Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Moving forward

I swatched for the bunny from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts yesterday.

(Aside: in my next life, I would like more common sense. My gauge was too dense, so I switched to smaller needles. I'll say that again: I switched to smaller needles. Guess what? My gauge was even denser! Duh. When I tried again with size 8 needles, voila. it was a lot closer. Still a tad dense [20 stitches where I was aiming for 18], but close enough for a toy.)

I knitted one bunny arm last night. It was easy and mindless. I do hope this one goes fast. After the bunny, which is for my godparents' youngest son's first child, I'll be starting on the corn bunting, hoping to be done by the baby shower. I picked up the wool again last night. It's so soft. And machine washable and dryable! Ah, the wonders of modern science.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

It's Gold for me!

First, me in my triumphant Team Canada jersey:

And then, my triumphant Olympic post.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Here's your photo

Now I need to get back to knitting!
latest update

Friday, February 24, 2006

So pleased.

I just knit a few more rows on my River Rapids socks today at noon. I've had this sneaking feeling they are huge. They look huge, like big knitted boots. I am not ripping out and reshaping them, because BY GOD I am finishing these by Sunday evening. But I would like them to be for me, rather than a friend with larger feet...

So I tried them on. (one of the great things about knitting with circulars--the flexibility to try on without the fear of losing stitches) and

Yay! They fit just great! And are so gorgeous, I gasped. I'm so pleased.

Photo later--must get back to work!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Bring on the knitting monkeys

I'm still turning the heel, or maybe finishing up from turning the heel... in any case, I'm decreasing stitches from the heel turn and am not on the actual instep yet. I have 3 days, people! Fortunately, I'm going to a day-long meeting on Saturday and can hopefully knit my little heart out.

And lay out the church newsletter.

And make soup for said meeting.

And clean the house.

And and and.


And I'm still getting into situations with these 2 circulars where I say to myself, Didn't I just knit this sock? Shouldn't I be knitting the other sock now?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Getting there! Gold is in sight!

At lunchtime, I finished the 2nd heel flap and turned the heel on the first sock. I hope hope hope the instep isn't too complex.

The pattern is really well written. I accidentally knit only 16 rows of the heel flap, instead of 32. What caught me was the pattern saying that the flap should be nearly square. "Nearly square? It's totally rectangular!" was my thought before I reread. "Ah, 32; that will help." And it did.

Went to the local STITCH AND BITCH last night. Only 2 people, as compared to last time's 10 or more. Graham was fairly well behaved, despite being a bit antsy. We had brought his knitting spool and he did pretty well (I only had to fix one stitch). But he couldn't stick with it to finish the green and wanted to restart with the yellow or do stripes (stripes, on a 4-peg knitting spool? It could work, but...). I told him to finish the green and he chose to finish his hot cocoa instead. Turned out to be a good choice. I love that cafe.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Stitches West report

(If you're on the glb-knit list, you've probably already seen this.)

I drove down to Santa Clara on Sunday afternoon, after the usual too-long preparations for a 40-minute trip. We got there about 2:30 and I presented my $2 off coupon for entry. The man at the desk kindly pointed out that entry would be free in half an hour. I thought for a moment and then decided that it was well worth $6 to me to get in an extra half hour's worth of shopping.
I went through the doors, and WOW! was immediately overwhelmed. Racks and racks and booths and booths of fiber of every kind and condition. (Lots more roving than I had expected, for one!) All thoughts of "yarn for XX project" went right out of my head and I spent 90% of my time feeling up yarn, as is my wont. Lots of alpaca, but not a lot of baby alpaca, of which I'm completely enamored, after having received two balls of it from Little Knits and its softness is breathtaking.

(I got Misti Alpaca lace in a gorgeous blue--if this link doesn't work, got to http://www.littleknits.com/ and click on Baby Alpaca Lace under "Misti Baby Alpaca" on the left-hand side, then scroll down just a bit to "Beautiful Deep Blue." The color is spot on, at least on my work and home monitors.)

