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


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.