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Archive for the ‘KFYS 2007’ Category

First of all, THANK YOU a thousand times to you lovely people who said nice things about my blanket! Oh my gosh, I was totally overwhelmed — I thought the blanket was charming, but I didn’t expect so many of you to find it charming too. Thank you. The word “verklempt” is coming to mind here.

As a result of finishing the blanket (and of reading all your nice words), I’m feeling much more like a real knitter these days. That’s also a result of these:

Decidedly Fall socks

As I mentioned before, I wanted to finish these socks for Socktoberfest. Half of that goal is now accomplished, and I’m kind of proud of myself. It’s amazing what gets knitted when you actually sit down and knit it.

Contrast
Some fall leaves to go with the fall socks

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock lightweight in Fred Flintstone (purchased at Stitches Midwest 2006)

On the hoof

Needles: Knit Picks dpns in 2.5mm / US 1.5 (don’t believe them when they say that the 2.5mm is just another size 1. It’s not.)

Turning

Pattern: Wendy’s Generic Toe-up with some ribbing all down the instep. And all over the leg. All over, really. Makes a really nice plaid-ish pattern. The bind-off is 2 rows of very loose knitting on the 2.5mm needles, then a standard bindoff in rib using a 3.25mm needle. No sock-top-tightness at all. Woohoo!

Perfect
Yes, that is a bit of a tattoo you see above the sock. I’ll show more of it later.

Time Spent: I started in February 2007, finished October 13th, 2007. I am a pathetically slow sock knitter.

Sky

What I Learned:
I learned that despite my best efforts to make it so, socks do not knit themselves;
I learned that knitting small yarn on small needles very quickly can put actual dents in my hands (not just from the needles — from the yarn, too!);
I learned that the short-row toe is the perfect toe for my toes (so far, I mean, it’s the only toe I’ve ever done, but it fits damn well);
and I learned that the short-row heel, though helped in this sock by the stretchy ribbing, is not the perfect heel for my heel. I’m going to have to bite the bullet and make heel-flap-gusset socks, which I’ve been avoiding because the short-row heel is so perfectly easy (it’s just like the toe! Nothing new to worry about!).

I feel pretty strongly about toe-up socks, what with the provisional CO/short-row toe being pretty much an exact copy of my foot. I can probably swing a toe-up heel-flap-gusset sock, right?

What with being a real knitter and all.

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Twofer

Today is special. Today, I have things to show you.

[bounces up and down with the happiness]

I have finished objects to show you.


I finished the headband!

Curly Tail

In Action

Pattern: Molly’s Headband (.pdf) by Pam Allen, from Interweave Knits Summer 2006.
Yarn: South West Trading Company Twize (100% bamboo, 110m to 100g) in colorway Twing. A stash yarn, I’m proud to say. And I used about half of it.
Needles: 4.0mm (US 6) aluminum 24″ circular. With a blunt tip.
Time Spent: I don’t know. A lot? I started this maybe in February…? And I finished it this past Monday (July 30) morning at 7:30am. I woke up at 5:45, couldn’t get back to sleep and decided that knitting was better than worrying about it, and I just finished it. Had ends woven in, soaked and blocking by the time I had to get ready for work.
What I Learned This was my first project with any amount of lace in it, and I learned several methods of throwing my knitting across the room in a fit of pique, as well as many creative ways of swearing at it. (It’s not the pattern; the pattern is very well written, the chart is perfectly clear. It was operator error that caused all the problems.) I did learn that lace — even small, simple, 4-row lace — must be done at home without distractions. I also learned that k3tog really doesn’t work on blunt needles, but that a right-leaning double decrease exists out there that is not quite such a bastard. It is this: k2tog, sl resulting st back to L needle, sl second-in-line st over the new st. I found it in an archived newsletter by Sally Melville (scroll down a bit). I learned that lace, while frustrating when one doesn’t pay proper attention, is beautiful, rewarding, and not really that hard at all.
Thoughts: Like I said, the pattern is great and I recommend it to anyone wanting to try lace on a bigger scale, or wanting a small project for summer. The Twize is beautiful — shiny, colorful, drapey. It does split easily, and there are several points along my headband that have a stray ply sticking up somewhere. Knitting it on more pointy needles would probably help (KnitPicks Options, Addi lace), but I’m okay with the way it is. I also happened to make the headband exactly the right length (entirely by accident) — when I wear it tied around my head the pointy ends are actually touching. If I made this again I would make it a smidge shorter, but it’s perfect as it is.

And there’s also this…

Warshrag

another angle

Pattern: Ballband Dishcloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Lily Sugar’n Cream (100% cotton) in white and pink/orange/yellow multi
Needles: 4.5mm (US 7) aluminum straights
Time Spent: I really need to be aware of this. I know I started it this month, but don’t have the date written down. A few weeks.
What I Learned: Slip-stitch patterns are way fun. Making your own washcloths is way fun. Pink, orange and yellow are clearly my favorite colors. Small cotton squares are ideal in the summer.
Thoughts: Love!

