Sunday, December 31
I was cooking dinner thinking about Across the Pond's blog and the fact that she knit 26 pairs of socks this year! 26!!! Apparently Wendy over at Wendy Knit's did 29. They knit things other than socks as well. That is crazy!!! They must not have kids.
As I poured in noodles figuring the logisitics of it all I started counting my own projects. You know how many I did? 22. Yeah, 22 completed knitted projects in 12 months. My FIRST year of knitting and I knit 22 things!! I am impressed.
I managed to do:
1 Tiny Bird's free pattern soaker
5 Warm Heart Woolies wraps
1 pair of LTK Picky Pants Longies
1 pair of LTK Picky Pants capris
1 pair of socks (they didn't match...two seperate socks but since two were done it counts as a pair :) )
1 tarot card bag
3 fish from Toys to Knit
1 tie for a dress up box
I am so thrilled to see I was that productive. Yes most were small projects and simple but that's a lot considering it's my first year and I have a small toddler. :)
I decided to try toe up socks and was hating it. Short row toes suck. Somone (actually 2 someones) pointed me in the direction of the magic cast on (it's on Knitty...I think it's Judy's Magic Cast On) and oh dear god I am in heaven! It is so unbelievably easy and quick and nice to look at. I tried the short row toe from Knitty's universal toe up sock pattern for FOUR days occasionally trying the yo short row toe from Purly White's blog. It was so atrocious! I cast on this afternoon and despite a foul mood and heathen children I am now onto the main portion of the foot. I was going to try a simple pattern but opted not to. I think I may have to start over though. It seems to loose fore my liking but we shall see. I'm actually looking forward to restarting my mother in laws socks. I have two mistakes early on but I don't think you can notice them. As I kept knitting they sort of corrected themselves if that's possible. :)
Oh so pretty huh?
Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 27
Yeah. I suck. The only things that got finished were the turtle for my nephew and a tarot card bag made on the spur one night for the husband. I did finish the wraps for the triplet mom by washing them, finally sewing on velcro, and are wrapped all pretty like waiting to be mailed. Oh yeah. I need to lanolize them. Still.
Yeah. I suck. :)
STATS: Pattern is here at Hippy Mama Knits (scroll down).
Yarn is Cascade Stripes sock yarn doubled.
Total knit time: one evening.
The husband seems to like it although he wasn't overly joyous. :) He did get it early though so that could have put a damper on it all.
Part of my slowed down knitting was due to the fact that I got my replacement spindle. I quickly spun up a 2 ply and that seemed to consume me. I even tea dyed one of the singles so not only did I whip up a new yarn pretty quick I have color in there! I was going to do a scarf but I only have 2 ounces and thats not nearly enough. I do have some of the tea dyed single left (oddly enough...I had split the roving in the middle...) and I plan on using that for trim but even with that. Not enough for a scarf. I think I may do a hat. I do have pictures but true to it's nature Blogger isn't letting me post them right now so it will come later on.
I still need to finsih the doll for my neice. I cast on for my MIL's socks using the Peaks andValleys pattern from Knit Socks! and I have started a pair of longies for my family in need. Ugh. Sigh. I have a feeling I won't get around to "me" knitting until Feb.
Saturday, December 23
I have done everything BUT finish up my holiday knitting. I have done Sheldon and a tarot card bag and 8 of 10 panels for a starfish and THAT. IS. IT. I have cast on for multiple socks (read three toddler ones and one adult one) and frogged them all. The adult one was frogged part way through the gusset!! I tried it on. It didn't fit. It got frogged. I broke a needle prior to frogging. Yeah, damn size 2 needles. Super strong those ones are.
I have been busy though doing yarn things that don't involve frogging. I just finished up spinning a hank of splendidness.
(Ok I lied. There is a picture BBUT this is an old one that has been conviently put into Photobucket. This is the only picture..I swwar.) This is the roving prespinning. I split it in half (although I forgot to do it until some had already been spun. Oddly enough I had more of the color I expected to have less of...) I did one ply in the white that you see there and the other ply I tea dyed. Like I said, I had more of the tea dyed single than the white. Which is odd cause the white was spun first. Who knows. I suck at that whole even amount of yardage thing. Doesn't help that I usually forget to do it until AFTER some has been spun. When I first got this stuff it was like butter...creamy and soft and golden. By the time I got around to it though it had been hastily packed and stuck in a Uhaul which was then snowed on and basically frozen and then crammed into a freezing garage in a box that was left open. It wasn't so soft anymore. Or golden. Or creamy. Eh. I think I felted the dyed portion a bit.I had forgotten I needed a mordant and had gone about the whole business of heating and slightly boiling it. Then I added the vinegar and redid it. It's been heat loved for sure. I wasn't sure I liked it as I was plying it together bbut I think it will knit up very pretty. I like it more and more as I look at it. I have a slight amount left over of the brown and I think I'll use that as trim of some sort on some project. Not sure what it will become yet. I have a lot more than I thought I wouold which is always nice.
I am off to bed where I am sure I will have demonic dreams concerning my lack of holiday knitting. But damn if I don't have some lovely handspun!
Monday, December 18
I did get the shorter needles this time around. The original sets I got I had one long set and it was awkward. I think part of the reason I broke one of my 2's was because of the length. There was too much needle for it too be that thin. I think I am going to frog the sock for my mother in law and start them on the 2's. While I am loving using my own handmade needles I think they are slightly too big for how unthick the yarn is. It's not making a very dense or warm looking sock.
I finished up some more gifts. I finished the wand for the stepson but it looked totally bad (as in perverse :) ) so I frogged it. I am almost done with his starfish..I have three more panels and then onto seaming and stuffing. I finished up a tarot card bag for the husband. He actually got it last night. I was so excited (this is the first official thing I've made him since I learned to knit) and I wanted to give it to him. I think he likes it. Not sure. :) I want to make him a moth/nose area thingy so he can walk in the mornings. I think I am going to have to wing it but basically a headband for his face so he can keep his breath warm (breathing issues). I have no pictures since the wee wee one hid the camera. It's done in the Cascade Stripes sock yarn though. I doubled it up and used the pattern over at Hippy Mama Knits blog. I like the way it turned out. I did make it a tad shorter than I would like. The deck fits in it and everything but it's a tight squeeze length wise. It sits right below the ribbing and drawstring. I could have done two or three more rows and been just fine.
