Archive for the ‘Socktoberfest’ Category

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Now that’s more like it

October 31, 2007

The little sojourn in to sewing did good things for me. Now I’m back to knitting happily and making things that I think are coming out nice.

First off, I am so super proud of the second Monkey sock I made. I wanted to try and make a full pair of socks before the end of Socktober…and I won!

Three days of solid Monkey only work. When knit in the proper gauge, Lorna’s Laces feels great. Too tight and it’s like leather on your feet, but this is just right for me. Size 2’s are pretty much my magic needle for sock gauge. So much so, in fact, that I didn’t feel any buyer’s remorse over picking up two small circulars in size 2.

Knitting socks on circular needles is really…different. I got so used to all the stop and start of DPNs that I’m getting a little lost on these circs. It’s faster, no doubt about it, and I think I’m really getting the hang of it. Not that I picked a great pattern to try this brand new technique out on.

Here are the second Potters Covers socks so far. The toe up thing has been pretty fun, and the Coriolis shaping is nifty…but confusing. I’m getting a bit nervous about how long these are going to be. The pattern looks perfect for my foot length, but I’m worried I messed something off and I’m not increasing at the right rate or something. That being said, the snakey cable going around the gusset is really entertaining to me. I’m thinking about jazzing it up a bit once I get to the leg (adding some extra twists, things like that).

I’m also still working on Christmas gifts. I have three rows left on the BSJ that I can’t seem to make myself do. It’s three freaking rows! Not that hard! But I’m being all weird about it because once I bind off, I need to learn applied i-cord…::shudder:: Maybe I should have saved the breaking of new ground for a non-gift project…probably won’t fit the kid by now, anyway…. But the other gift I started is wonderfully easy, and also comes courtesy of EZ. My cousin Mike asked for a black scarf for Christmas. I don’t think he was serious, but I said “sure” and I meant it. I gotta say that the Prime Rib stitch is like magic. It even made the rather limp Paton’s Shetland Chunky I’m using feel thick and full, plus it’s a fun stitch to do. I kinda want a scarf for myself in this stitch. Maybe I’ll use up some of my noro to make a stripe scarf in this stitch. Mindless enough to go quickly, but still looks pretty cool.

Lastly, I’m back in love with Odessa. Sure, I messed up on the beads a bit, but effect of the hat is still intact. This picture does not do the color justice. It’s more of an icey blue, and with the little pearl beads (huge pack of them cheap at Michael’s) I think it looks great. The RYC Cashsoft is so nice, too…

Knitting is fun again!

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All new fun

October 23, 2007

I may not have gone to Rhinebeck, but in terms of yarn related fun I’ve had a pretty awesome few days.

I went back out to my alma mater, Bucknell University, for Homecoming weekend on Friday, getting back yesterday. Now I had all sorts of serious stuff to do there in addition to fun, but I’d brought along my Monkey socks for sitting around time (which I knew there was going to at least be a little bit of), so I knew I wouldn’t be going an entire weekend without knitting. When dropped my car off downtown, I decided to take a walk in the pouring rain toward my friends’ house…not really thinking of the fact that I was literally on the opposite end of town and I hate being out in the rain. About halfway there, I was looking for anywhere I could pop in and waste time just to dry up a bit. What do you think I found?

A yarn store. There was a freaking LYS in my college’s town, and I find it two years after I graduate. Fantastic. The really interesting thing is that it’s more of a spinning store than a yarn store. Not sure we even have one of those out here where I live. I went in and saw all the pretty roving and tops on the wall and I got that spinning curiosity back again. “Why not,” I figured. “It’s just a little drop spindle and a handful of roving. It’s not gonna break the bank.” The woman who owns the shop was great! When I asked about beginner spinning kits, she offered to give me a quick crash course with the roving she was working on. She dealt with my hang ups about the whole “omg the spindle is spinning must keep up while maintaining a death-grip on the roving” and the dog that hung out with her was very cute and chill. She was a really good teacher, and eventually I ended up with this:

 “Look, ma! Beige Kuyeron!”

