Friday, June 29, 2007

She called it!

Tapmouse knew I was in Project Manager mode when she called that I would finish this pair by the end of the week. What she probably didn't realize was that due to Monkey2's love of the Wiggles, I had that darn song "Do the Monkey. Ooh, ooh. Ah, ah. Ooh, ooh. Ah, ah. Monkey, monkey..." running through my brain the entire time.

Quick recap:

Socks that Rock Algae lightweight
Monkey by Cookie A
size 1 (2.50 mm) Knitpicks dpns
no mods

I'll have to re-take the picture for my Scout's Indie Swag June package, but you can see better ones in Scout's flickr group. In addition to Cookie A providing the pattern for this month's swag, she also chose the color for Scout to dye. When I told Tapmouse this, she asked if it was in the green color family, but I couldn't tell her 'til I got the package. Scout hides the actual color when she previews it in her blog. And what do you know, Tapmouse was right! It's green. A teal green, but!

You can get a better looks at the pattern photo here since the hard copy printed out too dark to see the details of the sock.

So now that I'm done with my Monkeys I have no excuse for not working on my second Twisted Flower sock. I initially entertained the thought of leaving sock 1 as is with the leg knitted on size 2 (2.75 mm) dpns for a "large" and the heel & foot on size 1 (2.50 mm) circs for the medium, but the more I get into the second sock, the more I realize I need to re-knit the entire first sock. Aside from the nightmare option of cutting the sock in half and then knitting the leg as a medium then grafting it to the other half, I realized I should've reduced the number of stitches for the foot to 72 sts (the "large" again), not the 68 sts for the medium. Then there's the realization that I also should've done one more repeat on the foot before decreasing for the toes. I'm not fond of toe jams in shoes or socks, especially when I can fix the sock.

In between all this I'm still managing to get a couple rows on my Something Red here and there though I've slowed down since I got to the ribbing section. My poor April Y4S club second sock is being sadly neglected.

Oh, by the way, I got in Ravelry this week. My name there is Nartian. It'll be slow going loading my projects and stash into my notebook since I can't cheat and do it at work, especially since is blocked from our network. I'll be sticking the Ravelry button on my side bar at some point.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Another meme. This time about birthdays.

I got tagged by Carrie (Irishgirlie).

The Birthday Meme rules are to go to Wikipedia and type in your birthday month and day only. Then post 3 events, 2 births and one holiday that occurred on your birthday, then tag 5 friends.

So, on my birthdate of November 24 (shared at one point w/3 other co-workers - how's that for coincidence?), these happened:

3 events:
1859 - Charles Darwin publishes The Origin of Species.

1904 - The first successful caterpillar track is made. (Being totally engineering geek here.)

1951 - The Broadway play Gigi opens with a then unknown actress by the name of Audrey Hepburn in the title role. (One of my all time favorite actresses.)

2 births: (Both chosen 'cause they were on a little tv series called Roswell that I once loved)
1977 - Colin Hanks, American actor
1978 - Katherine Heigl, American actress - better known as Izzie on Grey's Anatomy

1 holiday (excluding US Thanksgiving give or take every few years):
Feast Day of Saint Colman of Cloyne - Cobh, Ireland

I'm tagging, if you feel like it:
Tapmouse - like no one saw that coming!
Knitting Betty
Chicken Knits

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Did some obsessed knitting last night:

One Monkey down, one to go.

I really should get a real sock blocker...'cept I keep buying more yarn instead.

Usual specs:
Monkeys by Cookie A
Socks that Rock Algae lightweight
Knitpicks size 1 (2.50 mm) dpns
no mods - am curious to see how the St st heel will wear. Besides, when (not if) I knit another pair of Monkeys (thinking darker colors), I'll probably sub in the usual slip st heel

Now, I can either do the relaxing and easy Something Red or tackle my Twisted Flower more. Of course, it doesn't mean I won't be winding my STR Firebird. ;)

Friday, June 22, 2007

It's a Rockin' Sock Club kind of YPF day

I'm posting other YPF-ish pics at the beginning of this post, so if you don't want to be spoiled on the June Rockin' Sock Club yarn, don't scroll past my Monkey-sock-in-progress pic.

First up is my Sunshine Yarns Dragonfly sock yarn. When I saw a flickr pic of this yarn knitted up, I really wanted it. I finally got around to e-mailing Dani and when she told me it would be up in her shop this month, I had to order it.

Just for filler:

yarn: KP Essential Tweed in Marina
needles: KP size 1 (2.50 mm) circs
gauge: 9 spi
pattern: an aborted test pattern using Magic Loop (ML) toe up

I had finished this test sock in April, but the designer stopped the process after seeing a couple of the test socks and decided she didn't like the way the pattern was coming out.

