Archive for March, 2007

"That was nice," said Plop. "What’s next?" *

March 25, 2007

First of all, thank you for all your nice comments on Rogue! I am very happy with it myself.

You’d think that after finishing Rogue, my very first sweater for myself, a beautiful and flattering sweater that I love so much, I might be at loose ends for what to knit. Now, I do, of course, have about fifteen other things on the needles. Since it’s been a while since I posted about anything other than Rogue, a baby sweater, and sock pal socks, let’s have a bit of a refresher, shall we?

In the “slow but steady” category, there is the Mountain Peaks shawl, which I am knitting with the gorgeous hand dyed silk my sister bought me for Christmas. (Beth, you should know that any time I’ve mentioned that my non-knitting sister bought me hand dyed silk for Christmas to another knitter, they have been VERY impressed. And that’s before I mention all the other yarn! Even my stitch and bitch friends, who think it’s weird that I knit for you so much, agree that it’s a good deal when I get such things in return.)

Uh, anyway. Shawl. Last time we saw Mountain Peaks, there wasn’t much of it, but it was going well. It looks approximately the same these days, but with another repeat of the same chart. So bigger, but with nothing new yet. I’ll take a photo when something new is happening, because let’s face it – in progress lace photos are basically a case of “and here is a slightly larger blob.” The knitting of this shawl has been greatly improved by the arrival of my Magnetic Chart Keeper from KnitPicks the other day. I would like it a little bigger, but it’s still extremely convenient. I actually forced myself to stop working on this the other day because I want to have plenty of it to knit while I’m on the plane. Since I’m flying by myself, I think lace will be perfect. Not too heavy, but interesting. (Not that flying with Jamie would really interfere with that. He has this weird capacity for doing nothing and will sit on a plane for three hours and do nothing except look out the window and maybe look through the in flight magazine. Weirdo. Flying with Jana involves much more giggling, but we’re all on different flights for this trip.)

In the traveling sock category is poor Rachel’s Christmas socks. The first sock is actually pretty much finished (I should finish it and cast on the second one, because I keep not working on it so I don’t run out of sock in an inconvenient place.), and yet I still haven’t posted a photo. That’s because they’re always in my purse. Sorry, Rachel! They will be done eventually.

In the pretending May is still REALLY far away category is one of the ongoing baby projects. It is making good progress. Given that I just heard about ANOTHER baby yesterday (one of Jamie’s relatives), I should really get on this. Photos on this one will not be around until post-gifting, as giftees are reading.

Now, you’d think that would be plenty to keep me busy. Knit on the sock when I’m out, work on the baby project when I’m home, knit an occasional row on the shawl but mostly save it for the plane. No problem!

But there’s that pesky knitalong nagging at the back of my mind. I have a lead! It’s not the end of March yet and I’m already done three sweaters! There’s still hope!

So I had no choice. I had to cast on for another sweater.

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This is the Central Park Hoodie. I cast it on Friday night while I was (impatiently) waiting for Rogue to dry, which took FOREVER. If the outside was dry, the inside was damp. If I turned it inside out, the outside got damp again. Argh.

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(I’m just about to do the second cable.)

Central Park is from the fall 2006 issue of knitscene, making this the first project I have knit from a print knitting magazine. Previous to this it’s been online patterns or books. I’m knitting it in a very bright shade of Cascade 220. (I actually forget the colour, and it doesn’t have a label because it’s a cone. Ack!) It is a very bright and cheery green – I’d probably call it a Kelly Green. It’s knitting up very quickly – the advantages of size 8s after a sweater knit on 5s! I’m hoping to finish up the back pretty quickly and then tackle the front sections before I leave, but we’ll see how the week shapes up. I am pretty busy this week, so that may be a pipe dream.

Of course, the real question is…how much knitting do I bring to California? The shawl for the plane, and some socks for lines. But do I bring the sweater for back up mindless knitting?

Oh, the dilemmas.

*The title of this post comes from one of my favourite books of all time, The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark, by Jill Tomlinson. It’s about a baby barn owl named Plop who is afraid of the dark. My entire family can probably recite a good 60% of it, and it’s a family classic. I highly recommend the audio book. (There’s also a decent but not quite as excellent picture book version, but the chapter book is better.) Plop is always hungry, and eats everything his parents bring him and follows it up with “That was nice. What’s next?”

