Monday, December 31, 2007

Cotton is bad for socks...

But oh, so good for the soul.

My parents, at a loss with what to get me for Christmas, sent me yarn. (I love my parents.) While talking to my mom, I mentioned that I would need to start knitting cotton socks soon, since I'm planning on moving back to Arkansas, where my stash of wool socks will be pretty useless. My mom relayed this to Dad, who, of his own volition, went to a yarn store and bought me yarn. Some of it's wool, some of its cotton. Two particular balls were Schachenmayr Nomotta Crazy Cotton. 100% cotton, fingering weight. Yarn that I know my parents bought for me to turn into socks. So I am. Otherwise, they may start having doubts about whether they're buying me "good" yarn, and never send me any again. Plus, I love the colors.

The downside to cotton socks is they have no natural stretch. I already plan to string elastic through the top, so they'll stay up, and, the fit is a lot more particular than any other pair I've ever made. Working toe-up, they were getting too tight, so I unvented the toe-up heel flap. (this is nothing new, but all the patterns I saw were size 0, fingering weight, and I couldn't figure out the formula. to apply to my own socks. So I guessed.) If anyone's curious how I did it, increase every other row until you're ready to start the heel, work a short row heel over the original number of stitches, (I had 44, so the heel was over 22), ignoring those that you've increased on. Once you've finished the short row heel, continue working back and forth, and knit the last stitch of the heel onto the added stitches. I like it. It has the added benefit of creating a deeper heel, which may be more aesthetically pleasing.
Feather and fan lace pattern, adopted from Kaibashira from Magknits, without the purl rows. Size 2 needles, 44 sts.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

It may also be the season for hats...

Hat #1:
Fair-Isled argyle hat. I knit this in a night to have it ready by Christmas morning, so all of the details are a little fuzzy. (Somewhere around 95, 96 sts, needles, somewhere between 4 and 6). But it got done, at 1:30 a.m., and the recipient seems to really like it.

Hat #2:
Modified Shedir from Knitty's breast cancer surprise issue. Modified for larger needles and yarn, downsized to 96 sts on size 5 needles.

Hat #3:
Modified from the Ski Beanie from Son of Stitch 'n' Bitch. Let's see... yarn substitution, altered the stitch count, added regular ribbing at the bottom, didn't do the two-color thing, knit it in the round instead of flat... maybe this was more inspired by, rather than modified from. Anyway.
Hat #4:
Not technically a Christmas present, but done nonetheless. Celtic Beanie from Son of Stitch 'n' Bitch. For my husband. This first time I showed him the pattern, he said he didn't like it. That didn't make any sense, since he loves everything Celtic. Further questioning led to the admission that "he wasn't really sure if he didn't like the pattern, or just couldn't see past the god-awful colors it was knit in." (Really. Turquoise and lime green? What guy would wear that?) I started knitting anyway, on the theory that if he didn't like it, I would take it. I had to rip back the top once already, since I modified it for smaller yarn and needles, (incidently, if you want to do that, and knit with a DK weight, you can add another pattern repeat, but you ribbing will be slightly off) and it was too short. Whcih doesn't normally bother me, but when you're talking about a double-knit, and therefore double warm hat, it doesn't make any sense to have it not cover the ears. But it is done once more.

As an aside, this was my first time double knitting. I really like this technique, although it's really only good for hats and scarves, it's much easier to maintain the right tension than regular fair-isle... but it takes for fucking long to get through a row. So maybe not using it again any time soon.

All hats were knit out of Knitpicks Merino Style in Coal, and the reds used were the Strawberry color. The photos were all taken in front of the bathroom mirror, using the mirror to look at the picture. At least one was cropped because it made my eyebrows look like they were eating my face.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

'Tis the Season...

for handcoverings, apparently. Cleverly laid out from left to right in order of done-ness.

First up, on the far left. A pair of spiderman mittens for a friend's four year old. Knit from Knit Picks Merino Style in Strawberry and Black, size 3 needles. Basic mitten pattern, half figured out on my own, half cobbled together from other sources. Spiderman webs taken from the Yarn Harlot's blog, from about three years ago. These are completely done.

Second, a pair of mittens for a friend who gets cold hands while jogging. Since she didn't like my solution to that (stop jogging and you won't get cold hands), she gets mittens. Same yarn as above, size 4 needles. Very clever with the colors in them, I think. Pattern, my own. I don't know if you can see it with the picture, but there's a larger cable running down the center between the two-toned ones. These are also done.
Third, a slight modification of Knitty's Fetching. Again, a friend, this one with medical problems that make her cold all the time. Hopefully, these can give her a little bit more warmth while still letting her do her daily things. Same yarn as above, the Strawberry color, size 4 needles, added a bit more in length. Status: One needing ends woven in , one about halfway done. Deadline: Christmas Eve.

The last two are the ones I'm least worried about. They really don't have deadlines, as one's for my mom, the other for my husband, who should be used to me giving him gifts on the needles. The blue are the Broadstreet gloves from Knitty, minus the mitten flap. Yarn, Knitpicks Sock Memories, I believe, in the Yukon colorway (it no longer exists), leftover from my own Broadstreet Mitts. One glove is done, the other hasn't been started.

