Wednesday, January 31, 2007


See those 3 items on the right sidebar under UFO's? I hate them. Why are they there then? Because I don't want to feel like I've wasted yarn money, so maybe if I have a list of UFO's to look at, I may get off my butt & deal with the problem. I've decided to tackle them one at a time by either finishing them or completely frogging them & doing something else with the yarn until there's hopefully nothing ever in the UFO list.

I've decided to first attack the Felted Slippers (Curiously Clever Clogs). These clogs aren't Curious or Clever but actually Confusing & Contemptible. That's right! These are the Confusing Contemptible Clogs!!

Since I belong to the Curiously Clever Clogs KAL, and most of those members seem to also have issues with the pattern, I've decided that the only source of help will probably be at the Stitch Diva Studios booth at Stitches West . Hopefully someone in their booth has knit these & can help me. I've had this in the UFO list for awhile & I'm just not going to let a $7 felted slipper pattern go to waste. I also noticed that there's a Knit Doctor at Stitches West as well, so if I can't get help at the Stitch Diva booth, may the Dr can help me!

On a side note, you may want to check out my favorite jewelry designer at her etsy shop named Twisted Lily Designs. She just uploaded some new jewelry today & it's beautiful! Of course a lot of the best pieces have already sold, but there's still some amazing pieces remaining. In fact, if I had more money, lily would be mine! She's also got a great blog that includes knitting that I absolutely adore!!

One last thing, If you commented on my blog & you didn't hear a personal response back from me, it's because I don't have your email address. Blogger is a hit/miss kind of thing with that so if you can leave me your email address next time, that would be great! THANKS to all of you for the comments on my socks. I guess I should re-title my last blog post to "Beautifully Black".

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Beautifully Boring

My 2nd pair of socks for 2007 are definitely a boring non-color, but I love them anyway. And why would I love these boring black socks? Well ... not only was I able to convert the pattern to toe-up all by myself, but the 8-row pattern repeat was ultra-simple to memorize AND these socks fit like a glove!

Pattern: Cable Twist Socks

Pattern Source: Hello Yarn

Yarn: KnitPicks Gloss; Colorway: Black (2) skeins

Needles: KnitPicks Circular (2) Size 1 US

Modifications: I knit this from the toe-up using Judy's magic cast on and increasing until I reached 56 total stitches. I changed the pattern stitch on the foot to include a P2 at the beginning of each row so that there were 30 stitches included in the pattern stitch (on the foot section only) instead of 28. I was concerned that 56 stitches wouldn't fit over my fat legs, so I worked the heel flap & ankle setup round until I had 33 stitches on that section so that when I joined it with the original 30 stitches on the foot, I ended up with a total of 63 stitches. Confused? So am I! That's why I took meticulous notes with scribbling here, there & everywhere.

Notes: I really do like the KnitPicks Gloss yarn because it's nice to work with & is very affordable. The only thing I didn't like though was my color choice because unless you have excellent lighting, working in dark colors on such small needles can be tricky! I really enjoyed the pattern stitch & that it was simple to memorize & gave a simple elegance to the finished socks. I will DEFINITELY knit this pattern again!

Completed: January 2007

Did anyone notice that Blue Moon Fiber Arts has redone their website and added new yarn types? I was at Judy's blog admiring her newly started socks in the Rooster Rock colorway from Socks That Rock. Of course it made me click on the Socks That Rock link that she gave & I spied the January One colorway. Of course I clicked on that link too & noticed more yarn choices in that colorway. I knew they had they 100% Superwash Merino in lightweight, mediumweight, and heavyweight, but there were also 3 other choices:
  • Silkmo: (64% Kid Mohair / 20% Mulberry Silk / 16% Nylon) laceweight 794 yards
  • Geisha: (70 Kid Mohair/ 20% Mulberry Silk/ 10% Nylon) sportweight 990 yards
  • Seduction: (50% Merino / 50% Tencel) 400 yards
You know what this means? When I'm at Stitches West 2007, I'm going to have a horrible time not spending all our food budget money at their booth! CURSES!!!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Scarves, Scarves

First of all, let me say that I should've posted about this FO the first week of January when I could have had it finished. And in all truth it was finished except for the blocking. So when I removed the last few stitches from the needles & bound off, I stuffed it into a ziploc bag where it spent over two weeks suffocating & gasping for air!

And why?

... because I was dreading the blocking. Sad, pathetic, and all true!

Thankfully I came to my senses & spent some time huddled over a bed layered with two beach towels, a tape measure, a container of pins, and the scarf which was painstakingly pulled & poked at until it submitted.

Pattern: Argosy by Vyvyan Neel

Pattern Source: Winter 2006 issue

Yarn: Rowan Tapestry (70% wool, 30% soybean); colorway Pot Pourri

Needles: KnitPicks Options size 6 US

Notes: Since I couldn't get the Noro Silk Garden at my LYS in any decent colorways, I opted to use the Rowan Tapestry. It was wonderful to work although I would have preferred if it had striped in the same way that the Noro does with larger color blocks & more color changes. The only part I disliked about this was blocking. I'm sure the lace blocking wires would've helped me keep the points straighter, but I just couldn't justify the expense right now so I sufferred through with the tape measure & the pins... UGGH!

