Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Little Lace

I have an upcoming trip that will involve lots of sitting in a car so I decided to bite the bullet and try what so many people recommend for such instances : lace shawls. 

This will be my first attempt at a lace shawl (or is it a stole if it's square? I'm still not clear on the particulars of shawl names). I'm going to attempt the Anthemion Wrap (free on Knitty woo hoo!). I'm going to ignore the fact that this might be a little crazy for a first attempt at lace.
Let's also ignore the implications of the fact that I didn't even make it through a tiny swatch without making a mistake.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tour de Fleece - Week 2

Here is my second week of the Tour de Fleece. I've kept to my goal of at least spinning something every day (July 10th was the official day of rest). During the second week I worked on the Spunky Eclectic BFL in the "Big Bang" colorway. Can't wait to see it all washed up. 
Week 2
Total time: 5 hr 47 min

Friday, July 13, 2012

Flashback Fridays: No-Slip Baby Booties

This isn't much of a flashback as I made them in April, but I couldn't help sharing them since they just made it to my brother for his and his wife's upcoming baby. The pattern is Christine's Stay-On Baby Booties and if you go to this website you can read the story behind them (and get the free pattern). 
 Let me just say - I think I could just keep making these little baby booties for a good long time. Dee-Light-Full. In fact, I may have plans for another pair. For this pair I used some leftover Knit Picks Stroll Tonal sock yarn that I thought would work wonderfully for a baby born in October.
Perfect for an October baby, yes?
It took all of 93 yards (or 85 meters) for the pair. This means that not only were these quick and entertaining to make, but also a great use of leftover bits and bobs of sock yarn.

Am I a bit in love with this pattern? Why yes. Yes I am.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Finished Mystery Object

I just finished an object today that I really, really needed to finish as it is going to be a gift. Now I don't think that the recipients of the gift read this blog, but just in case, I'm not going to show it. At least not all of it - but coming off the high of just getting this thing done I can't help but show a little peek. 

More on this later...

Monday, July 09, 2012


Saturday evening my family and I went out to run a few errands and grab a quick dinner. While riding in the car I, of course, was working away on a sock as I usually do on such occasions. At one point during this ride my husband turns to me and says, "Babe, I'm not sure, but I think there's a person knitting in the car in front of us." Let's skip past the part where we analyze how much I must knit that my husband is so familiar with the action that he can spot a person in the car in front of him doing it.

So then we did what any normal, sane people do, which is try desperately to get into the other lane and next to the car to confirm that, yes, indeed there is another car knitter on the road. It looked as if it wasn't going to happen until, gloriously, the cars parted, the other car slowed and we verified that my husband can indeed spot a knitter at 100 yards. Unfortunately, they were pulling onto a ramp so we felt it might not be the safest to honk at them just so I could wave my sock at them in a show of solidarity.

But the point is that I did feel this solidarity with a complete stranger. It takes a certain level of Seriousness About Knitting to compel a person to carry around a project and work on it even on a short car ride. It takes an even higher level of crazy to do so on a 106 degree (41 Celsius) day. It gave me an almost embarrassing amount of delight to see her knitting away in the car next to me and an admittedly irrational feeling of, "there goes one of my tribe". So travel on mystery car knitter. May your journey be safe and your air conditioning plentiful.

Does anybody else have stories of spotting knitters in unexpected places? Does it give you as much irrational joy as it does me?

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Tour de Fleece 2012 - Week 1

Here's a quick look at my first week in my first ever Tour de Fleece.
In the first two days I spun up four ounces of Gotland. Then I moved onto some BFL. Being a relatively new spinner, every month of Spunky Eclectic's fiber club so far has involved a fiber I have never spun. So next I moved onto my first BFL and I'm really loving this fiber, for real. 
Spunky Eclectic BFL in "Big Bang"

 I'm making singles for socks out of it and it is just a joy to spin. Being singles for 3-ply sock yarn does mean that most of this week and, I imagine, a good chunk of next will be spent on this same fiber.
So that's my first week of the Tour de Fleece. So far I'm meeting my goal of spinning everyday.

