Thursday, November 15, 2007

NaKniSweMo

Yay, another thing to join and not keep up with! National Knit Sweater Month. Another thing for November, which is now really Acronym Month. Acronym? Is that when you use bunches of letters, or is that only when you're using the first letter? Hmmm....Wikipedia to the rescue! Yup, acronym is for words made up using bits of other words, so it's all good. Acronym Month it is!

Instead of knitting a sweater, my goal has been to finish things. Not in the way I have been, like socks and stuff, but finishing some long-term large WIP/UFOs. Pullovers and blankets, large. I should be finishing a blanket tonight, which is awesome, since I started it almost a year ago to go to RIT hockey games and I'm about to graduate from RIT...

I also have a pullover I've been working on for almost a year and a half that just won't go the way I want it to go. I had a very definite idea of what I wanted it to be, knit it that way after fiddling with things like ease for awhile, and it was not working. At all. So I ripped back to the point it stopped working and put it aside. It's time to finish it, since it's done on size 10 needles. I think.

Crapola. I just looked on my drive for that sweater pattern. That pattern that is umm...not there. Which means it was on my other drive. The crispy one. !#%!#$^$%^. Times like ten. Anyway, maybe it's on my laptop...fingers crossed...

So I'm definitely finishing one blanket, and I'm working on another one, along with a couple of sweaters. If I can free up the project bags, I can bring other yarn to school! I'm really trying to compact the stash as much as possible by transforming as much yarn larger than fingering weight as I can to items that travel in other areas. Blanket goes with the blankets, sweater goes with the sweaters, so it's not yarn anymore, and therefore good. Mostly because the empty project bags get filled with other new projects, so if I'm careful about it, I can sneak almost all of my yarn to school because it'll be in project bags, not in the Rubbermaid bin...And if I can make it so that everything is in either project bags, the Christmas box, or the Bin, it will be all nice and organized and all, at least for the move.

Anyway, wish me luck with the finishing of the large projects...I might need it!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Fail

So I suck at the posting daily thing. Oh well. I've had a post in mind for every day I've missed. So it's not the lack of ideas, it's the lack of getting on the @!%!#$ computer and posting. A couple days I can blame on Lee for usurping the computer, but mostly it's just laziness and not thinking of posting when I have the chance.

Cabled Baglet
Originally uploaded by UnFrogged

Anyway, on to other things. I found my two missing US7 DPNs, along with my original set of US1.5s, the ones I first used to see if I'd like the sock thing before I bought the KnitPicks set. They were in my back pack. I found them Sunday, and bought new US7s Saturday. D'oh! It's not really a tragedy, I kinda needed a set of 5 DPNs for one project I'd like to make again, and it wasn't fun working with a circular for the most part. The Cabled Baglet works with a circular, but it's difficult the first couple of inches. By the way, for those of you who really liked it, the pattern is currently available in 101 Designer One Skein Wonders and will be available soon on Gardiner Yarn Works for anyone who doesn't want the $15 book and would rather spend $3 on the pattern alone.


I'll probably get the book because it might have other things in it, and it just doesn't feel right making multiple items from a test knit pattern when the designer is trying to make money from their designs. One test knit item to make sure the pattern is okay is fine in my book, but if I like the design enough to make it again, I feel the need to pay for it. And I rarely buy patterns, almost everything I make comes free. I've bought three patterns as just the pattern, and a few books for reference, but the majority of my knitting money goes for yarn. Therefore, this pattern is awesome, a quick knit, uses a skein or less of worsted weight yarn, and with cute lining fabric, would be perfect as a gift. Only takes a weekend of knitting, so is highly recommended by me!

Back to finding the needles. You know how when you drop something, the automatic reflex response is to catch it as it falls? And how that really doesn't work with a knife or when you're sitting on the floor and drop something? Yeah. It doesn't work when you drop the teeny 2.5mm DPN on the floor and it lands pointy end (well, one of them) into the rug while your hand is rushing down to save it from impending doom. Impending doom, all right, I now have a nice puncture in the middle of my left palm. Right where any and all errant DPNs brush up against while I'm knitting. Because when one pointy end is in the rug, the other pointy end is sticking up and is very lethal. Very lethal indeed.

Flickr

This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mmmmmmmmm, yarn!

Last bit on Ron Paul for now: The average contribution was $103 dollars, and he actually made $4.2 million in a 24 hour period. The 3.8 was midnight to midnight, eastern time. Also, his site is www.ronpaul2008.com, sorry for not adding it the other day and thanks Krista for letting me know!

I got my package for winning the random drawing from the Sock A Month knitalong, Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Black Pearl, a color I would have chosen for myself, along with some really amazingly gorgeous stitch markers. Like amazingly amazingly gorgeous. And my first real stitch markers. Something other than paperclips to mark my place with, what a novelty!

{There will be a picture here of the gorgeousness, when I get home to take it!}

I've never used Lorna's Laces before, and now I need a perfect pattern to use for it. Any suggestions? Lee thinks I'm crazy for stroking the yarn as much as I have been since opening it and petting it, and cooing over it, and considering all the different patterns I've made and wanted to make, and how none of them are good enough. I know, I know, it's just sock yarn, but I'm a KnitPicks girl and this is better than that. I'm just lucky that the other sock yarn with the Monkey Sock Swap came with its own pattern! A pattern that I am slowly losing the battle with - I am not to cast on until I have other things done. Doesn't matter what, I just gotta finish stuff before I can have the enjoyment of running that yarn through my fingers. Socks are good for school projects, and as my housing has fallen through, I may be back in the dorms, so not all the yarn will be coming, I'm thinking. Well, maybe all the yarn, it really doesn't take up that much room, but if all the yarn, then no fleeces. So probably a box of fleece and the box of Christmas yarn along with whatever else fits in that box. Socks will fit. Lace will fit. Therefore, must not cast on new socks (except Christmas ones to make more room in the box!) or lace items until at school. So there. Crap, I think I just jinxed myself!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Politics

I've always been kind of into politics. Not to the point of watching CNN obsessively, but to the point of liking to know what the different candidates stand for. I didn't actually vote in the last election (I know, bad me) but that was because I'm from New York, didn't get the absentee stuff done on time, and there's no way Bush would have won in New York anyway. This time, however, I've even changed my party affiliation so I can vote in the primaries as that vote will certainly count for something.

I like Ron Paul. Many other candidates are just not all that good. Giuliani will take us to war with Iran if he wins, Clinton actually supports many of Bush's things like the war in Iraq, and I don't particularly like many other candidate's platforms. Obama's okay, but I really like Dr. Ron Paul. He sticks to his guns, doesn't flip flop for politics' sake, believes in smaller governments and so will be decreasing the amount of programs and things we currently pay taxes on, and will take the troops out of Iraq ASAP. Sure, he's against abortion, but that's because he's an obstetrician. He also believes in allowing the states to decide, so he's not for banning it, just for making it a state and not federal issue. I'm okay with that. I'm not really for abortion hardcore or anything, I just think that the choice should be available. People should live with their mistakes, but sometimes it just isn't possible to bring a child into this world, even if you're going to adopt it out right away. I also know people who have used it as their preferred form of birth control, and that is not right at all.

Anyway, back to the original point. Yesterday was Guy Fawkes Day. Guy Fawkes' Day? Is there supposed to be an apostrophe? Is is the day belonging to him, or just his name is the name of the day? Google will tell me...No, no apostrophe. Guy Fawkes Day. This guy wanted to blow up Parliament. He's for smaller governments. So is Ron Paul. So a bunch of his Internet fan club (he has a HUGE Internet following) decided that that day would be the perfect day for a fundraiser. Over 35,000 people donated to his cause, including Lee and I. Granted, we didn't donate much, but we donated. He made over 3.8 million dollars, breaking the record for the most money donated to a 2008 Republican presidential candidate. The record was Mitt Romney's, at 3.1 million, but Paul's supporters broke it. Pretty darn good for one of the ones the media hasn't decided to back.

