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Hello? Is anyone still here? …..Anyone?
Yikes… I’m rather surprised to realize that it’s been about 8 months since I’ve updated this blog (time flies!). But, almost as sad, is that even if I did update these past few months, I wouldn’t really have much to write about. I haven’t gotten very many crafty projects completed since my last update.
After tax-time, my husband and I moved into another place which proved to be a larger undertaking than expected (despite the fact that we were only moving about half a mile!). Then summer brought with it convention season and comics shows, and I was busy trying to get some new work projects off the ground. Then my favorite LYS, A Mano Yarn Center, sadly closed. It was here that I used to get most of my knitting done, and once it closed I didn’t have as much of an excuse or drive to set time apart for knitting. (There is something to be said about knitting in company).
I did have some small victories. I completed another pair of socks – my most complex pair yet. Yes, the Rogue Roses from the 2nd shipment of the Rockin’ Sock Club.
They, like most of my projects, took me longer to complete than expected, but thanks to the two-at-a-time method of knitting on one circular, both socks were eventually completed at the same time, and I gifted them to my mom as a belated birthday gift.
I feared they would be too small, but she tried them on and they seemed to fit well (as long as she wasn’t fibbing and her circulation wasn’t really being cut off!). Sock sizing is something I’m still figuring out, but I figure I’ll get better with more practice!
Besides these socks, I didn’t complete anything else the rest of the year except a super-quick Noro scarf and armwarmers (the latter is actually my first completed project of 2010!).
Completing these reminded me of how much I’ve missed knitting these past few months and, even though work is about to pick up again, I hope to carve out some time to return to crafting. Which shouldn’t be too hard because my brother got me a lovely set of Knitpicks’ Harmony Wood interchangeable needles for Christmas, and my husband signed me up for the Rockin’ Sock Club again. (Of course, he didn’t know I only completed 1.5 pairs of socks from last year’s shipments, so obviously I have a LOT of catching up to!)
Let’s hope 2010 is a year of success in creative ventures (and blogging!). My personal goal, as always, is to learn more techniques and knit more socks, and convince my husband he likes to receive knitted things! (I’m still waiting for the day he actually asks me to knit something for him, rather than me forcing woolly things upon him! 😛 ) In fact, he’s lately started wearing only red socks, so maybe that’s a sign! Haha 😀
It’s tax time again, which means I’ve been spending more time itemizing receipts and less time knitting. Yet, amazingly I managed to finish a pair of socks in less than a month! 17 days, to be exact, which is a record for me.
They were my first toe-up socks, knit toe-up in lightweight Gypsum. I love the colors, and the pattern looks much more complex than it actually is. I enjoyed trying out a short-row heel, but I’m not sure I’m sold on toe-up socks… yet. I’ll give ’em another try in the future though.
I am terrible at forcing myself to knit swatches so I knit these on blind faith, hoping they would fit… and I was lucky! I did have a tighter gauge knitting the second sock so it feels noticeably more snug on my foot, but not uncomfortably so.
Knitting a swatch, however, would have been wise before I started on my Queen of Bead socks from the first installment of the Rockin’ Sock Club. I’m almost done with the first sock and I realize they’re probably going to be too small for my size 9 feet. I hate ripping out so much progress (slow knitter, remember?), but it looks like I may have to if I want to enjoy these socks by actually wearing them! So now I’m taking some of the leftover yarn from my Leyburns and knitting a swatch that I can use as reference for future lightweight projects. Sigh..
In other news I received the 2nd shipment from the Rockin’ Sock Club! The yarn and pattern are gorgeous! I’ll be posting some pics in a bit, so consider yourself warned!
Before I get to that, here’s some pics of some other lovely yarn I have acquired.
The first I was compelled to buy on St.Patty’s day (can you tell?)
It’s Socks that Rock lightweight in the colorway Lucky. I intend to make these:
Absinthe socks from the latest issue of Knitty. It looks super-complex so that will probably go on the back burner for a while, until I complete another KAL that is starting in April: Shur’tagal socks!
I’m going to knit these for my husband. But, shhh, don’t tell him that the pattern is named after dragon-riders in the fantasy novel, Eragon.
I’ll be knitting them with lightweight STR in Haida, a raven colorway.
I thought I would get my cat Rainbow to help model with the new yarn since she likes watching crows out the window.
It’s weird to call Rainbow “my” cat, because for the longest time my husband and I affectionately referred to her as “temporary cat”. Our next door neighbor was evicted and basically abandoned his cat. I took pity on her and began leaving out food. And after a while, I decided it was easier just to bring her inside until we could find her a new home. You see, we already have two dogs who do not want to share their house with a feline (They’ve tried catching her in the past, when she still lived outdoors) Plus, my husband, for as long as I’ve known him, has claimed to be severely allergic to cats…
So basically, I’ve been keeping the cat in a separate room where I ply her with many comfy sleeping spots, cardboard boxes, and toys, to make up for the fact that she can’t live in the rest of the house.
