29 April 2006

I've deleted a post. Some of you caught it.. some of you didn't. It was a post describing my experience at a particular yarn shop. I'm glad the owner of the yarn shop got to read it. I told her what I thought; she responded likewise. That's as far as it goes. I dislike drama in all aspects of my life, and there is no need for it here. So, yarn shop owner, if you're reading this, thanks for responding. I'm glad the feeling is mutual. We both know that, and we can drop it now.

Back to your regularly scheduled knitting talk:

Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee, in one of her books, has assured me that it's okay to knit a sock that might not fit. It will fit someone. I'm reading all of her books at once, in little bits and pieces, so please don't ask which one, though I think it is Knitting Rules. So I worked on that a bit yesterday. Most of my time was spent starting a blanket for Jaden, who will be here in 21 days! It's just a basic basketweave blanket, and will take approximately forever to knit. That's okay. I like him to see me working on it. Last year, I hadn't learned to knit yet. I crocheted. I crocheted him a blanket, which was actually just lots of squares (not granny squares, mind you) put together. He saw me making squares day after day. He saw me sewing them together (I guess you could call it sewing.. it was more like pretending to know what I was doing.) When it was finished, I presented it to him, and even though it was his, and he slept with it, he always called it "Steppie's blue blankie." Aww.

20 April 2006

Great, just great.

I made a gauge swatch before I started. Granted, it wasn't a large gauge swatch, but it was a gauge swatch, and it was in the round. 8 st/inch. Perfect.

Oh, the sock. I'm talking about the sock.

Being the obsessive-compulsive, slightly-perfectionist, worrisome wench that I am.. I checked my gauge again.. about 5 inches into the sock. 10 st/inch. Um.

So now, I stare at my sock. Glare at my sock, even. All those nice, neat little stitches.. and it does this to me. Will it be too small? It's toe-up.. I tried it on. It feels nice. Comfortable. A little too comfortable. Eerily comfortable. (Well, other than the needles biting into my foot.) Will I have the courage to finish it, even with the gauge being off.. taking my chances on a too-tight sock? Not sure. Will I frog it and start over? Definitely not. Will I just abandon the sock, punishing it to forever be a work in progress? Possibly. If that happens, will I give up on socks forever, and admit loudly to the world that I LOVE MAKING HATS, not socks.. not stinkin' socks.. not god awful socks? Perhaps.

That said, I think this evening will be devoted to Branching Out.. (branching out away from socks.. grr.)

19 April 2006

Apparently, this getting out of the house thing is dangerous, as one outing apparently leads to another. On Thursday, April 27th, if all goes well, I will be heading to Brentwood, TN to the Yarn Harlot's book signing. Woohoo.

Oh, and why has no one warned me that Mother's Day is quickly approaching? I have four mothers!! Four! Mom, step-mom, mother-in-law, step-mother-in-law. And will they all get something? Yes, they will get cards at least. Mom will get taken out to dinner, and I'm knitting up a nice (?) pair of slippers for her. The rest of them.. I guess it depends on how fast I knit, huh?


18 April 2006

Beverley, you should definitely try toe-up socks. I like that it gives you something interesting to work on immediately (the short-row toes) rather than having to knit inches and inches for the leg, before anything cool happens. I think the general consensus in the sock-knitting community is that Wendy's Generic Toe-up Sock Pattern is the pattern to start with. I tried starting using a book, Simple Socks: Plain and Fancy, but turned to Wendy's pattern when I was having a little bit of difficulty, and have found Wendy's pattern to be much more helpful. There is an article in the newest knitty that has pictures to go along with her cast on method, I believe. Don't quote me on that.

Thanks everyone for your input on the scarf. I'll keep working on it. Also, Lufah, thanks so much for dropping by and commenting :)

Today's knitting time was devoted to this:

This is a kid's size beanie, the first of many hats that I will be making for Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The yarn is Manos del Uruguay, which is a real pleasure to knit with. The color surprised me, as it looks a lot better knitted up than in the ball. I never saw it in skein form, as I got it as a swap at the knit_swap livejournal community, and it was already balled up. I'm working on busting my stash, because I have so many oddballs, and I'm trying to make room for new yarns, so that I can buy large enough quantities for an actual project. I think these hats will definitely help with that.

17 April 2006

Proof! Proof, that I mustered up the courage to leave my house, drive 2 hours, and meet lots of other knitters! Look!

I met Ann and Kay! I met Ann and Kay! They were adorable. Their knits were gorgeous and soft and so drapey. They were awesome speakers, and just generally very nice ladies.

I decided to go to the signing at the bookshop rather than the yarn shop, and I picked up some other loot as well. Spin-Off magazine, since I'm never able to find it around here. And finally, the Yarn Harlot's second book. I've read the first couple of stories, and it's hilarious.

Since I had the camera out, I decided I might as well take a couple of progress shots.

This is the toe-up sock I've been working on. I can start the heel in about 2 and a half inches. Hooray!

This is the meager progress I've made on the Branching Out scarf with my handspun terracotta yarn. Please ignore that I'm stretching it a bit with a speaker and a candle, so that you can see the lace pattern well without having to block it. I'm really not sure if I like how the yarn colors are working with the pattern. I've considered frogging it and doing a feather and fan stitch instead, or even using this yarn for a monkey. What do you think?