He's mostly Libertarian, and ran under that party at one point. I agree a lot with Libertarian beliefs. The basis of this is that anything that doesn't need to be regulated by law shouldn't be. So if you're stupid enough to blow your own hand off with fireworks, crash your motorcycle without wearing a helmet, or drop the toaster into the bathtub, it's your own fault and you can't sue the manufacturer or anything, and the government allows you to make that decision instead of seat belt checks or helmet laws. Sobriety checks and speed limits? Needed, because you're not just controlling a couple thousand pound piece of machinery, you're also driving it in close proximity to others attempting to control their thousand pound pieces of machinery, and not everyone is paying as much attention as they should. So there needs to be some laws and government intervention. Not as much as there is sometimes though.

Anyway, I'm very impressed that Ron Paul has managed to raise the funds he has, and very impressed at the way he's running his campaign. He's going to be in Philadelphia this weekend, and I'm going to see. He's changed speaking venues due to the cost, and is using his supporters' money as wisely as he can. He's also conscious of his fans, changing his television ads after the Internets decided they were not so good. He may not be media savvy or as big-name as some like Giuliani, but his ideas are good and he has a huge following. All he needs to do is start turning some heads and getting his message out to the not-so-Internet-savvy crowd, and maybe he has a chance. I think it would be a very positive thing for this country. As long as Bush doesn't attack Iran and then invoke the part of the Homeland Security bill that says everything including elections gets put on hold due to the national state of emergency, becoming a dictator and causing the US to be even more hated and feared. Fingers crossed!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Monkey Stuff

I got my Monkey package, yay! There was an adorable monkey sticker on the front too, but I did not want to show off either the sender's address or my own, so I didn't show it. Adorable!

Here's the inside. Look, a candy bar jumping right out to meet me! Obviously a good package.

Here's all the Monkey goodness. And Lee's hand. It's the only place where I could get good lighting at that time. There's a finger puppet monkey which when confiscated by Lee promptly attacked my belly button. There's a monkey that makes monkey sounds, to the very great enjoyment of both Lee and I. And one that walks. Much too much enjoyment was had from the monkeys, much more than should have been had by two twenty-somethings about to graduate college. Like this was five year old enjoyment we're talking here. Also a monkey notebook, which is freakin' cute!

This is the yarn and pattern that came with it. I definitely wanted this pattern, and the yarn is awesome. A bit more muted than shown in the picture, flowing from pink to violet very smoothly. Also about the squishiest yarn I've ever felt, and I can't wait to play! My first time using 100% superwash merino too, and it looks amazing and lovely and wonderful. I thought I took a picture of the Monkey socks themselves while on my feets, but apparently I did not. They are soft and wonderful too, and I wore them for the rest of the day.

Thank you ever so much!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Well THAT lasted awhile...

I blame Lee. He usurped the computer for nefarious deeds. Like Alpha Centuri, a video game that has taken over his soul. I attempted to entice him away with promises of food and Other Things, but he resisted. How am I dating the only guy to choose video games over Other Things?!?!?!

Ah well. Today I shall post thrice (and backdate, don'cha love Blogger?) to compensate. Seriously, the boy was gaming on Friday from the time he got home, stopped for about an hour and a half for us to deal with food, and then before I could claim the computer, continued with his game until 1 am. I had gone to sleep well before. So technically I could have fished out my laptop, the external keyboard now required to use it, and found another Ethernet cable and blogged from there, but we really don't have any good places to use such a setup here. And it's a major pain in the behind, and I didn't think of it until I was ready to sleep. Yesterday, I had the computer just long enough to upload the photos that I wanted to post about. But not long enough to post about them. Ah well.

In good news, I have two packages on their way to me, my Monkey Swap package and my winnings from the Sock a Month knitalong. My swapee still hasn't sent her address, so my Monkey package is still sitting here, waiting to be sent off to its home. I'll post after she has it, though I'm not sure if I'll unpack it to take pictures of the things I neglected to photograph. Like the cutest ever sock project bag. It is a floral denim print with sock monkey insides, a pocket outside for notions and things, and a square of the sock monkey fabric on the outside. MadCaterpillar on Etsy sells them, and here is the link to the one I got. I highly considered getting the orange corduroy one for my pal and keeping the floral one for me, but I could not justify such an expense for myself. So it is off to my pal, as soon as there is a place for it to go.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

FOs to Show

Here are some of my latest FOs.

I did finish the Thujas today, so they are done and ready to be wrapped for Christmas. The variation really isn't much, so I'm going to deal with it.

They were done in Caron Simply Soft Shadows, for ease of care later, softness, interesting colors, and niceness to my wallet.


I've been cooking a LOT these past couple of weeks. Every meal. I made amazing crepes, if I do say so myself. This right here is one of my two FOs for the day food-wise. I made Focaccia bread to go with the stuffed shells I made to use up some of the pasta sauce I made yesterday. I really made the bread because I'm making Garbage Bread on Tuesday, and won't have time to make the dough so made it today. It uses pizza dough, then you sprinkle on garlic salt and oregano and basil, cover with mozzarella and pepperonis, roll it into a loaf, cut vents in the top, then bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until it's all nice nd golden brown. Anyway, the bread is noteworthy though, because it tastes exactly like Goldfish crackers. Not lying here. Exactly. I made the bread the way it is listed in Joy of Cooking, 75th anniversary edition, by making pizza dough, not rolling it out all the way, drizzling it with olive oil, and adding toppings. The toppings were Parmesan cheese, a sprinkle of garlic salt, and a dash of oregano. Just enough garlic salt and oregano to be tasted in every bite, not enough to overwhelm. I usually take an engineering approach to my cooking and measure it all exactly, but I didn't this time. Apparently it makes bread that tastes like Goldfish. Who knew?

These are a test knit for Gardiner Yarn Works, Seeded Rib Wristwarmers. I used up the leftover yarn from the Hemlock Ring Blanket (next) and man, they are nice! We've had a cold snap, and they've been warm and comfy. Lee said it looks like the knitting is taking over, as I was wearing a knit cardigan (bought, not made), these, and a scarf.

Yarn is Vanna's Choice in Chocolate, took a bit more than half a skein for the pair. I weighed them at work so I can use other leftover yarns if I had enough, and they are about 28 grams apiece, so a little more than half of the 100g skein.

This is the Hemlock Ring blanket. It's for my grandfather as a recover quickly present for his hip surgery. He's good now, and I do believe he has the blanket, though I haven't called to confirm. That's my official blocking blanket for anything that is too large for the board, not my bedspread or anything. The bedspread is zebra printed!

This took just over three skeins of Vanna's Choice 100% acrylic in Chocolate. Again, the acrylic was for ease of use and lack of strain on my wallet. $10 for a whole lap blanket and a pair of wristwarmers? Count me in! I didn't quite block it well enough. I did the steam thing after washing it and letting it air dry for awhile, but I think it was still wet enough that I didn't allow the steam to penetrate enough. I tried the hold the iron less than an inch above the surface, but it didn't work too well. Next I'll try the cotton sheet version, and see if it works better. Damn acrylic.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Socks

The Christmas present of the year is socks. Everyone is getting socks. Well, almost everyone. A couple people probably aren't, they're getting fingerless gloves instead. I'm making socks for Lee's mom. I got a skein of Caron's Simply Soft Shadows, thinking it would be about right. Not quite. It's just a little bit off. If the toe had finished before the orange ended, I'd have been able to make both socks out of one skein. As you can see, it continued through the yellow.

Off to A.C. Moore I went. Another skein was bought, and since I pull from the center but it isn't really nice to leave little bits of yarn barf with the yarn you won't buy, I brought the bit of leftover and tried to find a skein that ended around the same place in the colorway as the other one. I found one that looked good. But of course, it starts a few yards further in the colorway. Like eight rounds. Can you tell?