I'm slacking with all the other gifts. I am almost tempted to do a wine cozy real fast. We are headed to my uncles for Christmas and one happens to be quite the wine lover. Hmmmm....off to spin.
Thursday, December 14
I finished up Sheldon (from Knitty) last night for my nephew! I'm surprised at how easy it was. I know basic crochet so the single crochet was easy. I did end up taking out the second row of crochet though. I tseemed like too much and being un-used to it my links were really tight and pulled the attachment panel in too much. It is prettier to have the two rounds but functionality over rules. I love the attached i cord!!! I usually avoid i cord since I have a hard time making a pretty one but this was really nice and easy. The pattern calls for you to bind off and then sew the end piece down. I thought it looked freaking ugly so instead when I got to the beginning piece I picked up two stitches in that and continued the i cord. When I bound off I tied the yarn UNDER the i cord and when I weaved it in I pulled it up under the icord and through the top (so the needle came out the top of the icord/shell area) and the result is a seamless spot! Well almost. I can see where it ends but I chalk it up to being that I was the knitter so I can see the disruption in the flow of the knitting. My nephew won't notice I'm sure. :) The patern pictures never really show his nose so when it came time to do the finsihing there I opted for a kitchener stitch. I like it although the pictures make it look more pointy than it really is. The head is slightly under stuffed. When you stuff for the second time (it's done in two parts) your opening is insanely small! I used a pencil to push the stuffing through and even that was slightly on the large side. The shell top seemed to be over stuffed at first copnsidering they tell you to stuff lightly so his body can fit but now that he is in and everything is said and done I think it's fine.
Sheldon the Turtle pattern from Knitty
Size 3 and 4 needles
Knit Picks Wool of the Andes wool
Total knitting time: about two days worth spread out over three days due to insanity at the homestead.
Wednesday, December 13
First up is the triplet wraps. Knit on size 6 straights using a free pattern. I frogged back on the orange one and added length to it since it was short. I'm worried it won't fit right since the front is technically neworn....we shall see. I blocked them correctly for the first time and it kind of flattened them out. It bugs me but I don't think it'll affect function. I hope not. They are just waoiting for some velcro and then off they go!
This is Sheldon from Knitty. I'm making him for my nephew for Christmas. He's almost done!! This is such a fun and quick knit! I have one last piece that needs knitted and then its on to finishing. My sister originally had wanted me to make him a monkey but changed her mind with some persuasion. ;) I'm glad. I'm really liking this pattern. The shell cmoes off his body too!
I need to finish my neices doll and clothes and then my MIN stuff. I'm actually doing this all a lot faster than I thought I would. I did go from three MIN's to one. I felt a need to focus on just this one and so I am. The family will be getting a lot of knitted goods. I'll work on her things last. She is out of town and won't be back until the beginning of the year. That works great for me since it'll give me time to get her a good box set up.
I started on a sock for my mother in law and despite my hate of it right now I think it'll turn out nicely. I originally was going to knit it up for Christmas but her birthday is in January and I thought to minimize my stress I could just do it for then. I think that will be a better idea. The color of the yarn is what gets to me. It's pooling oddly. One side is a nice even color change and another does step like switching and then another side side does stripes! I don't want to frog and recast on but if it doesn't change I think I will go nuts!
Ok, off to finish Sheldon.
Saturday, December 9
My hi-lo Schacht spindle is broken. May it rest in pease. I have had the spinning urge lately but have avoided it due to holiday knitting. About a week or so ago I went to a knitting party where I found an odd piece of wood and a hook in my knitting bag. Not sure where it came from I tucked it away and went about my business. Once home I pulled out the spindle and gasped. The top (the part where the hook screws into the shaft) had split in half. I'm not sure..I have a feeling it happened when things got haphazardly chucked into the closet now know as my knitting closet. One can never know. I'm tempted to glue it back together but I know it won't work.
LUCKILY, I called the store I bought it at and explained what happened (minus the closet and the throwing of items). They said as long as I have my recepit (which I do!) I can return it and get a new one or my money back. So I searched for all of five minutes in a totally unorganized manner and you know what? I can't find the freaking recepit!!! I know I have it but I can't locate it. The stupid place does hand written ones to boot. Do you know how many things have writing on it in my house! I have a feeling I may become very angry over this situation here shortly.
I have been composing today's post in my head since about 11 this morning. I have wanted to blog all day long but felt guilty at the thought of doing something frivolous like that when I should be knitting. So instead of blogging I googled knitting blgos and browsed through a ring while I knitted. I didn't get much done but at least I was being knitter-ly. If that's even a word.
In a fit of non-motivated knitting I cast on socks for my mother in law. When I was organizing my closet the other day all my glorious sock yarn was staring me down. A short bit ago I bought Mountain Colors Superwash in Gold Rush. Once I had made up my mind to knit my mother in law some socks (back at Thanksgiving) I decided that this yarn was destined for her. Not so sure now. I'm not liking the color. Due to some very informative ladies over at MDC I was informed that while it is superwash I can indeed dye it and that to make the colors more earthy like I had originally thought they were I should tea dye them. I'm considering it. We shall see. I only worked on them for a minute (about an inches worth of ribbing) last night and have done mnaybe a total of three rounds on them today. I'm not sure I cast on enough stitches though. Doe to various things, diabetes included, my mother in law has some thick legs. It looks like they will be wide enough and it is ribbing after all so it will stretch but I don't want to send her something to small. She's paranoid enough about her size I don't need to make her think her legs are fat you know?