I got motivated to finish these projects after a conversation with Femiknitter which came about after my lament about my overwhelming WIPs. We decided to allow ourselves more money at Stitches if we reached certain knitting goals. These two are the beginning. I have one more that I have to tackle by August 10th, and I’ll write more about it later. This post is huge. If you made it this far, you’re a champ.

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I have completed my Koigu Sherbet-Berry-Sunset socks.

I couldn’t be prouder. Or more addicted.

Pattern: None, just Wendy’s Generic Toe-Up sock pattern over 60 stitches. Short-row toe, short-row heel. I added a 2×2 rib for a change (and also because I seem to be held in the thrall of 2×2 rib) at the leg.
Yarn: 2 balls Koigu KPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPM, in a colorway whose number is lost to the mists of time. I almost snarked up a storm when I found knots and ravelings in one skank, but gracefully moved on without a murmur. Yes.
Needles: KnitPicks dpn 2.5mm (they’re calling it a US size 1). They are pointy and perfect.
Time spent: Begun December 2nd, 2006 and finished February 3rd, 2007. (Except I haven’t woven in the ends at the toes yet. I don’t know why.) I started these right after I learned that my grandma had died, and knit on them during the visitation. It was nice to be able to focus on something else.
What I learned: Short-row toe, short-row heel, provisional cast-on, patience.
Thoughts: I completely love sock knitting. I love the wee bitty needles and the wee bitty stitches and I adore the way they fit and feel. Does everyone know about sock knitting? Should I be running up and down the street shouting about the benefits of handknit socks? Maybe not?
Bonus: Hey, this yarn has been in my stash since May of last year, so not only am I knitting from my stash (yes!), but that means that I can buy more sock yarn because I just knit a pair of socks! Or did I say I had to knit two pairs of socks? Dammit, it’s two pairs. Screw it, I want to buy some sock yarn!

Edit: I forgot to write down what I did for the bind-off. I normally bind off very loosely and don’t tend to have problems with final products (and here I speak as though I have a lot of those) being too tight in that respect. However. I tried binding off in my normal way, very loosely, because I wasn’t sure how to do the sewn bind off (I have never kitchenered, for those who might tell me it’s just like kitchenering). Didn’t work — it was too tight. When did I realize this? After the entire first cuff was bound off, of course. After many tinkings (very frustrating when I wanted to WEAR THE SOCKS IMMEDIATELY and be done), I discovered the perfect bind-off that does not involve sewing: work 1 rnd in pattern in same needles (2.5mm in my case) very loosely, then work bind-off rnd using a needle 2 sizes larger (3.25mm in my case), also very loosely. Put your socks on and dance around your abode.

All the posts about my first-ever pair of socks:

(this post being the end)

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Twenty-seven.

To commemorate today, the anniversary of my birth, I am going to have my annual exam and hear those words that make women everywhere shudder: “Scoot your bottom down to the end of the table” and “relax your knees” and “this may pinch a little.”

Oh, and “speculum.” That one’s a total bastard.

I believe I have mentioned my reasons for going, even though it’s my birthday and I should by rights be having a lovely day at a spa somewhere drinking a mango-starfruit-wheatgrass smoothie and getting a massage from a man with the slow hands named Sven. Oh well.

Because it’s what I do to make sure I go to my annual exams, I treat myself to something nice or fun or tasty after every year’s appointment. Today I’m going to eat lovely Indian food with my husband at our favorite restaurant, possibly get a massage with a $10 off certificate (though Sven isn’t on the agenda, more’s the pity), and visit a LYS hitherto unknown to me. (I get all three nice and fun and tasty things because today is also my birthday. So there.)

No, I haven’t fallen off the KFYS wagon — perish the thought. Perish it, right now. I got a gift certificate from my FIL and step-MIL for belated Christmas. See:

And I have to use it soon, or it shall expire (perish, even) and I shan’t have the bounty due to me. Shan’t.

Anyway, this particular LYS called Yarn Sellar doesn’t have a website. There is a website for a store called Yarn Sellar but that’s in Maine. Obviously my in-laws didn’t hoof it to Maine to get me a gift certificate. Obviously, especially if you know them. Wanda knows them. Hi Wanda! (My sister-in-law)

Okay, what now? (perhaps this would be a good time to tell you all that I’ve been drinking throughout the entire time of my birthday so far (it’s 12:30am now) and started YESTERDAY for I am a monster at the drinking. There may be a little loss of point and also of typing ability.) Yes. The LYS. I’m going and I’m going to spend the entire thing on yarn which will not count against me. Because it is my birthday, and because I will have experienced the Speculum Of Doom.


