Thursday, July 22, 2010

I've come to the decision...

That I have too many projects in progress. I decided to NOT buy anymore yarn until I'd made a serious dent in my stash... that worked.... kind of..... I bought 6 more balls yesterday (4 of them for socks, 2 of them to make a booga bag) and decided that I simply don't have enough yarn in my stash to go and make any kind of project without having to combine a bunch of them.... and I'll use up what's in my stash.... mostly..... probably..... at some point in time :)  Right now I'm trying to sell my dh on me taking up spinning..... he's thinking that I'll end up SAVING money on yarn in the long run..... I don't have the heart to tell him how much it is for start up costs.....

But back to the booga bag and my projects in progress. I realize that the booga bag calls for Noro yarn.... however, after spending a day trying to find some at a LYS (keep in mind local for me = an hour or more away.... downside of living in the middle of nowhere) and not finding any, I decided to use some Paton's classic wool..... which I found on clearance at Joann's. I see it this way.... if this first foray into intentional felting doesn't work out, I'm only out about 4 bucks instead of the $30 the Noro would have cost me..... if it works out well, then I'll see about ordering some Noro online.

Tonight is knit night and I'll be taking a bunch of my WIP's with me..... one son's blanket (crochet, blasphemy to some die hard knitters out there I know.... but I had NO desire to make a full size blanket with some Lion Brand Magic Stripes yarn that I found at the dollar store if I'd have had to knit it!), a preemie blanket i've started for the North Eastern Oddball charity group, a pair of socks, a baby sweater for my new nephew (yes he's already been born, however, given he lives in Maine I'm making this in a 6 month size so he has at least one warm handknit thing this fall... I found some cute little ducky buttons at Joann's yesterday for it too LOL!), and a knitted square (it's measuring about 8 1/2 inches wide.... not much farther to go on the length!) that I'm using to brush up on my Intarsia before getting into any fair isle work.

My knitting que keeps getting longer instead of shorter.... I hope I live to 150 just to be able to tackle half of it!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

It's always interesting to knit in public

I love knitting in public. I'm one of those people who have issues with anxiety (especially in large crowds or when I'm out in a much larger city alone than the city I live in) and I am also one of those who never seemed to have posessed much patience (As the Yarn Harlot says in her book At Knit's End "I do not knit because I am patient. I am patient because I knit.") and knitting helps with all of these. I also enjoy hearing the conversations about me knitting (yes people, it's knitting, NOT crochet... crochet has one hook, knitting has at least 2 needles) that they think I can't hear (my kids know that I have hypersensitive hearing, which generally works against them). For example, at a doctor's office the other day while I was waiting for a nerve test to be done on my back (car accident related) there was just me and an elderly couple in the waiting room.

Man: "Look at that, what is she doing with all those needles?"
Woman: "I think she's knitting."
Man: "Are you sure? I didn't think you used all those needles to knit."

The woman came over and asked me what I was doing, what I was making, etc. It led to a short but pleasant conversation about how she used to crochet for years and her husband's mother used to knit. Ones like that I really don't mind at all.. when I'm working on something simple like a sock (which is what I was making... they're generally my take along projects) but then there are those on the other side of the aisle who seem to think that women knitting in public is pushing feminism back a few decades.  Some people need a life :)

On the knitting front, I seem to be getting very ADD about my projects. I must have started (and frogged) a dozen projects over the past week. I can't seem to be overly pleased with anything... that blanket I was working on in the Caron Simply Soft Shadows I ended up frogging because the pattern wasn't coming out at all... I'm still deciding what I should try to make.... 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Getting back in the groove, sort of...

I went to knit night (note to the people who do all of the "updates" to the library: AIR CONDITIONING needs to be a priority!) and finally started a new project. I'm using the Serenity Garden yarn from Premiere Yarn to make the baby hoodie from Bernat. The colorway is called roses and trust me, the picture doesn't do it justice. This yarn is so soft that I'm absolutely loving working with it.

What I'm not loving right now is that my gauge is one stitch and one row off.... which means frogging (because you "rip-it, rip-it") about an hour's worth of work and then waiting until I'm home because I don't have the right size needle with me to go down a size on the band (The pattern calls for US sizes 5 and 6 needles, which are what I have with me... I need to get my US size 4 from home to do the bottom band). It figures that the ONE TIME I don't have dpns with me (which is unusual, but I was in a hurry to get going tonight and didn't get to stop home after knit night before meeting dh for his lunch break at work... and yeah, my dpns would have worked wonderfully for this!) is the time that the Knitting Fates decide to mess with me. I could just continue on with the "well, it'll fit SOMEONE" mentality, but honestly, the size 6 needle is just a tad too big for it and the yarn is coming out rather looser than I'd like. I'm seriously considering getting more of this yarn (it feels like the microfiber cloths it's so soft!) and making more baby items with it.

As for more socks, I'm "punishing" myself and forcing myself to knit with the yarn from projects I've previously frogged and making more socks. I'm using that Paton's Kroy FX yarn and I think I'm going to end up getting a bottle of dye and just making them all one color... I will never buy this yarn again after being given the kiss off by their customer service. Whether or not I ban ALL Paton's yarn from my stash remains to be seen....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Too hot to knit????

I never thought I'd be saying this but the knitting fates are finally forcing me too...

It's too flipping hot to knit.  My fingers are so swollen that I can't menuver my size 2 dpns (yes, I do own more needles in different sizes, but I have no desire to be under a worsted weight blanket or trying to knit with thicker yarn when it's 99 degrees outside and still 75 inside...) without my ribbing looking like crap.

