Just a quick update

before I hit the showers.

This is what I accomplished yesterday:

Garter Stitch Jacket  - Sleeve 1 Complete

I finally finished the first sleeve of my FA Garter Stitch Jacket. Took me a little longer than expected.

Baby Surprise Jacket - 75%

And look how far I got into my BSJ! Just a few rows shy of the collar decreases now. Probably will be completed next time I pick it up.

OK – gotta go, Sock Madness Round 5 is due to be released in about an hour and sadly, I wasn’t able to find someone to cover for me at the shop today. Thank the Powers that Be that I can knit at work!

I will knit, knit like the wind! (With apologies to Brenda Dayne…)

This should prove to be a very quick round. Wish me luck.

Published in: on April 27, 2008 at 6:22 am  Comments (1)  
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Socks, Swaps and Sleeves

Socks seem to magically appear around here lately:

Santa Fe Socks - Complete Santa Fe Socks - Sock 1 Complete

Needles: 3mm DPNs
Yarn: Georga 100% Mercerized Wool (Rust & Stone Chino), Sublime Extra Fine Merino DK (Shade 0064 – Teal)

These ones are the Santa Fe socks from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush and are the March/April socks for the KOTR Sock KAL. BadgerDan has declared that he wants to chuck out all his storebought socks for handmade like mine, so these ones are for him. He’s been quite supportive of me throughout Sock Madness, so he totally deserves them. I kept with Nancy’s original colours, with the exception of the stone colour (which she had as a gold). For gauge, I went with smaller needles and thicker yarn (he needs them durable – pretty much lives in work boots). Thrilled with them and I really quite like the cushy heel pattern.

The dishcloth of the week (c’mon, you know you love them):

Three & One Checked Cloth

Pattern: Three and One Checked Cloth by Linda Smith
Needles: 4mm
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Hot Blue & Summer Print

Really neat honeycomb sort of stitch pattern which I swear is a slightly modified version of the one Ann Shayne used for her Big Dotty (piano bench) Cushion in Mason Dixon Knitting. Next time, I’ll put a side border on the cloth as it has a tendency to curl and the pattern will look better framed, I think.

And look what came in the mail!

Swap Silk and Soap

That’s 2 large (1/2 lb!) skeins of natural, undyed worsted weight 100% silk and a bar of handmade soap (Wild Child – Citrus Spash) sent from sl1k1psso as a stash swap. Oh, the possiblities for this yarn!

As I’ve already shown her a sneak peek, I can share with you what I’m sending out to her next week:

Swap Package

She’s a spinner, dyer, sock knitter and beader so I put together a little handdyed special for her:

1 braid Fleece Artist Merino Handdyed Sliver Roving (Angel Fish or Pinata, I’m not sure which)
1 skein Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, Vera (Yes, this is the one I showed you before)
1 skein Claudia’s Handpainted Sock, Chocolate Cherry
1 container Blue Moon Beads, #6 Gold-lined Green

Hope she will “squee” as loud as I did!

Sock Madness Round 5 starts tomorrow morning and I’m still trying to find someone to cover my shift at the store. Wendy is at the Knitter’s Frolic in Toronto all weekend so I’m manning the shop for her today.

We’ll see what happens. As it stands, this is the yarn I’ll be using for this round:

Fleece Artist Merino Sock, Cosmic Dawn

Fleece Artist Merino Sock in the Cosmic Dawn Colourway. This is the one I used to make my keychain sock last year:

Keychain Sock

I’m a little nervous this round (only 3 spots per Division!) and it’s the one using the Japanese Short-Row heel. I’ll have to teach myself that little technique this afternoon.

Gonna see if I can finish the sleeves on my Fleece Artist Garter Stitch Jacket today (but I’m going to bring my BSJ project with me as well, I mean, you never know…)

Later….

Published in: on April 26, 2008 at 9:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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Safe! Safe at 6th!

