Friday, September 30, 2005

On the road, knitting

Forgot to post before we left on vacation, but was happily surprised to find our hotel in Green River, Utah has a free wireless connection. This may be a small town, but the Comfort Inn has a hot tub, internets, lots of teevee channels and Ray's Tavern with great microbrews and outstanding steaks!

We are on our way to the Mall of America in Minnesota by way of national parks. We went to Cedar Breaks yesterday and the Arches today. Tomorrow is Rocky Mountain National Park. It will be my 1st time in Colorado.

I'm working on a solid black cardigan that's all stockinette. The front bands and collar will be double knitted. It's a perfect road project. I've got sunlight for working with the black yarn and I don't have to look at my hands to do stockinette, so I'm sightseeing and chatting with my DH. Since Wednesday I've done just about the entire back of the sweater. Hope to cast on the front tonight.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

One down, 23 to go



My 1st GAAA block is done. This is the Levy block, noted as one of the 5 'easiest.' I've done cables before, but not so many concentrated in one area. These were my 1st bobbles.

I was thinking of trying one not indicated as easiest or challenging [which is like the doctor telling you during labor you might feel some discomfort!]. I started reading through some of the stitch machinations such as the Dec 4, and my brain froze. It will be best to just tackle it one row at a time.

We hit the road next week, so the afghan project will be put aside while I work on the mostly st st workshop cardigan and the Sitcom Chic cardigan in red. Nothing mind boggling for car knitting. I think I'll bring along a basic sock, too. Don't want to run out of knitting. Imagine sitting in the car for 4 and 5 hours at a time without a project in hand?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Ugg bootie revisited


Looking at Crazy Aunt Purl's blog and her problem with the Ugg bootie pattern reminded me these were also on my To Do list. I had worked a sample through using some machine washable acrylics last winter. After the 3rd try, I got something I liked then put it all aside since I had no babies to knit for. In the meantime, I snagged some suede Berroco on a good sale, put all the fixin's into a big baggie and stored it with my stash in the cave under the hall stairs.

I took out my annotated pattern and couldn't understand my own notes.... So I did it all over and now hope I can duplicate it for the second bootie.

The thing is just too cute. Too bad if it's a hand wash only item. These are for the 'ooooh' factor, not practicality.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

I'm crazy - and in love


I just got the book, The Great American Aran Afghan, a compilation of all the original articles from Knitter's magazine a few years ago. The blocks are a result of a contest, sort of like my 1st sock book, Socks, Socks, Socks. It includes instructions for 24 12" x 12" squares to make an afghan and pillows. Since my 'other' love is 6'3", rather than use 20 squares for the afghan and 4 for accent pillows, I plan to add another row of squares to make it longer. 4 feet wide and 6 feet long, plus border.... I am NOT crazy!!!

The pattern called for 20 skeins of Plymouth Encore, a 75% acrylic, 25% wool blend with 200 yards per skein. I was thinking 100% wool, but figured it was going to be a monster sized blankie and utter madness to hand wash. I lucked out at my 2 local JoAnn's. Between them, I got 22 skeins of Wool-Ease, all the same dyelot, 197 yards per skein in the off white Fisherman color.

I've done about 1 1/2 inches of one of the 5 blocks labeled 'easiest'. I added this to my Knitting Goals for this lifetime. Even though I've balled up my skeins of lace weight alpaca for a lace shawl, that project will have to slide to NEXT school year, or maybe the year after that...

I have to stop falling in love with new projects and remain 'true' to the ones I've started.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bargain High

This is not directly about knitting.....

We leave for our 2+ week road trip in less than 2 weeks. I haven't lost the weight I needed to so I could wear most of my clothes. I go down to the mall - Plaza Bonita is within walking distance. I had good luck this summer at New York and Company, so I try there first.

Lots of sales, 50% off racks AND an extra 15% military discount. I got 6 pairs of pants, SIX! for a grand total of $82.64. I was so excited I thought I was going to bust a gut when I got home. I was so glad my husband was here 'cause I had to tell SOMEBODY.

