Wednesday, October 31, 2007

And There's a Rat in Someone's Bedroom

Frieda Mouse

I've been trying all week to get a photo of Frieda in her Halloween costume, and this is really the best that I could do. She's not very enthusiastic, but at least she tolerates me . . .

Monday, October 29, 2007

It Was a Fine Idea at the Time


Where has October gone? When I started these socks only a few weeks ago, I had big plans for Socktober. Knit this pair of socks from scratch, finish one or two pair that are already in progress, maybe throw in a Halloween craft project or two . . .

Let's just say that it didn't happen, and move on. The Poppy Socks are just past the heel turn, and I'm still enjoying the pattern. I'm not yet to the knit-foot-forever stage, but it will probably be here soon. I love, love, love the color of the yarn and the way that it's knitting up. I'm hoping that I can finish these before my upcoming mini-vacation--Mom and I are going to Kauai over Veteran's Day weekend. Any recommendations?

Spoiler Alert: RSC Oct 2007

Here's the penultimate Rockin' Sock Club yarn from the 2007 club. There are six total, right?

I love this yarn, although it's mighty close to some other sock yarn that is currently in my stash. The pattern looks interesting, although I haven't actually looked at it (or the rest of the stuff that came in the package) that closely yet. I'll catch up on that (and hopefully everything else I'm behind on) soon! I did complete the Flat Stanley project, he had a pretty good time on his travels. Here's a very seasonally-appropriate shot, one of my favorites from the batch:

Flat Stanley In the Flowers

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Some Side With The Leaves


My niece has sent me her Flat Stanley, and so far he's having a pretty good time. See him rolling in the leaves? And now I'm in Orlando for a conference, so he's been Disney-ing it up something good. So far, I've resisted photographing a "Flat Stanley at Night" expose for this blog, but it could still happen once I'm back at home.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Arrrrgh, this be pretty!

Leaving for the airport in a half hour, but had to post a spoiler!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Two Toe Tuesday: Top Down Stizz

The Triangle Shawl was barely pinned out before I wanted to start a new project. Not necessarily a big project, but something that would keep me occupied on some upcoming flights, something interesting but that wouldn't require that I stay chained to a book (House Socks, anyone?). Enter the Poppy Socks from Sundara Yarn's Petals Collection sock club:


I love this pattern. It's one pattern row, three plain rib rows. The pattern is a little fiddley (it's a cable with a hole in the center), but very pretty. Nice texture, shows off the yarn beautifully, and the cuffs aren't super high so they should be pretty fast and there will probably be yarn left over that I can use for something else.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Doing the Things a Triangle Can

Lace Triangle

I was hoping to have one of those super spectacular finished shawl photos by now, but the first batch of full-shawl shots didn't turn out that well, and it's been dark and rainy since I realized I should take a new photo. So I'm going to make due with what I have, since I'm going to Boston and Orlando later this week and won't have time to fool around with it before then.

The photos above show some of the details--I think I like the shawl-over-dog-gate photo the best, because it looks very airy that way. The dog gate is actually a critical tool in this whole process--keeping the dachshunds off of the shawl while blocking would have been impossible without it!

Here's how the shawl looked (in bad lighting, taken at night), before soaking & blocking:


Barely looks like lace, no edge definition, basically looks terrible.

Here's how it looks after blocking:


Even in a not-super photo, it looks pretty good! I'm very pleased with the way it turned out, even if I'm not sure I can pull off the triangle shawl look. The top edge isn't really that crooked, I just didn't spend enough time arranging it. I was very glad to see that the scallops have held their shape--it's kind of amazing, really. The yarn is from Sundara Yarn, it's her sport merino. I used size 6 Addi Lace needles, the largest size they make. A larger size might have been a little more airy, which would have been nice.

I'm trying my hardest not to start another lace project, even though I have a couple of skeins of sport merino in my stash that would look great in lace. Time to refocus on one of the other three lace projects that are on the needles, maybe?

p.s. I reserve the right to continue to quote "Triangle Man" in the title of any future posts that involve triangle shaped things. I have no idea why this didn't occur to me sooner.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

DryingThe triangle shawl is about half dry, the light is uneven in the sewing room so I'm only showing a piece of it.

I've tried to be a little aggressive with the blocking, so that the stitch definition will still be good after I unpin it.
Now that it's on the wires (blocking wires from Knitpicks), it's easy to see that there are four stitch patterns. The first three are leafy (leaf, fir cone, a leaf from a Japanese stitch dictionary), and the last one is ripple. The first and last are from Evelyn Clark's book, and the other are patterns I wanted to try out and crammed into the chart. I was trying to go from a fairly closed leaf to more open patterns, and while I think it was a good theory, they kind of all seem to have the same amount of openness. The ripple at the bottom is the most open, and I think it makes a nice border.

Hopefully, it will be totally dry later today, although I may leave it pinned out until tomorrow regardless.

Rhonda--I'll definitely bring it to knit night once I'm back in town, provided that I don't lose it while I'm travelling!

