July 10, 2007

Welsh Stockings

Pattern: Welsh Stockings from Folk Socks by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Knitpicks Essential
Needles: US1 Addi Lace needles
Notes: I hated this yarn. It's stringy, splitty and irregular. I made my socks an inch of two shorter than the pattern called for. I don't need 10" high socks.

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July 6, 2007


In case any of you were concerned, I still knit.
I'm coming in to the home stretch on my Welsh Stockings.

I finished the cutest baby sock at work.

It's Juta's Stockings from Folk Knitting in Estonia knit in the leftover Sea Wool from my BSJ. Super easy lace in a lovely little pattern written for three sizes.

I'm also quilting. My boss expressed concern yesterday as she narrowed her eyes and asked accusingly, "You're not going to get all quilty on my, are you?"

I stitched together this little top from the half-square triangles I showed the other day.

You can also see in the photo that I selected a backing fabric (left), border fabric (middle) and binding fabric (stripes on the right). I'm going to attempt a Kaffe Fassettish bias binding to create a barber-pole effect with the stripes. That's "attempt." I'm making no promises about the outcome.

And tonight I spin!

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June 23, 2007

Fleece Lessons

Day one of Black Sheep was amazing. We left Seattle at 6:30, stopped for a nice breakfast along the way and made it to the fairgrounds at 12:30. After a quick tour of the vendors (and seeing lots of familiar faces) I found out that Judith Mackenzie-McCuin was the fleece judge. I ran over to the fleece judging. Unlike last year's judge, who would look through the fleeces and rank them, Judith shared as much information as possible. She discussed class standards, what makes a healthy fleece, how certain fleeces should be prepared, what garments would best be made from them, etc. I stayed for several hours taking in all the great information. I fell in love with a few fleeces too.

I finally finished spinnign the merino top I got from The Artful Ewe last November. I attempted to Navajo-ply it. My samples skeins were horrible. One dreadfully over-plied. One pitifully under-plied. I also finished my first Welsh sock and got loads done on my sock yarn blanket.

I believe I have managed to take one photo.

More later.

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June 13, 2007

Yes, Sir. Yes, Sir. Five Bags Full.

Of yard waste.

I discovered the key to getting the kids to help me with the yard. I bought them their own work gloves. They helped me pull weeds and put yard waste in bags for a while. Then I went back to work on the blackberries. I cleared a pretty good area yesterday and spent a lot of time digging up roots. My older son came back outside and begged me to let him help more with the yard. So I got him pulling vines off the deck and the trees. There is still much, much more work to do. We haven't even approached the mega-blackberry patch. The 20 foot high one. When I woke up this morning I could barely life my arms. I actually woke up during the night because I was so sore. I feel like I'm in slow-motion today.

I worked on the Welsh sock last night while watching The Good German. I didn't get to finish it (the movie. Or the sock.).

I also did a bit more on my Fake Isle hat. I'm just using random odds and ends of Lamb's Pride so the colorway *ahem* leaves a bit to be desired.

I've finished sewing the strips for the hexagon quilt and I have sewn four strips together. I tried out my new walking foot and it kept slipping out of place. Then it popped off and snapped my needle in two. It was pretty dramatic. I put the old foot back on and got out a new needle. Whoa. Sewing with a new needle is like sewing with a whole new machine. Smoooooth. It's like oiling your spinning wheel. I always forget what a difference it makes until I do it.

But now I just feel tired and my motivation is waning. I keep checking over my shoulder and the quilt has still not started to assemble itself.

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June 10, 2007

Sock's Up

After a week or so with no socks on the needles I cast on for the Welsh Country Socks from Folk Socks.

I'm using some Knitpicks Essential from my stash and can I just say that so far I am unimpressed. Or rather, you get what you pay for.

