Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Projects and Weddings and Cats, oh my!

Annnnd trying new imaging service. :) This post brought to you by ImageShack. Without further ado...

The Tablecloth of DOOOOOOM!!! (36x36 inches)

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This picture was taken on the Holiday Inn rug, as soon as I finished embroidering the sucker. Half an hour later we left to go see this. Man, was I relieved.

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Aren't they cute? This is one of the few pictures I took that was neither red-eyed nor blurry. You get to see Dad, Jessica, Jordan, and Mom.

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THESE are my Jaywalkers. It's finally cool enough to wear them. I think I'm going to have happy feet this winter. It makes me want to start another pair. Knit in the Socks That Rock in Farmhouse. I actually finished these before the TableCloth of DOOM but it was usually TOO HOT in the apartment to want to wear them long enough to snap the picture. :) (fabulous picture taken by the DH. :)

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This is me and Smokey, the first cat who fell in love with me. Poor Smokey; I was a junior in high school when we got him as a kitten, and try to explain going away to college to a cat! Smokey is now almost thirteen years old. He's a sweetheart in general and usually doesn't like being photographed in particular... Usually it takes a couple days after I've been home for him to realize that I'm not some ghost come back to haunt him. I miss Smokey a lot. I hope someday I'll meet another cat that likes me as much.

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This is Bandit. Fellow SnB's might remember Bandit as The Cat That Bit Mom and Sent Her to the Hospital With a Gianormous Bacterial Infection. He's sitting in the window of my parent's bathroom, and I'm on the deck. I'm rather glad I got this picture, as this was Bandit's favored position when quarantined some weeks later in the same bathroom. ;)

Dad says it was tempting to skin Bandit after Mom's five day hospital stay, but he settled for squirting him with the garden hose whenever the opportunity arose. (Given it was a hot August when he said that, this kitty was not in any serious danger.) He's now strictly an outdoor kitty, and my Mom no longer feeds strays.

Here's the best picture of Susie, my mom's kitty, that I got. Susie didn't like me, so taking her picture proved to be a pain.

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No, I'm not looking at you! You didn't surprise me by hiding around the corner!

Okay, last picture, and it's somewhat of a cheat.

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See this cannister from the Jaywalkers picture? Inside it is a 40" size 0 Addi Turbo with two top-down socks in Knit Picks Parade. It's going to be Mel's Christmas present. I've been knitting rather slowly on it, but now that the fall weather is here I might pick up a bit. (Not lots though. I'm trying to work more on science than knitting of late.)

I've also been reading Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman. So far I like it. :)

Okay, I'll try to take some pictures of the Mel socks-in-progress and bring those in. Anyone remember other pictures I promised and didn't deliver?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Still here!

Saw a post about abandoned blogs and felt really, really guilty.

I have several excuses, but really they're just excuses. :) So, how are all of you? (Seriously, I've been trying to refocus life on the whole scientist question. I don't want to play at being a scientist, I want to be one, which means that some hobby stuff has to take a back seat in my thinking.) The other reason is that I need to get off the fence and figure out where I can host my images, since I think blog postings without pictures must be a bit on the boring side.

What was I up to crafty-wise this summer?

The Big One - My mother demanded requested that I make something to adorn the table my father was making for my little brother's wedding. (Oft referred to in my LJ as 'the tablef--ker'.) I did manage to finish that, though it was very close. Honestly, it wouldn't have happened without the 20 hours in the car on the driving trip TO the wedding. There was much ranting, back and forth, confusing emails, and gnashing of teeth on this one, especially since I was convinced that the bride didn't really want a tablecloth at all. (I still think Mom steamrollered her into picking one out.) Anyway, my mother was very happy when 'she' was able to present my little brother and his bride with a table made by my father, a tablecloth embroidered by moi, and candlesticks purchased by my youngest brother. Mom gave her the jewelry she wore for the wedding. (Dad and I clearly got the short end of the stick on this one.) I felt very light and free when that was done. Free enough to give my mother a pained/pissed look when she asked for yet another pair of legwarmers. (After all the trouble about her picking last year's yarn, too. Sheesh.) After seeing the look on my face, she changed the subject. I wonder if it will come up again. If she doesn't give me hell about staying in MA this Christmas, she might just get (designed by me to be MUCH less tacky) legwarmers as a bribe. We'll see. (She'll probably give me hell though. What will be worse is my father's dissapointed voice, really. I miss him.)

I did measure Dad when I saw him so I could try to make him a vest. I got some gorgeous cocoa Main Line from Knit Picks on sale. THAT will have to wait a bit though. :) Attempt two at designing a vest such that it's not going to make either Dad or Hooney look tubby. (attempt 1 is in the frog pond, 'in process' on being fixed.)

Previous to the tablecloth from hell, I DID finish my Jaywalkers in Socks that Rock. They're quite lovely, and I think I have pictures somewhere. (must fix image hosting issue)

After that, I got the idea to make a Christmas present for a friend who does check this blog, so those pictures will have to wait a bit. (I'll give you a hint though. Google a condition that means you're running out of oxygen.)

I'm also making a plain-ish pair of socks in pink/purple Knit Picks Parade as a Christmas present for a grad student down the hall. (Wool socks for the terminally cold are a Good Thing.) These are being knit at the same time on one circular needle to try the technique. This has been going majorly slowly as I'm trying to cut back on the knitting, and I'm pretty okay with that. (I may freak out when it's closer to Christmastime.)

