Wednesday, September 27, 2006


The NSSC is no more. At least for awhile. I think when I reknit this I will actually go down not just to my usual size, but one more, I think. If it doesn't work, I'll just re-knit yet again. Or if worse comes to worse, get the Elsebeth Lavold Sophisticated Lady book and knit something from there.

And there's nothing like a little retail yarn therapy to take the sting out of frogging the whole body of a sweater plus half a sleeve. I got more Louet Gems in Caribou (I was debating this w/the Tobacco on my last visit) and Pink Panther for monkey1 from Yarn in Alameda and Fleece Artist merino sock yarn from the Little Knits sale in Pinata and Lily Pond. And thanks to some cheering from tapmouse, I went ahead and also ordered more Fleece Artist in Forest and Wildflower. I was going to go back and buy Autumn, but I hesitated too long and it's sold out. As my wallet takes a momentary sigh of relief as I'm gearing up to order my Brooks Farm Four Play Yarn for my Simple Knitted Bodice. And I wouldn't be a makeup addict w/o making my favorite olive browns eyeshadows (Nars Star Sailor, Stila Golightly and La Douce) as my tools to decide on the Brown C color.

eta: Heh, monkey1 laid dibs on the Pinata Fleece Artist (left in the pic above), but I told her they have to be socks. So it's a good thing I ordered more Fleece Artist for myself.

Then I promise myself to go on a yarn buying moritorium 'til February (Stitches West) except for a couple skeins of STR in November for my birthday. Or maybe 4?

Monday, September 25, 2006

And so it begins.

Whee! I'm halfway done w/my first pair of adult socks! Gee, I didn't think it would be so awkward trying to take a pic of one's own sock-clad foot as I can see I didn't pull my socks up all the way as I was contorting my leg and digi cam around.

So now I need to cast on my second sock on my one set of size 1 KP Options dpn's before I start swatching away w/my other sock yarns and tie them up. I guess that means I'll need to order a second set. :) Anyway, the deets so far are:

KP Simple Stripes Snapdragon
KP size "US 1" (2.5 mm) dpns - 8 sts/in, forget the row gauge, need to re-measure
72 sts cast on, ~4" leg length (I have short & stubby legs),
just your run-of-the-mill basic sock pattern

This first sock will be designated as my "left" sock since my left foot is slightly larger and this sock is a little loose at the heel on my right foot. I'll be switching to my KP size 0 dpn's for the heel on the second sock and see how that works for my right foot. I do think that for my next pair of socks, I'll give the short row heel a try along w/a shorter cuff length of around 1-1.5" as 2" is a little too much for my personal liking.

And isn't the sock blocker the cutest thing! Too bad I don't have enough of the STR Rolling Stone sample to finish the mini-sock so I can either wait 'til tapmouse is done w/her socks and beg for a wee bit more or try to knit another mini-sock w/the STR cedar creek leftover she gave me. I really love the colors of the Rolling Stone though.

Hee, maybe when BMFA gets all their colors on their website (maybe?) or when I go to Stitches West next year, I can grab the colorway for myself. Unless I get sidetracked by one of their other 250+ gorgeous colorways.

I am hooked!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Frog or finish?

I guess when my Kyoto sleeve finally started going well, I would finally get out of denial about my Not So Shrunken Cardigan (NSSC) having a lot more ease and room than I realized I would be comfortable with. While I chose to knit the 38 bust size for my LBT and the Kyoto, for some inexplicable reason I chose to knit the NSSC in a size 40. I knew the body had a bit of ease in it that I thought I wouldn't mind, but it just didn't click in my head that since this pattern was top down, it made the sleeves huge, even with the decreases. So now the question is, do I frog or finish? (And pardon the pic, it actually isn't as uneven as it looks. I simply didn't place it evenly on my body.)

Well, actually my choices are 1) frog the sleeve back and decrease 3x more often at least but it would still be loosey-goosey at the top of the arm and underarm area, 2) frog the whole darn thing, or 3) finish per pattern, throw it in the dryer after washing and hope for the best (but it is unlikely it will shrink how I want it, if it shrinks at all due to the silk content) or 4) seam up the sides by an inch. It would actually need to be seamed another inch for at least 2" total but that would leave a ridiculously large seam "allowance." But since this sweater if for me, I do not have any time constraints on finishing this and since I do love this yarn knitted up (yum), the idea of frogging the whole thing and starting all over is actually palatable. Well, at least for the moment.

