Monday, August 28, 2006

This is not a hat...

Well, never mind then. If Blogger isn't going to upload photos YET AGAIN, there's not much point to this post, is there?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Such a hippie...

My goodness. Just hours ago, this was a small woman's sweater, sitting happily on its little rack at Goodwill.

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

Kool-Aid Dyeing: So Easy, A Three-Year-Old Can Do It

Seriously. Kira just Kool-Aid dyed a skein of Knitpicks Bare superwash sockyarn.

Which reminds me.

Dear Knitpicks:

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.

Stirred carefully...

...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 best laid plans...

By Monday? Not so much. But I will finish them tomorrow, and then start the baby sweater, and I will still be on schedule, if no longer ahead of it. Probably. See, Kira and I have plans to play with Kool-Aid dyeing tomorrow night, so maybe I'll start the baby hat/booties with that, but then again, that yarn'll take time to dry, so maybe not. I have to get both projects done at the same time anyway, so it doesn't so much matter which one I do first.

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

9.5 Stitches to the Inch, Now THAT'S Love...

Got halfway through the heel turn today - these pics are from yesterday. The socks aren't looking as different as they did, which is good. Not that it matters, really.

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

Dear Knitpicks;

Please stop putting out new yarns now. My bank account thanks you.



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

Sock Yarn is Little...

It's much more scared of me than I am of it.

(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!