Saturday, December 29, 2007

Just for Fun

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Merino Wool.You are very easygoing and sweet. People like to keep you close because you are so softhearted. You love to be comfortable and warm from your head to your toes.
Take this quiz!

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hey, a sweater!


Yup. Done. Wore it for a little while on Christmas day, then I washed and blocked it. And now the sleeves are too long. Whoops. In retrospect, I should have taken a "finished but not blocked" photo of it on, and then again after blocking. Oh well. Nevertheless, it's totally comfy, and will probably be my new favorite around-the-house sweatshirt for a while. And I learned an Important Lesson about Row Gauge.

So, what's next? Not sure. I'm plugging away at the second cabled brown sock when I think of it, and have the concentration. I'm thinking about what's next and what's done, what I want and what I need from my knitting for the coming year, and what I've learned this year, in knitting and other things.

Anyway, I need to get out to the library and a couple other places before wearing my new sweater to knit night tonight. Have a good one!

Monday, December 24, 2007

It's amazing what an obsessive knitting weekend can do.

I'm getting a new sweater for Christmas. I've got about a dozen or so ends to darn in, and then I'm putting it under the tree for me! Pictures to come.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Xmas issues

Christmas knitting is done and mailed, both pairs of socks and a hat. The knitting was fun. Once it was over, I fell apart a little.

(Side note: I washed the red socks this morning and dried them in the oven. 200 degrees, about thirty minutes, turning frequently. It was scary and nifty and amazing.)

My family is not so pretty and nuclear as it once was. This is hard for me, and sending the three presents I made to two different addresses, one I've never visited, was difficult. This is also the first Christmas I haven't been down south for, and despite the fact that I'm really happy to be spending the holiday here in my new home, this is a huge change.

So I'm a little goofy and emotionally twisted. I need to find some knitting to help that, don't you think?

Oy. Ow.

I've got four ends to weave in. And then done. 36 hours for half a sock, basically. Although there were some mistakes that needed fixing. And I slept fed myself and husband and taught a 3 hour lecture in there. These socks are full of stories, I screwed them up so many times. Only one mistake didn't get entirely removed, and that's probably ok, because if it had, they wouldn't be done yet.

Tomorrow I mail Christmas, and then I get to knit what I want. I'm thinking my sweater's been awfully patient the past couple of days and my hands could definitely use a break from 2.5mm needles.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Snowy Knitting weekend

We were expecting much winter weather this weekend, so after I turned in grades Friday, I went to the store to stock the cupboards for the weekend, and then settled in for a cabin-fevery weekend. I had knitting to do, and tv on dvd, so I'd be fine, right?

Friday night I got my second sleeve on my sweater to match the first one. The SciFi channel aided in this, because they decided to show four hours of Firefly on Friday night. Saturday morning, aided by TiVo, I strung all three pieces together and did a couple of rounds to secure it. Here, look!

one piece!

This is huge. I am psyched. Saturday evening and Sunday morning, this happened:

unblocked quant

It's Quant, from the new Knitty, in a random ball of SWS I had in the stash. Quick and easy, Entrelac is pretty nifty. I am amused. I also kind of love SWS now. Well written pattern, too, this just flew from my needles. It needs blocked, but I have to take it off long enough to do that.

Of course, somewhere around the ending decreases on Quant, I realized that Christmas is a week from Tuesday, and for the first time ever, I am MAILING presents. Which means they really need to be in the mail by Thursday, thought I'd prefer to get them off Wednesday, and at the time I finished Quant, I had ONE pattern repeat done on the second sock of the pair. So the rest of Sunday was spent in Christmas sock mode, and I managed to start the heel flap before bed last night. This morning I turned the heel. Here we are at noon.

noon monday

I'll let you know when this gets finished. The first sock was ten and a half pattern repeats, I'm closing in on the end of the fifth. Of course, the 4.5th through the end are only on one side, which makes it faster. This can be done, but I don't get to touch the sweater till it is. Wish me luck!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Finished Kaylee socks:

They're very pretty. The pattern is kind of exhausting, something's happening on every row, although only on one side. I don't think I'm a toe-up kind of girl, but that's ok. If I did them again, I'd leave the foot plain, I think the lace stretches vertically more than I want.

Progress pic for the sweater:

Need to keep on with that second sleeve. I'm getting bored with it again, but I have tv on dvd that might get me going again on it.

That is, if I don't get distracted by this:

Fawkes socks for Mom's Christmas. According to the pattern, I'm ready for the heel flap, but my current wish for longer socks is making me think about extending the leg. I probably won't, though, because I'd be cursing myself for that decision on the second sock. I'm wondering what it is about the red yarn, I'm having a hard time getting good pictures of it.

Oh well. I've been procrastinating housework and real work all day so far. Better fix that before it gets too late. Have a great weekend, all!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Finishing more.

No pictures, though.

Finished the Kaylee socks this weekend. You might get pictures eventually, but go back a couple months, look at the picture of the first sock. The second one looks just like it and I'm just kind of glad to be done with 'em.

Started a new pair of Fawkes in solid red for Mom's Christmas. Still love the pattern. Here's hoping they go quick.

I'm past the increases on the second sweater sleeve. I'm about to put it on my 16" circular, that'll make the rest of the sleeve go faster. I hope.

Walking about in the cold today I wanted knee socks. The Tyrolean Stockings from the fall Interweave might come out to play soon. I also wound my job application reward sock yarn into a bright shiny ball, because I'm getting close to done on that stuff and should get to play with neon-colored merino soon.

