sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Fleece artist kasula photos.

Not sock pr0n, but definitely yarn pron.

Fleece Artist Kasula
(Limited edition yarn, no longer available)
100% mohair
550g hank, 1000m.
Cosmic dawn & Hercules colorways


Cosmic Dawn

CD left, H right

H top, CD bottom

pr0n photog.

To be honest, after I ordered this I was leery and wanted to cancel since I've never knit a shawl before or have been inclined to. But at + 1 lb each and only $22 CAD, and its fleece artist, I couldn't resist, and I'm glad I didn't.

I have no idea what to make with it. Suggestions?

Monday, February 27, 2006

Veni, vidi, not so vici. Or, how I earned no medals from the knitting olympics, and am elated about it.

Let me start, I failed in my goal of knitting my sweater for my spawn. Failed in the sense, I will not have a shiny gold button on my blog, failed in the sense I wanted to have it completed by a certain date, and in the sense the world is watching and I picked my nose on television.

Kinda :)

I finished all of the pieces, and tripped in not seaming them by the time the flame went out. I'll do a full "finished" entry when I've got tha frankenstein's monster stitched up.

So, why am I so giddy about this?

Well, guess it depends on your definition of what "this" is. (Insert Uncle Bill joke here.) If "this" was my attempt at solidarity with thousands of knitters and finish up my project, then no-- I'm not giddy. I'm bummed I can't brag about finishing, I'm bummed I still have no completed sweater for my oompaloompa, I'm bummed I let "team knittyboard" have a failing member on its bobsled team. If "this" was my attempt to snag a snazzy gold button for the blog, then eh-- I know there will be some snarky "I went to the Knitting Olympics and all I got was this UFO" button popping its way thru the knitting blogosphere soon enuf that I'll snag.

But if this is ...

1) Something I never thought I could accomplish... I *will* finish this sweater, and it will look freaking awesome. I will brag to complete strangers about my handiwork when they compliment baby bear's swanky sweater. I will announce it on my blog with more words and more description (and maybe even more pictures) than should be allowed, because I do tend to drone on and on. I've wanted to knit this sweater ever since I learned to knit (back then I thought I'd never be able to, and here I am almost done in a span of 2 weeks!), and I have accomplished something great in doing so.

2) Something that has broken my irrational fear of seaming, sweaters... I may not have finished in time, but never again will I dismiss a pattern simply cos its not written in the round or covers more than 10% of a body's skin at one time. I can knit things in pieces, I can knit things that aren't meant to be stuffed in shoes or stuffed full of my head.

3) Something that has broken me from my self-imposed view that I can *only* knit small things, that I am incapable of concentrating on one item for only one week before I drop it like last week's milkman... I love knitting socks and small things. But watching myself knit this sweater has shown me that I don't have to cram a project into a week for it to be satisfying (let alone eventually completed.) This bigger project has made me feel even more proud as its a "big thing," as if my pride in my own craftsmanship is exponentially linked to the size of the project. (I have big feet, so I'm usually sporting big pride anyways!)

4) Something that has taught me about goals in knitting... Knitting wasn't always a "leisure art," as Ms. Bush enunciates in "Knitting Vintage Socks." It was a craft, something done for work and something utilitarian. I have approached knitting a my leisurely pasttime (muah victorian, eh!), with no sort of *rhyme or reason.* I think now, having collected all of these skills, it is time for me to look at knitting in a different light. I still will knit for pleasure, but I can and should place goals before me in doing so. I felt a jolt, a thrill in having a "finish line" to sprint towards, a reason to just push one more row. I've felt sparks of this before, when knitting for someone else-- the anticipation of finishing and passing off a gift to someone. But this was different, this desire of a goal. I *wanted* to finish my sweater for the knitting olympics, I really did (even though I was overconfident and lazy in the beginning.) I learned that setting a goal for myself in knitting doesn't diminish the pleasure I derive from knitting, but enhances my drive to finish. And goals don't even necessarily have to be a complete-by date, but a ... I'm going to try this new thing goal, I'm going out of my comfort zone and I will finish to make myself even better than I was when I started goal, I'm going to make knitterly-promises to myself that I will keep and I will be proud of keeping types of goals.

5) Something that has taught me I am far more capable than I think I am... I may not have finished, but wow was I up to the challenge. I am so proud of myself for rising to the challenge, for taking on a mantle that was heavy that became lighter with wear.

