Tuesday, October 31, 2006

When I'm 64...

I hope someone knits me flowers! (Actually, I guess I hope someone knits me anything!) I knitted this one up from the felted flower wreath pattern in the new issue of Knit Simple, (Nicky Epstein) and I finished it just in time to give to my mom, who is arriving at our home tomorrow for some birthday celebrating. She is, yes, 64! My original intention for this flower was to make it into a pin she could wear; she is very into flowers and told me she saw some on a recent trip to Italy (who knew) that she liked. Alas, I didn't read the pattern too carefully, and this is about 6 inches across--probably too big for a pin! But I am going to make it into a sort of "tussy mussy" (something else she loves) and can give it to her that way. And one more thing: I have found a new use for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer-- yes, the appliance you mix cake batter with. It actually works incredibly well for felting small objects like this--just put the little knitted pieces in with boiling water and a bit of soap, and turn it on pretty low. These felted in about 10 minutes (paton's wool) . Hope ya'll had a great Halloween--it was a bit wacky around here!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Everything old.....

.....Is new again! Cast On is back, with a new series. I haven't even listened to the first episode of the new series yet, but I am very excited. If you have listened to Brenda Dayne's podcast yet, go to her website and check it out. She is eloquent, her voice is wonderful, and she talks about knitting, life and all sorts of deep things in a very helpful and informed way. She got my started on my podcast listening obsession. Pictured at left is the yarn that arrived today to be knit (I say "to be knit" as if it will magically happen, ha ha) into a clapotis, which I hope to give to my mom, who is dear enough and appreciative enough of handknits to make it more than worthwhile. This yarn is so beautiful in person, silk and merino, called Max, in a colorway called "Joseph's Coat," for reasons that are probably apparent. It's from Lisa Souza, as you can probably tell from the photo! And I have to tell you what I "heard in the hall" this morning. I was taking a very uncustomary rest in my bedroom reading a knitting magaizine with the lights down low. My husband and younger daughter were out in the family room with the dogs. All was fine, until I heard my daughter yelling, "Honey, Honey, no!" at the dog. I could hear my husband speak up, "Don't get too excited sweetie, what is Honey doing?" "She has mommy's knitting," daughter shouted, and I heard my husband jump up and wrangle the knitting away from the dog. "Phew," he said, "Good thing Mommy's not in here!" So good that my family knows what's important, hee hee! Talk to you soon! Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 27, 2006

Three from the road

At last, some pictures of some of my knitting lately. The first is a bag I knit and then constructed out of the fantastic handspun from Hello yarn. It is slubby and nubby and soft soft soft, and I just had no idea what to do with it! So I started out with the Chunky Funky pattern from MagKnits that I had used for some red plied handpsun before. It has a really cool twisted cable that runs the length of the bag and gives it very cool texture. But then I decided to modify the pattern and wrap it around a dollar store mini tote (made of, well, plastic.) This meant I had to line it, which I did, not very artfully, but effectively enough, with fleece (there was a 50% off sale on fleece this past weekend at the fabric store, and my gosh, does that bring out droves of people!). It's very funky and not incredibly practical, but I like it a whole lot, and it makes me feel good to use it.
The second is another bag, the famous Booga Bag, which I knitted with Paton's Soy Wool Stripes, in Natural Navy which stripes beautifully when used single stranded and FELTS LIKE CRAZY (and I mean that-even with my front loaded, this was shrunk in half in about 15 minutes). I had used this yarn in their geranium color for another bag, and I really like it. This one was a fun and oh so easy knit; it was great to have those endless rounds of stockinette while try to pay attention to other things. I have to admit though, that knitting 7 feet of icord almost sent me over the edge!
And the third picture is a headband I knitted from the Nakiska pattern from Knitty. The yarn is this super soft angora blend called Fat Bunny that I got from Lisa Souza. It knit up beautifully, and I love all the cables. I had thought it might be a gift, but I think I may just keep it for me; I love hats but have a real problem with hat hair! Headbands are much more forgiving! And I still have socks in progress, fear not. I have not had the courage yet to frog my Jaywalkers; I like them so much. But of course liking them is the reason to make them so they will actually fit me!I got word that my clapotis yarn shipped, I can't wait!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Stayin' Alive