14 April 2006

Sock Toe

Sock Toe
Originally uploaded by atla.
Last night I decided I wanted to learn how to do toe up socks, using Wendy's short row techniques. I thought I'd just glance at the pattern, get a general idea, so that I'd know what I was getting into when I decided to actually make a pair. Then I wanted to actually -see- how it worked, so I cast on. So it appears that I'm making a pair of socks! Hooray. This is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Hawaii.

13 April 2006

When this:

meets this:

they become this:

(closeup of the stitches and colors)

And the leftovers become an iPod nano cozy:

I didn't actually have a lot of the first yarn, so the rug isn't as large as the photos make it look. But since the garter stitch is so cushy, it feels great under my feet in the morning! (in front of the bathroom sink). I should probably also block it :P

Speaking of an iPod, I just acquired that one yesterday. So of course, getting to the leftover yarn to make the iPod cozy was the motivation for finishing that rug. I've been listening to It's a Purl, Man podcast, and I've always listened to Knitcast. Any other favorites I should check out?

11 April 2006

I got my BFL in yesterday, so last night was a dyeing frenzy. I must have dyed 2 lbs of fiber. I dyed larger amounts this time, because I'm tired of this "92 yards" crap. I only ended up with one color that I absolutely MUST keep for myself, and another that I may or may not.. depending on how it spins up. Then I've got the blue/purple that I've done too many times and I will definitelly sell. It appears as though all the blues, purples, and the black of Wilton's make a blue/purple combo. Not my thing. I used Copper last night, which turned out orange. Lemon yellow which was actually lemon yellow. The one that I must keep for myself, though, was the result of a few different colors. It started with red, until I realized I was just going to get a melon color again. So I added burgundy to try and darken it up.. possibly make it a scarlet or eve n a wine color. That made dark melon.. so I threw in a bit of brown. The result is a red with bits of pale, pale pink and just hints of the brown tone. Doesn't sound too delicious, but it's gorgeous. It looks like a dusty rose. I dyed some more with the color that made Thinmints.. except used more dye this time, so it doesn't have as much white.

Y'know, even the colors that I don't really like, I end up getting fond of when they're all spun up and sitting here in skeins waiting on someone to buy them. I glance over occasionally and look at the colors and the texture.. and imagine all the things it could be. Occasionally, I give in and delete it from the etsy shop and cast on with it. Terracotta, for example, was in my etsy shop for awhile. Now it's becoming branching out. April Rain and Astonomy are now working together to create what will most likely be a small rug (it's very soft.. even if it is small, I want to put my feet on it). I don't seem to get as attached to them when they're in balls. It's just the skeins I want to knit up or stash away. Weird.

09 April 2006

Guess what guess what guess what!

Y'know that book I was talking about? Mason-Dixon Knitting. I'm going to get to meet the authors of it! *crosses fingers* They're doing a book tour right now, and will be at my not-so-local LYS (2 hours away) on March 18th!! Whoohoo! Needless to say, I'm excited. Omg. It just occurred to me. This is going to be a signing for a knitting book.. at a yarn store.. with other knitters. There will possibly be knitting there. I've never actually met another knitter. Like, ever. I must be knitting something scrumptious.. something delightful.. possibly something out of handspun yarn! OMG! Even more so.. this MIGHT be an opportunity to lead some buyers to my etsy shop. *breaks out the business cards* Actually, that might be kinda tacky at a yarn shop. Perhaps I should go to the one in Nashville at the bookstore instead. Either way, I've gotta get spinning.. and knitting. And freaking out.

Unfortunately, I'm out of roving. Have been for a week. I THINK my shipment will arrive tomorrow. I'm starting to wither away.

01 April 2006

All of my online time has been devoted to this lately.

Here's the latest spinning I've gotten done:

I've also decided that dyeing merino is a huge pain in the arse. With BFL, I don't even need a presoak.. just toss it into the dyepot when it's hot enough.

With merino, not only do I need a presoak, it has to be an attentive presoak. I have to hold the fiber under the water.. pull the fiber apart at places to let the water in.. basically, tend to it for half an hour before dyeing. Otherwise the dye just slides right off. Crazy merino.

I finally found the macro setting on my darn camera! See how much clearer my yarn photos are now? I'm a dolt.

In less than two months, we're heading to PA to pick up my stepson for the summer. My stepson is awesome. He'll be 4 in July, and he's smart and adorable and I love him to death. Last year when he was here, I crocheted him a blanket. He watched me work on it day after day, and then I finally asked him if he wanted it, and he nodded enthusiastically. He always called it "Steppie's blue blankie." *melts* So this year, I've already cast on for a small blanket for him. Once again, inspired by Mason-Dixon Knitting.. it's simple.. lots of garter stitch, but the way it's put together will make it look great.. hopefully. Hubby picked the colors. Navy blue, black, and grey. I'm thinking I might return some of the yarn and make it navy blue, forest green, and tan. The blue/black don't contrast each other enough for my liking. Either way, it's the perfect tv knitting.. just like tubey. And I'm still working on Branching Out for when I need to spice up my knitting.

Oh! Hey.. I didn't show you guys.

This was made by another etsy member with my bleeding yarn.

And this was made by yet another etsy member, with the darker yellow stripes being my Kindergarten Sunshine yarn.

Cool, huh?