Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Monkey FO!

Mark them as an FO for 2007! Monkeys are done, blocked and ready to ship off to a family friend. I seem to gift my socks alot. I had intended to keep these for myself, but figure I've tons of sock yarn in the stash and the family friend had quietly recommended a pair. So it is done.

The Monkey pattern is lovely, even though I had a tough patch in the second sock. It was my attention problem, or lack thereof, not the pattern! Be sure to check it out. Here's a close up.

Pattern: Monkey from Knitty Winter 2006
Yarn: 1 skein Austermann Colorway holz (13)
Needles: Crystal Palace DPNS Size 2
Mods: Used Eye of the Partridge pattern for heel flap and Alina's Anatomical Toes from Blue Moon Fibers
Started: January 8, 2007
Finished: January 30, 2007

Friday, January 26, 2007

Monkey Continues..

Quick question, does anyone know how to RESPOND to comments?? They get emailed to me and the are from ''?? So how do you respond? Help! :)
Now on to Knitting..

Yes the Monkeys go on and on and..

You get the point. I've no idea what is different with my mindset while I knit the second sock, but I have mucked up the pattern repeatedly. As in having to frog completely, frog to the rib, frog back one lace repeat (2 times). What the hell??? The first go around was so lovely and easy and gratifiying. This is the ultimate SSS (second sock syndrome) I guess.

I was listening to one of the many podcasts I've subscribed to. I think this one was the Knitting News Cast. And I finally GOT something. Something I'd never understood before because I'd never knit lace so I hadn't wrapped my mind around it.

Life Lines.

Doh. With Monkey I SO get it. You thread a piece of yarn through a row of stitches that you could rip back to if you had to and knit on. Then if you do bif, you don't have to yank it back to the beginning, only back to say the start of the last repeat. That's why I've been having problems with Monkey, I blow the repeat and then trying to frog only a small amount of fingering yarn in a quasi-lace pattern (uses decreases and yo's and 2 yo's) forget it. Just go buy a damn pair of socks. Ugh. At least I wish I could, but damn it I will NOT be beaten by yarn!

Here's my ad for podcasts, which is cool since the Yarn Harlot was mentioning them too. You don't have to have an ipod. You can listen to them on your computer. Great stuff for the mind while you knit!! Anyway here are the ones I currently listen to.

Ready, Set, Knit!
This is the WEBS Yarnstore Podcast. Lots of good info on the yarn industry and trends.

Knitting News Cast
Great Tips and Up to date News

Nice relaxing

And then because I'm a geek.

MuggleCast Newscast
Podcase about Harry Potter.

I bought myself yet another little yarn toy. Yarn bras. I had seen a friend with one over a year ago and thought 'Ooooh must get'. Well I did and have to admit I'm disappointed. They really only cover skeins, not hanks that have been put into a pancake. So I'm irritated. They will most likely work for sock yarn. I have the Monkey yarn in it right now. Oh well, it was only $4 for 4 of them.

I searched online for alternatives and found there is a pattern for one in Lily Chin's Urban Knitter but I have no idea what it looks like! Anyone know? Or have other suggestions? I really dislike using Ziplock bags. Don't know why, but I do..maybe it's because I like to be a able to touch the yarn or something and the plastic bugs me. Regardless, those are out for me, but I'd like something to help keep the outside wound. A rubber band would be too tough on the yarn... hmmm..ideas?

I had a comment asking about the color of Malabrigo. Sorry about leaving that out! I have Verdeazul, color 86, it's one of the last colors on the page. I can't find it at the Malabrigo site so I'm guessing they no longer make it. It's amazing from navy to teal...beautiful stuff.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Knitty Update

So my birthday is in Feb and my great Mom bought me one of my long lusted after toys! A ball winder! Woohooo. I now have the pair. A swift and a winder, life is great. Of course I had to break it in with something worthy!

Sorry about the bad the photo/camera/user error !

Yum, absolute yum. And in a cake!! Woohoo! I'm also thrilled I managed to get a deal on my swfit and winder. I bought the winder from Jo-Ann's online for $30 with S&H and then the Royal Ball Winder for $36 at a local LYS. Gotta love supporting your local business people!!