I have been plugging along on Christmas knitting (the socks were part of that until I remembered her birthday is in January so they are now birthday socks) and will soon have pictures to show for it. The knitting blogs did a lot for my motivation actually. It was nice to see other people's knitting. As much fun as I am having doing all these various projects I am thinking more and more about a year of selfish knitting. Just family stuff...mainly socks and diaper covers I am thinking. Maybe toys for the munchkins. I don't know. I am feeling the knitting love but this pressure to produce something isn't what I want. I'm not liking that part of it. I have a sneaking suspiscion that part of that pressure is my fault. I over burdened myself with promises of knitted goods. While I am more than happy to do it I seem to forget that I am not a super speedy knitter and that not only do I have a toddler running rampant I now have a 6 year old boy. Doesn't always make for productive knitting.
Friday, December 8
Contrary to what I said I am not currently knitting. I am making the food I said I was but there is no knitting done. :) Instead I have uploaded a aphoto, changed the name, and rotated it. My yarn closet. I FINALLY have some sort of place to store it all where I can see it on a daily basis. This makes me very happy! Not all of it is knitting related. There is a shelf of fabric and hidden behind boxes and under boxes is my sewing machine and serger. The bags on the wall hold needles and yarn. The boxes....more yarn. To give myself credit though....the one large Shur Savings box has maybe four things in the bottom of it. I'm just lazy. :)
I was talking to a friend today and relized just how much knitting I need to do. So I am going to make up broccoli and cheese and get some Pepsi and attempt to knit something. Here's to hoping the tornados in my house are calm long enough that it's productive knitting!
Thursday, December 7
Now...self imposed agony? you ask. My sock, the Art yarns one, has yet to receive it's mate. I have put myself on self imposed SSS. I have so much knitting to do that honestly finishing up a sock for MYSELF would just be silly. We finally moved into a house after deciding to find one ourself (read...I was right all along). I got my yarn unpacked and am in the process of organizing it all up. It has been heaven! Anyhow, I am finally settled in and have been bitten by the knnitting bug once again. I have a crazy insane knitting list right now and a sock is at the bottom. It's been tough. All my fabulous sock yarn is calling to me from my closet. I you listen carefully you can hear it through the screen......"knit me! knit me!"
I have finally finished up the triplet wraps. yes it has taken a long time and yes I am a slacker. :) I am actually not offically done yet. I finished up the green one and decided that the first one (the orange one) needed to be fixed. It ended up being too short so I frogged back my eight rows of twisted ribbing and went about fixing it. I JUST arely finished up. It's still a bit shorter than the green one (and probably shorter than the third) but not by much. It had been about 1-1.5 inches too short before hand. Now I'd say it's maybe 2 or 3 rows off. I decided to stop since I was adding length to the back of the wrap..so techinically the rise. I didn't want to send a wrap with a rise way too long that it over ruled the fact that it was a size newborn. I still wanted it to fit. It looks like it will. I am almost done with the increases on the third one and once that's done with it's 16 rows to the finish line! Then washed, blocked, and lanolized. Followed by some sewing. I was worried at first because of the first wrap but now seeing the two (with the first fixed up) I have faith they'll still fit. These babies have some good stretch to them as well which helps a lot. Heck, my 18 month old can still wear a size small in this pattern.
Moving here I have met a fellow MDCer. She actually lives around the corner from me and we see each at least once a day. It's pretty cool. But the best part? She's a knitter. :) I have some yarn from the first Magic Ball yarn swap that I have been dying to use since I got it. As I organized my closet the other day I found it and wanted to use it. Nothing has seemed right though. Then it dawned on me! This fellow MDCer...she's an LTk hoochie and has the pilot cap pattern. I grabbed a coordinating solid color since I wasn't sure the yarn was enough and asked her to whip me one up. She did and did so quite quickly! This hat fits so perfectly and looks so freaking cute on the wee ones head! I do have a picture but it'll be added later...dumb Blogger and all.
Now..on to my list. I need to get it somewhere I can't lose it!
*finish the last of the 3rd wrap
~sew on velcro, wash, lanolize, and mail
*Holiday Helper wraps
*finish doll for C.
~start clothes for doll
*start monkey for I.
*start socks for MIL
*finish scarf for moi
*finish hat and wand for DSS
*start starfish for DSS
Once all that is said and done I can finally work on selfish stuff. That all has to be done by the end of this month (!!!!) so I am thinking of doing at least a pair of socks a month starting at the beginning of the year. I think I can do it. Right now it's totally se;fish but I'm sure I'll make someone else a pair. :)
Thursday, November 30
Needles: Size 3 Clover Bamboo dpn's (4 of the 5) Yarn: Art Yarns Super Wash in unknown color. Color number on tag of skein is different than color noted on the website. Pattern: Top down generic pattern using the directions in The Knitters Handbook of Patterns for multiple gauges.
In other knitting news, I frogged the mystery WIP. I pulled it out the other day when there was a sudden onset of crappy cold weather. As I looked it over to remember where I was at pattern wise the yarn screamed at me to not continue on. I am having such a hard time using this yarn for something. It has yet to make up it's mind as to what it shall be.
I have started on a doll for my neice for Christmas and am pretty pleased with it so far. The only thing that bugs me ( seriously bugs me) is that every doll pattern I looked at (I couldn't find my Toys to Knit book) is knit flat with a million seams. Why!? I am done with the two legs and am almost done with the body...all knit on dpn's. I just don't get why they make it harder than it should be.
Oh and the best news? We have a freaking house!!! We finally gave up (a.k.a it finally dawned on Dh that I was indeed right this whole time) and went looking for one on our own. Today a friend took me out and about since DH had the car and we found a place. I looked at it, then DH and I looked at it and we decided to go for it. It's a perfect fit for us and the best part? There are closets with built in shelves. I may not get a knitting room but By Jove! I have a fantastic closet to line everything up in!!!
