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


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.


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.