Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I did some stuff (and took lots of pictures)

I am pleased to report that the haunting spectre of the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky is almost gone from my life. I finally knit it up into some things that were not immediately frogged.
You may remember that I had 6 bedevilled skeins of it. About 3.5 became this scarf:
I had an idea that I was going to do a very thick scarf with all 6 skeins that would be full of many fancy cables. But then for some reason when I got out my Barbara Walker books to find some cable patterns, I found myself gravitating towards this simple yet pretty knit-purl stitch pattern called seaweed. Maybe because I'm lazy. But I think it turned out nicely.

The coolest part of it is, it looks different on both sides but in a good, either one could be presentable kind of way. Ignore the color in these pictures, the yarn is really much more of a nice olive green than the bird poo grey that my camera wants to show you.
Here's the "front":

And the "back":How do those knitted columns come out all wavey like that when there are no increases or decreases in the pattern? It's a mystery to me.
I haven't blocked it for fear of losing the cool waviness. I think it looks kind of nice in its bunchy way right now, I can't decide. I also can't decide if I am going to keep it or if it will end up as a Christmas present.

Then, with the leftovers I started these:
Comfy footy-type house socks that will be for my SP9 secret pal. She lives in Minnesota. I figure her feet must be freezing. I might be slightly more tempted to keep these for myself if it weren't currently 85 degrees here in San Francisco.
Unfortunately, at the end of all this industrious Superchunky knitting I'm still going to have about 1 skein left. And being a super-anal type I can't just get rid of it, so I guess their spectre will still sort of haunt me.

Also, I finished 1 Pomatomus! Hooray!

Here's the fly in my socky ointment however:
Why is the grafting sticking up like that? In my vast experience of having knitted 6 entire other socks besides this one, I haven't had that happen to me. It looks pretty funky. Did I pull the kitchener stitches too tight? Any advice?

But wait! I have more to show you!
Many, many more sock yarns have come into my life recently.
Brown Sheep Wildfoote sock yarn in Bark Cloth (what the heck is a bark cloth?):
This is for my secret pal, who professes to like autumnal colors best of all. This yarn is a little more orangey-rusty-red than is showing up here. I'm glad that this stuff gets to pass through my house on its way to her so I can feel it first.

I caved and bought some more Cherry Tree Hill Supersock mill ends from this ebay seller:
The auction ended at an incredibly low price though: $23 for 15 oz! Damn! I think some of this might find its way to my secret pal, and maybe the rest will become another Clapotis for my mother, although potentially not in time for Christmas, I have so many other things lined up ahead of it, and I'm a slow knitter.

I won a contest over at the Yarn Pirate's and she sent me some neat Opal yarn:
I'm excited to see what kind of stripey patterns will emerge as it is knitted.

And finally, I bought myself some Louet Gems Pearl sock yarn, just because I've been wanting to try it out:
Such pretty soft buttery yellow and white plied goodness. Reminds me of sweet corn.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Me me me!

I'm getting sick of knitting things for other people. And I'm nowhere near close to done with my planned Christmas present knitting. I'm also getting really sick of knitting things in boy colors. The cheery respite of the baby booties has long faded away.
So I decided, screw everybody else, I'm making something for me! Me me me!
Voila un demi Pomatomus:
This is more of the Cherry Tree Hill mill end. I am knitting from both ends of the ball as I was getting some horrific green pooling (or flashing? what is the difference between pooling and flashing?) in icky spirals all around the leg of the sock. I think it's mostly better now. Although there are still more patches of green then I would like.

I am generally of the mind that variegated sock yarns are best suited to really plain patterns, as the changes in colors tend to obscure any cool stitch patterns, to my eye at least. But Pomatomus seems to be the sort of exception to this rule. I've seen some awesome Pomatomi in variegated yarn that still really highlight the neat stitch pattern (Cookie's original one from the pattern being the prime example, of course) but I've also seen some in variegated yarn that, in my humble opinion, are hard to identify as Pomatomus because of the colors. So I was a bit apprehensive about starting this project out. I don't think it's the best example of Pomatomus-colorway combination I've seen, but I think the stitch pattern is still noticeable enough.

Remember this?
It's my Clapotis, knit from what is purportedly the same mill end yarn. It came as several skeins of varying sizes that all looked like they were pretty much the same colorway, but I realized a few inches into the sock that the skein I'm using for it seems kind of different. It's all emerald green, magenta, and purple. Where are all the cool light blues and pretty rusty browns from my lovely Clapotis? Nowhere to be seen. It's not a big deal, the colors are still nice, but I'm kind of concerned that the other sock is going to end up looking really different, since the current skein is not big enough for 2 socks.
Twisted ribbing is neat.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Secret Pal 9 questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I like almost all natural fibers. I've mostly knit with animal fibers in the past but am interested in trying some cotton or bamboo or others. I'm not crazy about mohair or alpaca if it's too fuzzy, those stray fuzzy guard hairs kind of drive my skin nuts. I'm also not a big fan of novelty yarns.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a needle roll that used to belong to my grandmother, although I mostly use Denises and DPNs, so the Denises have their own case and the DPNs are currently just loose in a drawer.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I learned how to knit in high school but only did it very sporadically until just a few years ago. A friend in high school taught me how to knit. I would consider my level intermediate, I guess.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
I like woodsy or green scents, or lavendar, or a lot of other florals.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I do have a sweet tooth! I love most kinds of chocolate.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I've done a little bit of yarn dyeing but it's not really something I want to get too into right now, living in a small apartment. I also like printmaking and sometimes sewing. I don't spin.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like bluegrass, jazz, folk, rock, I think my computer can play MP3s.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I like blues and greens. Not a huge fan of most pinks and neon colors.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with my fiance and our 2 cats.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I wear scarves occasionally, hats and gloves even more occasionally, and ponchos never. I live in San Francisco so it's doesn't often get cold enough to necessitate scarves/hats/gloves.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I've just recently started knitting socks and I think those are fun! I also like knitting lacey scarves or other interesting stitch patterns.

13. What are you knitting right now?
2 pairs of socks and a sweater for my fiance. I'm about to start a Picovoli, one of these days.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I mostly use Denises so circular, and I like metal DPNs for socks (I have a bunch of the Knitpicks DPNs). I've been meaning to try magic loop for socks but haven't gotten around to buying long circulars yet. Not so crazy about bamboo (it always seems to snag the yarn).

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Hmm, I have a mohair sweater that I started in high school, so over 10 years ago, but it is never going to be finished as I realized that I hate mohair.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas! For the crafts and presents.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Old postcards, and yarn, obviously.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I have a subscription to Interweave, and to Vogue Knitting that is just ending. I'd love to try magic loop with long Addi turbos. I'm always coveting various sock yarns, like Socks that Rock, or Knitpicks Gloss, or Lorna's Laces. I'm currently looking for more solid color machine washable sock yarn. I would love to get a copy of a Gathering of Lace, or other good lace patterns (although I'm not so fond of triangular or circular shawls, I kind of feel like they belong on 90 yr old ladies). And I'd definitely love to get my hands on a copy of Jess Hutchisons's Unusual Toys for you to Knit and Enjoy, but that's probably wishful thinking.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'd like to try Magic Loop for socks, toe-up socks, more complicated cables (I've done some very simple cables).

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes I'm a sock knitter. I wear size 9.5. I think my foot is like 8" around? I'm not sure.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
May 13.