Beer gloves from Son of Stitch n' Bitch. One needing ends woven in, the other hasn't been started. More details later, when they're actually done.
By the way, I know the picture is wonky. I tried to lighten it up enough that you could at least see the cable on the beer gloves.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

How to Train Your Mate

My husband, while always being supportive of my knitting habit, takes very little interest in it. He's the sort that only needs one scarf, one hat, one pair of gloves, etc., so there's usually not much for me to knit for him. He will accept what I give him, and love it and wear it, but doesn't have a pressing need for whatever it is. Because he doesn't want stuff that often, when he does request something, there's a week-long conversation about what exactly he wants, so it can be perfect. Which I think mostly makes him regret asking me in the first place. But the dear boy is trying.

Last night, he gave me a copy of Son of Stitch 'n Bitch for my birthday. He then told me to read the section mentioned on the back about why you should never take your mate yarn shopping, then promptly took it away and started flipping through it. "I like that, I like that, I like that..." about seven times. (Side note, very clever of him to give me a gift that reduces my nagging him about what he wants.) One of the things was the "Beer Gloves," cabled fingerless gloves designed by Kurt Fausset. I commented, jokingly, that "he only liked them for the name." Him: "No, I really like the cable pattern." Catch that? Catch that? Boy knows what a cable is! And used it correctly in a sentence! So, for positive reinforcement, he got a kiss.

As a side note, I really like the book. I think it's extremely telling that my husband found seven things in there that he likes. My only complaint, aside from a very nifty sweater that is crocheted and therefore means I can't make it, is all the beer in there. There's the beer gloves, the beer pillows, and it seems like most of the photos are set in bars, with the taps right near by. Not that I object to beer, it just feels like they're trying to hard. "Look, we're a manly book! Look how manly! Beer! Beer equals manly!" So there's that.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I'm a Process Knitter!

My husband came into the bedroom the other day, as I was sitting on the bed, surrounded by a lot of remarkably untangled yarn, winding it up to knit into a scarf. When asked, I told him that I was ripping out a scarf that I never wear to make a new, better scarf. He looked at me and said,

"I think that lately, you've been ripping out more than you've been knitting."

Thinking over my current works in progress... Dude may have a point.

This is the scarf that sparked the comment. Originally a remarkably similar scarf from my brief foray into weaving. The tension was off, it was too wide for me to wear, and too uneven for me to give away. Ripped out (actually kind of fun. Pull on the bits of fringe until the lengths of yarn pop out and leave the curly bits), and being knit into a garter stitch scarf for a friend with relationship problems.

This is another scarf, possibly the only scarf I have ever knit with the full intention of keeping it (I'm not big on the scarves.) Started life out as the leftovers from my wedding veil, dyed to the pretty pink color, then almost completely knit up into PandaBonzai's Anya scarf, before I decided I didn't have enough yarn to make it properly, then ripped. Current incarnation: a modified version of the same scarf.

Third: Eunny Jang's Tangled Yoke Cardigan from Interweave Knits fall '07. This yarn began as the failed Arr-gyle sweater, then was mostly knit up into Starsky Jr. When I ran out of yarn, I gave it a close look and decided that the sweater was probably intended for 14 year olds that don't have DDs on their chest. Ripped. I'm not going to have enough yarn fro this incarnation, either. I'll either buy more yarn, and finish it, or rip it out once again and knit a whole new sweater. There's no telling. There's no picture because I didn't want to drag everything out. It's a black sweater. At a certain level, they all look the same, at least when the picture's taken with the quality digital camera I use.

In addition, Dad's socks, now finished, have been ripped back several times. Once when the first sock was done, and I decided I wanted ribbing, not stockinette, and both were ripped back because of increases and cuff length.

I don't know if this is all because I'm growing as a person, and not holding on to projects that I'm not happy with, or just because I don't have any money to buy more yarn, and am trying to make the yarn I have last as long as possible.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Socks and Scarves

Dad's first sock is finished. It turns out that I wasn't so much in the knitter's black hole as I was amazed by how much longer it takes to knit a sock for my dad's size twelve men's foot than for my size eight women's. But it is finished. I'm a bit concerned about the leg fitting, but am extremely confident about the foot being the right size. Why? Last time I saw my parents, I measured their feet for just such a purpose. Still, I was worried. Socks react differently on a foot. They stretch. I did ask some friends to try the sock on, but I don't think they thought I was serious. So I made this to help me.

A cardboard replica of my dad's foot, based on measurements. Obviously, it's not exact. My dad's feet aren't that flat, that brown, or that cardboard-y. But it should be close enough and it makes me feel better.