Total time: 8 hour 44 minutes
Total fiber spun by weight: Around 6 ounces
Total finished yardage: 280 yards

Friday, July 06, 2012

Flashback Friday: Shalom Cardigan

So, I learned to knit in college and made my handy dandy felted slippers, some equally useful felted mittens and then didn't really make anything for a while. Fast forward a few years and I had just given birth to my daughter. She was nearing a year old and into everything. As with most parents of children this age much of my free time (heh, free time as a parent of a little - funny right?) was spent supervising her various pursuits to keep her from coming to harm. While necessary and at times highly amusing, there are only so many times you can watch a ten month old empty and refill the laundry basket before it loses some of it's tremendous excitement. Around this time I saw this post on the Soule Mama blog about her Shalom Cardigan. "Hey," I thought to myself, "That looks useful and snuggly. The pattern is free and my LYS has yarn. I know how to knit, I know how to purl. Never mind that I have never made a sweater and am the most sleep deprived that a person can be without violating the Geneva Convention - I can do this!"
Success! Shalom Cardigan
 Somewhat surprisingly, I did - with modifications even (with the help of much handholding by and blind faith in the project comments on Ravelry). This was also early into my discovery of Ravelry and such was my state that I didn't even record the dates of this project so I don't know how long it took. I know it took a while because mostly it was accomplished in groups of seven or ten stitches before I had to go "parent" (read: keep my daughter from wrapping dirty clothes around her neck or use chunks of cat fur as a teething toy). I have trouble describing my sense of awe when it was completed, but also the joy of having accomplished something that would stay done. This feels huge when most of your life revolves around a series of tasks that will just have to be repeated in a few hours (feeding, diapers, cleaning, laundry, lather, rinse, repeat).
Note: These pictures were taken in February of 2011, a good, oh, three years after I finished knitting the thing.
 So deep was my satisfaction, the doneness of it so completely psychologically fulfilling, that I can probably point to this little cardigan as the moment Things Got Serious between me and my knitting. From that point in 2008 on, I've pretty much always been working on something.
My daughter's idea of the perfect knitwear modeling pose from that same day. Posting it too just because I can. 

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Knitting is Better than Book Reading in Waiting Rooms

There. I said it. Don't get me wrong I am an avid, and I mean avid book reader; but let me tell you that my little take along sock has changed my time in waiting rooms, outside my daughter's classes and car rides for the better. 

I used to always carry a book with me everywhere. As in, one of my biggest requirements in a purse was for it to hold a decent sized hardback book (I read enough that mostly I get books from the library which are mainly hard-backs). The problem is, while waiting in a public place theres either enough going on, or I'm sufficiently nervous that I could never really concentrate so I suffered from Same Sentence Syndrome (you know, where you just keep reading the same bit over and over because you aren't really absorbing it). Let me tell you that just reading the same thing over and over isn't actually really distracting and certainly doesn't make the time go any faster.
Horrible Picture of A Boring Navy Sock That Currently Resides In My Purse
Enter the highly portable sock. It fits in my purse like a treat and keeps me occupied without really requiring attention. I can follow and join conversations with other parents outside my daughter's classes and use up nervous energy in waiting rooms.

I've managed to finish a few pairs this way by now and it's especially helpful when knitting excessively boring plain men's socks that are going to be painful to get through in any other way. Longer wait in the dentist's waiting room today = finally past the gusset decreases on a sock for my husband. Really, if you haven't already jumped on the take-along sock bandwagon I urge you to give it a try.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

In Which the Tour de Fleece and Gotland Conspire Against Me

A little more early morning spinning (about 35 minutes or so) finished off the last of my 4oz. of Gotland. Towards the last half ounce or so, I started to have Doubts. I started to worry that I was adding too much spin and decided to back off a bit. Don't ask me why I thought it was a good idea to change my spinning part way through. It seems ridiculous now as really most people don't want a skein of yarn that randomly changes part way through. All I can say to defend myself is that I was having scary Doubts and it was early in the morning. It turns out I hadn't spun the bulk of the yarn too tightly - but believe me when I say that I very much spun that last little bit too loosely. 
Look at it sitting there all pretty acting like it's not about to cause me a world full of pain.
 When I went to wind the yarn off the bobbin it began drifting apart - but not completely all at once. No, it did it every so often so I thought with some splicing I could salvage it (ha). After dealing with this I then began the process of felting it. Now here's the part where I pay for not just cutting my losses and getting rid of those drifty bits from a moment ago. You see, most of the yarn is felting beautifully, adding strength to the yarn and stabilizing the twist. The drifty, loosely spun bits? Oh, right, those are felting in the ugly, clumping, never to be torn apart again way. Le sigh.
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen.
A little bit of creative re-skeining and discarding (about 56 hours or so) I'm left with 280 yards of fingering weight that may have gotten into another tangled mess while I was trying to count strands and measure it. Let's not speak of it.