Is Everything Blurry or Is It Just Me?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Countless hours have been spent (wasted) this week trying to change my blog. I found a really cool template that I revised a little bit and wanted to figure out how to use on my blog. Well, what I really wanted to do was start using my own webspace (that's it linked up there) for my knit blog. I wanted to use that template and just embed my blog in the middle of that white area. I had a lot of other dreams for it that crashed and burned this week too. It's alright though, I think I can handle this one for awhile. And I have a vague idea of how to edit my template for use later on if I decide to. And I really do like Blogger, hence why I was just going to embed the post part on my webspace.

Oh well, I'm rambling. I've got some knitting done this week but no pictures yet so... how do you like my new digs? Is it really hard to read? Is it pretty?

I'm free!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

This semester is finally over. Now that I had a little time on my hands, can you guess one of the first things I did? Jumped on Ravelry, of course!

Remember those socks that ended up really wide? I was worried they were going to be too wide for my Dad's narrow feet but Ravelry has saved the day! I checked on my brother-in-law, Matt's, queued socks and it turns out he has 10.5 wide feet. Hurrah! The green Earl Greys are now his. I shall try to whip out a pair of socks for my dad with the Mystic Alpaca sock yarn I picked up on clearance a couple of weeks ago. Can I knit a pair of socks in about a week? We shall soon find out.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Let's not even talk about all those silly mistakes in the last swatch... like putting the SSKs and K2TOGs on the WRONG SIDES! No wonder they looked so crappy...

Tell me what you think. I'm pretty sure this is the one. :) The only change will be the top YOs, I tried something funky with them and I don't like the way it turned out.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

There are still some problems with that swatch so expect a new one soon.

This post at TECHknitting is amazing. Expect to find this stitch in the cardigan.


Where did our love go?

Hmm, I swore I posted here last week but it seems I just took pictures and they didn't magically upload themselves to the website. Darn.

Well, here they are then:

My dad's first Earl Grey Christmas sock. Yes, it looks huge and wrinkly on my poor narrow feet. Unfortunately, it also seemed a little big on Jenna's foot, which is wider than mine and probably more like my dad's in that respect. Now I'm all disillusioned and worried they will be too big and of course I want them to be perfect for my dad so... I can't decide what to do. I've started the second, we'll see if I finish it before Christmas.

Here is where I was on my cardigan when I thought the pictures could upload themselves. After a long drive to Minneapolis with my sisters and a knit night with the girls it's a little farther along. But first, the cable swatch.

The bottom is the cable pattern that makes up the first half of a cable on the actual sweater. I wasn't pleased with it (click and look down at the first few rows - especially the initial cross) and knew there was a better way to do things. So last night I sat down and knit up this swatch and figured some stuff out. I love what I came up with! I'm still not sure it's perfect but it's loads better than it was and will probably suffice. I think I'll make the SSK's (left side, inside cable piece, next to YO) into S1, K1, PSSO's though. Those SSK's are kind of nasty-looking. On the bottom half I used slip one as if to knit, slip one as if to purl, then knit and on the top I did the standard SSKs and neither are really doing it for me.

And now for the sweater as it sits right now in my knitting bag waiting for me to get some damn homework done and pick it back up.

Sorry for the slight blurriness. I'm still trying to figure out this new digital camera. Kind of hard since it didn't come with a manual (long story). The color is actually pretty accurate even though it's really overcast today. Neato!

Anyway, I'm done with the waist ribbing and ready to start the other half of that bottom cable. Pretty soon here I'm going to have to look up some patterns that have set-in shoulders and figure that out since I've never done it before.

That's it for my really long catch-up post. See ya!

Cabledy Cables

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I have cracked the code on the cable panel for the Wildflower Cardigan! I can't wait to knit up a swatch to see if it's right.

Of course I couldn't wait to start the cardigan itself so after some rough sketches and gauge-number crunching, I cast on for the ribbing (which I lengthened from the original cardigan) this weekend. I'm now two rows into the stockinette. I made some changes about where the cable panel starts too. Actually, I made changes all over the place for this thing...

Unfortunately, my design skills aren't too polished. Only after knitting like ten rows of ribbing that I should have had an uneven number of stitches in order to end up with the stockinette part of the ribbing next to the buttonband on both sides. Oh well, live and learn, I guess. I'll deal with it later, I think. I'd just frog it, but I used the absolutely awesome tubular cast-on and that's a lot of freaking work for a sweater-sized cast-on!

My dad's socks are also trucking along: I'm at the toe on the first one.

Please Forgive Me

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I really had planned to post pictures of my new sweater way back when but then when I blocked it, it was a little small so I had to reblock it. In the meantime, I had tons of homework and tests and was a little worried that even if I blocked it bigger it wouldn't fit and I would be sad. So I put it off. Then once it was blocked and I knew that it fit we kept making plans to do a photo shoot and kept forgetting. So one day last week I just grabbed Kurt's camera (it's sad that my son has a nice digital camera and all I have is a nice camera phone) and took a few pics.

D'ya like that shot of my arm? And my extremely messy desk in the background? Homework, homework, homework, it never ends this semester.

Since the sweater has been finished I've started a couple of new projects. I'm knitting the Harlot's Earl Grey socks for my Dad for Christmas with the green Jawoll I bought a couple months ago.

My other project is a little... ambitious, but I'm very excited about it. I'm planning a version of the Wildflower Cardigan from Anthropologie. It will be in brown with yarn I got just recently at ANOTHER going out of business sale - this time Ben Franklin Crafts right here in my town. I'm going to do the flower stem in green and the flowers in white. Zooming in on the photo shows some interesting details. It looks like the buttonband is actually crocheted and the little ruffle made just by increasing in single crochet rows. I could be wrong though, I haven't really studied this thing too much.

