Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sock slacker

Something is very odd with Blogger right now and I can't compose things normally. Does anyone know how to get the rich text formatting back? The Blogger help is no help at all.

I've been a slacker this last week. I confess that I haven't worked on my Clessidra socks at all. What can I say, there was an error (I lost count and the magnet showing where I was fell off the chart) and I haven't had the energy to figure out where I was. Hopefully I'll overcome that since all I have to do is turn the heel and knit the foot.

Other than that I've been productive on other sock yarn projects. These are the two pairs of socks I've finished this October. The first pair is an early Christmas present. I saw the recipient over the weekend and decided to give them to her then rather than mailing them later. They were very well received :)

This next pair is a set of scrap socks for me. I used left over bamboo yarn from 2 other pairs. I did end up buying the last lone blue ball from the shop in order to finish up the socks using the same color.

I did a garter stitch toe and an afterthought garter stitch heel. I liked the toe but not the heel so much. I think it would have been different if I had done the heel not as an afterthought.

These socks have been on the needles longer than I care to admit. The stockinette stitch-ness of them made them perfect for a traveling sock and one I could work on without thinking. The only problem with that is I don't want to work on those sort of projects because they are so boring unless I am doing something else. This past weekend I took them to the Quarter Horse Congress over in Columbus and knit while we walked around. Basically the entire leg later, I was ready to do the ribbing and bind off. Good thing Congress came around or I would never have finished them!

Other sock yarn projects have also been on the needles. I made some Princess Mitts out of sock yarn (apparently this is my cable phase) in August but just hadn't finished the thumbs. It seriously took me 2 months to knit 26 rows of 20 stitches. That is something that could be done in an hour, tops! I finally, finally knit the thumbs yesterday and the fingerless gloves are ready for Christmas. There is still plenty of yarn left and I'm tempted to make another pair for myself. Maybe not the same pattern but I love the way the yarn stripes and the colors.

The other project I just started is a pair of Knotty gloves. I saw these gloves on the Stash n Burn Ravelry group and absolutely fell in love. Digging through my stash, I came up with the perfect yarn. A little while ago, the shop got in some Alpaca fingering weight yarn from Cherry Tree Hill. I absolutely loved the one colorway. It was blues, greens, pinks, purples, golds in lovely alpaca goodness. When I looked at the name, I really shouldn't have been surprised. It's name was "Peacock." It seems like I will like anything called peacock even if I don't know that is the name before I see it. I've made a sweater out of a green called Persian Peacock, have stashed a skein of peacock sock yarn, bought roving called peacock, and fell in love with the Peacock Feathers shawl pattern. Slap a peacock on it and apparently I will buy. I can't wait until I can post pictures here again to show you the yarn and gloves.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Socktober continues!

I've been steadily working on socks this month. Though this project took me away from it for a day. It's a pumpkin hat!

My work is having a pumpkin carving contest. Because my carving skills are more likely to result me being in the hospital, I decided to put my own spin on things. You know that means something knit. I made a pumpkin hat (with a leaf and vine addition) and drew his face on with a permanent marker. :)

The Clessidra stockings have been sucking up most of my time. I'm so close to being able to turn the heel that I can almost taste it. So far the legs have used up 100 grams of yarn which means, in theory, I've already knit an entire pair of socks and not just the never-ending legs. Don't get me wrong, I love the pattern. It just feels like I should be doing something new any time now.

All of the cables have given me a chance to work on my cabling skills and repairing miscrossed cable skills. I'm going to jinx myself but I've only had to fix 3 cable mistakes so far. Most of them have been easy fixes with the mistake only a couple of rows down. This one (sorry for the picture clarity. Dark navy is extrememly difficult to take pictures of!) was a bit more complicated. I had made the mistake 2 cable rows down so it meant laddering down much futher to fix everything.

Then my trusty crochet hook and I fixed the problems. Before this sock, I didn't really have the confidence to even think of repairing complicated cable problems. I'm hoping all of that has been changed.

Shield your eyes from my pale, pale legs and you will be able to see how far I've gotten on the socks.

I've knit a little bit more since the picture but not much.

In spinning news, I've been saving up for one of these babies.

It is a very lightweight Golding ring spindle. I've already given it a test spin with some tussah silk and am really enjoying it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A good random occurance

Something absolutely random happened this afternoon that I forgot to write about. I got a copy of this book in the mail!

Apparently, I had signed up to get a copy on a blog (I hate to say that I can't remember which one) contest. Or maybe they were giving away a copy. All I know it that it made a strange day much better!

