Mine, all mine (for now, anyway)

Ok, so I got distracted from knitting the second pair of sock summit socks after the first one was done

In Season by Melissa Morgan-Oakes, from the 2009 RSC

because I finally finished spinning all the yarn I need for the mittens I’m making. First to be knit is the pink (which you’ve seen before) and white (which totally hurt to spin after using the lovely stuff I’d dyed – soooo boring! and which you’ve not seen because it was too dull to photograph).

Oh yeah, I made that…

I’m not using a pattern for these so much as I’m referring to several for guidance and inspiration, and using Alice Starmore’s “Book of Fair Isle Knitting” for the colorwork patterns.

By the way, the several I’m using for reference include:

  • “Bird in Hand” by Kate Gilbert – to figure out about how deep the turned cuff should be (btw, on size 0 needles, I knit 6 rows before and after the turning row)
  • Latvian Mittens” by Lizbeth Upitis – to estimate how many stitches to cast on using size 0 needles (I used 72 )
  • “Andalus Mittens” by Heather Desserud, plus the two above, to figure out roughly how many stitches wide to make the thumb gusset (I tried the mitten on at 17, but it seemed a little tight. I’m going to go up to 19 to accommodate the padding caused by the floats)
Here they are so far.
I’ve been winging it a bit with these, picking out the stitch patterns as I need them. I really like the pattern on the back of the hand, although it’s hard to see in these photos because I’m only halfway through the first repeat and the fabric is curling onto itself. The thumb gusset and thumb itself are being designed on the fly as well…for every stitch/row I add, I put a couple more dots on my paper.
These are, in my opinion, the coolest mittens ever, because I dyed the wool (er, baby alpaca), I spun the wool, and I knit the wool. Plus, I’ve been doing TONS of math to try to make these work out; not good or correct math, but I’m trying (yesterday I tried to fit a four stitch pattern into 70 stitches evenly not once, not twice, but three times. In case you think you should give this a go, don’t bother – it doesn’t work).
I also finally finished spinning the yarn for the second pair of mittens (fingerless mitts, actually). This was exciting because I needed brown yarn, and wasn’t having any luck creating brown. After several tries, however, I got this:
Yeah, I made these too.
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On to Sock Summit Socks part Deux

I did a short celebratory dance on Saturday when I finished my HoarWars2010 socks, then moved on quickly to finish the Hedera socks that had been languishing sadly in a paper lunch sack since mid April (I got distracted). I just looked back thru my posts, and I notice that I haven’t even mentioned these poor little socks since April 5th, but I must have been knitting on them occasionally, because when I took them out on Saturday afternoon – seriously, mere moments after I’d finished the other ones – I only had two pattern repeats to do before starting on the toe. I completed the knitting part on Monday at lunch, but I didn’t have my darning needle with me, so I couldn’t graft the toe closed.

In fact, I still haven’t grafted the toe closed. Hold on, I’ll be right back.

…almost done…

…DONE!

Hedera socks, pattern by Cookie A, from knit. sock. love. Knit with Knit Picks Imagination Hand Painted sock yarn, Make Believe colorway.

So anyway, on Monday, at lunch, after I’d finished all but the grafting for Hedera, I started on my second pair of Sock Summit Socks. Admittedly, these ones are kind of cheating, since they’re anklets, but they have fussy little cables that, although charming and lovely, are a pain in the butt to knit.

In Season, pattern by Melissa Morgan-Oakes, from the 2009 RSC (yeah, I’m lagging a bit on my RSC kits). Yarn is Heirloom from Blue Moon Fiber Arts (sent with the kit, but not available on their site. I just checked.)

They’re further along now than they were in the photo above, but I’m going to wait to show them to you again until I’m at least done with the heel. By my calculations, I have to finish these over the weekend in order to have any hope of finishing a third pair by the end of July. Ok, I’m off to knit!

Next!!!

I have to tell you that I’m surprising myself.

This is the second PAIR of socks that I’ve knit for Christmas this year, and the one I finished last night marks the fifth single sock of the season.

I’m on a roll.

The question is, what to do next? I’ll let you know what I decide later. For right now I’m resting on my laurels.

100th Post!

Welcome, one and all, to my 100th post! Today, I have tales to tell, some devastating, some encouraging, but all true.

First let me tell you about the sock (this would be the first of two Raven Swirl Socks). Do you remember last year when I kept hitting knots in my Jitterbug sock yarn? And when I ran out of yarn with just a few short toe rows to go on the gold Fascine Braid socks? Or, just the other day, when I broke my yarn (totally my fault, that) just as I was finishing one of the Rogue Roses socks? Well, can you believe it happened again? I had 20 toe-rows to go (that’s a convenient little poem, don’t you think?) when I hit a knot. I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever knit a sock out of a continuous piece of string… The silver lining in this little cloud is that I somehow, without paying any particular attention to anything more than ensuring I had a long enough tail to secure the ends, managed to stop knitting and then start again at the same place (give or take a bit) in the color repeat.

Next, and related to the story above, is that I did indeed finish the sock during lunch. I even got the ends woven in. Then, once back at the office, I found a person whose foot should (theoretically) fit said sock and asked her to try it on. Hallelujah! The design does indeed twist around the leg rather magically, even though when the sock is off the design travels straight up from toe to cuff. YAY!

So with the completion of this sock, my Christmas knitting stands at….1 scarf/shawlette and 4 socks (although only one pair) completed. I still have a long way to go, but it’s only July, and the sock above only took about three days to knit.

