2 years, 5 months, 11 days

Did you ever read the Wayside School books as a kid?  They were some of my favorite books when I was in the 3rd grade.  One of the stories features a girl who draws pictures really fast, faster than everyone in the class.  Sadly, a girl who drew slower always got more praise, even though she produced fewer pictures.  Complaining to the teacher about never getting praised, the teacher explained to her that when you take your time to produce something, it usually turns out better than something that’s been dashed-off with little thought–this is why master painters sometimes devote years of their life to a single work.  Leaving to go home for the day, the girl said she would draw a picture of a cat.  The teacher said he’d be glad to see it the next day.  The girl replied that this would be her masterpiece and she wouldn’t even be finished with one whisker.

Upon finishing a pair of socks that have been on the needles for… 2 years, 5 months, 11 days quite a while… That old story popped into my head.  I had taken… 2 years, 5 months, 11 days much longer than average… to knit a project that a normal person could finish in a few weeks (and a fast knitter could finish in under a week.)  I certainly wouldn’t call them a knitting masterpiece, but they’re not bad.

IMG_0940

The pattern is Small Capitals by Charlene Schurch from the Sensational Knitted Socks book.  The book is great.  It’s basically a recipe book.  It shows you about 100 different swatches.  You pick the one you want.  Then the book gives you instructions for a bunch of different gauges/sizes so you can use pretty much any weight of yarn and come up with the right size.

Here is a close up of the pattern.  It’s a 12 stitch 8 row repeat and I was never really able to memorize the pattern (which may have been why these were left unworked for so long… I had to have the pattern with me at all times.)

IMG_0953

(You can also see from the picture that the heel is a little baggy… That’s a product of the 12 stitch repeat, not as easy to size because you can’t just take out a repeat or two like you can with a 4 or 6 stitch repeat.)  The yarn I used is Noro Kureyon Sock.  The yarn is everything that the worsted Kureyon is–bold colors, knots that lead to colors in a completely different part in the color repeat, vegetable matter, and a very scratchy rustic feel.

IMG_0946

Normally I would never pair a color changing yarn with a texture/lace pattern but the very long color repeats of the Noro allow the pattern to show up anyway.  I love the way these socks look.  To me they look like scales.  Even though the yarn is scratchy rustic they are nice and warm (we still haven’t crawled out of the 50s here in Portland) and my feet really aren’t that sensitive to the yarn.  I’m glad I knit these socks, I think they look great, but I will never knit this pattern again.  Ever.

IMG_0937

(Yes, that is a dress with pockets.  Most awesome article of clothing ever.  I want an entire wardrobe of them.)

WIPs march of shame (part one)

Over the next few posts I plan to show you all (nine!) WIPs that I’m currently “working” on. Hopefully getting they all out in the open will shame me into to finishing some of them. I have told myself that I cannot cast on for a new project until I finish two WIPs… we’ll see if it ends up being productive.

I figured I should start with the oldest WIPs first and just get all the shame out on the table from the beginning.

These socks were started November 4th, 2008. This means that I have been working on these for over a year and a half.

IMG_0435

The patter in Charlene Schurch’s Small Capitals from the book Sensational Knitted Socks. The yarn is Noro Kureyon Sock, it is 100% wool so I won’t be able to wash them in the washing machine… maybe not the best choice for socks. I don’t have any idea how I managed to pair this pattern with this yarn. Normally I would never pair a highly textured pattern with a variegated yarn, but I love the way this looks. It reminds me of scales. As you can see, one sock is complete. I’m still on the foot on the other one (they are knit toe-up), I have about three more pattern repeats before I can turn the heel then six repeats before the ribbing. That doesn’t sound like that much, but the repeats go so slowly. I love the way the pattern looks, but it’s not super fun to execute.

The yarn is everything that you would expect of full size Noro… It’s not super soft, it’s got vegetable matter in it, there was at least one knot in the ball that lead to a dramatic color change, and it’s as thin as lace in some place and almost sport-weight in others… but the colors are amazing and the yarn has a fabulous “rustic” feeling.

I hope I can get these done before two years go by, but I can’t really work the pattern and concentrate on other things so I’ll have to steel myself against the boredom and crank out these socks.

STASH!

So I kinda fell off the wagon with the whole, post-at-least-once-a-week thing, but I have good reason. First, I, um, graduated from College!

Photobucket

So now I guess I’m like an adult or something… It’s weird. I’m going straight to law school in the fall though so I’ll have to give that whole real-world deal a rain check.

Before and after graduation I had to pack! Remember those photos of my room I showed you last post? Well, here’s the end result of all my effort:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Given all that, there was not much time for knitting. I finished one of my hope socks on the drive from Wisconsin to New Mexico, but I never get as much knitting done in the car as I think I will. I end up staring out the window or sleeping… Here’s the sock just after it came off the needles.