I'm still here! Well, actually, I'm back. I actually spent last week at a conference at which there was no internet access (!!!!!!). I could check my email (somehwat laboriously) on my cell phone, but that was it! Boy, did I miss reading blogs and message boards and blogging! The good news, though is that I had knitting time! I had worried about "knitting in public" at this conference, but when it started, I noticed two other women pull out knitting (a clapotis and a scarf) and one another take out some quilting (!) I was so excited! And what was really cool was that the incredible woman who led the conference managed to work our quilting/knitting into her remarks on the last day in a wonderfully artful way. Yeah! So I will have some pictures to post: of a bag I knit out of some gorgeous Maisy Day Handspun I got from Hello Yarn, and an almost finsihed Jaywalker that I think I am going to have to frog (they are not going to fit me, and I think the colors are too wild for anyone else I know), as well as a Booga Bag I made (which I hope to felt tomorrow) and a lacey scarf I am still struggling with from some ridiculously expensive (but gorgeous) hand dyed mohair silk that I got at a LYS in the area. And I finally finished the toe of my hip hop socks (I had actually lost the little sock bag that I was carrying the WIP in; talk about panic, but yes, it was found!). I was so inspired by watching the clapotis evolve through the week that I came and promptly ordered some beautiful hand dyed silk merino from Lisa Souza to (finally) make my own! I fear I am rambling somewhat incoherently(as well as using too many exclamation points), but am so glad to be back on line and blogging, and will get to all you and your wonderful comments from my last posts soon. K1P2!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Double Cast Ons

Better late than never. Pictured at left are my Jaywalkers, which I started the other day, in the Lime & Violet Lisa Souza yarn. I will, I think, let these socks do double duty for the Lime & Violet KAL and Soctoberfest! Now that I'm finally knitting this pattern, I understand why it's been so popular: it's a great, cool and easy knit. And I am surprised but pleased with how the yarn is working with the pattern, too. At the far left are the real start of my Socktoberfest socks, the very beginings, (cast on this morning) of the "Heelless Sleeping Sock" from Knitting Vintage Socks. I am wondering about the sizing of the socks--there are very few stitches for fingering weight socks, but the pattern recommends 2.75mm needles and claims they are very stretchy and don't wear out (despite the looser gauge) because they have no heel. We shall see!The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Potluck from my stash, and it's gorgeous! I can't believe I waited this long to knit it up. I'm so excited about all these "sockportunities"! (Yes, it is probably time for me to go get some sleep (I am getting a but punchy) or at least go back to my knitting!

Friday, October 06, 2006

It's Socktoberfest!

My very first pair (some moons ago...)!
Yes, I am a little behind on this, though I always have some socks going! I'm so excited, because I love to have a good reason to do what I do all the time anyway, in this case, knit socks. I'm excited about Socktoberfest, and grateful to Lolly, one of those super-functioning, amazingly organized and generous people that we are so lucky to have in the knitting world, for organizing it all. I can't wait to see what everyone is doing! I cast on for a pair of Jaywalkers today (yes, I am the last person in the world who hasn't made them yet!). I was really inspired by Knit Mongrel, who made me think the simplicity of the pattern was just the lack of dizzying effort I needed right now! So now, I need to answer the Socktoberfest questions. Here goes!
When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class? I started knitting socks about a year ago. I was inspired by an episode of Knitty Gritty, on which Karen Baumer made it all look logical and wonderful. I learned from online tutorials, slowly! If I had taken a class, I no doubt would have made fewer mistakes along the way (and since) but that really has been part of the fun (and the learning).
What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?
My first pair turned out really niceley--the stitches looked good, the heel turn was lovely (if I do say so myself) and the kitchener on the toe quite respectable! There was just one problem--they were, as my daughter would say, "gynormous!!!" But I did two of them anyway. If they hadn't been pink, (well, they were coordinated pink & grey actually, because I was running out of the pink yarn; clearly I have always had this difficulty) I would have given them to my brother in law. But since they were, I kept them, and since they've not really been worn, they've held up just great!
What would you have done differently?
Nothing, really, except, well, probably swatching better! Or perhaps not ignoring the little voice in my head that said, "Wow, this sock is sure looking big!"
What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
I like all sorts of yarns--I have knit with a lot of Lorna's and Regia, and lots of Knitpicks. Recently, I have developed a real bias for "homemade" yarns, buying from places like Hello Yarn and Lisa Souza.
Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
I knit my socks, and use all three methods. I learned first on DPN's, and they are still my first love. But I usually have a pair going on DPN's and a pair going on one of the other methods as well. Variety is important to my knitting (or at least my attention span!)
Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
I mostly do flap heels, they seem to fit me best. I've also done a fair number of band heels, a few strong heels, and exactly two short row heels (they are hardest for me).
How many pairs have you made?
I've not kept a real count, but probably about 15 pairs. I wish I had kept a log from the beginning (meaning preblog), because relying on my memory is always dicey. But I never stop knitting socks!
So, I am editing this post to include a photo of these first socks, please, no laughing!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

