Saturday, January 28, 2006

And here I thought it was too cold for the pool....

I decided to cast on for some socks the other day. The ribbing at the start is torturous, but I was jonesing for some straight stockinette in a tube. A confession: I always knit socks using US2 needles. I never ever swatch for socks. If I use a worsted weight, I use US5, and for sport, I use US3. I have never had an issue. Until now.

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First and foremost, does anyone else see the polka dots forming here? They only occur on this needle (which happens to be the top of the sock), but they're pretty obvious. I can't live with them. So I decided that I would rip this sock (after taking a picture, of course), and reknit from a different starting point in the yarn.

Then I got honest with myself about the cuff. Look at it! I mean, sure... oftentimes a sock's ribbing looks a little wonky until the first wash, when the yarn blooms and the stitches settle down. But I don't think that a little water is going to dampen this party. These stitches are loose. Knowing that I am using a yarn with a different fiber content than what I'm used to for socks, I should have gone ahead and swatched. Or at least realized after the first few rows that it wasn't going to work. Live and learn. I'll cast on for these again in a couple of days. Tonight, I think I'll cast on a hat.

The yarn pictured is Sockotta, in color 10. Nice, neutral brown and tan. It's 45% cotton, 40% wool, and 15% nylon. I've never knit cotton socks before this pair. I hope the wool will be enough to keep them from sagging.

In other news, in the interest of full disclosure, I fell off the wagon this afternoon. I stopped at one of my favorite yarn stores (but not one that's local) for some dpns for a hat project. When I walked in the door, it looked like a rummage sale. There was yarn piled everywhere, and I wondered if someone had forgotten to lock the door. Turned out they were having a going out of business sale! I got four hanks of Classic Elite Lush and one hank of Cascade 220 for under $20! I tried to resist the yarn, but then came to my senses. I mean, if I didn't grab some of that Lush, I might have kicked myself for the rest of my life. Now to find the perfect, cuddly project.

Friday, January 27, 2006


This is the 4 meme that's been going around. Pioggia tagged me.

4 jobs you've had in your life:
1. I put the Queen in Dairy Queen
2. Played with toys at F.A.O. Schwarz
3. Professional reader (so I was a clerk at a bookstore... we were expected to read!)
4. Secretary

4 movies you could watch over and over:
1. Shallow Hal
2. The Evil Dead
3. Pretty in Pink
4. Shaun of the Dead

4 places you have lived
1. Woolwich, Maine
2. Bath, Maine
3. Brunswick, Maine
4. Revere, Massachusetts

4 TV shows you love to watch
(I'm so excited because I actually have four for once! Thanks to TV on DVD!)
1. The Simpsons
2. Lost (But I'm lousy about catching it when it airs, and generally watch it days later on iTunes. So, no spoilers, please!)
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
4. Angel (Though I'm not exactly in love with this show, it makes four!)

4 places you have been on vacation
1. The White Mountains
2. Beautiful Burlington, Vermont (Home of the wonderful Kaleidoscope Yarns)
3. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
4. Boston, Massachusetts

4 websites you visit daily
1. My friends page on Livejournal
2. My other friends page on Livejournal
3. Local news site
4. My bloglines feeds

4 of your favorite foods
1. cheeseburgers
2. hard boiled eggs
3. potatoes
4. ham & bean soup

4 places you would rather be right now
1. New York City
2. in bed
3. shopping for yarn
4. swimming in the ocean

And finally, I am to tag four people. Please forgive me if you've already been tagged and I somehow missed the entry on your blog:
1. Cheryl
2. Tammy
3. Matilda
4. Amy

In knitting news, I finished a hat.

