Tuesday, July 3, 2007

they're grooooowing

Doh! I keep forgetting to take a close up of the bottom, so you can see the yarn better. Because I am sure you are all curious! I'm curious.... Thanks to my awesome Summer of Socks blog reader Barb - the Jaywalkers are looking pretty!

The pattern is a little hard to see in the picture, but what's going on is some rhombuses (or rhombi, according to Merriam Webster), with eyelets in the middle, and the pattern repeats such that stockinette chevrons separate the rhombi. Oh, words.
Yeah, and there is some random diamond at the bottom that I thought I was going to go somewhere with, but didn't!

Yesterday a piece of Verizon equipment broke in the building I work in. This resulted in our entire office being without phone or internet service for the entire day yesterday, and until 12 today. One of the important features of my job is to answer the phones and direct calls (mostly just try and get rid of solicitors...). Other parts of my job rely on the internet (ordering, coordinating guests and repairs with the office of the building, reading knitty....). Thankfully Monday morning I tucked the book I was reading into my bag just in case I had some free time. You Don't Love Me Yet isn't a particularly long book, but I hadn't gotten that far into it. I finished it right around lunch time (1pm for me). You can't go that far where I live and NOT run into a book store, so I stopped by the college book store I work near and I picked up Three Bags Full - somehow I haven't heard of this book yet! It's a very clever book about a flock of sheep who want to mystery of their shepherd's death. It isn't cutesy, but it is filled with some pretty hysterical puns. It treats the sheep very intelligently and left me hanging right up to the reveal. Sometimes the language is dense, which could come from the fact that it's been translated from German, or because it's the author's first novel. It doesn't have a whole lot to do with knitting, but it does revolve around a flock of sheep who are prized for their fleeces.
I give it 5 "Baas!"

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Tough toes.

I can't think of anything clever to say about these socks. Some not-clever things: they feel too big. Not too worried - I am going to push forward, and leave the rest to giving them a good wash when they are done. and maybe a very quick dry. these are going to be some sturdy socks.

What's taking over most of my mind is moving. I just packed one big storage container full of stuff from my kitchen - specifically just one cabinet. I am thinking I'll need to have yet another garage sale, because i didn't comb through the kitchen at all when i had the first one. i have some leftovers from the first sale. So I'm trying not to throw up from thinking about how much crap I have to move and what happens if I don't get rid of it. Moving has never felt so stressful before - but I think it's because I've had two years to accumulate stuff, rather than my past moves, where I hadn't been in a particular place for that long. Whine, groan, moan.

Going to relax and watch some silly TV for a while before I prepare dinner.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Diamonds on the tips of her toes...

At the moment, as far as the green handspun socks go, I am back to where I was before I frogged them. No more hideous snarls of yarn to contend with. They just about cover my toes. I am almost finished with the pattern motif that I made up, so I am debating whether I want to repeat it, or just go stockinette, or do something different...
Word to the wise: Unless you really know what you're doing, chart a pattern first. I made my pattern up as I was going along, and as a result, messed up the pattern, so the socks are even more fraternal. Still, I am pleased with how it looks, and I am slowly understanding the yin and yang of lacy patterns.
It's Friday, and I am counting down the minutes to go home. I really do like my job, but there are times where I have zero work to do (despite imploring everyone I have contact with to give me something to do). So I knit, read useless online content, and from time to time, blog. I have just devoured a stale Twizzler, and I have a severe movie-theatre popcorn butter craving. (perhaps some pre-PMS...). Sadly, there isn't anything I particularly want to see playing at my local theatre. This means I will probably go home in 27 minutes and make some popcorn. I am determined to be ready for this upcoming move, and I am going to try packing up some of my kitchen. At my best guess, this is the breakdown of my "stuff":
30% kitchen
20% yarn
20% bedding
10% clothing
10% furniture
10% books/knick knacks

Sorry for the horribly boring, intimate details. I am off to meter some mail.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Where are my socks?

Why am I not finished with them already? Recently, I've been getting my knitting done in my "spare time" - moments where I had time to myself to curl up and knit, watch a movie, or at least a Law and Order rerun. More recently, I haven't had any spare time!
I don't have any new pictures for one good reason - I made some progress on the green socks but I wasn't happy with how they were coming out (too big), so I riiiiiiipped them out. Now they are back to a bit further than the first picture. I am pretty much making the pattern up as I go, but this time through I know where I made mistakes, so they can be avoided. I believe these will be called "Diamondback" socks... Just to tantalize a little.
Where has all my time gone?
-Finding an apartment: I am moving at the end of July (please do NOT remind me that that's only a month away). My roommate and I have searched all around our town to find suitable living accommodations (and it's not like we have that many stipulations, but the pickings are slim for an Aug. 1 move-in date). Last night we scheduled an appointment to see yet one more house, and I fell in love when I walked in! It's perfect (well, at least I think that now). There is a screened in porch and a cute backyard, and despite the fact that kitchen is easily 1/3 of the size of the one I have now (which I have filled every single inch of), I find it incredibly charming. The bedrooms are big and equal in size, AND they have ceiling fans. Beautiful dark hardwood floors. FREE laundry in the basement. like I said, pretty perfect.

