Thursday, July 24, 2008

finished objects

Finally I have some finished objects to write about!
Last weekend, I decided that since we were going to go visit my mom for the weekend, it might be nice if I kicked it up a gear with the monkey socks, which were for her. So I set aside the lace for the lacey-hug me tight and cranked out the socks.
monkey socks
It is really hard to take a picture of your own socks. Especially if you don't want to get out the tripod.
One complaint I've heard about this design is that the multicolored yarn hides it. And based on the pictures, I'd agree. But in person they look rather textured. I like them but I'm so sick of the pattern that I don't see myself making another pair anytime soon. The yarn is regia bamboo colors, which my mom bought to make herself some socks. She got tired of trying to learn socks and gave me the yarn--so she's getting the socks after all.
Of course now we aren't going this weekend, because my step-father is ill, but the socks are done!

The other day I was complaining to my husband that I've never knit for him. He doesn't think he'd like handknit socks--poor man, he doesn't like sweaters, although he will wear cardigans sometimes, but he has three and that's enough thanks. He has a hat and doesn't wear scarves. he prefers his leather gloves. Then he said--What about my ipod sock? A month ago he got an ipod for a birthday present (from everyone ever) and has been asking for some sort of container since. Well I got out my leftover Felici and in one day knit him this puppy. I don't think I've ever knit anything in one day before.
ipod case

So now, I guess I'd better get working on that lace. But I'm still having the issue of having to have a tv show that isn't action-packed, or that takes any thinking in order to finish it. And I've got a fresh disk of the 4400.

I see more socks in my future.

Friday, July 18, 2008

TV knitting

Most of the time, I only knit when I watch tv. In part because that's mostly when I have the time--the girls are in bed, the house is quiet and most of the daily chores are done and I'm too tired to do things that aren't. It works, in that I get a little time every day and it helps me unwind a bit, Plus I can't eat and knit at the same time, so I don't mindlessly snack. It doesn't work in that usually by that time, I'm tired and my attention is split between the tv and knitting. Sometimes, the split isn't a big deal--I can do garter or stockinette with out paying close attention. I can even do a simple pattern repeat if it makes sense to me. Sometimes the show that's on doesn't require I stare at the screen.

We also only have basic cable, meaning we don't get Disney or Bravo or Food TV or anything like that. We do get Netflix, mostly TV shows, but by and large we don't watch a great quantity of tv. My daughters get an hour every day, which we'll probably revisit when school starts up in earnest (like when they start going all day instead of mornings). They watch whatever PBS show is on at 4pm or if they've asked for me to tape something else. Sometimes I watch with them, but more likely I make dinner.

I say all this, really just to say that lately I've noticed that if we aren't really watching anything or if we're watching one of the shows we occasionally tune in for, I can knit on the lace for Lacey hug me tight. If we are watching our netflix offering or some "must watch tv" I'll mess the lace up every time. BUT, I can do the Monkey socks while something exciting is on.

Initially, I thought I needed a "plain" project for the "keep your eyes on the screen" tv, but I think I just need something less random than the lace. Which is really too bad, because I'm finding myself wanting to do more and more lace projects. I guess I'll just have to figure out how to find some non-tv knitting time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

yarn yarn yarn

I have been thinking that perhaps I am just not meant to actually knit on Mondays. Last monday I spent all of my knitting time unravelling a huge mess in my Regia bamboo sock yarn. This monday I had to rip back about a foot of lace from my Lacey Hug me tight shawl. The story is this--I went to lay out the lace I had to see how much more I needed to knit. Then I thought I'd take a picture for the blog. Then I realized that I didn't have the right side up. Then I turned it and realized I still didn't have the right side up, then realized this was because the last eight inches were all done backwards meaning I had lost my place in the rows and thus done one row twice or skipped a row. It took the rest of the foot to actually pick up every stitch and figure out roughly which row I'm on.
Lacey hug me tight

About two weeks ago, I had thought that it might be a good idea to start some stash management. My plan was that starting July 1, I would not buy any new yarn and instead knit on the yarn in my stash. I had thought July 1 to January 1 would be a good goal. Then there was the trip to Ann Arbor. I met up with Karen and she took me to Busy Hands, A yarn shop I never would have found on my own--mainly because I would not have known to wander in the building it was in. All I can say is that I'm really glad I did not tell anyone I wasn't buying any yarn because otherwise I'd have a lot of 'splainin to do because they had Malabrigo silky merino as their yarn of the month and two skeins of purple needed me. The picture just doesn't catch the purple-ness of the yarn.
Any ideas about what to do with 300 yards of yummy goodness?
I also bought some bamboo sock yarn. I have plans for this one--might not get made for a while, But I do have plans.
On your toes
Somehow Karen resisted the lure of the malabrigo, but she too was swayed by the bamboo sock yarn. It is some serious softness. If she makes it back up here any time soon, I'll take her to Apple Valley Yarn--because turnabout is fair play.

