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. ;)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

All over the place

There's something about our funky weather that's making me feel out of sorts and just unfocused.

I finished the first Giotto with the Flow sock, but I cheated and made them short/long enough for Monkey1. For some reason, I was so over this sock this weekend, but Monkey1 was loving it, so now they're for her. I also realized that I better get going with the kids' knits since Monkey1's feet are now 8" long. Her socks are soon going to take longer to make than mine since I foresee her feet being longer than mine before she even hit her 'tweens. Well, maybe I'm exagerating, but still. No wonder she's been bugging me for new shoes. And here I thought it was just the whole Imelda Marcos shoe gene that skipped me and went to her. (Although the whole joking about the Marcos gene may bite me in the @ss one day and I'll find out we're actually related to them, even if it would be several times removed.)

Slightly amused that in knitter's math, I am halfway done with Monkey1's Cabo Hoodie when all I have are the sleeves & hood to do. It's been hard to get motivated to finish this sweater ASAP when the weather climbs back into the 80's. Also, Monkey1's soccer practice is down to 1x/wk so I mostly have that golden hour (2, if I'm lucky) after the kids fall asleep before I poop out to work on my knitting every night.

But what do I do instead? I swatch for a sweater I loved when I saw it at Purlescence Yarns 1 year birthday party. Leave it to me to buy a pricey pattern ($11! I totally didn't pay attention to this 'til after they rang me up.) and yarn not on sale during their event. My excuse is that in the long run, it did end up cheaper than buying a sweater's worth of Dream in Color Classy I was initially gunning for.

I hope I didn't bite off more than I can chew with this lace sweater pattern. I also realize I'm in a rut 'cause I bought yet another empire waist sweater pattern. Well, I have liked and bought other non-empire waisted patterns, but the only one that's come to fruition was the Ribby Pulli. In any case, this'll be a long term project for me 'cause the potential to muck this one up is high.

Of course, now that I only have one sock-in-progress, I immediately cast on for my Wollmeise Rhabarber Firestarters. This in spite of 1 more Yarn4Sock kit (knitspot's Merlot Vine socks) and Woolgirl sock club kit (Waterfall) I still have to get through. Not to mention our October Rockin' Sock Club kit that'll be arriving soon and my Fratello kit I'm dying to start.

Although sock clubs are fun, I realize I put a lot of pressure on myself to get them done. So despite enjoying my sock clubs, I'll probably limit myself just to STR next year when the others expire.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Siren Socks

Yarn4Socks August sock club kit

Pattern: Siren Socks by Designedly by Kristi
Yarn: Fleece Artist Sea Wool in Sea Foam
needle sizes: size 1 (2.25 mm) and 2 (2.75 mm) KP dpns
pattern size: medium

Mod - longer heel flap

Comments -
Love the yarn, don't love the little silk slubby bits here and there, but they weren't as big or bad as tapmouse's bad skein of Apple Laine yarn she got once. Not fond of the k3tbl's in the cuff, but it got better once I got used to them. Also, the lace panels once you get into the leg are offset by 1 row due to centering the heel. Had to keep track 'cause I was paranoid I'd screw that up, but it wasn't too bad after awhile.

And I loved the Zero markers that came with the Yarn4Socks August kit and their anniversary kit so I ordered more. So pretty.

I know it's not YPF yet, but I was so excited to receive the Fratello kit in the mail Monday. Talk about fast shipping! I had just ordered from Yarnissima last Thursday. Talk about a loaded package! Love the moo stickers. Love the laminated card and the pattern is printed on heavy glossy paper. This'll wait though as I want to knit this next month as my birthday knitting.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I decided to finish

... since I plan to make another pair of Firestarters anyway in my Wollmeise.

Monkey1 decided that my sock blockers wouldn't do and decided to stuff kleenex into the socks for "better" modelling.

But here's what they look like on my feet:

Pattern: Firestarter by Yarnissima
Yarn: Socks that Rock medium weight mill end in Marbles (but color isn't on the label)
needle sizes: 2.75 & 3.00 mm KP circs (aka size 2 & 2.5 needles)
modifications due to yarn substitution:
54 stitch count
1 less cable repeat on foot (differing row count)

The heel turn is a little loose. I either need to add 1 more short row repeat or switch needle sizes on my next pair.
Once I got used to the chart notation and how the pattern's written, it was fun to knit.
The doubled yarn bind off was interesting, but with the thicker yarn I was using, might not have been the best choice.

Friday, October 12, 2007

YPF courtesy of Yarn4Socks

In celebration of Yarn4Socks 1 year anniversary, I bought their anniversary kit #2. I love Donna and Valerie's service and quick shipping.

And I have Nell to thank for helping me decide to get the Phoenix Fiberworks Briar Rose after I saw her post hers last week. (She's got a much better pic of it too.)

In a bit of AADD knitting, I started Monkey1's Cabo Hoodie in between doing the second Siren sock and Firestarter. (Yes, I did bind off the first Firestarter.) The Lanas Puras Melosa I'm using seems not quite a fluffy as the Malabrigo I used for Monkey2's Cabo Hoodie, but it still gives me a lovely soft fabric.