So if it was all of those things, then I'm giddy. Cos I took *all* of that away from the knitting olympics, and more.


So, you wanna know what happened, eh? (If you've still stuck around for joy this long!)

I could put in lots of outside reasons why I failed. (And I will! :) ... sick household, rain keeping me outside and away from knitting, general housework and personal obligations that had to be met, etc.) But they're not really the reason.

Up til Sunday, I was absolutely confident I'd be sporting gold. I had finished all of the knitting (hehe, now I need to learn that seaming is knitting!) and I "just" had the finishing to do. No problem. I even took the kiddo out in the rain to the farmer's market, the grocery, the bakery etc because I was so confident I could whip the seaming up in no time, or at least by the start of the closing ceremonies at 7pm pacstandard time.

Teaching myself how to "truly" seam took much longer and took many more trials and errors than I thought it would. I shudder to think how poorly I had seamed earlier attempts at sweaters for billygoat... because I learned finally how to seam and my god they were right! The seam disappears into the knitting! It was probably around 5pm when the heavens opened and the choir burst out... and about 5:30pm when rosemary's baby decided that that was enough knitting for one day. Usually, kiddo's right-- set it down and its mommy/baby time. But doesn't a 2 year old grasp the enormity of the situation, the KNITTING OLYMPICS??! Doesn't a baby brain pick up on all of those clacking needles round the globe, and how much mommy wanted to be a part of that?

All of the parents know what that answer is.

So, without attention baby hellraiser decides to take everything from its place and throw it to the floor. I think I should have hosted the finishing in a hotel room, at least everything would have been bolted down there. After everything under 3 ft has been ceremoniously crashed to the floor, it was time to run pellmell down the hallway, hands waiving frantically and body swishing to the lack of parental attention being doled out... barely avoiding all of the land hazards and booby traps.

It was the toilet that did baby and the kolympics in...

Running, running...
(insert, feeling bad at this point that baby has decided to act out like this for attention... starting to make major mistakes in seaming... a few grunts and exasperated groans directed at the inanimate sweater...)


That hollow sound. The pause before crying. Then all of my world zeroed.

Readers digest: Baby did a penguin slide in the bathroom (whose door shouldn't have been open in the first place), bit the inside lip and was just... so sad. Still amped from trying to get *my* attention, cut lip, and those heartbreaker baby tears. And I forgot about the olympics.

Not forgot as in, "forget it!" but forgot in, "knitting is supposed to be fun, and its not been in trying to get this finished for me or baby bear (the recipient!)... so its time to retire gracefully from the competition, lay back, make sure baby's not too broken, and relax." I had this thought, went with it, and felt my entire body relax all in a moment's breath... I didn't realize how amped *I* was in trying to finish, and how good it felt to let go.

Aftermath... baby's FINE. Dozed off in my arms, happy as a clam whose mommy clam dropped out of the kolympics at the last moment to snuggle and watch Madagascar. (again.)

I put the seaming away for the moment, knowing I want to devote blocks of time to it but don't want to have to do it all in one sitting... I have only the underarms to finish, but I do want them to be perfect so I'm waiting for the block of time to do so. (Uh, yeah... the time it took me to go on and on about this would have been perfect!)

I also needed a little "comfort knitting" to wind down... something on the needles, in my hands-- so I started Odessa again in Brooks Farm Four Play.

We're still having overcast weather, so the pic isn't great. There's a wonderful shine to the yarn (the silk) that doesn't show up, and I think it'll end up looking great and hopefully fitting. I mentioned earlier that I was going to unknit Odessa since it seemed to have "extra" fabric making me look like a pinhead (cos I added length that wasn't in the pattern), but I realize its not that. And not just that I am a pinhead. I am a Brobdingnagian pinhead, and the extra fabric is a result of the hat trying to escape up off of it. Its true!

I also have been thinking more and more about "goals in knitting" as inspired by the knitting olympics, and made a few promises to myself, cleaned up the stash, found some new projects to knit... Next post, I promise. This is almost too long even for me! :)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

More Cable and Rib Sweater with Hood progress, problems

The Knitting Olympics! What an amazing, amazing idea.

