Sunday, November 25, 2007

It feels just like starting over

The Conwy socks had a Fatal Flaw. An Obvious Fatal Flaw that I decided to ignore until reality smacked me in the face, or the foot rather, and had to be dealt with... finally. The sock was too fucking small. Well, the sock was just right. The pattern was written for a foot smaller than mine and I paid no heed. I actually do have some sense and noticed this a couple of inches into the sock, but said to myself,"Oh, it'll be fine. See how it stretches?" Not that much it won't. I was PAST the heel gusset and on down the straightaway when I decided to try the sock on and see if my suspicions were correct. They were. It took three minutes of internal struggling and cussing to come to the only possible decision. I frogged it. What took two days of very diligent work was gone in less than five minutes. I'm trying again on size three needles (yes, I tried two, but realized that wasn't going to give me the extra inch around the ball of the foot that I needed). We'll see what happens.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Hey, want to see my monkeys?

Heh. The Socks that Rock Chickabiddy Monkeys are finished! I heart them... a lot.

chicabiddy socks finished

News from sock land: I couldn't resist the urge to cast on for me, so I'm working on Conwy socks from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush. The yarn selection is numma numma toasty in black cherry jam. So far, they are yummy. The colors and the stitch pattern are both working well together.


Yea! In other exciting sock news the second of Roza's socks was also cast on last night and the first couple of inches completed. Give me more socks!

In gift making news, I've started Chicky's teacher gift. The soft drawstring pouch from Last Minute Knitted Gifts in Mango Moon's recycled silk. I have almost two skeins leftover, and I know Sarah will like it. It looks like a mass of fuzzy nothingness right now, but don't ya love the Loopy Ewe stitch marker? It's the little things...

silk pouch

This is yet another experiment in small knitted sock ornaments. These two are done in Cascade 220 superwash on size 5 needles. I'm not sure I like them yet.

green stocking ornament

red stocking ornament

Tomorrow I get my children back from their father, so I probably won't have much time to knit. I'm enjoying the luxury of my alone time today. I even got sucked into The Way We Were on Oxygen. Babs and Bob - what could be better knitting TV?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More gifts

Two more gifts are finished. Socks for my favorite man (the one other than my father, I mean) came out very nice. I got two skeins of yarn and barely used any of the second. I bet I can get another pair out of it. I'd never used this yarn before and I like it a lot. It's Louet Gems in sport weight. I'm usually a fingering weight girl for socks, but sport weight is quicker and probably warmer! It's a very basic sock with a reinforced heel - my favorite.

favorite man socks

The Welsh Country Socks from Nancy Bush's Folk Socks book are finally finished! I started them way back in March. Done in Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport. I reinforced the heel with the recommended weaving through the bumps on the wrong side. It looks so lovely I want to try it on a scarf! For sure it was more time consuming than the K1, S1 for a row and then purl the next row method, but it is a really consistent and beautiful pattern on the wrong side. (I have a strange love of the wrong side of all things hand made. I think it comes from my grandmothers both doing various kinds of needlework and judging the finished product by the wrong side). These will be a gift for a friend that loves knee socks (and appreciates wool). These are not socks that get gifted lightly because I love them and was making them for myself, originally. Sometimes when I knit, the thing I'm knitting tells me where it wants to go and these socks did that very thing repeatedly.

welsh country stockings

And another mini gift sock is done. I tried making a couple with Cascade superwash on size five needles with a pattern on them (more "festive" for the holidays), but I just didn't like them as well. Super mini is cuter.

mini sock 4

We had our Thanksgiving feast at work today and it was very nice. I don't have my children this year, so I'm going over to a friend's house to spend it with her family. It's almost time to start making the gingerbread to take along.

Other then making gingerbread tonight, I'm almost done with my second pair of monkey socks and am trying hard not to cast on for three other projects before I finish the rest of the gifts. I am also going to have another go at watching The Queen - I fell asleep not very far into it the first time. I think Helen Mirren is amazing, and the royal family is emotionally stunted, but what can you expect? The first time I tried to watch it I was just too tired. I've been happily knitting, staying awake, and being entertained by two things at once tonight!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Nope, I'm not gone.

I'm trying to stave off a cold. So far, I've taken Emergen-C, hot pepper tea, and immune system boosting tea (thyme, oregano, rosemary, and mint). The good news: the cold hasn't gotten worse and the sore throat that started on Thursday is gone. I think the herbal efforts are working.

Last night I finished reading Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson. It was a very good book about the hurricane that hit Galveston in 1900. It's also about the Weather Bureau (rather new at the time) and how it was having some trouble being taken seriously. I must say, I still feel that way about the weather bureau. I know it's science and everything, but they still can be way off on predictions. Anyway, the point is that I used to read a lot. I started that book in July (OHMIGOD!) and just finished it. I can't believe it. I used to read a book every two to three weeks! Newsweek is partially to blame. The only time I typically read is before bed, and since a new Newsweek comes out every week I fall asleep reading that these days. It's not my favorite news resource, and like most big media it can be rather behind with the issues (e.g., they are currently talking about our culture's obsession with germ killing and how it's creating super germs - haven't some of us been talking about that for almost a decade?), not to mention all the pop star news. Who gives a shit what Nicole and Brittany are up to?

There is a stack of books waiting for me on my bed stand. I can't decide between Class Matters or The Omnivores Dilemma for the next read...

I got a two lovely gifts today. One was Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road (yea, more sock patterns!) and the other a gorgeous bag from Lantern Moon. It's got a generous sized middle and four pockets on the outside so various knitting projects may be carefully sequestered and not likely to tangle. I tried taking a picture, but it needs to have sunlight to show off its beauty. I can't wait to take it for a test drive. Heh!

I've finished one of the teacher gifts. The boys adore their teacher, Elizabeth. She is energetic, funny, creative, and thoughtful. I made her an old shale smoke ring out of Fiesta Baby Boom (the color is Rain Forest). I love it. Since it was only 220 yards, its a little shorter than I wanted and if I do it again I will use a smaller needle size. The pattern and the yarn ROCK! I'll try and take a better picture outside tomorrow.

old shale in fiesta

I've been making "minisocks" inspired by my Loopy Ewe gift kit. These are a little longer with a slightly different toe. They are only about five inches long and will be fine ornaments, but are too small to give as the gifts I wanted. I'm almost done with the new version (more "holiday" looking) and will post a picture when it's ready.

mini socks

Chicky will be relieved to hear I'm not giving them away. The children all want little sachet monsters desperately. I made one from Knitty for a friend and they've been telling me how much they would love to have one, too. I'm going to try and do that for their stockings when they're not around. (They complain I knit for myself and other people more than them. For the record, I pulled out all the winter clothes and accessories the other day, and they're doing pretty well.)


Have a lovely rest of the weekend. I'm planning on it.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Holiday knitting

It suddenly dawned on me how little knitting time is left before the holidays! I finally knit my Loopy Red Sock Kit, and am making many little socks for holiday ornament gifts.

Loopy red sock

Of course Chicky noticed immediately that it was potentially the right size for her American Girl doll, so she put it on her and it did fit perfectly. Damn.

Some socks for a favorite person are also in progress. These are very basic socks knit up in Louet Gems sport weight. I really like the weight and feel. These are the first socks I've knit on a needle larger than size one - it's a little quicker!

favorite man socks

Here my knitting candy right now. When I do so much on the holiday knitting I reward myself with a little spinning or this

old shale smoke ring - in process

It's from a pattern by cosymakes. It may be a gift or it may be mine, not sure yet.

It's finally gotten cool enough for long sleeves - YEA! Bring out the handknits!