Other than that, I've been cross-stitching this picture. I've got over half of the orange pumpkin done. (I have to bring something to SnB so the gift recipient doesn't see her present too soon, and this project is for Hooney and I.) Since Hooney has been reading Pride and Prejudice to me while I stitch, this has been very pleasant.

My boss has finished the other papers in line in front of me, so I've been working on more science stuff lately. =) I'm excited. Off to look at sequencing now. Please feel free to berate me with comments demanding pictures.

Monday, May 01, 2006

April update

Happy May Day!

I didn't update much over the last couple months. Mea culpa. First off, I have to show you the picture of Mom's Twist shawl that I sent her for Easter.

This was a quick knit, done in Broadway Lights, that used four and a fraction balls. (Very small fraction. Mom may see that yarn in purse form at some point. ;) Can you figure out from the picture how I screwed up the pattern? (I decided to leave it.)

Now, guess where I went on Apr 22nd?

Yep, the SnB girls took their first Grand Day Out and went to see Stephanie Pearl-MacPhee at WEBS. It was a very fun day, so much so I forgot to eat at points. (By the way, Stephanie, I'm very sorry about the picture. It really is the best one. Yikes. She really looks much better than that.) I felt bad for Stephanie; while she was fun, funny and witty, she looked terrified. However, a 'group hug' with that many people would be MUCH, much worse. Our group was in the back corner of the first talk picture. Thanks for coming, Stephanie!

Here's the haul from WEBS and the bead store in Northampton (the yummy dumplings and yak sausage somehow didn't make it home from the Tibetan restaurant for their pictures...)

You'll note the presence of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool; I wandered with my fingers burrowed in a ball for twenty minutes trying to figure out if it would make me headachy. It didn't seem to, so I was happy! (I also didn't get any employees asking why I was using their yarn as a Chinese finger trap. Bonus.) This yarn looks very fun, and it was on sale for $5 a ball. Too bad Good thing they didn't have a full bag of the eggplant or cyan, or I'd have a new sweater project right now. (and I said 'no sweater projects!) I got some random colors to make hats and scarves, possibly Odessae with the beads you can also see in the picture. :) There's a couple balls of black for another Odessa or other black beaded hat for someone for a Christmas present, and you'll note that I got sucked into a ball of the discounted sock yarn. (I finger trapped this one also. It seemed to be okay... and if that's true, I've got a whole new happy world of sock yarn to play with.)

I also got some Addis, one for Mom's Wool Peddlar in a long length for when it expands past my 24" size 4, and a 40" size 0 so I can try this whole magic loop thing. I got a Chibi because it was cute, blue (I really like blue) and I've always wanted one. ;) I got some Inox sock needles in 0, 00, and 000 because it looked like I was going to snap my bamboo 0's on my car project, and I've been wanting more sturdy steel ones.

My car project to and from Northampton? Jaywalker socks. I've managed to get down to 7st/inch with the Socks that Rock yarn, but it's been a challenge for me. I worked on the heel flap only pretty much there and back. (some wooly nylon added to the heel flap for support.) Here's a picture from the Sunday after the Northampton trip... I've finally turned the heel!

At SnB last Monday, I picked up a bunch of stitches for the gusset, and then went round and round and round and round decreasing them away. Man, that seemed to take FOREVER. I finally finished the gusset on Friday. (GUSSET!) I've worked on the foot some, and I'll snap a couple more Jaywalker progress photos. (I might have one or two on the camera that I forgot about.)

I'm lucky; my Jaywalker-in-progress seems to fit my foot pretty well - not too tight! The stitches are hopefully tight enough that I won't feel them when I stand up. I'm grinding away at this pattern, though... it's a slow knit for me.

Still trying to finish the Jaywalkers for me, which means that for Mother's Day Mom is getting candles. (I doubt she'll be upset.) I've decided to use two leftover balls of black with the green yarn for the kitty bed, or one of black and one of the brown, to get rid of the foecal quality. Mom still hasn't sent me any kitty bed pictures, but I do have this one she emailed me last week. :)

mom in her shawl

I think she liked her surprise. :)

Have a fun May Day!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Too long.

It's been too long since I've updated. Sometimes I view this with amusement, that it was last before my vacation, and some with embarrassment. I know I don't have the time to be one of the top bloggers, but I offer you guys my apologies for being incommunicado this long.

What have I been up to? (All photos pending)

Well, I finished the kitty hat in time for the trip... and then remembered that I'll be wearing a ski helmet on the slope, so I really didn't need to panic about the hat. Oh well, it's still done.

