Saturday, July 08, 2017

FINISHED SOCKS

Every year I write some variation of "summer is kicking my butt" and I guess I should stop thinking of it that way. Summer is a time for me to be present with my kids (and they are 14 so you know that if they want to hang with me, I should take that!), and just enjoy not having to be up at 6:30 and rushing around until we fall into bed at 10:30.

Summer is also a time when I think many people don't want to knit sweaters or blankets, because they are so big they are hard to drag places, and also it is hot and you don't want a huge blanket ON you when it is 90 degrees. A few summers ago, I declared it to be sock summer--in which I was going to darn and knit only socks. Last summer I finished sweaters.

This summer--I'm just taking things as they come. At least that's what I'm telling myself. Last summer I knit all summer on a pair of socks and boy howdy. The first sock was too narrow. So I knit the second sock a bit wider (and it is still snug), and I ended up ripping the narrow sock out. Then I um put it aside.

Then in November, I started another pair of socks. And this one gave me such fits. After, I finished that I also set it aside...

So with the last two sock projects ending up as single socks, You can understand why I was super excited to actually FINISH a whole PAIR of socks!

Finished #socks swipe for a closeup.

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I actually finished them on the drive to our vacation destination. And was doing the bind off as we decided every morning what we were going to do. But of course that meant that we still had an eight hour drive home (which turned into a lot more because of traffic). Things had been so hectic in us trying to get going on vacation (a mere week after school ended and children were still comatose from the stress relief after finals--and right in the middle of a short strawberry season) that I simply had no time to plan a new project. So I grabbed the ripped sock, needles I thought I had used and went with it.

And I spent 4 hours knitting a sock that was way too big.

So, another rip, another start (which thankfully was all in the car so no options for starting something else) and now I actually have most of a sock. No pictures though because again summer...I'm living it not photographing it. Plus, I have to save something else to write about maybe while girls are at camp. I'm actually thinking about digging out the OTHER pattern for the OTHER single sock and perhaps this can be second sock summer.

So, I also mentioned strawberries. I made 6 batches of strawberry jam this year. And a double batch of strawberry lemonade because I accidentally bought enough lemons to make that happen (go me). Today I picked up sour cherries at farmers market so, cherry jam is happening today! Sour cherry jam is one of the grossest things for me to make, but also it is one of the tastiest.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

second sock

It's Saturday morning, the kids are still asleep because it has been a terribly long week (And I'm letting them so I have time to write).

Last weekend we saw my favorite niece (she's my only niece) graduate from high school. We went a few years ago and watched her brother graduate and I wore a shrug I knitted especially for the occasion . On this trip I did indeed wear a knitted shrug, but one I made a few years ago. While lots of people oohed and ahhed over the sock I was knitting no one said anything about my shrug. I think they thought it was store bought. And yes, I'm still not decided on what I think of that--compliment or not. I'm trying to go with compliment.

It was a long car ride there and back which was great for me because I've been having HUGE issues with "second sock syndrome." You see last summer i knitted two socks, but they weren't a pair. After each I was so tired of knitting that particular sock, that I didn't cast on the second sock. So when I realized I was really close to finishing my current sock, I decided not to pack any other yarn or needles FORCING me to cast on for the second sock.

It worked. When we got to our final destination, I had finished the first sock and cast on for the second. Of course knitting such a tiny toe up sock looks very comical, but it was fun to sit with my niece, her boyfriend, my nephew and my kids while they played exploding kittens and knit and listen to them. They are all great kids (and I say kids even though we are talking about ages 20, 18, 16 and 14) Makes me want to make that a whole weekly knitting get together.

I've been trying too to carry my knitting to places where I might have time to knit. And while I totally failed on the band concert where I had to drop my children off an entire HOUR before the performance (and I snuck a comfy seat in the school library instead of the bleachers), I did manage a break at work.

Had an unexpected break today and amazingly enough I also had my knitting

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I don't usually bring my knitting when I work, because of what I do, the breaks I get are few and far between. But I sometimes find the teachers lounges to be a little cliquey and thought if it was bad, I could knit. Instead the children I was in charge of had a whole afternoon of art, music and gym and all I can think is it must be the regular teacher's usual planning time. Usually one break like gym class just gives me enough time to catch up on what I'm supposed to do after (find papers, grade papers, review math or whatever), three nearly in a row gave me time to do all that and knit.