I've never designed a yarn from scratch before and I've certainly never tried to knock-off a sweater before. I have mixed feelings about it. I love a challenge but I feel bad that I'm sort of cheating and not just buying it. But at the same time, who would want such a beautiful sweater that has nylon in it? 100% wool is the way I'm going. Yummy warmth. Not to mention that I can't justify $128 on a sweater but can totally justify $70 on yarn to make a sweater. (Not that that is a good reason to knock-off a sweater, but it is one of my reasons.)

So yeah, that's what's going on here. Today I'm going to the gym, doing much homework and studying for a test next Friday, and then hopefully finding some time to vacuum the house, knit a little, and finish reading a book. Hope everyone that's at Rhineback right now had a grand time!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Monkeys! For my Grandma for Christmas. Tell me: how bad of a grand-daughter am I if she asked for pink and mauve variegated socks and I saw this, thought of her, and bought it? It's definitely more brown/ lavender/ purple than any sort of hint of pink at all. Would it help if I bought a pink and mauve variegated before Christmas to show her and have her approve of for next year's socks? If so, does anyone know of any brands that carry a nice pink and mauve variegated?

The Not-so-Puffy sweater has finished blocking and seems to fit, I'm just waiting on the buttons now. They should be here in a few days. I'm so excited! Even though it's too cold here this week to even think about wearing a short-sleeved cardigan.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Well, here it is, blocking: the Heavily Modified Puff-Sleeved Feminine Cardigan.

Horrible picture, I know, but it's cloudy and rainy here today and I was too excited to show you a picture while it was on the blocking "board". I just cut a chunk off of the box from the laundry sink I installed a few weeks ago. (I actually kept it around just for that purpose). Worked great!

I'll get a picture up this week of it actually on me with all of the specs and mods. Hopefully it will fit once it's blocked! The below-the-waist bit was pretty tight pre-blocking. So much for fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants increases. Oh and I have to find some buttons. So far, these are my favorite and, coincidentally, the least expensive I've found. Anyone have any good button buying sites to tell me about?


Monday, September 03, 2007

So much homework this weekend. Some of it I stressed over way too much, like my first pre-lab for Organic Chemistry... this is the first class where we actually have to have handwritten, carbon-paper lab-books. I feel like I put in way too much detail but I was afraid of leaving something critical out. Also, Physics sucks. I think I've now said that on every single website I use. Makes me feel a little better.

But you're here for the knitting.... and there WAS knitting this weekend! I finished the decreases, knit even until the purly detail and started the very-modified peplum of my sweater. I'm so close to finishing the body! And the sleeves will be done in a jiffy because I'm shortening them and they're short to begin with. Then the button bands, which I hope I'll improve upon since my last cardigan. I should be better, I've been knitting for almost three years since then.

I also got the okay from my Grandma to knit her Christmas socks with the handwash only yarn if I want to. She figures since she's only going to wear them as slippers around the house anyway, they won't need to be washed as much as if they were used as true socks. I guess that makes sense. I've been warned about the yarn's likelihood of pilling though so I'm still a tiny bit conflicted. I think I'll knit up a swatch (gasp!) and see how it seems.

That's my quick update. Sorry for not having pictures but the sun went down so fast tonight! I'll have some soon.

Hope everyone's Labor Day weekends were great!

Puffy little shoes, er, sweater

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Anyone else a Presidents of the United States of America fan? The band? Kurt used to love the Puffy Little Shoes song when he was younger. He would want to listen to it over and over and over.

Classes started last week and I was feeling pretty good about everything until about yesterday. Now I feel behind in a couple of classes and am hoping the long weekend will help me catch up, even though I made too many plans for it. I don't have tests for quite awhile though so I should be fine.

The puffy sleeved cardigan is going pretty well. My gauge was off a little so I just ended up not doing as many increases. I was definitely cool with that. Then I got all excited when the directions said to start the shaping decreases that I didn't actually try it on and think about it first before I jumped headlong into them... and, of course, they were way too high. Pretty much right under my bust. I waited until one of my knitty friends came over last night to rip it. Now I'm back on track to start the decreases again, in the RIGHT place this time. I'm also lengthening the cardigan so that makes a difference too.

Anyway, here it is before all the decreasing drama started. It looks kind of funny because it still has the needles in and can't curve to fit right but you get the idea. It's going to be so cute!

I also finished the other Stripey socks with the leftover Opal from my sister's socks. They ended up being anklets with a couple of their own issues but they're cute and they're done and that's what matters. I'm thinking my next socks might be my dad's or brother-in-law's. Hopefully I'll find time to cast on for those this weekend so I can put them in my backpack for knitting on in between classes next week.

Okay, that's my quickie update. I'll post again next week for sure. Maybe even with pictures of the new Stripey socks.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Since most of this week was spent in cars and hospitals (my mom had a procedure, she's fine) and then at a daytime baseball game I had a lot of knitting time. I ended up finishing a whole sock! In one week! I haven't taken a picture yet but it looks just like my last Stripey Sock, so it's nothing really new. I also got a few more rows in on the puff-sleeved cardigan. It's excruciating to just knit 300+ stitches in one row though so it's going very slowly.

Luckily for me, I've been tagged for a meme by Gena so I have some blog fodder for a Friday afternoon.

I think I've probably done this one in the past but I don't remember answering all these questions so I'll do it again anyway.

