Sunday, November 06, 2011

Socktoberfest 2011 Final Report

I managed to not actually finish a single sock during the entire month.  I did, however, start three new pair of socks including the socks reported in my last post.

There are the black socks for Sis.  Too dark to knit in lower light conditions.  Too complicated to knit wtihout the chart. Yarn is some sock yarn by Plymouth. Pattern: Devon by Cookie A.

There are the teal/peacock colored socks. Also too complicated to knit without the chart or while trying to multitask. Yarn from an indie dyer (Purchased at Fine Line Creative Arts Center).  Pattern is Rosebud by Wendy Johnson.

There are the new cotton blend socks. Simple enough for pre-occupied knitting.Yarn is Sockotta. Pattern is Spring Forward from Knitty, Summer 2008.

Other non-sock ongoing projects:
 Blocks for a log cabin-style blanket that I'm knitting for Project Linus.  I don't knit on it very often, which I suspect is because I'm not quite comfortable just making up the pattern as I go. I want the blocks to all be different but then I also worry that it won't look good.  Today I had a possible idea--adapt the Tokyo Subway Quilt by Oh, Fransson! to my knitted blanket.  My version will just be two colors (red and blue), but it should still turn out pretty cool.
Current knitting focus
I've been working on the orange mohair/linen cardi.  I've only got the lace edging to finish for the fronts and the sleeves.  It's not particularly complicated and just needs to be done.  Once the edging is finished, all that will need to be done is the sewing up.  I need to quit procrastinating and just do it.  I really want to wear this sweater this fall and winter.

Next focus
Finishing some of those socks during some upcoming travel events, especially Sis' socks.  I'd like to get the green cotton cardi off the WIP list too.  I'll have to rip out the sleeves and pay a heck of a lot more attention to the gauge and fit so I end up with sleeves that aren't so darned tight.  This may involve modifying the pattern to get the fit I want.

There are a few pattern ideas percolating in the back of my head too.  I have a lace stole sketched out.  It may be that I actually knit a swatch or three and finally develop the full pattern.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Socktoberfest 2011

I discovered a nasty hole along the side of one of the socks I wore yesterday.  I suspect I snagged one on the buckle of my clogs yesterday.  I have a vague recollection of that but hadn't thought it pulled hard enough to break the yarn.  While examining the hole, I also discovered the heels are getting dangerously thin. :-(

On close examination, the socks probably should have been knit at a tighter gauge. I may rip both socks back to the ankles, then knit back down in a tighter gauge.  I suspect that darning the heels of these socks will be futile at the current gauge.

So now I'm celebrating Socktoberfest.  I'm using the same brand of yarn in a deep turquoise/jewel tone colorway.  I initially intended to knit the very same pattern that sprung the hole (The Through the Loops 2009 Mystery Sock), but have achieved 8 sts per inch on size zero needles and will instead knit a pair of toe up socks from Wendy Johnson's Toe-Up Socks for Everybody.  I haven't yet decided between Rosebud and Victory.  At the moment, I'm leaning toward Rosebud.  I'll make the final decision in another six rounds or so, when the toe is done and I'm ready to start the foot.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Through the Loops Shawl KAL finished

The KAL ended at midnight last Friday.  I finished my shawl around noon on Saturday, so I wasn't eligible for any of the lovely prizes.  But I'm happy with  my shawl and that's really what counts.

I estimate I've got about 300 yards left in the second skein of yarn.

Next Knitting Project
I am sorely tempted to join the Aidez KAL on Google+ that is starting up on October 15th or 17th.  However, I do have a few projects that I'd like to finish first.

First and foremost is the orange mohair/linen cardigan I started last fall.  It just needs the lace borders knit for the fronts and cuffs and to have the sleeves set into the body.  After that, I'd like to finish the green cotton cardi also from last year.  It will need the sleeves re-knit since they are far too tight.   I'd also like to get two pair of socks knit up for my sister for Christmas gifts, but I might be able to sneak Aidez in there as well.