But it struck me the other day that we’ve had the cat living with us for almost a year now!! And, needless to say, I’ve gotten rather attached to her. So now she is “our” cat, but we still need to work on integrating her with the dogs. After all this time they don’t seem quite as eager to catch and kill her, but I still don’t trust them completely…As for my husband’s allergies, it seems they were a bit of an exaggeration. He’s grown to like the cat as well (even if he won’t quite admit it!).
Anway, I digress! Onto spoilers!
I think this month’s shipment is gorgeous. When I first saw photos of it online, I was a little hesitant because pink isn’t my favorite color. But seeing the skein in person changed my mind. The colors are really quite lovely, and complex. And a pattern by Stephanie Pearl McPhee! I already know these socks are going to be gifts for a special someone who I won’t name because they might lurk on this blog!
So that’s it for now… time to get back to taxes!
I have finally completed my jaywalkers!
I consider these my first real socks – made for me! (The practice acrylic socks don’t count) I’m not sure why these took me so long… maybe it was the method of knitting two on one circular (which was definitely awkward for the first 3rd or so, but became quite efficient once I figured out the process and became more comfortable with it). Maybe it was the pattern itself that slowed me down… I dunno, but I worked on the damn things every day and it still took me 2 months to finish them.
Well, no matter, they are done! And they fit! And they’re knit with “Long Ears”, a colorway from Indie Dyer’s World of Warcraft sock club! I may play a horde character, but even I can appreciate the lovely night-elf inspired colors!
Well, as I said, at first I was a little bummed at how long it took me to finish these and my general slow-knitting style, but I have been cheered by the fact that I have started a new pair of socks on Tuesday and I’m already almost done with the first sock today. The socks in question are my Leyburns, knit with Socks that Rock in Gypsum. I can’t believe how fast they are flying off my needles… maybe because the sock is basically stockinette stitch with a few slipped stitches. Here’s an earlier shot of when I first started them:
These are my first toe-up socks and I’m also trying a new technique, using two circular needles to knit one at a time (though I realized later I could have done two-at-a-time this way). Anyway, I’m not sure how I feel about toe-up socks just yet… we shall see when I’m done!
I haven’t made much progress on my Queen of Beads socks, I’m afraid. I think the problem is knitting them on one tiny circular… it hurts my hands to knit that way. I think I just need to move it onto DPNs or an extra long circular and I’ll feel much better about it.
My insecurities about knitting slow were also put to rest somewhat by a hat I knit for my husband’s grandfather. He’s not doing so well at the moment… he’s in the hospital so I wanted to knit him something that would show him that I’m thinking of him. My husband said his grandpa likes hats and the color brown so it made sense to knit a brown hat (plus, he’s in Wisconsin where it’s still nice and chilly). My husband also stressed that grandpa has a BIG head and most normal hats don’t fit him, so I made an effort to make the hat extra large. I used big needles and double stranded the yarn (Berroco Chunky, which is so cozy and soft). I followed the Basic Cable pattern in Stitch n’ Bitch Nation and finished it in just a couple TV-watching knitting sessions! I know it was chunky yarn and fat needles…. but maybe I’m not as slow a knitter as I feared!
The problem is… it may be a bit TOO big. It was even kind of loose on my hubby’s head when he modeled for me. But either way, it should keep grandpa cozy… I hope he likes it.
In my next post I’ll be mentioning some lovely awards I was given by some of my bloggy friends and I’ll be passing them on! So stay tuned!
They say March is in like a lion, out like a lamb, but this year, for me, February was all lion.
The entire month I had something going on, so I’ve felt a little disconnected from my precious internets and have been trying to catch up on all my favorite blogs!
The reason for my absence? Well, as I mentioned previously, we had a friend visiting and my husband’s gallery show. Then, the week after that, my husband’s mom and dad came to visit and we spent the week showing them around LA. Then, following that I went snowboarding for a week with some friends. I felted my mohawk hat and rather liked how it turned out, so I was excited to wear it on the slopes…
I wore it the first day of snowboarding and it kept me nice and toasty (as well as visible!) and I received lots of compliments on the slopes. But, after falling and hitting my head, I ended up buying a helmet for the remainder of my trip. As a novice snowboarder I fall A LOT, so I’m glad I switched to a helmet even if it meant I couldn’t make as much use of my knitted hat… oh well!
I’ve been so busy I haven’t been able to get as much knitting done as I would have liked, but I did work on my Jaywalkers a fair bit during my snowboarding trip (they’re almost done!).
I also FINALLY finished my husband’s socks… I swear it felt like they would never end! They’re so big… even too big for my large sock blockers. You can see where I had to change the yarn to a new ball… one of the toes looks like it’s been left out in the sun!
But the most important thing is, my husband likes the socks and they fit him! I’m already looking forward to making him another pair!
Pattern: Mr.Pitt’s Socks (aka Dad Socks) by Kaitlyn Wong
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rocks Medium Weight in Beryl
Size 1 Needles
There they are, my first socks of 2009! I better get crackalackin’ on some more!
