Monday, June 25, 2007

What a little focus can do.

I loved these enough and am proud enough of these to show you my bare knees. That's some pride and love, doncha think?

Pattern: Wyvern Woman's Socks
Yarn: Zen Yarn Garden Sock Yarn in "Doublemint"
Yarn enabler: Woolgirl in May, 2007
Knit on: One long Knitpicks Size O, Magic Looped. (I love Magic Loop.)
Time I spent knitting these when I should have been cleaning the floors: 10 Days, June 16-25

Yeah, yeah, I know these weren't supposed to be knee-his, but I loved the color of the yarn and they went toe-up, so how could I not use all the yarn. I have about a yard of yarn left- you know how I love usin' it all up. The sock can have the pattern go all the way around the leg or have ribbing in the back. I have these crazy calves, so I'm all about ribbing and increasing the ribbing so that they fit all the way up my leg. And they're never falling down, believe you me.

The pattern is pretty fun and intuitive to knit--a lot like Monkey socks somehow I think, but without any purling. I also did the MI by doing a grandma increase (pulling up from the row below) on the edges of the front (so I wouldn't have ladder problems) and then did the ladder increase, twisting the loop as I went to do the 'seam' in the middle of the front of the sock. I'm a loose knitter so these kinds of increses made the pattern work out really well. If I could figure out how to take a picture of the back of my legs by myself, I'd show you those, but whatever--now you don't have to look at my, uh, shapely, calves.

I loved the color way at first and then when I started knitting I thought omigod they're baby-color socks and will be stupid. Now that I have them done I LOVE the colorway again. The yarn was a little splitty and hairy--it is a wool-nylon blend (my preferred choice for sock yarn)--but I am confident that I won't have any durability issues with these.

Yay! Now I have more space on my stash, which is great because I'm off for vacation tomorrow. I'm heading to Asheville, NC where I believe there are just a few places to do some vacation yarn shopping. Now, vacation yarn does count as stash in my book, but I've got some space, so yay! If you have any Asheville fiber insights to share, please do. I'm going to be knitting like crazy because my parents live on a mountain and like to golf, so I don't have a lot to do while I'm there. I plan on finishing that Donna sweater that's been languishing in my "yarn and patterns in play" list in the sidebar, and maybe, just maybe, I may start some more socks. I know, what a surprise...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Share and share alike.

You see it's not all knitting a cardigan for me, knitting socks for me, buying yarn for projects for me.
My friend, Otto the owl, is a little giftee for my friends' 2 year old. I was told she was obsessed with owls, so of course I had to make Otto. Of course, the young recipient is two, so obsessions could come and go, but maybe she'll love Otto anyway.

Pattern: Otto the Owl from And So to Bed, by Lucinda Guy
Yarn used: Berroco Ultra Alpaca. You gotta love this yarn--so soft, so squishy. I love alpaca. sigh.
Yarn enabler: Knit-a-way
Time it took to knit when I should have been: Well, I shouldn't have been doing anything else. This was my illicit project--I knit on it when my hands started hurting from knitting mercerized cotton for this. I never put the yarn on my blog. I never showed the wip because I wanted it to be a surprise. But all in all, about a month or so of intermittent knitting.

I think he's awful cute. The seams were a pain to sew up. All his little appendages are fast but kind of dorky knitting, but the yarn was a pleasure to knit. Lots of good projects in this book, might I say. I think there are some more gifts to be knit up....

Secret Secret Feet revealed. Back when my knitting group had a secret feet exchange, one pair of feet went uncovered for a little while, and they just needed some sock lovin'! My yarn pusher--um--group leader got some lovely Koigu that I made into these lovely Jaywalkers. No need to blog-blather on the ubiquitous Jaywalker or on the merits of Koigu, right? Anyway here they are--I hope Ms. Secret Secret feet liked them!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Past, Present, Future (A story of socks)

A short poem in the language of socks....

Pattern: Gentleman's Fancy Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush.

Yarn: Schaefer Anne in some blues and reds of a forgotten colorway.

Yarn enabler: A Good Yarn This is a charming little store/knitting school place in the Fell's Point neighborhood of Baltimore. Poem-man and I were there during February vacation (I don't know why, either, but it was more fun than I thought it would be.) Anyway, A Good Yarn had a little bit of yarn, a wonderfully helpful proprietess, and it made me wish I could lived in Baltimore (!) so I could take their classes.

Time I spent knitting these when I should have been rehearsing for the musical at school: 3 weeks in Feb-March, maybe?

This was another one of those interminable toe-up sock projects whose non-transience was caused by a generous skein of skinny-dink yarn. In fact, knitting these socks forced me to realize that I was going to have to knit on 0s. Zeee-rose, baby! Crap. At least Poem-man has only size 9-1/2 feet and skinnier calves than me. These are knee-socks for criminy's sake. On the other hand, the pattern was easy, and it also was my first venture into knitting with Schaefer Anne. Liked the yarn, would knit it again, but maybe not socks--a shawl perhaps?

THE PRESENT: here's a little teaser of what's becoming of this parcel of love. I know it kind of looks like baby-pastel cat yak, but I think you'll like what you'll eventually see. Check back on me in a few days....

THE FUTURE!!! looks bright:
I received this in the mail today. The colorway? "FESTIVE!" The colors? Pretty freakin' festive. Very happy knitting girl here. I wonder what socks will come of this yarn?

Friday, June 15, 2007


It's just for times like this that I'm glad I've saved space on my 10-yarn stash.

Brooklyn Handspun has new, beautiful yarns to buy!
Quick! While the getting's good...

I bought this. Because it's just how I feel!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Monkeying Around!

