woman cannot live on garter alone

Here's the first shot of Log Cabin #1. (Notice the implication of the existence of a Log Cabin #2. Baby Dots... I just don't have it in me.)

I got the light purple and an orange block done this evening.

Socks that Rock, in Fairgrounds and Spring Fling:

for a Chevron Scarf. I don't mind knit-every-stitch projects at all, especially stockinette socks or the log cabin blanket, but some variety would be very very nice.


It's not like I weigh my yarn or anything.

Coming to the toe of Simple Stockinette Mega Boots Stretch Sock #1, I was beginning to fret a bit that I may not have enough yarn to do sock #2. This is because I had worked hard to make the sock a bit taller than I've made other stockinette socks, because I always have a substantial enough amount of yarn left over - of course I figured this would be back to bite me on the arse.

So I was sad that I didn't have a drug dealer scale like so many other knitbloggers do who actually know technical things about knitting and don't completely wing everything that they do. But then I realized: I live with a drug dealer! Haha, no, I kid. I do live with an Italian, though, who at one point spent enough time weighing cheese to invest in a teeny tiny little scale.

So I said to him: hey, do you still have that cheese scale? And he said: ...yeah, why? And then I said: because I want to know if there is more yarn here (in the ball) than here (in the sock). ((And also this is the part where I say how he totally, by feel alone, correctly estimated the amount of ball yarn relative to the amount of sock yarn.))

And then he got all excited and ran to the kitchen to get out the cheese scale, and when I asked him if I could just finish the round I was on, he REFUSED out of the desire for accurate measurement. Then I made him wait while I went to get my camera, and the fact that I was photographing the momentous weighing made him feel less embarrassed about being excited to use the scale.

So, voila:

Sock yarn:

Ball yarn:

And ball yarn wins by a longshot.

I grafted the toe of sock #1 tonight. You can't see a picture of that yet, because 11pm pictures are even worse than the 5:30pm pictures above.

I'd been worried that they would come out a bit big, but this is the first sock I've made so far that actually is long enough. So I might throw it in the dryer to see if it shrinks a bit. (Because I might get soft if I actually have socks that fit my feet comfortably. The decadence!)


"Creative Problem Solving," it says on my resume.

I really really wanted Sorbet, by SunnySideEllen on Etsy. But my rules says only two skeins at once j- one working, one on deck. That would be Rowan 4-ply Soft and Meilenweit. And if I had any working batteries at all, I would show you my stockinette Meilenweit sock right now, but I don't. Anyway, the upshot is that that yarn is working too!

So I bought the yarn and am revising my rule:

1) One working skein(s) for a lace sock project.
2) One working skein(s) for stockinette project.
3) One skein(s) on deck.

I have needs! Stockinette needs! I can really whip off a pair of stockinette socks, especially considering that I don't like them too tall and can squeeze rounds into the smallest intervals of time. So it seems fair to have one lace pair and one stockinette pair on the needles at all times.

Yarn! Woohoo!



Yesterday when I tried to take this, the sun wasn't cooperating by being on the wrong side of the earth. But now...


My socks would not win contests.

Probably 50% of my socks have some official "mistake" or another in either the gussets or the toe - a missed decrease made on the next round, or sometimes even a "hey, I seem to have knit the entire foot with 65 stitches instead of 64, so I'll just bury a decrease on the sole and do the same thing on the second one" type of deal. (Real example!)

I feel kind of bad about it, but not enough to tink or, heaven forbid, frog. I will fix mistakes if I catch them soon enough, or if they're noticeable to my eye, which, judging by posts where knitters show pictures and say things like my god, this is horrible, but don't mark where the mistakes are, and I sit there for a few minutes squinting and tilting my head and looking for textual clues about what could possibly be wrong... is not good.

I am okay with following the spirit of the directions if not precisely the counts and numbers and actual directions and such. Especially for socks. For some reason it's different for any other thing I make.

Perhaps this is because of the way I handle my sockyarn buying and knitting, which is this: I am allowed to have enough yarn for one pair of socks on deck. Until I finish a pair of socks, I will not buy another skein. The consequence of this is that I knit socks as fast as I possibly can. Another consequence of this is that I have enough money to buy food, and not, say, an apartment insulated with sockyarn. Yet another frustrating consequence of this is that I miss every damn sockyarn skein that I want to buy from Etsy.

As long as we're talking about my knitting deficiencies, I got hold of the pattern for the Shetland Triangle shawl (which really I shouldn't even be thinking about until I've knit two (2) baby blankets) from the library and cannot understand the pattern at all. No comprendo. I have such questions as: If you start at the long edge, why do you cast on 2 stitches, then increase a few? Where do those other couple hundred come from? How does one read a lace chart? Clearly I need to study up a bit.

