Friday, January 26, 2007

'Cause it's YPF

l to r: Velvet Moon, Blue Brick Wall, Pixie Park (all lightweight)

While talking to BMFA's to re-pay my sock club fee, I somehow got into special ordering a few colors. Little did tapmouse know what a sock-knitting-STR-hoarding fool I would become. And little did I know how out of control my yarn stash would get once I got into sock yarn. I've been relatively good on buying yarn for non-sock projects 'cause I need a pattern to motivate me to buy yarn, even if it's good yarn at a good sale price, but apparently, buying sock yarn is like buying lip gloss or green e/s for me and I have no control. ('Cept makeup's smaller & easier to hide and I buy less of it 'cause Nars 'aint cheap.)

But I am trying to knit my stash away, even my STR. I finally got to the heel & past it (barely) on my STR Christmas Balls Retro Rib sock this week. At 6", this is the longest/cuff leg for me yet (and that's 2" short of the pattern's called for 8"). The slowness of this knit probably wasn't helped by the fact that I couldn't make up my mind if I wanted to do these socks w/dpn's or circs. I started w/dpn's, switched to circs when I got my order (for the exercise), thought it took too long (hah!), switched back to dpn's for a couple rows, decided my gauge was too loose on dpn's to match the circs and I actually liked the circs better for this pattern, so I switched again. My second sock is so not going to match the first 'cause I played the needle switcheroo game too much on the first one.

And look! I'm slowly moving forward on my SKB. I finished the short row shaping and made a better 2nd attempt at reducing the sides (at least it looks marginally better). I have 4 more rows of the body to do before I join in the round and switch to my Boyes size 2 (2.75 mm) interchangeable circs for the lace section. Ugh, I'm not looking forward to sliding the yarn past the joins on my Boyes. Even if I swatched to see if I could get gauge on KP size 2's (3.oo mm), I don't have KP size 2 circs that are long enough (they were bought for socks after all). We'll see how much I'll regret not having a large needle stash.

Monday, January 22, 2007

A short detour back into crochet

By persistent and numerous requests:
Pattern: Crochet Mary Jane Slippers
Yarn: Knitpicks Swish Superwash Red Pepper (under 1 skein)
Hook size: K
Mods: add extra rows to the foot area to fit monkey1's foot

I originally started with a copy of the pattern that was printed in my 2006 Crochet a Day calendar and found 1 typo and massive confusion about the strap. I found the designer's blog but no errata in very, very brief search. Deciding it would take me longer to find it online than to figure it out myself, I went ahead with the strap. It took me 2 tries before I figured what the error in the pattern was. Talk about rusty w/my crochet skills!

And here's one of my Project Spectrum projects for Feb/March. The yarn's Noro Kochoran #21. There's a hint of lilac-y pink in there, but it's mostly blue & gray. I originally intended to do the Mistake Rib scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts 'cept I saw one on a blog somewhere and decided it was way too narrow and that I wasn't in the mood to widen it or knit my Kochoran into a rib pattern.

As for my SKB, I finally added in my short rows and did an on-the-fly attempt at shaping the sides at the same time to get back down to the medium size past the bodice. The short rows went well. The side shaping did not. It looks like crap 'cause I didn't work it out beforehand. I should rip back and do the side shaping properly, but I so want to move forward and just get it over with. I even started the lace pattern section, but I should really listen to myself and stop. Which is probably why I made monkey1's slippers, so I could get my FO itch scratched.

So back to socks it is til I motivate myself to do the SKB properly. But it won't be the toe-up STR Fairgrounds for awhile. It looks like I won't have enough for monkey1's size, so I'll have to frog it and make monkey2 a pair. I'll still do toe up, but I'll try provisional on one and Judy's magic cast on w/the other. Both heels will be short row, but there are 2 slightly varying methods I' want to try. It's not like my younger monkey is going to care.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Pretty in pink

Pattern: Girl's Anklet Socks in Vogue Knitting on the Go Socks Two
Yarn: Louet Gems Opal Pink Panther from Yarn's (in Alameda) closing sale
Needle size: KP size 1 (2.50 mm) dpns

A very cute, girly, quick pair of socks to make. Monkey1 has already outgrown her Dublin Bay socks, so I need to undo the toes and add another 0.5-1.0 in to the foot w/a second skein of Claudia's Handpainted. So much for trying to stick to one skein!