IMG_0434

Now that I’m down in New Mexico I haven’t had time to knit much because my brother and Andrew are both visiting so I’ve been doing things with them before they go. I managed to frog my market bag back to the beginning of the lace section and knit it back to where it was sans errors. They were starting to multiply at an alarming rate to the point that I couldn’t just ignore them.

Just before I left school I knit a pair of fingerless mitts for one of the women I’ve been working with for the past four years. Like the coffee cozy, it came from a yarn sampler sold by Knit Picks last year. It was called the “Victorian” sampler and it came with one skein of all of their yarn lines that contain cotton and few simple one-skein patterns. The mits are the Victorian Sampler Fingerless Gloves and the yarn is Shine Sport in color Willow. It’s just as soft and nice to work with as the Shine Worsted, I’ll for sure use it again. The pattern was easy to follow but I omitted the picot bind-off because it didn’t look very good in most photos so I did three rows of 1×1 ribbing instead.

IMG_0420

IMG_0419

The reason that this post is called stash is because since I’ve been home this is the first time in a year that my entire stash has all been together in the same place and it’s a bit overwhelming! I decided to go through everything and add it to my Ravelry stash page and it’s working pretty well as a wake-up call. Check it out. And I’m still quite a ways from done… A good 1/3 of my stash is sock yarn… I knit about 3 pairs of socks a year… I can knit socks for the next TEN years and yet every time I walk into an LYS the first place I go is the sock yarn corner… I am now committing myself to no more yarn buying until after Christmas. I’m counting on you all to make sure that happens.

All in all I accomplished a lot life-wise in the past week and a half, but not really much knitting wise…

A New Goal

Alright, so I’ve realized that I’ve done a terrible job of keeping up with this blog. I’m averaging about one post a month and that’s not very good seeing as I knit quite a bit in a month and then I have to have really long posts. And that makes me not blog very often because, when I do blog the posts have to be really long… So I’m breaking the cycle. I’m going to try to post at least once a week, and I’ve decided that Thursday will be the day that I WILL sit down and post. This will also help with the fact that I never seem to have many photos of WIPs, only finished products. So here’s what’s new since Tuesday…

I was so ecstatic after finishing Andrew’s sweater (he didn’t immediately break-up with me by the way) that I went combing the stash for a new exciting project. I really really want to make a Clapotis after seeing one that someone from my knit night made and I have the perfect lace yarn that I could hold double stranded. However, cross-country move June 2009 is rapidly approaching and I have an embarrassing amount of yarn here at school with me. In order to not shrink red-faced in shame when my mom looks in my closet, I decided that it would be wise to work on projects that will use substantial amounts of yarn, especially bulkier yarns… So I resisted the urge to cast on the Clap and cast on this instead:

IMG_0362

I know you can’t tell yet but it’s the climbing vines pullover from Interweave Knits Winter 2008. I’m knitting it out of a discontinued yarn called Pleasure from Berroco. It’s a blend of Angora, Wool, and Nylon. The name says it all. This is the most fantastic yarn I have ever knit with. The yarn isn’t plied it’s corded and it’s heaven. The balls are marked as $13.50 per ball but Andrew bought it for me over the summer at a big clearance sale so it cost him about $4 a ball. Fantastic deal! So I cast this sweater on, got done with the ribbing, got out the needles I needed for the body, set them on the bed, went to get something from the other room, came back, sat down on the bed, and…

IMG_0361

So I ordered another set of needles but they won’t be here until Monday. And, like The Hulk, That Makes Me ANGRY! I got all excited about a new project and now I have to wait. So I’ve been working on this instead:

IMG_0368

It’s the Burger and a Movie Scarf from Never Knit Your Man A Sweater*. I started this way back in the fall when I first got to school as something that I could work on and read at the same time. It’s made with worsted weight Noro Kureyon even thought the pattern calls for Big Noro so my version is a bit lighter than the original, but since I’m moving to warmer climes it should work nicely.

I also have these socks, which I started way back in November. November 4th to be exact. I cast on on election day and worked the toe while Andrew was in some gymnasium voting.

IMG_0367

This is from Sensational Knitted Socks and the pattern is called Small Capitals. The yarn is Noro Kureyon Sock which is very typically Noro in that the colors are awesome, but there are random knots leading to random colors, it’s full of vegetable matter, it’s single ply, it’s think and thin, and it’s a bit scratchy. I like Noro and I expect these things from Noro so I’m not disappointed, but if you don’t like what Noro does in the bigger weights, don’t buy the sock version. I think I went temporarily insane when I picked this pattern for this yarn because I usually never pair textured patterns with yarn that changes color drastically, but in this case I’m glad of my small aneurysm because I’m very happy with how these look–kinda like scales in rainbow colors.

