Archive for April, 2006
Just a quick note to say that I mailed my sockpal socks today. My sockpal is not of this country so I had to mail the socks today in order to make sure they arrive next week. Because my camera batteries died, Nigel helped me take an action shot from his new Mac this morning.
Afte loading my camera with new batteries, it turns out I also got one “fancy picture” at home.
- This has nothing to do with knitting, but I started out my vacation by taking my daughters to see The Strokes. I kinda like them, too. You can read a review here, written in the inimitable Michigan Daily style: “Not surprisingly, the Strokes covered their bigger hits, including ’12:51′…” “Not surprisingly” — because isn’t that what groups usually do in concert? (12:51 is, of course, Michael and Christina’s song.)
- Slept in the next day, and then finished my Sockapalooza socks! Here they are: before, during, and after blocking. The second pose is with a hyacinth from my garden, because it is finally spring.
- I read 2 books about Brooklyn, because our colleague, Susan, took us there a couple of weeks ago. I told her I had read a review of Noodle Pudding in the New Yorker, and it turns out it is only a couple of blocks away from her house. It was great.
- My plan to knit the Gentleman’s Socks while we drove to and from Chicago was thwarted because I could only find one skein of the black yarn. There are obviously 2 in the picture I took before, but I can find no trace of the second anywhere in the house. I suspected feline foul play at first, but the felines usually leave traces. It remains a mystery. So, instead I took the pumpkin-colored yarn and knit one Canal du Midi sock from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush, for me. I liked the process of knitting this pattern, and I liked the spiral toe a lot, but the sock has some odd features, most noticeably a weirdly narrow little heel. I have to decide if I like it well enough to make the second one.
- We went to Chicago. Here’s what it looks like from the Hancock Observatory:
Apparently, the police in Chicago ride Segways. This reminded us too much of Arrested Development.
- In the touristy book in our hotel room I saw an ad for a yarn store, “We’ll Keep You in Stitches!”, located within walking distance of our hotel. It turned out to be a very small space upstairs in a building on an upscale street (most of other stores had doormen who watched me go by). Three elderly Eastern European women were inside flashing away on their knitting needles, and I was the only other person in the room. It was crammed with yarn, all still in plastic bags along the walls, and not really in any particular order that I could tell. It turns out that they finish items that other people start, knit entire outfits for their customers, and teach knitting, so this was more of a workshop than a store. When I asked if I could look around and they said, “Yes, yes! You can even go behind the counter!” So I did. I also felt conspicuous enough to feel like I had to buy something, so I purchased some green Zarina Merino.
As I was checking out, one of the women asked what I was going to make and I told her socks. She said, “Socks are too hard for me!” Then she asked me a lot of questions about how long it takes me to do a pair, and how many have I done. I guess the lesson is you shouldn’t be intimidated by Elderly Eastern European Knitters.
- And my new plan is to knit the Gentleman’s Socks in green Zarina merino.
I started working on this little shrug on Tuesday and finished it last night – Friday. The trick is to use super bulky yarn and size 15 needles! A while ago, I started a fancy little bolero, but something terrible happened and I could not continue. Then I found this pattern, which was actually more of what I was looking for.
I’m really happy with the results. I did have to redo the bind off because I did it too tight the first time, though. To get it right, I used larger needles and still did it extra loose. The pattern called for super-bulky Malabrigo that I couldn’t find in the store so I doubled the worsted Malabrigo (which is fab!). To double the yarn from the 3rd/last skein, I just pulled yarn from the outside and the center of the ball at the same time. I admit that it could have been disaster, but it worked out beautifully!
This was so quick and easy that it will make a good xmas gift – I hope I get paired with one of my sisters-in-law this year because Brad and Bobby would look really silly in it :)
Pattern: Grey Ghost Shrug ($3)
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted (doubled), 3 skeins
Needles: Size 15 double pointed, circular
Modifications: The pattern called for a contrasting color for the edge around the neck/body but I decided not to do it because there was already enough going on with the shades of blue and the texture. I made elbow length sleeves instead of long. I skipped some detailing that was in the center back.
I am currently working on two different projects that use double pointed needles – one uses size 1 and the other size 15! It is kind of awkward switching between the two.
If all goes well, the chunky blue number will be done this weekend – I’ll show you more then.
This is my first truly self-designed project. I needed something quick and easy to knit for my mom’s birthday. She is always cold, but very active, so I thought I would make her a ‘mini shawl’ that would keep her shoulders warm, but not fall off while she was running about. Here’s what I came up with:
I worked on #13 circulars.
8 rows seed stitch then a round of YO, K2tog.
Knit one more row, then a massive round of increases: K2, M1 all the way around.
Knit 3 more inches.
Extreme increasing again: K2, M1 all the way around.
Knit until 4 inches short of desired length.
Round of YO, K2tog, then knit a row.
3 inches of seed stitch.
The neat feature about the row of YO, K2tog at the top is that a ribbon can be strung throught the holes and the capelet gathered at the top to look like a turtleneck.
Thankfully, there are no more birthdays in my immediate family until December.
Lest we forget Rosedale…
Only an inch and a half until the fun (joining the arms)!