Whew! I can barely believe it, but I somehow managed to score the 6th and final place in the Tennessee Twisted Knitters division.

These are some fast sock knitters, y’all. Mine took me from 9 am Monday to 5:18 pm Tuesday to knit. The first pair that were completed this round were knitted in about 14 hrs. Um, yikes.

Without further ado, I present to you, my Sock Madness Round 4 socks:

Something's Shady Socks - Top View Something's Shady Socks - side view

Pattern: Something’s Shady by Corey LaFlamme
Needles: 2.25mm DPNs
Yarn: Sandnes Garn Lanette, colour 2103 (butter yellow)

A simply lovely pattern using lace, small cables and an afterthought heel.

And here they are after I dip-dyed them using 6 packets of Lime Kool-Aid:

Something's Shady Socks - Dyed

Something's Shady Socks - Dyed (top)

Something's Shady Socks - Dyed (side)

Gorgeous – I love them.

I’m going to go fall down now.

Published in: on April 23, 2008 at 1:19 pm  Comments (3)  
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KALapolooza

With Sock Madness Round 4 being released tomorrow, I thought I’d get you guys caught up before I go back into the cone of silence.

I’m finally finished catching up on my Weekly Dishcloth KAL:

Pinwheel Dishcloth

Pattern: Pinwheel Dishcloth by Abigail – 1870 Pearl
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton – Neptune, SR Kertzer Coolspun Cotton – White
Needles: 3.25mm

I learned how to graft in garter stitch. Yee! Great for using up scraps this one.

Annie Dishcloth

Pattern: Annie Washcloth by Mary J. Saunders
Needles: 3.5mm DPNs
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Stripes – Natural Stripes

This was one of those times I really wish I had used a different yarn. Unfortunate. I’ll let you come to your own conclusions as to what it looks like. I think I might try this pattern again but using reds and blacks – “spiralling vortex of death”.

Garterlac Dishcloth

Pattern: Garterlac Dishcloth by Dave at Criminy Jickets
Needles: 4mm
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Sunkissed Ombre

My first foray into entrelac – one whole heck of a lot easier than it looks. Try this one, you’ll feel like a genius. Make a scarf out of it and you’ll look like one too!

Okay – only one a week from now on for this KAL.

Finished also is the mid-month cloth for the Monthly Dishcloth KAL:

Monthly Dishcloth KAL - Mid-Month April 2008

Pattern: Dots within Stripes Cloth by Vicky at Mama Bear’s Craft Pages
Needles: 4mm
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Country Stripes & SR Kertzer Coolspun Cotton, White

Technically there is still at least one more “day” release to this KAL. But, as I will be extremely busy frantically knitting socks tomorrow, I inferred the remaining part of the pattern from previous releases so I could get it done and out of my mind.

As for the Carnivale du Printemps socks:

Carnivale du Printemps Socks - 75%

The leg is done on sock #2. I’m going to have to pull back the toe and a bit of the foot on sock #1 because the scale lied a bit when I was separating out the skein of Lorna’s Laces. Silly me – I used the larger of the two on sock #1. Whoops.

Looks like I have a bit of time to finish this one (which I’m making as part of the Vintage Socks KAL) as the pattern is back on the poll list for May/June (and leading), even though it was an alternate for March/April. I guess most people did the other sock pattern.

I snapped a new progress photo of my Simple S’mores Socks (aka travel sock):

Simple S'mores Socks - progress

As you can see, I haven’t gotten that far as I’ve been taking other socks with me on my travels.

All set for tomorrow – here’s the yarn I’m using (which I’ll be overdying with lime Kool-Aid):

Sandnes Garn - lanett

It’s a fingering weight 100% merino in butter yellow and quite soft. I had to purchase yarn (twist my rubber arm) for this pair because I didn’t have anything suitable in the stash. Light colours just don’t seem to make it into my shopping bag it seems.