Sticking firmly to my new ideal of not buying yarn that doesn't make my heart go pit-a-pat, I gazed at and rejected many sock yarns, fingering, and unbelievable lace yarns. Finally, at Fiber Elements, I found some red variegated yarn I just couldn't put away. The colorway is simply called Reds and it varies from a soft tomato red to a gentle grey and is soft and lovely. At $20/skein, I only felt I could buy 2 skeins, but that could make a nice sweater for my son or a shawl for me (we'll see).
(Their website is http://FiberElements.com/ but it isn't easy to get a link to show you the colorway... for the stouthearted, select Art, then Yarn, then select Sport Weight, then scroll down alphabetically to "Color: Reds." The photo looks more pink than tomato.)

I also picked up a pattern for the Brambleberry Lace Stole that is on the main page of their website. She had made it up in a fuzzy and a high-definition yarn and they were different but both lovely.

We went on, stopping to get a hot dog with ketchup for the kid (safely esconced in the stroller and parked out of reaching distance from the yarn each time). One shop had 10 skeins of various Debbie Blisses for $60 and I nearly bought a set of blue Cashmerino Aran yarn... but it didn't make my heart go pit-a-pat.

Finally, found a fascinating booth: a woman is knitting swaths of dyable yarn on her knitting machine, doing striping dying, and then selling the swaths to knitters to re-knit into socks... OR knit with another skein (either of self-striping/variegated or solid) for a gorgeous two-color hat. The effect is stunning. She had two sample knitters seated at the aisle, knitting from the swath into a sock (very effective). She also included, with any purchase, a long length of tubing she called "trying-on tubing." The tubing is forced onto the end of your needles and you slip the knitted object onto the tube to have lots of flexibility for trying on the object. Neat! Then she sealed the deal by pointing out that if you buy an extra skein of the 2nd color, you can actually get 2 hats out of the wool. Sold.

Perused a few more booths, but the Market closed at 4PM (I was expecting 6PM, which was the closing time for Thurs/Fri/Sat, my bad), which was a big help for my budget. Cadged a "Yarn Lady" bag from their booth (http://www.yarnlady.com/) because everyone carrying them cracked me up, then went by the "Knitter's" booth at the front and asked if one had to subscribe to get the magazine that was out. The woman shoved one quickly into my hands. Good thing it was free... I don't think I've found one thing in it that I want to knit (other than some of the things in the ads).

As we were leaving, I spotted some round tables w/chairs that knitters were just sitting at and knitting and chatting. I considered inviting myself into one lively group but changed my mind and just sat near them. That was probably good, because as I knit more rows of my River Rapids socks for the Olympics, I realized I heard the word "Satan" from the woman behind me. Yep, I heard it again. She went on to talk about the Lord God and I was glad I hadn't joined them. I'm a Christian but not a fire and brimstone one! Oy.

So now, 5 more skeins of yarn for my stash. I really should have joined that Buy More Yarn -along. :)

I'm hoping for a report from those who went to Stitches West and did more than just shop for yarn (and seemingly abandon their kid, but that's another post entirely)...

Olympics update, and yet more SEX

I'm on the 3rd repeat of 3 for the legs, and hope to start the heel tonight. I could make it, but it'll be a struggle!

And at Stitches West, I indulged in a few more skeins... no plans for the red skeins, but 2 hats from the kit, yum!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A sort-of FO and an Olympic update

I pretty much finished my mom's black/multi lace scarf. I have to rip back one row since I ran out of yarn in the last row while binding off (dang it!). It looks gorgeous. Pics of this and other items soon.

I perused some sites about the Knitting Olympics and found a French site that termed it the "Tricolympique" which is cute because it kind of rhymes and totally works (tricoter is "to knit" in French).

My latest update is here.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Knitting Geekdom

I am so loving the geeky side of knitting. I confirmed by kitchen scale that I am 2/3 through my mom's scarf (and have done more since then). It is so cool to compare the ounces knit versus ounces left (and subtracting the weight of one needle!). I have now switched to Crystal Palace dp's with point protectors on the other ends. My turned size 6 straight needles are up for grabs. One end seems to have a tiny snag and in any case they are not as fast to work with. Life is too short!

