Friday, February 29, 2008

February Roundup

It was short month, so I have a short list.

1. chair socks (crocheted) (I'm so much happier now that my chair legs aren't cold.)

2. CIC socks:
coffeebean (16)
fancy moss rib (17)
red rib (18)
pink garter rib (19)
variegated stripes (20)

This puts me at 20 for the goal of 28 socks for Magic 28.

3. Concert scarf using Moonlight Mohair and Alison's pattern. (I'm working on donating this to a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer walk.)

4. Teal and brown CIC sweater. It fits over DS#2's head. He's 10 and it's small all over, so I'm gonna guess it's a size 10-12. Bigger than the 2-4 size that I was aiming for, but it still will be good for a larger child.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Longer hemline

Let me show you the results of today's project. When I made my raglan sweater last year, the body felt entirely long enough. Over the course of year, however, it seemed to get shorter. (Or styles got longer?) Here's a pic of it on me here .

I had some yarn left over, so decided to add to the hem. This is a picture of it originally.

It is 3x3 garter ribbing. I loved it, but it wasn't long enough.

Knowing that if you pick up stitches and knit downward, the stitch shifts over a half stitch, I put in 3 rows of garter stitch to disguise that fact. Then, I found a simple lace pattern from "Knitting on the Edge" called quill eyelet. I did several rows of that, and ta-da! it's now longer.

(The wonders of digital photography. I can take multiple views of my midsection, and only pick out the one that shows the bump of my belt and not the bump of too-many-chocolates-since-V's-Day.)

The next question is: Will it be cold enough to wear it to work tomorrow? (My job makes me sweat, so the answer mostly likely is "no".) Will I wear it anyway, even if it's unblocked? (I will at least take out the stitch marker and hide the end.) Will I at least take it off and hide the ends tonight, or will I fall asleep on the couch, only to do it tomorrow, 5 minutes before walking out the door?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Weekend update

Baseball news: DS's team swept the series and he pitched 4 solid innings before coming out due to pitch count. (Averaged 91-93 mph, and spiking at 95).
Basketball news: DD#2's team won by one point. It was so exciting that I didn't even take out my knitting (but it was in my really big, really orange purse all ready to go.)
Soccer news: DS's team won by a whole bunch to zero. DD#2 actually brought her knitting along to knit beside me. (I think I have a true convert here!)

The teal CIC sweater has been in timeout long enough. I got it out and reknitted the neckline, which now fits over my head, so it's good to go.

Moving on, but still not owning the correct needle sizes, I started the sleeves. I picked up stitches around the armhole, then proceeded to knit the sleeve "flat" that will be sewn up later. This saves sewing one seam, and helps in figuring how big to make it.

This worked good, until I ran out of yarn with this much left to go:

So... I had to spin some more unspun yarn, ply it, wash it, and let it dry. This will be tonight's knitting (unless I fall asleep on the couch).

I finally took some pics of my completed scarf. Remember the yarn I bought in Jan? (Moonlight Mohair on sale for $2 per skein. I made a shawl in the beginning of the week, then bought more towards the end. This is the result.)

I had thought about doing a simple lace pattern, and thought about it for awhile before I remembered Alison's book "Wrapped in Comfort, Knitted Lace Shawls". Not only does she have beautiful shawl patterns, she also has several scarf patterns. This one is the Concert Scarf (only doing one pattern repeat).

It was lots of fun. So much so, I might even try a shawl one day.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Opening day

In honor of opening day for college baseball (DS's team, anyway), I bought myself a new purse (on sale at JC Penney's). It's really big and really orange.


My goal was to get a purse that would have separate compartments that would hold my knitting (a sock, at least....maybe not a sweater). It needed a square bottom so it would sit on the floor and not fall over, and have big enough straps to fit over my shoulder. It also needed a zipper compartment to keep all my purse stuff. I didn't want just a brown one, since that would be boring.

It's not boring, is it?

It will match my UM shirt on game days. The rest of the week? I'll stand out in the crowd. (A friend noted that it has the added benefit of embarassing my children out in public. What could be better than that?)

Now, to find some knitting to put in it. Hmmm....I may need to cast on to a new project. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What do you do?

What do you do when you make a knitting mistake?