More important than whether the queue has room is to decide if I want to spend my entertainment money for the month on yarn for Aidez or on a road trip to Portland on the 28th to see the Yarn Harlot at a reading. I'm leaning toward the road trip. :-)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Through the Loops Summer Shawl KAL

Ok, I've done it.  I've let insanity get the best of me. (That seems to be happening quite a bit these days.  I blame the recent full moon.)  In any event, I cast on Jeanne this evening.  Rather than using the blue Schaefer Anne that I was considering last night, I'd elected to use the two skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh Sock (color Sequoia) that I picked up at Serial Knitters last month.

Not sure I can get this project finished by the 23rd to meet the KAL deadline, but I'll give it a shot.  We'll see what happens.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Frogging and Finishing and Starting

First, the frogging--I ripped out the Errold's Grove Wedding Shawl that was probably 80% complete.  It's been hibernating for the past couple years and I decided today that the yarn really needs to be something else.

Now for the finishing...the Pea Vines shawl is finished and blocked and ready to wear!  I didn't do as nice a blocking job on the top edge as I'd have liked, but it'll be ok for now.  To do it well, a set of blocking wires is really needed.  Perhaps I'll buy some for myself this winter.

All in all, I really liked knitting this.  I thought the pattern was extremely well written. When Anne Hanson said the pattern was a great traveler, she was definitely right.  This was a great travel knit. I may end up making another of these some time.

The starting part is a bit trickier.  I was resisting starting a new project until I started going through my stash and pulling out yarn to donate.  Now I'm sort of hankering to start several pairs of French Press Slippers to use up some gorgeous Harrisville Designs wool in different jewel tones.  These would be great slippers for a charity project.  I mostly talked myself out of that idea, but then I stumbled across the Through the Loops Shawl KAL.  There are only 13 days left to knit a shawl from one of Kristen Kapur's patterns.  Jeanne happens to be #7 in m Ravelry queue.  I just happen to have the exact yarn (Schaeffer Anne) in my stash and it's already wound into a ball....

Monday, August 22, 2011

Stash Saturation Point

I don't know if such a thing exists but I think I may have reached it. I went to a lovely yarn store last week with my Sis (Wool and Company in St. Charles, IL) and I could find nothing that wanted to come home with me. Plenty of beautiful yarn to buy but nothing that I was even remotely interested in purchasing. No alpaca lace, no colorful sock yarn, no indie dyers, no cashmere. Nothing. I'm not even upset that I wasn't excited about the yarn. Very odd. :-)

Pea Vines Update
I'm a little over halfway through the first chart. I've managed to catch and correct knitting errors fairly easily so far. Markers for each repeat help a whole lot in that regard. It doesn't look like the mobile version of blogger will post photos from my phone or I'd share. I still love the yarn and the color.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

An "Interesting" Start to the Day....

The middle lane on the road to work was closed this morning. Drivers were not, however, really noticing the big flashing sign with the arrows pointing to the open left and right lanes.  So traffic was backing up as the middle lane vehicles tried to merge at the last minute into the other lanes.  And some drivers didn't notice the slowing traffic until the last minute.

Like the big F-250 pickup truck behind me.

Fortunately the driver had the sense to swerve smoothly onto the shoulder rather than slamming into the back of my little car.

Here's the fun part....

When the truck actually stopped, the front bumper was about even with the front of the passenger compartment of my car.

I suspect had the truck actually hit me, the bumper would have stopped about halfway through the passenger compartment, after pushing the rear of the car into me and me into the engine compartment.

That would have most definitely put a crimp in my plans for the day, not to mention the next few months or years.

I debated buying a lottery ticket today since I got tremendously lucky in avoiding a nasty bad accident today.  Perhaps I'll do that tomorrow. :o)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Domestic Travel Knitting

I decided against starting Sis' socks. I've been plugging away at the Tri-Cities socks (SpillyJane's Pittsworth pattern). However, as this pattern requires rather a lot of attention due to a goodly amount of cabling, it seemed to me that it's not really good travel or "visiting with relatives" knitting. So the socks will stay home while I trek off to Chicago and then the state of Georgia (as opposed to the country of Georgia I usually visit).

