Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Paper Crafting

Okay, so tonight I've learned that I can't cut straight, I don't know where the glue is kept in the apartment, and my little laminating machine has not yet been unpacked. I texted the feller to ask if he knew where the glue was, and he pointed me in the absolute right direction. Shortly thereafter, I had lovely care instructions for washing my 100% cotton dishcloths!

I think they came out quite well despite my ... limitations. As soon as I find my laminater, these babies will be ready to go!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Eight Hats in a Pound

I have turned a Caron One Pound Baby skein into a lovely donation for Knitting for Noggins. My mom brought this program, run by the Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock. They specifically asked for larger hats, so I focused mainly on teen or adult hats, though I threw in two smaller ones at the end to use the last of the skein.


I cast on the first of these hats, the Rib-A-Roni (Bottom row, 3rd from the left), on August 27th and finished it the same day. I was was so excited to be knitting for a specific purpose I finished the last hat, the Aviatrix (Bottom row, 4th from the left), September 10th. 1 pound, 2 weeks, 8 hats. Two of them have fun cables (see the owls?), two of them are fairly basic. Two of them have interesting construction techniques (the two on the right) and two of them rely on purl bumps to create the design. There are a couple I would never make again, and a few I want to do again right away.

Luckily, I have another pound in purple. Actually, I knit this during the aforementioned two week period also, but I don't like to brag...much.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Scarf Despair and Sock Satisfaction

I have been wanting to try illusion knitting for a while, and found this great scarf pattern with dragonflies and decided to knit myself a scarf. I already had a few skeins of a pretty dark gray yarn from a sale, and decided to get something to go with it. I picked out a pretty purple. I was a little worried about them not contrasting enough but there wasn't a lighter version for me to go with, so I thought I would just make do. I cast on with the gray and knit up about 16 rows of the pattern. I laid it on the floor in a nice bright natural light...and could see precisely nothing. Well, to be fair, I could see the gray, but not the illusionary dragonfly I was supposed to be getting. Frustrated, I took a picture of the two skeins of yarn and edited it, as is talked about in a wonderful blog post at January One. The two yarns had the same value.  There wasn't enough contrast to them for the illusion to pop out. So I guess I'm going to have to find a lighter gray and try again. The dark gray gets to live on for another project.

Instead, I picked out a pattern that I thought would go well with a (different) solid purple yarn and cast on a new sock with a yarn I have since learned is discontinued. I'm using Pace Step, which I found at a Tuesday Morning (great store!) but I'll never be able to get any more, which is too bad cuz I definitely would if I found it again. I'm doing the pattern Asymmetrical Cables from the book Sock Knitting Master Class even though I am by no means the master of a sock. On the other hand, I think it looks pretty good so far.

Modeled on my hand, which is not as smooth as a leg. Forgive me.
I have, however, discovered a problem with me knitting wool socks for myself. I am not sure when I'm going to wear them. As it is, I pretty much only wear socks that start below my ankle. Chatham told me the point of longer socks was to act as a barrier at the bottom of jeans so that your calf isn't chilly. I pointed out that I've worn ankle socks through four Boston winters. He then told me it wasn't his fault I don't get cold like a normal person. Maybe I should've taken up a different hobby.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Birthday Bash

A friend's daughter turned two at the beginning of August. Now, I know dishcloths aren't the most EXCITING things for a two year old to get, so I also got her a soccer ball.

First, a few less exciting yet still useful dishcloths. I did two of grandma's favorites, one plain, one with seed stitch for the inside portion.
Pattern found here.
An A, for her first name. I really like the dramatic letter in this pattern, and I'm considering making a few more with different letters as an easy gift to have on hand.

Pattern found here.
Her astrological sign! Her momma really likes the zodiac, so I figured she'd like it even if the little one didn't understand it, one person using it would like them.

Pattern found here.
A dinosaur! A brachiosaurus, to be slightly more specific. I just could not resist the pattern once I found it.

Pattern found here.
Same designer, only this time a T Rex. Hope he doesn't eat the friendly herbivore washcloth!

Pattern found here.
A shot of all the picture cloths together. I think they're very well done, and definitely soft enough for a toddler.

I couldn't resist throwing in two for mom as well. She requested an assbutt, and I could hardly NOT oblige.

Pattern found here.
I also threw in her own astrological symbol in a nice bright color.