Four jobs I have had:

1. Record store clerk. Yes, I was one of the snobby ones. I tried to be nice but when people would come in and want to know what CD that song was from, you know, on the radio? It goes like this? And the video has these birds in it and a guy dancing on a thing? I just couldn’t help but get a little annoyed.

2. Assistant librarian. That’s actually a glorified title. I loved working in the library though.

3. Lab technician – QA for McDonald’s French fries. Talk about a yummy job. I actually really enjoyed this job. It was interesting if a little monotonous and since we had to run tests every half hour, I was always busy and the nights went fast.

4. Americorps VISTA. This one is actually cheating a little bit. I WAS a VISTA but I did my service here where I live and didn’t travel off to some other part of the country. I did basically the same job I do now – they hired me after my service was done.

Four places I have lived:

1. Tiny town about an hour north of where I live now.

2. I spent about four years growing up, ages 7-11, I think, in Rosamond, CA. I liked it there but was okay with moving back to North Dakota as well.

3. My formative years (junior high and high school) were spent in a slightly larger town than my hometown – about 5,000 people. I hated it there and I hate going back to visit but it’s where I’m from.

4. Now I live in a small city of about 50-65,000 people. Just my size. I’ve moved away once as an adult, to Washington state, and loved it there but ended up back here and I’m totally cool with that.

Favorite Food:

1. My homemade Phad Thai. It isn’t authentic but it is freaking delicious.

2. Chocolate. Depending on my mood of the day it could be candy chocolate (PB Twix), ice cream chocolate (Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked), or good old chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting.

3. Homemade bread. Yum. Especially just from the oven with some butter or toasted for breakfast.

4. Pasta. Particularly homemade pasta (is there a theme running through my list?) with a garlic cream sauce.

I would rather be:

1. At my dad’s farm, just hanging out.

2. Sitting on my porch, drinking beer and knitting.

3. In Italy! Where I’ve never been but have always wanted to go.

4. Anywhere but here, and on vacation.

I can't think of who to tag because everyone I think of I kind of think has done it already. Jenna? Big Geek Beth? Cathi Pink?

Have great weekends everyone!

Is that like building a skyscraper on a lake?

Monday, August 06, 2007

That's right: unique construction. That's what the Mystery Stole can be summed up as. Well, not completely, of course. The theme was revealed and is......

(don't read if you don't want the secret ruined yet)

(really, I'm going to write it right below this picture so if you don't want to know...)

Swan Lake!

I was a bit miffed at first that two of the main motifs didn't end up having anything to do with the theme but were just "space fillers". It was the main motifs we were scrutinizing so much to try to figure out the theme! But, eventually, I just gave it up to good strategizing on Melanie's part. I had to or I would be eaten up inside by the miffed-ness. Hah. ;-) Just kidding, it wasn't that bad.

The second shocker was that the last part of the stole is actually a.... wing. Completely and utterly asymmetrical. I went through feeling intrigued, excited, and now sort of intrigued but removed. I had resolved to do the wing no matter what - knit as designed, knit outside of my comfort zone, all that business and then... I started seeing pictures of the wing. And it is beautiful, it is. But it really is asymmetrical. It's basically a beautiful feather pattern that comes out from one corner of the end, straight along the top of the stole, and then curves gently at the bottom to meet in a point at the final end.

Thing is, I am such a symmetrical girl. I hang all of my pictures in the center of the wall... I get out the tape measure for fuck's sake! So, you know, I think I'll be sitting this wing thing out. Only problem is that means I'll have to reknit a second of the piece I already have (which is actually farther along than in the photos here) and graft them together. *sigh* It may become a UFO for awhile. I don't want it to, it's gorgeous, but I really have other projects I want to work on before school starts in a mere two weeks because I just won't have the time anymore. And, in the mean time, I can continue stalking the Ravelry sites and blogs of those who ARE knitting the wing and see if I can talk myself into it.

P.S. I missed a couple of beads on the shawl, can you see where? Guess I'll just sew those on later, huh?

Yarn Store and Needle Review

Friday, July 27, 2007

So I had ordered my KA (Kinki Amibari) needles Saturday morning from Spirit Work Knitting and Designs with priority shipping. I didn't get them until yesterday but it seems to be a USPS issue and not Spirit Work's because they shipped them out within a couple of hours of my order! Wow! When I did receive the package, I was pleasantly surprised...

They included a promotional tape measure AND a card hand-addressed and signed thanking me for my order. Wow! I'll definitely be ordering from them again. I ended up going with them because they were the only online store that would ship out the needles with priority, two-day shipping and I'm glad I did.

The needles themselves are fantastic! They're definitely more slippery than Clover's which was hard to get used to but they seem very solid and less likely to bend so easily. Also the cord on these suckers is the best I've used! Immediately out of the package it uncoils to almost completely straight. NOT like Clover's forever curly frustrating cord. The only downside so far is the join, which my YOs have caught on quite a bit. I'm not sure if it's the join's fault entirely though as I have been knitting quite tightly; maybe if I was knitting at a normal gauge they would slide over more easily. Overall though I would highly recommend KA bamboo circulars for any project where you need a needle smaller than US 3 and prefer bamboo.

On the knitting front, I've begun Clue 3 of the Mystery Stole and it's going pretty quickly. I hope to finish it tonight or tomorrow and get started on Clue 4 on Sunday. I also finished my sister's socks which just BARELY don't match on the toes. Bummer. I'll have pics up next week for sure. I have so much of that Opal left that I might be able to squeeze another whole pair of socks out of it! Each sock takes one repeat of the stripes so I'll figure it out later to see for sure.

Have a great weekend!

