Friday, March 28, 2008

Sock It To Me Part Deux Loot


- 3 skeins of Sugar n Cream Cotton yarn
- Araucania fingering weight yarn in Ranco It's screaming at me to make the Lace Ribbon Scarf in the Spring 2008 knitty
- 2 skeins of Drops Design's yummy Fabel sock yarn
- True Blue Spa's Shea isn't so and Toe the line to make my feet look purrty
- Nice notecards
- The first 2 books of James Patterson's Women's Mystery Club, 1st to Die and 2nd Chance Just what I wanted
- Ginger Snaps to feed my GS addiction lol
- Trail Mix yay
- Ferrero Rocher to feed my chocolate addiction lol
- a nice hello postcard from Oklahoma
- and lastly a pair of very comfortable socks

I'm relaxing, reading 1st to Die and munching on some ginger snaps. Dawn made me these pretty socks. They're stockinette stitch socks using Regia sock yarn in the galaxy colorway.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Fearless Knitting

At the beginning of the year, Knitting Daily had this in a newsletter. I finally decided to post about it.

Is there something you haven't tried because it seems Too Scary?

Knitting a sweater scares me. What if I spend all that time, energy and money and it doesn't fit... Or I don't like it... Or I don't look good in it.... Or I get bored knitting it and don't finish..... I want knitting to be fun and not seem like work.

Is there a technique you want to learn, or learn to do more skillfully?

Cables and Color Stranding. I've recently learned to do both. Cableless cable knitting isn't that hard to do. I need to practice so that the cable in front stitches(left) look tighter and identical to the cable in back stitches(right). Color stranding is an ongoing learning experience for me. I'll give it a try in few weeks when I make my lil bro a scarf. I want to do a Harry Potter type scarf with his name spelled out.

Is there something that stumps you?

I have trouble understanding patterns that aren't well written. I can pretty much understand all sock patterns well written or not, but non sock patterns.... Its seems like some patterns are the designer's notes. There's somethings I'd love to knit but I don't want to spend $10 for 15 minutes at my LYS asking the owner to deciper a pattern for me. The $10 for 15 minutes is price for "I have question..." at my LYS.

Is there something that you are dying to try, in your secret knitter's heart, but haven't dared because you think you're not a good enough knitter?

I look at pictures of the Pretty as a Peacock Shawl on Ravelry and drool. You have to be an expert lace knitter to do it. I'm a lace beginner. If the second row and all subsequent even rows aren't purl rows, I'd be up a creek.

Are you always knitting The Same Old Things, and you'd like to try something new?

I would love to make the Scarlet Woman Sleeveless Tank , Bella or Shapely Tee , but I'm afraid of spending alot of money on one of them and doing something to mess it up. I've thought doing a baby or toddler project like AllyB or Crimson Purls did to get my feet wet.

Do you always knit for others, and never for yourself? Or perhaps you only knit yourself accessories, but never a lovely cardigan or pullover to wear?

I usually knit for others, and hardly ever for myself. I don't take the time to knit for myself. That said.... I'm thinking frogging the Jacobean socks I was knitting for myself. My stubborn and tenacious nature hasn't kicked in and made me want to finish the first sock. Is there such a thing as 1st sock syndrome? I've fallen out of love and I'm bored with the pattern. I love the yarn and the color is gorgeous. I was thinking of making the Ribbed Lace Socks from SKS instead(I'm copying AllyB). I could still do the SKP but I'd do it on my own and make the 5 pairs of socks with patterns I've wanted to make for myself.

Pattern Surfing: Falling Water by Bonnie S. on Blue Peninsula
I discovered this pattern indirectly when I was reading a thread on knittinghelp about knitting 2 toe up socks using magic loop. That sent me to Bella Vita Farm & Fiber and Diane's sock tutorial makes magic looping 2 socks clear. (I've decided to blogstalk her because she 's an intricate and pretty fair isle sweater and a Mystic Light shawl.) She's knitting the Falling Water Lace Scarf too. The Falling Water looks like a cable scarf, but its not. The lace design makes it look that way. Neat! The scarf is free Bonnie's blog, Blue Peninsula. I'm thinking I'll knit it for myself with Sarah's Yarns fingering weight cashmere in Rich Blueberry colorway.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Color Stranding

Last Saturday, I took a color stranding class at my LYS. My teacher taught me how carry the yarn on the wrong side so it doesn't look a mess. She taught me how knit holding the 2 strands 3 different ways. I've decided the easiest way for me to do it two handed.

