Friday, July 27, 2007

Knitting + Baseball = Socklove

Safeco Sock

Dear Sockpal,

Last night was Stitch N Pitch at Safeco Field, and although the Mariners lost, one of your socks had a good time. The other sock stayed at home. There were a bunch of great vendors at the game, including shops that are too far away from me to be convenient--Great Yarns and Churchmouse in particular. I picked up some free hometown swag for you there, giveaway items from this year's and last year's event. Although they are slightly crappy, they are also potentially useful and knitting related. I'm not going to lie to you, Sockpal, I did buy some new yarns, including some from a shop that I can go to any time I want, except on Mondays when they are closed. Anyhow, I kept away from the garlic fries, and kept your sock as clean as possible, and prevented a socknapping by E_____, who went to the game too. This weekend, I'll get your package ready, and on Thursday I will put it in the mail. And then I may have to start a pair of Bavarian Rockstars for myself.

Your Sockpal

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Arrrrgh, here be yarn!

Click the spoiler screen for the first installment of the Yarn Pirate Booty club! The colors are pretty unusual, and I'm looking forward to casting on--I'm thinking that Charade might be a good choice, but I haven't settled on anything specific yet.
In other news, I finally finished clue A of the Mystery Stole--so far, so good! The sewing room renovation is still in progress, so it's tough for me to take photos. My "studio" (it's a table with a lamp) is in pieces in the garage, so this is the best I could do:


I wish that the photo wasn't so shadowy. I've started using lifelines, but so far haven't needed them. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Can't talk . . . Reading

The Harry Potter book arrived a little while ago, time to start reading! I've got a lot of things going on this weekend, but I think that I can get a good start.

In knitting news, I'm at row 89 of Mystery Stole 3, but since our sewing room is torn apart I don't have a place to lay it out for photos. Maybe when I get to the end of Chart B I'll rig something up!

This week I received two outstanding packages, one was the first shipment of Yarnpirate's Booty Club. The colors are not what I would normally choose myself, but I do like them a lot. I don't want to take time to put together a spoiler screen right now (I want to start reading!), so I'll hold off on the photos. The second package was from Wooly Wonka Fibers, and it contained my Bee Fields Shawl pattern and yarn in Tupelo Honey:


I love the yarn--the color is a little more saturated than I expected, which is a relief. I was worried that it would be too pastel / white, but it isn't at all. Also, it's very, very soft, even to my somewhat wool-sensitive hands. The yarn came in three skeins, one bigger than the other two. I started winding the bigger skein, but I screwed it up somehow and it's going to take a really long time to fix, so I just wound one of the smaller skeins. That way, I can get started on the shawl (but probably not this week) and deal with the other skein once I'm fully sucked in.

In sewing room renovation news, the first coat of paint is on the walls (except for a little under the not-working wall heater) and I think that we can get the second coat on this afternoon / evening. The color is called "weathered sandstone", it's a light beigey color. It really helps that there are only two walls that need paint! The plan is to have carpet put in next week, and then it's just needs organization and a massive purging of 40 years of craft crap that has accumulated. Easy, right?

Time to get cracking on the book!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Everybody Wants to be in Show Business

Show Business

Frieda gets in on the action

The Bavarian Rockstars are finished! Not quite dry, but finished! I'm very pleased with how they turned out, and I hope that my Sockpal will like them. I used d-made's Bavarian Rockstar pattern, and 1 skein of Sundara Sock Yarn. I have about 16g left from the 100g skein. I knit the foot on size US0 needles up to the heel, then switched to size US1 for the heel and leg, then switched back to size US0 for the ribbing.
I modified the pattern slightly in a couple of ways. First, I omitted the small cable pattern on the back of the leg to minimize bulk. The lower back of the leg is plain stockinette, also to minimize bulk in the shoe/boot area. Above that, I ribbed the back in the pattern called for, but without the twisted stitches. For the ribbing, I wanted to use 1x1 ribbing so that I could finish with a tubular bind off. I strategically increased and decreased in the center front panel so that the ribbing flows right out of the cable, and I'm very pleased with how it worked out.
Now for some photos:

on feet

On my feet


Proof of Washing


Drying on Blockers

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Saturday Night's All Right for Fighting

Saturday 12 15

Did I say fighting? I meant sweating--it's way more humid than usual. Plus, as you can see above, two tiny furnaces have been more or less attached to me whenever I sit down. Note to self: this is not a weather blog--stop talking about the weather.

Although it may look like I've been relaxing, I've actually spent most of today working on a home improvement project that may or may not ever be done--renovating the sewing / craft room. One of the reasons that I haven't been sewing much is that I don't like spending time in the craft room. It's crowded, it's disorganized, and every project starts with clearing other crap out of the way. The shelves were poorly installed (thanks to my eldest brother), and must be propped up from below. And the carpet, let's discuss the carpet. I estimate it's age at between 15 and 20 years old. It is an incredibly ugly color, particularly when coupled with the peach walls. It is incredibly smelly and disgusting. I dare not walk on it in bare feet, both because of the disgustingness and because sewing pins & needles work their way into the nap until they are invisible but dangerous.

My mom is on a trip to North Dakota (close to here), so I thought it would be nice to take care of the sewing room problem while she's gone. I'm not sure if I'll finish before she's back, but the worst of the work will definitely be done. Here's the progress so far, starting with a before photo taken last night, and ending with the confusion of Gretel, who has no idea what's going on:

The Evil Corner

Much better without the carpet! I was hoping that the old linoleum floor would be o.k., and could just be cleaned and covered with an area rug, but you can see that at some point the floor was painted over. Booooooo. I think that we'll put in new carpet, but a low-profile berber rather than weird ugly shag. I am likely to paint the two peach walls, although I need to see how they look tomorrow--without the rug, the color might be fine, although I'd prefer something a little more neutral and light.

