Saturday, April 28

The Magic Cast On

I was just reading tthrough my blogs and finished up a post about socks over at Vera's Crafty Blog. She took a workshop in them and like most other blogs I have read about learning socks toe up she was taught how to do it with a provisional crochet cast. Later on in the toe you zip it out and pick up the stitches. It's not too difficult.

I decided to take a break from my own sock though and come share the wonders of the one I prefer for EVERYTHING. I have posted more than one comment on blogs regarding this and decided that since I do it so often maybe I should blog about it. I doubt I have a high readership but it can't hurt right?

The Magic Cast On. The Easy Way. The Simple Way. Ok, enough. I posted awhile back (on MDC) when I was getting into the flow of things regarding toe up socks looking for a nice and easy cast on. I despise using provisional cast on (hence the reason Katja never got finished) and I didn't want to do short rows. I have tried many ways and used many pictoral guides. Nothing was working and I just got frustrated.

Someone pointed me to that article and I have not looked back since. You can use it with circs or DPN's so it doesn't matter how you do your socks! I used it just recently for some knit toys. It's universal in that regard. I was worried about getting a pointy toe. Every pattern I have ever read has you decrease down to nothing (like 12) and the end result is way too pointy in my opinion. One of the pluses of doing socks toe up is you can sie as you go. For me I have found the perfect toe. AND I received help on getting the formula down for getting a non pointy toe. Basically cast on 24 stitches total (12 each needle) and increase every round per directions until you reach 48. Increase every other round per directions until you reach 60. Voila! 24 seems to be a good starting number (for me at least).

So there you have it. My self proclaimed love affair with a fabulous cast on. Why don't more knitters speak of this!? I'm not sure many know about it. Tis a shame.

That said, my sock is coming along pretty quick. I am on the third repeat out of 6. I'm not sure about it though. I love it so far. Simple, easy to memorize, nice pattern. It's making for some floppiness on my needles though. I imagine ost of that is due to my insanely used yarn at this point though. I am beyond the portion that has been overworked and am now simply into the portion that has been worked. :) I have no pictures for a couple reasons. 1. the recipient has no idea about this sock so it must remain a secret. Well she does but at the same time she doesn't. 2. I can't find the charger cable for my damn camera and the cell phone sucks in regards to picture quality. This is something that needs to be captured in it's simple fanciness.

Last month was my birthday and the ONLY yarn I got was from Dawn. Wanna know what I got? Regia SILK sock yarn. SILK! She keeps asking for it back in a passive agressive way ;) since it is so fabulous but I have plans for this stuff. I cannot wait to knit ME some socks. SILK socks for ME. Oh yeah.

I went to the bookstore the other day to get the Favorite Socks: 25 patterns from Interweave and wouldn't you know it? It wasn't even there yet! It was on it's way but not there. I have been lusting after this book since i picked it up. I saw it mentioned a few other places but wasn't captivated. This is one of those books that need to be seen in person. To be fondled and lovingly read. I had to leave with a sock book though. I had to. :) The only other one that I have been avoiding (!!!) and even contemplating getting was there. I say avoiding for a couple reasons. the first being I am extremely shallow at times. The picture of the author was not a selling point for me. I know but it's true! The second (and honestly the main reason) reason was because the patterns seemed to be very old and I couldn't get beyond that. I didn't want something that was going to be hideous. A good portion of yarn/knitting related books seem to pick outdated and horrible colors to show off patterns and stitches. I expected this book to be very much the same way. I bucked up though and got it. What book? Knitting Vintage Socks: New Twists on Classic Patterns by Nancy Bush. I am so happy with it! My Regia Silk is destined for one of the patterns in it. I have yet to decide on one since many of the patterns would be flattering to the yarn. Grumperina seems to make many socks from this book and I have to admit that helped with my decision.

Pictures to come!

Thursday, April 26

PSA: Yarn looses body

In case you are curious...if you frog Wildfoote yarn twice and reknit it for the third time it's loose. There is no body to it....just a limp, lifeless form.

Don't be too sad though! After you get a good portion into it parts that have not been as worked spring back in.