I also began and finished Odessa, in Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Nymph, with cool pearlized aqua size 6 seed beads. It's a lovely hat. What I learned from Odessa is that knitting with beads is fun, and that Cotton Fleece is NOT as stretchy as Cashsoft. This meant that my hat didn't expand as much, and as such was really tight on my head. It was pointed out to me that my co-worker who had lost her hair due to Lupus had a really small head. She tried it on and it looked lovely. My heart wrenched but I gave her the Odessa. I still have enough beads and have procured enough yarn to remake my hat. I'd have to make it again anyway... I'm planning on going up a needle size to 2's for the body of the hat. I had to go to a size 1 to get gauge previously, and I think that that will be enough to expand the hat so my ears don't feel like they're being squished bloodless. ;)

I had a conversation with my Mom about getting yarn instead of tchotchkes for St Pats and Easter. She was keen on the idea once I proposed yarn requirements for a couple of 'surprises' for her. Basically, this meant that I told her 'for surprise A, you'll need nine balls of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in a color you like to wear that's not black. For surprise B, you'd need five balls of Knit Picks Twist in that black.' (Project A would have lace repeats in black, and I decided I didn't want to deal with that.) She ended up getting me both sets of yarn for the proposed projects from Knit Picks, and her Easter present is the 'drop stitch Twist shawl' from there in 'Broadway Lights'. I mailed it out today... hopefully she'll get it in time.

For any of you out there, I found the Twist shawl easy and fast. The self-fringe is very neat, and the shawl simply won't lay right until you do it. Note that in person the Broadway Lights colorway sometimes appears black and sometimes a very dark navy blue. Not a problem for my Mom, but someone hoping for a true black will be in for a surprise. My biggest problem with knitting the shawl was getting distracted by science and reading. I've discovered Tamora Pierce recently, and have happily borrowed most of her backlist from a good friend. ;)

What's in the works now?

I'm also knitting with Socks That Rock in Farmhouse... I'm trying another Grumperina pattern, Jaywalkers. I've heard many complaints that they come out too small. Since I knit a bit on the looser side, I'm using my size 0 bamboo dpns and *hoping* that my actual gauge when I'm telling myself to knit tightly will yield a good compromise sock. I'm worried because the leg looks a bit large, but I'm only 2" in. I'm fairly certain that the Socks That Rock is a bit thicker and sproingier than Opal, and I want to get a nice plushy fabric. The Dancing socks featured on this blog have shown one tendency that saddens me greatly... when I'm standing in them, I can feel the stitches. All my reading indicates that that means I'm not knitting near tight enough. So I'm trying again with the Jaywalkers. We shall see.

I also got some sock yarn from Knit Pick's clearance. (Now there's a sale to sadden the heart and lighten the pocketbook.) I had some of it earmarked for a birthday that's coming up until the DH admired it for himself. D'oh! (Sock Landscapes Mesa. Lovely colorway.) Not a problem, I bought the birthday girl something else. I also got some Parade, and am planning on making some nice squishy slipper socks for myself and perhaps a couple of friends who have been helping me out in the science department. :) Any Parade reccomendations gladly accepted.

What's Surprise A Wool of the Andes for? Well, Mom got me Hollyberry, and it will become one of the shawls in the Folk Shawls book. As she also requested a kitty bed in shades of green, it's more likely she'll get that first. She's got five indoor cats, and only three beds, so I've some catching up to do!

Last question. Is Photobucket a good option for hosting photos, moneywise? It appears that I've used a great deal of my Photobucket account space, and must switch to paid subscription soon. I've been pondering whether or not I want to go there... any other suggestions? :)

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Why'd you order a dead guy?

The hat lies there so innocently, its fine yarn gleaming in the sun. Its bright colors beg me to touch it. But this is Lamb's Pride Bulky, a gorgeous, lovely, fun to knit yarn that makes my eyes itch like crazy and my head hurt after a while. Doesn't it look innocent lying there on the dryer? The title is Jayne's line from Firefly, if you're curious. :)

In other news, I haven't started Odessa because, well, I lost my winter hat and a week from now I'm going skiing. So, I need to finish that hat before Odessa. Really. *sigh* I'm making myself a second Kitty Hat from Knit Picks Merino Style. I started it twice last night... I'll give you the Typical Hntrpyanfar Hat Story now, if you're curious.

After making Kelly some cute crocheted flowers for the Baby Shower Emergency Sweater, I felt pretty good and thought that I'd try my hand at starting the Kitty Hat. (I don't mind the occaisional crocheted decoration. You get the 'all done' vibe so quickly, and I didn't even have to sew it onto something myself! ;)

Onto the Kitty Hat. I have black Merino Style, but it is NOT the pattern-required aran weight, so I need to swatch. Okay, no problem. I swatch in the round with dpns until I get a fabric I think would make a nice hat. (Really. That was all I wanted.) I measure my gauge. 4.5 stitches to the inch on my 10" size 2's. (I told you I'm a loose knitter.) The original hat pattern has a decrease pattern of 7 stitches, and my head is 22 inches. So subtract two inches for ease, and I need 20" of hat. Okay. Then I multiply 4.5 by 20 and get 90. Some mental fudging later, I think that 7*13 is 91. I tell my mild trisadekaphobia to take a hike, and cast on 92 sts. (I use a decrease to join.)

I knit four rounds of seed stitch, and then measure my hat flat on my long dpns. The flat circle is 11". Arrgh! Why is it that whenever I try a hat, it always starts out too big?

So, I ripped out the seed stitch and re-cast on 85 stitches. Maybe my trisadekaphobia was trying to tell me something. I'll take a picture later on after it looks like something round rather than four needles held together by a string. We'll have to see how this DK knitting thing goes... I've never knit anything but socks on needles this small. Maybe I should go get the half-a-ball(s) of Rowan Cashmerino Superchunky to make a ski hat, but that seems to be such overkill. ;)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Hoochie socks!

