Monday, January 19, 2009

socks, hats and mittens

So, my knitting is coming along. My pink lace socks are farther along, and I'm sure they'd be even farther along still if I'd worked on them at all since last Friday... I'm just past picking up the gusset stitches. The instructions at that point of the pattern didn't make much sense to me (possibly because I barely skimmed the pattern, went "that's not usually how I do gussets!" and then went along on my merry way doing the gussets as I've always done them.) I re-read the instructions after doing them my own way, and still don't quite get it. Something about k2tog in a place I don't recall ever knitting 2 together before...

Anyhow, socks!

Not a terribly good picture of the yarn, I'm afraid. It comes out looking far too orange-y. It's a really pretty pink in real life, and one day I swear I'm going to take a picture of this thing in natural sunlight. Although that might take a while because, oh yeah, I live in Pittsburgh, where the sun apparently abandons us every winter.

Anyhow. I'm probably not going to finish these socks by the end of January like a good little KAL participant would. And that's because I'm a horrible procrastinating project tramp. But oh, I have justifications. And don't I always?

The reason I haven't touched the socks is because I was being responsible. Yes, I know. Me. Responsible. Ha. But I really was! See, Sunday was the Steelers game that determined whether or not they'd be playing in the Superbowl. (and they are hurrah go Steelers!! ahem...) For this game, the FH and I decided to go enjoy it at a local sports bar. Unable to be parted from my knitting for even a few hours, I had to take a project. Now, since I'd planned on having a few beers and have learned from my past drinking-and-knitting experiences, I wanted something simple to work on. And honestly, who wants to be caught knitting pink lace socks at a sports bar?? Nope, knitting a goofy bright-orange hat is faaaaar better. *eye-roll*

(yeah, I was real productive knitting-wise during that game, wasn't I...)

Yep, that's my skein of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in Orange Creamsicle that I bought several months ago because I liked the color but had no idea what to do with it but that's okay because now I do and I really like the pretty things the colors are doing! Except, dirty dirty knitting tramp that I am, I now have no interest in my pink lace socks, and instead am itching to knit this hat. I'm on such a hat-making binge right now. It's kind of silly, but there we are. My addictive personality strikes again.

For whatever reason, in addition to hats, I also want to knit mittens. Why? I have no idea. I've never knit mittens before. Hell, I don't even ever wear mittens, and have previously had no desire to wear mittens. Yet I want to make mittens now. I went so far as to poke around Ravelry and queue half a dozen mitten patterns, most of which I'll never get around to making. Mittens mittens mittens. It's fun to say, but that still doesn't explain my obsession with the darned things. I'm probably going to make a pair out of one of the many skeins of yarn I've got lying about. Possibly the skeins of Bernat Berella 4 Ombrees in Terra Cotta Mist I've got. And then hopefully I'll lose interest in them entirely.

And speaking of yarn, I picked up another couple skeins when I was at Michael's the other day. Guess what I'm gonna make with it!

Go on, guess!! I'll give ya'll a hint: it's gonna be cunning!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

stupid lace socks

Yay! So I finished my on the fly hat last weekend, and then immediately jumped into a Foliage Hat from the Lamb's Pride bulky I bought. Imagine that! I went out, bought yarn, came home, and started a project with it. I know, I know, I almost fainted when I realized what I did. Yipes.

It came out more-or-less pretty. There's one section that I mucked up. I think I missed some YOs since two of the diamond leafy bits are sort of fused into one vaguely misshapen lump. I noticed my mistake five or six rows later, and, unwilling to rip them out, I simply dropped that section and reknit. It came out slightly less misshapen, but still wrong. Whatever. The lace pattern more-or-less hides the error, and when I shoved the hat under my non-knitting fiance's nose and demanded "What's wrong with this!?" he couldn't spot the error. So I just wear that bit in the back and try not to think too much about it.

