Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Twist got back

I chickened out or got too lazy, but I decided not to do the short row shaping for a 3 needle bind off for the shoulders. It's not like I haven't done it before, but I think the frenzy of the holiday season is seeping into my psyche and I got nervous. Then there's the fact that my row gauge weirded out and got smaller after I got through the armhole shaping. I'm hoping the yarn doesn't go funky when I block the pieces out later.

And it figures that after I finish my first Dashing glove that I end up finding my Fetchings that were MIA for a few days. Monkey1 borrowed them when we got our x-mas tree and DH placed it on his dresser and not mine when she was done. I'm not sure if I'll keep it (it is Louisa Harding Kashmir Aran after all) or give it away as my row gauge is larger making the glove quite long.

And while Dashing helps alleviate the desire to knit socks *now* with the use of dpns, it's still not quite scratching the itch, so I ended up swatching my Dream in Color Smooshy Cocoa Kiss (odd name for such a dark charcoal color) for DH's socks. Yeah, less than a week before x-mas and I'm contemplating size 13 socks. Even though DH's feet are very narrow (matches my wide feet so I can have the same cast on number!), it's so not going to happen.

Also, I'm not sure how to handle the high degree of lateral stretch the Smooshy seems to have when knit up. When I went down to size 0's, the fabric became too stiff (~10 spi), so I may stay with size 1.5's (~ 9 spi). Tapmouse's swatch had the same lateral stretch issue, so I know it's not just me, but I haven't really found anyone online discussing this quirk. All I know is that the size 2 needles stated in a couple patterns for this yarn would make the fabric too loose and stretchy for my taste.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ravens coming to roost

Guess what lys got their STR Ravens shipment in?

They didn't get all the colors and they only got the lightweight and Twisted. (My wallet thanks the fact that they didn't get some Laci.) I don't remember all the Twisted colors, but the lightweight came in Grawk, Haida, Korppi, Rauen, Ravenscroft, Rook-y, Thraven, and Valkyrie, if inquiring minds want to know.

I thought how the dye took in the Twisted yarn was interesting as different colors "popped" out more than they did in the lightweight. Take Ravenscroft for instance. There isn't much of the chartreuse green in my lightweight skein, but the Twisted we were looking at had a lot of it and much less of the forest green.

And the reason I was there last night was that they were having a baby shower for Nathania. I am a bad blogger as I was remiss in taking a pic of the baby hat I made for her Boo. I mistook the baby shower date as next week, so I didn't make what I had originally planned to make. Doh!

I did manage to make my first pair of Saartje's booties for one of Monkey1's after-school care teachers. What a fun and quick knit. I think I spent almost as much time seaming it & the buttons as I did knitting it though.

And my Twist cardigan is progressing along. No mods so far, but I still have a little time to figure out if I need to elongate the body by 1" and where.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Still in sweater land

I got my birthday present from my very talented college friend in the mail yesterday. Such Royal Plantinum Alpaca goodness! Who said non-knitters don't get it? But then she's very talented and artistic (I'll have to post the ring she made for one of my previous birthdays one of these days.) and has always had elegant taste. I think these DK skeins will be slated for an Argosy scarf/little shawl.

I also got a call from Purlescence Yarns yesterday that Monkey1's "Safety Pink" Jitterbug yarn had finally come in from Colinette. The Alizarine skeins (even toned down w/the photo software it's seriously bright) are slated for Monkey1's pullover, so I don't feel I'm cheating on my sweater only month w/buying sock yarn.

And while I was at Purlescence I managed to knit a few rows of the start of my Twist cardigan. I had gauge issues with the different needle sizes swatching my Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. Either I had a terrible time correctly counting the stitches when I measured for gauge or I swear the swatch shrunk. (Not what I was expecting as I figured it would grow/bloom instead.) I finally decided to go with the slightly tighter gauge I got with size 8 needles with the hope that I'm not taking a big risk knitting the size I chose for the cardigan. When I'm a little further along I'll try to post to the KAL blog.

For some reason, all the issues I had with my Twist gauge swatch 'caused me to re-check my swatch for my Grace sweater. And I found that this swatch definitely shrunk. My only thought is that the swatch was not truly dry when I measured it after washing over a month ago. So now I've knitted another swatch another needle size up and am waiting for it to dry completely. In the meantime Grace is on time out. I expect to frog what I've done so far and start over. On the plus side, better to find out now than when I was much further along.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Heading into sweater only knitting

Since I'm trying to make myself do sweaters only this month (well, essentially anything not socks), I won't have a FO for awhile.

