Archive for April, 2007
Well as I mentioned before, I am plugging away on my stole. It’s slow going and it’s taking all my will to keep at it instead of switching to something else. I’m about halfway done. I’m looking forward to doing the border and then blocking this, because it’s going to look so much different. Check it out:
I was working in New York last week, and decided that even though the book is named “Knitting on the Road,” not all of the patterns in it are actually conducive to knitting while on the road. Therefore, instead of working on my Canada sock for the KOTR-along while traveling, I took along a skein of Trekking XXL to turn into a basic sock, suitable for knitting in airports and hotel rooms. I like the tweedy color of this yarn (color 298) — gray and flecked with purple, red, yellow, and pink.
After I got home, I did make progress on Canada. I’m using Knit Picks Gloss, and it’s a pleasure to work with. I also like the Canada pattern, and now that I’m past the Fair Isle part of the cuff, it’s going really quickly.
At the same time, I’ve got more yarn coming in! I couldn’t resist buying some Flamingo Stripe Shepherd Sock yarn from the Simply Socks Yarn Company, because I know of some daughters who love pink, and because 20% of the proceeds of the sale of this colorway goes to breast cancer research. And, I got the latest shipment from the Socks That Rock people, in their new Silkie blend. (I’m not even done with my Monsoon socks yet! I may be getting into more than I can handle.) Oh, and this is where the bladder-fucus comes in. The new STR colorway is Walking on the Wild Tide, and on the inside of my label it says “Bladder-fucus.” Not attractive sounding, but a kind of seaweed evidently, and each label (from what I see on the STR blog) has a different seaweed name on the back. The funniest thing (to me, at least) is that you can buy clip art of bladder-fucus. I was trying to imagine who would be out there looking for bladder-fucus clip art.
I got another package from my Pal yesterday! More sock yarn… YAY!! The package also included some pear lotion, green tea soap, and a bag of chewy Werthers (those are gone already!)
The colors in the yarn remind me of that Tiny Toes Sherry used a while ago (though there isn’t any purple in mine). Claudia come in such great colors! Here’s a close up of Ingrid’s Blues:
With all this yarn piling up, I really better get knitting! I certainly have enough to keep me busy for a while. There is a slight chance the pile might get a little bigger today, though. I’m heading over to my Brother’s in Windsor and there is a yarn store near by (and it is open on Sunday, unlike most around here).
Frieda and I cooled it in the office for a bit. “So you and Gabriela played dress up and makeup?”
I am perhaps overly proud of Chapter 27, to be posted in a moment. It has The Knitting Lesson Scene in it, among other things. I’d appreciate any comment or advice on the knitting scene, we need to believe that Spline is really trying, that Sofakissen is really trying to ease him in. Indeed, I’d appreciate comment on any of this writing so far. Good, bad, indifferent? Keep mah day job? All welcome, either in comments here, or to nigel dot kerr at gmail dot com.
I was once heckled for looking up knitting video clips on YouTube. While I admit that there might be cooler or more interesting ways to spend your time, I’ve found some good stuff. This one has done me the most good – I can actually knit Continental fairly comfortably now.
Here is a handful of other interesting clips:
- Backwards Knitting (to avoid purling)
- German Twisted Cast On
- Knitting Socks (on a machine)
- The Last Knit
- Cabling Without a Cable Needle
- Magic Loop
You may have noticed I’ve been kind of quiet lately. I seem to have gotten myself into some sort of knitting funk. These rewound balls of yarn represent most of my recent knitting.
Sad, I know. There was the potential for so many different socks. But it just wasn’t meant to be, I guess. I will have a little finished item soon – keep your fingers crossed for me!
The red yarn in the photo is my Wollmeise. Just as Kristy noted, I found that this yarn doesn’t have any give or stretch to it. I’m afraid that socks made of this would get baggy right away. If anyone has experience with this yarn and knows different, please let me know. I might try to think of a non-sock item to make with this yarn.
Hey, I just put in an order to this nice little online yarn store:
If you are into the whole natural-organic-fibers-thing, then this place is perfect for you. And they ship all orders for FREE, whoo-hoo! I found the place while looking for somewhere to get some bamboo yarn to make the Knitty Branching Out Scarf. I ended up going with Southwest Trading Company’s Bamboo in Intensity.