So, Hedera #1 is done, toed and grafted, and too short for my foot. Ufserud is clearly too long and just getting longer. I haven't gathered the willpower to start back in on Baby Dots. And I am being entirely outwitted by a shawl pattern.


I promise I will be good.

My dear cousin, the one who I may just have wished I could have been back when we were children, is pregnant with twins. Identical twin girls. I think they've been trying for a long time (I started the baby blanket for her in July 2005), and so this is all very happy and exciting.

But the Baby Dots blanket is not really something I want to be working on. I *love* how it looks - it's a slip stitch pattern, and so colorful and pretty and interestingly-textured. But every six rows you end up with two ends to weave in. And you knit with the yarn doubled, and you knit one side of the border with a different two balls of white than the white that you knit across. So that means you are always working with 4-6 balls of yarn.

Also, it releases cotton fuzzies that are trying to kill me. I've tried knitting with a bandanna tied around my face, but that leads to train robbery jokes (from Other - not in local coffee shops or anything) and makes it hard to breathe. I bought and switched to some Addi Turbos, which makes progress go faster but not really fast enough to make the fuzzies situation any better. I can only work on it in small increments.

So it's a pain to knit, progress leads inexorably toward a ends-sewing-in bonanza, involves lots of sneezing, and I have the irksome feeling that no matter how well I get the ends sewn in, over the course of many washings, they will come loose. Because you can't exactly weave green in behind the white, and there are a whole two rows of green to use and for some reason we aren't allowed to tie knots and so the whole thing feels futile.

I've got some knitpicks Crayon on the way, and plan to do a log cabin blanket for twin #2. If that goes well, and if I have grossly overestimated the amount of yarn I will need, there might just be two log cabin baby blankets for them.

Here's a Hedera in progress (and also my traveling knitting system) shot:

It's going well enough. I missed a yo here and there, but was able to figure out how to fudge it passably. I'm done with the gusset decreases, not yet close to the toe.

When we went to see Blades of Glory, I needed some simple stockinette to work on in the dark, so I cast on my new Meilenweit Mega Boots Stretch (color 703). I knit several inches on it, got home, and realized that, though it fit comfortably, it looked very stretched out. I had googled around to try to find out what size needles I should use and about how many stitches I should cast on - turns out 64 on size 1s is too small. The yarn looks a lot thicker than it is, I think, because the plies are pretty loosely wrapped around each other.

So I re-cast on 72 stitches onto size 1.5 needles. Once I get into the stockinette part, I will let you know how that goes.


Sea Ass

My sea silk came today, and I am hatching a plan. I ended up getting the cornflower and wildflower colorways, which are a little less bright than I was imagining they would be, but beautiful nonetheless.

I'm not a shawl person, really, and kind of find it hard to believe that anyone born after 1900 really is a shawl person, but hey! I wear all kinds of stupid things all the time - and if the weird and outmoded thing I'm going to inflict on my coworkers this time happens to be a shawl, well, then so be it. I have nothing against shawls, it's just that they strike me as out. And not out like bell bottoms or side ponytails, out like bloomers or boned corsets or ruffled collars. Although I'd love to get my hands on a pair of bloomers, too, so what the hell. I can find a place here and there to wear a shawl.

The only two shawls I've ever seen and had a glimmer of interest in making are Icarus and the Shetland Triangle. A little google-fu has given me proof that people have indeed successfully made Shetland Triangles with a single skein of Sea Silk, so I've interlibrary loaned Wrap Style and am airing out the silk now. Because, to quote, talk about stank.

Google-fu has also led me to conclude that the Sea Silk just needs to breathe a bit. Don't worry, though, I will keep you posted.


FO: Stockinette Socks

Yarn: Claudia's Handpaint
Color: bearded iris (purples and tans)
Pattern: none, basic sock
Needles: Crystal Palace Size 1 Bamboo dpns

Sorry I do not have a better picture. It was all I could do to take my shoes off amid the swirling snow -- maybe when spring comes back, you'll get to see the whole socks.