Having finished the first sock, I did not immediately cast on the second. I managed to justify this to myself: I needed something that I could knit on without thinking, and the toes of socks are fiddly. Plus, the yarn for the second sock has already tried to be a sock, and having failed, it is sitting in the living room with a toe attached to the ball, and needs to be rewound. So I started this instead:

Scarf of modified seed stitch (idea from Crazy Aunt Purl). More on this later.
Note: This post was actually written a couple of days ago. Problems with blogger, then my computer, then me... and it's here now. But the scarf is about halfway done, and more yarn will be procured at some point to finish it.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Black Hole of Knitting

I kind of skipped out on Christmas presents last year. I was on my own for the first time, far away from my family, and feeling sorry for myself, and did not get anything for my parents. (My friends were taken care of by my husband, who enjoyed his employee discount and picked up a lot of weird things that our friends would like.) I don't think I even sent them a card. This year will be different. I have plans, oh yes I do, and I am determined that this year, my parents will have presents hand-knit by me as an example of how much I love and appreciate them.

To avoid the road to hell (paved with good intentions, you know), I not only have a plan, but I have started working on it. Dad will be getting socks. Hopefully, two pairs, one plain and boring, one fancier and brighter.

The boring one is currently on the needles. Black, 3x1 ribbing. For my dad's big feet. (That's not entirely fair. I'm pretty sure his feet are an average size for a man, but I'm used to knitting for my average-for-a-woman size, so they seem huge. These socks currently measure 8 inches long. They need to be 9.75 inches long before I can start the heel. They have measured 8 inches long since I put them down last night and all through my knitting this morning. It's the black hole of knitting, made worse because these socks actually are a black hole. At any rate, they're black and the middle of the sock is a hole. Work with me here.

Were these socks for myself, they would already be past the heel and partway up the foot.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mom's Shawl

Obviously, I had been knitting on Eunny Jang's Print o' the Wave Stole for a while. It had always been intended for my mom, although the day that I planned on giving it to her had been pushed back a couple of times. Finally, I decided to give it to her for her birthday, last Friday. I had finished the knitting a while ago, but put off blocking it, since I had intended to get blocking wires that would make that easier. I never did get those wires, so Sunday, I broke out my pins, cleared off the bed, and blocked.

It came out... a little bigger than intended. We have a full size bed, and the shawl covered half of that width-wise, and the entire length. It was so big, I could not get a picture of the entire thing blocking. I tried, y'all. I was standing on the inch and a half wide foot board, bracing myself on the ceiling, leaning back as far as I could, and I still could not get all of it.

This was mailed out yesterday, and should be in my mom's hands by Saturday.

Stats: Eunny Jang's Print of the Wave Stole.

Knit on size 4 needles out of Zephyr 50% wool, 50% silk laceweight in the Juniper color, a gift from my dad (very pretty). Finished measurements: unknown.
I kinda want one for myself now.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Magic Socks!

I debated giving up on the whole blogging thing for a while. Then I decided I still wanted to do it, but the motivation for actually sitting down and writing a post was hard to find. But my latest FO deserves a blog post. For these simple, unassuming socks, I believe, are lucky, possibly even possessing magical powers.

I realize, there is nothing in their appearance that belies their magical status, but listen: I finished these socks on Wednesday. Today I wore them for the first time... and class was cancelled. Meaning that today, I have nothing to do but drink coffee and knit.

Even as I was knitting them, before I knew of the luckiness that would unfold in my life, I appreciated these socks. Most socks, I knit complex patterns. I wanted my socks lacier! textury-er! Complicated-er! These socks are just a 2x2 rib, reminding me that I do enjoy simplicity.

Stats: Size 1 needles, Socketta Fortisima sock yarn (given to me by my dad), 68 sts, knitted toe up, k2p2 ribbing. No pattern to speak of.

These socks only took one ball of the yarn. The other was given to a friend in need of something to knit while over at my apartment. I need to give her the heads up on the potential magicy-ness of her own socks.
I also must take care with these socks, and use their powers only for good.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Socks. Frickin' stripey socks.

Y'all may remember, not too long ago, I finished a sock and, good little knitter that I am, I pulled out the second ball of yarn and started knitting away at it's mate. So I'm knitting happily away, past the toe, and on to the foot, when, for once, I stop to think. "This doesn't look right. The stripes aren't supposed to be this wide." I run to the next room, grab the first sock, and compare.
Yeah. That's not right. Plus, not only are the stripes different, but so is the gauge. The finished sock has a nice hand to it, very comfy on the the feet. The other one is pretty much bullet proof. And since I don't foresee anyone taking pot shots at my toes, that's not a good thing.
Right now, I'm thinking I'll rip back a bit on the finished sock, and use the rest of that ball to make anklets (I'm pretty sure I have enough yarn. Almost positive, in fact.) As for the other ball... well, this is also the yarn with about six different trouble spots, so I may just ... lose it. You know, in the couch or the trash can. Someplace like that.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


I tried. Yesterday, I tried.
Bradly and I went with a friend to a little film festival of shorts at a local movie theater. Knowing that these were independent films, probably of varying quality, it made sense to bring some knitting along. Stockinette, so I could do it it the dark. Lucky for me, I have a sock that needs a mate.
The observant among you may recognize this yarn from a former incarnation as a sock for my dad. However, that sock was too short, and I have reclaimed the yarn for myself.
Anyway, I'm at the theater, knitting, and about halfway through the first film, Bradly leans over. "What are you doing?" Well, obviously I'm knitting. "Why's it making that noise?"
Apparently, my bamboo needles and yarn were too noisy for him. I put my knitting away.
Final note: While some of the films were very enjoyable, some would have been infinitely better with my knitting.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I really need to start posting semi-regularly.