Pattern found here.
Back to the present! I'm going for ecofriendly, so I'm packaging the soccer ball inside a reusable bag I thought she'd like, then used the dishcloths as a replacement for tissue paper, and slid the card in.

It's all ready to be used in it's new home! The bag is pretty full, and I hope the pretty washcloths are appreciated and used to their fullest.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Return of the Computer

I finally have my computer back! Yay! I lost almost nothing with my hard drive, thanks to a recent backup. Unfortunately, my upcoming blog posts were one of the few things I lost. Plus, I’ve moved! So to celebrate, I discovered a new cone of variegated cotton yarn where I am now, and made a few dishcloths with it. I think it’s my favorite variegated yarn so far!

First, a fun short row cloth that makes a starfish. I modified it a bit, as many others have, by only knitting 5 points. It sewed up just fine, though I think I might need some more practice seaming before I give one of these away. It's a bit messy.
Pattern found here.
 I also modified the Mason Dixon mitered hanging towel to make just a square dishcloth. I think I cast on 66 stitches. It came out to be almost 7.5 inches square.

This is actually the first one cloth I knit, testing the variegated pattern. It's a basic Grandma's Favorite cloth. I am really enamored with this yarn, and I'm considering buying a few more cones of it while I can...

Pattern found here.
Now that my computer has returned to me, I will be able to show you all the things I've been making in the last month. Stay tuned for a birthday gift to a wee girlie turning two!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Picture This!

I've been having some computer related trouble, and finally decided to just post from someone else's computer. Sadly, this is not as easy as it seems. I don't have any photo editing software available, so these pictures have not been condensed and may load slowly. Furthermore, I've given away a few of the cloths, and am very thankful that I uploaded the pictures of them to my Ravelry projects! So a few of these pictures have been stolen from there.

I promised picture dishcloths, and I have a few lovely ones to offer. Let's start off with one that has since gone to live with my mom. It's a watering can and a garden! I am really enamored with the cloth, but it's not something I almost can't make again because it's knit with size 3 needles, which just murders my wrists. Nonetheless, it's purdy and I'm glad I got to make at least the one.
Pattern found here.
Next up, I made this for an aunt who likes wine. The picture isn't the best, and I can't take a new one, but I think you get the gist. I actually ended up liking the actual cloth more than the pictures, so maybe it just doesn't photograph particularly great.
Pattern found here.
Finally, if you're young and impressionable, shield your eyes now! I made an assbutt. Fans of Supernatural will recognize this lovely saying, especially if they share my love of Cas. I'm now making one for a friend.
Pattern found here.
I know my updating has been spotty at best, but I already have three or four more dishcloths made that I haven't shown you here, and I'm working on two shawls as well, so hopefully I can get my computer repaired (*crosses fingers* c'mon be covered by the warranty!!!) and get back on track.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dishcloth Stitch Patterns

I gave away a load of dishcloths over the weekend, so I can finally share them without the potential recipients seeing them in advance. I’ve been experimenting. First, I made a few seed stitch cloths. The red one has a border, and the blue one has the exact same number of stitches without the border. I think I like the way the blue one looks best, but the boy prefers the red, so that didn’t solve much. They’re both nice, and I’d be fine making quite a few more of them because they’re easy to do while watching TV, they’re quick, and they scrub well. 
Bordered pattern found here.
I also tried out the Chinese Waves pattern. Once you get into the swing of the pattern, it’s almost as easy as the seed stitch cloths and they look like something you’d use at a spa. The purple one has been slipped as if to purl and there’s a variegated one just for kicks. I was going to make a white one with stitches slipped knitwise, but I found after about an inch that I hated it. It hasn’t progressed much since then, and I’m considering instead knitting the slipped stitches through the back loop as an alternative way to twist them. I’ll update you when I’m done!
Pattern found here.
I’ve also tried out a basket weave pattern, but wasn’t such a big fan of it. I had a hard time remembering the pattern, for some reason, despite it’s seeming simplicity. I didn’t get a picture of this, and they’ve been given as part of a wedding present already, along with a nice bar of soap wrapped in the following dishcloth.
Pattern found here.
I also did a triangular stitch, which I similarly couldn’t wrap my brain around the pattern. They’re still quite nice, I just am not certain I’ll be doing them on a regular basis.
Pattern found here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Scarf Interlude

I don't know if I've mentioned it here, but I was captivated by the Afternoon Tea shawlette featured in the summer Knitty. I've progressed to the beginning of the first "Branches Lace" section, and it's not going great. I put in a lifeline right before the row of increases, luckily, because I've had to rip back to it twice. The first time I had to get up in the middle of the second pattern row, a bunch of stitches popped off, and there was no way I was going to get them all back on in the proper order. The second was because I messed up the pattern horribly. Now, I'm faced with another yarn over problem. A single, solitary yo is one stitch too early on row 104. I'm just finished row 108. I haven't decided if I'm going to rip back yet or not.

