Posts tagged ‘circular’
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 😀
First and foremost, I want to apologize to anyone who had to sign up for a Vox account in order to post a comment on my previous blog. My blog was originally on Livejournal, then I moved it over to Vox without really researching it much, and I didn’t realize that this was the case.
That said, I got kind of annoyed with Vox… it has some cool features but it’s missing some crucial elements I really want (the ability to add custom html content, for starters). I’m really regretted not being on WordPress… almost all my friends use WordPress, including my husband. I was debating making another move, but right now WordPress only allows one to easily import blogs from Livejournal and a couple others, but not Vox. Similarly, Vox does not have a feature where I can export or back up my entries (another annoying thing). So I basically either had to start fresh or manually copy and paste each entry into WordPress…. which actually turned out not to be that bad considering I only have like 17 posts to date. In fact, it only took me about an hour to get everything transferred!
I’m going to make this blog’s look different than my last one. The pink was starting to annoy me. It’s so weird… I go through such strong “color phrases” where I’ll love one color one month, and can’t stand it the next.
There was one year I wore almost nothing but blue. Most recently I was on an orange kick. Right now I’m totally digging purple, which is weird for me because that’s never been one of my favorite colors before.
In other news, I’ve ripped out all my progress on my two-at-a-time Belle Epoque socks. I can live with a few flaws in my knitted work, but the mistakes were starting to pile up – particularly in the sort of lacey-cablely part of the pattern. But now that I have a “feel” for the pattern I’m going to start again and go more carefully this time.
I also went to my LYS last night for their weekly Stitch N’ Bitch and somehow found myself walking out with this:
A Namaste Zuma bag in peacock! I’ve been wanting a good knitting bag for a long time and I think I’ve finally found it! I am a total bag-a-holic. While I don’t own any bags that are “designer” or pricey, (this Zuma is probably the most I’ve paid for a bag), I do have a closet full of them. But out of them all, there isn’t one that really works for holding my projects when I’m on the go. The big ones all have zippers or too few pockets, and the small ones are… well, too small.
The Zuma is deceptively small on the outside, but it really holds a ton of stuff. I love the magnet closures and the front pocket has mutliple slots which are perfect for holding my circular needles and iphone. Right now it’s holding my dreaded Avalon hoodie and my Noro striped scarf!
Now I need to plan more outings so I can use it more. (One of the setbacks of working from home is that I don’t get out very much…)
Every other Tuesday morning, my LYS has a thing called “Breakfast Club” where, for $5, you can come in a couple hours before the store opens to knit and enjoy good company, coffee and bagels. It’s sort of become one of the highlights of my, well, fortnight. And it’s pretty much the only time I go to my LYS to sit and knit for a couple (or few) hours and spend time with other knitters (and crocheters).
Seeing as how I’m fortunate enough to work from home, I realize I could, hypothetically, go to the LYS like every day of the week and hang out, especially since it’s only a 15 minute bike ride away. But, of course, that wouldn’t be very productive – especially since the yarn store also doubles as a black hole where all time and space becomes distorted. Therefore, what feels like an hour and a half is actually more like… uh, 5.
5 hours is what I spent there today I’m somewhat shocked to admit. But I think it’s ok because I’m sort of in job-limbo. (More on that in a second). Anyway, I enjoyed myself as always but I did not get an inch of progress out of my dreadful Avalon Hoodie. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I had to rip back 3 times because, no matter how closely I tried to follow the directions, my collar was not turning out at all like it was supposed to. And looking at the photo of the finished product, I can not conceive of how the corresponding pattern could possibly result in that same look, because, believe me, I’ve tried. I do find it mildly suspcious that in ALL 4 photos of the finished product, the model’s hair or hand just so happens to be covering up the crucial part of the pattern upon which I am stuck. (I could just be paranoid and delirious, however.)
As of right now, I am screwing the pattern and just improvising something that I (hope) will work. But I have to say, I am getting dangerously close to loathing this project and wanting to rip it all out and never speak of it again.