I do need to get back to my STR x-mas ball Retro Rib socks, but I've been sidetracked in trying up the toe-up method using Judy's magic cast on and tapmouse's left-over STR Fairgrounds (med wgt) from the STR Sock Club. I initially tried this method w/a set of dpn's and it was ugly and went nowhere fast. Then I did try again w/a provisional cast on, but messed up on the size, so ripped back again.

I'm knitting socks for monkey1 'cept she doesn't like this colorway!!!! I suppose I could rip back & size it down for monkey2, but I simply don't feel like it. I'll probably finish and save them for when monkey2 does grow big enough for them.

But I love the Fairgrounds color so much I got the lightweight for one of my April/May Project Spectrum projects. By that point I'll have figured out what pattern to use as I don't want to use the STR Sock Club Rock and Weave pattern since that's done w/the medium weight. It's a cute pattern though.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Two fish...

2 fish, originally uploaded by crochet_chick.

now I have a pair of blue fish! (Apologies to Dr. Seuss.)

Pattern: Pomatomus by Cookie A published in
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug in Jay, 1 skein, 100 g/294 yd
Needles: KP size 1 (2.50 mm) dpns
Mod: omitted last repeat of Chart A (leg)

I finally finished these socks w/a little bit of yarn to spare. I was definitely nervous about running out of yarn halfway through knitting the second sock. I was starting to knit tighter on the second sock because of it, but not too much as there's negligible difference in feel between the two socks.

I'm glad I chose to finally knit these socks in the yarn tapmouse gifted me as it reminds me of our Thanksgiving visit to Hawaii, especially our trip to the Maui Ocean Center.

Next up - back to the STR Christmas Balls Retro Rib sock that I started x-mas day, monkey2's second pink sock from a pattern in the second little Vogue sock book, and my darn SKB that I need to calculate and knit my darts into. :P I am so tempted to cast on another sock, but I can't decide what yarn in my stash to play with.

Friday, January 12, 2007

I've got the blues...

Will I make it? Will I need to buy another skein of Colinette Jitterbug in Jay? Hopefully the moment of truth will happen this weekend. And hopefully, in a good way.

eta: Hoping these are good signs -
While waiting at the dentist's as she cleaned monkey1's teeth, I of course, pulled out my Pomatomus to work on it. She was duly impressed as she's been knitting for years, but has stayed at the scarf-knitter stage.

Then, while we were waiting at the rental car company for them to drive us back to the auto body shop, I of course, pulled out the Pomatomus again. Another renter (a male) glanced over and exclaimed how impressed he was that I was knitting a SOCK! Apparently he thought knitters only knit scarves. (What's up w/that?!?) But in any case, I was really excited that I met 2 people (1 muggle + 1 knitter) that loved the sock. Too bad BMFA's bank wasn't as impressed w/the STR sock club. Apparently some muggles think sock knitting=scam. Doofuses. At least the awesome ladies at BMFA's have solved that issue, at least for all the sock club members.

I've been admiring the Project Spectrum KAL from last year and joined this year. Feb/Mar's color theme will be blue/white/gray so I'll be knitting something from that part of my stash hopefully. Not sure what I'll be making though. The Regia cotton on the right will obviously be socks as will the Polar Sea (I think) Fleece Artist on top, both from Yarn in Alameda's closing sale. The little 1/2 skein balls of KP Palette are from a sampler order I split w/a knitty board member. (Oops, I put black in there instead of gray. My bad!) Of course, I have no idea what I'll be making with these. Maybe a log cabin square and add in the other monthly colors to make a little, thin blanket? Will need to pull out the rest of the colors and see.

