Friday, September 28, 2007

socks, socks and more socks!

another leg picture to show off my growing Clessidra. I have five more pattern repeats before I start turning the heel. This tiny yarn is taking a long time! I have another tiny yarn sock pattern I was going to alternate with this one so I don't get bored, but last night I went over to Marge's house to watch Grey's and Stine requested some socks, so I think I'll go back to making a pair or slipper socks on size 4s with my leftover bittersweet yarn for her as my alternate to tiny yarn socks. then she and Grandma can be twins!

Also, starting Saturday morning I am taking another class at AFY to learn how to knit socks from the toe-up! I have a few patterns I want to try that are toe-up, but like learning regular socks, I wanted to take the class first to be really sure I know what I am doing first. Check out this beautiful yarn I got to learn on! It is also Lorna's Laces (like bittersweet), but this color is called Lakeview. I already bought the pattern we'll be using in class and it looks like it is customizable to each foot, so probably I will make these socks for me, since I'll be the only one there to customize them for. I haven't made any socks for me yet, except clessidra, which is taking forever. the class socks are size 4s too, so shouldn't take long.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I <3 Organizing

Wes wants to get bowls of bubble-eyed goldfish to fill in the extra shelf space. I'd better hurry up and buy more bins and fill them with yarn! :) those fish creep me out! anyway, mostly I am happy to have some organization and to not have a blank wall anymore!! I still leave clessedra all over my chair, but at least all the other projects are put away. the before picture isn't even that bad because I cleaned on Friday. before that, there were all sorts of books and yarn scraps and other patterns under the little round table on the left. now the books are stacked and I have a folder to organize loose patterns.
the calla lily picture is way cheap at IKEA and I picked it because I had calla lilies at our wedding ... those are all wedding pictures surrounding the larger flower picture. awww ...

me + size 1 needles = BFF!*

here is the top of one Clessedra ... the result of lots of nights knitting. Probably this is normal because it seems like lots of socks are knit on size 1 or 2 needles, but I learned on size 4, so this is a little rough on me. however, I am loooving the pattern and I have gotten it memorized (a small feat in itself, though maybe not to remarkable if I tried to count how many hours I have actually been working on this), so I only need the chart for the hourglass cable that runs up the back of the leg, and even that is just to double-check since I now know what a pain it is to rip out while trying to keep all the stitches in the right place. but, it's fun to work on and here in SoCal it is still too hot for knee socks anyway, so I am not really anxious yet.
*Best Friends Forever!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

dishcloths and storage. the joys of non-homeownership.

I am really enjoying making the dishcloths! Well, dishcloth. So far it's just the one. But it is always nice to have a little project to work on when I have ten or twenty or sixty minutes to kill in the car. (No, I don't knit while driving, though I wish we had a train or lightrail or something I could take to work. All the Denver people who were on their way home from work while we were on our way to the Rockies game looked very relaxed and content on the lightrail reading books.)
Anyway, this linen yarn is a little crazy. As Charlie at AFY was winding it for me (by hand, after it jumped the spool!), a woman sitting at the work table commented how there is no give in the yarn and I didn't get it until I started knitting and realized there is no give in the yarn. (perceptive, aren't I?) It's also a lot rougher than I am used to and I think if I knit dishcloths for the duration of time I knit socks or sweaters in the evenings, I would rub my fingers raw, but I can handle it for an hour or less a day. I am really anxious to get this first cloth finished so I can throw it in the wash. Supposedly the yarn gets softer and softer with every washing, like the flour sack towels I embroidered for Grandma a few Christmases ago.
ALSO, Wes and I have come to the realization that we won't be out of this apartment by Christmas like we'd hoped, so I have taken on the task of making our apartment more livable and am actually decorating and organizing things a little better. My task for tonight while Wes is golfing with the boys (weird how he sees my girlfriend's boyfriends more than I see my girlfriends), is to drag out one of the bookshelves we originally stuck in the black hole of storage and use it to organize my knitting. With (over) three projects on the needles right now, I am spread out all over the living room, which Wes just loves. I ran to Target on my lunchbreak today and got some cute, cheap plastic bins that will fit perfectly on the shelves and are deep enough to hold, hopefully, a whole brown hoodie in progress. The lids snap on and have handles, so it will be easy to transport projects too, if, for example, I decide I want to take something larger than dishcloths on the road trip to San Francisco this weekend. (also at Target right now, totally amazing OFFICE products. I am now the totally proud owner of an "I *heart* Jim" mousepad and pens featuring Michael and Dwight-isms. LOVE IT.)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

more new projects!!

soooooooooooooo guess who went to the yarn store today and got two skeins of fabulously cranky linen yarn (in colors 55 and 48) to make dishcloths from a new book I got at the library (yay free books! more money for yarn!). The book is appropriately titled Knitter's Stash, as I have now started my own little stash of current on-the-needles projects. They aren't even all listed in the sidebar to the left ... I think I would depress myself if I had them all listed. But most of these dishcloth patterns are about 60 stitches across and even with some fun lacy patters, I should be able to just whip out a few on lunch break knitting. All my other projects are sort of cumbersome and I don't really like dragging them out to my car every morning on the off chance that I'll have some free time to knit during the day. Then I bring everything back upstairs at the end of the day to work on while Wes watches baseball, or I am home alone knitting to avoid housework after eight hours of sitting in a cube. So, these dishcloths, which require no fancy tools (cable needles, etc), can just live in my car all the time, so I will never be without a project to work on while I'm waiting for Wes to meet me for dinner, or on a lunchbreak or I don't know what else, but it seems like I do a lot of sitting in my car.