I should have just spent those 5 hours finishing my husband’s remaining sock.
I was so frustrated I had to buy some yarn to soothe myself. I bought some beloved Noro to make a striped scarf. I wanted to use Silk Garden but there were no colors available that I liked. So I went with Kureyon. And instead of colors mixed with dark stripes, I’m going to try a light-striped version.
I also picked up these cute and teeny little circs. I had no idea they came in this size! I’m gonna try to knit a sock on them, because double pointed needles get on my nerves sometimes (although they are quite efficient).
Anyway, back to the job-limbo. For the past 5 years I have worked for a certain comic book company as the writer and illustrator for one of their monthly books. It has been a most satisfying run, but alas, all good things must come to an end. Last week I completed my final issue. And for the first time in years I find myself without a deadline. I do have other projects lined up but nothing as reliable as that first one, and those are still in early-stages. So right now I’m sort of in project limbo and have a bit more time on my hands until things pick up on my other projects. Part of me is like “woo hoo!” because I suddenly have some time to get some personal projects complete (I’m trying to write a novel), and of course, knitting! But another part of me feels a little adrift and sad at losing such a big part of my regular work routine.
Right after I finished my final issue, I felt a little melancholy and decided that I needed both a pick-me-up as well as some kind self-congratulatory prize for my 42 issue run. And what better way to acheive that than with a little retail therapy?
In what was clearly a haze of desperation and sorrow, I found myself signing up for Blue Moon Fiber Art’s Rockin’ Sock Club. I can’t be held responsible for my actions, really. 😉
I must be crazy because I have only completed ONE pair of worsted acrylic socks to date. But, when I’m learning something new I ususally like to just dive right into it and tackle it head on. So what better way to learn to knit nice socks than to subscribe to a sock club that will surely have patterns that will drive me insane? Of course, the yarn is main draw to the club. BMA has some of the most gorgeous colorways out there. I ordered two skeins of their yarn back in my early knitting days (when paying more than 5 dollars for yarn was ghastly and risque!), and I loved and treasured them so much I couldn’t bear to use them. As a result, they have been sitting in a bowl on my coffee table as decoration for the past 3 years! Of course, for my husband’s socks I finally relenquished one of them (Beryl) and used it. And I love the yarn so much I am totally sold.
One last note…. it seems I have been wearing my aforementioned acrylic socks a little too much. (More like slippers than socks, really. I only washed them once, but I swear they don’t smell!). It is a little painful to see a gaping hole in something I spent hours on… but it kinda just makes me love ’em even more.
Ok, well, remember how I swore off socks some months ago? Well, I have officially flip-flopped. In fact, I have worse than flip-flopped. I have caught the sock bug… bad. All I want to do is knit socks. I’ve lost interest in all my non-socks projects. Yes, it’s that bad. So what would make me change heart so drastically? Well first it was reading the latest book by the Yarn Harlot. Every time I read her stuff, I come away wanting to make socks, period. (She just has a way of making it sound like they are the most amazing thing in the world).
Then, completing my first pair of socks which I mentioned a couple entries ago was a factor. Even though they’re made of cheap acrylic and they’re kind of saggy on my feet, I’ve been wearing them almost nonstop since I made them (and as I write this, in fact). They keep me warm and cozy when I’m in the house and I get a little ego boost every time I look at my feet and think, “I made these”!
The real cincher, however, was when I made a sock for my husband. (Yes, just one. I’m still working on its mate!). I wanted to make a “real” sock, using tiny needles and sock yarn (Socks that Rock medium weight in Beryl, for those who want to know). What I didn’t realize was how much time it would take. This wasn’t anything like my first pair which were knit with worsted yarn on size 6 needles – those were cake compared to this. And it doesn’t help that my husband has huge feet and that the pattern was a time consuming and mind-numbing 3×1 rib.
It was a real test of patience to finish that sock. I always kept it nearby and did a few rows here and there, whenever i had a chance. And I had a couple of marathon sessions too. But I was determined to finish it.