Today you can find me at the post office to finally mail the scarf I knit for the Red Scarf Project 2007. I posted about it originally here when my fat self modeled it, but because it couldn't be mailed until January, (and I had to wait for payday) it's getting one last mention on my blog before it's on it's way!

Goodbye red scarf. May you keep a college student warm enough to get through the rest of the school year.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Non-Knitters & Socks

I can't quite recall how the conversation started, but at some point I realized that I was being teased for being a knitter.

THEM: "You said you're traveling to Santa Clara next month ... why?"
ME: "I'm attending a knitting conference."
THEM: (giggling & laughing) "Oh, so you're going to be sitting around knitting with a bunch of old ladies!" (laughing continues with an occasional snort or two)
ME: "Not really. I'm actually taking a class & then I'll probably go to the conference center to do a bit of shopping for new yarn and projects & I'm sure I may even meet a knitter or two."
THEM: "What's the class about?"
ME: "I believe it's going to teach me how to take a pattern I like & yarn that I like & incorporate the two so that my finished object not only looks correct, but fits!"
THEM: "Oh." (long awkward pause) "So what do you knit?"
ME: "Mainly socks, but I occasionally knit other items as well."
THEM: (giggling starts up again) "Don't you realize you can buy socks at the store?" (hysterical laughter begins & continues for longer than it should)
ME: (they just aren't going to get this are they?) "So how long of a drive is this?"

This conversation took place amongst 3 non-knitters during a car ride. The car ride was only supposed to take an hour, but trying to explain my love of knitting, knit blogging & such to 3 non-knitters made the trip seem endless. The next day I was with my aunt (one of the non-knitting car people) and I decided to show her some of the completed socks I've knit.

HER: "WOW! Those are incredible! I want to learn to knit those."
ME: (shall I remind her now of all the teasing from the car ride?) "You may want to start with something a little less complicated."
HER: "Well I learned to knit when I was younger, so I'm sure I could knit socks".
ME: "Wouldn't you rather start with a hat?"
HER: "Oh no, hats are boring, but I could definitely see myself knitting socks."
ME: "Well I did teach 'lil sis to knit socks, but only after she made a few dishcloths and a hat first."
HER: "Why would I want to knit a dishcloth? Nobody uses them anyway. I mean you give someone a dishcloth & they say 'thanks' but then they're thinking 'what the hell am I supposed to do with this?'"
ME: (recalling that I gave her a Mason-Dixon ballband dishcloth at my last visit) "Well some people use them to wash their dishes."

*The socks pictured are the Cable Twist Socks pattern from Hello Yarn in KnitPicks Gloss

Friday, January 19, 2007

Monkey Feet

Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A.
Source: Winter 2006
Yarn: Cherry Blossom Fibers handpainted merino sock yarn in Noblesse colorway
Needles: KnitPicks Circular Size 1 US
Modifications: I knit both socks at the same time from the toe up on two circular needles.
Notes: I personally believe this yarn doesn't work well with this pattern. Don't get me wrong, I really love the yarn and the pattern, but the yarn doesn't show off the beauty of the pattern & the pattern definitely doesn't show off the beauty of the yarn! I think the best part of knitting these was finally feeling like I'm getting the hang of knitting socks from the toe up. I know the best part is that I don't ever worry about running out of yarn anymore!

I feel like such a "joiner". I guess I may have needed something to motivate me in my fitness endeavors, so I joined Runagogo. By April 1st I have to run, jog, walk, swim, or whatever 100 miles. It sounds like a lot, but really, if you started the program January 1st, it’s only 3 miles a week. I can do that! Go ahead, click on the link, you know you should!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Brother & Baby Hats

When my baby brother was about a year old, my mothers friend & neighbor knit my brother a ribbed knit pea cap that he LOVED. Really, he loved that hat & wore it everywhere, but when he was about 4 years old, the hat came up missing & I believe my brother has been devastated ever since.

I got the brilliant idea one day that I should knit my brother's 9 month old son a hat that looked exactly like my brothers hat that he lost. So ever since the end of August, I've been searching for the perfect yarn. Of course I didn't want it to be 100% acrylic like the original hat, but I did need something completely washable. I was able to find some washable wool, but I could never find it in the exact colors, but still I kept looking. Finally.... on December 9th, I spotted the perfect colors at a LYS & low & behold it was a wool blend that was washable! EUREKA!! I cast on immediately only to find that the hat seemed a bit too big, but I kept going. The entire time I just KNEW the hat was going to be too large but I just kept knitting it (of course). When I finally finished the hat I put it on DH's head and it fit. OOPS! Thank goodness these were large skeins of yarn because I cast on for another hat in a smaller size. When all was said & done, I had two hats -- one for my brother & one for his son.