Casting about for other new things to do. Not really wanting to start anything right now, though. I think it's a year-end, semester-end kind of thing. Once the new year starts, I'll probably have a bad case of startitis. But right now I just want to get done what I've got going.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Hey look! More stuff finished!

Friday night I finished these, slapped them on my feet, and they've hardly been off since. I figure I'll wash them today so I can have them ready to go for Thanksgiving road-tripping.

Garter Rib socks - pattern is from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks, which had a lovely way of stepping through the simplest of patterns. I liked the garter-stitch edging on the heel flap and the attention to detail throughout. I will be knitting more from this book.

And my great accomplishment lately:

Giant grey socks. Okay, so they're not really giant, but they're much bigger than they would be were they for me, and they're grey, finished just in time for the weather and the rest of the world to become the same color. These are Christmas for my Dad and it's a huge load off to have them done.

Down to two single socks needing mates and a total of only 5 works in progress. I've decided I'll start Mom's Christmas socks after Thanksgiving, and meanwhile I'm working on finishing things. First is my job applications, then there's the cabled sock pattern, and my still-unfinished first sweater. I'm going to get road-trip knitting time this week, though, so that'll be good for making things happen.

I doubt I'll be posting before the holiday, so have a good one, all!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Hey Look! Content!

In a remarkable aberration from my usual behavior, I was entirely monogamous last night at knit night, and therefore, the Nuclear Winter mittens are finished, with ends woven in, even! (okay, once they were done, I started playing with the charts for the cabled socks, but still...)

More pictures are on ravelry, showing that I did make left and right ones and they do match. Norwegian Mittens from EZ's Knitting Around, Classic Elite Lush, one ball each of black and lime. I shook hands with almost everyone at Panera last night so we could all enjoy how soft and yummy they are. I'm very pleased with them.

I finished Fetching on Tuesday, and today I gave up on the search for Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade and went ahead and dyed them. I'm guessing the crappy Kool-aid selection right now has to do with the fact that it's no longer summer.

I soaked the mitts in water and vinegar and went to town. I used a piece of straw to drop dye where I wanted it, with a plastic baggie inside to prevent bleeding through. Microwaved for a minute, allowed to cool and rinse. Not my favorite thing ever, perhaps, but they'll do. Here they are next to the Lemon Twist hat:

The blue in the mitts is Berry Blue, so there's a little difference. With the hat on my head and the mitts on my hands, it should be ok.

Wow. Finished two things in a week. Now I get to cast on something new, right? Maybe. Maybe not. The grey sock will get some done during the Georgia game tomorrow, and I'm going to knit a lot this weekend, I hope. Mom's birthday socks are on their way to her, so it's time to start her Xmas socks, but I'm still having trouble choosing a pattern. I'll figure it out sometime, I'm sure.

In other news, I'm down to one job, so that's a happy, and it's teaching math, so that's even better. My brother is going to run out of work soon if he hasn't already, and so I've been spending a lot of time today reading about the WGA strike. I've got a book due at the library Sunday that I've only read a third of, so that's something to do. I'm keeping busy. And that's good.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Not remotely knitting-related

Click for video

I know I told this story at knit night this spring. The PA that John Krasinski mentions is my kid brother!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What priorities? and Switching sides.

This working two jobs thing has definitely killed my weekday posting. We'll see how things shake out once things change this week.

So I'm on ravelry, right? I have my projects in, my yarn is not all there yet, but maybe that can happen over christmas, or maybe I'll just decide to do it. And I have a queue, with about thirty things in it. I try and keep it in priority order, but that doesn't work usually. Stuff hopscotches up or drops away altogether. It happens.

Meanwhile, I've been trying to clear my needles. Part of this is a feeling of being overwhelmed by WIPs, and trying to get Christmas knitting prioritized and done. And I'm considering switching sides, and going from english to continental, which is a bad idea mid-project. (Two-handing the Nuclear Winter Mittens is what's got me thinking of the switch. They're getting close to done, but for thumbs.)

And this weekend Fetching leapfrogged my queue altogether and jumped onto my needles. Oh well. The pause for this post was brought to you by my anal realization that the symmetry of the fingerless mittens will be thrown off if I do the thumb trick at the start of a round on both hands. Since then I realized I can center the seven thumb stitches over the first purl column (note: a one-stitch shift - but to me, it matters) and all will be well. The first mitt is to the thumb, and but for the first few rounds and parts of the cable rounds, they've been knit continental. As per Mandie's suggestion Thursday, they're going to be dyed with Kool-Aid after they're done to match the Lemon Twist hat.

Okay. That's all I have to say. Maybe next weekend I'll have FO pictures of the Nuclear Winter Mittens or More Lemon Twistiness for you. But I'm not promising anything.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Math and Knitting

I went to a graph theory conference in Detroit a few weeks ago, and while there was math happening, nothing really caught my fancy. I went to talks, I listened, I zoned, I free-associated. And this happened:

This is the Petersen graph. It's a well-known and much-used example and counterexample graph. It's complex enough to be interesting, but basic enough to be easy to play with and test things on. (Trying to find a way out of ending that sentence with a preposition. Failing.)