In our ends are our beginnings

A few finshed objects: the Baby Kimono from Mason Dixon Knitting, done in Lion Cotton, pure white. It is, I hope, destined for a "real" baby, but in the meantime, my daughter has appropriated it for her doll (at least it fits the doll perfectly!). This is a fun pattern, very easy, all in one cool piece knitting; I love that kind of thing. Makes me want to try the Baby Surprise Jacket I have been reading about here , and also here. Also pictured are the cable purse, finally sewn up--I love it (even if I don't love sewing things together at all); the felted clutch, with the ornamental buttons finally actually sewn on (why is it that the last minutes details so often elude me?), and the scarf that wanted to be a purse in Tagliatelli--it's the pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts that I have made at least 10 times with different yarns. I always love how it comes out. I made this one last night (yes, it was a bit of a late night, what with all that sewing up of other projects), and is supposed to go in the mail tomorrow with some soaps for my mom's birthday! Now, it is time to figure out what my next socks will be for Socktoberfest....and what I will knit for the Lime & Violet Knitalong (my beautiful yarn arrived today). Sometimes I think (though only sometimes) that I am too much of a joiner! More soon!
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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Can't buy me love?

I am so in love. I bought this incredible, beautiful, touchable handspun yarn (called "uppity", how appropriate) from Hello Yarn. I wanted to just keep the beautiful ball it came wound up in on my desk and pet it all day when I needed to release stress, but decided, probably for the best, to knit it up. I was so afraid to do anything that would detract from it, but found this cool purse pattern in MagKnits, which was specifically written for handspun. It's hard to tell from the picture, but the pattern has a beautiful intertwining cable pattern down the middle. It's blocking now; I can't wait to sew it up and use it. I think I will sew a lining into it, just to protect the gorgeous yarn from whatever I might put in the purse. And I have to give a big shout out to Adrian at Hello Yarn, who not only has beautiful yarn and lots of free patterns on her site, but also gracious and wonderful customer service--the yarn came quickly and was lovingly wrapped in tissue. I can't wait to order more, actually, I ordered some more today. It makes me want to spin, it makes me want to bury myself in handspun! I will post a finished pic once it's sewn up, as well as a pic of the baby kimono, which is also blocking, but less photogenic at this point (and I ran out of yarn on that one, too, and had to steal from a dishcloth in progress to finish (just to increase my chances of elevation to duchess-hood!) Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Of felting and other monsters

I finally finished the Noro bag. Yes, I went and bought a whole additional skein to do four rows, but glad I did it, because I got to the end of the bag, cast off, and noticed that the handles were off center!!! I don't know how it happened, I don't know how I didn't notice it before, I don't know why I didn't check it before I bound off! So, I tried to unwind it, but it, well,.....it tangled (what is it with me and tangles lately!). You can see the resulting Noro monster in the photo below. My daughter enjoyed it (tangled noro makes quite a monster whig!). But I did finish, and then I felted and felted and felted some more, until I finally got the pretty cool looking bag being modeled by both daughters. It took 3 days to dry, but I like how it came out! Then, I happened to be listening to Lime & Violet, and heard a tip about using dish soap and putting a pair of flip flops in the washer with a front loader to help the agitation.
So I knitted up this really pretty new craftstore yarn: Patons Soy Wool Stripes, and the clutch pattern from One Skein. It felted really well and really fast (well, it was fast except for the extra trip I had to make to the craft store to get, yes, you guessed it, another skein of the yarn to finish the bag). The pattern calls for buttons to be sewn on; I'm still deciding about that. I have some cool things on the needles, including the toe of my formerly tangled sock (almost done!), a Baby Kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting (no, I am not having a baby....) and a scarf for a friend out of the prettiest wool ribbon yarn I found on that last LYS trip. It's called Tagliatelli, and it is gorgeous! But my hands are itching to start more socks. More socks. More socks!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Oh the agony....