Instead, I threw that shawl in the project bag and cast on for a much simpler lace pattern. It's just a little fan and feathers lace scarf using the leftovers from a honeycomb blanket, and I think it's beautiful!
Pattern found here.
 Here's the Afternoon Tea shawlette, currently too big for me to spread out very well on the needles. I'm also a little disappointed in the way it's pooling. I'm still debating with myself about what to do with it.
Pattern found here.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Short Row Dishcloth

I’ve been busy lately! I was out of town for a wedding, and then I fell and sprained my ankle and spent the next few days mostly in bed reading. I have quite a bit of knitting to catch up on here, but for today I have only a short row dishcloth. I think this is one of my favorite uses of the variegated yarn, because it helps illustrate the different directions so well. I think my next post should be able to talk about the rest of last month’s dishcloth experiments!
Pattern found here.
My only problem with it is the messy way I ended it. It's the upper right corner, and it sticks out a bit from the rest of the cloth. I actually haven't sewn in the ends yet, so I'm hoping to correct for it a little bit before I do so, though I probably won't undo the bind off and reknit it. My boyfriend especially likes it, so I'm considering putting it into rotation in the shower with his other two favorites. I'm definitely making a few more of these!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

First Sock Saga Pt 2

(First part here. It's been longer than I meant to between socks!)

Later that night, I decided to cast on my first sock with some of the yarn. After taking a second look at my pattern, I realized I didn’t have size 5 DPNs. I tried a small swatch in size 6, and didn’t make gauge. Since the pattern gauge was measured without blocking, I ripped it out and knit a new one with size 4s. Also no go. Apparently I was pretty close to this knitter’s gauge. SO. I picked an entirely different pattern. It also called for size 5 DPNs, but my foot was larger than the pattern said AND it was designed to be loose anyway. I cast on with my SRK On Your Toes in the Carousel colorway and began knitting.

I’d picked out the yarn because I thought it was the ugliest in the bag, and I was certainly right! In my head, I kept thinking “knit ugly yellow stitch, knit ugly pink stitch, knit ugly pink stitch, knit ugly yellow stitch” at every turn. Then the stitches were just pink. THEN! Then they were blue and purple. And the colors were wonderful. The wool was springy, a big change from worsted weight cotton or even my worsted weight wool. It was soft. The heel and beginning of the instep was beautiful. Then I got back to the yellow and red. I was disappointed, but I couldn’t resist trying it on and taking a picture.

Pattern found here.
I worked through the yellow and red, and started on the pink. And the pink kept going. After such a short amount of it the last go around, I wasn’t expecting it to be so long but it ended up being a solid inch and a half of the sock foot. I kept pulling more yarn than was strictly necessary out of the center of the ball, hoping to get back to the blue and purple wonderousness. Of course, I was thwarted again. I pulled out the last of the reveal another yellow and pink section! It has the added bonus of being a less bright yellow than before, making it more like dirty dishwater after a particularly oily meal. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. By the time I’d finished the toe, it’d also switched back to the brighter yellow but it’s difficult to see up close, let alone when my foot is down where it normally is.

On the one hand, I’ve made my first sock! There are minor ladder problems that I think I’ll be better able to look out for now that I know how the wool feels when tensioned correctly and I am not a fan of the colorway. The yarn itself is fantastic. I just don’t know who dyed it and thought the yarn should ever be used! Perhaps there are people out there who love these colors. I am just not one of them.

In any case, I cast on my second sock the next day, finished the ribbing, and promptly set it aside to work on a few other things. I decided to go back to it a few days later, but I didn’t like the way it looked thanks to not paying enough attention and ending up with ladders at each end of the three needles. So I ripped it out and started over again. I got to the top of the heel flap and set it aside to make a few things. I finally picked it up again and finished the heel flap and turn, and then finishing the gusset, foot, and toe the next day. So now it’s complete! And it fits pretty well.