I'm jazzed since I see the finish line, and even though it includes blocking and finishing before I corss it, I think I'll make it. Humbled :)

A few more pics. First, sleeves--

Um, yeah. My kid's arms are the same length, generally. So, there's a problem :) I knit the 1st sleeve too long, thinking it was supposed to be 10.25" from ribbed edge and not CO edge. Oh. Just thought I'd include it for your amusement :)

And a little pic of the frogged yarn from the extraneous knitting--

Not insubstantial.

Progress as of today:

Sleeves fixed, shoulder seams seamed, hood started. The sleeves look short, don't they? I think that's why I let myself keep knitting... and the fact that the pattern calls for an increase that I just couldn't make. (More details later...)

My concern... the hood. The directions have me picking up the sts from the front right panel, CO more sts, and picking up the rest of the sts from the left front panel. The CO sts will be seamed to the back panel... but:

1) There are too many co sts as compared to the sts I bound off for the neck on the back panel, how're they going to line up??
2) When I attach the hood from the front to the back, there's going to be this "twist" in the hood that I don't know what to do with. None of the pics online seem to show this twist, and I'm just thinking I've done something wrong now... and I'm nervous about seaming as it is. (Though the shoulders went well, I must say!)


I'm going to take baby bear for a walk and think about it :) (Any suggestions/advice welcome, too!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

RIb and Cable Sweater with Hood progress pics (for Knitting Olympics)

I have to admit, I underestimated this pattern (or at least the time it'd take me to complete). When I finished the back panel in a day's time, I thought... no problem! But after finishing the front, I turned the page and... there are sleeves! And a hood! (Yeah, right in the title of the pattern, too.)

So I've been knitting late-late at night the past few evenings, trying to catch up and make up for my foot dragging and overconfidence. I am impressed that I actually *do* have a shot at completing, moreso because my Stitches purchases are still on my desk, begging to be petted and knit up. I always thought knitters who admitted to keeping yarn within petting reach were weirdos. I now fully admit that I've been petting the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport much more than would be considered healthy to a (non knitting!) outsider, but that's neither here nor there. I still am not in love with the colorway, but it is so soft... I think I may prefer it to the Shepherd Sock, just cos I look at the sock weight and my eyes cross its so thin :)

The width of the sweater looks slighter than it will be, once blocked... I was able to achieve gauge after washing and blocking my swatch (and had the squishing-up happen pre-blocking with it as well), so I'm confident the ribbing will relax into its final shape and be wider and not look like I'm raising baby abe-y lincoln. Or less than usual...

(fwiw to the parents out there-- 10% for weight, 65% for height, 75% for head circumference!!)

Back to the cable-y grind!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Yarn porn pictures. Or: How I Stopped Reality and Learned to Love Stitches West.

Yarn porn ahead. Yarn pr0n. Sock pr0n, definitely.

I headed out to Stitches West today, taking the Amtrak/Capitol Corridor "Stitch and Ride" train to Santa Clara (part of the reason I took the Amtrak was to participate in the Stitches raffles they held, but the Amtrak employees only held the Stitches events in the first car of the train and didn't make any announcement, so myself and a bunch of other attendees were left out of the reindeer games...) Oh well, got some KOlympic knitting done (update later, porn now).

So, if you haven't guessed, I knit socks. Almost exclusively. There's a few reasons why... (as I try to justify this mountain of yarn here this post is supposed to be an homage to...) I can't fathom spending $100+ for a sweater's worth of yarn, but have not blinked an eyelash at the prospect of spending $20 on a pair of socks. To me, its a lot more project bang for the buck. I also have a very short knitting attention span, and am plagued by a hate of stockinette... socks offer me a project that I can switch patterns, techniques and such in-- all with a completion date that's usually within a week or so. I also won't handwash anything, (says me before today! wait for it, wait for it...) and sock yarn to me is only worth its 100 grams of salt if its machine washable. (And most of it is!) And finally and strangely, I am drawn to orange when knitting, and always manage to find some hint of oranges in sock yarns. Weird, eh?

So, saying all of that-- let me introduce you to the yarn friends I brought home from Stitches :)


Koigu Kpppm p32151

100% Merino wool
175 yd/50gm
3mm/US 3
Colors P32151, P326145, P3231, P32278, & P?

"Ah, koigu." There's a thread on knittyboard titled "ah, koigu" that's like 4 pages long. And it seems *all* of the koigu lovers within a 250 mile radius had honed into the Foxyknits booth when I was there. I have not been so jostled since my rave-in-the-desert high school days, and that's saying something. (Though, I'm not sure what.)

