celebrate with yarn

My freaking awesome husband came home today with a set of Lantern Moon size 1 DPNs. As a kind of "congratulations on the new job/sorry your day sucked" kind of thing. Nothing about the day that handcrafted Rosewood needles can't make feel a bit better, especially considering that Tuesday was such a good day that if it hadn't come back around, I'd be really worried right about now. It's all about the balance that the Yarn Harlot talks about -- and this being August, which, not to be superstitious or anything, is the month of evil and bad tidings for my family -- if today hadn't sucked I'd be convinced that the new job couldn't possibly be a good thing.

For now I remain cautiously optimistic.

I've been itching to cast something else on, something... Silkie... and now that I'm over the picot hump of my second sock

(this, by the way, is the first sock at about the same stage as the second one is now. in the interest of full disclosure.) I figure I can cast on with impunity. I'm a two-socks-on-the-needles-at-once kind of person. This very second I'm trying to download Cider Moon's Colonial Rib sock pattern, because that's what the Watermelon Tourmaline Silkie wants to become, but alas - my adobe acrobat reader is older than the moon. I'm surprised my browser hasn't even crashed yet. So Silkie may just become more Monkey socks or whatever pattern I happen to get my hands on in the next 20 minutes.

Lantern Moon! Silkie! Woohoo!


it's a multiple of 36, what's not to like?

Okay, knitters, what's our stance on knots in skeins? I mean, I know we hate them - but are they morally wrong? False advertising? Do they pose an ethical quandary? Or do I just hate weaving in ends an abnormal amount and need to suck it up?

I have cast on for the Montego Bay Scarf from Interweave Knits Summer 2007. And while in a lot of ways I love it (e.g. "shiny"), in a lot of other ways it's sucking out my soul, canning it in its own juices, and selling it three for a dollar at the corner grocery as part of their biannual sale on exotic pizza toppings. I finish, without exaggerating, about one in three rows with the wrong number of stitches. Somehow.

Oh, but wait - that's not even the full story. The full story is that I initially cast on the wrong number of stitches, but my gross misreading of the stitch pattern - a pattern that could literally be typed out in its entirety on the back of my hand in 14-point font (and maybe should be, I guess) - caused my mistaken cast-on to go unnoticed until I could no longer escape the fact that this was not looking like the picture.

So the simplest, boringest non-stockinette pattern in the known universe has me concentrating painfully and counting. Every row. Out loud.

Also! I finished the flutter-bys:

And would do a number of things differently if I were starting over again (which I am so not.)

1) I normally lengthen the heel flap by 3-4 repeats, because I must have high arches or something because normal patterns seem to stretch unappealingly over the first few gusset rounds. So I did that with these, and they DID NOT LIKE. They stretch kind of weirdly horizontally. Which will be hidden in my shoes, but still.

2) Non-stretchy pattern + non-stretchy yarn = non-stretchy sock. Go figure.

3) What is with the toes? They are weird. Must find a new toe.

4) The pattern calls for purling back three on the first purling row of the heel turn. That struck me as being too pointy, which: guess what? It was! But I did it anyway and regret it. Note to self: follow gut. Purl back 5-6 stitches.

This is not to say that I'm unhappy with them. I happen to think that the 2.5 inches of sock that peek out from my mary janes are smashing-looking. I really like the colorway with the pattern.


FO: Pouchy thing

I'm pretty happy with this little guy. The lining and zipper actually worked out really well - it's flat and snug and I love the cheery yellow against the blue. I'm hoping this pouch, which is made to hold a smaller pouch (in lieu of a wallet - working on finding a good small one), keys, and a cell phone, will be convenient to use all the time. Because I go between a backpack, a messenger bag, and knitting tote bag, and inevitably one of those three items gets left behind.