Rogue in the Wild

March 24, 2007

Rogue is done.

Conveniently, I finished it the same day we bought a new camera! So we had a photo shoot out in the yard today. It was a rather high speed photo shoot since I finished the sweater about 5 minutes before we had to leave to have dinner with Jamie’s family, but it definitely got the job done. Unfortunately this is a crappy time of year for outdoor photo shoots. It’s muddy everywhere, especially in our alley, I was standing in a puddle, and the snow is all gross and brown. Oh well. The sweater’s nice! (Ignore our kind of decrepit fence, too.)

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I clearly need work on my “posing for pictures of knitted items without looking like a dork” skills.

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I love the hood.

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See above re: looking like a dork. And this is apparently not a good nose angle. I swear I actually have quite a small nose.

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It is DONE! Hooray! I wore it to dinner tonight (with no coat! Hooray!) and got many compliments on it. As you can see from the photos, the fit is really good. The cables look awesome in this yarn. And it’s all mine! This is officially the first sweater I have made for myself.

Here’s the knitty gritty:

Pattern: Rogue. Possibly the most photographed pattern on the internet, and with good reason. This pattern is excellent. It is easy to follow, well written, and thorough. Two thumbs up! I knit it in the 48″ size.

Yarn: Bartlett Fisherman’s Two-Ply in Light Sheepy Grey. This yarn was great to work with. It’s still very sheepy, so it smells nice and wooly. There was occasional bits of straw or whatever in the yarn, and it changed consistency a lot when I washed it. (And the water was quite nasty afterwards!) But it holds its stitches like a hot damn. If you want to learn how to cable without a cable needle (which is the only way I cable any more), this would be a great yarn to learn on. It takes some serious convincing for it to unravel. Great for cables. Very woolly, though. If you want soft, this isn’t for you. But it’s definitely going to be well used in the long Edmonton winters. I ordered ten skeins of this yarn from KPixie, but I only used seven of them. (I have no idea what to do with the other three.)

Needles: The hem facing was knit on size 3 KP Options, and the body on size 5 Denises.

Modifications: I added an extra repeat of rows 33-38 in Chart A to add a bit of length. I’m 5’10”, and I like my sweaters reasonably long. It’s a really good length, although I wish the pocket was about an inch higher. Other than that, I pretty much knit it as written, aside from a few minor mistakes here and there. This pattern doesn’t need modifying!

Start Date: January 10, 2007
Finish Date: March 24, 2007 (I knit a lot of other things in between.)

What I learned on this project: Closed cables were a new thing for me, and I really like them. This is also the first time I’ve used short rows, but it won’t be the last. I really, really like the fit of this sweater. Just the right amount of shaping. I also learned how to do three-needle bind-off, although I ripped it out in favour of grafting the hood. My seaming skills continue to improve, although they’re still my weakest link and my least liked element of sweaters.

This makes sweater number for the year. Woohoo!

Expect lots of photos in the next little while. I need to learn to use the new camera before we go to Disneyland (in 10 days! Yippee!) and it’s conveniently Flash your Stash next weekend. Plus my laptop has a built in drive for the SD card, so I can upload really easily. We got a Canon Powershot S3 IS, and it’s really nice. Much fancier than the old one!

Mmm, yarny.

March 22, 2007

Mmm, yarn. At my Stitch n Bitch last week, someone mentioned that the yarn store in one of the nearby suburbs was changing over to an online only store, and were having a closing sale. I’d only been there once before, but it was a nice enough store, although their pattern selection was ridiculously out of date. Still, a yarn sale is incentive enough for a 20 minute drive, and since I had a free Friday afternoon, I headed out to check things out.

It wasn’t actually quite as epic a sale as I’d hoped, but I still picked up a few things that I haven’t seen in many other stores around here, since everything was at least 10% off.

I picked up two bags of Mission Falls Wool, which I like for baby stuff. I got a nice turquoisey colour

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And kind of a burgundy-ish red that was really hard to photograph well. It isn’t this pink, I swear.