Friday, November 24
I have been one lonely girl without Internet for the past three weeks. Getting to randomly use it for very short periods of time sucks ass. :)
I started a sock about a week ago and picked it back up today. I had gotten quite a bit done. I'm using Art yarns Superwash, size three needles, and the basic sock pattern from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes & Gauges. So far I'm doing well. There is a pattern flaw but that may be a flaw on my part. I'm pretty sure it's the pattern though.
I'm not loving the color of the yarn anymore though. It reminds me of Indian Corn. When I bought it reminded me of sand. Oh well...they are super comfy so far!
Pictures for last nights/this mornings post. The first is an up close of the twised rib. Nice webbing going on and the other is the wrap blocking. I have no pins so I had to use some glasses to hold it in place. I've never blocked like this before (meaning I've never saturated an item, rolled it out in a towel, and then secured it)...I've always just pinned it down, squirted it with my water bottle, and then pat the water in to make sure it absorbed. This is already so much better. I haven't picked it up yet this morning but it looks better shape wise than my normal method. In real life it looks more pinkish in hue than it does here. Everything I have taken pictures of lately comes out more flourescent than it really is. :)
I finally cast off on one of three triplet wraps. Yes it took a long time and yes I have the other two to finish. When I first cast on for this project I had PM'd K to ask if a size small was still going to work. She took a couple days to reply what being busy with newborns and all. When she did she said she needed newborn instead. No problemo! I'm not sure if I had already cast on at this point or not. It's been awhile. Fast forward a bit and we have moved and are living in a hotel room. I thought ahead and on the day we left our previous home I had packed my knitting bag with the wraps and other projects I wanted to work on. It wasn't until halfway through our first hotel stay that I pulled out the wraps. I had scaled down to knitting one at a time and was cruising along. I was finally to a point where I start my leg decreases when I thought something was off. I counted my stitches and I had too many. Had I miscounted? I go back a bit into my knitting and count stitches on a previous row. Nope, I had cast on for a small. Irritating to say the least. It certaintly took the wind out of my sails. So I did my decreases and grumbled along the way. The result is a newborn/small hybrid. About 75% is in size newborn portions while the first 25% is in small. As bothersome as that is too me I figure it might actually be perfect. When I had a newborn her stomach was definitely larger than her itty bitty thighs. I'm hoping the waist being a size small will actually be a good thing. We shall see.
As much as I hate 1x1 ribbing I do like it on these wraps. Maybe because there is so little ribbing to be done or maybe because it goes quickly. Either way, I'm liking it. My first one I opted out of doing the tweisted rib. I didn't want to "learn" it being the newbie that I was. Since "learning" it though I am thrilled! I am tempted to do the waist on my next Picky Pants in twisted rib. I thought that on the last wrap I did as well. I just didn't do it this last time. :) The first time I tried it out I was skeptical of it's extra stretch but shockingly enough it really is there. I suggest trying it out.
I was also skeptical of going up in needle size for binding off. Don't ask on that one. I had to do it though on this last pair of Picky Pants. I tried binding off in my 8's but it was so tight it left indents when I tried them on the munchkin. I ended up going up five sizes I think. I can't remember...and even then I have a tight cuff. I figured it was best I size up on the wrap as well and went from a 6 to a 10. It worked like a charm again. Although it is still a bit tight for my liking. I just can't get it loose!
I have pictures but Blogger needs a picture break again. I'll post in the morning. I got one of it blocking sans velcroe and one of the twisted rib. I tried to get a shot of the extra webbing it throws in there to show that there is indeed more stretch.
Thursday, November 23
Okie dokie. I knew Blogger was just overwhelmed with my glorious pictures and needed a second to mull them over. ;)
The Mountain Colors Superwash is odd. In the hank it appears far more earthy...at least in person it does. Wound into a ball it gets to be more primary colorish and in the picture they look like candy tones. I'm not sure if I like it. When I bought the yarn I had every intention of using it on me. However the gift giving season is upon us and I think I might make my mother in law some socks with it. She has a pair of crocheted socks that I, personally, think are horrendous. Add into the mix that they are plenty old and they beg to be replaced. How old you ask? I have known her for three years and she has had them the entire time. Still not old enough? She's had them since BEFORE I met her. It's time. As I uploaded the picture into Photobucket today I toyed with the idea. I have been wanting to handknit something for her since I learned to knit. Not everyone is that special. Something about her needs it though. I have plenty of that yarn that I may even still get a pair for myself. For now though, they are for her. I'm not sure that the color is in her taste so I shall see. The husband, convienently her son ;), says she would. The yarn is thin though so I would have to double up the yarn I think. I've never done that and it does petrify me to wind the two balls together. There is a reason the second skein isn't wound in that picture. It's insanely long!!! It took me two hours to get it unwrapped so that I could wind it. I don't have a swift so in order to effectively wind my yarn I have to unwind the skein. Not usually a problem but this stuff is never ending and thin. Makes for a lot of knots. My mother in law also has a large foot. Size 10 to be exact. That's a LOT of knititng. Me? I wear a size 7 and have a hard time finishing a pair of socks. It will be an undertaking should I decide to do it.
The next picture is the Cascade Stripes hubbo chose for his socks. I grabbed two skeins based off the non descriptive drawing on the label. I haven't touched it. The first night in our borrowed house I was winding up my balls when I noticed how much yarn was in each skein. I started to get worried. Then I noticed that my Art Yarns and those were close, if not the same size. There isn't enough for manly socks. How do I know? For my female size 7 my Art Yarns skeins are coming very close. I'm thinking of doing a hat (the earwarmer one from LTK) and then a tarot card holder. I want to get those to him for Christmas but I'm not sure. I have a lot of Christmas knitting to do.
The single skein of ArtYarns is not lonely. The other ball is sitting behind it in a half finished sock. I'm into the foot portion and am having doubts that I will finish with one skein. When I bought it I asked the woman at the counter and she said for ankle socks (which I want) I should be fine using my asize 3's and only using one skein per sock. I'm seriously doubting it at this point. I don't want to go buy another skein and I don't want to frog it and use smaller needles. Push comes to shove though and I'll buy another skein. Only problem is all those skeins are for socks for me. I'd have to go either go buy three more skeins (one in each color) or get used to the idea of knitting on smaller needles. I just find the thought of going smaller than a three horribly upsetting. I'm not sure why but socks fit on size 3. They just work best there. Color me odd.