Knitting deadline ADD

I am going to finally admit it. I have knitting ADD. Look at all my "to knit" lists and very few are ever totally completed. I just am too scattered. No biggie, things get done. Things on a deadline though.....I can't think of anything off the top of my head that was done on time. I am restarting yet another project that should be done already. I'm not only restarting it but I am changing the pattern even!

I swatched for the Bonsai Tunic. I had started a swatch on 6's for an entirely different project a night or two before I swatched for the Bonsai. I was hopeful since this yarn on 6's was close to what I needed for the Bonsai. I grabbed a different color in the same yarn (just plain ol Sugar and Cream cotton) and the right sized needles and went about doing a true swatch. The other S&C swatch was my first genuine one so I was hopeful this yarn would work for this pattern. Not even close! I have too many stitches and way too many rows. If I were brave I would say screw it and do it anyway since the stitch count isn't too off. I know better though. 2 stitches off in a 4 inch sqaure is going to add some bulk. 2-4 rows too many and this garment is going to be huge. Why not alter it? Simple. I suck at math and do not feel comfy refiguring numbers. I was already going to be altering the front of the pattern to allow for a belly but that was as far as I wanted to go altering wise. I want to use Tatamy Tweed (by Kraemer Yarns) but think it is still wrong on gauge. I don't want to change needle sizes. I just want to find a yarn that works and go from there. Plus I'm not sure any LYS around me have Tatamy Tweed. So the Bonsai will wait. At least until I find a suitable yarn or don't give a shit and do it anyway. That one is likely to happen first. :)

I also swatched for the damn boucle afgahn. Boucle, dear readers, is the devil. I have used some finicky yarns but this.....this is like self imposed constipation topped with gas that makes you run for the bathroom "just in case". Dead serious. I really don't want a huge afgahn of just garter ridges but at the rate this is going I may have to. My patterns aren't that lacy but it still isn't working! I hate boucle....but I want these colors!

Monday, April 23

A list...

because we all one. :)

* finish Wyvern socks
* start on play food for the wee one's upcoming birthday..after all a kitchen themed birthday needs food.
* start the husbands birthday socks
* possibly start the hsbands birthday beanie/hat
* swatch for Bonsai Tunic
* swatch for afgahn and plan basic construction and figure out numbers
* work on newborn wool stash
* work on small wool stash

I think that's it....maybe....for now. :)

Sunday, April 22

Monkey socks

Yeah. I have a pair. In the most fabulous Fleece Artist yarn. Oh the softness that is in these socks is to die for! I have already washed them a couple times. Mainly because I've worn them a lot but also because of one gross incident of toddler throw up.

The picture is kind of hard to see detail but it's a bag, some chocolate (which was KILLER!), yarn, little mesh baggies things that smell heavenly, gummy worms, and the socks. The socks are a tad big on me even after a few washings and dryer cycles. I don't care though. Which is odd for me since I am a tad neurotic but the fabulousness of these outweighs any fit issues.

I still haven't sent off thise persons socks. I know. Take away my needles until I do it but she knows and I sent her a message last night. Boy do I have a package in mind for her! I can't tell what will be in it until she gets it but oh boy! I would be thrilled to get something like this. :)

Saturday, April 21

Another pair finished up!

Size small
Cascade 220 and Manos
1x1 ribbing
Crochet drawstring
Backside increases only
Ruffle cuff

These took me about two days start to finish. I actually weaved in my ends. Truely. No shortcuts. Every single freaking end. I can't wait for the wee one to wake up so I can try them on her. I did use the remaining yarn from the newborn pair to make these. So it is entirely possible to get a size small and a size newborn from one skein of Manos and one skein of Cascade 220. I was worried I wouldn't have enough Manos hence the long waist band and body portion in the Cascade. When I split for the legs I unraveled the rest of the Manos and crocheted my drawstring. I ended up making it super long on accident but it worked itself out in the end. After I got the drawstring done I folded the remaining yarn in half and cut. I got the exact same amount of purple on both legs!! I was worried I might have one or two rows less on one side in the purple which would irritate me to no end. :) In the end one leg is shorter but only in the cuff portion. I finished these up after midnight last night and miscounted when to bind off. Not a big deal since you can't really tell (and if you can, be quiet!). Once I got done with the first leg done I realized I hadn't taken into account the yarn needed to seam the crotch. I reweaved in the drawstring and shortened that length since it was way too long. I used the excess of that to seam them up. Everything worked out shockingly well. I admit I was not sure these would work out and that I would need to frog back and rethink the general set up. Luckily I didn't.