I actually like think it turned out much better this time as far as the color repeats are concerned. The heel looks better and I really like that the toe ended up being the blue and purple. On the other hand, they’re fraternal as I suspected. Not by a lot, but by enough to be noticeable. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the rest of the yarn, but I’m pretty sure I have enough to make another set of ankle socks if I want or combine it with another 50 grams of yarn and see if the color works out with an alternating pattern.

There are a few minor problems with them. I need to work on making the gusset decreases tighter, for example, and there are a few other places with minor ladders. On the first one there's a weird large stitch that might be a dropped and wrongly picked up stitch, but I can't quite remember. Even with their mistakes, I am so proud!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Life List Updated

Just a little housekeeping, I’ve updated the Knitter’s Life List to reflect the things I’ve already made and blogged about. Hopefully, I can keep it updated, and I imagine sometimes I will have a lot of them done quickly, and sometimes it will be a while between accomplishments. So far, I have done 10 out of 120 (if I can count right…)! That’s 8% done. Considering I’ve been knitting for less than 5 months, I’d say that’s a pretty darn good amount. I haven’t posted all of them yet, but I’m getting there!

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Just a short update today, I made a pair of slippers for the boy. They came out pretty well, and he's worn them around the house a couple of times despite the rising temperatures. He especially likes the extra padding they provide while doing housework that requires lots of standing, like doing dishes. Normally, his feet ache when he finishes, but this seems to have solved the problem.
Pattern found here.
I've finished several other things, but I can't post pictures as they're gifts and I'm paranoid! This month I'm going to a wedding, with another one next month. Plus, Mother's Day is this Sunday, and I have a few just cuz things as well as an attempt at a bib for a 2 year old since her mother isn't having much luck with commercially available things.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Knitting Wish List

I got The Knitter’s Life List for my birthday, and have compiled a list! As a new knitter, I have a lot of things I haven’t done so my list is quite long. I’m going to post it here as a reference, and I’ll refer back to it as I complete projects! On to the list!

ETA: If the entry is bold, that means I've completed it but have not yet posted about it. If there is a link, that means I've completed it and linked it to the blog post.

0. Find out what the yarn in the basket on the back cover is. I want the entire basket!! (Not sure this can actually be done...)

1. Find color inspiration in quilts, carpets, saris, rusty bridges, old trucks, industrial buildings, paintings, landscapes and gardens, textiles, pottery, butterflies, insects, birds, etc.
2. Buy yarns (and fleece) direct from the source.
3. Collect your experiments with various yarns in a notebook.
4. Hand paint or hand-dye some silk yarn.
6. Knit socks from the toe up, with nicely rounded heels.
7. Recycle an old or secondhand sweater by unraveling it, and knit something new with the yarn.
8. Include care instructions with hand-knit gifts: you’ll find them on the yarn band.
10. Learn to spin.
11. Knit swatches from yarn with different numbers of plies and observe the differences.
12. Learn the intarsia technique.
13. Choose one of your favorite colors and find out what it symbolizes to people in different cultures.
14. Learn to wind a center-pull ball of yarn by hand.
15. Visit a fiber farm.
16. Use these yarns: Wool from at least ten different breeds of sheep, angora, cashmere, mohair, qiviut, bison, yak, alpaca, camel, guanaco, llama, vicuna, bombyx silk, tussah silk, cotton, hemp, linen, bamboo, corn-fiber yarn, metal-wrapped yarn, milk-fiber yarn, paper yarn, ramie, seacell, soy silk, sugarcane-fiber yarn, tencel
17. Designs: Ann Budd, Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne, Debbie Bliss, Jil Eaton, Vivian Hoxbro, Marianne Isager, Kristin Nicholas, Brandon Mably, Kaffe Fassett

18. Start a notebook with your swatches, and jot down what you knit with each one.
19. Take part in a Knit Along.
20. Knit a sweater from the top down.
21. Knit a baby hat.
22. Create a hand-knit toy.
23. Knit a baby blanket.
24. Make some baby booties.
25. Felt a knitted Mobius basket.
26. Make a Christmas stocking for everyone in your family.
27. Knit a hat from the top down.
28. Make a hand-knit cowl.
29. Knit socks — and more socks!
30. Read up on nalbinding.
31. Sign up for a knitting class.
32. Locate the yarn shops within a 50 mile radius of your home, and explore each one.
33. Sign up for a class in one of the “sister” crafts to knitting.