(again sorry for the cruddy night fake light)
I started working on the 2nd Monkey only to wipe out horribly. I was chugging along, watching 24 (my major mistake) and didn't even make it through the 1st pattern repeat before having to frog back to the rib. Then my eye fell on the nicely caked Malabrigo which I knew I wanted to make into a Shifting Sands scarf. Didn't have a pair of 9 needles. Can you imagine?? There are actually a pair of needles I do NOT own. So off I zoomed to Jo-Ann's to grab some with a 40% coupon.

While I was there, I saw that Fun Fur was marked down to $1 (ah the fast fall of the novelty yarn). I grabbed 2 balls to do a bit of charity knitting. Chemo caps for Children's in Boston. Knitters Unite!

I gave Shifting Sands a shot, and wasn't even remotely focused enough and ended up frogging it 3 times. Ugh. I bounced to the Fun Fur and it's working out. 1 hat down.

Back to Monkey number 2 again for now.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Where do you keep your stash?

I used to keep my stash in the basement in a bin, but no more!

After reading various blogs about taking their stash in hand during 07 and seeing C get shelves for hers, I decided to visit and commune with my stash.

I dug out an old stacking storage unit my husband used in college, from the basement, tossed it in the shower and washed it off with Mr Clean, then my 3 year old helped me dry it off. I found a home for it and proceeded to empty my closet and then my stash bin onto it.

But, imagine this, it's not big enough. So I added 2 baskets as well. I gave up on fitting a sweater WIP on it and slipped that back into the closet. So here it is, in all my glory and guilt.

The basket on the floor is all sock yarns, the basket on the top is all cotton, 1st shelf is wool/wool blends but no superwash, 2nd has some malabrigo, Dale Baby Ull and misc, 3rd shelf has some Lana Grossa my MIL bought for me in Germany as well as some alpaca and a cashmere/wool/silk blend purchased at a Wool Festival, and finally the bottom shelf is varous superwash wool (Wool-Ease mainly) and the sweater kit I bought for myself at Stitches.

Here is the Sweater WIP that has hung out on my needles for over 1/2 a year. I'm just not, well I'm not sure the intended recipient is the right one. (don't ask)

Love the sweater and love the yarn. I have the back and one sleeve done. It's from the Best of Knitters Aran and Celtics. A great book. I'll get back to it some day, I'm sure.

I'm very glad I have my yarn out where I can see it. I'm going to do my best to diminish the stash this year. I personally think it's silly to own so much goodness and not do anything with it. Unlike my husband, I am not a horder, I'm the de-clutterer of the family. It's almost like I can feel the pressure of the yarn waiting to be knit into something lovely. *shrug* Then my husband walks by and says, 'That's not too much'.

Ok onto the current 1/2 an FO. My first Monkey! Again, this pattern is wonderful, though I'm not completely in love with the Austermann Step. I think I like my sock yarn more dense, like STR and Lorna's Laces. THis has more loft.

I did softly block with steam, no pressure and it really helped the pattern relax. I think it looks much better. Here's the before shot. I'm much happier with the after. (above)
The sock is very comfortable. I did the eye of the partridge heel flap and used the Anatomical Toe from the Blue Moon Fiber Pattern.

So now I need to go cast on the right sock!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

FO and a Monkey!

The felted bag for the Guild yarn swap is officially an FO. I'm 95% happy with it. I couldn't find a cord I loved, but this one will do. I also wish the strap was more substantial, but I'll remember that for next time!
I want to make myself one this size. I have a smaller one, but you can NEVER have too many bags, right?
I do like the little touch I did with the blue glass beads. There's one one each side of the bag.

Now that I've finished that, I've been able to spend some time on my 'Monkey's. This is an amazing pattern, easy enough you don't get lost, difficult enough to keep your attention and darn right adorable when done!

I'm really digging the way the colors are coming out. I'll need to block it softly with a bit of steam, but the pattern shows up well when you have it on.
Off to do a heel flap!

Monday, January 8, 2007

Knit On

Yay the bag is in the felting process. As of this moment it's draped over a bucket and drying. Should be ready for grommets in a day or two. No huge rush since the exchange isn't until February.

Here's a shot of it outside to try and get the right colors.

And then a shot of it completely knit up.

That's my 'attempt' at random stripes. How hysterical is that? I didn't realize the 2 red stripes were exactly the same until I'd started on the next purple/blue one. Doh. Oh well. I did an I-Cord strap, but I think it's too tiny. It's 6 stitches and I think I should have done 8 or 10. We'll see what the final item looks like. I might cut off this handle and get some canvas webbing to make a real strap.