I was not terribly happy knitting with the Claudia's Handpaint. I loved the colors in the skein, then the first sock turned out well -- I'd promised myself that I would lovingly accept whatever the variegation chose to do, and was not disappointed with the nice spiral-y outcome. However, with the second sock I was conscious of not tightening up my gauge and thus overcompensated and loosened it, which resulted in some very very bad pooling. I ripped back to the point where it became noticeable and continued on with tighter gauge, getting the good spiraling. I don't mind non-matchy socks at all, and if the part where the dark purple/dark brown was pooling hadn't looked like a bruise that would probably rise to the level of medial emergency, I would have left it. Further on I noticed that there is a lot more bad grayish-purple and unnatural tan/gray/brown where the colors overlapped in the second skein. What I did really like about the spiraling was how the dark brown showed up next to the dark purple and ditto for the lighter shades. The tan/lavender juxtaposition is very pretty.

Another problem with the knitting part was the splittiness. I can't count the number of times I innocently, and without violence, stuck the needle into a stitch only to hear threads breaking. Eek - that can't be good for the structural integrity of the sock, right?

So yes, all of that was bad, and after I wove in the final end I would have told you that I wasn't planning on using this kind of yarn again.

But then I put them on.

And they are soft.

Oh man. I didn't know handknit socks could feel soft. They always just felt like socks. But several times today I found myself noticing how nice these feel against my skin.

So, overall I kind of feel like these socks rock the ugly -- I could see people looking at them and finding them ugly (that's the ugly part), but I like them (that's the rock part).


Having finished my simple stockinette socks (full report on that coming up), I've moved on to Hedera. And even though I'd heard about the yarnover issue (the two yarnovers in different places being different sizes because they are made with different surrounding stitches), I plowed right into it, figuring I'd just do whatever and it would be fine.

And that did not work so well, not least because a) I'm pretty sure I've been doing yos wrong, and b) I'm not sure that I will be able to pick a way of doing it (1/2 wrap vs 1 1/2 wraps) and stick with it. At least without writing it down and looking at the explanation every time. However I did the first round of the pattern resulted in half of the yos being functionally non-existent. So I ripped, and googled, and found this post on the Lime & Violet* messageboards that clears up some stuff but still leaves the issue unsettled. I swear I read somewhere how a knitter did the yos a certain way to make them symmetrical...

So... I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. I got the yarn the pattern calls for (Rowan 4-ply soft in a dark reddish shade #382) at a very nice discount, and got it specifically with this pattern in mind. I've never done a lace sock before, and haven't even really done lace before^, so this is a bit of an adventure.

Which is to say that I'm not frogging and forgetting about the whole thing yet, but that maybe I had better eat before I snap all my size 1 dpns in half.

*Having recently gone in search of knitting podcasts (because if you can't be knitting you might as well be listening to people talk about knitting), I found these guys. Very fun. Highly recommend.

^Oh, but, yeah, um, I better grow some mad skilz soon, because, ah, I might have purchased one or two skeins of sea silk that will drive me to distraction with guilt if they don't get turned in to some fancy knittin' soon enough after they arrive. Or I might just wind them into balls and hang them up in a glass display case. I would get points for decorating, too!

Update! After some poking around on the internets, I found this linked in Lickety's comments on her post about her own Hederas. And it's a great explanation of how to even out the yos. And I actually had come close to un-venting it, but was twisting the yo that was facing the wrong direction, when I should've been knitting into the back -- that's, I think, why they were disappearing. Anyhow, it should be good at this point.


Blow up yr TV/throw 'way yr paper/move to the country/build you a home

Ay. So, I am here for this fiction reading, and I thought it was at 7, but it's at 8. So I have an hour to kill. Which I could kill by grafting the toe of the second sock of a pair you-all haven't seen yet, and which I do not have pictures of yet, and I will probably do that. Unfortunately, though, I will probably also kill the time by killing the old credit card a bit, using the blunt instrument of handmaiden sea silk. And the oh-so-stabby dollar-freaking-ninety-nineKnitpicks Crayon, which I need about four tons of for my baby blanket factory. And Etsy. Don't even get me started on Etsy.

On the sea silk front, this is completely ridiculous, because I have little-to-no interest in wearing a shawl. Or knitting a shawl, really. Or silk. And yet I am so torn between the cornflower, wildflower, and melon colorways that the thought that I should just buy all three seems almost rational.

Help me.

There is 45 minutes until go-time. Can I possibly be expected to hold out?


effed oh: Basketweave Scarf

Yarn: Plymouth Encore
Pattern: Mom's Scarf, Stitch 'N Bitch Nation
Needles: Size 8 straights
Modifications: scrapped the row of k/p stitches between repeats

Pre-blocking shot:

Post-blocking shot:

I worked on this here and there for a couple of months, and I'm glad it's done. It's supposed to get chilly again next week, so I may actually get to wear it before summer comes.