Lee says it's fine, don't worry about it, it's close enough you can't even tell. But LOOK, it's totally off! I suppose that I could live with it, but they're not for me. What do you think?

In other news, MONKEY SOCKS ARE HERE!!! And we're such lazy bums that we didn't see the package outside our door that was left sometime Saturday afternoon until sometime Sunday morning. Tee hee. And did you know that it's the time change today? Yeah, neither did we, the computer said 9 am but the microwave said 10, so that's how we found out. Yeah.

P.S. - This is the first of two backdated posts, so I can make up for being a bad blogger during NaBloPoMoEIEIEO - so the date says Friday, but I say it's Sunday. So there.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

NaBloPoMoEIEIO

So I figure I'll give this a try. The whole, post daily thing. It may or may not work. I'll tell you now, I am going to cheat slightly. I have three or four blog posts worth of stuff, and I'm going to write them all as drafts tonight. Then I just need to add pictures, edit, and publish on those days I just don't have time for an actual post. So I can maybe get a full post in daily.

As for a general update, which will be much more in depth later, I have gotten the nine sock WIPs down to six. One frogged, two finished, and one almost done - more on that one tomorrow. Ooooh, foreshadowing! I can't show off the two finished ones yet, but the frogged one I posted about last time. I also have another pair that would be as done as it's going to get until Christmas finished, but I've been working on stoles instead. I'm knitting socks for all my aunts for Christmas, same pattern, and I'm not putting on the toes. I'm going to measure their feets with the socks to make them exactly right. So I'm going to knit to about a size 7 foot, as they're all size 7 - 8, and then have them try them on on Christmas Eve. Everyone's pretty toasted by that point, so it'll be a really good time, trying on toeless socks so I can measure how much further I have to go before adding the toes. Yippee!!!

I'm keeping up (mostly) with the Secret of the Stole and working on Swan Lake (MS3) which is still not done. I figure if I keep it so I only allow myself to work on the same clue for SOTS as MS3 I'll actually finish both. I'm headed to the yarn store to pick up some Addi Lace US4 needles, since I really like KnitPicks Merino for lace and US4 is my preferred size, so I may as well get a better needle for such projects. The price tag is very off-putting, but I figure if I build it slowly, someday I'll have my Boye set and a set of Addis for special projects. Someday.

'Kay, gonna go home now.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Finishing, Frogging, etc.

So my Plum Pullover is very nearly complete, just have two ends to weave in, a good blocking in my sample size of Soak, which I may buy a full bottle of when I purchase my Addis, and then some embellishments. And maybe something with the neck, Lee doesn't like it. Says it looks unfinished. I kinda like it the way it is, so I'm waiting until it's blocked to make a decision. The Lace Rib Raglan has sleeves attached (it's a bottom-up with minimal seaming) and I grafted the sleeves already to give the DPNs back to Blaze and take the stitch holding cord from my Needlemaster set and give that back to the MS3 where it belongs. Now I just need to finish the collar and it's done too, except the whole blocking thing. So blocking extravaganza probably tomorrow night so I can wear the Plum Pullover around on Saturday and decide if I like it or not.

I'm currently in a bout of wanting to finish things as I got the yarn for the Secret of Chrysopolis in the mail yesterday and I really want to start it, and I'm going to Disney on the 19th and I'd like to wear my MS3 while I'm there. We're doing a fancy-ish dinner, so I want to wear that with my Tempting. I'll also have the Lace Rib Raglan to wear during the day, and hopefully my Blaze too. Lee will be wearing his nice new black dress socks to the dinner thing too, as long as I finish the second one by then. I'm casting on for it tonight.

And the Bamboozled Socks. I grabbed some stash yarn that I've been trying to use for FOREVER and was finally using it in a way that looked good. So, I've got the cuff done and I'm almost done with the heel flap, and I try it on. No go. Confused am I, as I usually use the same size needles and a 60 or 64 stitch pattern. This is a 60 stitch rib, so it should fit. Ummm....? So I had the Essential for Lee's socks with me. I pull it out to check the yarn. Yeah, the stash yarn is most definitely thinner. So that's why it doesn't fit. A'frogging we will go...

I love the yarn or it would be a present for my sister. It would make perfect hiking socks and it's highly variegated, so just plain stockinette would be good too. I think I will make myself some plain stockinette hiking socks with some ribbing on the cuff. Lee's getting a pair out of the same yarn, different colorway. I think that's where all the yarn is going, actually, since it's too thin to really use in any patterns out there. Unless I go up a needle size, but it would be not good fabric then.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Picture Time

This is the body of my Lace Rib Raglan, a test knit for Chrissy Gardiner of Gardiner Yarn Works. Pretty simple stockinette for the most part, done in the round so very little finishing, with some nice lace ribbing at the bottom, collar, and on the sleeves. Very cute, can't wait to finish!

Here is the arsenal for the Secret of the Stole. Yarn that you can't really tell isn't all one color, the black beads, my in-progress binder where all the patterns I'm working on/will be working on soon reside, the size four needles from my Boye Needlemaster, and some movies to keep me slightly entertained while knitting. Yay! I will be switching from the Boye to some Addi Lace, my first pair of Addis, when they come in to my LYS. I'll probably be buying some 1s as well for the Mystic Waters Mystery Shawl, but that needs swatching first. I'm using the blue cobweb weight yarn from a few posts back, and I'm going to swatch using my DPNs to figure out what size to use. I'm thinking 0 or 1, and hoping the 1 looks good so I can get some Addi Lace needles for it. If not, I'll have to try and find some Inox quick or something.

Here's my Victorian Lace Sock, along with the yarn for the second. With this sock, I realized that the reason I love my Hederas and therefore heel flaps so much is because it is a much longer heel flap than normal. Oh. So this heel flap does not feel right to me at all. Ah well, I'll make the second and they'll be good for wearing with suits, which is their purpose.

This yarn is also the horror story yarn I alluded to a couple posts back. This yarn went with me to New Hampshire back in August, as I was working on the first sock then. My soap opened, and got nothing but this yarn. So I tried to wash it out. It's not a superwash. So here I am, badly sunburned, trying to rinse soap out of a skein of yarn without felting it. It actually worked too! So I put the damp yarn into a plastic bag, tossed it back into my in-progress tote, and forgot about it due to the sunburn.

A few days ago, just after my first Kool-Aid dyeing attempt, I completely cleaned out my project bag. And there was the plastic bag, containing the still-damp yarn almost two months later. Ew. Ewwwww. Ewewewewewewewewewewwwwwwww.

So, I cooked the yarn for a bit in my crock pot in hopes to kill whatever bacteria had decided to take up residence within the skein, to finish cleaning out the soap, and to try to get some of that dye out, because man, this stuff bleeds like CRAZY. After it was done, I almost wished I had something black that needed a re-dye so I could reuse some of that bled color. It did smell only like wet wool (love that smell) when it was done, and I let it dry completely before winding it up. Now if I could only finish the four other socks hogging that set of DPNs so I could get around to that one...

Dyeing

So, all the pictures on the camera were also gone. I thought I took the last few dyeing pictures after putting the pictures from the memory card on the computer and erasing them, but apparently not. Oh well.

Anyway, I wanted to dye my other skein of Bare laceweight for the Secret of the Stole. I wanted to dye it a deep burgundy and use black beads. So, I went off to find some Black Cherry Kool-Aid. Took awhile, but I finally got it. They were selling 3/$0.89, so I got three. I got back home, re-read the tutorial, and it says you need 2 packets for every 50 g of yarn, at least. I have 100 g. Crap. So I went ahead and dyed it anyway, and it was a very light pink in most places. It definitely looked kettle-dyed (variations of the red color) because I didn't stir it enough while it was cooking. I went back and got four packets of the Black Cherry along with two packets of Grape to darken the color a bit. I was stirring it religiously, then got distracted for a bit, and of course that was when the crock pot heated up enough to cook all the dye into the yarn. Crap, so it's a kettle-dyed yarn again, not what I was going for. This time, however, the lightest spots are dark enough for my tastes. So I'm going to go ahead with the Secret of the Stole and re-dye if necessary at the end. I have black beads, so they'll probably be fine if I re-dye.