I've been practicing left handed knitting. My stitches are looser than what I do right handed. My LYS teacher says to keep practicing and they'll tighten up and be identical to my right handed way. It makes sense that it'll be identical to my right hand because of the mechanics. I'm still knitting with my right hand. All I'm doing is holding the yarn in my left hand.

My teacher referred me to for a refresher video on 2 handed knitting. I found Knitting Tips by Judy when I was searching for color stranding sites. Judy has great 4 videos on colorwork. I've noticed that she purls through the back loop when she does fair isle.

Swatching: Complete Combustion aka Mystic Light Shawl
After a long search, I found the blue yarn I want to use for the Mystic Light Shawl. The yarn I decided on is Fearless Fibers Superwash sock yarn in the Sloth colorway. I'll bought 2 skeins(1100 yrds total).

The fingering weight yarn is light blue with little pale bits of lavender and gray. I interpreted the light and flames theme of the shawl to be the rare blue flame color produced in the chemical reaction when hydrocarbons/oxygen mixture is combined with an abundance of oxygen and heat is added. The flame can only be produced under laboratory conditions. (<--- Geeky organic chemistry moment.)
I wasn't going to do a swatch because it's a shawl and I didn't see the point. Thank goodness I looked at the swatch pattern because I need to know how to do cables. I watched Amy's cable and cableless cable videos to learn how. I used US7 needles like knitknag used to make her swatch. The blocked swatch dimensions should be 11x 16 cm. Mine are 10 x 15 cm and it's wonky over stretched.

I tried again using US9s. I think it's a little too big and loose. My dimensions are 11 x 16 cm but I could have blocked it larger than that. I'm going to use US8s when I knit the shawl. Come on March 26th! I'll be done with the Adamas Shawl by then. My EE kal leader extended our finish date to April 15th. I need another week because I kept messing up the 12th pattern repeat of chart 12.

Pattern Surfing: Sockret Scarf by Susan P.

You've all heard of the Moroccan Days/Arabian Nights Stole. The designer of that stole has a cute and easy scarf pattern, Sockret Scarf. It's made with 1 skein(400 yds) of sock yarn and US 4 needles. I want to make with FF Spellbound.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Presenting the Slipped Stitch Rib Socks

The Slipped Stitch Rib Socks were made with FF superwash sock yarn in the Prosperity colorway and knitted on US1 Addi needles with a 9 spi gauge.

The socks begins with a k1p1 rib cuff,

a slipped stitch rib leg that

continues into the heel with a garter stitch edging,

an instep foot in pattern with a stockinette sole

and ends with a standard toe.

I think the pattern is unisex and I'll use it again to make my dad's Father's Day gift. I'll probably buy FF Smoke colorway for them.

My next PIF socks are for Lushorama. Since she likes bright colors, I'm using FF Coral Pink to knit the Double Lace Ribbing.

Note: My camera stopped communicating with my laptop so the rest of this post is pictureless. I'll edit this post if I can get them communicating again and insert pictures for mail call and pattern surfing.

Mail Call

Deb from Fearless Fibers must be lovin me. My latest purchases were Spellbound(the teal green one it replaces the one I'm using to make the Jacobean), Discipline(the blue one), and two skeins of Sloth(the pastel blue ones I'm going to use to make the Mystic Light Shawl).

Pattern Surfing: Jacobean Socks by Julie P.

The Jacobean is the first discipline/event pattern in Sock Knitters Pentathlon 2008. It's a mostly stockinette sock that has the diamond motif on the instep/front of the sock. I'm modifying the pattern by adding a few stitches so it'll fit my size 10 wide feet(US).

I saw this on Girly with a Twist. You have to play this game. I wasted 90 seconds trying to spell one of the states correctly. I also wasted 2 minutes trying to remember the one state I was missing.