Saturday, December 29, 2007

ARGH!!!!

So, I'm pretty behind on the knitting, what with having many other things to be doing. I got the booga bag done and felted it last night (and attempted to re-felt the purple slippers too, but I think they may be as felted as can be, they got a little smaller, so that should be okay, but next time I make the ladies M). I got the bag done and decided to let the icord felt a little more. Can you see where this is going? I spaced out, and tossed the things I'd put in with the felting items into the dryer...and the pillowcase with the icord in it. Which managed to shrink it so it (a) looks like crap and (b) is nowhere near long enough. F-ck. So, now I have to HOPE I have enough yarn left to knit another one, and then refelt it it sometime tonight, while also finishing the 2 pairs of Fetching left to do, plus doing primary kid care for the rest of the afternoon, plus somehow cleaning, doing laundry, and packing, so that we can go away for vacation for a week tomorrow, oh plus we're doing the walk-through for the house tomorrow on our way out of town. Did I mention we're closing in less than a week and moving in 3 weeks?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Can't blog, knitting.

Well, not just knitting. It turns out that if one wants to make a holiday festive, and one does not go visit one's Mommy who will do this for one, then one must do all festivity-creation oneself. We were totally low-key and it still was a LOT of work.

But, presents were wrapped, cookies and a pie were baked, the Christmas meatloaf was delicious, the fancy breakfast with homemade cinnamon rolls was also delicious, and fun was had by all.

On the knitting front - booga bag is knit and I've got about 18" of icord done. One pair of mini-fetchings are done, another is started. The third pair is just a gleam in my eye. The hat for BIL is done. It looks sort of funny off the head, but it fits my DH just fine (who has a huge head), so it should be okay. Turns out I knit it on size 9s, not 8s, and I took out 1 12-stitch cable repeat, but it looks just fine to me. DH has decided he wants one too, so if I have enough of the Swish Superwash left-over after I finished the braided cable scarf, I'll do a hat for him in that.

Once everything is done, I'll post a ton of pictures. I've been sadly delinquent on the photo-front, which makes for a none-too-interesting blog, I am sure.

And I pulled out the baby blanket that I'm almost half way through. Remember how I thought it was girly looking and wasn't sure whose daughter I was knitting it for? Turns out it was for mine*. :)


* At least, they give us an 85% chance of the Frog being a girl...which apparently is as good odds as they'll give.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I am so smart (not).

I have a lot of knitting to do in the next week and a half. A LOT. Well, a lot for me, because my available knitting time is really small. Perhaps if I had full-time childcare and no job (and, you know, some random, seriously lucrative source of income to pay for said childcare), I could get it all done easily and perhaps toss of some more socks for myself as well. But that, sadly, is not my life situation so my knitting time is mostly limited to the evenings, and it turns out that by the time evening rolls around, I Am Fried. Today was a particularly busy day, as it involved not only some Christmas shopping (I relented after I asked my husband to go purchase his gift from me and agreed to do it myself as well as get the present for his dad), but about 200 phone calls between my real estate person, my mortgage person, and my lawyer to work through a last-minute hitch in our house-buying experience. IT WAS SO FUN. Then I had to go to my husband's office to print out a revised P&S, get him to initial some stuff, initial some stuff myself and fax it to our mortgage lady (who does rock my world). So instead of having a fun afternoon hanging out with the boys at home, I was doing all that. It's sort of good that I don't actually have paid employment, because in my grown-up life, I'm a psychotherapist and not really available to wrangle a million phone calls.

So, yeah, what's left? About 10 more rounds of Fetching 2 of 6 (sounds so Star Trekian) plus the thumb, the rest of the Fetchings (4 total), 32 rounds on the Booga bag plus 6 feet of i-cord and felting, and a cable-knit hat for my BIL because apparently I am NOT CABLING ENOUGH.
I am doing my BIL's hat out of some sort of craft-store yarn (Patons worsted weight wool). I actually do like this yarn. It feels pretty soft, they had the color I wanted (a charcoal grey), it doesn't break the bank, it is actually 100% merino wool, and I was AT Michael's and didn't have to go make a special trip anywhere to get Fancy Nice yarn. He won't care at all. Do I sound defensive about using craft store yarn? :)

What else. The Frog has a nice heartbeat. It looks like our house deal is going to go through. Perhaps our condo will even sell. It's all good. It's all going to be okay. *deeeep breath* Tonight, I think I'm going to climb into bed and read and do Sudoku and go to sleep early.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Slogging Through

That's how it feels, anyway. We've got lots going on, big stuff, some very good but stressful, some simply stressful. Nothing truly BAD (no one is sick or dying, knock wood). But other big stuff. So, I'm doing some easy therapeutic knitting. Even though I hate casting on, I enjoy starting projects, so I've got mini-Fetching #1 going (1 of 6 needed), and I started SIL's Booga Bag. It's funny, the colors she chose so aren't ME (since I pretty much only seem to like green and purple), but it's actually fun to be knitting something so bright and cheery. Lots to get done, but it'll all be gifted POST-Christmas, so I've got some time. I'm going to knit BIL a hat too, since I can't really give hand knit stuff to everyone in the family but him.

I still haven't taken pictures of finished Fetching-Inspired-Inspired hat, but I am loving it. I didn't wear it today, as it's not as entirely wind-proof as I'd like (fleece is good for that) and it was a raw and chilly day today, but I do love wearing it.

I feel like I've been focusing a lot on knitting for MEMEME lately, and once I get through the Christmas season, I need to get back into knitting more for others (err, you know, not including the hat, the booga bag and the 3 pairs of Fetching I'm doing for family). I haven't been doing the NICU hats that I love, and I need to keep doing that. I've got plenty of yarn, just need to get focused. Anything that can get me out of my own head and into the perspective of what's really important is good right now.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Fetching-Inspired-Inspired Hat Done!

I'm not sure where the camera is, so no pictures at the moment. Maybe tonight.

The hat is done and it IS long enough! Woo hoo! This makes me happy. I ended up modifying the pattern a bit. Where she has you doing 8 rounds of st, I did 14 (I think). I then did one round of decreases, 5 rounds of st, then alternated a decrease round and a round of st until the end. For the last couple of rounds, I did decreases (so 16 to 8, and then 8 to 4), and then did not do the last knit round (I didn't like the little bump it made).

I think it's going to be toasty warm. I wore it around the house a bit, but I was self-cleaning my oven, so it was really hot in the kitchen. My head was quite warm though. I am going to wear it out in a bit when we go to pick up DS1 from school, so I'll report back. But, at least it fits, and I think it's cute!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Buh-bye hat!

So sad. I ripped out the hat. I actually tried it out last night (24 degrees, felt like 10 or so with the wind) and it was entirely inadequate. It just didn't cover my ears, and it turns out that when it's very cold out, you don't just want the top of your long and pointy head to be covered, you do actually want your ears covered too.

So, I pulled it out, and managed to pick up all stitches (only really dropping two, which were easily picked up), AND figure out where the start of my row was. I am pleased! I also actually measured the (ballpark) length that I need to add, and did a rough estimate gauge, and figured out how many rows. Turns out it was double what I was assuming. I guess I have tall ears as well. :) So, I'll reknit it and see if my math leads to a hat that fits me in reality. It would be nice to have such a thing, and it's a good thing to learn that I need to add a couple of inches to hat patterns to make them cover my ginormous pointy head (why no, I haven't developed a self-esteem issue around this AT ALL). (Really.)

I must say that I do adore the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran...it's so yummy!!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Bugger!!

This post could also be entitled "Apparently I have a very long and small head."

So I finished the Fetching-Inspired Hat. Overall the pattern is nice, not difficult (I mean, I've knit Fetching 3 times already so I know the cabling, and I've knit a ton of hats so I know how to decrease). But, for one, I had to drop the number of stitches I cast on from 135 to 120. I arrived at that number by the very scientific method of measuring my Fetchings and calculating gauge of the 4x1 rib (6 stitches per inch), picking a circumference that I was shooting for (about 20"), and multiplying the two and hoping it was divisible by five (it was). Other than that, I followed her pattern. I am pleased to note that the hat does fit my head circumference perfectly.

BUT. BUT. BUT. This is the THIRD hat I've knit myself that is TOO short. Not by a lot, probably even another half inch would have done it, but DAMN IT. I'm not going to do anything about it right now because I am too tired and annoyed. I know this will drive me crazy, and also, I live in NE and even with global warming, I am still going to want a hat that entirely covers my ears, you know? Apparently I need to adjust all adult women's hat patterns to add a half inch of length or so. Long skinny head, that's me (why couldn't this have been an issue with my WAIST, I ask you?).