Speaking of beads, I'm still not done with my Mystery Stole 3. And the beads are losing their silver finish and becoming clear. Not all of them, just randomly. I think it's the vinegar from the dyeing process. Note to self - rinse yarn dyed with vinegar VERY well when done. The beads look fine either way, it's just the two-toned beads in symmetric designs that's bugging me. Ah well, hopefully it will sort itself out in the end.

I'm also {this} close to finishing my Plum Pullover, just have 2 inches in the second sleeve, weaving in the sleeve ends, going back to the joins and making sure any inadvertent holes are closed up, blocking and adding embellishments. Then a photo shoot and it might be on its way to England. I'm also almost done with the body of my test knit pullover, the Lace Rib Raglan. Then I can go back to Blaze and make a Hemlock Ring Blanket for myself and my grandfather, along with grocery bags, more socks, a pillow for my grandfather for Christmas, and another submission in which I beg for the yarn to make the item, in addition to working through the more than eight miles of laceweight yarn I will have once my next KnitPicks order shows up. We'll see how that goes.

Pictures of stuff this evening, if I can snag the computer before Lee gets home.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Good Karma Day!

So I must have done something to deserve really good Karma today. Or maybe it was just because I got shafted and the good Karma is making up for the unnecessary anal rapage of yesterday. Monday evening we had a major power outage. Power was out from after 6:30 pm until sometime in the early am. They even closed off half of the main road our street is off of to fix it. There was a HUGE power surge when the power went away, and we were worried about the computer stuff. Lee was writing important e-mails at the time, so we were hoping nothing got too fried. We couldn't check Tuesday morning because the surge blew the fuse in our living room/dining room. Tuesday afternoon after it was fixed, it all worked fine. Firefox even restarted the session, and it was all good. Mind you, Lee owns all this stuff and backs it up quite often. My external hard drive was plugged into his computer so I didn't have to bring my computer out (I own a very sick laptop) and I could keep my files separate from his. So when I went to play my music, and iTunes couldn't find it, I was annoyed. When I checked my drive and the light wasn't on, I was pissed. And when I switched outlets, did everything I could think of, and it didn't turn on, I was ready to kill someone. How come none of Lee's stuff got even a little toasty, and my drive died? It had all of my movies on it, some random e-books, and all the craft/rebate/picture stuff I've saved from his computer for the past four months. Which is why there is no post about dyeing; those pictures are gone.

I'm thinking of maybe trying to rescue the drive, but it might cost more than it's worth. It's a 160 GB drive, 4x larger than my computer, and I didn't loose all that much.

Anyway, today, I was expecting my portable drive to die as if it did, I'd have no recent copies of my thesis since the external was my backup and I haven't plugged either into the laptop in awhile. The computer at work (where my portable has been plugged in for like a week) was not responding when I got in. I had to unplug and restart it to get it to work. The upside? It went through my drive and fixed the bad data from when it didn't save one of my submitted patterns correctly and gave me a heart attack while requiring me to re-write from a very old version. Yeah, I now have that file back. Better late then never? Then as I was walking out, bringing stuff to the garbage dumpster for the cleanup in anticipation of Friday's tours, I happened across a very fancy bookmark I thought I'd lost for good. If I had my camera, I'd show you now. It's a Kirk's Folly bookmark, similar to the last few on this page, and a present from my aunt. It has a flower, a fairy, and a dragonfly on it. Very pretty. I can tell you the exact spot I lost it (yarn hooked it while walking and knitting, I thought I heard something fall, looked around but didn't see anything, and then didn't realize the bookmark was missing) and that spot is about two and a half blocks away from where I found it. Not in a straight line either. And it was just lying in the dirt, a few feet from the door I walk into my building through. Serendipity.

Maybe the other drive will revive as well. Either way, I'm in a good mood and will be regaling you with stories of dyeing yarn and a yarn horror story later this week. With pictures, too!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Soapbox

Warning: This post is not about knitting and touches on political and charity viewpoints. You have been warned.

I love some charities. Hand up, not handout types. Like, I hate welfare, but I love scholarship/vocational learning/teach a man to fish type programs. Which is why I love Heifer International. They give families in poor areas animals that will provide food, labor and young that can be sold. They have to go through a training program so they know how to best care for and utilize their animals. They're given the types of animals that make sense in their area, be it chickens, llamas, goats, pigs, or what have you. There was a girl on Oprah who was able to go to college because of the hand up her family was given through this program. If I had graduated already and was working in a real job, they'd be getting a hefty donation. If you are interested in donating, and would like to be entered into a drawing to maybe win something for your good deed, Spin Out 2007 is still holding their raffle. Tickets cost $10 each, and that $10 (or more) is your donation to Heifer International. After donating directly to Heifer, you send an e-mail with the amount donated, and your name is put into the raffle. If you have the money and are willing to part with it for a good cause, please do!

Another charity I like is Sustainable Harvest International. They teach farmers in rain forest areas how to best farm the land so they don't have to keep mowing down forest to get more fertile grounds. Another one where they don't hand out money, they teach people how to better keep themselves and the environment in a better way. Also, Stonyfield Farm yogurt is donating to charities. They are splitting $100,000 between three charities based on the votes they get. Sustainable Harvest is one of them. How do you vote? You can vote online here and get a free yogurt. If you then get your free yogurt and buy nine more, you can send in all ten lids and it counts as ten votes. You also get a free box of Stash tea and Terra Nostra chocolate bar. Okay, so you get coupons to get them from your local store. I eat yogurt anyway, so I bought this brand for two weeks and sent in my ten votes yesterday. Very easy way to get some delicious products and help a good charity get money.

Now for the political part. I am not registered for any party. However, for the primaries, I'm going to register republican. If you're not specifically hoping for a democratic candidate to win their primaries, I suggest you do the same. I really like Ron Paul. He knows what he's for, and is a traditional Republican, not a war mongering debt-inflating moron like the current administration. Basically, I figure that if it's Ron Paul vs. either Obama or Hillary (which seems likely for the Dems) then either way, we win. So for all of you Independents or Democrats out there who don't feel the need to vote in the primaries, register Republican for this one. Sure, you may not agree with everything Ron Paul says or does. But he doesn't say one thing then do another. He has a lot of support, but the problem is that most of his supporters are not registered Republicans. So, if you'd like to make a difference in the future of our country and make sure we have a choice between candidates who are for getting the troops out of Iraq (and maybe Iran), vote Ron Paul in the Republican primaries. I know I will.

Okay, stepping of the soapbox. Next time: Yarn dyeing!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Frogging

So I don't generally frog things. I usually finish what I start. I even finished The Hobbit, a book that took me years to get through. That's why I keep a total of all of my projects and do not consider those I am unable to work on as in hibernation or not on the list. They've been started, they will be finished. I also usually put a bunch of time and effort into picking out the pattern and the yarn. Not so easy with test knits. You don't see what the pattern will be until you're done. Those are the only items I've ever frogged.

The Path of Flowers Shawl is a really pretty pattern. It just doesn't work in KnitPicks Shimmer. It needs a solid or nearly solid yarn. I'm thinking a pastel pink for my grandmother for her birthday in February. The pink and purple Shimmer does not work. There are really pretty roses and tulips in the shawl, but they get lost in the variegations. So I am frogging it, and will either use the yarn for a different pattern for my Grandmother's birthday, or use it for myself and get the pastel pink for her.

It is a very sad thing for me to admit defeat in a pattern/yarn combination. However, I shall move forward with my head held high. And use those needles for the next project starting.....now.

RIIIIIIIIIIIP.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Old Navy?

