Wednesday, December 31, 2008


So, my Christmas knitting is finally complete - the last item, Rina's Harry Potter socks, are finally done as of Sunday! Hurrah FOs!! I'm unfortunately going to have to mail them to her, but I need to find some other stuff to throw in the box as an I'm-sorry-I'm-a-horrible-procrastinator thing. Because, ya know, I am.

So to unwind from all that knitting (ha ha, get it, unwind!? ah, I'm lame...) I knit me up a pair of socks in a chunky yarn. And let me tell you, that is the perfect instant gratification project. It only took me 48 hours to whip up, and they're so cozy as house socks. Mmmm, socks.

And now, because I am a glutton for punishment, I cast on for my next project, which is also a gift for someone that needs to be finished on a deadline. Or rather, I'm in the process of casting on for my next project. I am 100 stitches into a total of 196. Yarrgh. I had to stop and take a break from it.

I know it sounds strange, but I actually really really dislike casting on, and starting new projects in general. Don't get my wrong, I have a chronic case of startitis, and I like having lots of projects started, but I don't really begin to enjoy a started project until I'm a couple dozen rows in. Yeah, I'm weird.

So. Anyhow. Hat. I'm making it out of Cascade 220 Superwash, because the recipient can't be trusted to not throw it in the washer and dryer and I want to avoid a very unfortunate felting incident. It's in color 856, a very pretty deep blue heathered with flecks of emerald green. Gorgeous. I'm knitting it up on size 6 needles, for a nice dense and [hopefully] very warm fabric. I'm sort of making up the pattern on the fly as I go. I've got some vague pictures in my head involving lots of ribbing and some cables. The ribbing is a must - I've discovered that ribbing is absolutely magical for ensuring a snug fit when one is knitting for someone who can't try on the project as it's being knit. (Hence the liberal use of 3x1 ribbing on Rina's socks.)

I really don't want to finish casting on for this, but I know I have to. Ah well. It won't be so bad once I'm finished casting on. The yarn is soft and smooshy, and I'm getting to use my new fabulous circular needles I got for Christmas. And oooh, they are everything I'd dreamed they would be...

Speaking of Christmas, I've continued to drool over yarns online that I'm looking to spend my Christmas money on that I always want to buy but won't because they're expensive. The only one I've thus far decided on is that skein of Malabrigo sock yarn, but I still have no idea what color. But I'm taking my time, and savoring all the decisions. I will also be making some less-indulgent yarn purchases. I've got several projects planned in Knitpicks yarn, which for me is the epitome of practical as far as yarn goes. Exciting!

::sigh:: Back to casting on with me...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

merry christmas!

So, um, yeah. This whole posting regularly thing. I suck at it.

The holidays have been insane so far. But despite that I do have some FOs to report.

Seamed my cupcake and it is cute! Yay!

The BTWNE is finally finally done!! And it came out really really nice! When I laid it out to take pictures of it, I was thinking to myself, "damn that came out well! I should make another one, I've got enough yarn left over-" And then reality kicked in and I remember how much I hated this evil thing while I was making it. So I think I'll let the memory fade a bit before jumping into that again...

Erm, and I swear the pics of it will be up soon-ish....

Harry Potter socks are still not done. I'm almost to the toe decreases on the second one. I'm a little sad I'm going to have to mail them to Rina, but I'm only human.

So. Christmas.

Evidently I've been a very good girl this year, because Santa brought me another skein of Harry Potter yarn in the Hedwig colorway, the Andean Chullo hat kit, and the set of Knitpicks Options interchangeable circular needles. Hurrah! Unfortunately two of the needles (one size 7 and one size 8) won't screw all the way down onto the cables so I'm going to have to call about that. ::sigh:: But I love them already!! They're sharp and shiny slippery and really, what else could one want with needles?

Santa also brough me Christmas checks cleverly labelled as from various relatives. I'm going on a yarn-buying spree. There's several items I've been wanting (mmmMalabrigo sock yarn...) and I think this is just the excuse I've been needing to get some. Pictures will come eventually.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


So, I've been neglecting this blog again, bad girl that I am. My life has been INSANELY BUSY lately. So busy, in fact, that it requires the use of ALL CAPS to emphasize just how CRAZY it really is. Yeah.

So, I've not made that much headway, unfortunately. I've finished the first of my mother's socks, but haven't cast on for the second one. I've also finished the first of Rina's Harry Potter socks, and just cast on for the second one last night. I'm about five rounds in, which, let's be honest, doesn't really count for anything. ::sigh::

The BTWNE is soooooooo close to ending. I have just FOUR MORE ROUNDS to do, and then I am done with that awful beast FOREVER.

I've also resurrected my amigurumi cupcake and am almost done. It just needs to be stuffed and sewn together. I might do that later tonight if I have two seconds to do it in. I thought about resurrecting my Beholder as well, but decided that enough is enough. I'm overambitious enough as it is. That little bugger can wait until January.

Now I am off to go crochet like a madwoman. I have delusions of finishing the BTWNE by tonight. Expect a picture-heavy post tomorrow, including the blanket from hell, a cupcake, Jason's hat, and the two first socks!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

butter me up, cause i'm on a roll!

Seriously. Well, not literally. But you know what I mean...

So. Jason's Binary Hat is complete as of Sunday night! I finished it up, wove in the ends, tossed it at him, and hurrah, it fit! He reports that the yarn is not too itchy (as I sorta feared) and that it keeps his ears nice and warm. He also looks very good in that shade of green. Sadly, I don't have any pictures of said finished hat, as he's been using it. I'll try to snap a couple of it tonight when he comes home.