I think I am going to rip it back to the beginning of the decreases (i.e., half the damn hat) and add about 5-6. I've got plenty of yarn, so that's not a worry (I used far less than she recommended).

Argh. And I still have no warm hat to wear tomorrow.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Knitting Math

(also known as OMG 2 POSTS IN ONE DAY???)

But anyway.

Because I have all of this gift knitting to do, of course I decided to start a hat for me. I found this pattern but I have concerns. So my first attempt, I foolishly thought "hey, a long tail cast-on would be great!" Forgetting how twisty it is. So half-way through the 135 stitches, I bagged and started over with just a plain ole cast-on. So. 135 stitches on size 6 needles. Color me suspicious, but doesn't that sound like a heck of a lot? I cast 'em on, knit one row, and slid the stitches back onto the cable of the needle, and even with only one row, I can tell it's going to be GINORMOUS on me.

So, I'm going to rework the pattern for my head. But I have questions. How much negative ease would you put in for a hat? 10%? I measured my head at 22 inches, and I measured the gague on my Fetchings (in the rib pattern) at about 6 stitches per inch. So, assuming I want approximately a 20 inch circumference, at 6 stitches per inch, does 120 cast-on sound right? That also seems ginormous to me. Well, maybe not, actually that seems comparable to Halfdome. I'll have to try that. Argh, that means casting on 120 freakin' stitches! I hate casting on. Well, not hate it, but it's not my favorite part of the knitting process.

I am not doing this tonight (or tomorrow probably) so if someone reading this thinks my numbers are out of whack, let me know!

Long time, no blog.

Whoops! How did almost 2 weeks go by? Well, we've been gone for a week, off to see my folks for Thanksgiving, then to DH's folks' house for one night so we could (a) see the cousins and (b) go to DH's 20th high school reunion. Which was actually not bad. I'm pretty social, so an evening spent chatting with people I don't know isn't anathema to me, and the best part is the dishing we do on the way home.

Pardon me if this post seems choppy. I have what we call in my field "clinically significant attentional issues" and, out my office window, I can see over to the next street and there is an ambulance parked with flashing lights and it's very distracting. Let's hope everyone's okay over there.

But, this leads to one of two announcements (you know, for all three of my readers, most of whom already know this but whatever, I have no real knitting content and this is why). The first is that it looks like Knitting With A Purpose is moving to the 'burbs!! I'd call it the country, but the town does have a commuter rail station, so how country is it, really? We are moving towards P&S on our very first HOUSE. We currently own a condo, so buying isn't new (but still Big and Scary), but a HOUSE is different. It's new construction in a great neighborhood in a nice town with good schools. The logistics for the spring are going to be a tad complicated, but all in all, it's a fantastic thing. And, since it's not done, we get some say in countertops and faucets and whatnot. Since I am not detail oriented, that's DH's department. I'm really not...I honestly didn't notice the 10 foot tall bright teal septic pipe sticking out of the middle of the lawn. Even after our Realtor commented on it. :) So DH will do the picking out of things. I get to do things like figure out the school situation for next year and make sure we can actually afford this.

The second announcement is really the impetus for the move. The move and house stuff is something we've been wanting to do for quite some time now (and we have been looking for a while) but the clock is now ticking because the odds look pretty good that Baby #3 is going to arrive sometime in May or June! Yes, we are crazy, thanks for commenting. ;-) I feel many things, but mainly right now, I feel grateful for what seems to be a healthy fetus, and just so thankful, and so so blessed. Not to mention freaked out and stressed about it all but hey. Stress is what gets me out of bed in the morning! I really really wanted to do a clever announcement like knitting some baby booties and saying "Hey look what I made!" but dude, I am tired.

So, you might ask, in the midst of all this, what's up with the knitting? Here's the state of the KWAP.

1. Monkey #2: Heel is turned, 3 lace repeats left to do on the foot and the toe and it's done. I do have to learn how to properly pick up stitches for the gusset because I'm not thrilled with how I did it. But whatever, it's still functional and so pretty!

2. Cable scarf: Not much progress made. I didn't take it with me.

3. I knit my SIL a pair of red Fetchings which it turns out, not only does SHE love, but her three kids love too, so she asked if I'd knit them each a pair for Christmas. Of course! So I've now got bright pink for Niece (the same shade I knit for my friend, I think), black for Nephew 1 and the same red as his mom for Nephew 2. I am planning to knit the big kids' gloves on smaller needles, and I might take out one cable repeat for the littlest guy. I also just happened to be carrying my Booga Bag, and SIL fell in love with it, so she picked out some Noro Kureyon and she'll be getting one of her own. The color she picked is actually the one that the sample on the pattern is done in, so that's close to what it should look like. When I'm going to get these done, who knows?

4. What else. Nothing, no progress on anything. I need to knit myself a hat. I have some more Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in the same purple that I did my Fetchings in, so I should swatch that up (*gasp* I know, but I'm tired of making hats that don't fit me) and do something with it.

5. I passed along the Flat Top Hat to my mom, so hopefully she'll wear it and enjoy more than I would. I have enough of the ArtYarns Supermerino left from the Purple Poncho of Doom that I can do another one, should I be so inclined. I'm not sure. That yarn might be better served somewhere else, I don't know.

6. My friend received and LOVED the uterus. *phew* It wasn't, perhaps, in the BEST of taste, but it was meant to cheer her up, which it appears to have done, which makes me so happy.

So, all in all, many things to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Well go figure.

So younger DS asked to try on the hat this morning. It looked ADORABLE on him. It was cute and not shapeless at all. So, I need to knit another one, maybe one size up needles, and make it longer so it sticks up enough that you can see the top.

Ponder ponder. I think I have something like 3 skeins of the yarn from the purple poncho of DOOM left. So, I guess I'll make another one. Maybe my mom would like this one? I need to give it to someone with a smaller head than mine. :)

Oh yeah, that was my other thoughts about the Art Yarns modular patterns. My frustration with the poncho - I knit the first diamond the size they suggested, and the poncho is just way too big. I have to check if the Supermerino is superwash, maybe if I was it, it'll shrink up a bit (it also stretches when you wear it).

Monday, November 12, 2007

Two, COUNT 'EM, TWO FOs!

So, I managed to get some knitting done this weekend! The first object was a quick little project that I'll be sending off tomorrow or the next day. One of my very dear internets had a hysterectomy today (she's younger than I am), and I figured she needed a little cheer-me-up surprise. So I knit her a uterus, and I plan to fill it with these, or these, perhaps.

I am pretty sure she'll think it's funny (and not too tasteless). I did modify the pattern quite a bit, mainly in that I added a picot cast-on (because wouldn't you like a cervix with a frilly edge?) and made the whole thing quite a bit smaller. I added a braided tie cord. The yarn is some Red Hat acrylic I had hanging around, and I love the colors. I used KnitPicks Options in a size 8 (I think). Gauge is not particularly important in this project. I'm going to add some Sudoku (and new pencils!), and perhaps a Nora Roberts or two. I think it's a nice surgery recovery kit.

On to the second finished object, which pleases me much less. Oh, I'm quite happy to have this done and off the needles. It would have been a quick-ish knit if I'd, you know, kept working on it, but it got dropped for a while. I decided to finish it today because, well, it's cold and I need a hat that actually covers my ears.

Pattern: Artyarns P51: Flat Top Hat by Iris Schreirer
Yarn: Artyarns Supermerino in Colorway 108
Needles: Knitpicks Options in Size 7

First, here at the pictures:


Now, some thoughts. Overall, the knitting is fine. However, there are some things that I'm just not thrilled with. I *love* the feel of the Artyarns Supermerino, it is SO soft and makes a really nice fabric. I just, as I've mentioned before, don't love the way they do their dying on the variegated yarns. I'm not dissing the yarn, it's so pretty, but it's just a matter of personal taste. They do more...monochromatic with little (3 stitch) bits of other color interspersed. I think you can see it in the picture. I guess I like how Koigu designs their yarn better. Simply a matter of personal preference.

Overall the pattern was well written, easy to follow. These modular knits are really clever. I got cocky on the last triangle and instead of crossing off every line or two as I did them, I just plowed ahead, and late in the game realized that I had gotten turned around on where I was doing my skp's. Whoops! I just finished it and it's fine, but I learned that lesson. :) I didn't like how at the end, after you've done the 3-needle bind-off to join your top triangles, you really had a big gap at the center that you have to sew together. I've read that other people have that issue, so perhaps it's not just me. Another small peeve is that I got gauge exactly, and the hat is quite snug on me (and I have a pretty small head). It's going to be warm, but leave a wicked hat head! Also, I feel like when the hat is on, you really don't see the cute construction, and it just looks...shapeless. I will wear it, but it's sort of a bummer. At least I didn't feel like I'd put hours and hours of work into it, you know?