I picked up 2 skeins of the KPPPM P32151-- an orangey-bluey mix-- after I had failed twice in finding matching skeins to a single that I loved. The booth was swamped and I'm thinking the pickings were slimmed down quite a bit already.

I also picked thru their "short" weight box-- 22 cents a gram and they had some itty skeins and some bigger ones as well. These were intended to become baby socks for the baby, but I may be able to eke out another pair (stripes?) for myself with the 2 larger skeins. I'll have to take them to the post office to get their weight; the total for the lot was 110 grams.


Shelridge Farms Soft Touch Ultra, 100% wool.
3 ply fingering weight, 175 yd/50 gm
3mm/US 3 needles
Color #12505 (?)

I knew I wanted to visit this booth and check out the yarn, especially knowing it was the yarn Cookie used in her Pomatomus sock pattern (that I finished in Fleece Artist, remember? ;) Anyways...) They actually had the Pomatomus sample from knitty in their booth, too! And the infamous leg!! I couldn't find the handpainted equivalent for sale, but think this handpaint will make a beautiful pair.

I was hoping to scope out their 75% wool, 25% nylon heathered yarn (socks of course), but I didn't see any.


Tess' designer yarns' "Super socks and Baby"
80% wool, 20% nylon
approx 450 yd/100 gm
Machine Wash and Dry
No colorway listed

This was another awesome booth that made me feel lucky in that I am "only" a sock knitter-- they had delicious yarns arranged by color, not by content (so there was a brown/black yarn section, a pink section, a purple section, etc.) I had a bit of a hard time locating their sock yarn in this arrangement, but they had the *nicest* staff working there and I easily found this beauty. A "steal" too at $15/hank... if I'd had found more in different colorways I probably would have picked up more than this one.


Chasing Rainbows "Sock Yarn" 55% mohair, 45% wool
300 yards, sport weight
Purple Haze colorway

I picked this up from the Fiber Elements booth. Normally I won't touch non-machine washable yarn with a 24" needle, but this was... different. I *knew* looking at it it couldn't be machine washed, but I still wanted it. A lot.

There's a sheen to this yarn, it has to be the mohair content, that is just incredible. And normally while I'm not a purple lover, the silver/grey is striking. And its soft, squishy mohair soft.

I spoke to the booth reps from Fiber Elements and asked if this was the "sock yarn" from Nancy Finn (my hank is not labeled "sock", but similar hanks in different colorways were-- same location as well), and was warned it was labeled as sock yarn from the dye artist (she really is, the others were gorgeous, too)-- but that it didn't have the "tooth" of most sock yarns as it lacked nylon and wasn't machine washable. And that it would make delicious, luxurious socks. Down I go into the world of handwashing socks :)

(I just noticed that Nancy Finn was at the Market, but I don't think I saw her booth! Crown Mountain Farms...)


Ellen's half pint farm sock yarn
80% wool, 20% nylon
500 yd/4 oz
No colorway listed

Another beauty in sock yarn. I couldn't decide what I wanted at this booth, and finally settled on this really, really pretty yarn. (It was a tossup between this and a dark black/lighter black mix.) Its soft and fine, the finest gauge yarn I bought all day.


Nature's Palette by Hand Jive Knits
100% merino wool
185 yd/50 gm
Hand dyed with natural dyes
Odd duck colorway

I had this vendor on my "must see" list after reading Clara's Knitter's Review article on the company and this yarn. I'm fascinated by naturally-dyed yarns, and was floored by the colors that were achieved by this company. As it is a handwash only yarn, I decided to hold back and pick up enough for only one pair of socks... but the yarn is super great. It has a slightly uneven look where the twist looks in part to be slightly less twisted than other parts of the yarn, but I think this adds to the "mystique" of the yarn (and may be just a result of the skeining), and will not likely affect the final fabric.


Handspun on the web's sock yarn
75% superwash wool, 25% nylon
400 yd/"weight for one pair of socks"
Colorway not listed

This was a neat vendor, she had lots and lots of rovings for sale and this wonderful sock yarn, too :) This colorway is *so* up my alley-- orange, blue, black. And its got that squishy skein thing going on... it'll knit up beautifully, I'm sure. She was also super nice and gave me a sachet of lavender with my yarn, though it is a bit too strong for me! :)


Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport
100% Superwash wool
200 yards/70gm (that's a deal!)
Sand Ridge colorway

Unfortunately I don't remember the vendor I picked this up from (no receipt!)... and I'm doubting the colorway, a bit. It is amazingly soft and a great deal (I didn't notice the skein size til now), and I'm hoping the color grows on me a bit more.