And just to prove I’ve totally taken leave of my senses, I signed up for 3 new lace shawl mystery KALs this morning. Casablanca KAL (I have a thing for Humphrey Bogart), Slow Bee 2 (I’ve signed up for SB1 as well) and Mystery Lace (which closes for sign-ups tonight at Midnight), and for which I’ve even completed Clue 1!

Mystery Lace Stole - Clue 1 Complete

What can I say? It was quiet at the shop today.

It’s a knitted lace (patterned every row) stole which I’m doing in Misti Alpaca Lace (cream) on 3.5mm Addi Turbos with light grassy green iridescent beads. Very pretty so far.

Okay, signing off for a while – the natives are restless and hungry. Back when I have a pair of yellow socks to show you.

Published in: on April 20, 2008 at 7:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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When the exhaustion finally catches up

There is nothing like a knitting competition to royally mess with your sleep cycle.

Before Round 3 Pattern for Sock Madness was released, I did manage to finish my April CAL Afghan Square:

Chocolate Delight Square

Pattern: Chocolate Delight by Dayna Audirsch
Hook: 5mm
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool (007 – Cocoa, 005 – Raven)

I also managed to throw a batch of cornbread for BadgerDan into the oven – for which he was very surprised and grateful. He loves my baking.

Enter the Knitathon – after 20 hours:

Bayou Sunset sock #1

Sock #1 was complete.

After 52 hours:

Bayou Sunset Socks - Complete

I had a pair.

The pattern is Slippin’ Stripin’ Socks by Christine (Tina) Lorin and I ended up doing them on 2.25mm needles.

I’m calling these “Bayou Sunset” because the colours remind me of the final rays of the sun as seen reflected off of the water through the shadows of Spanish Moss-covered Weeping Willows. Okay, maybe I’ve read one too many Anne Rice novels.

BadgerDan got the title immediately – granted, we do read the same books. :1)

I’m glad I pushed myself on this pair – I came in 6th out of 12 in the Tennessee Twisted Knitters division. Next round, there are only 6 places. Yikes!

Finished another dishcloth – only 3 behind now:

A Little Lace Kitchen Cloth

Pattern: A Little Lace Kitchen Cloth by Carol Bristol Designs
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Swimming Pool
Needles: 4mm

I love this colour – must get more.

It’s been an rather odd week, peppered with intermittent nap attacks and bizarre shopping excursions.

Let me relate to you the Great Toaster Conspiracy of 2008.

Our toaster oven kicked the bucket, so we decided to replace it with a regular toaster. No problem – I thought. Ha Ha.

- Picked up a nice Procter-Silex model from the local Walmart and brought it home. Put bread in it, but the lever wouldn’t stay down – hence, it wouldn’t toast.
– Brought it back, got a new one. Same problem.
– Called Procter-Silex – it should work.
– Brought 2nd one back to store and got a different toaster altogether. Same problem – WTH is going on?
– BadgerDan suggests perhaps our bread is the problem. Shouldn’t a toaster work with ANY bread? I mean, really! You put the bread in, push the button down, it toasts the bread and then pops the bread out. Where’s the problem? BadgerDan returns 3rd toaster to store.
– Decided to live without toaster, as apparently they don’t make a gluten-free model.

DH was moving a 400lb welder Monday and popped his knee so he wasn’t going anywhere yesterday. (He’s fine now, just a little sore.) This meant, I had access to the van and could pay a rare visit to Gemini Fibres in Mount Albert.

Ahh, so much woolly goodness, so little time…

After weeping over the beauty (and prices) of the Forrester spindles, I grabbed a couple of books, see if you can spot a theme:

The Dyer's Garden Start Spinning

There was another little something I picked up as well, but I’ll share that when I can show you what it goes with.

I also forayed into the local Chapters this week and grabbed their last copy of this:

Compassionate Knitting

I am totally making the Padma Jacket (the top left corner of cover).