I did make some modifications to this pattern. Instead of just reading the numbers 1-15 in order around the hat, I tweaked it so that it reads 3(.)141592653589793238 instead. Which, really, is just cooler. I also added an extra three cable columns, as well as six rounds to the bottom before beginning the cabling pattern, and another four rounds between the end of the cabling and the start of the decreases.

With that over and done with, I'm back to working on socks as my to-go project. Rina's sock-in-progress is now living in my purse, and I got another couple rounds done while out last night. I will be going to Florida for Jason's brother's graduation, and I hope to get the pair done this weekend. I'm nearly done with the first sock, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the second one will fly off the needles as this one has done.

The BTWNE is close to ending! I don't know how the heck this thing did it, but when I spread it on the floor I had something that was almost blanket sized. wtf, mate!? This things spends a month not growing, and then all of a sudden it's massive?? If I didn't know any better, I'd think this beast is foraging in my stash at night and devouring yarn on its own while I'm not looking. Probably my favorite fancy yarns, too, the bastard.

But I've decided that after another band of each color (9 rows total) it will be big enough to call complete. Right now it's 41.5" x 52" and the three rounds will add 8" in width and length, plus another bit for the border... so 50" x 61" is a pretty good size for a blanket. And thank goodness for that! I did almost three rounds on it yesterday, and if I can keep up that pace I'll be done in no time! And then I can give it away and be done with this monster forever! Bwahahaha!

Also, I have been given an early Christmas present! Many thanks to Kristin for the gorgeous skein of Artyarns Silk Rhapsody! I'm still trying to find a pattern pretty enough to do this yarn justice...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

UFO month in a nutshell

November is more or less over, with only a week to go. And with that said, I'm going to go ahead and conclude that UFO month has not only fallen flat on its face, but hopped valiantly up to its feet afterward to stumble around in a daze for a while before wandering off the edge of a nearby cliff.

After my rapid victory over the homespun beast (which I still have not woven the ends into) my hopes soared. Perhaps this will be the first time since I can remember, perhaps the first time ever! that I will actually do what I say I am going to do! But here we are, 23 days into the month, and... well, let's let the projects speak for themselves.

  • + The BTWNE is still devouring yarn like a starving yeti, and has STILL not gotten perceivably bigger. Each round is taking longer and longer, so I'm sure the thing is growing at least some, but it sure as hell doesn't seem like it.
  • + My mother's socks are not even halfway finished. I'm about 2 inches away from the toe decreases in the first one, so hopefully only another few hours of work there... I probably would have had it done by now had I for once in my life been able to read a pattern and then knit exactly what it says. I've probably done enough knitting to complete three socks by now, I've just had to undo most of it because it was, well, wrong. ::sigh::
  • + I haven't even touched the following: Jason's binary scarf, the pair of socks for myself, my crocheted tank top, the bag that still needs lining, or any of the assorted partially completed amigurumi critters that have been lurking around my yarn stash for months looking like the Frankenstein scrap bin for a mad scientist with ADD.
I did, however, start and complete the binary cable hat for Jason. Unfortunately I either overestimated the stretchiness of cables, or underestimated the biggness of Jason's head, but either way it came out too small. I thought briefly on keeping it for myself, but then we would have identical hats and I refuse to be that couple that goes around matching. So it was sent to the frog pond, and I've been carrying the ball of yarn around with me in hopes of casting on again for it soon.

I also bought more yarn. Yes. I know. One skein of Cascade 220 Superwash in a gorgeous heathered blue-green for a hat for a friend, and one skein of Lamb's Pride Worsted in Orange Creamsicle for myself. Because, really now, who doesn't need a bright orange hat? My yarn diet, by the way, is pretty much over. I'm not going to try to delude myself any longer. Nope, it's gone the way of UFO Month.

I'm also going to go out on a limb here and say that with all my Christmas knitting, I'm probably not going to make much headway in Stash-busting Month either. With any luck, I'll finish what I actually need to finish for gifting, and truth be told, if that happens then I'll be one happy camper. I hope to get a good chunk of it done next week while I'm home for Thanksgiving.

Projects to be worked on at home, in a list, simply because I rather like lists:
  • + My mother's socks. Because it's been too damned long. Probably won't finish them, but I can at least get her to try on the first one and see whether it fits her, or if I've just been knitting myself a sock without realizing. I probably will not start the second one until I'm home for Christmas.
  • + Rina's Harry Potter socks. I've got high hopes for finishing these up over Thanksgiving. I'm going with a very plain pattern to show off the pretty stripiness of the yarn. I'm thinking a 3x1 rib on the leg, and possibly the instep. I'm getting 9 spi on it, so hopefully it won't take too long.
  • + Jason's hat. It took me about three days the first time, but now I've really got the hang of it, and my pattern I'm SURE is correct this time. Though I'm making it slightly bigger, I've got high hopes of finishing it up within the same timeframe.
  • + Superwash hat. Probably not going to get done on this trip, though maybe I'll get it started. Thinner yarn will be worked at a smaller gauge so it'll take longer to finish than I'll be home for. But my hopes remain high, and I'll probably get it done by Christmas. I hope. Maybe. Well, at least before it stops being cold.
I'm sure this is more than enough knitting to keep me occupied for six days. And if some miricle occurs and I actually finish all of it, well, they've got yarn stores in Tampa!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

a slippery slope

Cheating on one's yarn diet, I have discovered, is quite a slippery slope. After my fiber splurge over the weekend, I went ahead about bought another two skeins of sock yarn tonight. Because I figured, eh, it's on sale, it's nothing compared to what I already bought, and damnit I had a crap day and sock yarn fixes that. I am very clever at talking myself into things I want to be talked into.