Lace Knitting

Saturday, July 21, 2007

So lace knitting is kind of stressful. Eventually I sort of got in a groove but it's been a little nerve wracking. I did finish Clue 1 today though.

Maybe I should back up a little. I got my yarn on Thursday. After work I went out and bought three different colors of seed beads then went home and knit my swatch. My first attempt on US3s was not a success. Much too loose. So I had to go down to US2. The only needles I have in a US2 are DPNs so I ended up ordering some KA bamboo needles this morning online - they were the only company I could find that had bamboo circulars in such a small size. Here is the swatch then, with the smaller needles (DPNs, priority shipping is fast but not that fast).

Here also is my sister's first sock. The second of which is less than an inch from turning the heel.

I hope she likes them. They're a little brighter than I was expecting. You know what's exciting though? The second sock seems to match perfectly to this sock. Shhh, don't say it outloud or you might jinx me.

Have a great weekend!

Yarn, yarn bo barn, banana fana fo farm...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

So another "local" yarn store is going out of business in my area. It's a bummer, of course, but we did pull up our bootstraps and make it to the sale this week. Everything was 25% off storewide and I ended up getting pretty much all my Christmas Socks yarn in one fell swoop.

For my dad's Christmas socks.

For my someday-to-be brother-in-law's.

Possible contrast for heels and toes for both men's socks. The skeins are only 175 yards and, since I've never made men's socks and am not sure how much it'll take, the brown is my safeguard. Plus, I like brown.

For my grandma's Christmas socks. She's the one lucky person that gets Christmas socks every single year because she's been buying a package of socks for all of the kids and grandkids every year since before I was born. She deserves mucho handknit socks. However, I realized that I was blinded by the beauty of the Claudia Handpaints and didn't realize they're handwash only. I really prefer not to give people handwash only socks. Hmm. My grandma had also requested a variegated pink for her socks and while this beautiful yarn looks overall pink to me, my fellow shoppers and friends didn't think so. We'll see if it gets called to another project instead.

The long ride down to the store, an hour each way, gave me plenty of knitting time since my friend Jenna drove and last night I finished my sister's first Christmas sock. Look at me go this year! I tried to take a picture but there just isn't enough sun in this office yet so I'll have to take and post one another day.

I'm still (im)patiently waiting for our (Jenna and I went in together) Knitpicks order to show up so I can get started on my Mystery Stole. I've been keeping a close eye on everyone's progress through Ravelry and reading the forum so I know some knitter's are having a lot of frustrations with the lace and I'm anxious to get started so I can catch up. Kurt will be gone camping this weekend so it would be a perfect time to start. Cross your fingers for me that it shows up today or tomorrow!

Leftover FO

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I had intended to make ankle socks but Kurt wanted me to make the cuff longer so I just added more of the Regia. They aren't the most aesthetically pleasing, I guess, but the kid got what he wanted and that's all that really matters. :) He says they're soooo comfy!

Name: "Leftovers Socks"
Pattern: Toe-up with figure eight toe and the heel flap from Knitty's Widdershins pattern. (Thanks again for the tip, Jenna!)
Yarn: Leftover Regia Wool Cotton and Knitpicks Essential in Navy.
Needles: US2
Notes: I did 56 stitches, increased to 74 with the gusset and heel stitches and then decreased back down to 56 for the cuff. I used the Widdershin's pattern from Knitty as a guide for the toe-up heel turning and flap after my own attempts failed.

I began casting on for my sister's Christmas socks this morning at an appointment but I actually got in super quick so I'll have to finish tonight. I'm waiting patiently for Fitted Knits to arrive. I knit up a swatch for the Puff Sleeved Feminine Cardigan in stockinette and then looked up the gauge and realized the swatch should be in the pattern stitch. Darn!

I also got sucked into the fun that is the Mystery Stole #3 project. I ordered some Alpaca Cloud from Knitpicks on Sunday and it looks like it shipped yesterday. The first two clues are out and I'm anxious to begin! I still need to find beads once the yarn arrives and do a swatch. I think this project is going to be so fun!

That's all for now. Have a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Kurt's Leftovers socks are coming along nicely. The Knitpicks Essential is going fast though so I'm thinking they'll end up being ankle socks, which Kurt is okay with but I guess he'd prefer regular socks. I actually started the first one top-down and got three inches into the ribbing before thinking "Whoa, this yarn is going fast, maybe I should have started these toe-up..." So I started the second one with the other yarn.

I'm at the point where I'm wrapping my mind around turning the heel and doing a heel flap backwards, you know, toe-up style. I've googled and gotten inspiration from a few other patterns and it's really starting to make sense to me. I started turning it on my lunch break so I think I'll get the flap done tonight while I watch some more Battlestar Gallactica. I watched the pilot the other day and am easily hooked. Me + Sci Fi drama = happiness.

This morning I ordered the yarn for my sister's Christmas socks. I'm excited. I'm not sure why Little Knits has the minimum $25 order deal but I really didn't need much prompting to also order some Wool in the Woods Twin Twist. Anyone used this? It looks so squishy and the colors are beautiful! Since I get such cold feet in the winter, I thought I'd try it out for some slightly thicker socks.

I also ordered a sock pattern. The Walking Away socks to be exact.

My Fourth was really fun and I think Kurt really enjoyed himself too. He's a big lover of firecrackers and while he didn't quite get his fill, I think he's happy knowing that he still has a couple of boxes of little ones to do at Grandpa's farm this summer.

Barefeet Are Now Bearfeet

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Finished my socks!