I'm basically going to make the same mods as the first one I knit, but Monkey1 wants me to add blue plastic beads to the cuffs and one smack in the vee of the neckline. My sense of "no bling on clothing" aesthetic is fighting my desire to give Monkey1 some creative input on her hoodie.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

To bind off or not to bind off

So much for the earlier mental gymnastics and knitting voodoo to get the foot to not do that wide striping thing 'cause it totally didn't matter for the leg.

I even went down a needle size (2.75 mm) once the ribbing started on the front side when I noticed that the wide striping was going to happen on the first 5 rounds of the leg. It didn't matter.

I should've known and/or paid more attention to Yarnissima's picture here of her Firebird Firestarters. She's got that fat striping going on the leg on hers.

So now I'm at the point where I can bind off but I'm still deciding on what to do. I can:

1) let the handpainted patterning be and bind off,

2) frog the whole bugger with the intention of knitting a pair of plain stockinette stitch socks out of this yarn and cast on a new Firestarter with another yarn,

3) or frog to the start of the leg and change the ribbing to St st. The only issue there would be the transition from the ribbed heel to St st would be rather loose and "poofy."

So for now it'll sit as an UFO for awhile. I think I'll come back to it after I finish my 2 other socks-in-progress.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Take 2!

(Almost the same content as my post on the Firestarter KAL)

I frogged my first attempt on size 2.75 mm needles using the original 60 st count and casted the STR medium weight back on size 3.00 mm needles using a 54 st count. No fat pooling. I can see my twisted stitches so much better. (And it's really, really looking like the Marbles colorway now.)

After googling what other knitters cast on (& on what needle size if they mentioned it) and the resultant color patterning they got as well as looking back at my STR Sock Candy Broadripples, I realized that a 54 st count might be my magic STR medium weight number (64 being my STR lightweight magic number). The fact that it was also a 6 st variation of the original 60 st count also had the potential to work in my favor. The only question was if a size "2.5" (3.00 mm) or 3 (3.25 mm) would be better.

Once I got used to the chart notation, I could cruise through the travelling stitches. The experience of knitting Cookie A's Twisted Flower pattern made this sock pattern's one chart seem comparatively easy.

Keeping my fingers crossed that I didn't just jinx myself just now. Don't want to get too cocky and have this pattern bite me in the @ss. I still need to get through the gusset section. I hope that it works out, especially since I don't have the same row gauge.

And assuming I get through this pattern unscathed, I'm going to do a second pair in my Wollmeise Rhabarber.

She wanted the half-fingers too

But first, the usual specs:
pattern: hand warmers in Debbie Bliss' Junior Knits book
size: "5-10"
needles: size 4 bamboo dpns
yarn: Cascade Cherub Collection DK in a pale pink & fuchsia - much less than 1 skein each
modifications from the pattern:
- Didn't use the recommended 6 different shades of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino
- Knit it in the round instead of flat (so deducted 2 sts) while carrying the 2 yarns up. Seriously, who would want to seam it while matching the stripes and then have to weave all the ends in after?

I told her I'd make her a pair w/half fingers after I make her Cabo Hoodie. I also have to find a free pattern somewhere 'cause I'm too lazy to do the math.

But she does like her hand warmers enough to ask for 10 pairs in green & white for her soccer team by the last game (mid-Nov). Hah! (Even funnier was her request to also make them for her coach & 2 assistant coaches.) I did however contemplate how quickly I could do them (the ones for the girls) if they were all solid green. I also contemplated how quickly I'll want to poke my eyes out w/the dpns if I did 10 pairs in a month.

So on to a little YPF. Here's my Wollmeise Rhabarber opened up:

Here it is all wound up:

I'm going to swatch to see what kind of gauge I'll get on size 0 (2.00 mm) and size 1 (2.25 mm) needles. This may be my replacement yarn for my Firestarters.

Or second yarn since I'm going to re-try my STR mill end on size "2.5" (3.00 mm) needles with 54 sts to see if I can avoid the "fat" striping.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

WIP's Socktoberfest-style

My Giotto-with-the-Flow hybrid sock is looking very cute. Slow going as other projects get in the way, but still cute:

Uh, I'm swatching. Yeah, yeah, that's it. I cast on my Firestarter sock using my STR medium weight mill end, but the fat striping that's starting to happen is unfortunately obscuring the cable twist patterning.

I should finish a full repeat just to confirm, but my mind is already wandering to the rest of my sock stash to figure out an alternative yarn. My STR medium weight in Tanzanite? My Wollmeise in Rhabarber? One of my Dream In Color Smooshy's? Drat. I'm fraught with indecision.

In the meantime, Monkey1 has requested that I knit up her hand warmers before I start on her Cabo Hoodie:

I'm using 2 pink shades of Cascade Cherub Collection DK that I bought from a store in Escalon that had closed. I had no idea that there was a yarn store in Escalon 'til we saw their yarn sale sign out on the highway. Not that it obvious since the store name was in line with the country-style home decor assessories that filled the front of the store.

In any case, I felt that the 2 shades of washable acrylic were more practical choices than the 6 shades of Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino called for in the pattern. I'm knitting it in the round so I don't have deal with lining up the stripes if I had to seam it as written. Ugh.