Got Knitting?

Lots has happened around here in the past couple of weeks – oh, where to start?

How about some socks?

Tea on the Sea Socks (done) Tea on the Sea Socks (completed)

Tea on the Sea socks are done!!! That makes 4 pair for the year. Loving the Lorna’s – I gotta say.

Simple S'mores Socks (toe top) Simple S'mores Socks (toe side)

And as I can’t leave well enough alone when it comes to socks, I ripped back the Simple S’mores socks to try out a couple of new techniques (for me). I re-started with a whirlpool toe from Cat Bordhi’s book and will be trying my hand at some afterthought heels (the scrap yarn/pull out version – I adore EZ, but am not up to cutting my socks just yet). This way, I can have a super-simple purse sock project and still learn something along the way (not to mention, get as much sock as I can out of this yarn). This is such a cool yarn – too bad it’s discontinued.

Nordic Grey Socks

I’m calling this pair “Nordic Grey”.

I was rummaging in my “chunky wool” suitcase the other day and came out with some leftover Lamb’s Pride Bulky Superwash that I was given a couple of summers ago. There were partial balls of Grey and Dark Charcoal Heathers and a full ball of Alabaster. Nothing else is superwash – what to do? Now follow this logic:

“What do I use superwash for?” “Socks.” “But it’s chunky.” “It’ll knit down – try it. Besides, you’ve been staring at that fair isle sock book for a while.” “Hey, that might just work!”

So, I pull out my copy of Sock Hop: Socks to Make Your Feet Dance by Joseph Madl, grabbed my kitchen scale, divvied up the yarn into even lots for socks and dug out my 3.25mm DPNs. I used the charts for the “Colour Your Own” socks (in essence) and used Cat Bordhi’s standard toe-up toe and a short row heel. I knocked this baby out in about 5 hours of fiddling.

BadgerDan took one look at the sock and immediately claimed it as his own. He is SO lucky that we have the same size feet (his are a half-inch longer than mine).

A little stress relief knitting – Dishclothes!

Diagonal Owl Dishcloth Two Fishies on a Cloth Be My Dishcloth

I joined a couple of dishcloth KALs on Ravelry because they are a bit of one-skein useful fun when I don’t want to work on any other project.

Dishcloth #1 – Diagonal Owl Dishcloth in Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Stripes (Natural Stripe) on 5mm needles

Dishcloth #2 – Two Fishies on a Cloth (Harlequin Dishcloth) in Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Ombre (Landscape) on 4.5mm needles

Dishcloth #3 – Be My Dishcloth in 4 strands of Pink, Coral and Peach Crochet Cotton Thread held together on 3.25mm needles. I added rows of moss stitch on the top and bottom to even out the cloth due to gauge discrepancy. (Danny’s Mom is getting this one – as previously stated, I don’t do pink.)

Log Cabin Blanket

Blanket-wise, I got a little more done on the Log Cabin Afghan.

I have to find a bit more Lopi for the Vintage Vertical Stripe Afghan, but look what I found in my search!

Homespun Equadorian Sweater

This baby is made of homespun wool from Equador (it looks great in the picture, but I assure you that it is an itch festival full of straw). I found one earlier and frogged it for the wool, never thinking I’d find another one. The blue is destined for the Lopi Blanket and the rest I’m going to use with the other homespun wool for a future project. (Oh and did I mention that I only paid $4.99 for each of these sweaters? Bless those who know not what they have…)

Some lacey goodness:

Shetland Lace Shawl - Border 2 done

Progress has been made on the Shetland Faroese shawl – the second border is now done and the main pattern begun. It decreases every RS row from here on out and I’m thrilled with how it’s looking.

Luna Moth Shawl - 50%

The first ball of Tilli Tomas Voile de la Mer for the Luna Moth Shawl is done. I’ve taken to calling it “the never ending ball of silk”. Looks nice though.

And guess what? I’ve joined ANOTHER lace KAL – the Moroccan Days/Arabian Nights Shawl by Sunflower Designs. It was too stunning to pass up and it has beads!!!! 5000 to be exact (I must be out of my mind…)

I’m using the Lisa Souza Laceweight in “Wild Things” I originally ordered for the Mystic Waters shawl – it’s perfect. I can’t wait to show you guys how pretty this one is turning out to be.

