Wednesday, February 28, 2007

white stuff

Can you believe it snowed this morning? It didn't stick around for long but still... Snow at the end of Feb? I thought I was living on the 'wet' coast.

Luckily, I finished my second neck warmer yesterday (the indigo one on the right). I made it narrower and longer than the first one. The yarn's the same too - Malabrigo. I wore it out today and I needed it. Brrrrr! And did you notice that it's one of the items on my UFO list? That's one thing I can cross off the list.

And I've turned the heel on my CDM sock. I'll have plenty of yarn to finish the foot. I don't know why I was so concerned.

I didn't get any knitting done today. I had to work (for fabric).

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

guilty as charged

Recently, I bought some stacking bins to help organize my yarn a little. It does not hold all my yarn but keeps it from taking over all available horizontal surfaces (i.e. the couch, ottoman, floor, etc.). While I was collecting all the bits and stuffing them into the bins, I also organized all my UFOs. I duly bagged and tagged everything and put them in the top bin where I would see them and maybe be inspired to finish them. It was a nice thought but for the most part, it hasn't really worked. In an effort to guilt myself into finishing at least one UFO in the near future, I thought full disclosure might help.

From left to right, top to bottom:
Bonita Shirt from IK Summer 2006 - stalled when the weather got too cold; also requires a lot of math because 43" is too small and 48.25" is too big; I'm making it 46"
neck warmer - stalled when the weather got too warm
Wyvern sock - dunno why it's stalled; oh yeah, I'm busy with the CDM sock
Irish Hiking Scarf - not my colour and didn't need it as a 2006 Christmas present after all
Odessa hat by Grumperina - was inspired by Caroline's and then decided it wouldn't look good on me; should be frogged
feather and fan shawl - out of some handspun that I picked up at the thrift store
spiral tube sox - discovered short row heels so never finished the second sock; should be frogged
russian booties - despite casting on way more stitches than the pattern instructions, it still ended up too small. I've only got the one skein and I've used exactly half for the first bootie. These fit my Mom so I'll eventually make the second one.
modified Birch shawl - I am really close to being done. I guess I fell out of love with it
Icarus shawl from IK Summer 2006 - love the shawl, love the yarn, dunno what happened
garter stitch scarf - again, didn't need it as a 2006 Christmas present

Not shown: afghan (too big to photograph), Arwen (too lazy to dig it out for the photograph), and Canal Du Midi sock (see picture below).

I think the project that I want to finish first is the Bonita shirt. I am up to the armholes which is about halfway mark. It would be nice to get it finished and wearable by summer. My only concern is running out of yarn. It's vintage stuff from the thrift store so I can't get anymore of it. I did all the calculations and I should have enough but one is never sure. If I don't think I'll make it, I'll skip the sleeves and convert it to a sleeveless top by working i-cord around the entire armhole.

Or maybe I should finish Arwen before it gets too warm...

Or I could ignore the guilt and work on my CDM sock. Notice how it's still twisting to the left?

PS. The sock is 12g and it's 5" long.

Monday, February 26, 2007

feelin' Irish

I'm making good progress on the Canal Du Midi sock. Doesn't the greeny goodness remind you of the Irish? I might get these done in time to wear on St. Patrick's Day.

I've caught hubby's cold so my butt was parked on the couch all day (I also plugged all 3 Matrix movies into the DVD player). This picture was taken earlier today so the sock's much longer now. Do you see anything unusual about the sock? Like how it's twisting to the left? It is much more pronounced now that the sock is longer. I don't know why it's twisting - this has never happened to me before. I just hope it all blocks out.

I had a slight panic yesterday night. I realized after starting the sock that the pattern calls for 2 - 100g balls of yarn. I only have 2 - 50g skeins. And when I weighed them, they're actually only 42g each because there's a small skein of reinforcing yarn inside. Double ack! I signed up for the KOTR KAL to see if I could find past messages regarding yardage. I found a few but I didn't find the answer I was looking for. Instead of starting the stockinette at 4.5", I started it at 3.5". The leg is 4" long now and I've used about 10g of yarn. If I make sure the leg doesn't use more than 18g of yarn, then I'll have enough for the foot. My digital scale's going to get a good workout.