The graph above has had the vertices (the dots) labeled by me to go with the matrix below. An adjacency matrix is a representation of a graph in which the vertices correspond to both columns and rows, and the entries are the number of edges (lines) connecting adjacent vertices. The top matrix below is the adjacency matrix of the graph above. Below that is a chart. The entries in the matrix have been replaced with yarn overs.

The symbols along the diagonal are k3tog, the ones on the right edge are k2tog. o's are yarnovers, - is purl, and if unspecified, they're knit stitches. Since the diagonal of an adjacency matrix is a funny place, defined by whether or not you consider a vertex to be adjacent to itself (I said no in my matrix), I figured decreases would work along it. Since I didn't want to deal with triple decreases, I made them double, but since the graph is 3-regular (every vertex is adjacent to three others), I needed a third, hence the line of decreases on the right. The purl column was for definition, but I'm not sure how necessary it is.

I knit it up using the yarn and needles I had on me at the time (giant grey man socks that are still threatening me with their not-done-ness). Here's the swatch that resulted. The top is the pattern in the chart. Below is the same, except the k3tog's are instead slip 1, k2tog, psso.

It's a crappy blocking job, but I'm pretty sure a good one would still have issues with the diagonal skew - which seems like it would be predictable were I a more experienced lace knitter. In all, I'm not in love with it. I find it highly doubtful that I'll be working on Petersen socks anytime soon, but I found the idea interesting anyway. I have a hypercube matrix charted out that might have fewer issues, but then again, it might have more.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Progress report:
I washed the Petersen swatch and pinned it to the carpet today. I hope to have pictures in the next few days. The grey sock is to the heel flap, the blue fuzzy sock has the heel turned, but the gusset is not yet picked up. The first sleeve of the sweater is almost where it started today when I realized I really didn't like the way the increases were, so frogged back to the start of the elbow and redid them. I've got myself a bit blocked about how the whole "paired increases" thing works. Need to start the second mitten if I want to finish the pair in the month, which I do. Also need to start writing up that cabled sock pattern.

Auburn is currently winning, but I'm not counting on that continuing. Am Hoping though. War Eagle.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Move along, nothing to see here.

It's been a while since we've had an FO here. I know, it's grating on me too. Darn pairs of everything. I have most of a mitten (no thumb) done and three second socks going. The sweater is getting to a point where Something needs to be done, but I'm not quite sure what (but I bet it involves a second sleeve), and between the two jobs I have now, knitting time has been scarcer.

Besides, I had a couple evenings of complete zombieness. It was cold. I have lost the furnace wars. Maybe next year, when I have more finished knitwear, I will last longer. Really it was kind of amazing the difference the three degrees between 65 and 68 made in my ability to be productive yesterday.

Okay. There's football on. LSU lost, which gives Auburn a chance at winning the SEC. But first they have to beat Arkansas, which they're doing right now in a really boring game.

I have gray sort-of lace swatch that grew from last weekend's math conference. I need to block it and see if it actually looks remotely like something worth having. Lace charts from graph adjacency matrices could work, right?

Ok. Moving along myself. Good weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Fuzzy green snowflakes

I cast on my Norwegian Mittens for the Strikke-along last night. I never did get yarn for it, so I just pulled some stuff from the stash. Classic Elite Lush in lime green and black. Worsted weight on size 4 needles, it's actually not bad. Very soft, but the stitch pattern is going to look fuzzy, with it being an angora blend. The first cuff went very fast. You can see my crappy job of weaving the i-cord at the back.

I was getting through the cuff and trying to decide whether I wanted to do the snowflake design or the winter spruce. I was leaning toward the spruce, since I'd wound up with green yarn, but I really like the snowflakes better. Since it was about 1:30 in the morning, I'd had some wine, and my husband was subjecting me to his favorite episode of Married With Children ever, I was in a goofy place, and decided to go with green snowflakes and call them Nuclear Winter Mittens.

Chris then started telling me what snowflakes would actually be like in a nuclear winter (i.e., not green), but we eventually agreed that if we mispronounced nuclear, we could also have green snow. Therefore, these are my Nuke-ular Winter mittens.


Fall is coming. The light is changing, I can feel the world getting greyer, and I'm waiting for the fall colors. Fall up here is gorgeous, brilliant and spectacular in a way it's not back home, where every other tree doesn't turn. I'd be glad to have it, but I still feel like I missed summer somehow. I'm going further north this weekend, and I hope some good math will come of it. Meanwhile, I think it'll be good to just get away for a few days.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

My Sock. MINE!

This is why I didn't cast on for the Strikke-along yesterday. First sock is finished. Worked the toe while watching what seemed to be Dead Baby night on Meerkat Manor. I'm going to let it sit mateless for a while because taking a bajillion pictures trying to get one that was almost worth posting made me cranky at it. (Plus now that I see it, it's a little busy, don't you think?) Besides, I need to make sure my notes make sense when creating the second sock. And I'm still flummoxed by the thought of writing this thing up. Charts? Row by row? I used my row counter till row 88, does that information need to be included? If I write my instructions using modular arithmetic, will that freak people out? The mirrored cable thing makes it complicated. Ergh.

I'm going to let this go for a minute and see if there's some way of encoding a finite field in a big cable. Have a good one.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

WIP status report

Ech. I'm bored with all this. I need to start a sleeve on the blue sweater so that I have the strength to get the last few inches of body, shawl is still progressing slowly, and the orange bag thing and the golden rectangle blanket haven't been touched for weeks.

