Wednesday, February 27, 2008

How could I say no?

Earlier this week while I was re-organizing the stash, Monkey2 saw some blue yarn and asked for a hat for her little "boyfriend," K. She wanted him to have a blue hat just like hers. She was too cute about it, so how could I say refuse? Then again, I might've had a different reaction if they were 13 instead of 3.

Pattern: K&K Cap (chosen for the quickness of the knit & the whole K initial thing)
size: toddler
yarn: Knit Picks Swish Superwash in Dark Navy with some leftover Red Pepper for the stripe
needles: size 7 & 9 dpns
time it took to knit: 2 evenings in between cooking dinner & other chores

- I added a red stripe so little K's hat can coordinate with the rest of his Superman-themed wardrobe. He probably wouldn't care, but I know his parents would appreciate it.

- At one of the Purlescence Yarn sit&knit sessions, Nathania's husband, Kevin, had been talking about making the hat more boy/male-ish by replacing the picot edge with a purl turning row. So I followed his lead and put the purl turning row in.

Monkey2 loves the hat. So of course she wants me to make her BFF a hat too 'cause it's her birthday this weekend. In blue. We'll see.

In the meantime, I worked on my Serendipity sock that I started before Stitches West. (I'm waiting for more Malabrigo lace to come in to see if I need to alternate or blend the different skeins into my SotSii stole.) I didn't get much of a chance to knit mine when we took a break at Stitches as I was too busy stuffing my face with food. Yarn shopping & Ravelry passport stamping is hungry work! But I did get to work on it quite a bit while hanging out at Purlescence Yarns Saturdays night soaking in the atmosphere with the Sockateers. (We are so in for a fun time at Sock Camp in April.)

I decided to stick with the pattern's deep short row heel despite my aversion to short row heels in general and knowing Adrienne knit the original version with a heel flap and gusset that she had shown a pic of at Stitches.) Although I appreciate the ease of not having to wrap those short row stitches (shouldn't I have despite the directions otherwise?) and the better fit of the deeper heel, I'm not digging the "ears" I've got on the heel.

But this time I like the fit of the star toe. It's closer fitting and not so poufy. I'm hazarding a guess that the difference in fit between this one and my Salish Sea star toes are the yarn weight (STR lightweight vs mediumweight) and gauge they were knit to.

Next time, another blue hat?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Of course I bought too much

While I was reorganizing my stash over the weekend after Stitches, DH opined that I don't need more yarn. This is coming from a man that owns 2 air compressors and a boatload of tools, most of which he's probably only used once and a bunch supposedly he'll need whenever he (and his carpenter buddy supposedly) ever remodels our kitchen. It's a pity I'm not as good as hiding the yarn stash as I am hiding the makeup stash. But then yarn is still cheaper than my beloved Nars ($75 now for their mini-lip palette - wtf!) and some of my Stila.

But first, my Wollmeise order came in last week. (As if that was going to curtail my SABLE either.) Emil 80/20 Twin,the new 80/20 more like the original Sockenwolle, on the left, Paul 80/20 Wild Thing, dyed for deliberate pooling, on the right, and as usual the sample skein included in every order, this time in Red Hot Chili. With our rainy weather, I didn't even bother trying to figure out the best lighting for the yarn.

So...Stitches. As usual, I bought a lot of Socks that Rock. All in lightweight. Check out the 2 Rare Gems on top. I was beside myself in all the Rare Gems they had at Stitches. I didn't get any medium weight 'cause I was on a mission to find 2 particular colors and they didn't have them. Either that or the Thursday night preview crowd snapped them up. Almost got the Twisted in Mr Green Jeans, but there was only 1 (I think I'd need 2 for the scoop neck variant of the Ribby Pulli), almost got 2 Thraven Twisteds (Clapotis anyone?), and almost got a Thraven in Laci but put them all back with the supposed logic that I would pace myself. Yeah, right. That and I decided I need to finish my SotSii first before buying any more lace yarn ('cept for that elusive 3rd skein of Malabrigo I need. More later.)

