Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Socks = Love!!

Yay!! My February Socks are now complete!

Here is what they look like all knit up and awaiting seaming.

These are what made this pair of socks so easy to work on everywhere: 6" Size 0 (US) DPNs with a couple of tiny rubber-bands wrapped around one end. Kind of a set of do-it-yourself mini straight needles.

I didn't encounter may problems with this pattern, but I do have a couple corrections:

Page 101, under "Upper Toe", step 3 should say:
3) Rep rows 1 & 2 until 14 (14, 16, 16, 18, 18) sts rem.

Page 102, under "Gusset Heel", step 2 should say:
2) Row 1 (RS): (star) sl 1, k1 (star), rep from (star) to (star) across

Page 103, under "Lower Toe", step 3 should say:
3) Rep rows 1 & 2 until 14 (14, 16, 16, 18, 18) sts rem.

The corrections to pages 101 & 103 are meant as clarification to the somewhat confusing directions. You're working over an even number of stitches and are instructed to use a 2-stitch decrease every-other row. For certain sizes, though, you are expected to reach an odd number of stitches before you switch to decreasing every row. I've just changed the stitch count to better mirror with the increased decreases in step 6 of the same sections.

Also, these corrections are of my own design and have yet to be approved by Laura Chau. Please be sure to check her official errata page for her corrections.

I've started another new project:

It looks very similar to another recent project, no? This one isn't for me, though. My mom's poor dog, Jaques, has been affected very much by they're recent move and is (in my opinion) in need of some comforting. Jaques is a tiny-toy-poodle who is about 8 years old and has only ever lived in one place since we got him. He is very much a home-body, who is content to just laze about on a pillow or someone's coat all day without the need for any attention. This all changed with the move. To me, he seems like he is very confussed and lost at the new place. He is always attached to somebody as though he doesn't want to be left alone in this strange new world of his.

I resolved to knit him a bed. Jaques loves to burrow and make little nests in whatever he is lying in. It needed to be something that could move around and allow for his "nesting", but wouldn't take up much space in the laundry room (aka: Jaques' room). Also, it had to be in a neutral color to placate my dad. I didn't want to spend a ton on the yarn since the bed will be for the dog and who knows what he'll do with it, so I'm using a ball of Caron One Pound on size 5 needles and just knitting around and around. I wanted it to be in the round because he should be less likely to snag his nails in the stitches with all the purl bumps inside the tube. It's kinda slow-going, but I don't mind all the knit stitches because I can watch movies at the same time very easily. I'll post the pattern once I have it finished.

I've got one last highlight for today (overdue, though, it is):

Friday, February 20, 2009

Re-evaluating the situation

I really need to get back to just two projects on the needles at one time. I've been trying to have 3-4 projects going at once, but it just ends with me getting stressed about my knitting. Not my goal. I always get so excited about each new project, but as I work my way around all the ones I have going, I slowly loose my enthusiasm for them. At that point, my knitting just becomes a chore. Something that I have to do that isn't even remotely fun. If I only have one project to work on at home and another to carry with me, I can see more progress and it's much more satisfying.

Another thought occurred to me this week: I suck at gift knitting.

I just recently was able to remember to buy a gift bag for Karen's Scarf. This particular gift was promised back in December & has actually been completed and sitting in my living room since February 9th. That's 10 days of me forgetting to put it in a gift bag and drop it by the store she works at. Soon, I swear it will be gifted soon.

Also, my dad's washcloth is back in time-out because 1.) I have many other projects that I would rather be working on, and 2.) I officially hate it. This time, I really don't have a good reason for hating it. I think that it has just crossed me one too many times in the past. I've finally gotten all the kinks worked-out in the chart (I think) and can work on it fairly smoothly. I really shouldn't have any problems with finishing it, right? No. Now, I only want to glare at it and make it burst into flames so I don't feel compelled to continue on.

Only good karma is being knit into this gift. -_-

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Good Times

I am so super excited!!! At knitting tonight, Teresa (sp?) surprised me with an early birthday gift of roving and a drop spindle from herself and Rita. I've been wanting to try spinning ever since Rita had a demo for us at Athena's a few months back, but I just wasn't sure where to start. There are so many different kinds of spindles and types of roving out there, it was pretty overwhelming. I can't wait till tomorrow to play with everything. (I'm too tired to try anything new tonight.)

Also, I finished sewing the seams on my first February Sock tonight at B&N. Knitting socks flat is really a leap of faith. When you're knitting them in the round (whether toe-up or top-down) you can at least try them on as you go. By just knitting them flat, you really have no clue as to whether they will actually fit you or not until that last seam is in. I tried mine on as soon as I got home and all I can say is this:


This sock actually turned-out quite a bit better than my January Socks did. I managed to make my heel flap correctly. (I realized as I was starting the heel flap on this sock that I did the ones on my January Socks wrong. You do not, in fact, slip every-other stitch on each row, only on the right-side rows.) The pieces of the foot lined-up nicely as I was seaming them. I adore the way the stripes worked-out and, basically, these socks are going to be on my most-worn list.