-Cleaning my current apartment: my roommate with a furbaby moved out already, and we need to get rid of evidence of our furry friend's existence. we're going to end up with the equivalent of 10 more cats when all is said and cleaned and done.

-Playing addicting video games: All I have to say, is SimCity is now on the Nintendo DS. I am reliving my childhood dreams of being a city planner.

-Reading: Long ago, I could polish off novels in a few sittings. Now it takes me a little longer. I just dived into Jonathan Letham's new book You Don't Love Me Yet. I'm already writing the screenplay in my mind...

My typical "wind down for the evening" routine goes as follows:

  • Knit until I start falling asleep (about 1/2 hour). I start out knitting because that requires the most hand/eye/brain coordination.
  • Play the DS until I start falling asleep with it in my hands. Requires slightly less hand/eye coordination (especially SimCity because I can just leave it running without actually doing anything).
  • Read until I fall asleep with the book open. Requires no coordination whatsoever.

I've been so wiped out lately that my bedtime has inched up to an embarrassing hour, and my winding down time has been encroached on my sleep. I can barely croak out a good night when I call my boyfriend (who is wide awake and doesn't understand how I can go to bed so early).

So that's my excuse, knitting friends! Now that I am relieved from the extreme burden of finding housing, I will have a little more free time.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Ohhhhh weird green noodles! No, actually just some over spun yarn. I love these pictures.

Sheepspyjama's very close guess as to what I weighed skeins down with: just a full Nalgene! It worked really well. However....

Winding it I found that the dry sections were straight, and the sections that were still damp were very curly. It isn't so bad as I'm knitting it, thought. The yarn is decently soft, but very sturdy. Sheepspyjama's are nice and squishy - maybe if I sized up my needles the fabric would soften some, but the yarn itself is quite springy. I have no idea what these socks are going to look like.... Probably some sort of lacy something. We'll see!

There are Pomatomus. But not for long. I am not a fan of the way the yarn stripes, and the twisted stitches take eons and eons. Maybe it's the way I knit. If I could find a more suitable colorway, I'd try the pattern again.

SOOO much Sock yarn!

Summer of socks officially began yesterday, and I did start yesterday. This picture represents around 1/2 of my total sock yarn stash. It's not that impressive, but it makes me very happy!

Sorry to be brief (but it's Friday night!) Next week I'll have more to show off. Maybe I'll have figured out a pattern.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

More socks!

Here is a bigger picture and a close up on the Sockotta socks. The poor ball of yarn has been tumbled around my purse for many months, so for the moment I've retired it as my "on-the-go" project. That, and my purse was just getting a little too heavy. They are really plain 6x2 ribbing, size 2 Addis, and the slip stitch heel you remember from a few posts back. I like the Sockotta more than I thought I would, it's not a tough to work with as I feared. It does have some wool in it, which balances out the cotton. I love the way it patterns up, and it has a nice sheen to it. I have a few more balls kicking around sockstashland, but I am not sure I'd go out on my own and buy some.
Here is a close up of the finished toe. Really neat the way the colors line up near the bottom!
That's it for this update... This weekend I accomplished zero knitting (actually not true - I did a little bit Saturday night on the Tsuki scarf before I got too engrossed in Jacob's Ladder - talk about vivid dreaming...). This week will be a little more tame (say I say now...) so I hope to get some more knitting done.

Don't eat the green sheep!

So what do you think? It's still sitting on a bobbin,
I am being lazy and haven't skeined it up yet.
But it's pretty snazzy! I can't wait to make socks- I think they'll be my first pair for Summer of Socks. And I am SO excited to see how they compare to Sheepspyjamas socks! There is a surprising amount of color variation within the yarn, it's not 100% green. I enjoyed spinning it, and plying was quick, too. I have a little left over that isn't plied yet - in case of a knitting emergency!
My house has little tufts of green spread throughout... I found some in my bed last week, there is some rolling around the dining room, bits in the living room... It's like the cat hair tumbleweeds that have taken over my house. I am looking forward to doing a good clean sweep - yard sale this weekend, and then I'm moving in less than two months. I am - gasp- parting with some inherited yarn this weekend (as much as Lopi is a great yarn, I'll never get around to making 6 sweaters worth of it....), so that should make moving a little easier.