Name: "Bearfoot Socks," my basic top-down sock. 12 rows of 2x2 rib and then stockinette with a french heel.
Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Indian Corn colorway
Needles: US2
Notes: I ended up taking the toe out of the first one done and adding an extra decrease and knit row to get them to fit right. I guess I had thought my feet were just a tiny bit smaller. I like my socks about 10% smaller than the actual measurement so they're nice and snug, these are now perfect.

I also ordered Fitted Knits from a used seller on Amazon yesterday. I called every bookstore and checked every store that carries crafts in town and none of them had the book on hand. They could have ordered it in but their prices were really high, of course. I try to shop locally but I'm also on a budget and oftentimes the internet wins in that category.

So I'll be swatching for the Puff-Sleeved Feminine Cardigan this week and also ordering yarn for my sister's Christmas socks. I looked around on Ravelry and messaged a few people to find out about their mods to the cardigan. I got replies right away and am now set to make it the way I want it. I know I'm beating a dead horse here but Ravelry is So Cool.

Have a great Fourth!

Ravelry and Bearfeet

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

When the Ravelry wind started blowing, I can't say I was even interested. I didn't really understand what it was and it just seemed like too much work. I mean, if I can't even keep up with my blog, how am I going to find time to add content to a new knitting site? It just seemed like a knitting Myspace to me.

Well, I've been converted. Ravelry is the coolest! For those of you who haven't checked it out yet - or haven't received an invite - it lets you easily catalog your stash, all of your projects, your needles, and keep tabs on all of your online knitting buddies. But that's just the beginning, you can also search for projects with links to patterns, see what the most popular patterns are, search for a specific yarn and see what other people are making with it, find substitutes for yarn... it just seems freaking endless. It is easily the neatest site I've ever used. Very well put together and organized and jeez, it all just makes sense, you know? So if you're an organizing freak like me, or even if you're not, you should sign up for Ravelry. They admit new beta testers every week and they're caught up to people who signed up about mid-May so it won't take too terrible long to get in.

As for current projects, here are my Mountain Colors Bearfoot socks in Indian Corn. I love Bearfoot. I tried a couple different patterns but the Indian Corn just wanted to be a stockinette sock so I let it. Surprisingly, I've never knit just a plain stockinette sock and I'm really liking it. I don't know if it's the yarn, the pretty colors, or just the relief at finally having put away the Argyle sock but this puppy is FLYING. Last night I did most of the foot and tonight I'm sure I'll finish up the toe. I also get paid on Friday so I can look at buying "Fitted Knits" and maybe starting the cardigan. Yay!

Arrrrrrrgyle, Walking the Plank

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dudes, these argyle socks are driving me mad. The knitting's got to change. I can make excuses forever but here are the main reasons this sock is being abandoned to the UFO drawer:

  1. The main body of the sock is in old Knitpicks sock yarn. Like pre-soft and nice sock yarn which means it's scratchy and I know they won't be real comfortable when they're done.
  2. The foot is a little wide. I know it'll shrink up when I dry them in the dryer (I dry all my old Knitpicks socks in the dryer) but it annoys me.
  3. I keep screwing up the decreases for the toe. I know it's because I keep trying to do it when I'm engrossed in something else but I don't feel like doing it again.

I need something new, something fresh, something exciting. I was browsing around on the old internets for some ideas and came across Belle Epoque, Bad Penny, and Glampyre's Puff-Sleeved Feminine Cardigan.

Okay, so Bad Penny is out because it's worsted weight and it's summer. Belle Epoque would be really great - I love the scoop neck and the empire waist but would get rid of the fuzzy yarn (mohair and acrylic, can you imagine wearing that?) and shorten it a bit. I'm getting frustrated trying to find a yarn substitute though. I bet Ravelry would be nice for this... I'd like to use my Merino Style for it but technically the gauge shouldn't work. But since my gauge was all screwy with it maybe it will be right! I think I'll swatch tomorrow and find out.

Glampyre's cardigan led me to her book, Fitted Knits, which I know at least one of my readers has because she knit the same sweater I'm thinking of knitting. ;-) That would be Big Geek Beth. Beth! What do you think of the book? And anyone else if you have it, give me your thoughts. Email me if you'd prefer at katiedid at gmail dot com.

In other news, I did finish Mon Petit Chou and it seems to fit alright. I don't have ribbon for it yet and haven't figured out a classy way to take pictures yet but I hope to soon.

Update On My Cabbage

Friday, June 08, 2007

I've gone back to Mon Petit Chou, my most current UFO. The Argyle socks are on US 1's and, not real surprisingly, they're kind of killing my wrists. So I finished the bottoms to Mon Petit Chou and started the top... three times now. I don't know if it's my foggy sick-brain (I've had a cold for about a week and a half now) or if I'm just failing as a knitter but I can't seem to follow directions. Last night was the last straw, I thought I had finally done the picot edge, on 107 stitches mind you, correctly so I spread it out to take a look. I even started grinning, thinking that this time I had really nailed it... and it didn't look too picot-y. I forgot the last purl row before knitting the two sets of stitches together. Damn.

So I knit on the Argyle socks instead and actually got a couple of inches done on the foot. I hope I remember everything I changed when I go to do the second sock. I even took a picture last night but did I remember to get the picture off of my phone before I left home today? Um, no. So my post is pretty worthless but at least you now know what I'm knitting, right?

I'll be back and I'll try to blog better next time.

Not what I expected...

Friday, May 25, 2007

So, I should be here to show off a nice, new pair of argyle socks, shouldn't I? I should be knitting like crazy what with all this time on my hands. Unfortunately, I haven't been. The transition to working full time again has done more than dampen my spirits with boring days stuck in the office. It's flared up my wrist problems again since most of my time is spent writing and revising on the computer all day. My right wrist has gone from slightly achy to numb most of this morning in just the last week. Boo.