Things I learned on this hat:
  1. How to read a chart. I've never knit anything from a chart before, and this was a simple enough chart to read. Hurrah, I did it!
  2. How to knit a hat top-down. All my previous hats have been cuff-up. I was thrilled at the complete and utter lack of casting on!
  3. That working a simple bind-off on the ribbing of a top-down hat results in said hat not being over to fit over my head. A very painful lesson, but one I learned well.
  4. The sewn bind-off is pure magic.
I've also cast on my first pair of socks for my knitalong. I'm using the Araucania Ranco Multy that I bought from, and it is wonderful. Sturdy, but soft, and the mild color variation is just amazing. Love love love. I'm knitting the Blackrose Socks from the latest issue of Knitty, and I also love it, and I especially love the pattern and the yarn together. Unfortunately, I'm about to go frog about half of what I've knit of the first leg. See, it all began with a missed yarn-over...

I was admiring my three inches of sock leg, when I noticed IT. A solid bit where there should be a hole. Could it be? *gasp!* I missed a yarn-over! With a surge of dread I recalled when on the prior lace repeat, I'd ended up a stitch short. Unable to spot my error at the time, I just picked up an extra stitch and kept knitting.

Now that I'd spotted it, I couldn't stop staring at the error. Sure that I was being crazy, I shoved the sock under my fiance's nose and demanded "What's wrong with this!?" After peering at it for a moment, he pointed right where the yarn-over should be and said "Something looks funny right here... is it missing a hole?"

Arrrrgh! So I'm not crazy! Even my non-knitting fiance who can't spot the gaping holes or stains on his own socks, was able to see my glaring little error!! But alas, it was twenty rows ago and I really REALLY didn't want to drop those stitches down to fix it. Dropping a section of lace to add in my one little missed yarn-over isn't my idea of fun, and I'm so new at knitting lace I'd probably screw it up more. Oh well, I reasoned, that part of the leg will be under my pants, and who's going to be putting their face close enough to my feet to spot it even if I wear these socks with a skirt? So I kept knitting.

But I was so preoccupied that I repeated one of the lace rows an extra time. So the lace patterns on my socks go normal-normal-normal-too long-too short. Arrrrgh and double-arrrrgh! So I have to frog back the whole sock to fix that. And since I'm already going to be frogging, I might as well just rip back to where that stupid missed yarn-over was in the first place. *sigh*

Where I was:

(can YOU spot the missing yarn-over??)

Where I am:

Tragic, to be sure, but really, two inches was a small price to pay to be able to knit in peace. The error would have bothered me THAT MUCH. Yes. I know I'm neurotic.

Now I'm off to knit and continue watching Desperate Housewives. I think I can get back to where I was by the end of the evening...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

sock yarn!

My order from Simply Sock Yarn got in today!!! Eeeeeeee!!!! I also did a bit of shopping today...

From the left: two sets of double-points in size 10 and size 10.5 from Natural Stitches.

Center column: Dream in Color Smooshy in Some Summer Sky; Lamb's Pride Bulky (from Natural Stitches) in Red Hot Passion; Patons Kroy Socks in Bronzed Berry Stripes (on sale at Michaels); Cascade Fixation in Paint Bucket.

From the Right: Arucania Multy in Colorway 312; Noro (I chose the grabbag option on this, and am very pleased with the color chosen for me!); and last but not least, mmmMalabrigo Sock in Solis.

I'm so very very excited over all of this wonderful pretty yarny goodness. I'm very much looking forward to knitting up all these lovely socks (and my Red Hot Passion hat!)

Friday, January 9, 2009

I'm intimidated by my unknit sweater

There. I said it. I admit it. The damned thing intimidates me.

I've had the yarn for my Sesame sweater for nearly four months now, and not done anything with it. I swatched in October. I swatched again earlier this week. And not just my usual half-assed version of swatching, in which I knit a few rows, get tired of knitting it, measure, come up wrong, and go "eh, it's close enough." Oh no. I actually swatched like They say you should swatch. I knit up my little 4"x4" square, complete with a few stitches of garter stitch on each side, and a few rows of garter stitch on the top and bottom so it'll lay flat. Then I measured. Then I washed the swatch. Then I dried the swatch. Then I measured the swatch. Then I measured the swatch again. And I came up spot-on.

I have my needles.
I have my yarn.
I have my pattern.
I have my cute little square that tells me I'm good to go!

Yet I haven't cast on for this thing yet. I'm coming up with all sorts of reasons for it, too.

"I need to finish this hat because it's on a deadline." Technically true. But I don't have to have it done for another two weeks. And when have I ever finished something early when I could drive myself mad knitting it the night before?