I ran out of yarn. I am an inch or two from finishing the bag and I ran out of yarn (if I keep repeating that over and over I think perhaps I will believe it). Now you may be asking, how did you not notice you were getting near the end? I can only answer this by saying that I am great at denial--I kept looking at the rapidly diminishing second ball of noro and thinking, "I'm sure I only used two balls or noro last time I knitted this pattern, surely I am going to make it." Well, surely, I am not going to. So I am not felting tonight, (nor am I sleeping of course...) I am trying to figure out how I can sneak out of a lunch time meeting tomorrow to run to the LYS that I don't particularly like (but it's within sneaking distance of my office) and get one more ball of noro. Oh boy. On another note that certainly deserves to be its very own post, I spent four hours in the car today and listened to 4 side-splitting hours of the Lime & Violet podcast. Do give it a listen; but not necessarily while driving, lest you be pulled over by a kindly police officer who just doesn't understand that you're fully capable of driving even though you can't stop laughing! And oh yes, Lime & Violet talked me into a knit-a- long, too. I'm so impressionable! But I am still out of yarn...sniff.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The unwind...

Thanks to all for the helpful comments on how to wind my newest ball of hip hop to avoid another tangled disaster--it worked, yeah!!! I am happily knitting away on sock number two and am on the heel flap (in the end, it's the small things that matter, right--where did I find such thrills in my life before I took up obsessive knitting?) In the meantime, my bag that will be felted is progressing--amazing how used I am to very tiny needles--this bag is just flying by! I should finish it in carpool line, and then it's on to felting, which is not my gift, nor my washer's gift (I have a front loader and it's hard to get that agitation). But this is a big weekend, so I am determined to get it done (hope I'm not up all ALL night tomorrow opening and closing my washer) :) If anyone has any insight on felting in a front loader, feel free to share (yes, I do need some sleep)!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Good, and Plenty done....

Here are the finished "Good and Plenty" socks (I know you've been waiting with bated breath after that last post!). I just had to get a box of Good & Plenty for the photo after Twig's suggestion (though I do admit to a definite fondness for this candy, well, pretty much any candy on some days). And thanks again to Yarnbeans for the contest that got me this cool yarn in the first place! These were a lot of fun to knit; Broadripple is one of the best combinations of looks complicated and easy to memorize I know. The "extra skein" of hip hop arrived last week from the very friendly "Yarn and Thread by Lisa". Now I am ready to go back to work on the tangled web socks in progress. But here's the riddle: since I had so much trouble when I pulled from the center of that skein, if I pull from the outside and wind it back into a center pull ball, can I knit from the outside and have the pattern repeats in the right order???? This is too much logic for me at this point (I am babysitting three of my sister's children right now, so I am blaming that for my inability to figure this out.) Any input very much appreciated! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Homeward bound

Okay, I have no pictures yet, but I just had to post this. While at my very crowded conference, I wound up seated (well squeezed) on a back bench in the meeting room. The man next to me was an old friend, so I decided I could take out my sock and start knitting. I was happily knitting away (and of course paying attention to the speaker), when I noticed my benchmate squiriming a little. Finally, he leaned over and whispered in my ear "Is that a knitting needle brushing my leg, or are you just glad to see me?" Lesson: socks in very tight quarters are best knitted on dpns, which makes for no needles hanging down to "caress" the leg of the man sitting next to you. Good thing he was an old buddy! Hee Hee! Enough said! Good and Plenty sock pictures tomorrow!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

On the road again....

Have I mentioned before that I really dislike business travel....but off I go, for just a few days, into the wild, blue yonder (wild and blue enough, anyway, that I will probably NOT be able to blog, boo hoo). The crucible for me is whether or not I will be able to knit with all the men at this conference ogling me (well, ogling my hands if they [my hands that is] do anything but look like they are diligently taking notes!). We'll see, wish me luck. I hope to bring back a pair of finished "Good and Plenty" socks--(a big thanks to Twig for the name suggestion). Ciao.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Oh what a tangled web....