But, yay for getting something done that's been lingering! (And yay for a warm hat!) This leaves currently on needles: Monkey 2, Braided Cable Scarf, and the diagonal baby blanket. Then I need to finish the green stripy socks and Falling Leaves socks...and then, who knows what?

I think I'm going to end up eating my words that I had no interest in ever doing a lace shawl. The whole idea of something that really requires blocking scares me....but I am thinking of doing this in this (maybe in Grape Hyacinth). And perhaps ordering these and this for my husband to give to me for my birthday/Christmas present. Hmmm.

Okay, off to update my Ravelry projects since I finished something!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

And now for something a little different!

I had a moment yesterday to do some knitting. I didn't want to keep working on Monkey because I need to turn the heel and I need a solid hour or so to concentrate and get the whole thing done. I wasn't in the mood to work on my Garter Stitch Blanket, and I need to wind the other skein for the Flat-Top Hat, so I pulled out the Cable Scarf. You know, I really love to cable! It's surprisingly easy and makes such a nice result! This yarn is super soft and nice too: Swish Superwash in Deep Ocean. I thought I was making this scarf for an old friend that I saw at another old friend's wedding this summer, but I changed my mind, and it's going to be for my sweet husband (shh, I don't think he reads this). The old friend threw out the "what are you going to make for me" thing as a joke, but he really won't appreciate the time and effort that's going into this, while my DH surely will. Also, DH bikes to and from work all through the winter, and could use a warm, snuggly scarf. AND the color is perfect for him. I way overbought the yarn, so I can make him a hat too. It's funny, knowing I'm making it for him just makes me enjoy the process even more! I am even, I think, going to block the thing!

Today I am going to try and felt the purple slippers a little more, to get them to fit perfectly. It's chilly enough in here that I do need them now (since we still haven't turned the heat on) and my tootsies are cold. They'll need some time to dry and I'm going to puffy-paint the soles so I don't fall on my bum, since they're rather slippery.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Where is the time going??

How can it be November already?? And over a week since I last posted?

Well, part of that is that I've not been doing much. It's weird. I'm focused on Monkey #2 right now. I adore the yarn (KPPPM)1, I adore the needles (Addi Turbos2, even though they're not really pointy enough for lace, I still love 'em), I adore the pattern. I love how the colors of the yarn work with the lace, I think they're gorgeous! So, what's the issue? I'm just pretty darn tired at the moment, so I don't really have the energy or focus to do more than 1-2 lace repeats at a time. I did two tonight...that's 22 rows, people. 1408 stitches. It's not a lot really. But I'm tired. I am at a natural stopping point, I did finish the lace repeats for the leg tonight. Turn the heel sometime this weekend and plug on down the foot! I might even get it done before Thanksgiving! How nice would that be?

So, Blue Moon Fiber Arts has opened up their Rockin' Sock Club registration for 2008. I've been saving my pennies, I could actually afford to do it out of my ME money. I even printed the registration form...but I think I've decided not to do it next year. I just don't think 2007 is going to be the year for me to have lots of time to knit. I have a bunch of BIG things in fight right now (more on that later), and I think it's going to be a busy year. Plus, I do have about 10 pairs worth of sock yarn to knit already, not to mention some other things. I think I will comfort my disappointment by ordering a couple of skeins to have in my stash...I think I'm going to go with mediumweight, as someone mentioned to me that that's closer in weight to KPPPM. AND, many of the patterns in New Pathways for Sock Knitters use it. So, you know, it's not a luxery, it's a NEED. RIGHT?? Right. So now the burning issue is, which colorways???

1 Anyone know the different between KPPPM and KPPM?
2 I have to admit that I've been thoroughly converted to KnitPicks Fixed Circs in 32" length for Magic Looping socks.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

What I accomplished yesterday.

  1. 3 (or was it 4) loads of laundry (INCLUDING folding and putting it away!)
  2. Many, many dishes.
  3. Ran and emptied the dishwasher.
  4. Picked up the two rooms we live in, plus the boys' room.
  5. Cooked a big fancy dinner for ILs who ended up not coming, so DH and I ate it (crock pot ribs-a new recipe that I ended up really not liking and didn't eat, rice, salad, corn bread which was really good).
  6. Spent 1.5 hours at the doctor's office confirming that DS1 did NOT have appendicitis. Worried over DS1 anyway when his temp hit 102 (in the armpit!).
  7. Swept the kitchen approximately 4 billion times.
  8. A nice nap.

You'll notice that knitting is not on the list. That's not entirely true. I did 128 stitches (aka 2 rows) on the Monkey #2 cuff. I was just in domestic mode.

The list for today is a tad different...
  1. Survived a day with a much better feeling kid who is still quarantined from the temp but had ENERGY.
  2. Built an AWESOME train track.
  3. Finished the cuff and did three lace repeats on Monkey #2.
My house is a disaster and we had mac and cheese for dinner, but I'm feeling not quite so worn out today. :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

FO!

And it technically counts as TWO, right, because it's a PAIR of socks! I know, a FO that isn't a hat or a dishcloth! I am so excited. But, on to the details.

Yarn: Plymouth Sockotta "Fake Isle" in 6674. Purchased eons ago and the ball band is long gone, but I'm sure that's what this is.

Needles: 2.75 mm Knitpicks Fixed Circs, 32". (Have I mentioned how much I adore these needles?)

Gauge: ? I could go measure but the socks are in the other room.

Pattern: My own. There wasn't even really one. I cast on 32 stitches using Judy's Magic Cast-On, and then increased until it looked like it would fit but not be too big (60 stitches).
Then I knit stockinette until it was about 8 inches (I think my foot is 10", so that left 2" for the heel). Then I knit one-half row on waste yarn and reknit it for the afterthought heel. Then I knit for a while until it seemed long enough (60 rounds), and then did 10 rounds of 1x1 ribbing. Bind off was EZ's Sewn Bind-Off.

Thoughts: Technically, I am happy with these socks, for the most part. Remember how I was raving about the afterthought heel? *enh* I was not feeling the love on this second sock. Maybe because I had hit that point in the project where sticking the needles into my eyes sounded more appetizing than finishing, you know? (Oh, you don't?) But yeah, picking up the stitches from the waste yarn is a PITA. I also wasn't thinking clearly and picked up two extra stitches at the beginning of the heel, instead of the one (I was looking for 4 extra stitches over all), but it all worked out. Here's the deal. I love knitting socks. I love wearing hand knit socks. BUT I have yet to find a heel construction that I love. So far I've tried short-row heels (top down and bottom up), heel flap and gusset (top down and bottom up), afterthought heels. I am sure there's lots more that I'm missing but they all annoy me at this point. Oh and I am also a tad concerned that the purse-string closure of the after-thought heel leaves a small bump that's going to be a bummer on my heels. That's why I *have* to finish all socks-in-progress (SIPs) before I try Cat Bordhi's new sockitectures, because I fear I may never go back. :) Her short-row heels look less irritating than the classic short-row construction.

My other beef with these socks is the yarn. Now, Plymouth Sockotta, IMO, is not a high-end sock yarn (Webs has it for $8.99 per 100 gram ball, so much much less than the $24 for 2 50 g skeins of Koigu that I just spent!). It doesn't feel like a high-end yarn either. It feels more string-like to me. This isn't a complaint. The resulting fabric is a little rough, but certainly wearable and comfortable enough, I think. This yarn gets good reviews in terms of durability of the resulting socks, which is very good. It's machine washable, which is EXCELLENT. It wasn't a pain to knit with (like the TOFUTsies, for example). My main beef is with the self-patterning aspect, which is as much a beef with my own personality as anything else. With variegated colors, I have learned to release control of how it looks because, well, you don't have any! The yarn is going to do what it's going to do. It's helping me in my pursuit of Zen calmitude. BUT, this stuff, man, it made me so anxious! Sometimes the patterning did what it was supposed to do, sometimes it didn't! To be honest, I'm not even sure WHAT the purple was supposed to do! The dying wasn't consistent, so for example, with the green, there wasn't always the same amount of space between green parts, and the green parts weren't all the same length. AND, the patterning wasn't consistent. Now, I personally prefer fraternal twins in my socks, I feel like in contributes to the hand-made funkiness of them, but if you are someone for whom this is an issue (L, I mean you), then don't use this yarn! So, the yarn is okay, but it's not good for me. I think the socks are *fine*, and I'll wear them with joy, but the pattern kerfuffle will bug me just a bit.

All in all, a worthwhile project, I learned some good stuff, blah blah, but time to move on! I cast on Monkey #2! Woo!! I just love Koigu.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go eat some of my Trader Joe's Peppermint Jo-Jos Cheesecake.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I want to have something to post about!

