Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Pair of Socks of 2008


Pattern: Slipped Stitch Rib Socks from Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Elderberry from a lys in Sacramento when they had a brick & mortar presence
needle: size 2 (2.75 mm) KP circs
sock size: Mens 13N (thank goodness for the "narrow" part)
Mod: skipped the garter stitch edge on the heel flap - too fiddly for me

Now on to my current sock WIP:

Pattern: Merlot Vine Sock by Anne Hanson
Yarn: Twist Fiber Art in Arial
needle: 2.50 mm KP circs

Keeping the short row heel due to the ombre striping nature of the hand-dyed yarn. Otherwise, rather prejudiced against the short row heel due to fit issues.

And now I digress into gifted yarny goodness:

Tapmouse gave me a test skein of mmm-Malabrigo Gusanito in Azul Seco for x-mas. She got it from Imagiknit in SF. Clearly, Imagiknit's got a direct line to the folks at Malabrigo since they also had the test skeins for their other new yarn, Dos, which I'm not clear is another sock yarn or not. I'll have to re-read the Malabrigo Junkies thread on Ravelry to refresh my memory.

And look! Another awesome colorway from the mad dyeing genius that is Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Irishgirlieknits gave this skein as a b-day present. Now I have to start an unofficial campaign to ask Tina (politely!) to put Sea Mar up on the website so I can return the favor.

Thank you, my sweet knitting buddies!

Lastly, I was so tied up in holiday stuff that I totally forgot I qualified to be in Woolgirl's Wooly Woolgirl Club. I received the kit right on Christmas Eve and was confounded 'cause I thought I didn't have another order due. LOL! Love all the goodies and the special holiday-themed hand-dyed Leili yarn.

Wishing everyone a Hauoli Makahiki Hou! Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Winter Grey

I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season. It's been busy at Chez Nartian so I haven't had a chance to blog, let alone knit.

I was all set on publishing this post during our gray, rainy winter weather to match my color theme but by the time I got around to working on this post, the sun comes out. Figures. Anyway, I was mentally and "officially" done with my gift knitting by Christmas Eve Eve.

Pattern: A Boy Hat x 2
yarn: Knit Picks Swish in Coast Grey - 1 skein each hat
needle size: US 8

I actually finished 2 of these, washed & let them dry in time to give them to one of my guys at work for his 2 boys before the end of last week. I was in such a rush though that I didn't do the obligatory Nartian hat shot of the hats over my Monkeys' eyes.

Patons Classic Wool in Black/Noir
size 7 & 9 KP circs
for: my cousin's daughter to replace Le Slouch which went to Monkey1's teacher

However, this hat did not dry in time for Christmas Eve when we saw my cousin. If we don't get a chance to see them again before winter is over, I'll save this for next Christmas.

The following 2 were actually destress from the holiday knitting and not a last minute attempt to have 2 more spare "just-in-case" gifts. But thinking back on it, it probably wasn't a good idea to put size 15 & 17 needles in my hands, even if they were hollow metal alloy.

Seastorm Scarflette
Rowan Big Wool Tuft color #56
size 17 Boyes needles - I think I bought these when I knit up some Ozark Handspun
still in need of a button

This ball of yarn was from my first & only Patternworks end of the year grab bag buy when I was a newbie knitter. This and the ball of Big Wool below were in a bag marked "Cotton." Yeah, it took me 3 years to figure out what the heck to do with these, especially the Tuft.

knit COWL
Rowan Big Wool in Cloak
size 15 KP circs

Now that I'm all done with my gift knitting, I took a quick break and finished some reading. Younger Sis, who curses me for getting her hooked on that vamp series (hah, I wasn't the one with a really long layover at LAX w/nothing to read 'cept what was at the airport magazine store), paid me back by getting me book 3 (something to do with eclipses ;) ) & 4 (I'm not sure how I think about it yet - I spoiled myself on major plot points) as my Christmas gift. I am sometimes too cheap in buying books and was willing to wait 'til May for the paperback version of book 3, but Younger Sis said no way she was waiting that long to finish the series and bought the last 2 in hardcover.

