Friday, March 30, 2007

A birthday of sorts

I think I've come a long way since my very first post a year ago, yet I still have so much more to learn and do. For instance, the first segment of Project Spectrum will end tomorrow and my BFF socks are still not done. It's been slow going for me, but then this is the WIP that always gets bumped for other things. But I love this Fleece Artist merino, so I will plug on and finish at least before the next Rockin' Sock Club installment comes in.

And what's currently distracting me from mys BFF socks? To the left, it's Louet Gems Pearl in Willow I bought from a lys closing sale. I'm knitting/swatching Cookie A's Twisted Flower pattern in the large size with the pattern stated size 2 (2.75 mm) needles. I'm not sure how the yarn on this size will turn out 'til I get more into the pattern as I only just finished the cuff. On the right it's Knitpicks (KP) Essentials Tweed in Marin a on KP size 1 (2.50 mm) 32" circulars that I'm practicing the Magic Loop method on.

But the biggest distraction has been monkey1's Modello Giuditta capelet. Her birthday is coming up and I would like to finish it by then. I still haven't decided how to finish the bottom edge so I'll see if she has any preferences. Right now it's a debate between a few rows of garter which'll "match" the vertical edges & collar or a crocheted shell or floret border.

Apparently I lied about having scratched my yarn buying itch at Stitches West, but it is sock yarn. ;) Below is my first Loopy Ewe purchase of Zen String's sport merino (wonders if its Louet Gem sport base) in Opal. Very cute and Easter-y colors. Besides, I'll just consider it my blogiversary gift.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


We interrupt our regularly scheduled knitting content to indulge my geeky girlie gushing for my favorite dulcet-toned singer:

My momentos from the concert - Sweeney Dog (this one is signed), obviously for his pet and his love of musical theater and for the composer Stephen Sondheim, the usual t-shirt and the program w/lots of glossy pics of Josh. DH bought the concert tickets last November as part of my suite of b-day gifts and after the concert ended, DH tells me "And now ends your birthday celebration of 2006." Heh.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Monsoon passing

My first Rockin' Sock Club socks are done! The outsides:

The insides:

Yarn: STR Monsoon medium weight
Pattern: Inside Outs by Kaci
Needle sizes: Knitpicks circulars (2-24") in size 0 (2.00 mm) for the feet, size 1 (2.50 mm) for the toes, heels & first 19 rows of the legs, and 2 (3.00 mm) for the rest of the legs

Final thoughts:

This pattern is a yarn eater. I used up all of the smaller second ball and used up quite a bit of the leftovers of the first ball. Obviously the knot in my skein wasn't that close to halfway. :p

Now on to finish my BFF socks and monkey1's Modella Giuditta. I'm also itching to start Cookie A's Twisted Flower pattern in the Willow Louet Gems Pearl I snagged at Yarn in Alameda's closing sale (gee, blogless L & I went there a lot), just in time for the April/May Project Spectrum color pool.

ETA: This is how much Monsoon yarn I have left-over. Good thing I don't' like to knit the leg portion longer than 6" long (in these socks, the unstretched length).

Saturday, March 17, 2007

1 of 2000...

sock knitters knitting the same yarn and mostly the same pattern...

but clearly not getting the exact same results. Sock #1 of my Inside Outs in STR Monsoon is done. Helped greatly by the KP size 2's (3.00 mm) needles I used for the leg. I did about 3 full repeats +5 rows to end for the leg pattern.

So on to sock #2. I sorta knew I started on the other half of the color progression (see the skein opened up in my earlier post), but I decided to go w/it and see how that would play out. Right now it looks like I'm going to get my fat sloping stripes flipped between the sole & instep. We shall see since my second toe section is a tad bigger (I loosened up?) than my first.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Birthday Milestone

Happy birthday to monkey2! Time goes by so quickly. I had forgotten how tiny she was when she was born 'til monkey1 found a box of her infant clothes that we hadn't given away yet.

Trying to take a fun pic of my Rockin' Sock Club progress, but I don't think it turned out as funky as I wanted it to:

Details & comments so far:

Toes & heels on KP size 1 (2.50 mm) circ's. Initially started the toe on KP size 2's (3.00 mm) but they came out too wide. Nothing too traumatic for me on the provisional cast on and zipping the crochet chain off 'cept to say that last stitch is a pain to dig out & put on the needles. I had practiced toe up in St st, so the garter stitch wrap & turn was awkward to do. That and it's really hard to see the double (or even single sometimes) wrapped stitches in garter. I ended up having to count my rows to stay on track.

Foot is on KP size 0's (2.00 mm). Snug but not too constricting. Knitting it was relatively uneventful 'til I almost got to the end and stabbed one of my fingers w/the size 0 needles. Ow.

