepfather. (See above re: Scottish Festival and needing to go.) He's sensitive to wool, so I could probably do him up something nice in wool-ease or something like that. He can have one for Christmas and one for his birthday. (I mean, considering that each one'll take me probably over 40 hours of work, I don't think this is unreasonable at all. Plus, it'll be funny to get one sock for Christmas. His birthday's only 12 days later.)
Thursday, April 20, 2006
1) The sweater is limping along. I realized I read a number wrong and the back should be 3" longer than I thought. Luckily, I realized this before binding off, but it's still a kick in the teeth. I'm not sure if it's good or bad that the only place I'm knitting it is in the bathroom. (People without toddlers: "Eeeeewwww!" People with toddlers: "Hey, what a great idea!") It helps with not trying to do too much anyway - my hands start to hurt somewhere between four and five rows, so there you go.
2) The baby blanket is being dragged kicking and screaming to completion. Much like pregnancy, I'm in the last couple of weeks and really wishing it were all over already. I'm a little scared of the border, I think, and that could be why I'm dragging my feet so much. On the upside, I've decided I do really like the lace I substituted for the outermost ring, and I'm glad I chose it. I'm down to the last 15 hours worth, anyway - go finish!
2b) I miscalculated. I actually need a third more yarn than I thought I did, and while I tried to deny it for as long as possible, I'm on the last ball and still have one repeat and the border to do. I bought 3 more, in a different dyelot, of course. I'm going to try alternating rows to mix it in, but it's hard to gauge when the rows are so very very long. (Let's see... one row is 1/12 a ball... now, thinking of it that way, the math isn't so bad at all. I guess I'll start doing it about 8 rows in? Sure.)
3) A friend of mine ran over his foot with the lawnmower this past weekend. They managed to save the toe, which is really good, and I'd like to knit him a pair of socks in celebration of that, but my husband thinks it'd be tacky to give a man in a foot-cast a pair of socks. (Well, he's not really in a cast and by the time I had the socks the bandages would be off, probably, but still.) I think I'll make the socks anyway. I'm sure they'll be received in the spirit given. (Pretty sure, anyway.) But I want - shock! horror! gasp! - sock yarn that doesn't self-stripe. And I may just put my own darn stripes in. (The overwhelming urge to knit complicated patterns on 0000 needles, we'll talk about another day.)
Friday, April 07, 2006
Did I mention that I am a complete idiot? I had two balls of the orange laceweight. Dur. Should have rewound them separately before knitting that scarf. Well... I don't know that it would have involved less tangling/work. But it certainly wouldn't have been more. Again: Duh. Now I'm debating making laceweight gloves... hmmmmm...
And today, in the mail, I got a flier for The Knit & Crochet Show. (Why does it relate? Well, I stayed with a friend when I saw SCAC, and noticed while driving around that he lives all of five minutes from the convention center where this thing's gonna be held. So... if I could talk him into putting me up again, that'd save $109 a night - neat!) I'm a little interested in going - even though, like at all conventions, they take all the sessions I'm interested in and put them at the same time. How do they manage that? At any rate, I can't shake the mental image of gangs of knitters roaming around, throwing down with their rival crocheters, flashing gang signs and shivving each other with DPNs. Um. Maybe I need to get out more. (Or less? Something, certainly.)
Monday, April 03, 2006
1) I broke our camera. Our brand-new, super-awsome, beloved slimline camera. Three days before I really, really needed it for a couple of shows I'm going to. Alas, I'll have to rely on my memory. Also, no pics for the blog until we dig out the warranty stuff and have it repaired, and who knows when that will be?
2) I cast on something else. The baby blanket is going well, but I'm heartily sick of working on it. If I push, I can probably finish in two weeks, maybe three. The baby is due in 6. Which will come first? Who knows?
I'm not super-happy about the project I cast on for, either. Well, I'm not sure. It's a ballet-wrap kids' cardigan from... possibly Creative Knitting a few months ago? Ripping magazines apart is great for pattern organization, not so great for knowing where you got them from. It's supposed to use hand-dyed yarn, but I thought that was kind of ugly, and Kira picked out pink when I was taking her to get yarn. (Are you sure? Look, they have green! And blue! Purple? No? Drat.) So, the pros and cons of this project:
- It's moss stitch, which I like the look of. And even though it's the exact same as ribbing, for some reason I don't mind knitting it nearly as much as ribbing.