I truly do. I am just not in a knitting space right now. I was knitting during nap/quiet time, and before bed, and I am now spending those times, well, sleeping. I did do about 10 rows on my afterthought heel sock, so I've got 25 left to do, plus the heel. If I just were to buckle down, I could finish it. And then I'd have a pair of socks to wear! And show you! But alas, we had a much later night out than we usually do (my goodness, we were out past 8:30 pm!!!), and I'm just wiped. So, alas, poor knitting, tonight is not the night. Tomorrow ain't looking good either.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Does this count as a FO?

So, I am currently OBSESSED with Cat Bordhi's new book. As in, even though I'm not working on anything from it, it's the only book I took to the Berkshires this weekend (and I am a VORACIOUS reader), and I read it each night before going to bed. I cannot wait to try these patterns!

So, when I got home, I spent some time poking around online for the letter stitch markers to see if they were for sale yet (they're not). So...I toddled off to my local bead store (LBS?) and made some! This picture is really dark; I think they're a lot prettier than this! I am not entirely convinced that the 9 mm split ring is the right size, I think it may be too big. She does have some patterns on larger needles, so that's fine, but I might make another set with a smaller size. I need to file down the ends of the posts a bit too, as they're sharp from the wire snippers and might snag, but all in all, not too shabby for $13 and about a 1/2 hour of my time! I haven't done any wire and bead work in FOREVER, and I felt very clumsy. I have a feeling if I made a bunch of them, I could really get into a rhythm.

Now I just need to knit: 1 green stripe toe up sock, 1 monkey, 1 falling leaves and finish the sock I've got going now, and THEN I can start some new socks!! Hah, like that's going to happen any time soon? Ah well, a woman can dream, right?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

State of the KWAP

KWAP = Knitting with a Purpose, in case you were confused! :) I pronounce it K-WAP in my head, with an exclamation point. Sort of like a radio station.

You know, I love me some KnitPicks, I truly do, but I am aggravated by their system. They seem unable to retain my login identity! So each time I try to order something, I have to re-register and re-enter all my info. It's not THAT big a deal, of course, but it's sort of vexing. I just ordered more sock needles. Do I need them? No, not really. Hmm, I guess there's no "not really" about it. NO. I don't need them! But, I'd like to have more than one pair in the two sizes I use the most often (2.25 and 2.5) and the KnitPicks are fab.u.lous. for Magic Loop. And they're cheap! So I just got more! I splurged and decided to try some of the Harmony needles too. We'll see, they're so pretty! I do like the nickel-plate though. But hey! I'm all about the options. And think how many single socks I could have in progress at the same time! It's staggering, really.

Very little knitting going on here now. I am too tired. I did finish sock 1 of the Falling Leaves lace and ooooo, it's so pretty. I do love a lace sock. Now I just need to knit, you know, more than ONE IN A PAIR, so I could actually wear them! These are knit with TOFUtsies and I just don't love the yarn. It knits up to a nice fabric and all, but it's annoying to work with, so I probably won't again. Err, except for that whole "second sock" thing. Yeah. Anyway, if I were doing this again with this yarn, which I won't, I do it on 2.25s instead of 2.5s. (Swatch? Huh? This is me we're talking about.) These fit nicely and all, but I think I'd prefer them just a tad snugger, to show off the lace pattern a bit more. But they'll do! (Well, this ONE will do.)

In terms of what's still on needles...I have another 40 rows or of the self-patterning sock. Then I need to do the other green stripey sock and the other monkey. THEN. Only then can I break out the New Pathways book and try something different.

Except that I'm going away to my ILs this weekend (with my kids and without my husband as he's gallivanting off to Seattle this weekend to visit his best friend and BOY DOES HE OWE ME* AFTER THIS) and I am maybe actually going to get some alone time, so I might bring some practice yarn and some needles and do the practice socks. Maybe. No, no! Must finish what's on needles! Must. Not. Give. In.


* How telling is it that I just typed "Boy does he OWN me" at first. It's true, he does. :) But, you know, in a good way.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Well, that's a bust...

Meaning not a heck of a lot of knitting going on right now. I'm not feeling 100%, so instead of knitting at night, I've been sleeping. I've also been attending to life outside of knitting (is there such a thing??). I've got a few things going on right now, and I actually made some progress. I've almost finished Module Two (out of 7) of my Childbirth Educator Program, which is exciting. I think this is the least interesting module to me: prenatal testing, physiology, that sort of thing. Not where my interests lie. I'm much more interested in the psychological transformation of pregnancy and becoming a parent. Which makes sense, what with my having spent, you know, 7 YEARS getting a Masters and Ph.D. in psychology!!

I did knit about 6 rows on one of my simple stockinette socks. I'm hoping to get the leg done tonight, and maybe even get the heel stitches picked up (afterthought heel), so I can get it done. Then I'll have an actual pair of socks to wear!! I hope to have pictures for you by the end of the week. :)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

1 Year Today

Happy blog-aversary to me! I can't quite believe it's been a YEAR since I started blogging. In some ways, this blog hasn't turned out to be what I thought it would be...more serious musings on life, knitting, parenthood, etc. It's turned out mainly to be a record of, well, my knitting. :) That's okay, it may just mean my thoughts aren't all that deep right now. I recently had this exchange with my older son:

Me: And after lunch, we're all going to take naps!
DS: Actually, mama, you're going to sit on the couch and stare off into space.

Busted.

Anyway, in honor of my 1 year anniversary of this blog, I thought I'd post a picture of an ACTUAL FO.

I feel like my knitting is sort of reflective of my life right now. I have a ton of projects in flight, I'm really nowhere close to finishing any of them, and they're piled fairly chaotically in the bin in the living room, as well as strewn about the couch. I need to get organized, I need to get some things DONE. I actually started this dishcloth almost entirely so that I could actually finish something! How sad is that?

On with the project.

Yarn: Sugar'n Cream self-striping in Baby Stripes
Needles: Size 7 Clover Bamboo
Pattern: Snowdrop Lace from the Dishcloth Boutique














I am not loving this, to be honest. I mean, it's perfectly FINE. But, I think I'd like this yarn better for a hat or something. I'm not sure the stripes and the lace pattern actually really work. It's pretty, and it makes me happy to use it, but I don't think I'll use any more of the striping Sugar'n Cream for dishcloths. I think I prefer variegated dishcloths.

There is one thing that I am loving about this though. Did you ever have someone do something really nice for you, completely randomly? Something pretty outrageously generous? Someone (who is fabulous) did that for me. She sent me a random box of wonderful PRODUCTS from Origins, a company we both love. This box included the Ginger Soap. I *love* the smell of ginger, especially now. I don't get a lot of downtime in my life, or a lot of pampering. As a full-time mom, I provide quite a bit of it, but I'm not so much on the receiving end. I find it ironic that when I *had* the space in my life for me time, I was not healthy, (emotionally) enough to enjoy indulging myself, but now that I am, there's no time! But anyway, I digress. :) There's something pretty neat about using a special gift on a cloth that you made yourself. Every morning, I use that soap and feel...taken care of.

And the best part is that after the first time, I burst out of the shower announcing "I smell gingerlicious!" Now my 2 year old has picked up the term, and uses it all the time. "You smell ginger-wishous, Mommy!"

Now I have to take my gingerlicious self off to work on (what else) a sock.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I just can't help myself.

I had a lovely, though not too relaxing time in VT, celebrating my mother's birthday, and remembering my uncle, who died 3 years ago. Miss you, Uncle Bob.

I did manage to sneak off and get a little time to myself, so of COURSE, I had to do my usual tour of the local yarn stores. I have NO idea how it happened, but a few goodies happened to make their way home with me. *innocent look* It's truly a mystery.

Let's see. Now residing with me are:
2 skeins of Regia Cotton Color, in Colorway 5407
2 skeins of Koigu KPM in 426
1 skein of Araucania Ranco Multy in 310 (I've never heard of this yarn but it's so pretty! Hmm, this one doesn't seem to be on their website. Well, it's gonna be socks, big surprise.)
Cat Bordhi's new book New Pathways for Sock Knitters, Book 1.

And from the local Ben Franklin, one ball of Sugar'n'Cream's new self-striping yarn in Baby Stripes.

I cannot WAIT to start on the NP book! It looks SO cool and the socks are pretty and look like they'll be so fun to knit! I have got to finish ALL pairs of socks in flight first. No, really. NO REALLY, I DO. :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

I think I may qualify as knitter-crazy.

You know how I decided that since I can't find any fun and funky socks that I like, that I needed to knit myself an entire sock wardrobe? Yeah, hopefully before it snows I'll have some pairs done. (Given that it's predicted to be 90 degrees on Wednesday, I'm not too worried about imminent snowfall!)

