Saturday, June 30, 2007

Question and pictures

Would anyone find these interesting? Or am I just going crazy from the yarn and bead fumes?

Since I'm doing the picture thing:
More stitch markers (with the dowel rods in the background)

The nightie in progress

softness in a skein

{update} Since posting the above, I made the following*:
US size 2 (they are 2.75mm)
US size 1 (they are about 2.25mm)

Wool gathering

Today was a good day - as most of it was spent shopping or knitting (and I finished Iter, bonus).

I went to Lettuce Knit to pick up some of the necessaries for a couple of projects and my HSKS2. I noticed a red in the Euroflax I didn't see before, I think that is what I want to use when I do one for myself. I also picked up some Mini Maiden (half silk, half wool) it is soooo soft. I don't know what I'm going to do with it, I'll probably stash it and then collect a few more in matching colours then maybe do a shawl or some such.

My next stop was Lee Valley, where I got dowel rods to make into needles (and a book on the navy). I am ever so excited to try it, I love the idea of being as involved in the total knitting process as possible so making the tools ranks way up there on the 'how cool is that' scale. [It remains to be seen if I can execute, but I look forward to trying anyway]. BTW: that store is amazing! It was a very dangerous place to go into, I'm terribly lucky I didn't leave with plans for a roll top desk or a boat...

Question: could pen blanks be used to make effective spindle shafts?

Later I went back to Michael's for a few things and hit up Fabricland for bag making supplies - I think ours might be closing. After that I found a few things I still lacked at Zellers.

The rest of the night was knitting- I've finally got started knitting the nightie from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I am very much enjoying it, I'm nearly finished the lace at the bottom for the back. (Which is a good thing since I need to have it done soon, very soon...)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

HSKS Questionnaire

And it begins! My first swap and swap-y (-ish?) stuff.

1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into? Ravenclaw

2. List your favorite double-point needle brands, including size and length. Or would you prefer circulars? um, I hadn't thought about it. I've been using clover bamboo ones and the knitpicks ones of late. I guess I like the bamboo better, but I'm not terribly fussy. I usually use either 2.25mm or 2.75mm (sometimes 3mm) at 6inches long.

3. Would you like to try a new brand needle? If so, which brand? Size? Length? I've been thinking about trying some of the other woods. I like to knit with something between 2.25mm and 2.75mm for socks, and probably 6 inches long.

4. If you are a RAVENCLAW, do you prefer the colors in the film or the book? Do you have a strong preference? I don't have really strong preference, but if pressed I like the movie colours better.

5. Do you have any allergies? Nope (though I may claim tarantulas, liver or squash if cornered)

Monday, June 25, 2007

CHOKE strikes

The Yarn Harlot has described the 'group' called CHOKE (Cultural humiliation of knitters everywhere) and this week I discovered that one of my cousins is a charter member.

First off cousins- I am the oldest in my family (of 7) and of all the cousins (15 total on dad's side). Sam is the next oldest girl (at 18). She is a dear creature with whom I usually get on quite well, so I was surprised to learn that she would align herself with such an organization.

Normally she ignores my knitting, but since that is what most people do I didn't think much of it. But this week we went on a shopping expedition, Sam, two of my sisters and I. My family is used to me knitting, pretty much everywhere, and I think they get as much of a kick out of the strange reactions of bystanders in the mall when I walk by knitting socks and chatting with whomever I'm with as I do. But then we are generally unphased by gawking since it is a fairly standard reaction from people when we tell them either : a. there are 7 of us; b. we were homeschooled; c. that we nicknamed the youngest Bertie after our favourite Wodehouse character, or d. that L. is heading off to the Royal Military College or A. has diabetes and celiacs or I am doing a doctorate in Old Norse.... you get the picture. Sam however was not only phased, she was positively distressed and practically tried to forbid me from it (which as I'm the oldest - and bigger, stronger, and smarter- I'd like to see her actually try).

My aunt was over on the weekend, as we hosted Nonno's 75th birthday celebration, and was laughing about just how stressed Sam was over the whole 'ordeal' of being seen with me knitting in public (BTW - on this trip I only knit while we sat in the food court and then while she tried something on at American Eagle).

All I can say, it that while I fully understood that CHOKE was out there, I never expected it so close to home. I guess it just shows that they are everywhere, that knitter's need to be clam in the face of their bigotry, patient and charitable in our responses, supportive of one another, and appreciative of the non-knitters who support us in the face of such a pervasive antagonism.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Dishcloths and beads

First off: Tomorrow is the last day for sign-ups at the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap so go sign up!

So yesterday I finally got the car and made it to Michaels - which in my humble opinion is generally useless for knitting - but it is not bad for beads and baking stuff and it carries Bernat craft cotton, which most real yarn stores do not carry.

Bernat is wonderful for dishcloths, so I picked up a whack of it, in solids and some matching variegated colours and started making my first Ballband dishcloths from the Mason Dixon Knitting book. I have one done already (well except for weaving in the ends) and another more than half done. I'm thinking I'll now start a Bernat stash for the sake of dishcloths...