Since I have no new progress pics, though I did finish the heel on the first sock, I'll try to distract you with cute vegetable sheep.

Did it work?

Argyle, Take II

Monday, May 14, 2007

The first argyle sock wasn't going to be fitting anyone. Not me, not any young girls or boys I know, not anyone. It was really tight around the colorwork and fit me where it was all black. So I started again. This time I went up two needle sizes for the colorwork. I maybe could have gotten away with just going up one but I just don't do things like that. I overcompensate or something. But it seems to have worked out nicely.

The diamonds are much bigger than I had intended but that's what going up two needle sizes will do. I still like them though and think these socks are going to be AWEsome.

For the morbidly curious, here are my floats. They're long floats. Not the best way to do it but certainly the easiest for a beginner who isn't patient enough to spend five minutes untangling after each row. I'll just be careful when I put my little toesies in there.

And here are a couple of pictures of my non-knitting project of the weekend.

The chairs themselves still need a lot of work but check out those cushions! I bought the foam at a surplus store here in town and the fabric at JoAnn's for 40% off. (Unfortunately, when I realized I was a little short on fabric and went back to get more yesterday it was no longer on sale so I had to buy a yard and a half at full price. Boo.)

Now that I'm done with classes until fall I'll hopefully get more knitting done and post more. We'll just see how that goes before I commit to anything though. ;-)


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Yesterday just got too busy and by the time it calmed down it was too dark to take decent pictures. Let me start off by saying that I did start off knitting the argyle socks using intarsia like all of the internet tutorials told me too. However, since my self-designed pattern used smaller diamonds (and lots of them), it was a little crazy-making:

I'm sure it didn't help that I don't have real bobbins and the little bits of yarn kept sliding out of the cardboard slits and tumbling down onto my lap and subsequently got hopelessly tangled on almost every row. I did manage about 4-5 rows before realizing the intarsia was doomed. The last straw was seeing that my stitches were way too tight. I yanked it out and started over with just my original three balls of yarn, determined to learn this fair isle business. I'm happy to say that it worked:

Here's another picture that's a little less blurry but without the diamonds stretched out:

Knitting this brought me back to what knitting was like when I first started. I could hardly put it down! Now that the argyle part is done - I'm knitting the rest of the sock in just black - I wrapped it around my calf to see if it'll fit... I'm not too sure that it will. My floats must still be a little tight. But if it doesn't fit me, I'm sure I could find someone they will fit.

Now that I've conquered the technique, this sweater (which I'm hopelessly in love with) doesn't scare me so much. It's just the price of the yarn and the tiny gauge that scare me now.

Ah yes...

Friday, April 27, 2007

...the rumors are true: I'm knitting argyle. I have conquered fair isle* and it cannot scare me anymore.

I have had to literally pull myself away from the mesmerizing pattern that's emerging and force myself to bed. (But not before telling you all of my success, of course.)

There will definitely be pictures.

*Yes, I realize argyle is not "true" fair isle and no, by "conquered" I do not mean that my fair isle is perfect or even lovely at this point but I'm doin' it.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Oh boy, if there was ever a reassurance that letting my IK subscription lapse was an okay thing, this is it. Other than the neat spirally socks, that issue can sit on the shelf for all I care.

(This is not to offend anyone who enjoys the patterns in there! Just not my cuppa tea.)


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sometimes I think I'm a better blog friend than blogger... and sometimes I think I'm okay with that. But, don't worry, I'm not going to vanish off the face of the blogging world. I still like to show what I'm knitting and maybe this summer I'll have more time to go on about knitting here. For now though...

Here are the socks I've been working on with my "leftover" Kona Superwash. I say "leftover" because there is no question that I'm going to have enough yarn to finish these and STILL have yarn leftover.

Pretty simple pattern, if you can call it a pattern. Fifty some odd stitches (51 maybe?) with three four stitch cables. I centered one cable on the top of my foot so the other two are sort of on the edge of the heel flap. I think it looks neat.

I started these toe-up originally but they were too tight and I couldn't get a nice heel flap sort of thing going so I frogged and I'm much happier with them now. I think I've been converted to a top-down sock girl. Whoa. I've also already worn the finished one once inadvertantly because I grabbed it and one of my other socks in this yarn. I didn't realize it until a couple of days later when I was looking for the finished one to check something for the one in progress.

I also started and didn't finish a baby sweater in cotton last week. I ended up just purchasing an outfit for the babe. Why do I think cotton is going to change for me and NOT kill my wrists? Because it's on sale? That somehow sale cotton magically loses it's tendonitis charms?

Well, that's all I have for now, I better rush off to class.


Monday, March 12, 2007

I don't know about you but I like leftovers. I could eat food leftovers all week and not get too bored. Yarn leftovers are even better. I finished the socks - no, I don't have pictures yet - and I have 4.3 ounces of yarn leftover. Kona Superwash starts off with 8 ounces and if you figure in a little extra weight from the Kool-aid dye (I don't know if it actually weighs anything or not so I'm trying to err on the side of caution here) I still have half leftover. Holy crap!

So tell me, yarnover's help in using less wool, yes? So maybe I should be looking at another yarn-overy pattern for the last half? (I said ovary...)

Also, Jenna commented on my last post about the superwash. She said they've washed great and haven't really pilled at all. I'm looking forward to that. My Wildfoote Baudelaire's are just fuzzy and icky-looking.

