Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August Roundup

(Wow, it's Aug. 31 already. If I hurry, I can list 2 new pairs of socks under the August Roundup. The pictures will be awful, but they'll make it under the wire.)

Week #3, socks #3:
Camo socks are done.

Week #4, socks #4 (which is this week, just in case you're keeping track.)

These were hard to finish since I kept running out of yarn. I dyed yarn to use to stripe the toe, but still ran out, so have decided to leave them looking a little bit different. Different is good, no?

On to the August Roundup. Other than these two pairs of socks, I knit...
2 more pairs of socks
2 hats
1 zag hat/mitten set.
All for charity.

There will always be some socks going on, but maybe it's time to finish a UFO. Or two.

What I did on my summer vacation, part 2

(This post was supposed to follow the last by just one day, but.... fill in the blank of things that got in the way....)

The kids have been back at school for a week already, and it's the time of year to write the dreaded "what I did on my summer vacation" essay.

On our trip to PA, we not only visited my college, but we took a side trip to Cedar Point Amusement Park in Ohio. DH, DS#1, and DD#1 joined us for this part of the trip. I learned my lesson the last time (that I'm way too old for roller coasters), and only rode 2 calm rides, but the kids all enjoyed the coasters, even waiting in line for 1.5 hours for the Dragster.

Other than that adventure, we mostly stayed home.

The younger 2 kids are deep into sports again. Both had some workouts over the summer, so it seemed like they never ended.

DS#2 made a select soccer team. His first tournament was this weekend. Can we say HOT?!? So hot, that I gave up even taking my knitting to the games.

DD#2 made the varsity field hockey team and has had two scrimmages. Yesterday's scrimmage was so hot that I was pouring sweat even though I was sitting in the shade.

(That's right, all these events taking place and not a picture to be had. Don't get me wrong...I took my camera. I just didn't take any pictures.)

Went to the dentist, ordered yarn (yes, the good did follow the bad), and put my Diana sock pattern on Ravelry. The computer got fried with all the times we lost power this summer. We switched around pieces and it got up and running with little effort. (On my part, at least. DH had a bit more to do. :)

Got a new tablecloth that goes well with my peach pie candle. (why I have a pic of this not any of the above, I don't even know...)

Oh, and I've been knitting.

But you know about that.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What I did on my summer vacation, part 1

In an attempt to catch up on what I did over the summer (and because I found all these pics on my camera that I didn't do anything with), I'm going to take you on a little tour.

At the beginning of July, my younger two kids and I took a trip to Western PA. While there, we visited my college.

There have been changes. The biggest of which is that they rerouted a main route to not go through the middle of the campus. Now it's up one block and goes right past this building:

This is special since it's the church where DH and I got married. It looks the same even though it's not being used as a church anymore.

(Note: all pictures were taken by DD#2. That is, unless she's in the picture...)

Here we are, my alma mater.

This archway is part of the whole new entrance that was building when the route was moved. (Notice how DS#2 doesn't ever get any shorter. Also, notice the fact that I wore my MDSW t-shirt for the occasion.)(Okay, I guess you can't see it, you'll just have to trust me that that's really what it is.)

This is Old Main which is the center of campus.

My dad taught in Old Main way up on the 3rd floor. There weren't (and still aren't, I believe) any elevators, so he got to climb this set of stairs several times every day. (And filtering a gaggle of students after a weekly chapel down these stairs wasn't so easy either.)

I lived in this dorm for the entire time I was there. (Live off campus? That's crazy! I want to just walk to the cafeteria and they can feed me. The end.)

For my freshman year I lived in the room right above the front door. It was the smallest room with 2 people. The perks? If we kept our window open we could hear every conversation that occurred on the front steps. (Whether we wanted to or not.)

My grandmother lived in the same dorm on the same floor (but never the same room), starting in 1922, the year that it was built.

All four years I worked in the library, doing various tasks through the years.

There were a set of these windows in each wing. (No story to go with this pretty stained glass. Just...hey! aren't these pretty?)

I worked there during the school year, but also for 3 summers. Debi and I, my cohort in crime (and also the person I credit with helping me pass Humanities 201 and 202), spent lots of time in this little room that hasn't changed a bit.

We did book binding and magazine joining (and lots of humanities cramming. She was good on essays and I was not and she would help me study before the tests.)

These are some of the magazines that we (most likely) actually joined together into books. (I can't remember what we called it, not exactly joining, but that's what we did. We would drill holes in a group of magazines and sew them together and then make brown paper covers for them. Debi was better at the lettering so she got that job. I was better at book binding, so that's what I got more of.)

(Is anyone still with me, or have you fallen asleep? Take heart, I'm almost done.)