Do you
a) immediately rip it back, fix it, and keep on knitting?
b) put it in timeout and pick up some other knitting?
c) completely stop knitting and don't even look at anything else?

I would've answered that I do option a at least some of the time, but lately I've been doing option c. Abandon knitting and fall asleep on the couch. Or maybe eat something.

I made a valiant effort with the CIC sweater. The neckline was ripped back and re-knit, only to have it look like this.

It's looking still too small, and the needles keep sliding out. (The perils of starting a project without collecting all the materials, then trying to improvise on the fly. I found a 16" circ for the neckline, but I have no needles to knit the sleeves unless I want to knit them flat. Or use the circs that are 2 sizes too small. Or unless I want to use the magic loop method with 24" needles which might make me crazy. Or spend $$ on needles to make a charity sweater.)

I actually put it down and immediately fell asleep (eating came earlier. There might have been chocolate involved.)

Today I moved on to my Big Basin socks. I thought I was ready to start the increases, but apparently I'm knitting the second sock tighter than the first. The swirls are not swirling at the same rate, and even though I did the same number of rows, it's not long enough. (Not that you can tell that from the picture, but trust me--I counted.)

That project was then abandoned.

After some time, I decided to work on a toddler sock pattern that I'm writing.

It actually was going good until I tried to take a picture.

That's right. I'm missing a sock. I'm pretty sure that I knitted it (well, 80% sure, things by now are a little fuzzy). I remember washing several of them and putting them over the registers to dry. This one was behind, but I still think that I knitted it. I've checked all the registers and it's not there. Where else could it be?


Rather than work on one of those projects, I decided to start something new.

Mitred mittens by Elizabeth Zimmermann. Need I say more?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New yarn

Guess where I went this weekend?

Here's a clue:

Yes, I went to Smiley's yarn in NYC. (The reason for the trip was a Sweet Sixteen birthday party, but we found time to squeeze in a shopping trip.) Even though the shop was a short distance from my MIL's house, I had never been there. Of course I forgot my camera, so unless I can download my one lonely picture from my camera, you'll just have to use your imagination on the insides.

I do have pics of my purchases, though. I looked for yarn that I haven't seen in person before. Not sure what I'll do with it all yet, but here it is:

This was DD#2's choice, and since I also bought the needles for her, she got started on a skinny scarf. The perfect thing to wear on St. Patrick's Day.

Fun trip, fun time with family, fun yarn to knit.

P.S. Happy Birthday, Nicole!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Failed the test

You know how when you knit a kid-sized sweater that the test of a too-tight neckline is to try it over your head? Unless it's for a small baby, it should go over your head?

Well, I did the test, and I failed.

Back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

All about the socks (and a present)

I received a nice surprise package in the mail this week. Amongst many fun items was this geode candle. (The candle is a tealight behind the geode that shines through.) My penguins had to move over to make a place for it.

This is the best I could do on showing a lit picture. It's very pretty and I'm been guarding it. ("Can we light it mom? Huh? Can we?" "No, only I can light it.")(I know how to pull rank when I have to.)

I been knitting socks this week. Here's my Big Basin sock that has since been completed. Alison got the name right--it's named after the Big Basin State Park way out in California that has the beautiful redwoods.

The pattern is also beautiful, and I would've immediately cast on for the second sock if I didn't get side-tracked by these:

They are drying socks that I'm knitting for CIC. (I am trying to design a pattern...we'll see how it goes...)(I wasn't trying to make Marguerite feel guilty, but wouldn't it be nice to have a CIC gansey sweater pattern? Check out Marguerite's blog for January, she's made 4 gansey toddler sweaters for CIC and they look fast and fun at the same time.)(Keep it in mind, Marguerite, when you're snowed in with nothing to do.... :)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Ode to my Missing Sock

For a couple of weeks now I planned on writing a poem called "Ode to my Missing Sock".

I got as far as:

Oh, lonely, missing sock, how I long for thee.

Then I got stuck.

Maybe I could look up a poem and follow the basic rhythms with "sock" language. The only ode that came to mind was "Ode on a Grecian Urn" that I'm sure I studied somewhere in junior high.
I looked it up. (and you can too, right here.)