That's all. Just wanted to drop by. Also, I'm excited for Eunny to be the new editor of IK. How neat!


Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Japanese Feather Socks have become my favorite socks and I haven't even finished them yet. Just look at them! (click to make it bigger if you want to see the details)

They're so fast to knit, the pattern is easy but beautiful, and the yarn, my God I love this yarn! I asked Jenna, since she was so kind as to give it to me for Kool-aid dying fun, and she said it's Kona Superwash (you have to scroll just a little). Only $12.50 for 560 yards! I can tell you now, I'll definitely be ordering some of this. I think sportweight is definitely more on line with what I want from my hand-knit wool socks. I have poor circulation so I tend to have cold extremities. Exercise definitely helps but I haven't always made time for it. Nice, thick wool socks help keep me a little cozier.

To give a little bit of an idea how much 560 yards is...

the second sock pictured here is almost done. One more 28 row repeat, which goes so fast, and the toe and look at all the yarn I have left! I'll probably be able to knit another pair out of the leftovers. Maybe a shorter pair but still, four socks from one hank. Wow.

Another project this week (or rather, last weekend) was to wind the green DK sweater into balls. Me and my wine-nostepinne didn't even try this one, Jenna came over and we used her ball winder. Now the yarn just sits by my laptop and awaits a new project.

I also ordered a tiny bit of yarn this week. I got a couple of contrasting colors of Essential from Knitpicks so I can try my hand at some simple Fair Isle on the cuffs of my soon-to-be-started black socks. I also ordered two new pairs of US 2 DPN's since mine are pretty warped. I think the warping started when I used them to knit my gloves in worsted and then once they're a little bit bent they just bend more so easily that it was sort of a downward spiral. It'll be nice to start fresh. Oh, and the needles were on sale at Knitpicks for $5.44 so if you're needing some bamboo DPN's now's the time to get over there and order!

That's it, I'm going to go clean the house and finish up my socks. Hope you're all having a great weekend! I know I am, what with next week being Spring Break and all. :)

Cakes of Yarn

Friday, March 02, 2007

So I've started the Japanese Feather Socks twice now. The first time I got gauge with US 2's and used the ridiculous recommended amount of stitches (48) because I had complete and total (almost) faith in the pattern. Of course, they were too small. But not by much, so I ripped and started again adding one purl stitch in between each repeat. They're still snug but they might work this time. I hope so because I'd hate to rip again.

I had a really hard time getting a decent picture because the yarn is so well, bright, I guess, though it doesn't seem that bright to me. Also, please excuse the bright whiteness of my leg and it's well, ungroomed status. Focus on the pretty, pretty sock that is oh, so much prettier in person! I love it!

That's all on the knitting front. I've realized that this sock can't be my backpack sock for two reasons, 1) the yarn cake is too gigantic to lug around and doesn't fit in my Dr. Suess bag that I normally carry my sock-in-progress in, and 2) while the pattern is easy and repeatable, it IS a 28 row repeat and you kind of need to keep pretty good track of where you are. There is too much of a chance of me completely screwing it up if I work on it anywhere but at home in a nice, calm atmosphere. Due to this, I'll probably buy myself another pair of double-points and start some other socks. Probably toe-up, 2x2 ribbing on the leg, 60 stitches, in black Knitpicks from my stash. So: boring. But I'll post pics when they're done.

I've noticed a definite increase in spam comments lately. Kind of a bummer. I don't want to have to require a log in for comments but I might if I start getting more than one or two spam ones a day. Just a heads-up.

It's "blizzarding" here today and Kurt had the day off. I used this, and my not-yet-plowed alley this morning, as an excuse not to go to work like I usually do for a couple hours on Friday mornings. Instead, I slept in and then took the bus to class instead of dealing with slippery roads and unplowed alleys. I'm glad I did. But I'm also very glad to be home... it's been a loooooong day and I'm ready to sit around and knit.

Snow Day

Sunday, February 25, 2007

It snowed so much last night. Holy crap! At least 5-6 inches though I haven't been outside to check it out firsthand. Today I'm staying in and working on homework... right after I finish procrastinating and posting here.

I finished Kurt's socks last night!

Yarn: Some superwash wool stuff that Jenna gave Kurt to dye when we did our Kool-aid dying. Thanks Jenna!
Needles: Takumi Clover's size US 2.
Pattern: Top-down, french heel, 2x2 ribbing on leg and top of foot.
Gauge: Eh, I don't know. I had a hard time getting the right size on these even though I did two gauge swatches! I ended up with 60 stitches but probably could have gone with 56. They fit nicely because of the rib and it'll allow Kurt to grow into them a little bit.
Notes: Can you see the size of the foot on them!? Kurt's feet are just about the size of mine and very similar: long and narrow. Can't wait to knit him socks when he gets to about a size 10 like his dad was! (Not.)

Oh and here's a picture of one on his foot. He insisted I take it so I'll post it too.

Next project up is the Japanese Feather Socks for me with my Kool-aid dyed yarn. I wrapped it up into a giganto yarn cake last night during Star Wars III. Kurt timed me and said it took an hour and 15 minutes. I thought it was more like 20 minutes! There's just something about winding yarn that's so relaxing, I guess. I know I'm in the minority with my manual-winding but there's just something so satisfying about winding it all up and then pulling that yarn from the middle at first. You know, the whole accomplishment of making something that works. Anyway, here it is with my 7" double-points on top for scale.

Pretty shiny and new in here...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

So I updated to the new blogger today. So far, so good but my font looks really funky in here so we'll see what it looks like on the page.