(Sorry for the lack of pics. I'll post some soon.) ^_^

Monday, February 9, 2009

One Down, Nine To Go

On top of my Year-of-Socks project, I want to get rid of all the UFOs that are clogging-up my living room. (We have a very small apartment, I can't afford to have 1/5 of my living room covered in unfinished projects and half-attempted-ideas.) I've just finished the first of the nine projects that I found:

Next on the agenda for finishing is the hand-made portion of my dad's Christmas present. (Here is the drama surrounding this gift.) I ended-up just giving him the assortment of natural bar soaps that I had bought at the craft show last fall with the promise that he would get the bath cloth once I wasn't quite as mad at it. I think that a little over a month is a good enough length of time to make it sit in time-out...

I was finally able to get some decent pics of my yarn and the beginnings of my Just Enough Ruffles scarf (Laura Chau). At first, I wasn't sure if I liked the stripes, but now I'm glad that I kept at it. I love the colors together and the stripes are looking better and better as I work the short rows on the scarf. (I am using 3 skeins of the tan for the scarf, but the 3rd was already wound into a ball and being used to start the scarf when I took the pic.)

Plymouth Yarn Royal Llama Silk
Colorways: 1829 (tan) & 1841 (blue)

Close-up of the first few rows on my scarf.

The scarf thus far.

My February Socks have been moving right along. (Honestly, quite a bit quicker than I intended, I'm currently about 3 days ahead of schedule on them.) They're the most handy take-along project that I have, so it's hard not to always have them with me at my knit groups and my parents' house. The striping on these is turning-out very nicely so I'm glad that Michelle convinced me to keep working on them. When I thought that it might be a self-striping yarn, I almost switched to a more random colorway. Rita assured me, though, that this colorway was never intended to be self-striping and that I just lucked-out. I'm so happy with how they're looking, I just hope that they fit.

The front 1/2 of sock #1 is complete!!
The heel-flap, up close and personal.

The view from the back.

We had a fun adventure the other day. (By we, I mean my parents, myself, and my two youngest siblings.) As we were driving around town looking at houses (something that I'm sure you all do), we drove past the first house I lived in. Well, we drove past the lot, rather. Unfortunately, we believe that the people who bought it from us were making meth in the house. A couple years back, the house was torn down and the lot has just been sitting with a driveway and garage surrounded by trees since.

Recently, the lot was put-up for sale and I desperately wish that Dan and I could buy it. I always loved that house and neighborhood. Even if the original house is gone, I would still like to move back to where I grew-up. (Yes, I do still live in the same city, but this is different.) I'm normally not one to get super emotional, but driving past the old place still makes me sad. It made it even worse when my dad pulled in the driveway and we got out to look at the mark that I had left by the garage when I was one...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Crazy Busy!! (but lots of fun...)

We had an amazing day at Athena’s yesterday!! They had their 2nd annual Yarn Tasting and I loved it. The whole idea behind it is to let everyone sample little “tastes” of different fibers that we may not normally try.

This year the line-up included:

  • Qiviuk (gold) - 28 yards
  • Possum (Green) - 33 yards
  • Handpaint Linen Lace (Orange/Yellow/Green) - 36 yards
  • Traboajos (Brown/Red/Green/Orange) - 24 yards
  • Creative Focus Silk (Pink) - 20 yards
  • Wagtail 2ply (Orange) - 55 yards
  • Silky Merino (Brown) - 23 yards
  • Jelly (Raspberry) - 26 yards
  • Along with a pair of size 5, 5” Rosewood double points and a sample of wool wash.

Also, this year they included patterns to make either a hat, gauntlets or a moebius scarf out of the samples. I chose the hat because I love it to death and think that it’s amazing!! (Photo of different the tastes shamelessly stolen from Athena's Flickr.)

Finally, I have pics of the completed January Socks. (Forgive the strangeness, it was somewhere around 2 am when I decided to have a photo-shoot with them...)

Just Enough Ruffles by Laura Chau is the first KAL that we’re doing in the Laura Chau Designs Group on Ravelry & it started on Feb 1, 2009. I got started a day late on this because yesterday was completely crazy busy. I’ve got the cast-on, though. Sadly, no pics of the 200 stitch cast-on... but I did have pics of the lovely yarn that I'll be using for it until I looked at them and realized how horrible they were. Maybe tomorrow...

I did, however, get started on my February Socks right on time and I love the way that they are looking!! I'm wondering, though, if this colorway is supposed to be a self-striping yarn because of the striping/pooling that I'm getting. I'll have to ask Rita to find out for sure. Either way, though, I love this colorway for this month.

I am still trying to get into this type of sock. Normally, I wouldn't knit my socks flat because I love just going round and round in stockinette but I really wanted to try a bunch of different types of socks with this year long project. So, I'm knitting socks flat and them seaming them. The pattern itself is written well, I'm just not a fan of the back-and-forth stockinette (I would much rather be using my little 9" sock-circs).

Laura does do a really good job of explaining the hows and whys of this type of sock which is really nice. (Like why you need to cast-on more stitches for a sock knit flat than you would for a sock knit in the round.)

Yet another Ribbed-For-Her-Pleasure Scarf (Debbie Stoller) is in the works. After seeing me make everyone else scarves for Christmas, Karen (an ex-coworker/friend) asked if I could make one for her, too. She picked my favorite colorway, so how could I say no?