I made use of a KnitSpot gift certificate tonight and purchased Pea Vines, among several other shawl/stole patterns. I think the blue-green Hazel Knits yarn I just purchased will look stunning in this pattern. The shawl is knit from the point to the neck. Once I get past the border, it shouldn't be too bad to knit in the presence of company. If nothing else, it will give me an excuse to pet my beautiful yarn.

Initially, I thought I would make the Tall size, but am on the verge of deciding to knit the petite size instead. It occurs to me that a 80 inch wide triangular shawl is probably a wee bit too large for 65" me. The 60 inch version ought to be plenty big enough without being overwhelming. I'll end up with some yarn left over, but I'm ok with that. I can make some wristers or a cowl or use it as an accent color on something else.

Sunday, August 07, 2011


I have, in the past few weeks, managed to finish three pair of socks!!  The first were my green/brown Nutkins.
Then I finished Boy's Zombie socks. (no picture, I'm afraid). Both of these were travel knitting projects on my last journey to Tbilisi.  Today I finished off a pair of parrot-colored Fawkes socks for me.

There is one more pair of socks awaiting a second sock--my Tri-Cities socks (pattern: Pittsworth by SpillyJane).  I haven't decided if I want to start the second sock or if I want to start a new pair for my sister.  I've already got Sis' sock yarn and pattern bundled up, awaiting my decision.

Serial Knitters
I visited a new-to-me yarn store while in the Seattle area over the weekend.  Boy and I drove over so Boy could buy a new car.  We stayed in Bellevue and popped up to Kirkland to visit Serial Knitters after breakfast on Saturday.  Quite by coincidence, it happened to be Anniversary Weekend for the shop, so nearly everything in the store was 20% off.  I only wish I lived closer to the shop. The shop staff are very friendly and the crew of knitters hanging out in the back were just fun.  Too bad it's such a long drive over to sit and knit!!

I brought home five skeins in three colors. One Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Tart (not fart as I initially read it), two Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Aquarius and two Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Sequoia. The red yarn is destined to become a new pair of socks for me as I'm wearing out my one pair of red socks.  The other two yarns might become a  pair of medium-sized shawls rather than just socks (or maybe a small shawlette/scarf with matching socks). The blue-green Hazel Knits yarn is far too pretty to mostly hide under pants and in shoes. 

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Fall Projects

Without even considering the projects I already have in progress, I got to thinking today about what knitted items would be nice to have in my wardrobe this fall.  I thought it would be nice to have a couple of medium-weight cardigans and maybe a pullover or two.

Wouldn't you know, I just happen to have these very items already in progress!!  Looks like I'll have to get off my duff and finish the orange and green cardigans as well as the February Lady Pullover and the Freedom Sweater that were started years ago (close to ten years ago on the Freedom Sweater).  The green sweater needs to have its sleeves re-knitted since they are waaaaaaaay too snug.  I don't remember where I was at on the orange mohair cardigan.  The February Lady Pullover got set aside in favor of the February Lady Cardigan that I knit for my sister's birthday a couple years ago. (She couldn't decide which version she wanted and I happened to buy enough yarn for one of each so I decided that I'd get the version she didn't pick.)

There will, of course, have to be sock knitting as well.  Sis picked out and purchased yarn for at least two, if not three, pair of socks.  I've got the yarn matched up with patterns already and just need to do the knitting.  My current stash of handknit socks is wearing thin, so I have to keep up with the replenishment knitting (which frankly isn't as much fun as just knitting for the heck of it).  I'll have to come up with some crazy scheme to make that more fun.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Nutkins Complete!