Tapmouse and I decided that if we buy any sock yarn that wasn't STR, they would be from indie dyers. So up first, our local indie dyer and knitwear designer, Fiber Fiend. On the right is her Panda sock yarn in Seas, on the left her Soft & Sturdy sock yarn in Amethyst, and under the skeins, 2 of her sock patterns, Velma & Shake Your Fishtail.

I swear I wasn't going to buy any Tess Designer yarn, but Adrienne and tapmouse encouraged me to get a couple. So pretty and blue. Guess who gets something from these?

Having failed to find a skein of Malabrigo lace in Marron Oscuro and any of the booths carrying their line, I went to the Malabrigo booth itself to ask. Lo & behold one of their display skeins was my color. I asked one of the reps how I could get it 'cause none of the Stitches booths had it, he told me "Sorry, I can't help you. You can try online." Apparently I was too subtle in the hinting and should've gone with a more desperate tack. And yeah, I finally did find it online & ordered, but I really wanted to see the skeins in person to compare to what I have and to buy it then and there.
(eta: Got a call from that online store & found out their in-stock quote was oh-so-wrong and they have none at all. Argh!)

In small consolation, I got a sample of Malabrigo lace in a different colorway. And of course, it wasn't in the Marron Oscuro 'cause I would've gone around Stitches trying to buy everyone's little sample skeins to have enough.

But really, I won't complain too much 'cause look what I scored! Their sock yarn. Yum.

But it wasn't all about socks! I swear. After hemming and hawing over Shelridge Farm's pretty Blueberry Jam Cardigan for a year, I was all set in buying the kit when we hit their booth. Then I saw Buffy wearing her Cropped Aran Cardigan in a pretty bright green (their Lemonlime colorway IIRC). In the end, I realized that I have no desire to weave in all the ends on the Blueberry Jam and its boxy silhouette truly wasn't my "style". I bought the Cropped Aran kit in Bottle Green and I'm happier with it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Justifying going to Stitches West

I am going to Sock Camp in April after all. But since it's a chance to meet up with my fellow knitters, it won't be all about enhancing my stash. (Insert a lot of laughter here.)

At least my SotSii Hint #4 is done. Still on my first skein of my Malabrigo laceweight. Barely. Not enough to get to the halfway point mid-Hint #5, but I'm hoping skein #2 will get me far enough along 'til Malabrigo sends their shipment to Purlescence. Not going to do Hint #5 'til after Stitches anyway. (Pardon the lazy @ss non-dry-blocked shot.)

And DH can finally stop giving me that hang dog expression along with the "abandoning his socks" comments:

pattern starting point - Gentleman's Plain Winter Socks by Nancy Bush
yarn - Dream In Color Smooshy Cocoa Kiss - but at 9 spi (on 2.50 mm dpns no less), I've pretty much taken the "smooshy" out
mods -
cast on 80 sts (see gauge above)
8" rather than 9" leg
omitted the faux seam back stitch
regular slip stitch heel & heel turn instead of the dutch heel (thought it too narrow for DH)

While I should be getting back to my Grace sweater (though I'm to the armhole shaping):

Or to Monkey1's Lindy Hop in Colinette Jitterbug Alizarine(mindless stockinette fit for watching Lost):

Or to my Marilinda sock (which sadly isn't any further than the last time I took a pic), I've decided to wind up my Socks that Rock Dragon Dance and cast on for Adrienne's Serendipity socks. 'Cause we're meeting up with her and plan to work on these socks at Stitches. (Need something to do when I hit my budget early.)

Besides, all my 2007 Rockin' Sock Club socks are done (all knit as written 'cept my Firebirds):

I'm pretty sure I won't knit all my 2008 Rockin' Sock Club kits in this club year since I've got a full load in my queue. But you never know.

See you all at Stitches!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Twist and Sock!