34. Read at least one of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s books.
35. Knit a: sweater with a yoke, pullover, cardigan, set-in sleeves, raglan sleeves, saddle shoulders, scoop or jewel neck, turtleneck, crew neck, V-neck, long sleeves, vest, hoodie, kimono-style sweater, shawl collar, tank top, a gansey, twisted-stitch sweater, a classic Fair Isle design, Aran sweater, stranded Scandinavian pattern in red and white, Bohus, Baby Surprise Jacket.

36. Meet Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.
37. Designs: Cat Bordhi, Melissa Morgan-Oakes, Ann Budd, Charlene Schurch.
38. Knit: argyle, cable motif, lace, an ethnic pattern.
39. Memorize kitchener stitch.
40. Work on ways to avoid laddering.
41. Use the Magic Loop to make socks.
42. Use a picot bind off for toe-up socks.
43. Explore different techniques for turning a heel.

Scarves & Shawls
44. Choose a reversible stitch pattern and knit a scarf.
45. Learn to “read” your knitting.
46. Use a “lifeline” when knitting lace.

47. Knit: watch cap, ski hat with earflaps, ponytail hat, balaclava, klein bottle cap, ski hat with gathered top.

Gloves & Mittens
48. Knit a pair of thrummed mittens.
49. Knit fingerless gloves.
50. Create some lovers’ mittens.

51. Teach someone else to knit when you travel.
52. Look for stitch patterns that don’t stretch and use them for bags or bag straps.

53. Knit a baby blanket.
54. Knit a pair of wool soakers.
55. Knit matching sweaters for a child and his/her doll.

Home Dec
56. Learn about “mathematical knitting”.
57. Knit: an afghan or throw, placemats, napkins, pot holders, dishcloths, bath mat, electronic gadget covers, Christmas tree ornaments.
58. Systematize yarn stash.
59. Collect needles in one place and inventory them.
60. Learn to knit backwards.
61. Find out about “illusion knitting”

Fiber Lover
62. When you’re ready to buy your own spinning wheel, try out a number of different kinds first.
63. Learn to spin.
64. Buy, borrow, or make a hand spindle.
65. Take a spinning class.
66. Learn to weave.

Knitting History
67. Anne Macdonald’s No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting
68. Richard Rutt’s A History of Hand Knitting
69. Susan Strawn’s Knitting America

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Upcoming Projects

I'm afraid I had to take a little bit of time off knitting this week, and only have one dishcloth I can show you. I made it for myself, and I think it came out quite nicely! The picture looks rather blue, but I definitely used the Orchid color from Peaches and Creme, which is a light purple.

Pattern found here.
Today I went around town to various shops and picked up some new yarns. On the left is Serenity sock weight yarn from Hobby Lobby I will be using to make a lovely Afternoon tea shawl. I also picked up a bit of I Love This Cotton (not pictured) because it was on sale and I wanted to see how it does when made into a dishcloth. In the middle is some Red Heart Crochet Cotton size 10 from Wal Mart that I am going to attempt to weave tea towels with. Finally, on the right is some Ella Rae Marl that I am going to make some sort of hat with, I think. This last one I got from Tuesday Morning, which I had been to once years before and did not realize even sold yarn. I found this out from Ravelry, and decided to check it out. Of course, the knitting section (er...endcap on an aisle) consisted mostly of GIANT size straight needles in sets of three or four. I wasn't particularly tempted by any of those, but they had some interesting novelty yarns, as well as the ball I purchased. It was half off! I might go there again in a month or two to see if they have any new items, and if I see one around when I'm in KC or Wichita I'll definitely be stopping to check them out too.

Finally, I also picked up some of the crochet cotton in black and I'm making myself what will basically be an ACE bandage. I started this project because I wanted a very simple project to knit while watching a long T.V. show with subtitles, and also realized that we had no long bandages after banging my ankle on the dishwasher hard enough to need ice. I had no way to hold the ice on or to apply pressure without ice! It's a little too late to help my ankle feel better now, but I might be able to prevent this problem in the future!

Next time I should have a lovely new pattern for you, but I'm not quite done editing it. Pattern has been test knit, pictures have been taken, and the chart is ready to go. I just have to translate that to a written pattern, and proofread and it'll be ready for other's eyes!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Camera Dishcloth Pattern

I seem to be suffering from second sock syndrome, but I have something else for you! I’ve written a pattern! I was searching around for a few things I knew some of my aunts and uncles like to make dishcloths for them and found that there weren’t any good patterns for several of the people I was considering. One of the things I was looking for was something related to photography. I searched around on Ravelry pretty extensively, but couldn’t find much. I did find a very simple chart here that someone used to make a pillow, and decided to modify it to my own liking and came up with this pattern. 

