Friday, June 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Country!

I have always loved the 4th of July! Not the fireworks which drive my pets crazy - but the concept. Except for some interludes during the anti Vietnam war protest days - I have always considered myself to be very patriotic and I love being an American. I love putting out my flag every 4th of July and realizing how blessed we all are. Can you imagine having all that we have and doing all that we do with fewer freedoms. Yes - God Bless America..

And back to knitting.. I am well into my second pair of socks:

I'm doing these in Austermann Step (so soft with Jojoba and Aloe) with size 1 Crystal Palace bamboos - 6 inches long and I like the fabric better.. much less stretchy. I hope they aren't too small! I think this is the hardest part about socks. A sweater can be a little big or a little small but the socks need to fit "just right". And I guess this starts all over again when I get a new yarn? I've been bad the last few weeks - have bought some more sock yarn to feed my addiction - even some fancier ones - like Socks that Rock. I'm wondering tho if I can get a pair with 360 yds. May need to try the toe up technique.

I am off of work from the 4th thru the 9th - so have LOTS of knitting time. I plan to dye my Melon Shawl, finish these socks and then start my Kauni. I just joined a Kauni KAL. When I got my yarn I thought it was a bad batch. It is much more muted than what I have seen on the net.. here is a photo - which explains the confusion. It photographs REALLY bright:

The actual yarn colors are more muted. But the KAL gals reassured me that the final product will look more like this:

I am hoping - after doing my Dale - that this one will be a breeze. We will see. The yarn is somewhat scratchy (may be hard to knit on hot summer days altho with my new A/C it should be OK) - but I really want to start this since the KAL is just kicking off. I think I will violate my intent to only have one project at a time on the needles. I will keep my socks going to do at work (so easy to transport) and do the Kauni on weekends. Lets see how that goes.

So my blog should have prettier pictures soon!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I understand the love of socks!

So - two weeks into this and I got the fever! Yes - I am almost done with my first pair of knitted socks and I can see why this is such a big trend! I'm not sure exactly why I like it but I do. Its either the fact that it goes so fast, has a lot of variety, is portable, is something I can do even after a long day at the office since it doesn't require a lot of chart reading.

But Skacel/Addi has done it again to me. Their darn US size variations. I have been using US size 2.. which is what the patterns suggest. And you think - since I got burned last winter with Addi Turbo circulars - I would focus on the mm sizes but no - not me, no siree. Most US size 2 = 2.75 mm. But Skacel DPN US Size 2 = 3mm. So even tho I did a gauge and the sock goes around my foot - the fabric (I think) is too loose. So the next pair.. I'm going down to 2.50 (size 1?). I'm trying hard to find some nice 6 inch size 1's in bamboo. Not many out there.

I'm curious about the Lantern Moon sox stix but they are only 5 inches long. Not sure if I can keep the stitches on it - but maybe since they will be smaller stitches. Will see.

Another item on my scope is the Kauni cardigan which is Yarn Harlot is knitting. The pattern is free - but the yarn is currently only available overseas. So - I placed an order with Astrid. And it will get done sometime - but not until I get socks out of my system. Can't believe I've waited so long to get into them.


Saturday, June 9, 2007

The lady did a sock!

Wow! a sock!

Not the best sock but a sock! This was a hybrid pattern from watching Lucy Neatby DVD's, three patterns I found, and calling my sister once a day to get help. At the end I got brave (decided to forego Lucy's sock chimney) and grafted it off the needles. Probably not the best idea. I really couldn't see what was going on to the right of my needles and I ended up having to tidy things up later. The stitches were much too loose. But it worked.

Until I was ready to (per Lucy) suture up my holes. Hah.. Turned the sock inside out and there was this piece of yarn hanging from one of the holes to another stitch about an inch away. Sigh.. I still sutured the hole but used some yarn to "lock down" the hanging yarn. I don't have a clue where that came from.

But what can you ask for a first sock! It is done.. it is gorgeous yarn (love the Trekk Color) and I am ready to do number two. I think after this pair tho - I may make the next one smaller.

I always hated these poses - but I had to do it:

Oh - and does anyone know if X's are supposed to be there where I picked up the stitches around the heel flap? Something tells me I did something wrong..

Later (Sunday the 10th):

To those who thought - boy that lady has an enormous foot.. I was wondering why the sock was comfy but didn't hug my foot. I decided to measure across the instep - and it was 8.5 inches (supposed to be 7.5) EEEKK! For some reason - the final gauge was a lot bigger. Maybe I knit looser in the round? Whatever. so my first sock is only in the memory book on this blog! I ripped it out (why bother making two that don't fit) - and I'm going down to 44 stitches total (I had used 52). I'm determined to stay with US 2 (3.0 mm) DPN's since they are a lot easier for me than anything smaller. Will see if the next ones fit!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Coming to the finish line!

I've been away for awhile but staying busy. I've finished the two long sides and one short side of my shawl (now measures about 65 inches long). I decided to follow Grumperina's lead.. and did the narrow point border instead of the one in the pattern. Probably a good thing or else I would have run out of yarn. Here is my masterpiece:

I'm happy with it (there are a few mistakes but who can tell!) - but I'm thinking about overdyeing the yarn with solid pink. I think the variegated colors overwhelms the pattern. This coming from a Charlotte's Web shawl devotee who loves the look of the Koigu yarn on Charlotte. I just think it depends on the pattern. This one needs a solid color. So - I should be done this week.. and then.. ta-da...

I REALLY am not wanting to do lace for awhile so I am going to tackle my first pair of socks. Yes, me, socks. Wish me luck, say a prayer, light a candle, whatever it takes. I will either swear off of them for life or maybe I will find a new love.

As I said earlier - I have been busy busy busy. Over the holiday I put on new license plates, Fixed my doggy door, spackled and painted my kitchen ceiling, pressure washed and restained my deck. That plus other weeding, etc.. So - it wasn't that I didn't want to blog - I was too exhausted to blog. But now things are under control and I can come inside some of the time.

Thinking about my next vacation over 4th of July week.. I'm taking the two days off after the 4th and the following Monday. By then - I'll be a sock maven.

Be well,