The KP Essential is a really soft feeling yarn. I love it 'cept it splits like there's no tomorrow, but it might be the KP circs I was using. Since the test pattern has been abandoned, I'll be ripping out the fold-over cuff portion instead of ripping out the whole sock. (Thank goodness I had to foresight to not cut the yarn when I was done.) At some point, I will probably re-knit the leg in the St st and end with a typical 1" of ribbing unless I find another fold-over cuff pattern to sub in. Maybe the lace cuff one in IK's Favorite Socks?

It's my first ML method and it's fine, but I don't think it'll be my go-to method for sock knitting. I may have had an easier time with this since I've already done socks on 2 circs.

(Here's where to stop scrolling just past the following pic:)

I promised myself that I would start the June STR club sock until I got at least one Monkey sock done. (If I was really, really good, I shouldn't start 'til after the Twisted Flower is done, but I'm going to be realistic.) I should be done with this sock by the end of the weekend at the latest. I want to save the second Monkey sock 'til I get through the cabled portions of my Twisted Flower sock as it helps me keep in the right mindset. I may need to do a second pair of Monkeys if/when I re-knit my first Twisted Flower to match the second.

So, without further ado, the STR Rockin' Sock Club June yarn:

The pattern can be done toe up or cuff down, so I'll be doing these cuff down. Nothing wrong with toe up ('cept that whole short row heel vs reverse heel flap thing), but I prefer cuff down. And the yarn's in the lightweight base, my favorite of BMFA's sock yarns so far. Well, I still have to try the heavyweight and knit up the Seduction beyond a teeny tiny swatch, but what made me fall in love with STR was tapmouse's lightweight leftovers for me to play with.

Thanks to all of last year's sock club KAL members for the idea of taking a pic of the opened skein! It always helps me figure out where to start my second sock so I have a decent chance of having the 2nd sock match the first.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Metering the WIPs

In a supposedly rational effort (hah!) to keep my wrists and hands from wearing out, I've been rotating the WIP's cause:

1) I've got cotton. Well, technically my Something Red is in a cotton/wool blend, but still:

The pic shows I'm on the 4th skein of Knitpicks Main Line since it comes in 82 yd skeins as Monkey2 is showing her ire on my handknits. I haven't cast on anything for her in quite awhile. Just kidding on the kiddie ire. That's just mommy guilt kicking in a little since Monkey1 is more likely to ask for specific crocheted & handknit items.

2) (Left) The stiff Yarn4Sock club camel/blend yarn combined with a left twist consisting of a ktbl in the 2nd stitch on the second (left) Balance sock makes for slow going. That and the softener smell on the second skein hasn't dissipated as much as I thought it would - my one and only pet peeve about this yarn. I can live with the stiffness 'cause the knitted fabric has an interesting sorta velvety feel, almost (not quite, but almost) like a silk tweed - the caveat being I still need to wash these socks after I'm done with the second. But it's amazing to me how much this smell bothers me so much. (I've googled and haven't found a knit blogger in the club that's posted anything about this unless my google-fu is not working.) I know I should've washed the skeins first, but I definitely will the next time I get yarn that bugs me in this way.

3) (Right) And I hit a mental block on the 2nd Twisted Flower sock and not just 'cause I started on the medium size instead of the large for the first sock. I've realized I've been thinking my feet are larger than they are. I've started 3 first socks (maybe 4?) in the large size and had to rip back since they all came out too big. 'Cept the Twisted Flower, of course, which only came out comfortably loose.

So I cast on again for the Monkeys, this time in STR lightweight Algae. I figured doing an easier Cookie A pattern would get me back in the groove for the Twisted Flower and the squishy STR yarn would give my hands the break from the stiffer yarns. I also love the speed of doing the pattern size ("medium") on size 1 (2.50 mm) KP dpns.

It's not Friday yet, but I did finish the second test sock so Monkey1 now has another pair of socks. (The other reason to motivating me to get the Monkey off my back - I had an FO!) Have oodles of Hill Country Yarns Superfine Superwash sock yarn left (I'll need to weight it), but definitely enough for another small second pair of socks:

Yarn: Hill Country Superfine Superwash sock yarn in Raspberry Sorbet
needle size: KP size 0 circs
gauge: 10 spi St st
pattern: a test one for Tyler

And continuing the sock yarn lemming mode, my Knittery yarns came in. I had ordered directly from them before I discovered Woolgirl carries them.

left to right: Passionfruit merino, Cherries merino cashmere, Lakeside Flora merino cashmere

Scrumptious stuff, especially the Lakeside Flora! Tapmouse can testify since I flashed this stash to her today.

Friday, June 15, 2007

YPF Homage

In my attempt to own as many Socks That Rock (STR) colorways as I can, I finally got around to ordering Tapmouse's contest-winning named colors:

Left: Puck's Mischief Silkie. Walking the Wild Tide emergency key chain skein is next to it for color comparison purposes. Puck's awesome color combination looks really cool in Twisted too.