I finally found my last button online! I had to order a few extra to justify the shipping. :p One thing for sure. The next time I look for buttons, I'll won't buy them unless they have the correct number I need.

Deets again:
pattern - Twist by Bonne Marie Burns
size - 38 hooded version
needles - 7 & 8 KP Options
mods -
added an extra inch to both the body and the hood
accidently knit only 2" of the ribbed cuff on the sleeves
kitchenered the hood

Because I added an extra inch to the body, I used the 3 out of 4 rule of thumb for picking up stitches for the button band. I think it worked fine 'cept I am debating if it was a wise decision on my part to purposely bind off tight instead of loose. I was afraid of the buttonband flaring if I knit loosely, but going tight doesn't make for a good look either.

Lessons learned:
All that anecdotal blog/online evidence of the Cashmerino Aran looking worn out after awhile became true for me after I washed the pieces & blocked them. Sure it's so nice & soft to knit with, but I took the calculated risk about the wear when I bought the yarn in the first place. So I'm not about to complain now.

But the pattern in itself was lovely to knit and I would like to do it again in a much hardier yarn. I may however, go up one size as I'm pushing it w/the size I knit. I had 1.5 skeins leftover, so I may or may not have had enough to go up a size with this yarn. Always a risk when using stash yarn bought on sale, in a discontinued color no less.

I also need to make a decision on where exactly I like my sleeves to be on all my sweaters. I knew it would be a little long, but I didn't want to be too short either. I suppose I'll know if I like the sleeve length or not when I wear the cardigan more, but right now in our nice weather I can't tell yet.

Also done today was my second Salish Sea sock. Most of this sock was fun to knit, but the wavy cuff, not so much. I kept thinking that it would be so much faster and less fiddly if I crocheted the wave in.

I think the only part of the socks that did not fit ime deally are the star toes. I love the look when knit up and fun to learn how to do it going toe up, but as far as my feet are concerned, it makes for too round of a section with extra fabric all around.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

SotSii hint 3

Only a week late. Only. But at least hint #4 supposedly goes quickly despite that bit of asymmetry beginning partway through. It should be intriguing 'cept I've been watching too much Project Runway and it just reminds me of a certain designer w/his Flock of Seagulls hair. (Yeah, I am so dating myself now. Like, you know. ;) )

And in case you don't like sock club spoilers (specifically the Woolgirl kind), don't scroll any further. Although my sister can tell you that I have no issues being spoiled. (I tend to read the last few pages of whatever book she's reading and it drives her nuts.) Although once in awhile I won't visit online sites about my favorite tv series so I can remain unspoiled. 'Cause sometimes I don't want to know which major character bites it in a season finale. But when it comes to sock clubs, spoil me away!

So just in time for Valentine's Day, the totally awesome Woolgirl February kit! Loads of way too adorable goodies. I love all the attention Jen pays to loading these kits up. What a joyful sock club to be in.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I won!

One of my favorite online yarn shops, One Planet (link on sidebar), had a little contest on Ravelry in January that lots of knitters entered. I totally didn't expect to win anything, but I did! I got to chose a skein from their stock of Fleece Artist Nova, Merino, or Sea Wool. I picked and just received very quickly my skein of Cosmic Dawn in the Merino since I don't have this colorway yet. I love it. And the ladies of One Planet are very nice indeed!

In between my SotSii, DH's second sock, Monkey1's sweater, and hunting down that darn last button (JHB #2193, 3/4" btw), I finally finished my first Salish Sea sock by Cat Bordhi.

What a fun knit! It's actually not that difficult of a toe up pattern w/a reverse heel flap, so the second should go quicker if I make it my focus knit. (I think I learned a lot from knitting my Firestarters, so I didn't need to take a huge leap in logic and faith for this pattern.) At the very least, it'll be done by this upcoming holiday weekend where I get lots of car knitting done while DH drives us up to the Sierras.