Ooooooh, so intense…if by “intense” you mean muted blues and purples. Scha-zam!
I really am trying to be a better blogger—it’s just that when I’m on the computer, I’m at work and then when I actually have time when I’m at home it doesn’t occur to me. Sigh–I have gotten better though.
Last week we went on vacation to Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We camped and hiked, I forgot what day it was and it was all around wonderful to get away. I didn’t get a lick of knitting in, but we did sneak away for an afternoon to Asheville, NC where I went to a yarn store organized by color! Never seen that before. I didn’t buy anything, because I’m really trying to focus on one project at a time. Speaking of that, I’m still plugging away on my Eunny stole. It’s slow going, but I’m probably about 1/3 of the way done.
Here are some pics from the trip:
My breakfast nook (our tent faced the river)
And the view from the top of Clingman’s Dome (the highest point in Tennessee)
And now I’ll leave you with the tale of the really stupid thing I did upon my return to Michigan. I sent my secret pal this email:
Sorry I didn’t get in touch on the mandatory contact day! I’ve been on vacation in the Smoky Mountains. It was great-saw 9 black bears, several wild turkeys, a couple of otters, several deer and lots and lots of woods. Didn’t get a lick of knitting done!
Hope you are well,
See the problem is, we are supposed to keep our identity secret until the end. And in one quick move I messed it all up. Oh well. I told her not to dig too deep but she may be looking at this blog now.
My mom was always a big crafter – always working on something new. Although she never got into knitting, she could crochet up a storm. This, her last project, was left unfinished and I was compelled to finish it. All it needed was some seaming (no wonder she didn’t finish!) and edging.
The blanket is already a favorite and will get a lot of use. That would have pleased her.
“Frieda, I need to tell you something.”
She looked up, alarmed, “Yes?”
The phone brought me out of the chair and hard onto the floor, my glass flying off somewhere to shatter. It was still night outside, but late. The second ring. I pulled myself up by the desk, swept for the phone, finally got it on the fourth ring. Yawning, “Spline.”
Pattern: Madder Rib from Knitting Vintage Socks
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug in Castagna
Needles: Brittany 2.5mm (5″ – a bit too short for my taste)
I didn’t make any modifications to this pattern. I really love these socks, well, except for the funny heel. I think it will be OK once the socks have been worn a bit – they just don’t lay flat yet. Love the rib pattern, love the toe, love the yarn. Great socks!
And this is what happens when you take picture of new socks 10 minutes after getting home from work on a Monday.
It’s very sad when a vacation ends. I am now back in Michigan after a week in Washington DC with my husband and youngest daughter. Although I had time to knit during the drive (husband doesn’t fly), it wasn’t a hugely productive knitting week because during the day we ended up being busy from morning til night seeing things like this:
I was also busy monitoring the text messages I was receiving from Zoe, she being off camping in Florida for senior spring break. Text messaging seems to be her preferred mode of communication. I’m not adept at it myself, but as long as she communicates, I don’t really care about the method. The drawback of text messages, though, is that their terseness can make things sound unintentionally alarming. The following are verbatim examples of messages I got during the week:
“adam had seizure ambulance is here” (he seems to have been dehydrated)
“im bored getting tattoo” followed by “little dice on butt” (she decided not to)
“running out of money” (not really)
“we just rearended somebody” (not too badly, and she wasn’t driving)
Although I wouldn’t have guessed it, she was having a great time.
Meanwhile, the knitting. On the drive to DC, I continued working on the first of my inside out socks, and found (as did many others, judging from a cursory reading of blogs) that using size 0 needles beyond the heel produced a cuff that wouldn’t go around my ankle. I ripped back to the heel and moved up to size 2 needles. So, the toe of my sock was knit on size 1′s, the foot on 0′s, and the cuff on size 2′s. I also found that I did not enjoy the process of this particular cabling, although I usually have nothing against cables, and decided to cut it short. I ended the cuff after two repeats and added an inch of 1×1 ribbing.
I also remembered why I don’t like toe-up socks. I suck at binding off the cuffs — they never look good (well, “never” being the 2 pairs of toe-up socks that I’ve done in the past). Acknowledging this defect in myself, I decided to try a different technique and followed the instructions in More Sensational Knitted Socks for a suspended bind-off. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look any better than the cuffs I’ve ended with a regular bind-off. As you can see in the following image, the edge is loose.