My final story is a combination of victory and tragedy. Helena at Clever Knits announced the August Knit-a-Long, a triangle scarf/shawl, and I decided to go for it. I’ve been looking for a project that would fit the Organic Wool I bought last year, and this seemed to be just right. The pattern calls for Aran weight, and the yarn I was planning to use is DK, which translates to a needle size adjustment.

I’ve knit a couple of swatches with this yarn already in an attempt to figure out what it wants to be, so I could see pretty easily that size 8 needles made nice, neat, pleasantly sized stitches; and I knew that I owned size 8 needles (I checked on Ravelry and found several projects where they were used). Of course, even after searching through my knitting bag, my needle case, and my wool chest, I could only find the 16″ circulars (although I did find two sets. Please don’t ask…). According to Ravelry, I’ve knit two sweaters on needles of this size, and I’m quite sure I didn’t use the needles I’d located – at least not for anything but the sleeves. So, somewhere, still buried in the yarn chest, possibly stuck in the middle of a long forgotten (and not Ravelried) project, are my long size 8 circulars. I know that the only way to find them is to go purchase another set (this is why, in my needle case, I have 4 sets of size 10, and 3 sets of 10.5 needles). But for now, I started in on the KaL, and here’s what I’ve got so far.

Springtime Bandit in O-Wool Legacy DK

According to the pattern, I have two more body repeats to go, then I get to do the edging. But I’m afraid that I won’t be happy with the length if I do it this way, not to mention I’ll still have a lot of this green yarn left over. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll find my other needles so I can figure out what to do. For now though, I’m loving this pattern so much that I might just make a couple!

I’ve had a great time with my first 100 posts, and I’m looking forward to the next couple of thousand 😉 . To anyone who comes around just to see what’s up, and to those who leave comments for me, thank you! Have a good day!

Colorful Ravens

Since there were no suggestions as a result of my last post, I took matters into my own hands and have cast on several new projects. The first is the mittens from the Frost Tapestry pattern set (by Robin Melanson on Twist Collective), but while the black alpaca yarn (Alpaca with a Twist, left over from the Alpaka Tunic) I have is lovely, I think the cream (Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light, left over from the  Willoughby scarf) may be a bit thin, so I’m waiting to go to the yarn shop and see if they have something more compatible.

So, with that project put quickly on hold, I started another pair of Christmas socks, again digging into my Rockin’ Sock Club pattern stash and picking Raven Swirl Socks by Cookie A, a pattern I’ve yet to even attempt. I paired the pattern (which originally came with yarn called “Blackbird”, a very dark colorway) with another skein of Trekking XXL in colors that remind me of rainbow sherbet.

The thing is, the lace panels (on the left and right of the ribs in the photo above) are supposed to twist down the leg from the cuff to the heel. But mine aren’t twisting. The ribs are moving, but the lace is perfectly stationary. I’ve read the directions 6+ times (which shows how dedicated I am to not ripping these back), and I can’t find where, or indeed if, I’m screwing up.

Please, please, for the love of all things woolly, leave me a comment if you’ve knit these socks and can attest to the fact that this is how they look before the heel is turned and gusset is installed.

Please?

Socks, Revisited

Yesterday, after I’d unpinned my Annis and showed it to you all, Max and I sort of goofed off for the rest of the day. We visited Karen at Clever Knits, we had lunch, we painted… Well, Max painted, and I stood at the ready with a damp cloth to wipe up spills. No discernible housework was done, nor was any knitting.

When my lovely husband came home, we made preparations to go out to dinner. It is our habit to retire to the bookstore down the street for coffee after we’ve had our fish & chips and/or curry, and as I was getting ready to go out I realized I had nothing to knit  on if we followed our usual modis operandi. I quickly threw open my yarn chest (after moving all the crap I have stacked on top of it onto the bed) and located some sock yarn. I have several pair of socks that need to be knit as Christmas gifts, and more than several skeins of yarn that will work well in this endeavor, so finding my materials wasn’t much of a challenge.

The challenge came in deciding which socks to knit. I was initially calmed by the fact that, since we were going to the bookstore I’d be able to find a pattern without much fuss. Then I happened to glance over at the table where my knitting books are stored. I have two sock books already, and all of the patterns from last year’s Rockin’ Sock Club. There was really no need to buy more.

From my well stocked binder of RSC patterns I pulled the “Rogue Roses” pattern. This happens to be the only one I’ve actually finished so far, and I love these socks. So I’m knitting them again, using Trekking XXL (color 326 – how creative) and size 2 needles. I have one more pattern repeat to go before I start the heel of the first sock, and I’m very excited about how they’re progressing thus far.

I just need to keep my momentum going, and I’ll have my holiday knitting finished in no time!!

Oh yeah!

What a way to start the weekend (I only work half days on Fridays)!! First, last night I finally got a FedEx tracking number for my wheel. The last update stated it left Syracuse, NY, at 7:30am East Coast time. Oh, I am SO excited. The only down side is that it’s currently scheduled for delivery on Thursday, which is my knit night. I haven’t decided if I’ll be able to focus on my friends and knitting knowing that my wheel is here, still packed in its box.

Also yesterday, I received my July Rockin’ Sock Club shipment. The yarn is wonderful, the pattern is cool, but the best part is the “extra” they threw in this time. It’s a bumper sticker that says, “No Coffee, No Workee”. I didn’t realize the ladies at Blue Moon knew me personally!! I can’t wait to post it on the door to my office!

Finally, the coup de grace:

Next up, sleeves! But first, I have to find either my short, size 8, circular needles or my size 8 DPNs.  Wish me luck!