Crystal Palace Merino 5
size 5 Clover bamboo dpns
3" leg including 1" k1p1 cuff
rest of sock in St st
36 st cast on for a gauge of 6 spi

Monkey2 is not one for negative ease. She wouldn't wear the STR Fairgrounds socks I made her earlier this year which I based on the Knitty toe up sock formula cause she didn't like the snug fit. And to make sure it wouldn't be a struggle to put her new socks on, I opted for a regular heel & gusset instead of a short row heel.

I was such the proud mama when Monkey2 called these her "yarn socks" as she knew these were most definitely not regular ole socks. And she said it too cutely for me to teach her to correctly call them handknit socks.

My other FO is my Zig Zag scarf that was my alternate knit here and there at home. I finally got the urge to finish it.

yarn - Yarn Botanika 100% cashmere (dc'd?) in Pink Sand - 200 yd/50 g
pattern - Lacy Zig Zag scarf
needle size - US 8
6" X 44" after steam blocking

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The one official Christmas gift

Technically, it's a thank you gift that I foolishly offered to my makeup board Secret Santa (SS) which she gladly accepted. Otherwise, I am officially wisely refusing to knit any x-mas gifts this year. If I make any, they'll be quick & very small (eg baby-sized).

Pattern: Rainy Day Socks
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in pale pink (my SS said she likes pink)
needles: size 3 KP circs
no mods

I went with relatively quick and fairly easy. I made Tapmouse laugh 'cause at the Monday lunch knitting group, I threw sock 1 to another knitter who wore the same size shoes as my SS to see if they would fit. Being a good knitter, she lined them up next to her foot to verify that the socks were long enough although I did already plan to wash them before sending.

I find it ironic that while I recently bought a bunch of brown yarn, I'm currently knitting in mostly blue.

Top left is Monkey2's sock. She picked the blue Crystal Palace Merino 5 while we were at the Purlescence Pajamarama sale. Yes, I dragged her cute little patootie with me at 6 am that morning and royal blue is very much her color.

Top right is the start of my Waterfall sock. Not too motivated still despite the fact that these are on size 3 dpns. While winding the skein, I found a knot approximately a third of the way through and not at a more convenient spot like smack halfway through or a quarter way through where I have a decent hope that I would finish with that quarter section to spare. Oh well, hopefully I won't need to get to that section 'til right at the toe.

At the bottom is the start of the back section of my Grace sweater. Most of this was knit at last week's Tea and Sympathy at Purlescence. This time w/o the monkeys in tow. I hope to get more of this sweater done this month as I'm going to do an experiment and not knit any socks this month...with the exception of Monkey2's second sock, of course. Which means that while I started the Waterfalls sock, it's going to go nowhere this month.

The other reason for the temporary sock knitting ban is that I joined another sweater KAL. I'll be redirecting the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran I bought at some online yarn store sale (sadly, I forget which one) that was slated for the Cardigan for Arwen. I find that I am way too lazy to do the math adjust the short row shaping on the sleeves since the pattern has the same sleeve for all sizes.

Last but not least, here's my birthday yarn from tapmouse. It's a superwash merino/mohair blend from Liisu Yarns with the lovely name of Waves of Memories. This like my other merino/mohair blends will be aquiring a fine ripening in my stash 'til I find a pattern that will befit its loveliness.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fiery Rhubarbs

Wollmeise is da b0mb! The knitted fabric just feels divine.

usual details:
Wollmeise Rhabarber sockenwolle (med-dark intensity)
Judy's magic cast on for the toes
72 st count
extra cable repeat in the foot
size 2.25 & 2.50 mm (US 1 & "1.5") Knitpick circulars

The only problem I had this time around is that I seemed to get some laddering when I picked up the gusset stitches (both on the p2tog k2tbl sides) and I don't know why. I didn't have this issue with my STR medium weight pair. I'm assuming they'll even out as time goes on.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My oldest UFO

I thought I'd celebrate my birthday on the blog this year by outing my oldest UFO.

Back in my pre-teen years, my mom started me on my needlecraft career with a size J plastic hook, a how to crochet booklet, and some 70's orange acrylic yarn. The orange yarn is no longer around since I turned it into a scarf and gifted it to a friend of mine on her birthday (poor thing!), but my size J hook still is and a couple crochet thread squares I made. Even back then, I was interested in small yarn, but I did realize crochet thread = not fun and soon gave that up. I don't think I even have that small metal hook anymore.

I still have the book it came from though, along with 4 others in the series. It's a pity I didn't ask my mom to keep the whole series as I only kept the ones with crocheted items I liked and I probably missed out on all the knitting tutorials and patterns.