I may post more details on the process, for anyone interested, over the weekend.


grouse grouse grouse

I'm in the kind of mood that you see 10-year-old boys in at the mall, when their clothes are a little too baggy, cuffs hanging down over their hands, and their whole bodies are limp and they're dragging their feet and draping themselves over benches and m o a n i n g. Except instead of saying "let's go hooooome," I'm saying "I just want to fiiinish sooomething."

Chevron Scarf: I have been knitting it for the last six forevers, and it's noooot doooone. Flutter-by is coming along, but I'm going to have to rip the toe of the first one, I can't trust myself to do more than two 4-row repeats of the eye-of-the-partridge heel in a row because it all starts to run together, and it's going to be at least couple more nights' worth of solid knitting. The pouch I'm designing is blocking, and it's noooot dryyyy, big surprise, I soaked it

a mere hours ago. Plus there's the zipper to contend with, and I hope you will forgive my language when I say that zippers are vicious little bitches. Although I can usually wrestle them into submission, I come out of the tangle a bit worse for the wear, and then spend most of the life of the knitted, be-zippered object eyeing it warily. I will say, though, that even when I've hand-sewn them in, they've tended to stay put. I guess I just don't trust their kind.

I suppose I could get the lining ready, but that requires getting the iron set up, and I doooon't waaaaant tooooooo. But, if I do, I could have a FO tomorrow.

Grouse grouse grouse.


WIP: Flutter-by

Well, I finished the first Flutter-by. I didn't try it on for the last couple of inches of toe, because I'd done the math and my feet were not in the ideal condition for trying on a precious handknit at the time. So it's about an inch too long. I'll rip back once I'm done with the second sock, which is not quite halfway done.


FO: Memory socks

Yarn: Claudia's Hand Paint, Toast, two skeins
Pattern: sock from memory
Needles: Crystal Palace bamboo 1s

Unless there is the implication of blueberries, I do not see what is so very Toast about this colorway. It does, however, blend very nicely with the concrete. Should be Concrete & Blueberries.

The patterning of the socks did indeed turn out to be different, although they are close enough to seem like a pair. As I was knitting, I thought the second sock (above) had less light tan than the first, but together they seem about the same.


Hoofle Foofle, I love youfle

There was an incident. Involving KnitPicks. See, I was reading Lickety's (heh) post about Sheldon, the turtle pattern from Knitty, and then looking at Knitty's calendar contest, and honestly I don't have very much interest in participating. I've mentioned before that my available backgrounds for knitting & yarn photos are not ideal and I'm not so wild about being photographed myself, so, meh. BUT. Then I noticed that the grand prize is "a huge box of yarn." A huge box, you say? Of yarn, you say?

Hmmmm. I want a huge box of yarn.

To my account, I have: a finished pair of Monkey socks, a finished pair of Hedera Socks, a finished Calorimetry, an attractive brother who may be willing to model, and free access to a zoo. These things may work individually, but together, not so much. Oh, and also I now have some Sheldon-colored KnitPicks Shine Sport on its way. And some other stuff, like maybe a set or four of DPNs. And five skeins of sock yarn.

As I've noticed that many previous winners had spectacularly gorgeous backgrounds, I'm kind of wishing I'd heard about the huge box of yarn thing before I spent 10 days hanging out in the Costa Rican rainforests. Doh.

I promise actual knitting content and knitting pictures tomorrow, as while I was uploading and tagging and generally Ravelrying tonight, I finished the second Toast sock. It'll be up on Ravelry (username: orooni) later tonight, if Flickr finishes processing the pictures before I go to bed. In three hours.



As I was publishing that last post, my Ravelry invitation was sitting in my inbox. In related news, I have given in to Other's yearlong quest for reinstating cable internet.


Birthday Yarn

Woo HOO:

Socks that Rock in Hoofle Foofle, Silkie Watermelon Tourmaline, and Twisted Lunasea. I looked high and low (on the internets, that is) for projects done with the Twisted line of STR, and came up with nothing, nothing at all. It's a nice worsted-weight yarn, and comes in at a whopping 560 yards/skein. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. Maybe once my Ravelry invite comes through I'll be able to see what other knitters are doing with it, if anything.