After a little bit more running around yesterday – I pretty much collapsed in a heap on the couch for the rest of the night.

The kitchen and the laundry need a bit of tending to before Stitch n’ Bitch tonight, so I’d better get going. (Not that DH is getting home early tonight. His luck continues, just called – the van has a flat.)

That and the second sock beckoning me to the darkside:

Carnivale du Printemps - 65%

This pair is taking WAY too long to complete. I want them DONE! Arrgghhhh. Must be the accursed pink – yeah, that’s it.

The specs for Sock Madness, Round 4 are up and the pattern will be released early Monday morning. I’m off to go rummage a bit in the stash (and ignore the laundry – I mean, who needs underwear?)

TTFN.

Published in: on April 16, 2008 at 3:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A minor change of plans

There is an old Yiddish proverb that says “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”.

So far, so good – I’m on schedule:

Mystic Light Shawl - Clue 2 Complete

Tuesday – Clue 2 done on my Mystic Light Shawl.

Secret of Bad Nauheim Stole - Clue 2 Complete Secret of Bad Nauheim Stole - Clue 3 complete

Wednesday – Clues 2 & 3 done on my Secret of Bad Nauheim Stole.

Here’s where the change of plans comes in…

Round 3 of Sock Madness is being released between 8pm-midnight TONIGHT!
And this one is made with – wait for it – laceweight yarn! (Albeit held doubled throughout.)

Here’s the teaser:

SM2 Teaser - Laceweight Sock

Thankfully, I had my yarn pre-chosen for this one:

Laceweight Yarn, SM2 - Round 3

Black – Ornaghi Filati Merino Oro 021 (100% Superwash Merino)
Moss Green Heather – Misti Alpaca 2-ply Laceweight 0743 (100% Baby Alpaca)
Tangerine Heather – Misti Alpaca 2-ply Laceweight (#?)

As soon as they posted the specs, I started madly swatching as I KNEW that the needles they recommended would not give me gauge.

(35 stitches/53 rounds over 4 inches in (s1, k3) slip-stitch pattern worked in the round on 2.75mm – I don’t think so!)

After 3 needle changes, I’m settling on 2.25mm and they will probably still be a little loose for my taste. Methinks I’ll keep out the 2mms just in case.

As for timing, I’ve already booked off Friday/Saturday and am planning an all-nighter tonight as there are only 12 spots in each division this round and I plan on being one of them. There are times when I’m happy that I’m a night-owl.

Gonna keep it light today, maybe do my April CAL Afghan Square, a few more rows on the Baby Surprise Jacket and bake some (gluten-free) bread for BadgerDan’s lunches. We’ll see how it goes.

I just hope the Gods aren’t laughing at me…

Published in: on April 10, 2008 at 2:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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How to manage WIPs with minimal braindamage.

Better late, than never I suppose… Hmmm, what haven’t I told you about yet?

Before my life was interrupted by Sock Madness, I was finally able to finish the first Carnivale du Printemps sock:

Carnivale du Printemps - Sock 1 Complete

Instead of carrying the leg pattern onto the foot,

Carnivale du Printemps Socks - Leg detail

I did something a little more feminine and interesting. I decreased the diamond pattern to a point and then did three increasingly smaller diamonds on the instep. I assure you, it looks more impressive in real life.

Carnivale du Printemps Socks - Instep detail

I also found some more Lopi for my Vintage Vertical Stripe Afghan:

Basket of Lopi Yarn

And added 3 more stripes to it, bringing the current total up to 48. Only 106 more rows to go…

Vintage Vertical Stripe Afghan - 48 Rows

Remember this teaser?

