Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Good. The Bad. The Ugly

....... The goody has arrived ........






Rockin' Sock Club
July package: Socks That Rock light weight in colorway Goody Goody

The extra sweetness of this new yarn is having TWO patterns to come with it. Oh where do I begin??? Yummy. I really wouldn't be to interested in this colorway as it's a little pastel for my pale feet;) But that is the great thing about clubs... trying something new.

Some Bad Ass flowers popped up in my garden the other day.... click to make it larger. Love to put these as my wallpaper.

The ugly part has to do with the current state of Cleopatra's Stockings.

They are turning out just fine. The ugly part is having to put the gusset increases onto stitch holders in order to access them while knitting the slip stitch heel and thus decreasing the gusset stitches. Knitting two socks on two circ's has it's ugly side... and that is it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Today is Better.... Maybe.

The plain and simple truth is that working in the advertising community can be stress-full, frustrating, pain-in-the-arse, yet rewarding, challenging and unpredictable. That is why I love it so much. Not one day is the same, each challenge brings on new insights and outcomes.

After having an interesting conversation with my SnB buddy last night about season 1 of Mad Men... It started me thinking. I really should be keeping a journal. Some of the stories I could tell would make for a great plot.

Obviously it's not 1960 anymore, but there are similar situation that arise and make you wonder. I don't think my snippets of adventures would put me in Emmy Award winning categories, but would be great to look back on years from now and snicker.

In Knitting News:

I've been concentrating on my Rockin' Sock Club package from May. Since I joined Summer of Socks, feel I should try to catch up a bit.

These are the Cleopatra Stockings so far done as the instructions have asked. Not a difficult pattern as of yet. The toe is a provisional cast-on which I'm very familiar with. I had first started doing my toe-up socks that way but tossed that away after discovering Magic Cast-on.

The pattern is interesting enough that I've memorized it and not bored yet. I'm currently starting on my increases for the gusset which is a different way I do my heels too. Kind of excited to be doing something different.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Day I Went Postal

Can you tell by the title that I'm having one of those days, yes?

Thank. God. For Snb.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Navajo Plying

When I first started spinning I had started with the idea of producing sock yarn. I've gotten fairly good at keeping my singles consistent, although some rough spots on the plying have always hung me up.

I believe I over twist on both the singles and on plying. I'm working on it, but it's hard to pull back because I feel I might pull back to far and I don't care for the look of under-plied yarn.

Then I found this gorgeous roving that brought back my Spinning Mojo.

Do you remember the Redwood Forest BFL I picked up a while back. Well, I turned it into this:

It is a dream to spin with. The only issue that was pressuring me was the plying. I wanted the colors to come out right... kinda the way you see it now. Then I checked my single bobbin and plied a small strip onto its self. It's a good way of making sure your consistent.

My results were way to thin. I've been trying for so long to accomplish fingering weight yarn that now it's hard to go in reverse. sigh.

Then I decided to look into a 3-ply. That could bulk it up but I was getting nervous as I hadn't done that before. I wasn't sure if I could even do a test sample before hand. This brought me down some serious paths towards Navajo plying.

I had heard about it. The Yarn Harlot has posted about it before and why the hell should I not try something new!

The tutorials out there on the Internet are a bit weak and if I had the setup to do video I would. The best out there is by woman named Rexenne who posted a You Tube Video. What I like most about this video is the slow motion sections. Sometimes her hand goes out of view, but more or less it's enough to get you going.

The best thing about Navajo plying? you don't get the barber pole effect.

I still feel like I'm over plying but this turned out so good that I can't wait to finish the rest.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Recovering from Fiber Fumes

I can't even think or comprehend what all happened on Saturday at the
Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair. All I remember is waking up at the butt crack of dawn and heading to Crystal lake with A:-). Check out her blog for more fine details as all I can muster up is some random bits.

First off I was trying to be really good and watch how much I spent. Miss Babs booth...oh boy did they have good stuff!

Two 4oz BFL in Harvest colorway and of course I couldn't pass up the Yummy sock yarn in Rock Wall colorway.

Besides for rain (which we can't control) the only thing that was irritating was the bad folk songs being song at ear piercing levels.

They sell more roving / spinning stuff at this fiber festival then at Stitches.

I'm kinda glad that I didn't take the kids. They had face painting, spiral art, alpacas to see and angora bunnies to touch. Not much in the way of "kids stuff".

