Friday, March 30, 2012

Another sock, phase two

Meanwhile...yes, this is a frogged sock.  It was too big for anyone I know who would appreciate it.  That's what I get for casting on without my brain in gear.
Toe up, almost to heel and twice as much as pictured.  I didn't like the blue toe, anyway...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Double the ...

Fun?  Several other words come to mind... as I cast on for the fifth time.  First, I want to say I have NO harsh words for the designer.  She has been SO helpful, from 6,000 miles away, and I certainly would be casting on many more than 5 times if she hadn't given me some very helpful tips.

The story:  Startitis, again, Spring, what can I say!  I purchased Knit. Sock. Love. last week and now I'm in love with every sock pattern (again). So I went back to some ideas:  Doublefun from Think Outside the Sox.  My first assumption turned out WRONG...  I thought by "double" I was going to be knitting two-at-a-time socks with one sock inside the other.  I've heard of it, and never tried it, and, since I'm obviously BORED need a challenge, I was ready to go!  Then I looked at the instructions.
Many things were missing:  Where does it say connect the stitches in the round, or how do you finish off the socks?  At the toe?  The needle size seemed big, and there are only 40 stitches cast on.
I was having a tough time visualizing any of this, so I cast on, 80 stitches, because surely they mean 40 of each color, and with 2.5mm needles, because surely (I talk a lot to Shirley) 3.5mm would be too big for sock yarn.  I got nowhere.
Then I went to Ravelry for the second time and really looked at everyone's comments and photos.  I discovered everyone was making the "stocking" length, which has completely different instructions, and they looked much clearer than the anklet form I was attempting.  Turns out that Ravelry had split the pattern into two separate patterns, which makes perfect sense, since they are so different.  I found one reference to a knitter exclaiming that he was knitting socks flat, with standard needles, and that put me on the road to recovery.  Flat!  Imagine that!
I followed the instructions, again, and since there was a comment about how important needle size is, I used 3.0mm (compromising what I thought was right with the instructions) and this time I tried the double-knitting technique I used on a previous scarf.  AHhhhh.  Now, I can get started.  But then I realized that I was knitting both sides of the sock in double knitting which means that my foot has to go between the layers!  Yes! ... uh, No...  In the above picture are attempts 2 (bottom) and 3 (top).  Attempt 2 had lovely stitches in two layers, but the bottom is "sewn" shut.  I looked at the pattern.  Yes, I did as explained, but it says Side B should be facing, and when I cast on Side A was facing. 
Can you see what a patient person I am?  *
At this point I'm back on Ravelry and now sending a pitiful message to the designer,  Leena Siikaniemi
AND I cast on attempt 3, which is a mini version, just to see if it's possible to make an opening at the bottom.  YES!  I finally feel it's going to be alright.
I'm so glad that Leena doesn't go to bed early, and has no life on Tuesday evenings, because she was online in a flash, and sent me 3 emails with some important information.  And I confidently cast on for the fourth time, to H... with the instructions, I know what it should be, but I'll give in on the needle size and used 3.5mm.  There has to be SOMETHING correct in the book...

I knit 3 rows and woefully show my friend, and wonder what it will look like with those big loopy stitches... and I receive a final "good night" email from Leena.  She included these words:

The most irritating mistake is how the notes tell to begin the rows. Every row begins: knit 1, purl 1 with the yarns: knit under purl in the beginning of a row.
A big thing is that the notes get the needle size to be too big. I knitted them on 2,5 mm needles.
((Oh, how much I sent information to make good instructions)).

I was crushed and relieved, too!  There you have it... I started at 8:30 am and by midnight I had three rows.

*A loop cast on... it can be looped holding the yarn in either hand, this I discovered because I'm ambidextrous, and that determines which color will be facing you on row one.  I know... TMI

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Where have I been?

I've been around... around and around, resisting temptations of the knitting sort.  Succumbing to temptations of the ice cream sort... but giving in.  Today I looked at one of my "Ravelry Friend's" newest creation.  Socks.  Yes, we feed each other, don't we.  I saw her "Monkey" socks from Knit. Sock. Love. and somehow my fingers clicked all the boxes that ended with me gasping in amazement, and wondering how I avoided this book for so long.
Dang it, Ravelry!  You make it so easy...
Yes, when it first came out, I looked at it longingly, then it was in my shopping cart at Amazon, and then it wasn't.  And today, I downloaded the eBook.  But I still wasn't sure I had done the right thing until I started to click through it.
#1:  I thought I found a nice pattern, then
#2:  I found there were more patterns, then
#3:  I found I was on page 116 and
#4:  There were many more pattern, then
#5:  I started thinking I better get busy!
There are SO many sock patterns in the world, and I am still overwhelmed with the designs I see in this book.
Didn't I just finish a pair?
Don't I have 2 other pair on needles? And who's counting?
Ahem... later, Gator!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Turkish socks

