Sunday, August 26, 2007

Where, Oh Where, Did I Go Wrong?

I finished the beehive section of the Bee Fields Shawl yesterday, and started in on the swarm this morning. The first bee on the left side of the shawl looks like this:

Good Bee

So far, so good, right? This looks pretty similar to Fairy Godknitter's swarm, one of the best photos I've seen of this section so far. Mine isn't blocked out very much, but the basics are there: center body, large wing yarn overs and smaller yarn overs.

But wait--all of the other bees look different, and not in a good way:

Bad Bee

I don't see a bee, or any other insect, in this photo. I can see a line of what would be the body that slants off to the right. Arrrgh!!! I need to rip out 7 rows, which is something like 2000 stitches. These are slow rows, too--lace pattern on both sides, instead of mostly purling on the wrong side. And I completely forgot to put in a lifeline after the Beehive section, which I had every intention of doing. Fortunately, the border between the two sections is reverse stockinette, so I can try to insert a lifeline into the first or last row of the border before I start ripping.

While I was knitting, I was a little concerned that I couldn't see the bees, but I thought that it had something to do with where I was in the pattern. Wrong!!! I'm still a little concerned that I'm doing the yarn-overs on the wrong side incorrectly, so this will give me a chance to do some research (i.e. get off my ass and find my Victorian Lace book) and make sure that I'm doing those right.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

More Sock Yarn? Seriously?

My STR club kit arrived today, this is package #4 of the six for the year. I like the colors of the yarn, I love the pattern, I have no bandwidth to start more socks right now. I've not started the last two kits, nor the two Yarn Pirate Booty Club yarns, nor the Petals Collection kit that I received earlier this summer. I'm writing this out as a reminder to back off on the sock yarn, or to start knitting faster.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Maybe the Sun Will Shine Today


The sun came out just long enough yesterday to warm up the evening, in time for Wilco's show at Marymoor Park. I enjoyed the show a lot--I was about 15 feet from the stage, so I could see really well. The crowd (sell-out, maybe 5,000?) was totally reasonable, not much pushing forward or space-invading dancing except at the very end. All of Wilco's albums were represented, but I would have loved more A.M. (though I was thrilled to hear Too Far Apart). The songs from Sky Blue Sky sounded great live, too--it all did, really. I first heard Sky Blue Sky when the band's website was streaming it as a preview, and I listened to it late at night over headphones. It's definitely a record that sounds good that way, it's a direct-to-brain kind of experience, and this doesn't always translate to the live rock show. I've been going to see Wilco as regularly as possible for over 10 years (I think I first saw them before or just as A.M. was released), and this show was as good or better than any others I've seen.

Two Toe Tuesday: Brother Socks

Stripey Socks

Really it's late Monday as I write this, but "Two Toe Tuesday" is much catchier than "Sad Sock Monday" so I'm post-dating the post! I started them this weekend, and I'm not sad about them at all.

I have three older brothers. In our family, we draw names for holiday gift giving, but the brother who is closest in age to me is always angling for a side-gift arrangement, or the rigging of the name drawing. He may try to defend himself later in the comments, but he's largely responsible for the Christmas my mother returned a large portion of our gifts because there was some detectable snooping. Depending on how these socks turn out they will likely go to him, drawing or not, and I may attempt socks for the other two brothers as well, although men-feet It's hard for me to judge the size of the socks (they seem gigantic compared to my relatively dainty size 9 feet), but the sock recipe should work out. Right? Right?

The yarn itself is lovely, it's XXL Duet Sock Yarn. I've started toe-up so that I can knit as high as possible, and if there's enough of the toe-heel yarn I'll add some of it to the top. The sock recipe is pieced together from Sensational Knitted Socks, using my brother's alleged shoe size and gauge measured from the Sailor Girl Socks which use the same type of yarn. It's a simple 2 x 2 rib on top, and stockinette on the bottom. The ribbing should be stretchy enough to cover up any sizing issues, but it won't compete with the lovely striping. This is the first time that I've used anything other than a short row toe for toe-up socks, and I think that I prefer the Simple Toe from SKS to the short row. I have a hard time figuring out which was the last wrapped stitch on the short row heel, it's a lot easier for me to see the increases and just increase every row. Plus, I like the neat lines that develop between the increases.

I really like to knit two socks at once using the Magic Loop, although it's really fiddley at the start. Instead of messing with it, especially on toe-up socks, I worked the toes & a few rows of pattern individually and then put them both on one long Addi Lace needle. Now they're perfect for the car (or waiting for Wilco to go on, as I will be on Tues. evening). One issue I had with two socks at once with Sailor Girl was that I didn't mind the yarn carefully enough and it got very twisted at the end. This time, I'm using two separate balls of yarn instead of one ball knit from both ends. So far, so good.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Paper Crane Project

Carrie Workman Blue Crane

My Paper Crane Project crane arrived awhile ago, but I finally took a photo this afternoon. I'd been meaning to come up with a super cool, artistic set-up, or to trick one of the dogs into posing with the crane. After realizing that my dogs are not well trained enough to pose, and that my point-and-shoot camera doesn't exactly make me Georgia O'Keefe, the photo above is what I came up with. I like the variety of fabric patterns with the pattern on the crane. I like the blues & greens with the color of the crane. That's basically it. There is a Flickr group with a lot of crane photos, it's both intimidating and inspiring.