I finished my Nutkin socks about 1.5 hours into a ten hour flight from San Francisco to Munich.  Of course all of my other knitting projects were packed in my checked baggage.  This was probably a good thing in the long run as I really did need to sleep on the flight.  Having no knitting to do during a 5 hour layover in Munich was less ideal, but I did get some work done (reviewing presentations and answering e-mail) so objectively that was ok too, if not nearly as personally satisfying as knitting.

My current knitting project is the second of Boy's Zombie Socks.  I got about three hours of knitting in yesterday while waiting and riding in a car.  I could have done more if I hadn't kept taking pictures of the countryside. (We drove along the edge of a broad valley where wheat and oats were being harvested.  The golds and greens of the fields and trees were stunning against a backdrop of blue sky and thunderheads.  Too bad Van Gogh and Monet never used the Georgian landscape as subject matter.)

More Fibery Goodness
We visited the Kutaisi State Museum briefly yesterday.  They had the usual museum display of what the inside of a typical home looked like 100+ years ago.  It included a legless spinning wheel and wool combs!! The textile room included a 2 harness loom with a 24-30 inch weaving width.  It was threaded with very fine yarns.  I couldn't quite tell if it was new weaving or old weaving on the loom due to the faded colors.  The boat shuttle has clearly been used often.  Display cases held spindles, a crochet hook, patterned knitted socks (with a pointed toe that I associate with Turkish-style socks), embroidered clothing, a crocheted shawl, a knitted shawl and some religious textiles with heavy, detailed embroidery using gold threads.  If there hadn't been a couple of disapproving-looking museum ladies, I'd have taken a whole bunch of non-flash photos.  I should have asked if anybody actually uses the loom for demonstrations.   In the commercial products/industry room, there was a cotton gin and a dissertation from someone which was apparently about thread production and included small skeins of silk threads from various places.  The dissertation was handwritten (marvelous script) in French, so I was able to figure out what "soie et Canton China" meant.  I snuck a picture of that too, but will have to wait until I get home to upload from my camera.

On that note, I'm going to load my knitting, bottled water and camera into my backpack and go find a nice park area in which to sit and knit for a few more hours.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More Progress and More Travel Knitting

I've turned the heel on my second Nutkin sock.  I'd hoped to finish it before the end of the week but that isn't going to happen.

Friday I head back to Tbilisi again so I need to come up with another travel knitting project.  I'll clearly finish Nutkit before I even get to Tbilisi. (will need to take along a yarn needle to weave in the ends so I can wear the socks while traveling).  I may take Boy's second sock or another of my second socks.  Oddly enough, I don't feel like figuring out a totally new sock project.  I don't even want to go randomly pick one of my self-bundled sock patterns/yarn out of the bin.  I must have enough new stuff in my life at the moment to not want more of it right now. :-)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Nutkin Progress!

My Nutkin socks are progressing rather rapidly.  I have discovered that I can complete a single pattern repeat during a one hour TV episode (with commercials cut out).  In the past week, I've been able to catch a couple hours of NCIS on DVD, which has facilitated some knitting time.  I now have a finished first sock and have cast on the second sock. With any luck, the second sock will progress as quickly as the first!

The leg of the sock biases a bit, which has been reported for this pattern and some yarns.  I don't think it'll be an issue in the wearing of the sock and I don't mind the appearance of the pattern spiraling up my leg.

Knitting Time
I have realized in the past few weeks where all my knitting time has gone lately.  It seems that on the nights when I don't go over to Boy's house to watch DVDs on his very nice, large HD screen, I tend to spend the evening watching NetFlix or DVDs at home.  This wouldn't necessarily impede my knitting time except that I tend to be surfing the internet rather than knitting.  Perhaps I'll have to impose a moratorium on TV internet surfing just to make sure I get in my knitting time!

LYS news
I discovered this past week that one of my local knitting shops closed a couple months ago.  Oops.  That should tell you how often I buy yarn and how often I have been checking my groups on Ravelry.