Can you see me kicking up my heels?  (Reference to a Turkish dance.)  Yes, it's getting too warm to wear wool socks, but I had a bout of startitis a few weeks ago, and when it involves using some left over yarn, I put aside several other things to finish these.  
When will I learn?  I'm usually happier with socks that match as identical twins, rather than fraternal, so maybe next time I'll try to fix that.
The red on the left gradually turned to a rust and back again.  It shows up in the foot, then the third large band, the top braid and heel, in that order.  When it repeated itself for the right foot... I should have yanked out a bunch of it to get it back to red,... but I didn't...  By the time I got to the final heel, it still wasn't red again.
Maybe I'll make another fraternal pair!  Fat chance at identical... two other yarns have long striping repeats (blue and yellow) and it would be my luck to run out of something, completely.
After much head scratching over the directions for making a snazzy tassel to hang from the upper edge, I scratched it.  I mean, REALLY!  Does it need more?
Turkish Socks by Anna Zilboorg from Knitting Traditions, Winter 2010

Yarns:  Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine, Regia Design Line Hand-Dyed Effect by Kaffe Fassett, Regia Lace (doubled), Zwerger Garn Opal Hundertwasser Cotton, Lanett by Sandnesgarn.  

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bad Behaviors

Yes, it was Knit Nite again.
Finished and BEADS, Beautiful!

A lot of laughing, a little knitting, somewhere in between there was eating and drinking.  As I reflect on it, two days later, I can see many similarities to Vegas!
Bringing me to the first topic:  MEBE isn't allowed to go to Vegas.  She's been lucky before, but now she has to be chaperoned;  a pact was made to avoid accidental marriages, you see...  What marriage isn't accidental?  OK, this comes from some "old-timers".
More Fingerless Gloves

Great yarn, and ... is that a swatch?

And then there was the swatch!  SEEME was knitting... a SWATCH!

Ol' four  six eyes!  When one pair isn't enough. LOL
 My bad... I nearly jumped out of my seat and down her throat.  And she thought she was being a good girl.  I'm sorry, publicly apologizing, for questioning her motive.  She just wanted to see what it looked like!

What about online dating?  Who should fill out the form, and can you be more than 38% complete?  I say, 38% is enough!  What else should they know?
Sheep in Progress; NOT crocheted!
Two movers and shakers of our group decided that it was best to arrive without knitting rather than not come at all (or late).  How does that feel?  Comforting?  I think they were hiding UFO's.  They couldn't bear another photo session of the same project.  I guess we'll just have to take their excuses at face value...
Bed time! or "What happened to my shawl?"  How beautiful is that!
I love you all!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Giving up?

I cast on last August. Seven months ago I fell in love again. With the Dahlia cardigan. I realize now that I fell in love with the Dahlia pattern back. Not so much the front. The back is knitted first and is so interesting and rewarding... Then comes the stockinette, forever. The top the bottom the sides the collar and the sleeves. Just now I'm pleasantly surprised to find that there's a tiny bit of lace pattern on each sleeve. Yay!

Only after all these months I get to try it on. No way of knowing what's what until the body is completed and the arm holes are opened up. That was the shocker: The front. It looks like ... Crap!

 I convinced myself that blocking will be the answer and solve all the ugliness. So I soldiered on, knitting a sleeve, and not liking the join at the top of the sleeve to the shoulder. How can that fit?
I tried it on again, and then I went to Ravelry to see what others thought and have done. My conclusion is to finish the .... thing and block it and pretend it's fine. If I can't wear it, it will rest in my stash.
 Gosh, I LOVE that yarn. Yummy Drops alpaca. At least that's not gone! Just my time.
By the way, someone used the dahlia back in another long coat-like pattern that looks great! I guess I could rescue the back and start another pattern...
The drappy front.  
And I don't mean to bad-mouth this pattern. I bet it looks great on long lean bodies. Not mine. The pattern even includes three variations of how to wrap the front into different styles. Until it's blocked, I won't know.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Socks, and more Socks

Just when I could be focusing on something to finish, I start TWO, not one, TWO new pairs of socks.  I know, I had it in my mind just yesterday that I would set up my loom which has been in pieces for 25 years...  And I start TWO pair of socks.
One is just too beautiful:  Turkish Socks from Knitting Traditions, 2 years ago.  I admired them then, and I just felt like it.  Twice.  The first color combination didn't do it.
 Too much variety is each color, so I started again with two solids.
The second time casting on the toe went MUCH faster!  I pretended I knew what I was doing...
Two is for down time.  I found all 6 projects on needles are either too big to carry around or require too much attention to accompany me around town.  My number two cast on is upper left, self-striping.
My third pair is really a pair:  Argyle style from Think Outside the Sox.  Now I have a choice:  Three projects of socks to choose!  Lucky me.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Old, New and Finished!