So I finally managed to find the site for the mystery shawl. It'll be triangular and blue. Perfect for the rest of that cobweb weight Yubina yarn. Yay! My LYS is most likely going to hold a knitting night Wednesdays or Thursdays after the clues come out so we can all sit around and puzzle over them together. Of course the last clues will be after I'm in Rochester again, so I told them they need a speakerphone or something. Should be a good time!

Have you seen the Old Navy Fair Isle collection? I have a deep, burning hatred for that store, and the flame has been severely doused by this collection. Freakin' cute! Couple of things I'd love to try my own hand at, and I want to find the closest Old Navy so I can ogle the fabrics up close and figure out what exactly they've done. One of them is taking the ballband dishcloth pattern and turning it inside out while adding some ribbing edging. I can do that! Though I'd rather have it inside out of what they have. I have a friend who really likes Old Navy stuff generally - I'm thinking of looking at the cabled scarf, charting the pattern, then either making it for my friend, or pushing her into trying cables by gifting her the chart, needles, chunky yarn, and pom-poms. Yes, I know you're probably reading this, I'm talking to you!

I'm about 85% done with the Monkey socks, and with the way my experimentation is going today, there's no reason for me not to finish. Except Ravelry. I'm doing quite well with my Plum Pullover too, 12 more inches of the body, then I have to figure out what's going on with the sleeves. It's gonna be one of those "divide leftover yarn in two, knit until desired length or no more yarn" type things. I'm a-hoping that it'll be enough for long sleeves, and it really does seem like it will as I have seven skeins left and I'm done with the yoke and I'm already somewhat into the body, so I'm anticipating 2-3 skeins for the rest of the body, then 1-2 skeins per sleeve. If it maxes out my expectations, that's exactly the ten skeins I have. If it requires more, well, the sweater gets 3/4 or shorter sleeves. I think it's asking for long sleeves though.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Too Much Knitting!

So I'm at work, waiting for my panel to be out of the Ultrasonic Scanner and motoring along on my Plum Sweater. Okay, so not motoring, Ravelry has gotten in the way. But I have just gotten to the sleeve/body split (it's a top-down) and realized that I put my stitch holder into my other bag last night. D'oh! So it is on to the Monkey sock, as I only have a set of DPNs which will hold one set of sleeve stitches, but sadly not the other. Bah!

I am also a sucker for joining things. Stitches with Style, the yarn store I frequent out here, is contemplating doing an in-store knit along for a mystery shawl that starts on October 24th. Sadly, I cannot find the site for the mystery shawl, I just know that it's triangular, has a water-based theme, and calls for 1200 m of yarn, perfect for the blue cobweb yarn I just acquired. If it's like the other mystery stoles, it will probably take 900-1000 yards instead of the larger suggested number, and I will still have the leftovers for my Print O' The Wave stole. Exactly what I was looking for! I was hoping to find the site, join, and possibly swatch it up today (because with the Monkey stuff, two sweaters, and other projects I don't have enough stuff to keep me busy tonight...), but I cannot find the site at all. Once I find it I shall have to let others on Ravelry know and post it so that it's successful for them. It doesn't start until October 24, so I really must have all the deadline stuff done at that point anyway, so I should be free and clear to start it. I may or may not actually go with the Secret of the Stole one; it starts in a week and a half, and I don't think I'll be far enough on my deadlines to join up for the first clue. I'm still signed up, and I found the elusive Black Cherry Kool-Aid that I couldn't find previously, so I'm all set. I just need black beads, which I'll be purchasing this weekend at A.C. Moore's knitting festival. I gotta get the yarn for my grandfather's Stag Bag Pillow then, so I may as well pick up the beads too. I still want to join the Sock Wars, but the sign ups end Monday evening. I think I'll wait 'till the last minute, then decide if I can pile on a pair of socks (or more)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Monkey Swap

I love choosing gifts for people. I love finding the perfect thing, something they either want or need and can use. Something they may or may not have gotten for themselves, at any rate. Or if I’m knitting them a gift, something they will use. Which is why I won’t knit a hat for Lee, or knit something that isn’t machine washable for most of the people I knit for. I’m having so much fun trying to get things that will be enjoyed by my spoilee. I know she’ll like most of what I’m getting for her. I’m not positive about the yarn choices, but I believe they’ll be acceptable, if not loved immediately. She likes interesting new indie designer yarn, so I’ve gotten her a brand I believe she hasn’t used before along with one of the patterns she wants. Her Monkey socks are nearly done, and I need to make a couple of random things that are going to be added to her gift. There’s also one or two other items I want to throw in. Both are large items, so we’ll see which one gets there first since both would be too much spoilage. Not that there’s really such a thing, but some kind of limit must be observed!

I really want to take a picture of the sky outside of my window here at work, but my camera is at home. There’s a gorgeous blue sky, no clouds, with a really cool tree. And a crane. The colors are just really cool and interesting. Desktop background-like.

I’m more excited about the giving than the receiving, really. And, to my spoiler, I totally started searching though all the blog questionnaires to try to search you out based on the clue of your foot length, but decided it would be better to just wait! I am very excited, and I’m sure that whatever you’ve chosen will be wonderful, as I haven’t seen a bad Monkey sock ever. If your package arrives before mine’s ready to go, I will be forcing myself to hold off on opening it until I complete mine. Major incentive for me to hurry up!

On the knitting front, no pictures because I’m working on a last-minute design submission. No pictures until it gets published. If it gets published. Then a test-knit, but you’ll probably get to see those pictures. Chrissy doesn’t mind us posting those. And of course, I have Monkey socks and gifties to go with that, as well as the ever-present Christmas sock knitting. Which is mostly on hold due to the Monkey and sweater knitting.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Stash (VEEEEEEEEERY Picture Heavy!)

Here's all those pictures I've been talking about. First up, we have a picture of my Blaze pullover, with one sleeve complete, the other past the cuff, and the body cast on. I wanted this to be a rather quick knit, but deadline knitting and then the monotonous pattern got in the way. It will be finished someday soon I hope. Though I did shoot myself in the foot yesterday, and now I have to get two sweaters, three pairs of socks, some random stuffed animals, and probably another Baglet done by the end of October. That's six weeks. I'm screwed.

Here is a photo of my stash. Like, all of it. This is all of the full skeins of yarn that do not currently have a project calling to them. So, they went into a box and off to the yarn swap at a knitting group I go to. They almost all got taken right away, and the few that didn't got donated. I feel great!

So what happens the day after the swap? I receive two packages. One is the yarn from Yubina I ordered, and man, is that tiny. It's cobweb weight, and I swear I've used larger threads in a sewing machine. I'm going to be making Eunny Jang's Print O' The Wave Stole with the blue and I was planning on my 6'x6' Shetland Lace Ring Shawl from the other, but I'm not positive now. It's much more brown than ivory. Though I'm sure once it's knit up it won't be as brown. Maybe not as light as I would like, but not as brown either. I'll have to swatch it to really see.





The other package is the yarn for a test knit that I'm doing for Gardiner Yarn Works. Very nice color, can't wait to cast on! There was also a nice thank-you note with the yarn, very sweet!

And last but not least, a sampling of Assateague pictures, including the crabs we caught and the pony eating the grass next to the tent. Yay!

Beginning of the Cabled Baglet

Ponies think they have the right-of-way here. And they do.

Sunset over the marshes - we were just finishing crabbing

Apparently it's very exhausting being an adorable pony

Pony by the tent

Beautiful beach

Yup, we caught these two crabs!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Oh Yeah...

I remembered why I do swaps. It's so someone else can knit a pair of socks for my 10" long feets, and I can knit socks for someone with something like 9" long feets. And let me tell you, after knitting socks on size 2.50mm needles with a stitch count of 80 for 11" long feets, I am amazed at how fast the Monkeys are flying off the needles.

Monkeys, taken in the beam of sunlight at work.