It is someting about me and ball winders.....and in this case, something about the stickiness of this Kroy Sock, which once tangled will never, I mean, never, ever, let go. This is the mate for the lonesome sock of my recent post--and it will be awhile before it is warming a foot. I wound up with such a tangled mess with this I had to cut the yarn to try to work it out, and I fear it is hopeless. I managed to find a matching yarn and dyelot on ebay and have ordered another ball, because when I finished the first sock, I had about 25 inches of yarn left--so there's no way I will get all the way to the toe on this one once I get this tangled mess cut out. Sheesh. I know, I must wind too fast. I try, I really do, try, to slow down and to keep it loose, and yes, I use a swift, but boy, what a mess. But on a sunnier note, I did finish, largely without incident, one of my Broadripple socks. The yarn is very soft and nice, and the colors knit up beautifully in the broadripple pattern. I have the second one cast on, and since this is both sport weight yarn and for a small footed friend, it should go quickly. I love this pattern. It looks so cool, and it really is simple enough to memorize (if I can memorize it, anybody can! I travel this week for a few days for work (car trip, alas), and should be able to get some knitting in. Now I just have to plan what to pack!
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Monday, September 04, 2006

Dog days

Happy Labor Day weekend, all. It has been a busy one around our house. I started another pirate sock and had to frog it, knit away on my self-striping thuja, and started a pair based on the Broadripple pattern from Knitty with the cool pink and black yarn I won from Yarnbeans. I have no pictures, because, basically, well, I've been busy taking pictures of our new dog. Yes, we already have a dog, no we had not actually planned on another one, but had been thinking about it, and when we went to Pet Smart on Sunday for supplies, their weekly "Rescue Fair" was there. The rest is history, but we are happy, and so is Honey, our new dog (the little one in this picture) and Laika, our "old" dog (too shy for this picture) and especially our younger daughter, who is thrilled, of course. Our cat, well, we're working on that one! All is mostly well so far, and blessedly, Honey the new dog is as uninterested in messing with my yarn as Laika the old dog! Pictures of knitting soon, promise!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The real cost of second sock syndrome....

"Help, my foot is cold, help Daddy's toes are cold (please graft me)!"... Here is my one and only "Pirate Sock" (aka Skull Sock of Fury). Amazing how long it took me to do that cuff. Amazing how difficult it is to get the cuff over my, my older daughter's, my younger daughter's (yes, anyone's) heel. One of these days, I am going to find, and make myself take, a class on two color knitting. Clearly, I need some help with it. But as you can see from the pirate close up below, they are kind of cute (I think). After that experience, what else could I do but cast on for a super easy Thuja (I think I should start paying the guy who designed them, aka Bobby Ziegler, royalties, I knit the pattern so much) variation, at a nice tight gauge on nice small needles, with nice self-patterning yarn, for my hubby's brother's very easy to fit feet (yes, they will be a Christmas present, or maybe a birthday present, and yes, I have actually made progress on the second one of that pair). The second pirate will have to wait for the weekend, when I should have some more concentrated knitting time (or at least the chance to concentrate!) And on another note (sompletely), I won (me, I actually won something) some very nifty "Spunky Eclectic" yarn in a pink and gray colorway from the very friendly blogger at Yarnbeans. Yippee (really!). But I better do the other pirate before I start that project! But it wouldn't hurt, would it, to look for patterns! And on one more note--the camera was in my car. Someday, maybe, I will tell the story of the bottomless pit that is my car! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

They might be pirates....

Then again, well, they might be frogs, or frogged, that is. It's been awhile since I posted--mainly because my digital camera has vanished (not stolen or anything, just placed by some well-intentioned soul in my household into someplace that made sense at the time, no doubt, but of course, which cannot now be remembered! Any day now, I will open up a bag or box or drawer, and there that camera will be, looking for all the world like it belongs there! But in the meantime, I have finished the cuff of one of the pirate socks, actually called "Skull Socks of Fury" in black for the main color with a very fuschia pirate (can't you just picture it....). I'm concerned though about the sizing. But I must admit that I am so woefuly slow at chart and color knitting that I don't think I will have the heart to rip the one out (of course, when I finish the next might be a while). I'm also working on another pair of what will probably be Christmas (what IS going on here!) gift socks, in some self-striping/jacquard kroy sock for my brother in law, who is wonderful to be so impressed by such things. Now, to go in search of the camera once more...if only I call it the way I do my cell phone!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

All the children of the world...