- I swatched and measured, which means it's actually going to fit the child.
- Total yarn cost: $6.24.
- It's cute.
- It's moss stitch, which may be better than ribbing, but is still a big old pain in the rear.
- I swatched and measured, which means it will fit the child until her next growth spurt. Which kinda seems like now - she's eating like she's having one, anyway. And it's rapidly rocketing towards summer here, which means by the time it's cool enough for her to wear it again... who knows?
- It's cotton, which hurts my wrists. I never really realized it before, but yes, it is definitely the yarn, not the needles or pattern or anything else.
- It's pink. Will knitting this vast sea of pinkness drive me blind and mad before I finish?
Thursday, March 23, 2006
35 hours of work and this is what I have to show for it? A crumpled rag.
Even better - now it's a soggy, crumpled rag.
Now, this looks promising. (This was my first attempt - I totally repinned the whole thing after taking this picture.) Note fancy blocking board!
And finally - wrapping and boxing it. Did I mention the card? I wish I had taken a picture of the card. Ah well.
I just thought this picture was cool:
Boy, I'm really happy with how the scarf came out. I wish I'd had more time to pet and photograph it. But it's winging its way to Hungary right now... ok, well, it's probably more like in the car on the way to the airport right this very second, but close enough.
I'm just so excited having finished it! It was my first time blocking with wires and pins, and I think it came out pretty well, although I certainly learned things for next time. It took me until the seventh wire to figure out the best way to put them in. (The first seven took 45 minutes, the last 5 took 15, I think.) And I wish I had stretched a little more aggressively. But oh, they were right when they talked about the miracle of lace! From crumpled rag to so, so pretty! I think I fell in love with it a little bit.
The color did bleed a little when I washed it, which worries me a bit. Then again, I'm giving it to a man who wears nothing but orange... and it was only a teensy bit of dye. And it should be hand-washed separately anyway. Even if he gives it to someone who wears other colors. (Which I fully expect him to do. It's part of why I was so relaxed about this project, I think - I know that it will wind up with the person who should most have it. Which is... well, a good feeling, I guess.) I do have a vague fear that someone'll stick it in the washing machine on hot. Not so much because I worry about it being wrecked - if it's yours, it's yours to wreck - but because I don't want someone to wreck it accidentally and then be sad about it. Which may be silly, but there you go, I never claimed to be rational about these sorts of things.
Pictures of the whole process to follow - like I said, I was up with it until 3 this morning, and then got up again at 6 to photograph/wrap/pack it. So I haven't really gotten a chance to download pics or anything. I worry a little that I'll find some huge glaring error in the photo that I didn't see live, but see above re: too late now.
Also also, I got a free blocking board, which rocks. I was going to pick up a piece of styrofoam insulation from the Home Depot to use, but didn't realize that it only comes in 8' sheets (which don't fit in my car even a little bit). I happened to be visiting my mom at the time, and she said, oh, you mean you need a piece of this stuff? And pulled out half a board of it, which she gave me. I mean, buying it would have only cost about $9, but free is even better, AND I didn't have to get Aaron to go pick it up in the Jeep. Yay!
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006
This is the scarf in all it's crumply glory. I meant to stretch it out and take another picture, but I got sidetracked chasing my husband around with the bear on my hand threatening to eat his head. (Were there jokes about my right to arm bears? Do you even need to ask?)
The green circle is the "design feature" I cleverly worked in by doing rows 1-6, then starting a new repeat instead of finishing the one I was on. I am very, very glad I'm working both tails at once, it does look on purpose. Ish. And I really, really don't have time to reknit it. So, hooray! (I think I'm giving up sleep in favor of knitting this weekend.) Although now that I look more closely, I didn't actually get the circle in the right place. Well, we'll all get to see when it's blocked.
Friday, March 10, 2006
Also unhelpful: Addi turbos. Blunty McNopoints and I are not getting along at all. It takes two hours for me to finish one inch of lace. For contrast: Tubey (which had four and a half times the number of stitches in an inch*) took 50 minutes/inch.
So I asked the wonderful and helpful husband if he wouldn't mind running to the LYS to replace my bamboo needles for me. No problem, he said, just send him what I needed. And I did! I was very careful to specify that I needed US size 2, not 2mm, and to ask the clerk if he wasn't sure of the difference. And he very nicely brought me home a lovely Clover bamboo circular, size US2. When I go to knit onto the new needles, they're huge. What size am I actually using? US0, aka 2mm, of course. Well, he wanted to get out of the house anyway, right? (He went back again last night, but see above re: no pattern, so I haven't actually knit with them yet.)
