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.