A few other exciting personal things are happening around here, but I’m waiting for a bit of material confirmation before I share it with y’all.

TTFN – I’m hoping to get a bit more frequent than twice monthly with my posting – I’m trying folks, really I am.

Published in: on February 29, 2008 at 6:49 pm  Comments (1)  
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Think Warm Thoughts…

Happy Valentines Day!

There is just something about sub-zero weather that makes me want to make blankets.

As the mercury plummeted and the snow flew these last couple of weeks, I have been completely pre-occupied with working on my afghan projects.

I’m now up to 45 stripes on my Vintage Vertical Stripe Afghan and will soon need to search out some more scrap Lopi wool for it.

VVS Afghan - 45 rows

The February project for the 12″ Crocheted Block a Month CAL is called “Cross My Heart” by John Davis.

Cross My Heart Square

Mission Falls 1824 Wool (Colour 009), Debbie Bliss Merino Aran (Black) & Easy Knit Mercerized Wool (Black) [I ran out].

I pulled my Log Cabin Blanket project out of hibernation when the realization hit me that bordering off the square and switching to solid semi-Modrian blocks would both look cool and use up ALL the yarn. Another stalled project well on it’s way to completion – yay! 3 more colour blocks and the border to go.

Log Cabin Blanket

The first “Tea on the Sea” sock is done:

Tea on the Sea Socks - Sock 1 done Tea on the Sea Socks (Cable Close-up)

When working the foot pattern I got a little carried away and ended up having it longer than normal so ended up shortening the toe – no problem, it fits beautifully even if the toe is wider than I normally do.

BadgerDan and I went into Toronto for a meeting yesterday which had me scrambling a bit for something simple to take with me as the majority of my current projects are not too transportable. I grabbed a ball of Knit Picks Memories (S’mores colourway) from my sock stash and started a standard 72 stitch sock on 2mm DPNs. I did 3″ of 2×2 ribbing for the cuff and I’ll decide on the kind of heel when I get there.

Simple S'mores Socks

The grey-blue colour kind of has me stumped as to which part of the s’more it’s from – campfire ash maybe?

And… if I’m anywhere near downtown TO, it means yarn pron from Romni and Lettuce Knit.

At Romni I grabbed a couple of balls of Noro Kureyon (on sale!!!) in a colourway I absolutely adore (172).

Noro Kureyon 172

Lettuce Knit held a wonderful surprise for me – they still had some skeins of Socks That Rock left! Squee! (Some of you might not think this is such a big deal, but this is the first time in the few years that I’ve known of it’s existence that I’ve been able to pet it, love it and call it George.) Behold it’s froggy glory:

Blue Moon STR Lightwt - Froggin'

And some gorgeous Fleece Artist Merino/Alpaca Sliver Roving came home with me too.

Fleece Artist Merino/Alpaca Sliver

In other news:

I’ve finally reached the lace skirt of the Austermann Abotanicity Sweater – it should move pretty fast now.

Austermann Abotanicity Sweater - Bodice

A couple of projects have been shelved:

Minimalist Cardigan – ripped out and red lambswool given to my friend Angel (for her 1st shawl! I’m so proud of her)

Spring Surprise Shawl – the cotton just wasn’t working out either. I’ll restart this one again come summertime with a better yarn. I have a couple of options that I’m thinking about.

And talking about shelves…

Hutch Bookshelves

In one of my power-putter modes, I re-organized all of our books and “Frankenstein”ed a couple of shelves for the corner of our living room last Saturday. It has finally been completely reclaimed from winter holiday madness and neglect. Looks good – no?

Tomi & Mav

Everyone’s a critic….

Published in: on February 14, 2008 at 10:43 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Creative Process

Happy Imbolc everyone! Which also means that a new Anti-craft issue is up.

May Brigid smile upon all my fellow fibrefolks this year.

Okay, as promised – a sock update.

The Neon Madness Socks are done:

Neon Madness Socks - complete Neon Madness Socks - side view

and I think they look pretty terrific (even if my photos aren’t – still getting used to the new camera).

I started and completed my 3rd pair of 2008:

Cafe Latte Socks - 75% Cafe Latte Socks - complete

These are my Cafe Latte socks and are half the reason for the blog not being updated for a while. They are out of Diamond Galway Paint (Aran Wt) and a creamy beige Worsted Lambswool that I frogged from a 2nd hand Old Navy Sweater a while ago.