Have you heard about this Save the Children "Caps to the Capitol" knitted caps project? It was apparently in a feature on Good Morning America, but I actually read about it on a knitting blog (though of course I can't find the page I thought I bookmarked about it....) The idea apprently came about after " Save the Children’s State of the World’s Mothers 2006 report highlighted simple, low-cost practices that could save newborn lives — like warming their heads with a knit or crochet cap — Save the Children received numerous calls and e-mails from Americans around the country wanting to organize their friends and family to knit and crochet caps for newborns in developing countries." They have patterns posted that they want you to follow, since they're sized for the heads of children in developing countries. The idea is about advocacy as well as hats--we are to send completed hats to Save the Children to deliver to the White House in January as a witness that people in America care enough about babies in the developing world to spend the time making caps for them. (Apparently, a warmed head is very important for survival!). There are lots of details in their action kit at the link here, do take a look. Since I do everything in three's, I've made the three pictured here, all with leftovers, (and you can see I still need to finish the striped one!). It takes almost no time, is very easy, and will mean a lot to lots of people. How cool (or warm), is all I can say! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A spring in my (well, someone's) step!

It may be end of summer here, but I am very happily finished with these springy socks--made with the previously mentioned "Wonky Lace" pattern (all my lace is wonky, actually, but that's another story!). I made these so they would fit one of my younger sisters who is allergic to wool (yes, she really is, I have tested it several times, thinking she was imagining it.....). But since the Fixation is so stretchy, they actually fit me pretty well...(yes, I am the big foot of my family, luckily, I am also the knitter of my family). So we'll see. It would be just too surprising and weird to have two potential (notice I said potential, I hardly ever manage to hold onto gifts that long) done in August! I want to give a big thank to Trek for this pattern, and the many free patterns she has on her site. They are very clearly written and all quite adorable! My next sock project is going to be a pair of Pirate Socks, which I found on the Hello Yarn site....after I finish these little Save the Children Hats--more on those tomorrow! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 13, 2006

There's no place like home....

We're home, we're home, we're home! And many loads of laundry later and bags mostly unpacked, I am back to my computer and blogging! I wound up having the s l o w e s t of dialup connections on vacation, so I got online just a few times to check email, but didn't have the patience for much else (I am so spoiled with my high speed connection at home!). But we had a great vacation--a very long one for us, and very laid back, restful, and casual. And yes, I managed to get to a yarn store: look at all this pretty yarn (I have to admit I have no plans for the Kid Merino, I just couldn't resist the color!) The beautiful Himalayas wool (from the Queensland Collection), which I had never seen before, is for a felted tote for my mom, who is quite a bag lady, for Christmas. The Sirdar Spree will be a hat, probably for next summer at this rate, and the Dune, probably a scarf--it was buy one get one free, what could I say?

And yes, I did some knitting, too: these are my socks in progress I brought with me, which are destined for my middle sister's petite feet. It was great to finish them, they were knit at such a small gauge! I had one real learning experience with these--I somehow (don't ask me how) knit a pearl row during the gusset decreases. And I somehow didn't notice it until I was a few rows along (yes, I am a bit concentration challenged at times). I thought I would have to for back whole rounds, but thanks to my handy dandy Knitting Answer Book, I was able to drop each stitch back as I came to it, and pull it back through in pattern with a crochet hook. Admittedly, this might have taken as much time as it would have to frog and reknit, but I didn't risk losing any stitches, and I learned a new trick that I've been needing to know! The other socks, which I didn't quite finish, but am now to the toe on, are Trek's Wonky Lace Socks. This is a great pattern, easy enough for a normal person to follow no doubt, but for the concentration-challenged like myself, writing out each pattern row line by line on an index card helped tremendously. The only trouble I've had with these socks is the "stickiness" of the Cascade Fixation on these Bryspun needles I'm using. I've had a lot of trouble with the K2togs, etc., too, because I can't get the points through. But they're what I started with, so I'll persevere. My new discipline with socks during vacation was to count rows even when I didn't have too, instead of trying to rely on eye-balling or even measuring. So on this pair, the cuffs are 56 rows to the heel, and the feet are 65 rows from the start of the gusset to the start of the toe decreases, etc. I am hopeful that this will get me socks the same size!My only other knitting was a drop stitch scarf, which I made with some "Lang Lotus" (which I think is discontinued) that I had from somewhere. It's a wool, nylon blend, but has a very unique texture--almost papery. It's apparently a very hip fall color, or so I was told by someone who saw me knitting it at the hair salon--so I'm all set.
Now,here are a few of the obligatory vacation shots:
A view of the ocean at sunrise from our balcony (the early bird gets more knitting time!)

A walk through the nature preserve, (hand in hand, aren't they cute!)

And swimming at low tide (no waves, so happy mom, but not-so-happy kids on boogie boards, wanting to catch a wave!).

