Monday, April 30, 2007

Baby Buds

Pair number five . . .



Pattern: Baby Buds by Trixie's Stix
Yarn: Knit Picks Essential Solid in Petunia and some (hush - don't say a word) white dk acrylic from inherited stash.
Needles: US 1 Addi Turbo's Circular
Started: April 19, 2007
Finished: April 29, 2007
Notes: Easy, quick and cute!

I'll post the pattern if you’re interested.

Life seems to get in the way of knitting these days. Geesh, you would think that by this time life would know better! What with trying to take care of mom's house, watch RM finish a 1/2 marathon, decide which school to send Boo-boo to for kindergarten, get ready for garage sale, drive to Grand Rapids for soccer games and track meets, neglect house work, and finish my lawn maintenance you would think I could squeeze in a little time for, oh I don't know . . . a shower/change of clothes and some knitting. Uh, yea.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Whitby

Sock number four . . .



Pattern: Whitby from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Louet Gems Sport Weight 100% Merino Wool in Pewter
Needles: US 2 Addi Turbo's Circular
Started: April 20, 2007
Finished: April 25, 2007
Notes: I knit the leg 1/2" longer than recommended.

Now that I used the correct weight yarn, I love these socks. I need to mention that this yarn is yummy and I will knit with it again. Though, maybe a brighter color would be fun.

Note about pattern . . . it's lovely! Very easy to commit to memory, so no need to tote around a book or pattern notes. The socks are comfy to wear, with no irritation (you know the rubbing and such) from the cables. I will say that the diamond pattern does, in my lowly opinion, make my ankles lean toward the larger side. Overall a super pattern.

Please note that sexy, pasty, tree trunk of a leg was not meant to show, but the sock decided to cooperate, so we sacrificed showing of ugly leg for sake of fair sock photo.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Electric Wiggle Sock Debut

See the yarn sheepishly peeking out from behind the candle? It doesn't want you to know that it has been knit up as sock a, sock b and sock c. A little awkward for it, to say the least. The yarn wants to be socks and does not want to fight with me anymore. It yearns to stop splitting, knitting at odd tensions, and jumping off needles at random moments (you know, like when laying untouched inside a knitting bag). Due to this change of heart, the yarn is pleased to announce that it will be cooperating from here on out. Having let me knit one complete sock, that I am calling the Electric Wiggle, we are now ready to begin the second. No longer will it fight me every step of the way. I have a feeling that knitting the second sock should be a breeze.

The yarn is content.

I will be content.

Monday, April 23, 2007

What I Did Over The Weekend


A 5K that only took me 31:40 from start to finish (the longest 31:40 of hell pleasure I have lived through in the past year). Maybe I should have run for a little more than two weeks before trying to pick right back up where I left off after a five year hiatus?

Oh, and I knit some too.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Striped Betweener

Sock number three . . .


Pattern: The Striped Betweener by Jaye Quadrozzi
Yarn: Sublime Extra Fine 100% Merino Wool in Red Current (shade 17), Dusted Grey (shade 18), and Girlie (shade 9)
Needles: US 4 Bamboo DPN
Started: April 16, 2007
Finished: April 21, 2007
Notes: Jogless stripes might be a misnomer in my knitting world. Yet, for my first attempt I am satisfied. I received great tips from blogging friends and will use them the next go around.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Soccerchica to Trackdiva

Soccerchica had never participated in another sport besides soccer (at the level she plays, it takes up all her time). Yesterday changed all that. Soccerchica participated in her first track meet. She place third over-all in the long jump, finished first in her heat for the 100m dash, and placed fourth overall for the 200m dash. Not too shabby for a first time out (ok, I am a little proud).

Note the cast on her left arm. That's what playing in a boys division (to allegedly get better competition, per old coach who has now been fired - long story) for indoor soccer can get you. Thursday it comes off for x-ray's and a new one goes right back on for four more weeks. Hopefully Doctor clears her for play, because it's been almost six weeks since she was in a game and is getting very anxious get on the field.

