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...


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


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!