Friday, January 25, 2008

Can't believe I finished...

hint #1 of the Secret of the Stole ii (SotSii) that is.

What? Was everyone thinking I finished Twist? Hee, I was sorely tempted to since the Malabrigo laceweight was giving me fits. I was so annoyed/upset at myself last night that I contemplated frogging the whole bugger & bailing on the KAL. Leslie & our blogless knitting buddy will laugh 'cause I was totally whining about this thing today.

I managed to re-do rows 21-29 by tinking back and re-knitting the rows as I didn't do an efficient & effective job of isolating the offending triangle of stitches only (damn these increases!) in order to re-knit them. But at lunch break today, I found I made the same mistake on the other side of pattern. Argh! Luckily, I only had 4 rows to tink back instead of 9 this time.

I am so surprised I actually finished this tonight, so it makes up for my not getting the first 2008 Rockin' Sock Club package yet. I know tapmouse got hers (do NOT click on her link if you don't want to be spoiled!), so I hope I'll get mine tomorrow. Not that I have nothing to do. ;)

I want to finish Monkey1's 2nd Fetching glove, work on my Twist hood section (probably will finish that Sunday) and work on my Bella Coola sock. I figure that I'll get to hint #2 for the SotSii by Monday's lunch knitting session. Hopefully starting it on a Monday instead of a Tuesday will give me less drama. Yeah. Sure.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

WIP Wednesday again

Don't you just love craptastic self-timered pinned cardigan shots? Heh, yeah, a photographer I am not. Anyway, after pinning this bugger together and showing tapmouse, the decision was that I guessed correctly on my size and that I could go ahead and seam away.

I finally got motivated to seam the first half at the Twist KAL session at Purlescence Yarn on Saturday (I was the only one Twist-ing away, alas) while Carrie was finishing her gorgeous Clapotis. It's been so long since I seamed a knitted item that I just felt I was going so incredibly slow. I don't mind seaming, but I've done so many socks and top down items that I forgot the tedium of it.

Then on Sunday during both NFL playoff games, I finished seaming the second half and weaved in all the ends. Now I knew that using the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in my stash would necessitate a lot of weaving in ends, but daayyuum. It felt like it took me longer to weave most of the ends as it was to seam the second half. I was so sick of it that I didn't pick up the stitches for the hood 'til the other night.

Instead, I went back to work on DH's sock that had sat for days stuck at the start of the heel. DH has been home for a few days due to a yucky thing w/his leg, so he's been feeling grumpy and actually whined about my abadoning his sock. So I picked up his 80 st sock being knit on size 2.50 mm dpns at 9 spi & 12 rpi and went at it. (His next pair will be on worsted weight, I swear.)

But now that I've finished one of his socks, I could finally start my Secret of the Stole clue #1. I'm trying to take my time on this 'cause I would prefer not to frog this Malabrigo lace at all since it's just as bad as a mohair blend yarn, it's so sticky.

I found this out the fun way when I decided to frog my first swatch done on size 3 needles and spit splice it to the end and knit away 'til Purlescence gets more Malabrigo in. What a PITA it was to frog it for just that little bit. I hope I can keep up with this KAL (heck I don't even have the button on the side bar yet), but I'm not quite as motivated as I am on finishing my Twist & working on my last STR 2007 sock club pair.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sometimes only a hat (or 2) will do

Not feeling the sock knitting lately and not yet mentally ready to seam all my Twist pieces despite the fact the sleeves should be dry by now. I saw Nathania knitting the red version of her cap pattern at Purlescence during one of the Twist KAL sessions and I really liked it. Besides I figured it was a great way to use up 2 of the single skeins in my stash.

Pattern: K & K Caps
size: both toddler/small (yes, Monkey1's head is on the small side)

Left -
Crystal Palace Merino 5 Solid in Vibrant Blue (same as Monkey2's toddler socks)
under 1 skein (need to weigh how much I have remaining)
size 7 & 9 dpns to get gauge

Right -
Knit Picks Swish in Red Pepper (had bought 2 skeins when I made Monkey1's crocheted Mary Janes but only needed 1)
just under 1 skein (5 g leftover)
size 6 & 8 dpns w/a slightly tighter gauge than pattern so it's a bit too snug for the Monkeys, despite Monkey1's assurances otherwise.

The blue hat stays as Monkey2's, but the red hat is an undesignated gift or charity hat. My stash of ready-made gifts have been depleted, so I need to stock up again.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Not an FO in sight

After my sock-knitting moritorium was lifted, I got a little bit AADD with my knitting, but some of it could be considered swatching. While waiting for the Secret of the Stole ii KAL to start next week, I decided to do a 2nd swatch on size 4 needles. This time my swatch size was 4.5" x 8" (despite not paying attention & binding off a little too tightly) which I think is closer to what I think the lace fabric should be. It's interesting how much lighter this swatch came out too, but I'm sure it'll look different again in the full size.

I'm going with the excuse that I am swatching with my Salish Sea socks. I did start this sock on size 2 (2.75 mm) needles thinking I'd get the pattern gauge of 7.5 spi with them since I got 7 spi on size 2.5 (3.00 mm) needles on my previous STR medium weight socks. However, I didn't meet gauge and had to rip out the toe since I could see the medium size on the slightly bigger gauge would end up a bit too big. I've restarted on size 1.5 (2.50 mm) needles and got gauge.