Camera Dishcloth
Materials: 1 ball worsted weight cotton yarn
                Size 7 (4.5mm) needles 

Cast on 37 sts.

Rows 1-4: Knit
Row 5: K3, P31, K3
Row 6 and all even rows: Knit
Row 7: K3, P31, K3
Row 9: K3, P31, K3
Row 11: K3, P3, K25, P3, K3
Row 13: K3, P3, K25, P3, K3
Row 15: K3, P3, K25, P3, K3
Row 17: K3, P3, K10, P5, K10, P3, K3
Row 19: K3, P3, K9, P7, K9, P3, K3
Row 21: K3, P3, K9, P7, K9, P3, K3
Row 23: K3, P3, K9, P7, K9, P3, K3
Row 25: K3, P3, K9, P7, K9, P3, K3
Row 27: K3, P3, K10, P5, K10, P3, K3
Row 29: K3, P3, K25, P3, K3
Row 31: K3, P3, K19, P4, K2, P3, K3
Row 33: K3, P3, K19, P4, K2, P3, K3
Row 35: K3, P3, K25, P3, K3
Row 37: K3, P3, K25, P3, K3
Row 39: K3, P5, K3, P3, K10, P10, K3
Row 41: K3, P11, K9, P11, K3
Row 43: K3, P31, K3
Row 45: K3, P31, K3
Row 47: K3, P31, K3
Row 49-52: Knit

Bind off and weave in ends.

Chart (click to enlarge):

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Housewarming Gift Set

I started out innocently enough. I saw a pattern I knew was perfect for one of my cousins, PLUS it had these adorable bobbles. How on earth could I resist? Honestly, I didn't even try. It turned out to be so excruciatingly cute, I think I'm going to make one for myself. It was a little difficult to photograph because it's been cloudy, but it says "tea" at the bottom and then has a tea cup with cute bobbles as accents.

Pattern found here.
Then, I sent her a Facebook message to get her address, only to find out that she was moving sooner than I'd thought. So I had about a week before she was going to be in her new place and didn't want to risk mailing it so late. I finished blocking the cloth, folded it up, and placed it in a padded bag along with a note. It filled up maybe half the bag. It looked so lonely. SO. I made a coffee cozy because I know this cousin also likes coffee!

Pattern found here.
This is 2x2 rib. Stripes are knit only to hide the purl bumps.
I finished that in a night. I still had a bunch of pink. This pink is something I originally got to make something for a friend. I am not a fan of pink, though working with it on my blue needles was rather pretty. I decided to  make a reusable produce bag. I was looking for something lightweight, so it wouldn't add to the price of something at the register, and so that it would be easy to carry into the store.
Pattern found here.
The ends of the I-cord looks a little funny because I didn't make the knot tight enough, oops!
It's the smallest size because I was now worried about all of it fitting inside the padded bag I'd already addressed. Folding it up was difficult, reminiscent of my fruitless attempts to make a neat bundle out of a fitted sheet. Anyway. I got it all into the bag, which has gone from sad and empty looking to rather stuffed.

I think I'm getting better at this knitting thing. Also, my birthday was the 6th, and I got several lovely books related to knitting to stoke my knitting obsession. I'm almost done with Knitting Rules! by the writer of the Yarn Harlot blog my boyfriend knows I'm obsessed with. I've also looked through The Knitter's Life List and copied down all the different types of yarn for myself, because I've so far only made things with cotton and wool. Of course, to fulfill this list I'll need a job, and I'm not sure when that's going to happen. Oh well. It's good to have dreams.

Friday, April 13, 2012

First Sock Saga Pt 1

To begin making socks, I had grand plans. First, I was going to make a miniature sock, then graduate to a pattern I had that was specifically for “my first socks” then move on to something a little more complicated, because at that point I’d have 3 socks under my belt. Unfortunately, things never work out the way you plan them! I have no pictures of my poor, sad mini sock, but let me tell you about it. I was gung ho when I started. Excited! Of course, I started it the night before the Boy’s spring break visit home which I was accompanying him on.