And clearly, my birthday is the main reason I dragged my monkeys with me to Purlescence Yarns Pajama Jammie sale yesterday. It was great way to start Black Friday since I finally met Carrie and got a decent haul despite these three skeins not being part of the sale. I picked up Midsummer's Night 'cause it totally didn't look like the typical STR Watercolor Wave. It really looks very semi-solid in the skein. Then I picked up Seal Rock for myself since I failed to do that last year when I gave tapmouse a skein for x-mas. And I finally got myself a chicken series skein in Rooster Rock. I really like this dye lot Purlescence got since it has some really neat purple plum to it.

And continuing my personal theme of brown and laceweight yarns, as part of the sale, I got a couple skeins of oh-so-yummy Malabrigo laceweight in Marron Oscuro.

Last but not least, here's a couple pink Sock Candy skeins Carrie got from BMFA's Destash sale. I think these might be Pretty in Pink, but I'll have to double check this colorway online. There's some peach on one end, but not as much as there is in Coral. Thank you again Carrie!

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Still procrastinating

Over the weekend, my self-imposed stress started to affect my sock knitting, so I decided to do a quick little project and knitted the Drops Alaska headband (once known as the Panta headband) in the orphan Crystal Palace Taos Painted Desert (#7) skein I bought from the Creative Accents closing sale. I initially bought the orphan skein to try yet another Calorimetry, but I'm happy that the Drops headband fits without any messing with the pattern at all.

So after I got the headband done, I re-cast on for the Rainy Day socks that are slated for a makeup board friend of mine. I first cast on using US size 4 needles not paying attention to the fact that the metric size stated in the pattern 3.25 mm is actually size 3. So of course, the sock was way too big. Thankfully the sportweight yarn (Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino in light pink) makes for a quick knit. I won't get to the second sock 'til after T-day, but at least they'll be done well in time before x-mas. This'll actually be my only x-mas knitted gift 'cause I didn't want the undue stress of knitting for others on a rigid deadline.

But the real reason for my procrastination post is that I wanted to thank Carrie for the great STR Raven lightweight mill end in what we believe is the Pallas Athena colorway. She managed to snag this skein at the BMFA Destash sale. The other possibility is Rauen, but I don't think the red in this is red enough.

It may be darker than the other Pallas Athenas around, but it's still awesome. So thank you so much!

And since I may be too busy/too tired on YPF to post, I'm showing the totally adorable XS-Firestarter kit I got from Yarnissima. I opted for the surprise kit and so I ended up w/some Opal. (I'll have to pull out her note again to get the deets on which colorway this is.) Too, too cute.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Procrastinating on T-day prep

Got my little post office slip last night and headed to the post office this morning. I ended up opting out of orderng a murder of Ravens from BMFA and getting more Wollmeise. Check out her fun new paper packaging. It's got German/English knitting vocabulary. I may not be able to pronounce anything, but I can at least read a few words now.

My first 80/20 sock yarn in Spice Market medium intensity. It will be fun to knit this up and compare to the regular sockenwolle.

And just 'cause I like the colorway, I got Brombeere medium weight in the regular sockenwolle.

Missed out on the Pfeferrminz Prinz dark laceweight (and for that matter, the medium intensity), so ended up with the Pfauenauge. It is gorgeous and smells so lovely.

The monkeys love this bundle of test skeins (worsted weight medium intensity). Monkey1 grabbed the Dornroschen right off the bat, so I need to snag it back from her ASAP.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Seeing double

I went all pesky project manager mode on tapmouse at lunch today. Not my usual MO 'cause who likes it when a project manager is breathing down your neck (or needles in the case) to finish a task? But it was fun taking a picture of both our socks together.

Not that anyone can tell in our lovely indoor cubicle lighting, but mine pulled more red than hers. The wonders of different knitters with differing gauges on the same yarn and pattern.

Only socks

Lenores are done! I was pestering tapmouse to finish her second Lenore yesterday 'cause we were at the same point and she's got smaller feet than me. I used the logic that we can take a pic of our Lenore pairs together, but I don't think that was a strong enough incentive. LOL!

Same as first Lenore sock 'cept I cast on with size 2 (2.75 mm) needles 'cause the cast on edge of my first sock was a wee bit snugger than I want.

I love holiday weekends 'cause that meant I had time to finish my first Wollmeise sock, but second time around with the Firestarter pattern. I love the feel of the Rharbarber sock yarn. Love it. But the gusset took forever to me. In my rush to get the sock done, I kept screwing up my purl increases by either purling on the wrong side or on the wrong row so I'd tink around those stitches to correct them. Ugh.