Egads, I'm at work on a Sunday and my gel is running. I've got a little wait, but after that I need to carve bands like the wind so that I can get home in time to have some lunch before the DH and I go off to our first tango lesson! I'm so excited.

The long-awaited complete sock photo. I was attempting to take a picture of myself in the bedroom mirror. Note that apparently I need to clean said bedroom mirror. I am, however, pleased with the socks. I took this picture on Tuesday evening after I finished the socks and laced them up with some leftover cotton twine. I really need to locate a ribbon or something that's a bit more attractive. You can see that I made a couple of Olympic mistakes, but that overall I had a lot of fun with this pattern. (Red vinyl hoochie skirt courtesy of the Hot Topic clearance rack. I've just not had an occaision to wear it out before! :)

Yes, I like the word 'hoochie'. I think that it implies flirty-ness without a whorish connotation. I've come a long way from the paranoid modesty of my high school years... fueled largely by my amateur theater background and the realization that since I'm almost thirty, my lifespan of naughty-clothes-wearability is well, now. ;)

Other than the Knitting Olympics socks, there hasn't been a TON of action on the knitting front. I was a good kid and knit Bob a Jayne hat out of some leftover Lamb's Pride Bulky I bought from my roomie's stash. While I enjoyed the fabric that Lamb's Pride Bulky makes, unfortunately I had allergic reactions to it... so this Jayne hat was the itchy-eye headache hat. Fortunately it was a really quick knit; I got most of it done while watching Bubba Ho-Tep on Weds nite before Lost. I'm going to try to take a photo of it this evening before tossing it in the mail to Bob.

Next project? Well, I'm really sorry to say that my Kitty Hat has dissapeared. It looks like the next project before Odessa is to make myself another Kitty Hat that I can wear while on my skiing trip. (I don't want to wear a fabulous beaded hat on the slopes.) I really hope that my Kitty Hat will resurface after I make it a sibling. I really liked my hat. :(

Otherwise... Lab this week has been really busy and rather depressing. If you would, offer a few good wishes up to the gods of cloning for me? Thanks. =) Hopefully we'll both be rewarded with good results and some time to post pictures.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Today is your birthday Anniversary!

I suck at titles. I have the most terrible time coming up with something creative to call my rambling. I discarded a bunch of titles before picking that one. ;)

Yes, today is my and my DH's fifth anniversary. Where did the time go? Mostly all of it has been happy. I feel very lucky at least once a day to be with him. =) I'm looking forward to what the future brings. In the immediate future...

Sock progress!

This will probably be the same progress photo for tomorrow, as I don't anticipate much knitting going on tonight (if any). Tonight my DH is taking me to the Bollywood Grill, with some old movies and cuddling for afterwards. I'm glad... I've been really good and knitting a lot the past two days, and am ready for a break. (So give me a silver. Really! :)

As for the second heel turn, it doesn't look like the first one, but I've entered the grand universe of Not Caring. I don't think it will be that notable, and I like how the second one looks better on my foot. It *was* much easier than the first, and depending on how they wear, I might make short row heels again. I plan on trying Jaywalkers as well as some Knitting on the Road patterns next, however, so there are several pair of heel flaps in my future.

One of the other odd things about the Lolita pattern is that there is a definite spiral bias to the fishnet stitch. My needles rotated just a smidge over 90 degrees to the right as I knit the foot stitches. On the first foot I just started the heel shaping there, but on the second foot I rearranged the stitches so the heel was in line with the toe and then began the heel shaping. I'm thinking I'll see which sock is more comfortable and then rip the other one, or just leave it. =)

One of my ongoing pattern irritations is that since I taught myself to knit and I knit Continental, my idea of a k2tog slants the opposite way than English ones. I have to rewrite the patterns I encounter, switching the k2togs for K1PNSO's and vice versa. Anyone else who knits continentally encounter this?

Okay, enough prattle. Off to check my gel. :) Happy knitting!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Homestretch in sight... and an elf story

I had to stay late at work last night, but the good part of that was that since it was after hours and I was waiting for an incubation, I got to spend an hour of that incubation knitting. I also got in some knitting last night while watching Hellboy - for some reason I've been thinking about Hellboy lately. No, I don't know why either. After I snapped this picture, the DH offered to read to me, so there's about an inch more of foot eyelets than in this picture. A rather productive evening!

I learned a new bind-off technique... hopefully it works well to be stretchy. Cascade Fixation seems to make everything stretchy, but I wanted insurance... Curious folks can find the method I used here.

Now all I need to do is the new short-row heel, and then to zip up the leg. I might actually finish in time!

In other news, my friend Inertiacreepies said last week that she was going to WEBS, and asked if there was anything I wanted. This was an evil temptation that I gladly succumbed to. I'd been pondering the Odessa hat published by MagKnits. It then occurred to me that the Odessa hat would look gorgeous in a pale blue... the kind of blue that 1940s movie stars tended to wear. There are some lovely pictures of my Grandma in a blue pillbox hat, and I rationalized that it would be nice to remember my Grandma by looking fabulous in movie star blue. Inertiacreepies and I scoured the WEBS site for the named yarn with little luck, but settled on either Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece or Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, depending on which company had a better movie star blue. All that remained was for me to find a source of the beads.

Look what my yarn elf brought me at SnB a few days later!