Remember how I said at one point that I didn't like the socks I got from the last swap I did? I brought them out again, and they're not that bad. It was a mystery pattern, and the yarn just didn't go with the pattern. It's also a weird yarn for a sock, as it's a DK weight and there's not many DK weight sock yarns out there. As everyone in the Six Socks Knitalong is finding out. Sorry! I think I will do the Sock Wars, as I do enjoy the picking out of the surprises for the other person and the receiving of random things in the mail. I'm still not signing up until the last day, if I do at all, because I'd like to know what kind of yarn is required and I want to make sure I have gotten a good portion of deadline knitting done before signing up for more.

Also, the internets decided not to play nice last night. I got three pictures of the ten-ish I wanted to get out into the ether. So, here are views of the gorgeous Cabled Baglet, a pattern I wholeheartedly recommend picking up for yourself when it comes out. Quick, easy to make, looks great, and is portable so you can take it along if you don't have a purse sock. Also great for gifts if you need last-minute ones. I'm planning on using up all of my Red Heart leftovers on these (I can get like four more done) and keeping them around to use as gifts when I need them.
The pictures:

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pictureless...

I just placed my first order from the Loopy Ewe. Can't wait to see what comes with the yarn! I ordered the Cookie A. pattern for my Monkey Swap 3 pal as well as some sock yarn from a dyeing company I don't think she's tried yet. At least, I searched her blog and the company didn't show up. All the others I was considering did, so I think I'm good with what I've gotten her. She likes variegated yarns, yarns from new to her dyers, and I got a colorway that, from reading her questionnaire and looking at the yarns she's purchased, should be right up her alley. Then again, I haven't used variegated yarns much, so it might come out completely wrong. The socks that I'm making her are coming out differently than I had thought when looking at the skein. Not bad, I still think she'll like them, but not as good as I thought they'd be. Ah well.

I have pictures of these socks, a couple of my Ravelry projects, and my Assateague trip. They're on my home computer. I'm at work. I stayed late yesterday as there was a knitting group in this end of town last night. Instead of going home and coming back, I just stayed here an extra couple of hours (we work on flex time, so I can go home earlier later in the week) and went to the knitting group. Met some great people there too. It was the yarn swap, so I got rid of all of my stashed yarn. Yup, there's a picture of what I got rid of. On the home computer. I got rid of a whole bunch, and only brought one measly ball of crochet thread home to make snowflakes with. I no longer have any eyelash yarn or full skeins of acrylic, or the black yarn I made socks with and felted, or the extra skein of my FAVORITE Peru Luxury DK. I figured someone else could have the loveliness. That and it's not machine washable, and the only things I could think of for one skein of it would be things that would get dirty easily. I still have the random non-full skeins of acrylic, because I don't feel right giving someone less than a full skein, even though one of them is only about ten yards less than a full skein of Red Heart SuperSaver. But I can make more Cabled Baglets out of the almost full skeins. Pictures of Cabled Baglet, a test knit for Chrissy Gardiner of Gardiner Yarn Works that will be up sometime after October, are forthcoming. I must say this is a freaking adorable bag. I love it. Like, absolutely love it. Very quick knit, I'm going to be using all of my random acrylic leftovers to make as many of these as possible as last-minute gifts for people. They are nice and small, fit a sock/sleeve-type knitting project and a couple notions, and the cables give it a very nice touch. It's a drawstring bag and EVERYONE who has seen it yesterday commented on it. Even all the guys at work at a meeting (it's a teleconferenced seminar thingie, which means two straight hours of knitting every Tuesday morning) thought it was great, and so did all the people at the knitting group. If you're in need of a cute little bag that takes somewhere between six and eight hours from start to finish (I was doing other things in between) this is definitely a pattern you should buy. I'll post the pictures when I get home and you'll see why.

I'm going to update the sidebar with only the projects that are currently topmost in my knitting priorities, instead of having everything there. Like that Frill and all those cross stitches? Yeah, I haven't cross stitched in forever due to all the knitting I'm doing. Honestly, I'm about ready to switch it up to mostly cross stitching (I have phases) but I have so many things I HAVE to get done that the cross stitching is not going to get touched for a bit. Which is sad, I really wanted to finish one of my huge ones this summer. Ah well, if I can finish a bunch of knitting and stop signing up to do more, maybe I still can finish it...

Monday, September 10, 2007

...Progress?

Lee had a major revelation this weekend. He thought that this magic number that has veered between 25 and 45 since I've known him is actually the number of projects I have yarn for/are planning to make. I laughed when I found out that that’s what he thought. He was in total shock when I told him that no, that’s not the number of projects I could make. That number would probably be over 100, as I have about 30 cross stitches that are in packaging still, yarn for about 20 pairs of socks, two sweaters, nearly 20 random small projects and around 20 lbs of fleeces. I think I am set for awhile. I don't stash, but I do buy for specific projects. So my stash is a bag of ten skeins of Peru Luxury DK, two skeins of sock yarn, and a few skeins of acrylic sportweight that a friend had picked up for me from a garage sale. That and leftovers from previous projects. My stash may be small compared to most knitbloggers, but my queue is massive. My yarn content may reach nearly as much as many others, but it's all set aside for a purpose. The number, my friends, is actually the number of projects I've started at one point or another. Whether it was that I was so excited to have it that I cast on, then the magic died due to the stitch pattern or (in the case of the Frill) I screwed up so I have an extra one cast on and didn't realize it, it is the number of projects that are in any form other than the one I bought them in.


The count. So, the plan was to keep it under 30 works in progress. I have eight that I can’t work on as they’re at home (usually paintings that I just haven’t finished) and about ten that I just shouldn’t have started (three blankets, five cross stitch, a stole and an amigurumi). So that’s about eighteen that are definitely in hibernation, but I still count them as they’ve been started. If I consider those eighteen to be in hibernation, then a good number of in progress projects should be something between 20 and 25, a cross stitch, a fleece, one or two crochet items, and two to four knit items, so I can switch off between an intricate stole and a simple watching a movie pattern, and have a sock or two in my purse. It really should only be up to 23 using that logic, as I have a crochet blanket (or three) that are in hibernation that I should start working on, and a stole that is also in hibernation that should be the paying attention piece. I was going to make it a goal to get down to 23 and stay below 25, but then I realized that I'm knitting a bunch for Christmas. I'll probably be making everyone's first sock, then everyone's second sock for the design that I'm making for all my aunts in different colors. So the goal really is to just stay below 40 until the Christmas knitting is done. Stay below 40 and don't put anything on stitch holders to use the needles.

Now, what number am I at that I'm going to try to reduce? That is the question. As I have had a major case of start-itis recently, mostly when it comes to socks, I will be trying mostly to reduce the number of single socks I have. How many socks is that? Eight. Yes, I have eight socks either waiting for a mate or just started on the needles. One of these pairs of socks won't be continued on until October (I got the wrong contrasting color and only noticed after completing the cuff) but three of these pairs are in larger weight yarns, so those won't be too bad to finish. I think I can get down to only one or two pairs in progress by the end of the month.

Now, keeping in mind that eight works in progress are socks and eighteen are in hibernation (for a total of twenty-six, already blasting by the twenty-three...) the number of works in progress is ...

thirty-seven.

So that's fourteen more projects than there should be. I'm not going to set any number goals other than the keeping it manageable for Christmas - only Christmas gifts if I'm over 30, but I can cast on something for me if I'm under 30. Once the holiday knitting has been completed, then I'll worry about getting that number down closer to where it should be!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Updating...

So this weekend I'm going to try to be a good internet person by actually photographing and updating things. I'm only going to be gone for one day instead of the entire time, so I should be able to take pictures of things in the sunlight (ahhhhh, nooo, it buuuuuuurns!) and actually tally up my projects for Blogger and Ravelry updatingness. Mostly I need to figure out how to photograph stuff better. Or con Lee into photographing me. That would probably work better. I get funny looks when I try to photograph such things as socks on my feet in the outside. I live in an apartment complex, and not a college student complex, which would make it much more acceptable. All college students do weird things, and RIT has a photography major, so pictures of weird things at weird angles are not that odd. Okay, well, they are, but people taking these pictures are commonplace enough that no one else notices.