That would be my snarky way of saying that my width is a mess. I go from embroidery thread to Burly Spun in less than 2 inches…but is was so much fun! As soon as I figure out how to get the above shown “yarn” off the spindle, I plan on doing some more practice with the little ball of roving I picked up along with the spindle. The owner sells roving from her own sheep. How cool is that!? The roving I bought and the stuff on the spindle is from a sheep named Karma, who has very soft wool and has gotten a little lighter with age apparently (the yarn on the spindle is older than the roving I bought). Mad About Ewes in Lewisburg is definitely going on my list of “places I have to go whenever I visit school.” Man…now I wanna try spinning again…

BUT! There is much else to discuss. Tops on the list is the fact that I got my newest sock club yarn shipment. The Chamber of Secrets colorway is very cool and I found myself so stoked about the pattern that I had to cast on right away. It really didn’t feel like a choice so much as a necesity. Kind of like breathing. Maybe I should have waited, though, since I didn’t have the called for two circs to make the toe-ups. But I’m stubborn and didn’t think there was anything that I couldn’t do on my DPNs, even if it was going to be my first time trying toe up socks…

In hindsight, the really long DPNs might have been a poor decision….

And yet I did manage to turn this pin-cushion in to a toe. And, while I’m at it, an instep. The pattern uses this crazy snaking increase and there’s a cool cable pattern that follows it. Very fun to make, but with one Monkey done I really need to focus on that pattern so I can get a full pair done before the end of the month…

 …but I want to spin…

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Two Paths Diverged

October 14, 2007

I have two knitting roads I can choose right now.

 One is the more prudent path. It says “Wow you have a lot of stuff on the needles. The best thing to do right now would be to focus on what’s already been started and finish that off. You’ll feel better and you’ll have actual knitted objects to wear.”

The voice on my other shoulder is something more to the effect of…..

 “MOAR! MOAR PROJEKS! MOAR SOCK YARNZ! MOAR!”

It’s been very hard to choose, but I’m kind of striking a balance. I actually have two new FOs: The My So Called Scarf that took much too long to finish off and the Back to School U-Neck.

The thing is, I liked making this scarf a lot. It’s just that….well…It’s a scarf. A scarf in one stitch pattern forever and ever amen until you run out of yarn or patience. But this was Malabrigo. Sweet, sweet Malabrigo. And the stitch pattern makes a beautiful, thick scarf that look really sharp.

And the sweater-vest. Wow. Am I ever surprised with this one. It was another one of those projects where I was like ‘man this is gonna look dumb and probably won’t fit it seems so big on top…’

It fits great. It looks even cuter in person than it does in the photo. It really is nice to finish things. I ought to keep this up.

As for the “MOAR!” screaming in my brain, it’s partly spurred on by how gorgeous my new sock yarn is.

Look at that! It’s even better looking in person than it is on dyer’s Etsy! I wanted to cast something on with it right away, but my sock-fu is apparently not at its best. I tried on the Waving Lace Socks last night and found that they didn’t fit at all. I seem to just have really bad luck with Lorna’s Laces. I didn’t want to be discouraged, though, so I cast on some Monkeys. Good ol’ Monkey. There’s a reason everyone on the internet seems to have made a pair. Intuitive stitch pattern that makes great use of really variegated yarns. The colorway is still very My Little Pony, but it’s all good. I’m looking forward to these…

Also going to give in to my inner moarCat and pick up some more size 2 DNPs (my magic needle for sock gauge, it seems). I’ve got more sock yarn coming from the Potter’s Covers Sock Club…can’t just leave that sitting around…and nothing says I can’t have more than one pair of socks going at once….

Just leave me to my rationalizations or I’ll send ceilingCat after you. And he doesn’t play around.