So I've resorted to surfing the net trying to find patterns that would allow me to use up my odds and ends of sock yarn (yes, the pic is of the bits I have, at most I have about 1/2 a ball of each colorway).... I'm not sure if I want to knit THE blankie using the scraps as I have both cats and kids... not only will I not have enough odds and ends of sock yarn (although I'll GLADLY take donations should anyone be so inclined LOL!)  but I worry that I won't be able to pop it in my washing machine (which does in fact have a "handwash" setting). 

Hopefully the weather will break soon.... I think I'll head out to the craft store after it gets dark (and hopefully cooler... (it's still 90 degrees at 6:30 in the evening in my neck of the woods!) and see about picking up some more yarn....

Friday, July 2, 2010

They're Done!

The socks that I was making with the Deborah Norville yarn are finally done. I know it seems weird to state "finally" when in actuality it was only a couple of days... I cast them on Saturday, took Sunday off, knit on Monday and cast on the second sock (I like doing both socks at once, prevents the second sock syndrome plus makes it MUCH easier when I get to a part I need to concentrate on but am out KIP and need something mindless I just pull out the second sock). Tuesday I had to rip out the heel (a few times) because I completely arsed it up (btw, for those whom are keeping a list of how to annoy a knitter, yell “COME HERE QUICK” with the urgency of a life or death situation to make them completely lose track of where they are on the repeats… also helps if you go and throw a cat in to help scatter the stitch markers that the knitter is using to go and keep track of the number of pattern repeats… and have it over something completely stupid like a video game!) then had a really productive day Wednesday and finished weaving in the ends Thursday night, within an hour of knit night ending (very handy to only have a 15 minute walk to where the knitting group is held!). Their name is still up for debate.... I have one minion saying "trick or treat" and the other "halloween vomit" (yeah, he's 12). The colorway isn't too obvious so I ended up taking a close up (again, "borrowing" my dh's digital camera LOL!)
The colorway is called Thyme (olive green, highlighter orange, white with dark rose and medium blue speckles in it. As for what I think of this yarn, it's not too bad, The main issue I had with it was splitting but that's to be expected I think. I'm not sure just how well it will wear as I'm not about to wear a wool blend sock in 80 degree (approximately 27 degrees celsius) weather. I do, however, have an almost 10 year old who keeps trying to swipe them and run away. 

 So how productive can one be in 3 weeks? Yes, this also includes housework, running errands (although I admit my dh drove!) and sleeping regularly....

Productive enough to make 2 pairs of socks to fit my size 9 feet. I did, on the most recent pair have to extend the foot of the sock to 5 1/2 inches (13.97 cm) with the Deborah Norville yarn.

I also woke up this morning feeling very odd.... as though something was really far off and I couldn't put my finger on it. I rolled over and didn't see my tapestry bag sitting on my nightstand (I use my tapestry bag for sock projects) and realized that I'd finished the sock the night before and hadn't cast another one on yet.... I'm slowly working through my stash so right now I'm down to just TWO skeins of yarn that I like left in my stash that'd work for socks.... two balls of Lorna's Laces in Red Rover and one Cascade Heritage paints. I also have the odd small amounts left over from my assorted sock projects that I think i'm going to go and use to make baby socks... the only other sock yarn that I have is two balls of that godawful Patons Kroy FX that after e-mailing the company about the LACK of dye lots matching (Yes, I DO realize that FX is not going to have the pattern matching up, but I'm talking about the BASE colors in each strand not even matching. The greens were different colors, the oranges were different, etc... the colors from one skein were much duller than the other ones) and was sent an e-mail that basically said "deal with it" and did not address the fact that the base colors were different or the knots in the two balls or even how horribly it splits.  I was so disappointed with it that I frogged the socks that I had mentioned a couple of posts ago.

So what to do? I can't NOT knit.... most people have a shrink, I have knitting needles. I pulled out my (two different dye lots) Caron Simply Soft Shadows in the merino colorway to start working on the Baby Blocks blanket by Ann Norling and so far I'm rather pleased with the results.
I'm not sure how well the shading will pop up when I get a ways in and start the body of the blanket but I think it will be pretty and make a nice lap blanket (I'm aware that it's designed to be a crib blanket, but it's acryllic which melts easy and I don't want any babies to get burned while they sleep should (Gods forbid!) there be a fire.

But this will more than likely go to my first grandson whenever he arrives (no, none of my kids are expecting, the only one with kids is my oldest stepson and he has two little girls). Now I just need to either find or build a cedar chest to keep them in. Since I apparently can't have anymore kids (it's not that I don't want them, it's just that there are things going on medically to prevent them despite our efforts at trying) I may as well knit for future grandbabies right?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

you never realize

just how many projects you've done over the years until you go and sort through the photos on your external hard drive. I have been crocheting for just over two decades but didn't start documenting my projects until a couple of years ago.

I have also been knitting for more than a few years..... I got hooked when I made my youngest son a "Weasley Sweater"
I have also been dabbling with sewing and quilting

Seeing all that I've accomplished in the last 3 years makes me wonder what I'll be doing in the next few. I plan to spend more time challenging myself  and trying some of the more difficult cables and such with sweaters as my more complicated projects and hopefully try my hand at designing a few knitting patterns as well :)

and on the socks, I'm down to the toe decreases, I should have them finished by the time knitting group is over with tonight and will be posting pictures tomorrow....