Three socks-in-progress. The grey and blue are second socks and therefore boring, the brown is coming out of my head and therefore needs to be transcribed as I knit so that I have a pair eventually, and man those knitpicks needles are pointy. Eh.

So last night I got home and swatched for the strikke-along. Good times.

I've been wearing the swatch as a wristband since last night. I'm kind of inordinately proud of my first 2-color knitting.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

After the camera came home

Left to right, top row: Mom's birthday Monkeys, ratty old Hanes subbing for Mom's Breeze that I already gave her, Fawkes, Stripes.
Bottom row: Fuzzy, Kaylee, and Grey Giant.

So that's my summer of socks. Second socks for Kaylee and Grey Giant have been cast on. The first of a new pair I'm trying to design began on Friday, but I'm being a little anal about it and trying not to work on it when distracted or otherwise impaired. We'll see how that works out.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I know what I want for christmas

I washed and blocked socks today. It's the last day of SOS 2007, and I'm a toe away from having eleven socks done - I'll get it done this afternoon, surely.

I laid all my new summer socks out in a row in my sunporch, three pairs of handknit socks, two single socks, with a pair of my hanes footies taking the place of the pair of cabled footies I've already gifted and a space for the third single sock when I finish it in an hour or so.

And then I went looking for the camera. It was in Chris's car. At his workplace. So that pretty picture is going to have to wait.

I think I need my own camera, don't you?

In other news, I got my Knit Picks Harmony dpns, and I've had them next to me all day, stroking them, twirling them and drooling over their smooth shiny pointy Mardi Gras stripeyness.

I had been considering trying out some sock monogamy once SOS was over, but I think the socks these were ordered for (the ones I was swatchy about) will break through any impulses in that direction.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Nothing to see here - just thinking in type

Mid-foot on two socks. I'm hoping to finish them both in the next few days, so I have a full sock count for Summer of Socks. If they do both get done, it'll be four pairs and three single socks, for eleven total socks over the summer.

My right thumb is starting to be cranky with me, so I've been taking it easy some, and being aware of how I sleep.

Tuscany is getting a row or two a day done, which is fine. The fabric it's knitting into is pretty yummy, I kind of want to snuggle with it.

It's getting colder, and that's making me want to knit on my sweater. We'll see how that comes along as the fall happens. Meanwhile I love the idea of NaKniSweMo, it sounds like a marvy way to spend November. But I don't think I'd try it if I don't have my first sweater done before then.

Meanwhile, I'm considering knitting things for my in-laws for Christmas. A hat and scarf would work. I'm also considering doing something for the Grandmothers, but I'm not sure there, since that's three more projects. I'm in that dangerous time where I think the hat for my brother is done and socks for my parents are under control (except they're not, I've got most of a sock for dad, and yarn for mom and no pattern picked - anyone have something fabulous?) and I've got three months, so why not? This is how It happens. I see now.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Swatchy McSwatchalot

There are no pictures today. Nothing cast on looks any different than it did last week. Tuscany is a little bigger (but the picture would look the same, it'd just take up more of the windowsill), the blue sock is a little bigger, the grey sock is probably three rounds bigger.

I had been knitting away on Tuscany, happily ignoring my socks and working my way into that triangle shawl black hole. I checked out the second volume of Barbara Walker from the library, and was paging through it on Tuesday night and came across a cable pattern I liked. I liked it a lot. A "Oh my god I must have socks with this cable immediately" lot.

I pulled out dpns and my brown KnitPicks Gloss and my ivory Baby Ull and started swatching. I'm probably three or four swatches in, I have a clue but not a complete picture yet. I have a feeling these are going to be freaky bizarre complicated socks, but I really want them... So I'm giving it a try. Swatching everything so that when they're done, they'll be the way I see them in my head. So they won't be immediate. But they'll be mine.

I'll cast on soon. But tonight, I have the blue fuzz garter rib socks. And for something so simple, they make me very happy. Isn't it wonderful what good yarn can do?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Something frogged

The blue sock got pulled out yesterday. He was going to be too big. So we'll start again with fewer stitches. Frogged just fine, I guess that 25% mohair wasn't enough to make it supersticky.

I'm 6 of 11 repeats into Tuscany. I need to do the math and try and figure out roughly how much is actually done when I finish each repeat from here out. Because I'm a dork like that and need to know. Five and a half, that was a quarter of the shawl. That's the easy thing about a triangle. Midpoint dissection. Eleven being prime is going to annoy me though, and probably require a calculator.

Sports break: Stupid Auburn lost their stupid game last night. Honestly, we shouldn't have lost in OT, if South Florida hadn't made more mistakes than we did, or if their field goal kicker guy hadn't been vastly inferior to ours, we'd have lost much earlier. (Our kicker rocks my world and is going to be huge someday. Our quarterback, not so much, although he's probably suffering from my spending the other half of my football time watching Peyton Manning.) Long game meant knitting happened on Tuscany. It'll get more done today watching the Chicago IRL race - it's the season ender and there's championship drama. And for some reason, I really don't want Scott Dixon to win.

I'm getting that vague yarn-shopping yen again. That feeling that I need to go pet yarn and bring some new yarn home, even though I'm pretty much maxed out for projects and I don't have plans for everything I have already? Yeah. I should go pet my yarn closet. It's probably feeling discontent in the same way I am.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Something started

I caved. After about 3 days with no socks on the needles, I gave in to the pleas of my blue Bearfoot and cast on a sock. Plain stockinette, size 2 needles. It's taking a look out the window here:

What distracted me for those three days was this:

Tuscany from No Sheep For You, in pink Panda Cotton. Still sheepless, still pretty silky, but much more economical than Silken or SeaSilk. I'm really loving it.