I am so in love with all my yarn and I'm hoping that moving into our house (a whole other issue in and of itself) will prompt me to get going. In the meantime I am slowly getting started on much needed things.
The Picky Pants are a size medium. They are a bit short for my liking but I have an issue with pant lengths. In all honesty they are a perfect fit for the wee one. I have ten garter ridges on as the cuffs. I love the way they look. My first cuff though has some issues which you can see in the first picture of the pants. I kept screwing up on the first stitch of the round so I havea diagonal line going through the cuff where I occassionally have some stockinette stitch going on. That seems to be my only mistake though. My kitchener for the crotch is fabulous! I actually used the directions/pictures from my Knit Socks! book and it went so much better. Not sure why, they are the same as every other set of direction I have ever used. Who knows? I can't wait to get started on the other pair. As I was pulling pictures from Photobucket to put in here I found some more yarn I have destined to be Picky Pants and I can't wait. I think my knitting motivation is actually coming back. I need it to. I have a lot of things on my knitting plate and very few are getting worked on. I am slacking big time and it's beginning to bug me. Plus I am a HH helper this year and need to get going there. SIGH, UGH, GRUMBLE. :)
Ok, I just tried to make a new post to post the remaining three pictures. Blogger, once again, has something in it's backside and won't let me. I shall post them later on when it thinks I haven't posted pictures for a bit. :)
Friday, November 10
I did get a bunch of new stuff though. I got to go to a pretty decent sized yarn store here in town and blew quite a bit of money. My absolute favorite thing(s) out of it all so far is my Schacht hi-lo Spindle and a 10 ounce ball of merino roving. Yes I have a spindle and yes I have roving but I wanted something better. When I first got my spindle (the one I ordered offline) I knew it was different. It was a low whorl spindle but it was built oddly. It had a flat bottom with no shaft sticking out. No biggie since it was my first one. I thought it was heaven. Since using my Schacht though....oh boy! I am in heaven! This thing glides through the air like it was made of nothing. The basic balance of it beats my other one by leaps and bounds. The first one, I think I need a name for it, wobbled...the balance was off...something weighed more and it was centered. I couldn't figure it out but I made do. The Schacht has incredible balance. It's like an orgasm for my hands. :)
The roving I got to go with it is beautiful merino. Reds and blues and golds. Looking at the ball you'd think it would mainly turn out red but after spinning a bit of it the color is very much tweedy...it reminds me of my Salt Lake Donegal Tweed. The spindle holds about 1.1 ounces so I made up a two ply with a total weight of about 2.2 ounces. What a difference when you have good quality roving! My first stuff was hairy. I wasn't a fan of it. It looked like it had split ends after it was spun. Very unimpressed. This new stuff though is smooth and slick. I've already started knitting a bracelet with a design based off a sock pattern. This stuff is gorgeous! I'm pretty impressed with myself too. It was my first time actually "washing" it to neutralize the twist in it. Oddly enough I had my Spinning the Old Way book in my knitting bag. So last night I pulled it out after I finished plying and read through it all, got it washed up, and hung to dry. There is a reason they recommend doing that! It relaxed my yarn so much and made it more useable...less rigid. It was pretty amazing to see it all turn out. I am in love with that stuff! I just wish it didn't take so long. Reading through the book I realized I could make it easier on myself in regards to how I work with the roving. As it stands right now I just seperate my strips and lay them out. Then I join a new piece when I need to. Not a big deal since it's effcient and I have optimum control over how much gets drafted in. The book though shows how to wrap it around you wrist and go from there. I want to try it but I am a snob and very particular to how my yarn turns out. I'm not a fan of the whole thick and thin thing and I hate novelty. I want uniform, consistent, even yarn all throughout. I blame my OCD.
I bought some more Manos for the sole purpose of longies. These colors are beautiful! I got two different colors and then some solid Cascade 220 to use for the waist and cuffs. I'm thinking of maybe do leg "patches" too to add some personality to them. :) I just tried to add in pictures and Blogger isn't letting me. I'll try in a new post. :)
I also bought four skeins of sock yarn. The husband has been complaining I have yet to make him anything so I grabbed some Cascade 220 in blues for him. He picked out the color and was pretty appaled to see how much a pair of socks would cost. lol He just doens't get it. ;) I got some sock yarn for me in a GORGEOUS color. The yarn is Mountain Colors sock yarn in Gold Rush. Very pretty. I do have the online picture of it and it does not do it justice. Makes it look very...primary colorish. In real life the colors are more earthy. I bought (on a different day) Knit Socks as well. I want to make some out of there but I'm knid of irritated with the book. Her numbers are off big time. For instance for my 18 month old daughter I cast on 40 stitches with size 3 needles. In this book there are multiple patterns that say to cast on 48 stitches on size 1-3 needles for a WOMAN'S medium. I wear a medium. I need at least 60-64 for a sock to fit. Most of the patterns require numbe specific patterns as well. There is one I want to make that uses a chveron lace dealio. It's in a 9 stitch pattern which is fine. I can figure it out but it's the entire pattern that needs refiguring. Why buy the book if I need to do the pattern writing myself you know? I have made the munchkin a few pairs of socks and ended up frogging them a few times. Irritating to say the least but luckily it's jsut toddler socks. Nothing huge.