Okay, off to indulge in some major sock knitting. I still have DH's second sock to do (yes, I'm rationalizing that it is not a holiday gift knit), a Merlot Vine Lace sock I started while waiting for DH during one of his obligatory medical tests when you reach a certain age :p, a Digitessa sock (though that Rav group KAL seems to be rather strict on when you do what portion of your socks, not to mention doing them 2-at-a-time - ugh, I don't think so!), my last Rockin Sock Club sock (Muddy Autumn Rainbow - love!), and a Leyburn sock KAL on the Socks that Rawk Rav group. Pics of that stuff in my next post since I'm not sure I can fit them all into this post.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Someone needs to put a fork in me anyway.

I really want to be done, but I'm afraid I'm not. There's something about holiday knitting that suddenly makes product/production knitters question their entire being. I'm sure the Yarn Harlot's written about it so I won't go further other than to say that it certainly does a number to one's psyche.

Symmetrical Braided Gauntlets
Crystal Palace Merino 5 Solid
size 7 dpns
for Monkey2's youngest teacher

The last of gift mitts for this season are done. Though the other ones I made were redirected from my co-workers (they just got the shaft this year) to the Monkeys' teachers.

I forgot to mention I finished this pair of fingerless mitts while on T-day vacation.

pattern: Cafe Au Lait mitts (sorry, Rav link)
yarn: Lana Grossa Numero Uno
needle size: 4 KP circs 'cause I couldn't find my old Clover dpns (note - must try KP Harmony dpns)
for: Monkey2's teachers along w/Evangeline & Symmetrical Braided Gauntlets

I really like how it fits. The lace pattern is stretchy and it gets bonus points for a nicely calculated thumb gusset. Of all the fingerless mitts I've knit this season, this and the Maine Morning Mitts are the only pairs that I can wear comfortably w/o any mods if and when I knit a pair for myself. Evangeline will need a gusset along with the extra cable repeat(s) and the Symmetrical Braided Gauntlets will need a re-porportioning and increase in needle size.

The reason I had chosen this pair of mitts was the lace pattern was the same (if not similar) to the one used for the Cowl of Kindness and the Zig Zag Cowl (both Rav links) which in turn is a stitch pattern used in one of Charlene Schurch's sock books. I just told tapmouse2 that if I had known she would use the stitch pattern for her gift cowl, I could've saved her the math and pointed her to the 2 cowl patterns.

Nottingham hat deux
Knit Picks Swish in Delft Heather
size 9 KP circs
for Squid because Monkey1 snagged Nottingham hat une

And just when I thought I was done with the gift hats for the season, Monkey1 redirected Le Slouch from her cousin to her after school teacher. Apparently her after school teacher has a small noggin. Then again, Le Slouch is stretchy enough I got it to fit my average sized head comfortably enough after a wash & block.

I knew that I was tempting fate when I cast on for Felicity (loads of Rav links today) in good old basic Patons Classic Wool black for myself the other night. This hat may end up with our cousin to replace Le Slouch that she didn't know she lost out on. Then again, I could cast on for another Le Slouch, but in St st this time as seed stitch has the same mind-numbing effect as a 1x1 rib...well, anything.

And all the while I'm knitting all these gifts, DH keeps asking me "Is that my sock you're working on?" Hah. But I have been working on it in between everything and got most of the foot knit up at Purlescence Yarns last night at Late Night Knits to the accompaniment of a lots of soprano & alto knitters singing Christmas carols.

I got smart this time around and knit this pair of DH's socks on Mountain Colors Bearfoot on size 2 needles. Larger gauge on larger needles = less tedious sock spousal sock knitting.