I did like that the Midwest Fiber festival is small enough to meet people and not get too lost in the crowd. Ran into a bunch of familiar faces: Becca & Miss M, Dreamsweaver, Old bean. Along with A:-)'s tag-a-long group: Linda, Jamie and Rachael! I love how everyone was able to wonder around and yet not loose anyone.

Wish I would have brought my wheel because after repeating the show a second round we tagged up with Jar Lady and Sheri from the Loopy Ewe for a little down time to knitting and spinning.

I worked on my second Windmill Beret and cast-on with no issues. Hurray!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

FO: Windmill Beret

Pattern: Windmill Beret

Yarn: One skein of Noro Silk Garden and One skein of Cascade 220

Needles: US 4 DPN

Start Date: July 12, 2008

End Date: July 17, 2008

Comments: Okay... first off this pattern rates a 10 on the difficulty scale for knitters. Why? It's only a hat and as one of my close friends would say "I'm smarter then a hat!" ... yes. that is true, but what we failed to realize is that the designer of this lovely yet difficult pattern was sucking us into her own world where they speak a different language.

Combine this with, oh 10 knitters all knitting along together for support and you've got a party. Maybe not your average party, since many cuss words were used and even the occasional Bark. If you've knit the hat then you feel my pain.

I miss read the pattern the first round...well, that's not right... Many times this hat was miss read, but once you get past row 11 your pretty golden. The mistake was increasing EVERY Bark instead of the 6 increases I was doubling the hat every increase row. Yeah, not good. It was a good laugh one SnB night when I took it off the needles.

I did a slight modification with the increases again once I understood the concept and ended up with something more like the tree of life. I like it. I liked the torture so much I bought more yarn to make another.

I can see how this pattern can become addicting and makes of a quick gift if your short on time.

My end result was a bit small and so I blocked it. The beret grew to a perfect size on top, but my loose bind-off grew as well. I'm not sure how I'll fix that. Perhaps redo the bind-off again or tack some elastic to the inside brim.

Friday, July 18, 2008

FO: Hand Painted Socks

Pattern: My own standard toe-up gusset heal flap

Yarn: Hand Painted Knitting Yarns

Needles: US 2

Start Date: June 22, 2008

End Date: July 17, 2008

Comments: Toe is made with the Judy's Magic Cast-on and used Knot Another Hat sock formula for the heel flap (download pdf from her sidebar under gratis:: generic toe-up, slip st heel formula).

I love this formula for my tag along sock for those long Walmart checkout lines;) The yarn is a real find that I might have to pick more up at Stitches this August. It's one of those special finds that don't come around that often.

Now, everyone drop what your doing and do the Happy Joy Joy Sock Dance with me!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More Knitting Companions

After reading some comments from my last post... I think I need to clarify what happened in the park. The sparrows were not a problem. Their cute and were not at all bothering me while I sat for a moment. It was when the Bird Lady broke out the bread slices and tried to feed them that it became wild kingdom. The pigeons came swooping. We're talking at least 10 birds... so the sparrows dart out of their way. I can understand why... pigeons are mean. They snap and bit at the little sparrows. Then the seagulls come to flock and they pick on the pigeons. Now, pigeons are so dumb that they fight back against the seagulls. Total and complete chaos. All while I'm sitting on the stone wall enjoying a fruit and yogurt parfait. Thinking to myself "This can't be good!"

I do have a more frisky knitting companion at home.

This is how I prefer him to be; calm, quite and not grabbing at my yarn.

So, what am I working on? Handpainted socks are close to done.

The Cleopatra socks have been cast-on this morning. This yarn and pattern will not be available to the public for one year... nice perk with the Sock Club.

I'm hoping to make it up to the Midwest Fiber Festival in Crystal Lake this weekend. If I hear any chance of rain, I'm out. I can't imagine going and having to deal with mud, rain and humidity. ick.

More to come later, as the Windmill Beret is blocking on a plate;) Thanks for the advice Knitterary. It's turning out perfect.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Knitting Companions

These little guys hung out with me while I took a break to knit in the park. Chicago nature life; if your spend any time in the city, we loving call the pigeons: rats with wings. Which is totally realistic. I couldn't even tell you what breed these scavengers are, but they don't mind getting close. Yeah, two feet close.

Someone had left a few chip crumbs and they were taking advantage. The next thing you know this Bird Lady comes walking by with a bag of sliced bread. sigh. Why is it that she thought it was okay to toss bread pieces a couple of feet away from where I'm sitting? Because the next thing you know, every creature charges in from all pin points of the park to snack.