The Pea Pod Sweater is almost done. I have one sleeve to sew on, buttons to find and attach, and a bunch of ends to weave in (reason number 127 why I prefer wool: You can felt the ends together and eliminate a bunch of finishing). Knitting this was quite enjoyable, to the point I'm eying the leftover yarn and wondering if I have enough to make another one for another baby.

Things I learned for this project: Well, I think this was my first time actually doing mattress stitching correctly. Usually I just eyeball it, picking up however many running stitches I feel like, instead of going two by two. It really does look better when done properly. Who knew? My attaching rows to stitches still needs work though. Hopefully, this will even out with blocking.

Knitting this did make me think about why I knit for other people. Usually, it's something I want to knit, and is gifted to a friend that I want to make happy. This time, well, I don't really know the baby. He was drooling entirely too much for me to hold him. I'm not a big fan of his father, my brother in law, and I cannot stand his mom. I suppose that, ultimately, this was knit for Bradly. He has a nephew that he loves and a wife who knits. Therefore the nephew should have something knitted.

I realize that most of that makes me sound like a terrible person, what with not holding a baby and disliking people that I'm now related to, but I just had to think through why I was knitting for this baby. And it was for Bradly.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Process knitting at its best

Once upon a time, when I was just a fledgling knitter, I made this:

My first finished sweater-type project (not the first one I started. That was a sweater for my 6-foot tall, 53-inch chested father. That was an experiment in fortitude and madness). It was from a Knitpicks pattern, made from Knitpicks Shine Sport. And there's nothing wrong with it, really. Considering I didn't exactly know what I was doing while seaming it, it came out really well.

But I never wear it. Boleros, or any type of short jacket really, don't make a lot of sense to me. The sleeves make it too warm to wear in any season except for the ones where I want a full jacket protecting as much of me as possible.

Plus I'm bored. So, two days ago, that thing became this:

Yarn, ready for the knitting. Ready, in fact, to become the Pea Pod Baby Sweater from Kate Gilbert and Interweave Knits. For my nephew. Who lives in Arkansas, and where he has some use for a cotton sweater, and where I'll never know if the sweater actually gets worn.

I have another sweater that's about to undergo a similar remaking in the near future. More about that later.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I could be a superhero...

This is a flamingo, from the Fibertrends pattern. Bought ages ago, back when I was shopping for yarn for my first hat, back before I even had an inkling of a clue how to make a flamingo, bought so that I had something to aspire to. And now it is made. (You'll have to use your imagination a bit on this. It's not felted yet.)

Stats: 3 balls Lion Wool in Rose, one ball of Lionbrand Fun Fur in Soft Pink, leftover Lamb's Pride Worsted in Onyx, knit on size 10 1/2 needles for the body, and the legs were supposed to be knit on size 11 (8mm). I could only find one of my 8mm needles, so they're knit on one 8mm, one 7 mm.

As with most felted patterns, this starts out huge. Which is a good thing, if one were to exist in my twisted little mind. Because a huge flamingo head and body, waiting to be sewn up, lends itself very well to this sort of silliness.
Flamingo Girl to the rescue!
Once the flamingo is done, it will reside in my office at school, which is desperately in need of some personality and color.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Fireworks and increase rows

Last night was rather nice. While Bradly and I didn't go to any fireworks displays, we did have a view of about three of them from our balcony, plus the idiots with the firecrackers, who were lighting them up in our apartment complex's very small parking lot, with lots of rather expensive cars around. Even if I liked firecrackers (which I don't, since I had an uncle lose a hand to a homemade one), I would not have them around other people's cars. That's just asking for trouble.
On to the knitting. As this blog has demonstrated, I can be a bit of an idiot sometimes. Mainly when it comes to two matching pieces, I don't keep enough records of what I do, so that the second piece bears little resemblance to the first. Case in point: my Lionbrand Jaywalkers. I know that I added more stitches as I went up the leg, but I don't remember where or how. I vaguely remember some complex scheme involving increases at different repeats and rows up the leg, but for the life of me, I don't know when exactly. Instead, I just increased where I felt like it, and am counting on the socks being so tacky, no one wants to stare at them long enough to figure out my increase methods.
As it stands (assuming my counting skills are any good, which I'm not 100% sure they are), I know I need another increase row before the ribbing. I'm just gonna throw it in whenever I bloody well feel like it.
Oh, and a note about that picture: It was taken while sitting at my desk, writing this entry, with my foot propped up on the mouse pad.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

No rest for the wicked

This summer isn't exactly going to be a restful downtime for me. First we had the wedding, and, about two days before the ceremony, I got word that we're moving on campus. Which is a good thing, 'cause we're getting a two bedroom for less than what we're paying here (one-bedroom), high speed Internet is included, it's more convenient for me, for school, and closer to downtown. So it's a really good thing, in the long run. In the short run, we have to move. Boxes, packing, bribing friends with beer and pizza to help carry our couch up to the third floor...