Today is going to be my short "love of wool" post. You know, every knit blogger has at least one post where they marvel at the awesome qualities of wool: this is mine.

Kurt and I recently went "camping" with Cub Scouts (don't worry we had nice cozy cabins) and we spent an entire afternoon outdoors the first day we got there. We're talking 3+ hours here when the actual temp. was probably right around 0 degrees and the wind chill at the top of the sledding hill late in the afternoon was definitely below the donut. I had bought us both new snowpants and we both had nice thick wool socks and boots but it's those not-completely-covered areas you worry about: the cheeks, the hands because they're getting snow all over them which melts with your hand warmth and ugh, I was expecting to be freezing my ass off. Not so. My wool socks and boots kept my feet toasty and my down coat kept my body cozy and, surprising the hell out of even wool-lover me, my hands were warm even when the gloves were soaking wet. Wool is so awesome! A couple times I had to unflip my mitten flap to buckle a ski-boot or something for one of the boys and the flap would freeze solid in a couple of minutes but once I popped it back up and my hand warmed the wool it would feel completely cozy again. Whoa. To be a sheep. They must never get cold!

So that's my wool-loving story. It's my attempt to get back into this knit-blogging thing. I have been knitting, of course, just haven't had (made) the time to blog about it.

  • I finished the first of Kurt's socks that I'm knitting with his own hand-dyed with Kool-aid yarn and am up to the heel on the second.
  • I knit almost that whole green sweater in DK weight yarn but I'm going to rip it out. The more I knit it, the more perturbed I am that it IS DK and that I couldn't get gauge for the Gatsby Girl with it. I'll figure something else out. (But the design I made up for the sweater as I went along will probably come back in a worsted incarnation.)
  • This weekend I swatched for (aren't you proud, Jenna?) and started Twinkletoes from Knitty. Only in a different gauge, yarn, and color. Hah. Just watch me not follow patterns lately.
Hopefully I'll have (make) some time to post pictures of these projects this weekend. Who knows though, my second round of tests is coming up for this semester. Oy.

School Daze

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Well, classes have begun again and I'm sure you can tell by the lack of posts. Maybe not actually, I didn't post so much during the break either!

In any case, I'm still knitting but I've been sick all weekend and it's been detrimental to any knitting progress. Normally when I have a cold and want to lay around all day I love to sit and knit but every single time I tried this weekend I ended up ripping out what I'd done. Either I'd change my mind about something or I'd make a mistake or count wrong. It was terrible! So I put the green sweater away and read Memoirs of a Geisha from start to finish. It was pretty good.

Something else about the green sweater though. Remember how I said I was surprised at how soft the Wool of the Andes was now? What you'll notice if you follow the link is that I ordered Merino Style, not Wool of the Andes. Doh. While it makes me feel dumb on one hand, it makes me feel smart on the other: at least I ordered the right yarn for the Gatsby Girl Pullover I had intended on making. And now it makes sense that my green sweater is smaller than I thought it would be because I'm knitting with DK weight and not the WoTA that I knit the first striped one in. It's all coming together. I do think the sweater is going to fit fine after blocking though. The only problem is that I still don't understand why I couldn't get gauge for the Gatsy Girl (which is why I decided on a different sweater). I tried three different needle sizes and got no where near gauge. Strange, strange.

So that's life around here. I started a pair of socks for Kurt to keep in my backpack but so far I've only gotten about two inches down the cuff. I'm sure that will change when (if) I start taking the bus to school. As it is, I drive and so I get there just in time for class with no knitting time left.

Hopefully I'll have some pictures soon. Life is full this week as I'm still sick (stupid cold), have lots of homework, and am trying to clean and finish lots of little projects in my house for my upcoming (on Saturday) housewarming party.

Have a great week!

A week late and a dollar short

Monday, January 08, 2007

Or, my obligatory end of year knitting post...

Here is the list of things I wanted to knit last year:

Cabled Scarf, fingerless gloves, and hat set for me (in progress)
Fingerless gloves for Kurt
Socks for me (many, many socks for me. teehee)
Socks for Kurt
Mon Petit Chou
Lacy Socks for me
Solid colored raglan top-down sweater

And here is what I actually knit:

Striped knee-highs
Neck warmer (stretched out, unwearable neck warmer)
Essential Stripe Sweater (Olympics knitting)
Elegant Cabled Scarf
Fingerless Mittens (Kurt's)
Cable and Rib Socks
Orange Ribbed Socks
Baudelaire Socks (mine)
Mon Petit Chou (started it)
Orange Hedera Socks (Sister's)
Baudelaire Socks (Mom's)
Elegant Cabled Fingerless Mittens
Classy Slip-Up Socks (Sister's. Finished right after the New Year.)
Homegrown Ribbed Socks (Grandma's. Not finished.)

Not too shabby. I still need a cabled hat for my winter set but I really didn't do too bad. Here is what I'm planning for 2007:

Finish Grandma's socks
Solid top-down raglan (started this weekend)
Felted mary jane slippers
Cabled ear-flap hat
Gatsby Girl pullover from Interweave Knits Fall 2006
Finish Mon Petit Chou
Socks for me
Socks for Kurt
Socks for Emily (another sister)
Socks for Grandma for Christmas 2007
Finish cotton lace top that I'll never wear

Wow, I hadn't intended for the list to be that long but I guess I have more projects listed in my head than I thought.

So there ya go. My year in knitting and year ahead. I'll post pictures of the top down raglan beginnings later this week. I'm using the Essential Stripe pattern from Knit and Tonic that I used for my Olympic sweater last year but with Wool of the Andes in Moss. Gotta run or I'll be late for work!