Friday, September 29, 2006

More tidbits!

By the way, apologies for the lack of updates! I have no excuses, but I do have pictures! Michael's had a sale recently on Patons Classic Merino! Only $3.77 a ball - not bad for over 200 yards of merino. It is, of course, not as soft as some of the more expensive brands, but is still quite comfy and squishy. I got some Winter White for one of my upcoming Christmas gift projects (a Yorick scarf), and quite a few balls of a natural oatmeal-ish color (the name is escaping me now).

The oatmeal color is to make the Turbulence U-neck Pullover from Knitting Nature (I also joined the Knitting Nature KAL).

Okay, so far, not very exciting. I suspect much of the knitting will be rather dull - it is a loooot of stockinette. But the final product should be lovely. And more importantly, it is all for ME ME ME! Yes, the holiday knitting is getting to me. I want something for myself dammit!

Completed: Jaywalkers!

A finished pair!View from the top.

When sock yarn explodes...

Socks...or a pair of earwarmers for Mr. Baa Baa?

Pattern: Jaywalkers by Grumperina, from Magknits September 2005
Yarn: Socks that Rock, in color County Clare, mediumweight
Modifications: Short ankles (1 inch of rib, 1 inch of pattern).
Made one more set of decreases at the toe (ended with 24 instead of 28 stitches).
Seemed to find an error(?), although no one seems to mention it elsewhere - before the toe, several stitches are decreased on needles 2 and 3 to get a multiple of 4 stitches - the pattern has you decrease a total of 4 stitches, but I had to decrease 6 to get the right number. Weird?
Finally - I made a minor error that I decided to simply keep doing. I ended the ankle on round 2 instead of round 1. Thus, on the gusset, I performed the slipped stitch on the same round as the gusset decreases/round 2. Didn't cause a problem at all.
Recipient: Christmas gift for my mom! The socks fit on my - but very snugly. This is good, as my mom has very small feet (size 5 1/2!) and I have medium size feet (8 1/2). I think they will fit well - perhaps a bit loose, but my mom hates overly tight socks anyway!

This was a fun and very easy to knit pattern, although since everyone except me has knit a pair by now, I'm sure I don't need to tell anyone that! The Socks that Rock was very pleasant to knit with, and much less prone to laddering that some socks yarn I have used (Lorna's Lace, I'm looking at you!). The color was a bit different than what I expected - more bright greens as well as very dark tones - but I'm pleased with how it came out.

Unfortunately, I had a yarn explody incident. Stupidly, I wound the entire hank into one ball (close to 400 yards) instead of two. Close to the end of the first sock, for reasons I don't quite comprehend, the yarn I was pulling from the inside got badly tangled and came out in a massive yarn barf. Attempts to fix it only made things worse. I managed to finish sock 1, and then did sock 2 with yarn pulled from the outside of the ball. I made it, but you can see the remaining yarn in the picture above - it ain't pretty. Well, lesson learned - don't get overzealous with the ballwinder, even if a single giant ball of yarn looks really cool.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Once upon a post.

Today's sock is brought to you by Mr. Baa Baa:

Short-ankled Jaywalkers for my Mom. I only did a half-hearted swatch, so I don't know yet if they size will come out right. But hey, that's all part of the excitement, right? Yeehaw!

I also took a happy little jaunt over to Bluebonnet Yarn. The Silky Wool is to make two separate gaiters (neck warmer things) from One Skein for my fiance's grandmothers. The Cashsoft is for ribbed armwarmers for my brother.

I have made armwarmers previously out of Cashsoft, and this stuff is goooooood. It remains to be seen whether I will remain faithful to the socks and put all my attention into them until finished, or whether I will cheat on them like crazy with the Silky Wool.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Unisex Gloves (AKA - Rustic Gloves) - Complete!