And thank you to my Mom for the flowers she sent to my place of work today, as tomorrow is my day off. You livened up my day, you sweet and also sneaky lady. Thank you.

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Being the annoyingly organized (about some things) person that I am, I’ve started to make an inventory of my yarn and needles. Seriously. I made a spreadsheet and everything. (Stop laughing.)


(yarn waiting to be assessed, categorized, and digitized.)

This effort may be seen by some as pure folly, or a waste of time, or just absolutely batshit crazy. Whatever. I prefer to see it as an effort to gain control over my stash (god, who keeps laughing?) and keep myself (a) focused on the projects for which I purchased the yarn in the first place, and (b) aware of how much yarn I actually own.

Just how much yarn do I own?

Well, for starters, I own 4 miles (7744.6 yards) of sock yarn. Not as much as some, maybe, but it definitely is cause for action Chez HookOn.

And I’m really not sure how much I own of the rest of the yarn (haven’t gotten everything entered yet) but it astonishes me how much I’ve forgotten. When Femiknitter was visiting she asked to see my stash, and I pulled everything out. Everything (except the Red Heart) was a lot. I kept remembering little places in my apartment where I’ve randomly shoved yarn away, and I really surprised myself with what I found (“Huh, I’ve got 8 balls of a discontinued Patons superwash merino! I wonder where those came from.”).

To sum up: the yarn/needle (oh god, the needles) inventory is a good way to make sure I shop for yarn only in my stash, and is a lovely time- and money-saving device. Lovely.

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Resolved

Hapy New Year, everyone! I’m a bit late in saying that, but yesterday saw me in Michigan visiting a bunch of sweet people, then participating in a 4.5 hour drive home.

I did think about New Year’s resolutions — something I don’t usually do because I think I set myself up for failure and disappointment if I don’t accomplish said resolutions. This year I realized that if I don’t give myself goals, I definitely don’t reach them, so why the heck not? Why not, indeed. So here are a few off my list:

Physical activity is no longer optional.

Figure out (then TAKE) the next step, career-wise.

Travel.

Challenge myself, knit-wise.

Seriouly, knit more.

Take control of the stash.
I took a mental inventory the other day and am horrified at (or idiotically proud of) myself.

  • I have my sock yarn stashed on top of bookshelves in the part of our living room where lives my cozy knitting chair,
  • I have yarn stashed between the knitting chair and the wall,
  • I have yarn stashed under the end table next to my knitting spot on the couch,
  • I have yarn stashed under the bed in a plastic box that threatens to burst open,
  • I have yarn stashed in a 4-drawer dresser unit in the computer room,
  • I have yarn stashed ON TOP OF the 4-drawer dresser unit in baskets,
  • I have yarn stashed in giant plastic bags SURROUNDING the 4-drawer dresser unit,
  • I have yarn stashed under my desk at work — AT WORK, PEOPLE!
  • And I have yarn stashed on the third floor of the library (again, MY PLACE OF WORK) which I call my “teaching stash” for when I next teach crochet or knitting classes. I have no plans as yet to teach crochet or knitting classes.

And I realize that this may be nothing to those master hoarders (you know who you are) who use yarn in place of fiberglass insulation to reduce their winter heating costs, but it’s a lot of yarn for me, and A LOT of yarn for this tiny two-bedroom apartment. And certainly A LOT for my place of work. Plus, it’s rather stupid of me to continue purchasing yarn when that money could go toward debt repayment or saving for a house or other responsible-adult-type things.

After realizing this for myself, I decided to join in on this little thing that you may have heard of.

(Evidence of long hours learning to use The Gimp, culminating in this, my first sucess at making a button! Feel free to snag it, but please save it to your own server. Because that’s what nice bloggers do.)

I’ve stolen from Wendy, raided Rabbitch, and come up with my own rules for this game:

1. This game starts on January 1st (which means my yarn purchases from Femiknitter’s visit snuck in just under the radar) and runs through September.

2. I get a bye for Stitches Midwest in August (what? Like I’m going to give that up), but will impose a monetary limit on my purchases.

3. I can buy sock yarn, but only after actually completing 2 pairs of socks.

4. Gifts of yarn are not my fault and are entirely acceptable.

5. The “I’ve run out of yarn for this specific project and must finish it” excuse is entirely acceptable.

6. I can succumb to the temptation of sexy sexy yarn ONCE AND ONLY ONCE outside of the other exceptions, so it better be well worth it.

I don’t think this will be hard. At the rate I’m knitting, I won’t even make a dent in the stash (which currently holds enough yarn to make (roughly) 5 shawls, 4 sleeveless tops, 3 me-sized sweaters, 2 baby-sized sweaters, 16 pairs of socks, 4 large crocheted afghans, 1 pair of mittens, 1 Christmas tree skirt, and assorted scarves, hats, and random randomness). I think I’ll be okay.

2007 in going to rock!

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