And for future reference, this sock can be knit from the toe up. Just follow the chart as is, use your favourite heel, and do increases in the leg after turning the heel. It's a good way to go so that you don't have to worry about running out of yarn.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

oh yeah

Mmmmm... Fibrefest! I've had the date marked on my calendar since last Fibrefest. I notice that it's a few weeks later than usual.

Yes, it's definitely worth the drive. There's lots of good stuff. Last year's haul included some Cascade 220, Iona silk & wool laceweight from the Singing Weaver, a bag of red yarn from Sun Bench Fibres, and sock yarn from Birkeland Bros. I'm sure I got other stuff, too. This year, I'm saving up to buy myself some bamboo.

I went with my Mom and we had lots of fun. We spent the whole day there - watching the fashion show (doesn't look like there's one scheduled this year), petting the alpaca and llama samples. My Mom really liked watching the alpaca shearing demonstration.

The show stays open late on Fri - could you go after work? Or maybe first thing Sat morning? Tell Tony it's only once a year and there's nothing else like it locally. One of the exhibitor's last year was selling Rogue and Eris kits. Is that tempting enough?

No knitting today. I spent the day working on my Night Weave quilt. I got lots of fabric cut and some of it sewn together. I really really really hate pressing seams open. It just sloooows me right down. But at least I'm making progress.


Hey Dott, didn't you go to Fibrefest at the Tradex convention centre last year? Was it worth the long drive?

Probably yes — I seem to remember you showing me some swag that you'd bought there.

It's on Tony's birthday, so I'm not sure if I'll get out there or not, and I'm just wondering how much fun I'm missing.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Finally, a FO

I finally finished the second Tofutsies sock (my 15th pair of sox ever and my 5th pair for 2007). Yay! I really like the colours and they feel nice & cool on my feet. I can't wait to wear them.

As a reward for finishing my test knitting, I went out for a little retail therapy today. There is this store called Dressew. It's close enough to downtown that it's a pain to find parking plus it's in a very questionable neighbourhood so I don't visit that often. But they have hard to find crafty/sewing things (they have the best selection of fake fur fabrics) at very reasonable prices so it's worth the trip. I was going mostly to see if they had the magnetic clasps that I was looking for (they didn't) but I did find those snap bag closures that I wanted to try out. They're having a huge yarn sale. Lots of novelty/acrylic but all of it was only $1.99 per ball which is great if you're making hats or scarves. I didn't want any novelty stuff but I did find something that I could use. I bought 8 balls of JP Coats Speed-Cro-Sheen (for a total of 2400 yds). It's 100% mercerized cotton and reminds me of Super 10 cotton. I currently plan to use it for the Lace Nightie from IK's website. Woo woo! And if I have some leftover, I might make the thong, too.

I started the Canal Du Midi socks this afternoon. Nothing to show other than a little bit of ribbing. The cast-on instructions threw me for a loop. I was trying it out when it dawned on me that it was my usual cast-on but with 2 strands of yarn. Nancy Bush calls it a variation of the long tail cast-on but I think of it as my normal long tail cast-on. So much for learning a new cast-on. It'll be interesting to see how long it takes me to knit this sock. I bet the lace pattern will slow me down but I'm not sure how much once I've got it memorized. I don't care - I'll be glad to have a pair of lacy socks on my feet.

Friday, February 23, 2007

stick a fork in me

I'm done with my test knitting!!! It looks so pretty but I still don't have permission to blog about it so you'll just have to wait for pictures. I am pretty pleased with the whole thing. There are a few boo boos that are entirely my fault (sometimes, I just can't count to 3). I also learned a few new things. Overall, I had fun.

So back to our regularly scheduled knitting... What to work on next? Here are a few UFO's off the top of my head:
- second tofutsies sock
- second wyvern sock
- Arwen
- second Malabrigo neck thingy
- Night Weave quilt top
- mystery quilt (top is done, just needs basting, quilting & finishing)

I might do some quilting to give my hands a break from all that knitting.

And on Wed, I got my copy of the IK spring issue in the mail so I've been ooooing and ahhhhing over the things that I want to make. Luckily, the magazine didn't arrive earlier. Otherwise, it would've taken all my will power to finish the test knitting before I started anything else.

I have also been dreaming about my sock year resolution. I grabbed some post-it notes and on each post-it, I wrote down a sock yarn that's in the stash. I went through all the KOTR sock patterns that I want to knit and put a single post-it note on each pattern. I used up all the post-it notes with a few to spare. That means, I have enough sock yarn to knit the socks I want to knit without buying any more. This is kinda shocking.