I also bought two pairs of needles. Size 1 and 2. Holy smallness batman! I ended up buying Brittany brand needles since they didn't have both sizes in Clover. Thank god I did. I ended up snapping two of my size 1's in half the first day I sued them. I was pretty upset about it all and mad that I had done it. I went to put them back in the box they came in and noticed yet again that the company has a 5 year replacement on them. Woo hoo! No need to buy a whole new set. :)
I have been knitting. Not nearly as much as I had hoped since it's hard to find motivation when you're in a hotel room all day. I decided to do the wraps one at a time as opposed to the three at once. It was taking too long and I was tired of getting yarns all tangled up. I am almost done with one and halfway done with the two. They are turning out way cute. Although I ended up casting on for a size small. I thought I had done the newborn but when I recounted all the wraps I had made the size small. They are a hybrid of small and newborn but that might be divine intervention there. Who knows? Maybe they will be the best fit for the babes. I need to finish them up and get them sent. I realize they aren't going to suddenly gain 100 pounds but I feel bad that they have taken this long.
I feel even worse over this latest Magic Ball swap on Mothering. When I signed up we were told we would move here and get into the house that day. Since then every possible thing has gone wrong and they have bounced us from hotel to hotel. My swapee has since sent my yarn to the address I gave her. I have no way of checking the mail there because they are apartment style mailboxes. Plus we aren't officially in there yet so it's kind of a in the air thing in regards to having mail there for us period. It's a mess. To top it off I haven't been able to send out my yarn. I have had the mama's address for three weeks now and I have yet to send it. I have talked to her and she's happy to wait but I feel horrible. I shoulnd't have signed up for this. :( I am tempted to send her a gift certificate to a store so that she at least can get herself something. Someone can only be patient for so long before they get irritated you know? This whole situation sucks and the longer it goes on the more I feel like it's one big joke.
Friday, October 27
I have been feeling the sock itch these past few days. You know, that inevitable burning sensation to knit a sock (man itch and burn and socks...sounds like athletes foot :) ). I can't justify starting such a time intensive, for me..a sock newbie, project when I have yet to finish up the wraps. I still need to do two more fish and finish the wraps but I had to do a sock. I dreamt about it the other night. Yeah, I dreamt about knitting socks. And that's all I was doing. Sitting in a chair knitting socks.
So I started one anyway. :) Bwahahaha. A toddler sock ot be exact. Last time we were in Salt Lake and I bought yarn I copied off a sock pattern out of a book at the library. I had lost mine and was on a roll so I had to get a pattern. I can't remember the book but the cover has four pictures on it and I think it's gloves and some tams etc. A very basic pattern. I pulled that out the other night and my first skein of sock yarn and started. I was almost done though when I realized it was on the wee bit small side so I frogged it. The good thing about small things is it's not heartbreaking when you do have to frog it. :) I re cast-on yesterday afternoon and decided to do an ankle sock. I think there is something so cute about little kids ankle socks. I'm on the gussets right now. I started at 3 when Dr. Phil was on. It's taking a bit longer than I would think a small sock would but I rationalize my slowness by pointing out that not only am I packing a house to move but my 17 month old daughter was AWAKE during said knitting time. As as my toddler of a husband. yeah, things took time yesterday. hehehehe
So until Tuesday adios! I plan on knitting many pairs of toddler socks and the wraps. I'm going to try and work on the wraps mainly but honestly, who can pass up a quick sock? Not me.
Tuesday, October 24
I bought some yesterday when I bought that. I got three things of Cascade 220, one Cascade Quatro, and two things of sock yarn (Lana Grossa and Magic Stripes). Enough chitter chatter...yarn p0rn!
Ok in order from top left to right: Brown Cascade 220, unknown color Cascade 220, Magic Stripes Sock Yarn unknown color, Lana Grossa sock yarn unknown color, Blue Cascade 220, and finally unknown color Cascade Quatro. Beautiful stuff huh? :)
Thursday, October 19
I wasn't able to work much on these last night. Our heat is controlled downstairs. See our apartment is the upstairs of an old opera house. Downstairs is the landlord/building owner's business. Apartments one and two (which we do rent) are part of the original building (dressing rooms!) and all the heat was added later on. So our heat is also the downstairs heat. When we first got it turned on they warned us it would get hot and fast. Boy they weren't kidding! So in an effort to control it a bit they set a timer on it so now it only clicks on twice a day. Sometimes that's all we need but usally not. We had three blankets going last night. Brrrr! So anyways, my hands were frozen and I couldn't manuver like I needed to. I am loving this yarn! Both the orange and the purply red color have subtle changes throughout that you can't really see in the picture. The two ends are squished up so you can see what the actual piece is starting to look like. I have decided that it is indeed going slower. I have yet to know if it's because there are 3 or if it's cause I'm not knitting at my normal spped due to temps outside. I need a couple more inches and then I start decreasing... I can't wait! I love the shape these take on once decreases are started.
Wednesday, October 18
The blue one on the top row is a turtle..it was a set of four. The bottom one on the end are crosses..big ones and little ones.
The second set on the top row are double sided. One side is a sun and the other is a moon.
This set is my favorite!!! I love the fact that it spells out knitter. The lady who made them has her own set for when she crochets. She needs more needles so more often than not she has to snake away a needle from something she's working on and place the WIP on a holder. By the time she gets back to it she can't remember what needle she was using. Her solution? Stitch markers that have a letter block in the size needle she was using. So ifshe was using a J hook she just slips on her J marker to her holder and off she goes. I thought that was a cool idea. I might make me some with needle sizes.
And here are three newborn size wraps. The mama got back to me and I cast on for them two nights ago. We had a long distance drive yesterday where I was the main driver so I didn't get to work on them. This was what I did in the first night. That's the front ribbing and I am onto some increases now. Thank god for long needles! I'm doing all three at once. It seems to be going faster but honestly I can't tell. I hope it does!