Anywho, it's another two skeins of the Cascade Sassy Stripes, this one in bands of blue and teal. It's very pretty and I wanted it this weekend but felt bad to buy two pair's worth of socks of the same yarn in different colors, so I asked the FH to choose for me, and I went "aww" in disappointment when he didn't pick the blue one. Though I'm sure I still would have gone "aww" in disappointment if he hadn't picked the green one either. In any case, but tonight I'd have both so it wouldn't really matter, would it? I am an EXPERT at talking myself into things.

So tonight I went to my very first knitting group, and I'm definitely going to be going every week. It will be wonderful. Everyone there was very fun and friendly, and it was a pleasure to be among them.

I also fucked up my mother's socks AGAIN. Because I apparently cannot read a pattern to save my life. One of the ladies there was super-nice, and fixed them for me in a way that didn't involve ripping a dozen rounds. I learned some advanced mistake-correcting techniques, and learned to read charts. (and bought more yarn) All in all, the night was a success, and I can't wait for next Tuesday to come round. This is totally worth having to watch 90210 online for!

Monday, November 10, 2008

on heel turns...

I just finished turning the heel on my sock.

Heel turns are magical.

That is all.

yarn pr0n

Yep, that's right! Time for more showing off of the yarn! Apologies for the less-than-awesome pictures. These were taken with my phone, and it's way overcast today.

Here we have one skein of Lamb's Pride Worsted in Deep Pine (which is actually a brighter deep emerald-like color, not the washed out bluh the crappy picture implies.) It's for Jason's Binary Cable Hat. This is my attempt to put a little color into his winter attire. I figure I can trick him into wearing something a bit more colorful than his comfort zone seems to allow if the pattern is geeky enough.

Then there's a skein of 6-ply ONline Supersocke. The ball band is in what appears to be German, and the colorway as best I can figure it is just "1092." This will eventually be socks for Jason. I'd already bought two skeins of Knitpicks Palette for socks for him, but after starting to knit up my mother's socks, I realized there won't be enough yarn there to knit up socks for his great big man-feet. So here we are with this. He picked it out himself. This is a perfect example of his "comfort zone" of colors. ::sigh::

And last but not least we have two skeins of Cascade's Sassy Stripes. Again, the colors are much prettier than the picture implies. Because I have tiny feet and stick legs, I'm betting that I've got enough yarn here to make me a pair of knee socks. I intend for this to be my first attempt at toe-up socks. Probably won't get around to it until after Christmas, but until then!

So, yes, I did cheat on my yarn diet. Technically. But all the yarn was on sale. The majority of it is for gifts for someone else. And we all know that sock yarn doesn't really count as stash. So, all in all, I think I'm okay. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

In other fabulous news, my mother's socks (which you can see being neglected in the upper right corner of the photos) are coming along nicely. I finally hit the heel flap on the first sock and I'm a little alarmed at how long the leg is. It's definitely longer than I expected. I poked around pictures of other people's FOs on Ravelry, and some people's look as long as mine, while others look to be a good three to four inches shorter. I'm very confused, because I followed the pattern correctly. I figure I'll just keep going with it, mostly because I'll be damned if I have to frog this thing. It took me a ridiculously long time to do.

The BTWNE is still not ending. I didn't work on it at all yesterday, because I hate it and am avoiding it. I'll probably work on it some tonight during Terminator and Heroes. At least good tv makes its endless monotony bearable.

Tomorrow night I'm going to my very first knitting group ever! Natural Stitches here in Pittsburgh has a Ravelry group on Tuesday evenings, and I'm going to go. And it will be awesome.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I was at the LYS again today. In an uncharacteristic show of self-control, I walked out of there with nothing more than the size 8 dpns that I'd gone in there intending to purchase.

UFO month is, erm, coming along, I suppose. After my victorious FO on the second, I haven't really done much of anything else. I'm rapidly approaching the heel flap on my mother's socks. I've also fed the BTWNE anothe skein or so of yarn, though you wouldn't be able to tell just by looking at it. It's like there's some yarn-sucking black hole hidden somewhere within its row upon row of mind-numbingly, eye-crossingly, soul-crushingly boring "3dc, ch1 ad nauseum." I am so so so frigging sick of this blanket that I'm sorely tempted to toss the damned thing out the window and just be done with it. I won't, though, because I am a stubborn little brat and no afghan will ever get the best of me, no matter how evil it is.

I may have cheated on my UFO finishing just the tiniest bit. But, as I ever so cleverly rationalized to myself, presents for other people don't really count. So I finally frogged my failed beret and reincarnated all that lovely soft baby alpaca goodness as the Binary Cable Hat for Jason. Except the lovely soft baby alpaca goodness evilness was having none of that. After some minor gauge issues and some half-assed pattern recalculations, I sat down to knit, and three wasted rows into the hat I discovered that the damned yarn is so fuzzy that it completely obscures the pattern. Probably for the best. My calculations were probably off anyhow. They always are.

I don't know if it was only trying to keep me from deviating on my path of UFO decimation or what. I can hear it chastising me now. "No, Leandra! No more projects until December! That's only three weeks away - can't you even make it three measly weeks without starting something new???" That might just be my conscience - that voice I occasionally hear that tells me that I don't need any more yarn. I generally don't listen to that voice.