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(If you’re really interested, click through the pictures to my flickr account, where you can see closeups. Flickr is sucking tonight, though, so in the interests of posting EVER, I’m not going to put them here.)

I also picked up 7 skeins of Briggs and Little in a nice bright blue. I thought about using this yarn for my Rogue and then ended up with the Bartlett, but I might make a cardigan or something with this. Possibly a sweater for my mother-in-law. It was definitely a good deal!

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But the really good yarn I got last week is this.

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That’s Handmaiden Lady Godiva and it is absolutely glorious. Karen and Paul gave me a LYS gift certificate for my birthday (to which I say: woo!) and I decided that allowed me to justify the purchase of this kind of expensive but unbelieveably gorgeous yarn.

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Oh, man, it is nice.

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I have no idea what to make with it. I have two skeins. Suggestions welcome.

In other knitting news, Rogue is knit. It is not seamed, but it is knit. I am having a few logistical issues with the drying process, but soon! I’m hoping it’ll be dry by tomorrow so I can have photos for the Sweater a Month KAL update. Plus I want to wear it to Stitch n Bitch on Monday. Pictures to follow. Upon finishing it, I immediately began to work on Mountain Peaks, which is coming along really well. I finished the first repeat of chart one and have started in on the second. (Of three.) So far, so good! (Knock on wood.)

Batteries in the camera died, so hopefully more pictures will follow next post.

Last minute knitted gifts is right!

March 13, 2007

Well, nothing like finishing your gift 12 hours and five minutes before the baby shower starts. Yikes! After a strong start last week, the baby sweater took a bit of a dip over the weekend. Saturday I was busy having a birthday party and didn’t touch it, although I did get quite a bit of Rachel’s sock done. Sunday, I wasn’t in a very knitty mood due to some bad news about my grandma, and then I went for yet another birthday dinner with my in-laws, where again, good sock progress was made but the baby sweater continued to be ignored.

When I got home on Sunday night, I buckled down and knit 90% of the first sleeve while watching the Amazing Race. I finished the first sleeve off tonight before dinner, and then started the second one before heading out to Stitch n Bitch.

Of course, because I’m an idiot, I left the book at home, so I had to trust my memory (always dangerous) and do frequent comparing between the two sleeves. I got home just after the main increases finished to discover that I was actually right, which was quite encouraging. I finished up the sleeve around 10:45 or so and then began to seam.

For such a teeny sweater, seaming was surpringly time consuming. The good news is, although the yarn is kind of a bitch to seam with (yeah, I know, use a smooth matching yarn – didn’t have any, and did I mention the twelve hours to spare thing?), it is also very forgiving to seam with.

I wove in the eleventy million ends (damn intarsia!), and with 12 hours and five minutes to spare (aka at 1:25am), I finished.

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Of course, I immediately got out Mr. Bear for a modeling session. His shortcomings as a non-baby-proportioned bear were quite obvious, but you get the idea.

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Pattern: Sweetheart Pullover from Knitting for Baby.
Yarn: KP Crayon in red and yellow. I didn’t use very much yarn – maybe two balls total?
Needles: Addi Turbo Lace Needles, sizes 4 and 6
Started: March 7, 2007
Finished: March 12, 2007 (ok, technically it’s the 13th, but whatever.)
Modifications: I changed the intarsia on the front from a heart to a flower. I think I could have done a better job with the charting of the flower, but I still like it better than the heart. Lessons definitely learned for next time, if there ever is a next time with intarsia. Don’t hold your breath.
I also modified the neck. I really didn’t like the fairly constrictive neckline of the original pattern, so I just picked up stitches around the edge and knit a few rows of stockinette. It rolls in the same way as the original neckline, just several inches further down so it will hopefully be easier to stuff the baby into.

This is my second sweater of the year. I’m a member of the Sweater a Month Knitalong for 2007, and although I’m not optimistic that I’ll actually make twelve sweaters this year, this does get me technically caught up again. If I can finish Rogue by the end of the month, which I really want to, there might be hope yet! I’ve got the yarn ready for my next baby sweater, and between that and the Central Park Hoodie maybe I can knit another two sweaters by May. I’m not so convinced that the summer is going to be sweater knitting weather, though. Maybe I’ll sub in a few shawls.