So my thought today was...why don't I knit myself a bunch of sweaters!! Then I'd have sweaters that I love to wear in the winter! I'm having a heck of a time finding long-sleeve t-shirts that (a) fit me correctly (b) come in colors that I like and (c) don't cost a fortune! I need to finish my socks and then think about this. Webs had a couple of patterns that really appealed to me. My main requirement is that it's gotta be knit in the round because I hate (and suck at) seaming. Maybe I should take a seaming class...

I am going to order some STR!! The big question is...lightweight or medium weight? My current absolute fave sock yarn is KPPPM, if that's any comparison.

I just started another big project, but I'm not quite ready to talk about it. I'm not sure how it's going to come out.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

And we're back on!!

I wonder if there's anyway for me to share pictures here from Flickr. Anyone know? I just loaded a few pictures of WIPs up to put in Ravelry and I am not sure I have the energy to redo it here. I got the heel turned on the Falling Leaves sock today. I am not loving the TOFUtsies yarn, it's sort of annoying to work with. I got another cable repeat done on the scarf. That's about it, but I'm feeling reconnected and excited about my knitting, so it's all good. Anyway, if you want to see any of it, go here (but come back and tell me what you think!).

One annoyance...I went apple picking and wore the Purple Poncho of Doom, and it's just too damn big. It slides off my shoulders in a most irritating way. Too bad because it's awfully pretty. Now I need a good poncho pattern of something that WON'T fall off of me. (Yeah, I know, I'm a tad behind the fashion times here.)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tick tock, tick tock...

That is the sound of time passing and no knitting getting done. I've been in a bit of a slump, my mojo's gone missing. I'm sort of not in the mood for any of my projects, and I don't have the time and space at the moment to work on the things I *want* to be working on.

However, that may be changing. I had an Unfortunate Knitting Incident, related to a KKI*. One of my older son's friends thought the scarf I was knitting would make an EXCELLENT flag, and gave it a vigorous wave. Excellent it was, right up to the moment where it flew off the needle (bamboo even!) and unraveled. It's a more complicated cable pattern and I had no idea how many rows raveled. I blame myself for leaving it out at all. My kids are pretty well trained at this point and know (for the most part) not to touch mommy's knitting, and it just wasn't on my radar. Ah well, it's certainly not the first thing I've had to redo, due to a KKI. I was pretty peeved, BUT it's actually turned out to be a good thing. I wasn't completely happy with the pattern, so I had a chance to add just a bit more too it (mainly I wanted it a bit wider). I had only knit two cable repeats, and I've already redone one (after about 6 starts to get it right), and I'm definitely happier with this pattern. So, I wouldn't say I've got my mojo back entirely...perhaps just my mo'?

When I get more done, I'll post some pictures. I realized that I don't post enough pictures of WIPs.


* Kid-Knitting-Interaction

Monday, September 03, 2007

No, I'm not sleeping.

My melatonin has failed me, so I'm still awake. Not a lot to report here. We had a lovely long weekend, but I just wasn't in the mood to knit. I've made some progress on the baby blanket since I just got hooked on Roswell. Since the blanket is simply garter stitch, I don't even really need to look at it to knit. I've also gotten the band done for the flat-top hat, but I need time and space to concentrate on knitting the triangles for the top, which I haven't really had.

I did get beach time and good family time this weekend, which is always a plus!

I know summer doesn't officially end for a couple more weeks, but somehow Labor Day always feels like the end of the summer to me. My older son starts his second year of preschool on Wednesday and turns four (FOUR!) on Friday. Big family weekend and party planned. I need to buckle down and keep working on my CBE stuff. I got somewhat reconnected to it over the summer, and I just need to finish typing up the answers so I can send Module 2 in. It's one that I'm finding not that interesting (mainly about prenatal testing stuff, which I'm not sure we'll even really cover in the class), so it's hard to motivate.

So, oh well, not much knitting going on. I did drop off another set of NICU hats, and that felt good. Socks are all in limbo. I want to swatch up the Lion Suede for my younger son's sweater so I can do the math for that. I've been digging around in my stash and finding yarns and thinking "Oh yeah! I had planned THIS project too!" I should get all that into Ravelry!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Full of updatey goodness!

For some reason I am in a really great mood. It might have something to do with the fact that my kids are off with the babysitter. :)

I've gotten a ton done today, most of it not knitting. I cleaned a bunch. We had a nice play date and lunch with a friend. I remembered that I should give my son a birthday present and found the Right Thing at Target for much less than I had planned to spend. I cast-on a winter hat. Yes, I know, it's 84 degrees F out there, but whatever! It's the Artyarns Hat P51, in the Artyarns Supermerino, colorway 109. You know, while this yarn is so soft and lovely, I am realizing that I don't LOVE the way they variegate (is that a verb?) their yarns. They have sort of a main color and then some very small bits of other colors interspersed (like 2 stitches) and I think I prefer longer...what would the word be? Slower transitions? It's still very pretty, but I think once I knit up what I've got, I'll probably not use their yarns again. There are so many lovely yarns out there, anyway!

I also finished two NICU hats. One was just about done, it just needed two little leaves added. I can't find the yarn that goes with the hat, so now I've got an apple hat with the red body in Samoa, the brown stem in Sugar'n'Cream, and the green leaves in Tahki Cotton Classsic. Somehow I don't think the babies will care. :) I also started a little lemon hat on Sunday and finished it last night, also in Tahki Cotton. I just used standard Ann Norling Fruit Hat Pattern, from memory. This was knit on Knit Picks Options size 4, Magic Loop and is quite cute. I now have several hats to take into the unit (though I may just send them this time). I haven't taken anything in to them in months, so I'm glad to get back into it. I really appreciate the reminder of perspective this knitting gives me. I feel so grateful for my life, and how full and rich and just plain wonderful it is, most of the time. Most of our crap is little stuff, you know? It's good to remember that.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Triple Argh.

I am feeling extremely frustrated, not just with knitting, though that's high on my list. Nothing BIG is wrong, just lots of little things going on. I just frogged the feather and fan sock I was doing. I hadn't gotten too far, but I accidentally pulled my needle out, dropped a ton of stitches and just couldn't recover. Recovery from these kinds of incidents is not something I'm great at and why I'd rank myself much more as an early-intermediate knitter. I was knitting the sock on 2.0 mm needles, and I don't love them. Also, the sock was going to be too small, I think, so I need to go up a size. I have to order some 2.25s from KnitPicks, because the HiyaHiya 2.25s I have are too annoying for Magic Loop. So that's one project down.

Then, I was working on the Boho Feather and Fan scarf last night and somehow put a HUGE pull in the back. This yarn is pretty but I am coming to hate it. It's so slippery that it pulls easily which makes me worry about whatever you make with it being too fragile to wear. I wasn't havin a good night last night anyway, and I almost pulled the whole thing out. I think I'm just going to snip it and knot it and live with the knot in the back, but still, it's frustrating. This yarn and I just Do Not Get Along.

In non-knitting life...we're going away for the weekend AGAIN, which I don't want to do. Well, I do want to see my SIL and I want the boys to be with their cousins, but I am tired of going away. We've been gone a lot this summer, and it's just tiring (and expensive).

Our lovely cat is sick and she doesn't like her new food so I'm worried she's losing even more weight. Which could be the food or it could be cancer. No way to know without putting her through expensive painful procedures, which we're not going to do. "Not knowing" is really hard for me.

I just feel sad and weepy today and knitting isn't helping, which is not usual.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

And now with PICTURES!

I haven't posted any pictures in a long time, so here's a few things.
First, here's the doomed Feather and Fan Boho scarf. Isn't it pretty? Too bad it would be far, far too short. I think it'll look okay with one less repeat, right?

Next we have here the felted Booga Bag. Also, IMO, quite pretty! I took it out last night to ladies night at the Melting Pot in Framingham (Oh. My. God. Now THAT was an event!) It got some compliments!


And here are the Purple Felted Slippers of Doom. Not so doom-like now! They are very comfy and cushy, but the sole is waay slippery. I've got to figure out how to make it more grippy or I am going to break an ankle!

And here we have my boys!

Even *more* frustration!

So the Boho and I? Don't get along.

I started a scarf out of the Raspberries, Strawberries colorway, and there's no way I have enough. By my calculations, I'm going to have about a 28" scarf and that just seems a tad short to me. Call me crazy. It doesn't have to be 6' long, but it does need to be longer. The good news is, the Feather and Fan looks really pretty with this yarn, so I think I'll just drop one of the lace repeats (I was doing 3, now I'll do 2) and redo it. This will be about the 10th time I've frogged this particular skein! It does rip out like a dream though...perhaps the designers knew this sort of thing would happen. Could they be that devious?