Anyway, I own a camera, a very nice camera, so I should be taking awesome pictures of the things I knit and stuff. We'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Socks (finally!)

Okay, so I lied. Not entirely my fault, Blogger, my camera, and the internet decided they didn't want to play nice. And I was away for the weekend, so couldn't do it then. However, here are some pictures!





Yarn for the Monkey Sock Swap! But oh, which one? I know, but I'm not telling, just in case she manages to figure me out. Either way, I do believe that these will be adorable Monkeys. I'm actually really glad my spoilee likes the color scheme that I got - I actually bought these a couple of days before I got my partner, and didn't really like the colors so much (it's not something I would choose for myself to wear) but I was drawn to it. Good for my spoilee!

Don't'cha just hate it when you're 2 rows from completion, and you run out of yarn? Yeah, I was worried I was going to run out. So I kept on knitting, and decided that yeah, I would just barely make it. Boy was I wrong. I did have scraps of this yarn from an earlier sock though, so it got finished.

And the sockapalooza. These are all the sock knitting I've done since the beginning of August (and some in September - I re-took the picture after finishing a bit after the weekend). Yes, I know, I have a large bunch still on the needles on the end. Yes, that's five pairs on the needles. And if I had the sock yarn for the few sizes that aren't being used up, they'd probably be in this picture too. I like having one or two in my purse, the easy, don't have to think about it out-and-about knitting (blue toe-up sock and multicolored, mostly done grey sock). Then there's the ones I have to concentrate on, either because they're colorwork or intricate (green sock, will be Fair Isled). Then there's the ones I'm designing (black, mostly done, waiting for yarn, and orange). It's all mostly Christmas knitting, some Birthday, some designed, and two socks that are just mine, knit from someone else's pattern. The question is: Can you find the pairs?

Nope, the blues are not mates. Different color blue which you can kinda see in the picture, and different rib pattern. These are the Mix and Match Rib pattern that I test knit for Chrissy Gardiner. Hourglass rib on the left, Eyelet on the right. Nice easy pattern in sport weight, a good way to use up random sport weight acrylic that I have lying around and give my sisters Christmas socks. They're ankle socks instead of full cuff socks - not sure how much acrylic I have, and I wouldn't want that much acrylic on my legs. Very fast, very cute though!


These for some reason wouldn't take with the flash. So I tried with no flash. Still not good, but better. Yes, these are a match. For my sister. Yay, Christmas Present #1 done! Also, these were finished in September, not August. I did finish one pair in August...


Betcha' you didn't see that one coming! I finished the first of this pair in July, and the second on August 2, I believe. International Sock of Doom 1. The second Sock Wars is beginning in October - I can't decide if I want to join. I think I will, but I did just sign up for a couple of test knits, and I am trying to do a bunch of Christmas knitting - I suppose that since the signups are open until October 1, I can set myself a knitting goal and if I meet it, I can sign up. I had fun for the first one, but things got crossed in the mail and I didn't particularly like the socks I got. Haven't worn them. It is something cool to be a part of. Okay, howsabout, if I finish all of my sister's socks, Lee's socks, Lee's mom's socks, Blaze, and I get to the wing in the Mystery Stole 3 (that I am AMAZINGLY far behind on) then I can join. Mystery Stole 3 is negotiable, but only if there's another project taking its place that is substantial enough. Like, not a pair of socks, but the two pairs of handspun socks (that are not done being spun) for my godparents and the needlefelted model of their dog made from their fur is a good swap. Which means that I have more knitting to do than can be done in less than a month. So I probably won't join, as I really shouldn't, but I might anyway...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Socks, Socks, Socks...

So I have pretty pictures on my camera. And on the computer at home. Sadly, I am at work. So no pictures for you.

I have been knitting an AMAZING amount of socks this month. I have had the one I was designing that was evil and required me to sit down and THINK about it when knitting. As I didn't have much sitting and thinking time, but a whole bunch of waiting time, I got a bunch of purse socks done. I have three four (I forgot one when I first posted - tee hee) completely done right now, two very close to finished, and one more just started. Single socks, not pairs. One of the completed socks finished a pair. All the rest are first socks. Three of the socks (two finished, one just started) are Christmas presents, so leaving them to languish for a bit is fine. They're all purse socks, so I've been switching it up a bit each time and starting something I'm interested in at the moment. I shall post a picture of all my socks the last day of the month to show you (and hopefully I'll have 2-3 more to put in the picture then!).

I have awesome yarn for my Monkey Swap Pal. It's a colorway I believe she'll like, bright and cheery and yellowy and orangey. Perfect for Monkey socks, I think. Picture at home. I shall update with it later. This is not one of those pairs of socks already started. It's one I'm dying to start, but I'm waiting for the needles to free up from the current socks. Too many socks! Though a nice reduction in stash, I must say.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Good For Nothing

"You're good for nothing when you're working on a sock," said Lee, after coming in from running. "It's 6:00 at night and you haven't even gotten dressed for the day!" My reply is a maniacal laugh. "It's 6:30!" "And you laugh about it instead of realizing it's sad!" he says as he's going in for a shower.
I'm designing a sock. A sock that has taken many iterations and a few left turns since its inception. But it is finally there. So today I got out of bed at 10:30, checked e-mails and things for a bit, talked to my aunt for an hour, ate breakfast and lunch, exercised for an hour, and worked on the sock. Incessantly. It's to the point where it's pretty much finalized, I just have to re-knit (again) to be sure. Today I've written it up and I'm halfway through the cuff. I can send the pattern off once I get past the heel to make sure that its correct. The heel is patterned. As soon as I am sure the pattern as written conforms to the sock as knit and that some of my weird yardage notes are correct (there are two colors at work here), I shall be productive again outside of the sock. Like I'll work on the other two socks that are on the needles. Or the two shawls. Or...
I think what Lee means is that I haven't done the dishes or the laundry or called a friend we are trying to meet with in a few weeks which were my chores for the day. He went in to work to make up some extra hours for a long weekend we took. I worked longer days, he goes in Saturday mornings.
I was productive though! I finalized the pattern, wrote it all up (except the heel bit) and it's all pretty! And I decided what my Monkey Sock Swap 3 pal is getting and what yarn I am using for her socks. So I am not good for nothing, I am simply good for nothing other than yarn.
On Thursday, when I came home from the yarn store, we had rice for dinner. For some reason, every time I tried to say "rice" I said "yarn." Maybe Lee has a point...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Monkey Swap 3

So I am a sucker for group things. I joined the Mystery Stole 3, now I'm joining the Monkey Swap 3. Maybe it's just group things with those initials. Anywho, if you're interested in making some Monkey socks to surprise someone with, and receiving some Monkey socks and some monkey related goods, click on the link and sign up. Who knows, maybe you'll be my swap partner!

Monkey Sock Swap THREE Questionnaire

The basics:

Though I couldn't knit them in my sleep (might poke Lee with the needles accidentally) I'm pretty happy with all I've tried and have done Fair Isle and lace in my socks. I haven't done cables yet, but they don't scare me!

The measurements:

Shoe Size: 10.5
Foot circumference: average - don't have a measuring tape right now and can't remember!

Foot length: 10"

Yarn Preferences:
What colors do you love?

I love deep blues and purples, bright purples and pinks, blues and aquas and greens. Deep reds, deep purples, saturated blues, basically the GBIVR bit of the spectrum. But mostly purples.

Do you prefer solids or variegated?

Depends on the purpose/pattern. I like variegated for things like Monkeys and Pomatomus, but most of Cookie's other patterns seem to look best in solids. Gothic Spire and Flicker may be good in variegated too.

Do you prefer wool, cotton or acrylic yarn?