So, it’s been a little over a week since I’ve posted, but it feels like forever because I have hardly had any time to work on my various knitting projects! My husband and I barely got any sleep during the week leading up to his show – there was so much to do and we were up until 4 am or later every night! The show itself was a great success, and to celebrate we spent the weekend in Vegas with a friend. I brought some projects along and worked a little during the car trip, but the rest of the time I too busy enjoying Vegas, and was in charge of driving back. Vegas was fun, though… our room on the 53rd floor had a great view of the strip, we ate at a delicious (but expensive) buffet, saw Blue Man Group, and I won $50 at roulette on my first go. But I stopped right after that, which seemed to surprise the guy manning the table. I did have fun losing some dollars on the 1 cent slot machines (next to the old ladies… I guess I’m not what you would call a high-stakes gambler, myself!). It was a good time overall, but I was happy to return home to some normalcy and knitting time.
I haven’t made much progress on my husband’s socks or my jaywalkers, but I could hardly wait to cast on for my Rockin’ Sock Club socks: Queen of Beads. I’ve heard of some people having problems with knotted or slubby yarn so I took my time when winding the ball… and didn’t see anything. (Phew!)Before I could dive in, I just had to take some more pics:
I’ll post progress pics later… but let me say the tubular cast on is amazing!! I’m knitting the socks one at a time on a teeny-tiny circ. Which, on one hand, is nice and convenient… but it’s almost TOO small… it kind of strains my hands…
I’m going snowboarding in a couple weeks, and since I don’t really have a warm winter hat, I decided to make one. I whipped up a Thorpe hat with some colorful Burly Spun by Brown Sheep. It was a quick project, but the final result isn’t quite as snug as I woud like, though I can tell it will be warm!
I then decided to do another hat that’s been on my queue for a long time… The Punk isn’t Dead Mohawk hat. Another quick knit and this one fits perfectly. It’s supposed to be felted in order to make the mohawk more fuzzy, but I didn’t want the cap itself to shrink. So I’m gonna hand-felt the fringe. Here’s some pics pre-felting:
Well, that’s it for now. I need to get some socks done….
Phew! I’m still insanely busy… our friend Atom comes in tomorrow and will be staying with us for a week, both for leisure and for helping my husband set up his art show which opens this week. (Atom is a talented furniture designer and he helped make some frames, display cases, laser cuts, etc. for the show). I’ve been cleaning alllll day and my back is aching. I swear, sometimes I feel like I’m 60 years old and not 29. And it’s amazing how antsy and irritable I get when I don’t have a chance to knit. It really does relax me and put my mind at ease – even if I only do a couple rows here and there. But today, I was so busy I didn’t even complete a single row and I can definitely feel the difference. It’s late and I’m exhausted but I may try to get a little knitting done before bed just to help me sleep easier!
Anyway, both my husband and I are really looking forward to seeing Atom again and showing him around LA….. but is it horrible of me to fret that I won’t get much knitting done while he’s here? (So selfish, I know!). Well, I’ll be sure to carry some projects around with me wherever I go and hope for some downtime!
Koto-Chan asked about my husband’s show:
It’s his first show and it will feature some of his work which can be seen at www.wilhelmstaehle.com and www.silhouettemasterpiecetheatre.com. He’s big into papercuts, Victorian style, and macabre humor! I’m very excited for him, but there’s still much to do! I’m helping him print some booklets which we worked on together (www.dollardreadful.com) and I’m working on some stereoscopic images which we’ll display with an old-timey viewer.
Like the View-Master, only old-school! (Remember those? I used to love mine!)
Anyway… heading off to bed now. But just for the heck of it, here’s a couple pics of my Jaywalkers in progress. I’m knitting them with yarn from the WoW sock club in the Long Ears colorway. I love how the yarn looks with this pattern so far!
I still have to finish my husband’s socks. After running out of yarn I ordered a new skein of Beryl… but the new skein is noticeably lighter in color. I’ll have to tink back a few rows and begin alternating yarn to blend them in better. I just haven’t felt very motivated to do so yet…. but I’ll try to get around to it soon.
I finally received my first shipment from Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin’ Sock Club! I thought the wait was going to drive me crazy…after hearing about people from Japan, Canada, and everywhere in-between getting their packages I seriously began to stalk my mailman. When it comes to mail I am not a patient person!
Luckily, the contents of the package were well worth the wait. Check out all the goodies! In addition to the luscious yarn; a keychain, sticker, button, mini skein, dyer’s notes, and binder pages for keeping notes. And, of course, the pattern, Queen of Beads, which looks super complex but I’m excited to attempt, nonetheless!
And beads! LeGasp! Color me intimidated. I’ve never worked with beads before but I do love learning new skills so I’m ready to give it a shot. I neglected to take a close up pic of my beads but they are a lovely iridescent teal color.
But the most wonderful thing is the yarn itself… blue is one of my favorite colors and this yarn is gorgeous. It’s dark yet vibrant and is swirled with turquoise and teal. Looking at it makes me think of water rolling and tumbling…
I’m excited to get started but unfortunately this is a crazy week for me. We have a guest staying with us next week so I’ve been cleaning the house and moving crap into storage and I’m been frantically helping my husband prepare for his 1st gallery show which opens next week. The socks may have to wait….(we’ll see how long that lasts!)