So not a lot of resting here. There is knitting.

The Om Yoga Bag from Stitch 'n' Bitch Nation (which, by the way, is on Amazon for $3.19, if you don't already have this), modified to be large enough to hold both my yoga mat and my blocking board. Still need to add a drawstring and handles, but the main part's done. This was inspired by the move, since they're both so unwieldy and uncurl at every opportunity. Made from Lionbrand Microspun.
Other than that, I've been knitting a few rows here and there on Mom's stole, and knitting a lot more on Starsky Jr. I have one ball of yarn left, for the left front and the shawl collar, so I'm almost positive I'll run out. Right now, I'm fighting that, with the "knit very fast, and the yarn will last longer" technique.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The veil in action

Quick post, just to show the veil as it was on my wedding day. Some of my friends already called dibs to borrow it when they get married. Which is good.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Three weeks later...

Three weeks and one wedding later, I'm back at the blog. I left for Arkansas on the first of June and had the best of intentions to blog while away, but when trying to throw together a wedding in two weeks, I didn't have much time for knitting, and even less for blogging. Nothing got finished, most things I just held in my lap while watching TV and fretting about the flowers.

After I got back, I did manage to finish one sock.

The yarn I was using (Knitpicks Bare 75% Superwash Wool, 25% Nylon, dyed with Kool-Aid) was too thin to use with size two needles. I went down to size ones, oddly enough, without adjusting the stitch count. Or the row count on the leg. They still fit fine, although they're not high enough to peek out the top of boots.

Upon completion, I did not cast on the second sock. I cast it aside quicker than a straight-A student dumps his bi-sexual college girlfriend when going home for Christmas. It's summer, y'all. There's no sense of urgency for wool socks. However, I currently have this and the Lionbrand jaywalker missing a mate, and the stripey socks still need to have their ends woven in. So no new socks until these pairs are completed.

The Print o' the Wave shawl, which I originally hoped to gift to my mother while home, has a new deadline: her birthday in November. It still lacks about half the edging.

Starsky Jr. has one sleeve finished, one front finished, and the back done, with the second sleeve started.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

My knitting projects have reached the horrible just-get-it-done-and-you-can-move-on phase. Starsky Jr. has a front, and I'm working on the back. It seems a lot harder to do, what with 90 stitches, three repeats, and cabling on every row. Print o' the Wave has a finished center panel, but, despite my best intention, I forgot to take a picture before beginning to pick up stitches around the edge. By the time I remembered, it didn't look like a stole anymore, just a crumpled bag of lace on a too short circular needle. I'm going to finish picking up stitches today, and try to get the inner border eyelet section done before Friday. Starsky Jr. has a goal on one repeat a day.

I'm going home on Friday. Alone. Bradly will be following the next week. I ended up buying new luggage because none of my current ones could fit my wedding dress. I had hoped to have that in my carry-on, so I didn't risk it getting lost, but that's not going to happen. I know what knitting I'm bringing on the plane with me (my pink socks and possibly Mom's stole), but I need to figure out how much yarn I need for about three and a half weeks away from my stash.

Current plans:
Carry on will have one ball and needles for pink sock and Mom's stole.
Checked luggage will have remaining pink sock yarn, yarn for my Dad's other sock, along with the needles, maybe Starsky Jr. I haven't decided yet. Maybe more.

I have to go pack now. And clean up the apartment.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Kool-Aid dyeing

This isn't anything new or original. Many, many people have dyed yarn with Kool-Aid long before I even started knitting. But it was fun. And there isn't enough progress on anything else to justify their blogworthiness.

I had a hank of Knitpicks Bare Sock yarn, the superwash kind. Originally, I was going to try for stripes and make a pair of Feather and Fan socks. I never quite got around to it. When the spring issue of Interweave Knits came in the mail, most of it was pretty "eh." Except for the Spiral Boot Socks. Those I desperately needed. So I dyed my yarn, hoping to get a pretty pink color.
Here we have one skein of the yarn, four packets of Pink Lemonade Kool-Aid, and a pot. A small pot, but the biggest I own. Following the instructions from Knitty, I added the four packets (according to a converter I found online, my 100 grams equaled about 3.5 oz. One packet per ounce, four is a good number), added the yarn, then poured more water on top.

The thing the ladies at Knitty didn't mention: yarn floats. I could not get it down under the water. The other thing they didn't mention: yarn soaks up dye really fast. I was desperately trying to push the yarn down, and the water was getting clearer by the second.

Thinking quickly, I pulled out a mixing bowl. Dropped the yarn into that, pour the Kool-Aid on top, and added more water. The water had gone from a very bright pink, to just a milky tint. Some parts of the yarn were saturated with the pink, and others hadn't even been touched. Not really what I was going for. A little bit of variation would be fine, but not that much.