Saturday, October 14
As part of a trade that I am slow on I made up another fish. I've actually done four...in all different sizes but only one is seamed and stuffed. I like it. It turned out far better than my first one but I am still not a fan of this pattern. The author doesn't tell you how to seam or place the fins/tail. It makes it kind of hard. I hope the mama who is getting them likes it. I think he's cute. :)
I decided I was going to wear a scarf this winter. Something simple but fabulous all at once. I decided to use my red tweed for it. A very simple pattern. 3 rows garter stitch, k5 on the edges with a stockinette niddle. I am loving the way it is coming out. It's going to be super long! It's not too wide either which I am glad about. As trendy cute as those super skinny or super thick scarves are they scream nonuseable. To me at least. :)
I pm'd the mama I am making so many covers for to ask if she would like a couple in newborn size. Those babes were tiny and I knew that smalls would be too big. She pm'd me back to say that NONE of their covers fit so newborns would be perfect. Woo hoo! I think I will end up doing all of them in that size just because they are so tiny. I need to get three done up and sent so that she can try them out. I would hate to make all those and get them sent only to find out that they just won't work.
And non-knitting....we're moving. To Colorado. On Tuesday.
Monday, October 2
I knit socks.
See the ugly toe? Not my best Kitchener. I also messed up in my decreases and ended up fudging it a bit so there is quite a drastic decrease...hence the pointy toe.
You can see the pull in the fabric here. The pattern called for 56 stitches but I think it would be better using 60. At least for an akle sock. There isn't much give in the short amount of ribbing. Not a good pattern in my opinion. :)
Here you can see the funky pull throughout the decrease. Again...too tight. Despite it's ugliness I sure do like it. And man is it toasty!
Wednesday, September 27
But I'm actually liking them. I wasn't so fond of the yarn at one point. It was right after I had turned the heel and it was looking less than cool. :) Since I've worked on it and I'm almost ready to get to the toe shaping it's not turning out so bad. I really like the yarn far more on the skein than I do knitted. It's going to be an ankle sock. When I was working on the leg/body part it dawned on me that lately all I have bought are ankle socks. My favorite toe socks are also ankle socks. I figured I should probably make them ankle socks. :) This is taking longer than I wanted but only because the wee one has not felt well the last couple days and so she is taking up my knitting time.
Monday, September 25
The sock yarn is Trekking (XXL). I've never seen it before but like I said before I mainly got it for the color. With my size 3 needles and all. :)
The tweed is Donegal Tweed homespun 100% pure wool. For some reason I thought tweed was a cotton only thing. I guess not. :) Both are both amazingly soft!
We went to Salt Lake this weekend for some work reasons and for our anniversary. The first day there I got to go to a yarn store. The first one was having a sale and that's the only reason I stopped. They had some ok yarn but nothing to really write about. I did buy some tweed but I think I bought it for two reasons. One is for the color...a beautiful red. And the other is cause I felt I needed to. I know I didn't but they were having a sale and I couldn't handle the thought of leaving without something. There was a bucket on the front porch that had some corn yarn. Had there been more I might have picked it up but there was only one tiny skein of mustard yellow. I so wasn't feeling the love. The store was also a fabric store and I think I would become more sewing minded if I could blow millions there. They had some awesome stuff!
As I threw my bag in the car I saw another store two doors down. So I tossed it in the seat and headed over there. The owner had some gorgeous colors! Oh I just wanted to buy things I wouldn't just for the coloring. I was there to look at sock yarn though. The owner was very.....non user friendly. I realize she was simply trying to help me find what I wanted and what not but the way she talked was very condescending and came across like she thought she was superior. The looks she gave me when I told her I was just now learning socks was one of disgust. "You're learning to knit with socks? Well that's actually boot yarn.What size needles are you using? Oh. 3's huh. Well my yarn is actually best for 1's." Blah blah blah. Lady I know what I want...back off. I did end up buying some based off the color. Again...red. :) As Iw alked out the door she hopped up and came running at me.
"If you have any questions please call me. All I really do is socks so there's nothing I can't answer. After all...socks aren't for everyone."
If I could have I think I would have thrown up on her. :)
Wednesday, September 20
Good stuff from the craft store! The black is yarn for longies for the munckin. I needed/wanted a solid color to use for the MM yarn I got not too long ago. I have been trying to get some orange or red for some time and the husband pointed out that black would look awesome with it. I have to agree. :) The blue is for a trade. I'm using up the Elijah yarn and the mama wanted a solid color as well. She was thinking blue and blue is what I got. Surprisingly enough the color is almost exact. I had forgotten to grab the skein of LTK yarn to bring with me for reference so I had to go off memory. It couldn't have been a more perfect match actually. The striped yarn is Magic Stripes sock yarn. When we got to the craft store tehre was a lady knitting...socks. They looked fabulous! She's there every Wednesday and there is a class for knitting there as well. I'm not sure which day of the week since they don't have a schedule yet but the knitting lady said they are mainly doing socks this winter. Score! I asked what pattern she was using and she said it happened to be the one on the Magic Stripes yarn. After I got the Cascade wool I checked it out. I want to do socks. I really do. They are just a pain in my ass. :) So I grabbed the yarn I liked, checked the label to see if I had enough and to get the right sized needles. I hope I can do this. We are leaving for about a week and I am bringing a ton of knitting. I'll be able to whip out a good portion (if not all) of the trades I am working on. I'm thinking ambitiously and am hoping to get a lot of my list done. I plan on doing diaper covers galore and the mystery WIP. I plan on bringing cotton for the remaining washcloths and the socks. I plan on packing tonight since we leave early in the morning and am already writing my list of knitting. Yes, the knitting will get it's own suitcase. :)
**Grrrr! I have the blue yarn done and pictures have been taken. Of course...Blogger sucks!!!!!!!! You hear that Blogger...bite me! Pictures to come.****
Tuesday, September 19
Like I mentioned in my last post I'm in a Magic Ball swap. I decided to spin the blue roving from my kit and send that my partners way. The coloring is actually blue and green....very much like ocean colors. Ocean waves and seaweed...cheesy? Sure. Truthful? Yes. It's kind of hard to see the green since it's just barely there....floating beneath the blue stuff just like seaweed floats below the water. Very subtle. I'm hoping once I ply it that it brings the green out a bit. I unrolled it all out and split it in half so that when I do ply it it will go a bit smoother than last time. It's turning out very pretty! I think I'm getting the hang of it. My thickness is more consistent this time around in my singles. I hope my balance is as good as the last one. I posted on MDC and they pointed out that I had really nice balance. Yeah....an ego stroke. :)
I've started on the second half now. I think I am either allergic to the wool (Cotswold) or to the dye the farm used. I can feel a residue after I spin this color for a bit. I couldn't feel it when I spun the first ball of roving but by the time I went to bed last night it felt like I had something greasy....I was tempted to think it was lanolin but this stuff is too dry for it to be that. Within ten minutes of laying down my hand I use to hold and draft the roving was itchy, slightly puffy, and tingly. So far today I haven't had an issue with it. I'm really hoping it was a fluke thing.