Oh, and this came out of hiding and demanded its needles back:

He and his mate might be done for Christmas after all.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I think I might have a problem.

When I went to bed last night, it had been probably around 24 hours since I finished the first Kaylee socks. I woke up this morning and realized I had been dreaming of starting a new sock. Not the second Kaylee sock. Something newer than that. I'd been going through my stash and casting on in my sleep. I haven't given into the urge yet, but I might not make it through the day.

Hi, my name is Janet, and I'm a sock addict.

In other news, I'm also a joiner. Sometime soon the two knitalongs I have joined in the past month or so will have buttons in the sidebar, above my Knitting Scout badges.

I joined the Football-along because I foresee a long fall of watching football and knitting, as the two go together in my mind. (Actually, I've been knitting a lot while watching racing this summer, maybe an IRL-along next year?) The Kaylee sock got some comments as I was working on it at the Auburn viewing party Saturday - because that was seriously the most boring and depressing game ever until the last five minutes. Next week (against South Florida) should be boring, but in a different manner and hopefully less depressing.

I also joined Samurai Knitter's Strikke-along. I've been meaning to try some colorwork, so I'm going to give that a try next month, in EZ's Norwegian Mittens.

Somehow I just discovered how fabulous Cast On is. I'm working my way through the back episodes, and I really do love it. Those little badges down at the bottom of the sidebar are my Knitting Scout Badges. The top is the "Proselytize Knitting" badge. The bottom is the "Knitting Under the Influence" badge (see my first attempt at short-row heels if you think I don't deserve this one. And the middle is the "I will crush you with my Math Prowess" badge. I am claiming that my freakish affection for Latin Square related granny-square blankets earns me this one (none of the Colts blankets were Latin Squares, but you can bet if I do another PL blanket, it will be), but if you want to quibble about them being crocheted, I offer my golden rectangle in progress - which has the additional fun of being Fibonacci-related, since the badge itself contains the recursive function that generates the latter part of the Fibonacci sequence (F(0):=1, F(1):=1 being the first part). Did I mention I'm a mathematician?

Now I'm going to go and attempt to drown out the Bearfoot that's calling me from the sock stash basket. (It's yelling "It's my turn! MY TURN NOW! Slipped-stitch rib! You know you want to! Come on! Puhleeeeeze?" I know I won't sleep tonight till he's gotten his way.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A little something done.

One down, one to go on this pair. I am flirting with Second Sock Syndrome, because with this guy I didn't immediately cast on the second - first pair of socks I haven't done that with. I have a goal of finishing the second by the end of SOS, which will put me at 4 pair over the summer. But remarkably, right now I have no socks on the needles. And I'm not really feeling the need. (That didn't stop me from buying sock yarn at the Stitches and Scones sale last week.)

So what have I been working on? Well, Friday and Saturday were all about the Colts blankets the Mad Knitters put together (We made three blankets in a week. How cool is that?). I worked on the sock a little at the Auburn viewing party Saturday night, and finished the ribbing while on a brewpub crawl with my friend Matt on Sunday. I swatched for the Tuscany shawl I'm going to start soon, and I'm getting close to finishing the great green scarf. I also went several rounds on my sweater, and I know that's getting closer to needing sleeves.

Anyway, that's the story with me. What's up with you?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Stupid second striped sock

I feel like I held off the end of these forever, and apparently there was a reason. I got to the heel of the second on Thursday at knit night. I didn't touch it all weekend till Sunday night, when I sat down and decided instead of doing the in-place afterthought to go ahead and just make it an afterthought heel, and then I knit a while while watching High School Musical. The next morning I had two and a half hours of waiting for my car maintenance to knit, and got almost to the toe. So yeah. This thing sat with the toe ready to kitchener till last night, when I screwed it up twice! And then this morning I did the heel and screwed up the kitchenering there too. I have been telling the sock newbies at knit night to relax and the kitchener will come to you, and apparently the Kitchener Gods are mocking me this week. These socks now are filled with my ill will. I will enjoy them this winter, but right now I'm annoyed at them and will let them sit with their ends unwoven till I deign to see them again. Bah.

Can you tell I'm dealing with some sock ennui? The snowball hat didn't fix it. So I'm trying this.

It will be a mesh tote bag, I found the pattern thanks to Ravelry, it's Elisa's Nest Tote in Hot Orange Sugar 'n Cream. Kind of mindless but I'm enjoying it. Bright colors and me get along, you know.

Kaylee's somewhere. I haven't knit a stitch on her since Thursday. She's kind of a high-maintenance pattern to be happy laid-back Kaylee. It's that or that I just have motivation issues with toe-up socks. And the sock ennui.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Weekend knitting

I haven't touched a sock since Thursday at knit night.

I know, it's uncharacteristic. Friday I hardly knit at all, and when I did, I cast on the Snowball Hat from the new Interweave Knits. After Friday night at home, and Saturday's Stitch 'n Sip, it was done. But I didn't like it. So I pulled out the top this morning and added a repeat of the pattern and reworked the decreases so that they seemed more natural to me. It was extreme knitting happening this afternoon, I almost didn't make it. But I did, and it's done, it covers my ears and I'm happy with it now. It still needs ends woven in, but I managed to hide them for this picture:

It's my Lemon Twist hat. All yarn was dyed with somewhat lemon-flavored Kool-Aid. And it should amuse me through the winter. If it doesn't, I'm sure I can whip up another hat some weekend. Yay for that.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Larnin' and other sock-ventures

So I finally got the fateful heel on Kaylee last night.