I was very surprised after yesterday's post to discover I had only 10 rows to do, and though that doesn't really seem like it was close to finished, I knitted a few more rows.  THEN I was seeing the end... The last 8 rows are border lace, with 2 rows of beads (which slows down the knitting), and with each completed row I felt like I shouldn't stop.  And I didn't, until...
There I was, blocking!!  Yippee!  And points, just like I promised myself.  Remember I started this in September, and finished in less than 2 month.  But, my cast-on wouldn't let me pull those points out.  After languishing almost 2 months, unblocked, I knitted gifts and this and that.  Finally, December 30, I started to knit a new one from the old one, and made sure I had a super stretchy cast-on, only to rip that one out and cast-on a bit firmer, but still stretchy.  I've been holding my breath since the beginning of the year, waiting for this day!
It's Spring, and I love it.  Thank you, Susanna IC!
 Polaris by Susanna IC from ArtQualia Designs
Yarn:  Hand Paint Lace by Misti Alpaca, Lace / 2 ply
100% Alpaca, 875 yards / 100 grams
I used 60 grams, and 11 grams of beads. 

Two problems solved:

  1. The bind off edge instructions: "*p2tog, return st to left needle; rep from * to end of row; a strong non-stretchy bind off is essential in order for the crescent shape to form during blocking."  It was SO rigid, and restricting that I was sure I'd have a circle when I blocked, so I frogged it, and bound off with a simple k2, pass first stitch over.
  2. Again, a repeat of Oslo Walk Shawl, I found a hole.  It was made by a yarn over, which increased the whole thing by one stitch, which I fixed when I got to the lace top border.  This yarn over was close to the top tip of a big diamond... about five rows into the short row section.  This time, I didn't have to rip it all out, but was able to crochet it down to the diamond and fasten it with a little extra yarn.  Hardly noticeable, until you LOOK!  LOL  This sort of thing makes it "handmade". Right?
Other posts: 
Better, this time! Tuesday, Jan 10 2012
Resolutions... As if! Monday, Jan 02 2012
Tale of Two Shawls: Part 2 Saturday, Nov 05 2011
Tale of Two Shawls: Part 1 Friday, Nov 04 2011
Good needles, Bad needles Sunday, Oct 02 2011
?? Wednesday, Sep 14 2011

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Old and New

Being away the month of February, has caused that month to become the watershed for old and new projects.
This one, is old and new:  My KAL Polaris Shawl.  I presume no one is 'knitting along' so it's all mine now!
History:  Started as KAL, and kept up, finished, but just before blocking I noticed that the cast on edge was not loose enough to accommodate the lovely points that were intended.  I was sure of it because I had recently finished another Susanna IC shawl with exact same result.  NO points.
I decided to keep the first shawl/scarf and I love it - color, yarn, beads, ... all of it.  And I wear it proudly around my neck... with no points.
Polaris... You have to tow the line... Points you will have!
Here's what's left of version 1:
It was once a complete shawl, like this:
And now I have this:
Those points are going to POP! Or else, I'll be having a very bad day...
I have a few more of the short rows, though they are the longest of the short rows, and then the top border.  No deadline... and five other projects on needles, all calling out to me!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Kony 2012

What we can do!
Here is a link I hope you will read, and watch.
There is a problem in Africa that has been around for more than 20 years... and it threatens children there.  It's a man, and his self-made army. The problem is this man, Joseph Kony.  Now that you know his name, you should know what he's capable of.  And should be punished.
The video is well presented and enlightening. It could be much uglier than it is.  Will you help?  I'm publishing this to make you aware of him, and will write to my representatives in Congress.
A Commentary:  Here  and NPR.
But more importantly, watch this video.  Yes, it takes 30 minutes, but we can afford to wait that long to understand a small bit of this movement.
Can this be the same world as the video?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

New Stuff!

Yep!  Can't stay with the old for too long... and with a class starting next week, I whipped up this Q-UTE mini bag.
Before felting:
Dimensions:  11-1/2" x 11-1/2"
After felting:
Dimensions:  7" tall, 7-1/2" (base), 9-1/2" across the top
Easy!  This one is already spoken for...
Colors:  No, I didn't use two shades of blue.  They are the same, only next to the red and green they look different.