But so far this yarn is 2 for 2 in failing to become hats. Maybe it doesn't want to become a hat. Or maybe it thinks it's above being knit - after all, it is by far the most expensive yarn I have. Or maybe it's just evil. Well, it better get its act together, or so help me I'll make mice out of every last scrap of the stuff and give them all to my kitties. You hear that, yarn? You better shape up or you'll spend the rest of your miserably existence being slobbered on, clawed up, and getting lost under the sofa.

Tomorrow is probably going to show me breaking my yarn diet. The LYS is having a sale (whee!) and now that I've got the binary hat on my brain, I need appropriate yarn for it. And some more sock yarn because that doesn't count as stash. And appropriate needles. And, um, stuff. Yeah

Anyhow, look forward to yarn pr0n tomorrow.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

UFO month - day 2

So my UFO month is off to a rockin' start. I FINALLY finished my throw blanket I'd started for my sofa waaaay back in April. The ends still need weaving in, but for all intents and purposes, it's done, woo! I am somewhat confused by the amounts of yarn I had left over. I had two tiny balls of the red and lighter green.... and then the ball of the darker green was as much as the other two combined. Which made me go wtf, there were the same amount of stitches per color, why the heck do I have so much darker green left over??? The only reason I can think of is that stupid blanket did it on purpose simply to confuse me. Perhaps as revenge for leaving it undone for so long? (in my defense, it was really hot here over the summer and i couldn't stand to have the thing on my lap)

I've been working more on my mother's socks. I want to have the first one done so she can try it on while I'm home for Thanksgiving. And then if it fits properly I'll whip up the second one. At least, that's the plan so far. I'm slowly approaching the halfway mark on the first sock. I'd be farther along in it, but I'm an idiot who can't follow a pattern to save her life and keep not cabling when I'm supposed to be cabling which has led to much swearing, tinking, and in one particularly unfortunate scene, about two inches being frogged. Bluh.

I'm also still trying to finishe the BTWNE, which is still not growing no matter how much yarn I feed it. It and I are going to get into a bit of a showdown later today. I've got a House marathon planned for this afternoon, and I'm hoping to get a few more rounds done on this beast.

I don't have any pictures today, because unfortunately the sun's not out and the flash on my camera makes everything look washed out and gross, but my FH, who knows me so well, bought me yarn yesterday. But Leandra, I hear you thinking, aren't you on a yarn diet? Well, it doesn't count if someone else buys it for you. And, as the yarn pushing enabler very helpful shoplady pointed out to me, sock yarn doesn't count as stash at all. So I am the very proud new owner of one skein of Opal's Harry Potter sock yarn in Tonks (which will be for my Harry Potter-obsessed cousin's Christmas present - yarn for presents doesn't count either, dontchaknow), and a skein of mmmMalabrigo in the Emerald Blue colorway which is just frigging gorgeous and reminds me of island lagoons. I can't touch either of them until my stash-busting month of December, but I don't care. Now I just need a pattern worthy of its beauteous beauty. I'm thinking maybe a neckwarmer of some sort...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

post . . . . . gooooooooood

In a fit of optimism, I have dubbed November to be UFO month. That's right, during the month of November, I am going to go on a project-finishing rampage. I certainly have enough UFOs lying about to keep me occupied for the whole month.

My fit of optimism quickly became a fit of delusion, as I followed that up by dubbing December to be stash-busting month, in which I will start AND FINISH all the projects that I've got yarn for but just, erm, haven't started. All my UFOs will of course be, by this point, completed.

In a following fit of sobering insight, I realize that I'll be lucky to get one or two projects done during November. Heck, if December goes well, I might get another couple done by Christmas, though I'm sure I'll cast on for many more now that I've given myself leeway to do so. Also, regardless of how UFO and Stash-busting months go, I'll still be buying more yarn after the new year, simply because that was the limit I've set for myself. *sigh* I have a suspicion that there will be another strict yarn diet in 2009.

Speaking of yarn, and yarn lust, I have recently stumbled across this: Harry Potter sock yarn. Words cannot describe the depth of my lust for this. It's Harry Potter. And sock yarn. Harry Potter. And sock yarn. Harry potter AND sock yarn. Together!zomg in one skein!!! I'm not quite sure how exactly it could get any more awesome than this. I'm rather partial to the Hedwig colorway, though the Draco is pretty nice too, as is the Ron, and the Tonks is pretty in a bubblegum-bright sort of way...

Even now, the naughty corner of my mind is whispering that surely a couple skeins of that couldn't hurt, seeing as how I've only got enough sock yarn in my stash for one more pair of socks. Ignoring the two pairs I've already got on the needles, of course. But I am not fooled. Yarn is yarn, and I have way too much already. Plus, the Opal is not exactly inexpensive at $23 per skein and part of the reason for my yarn diet was to save money. So instead I've added it to the mental list of yarn I'm going to spend my Christmas monies on. Yes, I've got a list. An actual written-down, I've-put-lots-of-thought-into-this, planned-out list. Why no, I don't have a problem... Why do you ask?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


That's right! Another finished project, go me!! I finished up that scarf I said I was thinking of.


...just ignore the partially finished project graveyard on the bottom shelf there... why no, that's not at least half a dozen things I'm pretending are finished but aren't really. Like my Special Effects tote, which STILL needs to be lined, or... *ahem*

Anyhow. Moving right along.