It's turned into a battle of wills at this point. I survived a lot of stuff, got a PhD, and gave birth twice. I am not going to let some pissant yarn get the best of me!!!!!

In other news...the felted slippers are still drying. Dude, that double sole is THICK. I can't wait to wear them!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Frustration!

Remember my obsession with the Magic Waves Shawl? The one that resulted in my ordered 8 balls of Boho/Boho Colors (in a coordinating colorway that is not my favorite), but the colors on my computer screen lied so what I ordered didn't coordinate so I had to order 4 more, and couldn't return the ones I got so now I have 12 balls of this stuff (and might I add the Boho is $8.85 a ball and the colors is $9.85 a ball which means I have $110.20 worth of this yarn), and the 4 extra balls are totally unknittable (though I may have thought of something to do with them - feather and fan scarf? What do you think?). Anyway, remember all that? So, 8 months later, I am trying to knit the thing. The pattern that Webs gave me was all funky and weird, so I tracked it down on the 'net and was all ready to go...and the pattern is WRONG.

Here is the pattern as written:

Row 1: (RS) Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: k2 tog 3 times, *(yo, k1) 6 times, k2 tog 6 times*, repeat * to * end k2 tog 3 times
Row 4: Knit.

I am knitting the smaller version, with a cast-on of 80. You have a 4-stitch garter edge on each side.

1. When you do the row as written, it just doesn't work. For a cast on of 80, I have the following:
K4 [4 stitches], k2 tog 3 times [6 stitches], *(yo, k1) 6 times, k2 tog 6 times* [18 stitches x 3 repeats = 54 stitch], k2 tog 3 times [6 stitches], k4 [4 stitches] = 74 stitches, with 6 left over

2. It also seems to me, as written, that each time you knit row 3, you're losing 6 stitches, right? From the k2tog 3 times at the beginning and end? The middle section, the yo's compensate to the k2tog, but there are those extra ones at the beginning and end.

As far as I can tell, there's no way to contact the pattern author and ask for the correction! ARGH. I am so frustrated.

Oh, yay for LJ knitters - someone posted that she thinks it's a Feather and Fan, and gave me the corrected pattern for that! So, I can do something that'll look right, anyway.

Just not tonight.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Gigantic Purple Slipper of DOOM!!

I just like that as a description of what I'm working on.

I picked up the Fiber Trends Felted Clog pattern while I was in VT, and some Lamb's Pride, so I cast it on. I finished the first one today, and spent all evening knitting, so the second is almost all done. This is SUCH a clever pattern! It's also definitely a case "trust the pattern, young Skywalker". If you actually do what it says, it works! I was concerned about yarn yardages and cut it closer than I like with my main color. By my rough calculations, I have less than 8 yards left of it. I used two skeins for the soles/cuffs and one skein for the main part of the slipper.

I cannot wait to felt these suckers, as they are hysterically LARGE right now. I will post pictures, just not tonight (yeah yeah, I know).

The one issue is that I realized that these colors absolutely clash with my favorite winter jammes (which, oddly enough, are red). So either I have to make another pair that match, or get new jammies. Hmm, off to google jammie patterns...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Nothing to see here...

No, really. I've been away - not just away from home, but away from computer access, for NINE whole days! I spent a week at my parents' house in rural VT. They do not, needless to say, have high speed internet. I spent the weekend with my ILs, who DO have DSL, but there wasn't a lot of time for blogging. Lots o' life though, which is always good.

I finished my Sockotta sock and it fits quite well. LOVE the afterthought heel. LOVE IT. Have I mentioned that I love it? Yeah, it's like that. Luuuuuuv.

I don't, however, love the way the self-patterning yarn patterned. I am sure my gauge is off a bit (yes, swatch lords, I hear you). That's not going to stop me from knitting another sock exactly like the first one (if I'm lucky) and I know I'll wear them happily but I love other socks I've done more. I'm stalled on the lace sock because it takes more brain power than I've got right now.

While in VT, I picked up the Fiber Trends Felted Clog pattern and some Lamb's Pride Worsted in purple (M56 Clematis) and grey (M76, Misty Blue), and cast on for that tonight. I managed to restrain myself from purchasing yet more KPPPM as I have too much sock yarn already that has to get knit up. Also, it turns out we're sort of poor right now so I need to go on a yarn diet.

That's about all in knitting right now...lots on needles, not much time or focus. Life is pretty grand though. It was really lovely to spend time with my family, to reconnect with some old friends, and spend time in my hometown. I was at my 20th High School reunion. 20 years is almost long enough for the BS to settle, which made it very enjoyable just to chat. The woman who was my closest friend in HS, with whom I'd lost touch, not only is an accomplished knitter now, she OWNS alpacas, SPINS HER OWN YARN, and knits it. I am in awe. Think I could fit a couple alpacas in my 1000 sq. ft, third floor walk-up apartment?

I don't see having the time our space for a few years, but I am longing to learn to spin and dye my own yarn. How cool would that be?

OH WAIT! I completely forgot the coolest thing! I got my Ravelry invite!! (I know, I know, for those of you still waiting, that's so not what you want to hear, right?!?) I got signed up over the weekend, and did some poking around tonight, and it's so neat! I can't wait to really get my stuff loaded in. I don't have time right now, of course, but it's going to happen! AND, because there is more to life than knitting, I also got my LinkedIn profile going (my husband sucked me into that one). I am so connected! :)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Why am I awake?

My body has this super annoying habit of being unable to return to sleep for several hours, if woken up in the middle of the night. I'd say this has happened 7 of the last 10 nights and I am SICK OF IT. But, I thought I'd blog a bit. Whee! Middle of the night blogging! Better than middle of the night angsting, which is what I usually do, right? Right!

My new favorite sock heel is the afterthought heel, and I haven't even done it yet! We'll see how I feel about it once I actually complete it. I am happy with the sock so far because the striping has stayed in pattern. Hey, here's a question - say you knit one sock, and realize that you don't like something about how you designed it (just, hypothetically speaking, say you knit a sock in self-striping yarn and did a short-row heel and now it bugs you that you didn't do an afterthought heel). When you do the second sock, would you change your design? Which would bug you more - having two socks that are out of striping order, or having two socks that don't technically match? I think I need them to be identical, but I'm not sure.

I have started and ripped out the scarf for my friend about 25 times. It turns out, when I have an idea of what I want to do (a cable knit scarf), substituting all sorts of other things (fake cables, twisted stitch patterns, faggot lace) doesn't work for me. I am not sure why I am surprised by this, as this is completely my personality, but hey, there it is. So yeah, after many more design hours than I anticipated, I just picked a fairly complicated cable, and I'm just doing that. I finished the first set of pattern repeats and I'm fairly happy with it. The cable crossings aren't making me want to poke myself in the eye with a shiny stick, so that's good. The yarn is great, it's KnitPicks Swish in Deep Ocean which shows the pattern really nicely. It even withstood being knit and yanked a LOT without too much pilling. I could see this yarn being a nice sub for the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran.

So, I've been having fantasies about dying my own yarn. Shh, don't tell my husband, I think he would be...well, to be honest, he'd be completely amused and supportive because he is the Best Husband Ever, and tends to be supportive, but given the variety of things we have coming up over the next year, I don't think I'm going to have time for this for quite some time.

I also want to learn to spin my own yarn.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The dark side's callin' now...*

I'm not sure this is the best way to manage my WIP issue. I finished a sock (!!), so I immediately cast on not one, but TWO socks today. I am working on a lace sock, but any sort of pattern that requires focus is not possible for me during the day (what with two small boys running around), so I added another plain stockinette sock. No, it's not the mate to the one I just finished, why do you ask? :) BUT, I finished the Booga Bag, so in reality, I didn't change my WIPs at all! Right? Right.

The stockinette sock is being knit with Plymouth Sockotta (I am pretty sure the ball band is long gone but it's colorway 6674), toe up, Magic Loop (of course). I did Judy's Magic Cast-On, which I can finally do without instructions right in front of me. Love. This. Cast-on. I just find it way easier than short-rows. I am using KnitPick Circular 2.75 mm, 32". I have to decide what I'm going to do for a heel on this. I am thinking I might try an afterthought heel, since I've never done one of those before, and given the self-striping-ness of the yarn, that would not interrupt the pattern. Since I'm not using a pattern (I know, me! Can you believe it**??) I cast on 32 stitches, planning a 64 stitch sock, but I am only doing 60 - that looks to be big enough. I think this one will knit up quickly.