Bird of Paradise

Lisa Souza's Sock! Yarn
75% superwash wool, 25% nylon
4 oz/488 yards
US 1-2 (2.25-2.75mm)
Colorways Petroglyph, Mahogany and Bird of Paradise

This was, in my mind, the sock yarn deal of the entire Stitches Market. $14/skein. And Mr. Souza didn't charge me tax as I paid cash. AND gave me a pen, AND a rocking purple bag that helped me carry a bunch more purchases I would make later. w00t!

I am so glad I took up the suggestion from Knitter's Review Forums to check out this yarn-- I was almost going to take home even more colorways but I had to hold myself back. I also think that there must have been more colorways I'd missed, as there were a lot of empty spaces that I'm sure were helped to be that way by a throng of sock knitters who also saw the great deal they were getting in this yarn. Absolutely beautiful. I'm already planning a trip to TKGA's Spring Knit and Crochet Show in Oakland to make sure I catch up with this vendor again. (I should be evil and not say anything, but this is some pretty pretty yarn at a great price.)


Socks That Rock Velvet Moon

Socks That Rock Marbles

Socks That Rock Carbon

Socks That Rock Blarney Stone

Socks That Rock, Mediumweight
100% superwash merino
approx 380 yd/5.5 oz (!!)
Colorways Velvet Moon, Marbles, Carbon and Blarney Stone

Mhm, this wouldn't be sock knitting paradise if I didn't have some Socks That Rock, now would it?

Actually, when I hopped off of the shuttle from the train, this was the first stop I made, even though it was in the way back of the market. I kinda made my, "I'm going to Stitches!" decision when I found out the BMFA would be there, since I'd been reading so much about their yarns and I wanted to check out all of the different offerings. (But to only buy sock yarn, natch!)

They had 3 sock weights, light (which is the one available for order from their site), a medium weight (which I purchased), and a heavyweight (sorry, forgot to get size info!) I went looking for the lighterweight yarn but they had been absolutely decimated^ over the past 2 days, and only had one colorway left (that didn't suit me). No matter, the mediumweight is nice and the skein size ROCKS. 5.5 oz!! There's a *heft* to these skeins that's lacking from the other purchases I made today; I'm hoping to eke out pairs for myself and pairs for baby from one skein (We'll see!) It was also imo a great deal at $21/each (the prices varied per the weight; light was 18.50, med 21, heavy 27).

I also asked about the cotton sock yarn I'd heard blips about, but they said they were unable to get it done for this show. Good thing, this is a lot of yarn already :)

They also unveiled their "Rockin' Sock Club"... I hope they don't mind as I post these photos of the flyer they handed out at Stitches:

And all of that came on an adorable flyer with a mini-mini-MINI skein of "emergency sock yarn" attached. Adorable, no? Plotzworthy.


Brooks Farm Fourplay
50% wool 50% silk
270yd/4 oz
Colorways 015 & 038

I didn't know Brooks Farm carried sock yarn!
Oh, yeah. They don't. (I couldn't help myself!)

The red is destined to be a luxurious pair of gauntlets (Natalya-- PDF!) and the brown/purple will be a scarf-- I'm thinking Ruffles from Scarf Style. Not sure, but it is soft. And silk.

And not sock, and not superwash. So this must be the end! :)

* * * * * * *

Man, that's a lotta robot. I walked the entire Stitches Market, saw great vendors that I didn't purchase anything from (washable sock yarn? no? okay, thanks for letting me feel up your mohair/wire/sari silk/soy silk/banana silk/dog hair?? etx.) I did stop and almost go for some Interlacements, but I'm glutted on their Toasty Toes at the moment and couldn't get past the herd at their Dyers Choice bin (great prices on closeouts). I didn't shop WEBS because, well it was a nightmare mob (they had their 20-25% off special on orders of $60 or more). I also didn't go thru anyone's bargain bins (sock? no? okay.) and fondled but was mainly looking at Habu Textiles with a "huh" look on my face. I stopped in at La Lana wools thinking they may have some naturally-dyed sock yarn (didn't see any), but that is some amazing yarn they have. I couldn't believe some of the colorways; they were so saturated-- I never thought you'd be able to pull so much color out of a "natural" dye.