I added more water to the pot, more Kool-Aid (one packet pink lemonade and one of watermelon cherry, since I wanted to drink some of the pink lemonade, and therefore couldn't use it all for my yarn), stirred that up, dropped the yarn back into the pot, poured the water on top, and turned on the heat. Since the yarn was superwash, I wasn't worried about felting it, but I was concerned about burning it. Just about everything else I make in that pot gets a little bit scorched onto the bottom, and that could not happen with my yarn. I stirred constantly.
The color of the yarn still wasn't even. I scooped a little bit of water out, added another packet of watermelon cherry, and poured it in where the yarn was the lightest. Stir some more, and turn off the heat, and let it sit.

It wasn't until I was getting ready to rinse my yarn that I realized part of my problem. I forgot to soak my yarn prior to dyeing it. Dumb, I know.

Still, the end result?

One skein of slightly-ratty looking flamingo yarn.
What did I learn from this?
1. I need a bigger pot.
2. Always get more Kool-Aid than you think you need. For the yarn I had, four packets should have been plenty. I ended up with seven, and could probably have gone up to eight without any trouble.
3. Tie your hanks in more places than you think you should. I tied in six places. It wasn't enough.
3. Kool-Aid dyeing is frickin' fun.

Did I get what I had originally intended? No. Am I happy with what I did get? Abso-fucking-lutely. Will I be doing this again? Soon as I get more white yarn. And once Kool-Aid goes on sale again. It was 10 cents a pack when I bought all this, so I stocked up. But most of it's for drinking.

Sleeve Joy and Yarn Worries

Starsky Jr. is coming along swimmingly. I've finished the first sleeve and have decided to take a break from the stockinette boredom and have just started on the left front. It's pretty complex ribbing, made more so by the fact that my yarn is black. I don't have any sort of lamp in my computer area, so I'm having to squint for the first few rows to determine whether I should be knitting or purling. It's kind of annoying, but less so than paying attention only to the knitting and counting "Knit 2, purl 4, knit 3, purl 3" aloud.

The sleeve isn't blocking yet, I'm going to wait until I have both done, then block them one on top of the other so they're exactly the same size. I'm thinking I got this idea from Juno, but I'm not sure. It's just roughly pinned down on the backside of my moose quilt so I could take a picture of something that vaguely resembles a sleeve, instead of a stockinette roll.

Finishing this sleeve has got me incredibly worried about running out of yarn. This is the first time I bought yarn for a sweater, then switched projects, so I'm worried. Theoretically, I should have enough. The original pattern called for 9 balls of Reynold's Revue, which has 112 yards in it. I'm swapping in Knitpicks Merino Style, which has 123 yards. So I should need 8 full balls and a little bit on a ninth. I have six full balls, plus three partial balls that added up to about one full ball, plus everything I've knit into the abandoned sweater, which should be about a ball and a half? Maybe? I originally ordered nine balls, and I know I didn't throw any away, so I should be fine. I think. I hope.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New knitting!

I generally try to have two projects on the needles at one time (that's two projects that I'm actively working on. Those that I've dropped into my stash don't count.) With the completion of both the knee-high stripey socks and the MOH shrug, I needed two new projects, one for TV knitting, and one for computer knitting.

TV knitting: Eunny Jang's Print o' the Wave Stole

Knit on a size 4 circular with Zephyr Silk/Wool in Juniper. This will be for my mom when I finish it.

Currently, I've finished one half of the center panel, and am about three repeats into the second.

The original stole is something like 80" long. Seeing as how my mom's pretty short, I didn't want this to overwhelm her, so I'm shortening it, just by a couple of repeats. I also plan on ending with a half repeat, as per suggested on another knitting blog.

Computer knitting: Knitty's Starsky Jr.

There are advantages to being a small person. For example, you can make the largest size of a kidswear pattern and reasonably expect it to fit.

That's most of one sleeve (also known as a gauge swatch.)

The yarn for this is Knitpicks Merino Style in Coal. Funnily enough, it's the same yarn I was using for another sweater. But I gave that sweater a long, hard look, and came to one very important conclusion.

I hated it. Too lazy to do proper intarsia, the back side was a mess of crossed yarns and unwoven ends. The idea of knitting more on that was... not well received. So, I started another sweater. There should be just enough of the black to complete this (although it is a shame to have such a complex cable pattern on black yarn).

I also have about four balls of bright red that I need to do something with.

Monday, May 21, 2007

MOH Shrug

The MOH shrug is finished. After I finished sewing it up last night, I asked my boyfriend to take a picture of me in it, for the blog. I told him, "Focus on the shrug, not on me." After a little big of generous cropping, this is what we have:

This was cobbled together from a couple of patterns. The general shape was taken from the I Do shrug from Knitty, and the lace patterns were taken from Evelyn Clark's Swallowtail Shawl. It's a little bit snug around the upper arms right now. Without the intended recipient around to check for proper fit, I think I'll unpick the mattress stitch and knit in an additional repeat. Or two. But I think it's really cute.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


In my stash, I had the leftovers from two sock projects. The almost full ball of Knitpicks Essential in Petunia from my Fools Rush socks, and the ball and a half leftover from my finishing the Falling Leaves socks. I could probably get a decent-length socks from the navy, and a pair of anklets from the pink, but I thought it would be really nifty to use the two together for a pair of really long socks. And that's what I did.

