Thursday, July 02, 2015

car knitting

The only problem with taking a long weekend is that it kind of killed both weeks. We left for a trip "up north" after a busy week and got back mid-week this week. About halfway through last week, I realized I had not started darning the socks of the week, and then I got a comment from Daisy that reminded me about swiss darning, and honestly that would be perfect for last week's socks. I need to dig out my magazine that explains it well and do some research. All of this is a long way of saying I took a two week break on the darning, but I'll be back to it next week.

And so yes, we took a trip which meant car knitting. And I had a slight problem, the socks I had been knitting were almost done and I had not planned another project.
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And I kind of wanted to use the needles I had been using in this project. As you can see I am only like 5 rows away from the bind off. And since I've been using a bind off I rarely use (but should use more often--Jenny's surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off), I needed to have my cheat sheet along. So I decided to put in some yarn to hold stitches and take the needles with me, and finish the socks later.

This did not however, help when deciding, what do I knit on this trip!? The answer, I was sure was maybe a scrap yarn sock. I was thinking a purple pattern with solid purple toes and heels maybe? But purples are super hard to match. I was sure I had a solid purple that would go with ONE of these purples.
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Alas, I could not find it.

I also tried seeing if any of my greens would go together (no), before deciding just to give up. I dug out my last knit Picks Felci and took it along.

I hesitated with this because I have several pairs of socks made from this yarn, and it doesn't hold up as well as many others (proof--I'm darning almost all of the ones I have already knit). But in the end, it was probably the best choice as it doesn't require much beyond a simple toe up sock.

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Now to change needles again just long enough to finish off the other socks.....

Sunday, June 21, 2015

socks, strawberries

Summer is officially kicking my butt. But the socks progress! Actually I knitted so much more than I darned this week, in part because I needed to catch up to the season finale of Game of Thrones, and sometimes I just need to focus on my knitting instead of the tv. So I turned a heel. Even though I can turn a heel while watching, let's just say I watched this heel turn.
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I also got out my skein of Modeknit sock yarn

(in "no Spoilers--Merry Maids") and tried to imagine what it would look like knit up as Neldoreth. And sigh. While I could easily imagine the green ("no spoilers Sherlock's kitchen") in this pattern, I'm feeling that this isn't quite right for me in this colorway. And I hate to even say anything like this at all because I LOVE this yarn, and would love to have about 6 other colorways in my "collection" (ie stash) Merry maids is not quite the color I thought it would be. I looks pinker and muddier than I had thought it would be. I'm sure I'll find the perfect pattern for it, but Neldoreth isn't it. hmmm I may have to buy Lyanna blue and/or Daenerys Eyes if they become available in the sock yarn. Red wedding would probably also be good on Neldoreth. And I can not say enough about how lovely this yarn is to work with.
So, I guess the quest continues to find a yarn to go with that pattern, or a pattern to go with my modesock....
Meanwhile, the darning project continues.
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So many of the socks in my darning pile are from Knit Picks. Either I knit them too loosely or the yarn is weak, but man they get thin fast, although according to ravelry I finished these in Feb 2012. At any rate, both socks needed heel and foot work. Because summer is kicking me you know where, I have only 1.5 of this repair complete at the end of the "week."
Looking at my to do list shows that while the list was long there are still three items on it--only two I'll try to finish today (as I start next week's list). And in case you are wondering--Change the little frogs' water and darn the socks get the attention while cut off capri's does not. Although to be fair, I did one pair of the 2 pairs of capris I promised to make into shorts for my daughter. After weeks of the "how short do you want them?" question, answered by a shrug, I cut measured a pair of shorts I knew she liked, asked if that was the right length and hemmed them to a 7.5 inch inseam. This is evidently too short. So second pair is on hold.
One item I did not put on the list but should have is: make Strawberry jam. Because boy did I ever. I made 4 batches of freezer jam this week--and 2 last week so 6 total. I'm done with (strawberry) jam (will make cherry and peach and have been asked for blueberry --yuck), and now moving on to strawberry lemonade concentrate this week. Maybe strawberry marshmallows. We keep eating them (the strawberries) though. And I can't imagine a scenario where we eat a whole pan of strawberry marshmallows. I may just freeze the puree needed for them and make them at Christmas when I can give a bunch away.



