Wednesday, February 28, 2007

sock blocker keychains

OMG! Have you seen these? I just ordered 4. 2 for myself, one for the keyring, one for the backpack and two to give as gifts. They are perfect! Of course this is a website that specializes in sock yarn and how could I possibly just order sock blocker keychains when they had this? The slow, cleansing breaths just come naturally when you look at colors like this. I have been wanting to try this yarn and now have another good reason to stalk the mailman.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

wavy #1 opus 3 done

I finished the first Wavy Lace this morning

Cast on the second and finished the little scallop edge tonight. The finished fabric is very stretchy and looks just beautiful. I am certain I will make additional pairs as gifts.

Only a few rows finished on the second plain sock. I have been getting out of the car to chit chat with other parents during baseball practice, this really cuts into the knitting time. Yes, I could knit and chit chat at the same time, but that seems rude.

I have plenty of plain knitting in my future. Of course there is baseball for my oldest son. My youngest daughter in an Irish Step Dancer. With St. Patrick's day coming up she has tons of extra classes and rehearsals. 5 performances in 4 days over that weekend. LOTS of knitting time.

I am practically stalking the mailman for my new Rockin' Sock Club kit. I think they were mailed yesterday. They are mailed from Oregon, I am in Washington, how long can it take? The reality is that I can not have 3 socks on needles at one time. Needle supply is an issue, but there is no way I can keep 3 patterns straight in my head. I would have to keep looking at charts and all knitting would become very inefficient. If I am one thing it is efficient.

When I first began knitting, 7 years ago. I used Brittany Birch needles. I knew that I did not want metal and the birch where the only other option from my LYS. Since then I discovered bamboo from Crystal Palace. My almost LYS carried them and it was love at first feel. For circulars I use Addi Turbos because I really like the cable. I recently purchased a few pairs of the Knit Picks Options but have not taken them out for a test drive. The pointyness looks very nice to work with and now I am rethinking my "no metal" dp rule and am wondering about the Knit Picks dp's. Anyone out there have an opinion? I appreciate them all.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

wavy lace #3

Here is the sock as of this evening.

About 1/2 the gusset decreases done. I could do more, but decided to do this instead.

Some of you newer knitters may not see why I made a choice, I mean really, its just a glass (or two) of wine. While drinking and knitting may work for that garter stitch Fun Fur, if you are working on anything with a yo or a ssk, just set it down and back away. Nothing is worse than ripping out while fending off a hangover and trying to figure out what you were thinking.

Back to the sock, Here it is opened up.

So pretty. This is what I have learned while knitting, reknitting, and knitting the damn sock once again. The yo's between the knit and purl stitches are a pain. First I tried them the traditional way and the holes were too big, then I tried them without the extra loop of yarn and they were too small. Lastly I tried ignoring them. On the row with the ssk where I am suppose to yo before the last purl, I did not. Instead on the next row I did the repeat by p1, k5, M1 the wrong way, p1. This worked great! The purl yo's are tidy, and a much better match size wise to the knit yo's. I am very happy with myself for having thought of it. If you are going to knit this sock and want better details let me know and I will shoot the whole thing in close up.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


I frogged the Wavy Lace. I made it through the heel turn and almost through the gusset decreases. Then I thought I should try it on the make certain the foot size was going to be OK. Yes, the foot size was fine, but the leg was long enough that passed the ankle and went up to the calf where it was too tight! GGRRR - please notice my lack of swearing. So here is the plan....Cast back on with 72, do the cute scalloped edge, and then only do 2 repeats of the leg pattern. That should do it. I really like the way the pattern looks. See previous post for pics. The thing I do not like are the yo's that go in between the purl to knit stitches and then the knit to purl stitches. They are a bit hard to work on the next row and doing them with size 1 needles can make my thumb cramp up. But I will work through the pain and press on. Stay tuned for pics of the 3rd reknit. The 3rd time being the charm.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


I had no problem switching to a new sock pattern once the first sock was off the needles. It must be pretty obvious that I am not a procrastinator.

Here is the first plain sock.

Look at the cute little picot bind off.

Here is the beginning of Waving Lace Socks from the book Favorite Socks. If I could figure out how to add buttons to my blog I would add the KAL for the book. Anyone out there want to help me out with the button thing?

The Waving Lace is actually a very easy pattern to work with. The charts make sense and are easily memorized. It is not a "take to the high school baseball game" sock, but could easily be worked on the bus.

I gave the Amazon link to the book, but they do not actually sell them right now. Their release date is April 1st. You can order the book from Interweave Press. Or better yet, pick it up at your LYS. It is only $5 more than buying it from Amazon. You should hurry, my prediction is that the first printing will be gone in a flash.