I also hemmed and hawwed over the trekking/opal/regia patterning-fair isle-jacquard yarns but eventually passed on them all. I think my heart is tied to the handpainted (as you can see) :)

Only had a few disappointments... I wanted to check out Schaefer's Anne but was put off by the price and the selection I found ($26, would have been my most expensive purchase for 4 oz of fiber). I also found a colorway in Artyarns supermerino that I loved, but couldn't find the mating skein for it.

Well, there's probably more since I saw every booth and think I touched every yarn! ... but I'm tired-tired and need to get some more KOlympics knitting under my belt. And no, I have *no* idea what I'm going to knit next... I need the gauntlets for the cold weather, have strung the beads for my Glad Ragg Six Sox Knitalong socks already... but all of this sock yarn is calling out to be played with :) Its almost deafening!

Thanks for slogging thru this long post :)

^ "Decimate originally referred to the killing of every tenth person, a punishment used in the Roman army for mutinous legions." The things you learn fondling sock yarn.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

River Rapids socks finished!

River Rapids socks finished!

Started: January 29, 2006
Finished: February 15, 2006
US 1.5's (Addis), 2 socks on 2 circs
Henry's Attic Kona Superwash, koolaid dyed, approx 4 oz

These took forever as my hands just couldn't take the 16" circ length I was using, and I just had to put them down til 24"-ers arrived. Also was working on KOlympics and other projects...

I had a good time with the pattern, especially as I'm getting more and more comfortable using charts. I even picked up some graph paper to write the chart out for traveling-- before I'd always write out pattern instructions longhand but I think those days are behind me. Its not so much that I can visualize it more, just that with a glance I can "see" the instructions, as opposed to reading them (and I'm a fast reader).

I also won't be knitting the Kona Superwash on US 1.5's anymore either; I got gauge with them, but felt I was pulling the yarn too much into submission. I like a tight knit sock, but this was too much wrestling, not enough redemption. I'm also curious to see how these fare in the wash being so tightly knit, if they'll bloom right off of my feet. The pics were taken before washing, they're headed for the machine after this post :)

I wish I "knew" sock knitters in person, or even knitters for that matter! I remember knitting the Knitty Shimmer shrug and getting gauge, but getting this airy looseygoosey fabric at the same time and not knowing what to do. (I ripped and reknit.) Same with socks, I aim for a tight fabric but sometimes I'm overshooting the moon-- I think perhaps I am knitting them too tightly, trying to block out any light from showing thru the fabric but making chain mail in the process (and a mess of my hands in pulling the yarn into submission). Right now I'm getting gauge on US 1 & 2's for the Cherry Tree Hill Supersock for the Six Sox' Glad Ragg pattern, but wonder if I should be using smaller needles than this... (I also remember using the "recommended" needle size of US 3's for the Supersock, what a mess for socks!)

Anyhow, I've strung the beads for the Glad Ragg socks from Y! Groups Six Sox knitalong, though I don't think I'll start it til I at least finish the back of the sweater for the KOlympics... sock knitting is such a distraction for me!

And, what is that hint of orange you may see? Oh, me running out of yarn at the tiptoes and using the leftover blip of yarn from my Wyverns. Desperation city.

Monday, February 13, 2006

What a difference 8" makes!

A few things in the knitting pipeline...

First, my Knitting Olympics event, "rib and cable sweater with hood" by Debbie Bliss in Knit Picks' Merino Style is going swimmingly, if I say so myself. I even think that this pattern won't take me the 16 days time, though I really - really thought it would. But this is a good thing, since its opened up a whole new knitting world of possibilities for me-- to knit sweaters for my toddler. I can't stand the idea of knitting a sweater in an adult size, but a 2 year old size is perfect for my knitting attention span. I knit this back piece of the sweater over Saturday, cast on in the morning and had a lot of blocks of time to work on it. Haven't touched it since (I've been trying to finish the felted bag I want to take to trek stuff in from Stitches... this weekend!!)