And in case you're curious, here's my plan:
Canal Du Midi - vintage sock yarn that I dyed green with Kool-Aid
Conwy - Cherry Tree Hill in Moody Blues
Dalarna - SweetGeorgia in Blue Steel
Denmark - Indigo Moon in sage
Friday Harbor - Indigo Moon in purple
New England - Regia in white
Spey Valley - KPPPM in dark purple
Traveler's Stockings - SweetGeorgia in Cassis
Unst - KPPPM in dark purple
Whitby - Indigo Moon in gold

My yarn choices may change depending on whether or not I can get my hands on some more SweetGeorgia yarn. I would also like to try Lorna's Laces but I'm not going to buy any until I know for sure that there's no hope of getting any more SweetGeorgia yarn. For some of these socks, I will probably switch from the flap heel/gusset to a short row heel. It depends on the diameter of the leg. I was thinking about converting the patterns so that they're toe-up but that's just too much work.

The cats have been behaving - no more hairballs or house wrecking. They've been keeping hubby company. Hubby has the sniffoos and was home sick on Wed. When I went to check on him, he was propped up in bed watching a movie. He had a quilt tucked under his chin. Ricky was under the quilt and snoozing between hubby's knees. Phoebe was lying on a thigh. They looked so cute together. Awwwwww!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The big Four-Oh

The best birthdays are when you've got a hobby that comes with a lot of pretty consumables.

Thank you, Dotty, for the gorgeous project bag and the Tofutsies yarn! (For those of you who don't know us, we actually aren't sisters, though we sure look alike.)

Sarah gave me some hot pink and red fun fur, with some money hidden inside to support my yarn habit. Speaking of yarn habit, Tony's folks gave me a lovely gift certificate to Wool and Wicker, in Richmond. I love this store's selection, but they're so pricey that I don't dare go there too often. Now I can go and indulge. And Grace and Eric gave me a pair of Knit-Lites, for knitting in the dark.

You gotta admit: knitting is as good as golf when it comes to finding gadgets and books to feed the hobby.

And two packages arrived for me this week. The first was my prize from Shadkitty Knitty's contest: a ball of Bunny Hop yarn.

The second was a Knitpicks order (your yarn is in there too, Dotty!). I needed a couple of pairs of 0 and 1 sized 24" circs, plus Sensational Knitted Socks and One Skein Wonders.

And now, to do my RedBirdKnits order ... woohoo! But then I think I'm on a yarn diet for a loooong time!

Happy Birthday!

It's official - you're a year older! And it's a big birthday, too (I won't say how old because you might hold my yarn hostage). Have a good day and I hope the boys behave themselves.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

all about the cats

Usually, I wake up to the sound of Ricky meowing at the top of his lungs - "Feed me now! Feed meow!". This morning, I awoke to the sound of Phoebe having a hairball in our bedroom. Blech. It was the fastest I've ever woken up or gotten out of bed.

The hairball must've upset her stomach because she didn't eat all her breakfast and she loves tuna for breakfast. Poor baby. Phoebe didn't get much sympathy from me because I had to go to work - for fabric.

I bought a ton of this absolutely gorgeous robin's egg blue (there might have been some fighting over this fabric on Sunday) and a co-ordinating fabric. I also bought some of this special Japanese fabric (again, there might have been some tension about how much each of us was allowed to buy). Isn't the daisy motif so delicate?

I worked on the test knit project when I got home. All of a sudden, I hear a crash (that would be the curtain & curtain rod in the laundry room coming down on top of Ricky), a bang (that's Ricky throwing himself off the window ledge/washing machine and falling to the floor), and a slam (in his haste to get outta there, Ricky manages to slam the door shut thus locking himself in the laundry room with the attack-curtain). Phoebe and I wander over there and when I opened the door, there was a stack of towels on the floor. I opened the door wider and there is Ricky slinking on his belly with the biggest poufy tail I've ever seen. He is clearly freaked out by what just happened (actually, he's like that whenever there's a loud unexplained noise - like hubby falling in the bathtub). When I got the door open wide enough, he slunk right outta there. I put the curtain back up, picked up the towels, and refolded them. When I was done, Ricky was back. He jumped on the washing machine, poked his head under the curtain, and hopped on the window ledge like nothing had happened. Yeesh - cats!