It is somewhat knitting related in that I was seriously considering breaking out the sewing machines to make some comfy drawstring pants, at least to wear in the car, but my heart wasn't in it. I do not enjoy having to make larger clothes. It makes me dwell on all the pretties I have in smaller sizes. I couldn't make the clothes I bought for that price. So now I don't have to take time away from my knitting to sew. And when I do get back down to the smaller sizes, my big girl clothes were not that expensive to begin with.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The sock monster thing



Here's my Workshop 'homework.' So far, only 3 heels done. I'll probably have another 6 by the time I'm done.

My 'thing' is neat. I can try it on to see how the different heels fit me. Working on 64 stitches. The 1st one - from the right - is the regular ol' top down round heel. Instead of the sl 1, k 1 heel stitch, this one was done with st st and a garter stitch border. The 2nd one in the Dutch or band heel, again with a garter stitch border.

The 3rd heel is a toe up heel with flap from Schurch's Sensational Socks. Next will be the toe up heel flap "You're Putting Me On" by Judy Gibson. It will help to have a side by side comparison.

Doing the heels on a continuous tube allows me to work either toe up or down styles.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

I hate spam

I've added a verification step in order to post a comment to my blog items. Sorry for the inconvenience, but instead of comments from real people, lately 3 out of 4 have been sales 'opportunites.' I deleted those pesky comments so no one else has to see them. I hope this extra step eliminates them in the future.

The mailman is my buddy

Fridays may be a lot of folks' favorite day due to the impending weekend, but for me it's because it means knitting workshop fun. Not only that, look what the mailman brought me all the way from Amazon land!

Oh boy, my brain goes in overdrive thinking of all the cool things to make. There's a coat in Epstein's book to die for. Then I lean a little to the right and take a peek at the white board by my computer monitor where I have listed my knitting goals. 8 great projects I already have the yarn for. I take a deep breath and dream instead.

Redid the toes on hubby's socks and now they not only 'feel good' but also fit.

On a less frustrating note, I finished up these cabled socks done up in Lion Brand Fisherman wool left over from a sweater project.

This cabled pattern, courtesy of my workshop instructor Charlie, is now my 'basic' sock when it comes to leftover WW yarns. A bit thick, but perfect for clogs and other Birkenstocks.

WW sock pattern

I've received a number of requests for this pattern. I don't know the original source. My workshop instructor gave it to me and it's been modified numerous times. I retyped it and added my own notes in parenthesis. The instructor said I could share it.

WORSTED WEIGHT CABLED SOCKS

Materials: 4 oz of worsted weight yarn, #5 and #7 double pointed needles

Gauge: 6 sts = 1 inch, 7 rnds = 1 inch

Using #7 needles, cast on 48 sts (16 on each of 3 needles). Join, being careful not to twist sts. Change to #5 needles and K1, P1 in ribbing for 1 ½ inches [10 rows], inc 1 st at end of last round—49 sts

Cable pattern:
Rnd 1: *P1, K1, P1, K4, repeat from * to end of rnd
Rnds 2, 3, 4, 5: same as Rnd 1
Rnd 6: *P1, K1, P1, sl next 2 sts on cable needle, hold in front of work, K next 2 sts, K2 from cable needle, repeat from * to end of rnd.

Continue in cable pattern until cuff is desired length [8 or 9 repeats, plus 1st rnd]

DIVIDE FOR HEEL AND INSTEP:
Work first 14 sts, sl the last 11 sts from 3rd needle onto end of same needle—these 25 sts are for heel. Put remaining 24 sts on other dp needles for instep. On 25 heel sts, P one row, decreasing 3 sts across row [P5, P2tog, P5, P2tog, P5, P2tog, P4] — 22 sts

HEEL Flap: Row 1: sl1, K1 across row, turn. Row 2: sl1, P across row. Repeat these two rows until you have 28 total rows [the dec purl row and 27 in the heel stitch pattern] ending with Row 1.