"I have so many unfinished projects. I should finish some of them before I start another." Ha. I can hear some of you giggling from here.

"But I've got the project for my KAL!" This is how we can tell it's getting bad. I found a pair-of-socks-a-month knitalong that I joined. The last one of these I joined, I didn't even make it through the first month. I'm sure this won't be any different, but it's a little worrying that I'm seriously trying to use it as an excuse.

Really, I just need to man up and start the darned thing. I've looked over the instructions, and they seem very step-by-step and clearly written out. The toughest thing about this is probably the seaming, and I won't have to worry about that til the end. So why have I not started it yet? I don't know. Best I can think of is I'm intimidated by it. I've built up the idea of knitting a sweater so much that I don't want to do it.

This is ridiculous. My first knitted project was a pair of socks. "Start with a scarf!" I was told. "But I don't want to knit a scarf, I want to knit socks!" I said. "But socks are hard," I was told. "I don't care, I'm going to knit them."

And that's how I've always done things - by being too stupid to realize that I can't.

So, I really have no excuse. I need to just jump in. I need to stop being a wuss and just knit it. .....after I finish my hat.....

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


So, things have been a little stressful lately. I flew back to PA on Sunday night, and walked into my apartment only to find that my beautiful parquet wood dining room floor, which was perfectly flat when I left it, now is horribly warped. It goes up and down by several inches. Some of the boards are actually split and cracked, and it sags significantly when walked upon. Yikes.

What a thing to come home to! The appropriate people have been contacted, professional floor people are [hopefully] going to come take a look at it in the next day or so, and this whole mess is well on its way to being fixed. The only really good thing for me about this is that since we're renting, it's not our dime that's going to be paying to fix this. And this is something that seems pretty expensive...

On to happier things! I've finally gotten around to placing my yarn order. I have one from Knitpicks that's still being processed, and another from There was a slight problem with that order - one of the colors I'd chosen had sold out just after I placed my order. But the owner sent a very nice email apologizing for the problem and offering either another color or to take that yarn off my order. I picked another color that I liked not quite as much, but will still be fairly happy with. Now I'm just eagerly awaiting the postman!

In between daydreaming about all the lovely things I'm going to make with my pretty shiny new yarn, I'm still working on my superwash hat. Finally took some pictures of it. I'm done with the cabling, and just have endless inches of ribbing before I start the crown decreases. Woo! I think the cabling came out nice, for something I made up on the fly. Simple, but pretty, and fairly well suited for a boy.

Apologies for the crappy pic. Would you believe I STILL can't find the charger for my camera's battery??

Anywho. I have to have this done within the next few weeks, so the recipient will be able to get lots of use out of it this winter. And we all know how great I am with deadlines... It's up in the air right now whether or not I'll finish it in time. I think I will, since this is the only thing I'm working on right now. But then again, we all know how great I am with knitting monogomously.

I swatched for my Sesame sweater last night, and am eager to start it. I'm holding off until I get my hat done. We'll see if that holds.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

end of year stats

So, out of curiosity, I sat down and calculated more or less just how much knitting (and crocheting) I've done this year. Since I don't have all of the FOs with me, I had to estimate a few of the stitch counts on various projects. I also didn't take into account projects or sections of projects I ended up frogging.

So, totals!

FOs - 24

Yardage - 9,978.6

Stitch count - 38,947

I'd also be interested to know just how many hours I've spent playing with yarn this year, but that's something I couldn't even begin to estimate. It's definitely a big number, though.

I'm going to try to keep better track of things this year, just to see how it compares with last year. Of course, I always start out the new year with all sorts of things I've said I'm going to do, and then lose interest a month or so in. Though I think I've been realistic in setting my New Year's Resolutions this year...

1. Try to keep my home a bit more organized. This means keeping on top of cleaning and laundry and such.

2. Keep in closer contact with family and friends. I'm usually pretty bad about talking to people. I think about my family and out-of-town friends almost constantly, but rarely take initiative in keeping up with them. I need to be better about this.

3. Finish more knitting projects than I start! Seriously. This probably won't happen, but I'm going to make a serious stab at it.

4. Be more consistent updating here!

Thanks for reading, all, and I wish you all lots of happiness and luck in the coming year!