BSJ - Musa

Well, as most of you probably guessed it was a Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman. Why I say “was” is because the yarn I was using (Fiamattino Musa) was giving me problems, so I frogged it and started again in a different yarn:

Baby Surprise Jacket - Baby Bamboo

This one is done on 3.5mm 14″ Brittany Straights in Sirdar Baby Bamboo (taupe, olive green and cream) and is SO much better. I’m making this BSJ (my first!) for some aquaintances of ours who just had a baby boy. William was supposed to arrive on April 1st and surprised everybody by coming out kicking and screaming almost 2 months early on February 7th (yay, another Aquarian in the world!)

I might just make myself a full size one like this – I adore this yarn, it’s quite yummy.

In another frogging episode, I ripped out my Mystic Light shawl because the red yarn dye in the Araucania Nature Wool was giving me the itchies. (I actually rashed out when I used the red Tilli Tomas Disco Lights). I exchanged the yarn for some in a really nice kelly green which I’ll use for a sweater later.

So, I began again, this time back with the original yarn I chose for the project – Austermann Step (01) on 3.75mm Addi Turbos. I am very happy with how it’s coming out. Finished Clue #1 last night and am going to work on Clue #2 tomorrow, bringing me back up to date with the KAL.

Mystic Light Shawl - Clue 1 Complete

You can’t really see them in the picture, but I’m putting beads in the centres of the “stars” for a little flair (plus, I had the beads.)

Today, I decided to crochet another block for my sampler afghan:

Birthday Flower Square

Pattern: Birthday Flower by Chris Simon
Hook: 5mm
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool (010 – Russet, 005 – Raven)

This is filler square #4. I chose red because my birthday flower is the carnation. :1)

Did I hear someone say “dishcloths”? We got that!

Ivy's Cloth

Pattern: Ivy’s Cloth by Annette Derksen
Needles: 5mm
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton (Key Lime)

I only did 2 patterns wide by 5 repeats tall. 6″ is plenty big enough I think for a dishcloth. Would probably look better in a solid colour, though.

Springing Up Flowers Dishcloth

Pattern: Springing up Flowers by Kristen Patay
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in Hot Green and Summer Sky; Araucania Patagonia Nature Cotton
Needles: 3.25mm Straights

I hate it when I run out of yarn mid-project, (especially twice) but it’s only a dishcloth. I gave it and Ivy’s Cloth to my friend Pam who loves them.

Squidge Cloth

Pattern: Squidge by Knit Nutt (Sasha)
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton (Creamsicle)
Needles: 3.75mm

I really, really, really like this cloth. Super simple – and so smooshy!! This is now my default dishcloth pattern – hands down. I down-sized the pattern to a comfortable 32 sts (7″). Did I say I like this pattern? I meant love. Try it, you’ll see what I mean.

Chinese Waves Dishcloth

Pattern: Chinese Waves by Margaret K. Radcliffe
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Stripes (Country Stripes)
Needles: 5mm

This one was pretty fun. A new twist on garter stitch. I plan on making some tea-towels with this stitch pattern – also maybe a bathmat.

And last, but not least, my first “mystery” dishcloth as part of the Monthly Dishcloth KAL group:

Meadow Cloth

Pattern: The Meadow from Patterns by Lindy
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton (Hemp)
Needles: 4.5 mm

They e-mail you 8 rows or so of the pattern every day for a week, twice a month. Not a bad idea for coffee break knitting at work. I may just gather a bunch of these together for a blanket.

I’m going to try and catch up on a few more things before SM Round 3. As I see it, knitting/crochet-wise this is how the rest of my week is shaping up:

Tuesday – Mystic Light Shawl, Clue 2
Wednesday – Secret of Bad Nauheim Shawl, Clues 2 & 3; Carnivale du Printemps Sock #2 (Sn’B Night)
Thursday – Fleece Artist Garter Stitch Jacket, Sleeves; Baby Surprise Jacket
Friday – April Square for 12″ Afghan Square CAL; last 3 dishcloths for Weekly Dishcloth KAL (caught up – yay!)
Saturday – Mystic Light Shawl, Clue 3
Sunday – Secret of Bad Nauheim Shawl, Clue 4

Then Sock Madness ramps up again next week.

