Saturday, May 30, 2009

And Then, There Were Two


Even though it now seems likely that I won't be going to Sock Summit, and I feel totally sick about it, I did finish my second square for Larissa's Barn Raising Quilt fundraiser. It's knit from Socks that Rock in Olive Garden (left over from this scarf), with a little Smooshy going around the edges because I ran out of yarn. I'm reblocking the first block, because I'm an idiot and blocked it to the wrong size. My original plan was to knit five, but that was before I committed to knitting the Blue Garter Shawl during the same time. I'm sure that my failure won't be a problem--it sounds like a lot of people who didn't commit to a specific number of squares have contributed.

Monday, May 25, 2009

New and Improved Knitting Content!

May 24, 2009

May is almost over, and I feel like I've been knitting (and blogging about knitting) a lot less this month. I suppose it's because I've been really busy, both at work and at home, but it may be that I'm just at the point in a lot of projects where there's not that much to say about what I'm doing. I'm in the middle of a sock leg (or foot), or at the end of 6.25" inches of sock ribbing, or knitting a couple of rows on a sweater, and there's not a lot of commentary to go along with it. It's the transitions in knitting that are the most interesting to write about--the start, the finish, the ripping back of a stupid mistake. Progress in tiny increments? Snoozeville, both to write and to read.

Given that this is a long weekend, I decided to start something new. I picked up Liberty's Kaguya (Rav Link) in Zsa Zsa and Zen with a chevron scarf in mind, although since I've used pink and green for a chevron scarf before, it didn't feel quite like the right project. Then I saw Jennifer's beautiful Ishbel (Rav Link), and it looked like just the thing. The effect is less dramatic in pink than in the dark Malabrigo lace that she used, but I love the summery feel of the color. Kaguya is a bamboo/merino blend, so it's got a little bit of drape and is very soft. In the first 10-15 rows, it felt like the dark bits of color were clustering on one side of the triangle, but they've totally evened out and I'm very happy with the subtle variagation.

I made a spreadsheet to calculate how many stitches I should have in each row (my brain couldn't do it manually), and based on the total stitch count I'm already about 50% finished! I'm going to have a ton of yarn leftover--I've only used about 35g of the 110g so far. Now I just need to clear the decks of other concerns (all of the stuff that I've put off all weekend) so that I can get in some solid knitting time.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy Long Holiday Weekend


Gretel has the right idea. Except for the "laying on pavement, being menaced by Frieda's shadow" part.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Is it Really So, Really So Strange?

That instead of knitting, or trying to prepare materials so that someone else can register for Sock Summit for me (I'm unavailable when registration opens), or getting some much needed sleep, I'm doing this:


Yes, it's a trash bag for my new car. Yes, it features VW vans on it! All of the materials came from my stash, even the vinyl that I lined it with. I don't really remember what I was planning to DO with that vinyl (don't say pants, E____ or R____), but I was glad that I had it--it should be easy to wipe clean. I'm by no means a neat freak (or much of a cleaner at all), but I hate it when I end up with a lot of paper trash in the car, or when it ends up in my purse instead. Especially straw wrappers--those drive me crazy.

I saw a very similar bag on Craftzine, with a link to a tutorial that doesn't exist anymore. It looks like the woman who designed the bag has taken down the tutorial and is selling bags that she's made, and they are really nice--her shop is here. Totally superior to my half-assed version(you can't see what sloppy buttonholes I made in this photo!), and if I hadn't had the VW fabric on hand I would have bought one instead of making it.

Hoping to get some serious knitting time in this weekend (and maybe even to have something to show for it)!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Our Regularly Scheduled Programming Will Resume Eventually

Car Feet

There's been virtually no knitting around here this week, due to:

  • An excessive amount of work to do before taking Friday off
  • Mariner's game on Friday
  • Best Friend's birthday events on Saturday (including blue pedicure above, and a very late night with very fancy drinks)
  • Purchase of first new car ever (blue Jetta TDI)

No wonder all I feel like doing today is napping!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Two Toe Tuesday: At Least My Legs Look Goth


There are two things I'd like to point out before I go any further:
  • No, my legs won't be more tan when the summer sun finally comes out. Unless I have them spray-tanned, which seems equally unlikely.
  • Neither Frieda nor Gretel have ever gone into the run-down, ivy-covered dog house that you can see out by the fence. Frieda won't use the dog door if it's blocked by any plant matter--particulary the vigorous mint plants that should be back any day now.