After taco soup last night I settled down with a couple podcasts and Kaylee, and the end of a clearance bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (I do not sniff at sale wine. If I can get an $18 bottle of wine for $12, why not?), and knit to the heel. I then pulled out Sensational Knitted Socks and started working their Short-Row heel. And then I realized that I had no clue what I was doing. I didn't know what tension the wraps should be, and it took me a while to recognize where they were. So I tinked back the six short rows I had, and put Kaylee to rest for the night. (Let us not discuss the fact that I won't turn a flap heel after I've been drinking but I thought applying a new heel method entirely after a glass of wine sounded grand!) I spent the rest of the evening with a ball of worsted, swatching both that method and the yarn over method in Priscilla's Dream Socks in the Interweave sock book. I infinitely preferred the yarn overs, just because of their recognizeability and the lack of tension issues. So Kaylee should have a heel by Mad Knitters tonight. And I'm definitely seeing the benefit of putting two socks on two circs, since I'm seeing second sock syndrome coming down hard with Kaylee.

I took Stripey to Costco to get new tires for the car, and wound up sitting knitting and marveling at the insane proportion of people who can't leave the store without buying something at the snack bar (I've never eaten there. I had no idea that was a thing.). A woman came up with her ice cream and talked to me about knitting for a while, I told her about the Mad Knitters because I have a tendency to do that - it's good for me, come try it! Stripey will probably accompany me to the dealership to get other car maintenance on Monday, and he will probably come along to Saturday's Stitch 'n Sip too - I generally stay sober enough to handle stockinette.

I washed and blocked socks last night, and Fawkes may have gotten softer, which I didn't think was possible. Yum. (I'm thinking about looking into wool washes, but right now I'm just using my bath gel, and it's working for me.)

I'm already wondering what's next for socks here. Mom wants red socks for Christmas. I want to try the Tyrolean stockings in the new Interweave. I actually want to do a lot of stuff in the new Interweave, including the snowflake socks. And the snowball hat, but I'd leave the pompom off. And a bunch of other stuff, it's all post-it-ed already.

Ok. Going to go knit Kaylee a heel now.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A crafting history in scarves - part 1

One boring January Sunday morning in 2003, I got bored, and started crocheting a scarf. I was living in Auburn, in my own little hole of an apartment two-and-a-half blocks from campus, and I had some orange Big Lots acrylic and leftover Red Heart navy from my first afghan, and at the end of the day, I had a scarf.

It's a double crochet mesh, there's an unintentional decrease on one end that was caught and so there's an intentional increase on the other so that the ends match. I got all kinds of comments on this scarf wearing it around town and eventually made a couple dozen for fundraisers the College Dems had in my last couple years in town. I could wear this scarf and a hooded sweatshirt through most of the winter and not freeze. It's a good scarf.

Then I started dating my husband, and spending more time in Indianapolis, and the Colts usually made the playoffs. This scarf happened sometime in December 2003/January 2004, and I think I finished it not long after the Colts washed out of the playoffs that year. It's still my Believe in Blue scarf.

Stranded blue Fun Fur with white Red Heart, it's crocheted seed stitch. This one didn't get near the same reaction in Auburn, but it's soft and fuzzy.

And a few years later, we get to my first knit scarf. Besides a garter stitch dishcloth, this is really the first knitting I'd done, and this is the first knitting I enjoyed - which is a real distinction to me. Honestly, it was a Christmas present from a dear friend, a Cup of Yarn scarf kit.

Garter stitch. Acrylic. Knit knit knit forever. It turned out real pretty, though. But at the end, I still didn't know how to purl. I went to my Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework, picked out k2p2 ribbing, cast on, and started another scarf. This was the project I took to my first Mad Knitters meeting just this past February. No pictures, as I gave it to my mom the second it was done. It predates the blog.

The current scarf on the needles, however, is this guy:

It's from the Mindful Knitting book, and it's easy lace. I have two more scarves in my Ravelry queue, and meanwhile the Red Scarf project is starting up again. While apparently I don't blink at having three socks on the needles at once, having more than one scarf isn't something I really want to deal with, so I need to finish it soon.

Eric's post about knitters v. Knitters got me thinking and looking around the internet for a definition of the difference. I didn't find anything conclusive, but along with the plethora of "I think I must be a Knitter" blog posts, there was one about sorting new knitters into those with and without the potential to be a Knitter. When she approached a girl in a bowling alley knitting and wasn't given the warmest response, she snarked the girl's uneven stitches and acrylic yarn to her face, and then posts about the encounter on her blog with the assertion that the girl "would never be a knitter." The comments are mostly people amused by her wit and also contain dispersions cast at garter stitch and fun fur.

Now here's the thing. It wasn't that long ago that I knit my garter stitch scarf. That scarf started just this past December. And should I have had the courage to KIP while working on that, I would have been deer-in-the-headlights freaked if someone had asked me about it. I KNEW I didn't know a thing, and when I got to the end of the thing, I would still need to learn how to purl.