At first I was going to do an argyle pattern on the leg, but even after increasing the number of stitches, and switching to larger needles, I could not get it past my ankle. So I gave up, and am incredibly happy with the stripes. Knit on size one needles, beginning with 64 sts for the foot, increased to 72 after the heel, and at some point on the leg, I began increasing so it would fit over my shapely calves, all the way up to 112 sts. That's a lot, by the way. I haven't woven in the ends yet, but I have months to do that before I could even possibly need knee-high wool stockings.

You know what I like best about these socks? Aside from the long stripey goodness? That all most people will ever see of them is this:
They look like the most boring socks in the world, and only I shall know of their hot pink stripey-ness.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

'Cause I just don't have enough to do

My wedding, as of today, is exactly one month away. I still have a couple of more weeks before I fly down to Arkansas to fully immerse myself in last minute, pre-wedding stuff to do, but for now, I seem bound and determined to maintain a certain level of stress pertaining to the wedding.

The veil is finished, the MOH shrug is down to about thirty rows left (approximately), and now, I have decided that I should knit little purses as bridesmaids' gifts. It's entirely selfish, because this is just so they can carry stuff for me at the ceremony (ring, tissues, breath mints, etc.).

The knitting on the first one is done:
Pattern: Knitpicks Generation Purse
Yarn: I don't know the name... it's a polyester, linen, silk blend I got really frickin' cheap online. It's the same yarn that my MOH shrug is made out of.
Needles: Size 4 bamboo straights.
Modifications: Omitted the second eyelet repeat, instead adding a turning row and knitting for six rows in stockinette.

This is blocking right now (anything weird you see on my sheets is just water, I promise), but once it's dry, I plan to line it, sew it up, and find some ribbon to go through the top.

Since the yarn is not terribly elastic, I didn't see much point to blocking it severely. Mostly I just wanted it to soften up a bit, since it has the linen in there.

One down, three to go.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Bridal Veil

Finals are over, I'm just waiting for my grades. I've spent the past week knitting and recuperating and making pathetic attempts to clean my apartment.

I did manage to finish the project that's been looming over my head for the past few months. Yes, that's right, the wedding veil is done.

It still needs to be blocked, rather desperately, but I think I'll just wait until I get to Arkansas for the wedding. Otherwise, I'd just have to block it twice.

Pattern: Ingrid's Bridal Knot Shawl by Bridget Rorem from A Gathering of Lace.

Yarn: Zephyr laceweight, 50%wool, 50% tussah silk. Color, white, I guess.

Needles: Size 4 cheapo-Wal-Mart brand.

Modifications: I didn't need a full circle, so I only knit until row 194 (I think) of the middle section, bound off using the purl 2, slip stitches back on left needles, p2tog approach. I didn't like the crown and heart border, so I omitted it, instead inserting a small eyelet section, before knitting on the braid and sawtooth edging, which may be my favorite part of the entire thing.
All in all, I'm really frickin' pleased with this. Once it's blocked into a better semi-circular shape, and attached to a comb, it'll be really nice for my wedding.
Unfortunately, the wedding knitting is not over yet. My Maid of Honor needs a shrug to go over her dress to make her stand out from the other bridesmaids, so I'm working on that now. Shouldn't take too much longer.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Finals are bad.

At this point in the semester, I am functioning on too little sleep and way too much coffee. I look forward to May 8, when all my papers will be turned in, and I can just spend the day curled up in bed, and possibly dealing with some of the wedding stuff that's been creeping up and I've been studiously ignoring.

Because of these circumstances, knitting is kept simple. The veil is on hiatus until I don't have a constant feeling of puffyness from lack of sleep. Projects that I want to start, I don't, because I have doubts as to my counting abilities right now. About the only thing I can manage is socks, not becasue they're easy (although that helps), but because when I have to rip them back, it's not such a big deal.

My current socks have had the leg ripped back... about five times, for various fit reasons. All in all, I'm happy that I did it, both because they now fit, but also because their current incarnation is just stockinette. Which is mindless, so I can do it while scanning through articles on my computer.

I may or may not be posting for a bit. While I don't mind the extra writing from this, I can't drag myself over to a clean spot on the floor to take a picture of anything. In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that clean spots on the floor are rather rare right now. Books and papers cover everything. May 8, I'll clean.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Personal Growth

This has been a week of much personal growth in my household. Number 1, and I realize this doesn't seem like much, but I drank coffee without any milk in it. Very exciting. Previously, I tended to freak out at the idea of black coffee, as opposed to my lovely light brown that it is after the copious amounts of sugar and milk. But, faced with the need for coffee and a lack of milk, I just added my sugar and drank it. And it was good.
Personal growth for my fiancee: He has admitted to a use for knitting needles. Aside from entertaining his girlfriend, that is. He managed to get a game stuck in his X-Box.Which was very sad for me, to see him holding his game console, sobbing, "Not my baby, Lord, not my baby." He's very attached to his X-Box. But I managed to use my size 4, blue aluminum straight needle to bring the game to the front of the opening, and a pair of tweezers to get it all the way out. Apparently, this makes up for stabbing his hand into my container of DPNs.