I would spend all my time at the ocean if I could. Even if the beach is crowded, you can look out in to the ocean and see so far and see no one....

Thursday, July 27, 2006

And we're off!

Almost! At least the knitting is ready, and there are many, many bins of things lined up in the hall (this is the problem with travelling by car--not enough incentive to pack light!). As knitting goes, I settled on bringing some Noro for a felted bag my teenager wants (not that I'll be able to felt at the beach!), needles and back up yarn (in case I can't get to that wonderful yarn store in time) for the Wonky Lace Socks, some remnants for the kids to knit with, some more leftovers and crochet hooks for me to practice, practice, practice my crochet flowers (they need it!), some nubby yarn and big needles for a possible scarf project (you never know!) my socks in progress (one DONE, one just begun) and a copy of Knit Simple, some patterns, and some back up needles, just in case! And, I of course reserve the right to totally divert from all plans once I hit the yarn store! I only wish I didn't have to drive--kills so much knitting time! But we have two weeks in the sun, two car loads of kids and gear....and an overflowing knitting bag.... what could be better?! I hope to be able to blog while I'm gone, but may have to hunt for a connection. If you want, subscribe to my blog with bloglines (see the button at right), and you can be notified with updates. Safe travels, and happy knitting, all!
One addition already: look at this cool link about knitting white squares to contribute to an art project at Sky Between Branches.Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

To knit, perchance to swim....

I am getting ready to get ready for vacation--I am thinking about knitting projects to take with me! I have my current socks n progress (one down, one to go), I have a crazy urge to knit another hat or two (maybe child size this time so my girls can wear them) and I came across this great pattern from Trek for "Wonky Lace Socks". I like the name, and the pattern looks like so much fun, and it uses Cascade Fixation, which is a great thing to knit at the beach. And I have some Fixation in my stash, but I don't love the color, so this will give me a great excuse (like I need one) to visit this really cool yarn and used book store we found on the island last summer. I can't wait! Now I guess I have to start thinking about packing other things, like clothes, and sunblock and all that--but there's time!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Two, two, two wee sockies...

Okay, here's the thing. I have exactly one person in my life who are expecting babies. Now I'd like to say they're best friends, and that they'd love nothing more than to be showered (get it?) with lots of hand knit gifts....But honestly, she's a person I'm friendly enough with, but you know, not best. So since I've already given her those wee hats, I fear I might be seen as sort of stalking her if I show up with these baby socks too, but I'm just amazed at how much fun it is to knit these little things (and, okay, quick too; a gauge of 10st/inch goes a lot faster when you only have 40 stitches on the needle and the feet are just 4" long)! I think I will chance sending these along to my friend, just because they're done and all....maybe with a card that promises I am not a knitting stalker! (And by the way, this is the now discontinued [of course, I like it] Knitpicks Dancing, on u.s.0/2.0mm magic loop, and is an adaptation of a couple different patterns I've seen, with a repeating but traveling purl stitch). Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 21, 2006

Another day, another sock begun

No, I have not finished my red socks of the previous post. I am almost through the foot of the first.....but I have started another sock--a different sock of course--and this one is a baby sock. I just couldn't resist! I'm just started -- another 2.0 mm/us 0 experience, but with only 40 stitches cast on this time, in the last of my Knitpicks Dancing....since I want them to be teeny tiny. They will be cute. The somewhat troubling thing is what this kind of fickleness with my sock projects says about me--but I guess I will get back to my knitting, and think about that tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Socks, socks, must knit socks.....

My little hat making break made me a little crazy I think, even after my last sock debacle! I cast on for these day before yesterday, and I think I'm knitting too hard (or too excitedly, if you can do that) because I'm bending my needles! Oh, but it's fun to see those tiny stitches again--they always look so neat and tidy (something in my life should be neat and tidy, right). This wool is Regia, a really pretty kind of mottled red (one of my very favorite colors) that I got on sale somewhere (ah, the memory fade amidst the haze of wool) I'm using size 0/2.25 mm needles, and getting about 9 stitches to the inch in the stockinette portion of the sock. This is an adapatation of the Posh Yarn "Slip up socks" pattern I used for my earlier Fingerless mitts, this time using a 72 stitch cast on to accomodate my bigger feet and the gauge I'm knitting at. The cool thing about this pattern is it is so easy and it looks so much like cables--love it. Now, to knit some more, and, perchance, to sleep (at some point!) Amended: found the ballband (whew!) The yarn is "Regia 4 Fach Haltbar/4 fadig Color" The color number is 5571.Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 14, 2006

And baby needs three?