Deets so far:
Rockin' Sock Club 2007 Dec kit
Socks that Rock medium weight in Nuxalk/Bella Coola
pattern - Salish Sea
pattern size - medium
needle size - size "1.5" US, 2.50 mm
Mods - none

I think the sock or foot circumference given in the pattern was misleading and should've been elaborated on. Maybe it was for the unstretched sock size? In any case, I went by gauge and stitch count when choosing the medium. The only issue I had was choosing the wrong needle size at first and not getting gauge.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

SotSii hint #2

I think I knit hint #2 correctly, if not without a few bits of tinking back here & there. Then again, I have been more conscientious about checking every row now. But I'm still not confident that my larger flower motifs in the center section are correct or not. I hope they are as it's doubly a pain to knit around my marker. I need to switch over to one of my Zero markers ASAP. But at least it's done and I can finally move on to hint #3.

Technically my Twist sweater is also done on the knitting front. (Even the ends are all woven in!) It's just that I'm not done button shopping. My preferred pick is the button style on the left, but the Joann's I went to only had 6. Figures I like that style that is one short. I got the plainer ones on the right as my alternative in case I can't find the other buttons in either the Joann's near work or the one closer to home. I'm dying to call this a FO, but it looks like it won't happen 'til later this week.

I know it's not YPF yet, but I just got my last kit for the 2007/08 Y4S Sock Club. The yarn is Berrytini by Yarntini (congrats on her new baby!) and the pattern is by Michelle To (miknits) IIRC. Despite the fast/early delivery of all my kits and the lovely patterns & yarns, I've decided to limit myself to just the BMFA Rockin' Sock Club (STR) and Woolgirl's. And not just 'cause Lent starts tomorrow - I'm giving up mu buying for that. However, the beauty of the Y4S sock club is that you can buy a month kit here and there when you don't want to commit to the whole year. So I expect to buy a kit when I catch wind of the designer and/or yarn dyer (cough*April*cough*Ann Hanson*cough).

And if blogger doesn't delete or scramble my text again, here are my remaining 4 picks for the "you make my day" award (I'm purposely not mentioning all the big knit bloggers out there 'cause I bet they've gotten this award a lot):

Gilraen - a fellow STR and sock yarn fan in general. Plus, she can actually see Posh yarns in person. Sigh.
Kris Knits - one of the co-adminstrators of the STR club the first year (notice a theme?), but who always have lovely well-fitted sweaters. And a transplanted local girl - who can deny another UH fan in knitting blogland?
And as always, my non-knitting RL buddies, Wei and Home on Derange.

Friday, February 01, 2008


But first, a big hug to Carrie for giving me one of these earlier this week.

It was so sweet of her! I haven't had much of a chance to really savor this nice award as work has been busy as tapmouse can attest. So the deal on receiving one of these is this: "Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times." So without further ado and in no particular order:

Carrie - right back at ya!
Tapmouse - my knitting buddy - that says it all
Nathania - Co-owner of my favorite lys and beautiful mother of 3 beautiful girls
Elem and Bockstark Knits - both of whom fueled my Wollmeise addiction
ChickenKnits - Carrie tagged her already, but I decided to tag her again since she shares my love for sock clubs, but is much better at joining them than me

I have more, but Blogger is refusing to let me add them in, so I'll stop right here. I did intend to list 10, but Blogger is also scrambling and/or eating my text left and right and it's rather irritating. I'll try to add the remaining 4 in later.

Since I haven't finished my Twist yet (I go button shopping tomorrow and then I have to figure out how I want to space them out) nor finished hint 2 of my SotSii, I'll go with my first Rockin' Sock package for 2008. I got my package last Saturday but haven't gotten around to blogging 'til now. The colorway is Dragon Dance & the pattern is Serendipity by Adrienne Fong, one of my favorite sock designers.

And the obligatory shot of the skein opened up. I got Falkor, the luckdragon from The Neverending Story, on my ballband.

I'm looking forward to getting to this pattern just as soon as I finish at least one of my Salish Sea socks.