So have you heard the news? Skacel - makers of Addi Turbos - will be making pointy lace needles! Here's a review. They're being sold as lace needles but I'll probably buy one for sock knitting. And my lys has ordered them so hopefully, I'll get my hands on them soon. I can't wait.

I should get back to my knitting. There's good TV watching tonite so I should get a lot accomplished.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Gung Hei Fat Choy

This weekend - there was eating (lots of it), shopping, and quilting.

There were a few sales that I went to this weekend. A local fabric shop was advertising a new stock of bamboo fabrics. I was curious to see what they had. I've read that bamboo keeps the body cool and wicks more moisture than cotton. Hubby is an avid cyclist and I thought I could make him a jersey to wear. But the bamboo fabrics were all woven and looked too dressy. I did pick up some silk thread for an applique quilt that I poke at once in awhile.

Hubby and I went to the Sandbar Restaurant for our 'eat out' Valentine's dinner on Sat. I highly recommend it. The food was great. Hubby ordered har gow (chinese shrimp dumplings) as an appetizer followed by wild sockeye salmon and grilled jumbo prawns with asparagus and risotto. I had the carmelized onion & feta flat bread and the ultimate tapas platter. The platter was huge (I knew it would be). There were spring rolls, wok squid, riblets, crab cakes, and pork dumplings. Yum! I couldn't eat it all by myself but there wasn't a single crumb left when the waitress came by to take our plates. We shared the apple crumble a la mode for dessert.

On Sunday, I was scheduled to go to a birthday party but I had managed to get myself double booked. So I sent hubby to the party and I went to my quilting gig. I helped make a raffle quilt to raise funds for the Burnaby Children's Hospital Fund. The quilt is wonderfully scrappy and I had lots of fun giggling with the girls. We only managed to make the 30 blocks. There is some machine applique that needs to be done, the blocks need to be trimmed and sewn together, and borders added. We're getting together again in April to finish the top. I'll take pictures when it's done. There was one major fatality. Adrienne managed to sew her finger. Not a little nick but right through her finger nail. EWWWWWWWW! Lucky for me that I was somewhere else cutting fabric. I don't handle blood/gore very well. She was such a trooper, tho. She was bandaged up, someone made her some strong tea, and shortly afterwards, she was sewing away with the rest of us. If it was me, I would've been a babbling idiot and crying for someone to drive me home.

Yesterday night, hubby and I went to my parents' house for Chinese New Year supper. I was expecting duck but there was none. My Dad's very picky about ducks and apparently, the local shop switched cooks and the duck isn't the same as before. So no duck. Boo hoo. No worries as there was lots of other good food. My Dad is a top notch cook (he's cooked professionally, ya know) so we're never disappointed. We were so full that there wasn't any room for dessert. And yes, I did get a red envelope (eventhough, I'm too old and married).

(Sorry about the picture quality. We left the camera at home so this is the best I could do with my cell phone's camera).

My Mom is a sock knitter! This is her sock. She knit the first sock with my supervision. She knit the second one (that's the one in the picture) by herself. She started a third sock with the leftover yarn but ran out partway up the leg. She decided that she didn't like sock #1 (gauge was too loose, mistakes in the short rowing, etc.) so she frog'd it and is reknitting it. I gave her more sock yarn to knit with and I'm buying more for her. Dad's getting a pair of handknit socks eventhough, he doesn't want any. Hee hee.

I got a tiny bit of knitting done this weekend but I got a lot done today. I'm still working exclusively on my test knit piece. I should be able to blog about it/post pictures as soon as the pattern's published!

ETA: ybtb is having a sale - 20% off basics; yoo hoo, Gladys...

Friday, February 16, 2007

You are evil

Dear Yarn Enabler (aka co-blogger),

You are pure evil. What are you trying to do to my wallet/credit cards? Don't I already owe you money for a KP order? You're going to force me to get a job so that I can afford to keep up with your yarn shopping habit. I already work for fabric and yarn and now I have to work for money. Yeesh.

Lack of funds didn't stop me from checking out the website, tho.

That Sea Wool looks very intriguing. What colour are you thinking of?

I see this place sells CTH potluck... Hmmm... I can't seem to find CTH anywhere else in Canada. And they've got some very pretty colours.

And they have Schaefer Anne... That I can resist since I already have some in my stash.