The other local knitting shop, which is located a whole mile away from where I live, will be hosting Debbie Macomber on Friday.  I haven't read many of Ms. Macomber's books, but have enjoyed the ones I did read.  I know my grandmother really likes her books too.  I'll have to head over there to sit and knit for a while.  Friday is also the day I close on the sale of my house, so I'll consider the knitting session my reward for getting through the stress of getting it sold.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Travel Knitting Results!

The Kiri Shawl was left behind in the interest of saving space.  I did, however, take the Nutkin socks.  I cast on while waiting to leave the US.  I got through several repeats on the cuff.  I like how the pattern looks. Not quite as fond of the sock color, but perhaps it will grow on me as I knit it. If not, I can always give them away.

While in Tbilisi, I was showed a gallery with some really creative felt projects.  Wallhangings, hats, lamp shades. Unfortunately the gallery was closed at the time we went past.  I'll definitely need to get there again when it is open.  I'd love to see what sort of textile and fiber arts are being produced in the country.  What little bits I could see were intriguing.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Travel Knitting Picked!

I've decided to start a pair of Nutkin socks in Prism Saki yarn.  The colorway is Woodlands, which is greens and browns.  Nutkin is a simple enough stitch pattern that I shouldn't have any trouble memorizing it and knitting while on the plane and/or while chatting with people around me. I've also got my Kiri re-do along for the ride.  I probably only really need to take one or the other, but I'm taking both.  I may focus on the Kiri for the trip over as I'm not entirely sure I'll be able to come back with my circular needle in my carryon bag. Or I could just leave the shawl in the checked luggage on the trip back.

Anyway, time for bed. Have a great week!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

You Got Some Mending to Do!

Seems like I've had a neverending stream of socks to darn lately.  As I've said before, I can't complain about most of those as many of my socks are well over five years old.  It does fairly regularly remind me that I really need to get cracking on knitting up some socks for myself.  The last time I got on a sock knitting kick, I knit three first socks.  Now I need to get going on the second socks.

While doing some decluttering in my fiber room last week, I came across my lace shawls.  The gray Swan Lake got snagged in my jacket zipper about 18 months ago, so that hole doesn't worry me much.

The camel colored cashmere, however, now has two holes in it.  I might have been able to convince myself that the first hole came from a snag, but the second hole developed while the shawl has been resting on my work table.

Time to wash them both thoroughly and give them a spray of moth repellent.  I'll end up ripping them each back to the holes, but that won't be too bad.  The cashmere kiri is an easy repeat to memorize. I hope I can find all of the directions to the Swan Lake.  I know I printed it out. Haven't a clue where I put it.

On the Sock Front
I counted up my handknit socks tonight while putting away the laundry.  I have 20 pair of handknit socks in my drawer, 18 of which I wear with some regularity.  Then I went to my sock yarn bin to count up how many socks are waiting to be born.  There are 38 pair of unknit socks waiting for me and four pair of unknit socks waiting to become socks for other people, plus three pair of socks in progress.  At least that's where it stands right now.  I may re-purpose some of "my" socks into gifts for others.  Although I followed the Yarn Harlot's lead a while ago and bundled the sock yarn into sock kits (yarn plus note of which pattern to use in a zip top bag), I have yet to make any progress on picking a kit a month and finishing it.  Too much distraction by the two cardigans, I guess.

More Travel Knitting
I have another international trip coming up in a week. (Tblisi, here I come!)  I will naturally take a pair of socks along, probably something fairly simple.  I may also get Kiri ripped back to the first hole and take her along as a second project.  The repeat is simple enough to memorize that it will make good travel knitting and it packs up rather small as well.  Even better--if I get it done while traveling, I can wear it home on the plane to keep from freezing (I always get really cold on long haul flights).

Friday, May 06, 2011

Sleeve Island

Stefaneener over at Reading While Knitting commented the other day that she's got three sweaters hanging out at Sweater Island, presumably waiting to have their sleeves either knit or installed or both.  I've got two in the same condition.