Sweater update

March 10, 2007

The weather here is absolutely insane right now. It is warm and sunny every day. People are wandering around in tshirts. I saw a guy in shorts the other day, but in typical Edmonton fashion, he was also wearing a toque. (Quite sensible, actually.) Considering it’s the ninth of March, it’s actually a bit alarming, but it is really, really hard to feel bad about global warming when you’re sitting on a patio on your coffee break knitting in your short sleeves.

The downside, of course, is the snow is melting like crazy. I swear there’s a puddle across from work that has tides and an ecosystem. There is a lot of splooshing. Jamie drove home with his window down the other day and actually got his hair wet.

Anyway, as I said, I spent my coffee break out on our balcony at work, which is gorgeous and a serious advantage to this branch. I have been knitting nothing but the baby sweater for the last two days, and as a result I’m finished the front and the back, the shoulders have been seamed, and the collar has been picked up and knit on. I changed the collar around a bit, because the pattern called for almost a mock turtleneck, and who wants to stuff a baby into a turtleneck? Nobody.

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Unfortunately, Mr. Bear’s fuzzy neck somewhat obscures that, but I am confident that the baby won’t be pink and furry. The intarsia is a little more even than it appears here – this is taken at a funny angle.

You get a better view of the flower in this shot, with special guest star Count Numbear!

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He came to visit with Mr. Bear. I didn’t knit his sweater vest, unfortunately, but I am very fond of him and his little glasses. He used to belong to my grandma, and she gave him to me when she moved to Victoria.

Mr. Bear also went for a visit.

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(Jamie is watching tv with some intensity.)

Before the baby sweater frenzy, I actually made really good progress on Rogue. Of course, now it’s freaking 14 degrees every day and I’m going to finish a wool sweater, but it’s Alberta, so I’m sure I’ll need it again before too long.

I finished the hood, and once I got to the top, the pattern gave me the option of either a three needle bind off or a kitchener stitch. Since I’ve never done 3 needle bind off before, I figured I’d give that a whirl. Finished it off, went looking at other pictures, and realised that the kitchener totally looked better. So I painstakingly pulled out all the bind off and went looking for information on the kitchener.

Somebody has posted a cheat sheet for the hood graft specifically on Rogue, which was awesome. (Did I bookmark it? I did not.) It took two tries, but I think it looks waaaay better now. Not that you can see it in these photos. (I’m not very on the ball tonight with the photos.)

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Which brings the sum total of Rogue to this:

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Oh, and this:

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Not bad. Once the baby sweater is done, it’s full Rogue ahead!

Sock pal socks!

March 8, 2007

Last Friday, I received my fabulous socks from snowdrop, my Knitty sock exchange pal! She’d sent me a photo of some yarn choices, I told her I liked the pink ones (I know, who am I and when did I start liking pink? I don’t know. I have, like, five pink shirts now. I’m not sure when this happened.) and that I’d liked a pair of socks she had up on her blog a while back, and that was it. I was much more nervous and sent her several dozen progress photos and nagged for feedback, but clearly snowdrop is much better at not needing hand holding.

They are FABULOUS. Look!

Sock Pal Socks!

They fit like a glove, look great, feel wonderful, and are a very cheerful shade of pink. I wore them all day Sunday and kept admiring my feet. And forcing everyone around me to admire my feet.

Leg of Sock Pal Socks!

Even my mother was impressed! (She thought it was weird that I was knitting socks for somebody else.)

Sock Pal Socks!

Very unhelpfully, I can’t remember what yarn it was (I have the tag at home), I don’t know what pattern it was, and I don’t know what needles snowdrop used to knit them! All I know is they are awesome. Thanks, snowdrop!

Sock Pal Socks!

In other news, I had a date wrong. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, as the new date is next week instead of next month like I thought. So it’s not like I missed anything, right?

Yeah. Too bad that’s the date of a mat leave starting, which means the baby sweater I thought I had a month for? I have six days. Luckily, I had the pattern (Sweetheart Pullover from Knitting for Baby, but with an intarsia flower instead of a heart, because I don’t think the mother-to-be is much of a heart person) and the yarn (KP Crayon, my current favourite baby yarn), so I cast on yesterday for the front, figuring I’d get through the intarsia since it would be the most time consuming section.

