Busy, busy.

June 26, 2008

Things here have been busy lately. First, Stitch n’ Pitch:

The game was okay. Most of the people I recognized from Ravelry were on the far end of the section from me, so no real socializing. Just ooing and trying to peek at what everyone was working on without appearing obnoxiously nosy. And the goody bags. Free loot! Mostly Shawn watched the game and I got the cuff done on my first Nutkin (anklet sized), which is now done:

My goal for Summer of Socks is one sock a week, so I’m ahead of schedule. Yay!

Then there was Convergence. There were three knitting-focused booths, and even if one of those was a little under half weaving yarn. But still, for fiber addicts, a mecca. For those who like taking pictures of fiber, not so much. I was asked to turn off my camera shortly after being there — I guess there was something in the packet of information for non-day goers that specified no photography. But I did get a few pictures, including one this lovely fiber:

I was alone and not feeling well, so that made it less fun, but I did pick up goodies.

Some Soak:

And this neat Kumihimo (Japanese braiding) loom/kit:

And my best deal of the day, 6,300 yards of a light fingering weight cotton (6/2 in weaving terms) — a mill end from Webs, and under $20, in my favorite green:

I also got some J-Knits sock yarn and some Araucania Ulmo (cotton) Multy from Knit ‘n Knibble’s booth, and some gorgeous superwash/bamboo sock yarn from FiberLady. I really, really wanted to get something from Knitting Notions — they had some amazing stuff, but I was so overwhelmed by all the gorgeousness I couldn’t pick anything (well, other than really wanting a swift that I couldn’t afford and have no where to store). I came back three times, and still… overwhelmed, so since I knew they had an online store, I figured I’d put them on the top of my mental list (and knitting store bookmarks) for when I am ready to buy a swift, and the next time I have a yarn need they can fill.

Other than that, my Ribs and Lace tank is hibernating until the end of SoS, but it’s getting close to done. All that’s left is lots and lots of ribbing (and shaping). Shawn’s socks are very close to halfway done, but those are hibernating, too.

As a side note on Foody Friday, I haven’t been baking. First when the summer semester started I was just overwhelmed, and then I found out that I’m likely gluten intolerant (plus lactose intolerant and fructose malaborbant until my body heals from the gluten/autoimmune damage), so I’ve been eating gluten free since the 7th. Which means I’m going to have to learn a whole new way of baking (and buy all new supplies), which is probably a ways off (GF crap is expensive). For a silver lining I am seeing improvement already (hair not coming out by the literal fistful = very, very good), so I’m not minding it so much. Less time baking = more time knitting, and for now, that works for me.

One of these days I’ll have a real, live FO to share. Really.

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For those who don’t read my other blog (I say that as if anyone is reading this one, either :D), I am back in school. Again. Whee! And omg, I’m old. It is taking so much time to keep up with these two classes. I have to read everything twice and sometimes I feel like I’m still in over my head.

Anyway, between that and the new sewing machine, my knitting time has been shrinking. Even though I’ve only sewn two things (sock knitting bags):

But I did manage to start my tank!

I ended up tinking like 1382 stitches because I missed a yarn over, but I’m back to just after where I realized I was missing a stitch. If I could just find the time to get through the rest of this lace pattern the rest should zoom by.

Oh, and I did end up making a little bag with some scrap yarn.

Basically, I needed something to work on while reading textbooks, so I started just knitting garter stitch, and from there I decided to make another market bag, only stockinette in the round on giganto needles vs. the openwork patterns of the patterns I’d knit before. I made it just long enough that I thought I’d be able to finish the handles, yet still have room for dinner supplies, but I ran out of yarn before the end… so I hid it with a bow.

What I ended up doing:

CO 45 on size 5 circs in dishcloth cotton, work back and forth in garter for 25 rows.

Then to switch to knitting in the round for the sides — pick up 12 stitches on one side, 45 along the back, and 12 more to meet back in the beginning. Knit all the way around.

Then, switch to size 13 needles, do a round of k2tog all the way around. From there just knit (stockinette in the round) until the bag is as long as you want it. It’s stretchy, but not nearly as stretchy as a lace pattern, so don’t make it uber short expecting it to grow.

From there, switch to size 3 dpns, do an applied i-cord across 22 stitches, continuing around for the length of handles you want, and then kitchener together (I picked up this way of handles from Elisa’s Nest Tote, which is way cooler, but not something I could do while reading).

For the bow I used this tutorial, using the same dpns as the i-cord, and six stitches across, rather than 12, working 6 rows in stockinette before the decreases, and doing k2tog and ssks for decreasing rather than binding off. So, yeah:

Row 1: sl1, k5
Row 2: s1, p5
Row 3: s1, k1, (yo, k1)
Row 4-10: stockinette
Row 11: ssk, k to last 2 stitches, k2tog
Row 12: p across
Repeat 11 & 12 until 2 sts remain on RS
WS: s1, k1
RS: k2tog, cut yarn, pull through, and weave in.