What do I do? Bind off more tightly? I’m afraid it won’t be elastic enough if it’s too tight. Move to smaller needles? Use a different method? Any suggestions?
Frankly, looking at this sock now, I am tempted to rip it out again and just do ribbing for the cuff. I’ll let it sit for a while while I work on others. On the drive home, I was more successful in finishing my basic socks. Here they are, modeled by their recipient.
I added black toes in case I ran out of yarn, but it turns out I had enough yarn to finish, even with the longer cuff and the 11″ foot. Good to know for the future. Nigel says this particular color reminds him of Sophie, our tabby cat. Maybe a little.
It was mid afternoon. “We’re going to need cash to get the word out best. I’ll stop by the office and pick some up, Meet at Sofakissen’s apartment building and start from there.”
The building super came along ten minutes later. After getting down in one piece, we found the two weekend-working attorneys tied up in the furthest back office. The same thin, tough yarn used to snare me. Of course someone called the police. This wasn’t good, I had other places I wanted to be. I also couldn’t afford to rile the boys. Why hadn’t Fringle just barged in on me? That would have been quieter.
I spent the day in bed, watching bad tv and knitting. Here are the results:
These are actually loved! She even kept pressuring me to finish the 2nd slipper quicker. They are made of Rowan Soft Lux – a wool and angora blend, with a just a touch of sparkle. She thinks they make her look like a princess and I actually heard hear say “I’m so beautiful in my new slippers!” Who knew slippers could do so much for you.
In some bizarre twist of postal events, our mail didn’t arrive until about 6:30 last night. I had by eye on the mail box for a little something I ordered to send to my pal. As I was finishing dinner, I heard the mailman slamming the mailbox shut. When I got out there, I saw two packages for me. One was a treat to send away and this was in the other:
How great! I’ve not yet had the pleasure of knitting with Trekking – this one is Pro Natura (75% superwash wool and 25% bamboo). It may have to jump ahead in the line! The package also included a magazine that I didn’t have yet, some Easter candies, and a wonderful smelling Lemon Verbena soap – the yarn really picked up the sent. I can’t wait to have green lemon-scented socks!
You’ll also see a couple little items in the photo – a “knit” button, magnet, and stitch marker and a SP10 stitch marker. My pal sent those to me a while ago as an introductory gift.
Thanks Pal!! I love it all!
Although I have a bunch of other things on the go, I couldn’t resist starting the Claudia Shawl with the yarn I just bought.
After rearranging the skeins about 5 million times and one false start, I picked an order for the colors. I actually knit most of the first section with the Black Walnut before deciding it needed to go next to the other dark color – Boot Camp. So I started again with Donna’s Favorite, followed by John B.
The pattern is very simple – the kind that will drive you crazy if you spend too much time with it! I’m up to about 150 stitches, so the rows are no longer quick to complete. Each section in the shawl has its own color and stitch. You can see the garter and stockinette sections in the photo. Next is seed stitch, then reverse stockinette, and then garter again. It is finished off with a simple lace/eyelet border.
After seeing the first two sections, I’m questioning my color choice – mostly because of that PINK! However, I do think that the colorways have enough in common that they will end up blending in nicely. I’m always a little nervous about putting colors together, but (as I’m sure Christina will point out) my choices usually turn out OK.
I need your opinion: When I get to the seed stitch section, should I go down a needle size? The pattern doesn’t say to, but seed stitch can be pretty loose. What would you do?
I’m leaving on vacation tomorrow, so am posting about everything I can think of today. We’re going to Washington DC to be tourists, but I imagine I’ll have time to knit on the way and at night. I’ve got a lot of knitting to do! Like Beth, I’ve got several socks going. [BTW, I didn't know she had a "one pair at a time rule" - how silly is that? :-) ]
My socks are distributed among various locations and I pick them up when I’m there. Thus, you can tell by their progress where I spend most of my knitting time.
- Knitting in the car on the way to and from work. I knit simple socks during my commute (Nigel drives). These are usually basic socks from Vogue Knitting’s Socks Two. I’m using Online yarn for this pair, and have finished one, am working on the other. I wanted to make these with extra long cuffs, but got nervous about being able to finish them with one skein, so am finishing off with black toes, just in case.