Pattern: Monkey Socks
Yarn: Zen String Serendipity (sportweight) Sock Yarn in "Argyle;"
Yarn enabler: Woolgirl in May, 2007
Time I spent knitting these when I should have been correcting finals: 6 Days!

We love these MONKEYS! I made these monkeys, and then of course, Mr. Monkey-See/Monkey-Do (Poem-man) had to have his own Monkey socks!

They were super-super-fast for SOOO many reasons. 1) I did them in sportweight yarn. 2) I knit socks two at a time on a big ole Addi Turbo #3 Magic Loop. (Me, the loose knitter knitting socks on #3s!) 3) I was proctoring a Regents exam today and had nothing to do but finish knitting socks. 4) I adapted the original Monkey pattern in a couple of ways: I went toe-up and I only did three of the charts around the leg (1.5 charts on the foot) so that they wouldn't be too loose for Poem-man. 5) This yarn is yummy gelato-for-the-hands scrumptious!

And look at this:

I knit the socks from one big yarn cake--one from the the middle pull of yarn and one from the outside yarn and somehow, SOMEHOW, the colors ended up being basically in the same pattern on the socks. The pair is really like twins, and I didn't even try to make that happen. Does this happy accident happen all the time? Or is it really serendipity, like the name of the yarn? The other serendipitous thing is that there was only 241 yards, and I managed to get four repeats on the leg after doing feet for male 9-1/2 shoe sized-feet. Knitting with a finite amount of yarn (there are no more skeins at or on the zen string site.) is not for the faint of heart. Thank God for the toe-up, two socks at a time technique! Without it, I'd a been freaking out the whole time as I approached the first toe, not to mention the second toe, if I had gone the traditional route. I have NO yarn little yarn ball left. None. I LOVE that. Ok, maybe about 6 inches to save if I have to repair them ever.

What a satisfying project all around!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Fast (and maybe wrong)

Yay! I finished it!

Yarn enabler: Elann
Time I spent knitting this when I should have been writing exams: Two weeks and two days.

Hmmm, some problems. One of the things I really liked about this podcast was that one of the podcasters had a segment knitting fast and wrong, which I could totally relate to. (Psst, if any of you know these women, could you ask them to podcast again? I miss them.) As you may notice, there are a few finishing problems arising from fast and wrong knitting, which I have fixed since having Poem-man take this picture. I also think I'll take a good hot iron to this and do some more aggressive blocking. The fabric of the body is much better than that of the sleeves. On the other hand, I like the sweater a good bit. The pattern comes out nicely and it's easy to wear.

Though I did cast on some socks, I think I want to concentrate on sweaters a bit. It's been awhile since I've done a sweater and, well, my finishing techniques need practice. I mean, c'mon, there's no finishing to a sock, really. And a lace cardigan in mercerized cotton? Fraught with finishing perils!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

I can taste it...

Whew--I finished those freakin' sleeves. I don't know what my problem was--I had like 1.5 sets of repeats of the 32-row pattern when I whined in this post. Two days later, the sleeves are finished, and the cardigan is seamed up, and kinda fits, even before blocking. Now all I have to do is block it and knit the few rows of seed stitch borders on the neck and fronts. I'm almost done, and I already really, really like it--even those crazy sleeves! I can taste the victory! You see, having this done means I can cast on a new project and buy some more yarn for my 10-yarn stash!

Thursday, June 7, 2007


I hate my arms today for two reasons. 1) They aren't really meant to be uncovered in public because while I've been building muscle definition and there's definitely lean muscle mass there, my brolicness is obscured by the fat that I haven't lost. Damn. 2) Because my arms are meant to be covered, I have to knit SLEEVES for any tops I knit. No cute tank tops for me--shrugs yes, tank tops no. And you can forget about bandeau tops. And I have to buy more yarn for said sleeves.

The sleeves to my lace cardigan are KILLING me slowly. They were supposed to be kimono sleeves, so I cast on 99 freakin' stitches for each sleeve (because why do the sleeves separately when I knit socks two-at-a-time. Aren't sleeves really socks without feet?). Well, that seemed like a ridiculous amount compared to the number of stitches I cast on to cover my bodily-torso fat, so whatever, I decided to have bell sleeves, 3/4 length ones at that. (Thank God my arms, while wide, are pretty short--oh such nice proportions I carry) . I cast on the 99 stitches and knit for a while then figured out how to decrease in the lace pattern (basically omitting yarn overs) and knit for a repeat or so, and now I've increased back up to 99 freakin' stitches and I may die before I finish. I exaggerate. I only have like 4 inches to go and there's not even any shaping to them for a set-in sleeve or anything, and I've only been knitting them for six days, but I'm so tired of knitting them. And now they're so extensive that I dropped the right of the circular needles while knitting them while on the stationary bike exercising this morning. And I have this niggling feeling that once I finish and attach the sleeves I won't like the bell sleeve shape. crap.

I have got to keep a pair of socks going at all times if I'm going to knit while exercising, and I'm gonna be knitting while exercising from time to time, let me tell you.

Because I'll exercise with more consistency and griping if I can knit while doing it, and if I exercise more then maybe my arms can go public, and then maybe I won't always have to knit SLEEVES, and then I can love my arms as much as I usually love the rest of me!

Friday, June 1, 2007

A different kind of love...

Last week, a few of sit n' knitters went over to the etsy labs to see what was going on there, and I became even more enamored of etsy. The labs look like a fun place to play! They had these really cute postcards advertising etsy, and I loved the artwork on the postcard so much that I went over to the artists' etsy store. There I found and bought this. It came to day, and I love it! Almost as much as I love my recent sock yarn. Well, it's a different kind of love.

The peacock feathers continue to grow, and I'm at work on two mini-secret projects. I'm knitting as fast as I can!