Back to the Socks! The Gothsocks! I saw the lonely, almost finished toe sitting around in the living room last night, and decided to move on to the foot of the sock. The toe has been almost done since the beginning of April, when I dropped it and started carrying around the Northern Lights socks since the first 6 inches are a simple rib. I'm very close to moving past the rib on those socks, so now's a good time to turn Goth again. It's an easy non-pattern, at least until I get to the garter row heel and have to remember how many stitches I worked it across.

I really love these stripes. And the finished sock is super comfy, if I ignore the massive tangle of ends that need to be woven in. I knit it as tall as I could without having to start increasing for the calf, and I had a hard time stopping there. This yarn would make fantastic knee-highs--if only I could catch an update in time to get more!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Please Seam This Sweater for Me

May 10, 2009

Sometimes the best photos of Frieda and Gretel are those where they are caught doing stupid things--closed eyes, tongue out, sneezing.

It's a beautiful, sunny day here in the PNW, which may explain why I'm having trouble working on a bulky wool sweater. However, I'm determined to get at least one sleeve sewn in today, and here's the proof that I've started:


There's so little left on this sweater, but yet still so much. I want the finishing to look good, but I've never been good at seaming, and last week pretty much kicked my ass so I don't have a lot of mental energy for it, either. Maybe a nap is in order--the sleeve will still be waiting for me.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Two Toe Tuesday: Kiila Sockdown Edition


Watching a five-hour, 15-inning baseball game on television chewed into a lot of my Sunday plans (the M's eventually won), but it also gave me a lot time to work on the Kiila socks. I've finished the first toe through the first clue, and the second toe is well underway. The foot is stockinette with a little cable up each side, and although it's a little fussier to knit than the similar (but wider) cable on the Red Hot Chili socks, I like the way it's coming out. I'm using Dream in Color Smooshy, which is splitting a little when I try to cable without a needle, but I am definitely getting more comfortable with that technique. I've shied away from it on socks before because the stitches are so tiny, and I'm not doing it 100% of the time now, but it can be faster. I just have to train myself to stop yanking the stitch that's still on the needle! I'm hoping to have both toes ready for clue #2 when it comes out later this week, but I'll be heads-down for most of the week on other things so it may not happen. The May Sockdown runs through the end of June, so even if I get a little behind there's still a chance to catch up--provided that I'm not distracted by other, shiney new patterns!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

I Just Want To Fly


Oh, it's hard to take a picture of a shawl, when you're not willing to be in the photograph. But it's done, and I'm pretty pleased with it. The edging turned out a little more ruffley than I expected, but I think that a little more length to the edging (or severe blocking) would probably have taken care of that. The edging is Blue Sky Alpaca's Alpaca Sport, and it's a little denser than the blue Rowan felted tweed, so that could be a factor too. I hope that it will be a popular item (it's for a raffle for my local college alumnae chapter), or at least that whoever wins the basket it's in won't immediately donate it to another charitable cause!

I can easily see myself making one of these for myself, although I'll probably wait awhile. It's been nice to do a little work on other projects over the last couple of days, and to start a little something new:

Kiila Toe

Another Sock Knitter's Anonymous challenge--the May Mystery Sock! The pattern is called Kiila (Rav Link), which means gusset in Finnish, and it's designed by the wonderful Yarnissima so I'm really looking forward to seeing how it shapes up. I'm using Smooshy that I bought at Stitch N Pitch last year, the color is Happy Forest. Intuitively, I know that this is a soft, spongey wool, but it feels stiff and a little scratchy after that soft Alpaca sport border. Weird, huh? Must be careful not to turn into a person who will only knit cashmere and alpaca . . .

Anyway, I'm enjoying the pattern even though the sock has not been totally trouble-free. I took the photo above last night, before ripping back to the beginning of the chart that starts at the top of the toe. It's hard to see it well here, but there was either an extra row in the first cable group or something else was going on--it didn't look quite right, and there was also excessive laddering on the left side. I've reknit as much as I ripped back and a little more, and I feel better about the results. The problem may well have been just trying to keep the tension even, rather than my inability to follow a 4-stitch, 6 row chart, but either way it's looking better now.