Not only did Inertiacreepies find me a gorgeous powder blue, but she took that yarn ball into a neighboring bead store and found the perfect beads to accompany it. I'm amazed and happy... thank you so much! Inertiacreepies did say she had a lot of fun being a yarn elf, though the lady in the bead store was impressed that she held up the yarn to all of the blue 6/0 seed beads in the store. :) (I have an exceptional yarn elf. Not only did she do all this for me, but she got it on *sale*. I feel so spoiled.)

Now I have two reasons to finish my Olympic knitting in a hurry! I've promised the DH that I'd shorten his vest next, but I'm really excited about knitting with beads for the first time. We'll see what happens. :)

Okay, off to see if my long incubation from yesterday has borne fruit. Happy knitting!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

five days to go and I'm starting to sweat...

Current progress - first sock almost complete. Here you see the sock-in-progress lounging against my (L&Stitch) blanket in an attempt at colorful contrast. I had a wonderful weekend during which not a lot was spent knitting... most of the progress you see here was on Monday. I've modified the pattern a little bit (largely in response to dontcallmemolly's sage advice) and included an extra stitch in one side so the selvedges appear more equal. Hopefully from this picture you can begin to tell that I've been knitting flat for a while. As I've no doubt mentioned, black lace pictures are a pain in the butt.

I'm beginning to sweat about finishing in time, I've yet to begin the second sock! Woops. The DH has even noticed this, as he's offered to re-watch a movie I've already seen instead of a new movie tonight, so I can feel comfortable knitting. (Awww.) Hopefully I can top up this sock and begin the new toe tonight. Cross your fingers with me!

Good luck to all my fellow sweating Olympians!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Update on Olympia

THIS time, I managed to remember to take a sideways picture. I'm awed by how good this one came out. With *black yarn*! Now if I could only take pictures that well all the time. Now if only today's science works this well...

Hopefully I'll remember to photo and post on Monday. Or at least Sunday. :) *crossing our fingers* I'm in the leg part, shortly before the flat knitting and the increases. The bootie looks way cute and DOES actually fit. I'm excited. :) (Though I'm still leery of doing the second short row heel. Betcha that one will be easier. Maybe I should start the second one right away... *ponder*

Thursday, February 16, 2006

FOs & Olympic update

Hello again! You can see what I was working on knitting this weekend in this picture. I polished up the chocolate cherry kitty bed and bound it off. I felt very smart when I realized that I could use the leftover red eyelash from Mom's leg warmers to line this bed. I was going to send it to Mom for Valentine's day but... well, it's going to be late. Ooops.

So, who thinks that I should send it as is, and let Mom felt it, or that I should felt it? Hrrm. Maybe I should call Mom and ask her, but that would ruin the surprise.

Also in this picture you can see toe #3 and sock #1. The 'challenge' aspect of this Olympics for me is in learning new sock techniques, and at first my figure 8 cast on caused me a bit of trouble... along with the aforementioned gauge issue. I was really relieved to move on to the fishnet pattern. Here's another picture.

I worked on the sock some more at SnB and last night as well. Last night was the Short Row Heel Swearing evening. I don't know if my DH has heard me swear quite so much at my knitting in a while, but I finally managed to get that *&#$ heel turned.

It occurs to me now that perhaps I should have turned the little footie-sock sidewards so that you could see it better. Woops. I'll try to remember to take a picture before I start knitting on the footie tonight.

You will also note a pair of usual suspects in this photo that I'm glad to show off. They've actually been finished for over a week and lurking in the laundry basket before their big debut. I'd like to report that the Dancing socks are very comfortable, and they're a little big on me. Woops. The speckles came out very cool looking.

So, what's next is finishing up the Lolita sock. I'll try to include more photos to come!

Go all you Olympic knitters, and good luck!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Olympic Update

No pictures today. Yes, I suck. ;)

I had a really busy weekend, but I knew that my weekends would be fullish when I picked a project, so I'm not worried. I knitted the first toe of my Lolita socks this Sunday, in fact, and discovered last night that the foot (which looked a bit big) was in fact ginormous. I then checked the gauge and realized that I'd made a Stupid Mistake.

I'd worked trained diligently to get my proper gauge of 4 stitches to the inch. What I didn't realize was that when the pattern SAID 20 sts/4 inches, I read that as 'oh, four stitches per inch' for no other reason than I'm on crack and apparently need more sleep. The more mathematically inclined will note that 20 sts/4 inches really corresponds to 5 stitches per inch. At least when I was sampling needle sizes I DID find one that was 5 sts/inch. So, I'm going to rip out my footie and try again... hence, no pictures. (le sigh)

Look at the upshot... I DID do my first figure 8 cast on yesterday. Twice even. Now I get to practice it one more time, with feeling. ;) Oh well, more practice won't hurt.

Maybe pictures tomorrow? ;) We'll see.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Pre-Olympic Fever

I suppose that I've learned that I usually don't have time to futz with photos on Monday while I'm at the lab. Heheh. Yet Another Photo-less Post.

So, there was mucho knitting action this weekend. I finished the Dancing Socks, and an FO photo is pending. I'm very happy with them, as they're very comfy. Surprisingly, they were loose, so I might just keep them as bed socks so they don't wear out quickly. (They might even fit Ladyscience, who has Unusually Large Yet Attractive Feet.) It looks like I have half a ball of Dancing (Jig) left... haveta figure out something to do with that. :)

I also worked some more on the kitty bed. I've got the 144 stitches per round, and I've done 25 rounds of same... my big plan to have the colors feather into one another was foiled a bit by the fact that ball #3 was Very Short, or ball #2 was Very Long, so the 3/4 combination didn't last long. I'm happy though, because colors 4 and 5 look very nice together. We'll see how this turns out and if I should use a niddy noddy or a yarn meter next time to get a more uniform striping. Darn me for wanting to use up all the yarn!