I also finished hint 5 of my Mystery Stole 4 (Serendipity) during T-day vacation. Unfortunately, I haven't touched it since. With hint 5, I was a least able to work 1 row every few days. Not now and not anytime soon either 'cause I just signed up for Yarnissima's Digitessa KAL on Ravelry. I told Irishgirlieknits that I am crazy. And I am. Especially since Mom's flying in tonight (ugh, e3 hours late!) and so I probably won't get any knitting at all done while she's here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gifts received and to be given

I know I have a lot of gift knitting to catch up on. It would've been smarter if I took a pic of them all at once, but my brain's not at a smart place right now, especially when I actually starting thinking about who I should really knit for instead of thinking, "Oh, this would be a cute gift to knit...somebody." Eeek!

Le Slouch (still in need of a wash & block though)
Knit Picks Swish in Indigo Heather - I really like the heathered colors I've bought so far
size 9 & 10 KP circs
For: my cousin's daughter

Darkside Cowl (sorry, Ravelry link) - this one's been washed & blocked, but the pic is pre-blocked
Malabrigo Silky Merino in Arlene's Purples - yum!
size 8 KP circs
For N for whom I made my first knitted chemo cap a couple years ago. Still free of bone marrow cancer & going strong.

Evangeline fingerless mitts (in need of a wash & block)
Knit Picks Swish worsted in Lava Heather
size 7 KP dpns
wrist length
mod: extra cable repeat before thumbhole
for: either a co-worker or one of Monkey2' teachers

Ruffled Roses Scarf (you guessed it, also in need of blocking)
Univeral Yarns Tango
Misti Alpaca worsted & handpainted worsted
Alpaca with a Twist Baby Twist
size 7 KP Harmony circs

Sanguine Gryphon Bugga cashmere blend (edited to correct the name)
from: tapmouse

My Christmas llama to go with my birthday skein of undyed alpaca from Old Oaks Ranch (you can read my friend's article on them in the link)
from: Home on Derange - who's started knitting, though the credit goes to Penguin's friend's delightfully cute elephant, and totally not me.

I'm sure I've missed a few gift FO's I haven't posted on yet, so I'll be catching up still. But before I forget, December is also Wollmeise sock club kit time! Woot!

Monday, December 08, 2008

We Can Walk Through A Rainbow

Just in case there are any Rockin' Sock Club stragglers out there, don't scroll past my Anemones.

Pattern: Cloning Anemones by Team Blue Moon
Pattern size: Medium
Yarn: Socks that Rock lightweight in Tide Pooling
Needle size: 2.50 mm KP nickel plated dpns
Mod: reduced number of foot stitches to 64, not 60

Mother of .... To reference a very popular book & movie among the teen set, this pattern can be likened to a sadistic lion. Well, technically, only every fourth row of the pattern can. But I am a stupid lamb as I actually finished this pair.

And just in time to get my last 2008 Rockin' Sock Club kit. Tapmouse and I were going to take pics of our skeins together to see if and show any subtle differences between our "rare gem"-ish type skeins, but we forgot our digital cameras. We'll have to see how well tapmouse's camera phone takes photos. Or we can try again this week. I won't be casting on immediately given that while I'm knitting socks, they're gift socks. And both of us had "fog" on our ball band, so appropo for the place we live.

We can walk through a rainbow
Smiling faces as we go

We can climb on a sunset
Hold the rain
Let it get us wet

We can walk through a rainbow
Make a wish
And let it go

partial lyrics courtesy of Olomana (the sweet harmonies of Jerry Santos and the late Robert Beaumont)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The winner?

She got 8 out of the 10 guesses correct. I'll be e-mailing her on details on the yarn hand-off...cause it's a running joke between us that we won't tell each other exactly we live since we're in the same exact bellybutton town in the Bay Area. Our stash live a little too close together. ;)

Of course, I bought all this stuff before getting details on BMFA's online Barn Sale this weekend. In any case, I'll be buying a sweater's worth of Woobu since Purlescence didn't have the color I wanted. So what did I buy for my birthday?

left to right: Grimm's Willow Wren, Hobgoblin, Potomac, Gingerbread Dude, and Cookie Next Door

left to right: Oma Desala, Jubilation, Alley Oop, Hurdy Gurdy, Treehugger

Considering I only had 3 guessers, I think I made my first (and for now only) blog contest too hard. Live and learn! It was fascinating to see what everyone guessed though. Thank you all and see you online.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My first blog contest!