I'm about 10" in-- I'm using the width for a "1 year old" (24.75" chest) but I'm going to use the length for the 2 year old (14.5" from shoulder down). Even so, I think I have overbought the Merino Style; I bought 11 balls and am on my 2nd for the back portion. I'm thinking 2 for the back, 2 for the front (maybe 5 total for front & back)... one for the hood and one each for the arms. So, I'm guessing I may have 3 or so balls leftover, maybe a shorter Backyard Leaves scarf or Forbes Forest scarf (from Scarf Style)? I am planning on picking up 2 hanks of Four Play from Brooks Farms at Stitches for the Ruffles scarf...

I received my Addi 24" US 1's and knit my River Rapids socks onto them... what a difference! I love knitting these socks, and can't wait to get them off the needles (the KOlympics and the felted bag have been "holding me back" from finishing... I really shouldn't have so many projects going at once!) Another huge plus about them-- I washed and dried my Wyverns in the washer & dryer recently, and they are now my softest pair of socks ever. Its truly amazing how wonderful they turned out, they're sooo thick and comfy now after going thru the wash-- and my RR socks are made from the same Kona Superwash yarn I used for the Wyverns. So, I want to finish them and wash them right away! I seriously can't believe the difference, and want like, every pair of my socks to be like this :)

I also want to finish up the RR's since I already have my next sock project in mind-- the new pattern from Yahoo Groups' Six Sox Knitalong -- the Glad Raggs pattern for Feb/March 2006. I can't link to it but you can check out Yahoo Groups for more info... the pattern is lace and has beads on the cuffs! I had such a fun time knitting Odessa that I knew I wanted to knit these next. (Though, I think I may unknit Odessa... I added length to the cap and wore it for the first time a week ago, caught a glance of myself in a reflection and I looked like a pinhead. More than usual, anyway... the fabric was looser at the top, too much to conform to the shape of my head and as if I was hiding an extra cone up there. Oh well, after the KOlympics.)

I'll be using some Cherry Tree Hill Supersock that I bought in a millend from ebay ages ago for the Glad Raggs'. When I first started knitting, I went a little ape on buying these supersock millends (and to my credit, they're more expensive now than they were then... 2006 is really the year of the sock, and with knitty devoting its summer issue to "extremities" I don't think it'll be slowing down any time soon!). The ebay CTH millends are a great deal but they're a bunch of smaller hanks tied together and dyed in a batch, so you get about a pound of yarn but they're all underweight (under the 4 oz CTH usually packages supersock in)-- at least in my experience. Its still a good deal. Anyway, when I was (17, it was a very good year)... I handwound all of these smaller hanks into balls without knowing what I was doing-- I just rolled them into balls. Not just balls, not even center-pull balls, but tight tight TIGHT balls and stretched the poor yarn into thinnish submission. I've been going thru the stash and decided to relieve the CTH from its misery and unwound all of the balled-balls, and these 2 I soaked in some warm water to help the fiber relax from its unnatural state.

I also picked up extra 8/0 beads at the bead store, for who knows what... but beads and knitting are fun so I'm going to keep them on hand for something :)

Now I can't decide what to go and finish knitting! :)

Monday, February 06, 2006

River Rapids stalled, swatching for Knitting Olympics...

Sort of a "clean up" post ahead...

I've been knitting less and less of the River Rapids socks and have basically stalled out on them. There isn't a problem with the pattern or the yarn (though I think I may be knitting these on too small of a gauge); the fabric looks great and tight but my hands are killing me. I love knitting 2 socks on 2 circs, even thought its probably not that much faster than knitting one at a time-- but my US 1.5's (2.5mm) are 16" and they're just too short for me. I can't stand them with as many stitches as are on the needles right now... just looking at the uncompleted socks bothers my hands. (I knit with the palm of my hands, and the 16" needle makes me knit solely with fingers.) So I've ordered some 24"-ers and will restart the RR's when they arrive, hopefully in time to finish them before the KOlympics.

I've swatched for the "rib and cable sweater with hood" I'm planning for the KOlympics... Knit Picks says the Merino Style is 5.5 sts = 1" on US 5's, the Bliss pattern calls for gauge of 20 sts = 4" in st st and 24 sts = 4" in patt. So I knit the st st and the gauge was off (6 sts = 1") and the patt was off as well (7 sts = 1"). Promptly started to freak out as I'm wont to do, then figured that blocking may actually be my friend... Blocked swatches and got gauge on both on the pattern's needle size (US 6), so I'm happy. This was my first time blocking anything... I always just "finish" socks and wear them, so this was a tiny miracle for me :) Even though the swatches smell a bit like wet dog!