I'm using my size 1 (2.25 mm) KP circs so I need to finish the second sock before I start my Merlot Vine Lace socks (my current Yarn4Socks club package). I'm using the 72 st count due to the difference in gauge from the pattern. I added 1 cable repeat to the leg. I also went back to my EZ sewn bind off 'cause I didn't like the thicker feel of the doubled yarn bind off on my STR Marbles Firestarter.

I know it's not YPF yet, but T-day is coming and I may not have much knitting time or blog time 'til after. Our Woolgirl sock club package came in this week and it's so, so fun. Unfortunately like the first Woolgirl package, I can't cast on 'til I get through some other sock projects first. I'm planning to knit a pair for my makeup board Secret Santa and a pair of micro monkey socks for Monkey1 using Gilraen's written instructions. I've even charted it out for ease. Now I just need to pull out some yarn:

edited to correct chart legend

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Raven beat out the Firestarter

Surprised myself and finished my first Lenore before my first Rhabarber Firestarter. But once I finished the gusset on Lenore, the foot section flew fast. (Sorry, couldn't resist the pun.)

Tapmouse & I find it interesting that our Lenores are more red than black. Should make picking out other Ravens to buy and interesting experience. For now, we're both waiting for the initial crowd to get their orders in and post their pictures so we both can narrow down which ones we'll order this month. I'm limiting myself to 2 that aren't the same as hers, and the likely candidates so far are Haida (I want a blue) and Ravenscroft ('cause I always like green and love how it looks in Cookie A's pic). I'm holding off on Thraven 'til Anne Hanson's shawl pattern is published unless I decide to do her shawl pattern in a different Raven and get Thraven as a sock yarn.

usual deets:
yarn - Socks that Rock lightweight in Lenore
pattern - Lenore by Stephanie Pearl McPhee (the Yarn Harlot) in medium
needles - KP size "1" (2.50 mm) dpns
mods - none, but I'll be making the cast on row for my second sock a bit looser. I'm pushing it on this first sock.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wandering Wednesday

'cause I'm not doing just WIP's (works-in-progress), but finished objects and yarn-y goodness.

Pattern: Fetching
needles: size 6 dpns
yarn: Cascade Cash Vero in #021
Each handwarmer took approx 28 g of each 49 g skein. That should leave me enough to make Monkey1 her very own smaller pair.

Additional 5 rounds of ribbing before the thumb round. Additional cable round and 4 rounds of ribbing before binding off.
Tried the picot bind off on the first handwarmer. Hated it, tinked back and re-did a normal bind off.

My 2 active WIP's at the moment are both around the gusset section. (eta - Left is Lenore, right is my Wollmeise Rhabarber Firestarter.) I'm taking bets with myself as to which sock I'll finish first this upcoming holiday weekend. I'm sure I'll get both done, but it's a matter of which one I'll be in the mood to finish first.

I'm doing the Lenore on size 1 (2.50 mm) KP dpns in the medium size stitch count. It's pushing it for my 10" circumferenced leg. (My foot's a more reasonable 9.5" circ.) Tapmouse let me try her first sock when she had just finished the gusset and it's right on the edge of fitting fine and maybe being a bit snug. My sock is a tad looser in gauge so I may get away with not having to do the cuff on my second sock on size 2 (2.75 mm) dpns and then switch to size the 2.50 mm dpns for the foot area. I think anyone w/a foot/leg circumference greater than 10" might consider either going up a needle size or knit the larger size stitch count 'cause I'm right on the edge.

Finally, my Chameleon Colorworks custom purchase by tapmouse from Imagiknit. First up, the Twinkle Toes (merino/tencel) skein in Purple Rain. Very cute and not typically me 'cept for the purpleness.

And the crazy splurge buy of 4 skeins of the laceweight Evolution merino yarn that's been so talked about. Love this color combo. I just need to figure out which of my shawl/stole/wrap patterns to use.