A few weeks ago, tapmouse, Irishgirlie, and I met up at Purlescence Yarns to do a little Blue Moon Fiber Arts stash enhancement. Since I wouldn't be in the Bay Area the week of my birthday, I decided to get a bunch of Socks that Rock lightweight as my birthday present to myself. But rather than simply outing my birthday stash buy, I thought it would be more fun to have everyone guess the 10 out the 11 colorways I bought.

No one has to guess the 11'th one in that pile since I'm sharing it now:

This is Heartstone. The Purl Girls asked Tina to bring back one of her older colorways that hadn't been on the website or at fiber events in awhile. Isn't it pretty?

But I didn't only buy the lightweight. I also snagged a skein of Luscious Silk in Jasper. I love Jasper 'cause it looks wonderful in every fiber that Tina uses. I have yet to see an unattractive version of this colorway.

So, the rules:
- Deadline will be December 4, 2008. Why that date? 'Cause I like the number 4, that's all.
- One set of guesses per guesser.
- I repeat, Heartstone does NOT count as a guess.
- You can cheat and try to get tapmouse & Irishgirlie to help out...if they remember all that I bought. ;)
- You can also check Purlescence's picture here or posts in their Rav group for hints, but no calling or e-mailing them for my buying history! And I may call them too to make sure.

The one with the most number of correct guesses will win:
- A skein of, you guessed it, lightweight STR in Iolite

and an extra or few:
- your choice of one of these 3 NARS mini-lip glosses in Gothika, Greek Holiday, or Turkish Delight.

- and maybe something else, but I haven't figured out what yet. Maybe something from Stila. 'Cause I am a Stilaholic NARtian. Get my name now?

Next up, sharing my yarny birthday gifts from my knittery and non-knittery friends.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Monkey2's mini-funky monkey is pretty much done. I just need to knit her some clothes and maybe add a set of pink felted lips. Maybe.

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Funky Monkey kit in Typhoon Tina & Harlotty
size 5 KP circs
-Similar to Edward's construction at Sock Camp, she's got pipe cleaner in her legs and doubled pipe cleaner in her extra long tail. Unlike Edward, I picked up and knit her arms on.
- Because I knit her on needles one size smaller than Edward's, she's shorter, somewhat mirroring Monkey1 and Monkey2's current height difference - well, not quite if you get really math geeky and calculate that whole proportional ratio thing.

(Yes, I forgot that last loose end. I weaved it in after I took the pic.)

While Twilight wasn't even on my radar back when Monkey1 named Edward, I thought I would amuse myself geekily by throwing out all the other character names from the book for Monkey2's, starting with Jacob and going through all the Cullens. In the end, Monkey2 named her monkey after Zoey 101.

Sigh...the drawbacks of not being militant about monitoring both Monkeys tv viewing. I think I was simply surprised that she didn't opt for the more obvious homage to one of her very favorite HSM characters. But to minimize the reference, I took the liberty of not spelling her name the same way as Britney Spear's little sister's character.

Maybe when I knit the full-sized one from the rest of the yarn in the kit, I'll have the fun of naming him/her.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Still with the gift knitting

Lucky 7 hat
Mission Falls 1824 Wool in Raven 1.4 skeins
size 8 KP circs

This is not going to b-day brother 'cause it's a tad too snug to be a small adult hat. I thought I compensated by going up a needle size, but I probably should've gone up 2 more. He opted for my first pair of Noro Maine Morning Mitts instead. Darn that instant gratification!

And since b-day brother gets the first pair of mitts, I cast on for a second pair hoping that I would keep them for me but they're at bit too 80's pink (& black) for me.

Maine Morning Mitts
Noro Silk Garden
size 8 dpns
no mods

The weather's been super nice this weekend (a Nov heat wave!), so I've got my finished gift knits washed and drying out in the shade.

