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 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


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.