See, I was sorting through some old papers and stumbled across some notes from the chemistry class I took freshman year in college, and mixed in with it was a handout of the emission spectra of various elements. My first thought, upon seeing them, was "oh hey, those are scarf-shaped! I bet I could crochet one up in no time!" And so I did. I botched the ending of it - two of the darker purple stripes are spaced too far apart - because I seem to have a complete inability to follow patterns. Although random measurements scribbled on a post-it don't really count as patterns, do they? Ah well. It came out nifty enough, and I figure most people won't be able to tell the difference...

Now I'm back to working on my afghan, henceforth to be referred to as The Blanket That Will Not End. Because it won't. I crochet and crochet and crochet, and the damned thing never seems to get any bigger. It's like it just eats my yarn and expects me not to notice. Well, I have noticed, you evil thing you! And it has become a battle. I'm armed with NINE MORE SKEINS of yarn. No blanket could eat that much without growing! It will become blanket sized if it's the last thing it does!

My mother's socks, however, are behaving themselves quite nicely the little suck-ups... They're taking longer, because they're worked on tiny little twig-needles, but they're pretty and coming along at the rate I more or less expected them to come along at. And did I mention they're pretty? Because they are. I love cabling.

My yarn diet is going better than I thought it would. I bought some yarn for my Hydrogen Scarf, but it was on sale and I only bought a few skeins so it doesn't really count. I placed another Knitpicks order, and there was not one lonely little skein of yarn on it! And if that's not willpower, then I don't know what is! Yarn, I can put off buying by making a mental list of all the lovely yarn I'm going to buy after Christmas when my diet is over. But a set of six sizes of sock needles on sale for $20?? Who could pass that up? Yes, yes, I know I already have the Harmony wood sock needles. But I've discovered that I dislike working with wood needles at that small a guage. I'm afraid I'm going to snap one of them, and then where would I be? So I ordered the nickel plated ones. Because they were on sale. Erm, yes.

Beyond that, nothing's really going on. I still need to swatch for my Sesame sweater, but I'm dragging my feet on it. That's going to be the project I work on while I'm home for Christmas, plus I've got this BTWNE that I HAVE to finish by mid-December, and the socks I really should finish by Thanksgiving. Plus Jason's binary scarf that still needs to be tinked back several rows... ::sigh:: Plus I'm in a bit of a knitting slump at the moment. Probably because I'm neither buying yarn nor starting a billion projects at once... Bluh.

Friday, October 10, 2008

bad blogger!

When I first started this blog, I told myself I'd update it at least once a week. Well, we can all see how well that's gone...

It doesn't help that I've been pretty neglectful of my yarn habits as of late. I've fallen into sort of a slump, mostly due to my big evil gifty blanket. I'm a little shy of halfway through the stupid thing, and I just. don't. want. to. finish. It's like when you're running, and at first you're just flying along and thinking 'gee, I could do this forever!' and then all of a sudden you feel like you're slogging through mud. I know my second wind is coming, and if this is anything like other projects, I'll hit it when I'm coming up on the end of it. But for now, I'm having to force myself to work on it. Good thing there's still a couple months left until I've GOT to have it done...

My second pair of properly fitting socks are sitting on the back burner, were they've been since I finished the first one. For a while I was stuck between wanting to start the color pattern in the same place on both of them, but not wanting to waste a big chunk of yarn to get them to do so. Now, I'm thinking maybe it'd be best if I frogged the toe of the first one and did another quarter inch or so of non-decreasing rounds to make it a bit longer, because it's just a tiny bit too tight as it is. I like my house socks a little looser than I like my shoe socks. Mostly, I think I'm just making up excuses to explain away my SSS. Blah.

Birthday socks for my mother are coming along, though slowly. Since she's not here and I can't make her try them on as I go, I'm constantly doubting my measurements and going 'what if they don't fit?? These are taking forever, I don't want to send them to the frogpond! wah wah wah, whine whine whine.'

Jason's binary scarf has also come to something of a standstill. I accidentally entered the wrong byte in several rows down. Now, my mother always told me if I made a mistake and "you can't spot it from a running horse at ten feet, it doesn't matter." And it looks fine, and if you weren't actively looking for it you probably wouldn't see it. But the perfectionist part of me is screaming "there's a 0 where there should be a 1!!!" And it's going to drive me crazy if I DON'T fix it. But it's several rows of characters down and I really also don't want to rip all that out. *sigh*

In the meantime I've started a couple of different scarves, but ripped them out again after just a few inches. I don't actually need any new scarves, I'm just experimenting with different stitch patterns.

Though I do have a really good idea for a super-awesome and suitably geeky scarf that I think I'm going to work up fairly soonish. Maybe it'll break up the monotony of the big evil blanket and aaarrgh, more socks. Plus, it's crocheted and I haven't been crocheting much lately (other than my big evil blanket, of course....) Maybe this'll help get me back into it.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Yep, I finished a project! I just finished seaming up my very own Ribbed Lace Bolero. It took much longer than it should have, due to me being a complete scatterbrain. The first mistake I made [while drunk] cost me a good three inches of knitting. But then I just kept making mistakes. Or rather, I kept making the same mistake over and over and over.... See, I tend to knit while I watch tv or movies, and if I get too caught up in the show I'm watching *coughcoughTerminatorcough* then my knitting switches over to autopilot. Anyhow, I kept putting in yarn overs where there shouldn't be, and then not catching it for several rows. But now it's over and done with, and it came out cute! So yay!