The other sock I'm "swatching" for is Cookie A's Marilinda socks from Scout's Indie Swag club back in July '07. Since Cookie released the pattern to the public I got the urge to cast on. The yarn is Scout's BFL yarn, colorway Kizkalesi. I don't quite have gauge so I'm fully prepared to frog and re-start this if I have to, especially since I'm still getting used to the BFL yarn. I started on bamboos with the yarn since my metal dpns were too slippery, but I had to switch back since my bamboos are not pointy enough from some of the stitch manipulation I'll need to do. (KP Harmonys are on backorder so I don't know when I'll get them.)

Monkey1 had been bugging me for a pair of gloves, so I started her Fetchings in my leftover KP Merino Style from her Red Riding Hood. Unfortunately, I was too lazy to check the amount leftover when I started, so for now she has 1 lonely Fetching. Instead of frogging it, I'm going to order one more skein and use the leftovers from that skein for a baby hat or booties.

I am still working on my Twist. I finished the first sleeve last weekend and hope to finish the second sleeve this weekend. It would be smarter for me to baste the fronts & back together first to make sure that its not too small though. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I'm a little late on the YPF since tapmouse showed her Yarnissima/Wollmeise loot already, but since I was a good girl and didn't buy anything from either the latest Wollmeise update (though I totally love the Vincent & Paul colorways) or the Woolgirl sale. I surprised even myself on not buying any Wollmeise at all.

I'm still trying to figure out my knitting and non-knitting goals for the year and whether or not I should go on a complete "no buy" (hah!) or figure out how I'm going to "focus" my buying. So we shall see.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

When I'm not getting run over by kids on sleds

I hope everyone had a nice holiday season. We went up to the Sierras for a week after x-mas day so I got lots of knitting in when my Monkeys weren't falling off the sled or getting run over by other kids on sleds. Monkey1 got a nice shiner right below her eye when she ended up doing a face plant after a particularly bad fall & Monkey2 & I got the wind knocked out of us when I failed to pull her out of the way before the kid got to us. The kid that plowed through us was flying and neither DH or I saw him in time. Thankfully the Monkeys are fine.

So I'm trucking along on my Twist cardie and am in need of posting to the KAL. I finished the left front just before x-mas day and the right front a couple days ago. I didn't bring my size 7 KP Options nor extra yarn so I had to wait 'til we got home to start the sleeves. I'm looking forward to finishing the sleeves so I can figure out if I'll have enough to do the hood option or if I'll end up w/just the collar (but it's a lovely one at that).

I also caught back up on my Grace sweater where I had to frog back. Now all I need to do is switch to the larger needles and start the leaf lace chart for the back. Since it looks the same as before, I'm not posting another picture.

I'm also working on Monkey1's Lindy Hop in Colinette Jitterbug Alizarine (aka Safety Pink) pullover here and there. It's a good project for the long drive to the cabin & when I can't do any focus knitting. I'm not sure when I'll finish this, but it satisfies the mindless knitting criteria for one of my WIP's.

'Cause what's not mindless knitting in my queue is the Secret of the Stole ii KAL swatch that I botched. (I'm not sure if it was a wise move on my part to join, but oh well.) I was being lazy and had been using the written instructions as a guide so I wouldn't have to count squares on the chart. Unfortunately, the written instructions had errors in them which I would've been aware of if I had kept up with all the postings on the KAL in either Ravelry or the yahoo group. In the end, I decided to plug on to see if the Malabrigo laceweight I had too much variation since it was a semi-solid colorway (eta - it's Marron Oscuro). If so, then I'll have to search for a solid laceweight yarn anyway and swatch again. If not, then I could at least get an idea of the fabric I was getting on size 3 needles.

The other lesson I learned from knitting the swatch (aside from getting used to knitting a laceweight yarn) was that the difference in my yo size before the ssk and after the k2tog magnified when knitting continental. I managed to even out the yo's when I switched to knitting English style in the upper half of the swatch. Unfortunately, that would mean if & when I knit the full size stole, it'll take me longer. Ugh.

So after finishing the botched swatch and running out of yarn momentarily while on vacation for my sweater projects ('cept Lindy Hop), I finally got around to knitting my first Woolgirl sock club kit. I love the Miss Babs sportweight yarn and the pretty Waterfalls colorway. Monkey1 wants a pair too, so I'll have to either buy a similar colorway or wait 'til Miss Babs releases it for the general public since I believe all the extra skeins had been bought out long ago on Woolgirl.

And DH will finally be getting a pair of socks from me. I just don't know how long it'll take me. I decided to do the Gentleman's Plain Winter socks in the Dream in Color Smooshy Cocoa Kiss. (It took a trip to somewhere with different lighting for me to pick up the cocoa part of the colorway.) I figure I would rather plow through all that St st after the ribbed cuff rather than get bored with a textured pattern getting to the end of his size 13 feet.

The other reason why I'm not sure when I'll finish his socks is that my last 2007 Rockin' Sock club kit came in before x-mas and I want to start those socks and my Cookie A Marilinda sock kit I got from Scout's Indie Swag a few months back. One of this month's Socknitters Anonymous themes is to knit a Cookie A sock and I'm itching to do one, especially now that Maaralinda is available for purchase outside Scout's club.

So for now, I think my knitting plate if full for the beginning of the new year. I've got some knitting resolutions I've been forming, so we'll see if they'll stick.

Otherwise, I hope everyone has a happy new year!