I knew I was going to see Surf's Up on Saturday with my older son (younger didn't want to go) and that I wouldn't be able to knit the patterning or calf shaping from the Welsh Socks in the dark. I needed a simple knit. In one of those perfect convergence moments I got an email from Knitting Daily with survey results on why no one was knitting the socks from their free Comfy Socks pattern. The reason was mainly that the socks are super-thick. They're knit in bulky yarn at 3 sts/inch. I knew these would be great for Dulaan. I've been feeling a little guilty that I haven't been knitting more for adults. Kids' knits are so much faster, easier and cuter to knit. I also had several skeins of Dale of Norway Ara sitting unloved and abandoned in my stash. So I knew what I would knit at the movies. I cast on the first sock on Friday night. I knit the leg during the movie. But the sock went so quickly I was at the heel before the movie ended. I pulled the first sock right off the needles (got to love wool for all its stickiness) and I cast on the second sock in the dark. I was able to knit most of the second leg during the movie too. I didn't quite finish them at home last night so I took them out with me today. They are thick, plush and incredibly warm. I hope they find a happy owner in Mongolia.

The movie, by the way, was really very cute. It's done as a mockumentary about a famous surfing penguin. There's a lot of good business in there referencing reality shows and documentaries. I was glad my older son and I had started to watch March of the Penguins the night before. If you're kids are interested in going to this one you will be pleasantly amused for 85 minutes.

I also finished watching The Lost Room. Like my previous experiment with Battlestar Gallactica, I was trying to stretch myself a little. I really like Peter Krause, from Six Feet Under. But this thing was so low-rent I could not believe. And they didn't even attempt to make anything pull together, make any sense or resolve in any way. Terrible writing, terrible effects and frankly the actors looked like they had to do their own make-up.

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April 12, 2007

Estonian Socks

Pattern: Estonian Socks from Folk Socks
Yarn: Naturespun Sport in Natural, Beet Red, Nordic Blue and Storm
Needles: US0 Addi Turbos
Notes: My longest WIP ever. I don't know why these took so long. The yarn is not ideal for twisted stitches as it splits easily. Just very grateful to have them done.

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March 16, 2007

Through a Lens

I just shot a picture of my progress on Poppy.

This is the front. I flipped it over to take a shot of the back and thought, "Hmm, why isn't the back seam here on the back?" Well, that would be because when I split Poppy for the front and back last night some time after 1 am I didn't center it properly. So the back seam is on the right side edge instead. I could leave it like this. There's no law that says the seam must go in the back. On the other hand I don't know if I want that garter ridge running straight down the center of my stomach.

For the body I came up with my own "random" stripes and garter ridges. For the yoke and sleeves I'm using the random stripe generator. I couldn't really use it for the body because I wanted the body to be tan and navy with random small stripes and ridges. The generator isn't that flexible.

I finished the colorwork on my second Estonian Sock. I didn't take a picture because it looks just like the other one.

That's all for now. I'm off to work.

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February 14, 2007

Off the Back Burner

I don't have many hard and fast rules about knitting. But one that I try to maintain is only one pair of socks on the needles at a time. I don't know why but the thought of multiple pairs going on at the same time would make me panic. I stuck to this rule with no problems until last summer. I cast on the Estonian Socks from Folk Socks in May 2006. I worked on them on and off for a few months. Mostly off. They sat. Eventually I shoved them aside and moved on to other socks. This month the Folk Socks Knitalong is working on knitting a pair of socks already selected for the knitalong that you skipped. So yesterday I sucked it up and went back to my Estonian socks.

I think I know why I lost all interest in them. Knitting the travelling stitches on the heel flap when you have to travel stitches on the right and wrong side of the fabric made my head hurt. And my knitting looks pretty shitty. As my son would say, whatever. I'm moving forward. I'm hoping the second sock will be a lot prettier than the first. Maybe I'll finish them in under a year.

This weekend's cleaning/organizing binge has been having ripple effects. I reorganized my stash. Then last night I redid my stash blog and have everything categorized and even listed in which container I can find my yarn. Now if I could only figure out this whole "widget" thing in the new Blogger. Pawing through all my yarn got me fired up to start some new projects. Retro Prep the Third is sitting on the sidelines waiting until my class on Saturday to be joined together. I needed a new sweater project.

I hope to turn these

into one of these. The yarn is Rowan Kid Classic. I started buying oddballs several years ago when I'd come across them in sale bins. I planned on some sort of striped sweater but I didn't know what. When Yarnplay came out I saw Poppy and loved it. It took me a while to realize out that my stash and my new crush were compatible.

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