Now the startitis bug is again nipping at me, and I'm just itching to start something new. I'm resisting, at least until next week. I'm forcing myself to actually work on the Christmas Blanket for the future in-laws. Because, see, I know myself. I'll put it off and put it off, and put it off some more until it's mid-december and I panic because holy crap! I have to crochet an entire blanket by Christmas!! So I'm going to give that my exclusive yarn-crafting attention until this coming Friday. I think I can finish off the first skein of each color, which will put me at a third of the way through the project. We'll see how that goes... *crosses fingers*

Already the naughty corner of my brain who doesn't give a flying cupcake about deadlines and only lives to have me start a dozen projects at once is whispering "but gauge swatches don't count! you're not starting anything, go on, just one little tiny swatch..." NO BAD BRAIN! I WILL NOT FALL FOR YOUR DIRTY, DIRTY SNEAKY TRICKS!!

So, blanket it is. Until Friday. Then I'm going to start probably two more projects. I absolutely need a Herringbone Neckwarmer to match my Calorimetry. Also, I've finally settled on a pattern for socks for my Mom. I think that Salto is just the thing. It's still not horribly complicated, it'll give me a chance to practice my cabling, and they're pretty. ^^

Friday, September 12, 2008

friends don't let friends knit drunk!

Seriously, you'd think I'd learn. Every. single. time. I try to do any sort of yarny crafting while under the influence, it turns out horribly. There was the heel flap and heel turn I did on a pair of sock that I completely fucked up due to a lack of reading comprehension even more astounding than that which I normally exhibit, probably because of the half bottle of wine I'd consumed while I did it. There was the unfortunate attempt at cabling on my Twisted Maiden Fingerless gloves I did, also after about half a bottle of wine. My latest is on my Ribbed Lace Bolero, where I had to frog half of the lace section because I insisted on knitting after two beers.

As with my other drunken knitting mishaps, I have absolutley no idea what the hell I did, nor how I was able to knit on, oblivious to it, for another three inches. I blame the negative ease of the fabric so far. At least the lace part goes faster than the ribbing...

Monday, September 8, 2008

knit + croceht = win!

Today I made a very very very awesome discovery. Or, rather, I made a very very very awesome observation. I've been equally eager lately to work on Jason's Binary Scarf, and the future in-law's Christmas blanket. So I've been switching between them. As in, will switch from one to the other and back again in a single tv episode. And what did I notice?

My hands don't hurt!

That's right, apparently by switching between knitting and crocheting, I'm able to play with yarn for far longer pain-free than I am by simply doing one or the other!! Finally, my impatience has done something good!

Now if only I could stop starting things... I'm resisting starting my Ribbed Lace Bolero, but only just...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

yarn dieting

Okay, very very quick update here.

First off, my needles got here!!! Oh. my. god. I am in love. It's like knitting with sunshine and rainbows and kittens. They are absolutely amazing and I want to knit all freakin' day with these things. All of them. At once.

Secondly, though much less enthusiastically, I have put myself on a very VERY strict yarn diet. No yarn, nada, not even one teensy little skein on sale for pennies even until after Christmas.

Thirdly, and the reason for the secondly, I bought more yarn. Yes, more. On sale. I picked up another skein of black for Jason's Binary Scarf. While there, I also picked up:
  • - 2 skeins of Lion Wool-Ease in Blue Mist. Love the color. It reminds me of oil with all the rainbowy prettiness. I think it'll be great for my second attempt at the Twisted Maiden Fingerless Gloves.
  • - 2 skeins of Patons Classic Wool Merino in Cognac Heather. And I've got just the project for this! I should be casting on for my very own Ribbed Lace Bolero in the next day or so.
  • - 3 skeins of Bernat Berella 4 Ombres in Terra Cotta Mist. The name is pretty stupid, but the colors are nice. They reminded me of fall, and for a dollar a skein, well, who could resist? I don't have a project in mind for it, other than the vague idea of maybe a hat and scarf set. Who knows...
Thirdly, and most recently, I just finished my Calorimetry. It was a fairly fast knit. I started it and knit most of it during last night's D&D session, which was fairly slow and more devoted to figuring out puzzles and riddles than actual combat and/or roleplaying. Finished the last quarter or so of it today during a couple episodes of Firefly. The button is my absolute favorite part of it...

Isn't he just adorable??? ^__^

I can't wait until it gets chilly enough to wear it. I've also got plans for a matching neckwarmer. I think that this Herringbone Neckwarmer pattern may be just the thing.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

dear knitpicks - stop yanking my chain!

Dear Knitpicks,

I was very excited to get an email from you. I opened it, hopefully expecting it to be the shipping notice of my latest order. However, I was very disappointed to find that it was actually an ad, letting me know that you are now selling Harmony straight needles. Except I ALREADY KNOW you sell Harmony straight needles. I ordered a set of my very own last Thursday. Sending me an ad for the very thing I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of was just cruel, especially since the ad included several photographs showcasing just how lovely these needles are.

No love til my package gets here,


Ketchup post! Stuff has happened, I haven't blogged about it, so here we go. This'll be quick, stay with me.