I also finally tried the first sock on, worried all this time that it would be too big and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was actually a little snug even. I don't have a picture because I've had some not so great experiences posting pictures of my socks on my feet. And also it has been so rainy and dark here lately that I've not had great light. I'll probably photograph it and post it later this week without hashtags and if I start getting weird comments or favorites I'll take it down.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

sock progress

So I've been terrible both with the knitting and the blog updating, but I have a few minutes while the kids are occupied with homework I can't help with (Spanish--You can only get so far with the phrases I know--mostly to a bar and to the bathroom. ¡Muy bien!).

I also say terrible with the knitting because I was sick for most of April. For some reason, all I wanted to do was sleep and read. So while all the forced time not working (I lost my voice and couldn't do the freelance job I have where I corral kids when their regular cowboy is at a meeting), I mostly read instead of knit. In fact I went through a ton of books, but didn't do a lot of knitting.

Anyway, last I updated, I was closing in on the heel. And I did the heel! and I did it WRONG! No pictures of that because GAH.

What I did was kind of stupid. First of all I made it too narrow because I forget I need to leave 12 stitches instead of 10 between my short row thingies. And if that wasn't bad enough, I actually didn't center it. You see, I hate starting a new DPN on a purl stitch. It always is a little loose and feels sloppy to me, so when I was doing the top of the foot, I moved three stitches over from the insole. and Stupidly, I forgot to move them back and include them in the heel. So, I ripped and started again.

Of course this isn't a written pattern--This is just me finding a stitch I like in a stitch dictionary and going with it--so I wasn't really sure what to do about re-starting the pattern for up the leg. I think I gave it too much plain stitch, but I'm guessing it won't be that noticeable.

Sock progress

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I probably have a problem with the stitch dictionaries. I own a BUNCH. The first two Barbra Walker treasuries, plus a vogue knitting dictionary, plus two Niki Epstein edgings books and "Up down all around Stitch dictionary" Which is where I found this one. It's called Eyelet crescents and is worked over a ten stitch repeat. I like how it looks cablish without having to cable. Plus it is easy to memorize (and if I forget I have a picture on my phone).

I don't have a new picture, but I am about halfway up the leg and probably need to start thinking about what sort of ribbing to use for the last inch or so. I guess time to dig out the dictionaries again!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sock update

So nearly a month ago I was working on a sock and I mentioned that I didn't know if it would fit. Because I just really have no patience for gauge in socks, I didn't swatch it. And instead made a sock that was about 3 inches long and then tried it on. I have no picture of that because I learned years ago that pictures of my feet on the internet tend to attract a lot of unwanted commentary. But trust me--It was too big.

Not a lot too big, just enough that I knew the socks would never fit me correctly.

I knew I had the following choices:
Rip it out and pick another stitch pattern for a smaller repeat round
Rip it out and try smaller needles
Make it for someone with wider feet

I decided to go for smaller needles. I just really liked the pattern, and could not figure out how to make a 10 pattern repeat work across 52 or 56 stitches.

So, I Started again on size 0 needles, knit the same 3 inches and tried it on again. It is still a smidge bigger than I like my socks, but I think it is at a point where they won't sag and they won't bug me.

Again, no feet picture, but I did take a windowsill picture, when we had enough sun to make that work:

Sock on the window sill catching the small amount of sunlight we have today

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Socks!

When I was at the end of my dayflower wrap, I got the February installment of my Christmas gift--which was sock of the month club from Wool and Honey. I fell for it pretty hard. It seems surprising to me because it isn't in my usual color palette. Instead of the blues, greens and purples I usually gravitate too--this is a lovely heathered garnet. I could just SEE the socks I wanted to make. (In case you are curious--you can see and pre-order it on the Wool and Honey page)

What I could not find, was the pattern I envisioned.

See I have narrow feet. I don't think they are particularly narrow, but either they are or my gauge is always way off (a possibility), but every time I make a pattern it comes out way too big for me--unless it comes sized for a 7 inch circumference foot.

But even with that restriction, I thought I could maybe modify something I found. But still no luck. So out came the stitch dictionaries.