But I like them very much! And I only have half a sock to go. The Embossed Leave socks had me troubled. The cuff was too tight, and the gauge I needed to make them fit my Sock Pal didn’t fit well with the thin Schaefer Anne yarn. They were loose, foot loose. As much as I liked working with the yarn, I found myself looking at patterns again, and from the trusty Vogue Knitting on the Go series, Socks Two, found another pattern I liked. I also had the exact yarn it called for: Jawoll Superwash. The socks are called Lavender Lace in the book; mine are more of a classic gray.
It’s turned into all socks, all the time at my house. I finished my sockpal socks on Friday, whee-ha! I’m going to wait on a full picture until I can block them, but here’s a closeup of the cables:
The colors are much deeper than this photo shows, but I couldn’t manage a very good picture this morning.
After finishing the sockpal socks, I started new pair of socks for my mom:
This is the toe-up pattern I received for the March S-o-t-M, in Trekking XXL, color 105, size 1 needles. I love this pattern so far — it’s easy to memorize and even though the yarn is variegated the lace is showing up nicely.
I also purchased some striping yarn that is begging to become knee socks for my neice (with ladybug buttons for accents):
So I got it in my head that I needed to whip up a garment for an event I have coming up. On Friday, I picked out a pattern and bought some yarn. I crammed a lot of work in on Friday and Saturday. This morning, I realized that something was really messed up and had to rip out two whole skeins of hard work – the whole back of the garment. I’ll have to think about what to do (alter the pattern, change my needles, scrap the project) for a while.
On a lighter note, I made good progress on my sock while on my trip to NY (and I probably could have finished if I hadn’t been sidetracked all weekend). I had forgotten to bring my pattern with me, but luckily Sherry was there. She pulled out a good substitute from her handy bag of patterns. I enjoyed the short row heel – pretty fun.
The sock attracted a lot of attention on the plane and at the airport. One teenage girl leaned over and asked “Is that knitting….. or purl?” When I told her it was both, she looked confused and said “Oh, I only know how to knit.”
Just a quick note to say that I signed up for a secret pal exchange. This one is sponsored by the Interweave Press in honor of the One Skein book – which I purchased a little while ago. There are 3 exchanges over 3 months. In June and July you send your pal a single lovely skein of yarn with a description of why you selected it. Then, in August you send your pal something knitted up from one skein – can be from the book or elsewhere.
Anyone else want to join with me?
For someone who didn’t want to have anything to do with socks not too long ago, I sure am making a lot of socks. After two sweaters in a row, the quick gratification is a real treat.
Last week I whipped up these little numbers:
I used this free pattern, size 2 needles, and 2 (well, just over one) skeins of Koigu KPPPM.
Then I started this pair so that I’d have something to work on during my trip. Actually, I started these because I couldn’t get enough of Kristen’s sockapalooza sock and ran off to purchase some of the yarn. I selected this color – spring frost – with the intention of making some socks for my brother. However, if you compare my photo below to the one at YarnMarket, you will probably agree that what I thought I was getting would be suitble for a boy but what I got really isn’t – too much teal and coral. Plus the yarn is just way too nice for a smelly boy. Fortunately, the sock is perfectly suitable for me ;)
I am using a free pattern I found on someone’s website – but the link isn’t working anymore. I hope I don’t loose the print out! It is a simple twisted rib with the twist on every 4th row.
I ran into a problem with the first pair of sockpal socks. The yarn I was using was Knit Picks fingering weight merino, and I loved the color I got with the Kool-Aid. Unfortunately, the yarn was really too fine for the pattern and the sock leg turned out to be very, very narrow:
Even the ribbing didn’t give it enough stretch, and going up a needle size made the cables look sloppy. Since my sockpal is not a Tim Burton animated character, I decided that I’d better look for different yarn. Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, and the Schaefer “Anne” felt great, but were again too fine for the pattern. Increasing frustration led to putting the sockpal socks aside for a while. Instead, after admiring Sherry’s work on the Embossed Leaves socks, I decided to make a pair for myself in Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino (color “Java”) that I picked up last fall in Charleston:
I loved working the Embossed Leaves pattern. The socks have a bulkier fit than I expected, but the yarn makes my feet feel like they’re at a spa. After finishing these socks, I realized that the Supersock might also work well for the Celtic Braid pattern. I picked up a skein last weekend in the “Potluck – Blues/Greens” colorway. I’ve completed one sock, and I think the density and stretch are much better:
I do love the blues and greens in this skein, very peacock-y. One sockpal, back on track.
Well I managed to felt my first bag. It went rather well, I think:
It took three rounds of felting in the washer and one bout of ‘hand scrubbing’ to get the bag felted. I learned a valuable lesson: don’t felt anything in a commercial washer. Not only did I spend a fortune, but I couldn’t control the water level. It is recommended to felt with a low water level. I think too much water resulted in too little friction. I ended up throwing some tennis balls in the cycle to create more friction.
Another thing I learned was that felting results in far more vertical shrinkage than horizontal. My bag is almost as wide as when I started, but shrunk in length by about a third. You can notice this most when looking at the pi symbol…it was perfectly proportioned before!
I also created a small pouch with a button closure to hold marking pens. I filled it with red pens and gave it to my sister for her birthday. Here she is as a model:
However, when she first saw it she said,
“What does “T T” stand for?”
For her impertinence, the bag attacked…