Full Moon

You know what they say about full moons? That everything crazy happens then? That is definitely true in libraries. It always seems like a day or two before and after are the zone of insanity. Strange patrons and even stranger problems come up. If someone has fines, they throw a hissy fit to end all hissy fits. Strange requests are made for things like tax forms from 2006. Strange things happens to people's common sense. (And if this kid doesn't leave the desk I'm going to start screaming) People get stuck in the elevator prompting calls to the front desk like "Hi, it's the elevator. I have people stuck in me." In short, it's always a "fun" time to work. I've just about reached my limit for it tonight (and my limit for the video on a loop promoting a program in November with Amazing Grace-like music playing ad nauseum). I'll just think about knitting (and mentally scream) until all of this is over.

I finished the pair of socks I mentioned last post. They are a Riverbed sockitechture from Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters. Have I mentioned how much I like that pattern? It really fits your foot well. The garter stitch toe worked out nicely. It's funny though, without classes, it takes me longer to finish a pair of socks. With class, I could finish a pair in a week. Now, it took me 12 days to do it. This was even a plain vanilla pair!

Right after binding off, I started another pair, Clessidra from Knitty. This pair of knee-highs have been on my to-knit list ever since it came out in the Spring 07 issue. I went out and bought the yarn (actually the same brand as the pattern used! that never happens) right after I first saw those socks. I'm using Regia Silk Shine in navy. The shine is extremely subtle and catches the light every so often. It should be really interesting to see how it highlights the cables.

The pattern is clearly written but last night I just couldn't get it to work in my head. You work these from the top down (not my preferred way of doing socks) and have 4 different cables as well as seed stitch and stockinette stitch panels all going on at the same time. So I did something which is probably just making it more complicated. I charted everything. All of the different cables and panels are now next to each other in the correct order. I think this probably says something about how comfortable I am using charts versus written instructions.

Another thing I'm doing with these which is probably complicating the process is I'm working them 2 at a time on circs. The pattern was written for DPNs so there are instructions for how many stitches should be on each needle. I'll just ignore all of that. It will probably take me longer working them at the same time but it is more likely that I will actually have a finished pair in the end. If I did them one at a time, there would only be a small, small chance. Here's hoping I can finish them by the end of October. . .

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Did you know it is Socktober already? Contests and whatnot have been popping up all over ravelry and the blog world. On the Stash and Burn group, people have been setting goals for using their abundance of sock yarn. My goals are hopefully attainable. I want to use up at least 2 pairs worth or about 800 yards. I've put aside some of the projects I was working on (a sweater for me, some shawls, some socks (oh, wait, maybe shouldn't have put those down)) and started on a pair of socks for my friend for Christmas. These aren't a surprise (she bought the wool and told me her shoe size) so I'll post pictures here.

I'm doing a garter stitch toe which is definitely interesting. I wasn't sure if my friend needed pointy toes or blunt toes so this garter stitch square will hopefully solve that problem. It was a really easy way of starting a toe-up sock. You cast on 1/4 of the total stitches (so, if the sock is 60 stitches, you cast on 15) using some sort of provisional cast on so you can easily pick up stitches. I used Judy's Magic Cast-on. Then you knit garter until you have the same number of garter ridges (15 garter ridges in this case) and you have a little square. You pick up the stitches along each side and *poof* you have 60 stitches on your needles.

The rest of this pattern is a Riverbed sockitecture from Cat Bordhi's book. The increases are all along the sole of the sock. You would think that wouldn't feel comfortable on your sock but they really are. I made one of these Riverbed socks for myself already and like the way it fits. I just hope my friend will like it as much.

Another project I'm working on with sock yarn is my OSUtrich Plume Shawl, my name for the Ostrich Plume Shawl because I'm working with OSU (scarlet and grey) colored sock yarn. This shawl is very repetitive so I've found myself not drawn to working on it. It is definitely a "knit while watching TV project) because the same pattern is repeated over and over. I'm probably halfway finished by this point but it isn't a compelling knit for me. This picture of it is from a while ago but it pretty much looks the same, like a blob of scarlet and grey lace.

Friday, October 03, 2008

playing with videos

Originally uploaded by bookworm knitting
I took this video of the boys playing last night. All of the horses have been enjoying the cooler weather. Whenever the first cold snap happens, they all run around like idiots/young things. The night before no one came in for dinner because they were enjoying the temperatures too much. My horse, Java, is the dark one playing face tag. Sorry for the jerky-ness of the video!