And I finally did, on Christmas eve while hubby and I were visiting my folks for the holidays.
I got that familiar warm and fuzzy feeling of completion, but the best part was seeing my husband actually put it on. It was a little tight, he admitted, and I realized that I would possibly have to rip it back. But he wouldn’t give it back to me. He insisted it was fine and it would “probably stretch out” on its own, and he continued to wear that one sock for the rest of the night and urged me to hurry up and finish the second one!
So even though the pattern is pretty dull, I’m fully determined to finish the second one! I think I may have officially beaten Second Sock Syndrome! Of course I can’t really say that until I complete the pair, but I feel optimistic!
I’ve also decided to give 2-socks-on-one-circular-needle another try. And naturally, because I like pain, I chose one of the more difficult patterns (well, difficult for me) in the book to attempt to re-learn the technique, Belle Epoque, which has a picot edge AND cables, and Yarn Overs! (Oh, my!).
But so far, so good. The picot edge was a headache and if I was more type A, I might have re-done it so that it looked better, but I’m not. So I will learn to love my flaws. I like the technique of knitting two at once and I’ve finally gotten into the flow of it. The yarn tangling continues to be a problem, but that’s partially my fault because I chose to knit from two ends of the same ball of yarn, rather that separate it into two. As for the yarn – I love it! The color is just amazing and the yarn is so soft. I got it in a swap so I don’t know exactly what it is, only that it’s by Mystical Creations. I have a feeling these socks are going to take a while though.
I want to start another pair of socks… something that is less boring than the pair I’m working on for my husband, and something less complex than the Belle Epoque ones… but I’m trying to convince myself to finish those before I start any new ones!
When I went home for the holidays I brought along my Avalon Hoodie to work on, but since I was so enamored with my sock projects, I didn’t even touch it. I have to say, the more I look at it, the less i like it. The way the yarn is pooling isn’t really appealing and I’m still not convinced it will fit right. But I have to remind myself that it’s still in progress and not yet blocked… and it may end up being cute! But taking photos of my progress didn’t really encourage me…
And on one final note, I’ve joined Indie Dyer’s WoW sock club! What better way to feed my new sock addiction than to buy yarn inspired by my WoW addiction? 😀
Speaking of WoW, here’s a peek at my main toon, Tauren Hunter Ishtaur. I just dinged 60!
Well, I still haven’t started on any socks with the nice koigu I bought, but I am making some tiny practice socks with some cheap acrylic yarn using the book, “2-at-a-time Socks”, which teaches the mystery that is 2 socks simultaneously one ONE circular needle!
So far it’s a little baffling, but I’ve managed to knit two tiny cuffs so far. The yarn keeps getting tangled which makes it sort of annoying, but maybe I’ll figure out a good way to keep the balls apart as I get more experience with this method. I’m already wondering how on earth I’ll be able to do the heel flap and gusset, but I guess it will make sense as I go along. I hope I end up loving this method because it will surely cure my Second Sock Syndrome!
I’ve also finished my neckwarmer with the Cascade Baby Alpaca yarn I bought. I followed THIS pattern and I’m thrilled with how it turned out! The yarn is so cozy and warm and I’ve already worn this neckwarmer on several bike rides. It really keeps the chill out and I don’t have to worry about long scarf ends getting loose and flapping around as I ride.
Now I’m working on a matching pair of fingerless mitts to go with them. I’ve already got one of them done, and I hope to finish the other soon!
Hmm… what else? Oh! I had a crazy dream last night where I dreamt this amazing pattern for this cute crochet babydoll-style top. I had drawn it out on paper and started writing up a chart for it, and deciding what kind of decorative crochet edging should go along the sleeves and what kind of stitch would consist of the bodice… and then I woke up. I completely forgot what the pattern looked like and I felt a little sad when I came to the realization that I’m not a designer… and even if I could remember what it looked like, I wouldn’t be able to actually make it.
It was an inspiring dream, though! Who knows, my memory might return and I might be able to at least sketch what it looked like. I bet my friend Cecily would be able to help me deconstruct it!