P.S. Today the new knitty came out, just a day after I discovered all those new patterns at zepherstyle ... what are they trying to do to me??

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

bad timing for a new obsession

just after I finished outlining (mostly as a reminder to myself) all my current problematic projects on the needles and me without time to fix them all, I stumbled across from one of my frequent reads (knitandtonic, where Wendy is making Juliet) and am now ready to quit my day job, never do housework and cast on for each of the funky, beautiful sweaters designed by the zephyrstyle ladies. not that I need a new knitting project to make me want to leave cubicle-world and forgo vacuuming ...

Monday, September 10, 2007

frogging and putting it off

have been taking a little break from knitting recently. partly this is because I have been too busy being on vacation in Colorado and attending two weddings in one weekend to knit too much lately. but mostly it is because all my "obligatory" projects (ones that are already started and really should get finished before I start new stuff) need some frogging and I am way too stubborn to give in to the frogging just yet. But here is the situation:
project 1, Sahara - I started to pull out the lace inset a couple weeks ago and gosh, I tied everything off really tight! what a stupid thing to do, even though I realized as I was binding off that I probably wouldn't like it the way that it was. so, I am afraid I will have to just cut my losses, literally, and cut through the lace inset and not worry about salvaging this bit of yarn. I can do it because I have a whole ball and a half left over with which to re-knit the inset, but it's more the principle of the thing.
project 2, Central Park Hoodie - you may recall that I was making good progress on this last fall until I had to stop and make Christmas presents, then I continued making good progress until it got hot and I put it away in favor of more weather appropriate projects, like Sahara. well, September is upon us, so it's time to get back into fall knitting. However, in the six or eight months or however long it's been since I put the cabled hoodie away, my tension has gotten looser (mostly, I think as a result of mom's shawl, which I intensionally held very loosely, and it carried over into my other projects). I made one sleeve last winter, but left the second one to do now and i am afraid that my second sleeve will be much bigger. I am afraid of this because: I started knitting Wes a pair of socks in March when I took the class from Lois. Even though I bought a huge skein of yarn, Wes has the biggest feet ever and I ran out of yarn halfway down the instep of the second sock. At the time, I had already made one sock for grandma out of the bittersweet yarn and was anxious to get the second one started, so I just put the stitches for Wes' blue sock on scrap yarn and started in on grandma's second sock right away. by the time I remembered to get more blue yarn, the heat made socks pretty far down on my priority list. But last week prior to our anniversary trip to Colorado, I decided I wanted to finish the socks for Wes, so I put the stitches back on needles, found the second ball of yarn and finished up Wes' blue socks. Now it is very obvious which sock was my second sock. not because you can see the join in the yarns (I actually have gotten pretty good at hiding the ends), but because half of the second sock has a noticeably looser gauge than the rest of the sock. since these socks are meant to be more like slippers for Wes, I don't think it will be a problem, but it has gotten me nervous for that second sleeve on the cabled hoodie. Especially because I am already using needles 2.5 sizes larger than the pattern instructs, thanks to my previous super-tight tension. I have half a mind to rip the whole thing out and start over on smaller needles (after doing a new gauge swatch, of course!). If I did start over, I would adapt my pattern to use some of the tips from the KAL, such as knitting the bottom in one piece and short rowing the shoulders.
project 3, knee socks - I cast on for these socks after I finished mom's shawl because I had been drooling over them since May, and had bought yarn and everything already, and needed a new easy-to-carry project. I cast on and had no problems adapting the dpn patterns for my two circulars and was making good progress on the complicated cable patterns. Once night after a long knitting session, I noticed that I had cabled the wrong way. Since the cables are so small, probably no one would notice if I left it, but I am trying to be a more conscientious knitter, so I started to un-knit my rows to re-do the project. Lois had shown me previously how to fix a wrong-turned cable without pulling out all the stitches after it, but I thought the twist was just one row down and it would be less of a hassle to just unknit one row. I realized too late that it was more like three rows down (darn tiny yarn is deceiving!), and I had royally screwed up the hourglass cable pattern in trying to get back to the one little cable that was twisted the wrong way. because the hourglass pattern is so complicated, it was very difficult to accurately pick up the stitches after I frogged back to before I made the mistake, so I ended up throwing a little tantrum and frogging the whole sock. After a week in Colorado, I was feeling better about it and cast on again on Thursday night, this time with no problems except I have misplaced my small cable needle, so have only been able to complete the top ribbing.
So now I am in protest. At least until Wednesday when Wes goes back to work for four nights in a row and I would rather knit cranky projects than vacuum.