The Wensleydale looks tempting. It's Wallace's favourite cheese. And his dog, Gromit knits so I might have to get some of that yarn. Too bad there aren't many colours to choose from.

And don't order anything until after Sunday. I assume you'll be at Megan's party. I'll be dropping off her bday present and if I see you, I'll give you your present, too.

I'll post formal bday wishes on the actual day. In the meantime, Happy Shopping!


PS. Test knitting is going well. I found a bunch of errors in the pattern but I was able to correct them and keep knitting.

Birthday shopping

Hi Dotty,

It's my birthday next week, and it's the big one, so I'm treating myself to a bit of a yarn shopping binge.

That's when I found Red Bird Knits, which is a Canadian online yarn store. Even better: on your birthday, they give you 10% off and free shipping!

And to put the cherry on top, they've got the new Handmaiden SeaWool. The price is a bit of an ouch, at $27, but it is my birthday, and 10% off makes it $25.

But of course, a few other things have fallen into my cart accidentally. The store also carries Tiny Toes Interlacements (recently raved-about on Lime & Violet). And it has tons of other beautiful sock and lace yarn.

It's a few more days to my birthday, so I'll probably keep adding and deleting from my cart for a while. Let me know if you'd like anything!

Thursday, February 15, 2007


You've got to read the latest issue of Yarnival. As usual, it's packed with must-read blog posts and thoughts about knitting.

My knitting: almost finished my purple and red knitpicks socks — should be done sometime tonight, probably during Survivor. ;-)

Next up will be another pair in Austermann Step, a gift for my sister-in-law. Then I might try a sweater or a skirt, we'll see what comes out of the stash pile for swatching.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

bits and bobs

Nothing cohesive today. My brain's still in a bit of a blur from last weekend.

1. I delivered the second sample sock to 3bf. The Tofutsies are selling very quickly.

2. I have been commissioned to test-knit a new Sivia Harding (the Sivia!) pattern. Until the pattern's published, I won't be able to show pictures. I can probably tell you what yarn I'm using - Indigo Moon's 2 ply merino wool.

3. Felicia's taking time off from work-work and dyeing yarn. She'll be gone 6-12 months! Double EEP! I only have 4 skeins of her sock yarn - certainly not enough to last me 6 months much less a year. There's only a few skeins left at 3bf but they're expecting more soon. I hope I'm one of the lucky ones to get my hands on some.

4. Felicia's also de-stashing. So keep your eyes glued to her blog. Oh and leave some for me.

5. I started my last boring ho-hum stockinette sock - it's the mate for my very first Tofutsies. I got a lot done while watching MI3 yesterday night. I hope to finish it soon so that I can start the test knitting.

6. I worked on my Night Weave quilt a little. I cranked out 8 more blocks. And I was lucky enough not to make any mistakes this time. Did I tell you that all the seams need to be pressed open? I Hate Pressing Seams Open.

I think that's it... I need to make some choux pastry for a luncheon tomorrow. Plus I need to get my Valentine butt in gear. I promised DH a gourmet supper - crab stuffed portobello mushrooms, bacon-wrapped scallops, pasta in white wine sauce, and a chocolate fondue with strawberries for dessert. Hey - I think I just gained 5lbs typing that out.

Happy Valentine's!

Monday, February 12, 2007

New Year knitting resolution

(Ok - I know it's Feb so I'm a little late. But Chinese New Year is Sat and I am Chinese so it counts.)

I haven't been knitting socks for very long. Sure, I owned sock needles and I even had a beaten up ball of Patons Kroy that I'd reknit a bazillion times. My friend (and co-blogger) gave me "Knitting on the Road" by Nancy Bush for my birthday last summer and it still didn't jumpstart my sock knitting.

I don't know what did. Perhaps, it was Socktoberfest or maybe I was finally tired of making scarves and mittens and I wanted other small projects to work on. In any case, I wanted to knit sox.

In Sept, I did some research and selected Wendy's Generic Toe-Up pattern (I like the idea of never running out of yarn before the foot's done). I ripped out the Kroy sock and tried again. I gave up fairly quickly because there were a million breaks in the yarn. I dug around in the stash and found the DG Confetti that I'd bought at Fibrefest International. In about a week, I had knit a complete pair of socks. These were gifted to a friend (hey, Pauline!).

