Monday, February 26, 2007

first-ever sock finished!

had the second day of sock class on Saturday afternoon and learned how to pick up stitches on the gusset and make decreases to make it fit. It wasn't as hard as I anticipated, but I definately think I should have chosen a lighter-colored yarn to learn on. It was hard to see all the stitches to be picked up along the edge of the heel and when it came time to kitchener-stitch the toe together, I had a very hard time seeing the stitches, but it all turned out. and guess what? it even fits my enormous-footed husband! hopefully I have enough of this navy yarn to make a second sock because I don't want to buy any more of this color. I did pick up some beautiful varigated yarn for my second pair which I got down down the leg and turned the heel last night while watching the Oscars. I wanted to do another pair quickly so I could remember how to do all the steps, but needed something more interesting than the plain blue yarn to look at. I'll do a sock in the pink/orange and then go back to Wes' second blue sock, then the second pink/orange one to finish out my socks for now. Too many distractions from my hoodie!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

first sleeve syndrome?

last night I finished my first sleeve for the cabled hoodie. it wasn't hard figuring out the increases, but I was a little frustrated when I realized that one sleeve had more stitches than one of the fronts (hello, my arm is skinnier than my boob). I thought I was on the fast track to finishing this thing, but it's going to take a little longer. I cast on for the second sleeve last night (2x2 rib is boring enough to do during Heroes) and hopefully can get that done faster than the first one since I am anxious to get started on the hood and the finishing touches of this sweater.
I am also not sure it will fit which is making me very uneasy as I have spent many many evenings, car trips, lunch breaks, plane rides and phone conversations working on this since I first cast on in August. I am afraid it will be a little too big, which is especially frustrating since when I first started it was too small. I also had to raid AFY of it's last two matching dyelot balls of yarn (and three non-matching because I knew two wouldn't be enough!). what is my problem and WHY do I use so much yarn?? this project called for eight balls of yarn, I have gone through nine and still have a sleeve, a hood and all the front ribbing to go! I went to a larger needle size when I realized my gauge problem after I had finished half of the (too-small) back so that I wouldn't have to keep buying yarn, but now I have cleaned Lois out of the flecked brown tweed so I hope this is it ...

Monday, February 19, 2007

learning socks, part I

Saturday I headed over to Anacapa Fine Yarns for the first of two sock-knitting classes. I had wanted to take this class before I made the Christmas stockings, but found a pattern for those easy enough to figure out myself (no turning heels or gussets!) once I found out the prior-to-Christmas sock class was full. Lois put me on the waiting list for the next class and I signed up, even though I wasn't sure if I wanted to wear knitted socks. The month of cold weather and no heater working in our apartment convinced me that I would love to wear knitted socks, but of course Saturday was 85 degrees and I had no interest in wool. but off I went to learn new things. I already knew how to knit in the round using dpns, but wanted to learn how to knit circularly with two circular needles. I found it was much easier to cast on and of similar difficulty to get the first round started, but then it was smooth sailing. I don't really mind using dpns, so probably I will go back and forth between two circulars and dpns, depending on my mood when I start a project. But Lois did warn us that if we knit one sock in a pair using dpns, we should use dpns for the second as well because gauge can be affected. once we were all comfortable knitting in the round (some in the class had never done it before) Lois had us put that aside and cast on with new yarn and needles to practice the heel, which she wanted us to complete on our own before next class on our real sock. I was nervous about the short rows and slipped stitches, but it came pretty easily and before I knew it, I had a little heel cup sitting in front of me (teal arrow pointing to it in the picture).
Saturday night Wes and I just hung out and watched a movie at home so I was able to finish the ribbing at the top of the sock and get in most the knitted rounds too. Yesterday I had a hard run at Wildwood with Tia and Wes' soccer game, then dinner and Wes left for work. I sat down to work on my sock again. I finished the rounds and started in on the heel. It didn't take long and I even remembered how to do the slipping and short rows. I wanted to keep knitting, but Lois has only shown us this far and I am even more nervous about the gusset (what the heck is a gusset?) than I was about the short rows on the heels, so I guess I'll put this aside until class next Saturday. but of course I couldn't resist trying it on :) p.s. glad I gave myself a pedicure on Saturday before class. love this pink from Sephora ... it is almost ridiculously too '80s pink, but it makes me sooo ready for summer but then I wouldn't get to wear the brown hoodie ... just the sleeve cap left on one arm, then another arm and pick up stitches for the hood and edging. the end is so close I can see it. maybe that is why I keep picking up other projects instead.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

happy candy-hearts day!

it's a good thing Valentine's Day finally came, Wes and I have already eaten through eight mini-boxes and a bag of candy hearts in the past few weeks and I don't think my waistline can take it anymore! I don't know what it is about those hearts, I just can't get enough. Even when my head is pounding from sugar and my tongue is stained an unrecognizable shade of magenta, I keep eating them! I like the green, orange and yellow ones the best. yum yum. and for the record, I only like the Necco brand hearts and no, I do not eat Necco Wafers during the other 11 months of the year to take the edge off.
no knitting last night, I was busy making a cake decorated with candy hearts! (what is my problem?!?) I wanted to crush up the candy hearts and sprinkle the bits in between the two layers of cake, but someone (who shall remain nameless, but I know now that I should have found a hiding spot for my last box of mini-hearts that was not up high ...) ate the box I was using all my willpower not to eat myself. anyway, it's Valentine's day ... check out Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's blog today, she has a great perspective on love, it is very refreshing as I come down from my sugar high!
p.s. Wes and I were featured in a Valentine's Day section on the CLU website too ... so cute it makes me want to barf a little bit. Tonight for we are going to see The Departed at the cheap theater. very anti-Valentine's. I love it.