I'd rather not have 100% acrylic, but I'm pretty much up for anything.

What colors would you never wear?

I don't think there are colors I'd never wear. I'd rather have bright blues, greens, pinks, purples, and variations thereof, than browns, beiges, or pastels. Not so much of a yellow or orange person either.

What are your favorite brands of yarn?

I haven't tried many sock yarns, but I love KnitPicks!

Are there any new brands you would like to try?

Nothing specific. I've never tried any of the major brands people swear by, like Trekking or Socks that Rock, but that is because I am still going through my KnitPicks and a couple of others I bought on eBay.

Cookie A. Patterns:
Which of her patterns have you already knit?

Hedera (my favorite socks EVER) and Baudelaire.

Which pattern(s) would you like to knit and don’t already own?

I like Thelonius as a short sock, Millicent as a long sock, and Pomatomus if you're on a budget and/or are thinking variegated!

Other pertinent information:

Would you be willing to have an international Monkey Pal or do you prefer one in the US?

Doesn't matter to me!

Do you have any allergies?

Nope.

Will your knitting be exposed to smoke or animals?

Just Lee. He's a boy. So it kind of counts.

Are you on Ravelry yet? If you don’t mind having new friends, what is your Ravelry name?

Yes, I am on Ravelry as Shlaci.


Not sure what's with the weird formatting. Blogger must hate me right now. Oh well.

I promise, I'll remember to use my camera this weekend and post. Scout's honor!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Spinning

I have the most amazing sunburn ever. Blisters, puss, swelling, and amazing amounts of pain and grossness. Lee and I went on a 3-4 hour kayaking journey for 6 hours. Sunscreen does not last so long. Especially when it is on parts that are getting wet and have not seen the sun at all this summer. My knees. To combat the pain and requisite lying down, I started a test knit stole for Chrissy Gardiner, the Path of Flowers Shawl, which will probably be coming out not too soon after it gets test knit. I wanted something that would take my mind off of the pain of the sunburn, but not something that was amazingly finicky. As I was still on the first clue of the Mystery Stole and socks just didn't seem right, I started this one. It's really nice so far (I'm halfway through the first repeat, yay me) and I like the fact that though it is lace, it is only a 16 row repeat. The size 6 needles also make for not terribly finicky squinty knitting. Once getting back home, however, I felt confident enough to continue on with the Mystery Stole. I am halfway through the second repeat. Which means that if I only had started when the clues came out, I could have been keeping up. It is looking beautiful though; I love the silver beads! The wing sounds great and I can't wait until I am far enough along to start it. That was kind of my goal for this week, getting through Clue 4 by the time Clue 6 came out, so I can just wing it (hee hee) for the rest. Again with the stupid goals.

I did some alpaca spinning (another stupid goal, I was thinking to make my aunt and uncle socks for their birthdays THIS MONTH) and got almost an entire spindle full in the two hours I spun. The major problem with the spinning is that I have raw fleece. It needs carding. I don't enjoy carding. I'm not sure if I will ever get a raw fleece again due to my severe dislike of carding. Spinning is great, but carding, now carding should be done outside due to the bits of dust and loose hairs flying about. The llama and alpaca I have do not require scouring before spinning and are dusty. One of the llama fleeces is amazingly dirty, and I am considering doing something with it before spinning. If I could just take the time to card up the entire bag, give it an entire afternoon and just suck it up, it probably wouldn't be so bad. Then I could spin and spin to my heart's content, or I ran out of rolags. I suppose I really don't like carding because there isn't much else you can do while carding. I read while knitting, listen to music, watch movies, talk, but stuck outside having to watch the carding, there isn't much else to do. Boring and slow and just not as productive as I like activities to be.

I was carding three rolags, spinning them, then carding three last time, as the straight carding was annoying. I was also carding in the house (don't tell Lee!) over the Rubbermaid to catch any dirt since this was a pretty clean fleece. I got through nine rolags. I think twelve would fill the spindle, but I did not want to continue after nine. It was food time, and the hair was just getting everywhere and mixing with the aloe on my legs. Not cool. I want to make a pair of Thuja socks for my uncle and a pair of Thuja-inspired socks for my aunt. I love the pattern, think it would go very well with the alpaca, but want something to allow them to tell their socks apart. I'm thinking of taking the stockinette portions of the ribbing on the back of the legs of my aunt's socks and making them cables or twists or something. I'd like to spin some more today, but my legs are so gross that I really can't do that. I'm still not sure how many yards I'm going to get out of the spindle. I only need about 175 yards for a pair of Thujas, which really isn't much. I am planning on plying the yarn, two ply, as I'm spinning pretty consistently at half the size I want it. That's making me pretty happy. I need to spin 350 yards, then ply it to get about 175 yards. Not too bad, not too bad at all. If I'm spinning it similar to how I spun the llama that was last on the spindle (and I think I am), a full spindle is about 100 yards (if I remember correctly), and if a full spindle is twelve rolags, then I need 3.5 spindles at 12 rolags or 42 rolags total, and I've done nine, so about 33 more rolags to card. Yeah, I think I can do that in an afternoon. Probably Saturday. That sounds like a pretty good Saturday, carding up a Rubbermaid container full of rolags, then spinning them while watching a movie that evening. Sounds great to me! I'll be able to knit them at the Kenny Wayne Shepard concert on Sunday, and finish them during the week. I can spin the other pair up the next weekend, and the socks will be late but not too late. If I can only keep to my schedule...

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

My List

So I realized that I tend to add new projects to the top of my list, not the bottom, on my blog. It is much the same in real life. I get so excited starting something new. And then the shiny wears off when I realize it's going to take me HOW LONG!?!?!? to finish it. Based on my track record, I really am too much of an instant gratification person to knit. I mean, I love it and all, and I have never not finished something I've begun (even though the Hobbit took me years of picking it up and putting it down to trudge my way through, and Punch Drunk Love was bad enough that I really should have gotten my money back halfway through...), but some things take a veeeeeeeeeery long time to get there. I have blankets and cross stitches that have been languishing for over a year. Or two. Or three. Though I don't think I have anything that I personally started that is over ten years old. I'd better finish that one cross stitch before it gets there! I also truly enjoy intricate things and I like putting the time into them to come out right. The main problem is that I have horrendous start-itis, and will have started (and sometimes finished) a whole bunch of things before going back to work on the time consuming project that had enthralled me so when I started it. Like the Frill, for example. It was on the needles since November, and I just picked it up the other day when I had myriads of knitting time at work and figured I could just finish the (&(^&$ thing if I had nothing else to do. It worked. I've had the Awesome Mohair Sweater in the works for over a year. That one is my own design, so is thrashing me soundly. What I had envisioned is just not working with the chosen yarn. Another design has been chosen and will be undertaken when I have the willpower to attempt such a thing. So maybe next summer.

Anyway, look at all the new pretty things that have been cast on and worked on instead of finishing those other projects! I think the reason the Mohair sweater just won't work is that it's jealous of all the attention the other yarns tend to get. It is like a poodle, thinks that it is the only one worthy of such adoration. I have alpaca, merino, peruvian wool, and it all deserves its time. Besides, the damn mohair has taken up waaaaaaay more than its fair share already!

Oh, also, I finished a pair of socks (Socks of Doom) which will be photographed and posted on soon. They are my first pair for August for the Sock a Month Knitalong, so they will definitely be discussed. Tempting is complete, though she could not be worn at the barbecue. Wool and hot, humid weather do not mix so well. This fall she will be shown off all the time, though!

Pretty fibery things (so you don't have to imagine anymore!):

Holy Sleeve

Better Sleeve (that looks even better now!)

Almost Finished Tempting (though farther than when in NYC)


Mystery Stole 3, Clue 1, Chart B

I finished Clue 1 finally too! It looks pretty good, though it's not all stretched out. The yellow bits are pins, the silvery bits are beads. Though the beads actually look more like yarn overs in this picture. Oh well.