Knitting is a learning curve, and the amazing thing to me is that from where I sit on it, it never levels out. We're all in different places, and we don't usually stay there, unless we stop. And that'd just be sad.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Finishing socks is so cool

I knit and kitchenered two toes today. Which means that the Fawkes socks are done!

I kind of want to take them off, wash them and block them, but they're yummy to wear on this cool rainy day, so maybe later? I started these on the first, so they were quick.

And I also finished the first stripey sock.

I got a lamp for my living room yesterday, and so the necessity of the plain stockinette sock option is not so dire, but these are nifty and I want to see whether they turn out fraternal or identical, so we'll see how fast the second one goes.

I will be prepared for winter this year. Not like last year, when getting warm boots didn't occur to me till February, and the warm socks I bought in November didn't fit comfortably. I should probably work on my sweater some too, huh?

So we're 8 weeks into Summer of Socks, and I have 7 socks finished, and pieces of two others. Not a bad summer's work. We'll see how the next four weeks go.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I like to play with string.

Janet's formula for a day somewhat wasted
1) Buy an 8 oz hank of cream-colored sock yarn.
2) Figure out how much yarn I really use for a pair of socks (I have from 45 to 25 grams left from 3 100g hanks)
3) Wind 2 75 g balls from the big hank to dye and use later.
4) Attempt to skein the rest around the table from the original hank. Fail miserably and make a big honkin' knot
5) Spend the next 5 hours detangling that knot, listening to music, and reading back archives of Momma Monkey's blog. But mostly detangling that knot.
6) Once finally detangled, skein around the table and realize you don't really want to make your own self-striping stuff anyway. Pull out the egg dye and make a decision - Purple!
7) Break the purple dye first thing with a splash of vinegar. A dunk in the dyebath exhausts what's left of the broken dye.
8) Go for blue instead. Dissolve, dunk, *microwave, rest, repeat from * until blue is exhausted.
9) Rinse and hang to dry and finally get to knitting about when it starts getting dark.

I really like my results, though. Pretty blue yarn with places where it's almost purple. It's that mild variegation that I love. If it were a little squishier, it'd be a lot like Smooshy. Yum. Now, what to do with it?

No power in the 'verse could stop me.

I started Kaylee. It's kind of an incentive system. I knit a repeat of Fawkes, I knit a repeat on Kaylee. It's my first toe-up sock, so I'm seeing how it goes, although there's admittedly some trepidation (especially thanks to the Yarn Harlot post last week about her toe-up Rockin' Sock Club socks) about it. If anyone has any toe-up heel advice, I'd greatly appreciate it.

This is also my first sock pattern with stuff happening every row. Monkey and Fawkes both interspersed the yo/decrease rows with plain knit rows or knit/purl rows. Not this girl. She's very pretty, though, and the picture includes a green post-it note so you can see just how. The yarn is Knitpicks Essential in Gulfstream, and the needles are 3mm 16 inch Addi Naturas, which are pointier than I generally like for socks, I've recently realized.

In other news, Fawkes 2 has a heel flap, but I decided not to turn it on my second glass of wine last night (instead I pulled out my poor neglected sweater and knit a round before I fell asleep on the couch). So that's what I do this morning before I get to knit more on Kaylee here. Shiny.

(I also really want to watch some Firefly now. It's been too long!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sock whore

I have two pair on the needles. I have one in hibernation, waiting till I'm emotionally able to knit for its intended recipient, which might be a while. And what am I thinking about?

Casting on for Kaylee. This is a pattern I am willing to go toe-up for...

And doing the Socktopia mystery socks.

And maybe throwing together some crappy acrylic socks for football season. (Red Heart has the colors I want, why does no one else?)

Sigh. And I'm not even past the ribbing on the second Fawkes sock. The first neon stripey thing is coming along, but grr.

Okay. Head down, iPod headphones in. I have no work on the horizon but the stuff around the house (and eventually finding some income). Fawkes part 2 can't be that hard to crank out, right? And then Kaylee can happen. Stripey guy is my tv sock, he'll be to the toe by the end of the week, assuming the TiVo doesn't explode (I'm trying to find the right time to convince the husband that despite the 2 spec-freaking-tacular Dario Franchitti wrecks in the past 2 weeks, we should delete Saturday's IRL race from the TiVo).

Paige said I'm a sock whore. She's so right.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Socks, Lace, and Stashing

We went to the state fair yesterday. I went a little sheep-nutty and spent way too much time ogling spinners whenever I saw them. I'm feeling like getting the spindle and roving out tonight. I didn't buy any roving or a fleece or anything (though I was tempted), but I did get some pretty yarn that was at ridiculously good prices in the wool room.

Best part of the day for me was at the Home & Family Arts building, where a woman from Circle City Lacers took a break from her tatting to show me how to make bobbin lace. The crochet and knit pieces were pretty. A nice green Tomato took third in the casual knit sweaters, which made me think I should do something for the fair next year. We'll see.

Finished the first Fawkes sock Saturday night watching racing. We went out to the Raceway park to watch one of Chris's colleagues race his truck - the company had sponsored the race and had a couple of suites, so it was a nice evening. I ran out of sock by the end of the first race, so that was kind of a bummer. Lesson learned: when I've reached the foot, it's time to carry two socks around, or at least scissors and a yarn needle so I can kitchener, finish, and cast the next one on.