Man, I HATE intarsia! It’s so fiddly, and there are ends everywhere, and…bleah. Too bad it looks so damn cute. I’m about halfway through the flower, I think, but I now only have three bobbins (hee, I wrote “boobins” the first time) instead of the six I started with, so it’s going much faster. I’m hoping to knock the front off tonight, cast on for the back, finish that by Saturday, and do the sleeves on Sunday which leaves Monday night for seaming. I’ll be fine. Babies are small! So are their sweaters! The Crayon is definitely perfect for an April baby – it’s nice and lightweight and very fluffy. Hopefully I can post a photo of the finished front tonight. Here’s hoping!

Review: Addi Lace Needles

March 6, 2007

Because today is my BIRTHDAY!(Happy birthday to meeeee!), I treated myself to a trip to the yarn store. They’re having a sale starting on Thursday, so I managed to resist buying yarn, but I did accomplish what I set out to: purchase some of the new Addi Lace Needles!

The store (River City, for any of you locals who want to get your hands on these) just got them in yesterday and hadn’t put them out yet, but I was stalking them and called to find out if they were in earlier, so they dug them out of the back for me. (A spouse or friend of one of the yarn store ladies came in while I was wandering around, and said “feel free to ask for help!” I smiled at him, at which point one of the store people came out and said “ok, Sarah, I’ve got the 3 sizes here that you wanted – what cable length do you want?” The guy kind of sheepishly said “ok, never mind, you clearly know what you’re doing!” It was kind of funny.)

Now, I’m weird about needles. The ones I use the most are still my Denises, because I like how they feel in my hands, but I’m not wild about the cords and obviously, they don’t work for socks. I have a few pairs of regular Addis in sock sizes, and I like the needles but hate the tips and don’t like the cords much. I love the Knit Picks needles, but the nickel makes me a little scratchy, so I was THRILLED when I heard about these new needles. I took them out of the package, looked them over, and immediately bought four pairs.

I got size 1 (2.5mm) with a 32 inch cord (80cm), and size 4 (3.5cm), 5 (3.75cm), and 6 (4.0cm) with a 47 inch cord (120cm). The size one is for socks, obviously – my favourite size and length for magic loop. The others, I opted for a longer cord, as I can always magic loop a smaller thing but can’t stretch a smaller cable for a bigger thing. I eventually want to get the size 2 and 3 as well, but figured I’d start with my most used sizes.

After I left the store, I went for dinner with Jamie, and transfered my current sock over to the new needle. I knit on that for a good half hour while we were waiting for our food, and when I got home, I moved my Rogue sleeve (yes, sleeve!) over to the size 5 and knit a few rows on that.

So how do they stack up? Let’s compare, shall we? My apologies for the mediocrity of these photos. I’m not a photographer. Click on photos for larger ones.

KP&Addis 1s

Here are all three of my size 1 needles. Top is the KnitPicks, middle is the original Addi Turbo, and bottom is the new Addi Lace. Let’s look at each of them, shall we?

First, the original Addi.

Regular Addi Point

I really don’t like knitting socks with these, because those tips are just not pointy enough. Still, the needle itself is nice and slick.

Here’s the KnitPicks circ.

KP Point

Nice and pointy, and without the taper that the Addi has, which I really like. Just as slick as the Addi, but I’ve already worn the finish off one of these. (Fortunately my Secret Pal sent me this nice shiny new one for my birthday!) I don’t think that’s all that normal, though – as they make me a little itchy, I suspect I might wear the finish off a little faster.

Here’s the new Addi.

Tip of Size 1 Addi Lace Needle

Obviously, much pointier than the original Addi, but with the taper that the regular Addi has. Pointiness is about comparable with the Knit Picks. (I poked myself with all three to test. See what I do for you people?)

What about cables? I didn’t take any photos of the Knit Picks cables (there are a zillion out there in blog land), but I did take one of my old Addi to point out why I’m not wild about their cords.

The cord on my size 1 Addi Turbo

Hmpf.

I love the KP Cable, but I had one pop out of its join last week so I’m a little disgruntled with them. Still, the flexibility is pretty incredible, and I am fond of the purple. So how’s the Addi Lace cable?

