Sunday, September 30, 2007

How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways.

After throwing my money away on that expensive electric ball winder I am so pleased that I found something for less than $20 that has organized my life!. It comes with a bunch of plastic baggie like inserts (I bought some extras) and I have all of my DPN's and circulars organized. Luckily - I use my Denises for large sizes so I didn't have to get them in it but here is the top layer:

I love, love it!! So cute and I don't have to go searching when I need something. Plus I won't go out buying something I already have. Now if they could do this for my yarn stash!

And I'm into the first armhole of my Mermaid:

I'm not normally a garter stitch lover but there is so much going on here at the same time - its good to have something mindless in the mix.

Here are two closeups of my first two flares (or gussets as Hanne calls them):

And here is the neckline edge:

I was thinking this week - that my blog must be very monotonous since I spend so much time on one project. The alternative is to spend twice as much time on two projects. Can't help the time.. Things will get better in 7-8 years after I retire. Hah!

I have decided to join a new socks club - Here is their blog. I quit redknits - at the time I was trying to cut back on my yarn spending - ahem... but frankly, I wasn't that excited about my first two kits - I don't get my first artwalk kit until Nov 1st but it looks really interesting. She has another club called the Harmony Sock Club but that doesn't open for membership until Jan. This gal does amazing color work and I'm looking forward to getting her kits.

Back to the Hanne!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Slow progress

I'm still moving forward. I'm spending half of my time reading and reworking one section of the spreadsheet at a time until I'm comfortable that it reflects Hanne's directions and then the other half of my time knitting it. I'm almost done with the first striped section - have 4 more ridges to go - and then I'm ready to tackle the first gusset (my spreadsheet is ready for that section).

Here is my progress today. As you can see - I have already done the cast off that ends the collar at the neck edge.

It really is a nice design. If I can keep my nose to the ground - hopefully I can get this right.

The gal who is running the Hanne KAL has asked me to contact Amy before I provide anyone with the size small pattern. I'm thinking now that I may just send it to Amy if and when I get it to work and if she is interested - she can add it to the one she has already created. If not - that is OK too. I will just have it for future knitting.

I FINALLY received my invite to join Ravelry. I was so excited to see what the hoopla is all about. One more thing to surf. What did we do without the internet? Talk to each other? Hah!

Have a great week.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Can I do this?

I am slowly getting thru the first rows of my Hanne Falkenberg Mermaid (number 3) - but I'm wondering if I'm smart enough to do this! The yarn is gorgeous (the turquoise has flecks of green) and the fabric resembles boiled wool:

But the pattern is not clear at all. Lots of "AT THE SAME TIME" sections. And she doesn't tell you when to start counting where to start the decreases.

I thankfully have the spreadsheet that Amy did for the KAL - but that is for size medium and I am trying to adapt it for size small. So I need to first understand why Amy did what she did in order to modify it. I'm spending hours just figuring out the pattern.

I know this is worth it.. after all this I will definitely make more of these- but I sure wish Hanne was more prolific!

Here is the long first edge.. this is knit from left to right all in one piece except for the sleeves

I think I can , I think I can, I know I can , I know I can.... I hope I can, I hope I can..

I also ordered one of these in burgundy this week along with extra inserts.

I only knit with circulars and DPNS and they are all over the place in their original plastic for fear that I will not be able to tell the difference between a 3.25 mm Addi and a 3.5 mm Addi. So I have decided I need to get organized. Love this bag.

May post tomorrow or not.. depends on whether I completely destroy this pattern. Say a prayer!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

No Worries!

For those that wonder if you can knit a pair of socks using 1 hank of Sock That Rock lightweight yarn (360 yds)- I am living proof that it is possible. You can see that I had plenty left over. Here are the results:

Maybe it wouldn't be enough for a fancy pattern - but it sure wasn't an issue for plain stockinette. I knit a gusset followed by a short row heel - per Cookie's patterns on Knitty Gritty.

I'm hoping that the yarn softens up some after I wash them. It is much stiffer than any of the sock yarns I've used up till now. On the other hand - the plies didn't separate at all which made it easier to knit.

So now that I have knit two pairs of Toe Up socks (and found them a lot easier and better fitting) - I am going to put my sock addiction aside and start my Hanne Mermaid. I have added blog buttons with links on the right side of my blog.

I also joined the Eunny Yang Autumn Rose KAL. Such a pretty interpretation of fair isle. I will get to that one day too!

Dogs are barking at me to pay more attention to them! See ya!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Money Down The Drain!

Do you ever feel like kicking yourself for spending a lot of money on something that breaks after 3 uses? Yep - that is me yesterday.

I finished my Juliet Fondly yarn first toe up socks - I'm very happy with them altho I think I am going to take out the bind off and make the cuff longer:

So it was time to break out my first hank of Socks That Rock.. in Minestone. Gorgeous! Well it was a mistake. I thought my electric ball winder had time to heal since the Kauni fiasco and would perform. Not! I ended up with this big mess of a ball of yarn. Lucky me though - two week ago I forgot I already had a hank of Minestone in my stash when I ordered a second one - I know my stash is so big I don't know what I have anymore. Anyway I planned to give the extra one to my sister. Well - I knew she would understand my predicament so I said a fond farewell to the overpriced yarn monster -

and wound the second hank with my old manual Royal. It worked just fine.. And I started a new sock. This yarn is wonderful - here is the start of a new sock:

Then I decided I really need to do something about this ball winding issue. I have more large hanks of Kauni and its too hard - when you have a large number of small balls - to remember which ball ended and which ball started at the same place. I had insomnia last night so I got online and bought one of these:

Its a Jumbo Ball Winder by Royale - is manual so hopefully it won't break and it has received super reviews. Colorsong says: "I can't begin to tell you how much I love this ball winder - winding has become one of my favorite parts of knitting! Unlike smaller winders, the action is smooth, steady, and simply entrancing to watch." So I think I will like it.