But mostly I wanted to get to Michael's for beads and assorted bead related things. For you see, the HSKS kit includes stitch markers and I figured that was the perfect excuse for me to make some. I've never used fancy ones myself - usually just plain jump rings or the little plastic disks, but I'm always game to try something new. And I now have - um- 6 sets of either 6 or 4 markers, and plans for more. I made them in Ravenclaw colours (see previous post about why I'm in Ravenclaw) and Slytherin (because that is my real house) and purple (because my birthstone is amethyst). I have plans for ones in Gryffindor and Huffelpuff colours too, but I need to get back to Michael's first. I'll try to make that trip tonight or on the weekend, and pick up some more stuff because my OC personality has decided this is fun and therefore I need to make dozens and dozens of them.

(fun and pretty)

(and apparently I was having a problem with the focus....)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Socks socks and more... socks

I finished my first knee high! (also my first garment of my own design to be completed - if a sock can be said to be of my design....) It fits and is - amazingly- knee high. Now I need to knit the other one and then I'll do the post pictures and put the pattern into some semblance of sense and post that too. (Writing up patterns = way harder than designing and knitting it in the first place). Unfortunately it is June and the humidity has hit ergo I have little desire to wear socks at all let alone knee highs.

I've also started knitting the Chevron socks from The initial cast on is a bitch, but it seems to be knitting up nicely. I'm using some self patterning blues and white that I had in my stash (the selection of this yarn being inspired by the next section). This is my second toe up sock, the first having been the test knee high (which is why it didn't have a mate). I'm not sure how I feel about this method - I don't think it was the best for me for knee highs -shapely thighs do not accommodate dpns (and I don't have enough circs in small/same sizes to knit them that way). I like top down, but I was stubbornly determined that I would not let the pattern defeat me. So I managed the toe shaping and learned how to make left and right leaning increases in the process. Anyway I'm liking the pattern and since fit beyond the foot is not my issue on this sock I don't think the toe up is going to matter much going forward.

(Here's what the sock looks like:)

And the last socks - I went and signed up for the Hogwart's Sock Kit Swap 2. I heard about it while listening to the SSK podcast (BTW - those things need warning labels the number of KALs etc. that I've wanted to join and yarn/roving to buy is just scary!) I joined, I am excited. I get to make up a package of goodies centered around sock knitting goodness and connect with other knitters. This makes me happier than it ought to, but it's been (and promises to continue to be) a stressy summer so I figured why not have the fun anyway. In order to participate I had to first be sorted, there were 5 quizzes listed on the side bar for that sort of thing, I did them all, I was sorted into all 4 houses!! I went with Ravenclaw, since it won the tie breaker - hence the blue based socks-, but I found it terribly amusing. FYI- if you are interested sign-ups are open until June 21.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

When you can't knit...

you can always listen to someone else talk about it.

As I've been doing a marathon of RA hours I've been listening to knitting podcasts - lots and lots of podcasts.

4 of my favourites are:
*Lime and Violet
*Sticks and Strings
*Knitters Uncensored

Other randomness:
*Check this out, I totally don't have time for it but... (once I hear back I'll post more extensively)
*Also, I heard about Ravelry, I'm now on a waiting list - it looks like fun
*I'm almost to the heel of the first knee high - not sure if it might be a bit too tight...
*I bought Kool-aid, I feel like a 6 year old - so excited, there will be sock yarn dyeing with fruity smells (vs. vinegar-y ones) soon

Monday, June 11, 2007

Knee highs!!

So I spent knit in public day knitting at home :( Though many people saw me doing so, as we were hosting a BBQ for my father's staff.

I finished knitting a test version of a knee high. Since I can't just follow a pattern on one because I have... um... shapely calves... so there is need for modification, but I also have gauge issues so I didn't know how much would be required. Ergo a test sock, which is done and now I know (and knowing is half the battle, Go Joe!!... wait, sorry, channeling my childhood...). I also tried out a couple of pattern options and used up some really really old sock yarn - bought before I understood about the wonder of knitting socks (or much about knitting in general - about oh, 7 years ago), but apparently I had decent taste when set loose in a real yarn store. The test sock, as a result, looks really funny. But it fits and is a sock so, go it!

Things I've learned:
*It is possible to memorize a lace pattern and to understand where to place what
*counting to seven is hard (or can be when also talking to people etc and trying to mentally keep track of rows)
*this merino/silk is really really nice to work with and the pattern is showing up so much better on the natural coloured wool than in the crazy variegated stuff
*writing out the pattern is hard! Trying to explain is so much harder than just doing! (Though working out the math so the pattern centres properly makes things much nicer)

*What does one do with a pattern once it is designed and knit?
*Who does one tell?
*How do you make the world understand how important and brilliant it is that there be a decrease on needle one and an increase on needle three to create a centre for the lace pattern and the decreases while facilitating the cool ribbing pattern on needles 2 and 4?

Now - bed
Tomorrow - Iter (my sock will just have to wait! *sniff*)