Other than the kitchen (which is totally usable, and not disgusting), this is the last room in Mom's house that hasn't had a makeover since I moved in a few years ago. I'm very excited for it to be done, although we definitely need to do some space planning before cramming the same amount of stuff back in the room.

In knitting news, I'm almost done with my Sockapalooza socks, and will post photos tomorrow. Then it's Mystery Stole time!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Maybe This Will Keep Me Cool

Sundara Sock June

We had record high temperatures here in the Seattle area today--97 degrees. No, it isn't particularly humid, yes, it will cool down considerably tomorrow, but it still stinks. The dogs are hot, but not so hot that they will stop touching me. The power was out for part of the day (not a big deal), the internet is down (a bigger deal--I've got work to do tonight), so I'm at the public library to access my files & soak up some AC. It's not that cool here, and there are some people talking on a cell phone, arguing with some customer service rep about a bill or something. Very frustrating evening, not helped by the heat--nothing accomplished, no relaxing, and no baseball to watch on tv.

Anyway, some cool blue yarn is bound to help, right? This is the June installment of Sundara Yarn's Petals Collection, and I love it. It came quite awhile ago, but I didn't post right away and then I forgot I hadn't. I'm not sure if I'll knit the pattern, I've had my fill of cable socks for the time being, but I love the color. I've been a little sorry that I used my favorite ball of sock yarn for Sockapalooza, but this shade can take it's place. There's a bluer blue to this, and some purple, and the shade matches the purple hyacinth theme perfectly. I feel calmer already--or I would if the library wasn't about to close, with me racing to post this.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Mystery Stole 3: The Beginning

Clue 1 Chart A

This morning, after visits to the Dog Park, Bead Store, and a local Farmer's Market, I started the Mystery Stole. I've made it through Chart A of Clue 1, as shown above in the not-quite-straight photo--I just noticed that the beads on each side appear to be on different rows, but that's just bad pinning, not bad beading. I haven't had any problems yet, but I need to start building in some checks to make the inevitable screw up more fixable - marking the stitch intervals on the chart, for instance, or stringing a lifeline. I feel good about my progress, although when I look at blogs of people who started earlier (notably another Carrie), I realize that I'm have a lot of knitting to do before I'll be ready for next week's clue!

The beads that I selected are matte metallic green, and I like they way they look so far. I generally don't want to wear a lot of shiny stuff, and I didn't want a lot of contrast, so I think that these are a good choice. They're the same as my favorite beads from this beaded cuff--my local bead store had the same kind that I bought in Arizona in March. Here's a close up:


Friday, July 06, 2007

Another Day, Another Bandwagon

Mystery Swatch

You know what this means--I've joined Mystery Stole #3, and I've even swatched. The yarn is Alpaca With a Twist Fino, it's an alpaca silk blend. The swatch was knit on size #4 Addi Lace needles, and I like the way it looks. The stockinette looks a little loose when pinned and put under the harsh interregation light that I use for photography, but it is fine.

Here's the swatch, pre-pinning:

Mystery Shawl Swatch

The green yarn that I'm using (everything is green lately) is somewhat richer than it looks in the photo--it changes a lot with the light. Here's how the color looked outside, today at sunset:

Alpaca with a Twist Fino

Totally different colors, but both photos are accurate. Usually I don't see as much of a difference. I like the color, and am excited to pick out some beads tomorrow and get started on the clues. There are a ton of people working on this (about 6,000), so there are lots of photos already in circulation--I expect that that will be a big help!

Now back to the Bavarian Rockstars--I'd still like to finish them up this weekend!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Skirting the Issue


It's hot this week in the Pacific Northwest, at least by Seattle standards. I know, I know, we don't get super high temps, or bad humidity, or those flying cockroaches that they have in other parts of the country. But it's still hot enough to want new cotton skirts! I finished the skirt above today, it's the "Cute Skirts" pattern from Favorite Things. It's a really good pattern. There are only three pattern pieces for this version, and it only takes a couple of hours to make. I've also made the flounced version twice, and I've got plans to make at least one or two more of these for the summer. Maybe the summer of 2008?

Happy 4th of July! I live very close to about 20 reservation fireworks stands--Frieda's been hiding under the bed after dark for the last week. Frieda and I are going to escape the neighborhood for a few hours for a BBQ, but we'll try to get back before the neighborhoods goes crazy!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Together Forever and Never to Part, Together Forever We Two

Pigeon toe socks

The Bavarian Rockstar socks are all even-steven again, and back on one long needle. They look good, and the fit is better than when I used the smaller needle for the heel--my plan is to continue with the size 1's for maybe 5 more inches, then 1 x 1 ribbing and a tubular bind off. Or finish them as directed by the pattern, I have a ways to go before I have to make a decision. I'm glad that they are back on one needle, although on the rows that require a cable needle it annoys me to no end to have to set down the cable needle in between socks. There's no rhyme or reason to the annoyance, it just really bugs me. But not as much as ending up with two different length socks would, so I'll have to power through it.

And I have this much yarn left:

40 g left

I started with about 100g, so 40g should be more than enough for a decent length sock. I don't want to make them so tall that they require calf shaping (I've never done that, and I don't have the measurements), and I'm hoping to finish them up this week. I have a couple of ideas for schwag to send with the socks that take a little time to execute, so I don't want to be rushing at the very end.

Yes, that is a new scale--I got it on the same day that Stef posted about her scale in orange. I used it for making jam this weekend (24 jars in four flavors--woo-hoo!) and it was great to measure all that sugar by weight rather than scooping it out a cup a time. Plus, I've been able to weigh partial skeins of yarn, very handy when loading the stash into Ravelry.