I had a momentary panic this weekend when I wasn't sure if my two balls of Cascade Fixation would be enough to do my Lolita Socks. I've been reassured that this should in fact be enough... darn me not noting that after I bought substitute yarn! :) I swatched and got 5 st per inch on #2 dpns... and the requested gauge is 4 st/inch. Looks like I might actually be using the reccomended needle size for a project! (I'm a Very Loose Knitter... famous for having to go down two needle sizes for a gauge swatch. What's happening to me? ;)

At SnB tonight there will probably be more kitty bed action, with more swatching. We'll see. I also got my Sweaters From Camp book in last week... interesting Fair Aisle patterns. No idea if I'm going to be using any of those any time soon!

Lastly, I was kindly invited by Whit to join the Team DPN. Unlike the typical Olympics, it seems you can belong to more than one team... pretty cool! Check out the buttons I finally got 'round to adding to the sidebar. (Okay, maybe this post isn't TOTALLY photo-less. :)

Good luck to all the Olympic knitters out there! Hopefully I'll have a gauge in time to try the figure 8 cast on on Friday. :)

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Harlotesque Kitty Bed

I guess I needed a sock break. Anyway, after getting more batteries at the supermarket, I reinvigorated the digital camera and again took ten shots to get two in focus pictures. I'm really going to have to get some snaps in natural light, but since it's monsooning today that might have to wait a bit.

Here's me standing on the chair, taking a picture of the yarn progression I was planning for the chocolate cherry kitty bed. It's knit with two strands held together, and I was planning on knitting half a ball of balls 1 and 2, then cutting ball 1 and knitting on with balls 2 and 3. When ball 2 is used up, I'll splice in ball 4... and so on, with the last little bit of ball 1 used with ball 8.

A closeup of the beginnings of the kitty bed on the frame...

I do Emily Ocker's circular cast on, start on three needles, and knit on three needles until the 72 st increase, after which I rearrange onto four. At the next increase row, I increase onto a 24" circular needle, which will remain until I finish the bed. :) I've been debating increasing to a 29" circular later on, but I know from past experience that I'll be okay. :)

Yes, I will work on the sock this weekend. Really! :) It's just that the red is so cheery, and it's nice to work on something where the stitches are big for a change. ;) Don't wag at me so reproachfully, sock yarn. ;)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Dancing sock update and Harlot tendencies

Hello there! I've learned that I'm good at taking the pictures and then forgetting about them. Hrrm. Not a good plan. I'm getting better at editing them in Photoshop, but I still sometimes have focus issues with the digital camera.

Anyway, here's a picture of what a heel flap looks like from both sides... I've got some friends that are doing their first socks, and I wanted to post what 'normal' looked like. :)

Yes, that's probably the shadow of my head in the picture. I've now learned that the DH's old blanket is NOT a good focus background for the socks. I think the camera keeps trying to focus on the pills.

Yet another casualty of Bad Focus, but hopefully you can get the idea of what a short rowed heel flap looks like. :)

Here I'm trying to capture what my DH refers to as the 'periscope heel'. It's essentially a square of knitting with a sudden, sharp turn. What I always find cool about it is how it works out into a gently curved cup. (You could argue that I'm easily amused.)

Here is the current progress on the sock, post gusseting. (Yes, I should have taken a gusset picture. Woops.) I stole a moment and took this picture in one of the study rooms at work. Maybe I should take more pictures here, as it turned out pretty well! (Note the stylish net containing my slippery sock yarn. Available wherever garlic cloves or shallots are sold in little net bags. ;)

Last night, Ladyscience got her package from Knit Picks, containing the chocolate cherry kitty bed yarn as well as some sock yarn for me to allergy test. (I'm pretty confident that it will be okay... but someone may still inherit two balls of Parade or Essential.) In a fit of Harlot-dom, I neglected the above poor sock and cast on for the kitty bed. I'm now at four 10" dpns, (72 sts) and when I increase next I'll be on the 24" circ. I'll try to take some blog pictures of that tonight, and post them a bit later. Sorry to try your patience. :) Really, I'm going to finish the Dancing socks before the Olympics. I have to! =)

For the record, I find Emily Ocker's circular cast on much easier if you don't finish the single crochets but leave one loop lingering on the hook. Then you transfer those loops to the needles. I suppose I'll have to take a picture of this... if by finishing the single crochets have I been doing this wrong all this time?

Okay, I should be letting my right brain ponder science now. :)

Monday, January 30, 2006

Yup, signed up for the Knitting Olympics. My challenge is to put my money where my mouth is and finish a small lace project that I've had the yarn for for ages - Knitty's Lolita Legs.

I did do some knitting on the second Dancing Sock and will have heel flap and 'periscope heel' pictures for you later on... promise!

(The DH looked over after I'd just turned the heel and said 'look, it's a little periscope!' I thought that was pretty cool. Usually he doesn't see heels like that... they're usually quickly surrounded by gussets.)