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Sadly, for how incredibly soft this yarn was for knitting, it still makes my forehead itch. I'm doomed. I'll still wear it though, I've yet to find a hat that doesn't make my forehead itchy. This pattern was fun to knit. I especially enjoyed the icord edging for the front. Snazzy, and gives the whole hat a more finished look. This hat is not flattering for my face, for the same reason that I don't have bangs. The model looked lovely in it, and I'm sure there are other women who would look quite fetching, but on me, not so much. Seeing as it's winter here, however, and it's a warm hat, I will wear it anyway. No one cares how anyone looks this time of year anyway. I LOVE the color of this yarn, and, lucky for me, I have more than an entire hank left of the yarn. I wonder if it will be enough for mittens? Anyway, that means that this hat took only about 3/4 of a skein of Malabrigo. Stash buster, anyone?

I'm going to spend today with my father, who isn't feeling well. I decided to bring two projects with me (neither casted on), and as I was packing up the supplies for the second one (a felted hat), I realized that I don't have the right needles for the job. I am always amazed when I don't have the proper needle, since it seems like for about a solid year I did nothing but build up my needle collection. Of course, I have a lot of duplicates, but the main issue is that the larger sizes are not well represented. I need US10 needles, and of course I have US9, and US10.5, but no tens. I would just use the 10.5 (and, in fact, tried to), but they're too long (circs), so I really need to get a shorter length anyway. Plus dpns for the top of the hat. So.... wish me luck. I'll be going to the yarn store for supplies today. Let's see if I can get out with only yarn for my sister Sonoma Shawl.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sick of Rogue yet?

I'm about ten rows (in a convoluted way) from finishing the hood of Rogue.

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I'm a teensy bit concerned about yarn. I have three complete balls of yarn and one partial ball left. If I remember correctly (oh, why oh why can I not be bothered to take notes?), I used two balls on the one sleeve I've made already. Cross your fingers for me. I think if I make it, I'll be cutting it close.

As I've said before, I love working on Rogue. I also like to finish stuff, though! With that in mind, I dragged out the Malabrigo last night and swatched for the Army Girl hat. I picked the right needle on my first try! (I never swatch with the suggested needle size, because I almost always have to go down.) Even making the swatch was heaven, the yarn was so soft! I can see that I'll have to start saving up for a sweater's worth.

I picked up the new Vogue Knitting yesterday. I thought that they had some interesting stuff, but not much that I can see myself making.. I did, however, add two patterns to my queue right away. I gotta say, I've never been a big fan of bobbles, but they have some very cute, bobbleicious stuff in this issue.

I flipped through a couple of other knitting magazines at the bookstore, but all the patterns were hideous. I can justiy buying a magazine if there are only one or two patterns I like, but it seems as though, increasingly, the patterns are either grotesque or too simple to justify buying a pattern for. Good thing I have a healthy reserve of patterns! I'm thinking I should get back into collecting vintage patterns, as well.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Oh la la!

The new Interweave preview is up! I am so excited about that little short-sleeved cardigan. I want it in my closet yesterday.

I finished the second mitten on Monday night, just in time for arctic temps on Tuesday! Of course, today it's almost fifty degrees and rainy.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Rogue gone wild!

I seem to have misplaced my card reader (this will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me), so I can't post pictures of my progress. As soon as I lay my hands on the dratted thing, I will. In the interim, I will say that I have happily finished one sleeve, and am about, I guess, halfway through the hood of Rogue. This baby might be in the mail next month! I am loving the hood. It's pretty, and the construction is pretty neat. I've heard some alarming things about the finished hood (the word "pointy" comes to mind), but I'm not going to worry myself about it now. The cold weather is returning, I have three and a half more seasons of Buffy to knit to, and I'm knitting things I like and want to knit, sans deadline.

Speaking of cold weather (weren't we?), I have decided which hat pattern I will use to knit my Malabrigo. It's the Army Girl Earflap hat (.pdf), which I have been admiring since I first laid eyes on it. The boyfriend likes it, too, so maybe he'll get one of his own (though we'll call that one the Army BOY earflap). In a different color, of course. This hat will look awesome with the WWII officer's jacket I'm sporting as a winter coat, it's even a nice olive green color. I'm undecided as to whether I'll cast on tonight for the hat, the second thrummed mitten (still in yarn form, I'm afraid), or continue working on Rogue. Stay tuned! I've got plans to clear this desk tonight, and the card reader is bound to turn up sometime.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Woo hoo! A mid week update!