Monday, February 12, 2007

birthday and more!

Thursday evening I found myself in Thousand Oaks with a couple hours to kill, so I headed over to The Oaks to buy myself a birthday present at Anthroplogie. I put on blinders through the front of the store and headed straight to the sale in the back where I and noticed an abundance of knitted headbands. I thought they were cute, but not $30 cute, especially when I have enough yarn leftover from a $7 ball to make four headbands. so I left the store with only a dress and an idea and headed home to finish the pink hat. It turned out great and I hope Margie will love it! I tried it on to make sure there were no bar mitzvahs in there and decided I might need to make one for myself too! I'll make mine with the earflaps (but without the kitty ears, thank you very much) and Wes even tried it on and liked the shape of it on his head too. (he might get two knitted items in a row - I start my sock class this weekend - after all these years of no knitted love. I am sure he's crushed.)
I wanted to give Marge her hat on Saturday when she came over for the birthday shin-dig, but of course forgot, so a picture of that will have to come later. but I had a great birthday weekend ... Friday night Wes took me out to a delicious three-course dinner and we enjoyed the new comedy club in the Harbor. And on Saturday all the girls came over for some wine and fun. (picture to the right is of Marge, Stine and me at Lady Foot Locker fulfilling two of the mall-scavenger hunt requirements: a hat and a green handbag). Sunday things went back to normal and Wes headed to work the night shift, I sat down in front of The Sound of Music (thank you Luke and Kristen!) and cast on for my very own knitted headband. I used the leftover yarn from piggle, used the same needle size (4 dpn) and planned to use the same stitch pattern. I measured around my head where I would be wearing the headband and got 21 inches, I then stretched out my completed piggle that was wide enough, just not long enough and measured. I figured the same cast on would work for a headband as it did for the hat. I cast on 120 stiches on size 4 needles and knit two rows of 1x1 rib before starting in on the four-row lace pattern. I thought that knitting a two-inch wide band would take me an hour, two at most, and I would be done long before the VonTrapp Family climbed every mountain to Switzerland. those of you who are familiar with lace-weight yarn and size 4 dpns can stop laughing now, please! it was another late night of knitting, but at least I saved myself $30 even if I am going to pass out on the run tonight.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


it's a great day outside, cool, but not too cold ... perfect for sitting in the sun without overheating so I took my knitting and headed upstairs for a break this afternoon. of course as soon as I sat down I realized I left my cable needle at home and the next row I was to knit required it. so, I dug through my purse and found a Napoleon Dynamite pen that I got for 50 cents at Target last summer and went to work. It wasn't the best solution, as the pen was slightly larger than the 10.5 needles I was using and I had to physically remove the stitches and twist them before knitting the last three stitches of the cable, but dangit if I was going to stop knitting only eight minutes into my 30 minutes of no phones ringing.
anyway, my plan didn't work that great, I have two funny strands of yarn stretching across my work. one in the back on the c3b and one in the front on the c3f. I might have to use some knitting magic that I picked up at Lois' class last week ... but I already knit the next couple of rows and other than that long strand on the front, it looks okay. maybe I can tie that back somehow instead of redoing that section ...

pink hat to make up for piggle

started on this pink hat Sunday night to make up for the too-small piggle. the pattern is the Kittyville hat from the first Stitch-N-Bitch, but I won't be adding kitty ears. I may or may not add the ear flaps and ties, I guess it depends on how much yarn I have at the end. I only bought one ball, and I'm already nervous that I should have bought two, so with two balls of yarn, I should definitely have enough leftover for ear flaps and ties. But I'm feeling better about this one actually fitting. As you can see from the picture, it is too short now, but I haven't even started decreasing yet. This is how piggle looked when I was done binding off! I love the variegated yarn, it is only the second time I have used non-solid colors and I think I am going to have to use more!

Friday, February 02, 2007

more of Taylor's jumper!

she is sooo cute! and check out that great outfit :) When I was in Arizona last month is was freezing; a perfect time to wear a cute knitted pinafore. I wasn't sure while I was working on it in the warm California summer, knowing that it was a bajillion degrees hotter in AZ at the time, but it fits her great, right at the coldest part of the year! perfect!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

need some help navigating SAHARA

I know I still have a ton of work to do on my brown hoodie, but I can't help getting excited about a new project (the fact that there is a an-anti Super Bowl event at AFY this Sunday with a card sale up to 50% off doesn't help either). I have already decided that my next project for myself will be SAHARA, designed by Wendy Bernard. I am very excited to make one of Wendy's patterns. I read her blog regularly and have been dying to try one of her patterns from The Garter Belt for months now (specifically sizzle and fad classic, can you tell I'm getting anxious for warmer weather too?). My problem is I don't know what color to make my new Sahara top. I have decided on the sleeveless and think the white that the sample is knit in looks great. I also thought about black, since the beading on the trim makes it seem like a fancy-pants top, but if I used black, the stitches wouldn't show up very clearly and if I am going to spend hours making all those little stitches, I want them to show! Also, I have been in a neutral clothing rut lately and can't seem to see past the whites, blacks, browns and navys. Please help! Check out these colors and let me know what you think would look best. The accent yarns for neck, sleeve and bottom edging will probably come from one of these, depending on how much this yarn costs (of course they don't put that on the website) and how high a card I pull on Sunday.