Have a good week, I'll try to get pics up tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

knitting maunderings... Mom sweaters!

(cross-posted from my LJ)

Part-way through the Netflix movie my Mom called to tell me she'd (finally) gotten her Christmas surprise in the mail... the sweater! While I was concerned when I was making it that it would be too large (esp since it was too big for me when I tried it on) when Mom took it out of the box she was worried it was too small. Fortunately we were both wrong and it fits 'just right'. Hooray for boob darts! Mom also says that her cat Susie tried to steal the sweater to sleep in, so even if Mom doesn't like it or it pills like crazy I know someone who will love it. :) I must get a picture of Mom modelling it.

I'm really glad she likes the Ribbi Cardi, as it is a good deal plainer than the typical sweater that she goes for at the store. The boxy sweater pattern that she requested ages ago is residing, marked up, in one of my knitting bags. Eesh. It has a 38" circumference and my Mom has a 41" bust, so I've been trying to figure out the best way to alter the pattern. I could just increase the whole business by about 20% and hope, but I'm thinking that the ginormous boxyness of it would Not Be Flattering, and then she wouldn't wear it. I'm not going to knit a complex cotton cabled box if she's not going to wear it, thanks. (I suppose we *could* turn it into a pillow, but it seems such a waste!) It occurred to me that I could try and repeat my boob dart trick with this pattern, but I might need engineering help on that. Mucho pondering and some math will ensue.

The basic problem with this sweater was that someone decided to Get Creative and designed a modular sweater pattern. The front of the sweater looks like four triangles joined to form a square, with a giant diagonal X in the middle.. Colorblocking means that the top and bottom of the X are light blue or white, while the side panels are a darker shade. I'm sure Mom was using swimsuit logic, that this would make her look slimmer... which it would. If this was 'just' stockinette, I'm sure I could wrangle the blocks to include boob darts. However, each triangle also has a cabling pattern to go with it, knit up from the base of the triangle to the point. So, I could conveniently 'lose' the cabling part on the side panels to accomodate the bust darts, I could futz with adding length to some of the triangles to get a bulge, or I could just scream and start over with a pattern of my own. (You can see why I've not worked on this since last July.) Screaming sounds good at the moment, though I may scribble a bit more just to see if the idea is completely ludicrous and get it out of my head.

I *did* do a little more on the sock cuff last night, but it still looks largely like the below picture, so I didn't feel a burning urge to photograph it. Maybe later when it's got the exciting bits of heel construction going on! :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Dancing update 3

Over the weekend, I DID manage to finish closing the toe on the first Dancing sock, and cast on for another. Last night I knit all of the twisted rib section while at SnB. (It was a poor SnB turnout due to the weather, but we had fun nonetheless.)

I'm a sock ho at the moment, but I'm okay with that. Really. I'm looking forward to wearing this pair, as dancing about in the singleton is rather silly. For those of you unfamiliar with Knit Picks Dancing, it's very stretchy yet comfy. The sock appears too small but fits, hugging my foot nicely!

I discovered a lost Borders GC in my wallet over the weekend, and discovered that it still worked... so I'm now the proud owner of Simple Socks; Plain and Fancy by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. Last Friday I bit the bullet and ordered Meg Swansen's Sweaters From Camp using the Amazon GC that I got for Christmas. It's going to arrive slowly (since I ordered it from Amazon and not Schoolhouse Press) but that's okay... I think I can keep busy.

Ladyscience was ordering from Knit Picks anyway, and tempted me with combining our order, so now yet another sock pattern should be heading my way, as well as two new sock yarns for the allergy test. (Parade and Essential, if you're curious.)

I'm trying to decide whether or not I tell my mother about this blog. Any opinions? I do tend to make a lot of gifts for her. (Comments about whether or not she'll be able to FIND it again are probably apt; Mom's internet fu is spotty sometimes.) What do you-all think? Also, should I change the top graphic if my mother is going to be looking at this?

Friday, January 20, 2006

In-Progress Dancing

I got an amazing amount of knitting done last night as Inertiacreeps came over and knit with me while she was doing laundry. :) This morning I was also blessed with a sunny corner to take a picture of the sock. I was really excited about how much I got done last night... I'm closing the toe! It was an act of will this morning to leave the sock at home and not take a 'knit break' during the day. :)

In other amusing news, I discovered that I'd put my smaller gauge dpns Someplace Interesting. I managed to find them late last night so wondering didn't keep me awake, but I really need to clean my corners of the room this weekend. I suspect I know what I'm up to on Sunday. (le sigh)

My knitting group has been talking about the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics recently. Any of these readers in for that? I'm trying to decide between Lolita Legs and Grumperina's Jaywalkers. I was thinking that I could challenge myself by doing dual Jaywalkers in the Magic Loop technique, or I could just try and finish them as singletons on the dpns I own. (Yeah, I'd have to order online because noone sells them around here buy a long circular to do Magic Loop, which puts a kink in trying to spend less $... ;) I think I must enjoy nebbishing about what project to do next... I must remember to enjoy my achievments as well as my plans. I certainly plan on enjoying my socks!

Anyway, here's to more in-progress photos!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

More cardi photos

Well, I've been bad about posting, and I have 5 minutes... Ack! Here's a picture of me blocking the short-rowed fronts, with a little help :)

And a picture of the completely assembled raglan, with the two fronts basted together for adding the zipper.