Huh? When did I ever read that? And if I did, did I understand it? And did I pass the test on it? (Considering that I never failed English, I must've done okay. Or I had enough good grades to pull up that one.)

So then I looked up Ode, which lead me to Shelley, which lead me to Ode to the West Wind.

Giving up on that, I even tried Ode to Billie Joe which didn't provide the lyrics.

While googling Ode, I found that ODE also stands for Ordinary Differential Equation and thought "Great! Something else that I've totally forgotten about!"

In the meantime, I've been carrying on, wearing my other socks, but missing my lost one.

Yesterday, while doing the laundry, I decided to look down between the washer and dryer.

And there it was!

Hiding amongst the dust bunnies and stray papers (I wonder if that paper is important. Maybe I should look.)

It's now washed and has joined its mate.

Oh, lonely sock, how I've missed thee!
My cold foot welcomes thee with open toes
and my sock drawer has made a place for thee.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Your Final Answer

My brown tubes garnered a couple more good guesses, a couple of "I have no idea"s and at least one "tellmetellmetellme".

Here's one done and in place:

See them now?

They're chair socks!

They're protecting my wood floor since I didn't put down a rug. (The "tellmetellmetellme" person actually guessed this, but didn't think it was right. Too obvious? Too weird?)

The fish clue? It was a red herring. (hahaha. I crack myself up.) They just went in to that shape as I put them down and I only had to move about 3 of them to get it really fish-like.

I made 16 tan ones and 16 dark brown ones (see them waaaaay in the back.) They're tight enough to stay up without being tied on (I hope), and were much faster than knitting to make. (The kids think I should do the couch legs next.)

Speaking of knitting, here's my newest project: The Big Basin socks from 6soxKAL. The yarn is Shaefer Anne in some kind of pink colorway. I bought it last fall sometime at my LYS and it's just been waiting around for the right project.

The gusset increases are actually at the top of the instep and little baby cable ribs. They just make me smile.

I'm thinking I did a couple rows too much (meaning: I thought I should've, but asked for advice, and now it looks like I shouldn't have.) That's okay, though, it won't take long and I'll be back on track.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Get some perspective

My brown tubes have continued to multiply.

No, they aren't glove fingers, or a hot pad mitten or a felted anything.

Here's some perspective, as asked.

Any more guesses?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

More about my teal yarn...

After knitting my teal cardie, I had lots of yarn left over. Since I have my spinning wheel and all, and since the White Buffalo yarn is unspun, I decided to spin it, ply it, and knit with it. Why all that work, you ask?

The answer is the same as "Why do climb a mountain? Because it's there."

Anyway, here's the beginning. After spinning 2 bobbins, I started to ply them together, only to realize that the yarn was too fat to go into the bobbin hooks. Therefore it had to be spun by hand using my trusty "CD and dowel stick" spindle.

It was quite tedious, but it did its job. (A plying bobbin might be in my future, however.)

The resulting yarn looks like this. Very bulky, but it knits up quickly.

On a side note, DH came into the kitchen yesterday and saw my crockpot.

"Oh, are you dyeing yarn?" (He never even thinks about food in the crockpot now, it's all about the yarn.)

"And in the living room, what are the water bottles for?"

"To weigh down my just-plied-and-washed skeins, of course." I said.

Seeing me take them from the frig, he asked, "Do they need to be cold?"

"No, that would just be silly."

Friday, February 01, 2008


Last night we went to UMD v. UMiami girls basketball game. DD#2's Bball team got tickets and matching shirts. DD chose to wear the shirt.

The rest of our family chose to wear Miami colors. We were quite alone. (We counted 6 other Miami fans amongst the sea of MD fans. Good thing that Miami lost by such a large margin, 90-50, otherwise we might've been in trouble.)

DH was brave and sat in the middle of the Bball team, who loved harrassing him.

Even though DD wore her red shirt, she still cheered the loudest for Miami.

I saw this crazy hat that looked to be crocheted, but it turned out to be a net! (DH tried to get a better pic for me and ran after her, but she quickly went to the other side of the court. Do you think she knew she had a stalker?)

I started a CIC toddler sweater and got this much done:

(Finally some knitting content. That sure took awhile!)

It was a fun night!