Wake up child!!!

Wednesday, April 4

REAL knitting content WITH pictures

Hard to believe I know but it's true.

I finished up a sock the other day and felt motivated to do something else. I decided I'd start on a pair of newborn shorts for the new babe. It helped that Hyena Cart had some gorgeous stuff listed...lots of motivation. So I cast on. The total time was about a day. That's the joy of newborn knitting I tell ya'. I have plans to do four wraps and four pairs of shorts. They are so far going to be all newborn but I may end up doing a couple smalls as well. The neat thing is I have enough yarn left over to make a pair for the weeone already here. :) I had no tapestry needle yesterday when I was finnishing though so I used my interchangables needle locking key. I have to say this is my best crotch so far! :)


Solid yarn is Cascade 220 and the purple is Manos.

1x1 ribbing with a crocheted drawstring

Backside increases only

Garter ridge cuffing with I cord bind off (super stretchy and FABULOUS)

Not sure why it spaced everything like that. I tried to get it to stop but it didn't work. Anyway, I love love love these shorts. I am actually excited to do some more. Not all my yarn is here as we are still in transition so I only have what I packed. I do have another set of yarn but I am thinking it may be too girly. It's a chocolate brown and a redish swirly color. I bought it because it made me think of chocolate covered raspberries when I set the two next to each other. The red is pretty dar but still bordering on pink. I'm still pondering it. I have no problem putting a boy in pink. :) Ahh the drawbacks of not finding out the gender.

Sunday, April 1

Pokey pokey

:) I won't repeat myself. I'm sure all blog readers are tired of hearing me say I'm slowly knitting. So I won't say it. Even though it's true. ;)

Tonight we (the family) all went to the bookstore and naturally I went to the knittinng books. I ALMOST came out with the Interweave socks book. Almost because the husband "needed" a book that all by itself was 30 bucks. Not a big deal but mine was 23 and we still wanted to go get dinner. I let him get his since I do have plenty of knitting books....and there were only three or four patterns I would actually knit. :) Beautiful socks though and I WILL get that book.

We were driving around today and by accident stumbled upon Knit Cafe (the store!). We had plans already so we couldn't stop but I may have to visit there and the bookstore and be truely blissed out. The husband owes me. Oddly enough we accidentally found another knitting store the other day just by driving around. It never even dawned on me to actually look for them. Silly me.

I finished up a sock yesterday but can't find my damn tapestry needle. I am almost tempted to do the star looking bind off but it's on the heel and I can't bring myself to do it. I have 24 stitches total just waiting to be done and two ends waiting to be woven and I can't do them!! I'm heartbroken over here. Especially since I want to use the needles and can't find my stitch holder either. TIP: If you want to find knitting goodies a toddler is not compatible to your knitting bag.

I started a headband type thing the other night. When Panta was all the rage over at MDC I was tempted but never felt I could pull it off. Since getting a stylish new haircut and being in a rather warm and sunny climate I have felt the need to be trnedy in this sense. I am picky though and instead of picking a pattern I went through a few and decided to make my own. I haven't gotten very far in it since I was desiging as I was knitting but I think the final draft is all good and done and now I need to frog backa bit and restart. I'm actually looking forward to it...a quick and simple knit done in some basic cotton. I want something with lace though and while it's been factored in I'm still a newbie to lace and not sure how to work it. There is a lace pattern in the Interweave book that I LOVE. I want to make a lot of things with it and am thinking I will figure it out and incorprate it into this. It would look nice (FYI it's the ankle socks done in green with an orange strip and double strand yarn...I would marry whoever has the book and would share that lace repeat with me!).

Still no pictures. We have decided the monster that is our car has eaten the camera cord and we will need to buy a new one. It's for the best. If we really went looking for it I would either 1. show up missing and never update the blog again or 2. become a widow. Dead serious...maybe if you are lucky I'll take a picture of our trunk (I offer this tidbit of goodness since it's the most clean) and let you see how horrifying it is. Maybe. If I can stand the embarrassment....and if the husband doesn't forbid the public showing. :)