Friday, October 12, 2007


The lace triangle shawl is off the needles, and blocking. I soaked and pinned it this evening, and the flash photos don't look good so I'll try to get something better tomorrow. It was a close call--I skipped two rows of the edging, and here's what I had left:


My original plan, based on the yardage estimates in Knitting Lace Triangles, my original plan was to knit about 118 rows, but I think that the skeins must have had a little something extra in them, or it knit up closer to a fingering than a sport weight. At row 131, I had 42 grams of yarn left. After that, I knit 7 more pattern rows, and 4 rows of the edging, and the cast off. That's about 3 grams per row (if I count the cast off as one row), so taking out those two rows was probably a good idea, I think.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Coolest Thing Out of Finland Since Laika & the Cosmonauts *

Or, what knitting all day on size 000 needles will get you:


I took Susanna Hansson's Lapland Hand Garments: The Mittens of Rovaniemi class on Sunday at the Nordic Knitting Conference, it was a little mind-blowing. Not to mention finger-cramping, neck-tensing, and butt-numbing--though I didn't really notice any of those things until later. I really enjoyed learning this new technique, I've never knit anything quite like it. I don't think that I can discuss this class with as much flair as the Yarn Harlot, so I refer you to her post about the very first such class.

Now it's Tuesday, here's a more recent photo:


Yes, that's right--no additional progress. This method is not to be attempted while two dogs are on the lap, the television is blaring, and the old lady you live with is yammering on about the Senior Center. I'll be travelling a bit in the next couple of weeks, which should give me a little more quiet time if I dare to bring it along with me.

In other photos, Desiknitter asked to see a side view of the Home & Hearth Eyelet Anklets. I hadn't even looked at them sideways, and now that I have I can see the genius of Cat's book. They are completely freaky looking because there aren't any gussets, but yet they fit perfectly. I couldn't photograph them on my feet sideways, but here they are on a (conveniently matchy) sock blocker:


See, no gussets! Totally smooth! The sock looks even weirder when it's not on a sock blocker:


Must cast on sock #2 soon, before I lose the mojo. I'm very close to finishing the Triangle Shawl, though, so I'm trying to focus on that.

* Not familiar with Laika & the Cosmonauts? They're only the best surf band out of Finland!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Story of an Anklet

Home & Hearth Eyelet Anklet

My first New Pathways sock is complete, though it's not the same pattern that I started with. Right after this post, I ripped back to the start of the arch expansion, and instead of the Philospopher's House Sock I switched over to the Home & Hearth Eyelet Anklets. I like the simple, lacy panel that runs up the foot, even though it doesn't look straight in the photo above. I barely had to fudge any of the numbers to make it work with the toe I already had, even though it was different than the pattern and started with a few stitches more than my "master numbers" advise.

The yarn (Melody by Jojoland) has been a nice surprise--I haven't worked with it before, and wasn't sure what to expect in terms of color or how much I really need for these socks. There should be plenty of yarn left--the finished sock weighs a good amount less than the remaining yarn. The long color changes look better than I expected, and it will be cool to see how they are different from one sock to the next.

In terms of the pattern and book, I've been very happy reading it but only moderately happy using it so far. The architectures are really interesting and beautiful, but I don't like having to flip around the book while I'm knitting. To knit this pair of socks, I had to refer to at least 12 different pages, few of which were in order. Each piece of the pattern is in a different place, and it was frustrating to be glued to the book. For instance, the instructions for the reinforced heel are on two pages, but they also refer to three other pages. I seriously thought I was going to lose it when I got to Step 4, which is "same as plain heel (page 123)"--it shouldn't take 5 pages of instructions for one heel! Some people on Ravelry have had the binding cut off at Kinkos and replaced with a spiral binding, so it will lie flat, which is a good start, but the book is still a little large to share my lap with a knitting project and one to two dachshunds. For the next pair, (after finishing this pair, of course) I'll either copy or write out all of the instructions at once before I start.

One great thing about the book is that there are lots of graphics showing how the stitches should sit on the needles with the markers, and that illustrate the techniques used. Also, Cat describes stitches in a unique way in the text, such as comparing a wrap around a stitch to a necklace, which may make it easier for some knitters to remember her instructions. For me, it's a little confusing, but I think that's because I don't always read the whole instruction. I'm also very pleased with the fit of the finished sock, and I'm a little amazed that the measurements and gauge worked together to produce an actual sock. Now I just need to start sock 2, before my gauge changes!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Put a Sock in it!


This evening I made a sock project bag, using possibly the most cloying fabric I've ever purchased. Seriously--kittens and yarn amongst gigantic flowers in 1974's finest colors? It wouldn't surprise me if I found this in my Mom's extensive fabric stash, but I can't explain why I bought a 1/2 yard on the quilt shop hop. I'm not sure why I had pink cord lying around, either. The vintage button on the kitty-pocket is from last winter's Sewing Expo. This is a good size for carrying around, and it's pretty unlikely that anyone else will mistake it for their kitten sock project bag.