Anyway, so now I'm going to try to not buy any yarn for a while. Or not, you know, whatever.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I've been a bad blogger lately. I wish I could say, I have not been writing because I've been super busy knitting. This is not the case.

Yes, I did cast on the second Monkey sock. But then I spent about 4 hours untangling the horrid mess that came out of the yarn ball. And even then I ended up slicing a piece of it--in error of course I thought it was a fuzz tangle and it was indeed a knot. I've been trying to knit it in the 45 minute swimming lessons. I think today I got three rounds in the lace pattern in. At this rate it will take me... um a lot more swimming lessons.

I also started work on a shrug. I even took a picture of that project with the intention of writing about it. It is Lacey Hug me tight from Knit 2 together. The plan was to knit the body in a cream yarn that I had in stash (and I do believe I still have enough for the sweater I originally bought it for) and then knit the lace edging in the green yarn I got for mother's day. Well, I needed to swatch both the lace pattern and the body. The body so that I could get a good fit, the lace, so I could figure out what size needles made the lace look the best. The body part went fine, I swatched on both size 6 and size 7 needles. Got gauge on the 6 and felt good about the fabric. Then I started the lace. Whoo boy, I could not follow the pattern for anything. Plus nothing looked right. Of course, when you can't even finish one repeat of the lace, it is hard to tell how it's looking. Finally I settled on size 10.5 needles. I also decided it might be easier if I charted the pattern. And lo and behold, for some reason I can follow the chart I made but could not follow: k5, yo, k2tog, k3, skp. I didn't even chart properly--since I made every row go right to left instead of having he Rs rows go left to right. But still I can read it and it is working for me.
So after I took the picture, I didn't write about it and then, I finished the body part. And sewed it together. I was quite skeptical of how something that was rectangular could become shrug-like and fit. And yet it does. So now I should take a picture of the shrug sans lace. I also have about 2 feet of lace done (the pattern says make 5 feet of lace) and I'm not sure how this floppy bamboo silk yarn is going to look as lace edging to what seems a sturdy shrug. But because I also couldn't see how a rectangle could end up as a sweater-like object, I've decided to preserver. Although initially, I thought a smaller lace around the edge would look better and perhaps I'd do the patterned lace just for the arms. but if I change my mind, the lace will make a decent scarf.

So that's where I am. And given that it took me three blocks of writing time (10 minutes each) to bang this out, I should post and go to bed.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I thought that this might be a good time to do a few "updates' to some
previous posts. Perhaps answer some comment based questions too.

Cinnamonamon said in regards to my entry on making jam that it looked really easy. And I guess I just wanted to say that indeed it is. Perhaps the hardest parts are mashing the berries, but only if you do this by hand, and stirring the pectin in for three minutes. This year I did one cup by hand, and the second cup with the hand blender--I'm hoping that this will cause the jam to be sufficiently chunky while saving me a bit of arm soreness. And this year I let my children do some of the stirring. Given that this year I've made four batches of strawberry and will most likely make one batch of peach (and trust me peach is harder to mash), the more arm saving I can do the better.

I would say though, if you are thinking about making some jam--NOW is the time to do strawberry. In January, when you pull out a container that tastes just like spring, you'll thank me. Unless of course you live in the southern hemisphere--in which case, never mind.

In regards to my yoga
socks post
, Kniterella asked if I'd gotten to wear them to class yet. Well... sort of. See usually I go to a class called "slow flow" which sounds easy (or you know vaguely dirty), but really it is about moving from pose to pose with the breath. I like it because I'm used the the routine, and yet I can challenge myself with the poses. But the class is only two days a week, and usually I make sure I have at least one of those days free it is totally drop in) so that I can go at least once a week. The past few weeks though I have been so busy that I've had to schedule things (like work and playdates etc) into "yoga time". But I did have a morning free and there happened to be a class that was billed as a step up from "Slow flow" and it took passes. I thought I could probably handle it so I went, and I wore my yoga socks. The room was so hot though that I ended up taking them off just for a small respite. I should have left them on to test the effects on sweaty feet because after the class I looked like I had run a few miles.
Next class I promise. Also--that class kicked my butt--and I was sore for two days afterwards--a painful reminder to keep my slow flow mornings free.

I also wanted to update on the stuffed animals I made. The pig is still very much loved and occasionally toted around the house. The panda has been relgated to the panda shelf where it looks out over the other pandas--something like 13 at this point. But then I knew that would happen--no Panda is going to replace her favorite--Stillwater is her name.

I have been knitting, even though I have not made it to the LYS knit night lately. I almost went this week, but had the bad knitter mojo combo of not having everyone home for dinner by 5:15 and not having a project in a good "chat" mode--so I ran instead. I'll try for next week--even if I have to cast on a simple sock--although I could cast on the second Monkey sock because the first inch of ribbing isn't hard just after you get to the charts that it gets iffy. Must find a way to make that sock more portable, I have places to go this summer. Starting a simple sock would make it harder for me to finish the Monkey socks.