And I haven't been able to stop. Twelve pairs (two pairs for my hubby's size 13 feet) and 3 singles later, I am addicted... With the exception of one single sock, all other socks are plain, boring, ho-hum stockinette. That leads me to my resolution... I want to knit non-plain stockinette socks. I want lacy, cable-y, interesting socks. My New Year resolution is (drumroll please) to knit non-stockinette socks. Pretty boring resolution, eh? I am going to try to knit all the socks that I like from Knitting on the Road - Canal Du Midi, Conwy, Dalarna, Denmark, Friday Harbor, New England, Spey Valley, Traveler's Stockings, Unst, and Whitby. I also have the book - "Knitting Vintage Socks" (also by Nancy Bush) so I may knit socks from there, too. We'll see how it goes.

Here is a picture of my second-to-last plain stockinette sock (I finished it today):

This sock was really annoying to knit - it pooled worse than the first one. There are sections where the colour repeats changed making it look like I had knit the sock from 3 different balls of yarn. The worst thing is that it doesn't match the first one at all. Sigh...

Cat picture of the day

We have a big sofa (almost 4ft deep, over 8 ft long, and big enough for my 6'4" husband). The back cushions are not attached and they're also down filled so they can be moulded to your body. Phoebe loves to sleep on top of the back cushions because there's enough softness to cradle her body but it's not so soft that she feels tippy. This is what stared back at me when I turned my head to the left:

Isn't she special? She looks mad because I wouldn't let her crawl into my lap. I was using the laptop and she tends to step on the touch pad/mouse buttons and mess things up. Maybe one day, I'll let her co-author a blog entry.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

quilting without a brain

I am exhausted. The mystery quilt really wore me out. It was cloudy and yucky today so I didn't get a chance to take a better picture of the quilt top. There are pictures of other mystery quilts posted to the flickr site now.

The Night Weave quilt class was great. Stressful but lots of fun. I made so many mistakes. I had to make the same block 3 times before I got it right. And the technique is not forgiving. If you cut it wrong, the pieces are garbage. They cannot be reused anywhere in the quilt top. I currently have 3 boo-boo blocks that will be placed on the back of the quilt as a reminder that I need high functioning brain cells to work on this type of quilt. And everything has to be precise. I am definitely not used to being precise. I spend a lot of time fudging seams when I quilt but you can't do that with this one. What did I get myself into?

And here's the bad cat picture of the day. Ricky sticking his nose where it doesn't belong (from left to right: 2 skeins of Indigo Moon yarn, Tofutsies sock, and Malabrigo neck warmer).

Saturday, February 10, 2007

the mystery is solved

Sorry that the picture's not that good. I'm too pooped to take a decent one. I'll try to get a better snapshot tomorrow. There's a flickr group where you can look at the finished quilt tops. Currently, there's only pictures from the last mystery posted.

Off to pass out quietly in front of the tube.

PS. G - those are awesome looking sox. Glad to see that you're finally making something for yourself.

Stepping on

I've finished my Austermann Step socks, and I love them. Started them last Saturday night, and cast off and sewed in the ends at 10 last night, so they really did go quickly. And now I get to wear them today — yay!

On the needles now: Knitpicks sock memories (red hat, which is a lot more purple than shows in the photo), in the free Cable Twist Socks pattern from Hello Yarn. I started these at 10:30 last night, and I'm just a few rows away from the heel already. Let's hear it for thicker yarn and #2 needles! I was worried that the colourway would obscure the pattern but in fact, it enhances the pattern.

And here's a nifty design tool: generate a PDF graph paper chart, of whatever size grid you like. Handy for if you wanted to design your own patterns.

Friday, February 9, 2007

sock woes

Notice anything weird with this sock? Look right at the middle of the foot. What happened? It's as if a totally different yarn was inserted. I don't get it. You may also notice that it doesn't look anything like it's mate - it's really pooling. When I drop off the second sock, I may never be asked to knit another store sample ever again. Only a completely inept knitter could end up with totally different looking socks from the same skein.

I spent every spare moment working on the sock today because I won't get much knitting done this weekend. Tomorrow, I'm participating in a mystery quilt. It starts at 9am and it's supposed to go til 5pm. I'll be pooped by the end of the day.

And on Sunday, I've got a quilt class. I'll be learning how to make the Night Weave quilt. I've picked 2 bright batiks for the 'ribbons' and I'm using black for the background. I haven't done the pre-cutting yet. Can you guess what I'll be doing Sunday morning?