(Boy, the color looks different in each photo doesn't it? The bottom one shows the true color best - a chocolately brown.)
Project: Unisex Gloves from One Skein (I think of them as the Rustic Gloves)
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash - only 1 hank needed for large pair of gloves
For: X-mas gift for my father
Modifications: None (though if I made them again, I might at some sort of ribbing at the bottom - they tend to flare out)
Comments: These were a fairly easy knit, and my first time making gloves. I did have some holes between fingers, which did not surprise me, and which I fixed when weaving in ends.
The cables on this glove were rather annoying to perform - maybe because it was all knit stitches and no purls?
The gloves came out large - not larger than in the pattern though, my gauge was good. I'm a bit worried they'll be too big, but my dad does have fairly thick hands. His hands are bigger than my fiance's - who is modeling the gloves in the photo. So hopefully, it will be allright!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Land of No Progress.

So the name of this post is not completely true - I have made some progress, but overally, not much as occurred with my knitting the last week. I think I've just hit a bit of a lazy patch. I am almost finished with the gloves those, and a picture will be up soon.

I've been reevaluating my X-mas gift plan - I've realized that I may have gotten a wee bit too optimistic. I've revised things a bit and feel much better now about my chances of finishing everything on time without going crazy. The gift-o-meter on the side bar now has a gift total goal of 16 instead of 18. I am no longer planning on making doggie sweaters for my future sis/bro-inlaw's dogs. It just ain't gonna happen. I've also scrapped several of the gift ideas I had for several people and changed them to things which will be both easier for me, and also more likely to please the recipient. The main changes:
Mom - Instead of Jaywalkers, I'm going to make plain socks with no ankles (anklet socks). I recently discovered my mom hates ankles on socks, especially huggy ones. By the way, here is the yarn that I'm going to use - it is Socks that Rock, the color is County Clare.

Mmmmm, socks yarn.

Other changes:
Fiance's dad: was originally going to make the Here and There Cables scarf from Scarf Style's 800 yards of knitting, dudes. So I'm going with a cabled scarf from One Skein instead (can you tell I love that book?).
Brother: I was planning on the Broadstreet Mittens from knitty, but realized that those are a decent amount of knitting and frankly, I'm not sure my brother would even like them much. So instead, I'm going with some basic ribbed armwarmers - probably like the ones I made for my fiance last year. He went totally insane for them - I think they will be more appreciated as a gift for my bro as well, and less insanity for me.

I'm feeling fairly invigorated by the new plan, so hopefully the knitting will get back on track. Pictures of the gloves soon!

Friday, September 01, 2006

A post - like, woah!

I have been very negligent in my posting duties. My parents came to visit, which pretty much put all knitting and blogging on hold. They actually left two days ago, but I'm still trying to get back in my groove. And now, my fiance's parents are coming to visit this weekend - I look forward to seeing them, but once again, I won't get much done. That said, I am making progress. I have complete one glove of a pair for my father before my parents got here:

Apologies for the bad lighting! It also needs a few tails woven in. I have it's match on the needles now, and I'm about halfway through the palm. Knitted in worsted weight, they move along quite speedily. I haven't had any problems with the pattern. I had a few small holes between the fingers, which I expected would happen, but I easily closed them up with some of the loose tails inside the glove.

So as a reward for the patience of the few faithful who visit my blog, it's picture time! My parents recently moved to Washington state, and here is a gift they brought me:

Mmmm, caramel popcorn with dried cherries.

We had a lot of fun while they were here, and one of the things we did was go to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Park. It is the type of park at which you drive through in your car and can give food to the animals. Since it was wickedly hot, most animals stayed in the shade, but a few species were persistent and effective beggars.

Baby animals! Behold their powers of cuteness!

These animals were called Barbary Sheep (I think), and they were some of the most eager of the food-begging crowd. They would actually stand partially in the road and patiently wait for each car to drive up and give them food - sort of like a reverse drive-thru window. They were very gently and cute as well. Boy sheep had facy long beards.

Scaaaary bird. Sorry to any ostrich fans, but they gave me the creeps. And they're huge! I rolled the windows up when they came by.

And of course, the zebras. They really enjoyed the free food - but let me just say having a huge horse head full of giant teeth shoved in your window is pretty intimidating. On the plus side, we got to see tiny baby zebras frolicing (no pictures though, drat).

Ahhh, feeding animals from your car, just like in nature!