I did find a very neat solution to the knitting-both-ends-at-once thing. And it was completely by accident. When I was going to knit the other scarf, I chickened out on the laceweight and decided to use it doubled. My solution to that was to stick both ends of the hank in the winder and wind them simultaneously towards the middle. (Don't try this at home without at least one extra pair of arms.) Now I'm knitting single-stranded - but both ends are at the center of my center-pull ball! I've been going slowly, true, but I haven't had any real twisting or tangling issues, so I think it's been a success and it's definitely something I'd do again if I needed to work from both ends of a length of yarn.
*Not actually true, upon reflection. This is 14 rows/inch and Tubey was... 7, I think. So only a bit more than two times as many stitches, but it still took less than half the time, and I still feel justified in saying, "lace! GAH!"
Monday, March 06, 2006
The scarf I need to make is... complicated. The recipient isn't going to be in this country this year. So I wasn't feeling the pressure to get it done, which is bad. Then it turns out that a friend is going overseas to visit him, and she's leaving at the end of the month (need to find out exactly when). A deadline! Hooray!
And I decided that the Matthew is... beyond my abilities. Well, beyond my current abilities to get it done by the deadline, anyway. Which is kind of a bummer, but that doesn't mean I can't knit it later. Maybe next year. Nothing wrong with that.
My brilliant plan, though? Design and knit a lace scarf of my own! Yes! Genius! (If by "genius" I mean "misguided and mentally flawed".) I'm swatching furiously now. It's a... learning experience, certainly. I have learned a lot about lace. But I'm not particularly closer to getting this done. It'll be a seaman's scarf, anyway, so it should go fairly quickly once I get it sorted out. The lace, though... why did I pick an asymetric pattern for the central panel, again? Gah. Oh, and I plan on doing it bottom-up both tails at once, so that's good too.
And I had bought a Crystal Palace bamboo circular just especially for this project. I got it out of my knitting bag and one of the needles was SNAPPED! Grr. I never even got to use it, and that wasn't a cheap needle. Luckily (?) I have an addi turbo in the right size, but I really didn't want to use something so slippery for a laceweight alpaca lace project. Well. It should be fine. I'm sure.
Monday, February 27, 2006
Ten Things Tubey Taught Me
- The Joggless Jog. Although I'd call it the less-jog jog, I think, my sleeves look better than the picture on Knitty, and I should have taken a closeup but I didn't. Definitely worth doing, anyway.
- Color matters. I may actually rip out the entire body and reorder the stripes, because right now it does a fantastic job of minimizing my breasts and enlarging and drawing attention to my waist. I mean, yeah, I'm shaped like that, but there's no reason to emphasize it.
- Horizontal stripes do not flatter. Even if they look good on the model.
- I have boobs. Twenty-eight years of being small chested has led me to disregard any instructions for the busty. The sweater is four inches shorter in the front than the back, leading to weird bunching and just... oddness. Next time, short rows.
- I don't have to slavishly follow a pattern. I'm short-waisted, and I made the sweater what, two inches shorter than the pattern called for? Something like that. And it's a good length. Yay! (Now, be confident enough to add those short rows).
- The norwegian purl is hell on the wrists. Not worth bothering with.
- 3x1 Ribbing isn't really that bad, and it keeps you from dropping stitches 'cause it's like tiny pattern repeat markers every four stitches.
- Weaving in ends, however, really is that bad. And I'm terrible at it. I didn't trim the ends in case I do rip out and reorder the stripes, but even if I don't, I think pulling them out and redoing them isn't a bad idea.
- AC Moore Luxury Aran is a very soft, pilly yarn. I've heard the same thing about the Cashmerino that the pattern calls for, so I'm not too fussed about it. We'll see how it looks after a few washing/shavings.
- I can finish a sweater. Quickly, too. Now I have no excuse.
I had a bunch of yarn left over (including an entire ball of teal) so I started on a bonus: some Custom-Fit Fingerless Mitts. Super fast - I finished most of the first on the metro - and seriously easy. I should have the second done tomorrow, then I can weave in ends, wash, block, and have a custom accessory for my sweater. Nifty!
(Picture including my extraneous third leg:)