- Knitting in bed at night listening to podcasts. This activity only lasts until I fall asleep, so I’m not making as much progress. Currently, my bedtime socks are my Socks that Rock Inside Out socks. I need to finish this pair soon, since the next package comes at the end of the month.
- Knitting in the basement while watching TiVo’ed episodes of Knitty Gritty, The Daily Show, and the Colbert Report. I only have time to do this on Sundays. I started these socks last Sunday after getting “More Sensational Knitted Socks!” and deciding I wanted to try some colorwork. These are for Emily, who has been asking for pink and black socks. However, even though they are turning out swell, I have come to realize that I need to make them bigger, and so will probably start again with more stitches.
- Knitting in my living room. These socks, made of Fixation, just aren’t doing it for me, but I feel like I need to finish them. I bought metal knitting needles to see if that helped. I’ll let you know.
- Gettng ready to knit. Well, these aren’t technically in progress yet, but I’m preparing for the next pair of Knitting on the Road socks — “Canada” being the chosen pattern. I’m going to make mine Serengeti and Burgundy, because those are the colors of the Knit Picks Gloss yarn that came on Friday (this is my “Expand Your Stash” contribution). I haven’t tried Gloss before (merino wool + silk), and am looking forward to it.
That’s it for socks. Now for …
I saw this bagel storage suggestion recently and got an idea:
The neat thing is that when you’re knitting the skein spins (that is, if like me you knit from the outside, not the inside, of a skein). The main problem with this idea is that we don’t ever buy blank cd’s anymore, so I have exactly one case.
I am still one of the knitters in Runagogo! who is trying to move more than my knitting muscles. The next goal is to “Run/walk/swim/ski/MOVE 100 miles in the next three months, April 1st to July 4th.” My own goal is 880 miles this year, and as of today, I’ve logged 205 miles. I’m giving myself two icons (one for each 100, get it?):
And to my partners on this blog – Have fun at work next week!
An innocent trip to the yarn store resulted in all these skeins of Claudia’s. From left to right (or top to bottom, depending on the picture), the colors are:
- John B.
- Boot Camp
- Donna’s Favorite
- Black Walnut
- Boot Camp, again
- Walk in the Woods
These will come together to make a shawl that I’ve been admiring at the store for quite a while. I got the pattern with the purchase of the yarn.
And so I am:
I fell in love with Eunny Jang‘s Print O’ The Wave Stole at first site. In fact, all of her stuff is really somethin’ else! I’ve been searching for a nice, lace wrap pattern for something I would actually wear, meaning it didn’t look granny. Man, I can’t wait until I’m old and then I can just knit shawls without shame ;)
Right now, sad to say, I am most definitely knitting from my stash. I just don’t have the funds to buy yarn right now. Or, rather, I have the funds but they are being diverted to a million other things right now!
I picked up a new skill already on starting this project—invisible cast-on. I used the figure-8 method, which was incredibly easy, which appropriately enough Eunny taught me.
OK, everyone can stop worrying now – I’m back. And I have a few things to show you. In a fit of indecision, I started several pair of socks (breaking my “one pair at a time” rule).
Monkey (but all stockinette – no purling!)
And these, which you’ve already seen.
And of course, I’ve also acquired a bit more yarn. A little yarn in the mail sure brightens a crappy day.
This is 2 skeins of 100% cashmere, each 400 yards. I got this from an eBay store I’ve been watching for a little while. I was curious about the quality of the yarn (since it is pretty cheap). So far, so good. I think this will become some lacy shawl or wrap.
And this is approximately 1750 yards of 100% extrafine merino. I bought this to dye for socks, but it is really a lace weight yarn, too fine for socks. This is destined to become some large lacy thing, too.
Driving, I tried to plan the day. I had wanted to gum-shoe in the Bonneville, but that had been before the fake Rosalind packet had arrived last night. Rosalind would not be at the library today, Saturday. I would have to track her down Monday to confirm my suspicion that she hadn’t sent it. But I was sure she hadn’t.
Foley even dozed some while I pointed the Grumler at the nearest diner. It wasn’t a usual, but that was fine. My goons came along after us. Glancing at Foley, carelessly asleep, I had a flash of professional pride and satisfaction: I must be on the side of good and true, escorting this classy act around. Linda’s crew was probably jealous.