My favorite one is "Up Down All Around Stitch Dictionary" In part because it INDEXES STITCHES BY THE STITCH REPEAT! (yes, I am shouting--it is that exciting to me). Also I just noticed in grabbing that link that there's a sequel--it's now on my wishlist.

So now I have the start of a toe up sock with 60 stitches (instead of the usual 64). I put in a lifeline because I wasn't sure how I'd like the pattern (so far loving it) and I was afraid 60 stitches might be too big. The jury is still out on that one. I did hold it up to a sock that fits and it's close anyway. I figure in maybe 20 more rows, I'll try it on and see.

Uh oh stitch dictionary is out

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I must admit to being really really stupid. I carried this big honking book everywhere with me on a weekend trip (I was driving so no car knitting) because I hadn't copied the chart. DUH, last night I had chaperoning duties at school and got the bright idea to snap a picture of the chart on my phone. I have to say--that was a genius idea. It's a small chart and easy to follow. And now--I can take it anywhere really easily!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

FINISHED dayflower wrap

Finished Object alert!

Blocking always brings out the best. Swipe for a closeup

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I got to a point on Sunday where I was on the last row of the lace pattern and it was clear I did not have enough yarn for another 16 rows. Clearly it was time to bind off.

This is all that is left of my 100 gram skein of filisilk.

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Indeed, I ended up with a very small amount of yarn left.

I did a bindoff that I found online, and of course now I can't find it. Basically, you knit two stitches, then knit them together through the back loops.

That was Sunday. Monday, I blocked it.

Now, I know that lace looks different when you are knitting than it does after you block it. Everyone who knits knows this. But it is one thing to know it, and quite another to see it. And let's just say I was BLOWN AWAY. I made everyone in the house troop to the basement to look, and I took pictures for instagram.

It is dry now, and I sill don't want to unpin it.

Ok so here's the wrap up:
pattern: Forest dayflower wrap
Yarn: Filisilk in lilac
Needles: US size 5
finished size: 20 inchesX 55 inches (50.8 cmX139.7cm) Note--this is about 20 inches shorter than the pattern calls for--but I also used a different yarn.

The yarn/pattern combination was a Christmas gift, and while I probably would not have picked out that particular yarn (the yarn called for comes with 129 more yards), I do love the color and everything about how it turned out. The person who gave this to me was concerned that it was too short--but honestly--7-0 inches would have been too long. I'm pretty short and this will wrap around me just fine. And also if I want to wear it as a more scarf type thing, it won't drag on the ground.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

five grams

I am nearing the end of my Forest hills dayflower wrap. I started with 100 grams of yarn, and for the last 3 weeks, I've been weighing it to see how close I am to the end. The pattern says that the finished size is 70 inches, but I'm pretty sure I won't get that. Unblocked it is 42 inches. I'm figuring I can maybe block it out to 50.

I just realized in that last paragraph, I forgot to say how much yarn I have left. 5 grams. I started with 100 and now I have 5. FIVE! (Give or take, my scale only goes in 5 gram increments)

I have about 5 grams of yarn left (out of 100)

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So, I know I'm not going to make it out to 70 inches.

I also know I probably won't just "loosely bind off" like the pattern says. Instead I'll probably sew the bind off, which will take more yarn (maybe?)

While you wait for the next installment, you can look at this closeup I took today:

Lace closeup

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Wednesday, February 08, 2017

lacy update

Ok first things first the ongoing lace project as it looks like about 15 minutes ago:

I don't think I actually ever said what pattern this was. So ok it is the Forest Hills Dayflower wrap (PDF) from Cascade yarns. I'm not making it in cascade though, because the yarn I was given (this was a Christmas gift) is Filisilk from Zitron (Here is the first page I found in English. )

As I say in the caption above, it is supposed to be 70 inches finished size. I may not quite make it. I have about a quarter of the yarn left (I weighed it) and I'm at 31 unblocked inches. I'm trying to knit a bit on it every day. I used to knit after my children went to bed while I watched TV for a bit before heading to bed myself. This USED to mean I'd get kids in bed at 9, I'd knit and chillax with my husband until 10 and everyone was happy. Now I'm lucky if kids (teenagers really) get to bed by 10 and I'm not collapsing at 10:15. It meant that for a while, I was really really missing my knitting. Now, I knit while they do whatever takes them so long to do getting ready for bed. So far it is working.

