Friday, April 27, 2007

It Ain't Pretty

I cast on for the Anastasia socks, using my wonderfully soft spring green 100% Alpaca Wool. After some experimentation with different sized needles, I settled on the Brittany 2.75mm needles that gave me so much trouble on the Long Socks (I ended up breaking 3 of the needles!!). I tried the zeroes the pattern suggests, but my gauge was way off (far too many stitches), and I felt like a gorilla using the fingering weight yarn and teeny tiny needles.

This is my very first attempt at two things: a provisional cast on (not as scary or as hard as I imagined), and a short row toe. The cast on went fine- I was using worsted weight 4-ply as the scrap yarn, which proved a simdge difficult, but not too bad. The decreasing for the toe went fine (the second time), but when I began the increases I realized I had misread the directions and forgotten to slip the first stitch of each row. I slipped the stitches correctly for the increases, but I think it would have looked better if I had gone for consistency, rather than following the pattern, since I wasn't about to rip out the decreases again!

The yarn is very washed out in this photo. It's actually a bright green, almost yellow. It's a wonderful spring color. hopefully I'll get these done before spring is over!

This, plus the mother's day present for my mom (a repeat of something I've already shown on here), should keep me busy for all the long hours of driving (we're moving this weekend) and flying (another trip to the East Coast next week).

Monday, April 23, 2007

Daisy Stitch Help (for Sarah!)

An old friend of mine (since elementary school!) has been lurking on my blog and just sent me and email asking for help with the Daisy Stitch pattern on the Ice Princess Headband I made a while ago. I thought I'd post my tutorial for the stitch on here, so it'd be easy for her to see the pictures and the sequence.

She's having trouble with this line of the pattern : "p3tog, yo, purl same 3 sts tog again"
Step 1. p3tog. Just as you would purl two together (or knit two together), but don't slip the left-hand stitches off the needle.

Step 2. yo. Wrap the yarn counter-clockwise around the right-hand needle, so that it is in front again. (You've essentially just created another stitch on the right-hand needle)

Step 3. purl same 3 sts tog again. Now purl the three stitches you purled in Step 1 together again, the same way. Except now, slip them off the left-hand needle.

This photo shows your two needles. On the left-hand needle (top), the three stitches you just purled twice, ready to be slipped off the needle. On the right-hand needle (bottom), the three stitches you just created by purling, yo'ing, and purling again.

The finished stitch! (Two of them, side by side)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Happy Birthday!

It's a Birthday Cupcake!

Tomorrow is my friend's birthday and we're having a pink and white brunch at a great club in the City that has bottomless mimosas! The perfect addition to this party was obviously a white cake cupcake with pink frosting. And a candle! (My very first i-cord)

Seriously, I could knit cupcakes every day of my life.

Red Socks

Just the perfect thing for a cloudy, cold Saturday afternoon.

Pattern: My own, with guidance out of The Book of Knitting.
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease in some crazy red, speckled color.
Needles: Clover US3 dpn
Notes: It's quite difficult to knit a second sock out of your own pattern, when you didn't write down the pattern as you made the first sock! It took three tries to get the heel to come out right, and the toes are slightly off. As far as the toes go, I've seen (and made) better. I'm in the midst of learning how to graft, but I couldn't be bothered to look up the instructions online when the time came- on either sock! (The instructions are online and we were watching To Catch a Thief!) The first sock I just sort of stitched together and the second I tried grafting. It came out all right until halfway through when I must have mixed up the order of the stitches - I was grafting correctly, and all the stitches look like knits, and then they switch to purls! It's an interesting sight. It's a good thing I'm not a perfectionist (ie: can't be bothered to go back and fix mistakes more than a few stitches past them). When I put on the socks, I noticed I had dropped a stitch just before the toe decreases start. On the first sock I made. I sewed in the stitch and sooner or later, I'll forget about it.

I also have a problem with the heels. The book I used lists three different methods for turning a heel. I followed the first set of directions, and the heel came out very narrow and ugly. I like the way I made the heels for Mike's socks much better. The Red Socks have a square-ish heel, 5 stitches wide. The Long Socks havea heel that's shaped more like a U that gets wider and wider, and looks much more comfortable. Again, hopefully sooner or later I'll forget about this problem as well.

All in all, I really like them. They are keeping my feet warm as we speak. For my second go at socks, I think they came out pretty great! I'll have to be careful, though. They're very slippery on tile.

I have yarn for two more pairs of socks (this time with actual sock yarn), so I'll be able to work on my technique. I'm debating between making a pair of Jaywalkers or Anastasias or Broad Ripple from Knitty Summer 03.

I think Anastasia for the spring green yarn, and Broad Ripple for the stripey Juicy Fruit yarn.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

And Then?

I'm working on finishing my pair of red wool socks, and thinking about what to make next. I bought some (ok, a lot) of yarn the other day, and am very excited about it. I can't bring myself to start another sock, though, after having just made four.