Why I'm on a laceweight yarn buying kick right now is beyond me as I haven't knit a shawl/stole/wrap since my Clapotis. I did buy Allison Hyde's Wrapped in Comfort and the Leaf Lace and Flower Basket Shawl patterns awhile ago, so I guess I'm prepping myself. I just need to figure out where my shawl/stoles projects will fit on my list of things to knit.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Cabo Hoodie #2

While tapmouse was shopping for me, I was finishing Monkey1's sweater. It's 80F today and will be for awhile, so no modelled shots. The unblocked sweater on a hanger shot will have to do for now. On the bright side, all this warm weather means that it'll dry quickly when I wash & block it.

pattern: Cabo Hoodie by Wendy Bernard (Knit & Tonic)
yarn: Lanas Puras Melosa worsted weight in Cornflower (sorta a cross between Malabrigo & Manos del Uruguay), approximately 3.5 skeins - have 56 g leftover, so I can extend out the sleeves & cuff next year if I need to or knit a charity hat
pattern size: 10 (I'll need to re-knickname my kids Giraffe or something, they're way tall)
needle sizes: US 7 & 8 (too lazy to look up the metric equivalent)

- As with the first Cabo Hoodie, I knit the pocket on & extended the hood by 2"
- 6 blue plastic beads on each cuff per Monkey1's request - she loves it!

I also finished my first Fetching in Cascade Cash Vero color #021. Monkey1 ran off with it (in hopes that it was too small for me so she would get it - hah!), so I don't have a pic of the finished wristwarmer yet. I added 5 rounds to the hand section before the thumb and added another cable round and 4 more ribbing rounds after to make it long enough. I did try the picot bind off since I've never done one, but hated it. I had a hole under every picot stitch and that bind off made the edge roll badly. So I ripped it out and just did a normal bind off.

I think I'm in a November brown mood 'cause I bought the Chocqua Schrodinger Cube the instant I saw it. When I first found this site after a mention on Wendy Bernard's blog, I thought it just cute, but when I saw the one made with the Hawaiian quilt hibiscus motif, I had to get it. How can I not?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Sorta Random

Posting to keep the knitting part of my brain in order 'cause goodness knows the rest of my brain isn't.

It's amazing how much can get done while waiting for the washer repair dude and being home with a sick kid (Monkey2) a few days ago. I didn't quite finish Monkey1's Cabo Hoodie by the end of the month, but I got close. All I need now is to do the hood and seam the pocket sides. I'm shooting to finish by the weekend hopefully as the weather's gotten back to the fog again.

Monkey1 even got me to put beads on her sweater cuff. She was very precise on the number of beads and color too. As tapmouse knows, I can be somewhat anti-bead-ish, but Monkey1 knows how to get me to do things I don't like...sometimes.

I would've been done with the hoodie by now 'cept all that St st would make me want to do other things too. Surprisingly though, I wasn't in the mood for more socks despite finishing the Giotto with the Flow pair. Oh, I started my STR Lenore sock, but my STR production rate has been surprisingly slow. I think tapmouse picked up my STR mojo 'cause she's already turned the heel on her first Lenore.

Instead I was in the mood to wind up my Yarn Botanika 100% cashmere DK in Pink Sand and knitted up a few rows of the Lacy Zig Zag scarf pattern available on One Planet. Not that I've gotten very far with that either 'cause I ended up casting on for Fetching too in a brown Cash Vero I got from Purlescence awhile ago. (No pic of that yet as I'm deciding if I'm too tight on size 6 needles and need to frog & restart on size 7's or if I'm good and simply need to add length.)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Looking through rose colored glasses

Just in case Kel or any other sock club member hasn't gotten their kit and doesn't want to be spoiled , don't scroll down past the first pic. (Though hopefully the Big Isle postal workers aren't so slow this time.)

First off, I have officially made my Socktobefest goals of knitting 2 of my Yarn4Sock club kits. My 3rd sock pair should've been Monkey2 or DH socks, but I took a slight detour with my Firestarters. Bad mommy. :p

Yarn4Socks June sock club kit - sorta
yarn: Seacoast Panda (superwash merino/bamboo/nylon)in Melon Balls
needles: KP 32" size 1 (2.50 mm) circs
made for: Monkey1

The big modification:
Only used the Giotto pattern for the cuff. I got to the leg section and the leg lace pattern was horrible to do with the Panda yarn. So did like many other knitters and switched to Go with the Flow (Summer 05 Interweave Knits and/or Interweave Favorite Socks w/errata).

And of course, just in time for Halloween, I got my STR sock club package yesterday, a day later than some of my fellow Bay Area sock club peeps. Loads of other pics online of the rest of the kit so I thought I would have fun w/my gargoyle. (My post title is my ball band saying, btw.)

I think my gargoyle is less than pleased with the way I styled the opened skein on him. I was more concerned about capturing the red & black variations that I was making gargoyle dude look hip. Not that I did a good job with that either.

Love this first color of the Raven series and I'm looking forward to seeing the rest. Also looking forward to knitting the pattern too, though I probably won't do the poetry contest. Creative writing not being my strong point. I leave that to my non-knitting buddy. ;)