Pattern: Ribbed Pea Cap (2x2 rib knit)
Yarn: Plymouth Yarns Encore
Needles: Clover Bamboo size 7 US (circular & dpns)
Notes: For my brothers hat I cast on 80 stitches & for my nephews hat I cast on 60 stitches. That kid has a HUGE head. I'll probably be making another one of these for him for next year!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

First FO 2007

The Malabrigo Shifting Sands Scarf is complete and ready to keep me warm when I leave for Oregon today!
Pattern: Shifting Sands by Grumperina

Yarn: Malabrigo worsted in Stonechat

Needles: KnitPicks Options size 7US

Notes: The yarn was a Christmas gift from 'lil sis. It was two skeins of PURE HEAVEN. It's the softest yarn I've knit with thus far & I'll definitely purchase more in the future. The pattern was easy to memorize & I did the cables without using a cable needle. This is one of the more ingenious things I think I've learned & I highly recommend it. Once you get the hang of it ... it's so easy you'll wonder why you ever used a cable needle!

For Christmas my mother decide to attempt to surprise me with an item I've been requesting for a year .. the FoodSaver. Unfortunately for her though, DH had also been listening to my requests as well & bought one for me as well for Christmas. My mother was truly disappointed, until I told her that I would also REALLY like an item that would help me out with my knitting.

Yesterday an extremely tall package was waiting for me delivered by Mr. Mailman. Upon opening it I uncovered the most beautiful thing ... a new Glimakra swift. I located a vendor relatively close in distance to me that offered free priority shipping, so I ordered the swift on Tuesday and it arrived on Thursday in mint condition.

Belated Christmas gifts ROCK!

I'm catching a flight out of LAX to PDX in twelve hours to visit with family in Oregon. I'm intending on packing my laptop & getting in some blogging time, but you never know, so worse case scenario, I'll be back in a week!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What I'm Working On Wednesday

What in the world possessed me to pick up a pair of size 2 circulars to knit a pair of socks? Wouldn't you think that by my 11th pair, I'd realize that for my foot & with this type of sock yarn, I'd need size 1? The photo isn't correct though, it should show you that there are TWO socks in that state, not just one. In order to never experience SSS, I have to knit my socks at the same time. It's really a great thing until you mess up and then it's a .... (BLEEP)!!!

By the way, the pattern is Monkey & the yarn is Cherry Blossom Fibers. So far, I love the yarn & I like the pattern. This is my first attempt at converting a pattern to toe-up & Judy's Magic Cast On and her Tangled Up In Blue sock pattern are helping immensely!

The other day, I was looking at photos from the Soaring Eagles Project and she posted a link to Kate's blog saying that she needed some hats. I clicked on the link & the post says that the Children's Hospital has a ward of 10-16 year olds who are undergoing radiation and chemo for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses who need some hats. Not just any hats though, they are specifically requesting fun fur hats. For whatever reason, when I first learned to knit in the winter of 2005, I knit these seven fun fur caps from a Lion Brand Chemo hat pattern & then put them away in a container & forgot about them. Reading Kate's post reminded me of them & now they'll be mailed off to some deserving kids. I can't believe they want them, but I'm thrilled that they do!

As far as current knitting projects go, the Shifting Sands Scarf in the Malabrigo is complete, the Argosy Scarf is ready for blocking, the We Call Them Pirates Hat needs a lining, the Fake Isle Hat needs felting, the Spartan Pullover sweater needs re-blocking, and the Forbes Forest scarf is on hold until I figure out if I want to rip HALF of it back. Somehow I ended up switching needle sizes halfway through the project & since it's taken painfully long to knit it, I really don't want to re-knit it. Unfortunately the gauge change is quite noticeable, so I'm at a standstill for now.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

To My Baby Sister


Is it wrong to publicly announce that you're 30 today? Since there's so many things I would like to give you for your birthday, and because I'm VERY undecided on which item is best, I'm giving you four choices:

Door #1: One-year subscription to Interweave Knits Magazine

Door #2: Gift Certificate for $20 to or

Door #3: One skein of Socks That Rock lightweight or mediumweight in your color choice

Door #4: Woodland Gloss Leaves Socks and Stitch Markers (still in process)

At Christmas I was going to leave the socks from door #4 at your home for you & then mail the stitch markers to you, but since the socks weren't wrapped, I opted to take them home and mail everything at the same time. Unfortunately, the stitch markers have been giving me "issues", so they didn't get completed in time to get in the mail with the socks and like an idiot, I mailed nothing. Since they aren't finished, and since I don't know when they will be (because I'm stitch marker impaired), I was thinking you may just prefer magazines, or yummy sock yarn, or something like that. There may even be people who comment in the next few days leaving you suggestions on which door to select just in case you're having a difficult time choosing.

I think you'll find it no surprise that you were my favorite sibling growing up. I believe this is because you seemed to be always happy, very quiet, and extremely helpful. You really haven't changed a bit! I love you with all of my heart & even though we're more than 600 miles apart, I feel closer to you now than ever! Thanks for being my sister! Happy Birthday!