Then my insomnia was so bad that I stayed up till midnight untangling my blob of STR - got it all done, rewound it manually, and sending it off to my sister.

I think - once these socks are done I am going to FINALLY attack one of the Hanne Falkenburg kits I bought awhile ago. Its a Blue/Green Mermaid. They are supposed to have complicated patterns but Amy on the KAL has created an easy spreadsheet to follow. The yarn is to die for - very soft.

It will probably be a couple week until I start since right now I'm exhausted and plan to plop.

Has anyone seen The Last King of Scotland. I netflixed it and Forrest Whittaker is amazing as Idi Amin. Sad movie but so good.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Wooly Board Part 2

I'm on a roll.. plus today is my last day of vacation. So I decided to wooly board (is that a verb?) my Dale of Norway St Moritz. I really do eventually finish things albeit not as soon as I planned:

Love this sweater. Now that my hot flashes have subsided (I had to go off a high level of Premarin about 3 yrs ago) I can FINALLY wear pullovers again.

Back to my socks!

After a lot of questions on what exactly do I look like when my face is not behind a camera and urging from my sister - I dug out a photo where I wasn't smiling funny (see my profile). This was taken about 2 years ago. I go back and forth between shoulder length and short hair - between highlights and solid colors. I haven't aged a lot since then. I have great genes (my Mom is 92!) and I'm an indoor girl (what else would you expect from a knitter!). I also decided to change my template! Getting bored with the old one.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Its dry!

Living in Denver has its advantages. Our humidity is so low here - a sweater will dry on a Wooly Board in 8 hrs.

So here it is! Not the best photos of me (when I'm on vacation I will not wear makeup and I will not wear my contacts).. but I am very happy with the result. I may reblock the sleeves to make them a bit longer but the cardigan turned out to be cropped and I love it like that. I am very short waisted so its wonderful!

Here I am:

And another one (its so hard to take a photo of yourself in a mirror! )

Wooly Booly, Wooly Booly!

Wooly Booly! Wooly Booly!

Yes I'm a child of the sixties. All I could sing as I put my Kauni on my Wooly Board (the first time I've used it) - is Wooly Booly, Wooly Booly. I suspect some of you don't have a clue what I'm singing but some of you will.

So - I've cropped off some of the clutter but couldn't get rid of everything. I basted the cardigan together so it would stretch evenly ( the next time I will do this before I cut the front steek ). My main objective is to stretch the front. I measured my Philosopher's Wool sweater and stretched the Kauni to that width. I tried not to stretch the arms since the corrugated ribbing won't stretch back. Hope it works!

A tribute to .Sam The Sham and the Pharoahs:

Uno, dos, one, two, tres, quatro
Matty told Hatty about a thing she saw.
Had two big horns and a wooly jaw.
Wooly bully, wooly bully.
Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully.
Hatty told Matty, "Let's don't take no chance.
Let's not be L-seven, come and learn to dance."
Wooly bully, wooly bully
Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully.
Matty told Hatty, "That's the thing to do.
Get you someone really to pull the wool with you."
Wooly bully, wooly bully.
Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully

Later: Here is a brighter photo. I have a question for those of you with Wooly Boards. How in the world do you get it to stay up? It is so top heavy - the slightest bump makes it fall down. Can you say - border collies?

Monday, September 3, 2007

The First One is Done!

Voila.. its a toe up sock on my new sock blocker! I think I should have made it taller but it will do as the first time. I really really really like this style - think it looks better than the first two socks I knit from cuff down. And I think it fits better

I followed the elastic bindoff in the tutorial - which is an adoption of the E. Zimmerman technique. So easy - use yarn needle.. put thru two stitches purl wise from right to left - then thru first stitch knit wise from left to right and take that stitch off the needle - except for the first time where you put it on the needle to the right. Very stretchy. But I should have used more yarn - it was getting close to the end.

So now to sock two plus I plan to use my wooly board tomorrow on my Kauni. Photos coming on that! I love taking vacation.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

I gotta heel!

Hey everyone! I gotta gusset and I gotta a short row heel!

On the foot (you can see my ghastly long toes!):

And off the foot:

It really isn't that hard.. in fact - I think its a lot easier than cuff down - once I finished ripping the gusset back twice after dropping a stitch, and then picking the stitches up off center - since you don't have to pick up stitches around the heel flap (which I hate to do) and there is no grafting at the toe (which I hate to do). So while I started this so I can use my 360 yd Sock That Rocks yarn without fearing running out of yarn - I have found a better sock for me!

The rest is downhill right? I understand that I need to find a loose bindoff - but I'm researching that right now.

One question if anyone knows - what is the purpose of the wraps? Not sure what they accomplish - but they sure are purty!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Gusset And/Or Heel Flap And/Or Short Row Heel

A very short post with a plea to those who understand. My head is spinning. I have been going over patterns for toe up socks. So - if you do a short row heel does that mean you don't do a gusset? Wendy's simple pattern only does a short row heel. But the tutorial I found always does a gusset and then she gives an option for a flap or a short row. So far - I haven't found any clear description of a short row heel but it looks like something I want to learn. Does ANYONE have a clear explanation of how to do all those wraps, etc?