On the positive side, I finished 1 of my Kyoto sleeves and my first adult size sock in Knitpicks Simple Stripes Snapdragon is going along rather well. The caveat being I have made a couple mistakes that I fixed and shouldn't be too noticeable. One thing I realized though is that I am not a self-striping yarn person. I think I'm a little too fussy and anal about where the stripes are going. I made the cuff 2", probably at least 0.5" too long because I didn't like ending the cuff only partway through the purple stripe. The other thing with this yarn and probably why it's on clearance is that there are brown flecks there and there where the dye colors dripped/mixed together outside their respective stripe areas. It's definitely not as soft as the other sock yarns I've gotten but have yet to knit up. Then again, I haven't washed it yet.

And thanks to tapmouse I am now the proud owner of her leftover Socks that Rock (STR) Fairgrounds yarn in medium weight. There's definitely enough left over for toddler socks, but it's a maybe for girls socks. I was going to try a toe up pattern to see if I can get girl anklets out of them, but monkey1 doesn't want them due to the presence of the green color in them. The other STR yarn samples she gave me are a bit of Rainforest Jasper in lightweight and a bit of Rolling Stone to swath with and to may a microscopic sock for the sock blocker key chain she also gave me. This will be cute and fun to do!

And now I know why the Yarn Harlot says that sock stash doesn't count. It can grow exponentially! In a weak moment I ordered Koigu 123A (first pair of yarn on the left)from the sale knitty board members posted about. Very cute and tropical-y. A lot greener than the online pic though. Then another knitting friend told me about Yarn in Alameda's going out of business sale so we headed over there at lunch and got myself a pair of Loet Gems in Tobacco, Fleece Artist merino sock yarn in a pretty royal blue (Polar Seas? No color name or number on the label), and Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in Somerset. They only had 3 skeins of the LL left, all in different colors, so I got the pink and green colorway for a pair of toddler socks for monkey2 before I found out monkey1 wasn't excited about the STR Fairgrounds colors. Oh well, I guess that means monkey2 will get way more socks than monkey1.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Sliding down the slippery slope that is sock knitting addiction

My sock stash has begun! Hopefully it won't grow like my regular yarn stash, but the Yarn Harlot does say sock stash doesn't count. ;)

l to r: Cherry Tree Hill (CTH) Supersock in Turquoise from their Labor Day Sale, CTH supersock in Waters potluck from Full Thread Ahead during the Yarn Harlot visit (10% of FTA's sales went to Knitters w/o Borders), 1/2 skein of CTH Supersport in Winterberry for the Rainbow Knits toddler socks (obviously for monkey2) also from the CTH sale, KP Simple Stripes in Snapdragon (already swatching the other skein), and KP Dancing in Tap (for monkey1) from their clearance sale.

I need to knit a swatch of the CTH supersock to see if I want another solid color since CTH added more solid colors to their Labor Day leftovers sale page. Then again, I probably should save up for Socks that Rock (STR) since Blue Moon Fiber's website is supposed to be done upgrading next week.

I so need to finish up at least one of my sweaters this month since I just read about Socktoberfest 2006 on the knitty board and signed up. I am weak.

But at least I finished my ball band washcloth and found a button for one of the bibs.

l-r: Mason DixonKnitting Bib in Faded Denim & Ball Band Washcloth in P&C Potpourri ombre and SnC Soft Violet

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The curse of the Kyoto?

The Kyoto sweater progresses despite it being somewhat a cursed process. In addition to the yarn shortage snafu, I had to re-knit the left front 2x. I discovered that when I was a few rows short of finishing it, I was short one stitch. Apparently I dropped an end stitch waaaay down, like after my first decrease. While I religiously counted my rows to make sure I was decreasing on the correct row, I failed to religiously count my stitches as well. Doh! And while the right front knitted up w/no mishap, the 3-needle bind off was another matter as I somehow dropped yet another stitch in the process (not to mention my short row shaping looks like crap). So now I'm onto my first sleeve which is finally going after 4 attempts to cast on. The first time I twisted the stitches, the second I dropped a stitch on the cast on row, and the third I started knitting a 2x2 ribbing instead of a a double seed pattern. It would be nice if this project would go smoother, but I don't want to jinx my NSSC which is going along rather nicely, if not slowly.

After much urging by tapmouse, I went and did the other sock so I have a pair of class socks from Sensational Knitted Socks. I hope that bodes well for my adventures in sock knitting. Then again it probably means that I have no excuses to make not just 1 sock from a pattern but a whole adult pair. Hmmm, I wonder if I'm setting the bar too high now. Heh. Anyway, I'm planning to give these class socks away provided monkey1 doesn't try to steal them for her baby dolls despite their being too big for the dolls. One thing for sure, I've now got monkey1 excited to have mommy make her socks from the Tap Dancing KP sock yarn I ordered.