I was going to write more--but in an effort to actually post something, I'll leave you here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Lace update

I decided that if I'm not going to neglect this blog that I need to put it on my weekly to do list. I look at that list every day, and having it on there will mean at least weekly updates. At least that was the plan last week. But between an extended weekend, due to snow and ice, I had to cram most of my stuff into fewer days and sadly the blog suffered. It wasn't alone--many things got carried over into this week. Anyway I did manage to copy these two pictures:

This is the lace I've been working on. In this picture I can totally see the error I made in the simple lace part. More on that later. Let's just say knitting this without a lifeline means that some mistakes are staying and I'm calling them humble mistakes.

It looks more purple in real life. Also I can see the error I made....

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Last week, I did try to do one self-care item every day. SOme were not fun--like I had a dentist AND eye dr appointments, but some were totally fun like using this fabric to make some pajama pants for me. I even had forgotten I had this fabric!

Just to be clear, these are becoming pj pants for ME. #selfishsewing

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Ok, but that was last week--what's up this week you might ask.

Well the lace continues to grow.

Getting longer

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I took this picture minutes ago. Again you can really see the error, but I'm humble. I also made another error (in that same simple lace part) while I was knitting at the car dealership today (new car oil change!) and while I think I got it sorted out, I must have twisted a stitch because it looks a little funny to me. When do you suppose I'll give up and start running a lifeline?

I've also been sort of puzzling over what will I do with this when I'm done? How will I wear it? Where will I wear it? And frankly, I don't think I'm fashionable (or warm enough) right now to know. Hopefully something will come up. The end product is too long and too wide to use as a scarf, but might be too narrow (we'll see after blocking) to wear as a full wrap. I guess I'll just have to ponder that.

Some people might wonder why I keep knitting something that I don't really have a use in mind for and whenever I ask myself that question, I always find that the anser is--I'm enjoying knitting this. I think it is beautiful and I'll find some use for it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

new year

Dear reader, when I finished what would be my last entry for 2016 so many things were happening. I was frustrated with my knitting, and feelign stuck in my life. Then two things happened that have kept me from updates until now. First I got sick. Really sick. Basically a cold or maybe a flu. And seriously, I was sick for 4 weeks. I spent a whole week not working, which for me is amazing. I went to urgent care right before Christmas, because after I finally went back to work, I suddenly went right back downhill. So cold, that turned into sinus infection. While the antibiotics worked, they did not actually clear up the congestion and so another two weeks of sneezing and blowing and hacking.

And also dear reader, I figured out the heel to this sock:

Sock has a heel

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I ended up using a heel pattern that looks like the picture that came with the pattern. And it does look like the picture. My problem is that it isn't a very high instep and so it feels tight across there. And even though I don't have a finished picture--I did finish the sock. I THOUGHT I put it on instagram, but alas, I did not. I did actually take a picture though. It's on my phone somewhere.

I developed a terrible case of second sock syndrome. I ripped out my baseball sock that was too small--the whole thing. With the intention Christmas night to start a new sock and take it traveling with us. However, my mother in law got me yarn and a pattern (that it sort of goes with--the store she bought it at put them together for her) and well I was hooked.

New year, new lace. Always hard to see what it will really look like while it's on the needles.

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Honestly, lace was probably not the best project to travel with. But really most of the mistakes I've made have been since school started back up again and we're back to being exhausted. SInce I took this picture, I've knit more and wished that I'd had a lifeline because there is an error, which I can see if I look. I'm leaving it though (Maybe to prove to myself that to err is human).

And then, as if I wasn't distracted enough.
One of my daughters has been chilling out in the evenings by braiding embroidery floss into bracelets. So for Christmas we got her a friendship bracelet kit--more for the instructions on making different patterns. She had mastered a basic knotted bracelet and wanted to try chevron. So, we tried with her instructions. Sigh (they're probably translated into English using google translate). However, a you tube tutorial filled in the missing pieces and I decided to play with sock yarn, while she does her embroidery floss. I didn't really like the color combo on this, but she did!

So that dear reader is what I've been doing this last month. I now have 2 single socks that don't match, a half completed lace thing that I don't know how I'll wear and a sock yarn friendship bracelet.