Friday, March 30, 2007

Time to Swatch the Bohus?

Ready to Swatch (almost)

Yep, it's time to swatch. I've wound one yarncake of black, and have wound most of the pattern colors as well. The gauge is small - 34 st to 4 inches, so wish me luck!

(No, I haven't finished any of the other projects I have on the needles. I'm just a little impatient to get going on the Bohus!)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

STR Sock #1 - Inside Out

I finished sock #1 of the first installment of the 2007 Rockin' Sock Club while flying home from Boston last night. Here's the outside:


Here's the inside:


It fits really well, nice and snug. I hope that it will stay up o.k., it does seem like it will. I used size 0 Knitpicks circulars for the toe, foot, and heel, but switched to size 2 for the leg. I love the way the cables look, how they just grow out of the foot and how they are reversable.

I wanted to start sock #2 during the rest of the flight, but the man sitting in the aisle seat made it pretty clear that he didn't want me to get up to access my carry-on--taking up the whole empty seat between us, including spreading out a variety of cups and cans on the extra tray table, and making a big deal of getting up the other time. I decided that it probably wasn't worth the trouble, especially since I was very tired and the start of this sock is new to me so it requires some concentration.

I was tempted to go another 10 rows, but I don't want to run short of yarn on Sock #2 and have to break into this:


I love the tiny skein! Although I'm glad that yarn normally comes in larger sizes--it would be a pain to splice a million of these together!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bohus Bonanza!

Bohus Yarn

Waiting at the post office when I came home from Phoenix was a package from Sweden! I ordered the "Skogsmörkret, svart / Bohus Forest Darkness, black" Bohus kit from the Solsilke website a week before I left, and it arrived very quickly. The yarns are beautiful, and the pattern looks challenging but clear. I really like this colorway--there were many beautiful kits to choose from, but these are the colors that will most easily fit into my wardrobe, and I really want this sweater to be wearable! I'm glad that I took the Bohus class at Madrona, I think that it will make it much easier to follow the pattern. I'm going to wait until after I return from Boston to dive into this project, to avoid losing any of the pieces while travelling--I'm also hoping that Stephanie will post some full photos of her finished Bohus soon. Speaking of Boston, I'd better finish packing--I'm off to the airport soon!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Back on Track


After a stupidity-related hiatus (I left the pattern at home when I went to PHX), the Monsoon socks are back on track. I had a few offers for pattern help from some very kind Phoenix area knitters, but it was really too hot for me to knit much. Plus, I had a few other things to work on, so I decided to wait until I was home. Last night I finished the heel and switched to larger needles for the leg. I'm not yet to the first cable, so I'm not 100% sure that I switched to the right size needle--Knitpicks US#2--I should know in another couple of inches. I really like the way that other RSC knitters' socks have turned out, and the way that the stripes are shaping up. It does freak me out a little to see the sock growing in the leg-up direction, I haven't made toe-up socks before!

As for the new knitting I started in PHX, it has been ripped back and will probably be restarted on the Boston trip. I checked out the pattern, and I think I used smaller needles last time, so I'm planning to go down to US#0. Here's how it looks now:


I love the way the beads space out when I rip out the rows--they bunch up again in places, but are (or should be) very even. Maybe a future project would be a cuff that randomly spaces the beads like this?

Happy Birthday to Me!

Birthday Jackpot!

Today is my birthday, and since I'm right in between two whirlwind trips I spent the day trying to catch up at work. I'm spending this evening getting organized for my trip to Boston and catching up on blog posting. Above are a few great gifts that I received, I'm very excited about them (as well as the bowling dice game, which I left at work by accident). I think it's awesome that I received two books that are almost identical--one is about making tiny stuffed animals, the other about the international financial system. E-x-a-c-t-l-y alike! The dachshund keychain came from Rome, and must be kept away from the actual dachshunds, who tried to snatch it from me as soon as they saw it. Leather is very close to rawhide, after all!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The coooool greys

Although I brought along (and have photographic proof of progress made on) several knitting projects for my trip, I didn't plan quite as well as I should have. For instance, I brought two sock projects with me, but didn't bring the pattern for either one of them. The third project was the Print O' the Wave shawl, which is great for the airplane but not great for the ballpark or for evenings after a loooong day in the sun--too much concentration required. So I started a new project, with beads from Confetti-The Bead Place, and yarn (I think Rowan 4 Ply Soft) from The Needler's Nest. These are a repeat of the beaded cuffs that I made for my niece for Christmas, but there's a small problem:

Beaded Cuff

I didn't have the pattern with me, but I checked out the photo of the finished cuffs and used it as a guide for string the beads into the right groups. Unfortunately, I didn't do a good job of counting--the number of stitches before the beads are placed is different on each side. And it took me a long time to figure it out. Booooo! I'll probably rip this out and start again using the pattern, since the knitting part didn't take that much time--it's the stringing of the beads that takes a whole lot of time. These cuffs will be more subtle than the first pair, and there are six different colors of beads instead of just two. I like the cool grey with the green, blue, and black beads--they're sort of the antithesis of the other yarn I bought in AZ, as well as the hot sun that has left me all red and blotchy. One of the colors is a matte metal green bead, those are my favorite.

Baseball Involves Standing Around


At least the baseball that I photographed on our last day in Phoenix makes it look that way! Photos, clockwise from top left: Yarn purchased on the trip, Ichiro waiting for batting practice, Mike Hargrove & Bob Melvin chat (or exchange line-ups, it's hard to say), Randy Johnson stands around after a throwing session on the practice fields.

The multicolored yarn is Jitterbug, purchased at Arizona Knitting and Needlepoint. Love this yarn, and the store was great, too! Actually, the people at all three yarn stores we visited were very helpful (without hovering) and friendly--I'm sure that next year I'll visit them again. The green and blue yarn cakes are by Artyarns, I think, but I haven't unpacked the bands yet. I picked them up at the Needler's Nest in Surprise, which was so close to our hotel that I couldn't believe I didn't see it last year!

It's nice to be back in the cool Seattle weather, but it was a great trip (if a little too hot for me) and it's gotten me excited for the start of the baseball season in a few weeks. We're still in first place, right?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Roll Out the Barrel!


At the Milwaukee Brewer's games they sing "Roll Out the Barrel" after "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch. Also, they ran the sausage races (the Polish was the winner), and Felix Hernandez had to hit because it's a National League park. Awesome.

The M's won today, which made this a pretty fun game to watch, although it was clearly a spring training game with some mistakes / moves that we're unlikely to see in the regular season. We started out three rows above the dugout--our seats were a few rows back, but getting to them would have been tough so we sat in some open seats instead. After the owners of those seats came along, we basically bounced around from seat to seat in order to keep in the shade--the temperature was perfect in the shade!

Guide to photos:
Row 1, L to R: Maryvale Park scoreboard, Jeremy Reed, Yuniesky Betancourt
Row 2, L to R: Ichiro, M's warming up, Leprechaun sock checks out the park
Row 3, L to R: Sausage races, Kenji Johjima, Felix Hernadez bats

I'm not loving the Leprechaun sock, I might end up ripping it out when I get back home. I've made some mistakes (nothing critical), and I think I might rather use this yarn for a plainer pattern. The Jaywalker leg isn't super elastic, and it's kind of tight to get over my heel although then the leg fits fine. I don't want to spend a ton of time on a sock I'm never going to wear . . . although since this is most appropriate only one day a year it isn't as if it needs to be in heavy rotation!

Tomorrow's our last day in AZ, and then in a few days I leave for Boston. It will be about a 70 degree temperature swing, and I'm looking forward to it. I've avoided sunburn so far (giant ugly hat, lots of sunscreen), but have still managed to get some sort of heat rash. Stupid Norwegian skin!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Another scorcher in AZ today! Our seats were right on the field, very close to the action but in blazing hot sun all afternoon. Today's photos, from top left corner: Ichiro waiting to take bunt practice (he didn't play), Seattle's St. Patrick's Day hat (notice the shamrock), Jeremy Reed makes it to third base, and Rene Rivera and the starting pitcher make their way to the dugout.

Let's hope that it cools off a little tomorrow!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Valley of the Sun


No photos from yesterday, but here are a few from today. Clockwise from upper left: Scottsdale mission, High Temperature reading by car, Leprechaun sock at the Rangers/Padres game, our view from the lawn at the Rangers / Padres game

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sewing and Stitchery Expo


It's been a busy couple of weeks, and I haven't had much time to blog. Work has been very busy (I was there all weekend), and I'm going to Spring Training at tomorrow and then to a wedding the next weekend. Looking forward to some airplane knitting, and maybe getting in more miles for Runagogo, because it isn't looking good at the moment. I've also made no additional progress on the Messenger Bag, which I was hoping to take on my March travels. Plus, I'm on a long cranky streak--hopefully the sun, relaxation, and baseball in Phoenix will improve my bad attitude.