Testing the new Addi Lace Needle Cable

And ten seconds later…

The cable on the new Addi Lace Needle

Pretty darn flexible. It’s not quite as bendy as the KP, but it’s pretty close. It’s also a nice pink colour. More importantly, it has the size imprinted on the needle. Woo!

How’s the join?

Join on the new Addi Lace Needle

Great. It also tapers there, much as at the tip. It is really, really smooth.

Let’s look at some of the larger ones. Here are the tips of my size 5 KP and Addi Lace needles.

Addi Lace Needle and Knit Picks Tips

The KnitPicks tip

Tip of a KnitPicks Options needle

And the Addi Lace

Tip on Addi Lace Needle

So how do they stack up? Here’s my opinion.

The hollow brass needles are fantastic. Super light weight, and no allergy problem for me. (Yay!) They also seem like they aren’t going to lose their coating as quickly as the KP. Reasonably enough, since the KP are a hell of a lot cheaper. That said, the resin on the Lace needles mean they aren’t quite as fast as the original Addis, or KnitPicks when they’re still new and shiny. Still, after about two rounds of my sock, I’d stop noticing. They’re still REALLY fast. Just not quite AS fast.

The tips are really, really good. I’m not wild about the more abrupt taper, but I’ll get used to it, I think. I also don’t really like the taper at the end of the needle going to the join, but I’ll survive. The KP needle has a shorter taper that I prefer, which means the needle itself is a bit shorter. (not by much.) The join is really smooth. Cable? Great. It’s magic looping through my sock with no problems so far. Keep in mind that in the larger needles, I’m comparing an interchangeable with a regular needle.

The Lace needles are also noticeably lighter, which is nice. They feel good in my hands and not quite as stiff as the nickel-plated needles.

What don’t I like? The lack of size availability, but I suspect that’s a temporary problem. I prefer the short tapers on ends of the KP needles, but the tips of the 1s aren’t quite as noticeably tapered as the larger sizes. I also think that’s something I’ll get used to. I wish they were as zippy as the originals, but I think I’ll adapt as I knit with them, and the lack of any nickel is probably better for me. I wish they weren’t quite so expensive, and I’m kind of tempted to send Jamie to a yarn store in London when he’s there this summer, if they’ve made it over there by then, as they’re so much less expensive over there.

But overall? Two thumbs up. Anyone else planning to try them?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to enjoy the last ten minute of my birthday. Stay tuned for a photo shoot with my sock pal socks! Here’s a hint: they’re FABULOUS.

Sock Pal Socks!

March 1, 2007

Finally! I was working late today (and let me tell you, my day is going about six hundred times better than yesterday – helped significantly by the early birthday cake at work), so my break was at 4:00. Conveniently, Jamie was home and made dinner for me, so I had a few minutes to go outside at take photos. Natural light! It’s a miracle! Also a miracle is the fact that there’s any natural light at 4:00. Two months ago it was getting dark when I came home for my break. Spring is coming!

Anyway, I really wanted to take some pictures in the snow, since it’s such a conveniently blank and bright background for photos, but I didn’t want to get the socks all snowy. So I put down a plastic bag first. Problem solved.

You can’t really tell that it’s snow (there is a lot of it in our backyard!), but the pictures turned out nice and bright.

Sock Pal Socks 4

This is a really good shot of the colours – they look great against the snow and in the light.

Sock Pal Socks 2

This is a nice view of the stitch pattern – isn’t it nice? It looks really good with the yarn, I think.

Sock Pal Socks 3

Taa daa!

Sock Pal Socks 1

Sunshine Yarns Black Olive Stripe, knit on KP Options size 1. The pattern is the Chevron Socks from Sensational Knitted Socks, with a slightly adapted heel and toe. (I forgot to take pictures of the heel, which is too bad because I think they’re kind of neat.) Going in the mail ASAP to snowdrop!

My so-called mojo

March 1, 2007

With the baby blanket off being snuggly with the cutest baby ever and my sock pal socks safely finished (and still not photographed or mailed, because I SUCK and had a crap day today and so didn’t go to the post office), the pressure’s off the knitting for a while. I’ve got a baby sweater that needs to be done in a month or so, but given that the last one took about three days I’m not too concerned. I started another baby blanket in the hopes of avoiding the panicked “the baby is here” knitting, which I thought was quite intelligent of me. It’s a Pinwheel, a pattern I’m enjoying immensely, knit in Swish in a variety of colours. No photos of this one in progress, though, as certain impending babies have nosey mothers. It’s very cute, though.