The zipper has since been added, and the sweater wrapped and mailed. I'm hoping for a picture of Mom wearing it to put up in a bit. I'm going to call her tonight. (I hope)

Current project resting in the pretty morning sun this am:

More later! Sorry about this!

Monday, January 09, 2006

knitting recap 2005

Yep, I've got a little time today, as opposed to last week's crunch. So, I'm going to look at my knitting goals from last year. :)

Knitting Goals: (Yes, this is the 'reduced' list. This is in some rough chronology of deadline.)
* Finish current project of Gypsy's baby blanket. (Amelia is due in April, but I want to work on other things.)
* Mary's Christmas Hat IOU (I will put off Amelia for this one.)
* Finish Elizabeth Zimmerman's pi shawl that I've started. (The lovely red vareigated and the Addi Turbos make this currently addictive.)
* Mom's scarf requests.
* Give Mom the sweater she asked for for Christmas. (This is the epic project for 2005.)
* Make myself the Beaverslide Hogwarts scarf I've given away three times now, in the Azkaban pattern.
* Other small misc projects that come up throughout the year.
* If there's any time left, reduce the stash by giving away yarn or knitted small things. After that, consider Knitty's tall garter socks, and do the 'more than circular' shawl from Best of Knitter's Shawl Book.

Amelia blanket... check! Mary's Hat... check! Some of Mom's scarf requests... check!

I did make Mom a sweater for Christmas. Unfortunately, a) it was not the pattern she chose, as that one is still a Major Pain (tm) and b) it wasn't done in time. I did manage to finish the knitting and finishing work on the Ribbi Cardi as of New Year's Eve. I just have to sew in the zipper. (Obtaining said zipper was my albatross. However, now I HAVE the zipper, so I will work on basting that sucker in tonight and either hand sewing it in or seeing if dontcallmemolly has packed her sewing machine yet. ;)

The pi shawl was interrupted twice by yarn shortages. Once I ripped and re-did the fringe, because I'd done the pattern wrong and there was no way I'd get all the way around the circle with the yarn I had. The second (fixed) time I ran out anyway and had to order more from The Fold. (I'd HAD it at that point.) However, the pi shawl is finished now (yaaay!) and I need to figure out a way to block it. Any reccomendations on blocking superwash merino would be welcome.

I started the Beaverslide scarf and then got irritated with it due to pattern/yarn weight issues. I'm going to have to tinker with that and see what can change, but I do want my own Beaverslide scarf.

I did do some stash reduction this year, but I probably did an equal amount of stash enhancement, so we'll call it a draw. :) With the exception of Mom's Christmas sweater, I did meet all my Christmas goals, which was a big success for me this year. :)

What do I have on the needles now?

Mom's Ribbi Cardi - Zipper me, baby!

Pot Holders - I found out while at my mother's house that she's gone and cremated most of the pot holders I've given her. (This made the Christmas cookie requests a bit irksome. At least I only burned myself once.) I made two blue ones for my little brother for his birthday, and I'm making a few more green ones for Mom for ValDay. (A couple might find their way into the sweater box.) I've been making these out of stash Lion Brand Bulky Kitchen Cotton, held double. I can crank out a pot holder in very short time but then I need to stop and do something else for a while as my hands hurt.

Knit Pick's Dancing Twisted Rib Socks - I got some Dancing (Jig colorway) for my birthday, and while I was at my mother's I didn't want to give away her surprise, so I worked on the Dancing socks. I've got about 4" so far into the leg bit. (They're top down.) As these are my first pair on size 0 needles, they're going a bit slowly but I'm pleased with how they're turning out. (Pattern free from the Knit Picks website.)

The Dancing Vines lace scarf. I put that down for Christmas knitting and I suppose I really ought to find it. :)

That Beaverslide scarf is taunting me. I must finish it this year.

So, what are the knitting goals for this year?

* Finish above cast-on projects.
* Figure out Something To Make out of the Scads of Christmas Acrylic that can't be worn on the body. I've got 1 200yd skein in each of eight Christmas colors, so if they're socks they'd better be darn small. (to wit, Herrschners's brand Peacock Christmas Traditions and Victorian Christmas.) I've been thinking wreath, but I'm not sure how to go about that.
* Decide if I *really* want to do that evil cabled sweater for Mom. Hrrrm.
* Make one of the sock patterns from Knitting on the Road. I'm thinking Conwy in one of the Sock Landscapes I got for my birthday.
* Use up some of the Lion Cotton stash, possibly by making myself a Shapely Tank top out of the shaded blues. This will involve some design work, but I think it'd be a quick knit once the math is dealt with. (The math shouldn't be too too bad anyway, since I had such success with the boob short rows once before. :)
* Send Mom a good deal of the scarf yarn stash.
* block the Pi Shawl, and decide for real if I want to make the Wool Peddlar's Shawl from Folk Shawls. (Esp since I have a fair bit of Cranberry wool left over from Mom's Ribbi Cardi.)
* When I get bitten by the felting bug, make more kitty beds. :)

Not too many knitting goals, since this year will hopefully be the year that the science takes off. I know the DH has been encouraging me to read more and write more as well. I've been a reading fiend over the last couple weeks. :)

I guess I'm being more of a Bad-Ass Knitter, knitting what I want, when I want. :)