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?


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


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.