Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday Crochet FO

Didn't realize it, but my second non-sock FO is also red. Both started during the red months of Project Spectrum too, but only finished this one last week while we were off sweating up in the Sierras. Now we're just sweating at home.

Pattern: Red Riding Hood from Crochet a Day calendar February 21, 2006 (haven't found a reference for the pattern itself online)
hook size: G
Yarn: Knit Picks Merino Style in Hollyberry - 5.5-ish skeins , 2 dyelots since I order the last 3 awhile after I ordered the first 3. No noticeable difference in dyelots, so fine with that.

No gauge or dimensions stated in pattern (maybe a statement that it was for size 2-4 or was it 4-6?), so flew by the seat of my pants on this one. Also, got sloppy w/all those hdc's for the hood and with seaming the back of the hood. Too lazy to fix either issue. Extended the collar out and increased the width to as much as I could in full repeats. Monkey1 wanted it even longer, but I said no 'cause I didn't feel like ordering more yarn for it. It needs a bit of blocking to flatten out the wavey bits, but I need to wait 'til I can get it out of either monkey's possession long enough to do it. That means it'll be like the dead of night so it'll be awhile.

As for the "clown barf" sweater for Monkey2? Monkey1 gave me that look only one's children can give and asked if it could be for her. Given that the colorway suits her so much better than Monkey2 (Monkey1 has my coloring, Monkey2 DH's), I acquiesed (willingly & gleefully) and will rip the giant swatch and proceed to knit Monkey1 a sweater out of the Plymouth Fantasy Naturale yarn. Although the 26" was plenty roomy for Monkey2, it wasn't so much for Monkey1. And negative ease in 100% mercerized worsted weight cotton on a growing kid doesn't seem practical to me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Potential for baby clown barf?

If you haven't been spoiled by STR's August sock club shipment, don't scroll too far down or simply click far, far away and stalk your friendly local postal worker. ;)

Bought the last of what I thought was a cute variegated Plymouth Fantasy Naturale colorway when Creative Accents in San Leandro closed a couple months back. Then I found the cute Embossed Rib Sweater in Plymouth's Knitting for Babies & Kids book. The pattern stated that the sweater was "slightly" oversized (26" circumference for size 2), so I figured I could just add length to the body & arms for it to fit Monkey2. I brought the yarn & pattern along with me on vacation to swatch and play around with as a potential sweater project.

But sometimes cute yarn and a cute pattern doesn't always = cute project:

Unless I was just in a crabby mood on the way home from vacation when I thought about it. I need to bring this WIP (or giant swatch) in to the knitting group at work and get some feedback. Besides, that 26" circumference is looking awfully bigger than the "slightly oversized" stated in the pattern. Either that or I'm too used to the fitted silhouette in fashion (even in toddler wear) for the last couple years and I need to re-adjust my eye to the looser sihouette of this sweater.

But what's not yet a WIP (though it sounds like it'll be a quick one) is the August STR sock club shipment. Got it in my held mail on Monday. The usual opened skein shot:

And the wound yarn cake shot, both with STR Pisgah leftover from my chevron scarf:

When I first saw all the spoiler pics of Flower Power online I wanted to see why I thought it reminded me of Pisgah. I thought the light aqua was the common color, but it's really more the burnt orange. I had mis-remembered the light teal in Pisgah as a light aqua.

I think I will be knitting the yarn in the pattern though I think the pattern would be cuter in a shaded solid like Rose Quartz ('cept mine's med weight) or Coral (which I don't own...yet). The Spring Fling sample in the back of the pattern is cute, but probably 'cause it's a much lighter color than Flower Power and the other samples. (Not that I have Spring Fling which I waffle on putting on my wish list.) My other thought is to do the pattern in Grandma's Flower Garden to make it more girly.

Monkey1 likes Flower Power but not the pattern which isn't what I expected, so there's something going on that I haven't analyzed yet. So although the pattern looks like it'll be a quick knit, I won't be casting on right away.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Menehune Cobblestone socks

Pattern: Menehune Cobblestone Socks by Adrienne Fong
Yarn: Crystal Palace Panda Cotton in Painted Iris
needles: size 1 (2.25 mm) Susan Bates dpns
size: medium
mods: none

I knew my tension was different between socks and the leftover from each skein proves it. I knit the legs at 5.75" as the designer did instead of the 6" stated in the pattern. I think that if anyone else knits this pattern with a foot length greater than 9.5" will definitely need a third skein.

About 11 inches into the body of my Ribby Pulli.

Extending the collar on the monkeys' red riding hood and increasing on the fly. It'll fit Monkey2 better than Monkey1, but Monkey1's going to work it for all she's worth.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Horcrux socks

Yarn: Yarn Botanika super merino tencel "DK" weight from One Planet in Pine Forest
needles: size 1 (2.25 mm) Susan Bates dpns
extra 15 rows after the lightening bolt section
longer heel section converted in Sl st insted of St st & more "normal" heel turn instead of the narrow rectangular one in the pattern
ended toe decrease a row early as I'm not so pointy-toed

I'm in the midst of knitting my second Menehune sock so I can have 2 pairs of socks done while I'm off this week. I'm also intermittently working on my Ribby Pulli and Monkey1 & 2's Red Riding Hood. It's technically done according to the pattern, but I'm extending the collar out into a capelet. I'm increasing on the fly, so it's looks like it'll fit Monkey2 more than Monkey1.