So this post ended up being quite long anyway, but it’s because I dredged up all my WIPs to showcase. Now that you’ve seen them I can only post about what I’ve worked on each week and hopefully have a better record of my knitting for myself and a more exciting blog… We’ll see.

What happened to my life?

Wow… so I kinda fell off the map from September until what is it now… December! I blame my crazy term at school, in which classes and work have been coupled with law school applications… very busy. That does not mean that I haven’t been knitting however. The study washcloths that I blogged about way back in early-September were finished way back in middle-September. Here’s the last four that didn’t appear in my earlier (much earlier) blog post, and then a group shot of them all after they had been washed and the stranding had a chance to even out.







It was a pretty silly project but it was kind of fun and mindless which is what I needed this summer and it was a fun gift for my brother before he went off to college. Strangely my brother demands more knitwear from me than anyone else I know… Though now that it’s getting cold Andrew has been hounding me for some more warm wool socks… The other WIP from my last blog forever ago that is now a FO are my green socks.

These are impossible to photography such that the texture stand out. Really they look very nice. In the picture they’re a bit fuzzy because I wear them almost every week. They have been washed and dried in the machine and they came out just fine… a bit fuzzy but nothing my sweater stone couldn’t handle. The other three WIP from my last post Andrew’s sweater, Swallowtail shawl, and Mom’s socks are all still unfinished… SHHHHH

One last thing from my summer I dyed a really neat sock blank.
This blank was kettle dyed with a base of orange-y/yellow then I laid down cut-outs of leaf shapes that I printed from the internet and used a spray bottle to spray the blank with red and brown. The pattern is only on the top of the blank it didn’t sink through to the bottom.

Since I’ve been at school I’ve completed several projects. I got all my Christmas knitting for Andrew’s family done. For Andrew’s mother there are some waffle-stitch wrist warmers.

These wrist warmers were a project I found when looking for something to do with half a skein of Malabrigo (which is what they’re made from). The only think I don’t know about them is that they’re knit flat and then seamed. If I make them again I’ll knit them in the round.

For Andrew’s Grandma I used the other half skein of Malabrigo to make Tudora from Knitty.

I love this. It’s so warm and snuggly. I want to keep it for myself. I really like that it only takes half a skein to make this project because it means you can buy one skein of luxury yarn and make something really pretty and it’s not that expensive.

For Andrew’s dad there’s Koolhaas.

This is another project that turned out beautifully and that I want to keep for myself. It also took less than one skein of Malabrigo so it’s pretty cheap to make as well. The pattern is pretty tedious. There are some rows where you have to knit 1×1 cables the whole way arround. I cable with a cable needle so it was pretty slow going, took me about one and half weeks of knitting which for a hat seems a bit excessive.

For Andrew’s other grandma there’s Branching Out.

This is made from a Classic Elite yarn called Miracle which is an Alpaca Tencle blend. The yarn is about the softest thing you’ve ever felt. I made the shorter version of the scarf, 27 repeats, and it’s long enough to wrap around my neck twice.

The other small project that I did that I guess is technically gift knitting because I gave it to my brother are these convertible mittens.

The reason I hesitate to call these a gift is because my brother basically demanded them of me. They’re made from Knitpicks Essential a colorway called Dune Twist the color is now discontined which is a shame. These are the Broadstreet Mittens from knitty and they took just over one skein of Essential but my brother had giant man hands. If they were made for someone with normal sized hands they would use one skein. Now that Adam has a pair, Andrew wants some so it looks like I’ll be knitting another pair soon.

Finally, the last thing that I did was to modify the sweater I finised in the spring. The sweater had an A-line body and it kinda made me look pregnant because it poofed out at just the wrong place. Sooo, I steaked it. I sewed safety stitches with my sewing machine then took in the sides. Now it looks much more flattering.

Right now I’m working on a sweater for my mother for her christmas present. Its the Twisted Pullover from More Big Girl Knits and it’s made from Knit Picks Swish Worsted. I have one sleve and I’m about two thirds of the way through the second sleve. I have 19 days… We’ll see. I’ll post pictures after I have some more progress. Thats all for my knitting since the last post… I doesn’t seem like much now that It’s all laid out together but I’ve been really busy with law school applications as well.