Right: Mystic Kelp lightweight - Blue Moon Fiber Arts (BMFA) Dyer's Choice. BMFA had one more colorway from the "Tides" collection that wasn't included in the club contest. I love this too.

And I also got Cookie A's The Sock with No Name (she knit the pattern using Highway 30 lightweight). I was waiting for this pattern's release after seeing partial pictures of it on Cookie's blog. I was even saving the Highway 30 in my stash for it (though it seemed even more uncreative of me to save the exact colorway for the pattern), but now I'm thinking of using the Mystic Kelp instead.

And in order to justify these purchases to myself, I've been knitting as fast as I can to finish Monkey1's 2nd test sock by this weekend. I finished seaming her "Little Red Riding Hood" sans the ties, but I can't officially call it an FO 'til I order 1-2 more skeins of KP Merino Style for the ties and to extend the capelet out more since it looks more like a floppy collar now.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

WIP Wednesday

In a very Project Spectrum-y mood:

Red Riding Hood from Crochet a Day calendar February 21, 2006 (haven't found it online)
size G hook
No gauge or dimensions stated in pattern - so flying by the seat of my pants on this one. Also, got sloppy w/all those hdc's for the hood & too lazy to frog back to fix
KP Merino Style Hollyberry - 3 skeins so far. Should have enough to seam the back of the hood & the hood to the collar, but won't have any left for the ties. Debating on buying one more skein since this color is currently not on sale. Ptthhthh.

And I finally figured out why I don't think seaming in knitting is such a big PITA. It's cause seaming crocheted pieces is really a PITA. Well, single crocheting afghan squares is easy, but bulky. But for clothing...ugh.

Something Red by Wendy Bernard
KP Main Line in Red Velvet Cake (progress shot of 1 skein - photo not true to color in real life)
size 8 KP circs to get finished (washed & blocked) gauge

Learned how to fix a shifted YO due to a slipping marker after noticing it 4 rows later. However, I did have to re-start at one point when I totally didn't see I missed a YO increase way at the beginning 'til I was 15 rows in.

The second test sock so Monkey1 can have a pair (pic also not color correct) 'cause her Lorna's Laces Uptown went into the frog pond after a comedy of errors on my part since the Dublin Bay pattern isn't that difficult. I'll return to these when I think my karma w/this pattern & yarn gets better. Tapmouse can't believe I frogged, especially since I finished the 5" leg portion. But I didn't want to continue knowing I totally forgot about rows 3 & 4 of the lace pattern. Doh!

Still debating the wisdom of doing Twisted Flower sock 2 entirely on size 1 (2.50 mm) circs.

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Monkeys' Guardian Angel

August 1999-June 9, 2006

Knitting didn't teach me patience and perserverence. Our angel did. We're acknowledging the one year anniversary of God taking our family angel back and celebrating her sister's graduation this week.

May you rest in peace, dear little cousin.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A few more FO's

Pair #4 of the Baby Ugg Booties:

I whipped up my last pair of DIY suede booties out of the Berroco Suede & Plush I bought at my first trip to Stitches West for a cousin who just had a baby. My sister is in town for a wedding, so she gets to play courier.

The Chevron Scarf is done!

Pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts ('cept I wouldn't recommend this as a last minute knit)
Socks That Rock Pisgah & Peacock medium weight from The Fold
size 5 needles

Monkey 2 woke up from her nap before I could finish steam blocking the scarf, so it's still slightly roll-ish.

Twisted Flower sock 1 is tentatively an FO:

I discovered in a thread on the flickr Cookie A Sock Creations group that a couple knitters have had to go up a needle size on the leg portion so that they could get the rest of the sock over their heel. I had planned on knitting my second sock all on size 1 (2.50 mm) KP circs instead of the size 2 (2.75 mm) Susan Bates for the legs and size 1 (2.50 mm) for the rest, but now I'm not so sure. In the meantime, I finished the first sock just to get my FO itch scratched. You can see where I ran out of yarn in the toe and had to switch to the leftover yarn a board member graciously swapped to me.

Friday, June 01, 2007

little FO Friday

yarn: KP Cotlin in Nightfall
pattern: Mason-Dixon Knitting linen hand towel - 4 repeats only since I had only 1 skein
unblocked/unwashed dimensions: 8" x 13"
gauge: 5.5 spi on size 5 needles (again unblocked)

Comments so far:
This yarn is very nice to knit with and am happy with the resultant fabric. The true test will be how my wee little towel will wear after some washing/blocking & use. Am curious to see how colorfast the yarn will be.

One Y4S club April sock down!
yarn: Y4S camel/lambswool blend in Hunter's Glen
pattern: Balance Socks in medium
needle size: Susan Bates sock set size 1 (2.25 mm)

So nice to have something off the needles. I've been plowing through my chevron scarf 'cause I might need the needles for the informal Ribby Pulli KAL I'm supposed to have with tapmouse. 21 chevron inches to go, 21 chevron inches...