In knitting news, I worked on these while at the meet. They are The Betweener Socks with added stripes by Jaye Quadrozzi. The first pair I made in this pattern were out of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk, talk about heaven to wear. My jog's, well, suck need work. But I found a super tutorial blog called TECHknitting. It provided a valuable tip to make my jog’s almost invisible. I tried the stationary jogless stripes and found that I still got a slightly visible dip. But I am enjoying the color changes and the challenge of getting the jog "just right."

Do you have a tip for knitting stripes/color changes in the round? I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

New Yarn

Well, I broke down and purchased some fantastic new yarn from The Loopy Ewe. It arrived the other day; I just have been so busy that getting photos was a trick. I ordered . . . wait for it . . . sock yarn. Imagine.

First up two hanks of Louet Gems Sport Weight in Pewter. The label states that gauge is 5-6 sts = 1" on US 3-5 needles. It is my hope that this yarn will aspire to be a pair of Whitby socks from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road. The color was difficult to photograph, but I feel I got close. Each hank has a squishy, yet smooth quality to it. My feeling is that the Louet Gems will be pleasing to knit with (as you can see, I was anxious to get started).

Next up is one hank of Cider Moon's Bikini Bottom in their Glacier style. The label states that gauge is 5.5 sts = 1" on US 4 needles. I loved the name as much as the color way on this one. Because the yarn is cushy and light with the added bonus of very fun colors I know I will have fun with this one. The blue/green (very, very light turquoise?) portions are my favorite. Bikini Bottom will make some fun, funky socks perfect for spring. Again the photo had the challenge of producing colors that were just right. Maybe I can take a photography class this summer. Let's just add that to the list, shall we?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Swatching For Stripes

Now comes some swatching for a striped pair of socks.

I have selected a yarn called Sublime Extra Fine Merino Wool in red current (shade 17), Dusted Grey (shade 18), and Girlie (shade 9). It is a DK weight yarn that is so soft and cushy, I just can't get enough. It was first mentioned here. This is my first foray into stripes and I am skittish about how they will turn out. I have swatched on straight needles and dpn's in the round to get the feeling of the color changes before I begin. Probably a little over-kill, but I was a Girl Scout back in the day.

After a few swatches, I found that I prefer the drape of this fabric when knitted on US 4 dpn's. The ball band calls for a needle size of US6. If I was knitting a sweater, I would likely stick with that. But I am knitting socks, so a tighter gauge is better in my book.

Send me knitting good wishes on the stripes.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Stash Show and Tell

A few bloggers on the KAL have flashed their stash for us to view. Some of these stashes are massive, with huge dollars wrapped up in sock yarn alone. There are so many gorgeous colors of yarn that just beg to be knit with. Since the 52 Pair Plunge is weighing on my mind, I commenced my own stash dive. This is my effort to get all the sock yarns ready. Um, well . . . I'll let the picture speak for itself.



One hank of Yarn Pirate's Sweetheart color way in a 50/50 Merino/Tencel blend. I purchased it around February, 2007 from The Loopy Ewe, where else.

My intuition told me I am a little under prepared.

So began my calculations to see how much all these socks will set me back. I figure, my median sock yarn price multiplied by the number of socks necessary to complete KAL equals the estimated total cost of all sock yarn needed to complete said KAL (this is where I started the quick, wheezing/breathing of what is known as hyperventilation).

Gulp.

No wonder my horoscope said money would be tight near the end of this month.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Picot-Edged Baby Socks

Sock number two. . .



Pattern: Picot-Edged Baby Socks by Pattie Pierce
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette 100% Peruvian Wool in Red
Needles: US 1 Addi Turbo Circular (knit on Magic Loop Method)
Gauge: 7 sts to 1" in stockinette
Started: April 10, 2007
Finished: April 11, 2007
Notes: Very quick knit. The pattern calls for a ribbon through the eyelets, yet I prefer the socks without it. So, I win. No ribbon. A word about the yarn, it knits up fairly soft. I am not jumping up and down, but am satisfied with it. If you use this yarn, know that it splits, often.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Finally It's April


This was taken yesterday, outside my kitchen window.