Anyway, the Sewing Expo was the weekend before last, and it was great. I didn't take any classes, but I spent hours and hours in the vendor market--there was a LOT to see. Most of what I picked up is above--vintage (or vintage-esque) buttons, little vintage dice beads, and some Amy Butler fabric for springtime skirts. I love the colors of the buttons, I'm planning to make some fabric yo-yos with them at some point, or I might hold onto the matching periwinkle buttons for a sweater. The stuff that people were selling was so amazing that it literally burned my eyeballs, which were incredibly red by the time I got home. O.K., it probably was an allergic reaction to new contact lens solution, not the fabulous goods, but I can't say for sure!

Who wants to . . . .

. . . finish this Bohus cuff by weaving in the ends for me??


This cuff has been on hold for awhile so that I could work on a few other projects, but I pulled it out this weekend to break up the stockinette of Wicked and foot-knitting of the RSC sock. I didn't have that many rows left, and I wanted some practice with this before my Bohus kit arrives--I ordered the "Skogsmörkret, svart / Bohus Forest Darkness, black" kit. The ends will weave themselves in overnight, won't they? I'm not totally sure that I have enough yarn for another cuff, although maybe if I carry the yarn up the rows instead of cutting ridiculously long tails I will have enough. Otherwise, I'm fine going Michael Jackson style with one cuff!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Keep on Sockin' In the Free World

That must be the absolute worst title I've used for a blog post, but I'm not going to pretend that they are going to get any better. My Rockin' Sock Kit arrived on Monday, and I'm very pleased with it! The colors are beautiful, and the pattern uses different construction methods than I've used in the past. Click below, if you're not hoping to be surprised by your own sock kit--and be warned that I discuss the pattern below the photo:

Sock Spoilah

Since this construction is new to me, I'm not sure if the toe is supposed to pull in quite so much with the ribbing. When I put it over my foot it seems o.k., does anyone know whether this weird shaping will block out, or whether I've made an obvious mistake of some sort?

The pattern itself is very cool, and my gauge seems o.k.--I'm using size 0 knitpicks needles and the Magic Loop technique. I was a little concerned that the sock patterns would be a little too fancy-pants for me, but this is great--new techniques, enough variety in the pattern to make it interesting, nothing that makes me think I should change the pattern. And the yarn is really beautiful. Let's hope I can get through these before the next batch comes in a couple of months!

Green Jaywalkers - Tiny Needle Version


I've restarted the Jaywalkers, this time on size 0 needles. I think the stripes looked less pooly on the size 1 needle version, but I think that they will be fine. I decided to go with the contrast rib--hopefully, there will still be enough for green heels and toes! These are on hold for the moment, since I needed the 0s for my Rockin' Socks.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Fresh Like an Irish Spring

I'm still waiting for my Rockin' Sock Club package, and was getting a little bored with Wicked, so I dove into some new yarn that I picked up at Renaissance Yarns on Friday:

St. Patrick's Sock Yarn

It's Duet Sock Yarn by A Swell Yarn Shop, in the Leprechaun colorway. This yarn comes as a set--self striping yarn plus a little contrasting yarn for the heel & toe. Here's a close up:


And here's how far I got on a pair of Jaywalkers before realizing that I was knitting socks for a giant instead of for myself:

St. Patrick Day's Shoes

This is the big problem with two socks at once--by the time you know that your gauge is off, there's a lot to rip out. I'm restarting on one sock, on size US 0 needles. Of course, I'm not sure why I'm knitting wool St. Patrick's Day socks, given that I'll be in AZ at Spring Training on the 17th. At least it takes the pressure off for finishing them on time!

Wicked - Continued

Wicked Good Progress

Progress on Wicked continues apace--the sleeves are on waste yarn, and I've knit maybe a couple of inches below them. I'm through almost two skeins of yarn, and from here on out it's basically stockinette until I get to the bottom ribbing. Excellent for car knitting, but a little boring. The construction is great though--it's nice to be able to try on a sweater while it's in progress!