Now that the bag is done, I had to move on. I had plenty of things in my stash to choose from, but before that happened, C called. There was a huge sale at one of our LYS. It's all HER fault. (So nice to have someone else to blame for a change.) But sock yarns don't count, right? I know I've heard that somewhere. Anyway here's the sock haul.

I want to do a pair of Jaywalkers and a pair of Monkeys for sure, then I'll make the kidlets a few pairs too. Anyway I went for the monkeys and cast on with yet another of my sock yarns. Austermann's Step with Aloe Vera and Jojoba Oil in colorway 13 or holz (wood). It's very soft and I hear it makes your hands nice while working with it.

The pattern is simple to follow and as always I adore my Crystal Palace DPNs (size 2). There's something about them. They are more sturdy than Clovers but not cold like metal. I tend to hold metal too tightly and end up hurting my hands. These flex slightly and have a good point. My fav needles, but not all that easy to find.

Anyway will let you know how the Bucket bag comes out!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Just me?

Sorry no knitting content, just a simple question!

When you have two small girls, there tends to be a plethora of things pink and frilly lying around. This Christmas our girls received the Fisher-Price Twin Time Dollhouse along with the appropriate dolls. The second I saw the Mommy doll I wondered if I was going crazy. (yaya, already there..)

Who does this look like to you?

One of my least favorite people.

Is it just me?? Or is that incredibly creepy?

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Holiday Haul

I have to say my friends and family are great in helping me support my addiction, I mean habit, no wait HOBBY, yes that's the socially accepted term.

A dear friend gave me a gift cert to the LYS, another gave me a copy of Knit Lit Too (can't wait to delve into that), my SIL gave me Stitch n Bitch Nation, my MIL gave me a pattern and yarn she scored at a Rummage (good yarn and a cute baby jacket pattern) plus Kids' Knits by Lesley Anne Price. It's an adorable book but unfortunately out of print, so I can't share a link. Lots of very cute fair isle items in it. And then the best gift of all from my Mom, cash to fund my Socks that Rock Club! Bought and paid for, can't wait till Feb to get my first package!! Lucky C is doing it along with me, so it should be entertaining at least. :)

I've been moving along on the Bucket Bag. I think I've decided to do random stripes in Fibonacci numbers. Here is it now.

The colors seem to go together really well.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

New Year!

Well the holidays are over, the tree is down and the presents all unwrapped. Whoo. It was fun but it was hectic as usual. I had houseguests and wasn't able to knit much, but as of tomorrow everyone is back to their usual place (school, work, etc) and hopefully I'll be able to knit again.

For Christmas I knit one scarf instead of 13 like I did last year. This one FELT like it was 13, since it was the Harry Potter Gryffindor House Scarf. It was SO much ST ST! But the hubby was the very happy recipient. I still have to do 1/2 the fringe, but since the temps are hovering around 40 degrees, there doesn't seem to be a huge rush!

The current project is another Felted Bucket Bag. My local Knitting Guild is doing a Brown Bag swap. Very cool. Everyone brings in one skein, they are swapped anonymously, the recipient knits anything with the skein and returns it to the owner at a specified date. Feb in this case. The person I'm knitting for had put in a GORGEOUS skein of Mountain Colors 4/8's wool. The colorway is :FLATHEAD CHERRY Deep Reds, Rose, Purples with a splash of Teal Green.

It is so lovely. I'm terrified they won't like what I knit, but what the heck. I'm using 2 colors of complimentary Cascade to make it stretch into a good sized bag. (One of the options - add yarn if you'd like to the single skein)

Anyway here it is in progress! This is the bottom of the bag. I'll use the remainder of the Mountain Colors yarn to edge the top. It will be like my previous Felted Bucket Bag, only with 3 total colors.

Here's a shot from the top.

I've seen lots of folks doing lists etc for the upcoming year. I really only have one thought. Be healthy. Mentally, physically and emotionally. Gee, that's all. Heh. I figure it's enough!

I love the thought of knitting only from your stash from Wendy. But the thought terrifies me. Maybe next year???

I'm signing up for the Socks That Rock Club (thanks C!) and can't wait for it to start. I adore my previous pair and am afraid I'm going to wear them out. They fit perfectly. I've made a handful of socks before, but they never seemed to fit just right. The heel was too long, or the body of the sock too saggy. This pair is PERFECT. Now I just need to make 15 more. ;)