I keep wondering what to do with the little left over ends of spinning projects.... Some of it I, err, recycled and used to tie my skeins up, but it would be nice to use in a slightly more productive manner. Hmmm... So here is my 4-plied handspun. It does look "chained" which fascinates me. Once again, no plans for knitting. I think it's too tightly spun and would make rather uncomfortable socks. Maybe a lacy scarf. I have more knitting news, but I will try and spread it out (i.e. give myself something to do while I am unoccupied at work).

Fuzzy suns....

Here they are in their fuzzed out glory! Note to self (and all others): Don't wear 100% wool socks in leather boots all day long, even if it says it's superwash! I haven't had any trouble with wool/nylon mix, but sadly at all the pressure points, there was some felting. The leg of the sock is just fine, but as you can see below, anyplace that is going to wear got matted. Not sure why this pictures is so washed out looking, but you can see the neat way the color knit up! One sock doesn't even look like it has any of the yellow in it. I knit them from inside/outside the ball, if you remember. Towards the top, I increased to a K3, P2 rib, and then switched to size 1 Addi lace needles in an attempt to keep them from falling down. My attempt failed.

Pretty little toes! See, it's matted where my wide boat feet rubbed against the shoe. Live and learn! They are nevertheless wonderful to wear.
I love this final shot. I had a little help (I am hiding under the covers in the background). Beautiful colorway, and a joy to work with. Looks like it's lunchtime, so that's all for now....


I feverishly finished the heel turn while on my lunch break, and then scurried back in to surreptitiously scan in said sock heel... (did I ever mention my love of alliteration?) Here is the Sockotta socks, colorway unknown (I probably lost the label long ago). I think these are destined to be on the feet of a man.

I am a lazy sock knitter. Gauge? I pretty much stick to 2s. If they are too small for me, they'll be for someone else. Too big? For my sweetheart then. And so, thankfully this is a pretty manly, or at least unisex (as if that's stopped me before!) color.

And oh oh! You can see near the tip and all the way at the other end where the needle is cut off (I was in a hurry!) how worn the needle is! I have completed maaaaaybe 7 pairs (margin of error +/-1) with these and the parts that are rubbed bare do make them a little more difficult to knit with. And see how the cord is all curved around? fun. These might crawl off into retirement after this sock is finished (I've finished one of the pair already). I really like the Hiya Hiyas, and the Addi lace needles weren't bad, but for the money I'd rather have the Hiyas. The cord is much more flexible. Plus at my LYS, I could only find a pair of 32" 1s, which make two at once magic looping just a tiny bit annoying. I did it, but I would have liked a little more room.

I will have more pictures when they are finished, and lots more to show off - sweetheart + camera are visiting tonight.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Knits from afar....

This weekend I will have the privilage of possessing a much better camera than the one I have, so I can truly show off my work. fun fun! but for now, rest your eyes upon....
Yah! Socks on feet! The lavender socks traveled far across the ocean and have landed on my Londoner friend's feet. I can't thank her enough for her wonderful picture, and it came in this great card!

I'm a sucker for bucolic scenes.... If I could have a
baby lamb for a pet, I would. Sadly, city living
severely limits the types of animals I can keep hanging around. I even looked at the agreement for the building I work in, no pets allowed! I had fantasies of having a puppy and bringing it to work everyday, but those dreams have been dashed. Instead, I'll rest my weary, monitor-strained eyes on a warm picture of cozy looking sheep. The picture and card made (and continue to make) my day, possibly week/month.

I will announce that the sunrise/sunset socks are finished, and due to a cold spell here, my toes were happy. Also, I have moved on to the plying stage of my spin to knit socks! It is amazing how fast spinning becomes with some practice. And with my trusty Ashford Book of Spinning, I am well on my way to actually knowing what I am doing at the wheel.

Speaking of spinning - I did get my package from the Woolery, which contained a MUCH needed niddy noddy. I skeined up my 4-ply yarn, soaked it overnight, then frantically wondered what to do the next morning when i realized it should probably be hung up to dry. With about 1 minute and twenty-nine seconds before I HAD to leave the house for work I spied something that would work perfectly as a weight... Just add water. I'll keep you guessing until I have a pic of my quick fix! I was incredibly pleased with my uncaffeinated quick thinking.