The lace sock pattern is Falling Leaves from Knitty. It's quite pretty! I substituted the Magic Cast-On for the toe, as I just like that better than short rows. I'll do the short-row heel. I am usin the KnitPicks cirs in 2.5 mm - the pattern calls for 2.25 mm, but (a) I only have those in the HiyaHiya and I am so not happy with those needles and considering the yarn issue I am having, they would be a total nightmare; and (b) the yarn I am using is a bit thinner than the Koigu, so I figure it'll work out. It may be bit looser than written, but that's okay. So, the yarn. I am using color 726. (Yes, it's purple! Shut up.) Wow, I am finding this yarn to be super*** annoying to work with. It's splitty, and it just doesn't slide easily onto the needles. When Magic Looping, this is...an annoyance, to say the least. I know it's not the needles, because I didn't have this problem at all using KnitPicks Felici on the same needles. It makes a nice fabric, and I think this lace works well with it. It's a bit disappointing because in theory****, it's such a cool yarn! And really, how often do you get to work the word chitin into general conversation?

Would it be a bad idea to work through all the sock yarn I have, making one sock each, and then starting the second socks?

Yes, it probably would. I already feel like I'm flirting with the dark side of sock knitting here. Can't you just see it? I'll die, sad and alone, surround by a million hand knit socks, none of which match.

* Name that tune! Wow, that does take me back to a certain high school dance...
**I obviously use this phrase too often, as my older son has started using it too. He's four.
*** Another word I obviously use to often because now my two-year-old is using it a lot too.
**** In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Some pictures!

Whoops! First, I started this yesterday but Firefox crashed on me. Thankfully it was saved as a draft! Sorry for the double post here, I accidently posted it before editing.

ANYWAY. On to the knitting!

First - fruit cardi pictures since this has been sent on its way:
This was knit using Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille in the Fruit Salad colorway. One knitting group I'm on, people HATE chenille, but this stuff is really nice to work with. It worms almost not at all and the fabric it creates is really love. AND, it's completely machine washable and dryable, very important in baby clothes! The patterns is a loose adaptation of a bulky, top-down baby cardigan pattern but with a few adaptations. I really did just wing it (as usual, no swatching!). I changed the increase method and a few other things. I love knitting top-down sweaters, as I really dislike seaming! I can't remember what size I knit this on - 10.5 maybe? It was a quick knit. The proportions are a tad off, but when is that not the case with things I knit! :) I think it's cute, and the recipient also really loved it. The tomato buttons just make it, I think. I was going to do different veggie buttons but screwed up my math and had to add an additional buttonhole (well, it wasn't the math that was wrong, my math was spot on, it was the fact that with FIVE button holes, you have FOUR spaces in between). Anyway, it's cute (IMO) and I have quite a bit of yarn left over, so I can do some washcloths and probably a NICU hat as well.

Next we have the famous Booga Bag. I know, another bandwagon that probably left years ago, but whatever. I've been longing to work with the Noro Kureyon, it's SO pretty and I was not disappointed! The yarn feels less...processed somehow (perhaps that's due to the small twigs and occasional seed that kept showing up in it). This is colorway 188 (why yes, I do love the purples and greens, why do you ask? Oh, because everything I make or wear is purple or green?). The first picture is pre-felting, the second is the bag drying (upside down) on my kitchen table. It is SO pretty! For some reason I had some holes on this knit - I don't think I dropped stitches, I don't know what they were from. And the i-cord was certainly not the most lovely knitting I've done (maybe for my next one I'll try french knitting). The felting really hides all that! The bag is quite a bit smaller than I had anticipated, and I'm already planning a big one. I think it would make a great project bag! It feels close to dry now, and I'm just trying to decide if I want to run the i-cord through the wash for one more felting session or not. It's a bit stretchy now, but I don't want to lose anymore length either. I knit the original i-cord to just over 6 feet, and I'll do the next one longer. This felted up really easily. I ran it through the hot wash/cold rinse cycle with a pair of jeans and some towels. I let it get up to the rinse cycle, then restarted it. Just two runs through the washer had it felted nicely. It's definitely in more Fall colors, and I can't wait to use it!

And back to the knitting!

Now that I've finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I can refocus on the knitting. I just finished the endless i-cord for the Booga Bag, and now it's swishing away in the washing machine, and starting to felt! I have never felted anything before, so we'll see how it goes. It seems to be as much of an art as a science.

The booga bag is a detour from my other WIPs. I have to get back to the sock mania.

Monday, July 16, 2007

I have come to the conclusion...

...That I am just not meant to knit the Zokni socks right now. Don't get me wrong, they're totally gorgeous (when done, you know, CORRECTLY), and I even have the perfect color yarn, but I just *keep* *screwing* *up*. I think my head isn't in the right space for them right now. I don't think it's lace, I think this pattern is just too complex for me right now. It's not simple lace, each row is four repeats of a complicated pattern and I just keep screwing it up. I just ripped it again (this time in my 3rd repeat) and I'm going to put it aside for right now. I have Big Life Stuff going on (nothing bad, it's all fantastic, but I'm not capable of anything but filtering through anxiety right now), so it can wait. I think I need a slightly tighter yarn. I've got KnitPicks Essential (that the pattern is written for) but it's a tad fuzzy.

I am chugging along on a sock that I'm making WITHOUT a pattern. Go me, I am such a rebel!! (Ha. If you knew me, you'd know how ludicrous that is, I am *such* a rule follower....err, piercings and tattoos aside). It's totally simple - I did Judy's Magic Cast-On (which I had to do several times to make it work, I'm still not sure what I was doing wrong), and a simple short-row heel. I used Misocrafy's short-row technique of passing the wraps over, and it looks lovely! My one error was that I neglected to pick up a couple of stitches in between the heel and the instep, so I've got holes. :( I'll stitch them up, no problem, and I'll try it on the second sock. I'm using the new KnitPicks self-striping yarn and it's really fun! Seems higher quality than the Essentials to me as well.

Speaking of KnitPicks, I must order a 2.25 mm 32" needle from them and then my sock needle collection will be complete. I am *loving* these needles for socks!! Have I mentioned that I'm a total gear-head? I love gear.

I think I'm going to go cast-on for Monkey #2, I'd love to get an actual pair of socks finished! OR maybe I'll just take advantage of the fact that my husband is working late and my kids are actually asleep and go to bed.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Argh.

I just ripped out the Zokni sock. It's a bit of a complicated pattern and I made a few mistakes. One thing was livable, but I had to pull some stuff out (I made the mistake of trying to knit while my older son is awake, and while he's an utter love most of the time, he also is extremely chatty). I just can't knit complicated stuff while the kids are awake. Maybe I'll finally learn that lesson?? I am going to start it over because DARN IT, they're pretty. I'm not sure when, maybe tonight. DH is going to be home late again, so we'll see if it works.

And I had a couple of thoughts about knitting needles. When I got my assortment of KnitPicks yarns, I also bought a bunch of needles for knitting socks. Oh man, I *love* them! I love the Options set, so I'm not sure why I thought I wouldn't love these. I like them SO MUCH BETTER than the HiyaHiyas that I'm going to have to order the size that I have in the Hiyas. Those are fine for plain stuff, though the join of the needle and cable leaves a bit to be desired. But the KnitPicks are just wonderful - even better than my beloved Addi Turbos! Pointier, so better for lace. And the 32" size is perfect for magic looping socks. I'm not sure I'd do TWO socks at once, but I don't really like to do that anyway.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

FOs: Rosemary Shawl and more Fetching

Given that I haven't posted a FO picture in about a month (and those were all dishcloths), I have a couple of other types of things to show.

The first was actually finished quite some time ago, but I hadn't sent it to the recipient until recently (and if you're reading, friend, I loved your email and I'm truly not ignoring you!). This was a triangle shawl (my very first shawl) out of Lion Suede. I *love* the colors in this colorway, but I was frustrated with the lack of consistency within the dye lot - not only from skein to skein but WITHIN a skein as well. It's OBVIOUS (to me at least). But, the shawl was really pretty and snuggly and I think my friend liked it. I think I knit this up on size 9s? I used my KnitPick Options (which I loved, as always). This picture is horrible, but I was packing it up to send off (which took way too long), so I was really in a hurry (as you can see by the unmade bed! Oh the shame of it!). I was pleased with how the eyelets on the hypotenuse came out, as I had to sort of make up the pattern there. I had lots of fun with the math of this project, both in trying to figure out how long my sides needed to be to get a 60"-62" hypotenuse, and also getting the eyelets to work with the number of stitches (I wish I'd written down what I did).

The second FO is a pair of Fetching for my friend. I haven't sent them off yet (tomorrow, Fred!), but she knows they're coming (though she may have given up hope at this point!). The one modification I made to the pattern was that I made the hands a few rows shorter as she has eensy little hands! I hope they're not too wide. As always, I really loved knitting these. It's such a nice pattern, the yarn is delicious, and I had fun experimenting with different shapes of cable needles. I found that I liked the flat needle better for the cable in back, and the U-shaped needle better for the cable in front.