I bought some blue gray - brown yarn to make Mike a hat out of, but he doesn't really like the yarn, and it's not hat season anyway. Eventually, he's going to get some bicylce helmet ear warmers (from Men Who Knit), but I don't have the right yarn now. Plus, it's not ear warmer season anyway.

Which got me thinking... why are there no good summer knits? I don't like short-sleeved sweaters, and I don't have enough yarn for a cardigan or anything useful. Just socks, scarves, and hats.

The answer I think, has to do with the harvest and winter. In the winter, you sit inside all day, eating canned vegetables from the root cellar and keeping the fire going. In the summer, there are crops to hoe and soe and tend. (And vegetables to can). So, knitting is a wintertime project, when you have free time and making wool into wearable objects makes sense.

I don't have a garden, or canned vegetables, or a fire to keep going, but I do have winter (sort of). And I definitely have summer. But I still have springtime knitting doldrums.

Plus, we're moving next week, and SS leaves in just a few days. It's very, very sad.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The socks formerly known as Long!

My first pair of socks! They're done!

Pattern: Inspired (and guided) by Long Socks
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease Worsted Weight... I think the color was called "Hunter". I threw out the label though.
Needles: Brittany White Birch 2s

Modifications: I made one full sock, thigh high, and then I cut it in half and made two socks. I also modified the toes a little. I decreased on every row for the last three rows. But only on one sock. Also, I didn't do the garter stitch-rib, which was ugly anyway. I misread the pattern and made the heels wrong- I slipped every other stitch on both the knit and pearl rows, so the heels are really tight. But they look cool, so whatev.

Notes: I don't really like the colors, but Mike does, which is great. I don't think I"d use this pattern again- it's justa basic sock, and following the pattern makes a really weird, ugly sock. I am very proud of myself for making socks! And these socks rock!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Craft City!!!

I skipped out on a little bit of work today and went to the fabric and yarn store with SS. We had a 20% off coupon, and we went a little crazy.

It's like Christmas here!

SS's fabric: Lucky Bronco and Cupcakes!

Mustard yellow for a shirt and lemons (mine) for pj pants.

Sock yarn (Cascade Superwash Sassy Stripes in delicious Juicy Fruit colors), hat yarn (Linie 146 in Montana), and more sock yarn (Frog Tree Bolivian Alpaca in a wonderful spring green).

Noro Silk Garden and Cascade 220 for SS.

Lucky Bronco made into a very cute shirt!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A day in the life...

Left to right...

Arm warmers for SS's Dad (made by SS), Unbiased Bag, one actually useful sock made out of the Clessidra yarn, the Buttony Sweater after finally being blocked, and my cupcake pin cushion.

This scene was not posed for the blog. This is actually what our coffee table looked like when I got home yesterday. (And most of these things are still out).

The completed, appropriately sized, red wool sock. It's almost exactly the same size as the one it is replacing. Except that one is purple.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Raindrops keep falling on my head.

We're moving to Rainy Oregon, and I'm going to law school there.

It was a tough decision, and there were some tears shed (in a cold, rainy parking lot in Boulder), but we are happy with the decision. We might be there as early as the end of next month!

The modified Clessidra socks are coming along- except I have great difficulty counting. And remembering what row I was on when I stopped. If I were just doing the hourglass cable, I'd be fine (ish), but with the 12-round hourglass cable and the 4-round simple cables, it's a little much for my non-math oriented brain.

Also, it's the most enormous sock I've ever seen, second only to the Long Sock). It's so wide, and since I don't exercize, my calves just aren't that big! However, I've tried them on and they seem to fit just right. Hopefully they won't stretch after wear, or fall down during wear. Slouch socks are only so hip.

I only have this picture of me working on the plane, 1) because it's dark and pictures come out poorly in the dark. 2) Because I messed up in several places and am a little embarassed that I didn't rip out. 3) Because I might frog the entire thing and just make plain old ribbed woll socks, since my trusty ol' ragland pair just sprouted two holes. And 4) To prove I did some knitting on my trip! (A lot of planes, trains, automobiles, and a bus to get us from CA - Philly- Massachusetts - NH - VT - MA - Colorado - CA in just 9 days... only plane and train knitting happened though.)

Also, while I was knitting on the train, and watching this amazing sunset over Brooklyn, a woman across the aisle from me whipped out her knitting. It was wonderful. The red Clessidra for me, and what looked like a cotton sweater in a delicious orange for her. No pictures, because I'm not the Subway Knitter, and I feel self-conscious taking pictures of strangers. I wanted to bust out my knitting when I was on the T in Boston, just in the hopes of being spotted, but I was too tired, and we only rode for a few stops.

SS asked for an Easter bonnet, but I made her one of these. I'm trying to use up some of the fluffy pink yarn I got for the cupcakes. She hasn't seen it yet, but it has made friends with her bedmate, Puppy.