Thursday, February 8, 2007

a thousand words

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

I'm popular

I went to Knit Nite tonite. I was the popular one as everyone admired my new neck warmer. I even wrote out the pattern for someone. The store got a new shipment of Malabrigo so I picked up a skein of Indigo (lots of blue but also shades of lavender, too). I'll use it to make myself another neck warmer.

I delivered the sample sock to the store tonite. It's proudly on display with the basket of Tofutsies sock yarn. I guess I should get started on the second one.

I spent today and this evening seaming up Arwen. I hated doing the cuff. What a mess - I mis-crossed cables, I was twisting stitches - ugh. I also ran into a problem when seaming the back shoulder to the arm. One was longer than the other. I originally started from the bottom of the armhole and worked towards the shoulder but I was getting puckers. So I ripped it out and started from the shoulder so that the puckers will be under the arm. It looks much better now. I kitchener'd the sleeve seam and the shoulder. That took forever. I am so glad that I did some of the finishing now. If I had to do all that seaming at the end, I might never finish it.

And then there was the moment of truth - I put it on and it fits! I only have one little quibble - the sleeves are a bit long so there's some bunchiness just above the cuff that obscures the cables a little bit. I think it's due to the fact that I was between sizes so I knit the next size up. That made the body wider and since the cardigan sports drop shoulders, it makes the sleeves longer. I am hoping that I can block the sleeve to the right length. Overall, I am very pleased. I am really motivated to get that right side knitted.

Sock photos!

Finished the socks for Tony. What a nightmare that was. After I finished the first one (toe-up), I realized that it was an inch too long. So I ripped back from the toe, and then decreased and kitchenered the bottom. The second sock went a lot more smoothly. The nice thing about working with self-striping yarn is that you don't have to do any measuring the second time around — you just have to follow the pattern from the first sock.

And on the needles at the moment: Austermann Step socks. These are going SO quickly. This first sock was cast on Saturday night at 10'ish, and finished last night. I'm hoping to have the second sock done by the weekend, so I'll have new socks on Sunday.

Off to watch Lost now!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

my prize

I won a contest from the Arwen KAL a few weeks ago. My prize arrived yesterday - it's a ball of Trekking XXL sock yarn.

I sewed on the binding on the Coca Cola quilt yesterday so I can resume knitting now. I should cast on the second Tofutsies but I've been knitting a scarf with some novelty yarn that's been lurking in the stash. It'll probably end up being a Christmas gift for someone as I don't think I could possibly wear it.

Since I don't have any knitting content, I'll end with another picture. Here's Ricky - the self-blanketing cat. He will find a quilt and crawl underneath it. Luckily, there's lots of quilts to choose from.

Monday, February 5, 2007

another sock done

This morning I finished the first store sample Tofutsies sock. It's the one on the right. The one on the left is for myself from a different skein. Although, they are different colours, one would expect them to stripe similarly (this yarn isn't being advertised as hand dyed) but they don't. They're both knit with the same needles and the same number of stitches. I tried adding 4 sts to the sample sock but the colours just pooled differently. As you can see the colour runs on the right sock are much shorter than the left one.

I do like the sample sock (eventhough, I don't get to keep it). It reminds me of Monet's Waterlilies paintings. You know - blues & greens with little bursts of pink. It is one of my favourites.

I don't expect to get any more knitting done today. I have to make a chemo cap for a friend who's lost all her hair. Plus I need to get the binding sewn on the Coca Cola quilt.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

I got nothin'

I've been knitting the Tofutsies store sample all weekend. I'm almost ready to start the cuff. But I've run out of Grey's Anatomy to watch... Maybe I'll haul out the Avengers and re-watch that. Sorry but I don't have any pictures of the sock yet. We're supposed to get a break from the rain so maybe there'll be enough light to take decent pictures tomorrow.

I was out shopping today. I picked up some Eco-fil yarn from W*lm*rt. It's supposed to be made of recycled cotton. I am planning on making soap sox as Christmas gifts for this year (I wanted to make them for last Christmas but I ran out of time and only managed to knit 1). I noticed that the new Bernat Cotton colours are available.