Undeterred by this minor detail, I stayed up late into the night knitting. In fact, I started late into the night. I cast on with some cheap acrylic yarn I made a kindle case with. I got the ribbing for the cuff done. Then I did the rest if the leg in stockinette. Alright! It was just like knitting other things so far. I even did the heel flap and turn perfectly. I didn’t have any ladders. I was proud. Then I tried to read the instructions for shaping the gusset. I tried to follow these instructions. No dice. I pulled out the ugly, terrible row I’d just made and tried again. Same problem.

I decided a little research was in order, and found a newer, much updated and differently laid out version of the sock. It was much clearer. After the research, I realized exactly how late in the day/early in the morning it was and put it down for the night. The next morning all I had to do to be ready to go was pack a few things, and one of them was my knitting. I decided not to take the mini sock since it was on DPNs and I was worried about how it would travel in my boyfriend’s trunk (I get carsick in his car as it is, and I don’t want to make it worse by trying to knit on the road so I have to stare out the window for most of the trip) and instead packed enough yarn to make a few dishcloths while we were there instead.

When we got back a week later, I had a few other things to do. Eventually, a week or two later, I got back to the mini sock. I created the gusset. I did all the decreases. I was just about to start the foot when I realized something. At some point I had stopped making stockinette and was now knitting reverse stockinette without meaning to. I texted a friend who knits, but we couldn’t figure out how I’d done it. I got mad and started frogging. I frogged right past the place where I’d gotten mixed up and into the heel flap. Instead of slowing down to examine what I’d done wrong or to try to fix it, I ripped out the whole thing. Not my proudest moment.

On the other hand, I made these cute dishcloths and a few other things I'm going to feature as part of two different gift sets. =) First up is Kansas! I modified the pattern a little bit because I didn't think it looked very much like Kansas, and since I'm from and live here I think I get to make my dishcloth pattern look more like my state.
Pattern modified from here.
I also made this Octopus dishcloth. I thought it'd look great in the multicolor blue, but forgot that variegated yarns often get in the way of a pattern instead of enhance it even if it's cute. It's difficult to see in person too, but the pattern is great and I might try it again in another color.
It's an Octopus! Pattern found here.
 Finally, I'd started this and brought it along because I thought I might need some monotonous knitting to do in front of the television. Except that this time we didn't watch a movie or much television. I got bored and switched cables quickly. I think this yarn is cursed. It's the same one I used for my mom's giant flower dishcloth/tea towel Frankenstein. Both of them ended up larger than expected (EVEN THOUGH I read "Cast on 52 stitches" without being phased) and both ended up languishing on a cable in a box for far longer than any of my other WIPs. Maybe I'll finish it during our next Star Trek marathon...
Pattern found here.
While taking that last picture, I noticed I hadn't moved the chair far enough away from the table and had a visitor. Cortez! She really wants to play with the yarn, but only when I try to photograph it. She pretty much leaves it alone if I'm knitting with it or if it's sitting on/next to the couch while I do other things. My knitting notions on the other hand go missing all the time. She loves stitch markers and counters and my plastic darning needle, so I have to be careful to put those away after every use.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I recently found a great sale on sock yarn. To be more specific, I got 10 skeins of SRK’s On Your Toes. 5 solid and 5 self patterning skeins. Here they are for your viewing pleasure: 
Self patterning
I had originally decided to use the self patterning full of pinks and reds on the top left first with a basic sock pattern I’d found. Unfortunately, I didn’t take into account that it required the only size of DPNs I’m missing from sizes 0-7. Size 5 *shakes fist* I will buy you some day! I switched to a different pattern in which my gauge worked with size 6 needles, and all was well. I was more attached to the yarn and pattern combo than I’d expected, and instead decided to pick the one I suspected was the ugliest. I didn’t want to screw up yarn I liked on my first pair of socks. The solids were all immediately eliminated because I have other plans for most of them, as well as two of the self patterning ones. That left three, and I decided I thought that the one with red, yellow, and blue was the least matched set of colors, in the top right.

So far it’s working out to be as bad looking as I thought, and I’ll show it to you as soon as I’m finished with the pair!

I also have plans for several other skeins. I'm seriously considering making a pair of socks for my boy with the two grey skeins, and I think I'm also going to somehow pair up the green solid with the one that has a lot of the same green in the lower right of the self patterning ones. It kinda depends on the pattern. I'm also kinda hoping I'll have some grey left over so I can use it to put some pretty heels and toes on a pair of socks. =)