Ambitious? Maybe a little.

Okay, a lot.

If I can actually pull this off, I will be one tired, and pretty pleased, puppy.

I suppose BadgerDan might possibly want to eat and wear clean clothes this week, so I guess (ahem) some stuff may not get done as scheduled.

Pesky husbandses ;1)

Published in: on April 7, 2008 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Have sock, will travel

Boy, that Sock Madness takes alot out of you!! I finished the latest round on Thursday and I’m just beginning to feel like myself again. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

The Round 2 pattern (Reversai) was released on Monday morning (very funny guys, ha ha) and even with working and laundry, I was thankfully able to finish the leg and heel of the first sock.

And look what I found at the local Value Village:

French Laceweight

Two skeins of 2-ply laceweight wool from France for $1! I know they’re pink – for a buck, I’ll dye them.

The TTC decided to play nice and did NOT go on strike Tuesday (lucky for them, we have pointy sticks), so we knitters had a fun time “behaving inexplicably” on April Fools Day. Here’s the link to the Flickr group with all of our photos from the sock photo scavenger hunt – including mine.

I ended up getting about 24 or so points in the scavenger hunt – the grand prize winner got 72! No worries, I had a great time stash enhancing:

FibraNatura Oak

From In the Loop Cafe, some new yarn I’d never seen before “FibraNatura Oak” which is a light worsted weight blend of superwash merino, linen and silk. Really nice, I look forward to seeing what I can do with it. Had a cuppa and great conversation with their staff – lovely shop.

Next stop was Knit-o-Matic where I scored this on sale:

Hemp for Knitting Fingering Weight

5 hanks of Lanaknits Hemp for Knitting Fingering Weight in “Chocolate”. Yum! I see a great summer top in my future.

I then headed down to Kensington Market to pay Megan at Lettuce Knit a visit, as by this time I was desperately in need of a GoKnit pouch. Ziplocs will only get you so far – I got a dark blue small one for my on-the-go sock projects.

And…

Socks That Rock Lightweight - Wonderful Goodness

Squee!!!!! This Socks That Rock colourway is called “Wonderful Goodness” and I can’t think of a better descriptor. As per Megan, she is the only retailer that Blue Moon has sent this colourway out to. Wahoo!

I’m still lusting after all that Alchemy Haiku she has there – (drool) forget CrackSilk Haze – this stuff has my heart.

Gathering my senses again, Romni Wools was next on the agenda and their basement did not disappoint:

Regia and Jo Sharp Bargains

Although “sans label”, easily identifiable as Kaffe Fassett Mirage from Regia and Jo Sharp Silk Road Tweed. Both for $6.50 – need I say more?

The book release for “Things I Learned From Knitting” was great fun and, as expected, Stephanie brought the house down. Best to let her tell it, I think. I am in the upper balcony, casting on for my second Reversai sock – I finished the toe of the first one just as she was coming on stage after Andy and Michael’s musical intro (they were fantastic, btw).

Later, at the bar, Steph was a great sport and posed with my sock – that’s a Knitters without Borders pin on the cuff (and Ken in the background).

Yarn Harlot with Sock #1

And finally completed on Thursday at 4:45pm – my “Tumbling into Madness” socks:

Tumbling into Madness Socks

(Estelle Arequipa sock yarn, 2mm Addi Turbos, Magic Loop Technique)

I made it into the 3rd Round with 8 places in my division (Tennessee Twisted Knitters) to spare, my arms were about ready to drop off afterwards though.

These are completely reversible socks using the “tumbling blocks” pattern, a garter-stitch short-row heel, sole and toe (which took forever to do). Neat, but bloody annoying to knit, I have to say.

Tomorrow, I’ll fill you in about what I’ve been working on since.

TTFN.

Published in: on April 5, 2008 at 11:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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