The leg: I began this section on the KP size 1's and got through a whole repeat just fine when trying them on my foot. Got to the 3rd cable set (halfway through the 2nd repeat) and had to really struggle to get the sock on and off! It felt a little snug on (not terribly so), but still I was concerned I'd rip my socks to shreds w/all that tugging. And gee, when Kaci wrote she likes her socks snug, she wasn't kidding! I've been wanting to knit Kaci's Cedar Creek socks pattern from last year's sock club in a different STR lightweight color, but I'm not so sure now. Or at least bump up my needle size from the 2.25 mm stated in the pattern to 2.50 mm.

In any case, I posted a question on the Rockin' Sock Club blog (they so need a bulletin board as trying research other knitter's experiences to see if they had the same problem is a big PITA) to see what my options would be. Got some replies, but I still went through a couple more iterations before I decided I think I have it. First iteration I tried the 3rd cable set on KP size 2's. Still too snug. Then my second iteration I frogged back to the second set of cables and started the KP size 2's there. This seems to work and you can see by the change in color striping/pooling where I switched from the 1's to 2's. (I'm also liking the color striping/patterning on the 2's better than the 0's & 1's, but that's the nature of hand-dyed yarn & differing gauge.)

Oh, and Cookie A has her patterns online now. So, I finally got my very own copy of the Twisted Flower pattern. Run, don't walk your fingers to her site!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Going crazy w/the sock knitting thing

Like no one's figured that out already. ;)

One down, one to go! I don't know why I worry about the second sock syndrome since I've got all that project management training and engineering background that's not about to let me have an orphan sock floating around for very long. In any case, the specs so far:

Pattern: Cookie A's BFF socks
size: Large
Yarn: Fleece Artist Polar Sea
Needles: Susan Bates size 1 (2.25 mm) from the sock set
Gauge: 8.5 st/in (purposely went a tad tighter 'cause of the yarn)
mod: the regular ole slip stitch heel flap instead of the St st Cookie calls out in the pattern. Messes w/the design aesthetic, but I was leery of the Fleece Artist holding up in the heel in just St st.

And check this out! While winding up my STR Monsoon, I found a knot. But it was almost halfway through so it serendipitously split my skein in half for me! I'll start w/the slightly larger cake/ball since I tend to use more yarn on my first sock than my second. (Tighter knitting? Faster knitting due to familiarity w/the pattern? Who knows?) So now I'm swatching the yarn on KP size 1 (2.50 mm) circs to see if I get the pattern gauge of 8 spi, which I think I am as I only have 1" so far. My previous experience w/STR medium weight has been w/KP size 2's (3.00 mm) and I got 6.5 spi (dpns) - 7 spi (circs).


Apparently, when Kaci says large, she means bigger than my size 8.5, 9.5" circumferenced wide feet. So today I knitted the garter stitch toe on my KP size 2's and started 3 rows of the foot pattern on KP size 1's. With tapmouse out and blogless L busy, I didn't have someone to bounce off my misgivings that perhaps I'm knitting too large of a size halfway through the toe section. But I decided to plow on in case things tightened up sufficiently once I switched to the smaller needles for the foot. No such luck. So it looks like I'll frog this and start again tomorrow w/size 1 for the garter st toe.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Swatch the Monkey

Warning! If you don't want to be spoiled about the first STR Rockin' Sock Club package, don't scroll past the second pic.

When I first swatched Cookie A's Monkey pattern on my medium weight STR Peacock with KP size 2's (3.00 mm) dpn's to see if I could get a larger size, I found it was a bit too large/loose. So I bought some Susan Bates size 2's (2.75 mm) dpn's to swatch those. Well, tapmouse tells me the stitches on my Susan Bates swatch are smaller, but I'll be darned if they don't feel smaller. While the pattern stitches looks smaller, my ribbing seems looser. In any case, I think I've decided that my STR Peacock will not be morphing into a pair of Monkeys. While I like this pattern a lot, I don't like how the Peacock colors are coming out. I may swatch one of my other med wgt STR, probably Pisgah, into Monkeys and see if I like that better. Just as soon as I decide if I should go down another needle size to KP size 1's (2.50 mm).

In the meantime, I'm slowly continuing on my first BFF sock in Fleece Artist Polar Sea. I had hoped to finish this sock this past weekend in anticipation of my first STR Rockin' Sock Club package, but a nauseous migraine basically sidelined me. In any case, my package did not arrive 'til today. DH & monkey1 were home before me so monkey1 got to my sock package first! After a quick check of the USPS box to make sure she didn't miss anything, I checked out my stuff. So here it is my first STR club yarn & pattern...

and I'll be darned if my first Rockin' Sock Club pattern is toe up. Gah! Well, nothing like making myself practice toe ups on an adult size sock pattern. I am sorely tempted to change the both the heel & toes, but I did join the club to try patterns/methods I wouldn't otherwise try. If that doesn't work out, I can always frog and do a different toe & heel (the generic Diamante reverse heel flap?). And so I leave with the sock club obligatory pic of the skein opened up (check out that cute little emergency key chain skein). I so love Tina's color aesthetic!