  1. Twisted Maiden gloves are being sent to the frog pond. Got up to the thumb gussets on the first one, and decided that it's too tight, I did the math properly for figuring out if it would fit me, but neglected to take into account that armwarmers shouldn't fit like a second skin. Will be redoing them in a larger needle size at some point.
  2. Finished one of my second attempt at socks, and it actually fits! Hurrah finishing something and it fitting correctly!! I've been putting off starting the second one because I have to make the yarn start in the same place on both so the patterns match. First one ended just after where the second should start. Other skein of yarn starts in *almost* the same place, but I'm going to have to take some yarn of skein A and splice it to the end of skein B to make it long enough to cast on with, and that involves pulling it out to see how long the pink and white section actually is and blah, I'm making this more difficult than it has to be. I could just cut it at the start of the next pink section, but I hate wasting things.
  3. Finally got a good start on the blanket I'm making for the future in-laws for Christmas. I'd done the foundation chain, did half the first round and lost interest. Now I'm about twelve rounds in and though it looks more like a placemat than an afghan at this point, I like how it's coming out. Good choice in colors, go me!
  4. My birthday present from aforementioned future in-laws came in!! They bought me the set of Harmony wood sock needles, and of course I had to use them right away. That's how I ended up finishing that sock. Oh, they're so lovely and I'm so happy and in love, and it was all it needed to convince me to go ahead and use part of my birthday money to order the set of 14" straights, and enough yarn to finish my Calorimetry. <3 <3 <3 I placed my order on Thursday, I'm hoping to get them by the end of next week. *fingers crossed*

Monday, August 25, 2008

i can't stop starting things!!

Yep, that's right. I started yet ANOTHER project. This weekend my friend came to visit, and she wanted to start the Twisted Maiden Fingerless Gloves. She requested that I help her with it, which I agreed to. Then she pointed out that it'd go smoother if I simply worked along with her. I resisted, I really did. But I am weak, and gave in. So I picked up a lovely skein of Cascade 220 in Marine Heather I had slated for the 12" blocks for my CAL, and began knitting it up.

I only have a pair of size 6 dpns instead of the recommended size 8s, so I cast on 32 stitches and went from there. It's coming out rather nicely, and I really like how the cabling looks done at a smaller gauge.

The socks I were so gung-ho on finishing are now sitting in a heap with all my other UFOs, glaring forlornly at me. Well, it's their own darned fault they're there. Teach them to be stubborn....

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I am weak

I am. I swatched. There, I admit it. I grabbed a skein of that Swish DK and cast on. Then I went and hid in the computer room to knit it up where all of my other yarn and UFOs couldn't stare at me in their accusing way. I could just hear them in my head. "Why aren't you finishing us, Leandra, don't you love us anymore??" Shut up shut up shut up it was just one little tiny swatch I didn't mean to it just sort of happened it didn't mean anything I swear!

I feel like such a knitting tramp.

And in any case, it came out too small, and I don't have a pair of size 7s. Usually I'd say eh, close enough, but I figure for a sweater I should probably make more of an effort to make guage, what with my liking to actually be able to wear it and all...

After the swatching incident, I very meekly slunk back to the sofa and picked up my half of a neglected sock and kept working on it. And wouldn't you know, the damned thing got its revenge on me. I knit up the heel flap, and when I went to turn the heel I mysteriously didn't have the right number of stitches. It turns out that I'm making the sock in the second smallest size, but I knit the heel flap for the smallest one. Aaargh. Stupid sock. It did this to me on purpose to force me to pay more attention to it. Either that or I fail at reading comprehension.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

blaargh, sickness

Yep, so I'm sick today. Luckily, I wasn't scheduled to work today, so I ended up spending the day crashed on the sofa with some knitting. I spent the afternoon swatching* and knitting up my calorimetry. But Leandra! the more astute readers will say, You don't have a calormetry! Well, I do now. Or part of one, at least...

*Where swatching means casting on the required number of stitches, losing interest a few rows in, measuring it anyhow and going "eh, close enough" when it comes up a quarter of an inch short.

Now, I bought only one skein of Shamrock yarn in Beckett, and when it got here I thought to myself, Gee, self, this looks awfully small. But I shrugged and assumed that I would have been smart enough when ordering to check the amount of yarn the pattern called for and ordered accordingly. After all, I'm the one that always orders on the side of caution and picks up an extra skein so if I thought one was enough, well dagnabit, then one's enough.

Turns out I was only half-smart when ordering yarn. I ordered the recommended 50g of yarn, but the yarn used in the pattern is 93yd. Mine is only 82. Fuck fuck and doublefuck. Ah well, I thought. I knit a little tighter than the average knitter, and my gauge "swatch" came out a little short. Should be fine. So I knit. And by the time I got to here:

and the ball had decreased by a somewhat disturbing amount, I was forced to admit that, yes, I do not in fact have enough yarn. *sigh* Note the lovely, lovely way the colors of the contrasting strand are knitting up. Focus on that and not the paperclip stitch marker I've got sticking out the top of it.

The way I see it, I've got a few options. I can:
  • A - Keep knitting and pray that I've got enough.
  • B - Frog what I've got so far, cast on less stitches, do fewer repeats in the middle and pray that I'll have enough.
  • C - Buy more yarn and pray for the same or a matching dyelot.
Option A is clearly silly and will end in me investing a significant chunk of time in knitting something that will inevitably be frogged.

Option B is less silly, but could quite conceivably have the same end result.

Option C makes the most sense, but will inevitably end up in me buying more yarn I really don't need. Plus I've had my eye on those oh-so-lovely Harmony straights, and my mother just gave me check for my birthday and it really would make more sense to do that because then I'd get the free shipping and - no no no! Bad brain! Do not need!

So what am I sitting here doing now? Well, obviously I'm blogging. But why am I blogging? To avoid starting yet another project. See, when the calorimetry failed, I eyed the lovely stack of Swish DK and thought perhaps I should swatch it for my Sesame sweater. But I've fallen into that trap before. Swatching is only fun for the first few rows. Then the novelty of playing with a new yarn wears off, and I wind up starting the project. And I certainly do not need to start any more projects, as clearly evidenced by my Ravelry page.