Besides avoiding the socks, I've played around with the felted bag pattern but nothing to report on it yet. Mainly I've had my nose in sock knitting books... Knitting on the Road, Simple Socks: Plain and Fancy, Knitting Vintage Socks and Sensational Knitted Socks. I haven't had much absorption rate with my toddler's obsession with dvd's lately (rearranging), but they are inspiring... I think I want only Folk Socks and Socks, Socks, Socks to round out my sock knitting library, maybe Simply Socks for inspiration. And a few stitch pattern books (Barbara Walker's Treasuries, Vols I & II; Stitchionary; Mon Tricot 1500 patterns) so I can really use the 4377 out of Sensational Knitted Socks... as soon as I get back from Stitches West, of course!

Which has been another obsession here-- checking out the vendors that'll be at the Market on Knitter's website...
Etc etc. You can see I'm a bit obsessive about the sock yarn... I just want to check out things I haven't tried, and there are quite a few :) My lys is pretty inaccessible to me with a toddler in tow, and their sock selection never grabs me when I'm there. Here's hoping I get grabbed :)

Friday, February 03, 2006

Odessa pic, Knit Picks' Merino Style in Dusk and Knitty Shimmer Shrug

Sun's out but I still can't manage to take a pic of Odessa that I like. I love the swirl on top and can't really get it myself; may have to enlist someone to take a picture of the top of my head :) The color's much more accurate here than under the flouros in my last pic...

Also, the Merino Style from Knit Picks arrived, dusk color... for the "Cable and Rib Sweater with Hood" by Debbie Bliss that I'm planning on tackling for my part in the Knitting Olympics. Behind it is Shimmer (shrug) from Knitty, knit in Cascade Pima Tencel on US 6 (cornflower blue, #1353). I had to take it off the needles and put it on waste yarn; I only have one pair of Addis in #6 and they've been called in for Olympic duty. It is pretty, and I will finish it once the weather takes a brighter turn.

Odessa finished!

Odessa finished...

Odessa by Grumperina, published in Feb 05 MagKnits
Started: Feb 1, 2006
Finished: Feb 2, 2006
Rowan Calmer, Coffeebean... one ball (with leftovers)
Addi 3.0mm & 3.75mm -- 40cm

This is a pattern I'd definitely look to if I were to make a little special last minute gift for someone. It's quick to knit (easy to memorize the pattern), unique, shiny (anybody but me and the raccoons love shiny?) and just catches your eye.

I knit mine in Calmer since that's what I had in the stash... knit to 5.75"-6" before decreases as I have a big head and often-cold ears. I love Calmer and it was a pleasure to knit this hat in it... it may be a good chemo cap pattern (without beads, I assume) and I had a bit of the ball left over-- no worries about running out like Shedir *pdf!* (which I think I may knit in the very-near future, perhaps as my cable "practice" for the Knitting Olympics?)

Meanwhile, back on the farm... I may try and take a natural light pic tomorrow as this one isn't really doing it for me and the flash ones make the yarn look brighter than it is.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Frailty, thy name is odessa.

I'm usually not a several wip kinda gal, mostly cos the projects I knit are so small that they'll be finished before the urge to start another has receded. However, the new February MagKnits is out and like everyone else who has and will see it, Odessa's caught my eye.

So, even though I spent way too long pondering beads today (and ended up using the generic beads I bought for my diy stitch markers, discovering they're the perfect size-- "e" ticket, jo!) I managed to cast on and get a good deal banged out so far. I did get a bit paranoid that the cap wouldn't fit my brontosaurus head and threw some waste yarn in to try it on about 2" in... it'll be fine. I hope :)

I strung the beads with a little help from Clara's article over on Knitter's Review, making my own very very thin bead threader out of superfine wire I had purchased with the beads but hadn't used before. Very neat, and I "shopped from the stash" for everything, making me extremely pleased with myself and able to justify my ignoring of my lonely pair of River Rapids socks begging for their gusset decreases.

Started: February 1, 2006
Odessa by Grumperina (published by MagKnits)
Rowan Calmer in coffeebean
Addi 3.0mm (US 2.5) & 3.75mm (US 5) -- 40 cm (16")

(the woman doth protest too much, metinks.)

Subscribe Now: Feed Icon

I Took The Handmade Pledge!