These are Lisa Souza Sock! Merino in Sage and Gendarme. I have almost no solid-colored sock yarn, am always instead taken with the variegated, and so the sage will do nicely for a lace pattern. I also got Favorite Socks, so I'll have a lot to choose from. I'd been thinking the Sage would be good for Snicket, but it actually looks a bit too dark in person.

This influx of sock yarn has made me both very happy and very motivated to keep the socks moving off the needles. So, yesterday and today I worked on the cuff of the first Flutter-by sock, in Ashabee's merino/tencel Sugar 'N Spice:

Because I'm a sucker for the variegated yarns, I've been giving lots of thought to how to make them work. Forgive me if this is obvious and I'm un-venting here, but it seems like the problems with pooling and all other unwanted patterning happens when the pattern of variegation lines up in a regular way with the pattern of the sock. So, when combining a very regular color pattern with a very regular stitch pattern, you need to find a gauge at which the stitch pattern won't match up with the color pattern to avoid all the vertical weirdness.

By "regular pattern," I mean a pattern that uses about the same amount of yarn for every row - stockinette would be the most basic, but regular ribbing and seed stitch would also count. The genius of the Monkey sock pattern, and patterns like Flutter-by, then, is the fact that each row uses a slightly different amount of yarn.

Helping even further with this sock is the fact that I can't seem to go three repeats without screwing up the pattern (knitting when I should be slipping, and vice-versa) on at least one needle. That goes a long way toward de-regular-ifying (sorry, English language) the yarn usage. But from the looks of it, I haven't wrecked anything to the point where you can find mistakes without close scrutiny. A good balance.


At its very best it's a bad idea. And yet...

Just about every set of DPNs I have is missing its fifth needle. Because it broke, or I dropped it at the food court and it got thrown away (and hey, it's not as if I've had a conversation with every single food court employee that begins with "what're you making?" and involves me turning the part-sock rightside up and includes observations about the teeny size of everything and often a joke about not having to by socks at Wal-Mart. Or anything.) or is just lost in the jumble of debris that I refer to as my room. And most of the time this is okay because I only use four anyway. Usually I can even plunder the sedimentary layers of junk on my desk and come up with the missing one.

But flutter-by calls for five needles, and I want to use my knitpicks (stabby, soooo stabby) ones, and I can only find four of them, despite several expeditions into the desk litter. Which I'm thinking means that I'll be using four metal needles and one bamboo one. Because walking around the food court knitting a sock with matching needles doesn't look ridiculous enough.

Here is my Costa Rica knitting:

I knit to the end of the gusset decreases over the day of travel that it took to get to San Jose and didn't touch the thing until I got home. (I had another day's worth of travel but somehow didn't get around to knitting. *coughHarryPottercough*)

But the rest of the foot didn't take too long, and I'm now halfway into the next sock, the colorway of which resembles the first colorway about as much as a fully-loaded 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee resembles an egg. Which is to say... not really so much. Okay, well, now that I get them out at the same time and compare (are you taking notes? I really should be charging you for these smashing insights) the difference isn't that striking. The colors are pretty similar, I guess, just in a different, though still random pattern. Why am I still writing about this?

In other news, my self-designed blue pouchy thing is coming along at a slow but steady pace. In a stroke of genius, I knit the turn for what will be the bottom of the pouch on a smaller pair of needles, because the gauge for garter was expected to be a bit bigger, but alas, have only switched one of the needles back to the bigger size despite being a solid inch back into the pattern stitch. Oh, and also I can't find the second bigger needle, so that's stuck until I do some more desk-diving. Maybe Mr. Straight Size 6 ran off to Jamaica with Ms. Size 1 Double Point Thang. I wouldn't blame them.