Friday, April 27, 2007

April Sock Club Yummyness!

Spoiler Alert!
I received my April Socks That Rock in the mail yesterday! I was so surprised because I just assume that everything will take longer to get to Hawaii! It is beautiful: Soft and vibrant and silky. "Walk on the Wild Tide" Merino and silk. The inside of my ballband reads "Black-Tang". I can't wait!
However, since I still have yet to begin my February Monsoon Inside Out socks, maybe these will have to wait.
In the meantime: I scoured the stash and the store for Maroon and Orange yarn for the Hokie blanket squares, and was dissapointed in the selection. I hope I can make quite a few. Just feels right.
And on the needles are the bamboo socks for DBF, almost done. In fact, I should get to work because I have quite a list of knit-wants building!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hokie Healing Blankets

A Blacksburg, Virginia Yarn store, Mosaic, is organizing the creation of comfort blankets for the victim's families. They are requesting 8x8 squares in Hokie colors Maroon and Burnt Orange, along with black and white, in soft, comforting yarn. We can mail them to the shop through the month of May. I know it doesn't make anything better, but wrapping someone in knit-as-prayer has got to help a little.
Yarn store info here, and Jody's blog here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ice Cream Cozy Details

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Cozy Made as a First Project by DBF:
Yarn: Red Heart Acrylic in Camouflage
Needles: Began on #8 Denise Circulars, then he switched to #8 straight Clover Bamboos
Technique: Garter Stitch knit flat: Knit on about 40 stitches. Knit a few rows. Measure against pint. Reduce 3 stitches every other row until good size is reached. Knit straight until matches the height of the pint. One turning row of purl stitches only. Knit one row, reduce some more, knit a few more rows to make a smaller base ledge. Draw end through and sew up side.
The flower-pot shape has an added benefit of catching melting-ice drips, and the Quarter-sized hole in the bottom is useful for pushing out the empty pint.

Monday, April 23, 2007

New Knitter! New Projects!

Yep: Haven't had the heart to frog the Cromarty, so started new projects instead!

My fabulous BF requested I teach him how to knit! Yay! He picked it right up with grace and finished his first finished object in less than one day: A Ben & Jerry's ice cream pint cozy in camo red heart acrylic. It fits like a dream! He did a knitted cast on, knit stitch (continental), purl, knit in the back for a twisted rib, knit-2-together, plastic circs vs. bamboo straights, and basics of guage and design elements! He joked that he would be onto a cabled sweater by the end of the day! (Hmmm...Maybe I will make him figure out the panel reductions and yarn usage for the Cromarty Version 2.0...) Indeed, after the cozy was complete, he immediately began project #2: A Marsan Watch Cap in the same yarn. I feel flattered and loved that he went this far, so fast and so well, in order to understand knitting and what it means to me. And how cozy is it to spend a Sunday afternoon on the couch with a stack of DVD's, a pizza, and a couple of knitting projects?

Which brings me to: My project: Simple knitted socks for afore-mentioned fabulous BF in varigated bamboo sock yarn, knit to his specifications (short, no wool) and fitted to his feet. I am just doing my usual figure 8 cast on for a toe-up and short row heel. I'm really proud of the fit. I am used to knitting for my own feet, and I am really enjoying making perfectly fitted socks. I think a childhood full of altering the pointe shoes to my specifications has made me picky about socks and shoes, and made me appreciate the beautifully fit sock. He loves it! (I have only finished one. He wore the one sock around the house all evening.)

And in the Queue: My fellow Firefly-loving friend has requested I make him a Jayne hat. I found this fabulous kit, and hope to crack this one out pretty fast! A cunning fit indeed!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

What is This?

Take a good look because it is gonna get frogged!
Yes, I began the "Cromarty", by Alice Starmore, from "The Celtic Collection". The pattern calls for 15 50g Rowan DDK (115m: looked up online. This yarn is discontinued...of course!) and I am using 20 balls of 50g (113m) Rowan Wool Cotton. The pattern calls for US 5 needle, and I got Gauge with US 3s. Now: I bought the extra yarn as yarn insurance, since a quick survey online yeilds most people having trouble with the gauge, and only finishing after purchasing more yarn. So, okay, I get 5 extra balls: That should be enough, right? RIGHT? And then I not only make a gauge swatch, but I make 4 of them! FOUR! In order to confirm that I am indeed needing to use a smaller needle. I never have to use a smaller needle. I am a tight knitter. I usually use a needle two sizes too big.
But I forge ahead, and with amazing discipline, ignore the Rockin' Sock Club Monsoon Inside Out socks, vowing to complete the first chart repeat (40 rows). What you see here is 22 rows, about half the 40 row chart that must be repeated four times. It also represents one whole ball of yarn. Meaning, from waist to neckline (not even the top of the shoulders!) will take 8 balls of yarn. Repeated on the Front, that equals 16 balls of yarn, leaving two each for the volumous sleeves.
If I continue with this, I shall run out of yarn.

Option One: Buy more yarn. Pros: Can finish as started in gauge. Cons: Cost. This is Rowan, and I am already over $200 in the hole on this. Add another 12 balls of yarn and this is one expensive project. Also: Availability. I bought 4 of the balls in 2004 (I think) just because I liked them. Late last year, with this project in mind, my genius friend at Websters was able to find me 16 (and only 16) of the same dye lot! Of course I snapped it up, and I therefore already know I can't get more.
Option Two: Frog and re-knit on larger needles. Pros: Shouldn't run out of yarn. Cons: Frogging. And altering the very beautiful pattern to cut out the required stitches so the thing isn't huge. And altering the neckline. Lots of math.
Well, I am obsessed. And the thing isn't going to knit itself!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Knee Socks Done! (6 legs in 1 photo!)

Finished! The knee socks are done!
Began: February 2, 2007
Finished: March 28, 2007
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, Color# 42, "Cod"(discontinued maybe?). 2 Skeins, 215 yards each. Knit until yarn was gone.
Needles: 2 circulars method. Knitpicks #1s for most, then switched to Boyle #3s for the last few inches of calf.
Pattern: Conglomerate. Figure 8 toe-up. Widdershins heel. Easy to remember lace pattern.
While this photo doesn't show the pattern as nicely as the other one (scroll down), I just love how the cat couldn't resist getting a shot of his long, spotted gams in the photo. What a camera-hog!