Here are the promised baby hats, made from the pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts, with the yarn the pattern actually called for(imagine that), Mission Falls 1824 cotton. I think they came out really well; I have to say the yarn is a bit more rustic looking knit up than I expected, but I am hoping that will be part of the charm! The colors might be a bit wacky too, but I figure you don't see all that many babies with purple hats! The baby shower is not until tomorrow morning, so I am feeling way ahead of myself (for me)! I still need to come up with some pretty packaging; that will be tonight's project. And I started another sock this week (red ones!) , will post that picture soon! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

You CAN be too distracted...

Okay, it's been awhile, but I have finally managed to really mess up a pair of really simple socks. I think this is because I knitted these in a combination of places, and never more than a few rows at a time....at the pool, at swim meets, while watching much too engrossing movies, I'm not sure....And I was clearly not careful enough....for although the first sock made me think nothing could go wrong, when I finished the second sock, I discovered that it was, well, a completely different size....both in the length of the cuff and the length of the foot (what was I thinking, well, I was clearly not thinking!). I also discovered that this yarn, (Elann Esprit), at least in this 4/2 seed rib I decided to use, is not as forgiving or adaptable as the Cascade Fixation (cotton/elastic blend, pretty much a sport weight), I like so much! And as the Yarn Harlot warned, this is not going to come out in the blocking! . Phew. I wasn't going to post these at all, but "in the interest of full disclosure" (as we say), here they are. Luckily, my daughter doesn't seem to mind the sizing problem and has been happily scuffing around the house in them. Alas, I had planned them to be for me (yes, this yarn DOES stretch a lot, but not that much!) Now, to finish my shower gifts (all little hats, which don't have to match)!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Oh say can you crochet....

Well, as you can see, not really, or just barely (can I crochet, that is!) I was inspired to post this attempt at a small bit of crochet by reading Craftybernie, who talks about her own struggles to get past wobbly single crochet to actual shapes (Coming Up Blank: While I was feeling rotten....). Believe it or not, I have "known" the basics of crochet for years (meaning, "how to"), but I have never been able to make it look right! This is the closest I have come--a wobbly version of a crochet flower circle "pattern" I found in the winter issue of Knitscene. I know, I could have chosen an easier yarn (what can I say, it was there.....). It is clear to me this will take much more practice...and maybe a better set of crochet hooks (I always think equipment will rescue me!) . I am determined to keep trying, slowly, and soon! Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 03, 2006

Oh Baby, Baby...

Baby knitting--I haven't done a lot of it. But a friend is having a baby, and I got invited to what looks to be a very lovely shower, so I have gone through tons of patterns searching for something special to knit. Alas, I have spent so long searching patterns that I am now within two weeks of the shower date!(I won't even tell you how much this happens to me!) But after all that searching, I came up with these "Children's Cotton Hats" in Last Minute Knitted Gifts, one of my favorite (and most used) knitting books (which could have something to do with my general tendency to procrastinate....but it is a good book, really). I decided to make her three hats; one pale yellow, one very pale green, and one almost purple. (Don't know if she's having a boy or girl). I had to order the Mission Falls 1824 Cotton, so I went ahead and made up a prototype today in some Lily "Sugar n Cream" that I dug out of my always cooperative stash. The gauge of the yarn is different, but I wanted to get a feel for how the hat looked in person. I like it a lot, and think it will be very funky and hip knitted up in the Mission Falls. Now, while I wait for the yarn, I can work on some very cool packaging.......hmmm..........will have to look for some ideas on that! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A knitter in Paris

Okay, I have to admit something. This started out as a dishcloth. I'm not really a dishcloth knitter, but I found this very pretty double flower pattern by Yvonne Hussey. I had some Lion Kitchen Cotton in and old corner of my stash (yes my stash is big enough to have corners!) so I pulled it out and started knitting. It's a very cool pattern, knit in the round from the center out. The further along I got, the more I thought it would look really cool as a hat for my daughter. So I knit the whole pattern, just as written, decreased down to 80 stitches and did 10 rows of K1P1 rib. And it is a pretty cool beret (actually it looks more like what I've heard called a "snood" on my daughter; this may be destined for her older sister)! Which just goes to show, you never know what you might end up with when you just try something new!