Finally (mostly) Back to Normal

Well I’m finally walking again. The Dr. let me start hobbling around on Friday, I’m still pretty slow and a bit shaky but it’s walking and that’s something. All in all I was on the crutches for 7 weeks and needless to say the muscles in my leg (small as they were to begin with) are considerably weaker. The best thing is being able to do things for myself again like get up, get a something to drink, and carry it to the family room all by myself–something that’s difficult to do when both hands are busy with the crutches. It feels really nice to be able to do all the small stuff again. Also, I was able to finally get my camera and take some pictures of what I’ve been working on (again YEAH for free hands!) I wanted to knit Andrew’s sweater for the Ravelry knitting Olympics and I got quite a bit done but not nearly enough to finish in time. In my defense I started reading a book by my favorite (living) author Chuck Palahniuk and then was unable to stop until I’d read four of his books so I basically fell off the face of the world for a week and didn’t get any knitting done. With those extra six days I could have come really close. Here’s how far I got:


The pattern is just called “Unisex Irish Pullover.” I found the pattern on Ravelry when looking for something aran like to make. The pattern knits up surprisingly fast, I thought the body would take me forever but it was interesting enough to keep me going round and round. I’m making it from Cascade 220 Heathers in a really sharp brown/maroon color with little flecks of green in it. The body is about 2 inches short of the armpits and the sleeve is about 8” give or take. I converted the pattern to knit in the round. It’s a basic raglan shape so it should be easy to attach the sleeves and finish off… should be. The pattern was also written out completely in words so I got some graph paper and charted it out. The pattern is written so that the two cable panels on the side go the same way they aren’t mirrored. Looking back I wish I had fixed that but that’s just my random picky-ness popping up. Since I didn’t finish for the knitting Olympics the project has had to go on hold since there are some projects for my family that I want to finish up before I head back to school on the 11th (very excited to be heading back by the way!)

The first thing I needed to finish were some slipper socks my dad asked me to make for him. The pattern is from The Little Box of Socks and it’s called the “Double Basket Socks.” It’s a very easy knit/purl Pattern done in DK weight yarn to make nice thick slipper socks. I was initially pretty unhappy that my dad asked me to knit him socks because during the school year I knit him a pair of fingering weight green socks and when I gave them to him he said “I only wear white cotton athletic socks, wool is to scratchy and green doesn’t go with any of my clothes.” Needless to say I was a bit miffed but I let it go and gave them to Andrew who was a very gracious recipient and who wears them frequently. So, I bought The Little Box of Sock and was looking at it at home when my dad came up and started flipping through the cards. He held up the Double Basket pattern and said “These look comfortable, can you make me these for around the house socks? My feet are always cold and some wool socks would be so nice on the tile and hardwood.” I glared at him and of course he had no idea why. When I asked him what color he wanted he didn’t even think about it before he said “Well I really like green, how about that?” Dutiful daughter that I am, I didn’t punch him. I did make him buy the yarn though and since I was placing an order with knitpicks for his yarn I may have added a few balls for myself to the total… After the socks were knit I sewed on some suede slipper pads to the balls and heels of the feet so he won’t fall and crack his head on our slippery floors. I have already seen him wear them around the house so hopefully they will be appreciated.


The next project is a gift for my brother who is starting his freshman year of college this year at Portland State University in Oregon. I found this Pattern on knitty and thought it was cute and quick. They are seven washcloths (think days of the week) 5 say “study” and 2 say “party.” The pattern calls for duplicate stitching the letters but I stranded them on so they’re a bit more secure. It’s pretty easy except that because it’s a flat pattern I have to strand on the purl side as well. It confused me at first but I’m much better now. They’re a bit wobbly as of right now but after I get them wet and let the fibers relax they should square up. I have three done and am about 1/3 of the way done with another. I need to finish by the 10th which shouldn’t be that big of a stretch as it only takes about 3 and 1/2 hours to go from start to finish on each one. These are the three I have finished so far:


 

Way before the knitting Olympics I started the extremely popular Swallowtail shawl in some beautiful Malabrigo yarn but stopped for the Olympics then for the family knitting so I haven’t picked it up in a while. It’s took me quite a while to get used to the fine yarn. I didn’t think it would be that hard because I’m used to fingering weight yarn for socks and stuff, but the lace yarn just feels so fragile I have to remember that it’s OK to handle it. I’ve only finished 4 of the 15 repeats for the body of the shawl so I’ve got quite a ways to go. It’s very hard to photograph this yarn the color almost never comes out right but it’s a beautiful semi-solid golden color that screams fall. I love it:


Another family knitting project (that will probably not get done before I go back to school) is a pair of socks for my mom. At the beginning of the summer my mom said she really wanted to learn how to knit socks so I dug up an old ball of lion brand magic strip yarn and two circular needles and started to show her how to knit toe-up socks. She didn’t even get past the toe increases before she decided she didn’t like it and asked if I would finish them for her. Here’s how far she got, I haven’t had a chance to work on them but it’s one more WIP.


This is probably my longest running WIP. I started these socks for myself during the school year but have kept putting them on hold to work on other projects. These are the infamous green socks that I’ve mentioned several times before. I have one sock finished I’m I’m working down the leg of the second one. The yarn is Trekking Pro Natura and the pattern is “garter rib” from the Sensational Knitted Socks book. I couldn’t get a good picture of the pattern but for how simple it is it looks very nice.