See, Ravelry shows that I have five WIPs. Nine if you count my hibernating projects, most of which are hibernating just because I don't want a billion WIPs listed. Then throw in the other three smaller projects (amigurumi and a granny square) that I felt were too small and would be finished too quickly to warrent calling them WIPs, and of course the calorimetry I just started. And we might as well add to that the bag that I haven't woven the ends into and lined so I can't actually use yet (aka: it's not done, aka: WIP!), and the beret that's too big to fit a human head and I still need to try to salvage with a few rounds of decreases but I went ahead and listed it as completed anyhow because it was mostly finished and that's close enough, right? And what do we have? A grand total of fifteen. I have over a dozen projects I've started and not yet completed, and I'm wanting to start ANOTHER one?? What is wrong with me???

Even now, that seductive little voice in the corner of my mind is whispering, go ahead, just swatch it! that doesn't really count as starting...

Except I know where it would go! Bad brain, stop trying to lead me into knitting temptation!

I'm going to go keep working on my socks. Maybe if I finish another project in the next few days, I'll reward myself with just one little eensy swatch. That can't hurt, right?

Monday, August 18, 2008

mmmm, yarn


Naturally, I ran up the stairs to my apartment where I promptly shredded the packaging in my eagerness to get at the yarny goodness within. After wasting devoting about five minutes of my life to petting, I grabbed my camera to share it with the world.

Caution! Yarn pr0n ahead! May cause yarn-lust, especially to those on fiber diets!

Knitpicks Swish DK in Merlot Heather and Cobblestone Heather.

I ordered this for the Sesame sweater I'm planning on making. The yarn is a little more brownish than it looked online, but I like it and I think it still works with the grey.

Knitpicks Shamrock in Beckett.

I'm in love with the colors. Bought for my calorimetry.

Knitpicks Palette in Rainforest Heather and Ash.

For socks for myself and the fiance. Green is mine, grey is his.

Knitpicks Cadena in Leaf, and Knitpicks Andean Silk in Slate.

Not for me, sadly, but for a friend. The Andean Silk is very lovely and oh-so-pettable.

And last but not least we have the reason I try to avoid yarn stores. I went in to pick up some dpns for the socks I'm going to make, and ended up walking out with not only the needles but a $20 skein of yarn. I've heard lovely things about Noro, and have been curious about it for a while, but I *just* ordered a big box of yarn. I do not need MORE yarn. But I saw the colors, and so here we are.

Isn't it just lovely? The picture doesn't even begin to do justice to the gorgeous, gorgeous colors all twined into one disappointingly scratchy ball of yarn. But I've been told it softens in the wash, and I have high hopes.

Now that my yarn is finally here, what do I want to do with it? Why, knit it, of course! Never mind that I already have about a billion other projects going. Never mind that I know myself and that once I start I'll lose interest in a few weeks and start something else new and exciting. Hence why I am forcing myself to finish what I start at least reasonably close to when I start it.

I'm trying to be strong and resist the seduction of new yarn, but I am only mortal here...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

startitis - i has it

Yep, that's me. In one day, I started not one, not two, but THREE new projects. Yeah. Startitis - I has it!

Project the first: Another pair of socks. I had tons of yarn left over from my first pair of socks, so I cast on for a second pair. The first came out slightly too large, so I'm knitting these the next size smaller. What am I going to do with two pairs of near identical socks? I have no idea. Maybe I'll befriend someone with slightly bigger feet than me and give away the first pair.

Project the second: Binary scarf. I stumbled across this pattern while looking for something else, and decided that Jason just needed to have it. And since the Portal scarf I'd started for him way back in March had more or less fallen to the wayside, this would be a nice substitute. This is also my first attempt at colorwork in knitting. We'll see how that goes. I anticipate working like heck on it for about a week before putting it away indefinitely. Then a few months later I'll find a pattern I like better and the yarn will be frogged a third time.

Project the third: Granny square afghan. I've had this project planned for a while, and finally started hooking it up. It's supposed to be a Christmas present for my fiance's parents. I found the yarn on sale, and the colors match their living room. Only three and a half months to go until it's due. Hopefully I can make it in between trying to finish my billion other projects.

Startitis. I do indeed has it. I often wonder at people who only have one or two projects going at a time. Monogamous knitters. I marvel at them. I admire them and their monogamous ways. Even more revered are the people who have no stash. They'll go out, buy enough yarn to make one project, knit that project, and then go buy yarn for their next thing. The gears in my brain actually clunked and skipped a few turns at the thought of that. I'd love to ask how how how! they do that, but I've never actually stumbled across one of those people. Maybe they're a fairy tale, like Santa and the Tooth Fairy and people who don't like chocolate.

Me? I am a project tramp with a stash big enough to keep me occupied for the next couple of years.

In other stash-related news, my knitpicks order shipped!!! (Like I really need more yarn or more projects....) But my bff (a fellow knitter) and I split the order to get free shipping, and if the yarn is as lovely as the last batch I got, then it'll provide much-needed motivation to hurry up and finish the projects I've got cooking now so I can get started on new ones. (See? See how easily I lie to myself to justify buying more yarn and starting more projects??)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

obligatory first post

I mostly created this blog as a way to prattle on about my yarny ways without driving my friends batty. Expect lots of babble about yarn, knitting, crocheting, and lots of whining when I am expecting a box of yarn in the mail.