I haven't been working on the mystery WIP as much as I am wanting. It's been freezing here! This morning I got up early to wait for my neice whom I'm watching today. At 10:30 it was STILL 28 degrees outside. Yeah. It's cold. As a result my fingers have been like ice thus preventing proper knitting. I managed a row this afternoon when the temp. had gone up a bit but it's still a bit too cold. It's currently 59 degrees and my fingers hurt cause of how cold they are. Our apartment has HUGE (like taller than 5 feet and wider than 4 feet) windows in every room. So it feels a lot colder inside than it does outside. Hard to keep heat in with all that open space you know? I think I need to knit me some fingerless gloves. That way I can get some warmth and still function. Spinning surprisingly enough is just enough movement for the blood to get flowing and not require feats of gymnastics. BUT I have been getting little bits and pieces done. Not a ton of progress but we're getting there.
***I had three or four pictures in this post. However, Blogger sucks ass and refuses to let me post them in any form, size, or position. I have been trying all day to get them in without any luck. I'm going to go ahead and publish this post and try again in a seperate post until I get them up. Sorry...no pictures for you! :) ****
Monday, September 18
Here's the whole skein. I didn't use the whole ball of roving so the skein is not complete. I ended up putting my singles on two different bobbins so plying would be easier. Since I wasn't sure how much was on the first bobbin I had to guess. I was very close. I only had a short amount left on the first bobbin and I used that to tie it off. I'm going to use the rest of the roving and ply it with some white I think.
Here's a close up of the actual yarn. You can see how uneven my singles are in it. But like I said I was so excited...I just had to get something done. :)
This roving is super easy and smooth on my fingers. There is a huge difference between this stuff (Cotswold) and the random fleece I got off Freecycle. The fleece is harder to draft but that could be because it hasn't been combed or anything. I'm hoping to get some brushes to see if that will work. I don't know if I like the roving that came with the kit though. It's very hairy. I don't know if all roving is like this since my fleece doesn't do it. But like I pointed out the fleece isn't combed or anything. I was hoping that it was just because this is my first time but the stuff I'm spinning now is doing the same. I hope it's just the type of wool that makes it do it.
I've got some more on the spindle now and it's going soooo much smoother. I think I've got it figured out pretty much. At least the spinning portion. I know I still need to get the hang of drafting but until then I'll just use thiner strips of roving. I read a blog this morning and the post was about some yarn she had spun on her wheel. Oh man I want one! It looks so smooth and nice and fluid!!!! I want to try one so bad. Maybe I'll talk the husband into renting one for me for our anniversary. I would love to just try one. I do like the fact that i can walk around with my drop spindle though. That's nice. I can see it becoming a habit when insomnia hits. :)
I'm part of a Magic Yarn ball swap and I think I'm going to use my spindle. I have some perfect roving for this mama and I think it would be absolutely perfect to use it. :)
Saturday, September 16
This morning the husband woke me and the daughter up early. He wanted to go to town and get himself something. He had just spoiled me on our last trip there and now he wanted to spoil himself. The plan failed though because we ended up getting the daughter a ton of warm clothes. It's been freezing here and she needed some things.
When we got home it was well past noon which meant the mail had come. While the husband grabbed the clothes out of the car I ran to the mailbox and flung it open. Sadly all that was in there was a dinaky post acrd advertisment. I was dissapointed but got over it as I got the sleeping child out and headed up the staris. There....in front of our door....was a package.
Now, dear readers, do not think this is some ordinary event. It is not. Our mailman does not come up the stairs. They leave a nice little note in the mailbox downstairs and outside that sayd, hey come get a package HERE at the POST OFFICE. The fact that a box was sitting in front of our door was a miracle in and of itself. And no, it was not UPS. This was your ordinary, mailman delivering, priority mail. It was fabulous.
The man realized how excited I was and opened the door as fast as he could. I couldn't get in quick enough. I laid the sleeping kid down on a bed and ripped it open. You know what it is?
Come on guess.
It was something glorious.
It was my drop spindle!!!!!!!!!! And to top it off I got three colors! The website said it would be three natural and one dyed but as you can that was not the case. We got home at about 2-2:30 and it is now 9:53. During that time maybe an hour was spent NOT sinning. Yeah I'm addicted.
Here is some of the colored roving I've spun. Since this picture was taken I've done a ton more. (**Picture dissapeared!***) I had to remove that yarn and put it on a bobble so I could do more. This will become a scarf for my sister I think. She likes the color combo so it works. Me? Not a fan of it. :) I also did some white but it's not as pretty looking spin wise as this so I have yet to upload it to Photobucket. I do have some pictures but the camera just died so no luck.
As a result of my crazy spinning there was no work done today on the mystery WIP. There was some work done yesterday..a color change in fact but nothing really to post about. I'll try and work on it some more in the next day or so so that another picture can be taken.
Friday, September 15
The lovely mama also sent me some roving for me. This stuff is SSSSOOOO soft and creamy. It makes me want to wrap myself in it. Heaven!
Here is all the fantastic yarn. The colors are so much more vibrant than this picture shows. It's dark and rainy here today so our lighting is less than stellar.
And here is the roving. I want to dye it but I don't know what colors. I don't want to do Kool-Aid either. And do I dye it in roving form so that the color is even more random when it gets spun or do I dye it once it's yarn? Oh the predicament.