Look! A swing in the middle of the campus. Somebody had a good idea with that.

We also went in search of our family tree. The college plants a tree when 4 generations of a family attended the college. Our tree was planted when my brother graduated, one year before me. (Maybe I should have cleaned it a bit before taking that pic, what do you think?)

Unfortunately, the actual tree died, so the plaque was moved to an existing tree.

So far, there hasn't been anyone from the fifth generation to go there, but with a 13 and and 15 yr. old at my house, it was time to show them around.

Tuesdays are for spinning (or for just talking about it)

Not only have I been knitting, but I have been spinning.

I bought a grab bag of mill end rovings from The Sheep Shed Studio awhile back and finally decided to spin it up. (Actually, from looking at the pictures I think it was just a grab bag--full of all sorts of bits and pieces.)

First I separated it into 2 types:

This one:

And that one:

On purpose, I decided to spin it imperfectly (stop that snickering). I was sort of trying for a thick and thin yarn, but that didn't happen. Lets just say that if there was a bump I just left it there.

Here are some singles:

Then here they are plied together.

I tried to ply in a new way: holding one ply in each hand and then joining and twist onto the bobbin. It looks completely uneven, which on a regular bobbin of spun yarn I would hate, but on this it achieves my goal of imperfect.

In a big way.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Again with the socks (and the snappy title)

I've been taking a break from hats....by knitting some socks.

Still hot outside, still have working air conditioning on the inside.

I have a plan (which I hesitate to mention since as soon as I mention it I'll stop following it. But I'm mentioning it anyway....)

I have a plan to knit one pair of socks per each week for M4A until... wait, I don't have an ending date... Maybe until I feel done? I don't know... Must work on this plan some more...

Anyway, these were Week #1's socks:

These are the Lacy Ribs and Cables House socks (Aug. pattern from 6SoxKAL). I used size 6 dpns and red Cascade 220 (and there's a lot leftover).

Nice, easy, fun pattern that makes a pretty sock.

These were Week#2's socks:

They're a mixture of leftover yarns knitted with a brown that I dyed to go with the variegated. 36 sts, size 5 dpns. (I think. I have a jumbled mess on my coffee table right now, but I think that's what I used.)

And here are Week#3's:

Since I'm still on week 3, I'm still in good shape. I have until Sat. to finish them and only half a sock to go.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's 100 degrees...

...time to knit some hats!

(or rather, I am so thankful for air conditioning!)

This little hat took a whole weekend to make. First, I tried a different pattern.


Then I changed over to this one.

And I probably knit this hat about 5 times. Several rows at a time, just to be tinked and tried again. I knew what it was supposed to look like, I just couldn't get it there. (I looked on Ravelry for errata or for hints from other knitters, but there wasn't any. So I resigned myself to the fact that it was just me.)

I don't know what was up with me and pattern reading, but we just we're getting along.

In fact, we were downright enemies.

So much so, that I could only handle plain mittens. No zigging or zagging was involved.

This was made with one skein of Patons classic wool. It's a big kid's size.

Then, I was done with hats, so I started a sock.

This is the Aug. pattern from 6SoxKAL called Lacy Ribs and Cables House socks. They used worsted weight so I figured it would be good for an M4A pair. I'm doing the pattern as written, but using size 6s for the body. (Which I guess that I'm not doing the pattern as written since it calls for 8s. Also, I did more pattern repeats on the leg. So never mind...I'm changing it up.) This makes them kid-sized and not adult-sized but I didn't want them too lacy.

I got this far on the foot when another hat beckoned me. And I strayed.

Hehe! Someone on M4A had posted a photo of a spiral hat and I loved it. She had followed a pattern but she told me the spiralling hint and I used it and it worked.

The number of stitches is one less than the number needed for the repeats so as you knit around the stitches are moved one over. (And because I'm left-handed, they go the other way around than a rightie's would.)

I used 92 sts on size 7 needles for ribbing. Increased 3 sts in last round of ribbing to 95 (one less than 96). Did 4 sts of pink then 4 sts of green around and around and around. I turned the hat inside out so that the floats were loose enough. Decreased at the top and added some i-cord loops!

Then, I had to do a cousin of the spiral. It's called the checkerboard. (The blocks are each 4 sts wide for the base--they just look different sizes.)

92 sts for ribbing with size 6 needles, increase to 96 sts on last row of ribbing. 4 sts of each color and 4 rows and then switch colors.

That was done last night. Now maybe I can get back to the socks.

P.S. I might have purchased some yarn....

Surino (50% Merino, 50% Suri Alpaca) sport weight, super clearance sale from KnitFitKnitting.