Pattern:  Grab-&-Go Bag by Eileen Adler from Creative Knitting, November 2008

Yarn: Classic Wool by Patons100% Wool, Worsted / 10 ply, 210 yards / 100 grams (red and green) Greenwich by Valley Yarns, 100% Wool, Worsted / 10 ply
109 yards / 50 grams (blue)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tea time

Needed: Rainforest Magic
Sometimes memories are hidden in cupboards.  The other day I was putting mugs on a shelf and this packet of tea appeared!  I'd say it jumped out at me... nicely sealed in a baggie, since I stopped drinking tea for a decade.
It looked heavenly, with bits of orange and lemon, from North Queensland, where I spent a few weeks lolling on the shore in July, 1998.
The tea seems fine, although I'm not a connoisseur.  Anyone want to join me?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Life is good!  I can't help smile when this greets me... three full stems of blossoms.  And I didn't buy it like this.  It had its rest, and now it's popping!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Old Stuff

Back to... Dahlia!
Today, finished the body... I'll be able to open the sleeve openings and discover what I've done.  Will it fit?  Will I have it for next Fall, or by April?

Focus, Woman!
And the answer is...
I don't know.  I tried it on, and it's so.... odd.  I thought, "I've been working on this since August, and it's such yummy yarn, and I SO want this sweater."  I was determined to have it done by the end of January, but I had to go to plan B.  I finished something else... and packed another sweater.
It's really "old stuff" since it's been around for 6 months, and when I put it on I was deeply disappointed.  It doesn't look right. A funny shape... a wide rectangle, with holes for sleeve openings. The fronts are rolling up, the collar is strange, the shoulders are in the wrong place, and I don't know... Hopefully, "when it's blocked...."

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Optimism Every Two Weeks

Last Thursday, we met.  Every two weeks we meet.  Sometimes it's three, and sometimes only one week... to feed our knitting urges for support, lively conversation, and a row or two.
Usually, I get my camera out and go around the room while everyone proudly displays their progress.  I don't know what happened last Thursday, maybe the jet lag, let's say that's it... I sat chatting wildly about the past month, and then moments of near coma would overtake me.
Next to me was something that was truly unique.  Even though the hostess put a sign on the door "NO crocheters allowed", Lee managed to slip by.  Oh, wait!  The sign was posted AFTER Lee arrived!  LOL
So that's how it happened:  Lee, who proudly knits with and without antique sock machine, was creating a HAT, out of PAPER, and CROCHETING!  What a rebel...
Gorgeous.  In MY color, too... ahem...
Yes, using raffia.  A sinister grin, too... Rebel!
And then, instead of continuing around the room to admire

  1. The unfinished baby sweater turned hat,
  2. Someone who appeared to NOT knit a stitch,
  3. Perpetual two-at-a-time socks, which are definitely different from 2 weeks ago, and will be other socks in two weeks,
  4. A huge, almost finished shawl/wrap, too complicated to be knitted in public, and
  5. A scarf with holes (for ribbon, silly), that I know I saw in January or before,
I put the camera away.  Jet lag, I tell you.  That's why I can't sleep past 4 AM.
Then, almost everyone was gone, and Bee pulls out her never-ending scarf project, photographed numerous times before... from last September, we've seen it at every 2 week interval... and her please help me eyes.
It's finished!!  Isn't it, Bee?  At the time of this picture, 2 days ago, all but the finishing little triangle was finished... and a little bit of Plan A yarn attached.  I'm waiting eagerly to hear if a Plan B was needed. LOL
It's a beauty!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fixed and Finished

Two weeks ago I wrote about fixing something that you've knitted.  At the time, I was consumed with my errors, and I didn't have a way to include pictures.  Today, I have the means to post photos, AND it's finished!  And not JUST finished, but last week finished.
I told you, she likes that pose!
Here's the stripe problem, front and back. These go with the blog about fixing (see February 13, 2012)

Quite an original pattern, with the false sleeves.  I started with orange cuffs, but they were sub-standard so I cut them off and knitted purple (larger) cuffs as an afterthought.

 This became my Egypt-sitting-on-the-beach project since I was determined that at least ONE of my projects would be purchased, knitted, completed and delivered without crossing the Atlantic several times!
The pattern:
From DaleGarn mini 2-8 år (years) nr 184

The pattern is "Sweater" 18407 designed by Kari Haugen.
The yarn: Falk by Dale of Norway/Dalegarn, Sport / 5 ply, 100% Wool, 116 yards / 50 grams

It was a joy to knit, and went so fast!  I've been knitting on 1's and 2's... Bigger needles!  Yay! 


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