Friday, August 17, 2007

My preciousssssss......

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock bag in violet:

Socks that Rock skeins in the bag:

Left to right: All lightweight unless otherwise noted.
Jail House Rock, Backstabber, Tanzanite (med), Rose Quartz (med), Jade, Falcon's Eye, Grandma's Flower Garden, Philospher's Stone, and Metamorphic.

I tried to widen my color spectrum a bit and didn't do too badly, but I hadn't realized Philosopher's Stone & Metamorphic had such similar rust & blue shades. I'm still working on heading in the yellow/orange section of the color wheel so the orange in Jail House Rock is a good start. I am contemplating getting Olivenite, Sunstone, Oregon Red Clover Honey, or 24Karat on my next STR buying binge, but I could really go for the Coral. It's more on the pinkish side, so I will ponder my potential wish list for awhile.

In any case, all this sock yarn acquisition has me realizing I need to start knitting all the sweaters on my list, so I can make more room. ;) The monkeys are growing and if I don't make them the sweaters I want to make, they won't fit.

Off on vacation next week. Not sure if I'll be posting since my laptop and I are having issues again. I'm not at the point where I'll happily cross the PC/MAC divide, but I'm actually considering it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Socktus Interuptus?

Not really, but I have progress on my Ribby Pulli:

Cascade 220 in Regal for the body from Purlescence Yarns, Cherry Tree Hill Twister in Jewels from Full Thread Ahead's Knit & Crochet Show booth from last year. (The flash is pulling the CTH purple more blue, but I was too lazy to wait 'til the sun was up. That and it's soccer practice day again.)

Purlescence is dangerous for my project queue. I was going to make my CTH Twister into a mini-Clapotis at some point until I was urged to do a little KAL with you-know-who after seeing the ones at Purlescence (Chloe's hooded one especially). And despite more ribbing, this is actually fun. Probably 'cause it's ribbing in wool and not cotton blend. Not that I have no love for cotton blends, but if I did the Ribby Pulli in a cotton blend, I would've stabbed my eyes out w/my KP needles already.

I would've finished my Solstice Slips earlier in the week 'cept for the sweater. At least I am done with this Rockin' Sock Club installment before the next one. Not to mention I've got a mother of a STR order coming in. I spent my 10% club coupon and I spent it well. Not as well as I would've if my parity raise came in, but ther is no doubt I've reached STR SABLE status now.

Usual specs:
Pattern - Solstice Slip - June Rockin' Sock Club exclusive
size - medium
Yarn - STR lightweight in Firebird (my ballband word was "Phoenix")
Needles - KP size 0 (2.00 mm) for the cuff, size "1" (2.50 mm) for the rest

- 1" k3p2 ribbing on the smaller needles since the cast on stitch count is 75 - carried the zig zag pattern down the 40 st heel flap
- standard St st toe

Additional comments:
While my magic STR lightweight number is 64 sts, I do have at least a 1 st leeway using the 65 st Solstice Slip foot as an indicator.

It figures that after I finish these socks with the mods I felt that it would've been fun if I did do the pattern exactly as written, especially with the garter stitch heel & toes.

Next up sock-wise, finishing up the second halves of my Horcrux & Menehune Cobblestone socks. I actually cast on and started the cuff of my Menehunes on my last visit to Purlescence but I haven't touched them since. We're on vacation next week, so I hope to have them done by then.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

In another time zone , it is YPF

But first, August means soccer practice has begun and I lose my afternoon backyard light by the time we get settled at home. So it's indoors with the flash feature for my pics unless I wait 'til the weekend.

My first Solstice Slip is done! My first Rockin' Sock Club pattern where I made modifications. Seen here with 1" of k3p2 ribbed cuff on size 0 (2.00 mm) needles and the standard St st toe. I simply wasn't in the mood to do another garter st short row heel & toe despite the convenient option of knitting these cuff down. After doing the garter st short row heels & toes for my Inside Outs, I had that feeling of ennui about them. But how fickle I am as I will probably do the garter st short row heel & toe in the Ruffled Garden Socks in the August Magknits issue. (I've been admiring GFTC's work in the Socktoberfest group in flickr & see her post on Knitter's Review forums, so it's nice to "recognize" a designer.)

Back to the Solstice Slip, I did go with a heel flap but I was inspired to carry the zig zag pattern down from my Twisted Flower Socks fancy heels. Apparently, I'm finally recovering from the adventure of knitting the Twisted Flower 3x to make 1 pair of socks. (Only in knitting can you have 1+1+1=2.)