At this point, I should've cast on for a cowl or more fingerless mitts, but I just wasn't feeling inspired at all, even with lots of Ravelry surfing. I only managed a row here & there with my MS4 stole and my Anemone sock since I just wasn't feeling those at all either. So I ended up casting on for Monkey2's mini-monkey. I forgot how quick the body takes. It's the endless i-cording of the tail, arms and legs that took up the bulk of our sock camp monkey knitting, iirc. The body's started with Typhoon Tina and the kit came with Harlotty as the "other" colorway.

I also decided to try my luck with the Ruffled Roses Scarf since tapmouse had been urging me to cast on for a scarf awhile back, before we started on our gift knitting, I think.

Since I'm using the narrower Universal Yarns Tango instead of the OnLine ribbon yarn, it's been a little tough going. Maybe once I start with the lace, then ribbed panels, it won't seem so bad.

There's something ironic about using a designer's free pattern distributed to help lys businesses and the majority of the yarn I'm using came from lys that have closed.

I don't think I'll get too much further on this scarf for awhile since I really should be knitting a cowl here and there. And a few fingerless mitts too.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Still with the hats

Amost done with the holiday hat thing. I am so over the hat knitting but I have one more to go for b-day brother because I'm leaning on selfish side about keeping those Noro mitts for me.

For Squid - to replace the Nottingham Hat I made 'cause Monkey1 stole it
Hermione Cable & Eyelet Hat
Crystal Palace Merino 5 Print - love this yarn, wish it came in 100 g skeins/balls instead
needle size: size 7 KP circs

- Only 1 repeat of the pattern 'cause my row gauge is significantly longer than the designer's. If I had done the second repeat, I think the hat would've been too long.
- As many other Ravellers have done, I added in the missing crown decrease round between rounds 4 & 5 (k6, p2tog) and changed the k2tog's to ssk's so the decreases would lean the same way as the cables.

Also done are my Rocktober socks. I was a little too tight at the beginning of the second sock so it had started to flash/pool vertically. As soon as I relaxed my death grip, I started to match the "non-pooling" effect of my first sock.

Crows Feet by Linda Welch
STR lightweight in Rocktober
size 2.50 mm KP dpns
extra rows in Eye of Partridge heel flap

Thursday, November 06, 2008


It took a couple tries, but I now have a hat for Squid's brother:

A Hat Fit for a Boyfriend
Mission Falls 1824 Wool - Charcoal
size 8 KP circs
cast on 90 sts
extra inch before decreasing for crown section

After all that hat gift knitting, I took a break and did some comfort STR sock knitting. I love how the first sock is not striping at all, though the second sock is starting to look like it'll flash vertically.

Crows Feet by Linda Welch
STR lightweight in Rocktober
size 2.50 mm KP dpns
extra rows in Eye of Partridge heel flap

After recharging my knitting batteries with the sock knitting, I managed to crank out a pair of gift mitts.

Maine Morning Mitts
Noro Silk Garden
size 7 bamboo dpns
no mods

However, knitting the Silk Garden reminded me why I have such a love/hate relationship with Noro. Love the colors combos, hate when a knot signifies the arbitrary & capricious change in color sequence. Since I knit this from an orphan skein I bought from The Knitting Basket's closing sale, I didn't have the luxury of mauling another skein to make the mitts match. Am debating if it'll matter or not. Also tempted to keep it for myself 'cause it's...well, Noro.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Being Unoriginal

So Monkey1 is righteously scolding me 'cause I have caught what I thought was their mild cold and it's been kickin' my arse. Well, technically it's more like they've sent some gorilla cousins to sit on my chest all day & night. Ugh. I haven't been in the mood to knit at all, but I'm surprised I've actually accomplished something or another. This time my hat knitting karma was behaving.

Unoriginal Hat
Sheep Shop Company Two in Primavera
size 11 KP circs

No mods made. I'll have to gift this to a friend with a long head since the pattern isn't so much narrow as it is long.