I have been looking forward to the 2007 Rockin' Sock Club from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. It was such great fun last year. They had a blog and I feel like we all got to know each other in cyberspace. This year I am a bit worried. There has been some email glitches getting everyone switched over to the new blog and the new people are being downright mean about the whole thing. Responses are impatient and snotty. What if having so many more people in the 2007 club ruins our little community full of fun and support? The first kits go out next week. If the blog is full of complaints about the color or pattern or anything else I will know 2006 can not be repeated.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

keeps going and going...

I have learned something important this weekend. It is not possible for me to stop in the middle of a sock project to cast on another. I tried, but could not make myself do it. I should be finished with the first sock I am working on this morning. It will be interesting to see if I can switch at that point. I keep telling myself that the African Grey socks are a plain mindless pattern that will be great to knit during baseball season. Now is the time for something that is a little more fun.

Anyway, while at the yarn shop I picked up this

Louet Gems, fingering, Citrus Orange. This will be my second pair with this yarn. I really like it. I almost bought a purply color to use for a wrap, but managed to control myself. Something unplanned did make its way into my bag. This

A TON of great patterns. I subscribe to Interweave Knits and have knit some of these socks, but there are new ones and older ones that I have not seen, or forgotten. Also 2 of my favorite patterns are in the book, Retro Rib and Merino Lace. I ripped the pages from the magazines and have knit them both 2 times. Now I do not have to worry about losing the magazine pages.

So the questions for today are, #1 will I be able to stop the plain socks and cast on something new, #2 Will the new project be Hedera or Waving Lace Socks, the cover pattern?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

more yarn + free weekend = hedera

Husband will be out of town this weekend. Tomorrow I will run down to the yarn shop and pick up some provisions. Yes, I have a new pair of socks on needles and the shawl too. Your point?

I am in love all over again with Hedera. After seeing Cookie A.'s new post I immediately cast on for a pair. I had a skein of sock yarn from Cookie A's stash sale that has been saying "pick me, pick me". Well, after a few inches it was obvious that yarn was all wrong for the project. Too dark and busy. So that yarn is becoming a pair of plain socks and the yarn I am buying tomorrow will become Hedera. I am going to need to either finish the current socks before I cast on for the new pair, or I will need to pick up another pair of size 2 DP. I have big feet and knit tight, so I always go up a needle size. The safe money is on another pair of needles.

Cherry Tree Hill yarn, African Grey. I am doing toe up so that I can put a cute picot edge at the top.

Today is the first day I have felt like my old self. I am even having a glass of wine, which is something I have had no desire for this past two weeks of sickness. I had purchased a case of wine for the Super International Pajama Day party. I was sick and the party was cancelled. I now have a case of Lambrusco in the kitchen. Gee, I wonder what will become of it?

inside the mitten

I was asked for better pictures of the tvaanstickning mittens. Here is a picture where you can kind of see the patterns. The basic stitches look the same.

Here is a close up of the diamond pattern on the back of the hand. Because you are using 2 strands of yarn and dragging them across each other the the details are different and very cool.

This my friends is what the inside looks like. Isn't that what it is all about?

My oh my. Every stitch twisted.

Monday, February 12, 2007

question of the day #1

If aliens were to plop down an enormous amount of money, millions and millions, onto your front porch what is the very first thing you would buy? The VERY first?

This question was posed to me and my response was I would pay off the house. Apparently that does not count because I already bought the house, just have not paid for it. I suppose the same logic works with credit cards. So then I had to think, well, what would I buy? Something that would be a lifestyle change but not too extravagant, because I am not an extravagant sort of gal. A gardener...named, no I am getting sidetracked. The services of a gardener, or a landscaper is probably what is actually needed. I have all this green stuff surrounding the house and it grows, and really, someone should pay some attention to it all.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

S - I - C - K

sick, that is what I have been for 10 days now. Enough already. Today I do feel better, but still hacking and tired. The first half of this illness I was too sick to read, or watch movies, or KNIT. My eyes needed to be closed. At least I can knit again and here is what I am working on.

This is becoming a shawl. Once finished I will block it to open the stitches. The colorway is Mustang Sally from Blue Moon. I am using a pattern from Victorian Lace Today. The instructions are vague and the charts do not match the written instructions. Luckily this is a very simple pattern and did not take much to figure out the error. This is hands down the easiest thing in the book, the error makes me wonder about trying something more difficult. Anyone out there used a pattern from the book?

Then there is a mitten and 1/4. This also uses Blue Moon STR, the colorway is Rare Gem and it was the bonus skein from our December mailing. Every club member received something different and one of a kind. Very cool. I am making these mittens using the Tvaansstickning method described in the Jan/Feb Piecework magazine. The work is slow. Every stitch is twisted over every other stitch. Unlike colorwork where you can alternate the twist of the stitches to keep the working yarn smooth, tvaansstickning has you twist every stitch in the same direction. This means you have to drop the needle every stitch to lift one of the yarns over the other. It also means you have to stop and untwist your yarns every round, then pull out and secure just enough yarn for the next round. The upside is they fabric is very warm and not too bulky. Will I make something like this again? Doubtful.