With the completion of these, I can now start new projects. I started a Zokni Sock today while I had the babysitter (I gave myself a couple of hours off, it was so lovely). I like the pattern but I had to write it out as I'm not adept at charts yet. I still need to do Monkey #2 as well. I need to do a couple more NICU hats and get those off, as they haven't had anything from me in months and probably think I disappeared.

My baby blanket is on hold, but I just heard that an old friend had a baby girl (didn't even know she was pregnant) so maybe I'll finish it up for her. I'm waiting on more buttons for the Fruit Salad Cardi, once I get those, I'll post pictures (if you promise not to laugh at my slightly funny shaped baby sweater, babies are boxy, right??).

In other news, we're house-hunting with a vengeance, which makes me so anxious I can barely breathe (it's just my nature, nothing to write home about), so expect a lot of knitting these days. It calms me.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Back from vacation...

But without my knitting mojo. *sigh*

I just ripped out TWO projects. The Dublin Rose sock - I messed up the lace pattern in a couple of places and it just wasn't calling to me. The yarn is pretty, I'm just not sure what the right sock pattern for it will be. I think it was almost TOO simple a lace pattern - it was a lace inset on each side of the sock. So it's "knit a bunch, do the 3 stitch lace pattern..." type of thing. I think I need either a pattern that requires focus, or brainlessness. I somehow found Monkey totally easy to do.

So, now at least I get to whip out the new KnitPicks needles and try something else. I am so not loving the HiyaHiyas, too. They're a bit pointer than the Addi Turbos, which is good, but not pointy enought that my k2togs were easy, AND the join is a bit rough, so it wasn't easy to slide the stitches up, and when that happens in Magic Loop, it makes me a tad crazy. Anyway. So yeah, what I should be doing is casting on for Monkey #2, but I think I'm going to hold off a bit and start something else. No actually, what I should be doing is redoing the Fetching I just ripped out, as that's a gift, and I want to get them sent off. Maybe I'll recast that on tomorrow. I ripped it out over a dumb error that I just couldn't recover from.

Did I mention all the yarn I just ordered? Noro, a whole bunch of sock yarn, and the baby cardi yarn. I finished the cardi. It's cute, I think, but I mis-calculated my button distances so I need 6 buttons instead of 5 (which, of course, is the number I have) so I need to order more buttons, like yesterday, which I haven't done, because the shower is next weekend. The cardi is a bit boxier than I would have liked, and I think again about how swatching might have helped. Yeah, you think? It's cute though. I do love top-down sweaters, no seaming! I have to post pictures soon.

So, I think that leaves me only with the baby blanket to be done.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Note to Self

Don't knit lace when you're wicked tired, not even a super easy lace pattern. I am working on Mossy Cottage Knits' Dublin Socks. It's a very simple pattern, and I have to admit that I like it much better in real life than on the page. It's not that I didn't like it, but I wasn't sure how the lace inset would look, and it's nice. I'm doing it in the Lorna's Laces in Somerset, so it's a really pretty pink and tealy-green combo, which does remind me, appropriate for this pattern, of roses. I did, however screw up the lace pattern on one side. I'm not going to redo (yay for me, suppressing my perfectionism) as it's not horribly noticeable, and I'm just wanting to move on. I'll do this, than Monkey 2.

I am obsessed with sock knitting right now. In part, because all my fun socks are getting old and nasty and need to be pitched out, and I cannot find socks I like in the stores, so I feel compelled to knit myself a sock wardrobe (which DH thinks makes me weird. WHATever.) Also, because I am a planner, and my life plan has been called into question. This makes me, perhaps, just a tad anxious, and so I am knitting. And planning projects, because I do that well. What's that you say? What about all those projects I've already planned, which are not complete? La la la, what did you say? I can't hear you.

I am going to branch out from variegated sock yarn, can you believe it? I found a couple of really pretty lace patterns that I think call for solid, so since I'm ordering from Knitpicks ANYway, I'll toss in some Knitpicks Essential Sock Yarn. And what's up with the lace obession, anyway?

I'm also designing a cable scarf for my friend who wanted me to knit something for him. I think I'm going to do it Knitpicks Swish, since that's supposed to be really soft. Think it'll show a cable pattern well? I have this big book of knitting stitches that my mom passed on to me (she used to be a big knitter, and gave me all her stuff, which is really neat, because some of it came from HER mom as well, how cool is that?). I'm going to pick a cable pattern and just do it! Design my own scarf! I've got a hat design I'm working on too...I could put free patterns up here, I suppose, couldn't I?

But for tonight, no knitting. I'm too tired. We head out to the midwest for a family thing on Thursday, and I'm going to be optimistic and bring some knitting. How crazy would it be to wing a toe-up sock with no pattern? I'm thinking short-row toe, short-row heel, how hard can it be? I might even wing the gague. Of course, I hate to swatch so I almost never do it anyway.

Friday, June 22, 2007

PSA

When one is knitting from a pattern, it behooves one to make sure that one actually does ALL the rows indicated because otherwise one's cute pinwheel dishcloth actually takes a sort of peculiar rhomboid shape. Twice. (Turns out there was one more line in column two. Sometimes I am amazed that I actually manage to finish anything at all).

And speaking of finishing things...MONKEY ONE IS DONE! Both my angels actually took naps today, so I got about two hours to myself, so I cranked through it! My fear that I wouldn't have enough yarn was completely unfounded. It fits wonderfully and I just love it! Pictures tonight when I have more time.

I've also got a big piece packaged up and ready to send off, so I can post pictures and talk about it soon!

And remember when I said I wasn't interested in knitting lace? Turns out that's not true. I'm going to knit The Woods Are Lovely, Dark and Deep. What the hell, I'm placing a Knitpicks order next week anyway. :)

Now, I just needs ideas for a project for the ArtYarns Yarnmarket exclusive!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What does this say about me?

That when I just read that the Yarn Harlot is also knitting the Knitty Monkey socks, I shouted out to DH "I'm knitting the same socks as the Yarn Harlot!"

I may even have squealed like a little girl.

I believe that this may say that I am a complete geek. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

And in other news, I am currently panicking that I am going to run out of yarn for said Monkey sock, which would suck.

Psychologist, diagnosis thyself!

I think I have a combination of knitting-focused OCD and ADD. The OCD part is that I am obsessed, OBSESSED with planning projects right now (err, in retrospect, that may not be all that atypical, as a brief read of this blog will show), and the ADD part is how many different projects I have in flight. I don't mind having a few, but it's starting to get a little out of hand. Let's look, shall we?

Currently on Needles:
  1. Jaywalkers (to be ripped out, and started with a different sock yarn, probably a self-striping as opposed to varieagated)
  2. Monkey socks: in a KPPPM, this is gorgeous and I LOVE IT! I turned heel #1 last night, and I'm on a rampage to finish this and get #2 going. This yarn and this pattern are really pretty. This is my Santa Monica/Dartmouth memorial sock. I bought this yarn while out there for my wonderful friend P's wedding, and I knit a bunch of it at my Dartmouth reunion this past weekend (where I met P! And I'd say most of my good memories of college involve her.)
  3. A pinwheel discloth.
  4. A diagonal knit baby blanket (essentially, this pattern, but bigger). This is completely gorgeous, but it's really more of a girl blanket, and it turns out the person I intended it for is having a boy. Turns out also that her shower is in a few weeks, and I'd love to have something handknit for her.
  5. Fuschia Fetchings for my wonderful friend K. (I had to stall on those until I saw her this past weekend because she has petite hands and I don't want them to be too long.) Have I mentioned how much I adore Debbie Bliss's Cashmerino Aran? It's lovely.
  6. NICU hat - finishing up the leaves for an apple hat.
Okay, it's not quite as out of control as I thought, but still.

Projects being planned in my head:
Baby sweater and hat for the above mentioned friend. I think I'm going to do a simple cardi in this yarn in the Fruit Salad color, with these buttons. I think it will not be ready for the shower.
Scarf for a college friend (by request). Probably just in some nice, worsted yarn - blue, I think.
Queen of Cups socks, so I can use my new HiyaHiya needles, to try them out for lace. I've got a lovely Lorna's Laces (in Somerset) set aside for this. (Note, why is it that US 1 means different things to different companies? 2.5mm is not the same as 2.25 mm!)
I need to do something with this yarn in the Monet's Garden color. All of a sudden I really really want to knit a shrug! (Could you do this with the Artyarns yarn, do you think?)

This doesn't even take into account all the yarn I have as well!