Thursday, April 30, 2009

April Roundup

Where did April go? Wow, that was fast.

Let's see what I knit in April:

1. I "fimished" 3 pairs of charity socks. (That typo is what I get for not wearing reading glasses when I proofread.) The red/white/blue pair have been blocked and are now approximately the same size. Next time I'll try to grab all needles of the same size.

2. A somewhat secret project for my new niece. A picture should be coming soon. (It's ready for the mail, so as soon as I think it got there then I can post.)

3. Spring Thaw socks for me. As beautiful as they are, they made me not want to do twisted ribbing for a very long time.

4. Walking in the Maize short socks. For me, again. The real test will be if they can stay on my feet properly when I'm at work. I'll test them out this week.

5. The Lucy bag. It's been felted and dried. Look at the size difference:

I tried to get more pictures, but I guess I need to wait for daytime. I can't tell you how much this design tickles me.

This must've been a "for me" month. That's okay. But I'm ready to do some "for others" next month.

Off work

Today I'm off work. Meaning, my real job, but also I'm not doing a lot at home. The work I've been doing at home consists of laundry and catching up on emails.

For those of you with kids that do sports, you know how challenging it is to have a clean uniform. (Well, that's true for my job too. I guess the statement should read: keeping up with my laundry is a challenge.) This season, DS#2 is playing baseball and soccer, and DD#2 is playing softball. Not only do I have to get the uniform clean, but also the socks. And, the biggest challenge is finding the socks. I need to wash a red PAIR, a green PAIR, and a black PAIR.

I should point out here that DS and DD do help at times, but when it's game day (3 hours countdown), I can't wait for them to get home from school to start the laundry.

In between the laundry, I've been trying to freecycle a bunkbed. Freecycling a great tool to get rid of stuff, especially stuff that's bigger than you want to haul yourself. I'm having trouble today, though, connecting with people who want it and can come when I'm home. I've been contacting them and then hovering around the computer waiting for a reply. It's like waiting for water to boil: it never seems to happpen soon enough.

In between laundry loads (since the washing machine has a shorter cycle than the dryer I could sneak this in), I felted my Lucy bag. It's now drying, but here a picture as the way it was pre-felting.

There is a long strap and a short strap and the long strap is 40" long. I felt (haha) like I was making a whole scarf just to do the one strap.

Then, I thought you'd like to see DS#1's recent craft.

I needed to borrow his car (round robin car problems at our house. Good thing DS is home with an extra car and only allowed to do local driving.) I went to bed before he got home, so he actually made this pompom as a keychain and hung it over his doorknob for me to find the next morning.

Really. He made the pompom just so I could find his key. (He wanted to prove he was paying attention when I showed him how when I made his ski hat pompom a few months ago.)

Well, better get back to my laundry. I have to focus on finishing two loads as a lonely red sock didn't make it into the first one.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

At long last

At long last I have a knitting post.

Such as it is.

Here are the socks that I finished in Cincinnati. I had most of one sock done last year before it went into time out. It took maybe 4 days to finish them. (Maybe 3 since I wore them one day before coming home.)

Walking in the Maize pattern
size 1 dpns
Brown Sheep Cotton Fine yarn. (One skein would've just barely done it. Or not. I don't know since I wanted the two toned effect anyway. All I know is that it would've been close.)

I'm not sure I'm going to like them. First, I have to handwash them (which I don't do for hardly any of my other socks.) The result is wrinkly since I can't be bothered to block them nicely.

Second, the cuff doesn't cling to my foot. I've worn them for a day in my Mary Janes and they didn't cause any problems. The test will really be to wear them inside my sneakers at work all day. If they still don't fall down then they should be fine.

However, I have a shirt to match, so I might wear them either way.

Just last night I finished my leaf socks. They're actually called Spring Thaw Socks by Cat Bordhi from Knitter's Magazine Summer 2008. I used size 2 dpns and 2 skeins of KnitPicks Essential Grasshopper Kettle Hand-Dyed sock yarn. I didn't really change any directions. (How could I? The pattern is way too complicated for me to do that.)

I take that back. I was supposed to do another leaf repeat for both sides. (These have mirroring leaves, but the other side has two leaves each.) They were plenty long enough.

Twisted ribbing for the whole pair of socks about killed me, though. And either the yarn was splitty or the ribbing made it extra hard but it was a test in endurance for me.

By the end, I had the leaf pattern memorized and I've gotten comfortable enough with the sewn bindoff that I did that at DS#2's baseball game. (Where he pitched for the first time. One really good inning and one bad. But then he hit an over-the-fence homerun to tie the game and the next kid hit a double and reached home on errors so we won. And he came home with a good feeling.)

This is a toe up sock where the gusset increases are done underneath leading up to the heel.

I haven't wore them yet, but they seem very comfortable (but maybe not in 90 degree weather.)

Having a slight reaction to all that twisted ribbing, I cast on for a quick project on Thursday night.

It looks like a blob, but it will be a felted bag. (A soccer mom asked me what I was going to use it for. I said "because it's cute" which totally doesn't answer the question from her point of view, but totally did from mine (even though it's not grammatically correct). I can find a use for it later--who doesn't need an extra bag--but for now it's just cute.)

