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...