Making & distributing 1,000 paper cranes is a really interesting idea, both because of the cultural signifigance of the origami crane and from a process perspective. It's no small feat to fold the cranes, let alone organize & send them out, and I applaud Liz's efforts! I'm very happy to be one of the 1,000 recipients.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Pirate's Progress

This arrived yesterday. Casting on will have to wait, I'm working on a new pair of socks right now and the Bees are after me!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Filing into Tightlines of Ordinary Beehives

Beehive Section

I'm making good progress on the beehive section of the Bee Fields Shawl, and I wish that I could work on it all of the time. I am completely ignoring the Mystery Stole, but I've come to terms with that--I'll certainly get back to it eventually, although I seriously want to cast on the Honeybee Stole immediately, and I may or may not have picked up some yarn during lunch to swatch with. We'll see how that goes!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Me upon my pony on my boat


The Sailor Girl Socks are done, with almost no warning--it's been a couple of months since I blogged about these, and progress came so slowly that I was surprised when it was time to start the toe. The yarn is Duet Sock Yarn, in Sailor Girl. The pattern is a garter rib stitch from Sensational Knitted Socks, with an eye of the partridge heel. I was so anxious to start these socks that I fudged a little on the counting, and as a result they are a little less even than I'd like them to be. Or maybe they're exactly even, and I just counted wrong at the end? I still need to soak these in a vinegar bath as directed on the label, but I only have balsamic and apple cider vinegar in the house so it will have to wait.

MsDuetI wanted to finish Sailor Girls before Stitch N Pitch so that I could use the needles for a pair of socks made with this Mariners' Themed Duet Sock Yarn. This was part of the Renaissance Yarns ticket package, the colors are dead on (with a minimum amount of the dreaded teal). I can't believe that I haven't blogged this yarn already, but I think I picked it up during the first rush of Ravelry uploading. Sorry if it's a duplicate, although it's such nice looking yarn that I can't imagine anyone cruising knitting blogs would really object.

It's cold at Safeco Field in April and September (and sometimes in the other months), so a nice pair of team socks will help take off the chill. I want to rush into these a little bit less, though--maybe swatch a little. I love the stripes on the Sailor Girl socks, and I think that the pattern looks good, but I plain stockinette would have been just as nice. That may be the way to go with this pair, just keep it simple and let the yarn do the work for me. Except for the work that involves casting on, knitting and/or purling, turning heels, etc.

Here's a close up of Sailor Girl's heel area:


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Slow and Steady

Folded Fabric

The sewing room project continues, with more progress today as we start to move things back into the room. The latest addition to the room is a 6' x 6' shelving unit from IKEA. It's awesome!!!! Which is a good thing, since it had to be bolted to the wall and is more or less permanent. It replaces the sloppy, shaky shelves that I took out before painting. It turns out that the main reason they were so shaky is that my brother slacked off on using enough screws when mounting them. Nice work!

Now the negotiation for what comes back into the room begins, which is also slow going. I'm trying to set some boundaries for myself (and my mom), but it's tough. We're both total pack rats, and are sucked in by fabric sales of all kinds. I've recycled several years of back magazines (goodbye, Cooking Light and MS Living), and we're putting her 1957 sewing machine in the garage instead of back in the sewing room. The key is to try and keep things neat looking (if not in fact neat) and get rid of or use up more than we buy going forward. It would be so much easier to keep up if I'd actually carve out some time to sew! My knitting stuff doesn't take up a ton of room, because when I added my stash to Ravelry I consolidated (almost) everything into underbed storage containers. Thank you, Ravelry!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Look What I Got!!! Lookeee!


My Sockapalooza socks arrived today, and they are fantastic! Jennifer did a great job on all counts--the pattern, the fit, and the yarn are all great. I couldn't be happier! I was admiring this very pattern (Merino Lace Socks from Favorite Socks) earlier today when looking at some other Sockapalooza-ers sites, it was a little shocking to take them out of the package. The slipped stitch heel will hold up well with the closed-heel clogs that I wear all the time. Here's one on my foot (can't get both up on the desk at once!):


Look at the pretty lace and the tiny stitches, knit on size 0 needles! I said look at them!

I didn't give Jennifer much info to go on, and as time went by I was a little worried that I am a little pickier than I let on. For instance, I told her that there aren't any colors that I really hate, and then a few days later I remembered that I hate the color teal (except the tiny bit on the M's uniforms). Whew! No teal--instead this yarn (Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Denim) is a great shade of blue, which is of course one of my favorite colors.


Here's another photo. I was trying to point my toe, I don't actually have a deformed foot. Look at those lacey, cabley columns! I can't wait for the fall weather so that I can take these babies out on the road.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted, Vacation, Have to Get Away

Blue Angels Flying Over Safeco Field

Ahhhh, it's been a really long week and an even longer weekend. Good, in the balance, but still very long. I think that the phrase "High School Reunion" says it all. One additional phrase: "Reunion Committee." Seriously--being back in the office tomorrow is going to feel like a vacation.

Next week will be all about catch up, hopefully both at work and at home. On Friday, the carpet was finally installed in the sewing room, and it looks great:


Soothing Neutrals!

Tomorrow we'll start moving things back in, but hopefully not as many things as we moved out.

In knitting news, my Sockpal has received the Bavarian Rockstars, and is no longer a secret! The socks fit her, and she said that she was glad that I went with the larger heel--the smaller one would likely have been too tight.

In other knitting news, I started knitting the Bee Fields Shawl, using Tupelo Gold yarn from Wooly Wonka Fibers. So far, it looks really nice:

Bee Fields

What's that you say? Something about Mystery Stole 3, and how I'm only on Clue 2? I'm sorry, I can't hear you. Back to Bee Fields: the charts for this shawl are much more complicated than charts I've worked before (lots of symbols to learn), so I've started by using the written out row by row instructions. It's more challenging for me than the Mystery Stole so far, but that may just be because I'm at the beginning. I'm very pleased with the yarn so far, although I'm not looking forward to untangling the skein that I screwed up when I tried to wind it. There are a lot of people using other yarns for this shawl, there are some gorgeous examples on the KAL (and Ravelry, of course).