I also forgot to pull out my KP Shine Worsted in Bachelor Button. That stash was initially slated for a matching Debbie Bliss Molly shrug to monkey1's Snapdragon color version, but I didn't care for the pattern after I did it once. Then I started a Haiku sweater, but my garter stitch gauge wouldn't stay consistent and that drove me up the wall so I frogged that. What I'll probably end up doing is split the skeins up into a bunch of little hats and boy baby stuff since a few friends and family members are having boys now.

And one of these days, I'll find the spool of white ribbon monkey1 ran off with so I can put it on monkey2's lace up cardigan which I'll have her wear when it's not quite so frosty.

The SKB is still on hold as I have to estimate out my dart shaping which I think I'll need with a little help from the Fall 2006 issue of INKnitters magazine that tapmouse so graciously loaned me. (It's got a cute preview pattern for the next Barefoot Knits book that I think monkey1 will like.) I'll probably also stick w/the wrap & turn method as I understand it much more easily and seems less fiddly w/o having to use the safety pin/stitch holder.

Monday, January 08, 2007

One fish,...

One Pomatomus sock done, one to go. The Colinette Jitterbug yarn in Jay is awesome in this pattern. My only concern now is that the label on this 100 g yarn says it's 267 m or 294 yards. Although the second half of the skein feels like it's enough, I didn't get to weigh it. (Well, I didn't get the darn USPS scale to work is more like it. :P) I've omitted last repeat of chart A, so I hope that helps along w/not matching the color progression for the start of the second sock, so I don't waste any yarn in case I really do need it.

SKB - I did one more repeat of increases before splitting off the sleeves and it fits now. But since my row gauge is short (7 rows/in vs 6 rows/in), I like many other knitters, need to lengthen the bodice portion before I get to the empire waist lace section. I think I will follow one of the knitter's on the Craftster kal and continue the bodice increasing for the front 'til I hit the right point, but I'm debating if I'll also need to do some short row shaping, which I'll probably need to do. And even though I did some Japanese short rows on my Lotus Blossom Tank, it was simply by following the directions line by line. This time I will actually have to learn it and apply it.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I'm just a lemming

Pattern: Calorimetry from
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden #233 butchered remnants from my Clapotis
Needle size: US #8
Mods: Thanks to all the knitty board posters recommendations, I cast on 108 sts & did 8 instead of the 15 additional repeats of row 5 stated in the pattern.

Since I forgot to bring any knitting books or magazine w/me when I knit this over the New Year's holiday weekend, I didn't wrap & turn the short rows. I didn't feel like trying to do it from memory. The Silk Garden isn't consistantly spun, so I figured the holes caused by not wrapping wouldn't be very obvious. As much as I love this colorway in my Clapotis, it's pretty darn obnoxious as a headband. I wonder if anyone I know is a Dead Head.

And my Pomatomus socks in Colinette Jitterbug Jay is progressing well enough, though my picked up stitches on one side of the gusset looks like crap. No amount of Grumperina's picking up stitches the pretty way was going to help since the slipped stitches to be "picked up" were horribly uneven. The scaley lace pattern is actually rather rhythmic & simple, so I was thrown when the heel flap was giving me grief. It's not like I don't know how to purl through the back loop (ptbl) since I learned that knitting my Clapotis, so I don't know what was up w/my knitting karma. My only concern now that I've gotten through the heel flap & gusset stitches is that the yarn's pooling now w/the darker blues showing up on the top and the lighter shades under the foot. I hope the colors shift over as I move down the foot.

In between wrestling w/my Pomatomus heel flap & gusset, I played w/my STR Christmas Balls Retro Rib socks. It's turning out to be a really fun looking sock. I hope my second sock turns out so well.

As for my SKB, I'm at a momentary impasse. Since a lot of knitters discovered the SKB was a tad too wide for their size, I went down a size per all their recommendations. Unfortunately, I forgot to account for my broad shoulders and the bugger is a bit small. I'm going to knit one more round of repeats and see what happens then. If it still doesn't fit, I may need to start over going back up a size and maybe reduce the stitches down when I get to the lace portion.

P.S. Can you tell I've switched over to the new Blogger? Still playing around w/my templates.