And I finished the 3rd pair of the suede booties for the baby gift package going to my sister's friend. It doesn't really match the 2 One Skein petal bibs, but too bad. ;)

I should have enough yarn left over for the 4th and final pair of booties from the Berroco suede balls I got from Stitches West. Then the question will be what to do w/all that leftover Berroco Plush. I could either make a really small baby hat (preemie size?) for just save it from some frou-frou trimming on one of the monkey's next project.

While I flailed around about my frustrations w/my Kyoto sweater, I managed to knit up another Mason-Dixon bib, this time in the faded denim ombre colorway. I still need is to find buttons for these as the ones I have are either too big or too small. I have joined the MDK KAL, but I want to find buttons for these before I post there. Speaking of buttons, I need to get around to adding the MDK one to the side bar.

In addition, I should knit some coordinating burp cloths or washcloths to go w/these as I have a cousin having another baby in November and a former staffer and his wife having their first baby.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Obsession is normal

And so wrote Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot) in my copy of Knitting Rules at her talk and book-signing at Full Thread Ahead yesterday. Contrary to what she says, she is cool. And definitely hysterically funny. I stopped knitting during her talk cause goodness knows I would screw up or drop a stitch even if it was the Elsebeth Lavold silky tweed for my Not-So-Shrunken Cardigan (Wendy Bernard).

I'm so glad I went. DH and the kids, not so much as monkey2 decided to torture her dad for 4 of the 8 hours I was gone hanging out in Los Altos. Heh.

So here's the obligatory shot of me w/my Clapotis (I think there were at least 3 other Clapotis wearers in the crowd) and Stephanie. She even took a pic of me(!) w/the Daisy cardigan I brought to show her since her pattern was my first sweater/non-scarf item I ever knitted. Apparently not too many knitters knit the hoodie. I think that was too funny as I figured she'd take pics of other knitters w/cool socks or massive amounts of lace stitches on their needles. Never me.

And props to Hollis, the store owner, who did an awesome job of organizing and running the event. I totally enjoyed my first actual visit to her store. I've bought from her at the TKGA show in Oakland and cruised her booth at Stitches West, so it was nice to actually see her spacious and lovely store.

I suppose it's a good thing for my wallet that her store's a bit of drive for me. She's got online buying access too, but she and her staff are so nice it would be worth going in each time in person instead.

I have a bunch of random thoughts running through my head about the event so I'll just leave off w/a pic of my view of Stephanie during the talk:

- Namaste bag in pink - I want one! Well, maybe not in pink, but seeing it person makes their price tag worth it.
- Met some nice ladies and the owner of Fiber Elements of Fairfield while waiting in line. I will definitely need to stop here whenever I head in that direction.
- Saw the light green LBT owner and wearer (August 30 post on the LBT KAL) from afar. Too bad I didn't get a chance to talk to her.
- Hollis pointed out our own local knitting celeb, Cookie of Knitters Anonymous and Pomatomus designer up near the front.
- Saw 1 knitter w/Jaywalkers on her needle.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Wandering Wednesday

The lovely Sherry from Brooks Farm Yarn mailed me little samples of their solid colored yarn ('cept Black 'cause that's a no brainer) so I can figure out what their Brick looks like and to see if I want to order a different color instead. Left to right is their solids in Teal C, Blue C, Brown C, Brick, and Red C. I'm so glad she mailed me samples 'cause Brick is rather bright and so not what I would want. The Red C has a raspberry tinge to it, but still a no for me, but I'm actually tempted by the Brown C in addition to the Teal C (no surprise there). Therefore, I think I'll be ordering their Teal C for sure for my Glampyre Simple Knitted Bodice soon.

And tapmouse is happy as I'm definitely being drawn into sock knitting. I've seen her winning named Socks That Rock (STR) Puck's Mischief in person and it is a gorgeous colorway! She showed me a couple of the other winning named Midsummer's Night's Dream themed colorways through the STR KAL and Love-in-Idleness is another beauty.

I knit my first lesson sock from Sensational Knitted Socks which I got over the holiday weekend. Tapmouse asked if I'm going to donate the sock since it's a tad too small for monkey2 and I will have to say I hadn't thought about that. Of course, that would mean I would need to knit up another one so there will be a pair to donate. In the meantime I need to finish my 3rd pair of my Ugg booties for my sister's friend. Then I'll be working on my first official pair of sock in KP Simple Stripes in Snapdragon w/either the KP Options dpns in either the 1 or 2 just as soon as I get around to swatching them.