This makes my count of single socks go up to 3 in a month. However, I've already cast on for my second Solstice Slip and the other 2 orphan socks will find its twin in a couple weeks.

And nothing like the words "discontinued" to make me buy more yarn from an indie dyer who I thought I wouldn't be buying from for awhile. The top skein is Stormy, the bottom Sweet Briar Rose, both sock yarns from Sundara. Unfortunately, the flash is really washing out the Stormy. It's not that pastel-ish blue IRL.

I thought I had scratched that itch of exclusivity when I finally got her Cherry Blossom skein a couple months ago. But no, I had to read that she would discontinue her multi-color skeins over time and would only do semi-solid & solids from now on for her permanent collection. (I've tried once to buy a one-off skein of hers before, but I'm not competitive enough to enter that sharkfest every time.) So now I will officially declare my Sundara itch has been scratched for a long, long time.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Almost a Piece of (Red Velvet) Cake

Despite the nice compliments from tapmouse & others when I wore this to work today, I'm conflicted on the size I chose.

When I knitted my first Wendy Bernard pattern, the Marilyn Not So Shrunken Cardigan, I went up 1 size which was 2 sizes too large. I frogged that sweater with the intention of some day re-knitting it in a more appropriate size. Then, when I started my Simple Knitted Bodice by Stephanie Japel (Glampyre), I started 1 size smaller (recommended by other SKB knitters) but ended up going back up to my size for the top portion and back down for the rest of the sweater. This lead me to start the Something Red in my size instead of 1 size smaller with the intention of probably going down a size for the rest.

But then I made a tactical error and decided that since the ribbing for the rest of the sweater will pull in a bit, I would take the chance & not reduce the size. If I had swatched a piece transitioning from the St st to the ribbed portion, I would've known better, but did not. Now I'm thinking I should've started the whole thing one size smaller especially since the sleeves are on the loose side and I can't tell if the body in the ribbing section is just right or not.

On the plus side, the pattern in and of itself is elegant in its simplicity. I would definitely knit the pattern again, but maybe in Cotton Ease or Rowan All Seasons Cotton. The Knitpicks Main Line does feel a bit heavy despite it's 25% wool content. It's still cozy feeling and would be a good weekend sweater, but perhaps a lighter cotton blend would make for a better work cardigan. On the negative side, I didn' t realize the yarn sheds like the dickens. Perhaps the black cotton/lycra shirt I wore today wasn't the best choice under the cardigan, but it's still a bit annoying.

This is the second time I've knit with Main Line, but the first time for myself. I hope the Dusty Lavendar Otis I knitted for my friend last year didn't shed all over her. I'll belatedly apologize now for that in case she has a chance to actually read my blog while unpacking at her new home halfway across the country.

In the future I'll just have to remember that Wendy Bernard designs have a bit more ease than Stephanie Japel for my upper body. From now on all my Wendy Bernard patterns will be made 1 size down (especially since I plan to knit the Tomato & Sahara tops at some point) and Stephanie Japel right at my size.

Of course, I have no idea how this personal rule of mine will have to be adjusted when I get to the decision point on my Ribby Pulli. Since it starts from the bottom, I have until 2" before the undearm to decide if I need to increase up a size. I'll need to quiz the Purlescence crew about this sweater since their mini-KAL for it is what got tapmouse & I started on this. (Also, most of the sweater will be in purple so it'll qualify as my second sweater in the Project Spectrum category.

And a quick belated thank you to Carrie for my blog contest prize. Her Lunasea is on the right, the one I bought at Stitches West on the left. I'll either make a shawl out of one (Forest Canopy?) and socks out of the other or make some whack knee highs with both. But it'll wait 'til I'm inspired.


Horcrux sock #1 done!
Yarn: Yarn Botanika super merino tencel "DK" weight from One Planet in Pine Forest
needles: size 1 (2.25 mm) Susan Bates dpns
mods: extra 15 rows after the lightening bolt section, longer heel section converted in Sl st insted of St st, ended toe decrease a row early as I'm not so pointy-toed.

And the knitting is done on my Something Red!

Yarn: Knitpicks (KP) Main Line in Red Velvet Cake from their sale last year - 12 skeins
size: 39
needles: size 8 KP Options
mods: extra 1" in the bodice section, 3/4 length sleeves

I reinforced the buttonhole and it's now washed & drying. I may to need to find a button as all my spare buttons in my sewing basket are 1" and the pattern recommends 1.5" button. I'll probably sew on the 1" button as an interim measure.

If the collar edges on the bottom still roll, I'll probably cheat and add a row of crocheted slip stitches to stabilize it. Don't want to add more in case it adds to much length in comparison to the rest of the cardigan bottom, but as it is, the rolling makes the collar edge look too short.

I have more thoughts on this cardie, but I think I'll voice them when it's dry and I can post some kind of modelled shot.

Next up (besides socks): Ribby Pulli - doing a mini-KAL w/tapmouse. More ribbing :p, but at least it's in wool. It'll be in purple too, so it'll count as my next Project Spectrum.