Tuesday, June 09, 2015

leftover bright socks

Because of the way that feedly and facebook show thumbnails, I'm going to lead off with the progress on socks I'm making. I'm not sure why, but I feel like I must finish these plain boring socks before I can start something complex. A smarter person would start the complex socks and have two sets going, one for traveling and places where a simple sock is best and one for times when you need complex knitting. I suspect I feel I must finish these, because I only have the one set of size 0 dpns. Ok that's not true, I think I have 2 or 3 sets of US ) but I LOVE these.

Ok the socks!
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As you can see they are going to be more fraternal than identical. That is by design. This yarn not only has large color repeats, but I'm using leftovers of two colorways. The second sock is actually coming out more like how I envisioned both socks. No matter--these are fun and playful. And I take them places because they are just a simple toe up pattern, that I swear I could do in my sleep.

Sigh, I really should at least swatch for a complex sock.

Onto the darning project. This week's sock to darn are these:
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Which I went to look on ravelry for when I made these, and I NEVER documented them. I tried looking for them on this blog and I can't find them. When did I make these? I have no idea. I know the yarn is Lorna's laces and so the fact that they are wearing thin on my heels surprises me, because I think of them as relatively new. Oh hey wait--found the entry from May 2013 so two years. Hmm, why did I not put them in ravelry? At any rate, I have one sock darned, and need to start the other.

I also went through ALL my socks and have a pile of those that need repair. Sigh. It is large. It will take one pair a week all summer.
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And of course it is the last few days of school, so I've been tackling the constant influx of stuff from lockers. Failing of course:
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Thursday, June 04, 2015

summer of socks begins!

I declared this summer to be my summer of socks!

what does that mean summer of socks?  Well it means I'll be working on my socks this summer--both looking at making new ones and making sure the ones I have are in good repair so come fall, I have no big surprises. I did this in part because my handknit sock collection is getting older.  Sure, I add a new pair every year or so, but I don't think I've ever gone through and really thought about which socks might be beyond saving.  So far, I've pulled out four pairs that either are just beyond repair (old darning patches have holes!) or they have holes, and I just don't like them enough to repair them (like maybe they don't fit me right). I also pulled out four pairs that need some repair (And honestly, I need to go through them all and find all the ones with holes).  I hate darning though, so I'm making myself take care of one pair a week.  I started that last week, and promptly didn't do last week's pair. 

This week though, I did that PAIR and this week's pair.
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This is this week's pair.  I did one sock already--this one needed both the heel and the ball of my foot.  Usually most pairs just wear at the balls of my feet.  I'm glad I'm not a 19th century maiden lady looking for a husband because my darning is quite simply atrocious.

And of course, I'm going to try to knit a few pairs this summer.  This has been my traveling sock, as it is just a plain sock pattern.  I was playing around with two different skeins of leftover yarn.  So the toes and heels are in one skein, and the rest in another. 

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Further, I've been playing with something.  First, I know that tighter knit socks SHOULD be less prone to holes, so I am knitting these on size 0 needles.  Second, the gauge I usually use for socks means that when most sock patterns call for 64 stitches, they are way way too big on me. In part because I need a sock smaller than most sock patterns make and I think I'm always a little loose on my knitting. 

I'm thinking about fancier patterns though. Like Knitty's Neldoreth. Wouldn't that look just divine in Modeknit sock yarn?  Of course it would.  I wanted to do that pattern/yarn combination a while ago when I made some just plain green socks.
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I also just lost about 20 minutes looking through knitty at all the other socks I'd like to knit.  That doesn't even dive into the two issues of sockupied I own or all the sock books I own.  I might just have a tiny little sock problem.... First though, finish the plain socks.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Finished: Indigo Cones

I finished it! I totally finished the indigo cones shrug in time to wear it to my nephew's high school graduation!

At first when I finished knitting I was all like--whew done, and then I realized, nope--ends to weave in, buttons to choose and block that puppy. So, I wove in the ends, went through my buttons and asked facebook and in person relatives about which of these buttons:

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And eventually decided on the lower button.

Then I blocked it (and waited for freaking ever for it to dry) and got the button sewed on just in time to pack it. I wanted to photograph it before I left, but eh no time. So, I had my husband take pictures of me on the trip. And no, I have no idea why I al always holding my arms like that:

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For the record:
Pattern: Indigo Cones from Knitty.
yarn: Nashua Creative Focus Linen (discontinued) color: bleach; 3 skeins
needles: US size 3 and US size 8
size: medium
button: totally forgot where it came from.