The green sweater has 1.5 sleeves knit and I've discovered that the sleeves are far too snug, so they'll get ripped out.

The orange sweater has 1.2 sleeves knit and I hope they aren't too loose. Or too long. It's a loose fitting sweater with a knitted lace trim that will go on the end of the sleeves.

What really worries me is how long the sweaters will languish in the Straits of Seaming and the Finishing Forest.  I've got one sweater that's been there for ten years now!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's Been That Kind of a Week

First, I discovered that one of my favorite socks ended up in the washing machine, rather than the handwashing tub.  And that it ended up with a huge hole ripped in the heel. Big enough that I won't be able to darn it.

Then I discovered that it's handwashed mate has a nearly as large hole in its heel.  At least this hole didn't get unravelled.

So now I get to decide what to do with these socks.  Can't wear them as is certainly and my darning skills aren't up to fixing these.  So I'll be either tossing them in the trash or ripping the feet back to the heels and starting over from there.  Or ripping them completely out and turning the yarn into something other than socks.

My socks are now officially wearing out faster than I can knit replacements.  Even when I can darn them, they're old enough that the places next to the darning wear out. I may have to put the green and orange cardigans on hold until I get some socks knit for me.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

First Sleeve!

Yet another photo-free blog entry, for now.

The first of the sleeves for the green cardi is done.  I should really know better than to do sleeve shaping in multiple bouts of knitting.  I think I followed the directions ok, but the sleeve cap seems awfully long and narrow to me.  I'll see how the second one turns out, making sure I do the shaping in a single session to prevent mistakes.

I've been working on the orange cardi.  I've started the neck shaping.  In a couple inches, I'll start the armholes.

On Boy's gray socks, I've started the gusset increases on the second sock. Perhaps by the onset of spring he'll have a new pair of socks to wear.

Friday, February 25, 2011

International Knitting

I have now knit socks on three continents. I've even knit the same two pair of socks on three continents!  In January, I went to Amman, Jordan on business.  Of course, I took knitting with me.  I knit during layovers at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and I knit in my hotel room in Amman.  Soon Boy and Sis will have some world travelling socks!

At the moment, I have the same two pair of socks with me at Disney World and should commence a bit of knitting shortly.

No progress yet on my crazy idea for spinning and knitting a twisted stitch pullover.  I'm still figuring out which fleece might be the best candidate.  I've decided on a colored fleece and probably one of the Coopworths.

I'm also toying with the concept of knitting my way through the non-sock yarn of my stash.  I've been hankering for a sweater from some beautiful, naturally brown aran weight yarn that was purchased for me by my mom when she was on vacation in Ireland.  I'm leaning toward the Fireside Sweater.  With any luck it won't make my fluff look extra fluffy. (Or course, the best solution to that will be to actually get into better shape so that my extra fluff isn't so fluffy, but that's beside the point.)

Update on the project front....there hasn't been much to report. I've not had much time or inclination for knitting.  I've been busy enough at work lately that I really just feel like being braindead and drooling when I get home, followed by an early bedtime. HEre's the rundown on my progress:

The first sleeve on the green cardigan is nearly finished. I worked on the sleeve cap shaping during the Super Bowl and then put it down and haven't touched it since.  I should cast on the second sleeve soon.  Might get this done by end of spring...

The orange cardigan is languishing in my knitting basket.  I discovered that I failed to start the neck shaping at the appropriate time.  I discovered this about 1/3 of the way through the armhole shaping.  I have ripped back to start the whole shaping thing over.  Will have to take careful notes of what I'm doing or I'll be ripping this out a bunch of times.  I do still love the color and the yarn. Don't think I'll be done before summer though.  It'll still make a nice sweater this fall.

On the other hand, I have finished the baby sweater I started at the spur of the moment a month ago.  It's been completed for several weeks now.  I just need to get the dang buttons on it.  Sigh.  If I keep procrastinating, the baby will outgrow it before I ever give it to him!!