Now I will explain the agony that these originally “simple” 42 st toe-up socks put me through – or rather the lengthy adventure that my creative nature took me on with this pattern. What happened was this:

I have a set of 47″ 3mm Addi Turbos which I decided I would use “magic loop”ed to do these socks 2-at-a-time. I usually do my worsted weight socks on 3.25mm but have gone down to 2.75mm with them in the past – no big whoop. I made short row toes using 2.75mm (for durability) in the lambswool and changed to the 3mm for the feet – so far no problems, a little tight, but no big deal. Here’s where I started to mess with things. After perusing my stitch dictionaries for a while, I decided to start a cable an inch before the heel, forgetting that cables make things TIGHTER than normal and thinking that one added stitch would do the trick. I did both (short row) heels and got 2” into the leg before realizing that it just wouldn’t work – way too tight. Therefore, I ripped back both heels and back to where the cable began – grumble.

I dug out my copy of Cat Bordhi’s New Pathways for Sock Knitters and had a think. I really needed a gusset of a sort so that these would actually fit my feet. Immediately lighting on the Foxglove pattern, I went “aha!” and ripped back to 4″ of foot (or where the “toe” ends) and the increases for the foot began. I did both feet at the same time and switched back to the lambswool and 2.75mm needles for the flap heel. Awesome – back on track and back to the 3mm needles for the leg.

By this time the blasted circular cord is driving me nuts. After about an inch into the leg, I decide to switch to DPNs and add a gradual eyelet pattern for a bit of stretch. Continuing on just the one sock at a time now, I complete most of the leg of the first sock before my inner Ollivander started saying “No, no. Definitely not”. After an enormous amount of cursing, I ripped back again to the heel and conceded to the fact that I not only need some eyelets, but a bit of ribbing as well to get these puppies over my calf muscle. After playing a bit more with my stitch dictionaries I put together a 7 st 4-row eyelet rib pattern that I hoped would work. It did – WAHOO!

The leg of the first sock got finished in 3 hrs and I ended it with 12 rnds of lambswool in pattern (sans eyelets). I finished off the last 8 rnds of ribbing on the second sock Wednesday morning.

Cafe Latte Socks - side view Success. Happiness. Joy. Tears.

But a pair of worsted weight socks that normally would have taken only 3 days for me to do ended up frustrating me for almost 2 weeks.

To soothe my soul, I began a new pair that I KNEW would work:

Tea on the Sea Socks

These are what I’m calling “Tea on the Sea” socks. I’m using the Harlot‘s “Earl Grey” sock pattern and Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock yarn in “Baltic Sea”. The only changes made in the pattern are that I’m using 2mm needles (DPNs – I’m off circs for socks for a while) which are what I always use for 72/80 st socks and increased the cuff size from 12 rnds to 18. Brilliant – and super fast! What you see in the picture only took me a couple of hours. The pattern is great – I love a classic side cabled sock, especially if it’s only 1×1 twists. Ahhhh, bliss!

Here’s where I’m at with them now:

Tea on the Sea Socks - Leg done

I’m totally loving these socks.

As I believe the “old sweater” info deserves its’ own entry, I’ll leave it till next time.

But – here’s a quick update on some other current projects:

VVS Afghan - 30 rows

I’m up to 30 rows now on the Vintage Vertical Stripe Lopi Afghan. BadgerDan and I measured this yesterday – it currently stands at 18″ wide by 117″ long (FYI – that’s about 9.75 ft long). By my calculations, I only have another 130 rows to go. Oi -this may take a while.

I’ve also gotten a little further along with the Luna Moth Shawl which I plan on motoring on now that my little sock issue is resolved. I switched from 3.5mm to 3.75mm straights but will be going back onto circs in a repeat or two.

Luna Moth Shawl - Photo 2

We survived the weather no problem, I just wish it didn’t always seem to happen on a Wednesday (our Stitch n’ Bitch night)!

Here’s the current view from my bedroom window:

Main Street, Newmarket

(and yes, I do live across the street from the yarn shop – did I mention that I do the apartment hunting in the family? [grin])

I can’t begin to express how great it is to have a camera again.

TTFN.

Published in: on February 8, 2008 at 10:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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