More personal growth for me:

One sock, knit toe-up to use all the yarn I could. For the first time, I have no sock leftovers. Plus, since the Jaywalker pattern this was adapted from is not terribly stretchy, I had to add stitches along the way to get it to fit. I wouldn't quite say I added calf-shaping. That implies some sort of plan to the increases, but I added stitches, you can't tell where, and they fit. Have I started the next sock yet? For the pair? No. I started a completely new pair. Deal.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I had hoped to offer, by way of excuse for a lack of posting, a picture of a rough draft of a paper. However, even if you are the queen of procrastination, turns out you can't write a twenty page paper in two days. Who knew?

But I was working on the paper more or less the entire weekend. I did get some knitting done.
Sock number 1 for my dad's huge, clown-like feet. I'm calling these my cholera socks, because I was knitting these while I was supposed to be writing a paper on cholera.
Sock number 2 will not be knit until I know that number 1 fits.
Stats: Basic stockinette sock, knit on size 2 DPNs on 64 stitches around.
Yarn is Regia something, Jacquard color.
I like the socks, though I wish they were a bit longer in the leg. The yarn, I did not like at all. Felt like Lionbrand MagicStripes, and plies had frayed in four different spots, causing me to have eight additional ends to weave in. Maybe the second ball will be better.

Friday, April 20, 2007

What do Germans know about sock yarn, anyway?

My dad, wonderful sweet man, went out and bought me yarn a while back, including some sock yarn as a not-so-subtle hint about what I should knit for him next. (No one in my family is known for subtlety.)

The yarn was a Regia jacquard print. I was rather excited about this, because up until now, I've only ever knit socks with Lionbrand or Knitpicks yarn, and this was my first time using anything remotely expensive. To my knowledge, no blogger has said anything bad about it. Most people seem to like it.

To start with, I was disappointed with the feel. It reminded me rather strongly of the Lionbrand Magic Stripes. But more expensive. Still, this was what my dad wanted, and he's the one who paid for the yarn. So I started knitting. I'm not even halfway up the foot (knitting these toe-up) and I have already encountered two spots where plys have broken, leaving a rather ragged looking yarn that I can't knit with. since this is superwash wool, I can't just cut it and felt it together, instead, I have to weave in ends.

Now, maybe I got a bad ball. Maybe Regia really is the cat's pajamas when it comes to knitting socks. I will admit that it seems to knit faster than Essential. but all in all, this is not worth the money.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I caved

So there I was, diligently working on the Endpaper mitt, thinking about how I really liked the way the white and orange yarns looked together, and wasn't I happy that the weather had turned cold again, so I'd have a chance to wear them... and I got distracted.

All of my bridesmaids are wearing the same dress, so there was nothing to distinguish my MOH. Since the dresses are sleeveless, the perfect thing would be a little shrug... Knitty has a pattern for that... and I have that Microspun leftover from Solieil.... I had a plan.

The Endpaper mitt was cast aside, and I cast on the shrug... It didn't work. Number 1, I should have thought that acrylic doesn't block, so a lacy shrug, not a good idea. Number 2, the knitting made my hands hurt. I didn't even make it through the first row, and my hands hurt. I found another pattern, ordered more yarn (so cheap!!), and devotedly returned to the mitts.

Last night, it happened again.

Socks for my dad.

I'm not a good person.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The center portion of the wedding veil is half-way done. Yay! Since I only wanted a half circle, I pretty much just knit until it looked long enough, then bound off the top edge.
It's a bit pointy at the top corners, but I think I'll be able to block it into an appropriately semi-circular shape.
I knew I didn't want that inner border, with the crowns and hearts and what-not, so I modified the pattern a bit, to skip it. Instead, I picked up all the stitches around the edges, knit a couple of rows, an eyelet row, and a couple more, then left the stitches on the needles and started knitting the braid and sawtooth edging. I got about one and a half repeats done last night. I'll need about thirty total.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Pirate mitten is blocked, and looking rather pretty, I think. The only thing I really changed about the pattern is the back. I used pinstripes.
Because of the pinstripes, I had to slightly modify the year on the right hand mitten. I reduced the two and the seven by one stitch each. I like it.
Since these mittens don't really fit me too well, I'm giving them to a friend. We were hanging out last weekend and I noticed she had really small hands, so I asked if she wanted them. They'll have a good home.
The other thing I knit, to get rid of the yarn is this:
It's a modification of Java-a-Go-Go. With argyle. It makes me happy, although I haven't actually used it yet, so I don't know if it'll work.