Although the reason I didn't bring the bright stripey sock was because I got to heel-land, and so it wasn't as mindless as Fawkes anymore. That didn't stop me starting the heel (I'm doing a beforethought one for the first time) while watching Saturday's IRL race on TiVo Sunday evening, so now it's good mindless knit-in-the-dark knitting again for a while.

I started a doily Saturday. I blame Paige, her filet crochet "Peace" was so pretty, plus she told me about clearance crochet cotton at Michael's.

Didn't get very far.

I was surprised when I inventoried my sock stash today - I'd been under the impression that Summer of Socks hadn't been good for getting rid of sock yarn. Not entirely true! Of the sock yarn I had in hand before summer began, this is what's left that's not at least cast on:

Two pairs' worth! Not bad! Of course, this is the sock yarn that has been acquired since June 21:

Whoops. :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Summer socks

What the rest of the world is apparently calling a dangerous heat wave, I am calling "THANK GOD summer is FINALLY here!"

I am not fooled. This glorious heat won't last. I won't get months of it on end like I did back home. We'll go back to the sad and wimpy 80 degree summer days, at least until fall and winter come - earlier than I'd like. I will be more prepared this year. I am knitting socks. All the socks currently on the needles are FOR ME! (Did I mention I ganked the grey dad xmas sock's needles to start self-striping ones for me?) And maybe somehow the heat in which I knit them will be magically conserved and when I'm freezing my toes off this winter, my socks will be able to transfer this fantastic yummy summer heat to my poor frigid tootsies.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Monday picture post

Fawkes! I really like this pattern. Reeally like it.

Perhaps they're not as phoenix-like as they could be, but they're flamey enough for me.

The mojo-saving bag - thanks to Mandie, who pointed out the pattern to me when I was restless a week and a half ago. I've definitely got my groove back since this.

And it's just fun to drag around a big freaky bright yellow bag and pull out of it a rust-colored sock.

My friend Sarah and I got bored for a couple hours Saturday night between dinner and the blues concert we were going to see. Sarah'd been drafted into service knitting by her aunt in Phoenix and the group at her LYS, and so we knit baby hats. It was amusing, and I was able to offload much of my cheap acrylic stash on her for these projects. I always have to remind myself that these fiber games we play aren't entirely competitive, as she does things much faster than I.

In any case, we had to wait in the car for me to finish the last decreases on my baby hat before entering the bar. Sarah took pictures.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Oh snap.

Football is coming. I had forgotten. There will be much football this fall. The Colts won the Super Bowl. My Auburn Tigers were the only team to beat the national champs (yes, i agree, much less cool than being the national champs, but we take what we can get and beating Bama for the fifth time in a row isn't as cool as beating Florida when they're the national champs and besides, everyone hates Florida).

I already have crocheted scarves for both these teams, so you know what's next, right?

Yup. Socks.

Thank goodness I get Saturdays and Sundays in front of the tv to knit them. Now, finding blue and white and navy and orange sock yarn....

Thursday, August 2, 2007

It's Thursday at 6, I should be knitting...

I'm in Birmingham today. Therefore I'm missing my usual Thursday knit night. I bet I could get a massive pile of grey sock done there tonight. But that's ok. A fused brake on the second airplane last night got the gusset done on that, and I might get most of the foot done on the way back. I have travel knitting, in any case. I have two pairs of socks, a scarf in progress, and the supplies to start a lace stole.

Oh, yeah. I started a new pair of socks yesterday. I'm working on Fawkes in Dream In Color Smooshy, which is as yummy as it sounds. I'm using the color Chinatown Apple. It's not exactly flame-colored, but it's a rusty orangey-red-brown, which works for me. I love the pattern, one repeat in. Definitely looks flamey. I got to 'splain to my mom who Guy Fawkes was, which was kind of fun. And meanwhile I'm rereading Deathly Hallows.

The stole might start soon. I've looked at for a how-to on the invisible cast on, which is kind of cool. We'll see. Probably in some insomniac part of the evening, it'll happen. If I don't keep looking around for everything on Ravelry.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Stockinette and something else

Yeah. I'm plugging away at the grey sock that I'm really starting to like, although I realized that since I didn't know the yarn would really stripe when I started knitting, I have pretty much no way of making the stripes match up. I hope Dad can live with fraternal socks. Chris won't use them, he says colored socks make his feet itch. I was telling Mom this, and she said her dad, my Granddaddy, used to say the same thing.

And I'm still in love with the ridiculously bright drawstring bag. It's really just like a big sock without ribbing or shaping and with a row of eyelets, but I don't care. I love it. I'm looking forward to the three-needle bind off; I've never done one before.

I am reading Ender's Game for the umpteenth time before I reread Deathly Hallows. I'm not sure why I decided I needed to do that, but I'm finding similarities.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

bag and book

bag and book
Originally uploaded by trimmje

This is what I did this weekend. Along with finding an outfit for a wedding in a cornfield, going to a wedding in a cornfield, and making contact with five places I might not mind working at as much as I mind working where I do now.

That yarn looks faded compared to reality in the photo. It's really got a bit of neonish to it.

And the book was good. Very weird in places, but good.

Oh, and - I went to the yarn store early Saturday afternoon. I hadn't eaten lunch yet, so between the hunger and the wool fumes I almost fell down hard. I left with nothing, miraculously (since I wanted EVERYTHING), but some of that stuff has gnawed its way into my brain and I will be returning to stock up before my trip Wednesday. I will fall down hard Tuesday, but I've budgeted and stuff and right now, I'm ok with that.