The Olympics approach!

I don't know how I would host this button, so I'll just post it here:

Casting on will occur at lunchtime on Friday!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Pics, as promised

First, Mom's glittery black scarf so far:

Next, square for love blanket.
If you look very carefully at the right-hand image, you might be able to make out the heart I did in purl stitches. I can't see it at all in the left-hand image.

An FO, and progress on another UFO

I finished the square for the "love blanket" and got it blocked to size. Knitting can be so frustrating; I needed it to be 10x10" and it came out of the washer 9.5" x 10.5". So I had to stretch it in length and inch in the edges. At least I got it to behave, and Maddy decided not to lounge on it (it's pinned to some old diapers on top of my living-room rug).

I got about 2' total done on my mom's glittery black scarf. I finally got into a groove with the pattern, but I still need to look at the directions and switch my stitch counter between "2" and "4" to keep track (odd rows are purled). And I'm still gripping the stitch that's pulled over 2 others between the needle and my fingernail to grab it. It's slow going but looks wonderful. I may block it for length rather than width, as it's already much wider than the pattern calls for and may only be 4' unblocked (I got all geeky and weighed the remaining wool, what I've done, and the other knitting needle; I'm almost exactly halfway through). So I may block it from 5.5" x 4' to 4.5" x 4.5' or 5'. Pics to be posted later... Knitting Olympics starts Friday!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Mom's sock, cast off

My mom's finished (first) sock (cuff's too short, dang it! But the foot length is good, I think). The edge is picot-ish because I was worried about casting off too tight, so I used a needle 2 sizes up.

Phew, that was close.

I did my swatch, measured it, chose a pattern (I really don't want to have to adjust a pattern to fit my yarn/needles), and... nearly cast on.

For the Knitting Olympics. Whoops!

(rules are that you cast on during the opening ceremonies and finish by the end of the Olympics. Swatching ahead of time is OK; casting on is not.)

I'm going to try to do two at once on two circular needles. I hope it works out well!

I have sinned.

I crocheted... and I liked it.

I'm making a square for a "love blanket" for someone on my glb-knit list who's sick. I swatched twice and knit the whole thing... only to find it was 9" square instead of 10". I had already put a garter-stitch border on it, so I decided to crochet an edging. Single-croche wasn't tall enough, so I did double-crochet. Turns out I can still do it. It's got to have been, seriously, 20 years since I've crocheted, but I felt quite comfortable crocheting. Wow.

Not that I'll quit knitting or anything; I don't like the look of crocheted fabric. But I may use it as edging a little more... I think I've found the real Dark Side!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Yet more drooling.

I've been loving/coveting all those fabulous yarns in colorways (colourways?) that meander from shade to shade. But so many of them are so expensive!

And then I found this. The laceweight yarn is just $5.95 for 850 yards! Mmm, yummy.

Help me out here...

What is with the excitement about Interweave Knits' Union Square Market Pullover? There is even a knit-along for it.

I think the front looks completely dorky. What is the appeal?

Yarn opinions?

OK, I'm going to make this bunting for the Murrita, silly as it may seem. I had initially settled on "Shine" from KnitPicks, as it is washable cotton-blend yarn in good colors for corn ("Grass" and "Butter"). But then Liz posted that she wanted to dress the baby warmly, in general, as she expected to have the baby at hockey quite a bit.

So then I was back to wool. But KnitPicks' "Wool of the Andes" is only said to have "reasonable softness"; I kind of want this to be unbelievably soft!

In my recent shipment from Little Knits, I got two balls of laceweight baby alpaca. OMG, is that stuff soft.

But... what about washing? Should I just assume a bunting doesn't need washing that often and relegate Liz & Andrea to washing it in cold water on gentle and having to flat-dry it? Or should I go with washable, as babies do spit up?

What to do?