It was a totally fun trip and when I told my sister in law I had knitted it, she didn't believe it--one of the highest compliments, I think, is that people think your handknits are not homemade looking. And now I feel like the summer of socks might be upon me. I am having a serious hankering to make some fun socks--which means trying to figure out a pattern that I like that will fit my narrow feet (which is a story for another day).

Friday, May 08, 2015

light at the end of the tunnel

One thing you should know about me is this: I don't usually knit during the day. Even though I work part-time outside the house and am home a lot with no one really watching my every move to make sure I don't "waste time," I usually reserve knitting for after kids are in bed and I'm watching tv with my husband. For the most part it works. Oh sure it might mean that I only get an hour to knit or that I may have to spend my whole time counting or (could pause that show I have no idea why we need to keep throwing out numbers--this is a reality show about special effects!) maybe if it is late I'm too tired to knit. But I find it a relaxing prelude to sleep.

Well until I am not too tired to knit but too tired to make sense of what the pattern is asking me to do.

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Which is why it has taken me so long to get what should be the home stretch of this shrug: the button band.

Ok, well there was the counting and generally trying to be sure I picked up the right number of stitches. and honestly, why do they yell out numbers so much on reality/contest shows. I get that they are timed, but it is frustrating to be counting along 30, 3,2, 34, and have the tv person yell: 30 minutes! Even House Hunters has numbers (22, 24, 26; This house is 2600 under our budget! the wife will scream). Heck even Game of Thrones has numbers (12, 14, 16, There are 4000 wildlings ready to shoot you in the back!).

Ahem anyway, it took 3 days just to pick up 159 stitches and figure out what the heck the directions were asking for. And then today I actually got to knit on it during the DAY as I got together with friends for coffee. Knitting during the day is so different. Things make sense, when you aren't tired. Mistakes are fixable in both the light and the clear of day. Or maybe that was just the coffee.

At any rate, button band is moving along:

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Graduation is in 9 days. I think I'm actually going to get to wear this!

Friday, May 01, 2015

And none of it was yarn

I had this whole entry planned out in my head--it was called "and half of it was yarn" and it was all about the last few days. The things I had in mind were: Some new yarn I bought, progress on the shrug, my answer to a question proposed for a luncheon I was invited to ("bring an item from your shelf or wall and be prepared to share why it is treasured with the group") and My velcro project.

Sadly, I feel like the day is waning and dinner must be made soon, so I'm going to table three of those and just go with the last one.

I run. I would say avidly, but not um expertly. Let's call me an advanced beginner. And when I run, I like to have my gear: my fitbit, my road id, my heart rate monitor, my ipod, and my phone. I should figure out how to combine the ipod and the phone, but that's neither here nor there. Lately, I've been leaving my phone behind because while I can hang everything else off my body, I have no solution for my phone. I have an armband and while I feel like my arms are flabby, they must in actuality be tiny because I can strap that thing on all the way to the end and it still slides off my arm. As you can see, the sticky part of the velcro is only at the end, so if you pull it far enough, there isn't soft stuff for it to hang on to.

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Anyway, today, I learned that sometimes you need your phone, even if it is just to feel safe. You see Every time I run or walk, I notice people who didn't learn to drive the way I did. I learned--stop before the crosswalk (marked or not), look for pedestrians and bikes, proceed into intersection as needed to see cars coming. I learned to do the same for crossing your sidewalk pulling into or out of your driveway or any parking lots---LOOK for pedestrians or bikes on the sidewalks. Every day though, I see multiple incidents of:

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(and yes, I realize that as a pedestrian, I look like I'm pretty far away, but she never ever stopped before rolling into the crosswalk AND she was on her phone the entire time--I'm not suggesting she wait for me but really--she could have seen traffic coming from behind the crosswalk. I was a little afraid taking this until I realized she too was on her phone-- I don't think she ever saw me--despite my getting to the corner as she pulled out.)

I didn't pick on this ONE person, this was just the first of no less than 6 incidents I saw just like this on my 1/3 mile walk to get my girls from school. 6. And it makes me mad. Today I hollered at one while I was running (earlier in the day than the picture I took), he hollered back and we ended up having a screaming match. So... while I have vowed not to ever let another ahem bad driver ahem make me lose my cool so effectively, I also decided maybe I had better start carrying my phone every time I run. Which means--time to make the armband fit my scrawny (and yet oddly flabby) chicken wings.

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I'm hoping this works, but I'm thinking I might need even longer velcro.

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