The surprise is that I actually finished Hint #4 of my Mystery Stole 4 KAL. Right now it's 21" long unblocked. I don't think it'll block out significantly longer since my swatch didn't either. But it won't bother me since my SotSii stole was also on the small side.

But what I really wanted to post about is that Cookie A said we could share this about her upcoming book set to release in April 2009. I'm so excited! The pair I sample knit for her is Lindsay.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tactical hat error

The knitting has been slow or not happening very frequently due to many real life happenings - sister in town, pumpkin patch field trips and pumpkin carving party, the usual soccer and upcoming Halloween, not to mention the obligatory trip to the theater to see HSM3 (dudes, even DH went).

And I still have bad hat knitting karma. So I finally get the hang of the brioche stitch/fisherman's rib pattern for Bounce, but something was still bothering me. Could it be the high variegation of the yarn that's makes DH joke about closing the middle so I can have a potholder? Or is it the fact that I chose a yarn based solely on the pattern gauge and not the weight of the yarn used in the pattern 'causing me to have half a hat that is too heavy? It's taken me a whole skein of Sheep Shop 2 yarn to realize it's probably both. In any case, I will be frogging this and knit the skein into either an Unoriginal Hat or Foliage. But I'll do it later when I'm not so peeved at my hat knitting.

The sock karma is good though. The surprise is that I am neither pooling nor striping so far with my STR lightweight in Rocktober. Same needle size, same stitch count as usual (64), and what I assumed to be the same gauge. I usually end up striping. I am intrigued.

Socks that Rock lightweight in Rocktober
size 2.50 mm KP dpns
pattern: Crows Feet by Linda Welch (Ravelry link)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

One of those scatterbrained posts

These stinkin' cute pair of socks for Monkey2 are done. Monkey1 will get a matching pair since I bought an extra kit from Woolgirl.

Woolgirl Sanrio & Friends sock club
White Oak Studio fingering weight yarn
Playtime socks
size 2.5 mm KP dpns
modified 56 st count

I also managed to knit another hat that is still not appropriate for Squid's brother. This time, I made it too small. Doh!
Mission Falls 1824 Wool
size 8 KP circs
A Hat Fit for a Boyfriend
mod: 10 sts less cast on than pattern

I didn't think that when I downsized the pattern, the crown decrease area would've been that much shorter. I wonder if the designer's got a lot longer row gauge 'cause I didn't think I decreased the stitch count that much to make that significant a difference.

In any case, my hat knitting karma continues to suck 'cause I started Bounce this weekend and after figuring out why I had such the brain freeze on this pattern (methinks there's an errant asterisk in one of the set up rows), I cannot for the life of me correctly repeat the 2 stitch pattern at all. So my hat knitting is on time out for a while. Maybe I'll knit gift scarves & fingerless mitts instead.

On the happy side, a small but pretty order from Woolgirl. I am late to the Flat Feet party, but I was hesitant to buy one since the one I saw being knit up at Sock Camp seemed kinda thin. But the colors are fun and it will be interesting knitting this novel yarn. And I just love the Dashing Dachs sportweight skeins I got. Salt Marsh is pretty (though I want to add Harvest Mouse to the name due to hanging out with the biologists at work too much) and Incantante is utterly gorgeous.

I just read the first 2 paperback books from the highly popular Twilight series books by Stephanie Meyer and would love to knit the Incantante in a Twilightish theme. I will admit that once I got over this series being in the Young Adult/Teen category, I actually enjoyed them. I was remiss in not researching the book before I bought it on a whim, aside from the vague knowledge that it was about vampires. JK Rowling or Ann Rice, the author is not. There are portions of these books that need more judicious editing, but I blame that on the whole "new JK Rowling" expectation. Next time I will check the online book reviews first, especially The first listed reader review for Twilight is so snarkily funny.

On the not-happy side, there's a matching hole on the other side of my Mariilinda sock. Monkey 2 is lucky she is cute. She couldn't explain what she did, other than it got stuck on something.

So what's a knitter mom to do but cast on another pair of of socks (STR Rocktober).