I keep asking myself, "What the . . .! A blizzard in April?" Just last week it was in the 70's and I was working in my gardens. A-maz-ing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Baby Knitting Comin' My Way

Great news! I get to knit for a baby. She is due August, 2007 so summer and winter knits for a little girl are in my future. Cute little booties, hats and sweaters in soft hues of pink are just the ticket. Hmmmmmm, so good. I enjoy knitting for babies because the projects usually (don't ask about the argyle sweater) finish up quickly. An added bonus for me is the pieces weigh almost nothing, making baby goodies perfect for summer knitting.

Now this bundle of joy does not belong to me (huge sigh of relief on my part). Close friends of ours are bringing this baby into our world. Not that RM and I are opposed to more kids; we just need more room to have them. Our house is small, to say the least. If the Department of Housing and Urban Development saw the size of our bedrooms, they would frown. Let's just say tiny and minimal is what we live with. It's an old cottage; drafty, creaky and small, but on a lake. So we deal. But I'm getting off the subject.

Back to baby knitting. . . I am thinking about this from Debbie Bliss' Special Knits for the little gal. After a quick visit to the library, I picked up Itty-bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson (where do I start . . . all are wonderful) and Knitting for Baby by Melanie Falic and Kristin Nicholas (love the felted diaper bag). There are hundreds of patterns out there and in no time flat my mind gets boggled at the choices. So, if you know of a great baby pattern, please let me know as I'd love to check it out.

Notes - Sorry about the flash in the photo. We are getting snow right now and the light is terrible. The knitting is going to be a pair of baby socks for the 52 Pair Plunge, more details later.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Pewter Socks

So RM spent part of spring break doing our taxes (read crabby and not at all fun to be around). This meant very limited computer access until he was done. I am sorry that I have not responded to comments or posted for almost a week.

I spent part of spring break showing up at the neighbors with a bottle of wine asking, "Can I come over while RM does taxes, if I share a glass with you?" Because I have the best neighbors, they happily invited me in. Or was it the free wine?!

But I also got the first pair of socks done for the 52 Pair Plunge. I call them Pewter Socks.

***added - this picture looked better before I . . . oh, hell it just stinks. So, please click on it to get a bigger view for detail. Sorry. ***

I love Shirley Paden’s Pewter Coat that was in IK Winter 2006. The cable designs are interesting. She includes some cables that have purling and yo’s in them. These were challenging and new for me. Plus I simple adore knitting through the back loop. Each stitch seems to pop off the knitting, so I use kbl in ribbing quite often.

Though the Pewter Coat is lovely, I knew that it was something I just would not have the time to knit. Still, I longed to try the cable designs. Each pattern repeat is over 32 stitches, if doubled that makes 64 (yep, math wiz right here folks). Coincidently, that is just the number of stitches I like to use when knitting toe-up socks. So, I thought I would give socks a go with Shirley’s pattern.

Here's the down low:

Pattern: A toe-up, with a lot of help (OK all of the chart) from Pewter Coat in the IK, Winter 2006. I loved this sweater, but knew I would never knit it. So, I used the pattern to create these socks. I can not take any credit for this great design. It all goes to Shirley Paden, who is the designer of the coat, and I feel, these socks. I just took the chart and added a toe, heel and cuff.
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss in Burgundy (70% Merino Wool, 20% Silk)
Needles: US 1 Addi Turbo Circular (knit on Magic Loop Method)
Gauge: 32 St over 4" in stockinette
Started: April 1, 2007
Finished: April 6, 2007
Notes: . I have noticed several designs that start the pattern of the sock immediately after completing the toe. In this case (because of the cables) I felt it best to knit six rounds before beginning to knit the pattern. After that, I just kept going until the yarn ran out. Also, I don't like socks that start the pattern too soon after the heel is turned (rubs in my shoes). So I did not begin the chart until I had six rows of stockinette complete. I knit the cuff with a kbl (knit through the back loop) in the ribbing. In my humble opinion, this seems to make the ribbing "pop" a little more.

If Shirley reads this, I hope she realizes that she designed a great versatile pattern

One pair done, 51 more to go.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007