Thank goodness they didn't dive bomb me for my parfait. That would have been bad. Real bad. It's also a good thing these creatures don't like fiber;)

Windmill Beret was ripped and now back up and running. Totally get the pattern, I think;) Decided to follow Knitterary's idea of putting each section on separate needles. Loving the colors and totally hoping to have the colorway end on the orange. I can only hope.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

FO: Fulmar

Pattern: Fulmar

Yarn: Silver Creek Merino (9 skeins)

Needles: US 2

Start Date: October 1, 2007

End Date: July 12, 2008

Comments: sigh. I love it. I want to sleep with it. Make love and have babies kinda love;) Yet I'm scared to wear it. It should be framed and hung on the wall under glass for all to view.

The only modifications was to shorten the length by about 2 inches and I think that was a wise decision as I like to access my pockets easily. The yarn is super delicious and it's a shame it's discontinued. Yeah, disappointing because it's got 306 yards per skein.

This project has conquered my fears of Alice Starmore (AKA: The Designer). Now, it's time to think of what other big project I want to accomplish.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Random Wednesday

So, you'd think that since it's Summer of Socks 2008 (SoS08) that I've be working on nothing but. Ha, your wrong. I would like this to happen but I've got plenty to distract me.

Here is my socks so far:

Good progress considering that I only knit a few rows here and there. I'm approaching the heel part, so I've worked out about 10 minutes worth of math by plugging in my numbers for the formula. These socks are turning out super squishy and will most likely be my favorite sock... that is until I get another pair off the needles;)

My other knitting project is the Ogee Tunic:

This garment is knit up using Dolly yarn and I love the feel and texture. However, I'm not too sold on the structure of the cables. This yarn has a very tight twist and you can see the main fabric when knit in stockinette is twisted as well. Overall, I don't mind so much that the bottom design doesn't pop... I'll be pleased in the end with how soft and lofty the final project feels.

Update on Fulmar. I don't have a current photo and would rather present that Bad Boy in full when finished. There are only 10 more rows of the neck to finish before I'm seaming the sides. So close.

As far as the Windmill Beret goes... I'm pondering. I hate to rip, but can't buy more yarn as the final project wouldn't fit any human being.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Lesson Learned

Just look.

Amazing color. Fun knit. Goes fast.

Then you pull out the remaining skein of Noro to find this:

I haven't even finished the full body yet. I would still need to go another 10 rows before my decreases begin. I should totally be done with this by now. I calculated it out and it will be approximately 26 inches around.

I know I've got a big head, but damn! I want to toss this sucker into my closet and say screw that... but the colors, just look how awesome they look.

Damn gauge. Where's the wine? or maybe it should be a shot of tequila?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

FO: Strawberry Top

Pattern: Fruity Fun Strawberry Top

Yarn: Cascade Cotton Rich DK (2 balls of red, 1 green, 1 yellow, 1 white)

Needles: US 7

Start Date: June 15, 2008

End Date: July 4, 2008

Comments: Talk about deadline knitting. I wanted to have this project done for miss Mac to wear this on the 4th of July so badly that I was up until 3am knitting the Strawberry and attaching the vine to the bodice. What a fiddly knit. This project wasn't difficult, just new techniques. This was the first time I had a crochet edging... and to be honest I like it and it's not to hard to do. It gives a nice clean edge to the piece.

I only snagged one picture with miss Mac wearing it, because a plate of BBQ was waiting for her. There is no way she's eating BBQ ribs and wearing this top thank you very much. Can you tell she just got out the pool? yeah, we hat a lot of fun last night. phew. I need a vacation to recover from that holiday bash!

I hope everyone had a lovely and safe holiday. Peace, Love and Knit-On!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Showing Off The Swap

I can't believe I haven't blogged about this yet. I received my gift from the Handpainted Yarn Swap, gosh it was over a week ago. I sometimes forget between updating Ravelry and my blog which I did or didn't do. sigh. Life is so hard;)

The swap had revolved around Handpainted yarns. You knit your secret swap partner a pair of socks, put the package together with enough yarn to make another pair, a sock pattern and a bunch of goodies.

My swapper did an awesome job. The socks are Alpaca Sox yarn that are squishy and fit perfect. She then hand dyed some bare yarn with this electric blues and greens. There is lilac lotion she made her self along with a hand sewn knitting bag and the Francie sock pattern. Wow, just wonderful.