I'm using the Lucy bag pattern with Paton's classic wool in grey and pink that I got on clearance. So far only 2 skeins of yarn have been used but I will need a third for the straps.

It's been nice to have some mindless knitting, and nice to have some new socks!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The annual flower show

Here's my annual flowers post. This is the sum of the flowers that grow in my yard. So, Janice, don't be jealous, but enjoy them. They'll only last for a week and then my yard will be back to the drab nothingness.

Pictures are by DD#2, as is becoming a tradition. They've been downsized, but otherwise completely unretouched. She's just that good as a photographer. (Now if only she was that good at cleaning her room!)

The azalea bush has about one more day before it's at its peak. I never trimmed it last year so it's big and bushy.

(We almost got a picture of a big black snake that was in it today. It was shoed from the back yard and it slithered around to the front and climbed into the bush. Good thing DH was home to deal with it, or I might've had to call on my snake-killer neighbor!)

The lilac bush peaked a couple of days ago.

And a little violet was found.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I'm back from the Ohio adventure. DS was a good patient and is recovering well. I spent way too much time eating and watching TV. However, I didn't seem to knit more than normal which doesn't make sense.

I do have two finished items, though. A pair of socks (that will be shown later after I've had a chance to wash them), and a baby thing.

Here's a bit of a picture of the finished item that I made my new niece. I'll post a better picture after I've mailed it, in case I spoil the surprise. (Hopefully I can mail this one before it gets too small.)

The other thing we brought home is DS's new elbow. Check it out in his new "RoboCop" brace. (Everything's fair game for a blog--but I promised to cut out his head.)

One week down, three more weeks to go and then it comes off. It'll be a year of recovery, but so far, so good.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

One lost needle

While I spent yesterday switching back and forth between 3 projects, today was spent with only one. They're the UFO socks that are very short, cotton summer socks. I spent most of the day knitting them at the surgery center where DS had his Tommy John surgery. The surgery went very well and I actually watched it live on a monitor. He has a DVD of it so when he's well enough he can see exactly what was done. It was very weird in an interesting way. OR Very interesting in a weird sort of way. I wasn't sure I wanted to see anything about it, but I guess I'm glad I did. However, I won't be cooking roast beef anytime in the near future. 'Nuf said.

I was shuffled back and forth between the different waiting rooms and at one point I realized I had lost a knitting needle. (A new Knitpicks shiny metal dpn needle.) I asked the nurse if she could go back and look at the last place I'd been.

Excuse me, I know you're taking care of people who've just had operations on their elbow/knee/shoulder and are doing really important work right now, but....could you look for my knitting needle for me?

It was found down the side of the couch. (That would hurt if sat on. I'm glad I didn't just let it go as I was tempted.)

Son doing well, knitting needle found, and lots of knitting time for me. A good day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Good knitting week

This week should be a good knitting week. I'm away on a trip for 5 days with not much to do but sit around. However, I only brought 3 knitting projects. I'm a bit worried. Will that be enough?

I'm away on a trip with DS#1 for his elbow surgery. (edited to note: I had originally wrote DH#1 which is totally wrong. I only have one Husband while I have 2 Sons. And it's the son with the surgery.) We shared a suitcase since I'll have to manage it by myself on the way back. We were going to use a smaller suitcase, but I really needed to bring a second pair of shoes. You know, the ones that show off my socks. I could've gotten by with just tennis shoes, but that's just not as much fun. (I also needed to fit in a couple of boxes of Pop Tarts and some pumpkin bread. Plus the knitting projects that took the most time to decide on. Also, sharing the suitcase means giving him a small spot for his stuff.)

The main project that I need to finish is for my new niece. It's actually the second project that I've made since the first one got too small while I procrastinated on mailing it. It was really cute, too. But I'll save it and instead make something that might actually be big enough.

The other two projects are both socks. I'm still working on the second sock of the leaf socks and have reached the first leaf. This is my project when I need something to do besides st st.

I also brought a pair of UFO socks that I started last spring.

All three projects have been worked on today. It's a good way to keep the boredom from striking. (For me, not for you. I realize that this is a boring post. Somehow the lack of pictures is throwing me off. That, and the fact that I'm using a laptop with the built-in mouse. It's the minor things that get to me. So, sorry.)

So, we'll see how much I can get done this week.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Nuttin' but socks

Lately, I've been knitting nuttin' but socks.

First, I fimished this pair, which is almost big enough for me.

Red worsted and variegated sock yarn held together, size 7 (or 6?) needles, 36 sts, 36 rows.

Then this pair.

Three colors of worsted knitted using a spiral stripe. Size 4 dpns, 28 sts. (At one point of time, or maybe the whole way through, I mixed in a size 5 needle. See how much bigger the right sock is than the left one? I'm hoping that blocking will fix that problem....)

I then made this pair as I continued to use up my stash. (Though this pair is pushing the edge of acceptable almost into the "just-too-ugly" realm. )

Again, several colors of worsted weight, size 4 dpns (all four of them), 28 sts, 28 rows.)

I stopped with the charity socks and moved on to mine.

My first leaf sock, which is not the real name but I'm still too lazy to look it up, is now complete and the second one is started.

See the leaves spiraliing around the sock? I had to pay enough attention to the knitting that I didn't have to do a massive frogging. Let's see if that'll be true for the second one.