I used the beginning tail of each half of the bow to cinch the bottom of the bow and then attach it to the other half and the bag.

Just big enough to hold pasta, sauce, and salad:

I guess I’m bag obsessed right now. Maybe it’s only having three purses in 10 years finally catching up to me.

WIPs, FOs, & Plans.

May 7, 2008

It was inadvertently brought to my attention last night that I haven’t really been blogging about my WIPs or FOs. Partly this is because I’m scatterbrained lately, and partly that I haven’t been working on anything worth yapping about. Last month I did a couple Christmas presents, and have the rest somewhat sorted out in my head, though most of them require yarn I don’t have. Other than that I made snuggles. I’m still making snuggles. I’m on the 5th, and I think the last I’ll do for a little bit, since I’m out of charity yarn after this one. I’m finding that the Cat Mat (Rav link) pattern by Kris Percival from Speed Knitting is a really nice snuggle pattern. It’s interesting to look at, quick, requires enough attention that it doesn’t lead to deadly boredom, but not so distracting that I can’t knit it while reading.

For a non-secret FO, I finished the million-triangle kitty crescent. Which the cats actually use, amazingly. At first Vree would just lay next to it, but after a week I’ve seen both snuggled up sleeping away on it. Of course, the camera is never handy at the time, so maybe this falls under “screenshot or it didn’t happen.” Either way, it completely emptied my scrap bags — both the “for stuffing” bag and the “maybe big enough for something itty” ball bag. I also chopped up the horrid Lion Homespun I’ve had up on Ravelry for trade since I’ve been there and used that to complete the stuffing. All the yarn scraps are wrapped up in one of Shawn’s old, stained t-shirts so the little yarn bits don’t escape.

This past week, though, I’ve mostly been knitting away at grocery bags. I’ve knit two different patterns so far, and have several left to try, before I pick out the elements I prefer.

Also on the needles right now are my Wicked Spirogyra for the WoW Knitters KAL. I picked up the yarn (Cascade Sassy Stripes, which so far is really nice to work with, if not as mindblowingly pretty as handpainted stuff) for these at Sip ‘N Knit in Maitland after seeing Wicked. Everything about them is about friendship.

And there’s Shawn’s (Easter – snort) socks that I’m only working on when I’m out, which isn’t often enough to make any great progress. I’m finally to the heel flap of the first one. I bet it’ll be until Summer of Socks starts that I really settle in and finish them.

So that’s 3 things on the needles (4 if you count the Pi that is still in need-yarn limbo), one that I’ll finish today or tomorrow (the snuggle), and two that have specific times dedicated to working on them. Next thing up is finally, finally starting the Ribs and Lace Tank (Rav link) with my KP Shine Worsted, hopefully to be finished in time, and come out well enough, to wear it to the Stitch ‘N Pitch.

Maybe I’ll even remember to blog about it.

For now I’m going to go find a skein of sock yarn to buy with our incentive check.

Just one.

I swear.

(Wish me luck.)

Knitting & Giving

April 7, 2008

I wound up all my “learn to knit” acrylic into double stranded balls. Well, not all of it, but my two giant balls of RH Supersaver.

I’ve been making snuggles. I’ve got two Bun/Kitten ones done (14×14), including the intarsia experiment.

Now I’m working on grown-up cat size ones (24×24). It’s a nice something-to-do while reading RSS feeds. No thought whatsoever. And fast. And stash reducing. Even though the RHSS isn’t in my Rav stash, those two balls were taking up about a quarter of the space I have for proper stash storage. So, yeah, how much of this is for me, and how much is for the kitties is debatable.

Also, if you’re not into charity knitting, there’s a giving opportunity here. Knitters for Knockers is a group of knitters doing the Komen Race for the Cure (both the running and the fundraising). Plus there’s a raffle, so, chance to get as well as give. Their goal is $5k, and so far they’re nearing the $2k mark.

Almost there!

March 23, 2008

The neverending sock only has two more chart repeats and the toes to go.

The neverending kitchen set is halfway through the last towel.

I’ve been too sick to knit more than a stitch here and there for a week now, so even if I weren’t in trudge-mode, they’d feel endless. I’m counting on my sugar induced highs from my Easter candy to get me through these before the end of the month. That and really wanting to start (and finish) the next pair of socks on my list that were supposed to be an Easter present. WTH is Easter doing happening so early anyway?

Happy Bun Day!

The Stash Knit Down challenge for the month is to knit up sock stash. I was really excited about it, and swooped through my first pair really quickly.

But I’m working on a sock right now that I’m hating. I don’t know if it’s the yarn, or the color, or the pattern, or that they’re charted, or something else. But normally I get through a pair of socks in a few days to a week. I’m still on the first sock of this pair, not even to the toe, and I started it on the 5th. And they’re footlets. My last pair of footlets took 3 days.

The last socks were wonderful, though. Really fun to knit once I got a hang of the lace repeats, and beautiful. The yarn was perfect. I love them. I wouldn’t mind knitting more.