No, I don't have pictures, but I do have a mid-week update! Spurred on by the new year and all the fabulous knitterly opportunities open to me, I finished up and blocked my Ribby Cardi, the same day that Bonne Marie posted about the same sweater! I have two issues with it. Well, maybe three. 1. I made the tall collar, which I thought looked nicest, but it's a bit on the floppy side, and you can see where I picked up stitches in the front. I believe that if I had bound off using another method, the collar would spread more, and I would be placated. So, the sweater is not officially done. I have some tweaking to do (also, see #3). 2. I don't have a zipper yet. I'm going to te store to get one tomorrow. Cross your fingers for me, it's my first zipper. 3. When I blocked it, I somehow managed to wang out the front panels, so one is longer than the other. I think another block (flat this time, instead of the lazy "hang it in front of the radiator" method) will even things out. I wore it for awhile though in its imperfect state, and I LOVE it. I can see that I will be wearing this cardigan a lot.

Bolstered by my (near) success with the Ribby Cardi, I decided to sew the zipper into the Zippy Cardigan already. Even though the baby I made it for has certainly outgrown it, there is another baby being born shortly who can use it as well. Tragedy struck when I realized that I had not bought a separating zipper all those months ago. It's really too bad, the color is perfect. So, I will be purchasing two zippers tomorrow.

Work is stalled on the thrummed mittens (still only one). It's hard to get motivated for super warm mittens when it's 40 degrees outside. As for Rogue, I haven't worked much on that either. But at least I've not cast on for anything new! I'm just trying to clear the roster for '06.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Is this really my first post of the year???

You know what's sad? When you've actually taken pictures for the sole purpose of updating your blog, but then never get around to it, and by the time you do, the pictures are no longer usable. (It doesn't help that I took them in the cold, dark morning with zero natural light.)

I've been doing some knitting. Not as much as I'd like, but you know how it is... that whole "working for a living" thing. I do most of my knitting on the weekends. Lately, I've been knitting to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. My friend (who is also my boyfriend's sister) turned us on to it last week, and I spent all day yesterday watching season 2 and working on Rogue (with frequent breaks for playing with rats, attending to dinner, playing on the Internet, playing Nintendo... it was a lazy day). Here's what I've got so far:

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In answer to Pioggia's comment on my last post, I usually do knit both sleeves at once, but in this case I decided to do them individually. I plan to do one sleeve, then the hood, then the last sleeve. I feel like I've been working on this sweater for my whole life, but I like working on it. I do still intend to make one for myself one day, but not soon.

I also finished one mitten since my last post:

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Looks puffy, doesn't it? Check out the stuffing!
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It even stands up by itself!
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Maybe I made my thrums too big, but I do not care. These puppies will keep me warm if I find myself stranded for two weeks in the Arctic Circle. I feel like I'm putting my hand inside a pillow. I haven't even casted on for the second one yet, even though I know I ought to. It's not getting any warmer around here, and all I have right now is a pair of wimpy fleece mittens, more suitable to fall, really.

I spent last Sunday daydreaming about all the great stuff I'm going to knit from my stash. I haven't joined any official knitalongs, but I've made a serious goal of knitting through my stash. I am allowing myself two yarn purchases, because I have absolutely nothing suitable in my stash for the projects, and they're both gifts. The first purchase will be for some Plymouth Encore for a blanket I plan to make my BFF for her wedding in June, and the second is enough Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece to make a shawl for my sister. Another Sonoma Shawl so soon? We'll see how it goes. Anyway, I wound a bunch of hanks in preparation for some small projects, and casted on for a scarf,, which became my first FO of '06.

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I casted on lengthwise to make this, and it is long. I like the ruffley effect, and really like having a scarf I can wrap around my neck about five times.

I'm off for more knitting and Buffy. Maybe I'll actually pull off a mid-week update this week.