I also stopped at the dollar store to buy myself a case for my new cell phone. They had a huge bin of Moda Dea yarns (like Dream, Tutu, Cache, Lazy Daisy) for only $2 per ball. I was sorely tempted by the Dream (I made a scarf for a friend who absolutely loves it) but I still have a bunch of Eden leftover from my Knitting Olympics cardigan. I need to stay away from the novelty stuff. No more yarn for me unless it's something really special.

Friday, February 2, 2007

keeping my neck warm

(my first self-portrait - not too shabby)

Yarn: 1 skein Malabrigo; colour velvet grapes
Needles: 7mm circs

Here's the pattern for this version:
Cast on 90 sts
Join for knitting in the round; do not twist
Round 1: Knit
Next round: k1, *yo, k2tog; repeat from * until it's long enough (remember it will scrunch down) and leave enough yarn to cast off
Cast off & weave in ends

This is big enough to fit over my head without taking my glasses off. You can adjust the size (to suit your yarn, etc.) by casting on an even number of stitches. This stitch pattern is called "Turkish Stitch with right bias".

It's the first time that I've knitted with Malabrigo and it's a very soft yarn. I'm probably going to buy another skein - maybe in blues and make myself another neck thingy.

I started another Tofutsies sock today - not a mate for the first one. When I bought another ball of it on Wed, I was asked to knit a pair as a store sample. That's what I am working on today. Unfortunately, the colours are pooling. (Before anyone suggests it - yes, I did cast on a different number of stitches but it still pooled and I do not have bamboo needles in any other size. I will probably knit the second sock from the other end of the skein.) The runs of colour are much shorter than the first skein - probably because it's a different colourway.

Remember the Clover/Takumi bamboo dpns that I bought last week specifically for knitting Tofutsies sox? They have developed a curve. All the needles are no longer straight. I don't know what I'm doing but I must be holding them too tightly. Sigh...
For the Second Annual Brigid in Cyberspace Poetry Reading

This poem is so cheerful and bright. It's like how the boys are when I release them from the house and let them go and get all rambunctious outside. Happy almost-springtime to us. Apparently it's going to be an early spring.

in just-
    in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame baloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old baloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and




baloonMan whistles

- e.e. cummings

socks for Valentine's Day

The Feb issue of MagKnits is up and look at these very cute sox. Wouldn't they be great to wear on Valentine's Day or anytime you're "in the mood"? I need to buy some red sock yarn!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

what a week

(slight rant ahead - skip to the picture for knitting content)
First, the chimney is leaking. Then our land line is flaky - we can call out but people are having problems calling us. The phone company's coming tomorrow to check things out. My cell phone forwarding seems to be broken and there's a problem with my account so it can't be readily fixed. While I'm on the phone with tech support, I'm told that my phone will be obselete in a few months so I have to upgrade to a new phone. Didn't I get the notice in the mail? What notice?
This morning, I'm woken up by the sound of my cat retching in our bedroom. Not a good way to start the day. And then I find out that my dishwasher is being recalled. Can anything else go wrong?
(end of rant)

I finished the left front of Arwen yesterday at knit nite. I haven't knitted the hood because I want to knit it in one piece. Despite my slight panic about the armhole size in the original pattern, I added extra short rows and the sleeves fit fine. I think I will seam the back and left front together before I start the right front.

Because of my bad week, I indulged in a little retail therapy during knit nite. I bought a skein of Malabrigo in Velvet Grapes which I knit into a cowl/neck warmer for myself. I finished it tonite so I'll post pictures tomorrow. I also bought another skein of Tofutsies (before all the nice colours are gone).

If you've been reading this blog, you know that I have a blonde cat named Ricky. He sits pretty low on the IQ chart. When hubby got home today, Ricky promptly stuffed his head into my hubby's shoe and proceeded to sniff and roll around. He did this several times. It looked like he was drugged with catnip except there's no catnip in the shoes. He really likes the smell of feet. How bizarre... It doesn't end there. While we were eating supper, there was a strange noise and we turned around. Ricky's head was stuck between the wall and the TV cabinet. There's nothing back there except cables and dust bunnies. You gotta wonder about that cat.

G - if I can buy myself clogs for my July bday, you can get yourself a bag of Noro for your birthday this month.

Great tips blog

I just found a neat blog: TechKnitting. Scroll down for her entry on jogless stripes — I think I'll be trying that out when I on my next striped socks.

And oh, bugger. Little Knits has a full-bag sale on Noro Silk Garden. $55 for a bag. And my birthday is coming up, isn't it?