Pattern: Pumpkin Vine Socks by f. pea
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino

I shortened the leg a bit, afraid they wouldn’t go over my calves. If I knit them again, I’ll probably go smaller needles or smaller size and do the full leg length. They’re a lot stretchier than I expected.

I suppose the plus side of trying to get through a bad pair of socks, is that while stalling, rather than start other projects, I tend to learn stuff.

Like provisional cast on.

And Intarsia.

I always thought I’d do Fair Isle first, but apparently not. Necessity, and all that… I’m using up a bunch of cotton scraps for a snuggle.

I’ve also gotten a lot of kitchen knits done, but no pictures, yet. I’m waiting for the “set” to be finished.

Time to see if I can get to the toe without falling asleep. Hopefully the second sock is less obnoxious, somehow.

Oh, noes!

February 26, 2008

Ravelry appears to be down for me. Sob!

In other news, the apron is done (see below), the knitting bag is drying (more on that later), and the pi still won’t stand up (arrrrrrrrrrrrgh).

I need to cast on new stuff since the only thing actually on my needles right now is the needing-yarn second pi (that may end up being Fuzzle’s if this one continues to refuse to cooperate).

I think the pi is really getting me down. I’m not wanting to cast on anything. I’ve lost my knitterly confidence. Maybe I should get out my yarn and fondle it until the lust overwhelms the dejection.

Felt #… 4?

February 25, 2008

I refelted the pi again this morning. I think this is the fourth time, so about two hours of hand felting overall. I think I have new muscles!

When I picked it up this morning the sides flopped back into an almost-flat circle. It wasn’t completely dry, so I maybe could’ve just left it, but I honestly didn’t think it would set up any more than it had in the two days it’d already been drying. This time I have it taped into position, so perhaps that will help. Or maybe I’ll just give it a full week so it might actually dry. I think it is fully felted, finally. I don’t see any remaining stitch definition or holes where the light peeks through. It’s nicely malleable, but it was at that point last felting. If this doesn’t work I don’t think I’ll try to felt it any more, just find something smaller to block it on so I can control the blocking better.

Florida humidity + blocking = sigh.

Valentine’s Day+

February 21, 2008

I spent much of Valentine’s week working on a pair of house socks for Shawn. I’m starting to think Knitpicks’ Onyx Heather is just unphotographable by my camera as an FO. Or it could just be that Shawn is never here in the daytime and our lighting at night is insanely poor. I was hoping to get a better picture before posting. Right. Anyway, socks:

They came out a tiny bit too big, mostly around the ankles, but not uncomfortably so, and I think on soaking they’ll get a bit smaller? They’re standard k2p2 rib, on size 5 & 6 needles with Wool of the Andes. It was my first magic loop project and honestly, I don’t like it for socks at all. I just enjoy double points for some reason. But they’ll keep my love’s feet warm, which was all I really wanted.

In return I got the Lace & Eyelets Harmony Guide. Swatching soon! I think I’m going to make a scarf of Maizy, since using it for socks got such bad reviews on Rav, probably in a stitch pattern from the book. I’ll need some smaller non-dpn needles, maybe. We’ll see how it takes to 5’s, but I have a feeling they’re going to be much to big, even for lace.

I also (maybe) finished the first Pi. I’m hand-felting (apartment dweller + control freak). I did a first felting Tuesday, and left it to dry overnight, but when I got up it was suddenly really obvious to me that it was not felted enough. So I did some more scrubbing/shocking and re-blocked this morning. Could be I think the same when I wake up tomorrow.

I started the second Pi, this time on size 13s and double stranded. It was my first double stranding. And it was going along wonderfully until I ran out of yarn. So, for now it’s all bagged up waiting for more. But I swear I would’ve finished the thing in one afternoon and evening had I not run out. That makes me want to make tons. Especially since it was so much easier just using one needle, magic looping until the circumference was large enough to use the circulars traditionally.

For now, I’m working on the apron when there’s light (it being black and all) and a little felted sock knitting bag in a bright Cascade 220 when there’s not. The Cascade is really nice to work with so far.

And I finally found the pattern to go with my Cherry Tree Hill: Pumpkin Vine Socks. I’ve poured over dozens of patterns, in my queue and not, and wasn’t happy with any of them. Then I came across that one earlier tonight and just went WANT. So I’ll probably cast those on sometime this week.

In (kinda) non-knitting news we put in an offer for a house on Tuesday.

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Smaller

February 5, 2008

I’ve been almost exclusively working on Mom’s shawl. I’m up to 140-something across, and realizing that if I were to get to 270-something across, it would swallow my mother whole. She is a tiny, tiny lady these days and I really don’t want her to look like she’s wearing a blanket about. And I just like a shorter look for it. At this point, on me, it hits below my back, and I’m an inch or two taller than Mom is. I’m thinking of ending it at 150, and just doing the finishing bit (25 rows).

I did take a day to learn the magic loop. I don’t like it as much as dpns. I’m a freak.