Monday, Karen and I went to see Music and Lyrics, and after a lengthy bout of indecisiveness on my part, I blew off Stitch n Bitch (sorry, SnB people, but I was too grouchy for small talk. You were better off without me.) and we went to the early show. However, that meant I had about fifteen minutes to eat and be ready to go when Karen picked me up, which meant I had about three minutes after I ate to figure out what knitting to bring. Because let’s face it, despite the immense delightfulness of Hugh Grant, that’s the kind of movie that needs knitting. Pan’s Labryinth? Not so much. The Queen? Could go either way, but I survived without it. (I have seen a lot of movies lately, for whatever reason.) But Music and Lyrics reeeeally needed some knitting.

Unfortunately, all that was on the needles was the baby blanket, which has just enough yarnovers to totally screw you over in the dark, and Rogue, which still needs a hood and sleeves. But if you’ve seen the nineteen page pattern for Rogue, you know those pages of charts are not meant for movie theaters. (I could barely keep track while watching American Idol tonight, but I’ll get to that in a minute.) I had my Gryffindor yarn already wound into a yarn cake, but guilt got the better of me. You see, I gave Rachel a skein of yarn for Christmas with the promise that it would eventually be socks. It is now almost March. I should really knit her some socks. So I grabbed the yarn and flung it up on the ball winder (incidentally, HOW did I ever survive without my winder and swift?), and was winding furiously when Karen called to say she was three minutes away. I posted Jamie on window duty and kept winding. She pulled up, I wound the last little bit, grabbed some needles, and dashed out to the car.

The movie was pretty mediocre, but I got the entire cuff of the sock knit, so I feel it was time well spent. (Plus it only cost us about four dollars each because we had several coupons.) Since then, I’ve made it to the heel of the first sock, which is pretty good for two days work. (I had book group last night – prime knitting time.)

Tonight, though, I actually had a free night, and after an insane day of work I decided that what I needed was American Idol and knitting. This plan was interfered with somewhat by Jamie’s purchase of Rayman’s Raving Rabbids for my new Wii. My god, that game is just obscenely fun. So I played that for several hours when I got home, showed Erin and Ashley how to play, and felt much better after shooting rabbits with plungers for a while.

Once my wrists were starting to give, though, I decided to really make my tendons suffer and pulled Rogue back out again. It’s been on the back burner for a few weeks, since finishing the body on February 6th. (Wow, I didn’t realise it had been that long. Sigh.) I left Jamie rampaging against the rabbits and went to watch last night’s AI.

I knit through the whole thing, got the hood stitches picked up and figured out what I’d screwed up (pretty minor – just cast off two too many stitches, so I just picked up two extra.) I was happily knitting away while zipping through Idol (which doesn’t take long – that show is all filler), when I realised I’d miscrossed a cable about four rows back. Again.

This time, though, I noticed, and it was only a little wee three stitch cable. I glared at it for a round, then, sighing about not learning my lesson, lined myself up over the offending cable, took a deep breath, and dropped the stitches.

I tell you, this Bartlett wool will take a serious beating before it loses its stitches. It’s perfect for cabling without a needle (which is all I do any more), and it made it quite painless to drop the stitches and recross the cable in the right direction. Man, that was satisfying. I was feeling pretty darn impressed with myself, let me tell you. I got up to the tenth row of the hood when I realised something was weird. I counted stitches several times, consulted the chart repeatedly, and finally gave up and tinked. (Progress for me – I would usually ignore it and work out some way around it. I hate tinking.) When I got back the two rows to where the problem started, I realised what I’d done. I’d slipped the two stitches to be cabled, knit the next two, and lined them up for cabling, but I forgot to knit the stitches that I moved.

Whoops. So much for my so-called cabling mojo. Oh well.

Pictures of the sock pal socks (SORRY, snowdrop!) and Rogue’s progress to follow soon. I’m taking my poor tendons to bed.