TURN HEEL: P 13, P2tog, P1, turn; sl1, K5, ssk, K1, turn; sl1, P6, P2tog, P1, turn; sl1, K7, ssk, K1, turn; sl1, P8, P2tog, P1, turn. Continue in this manner, working 1 st more each time, until all sts have been worked, ending with a K row—14 sts on needle.

GUSSET: Pick up and K15 [14 plus 1 in corner to avoid hole] along side of heel flap, on 2nd needle work cable pattern beginning with Row 2, on 3rd needle, pick up and K15 [1 in corner and 14], knit 7 from heel. There are 22 sts on needles one and three, 24 in cable pattern on needle two. Beginning of round is in middle of heel.

SHAPE GUSSET: Rnd 1: on needle one, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1, on needle two, work cable pattern, on needle three, K1, ssk, K to end of needle. Rnd 2, K all sts on 1st and 3rd needles. Continue these two rnds until 1st and 3rd needles each have 11 sts remaining.

FOOT: continue working sock even until foot measures 3 in less than desired length. [15 or 16 total cable repeats, plus rnd 1]. K 5 more rnds in plain stockinette st, arrange sts so you have 23 for each half of the toe.

SHAPE TOE: Rnd 1: K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1 on 1st needle, K 1, ssk, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1 on 2nd needle, K1, ssk, K to end. Rnd 2: K. Repeat these 2 rnds until there are 7 sts on 1st needle, 13 sts on 2nd needle, and 6 sts on 3rd needle. Work Rnd 1 only [decreasing every rnd] until you have 2 sts on 1st needle, 5 sts on 2nd, 3 on 3rd. Weave these 10 sts.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Not REALLY done





I thought I was done with these tweed socks for my husband. He tried them on several times before I finished them up, especially before tucking in the loose ends after weaving the toe. Each time he says, "Feels good."

So I get him to put them on to model them. Still 'feels good' and look good too. I say, "Honey, give me a side view." After a few cracks from him that it's not his best side, he turns the foot.

THE DAMN THINGS DON'T FIT. That heel is working its way down under his foot and he's had them on for 5 seconds.

So last night under my OTT lamp and with the magnifying glasses clipped on to my reading glasses, I pick out the toes, rip them back, add another inch to the foot and will redo the toe. After all my care not to have any breaks in the yarn, there's going to be one anyway. I think an inch will do it and that's good 'cause those 2 little balls are all I have left of this yarn.

BTW, the snippets of light yarn are how I count rows. I mark every 10 rows to quickly see where I'm at. I tried just measuring to get both socks the same and it doesn't work for me.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Oh joy! My knitting workshop has started up again. It was great to see so many familiar, dear faces and to meet new class members. This semester we are working on different sock heels, a bit at a time, as there are some who have not done socks before. It's going to be a funny looking project, so if you see me, don't laugh. It starts with a bit of cuff type ribbing, a few rows of stockinette, then the first heel. Once that's done, go for an inch or so in stst, then bam! the next heel.

Charlie asked us not to sprint ahead, so I've dutifully done my 'homework' and am ready for the first heel next Friday.

We are also doing a plain cardigan with double knitted button band, bound buttonholes and a double knitted middy style collar. Homework was to bring in a swatch and a comfy sweater we like the fit of, so she could figure out our individualized patterns. I'll be using Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in black for this basic wardrobe item.

Meanwhile, I'm working on some socks in progress. In class I used the swift and ball winder on some of my summer purchases. Thinking of my stash and few UFOs, I made up a list of Knitting goals for the 2005 - 2006 school year.

1. Workshop Cardigan
2. Workshop Sock Sampler
3. Red Cotton Ease cardigan - in time for Holiday wearing
4. Black Cotton Ease tank top with several pattern adjustments I want to play with
5. "Clock Vest" from Folk Vests in Charcoal Cascade 220 Tweed
6. Shetland style lace shawl from the laceweight alpaca I bought from KnitPicks
7. A charted Rowan pullover I'm working in the round and have about 10 inches done
8. Ugg booties for cousin who's expecting

And of course there will always be a pair or 2 of socks in the works. The thing is, I already have the yarn - and then some - for all of the projects listed.....