Experienced knitters don't make fewer mistakes than new knitters. They make bigger ones faster.

- Yarn Harlot -

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2-At-A-Time at 2 AM

Yes, that is what you think it is. I decided that at about 12:30 at night, I should teach myself how to knit socks 2 at a time on one long circular needle. Why, you ask, would I do this to myself? On what planet was this a good idea? This is the last thing I should be doing at this time. Will my mind be able to wrap itself around knitting 2 socks from 2 different balls of yarn simultaneously? I had visions of the Thneed from The Lorax coming off the needles. Or those cute mittens on Ravelry knit together so you can hold hands with your love and still keep warm. One sock is the second of the pair of vanilla Lana Grossa socks. The other is the beginning of a vanilla Berocco Comfort Sox. I'm doing 2 different yarns in hopes that I WON'T get them mixed up and knit together, but only time will tell.

Does this make me a crazy knitter?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Making Progress

So, I've figured out part of the problem with the laptop. It runs fine on battery power. However, when it's plugged into the wall, it shuts off. The really funny thing is that turns back on too. Any computer whizzes out there that have a theory?

Dr. Who Scarf

This is the scarf for my friend that was in our wedding. At first, I decided that I didn't like how the garter stitch looked and stared this in Stockinette stitch with a seed stitch border. However, even with the border, it rolled like crazy on the edges. It has been driving me so nuts that I have decided to restart it in garter stitch. And, surprisingly enough, it's going much faster. It's only about 2 feet long so far, so I've dubbed this as my other Quarter 1 goal. So here you go, Matt. I promise it is actually being worked on.

Spinning Update

I haven't done a lot of spinning lately due to the sock monster consuming my brain. But I figured, I would do a little show and tell on the things I've accomplished.

Here is the Targhee from Mountain colors. The staple was shorter than I'm used to, so it is spun woolen (which is fun and super fast). It's my first 3 ply yarn, which i learned is best for hiding, uh, inconsistencies in plies, and the twist gets distributed more evenly. I think it's about a worsted weight and will become a hat or mitts.

Here is the most recent yarn I made. It's Frabjous Fibers Merino in the Stained Glass colorway. I was aiming for a fingering weight yarn for a shawl. Since I'm not as confident about my spinning, I thought a 2 ply would do fine. I haven't totaled the yardage yet, but I think it will be enough. I've also decided that I really enjoy spinning merino.

Oh, and here is a picture of my "swift." yes, i know that's like cheating.

Sock Update

Pair #3 for this quarter will more than likely also be mismatched. I finished the other vanilla sock from Jawoll, and have almost an entire skein left over.

The Skyp sock is about halfway through the leg. I've switched from the bamboo DPNs to the teeny tiny circular I bought (it's an Addi Turbo 8") thinking it would make things go faster, but to no avail.

So, I decided to start a new sock! It was actually already done through the cuff since this was originally supposed to be the Skyp. I didn't like how it was turning out and was about to rip the whole thing out when I realized, "Hey, this is a finished cuff!" It sat on waste yarn for a few weeks, but I threw it on the tiny circular needle, and pumped out about 4 inches of leg during knitting on Sunday. That's about 2 and a half hours, which is lightening speed for me. I also decided to try a short row heel again.

You can't really see it in the picture, but one of the sides has a ridge along it, which I'm suspecting should be on the inside. Other than that, it''s going well. Now, what should I do for the toe?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Quick, Before It Dies Again!!!

With some luck, this is being typed on my laptop. Yes, the screen is working again. However, now it's over heating and shutting down on its own, so this has been typed in about 4 sittings. Looks like some of my tax refund will be going to a new one.

But, there are some FO's to share, some of them are even scraps that i've finally used.


I've heard rave reviews about handmade dishcloths and love making them for people. They are so absorbent and scrub better than those store-bought ones. That's when i realized that I don't have any myself! These are from scraps from the Christmas gifts, and I knocked out 8 half-balls of cotton! I had a little extra so I free-formed a scrubbie also.

Plarn Bag

I started this plarn in probably October after I studied a tutorial i found online. I proceeded to cut a million bags into strips, and put the in a bag on my yarn cabinet. It sat and sat and finally I started stringing them together and started a bag. This will be the bag we put all the other bags from the grocery store in so we can recycle them. I have another giant ball of this, so there will probably be another on its way. And as a side note, Wal-Mart bags and the like are the best ones to use. I used some from department stores, and even though they add pretty colors to the overall look, they are a pain to use since they're so stiff.

Scrap Hats

In another effort to decrease the scrap yarn i have, I made a few hats. Four to be exact, in about 2 days time. They're all bulky weight yarn, 2 in boucle and 2 in Lion Brand Homespun. I forgot what a total PITA these yarns are to use. But, i reduced the stash by 4 half skeins. Unfortunately, I have 4 more skeins of the boucle in another color that were intended for a sweater. Now I have to decide whether it will actually become a project or if it will be donated.

Oh and the lesson of the weekend is that boucle can be knit on US 8 needles and comes out ok. The same goes for Homespun. However, this does not go for super bulky yarn, specifically Lion Brand Hometown. The half of a hat I finished came out to a gauge between berber carpet and concrete. it could have been a hard hat, or some sort of personal protective equipment. If i need a spare tire, i know i can knit one up.

Summer Flies

I bought a few skeins of this pima cotton at Tuesday Morning months ago, with no idea what to make from it. it's about 450 yards and a light worsted weight. i though a shawl would be nice so I started looking for patterns. I wanted something lightweight but could find anything i like, so i turned to my queue. This shawl would be perfect. It's not a ton of lace, and I hope it works even the yarn is heavier than what the pattern calls for.

Longway Striped Scarf

This is being made from the leftovers from Christmas presents. The gray is from my mom's scarf, and the maroons are from my friend's clutch. I have exactly one ball of each left over, so they are becoming a striped scarf. This time i decided to do lengthwise stripes, which means i cast on 10,000 stitches. It also means a row take half an hour. but i'm adding fringe, which means no ends to weave in!

Goal #1 - 12 socks

Here is the photographic evidence of pair #2 for 2012. The first is the Skyp pattern made form Plymouth Yarns Happy feet. the second sock is a vanilla sock made from Jawoll. yes i know they do not match, but nobody said the pair had to be a matching pair.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Do you know what this is?

This was a $4 sweater from Goodwill when it came home with me on Friday afternoon. It was a cabled cardigan from the Gap, made from a cotton/acrylic blend, so it's machine washable. I'm guessing it's about a DK weight, but we'll swatch to find out.

Do you know what it is now?

It's enough yarn for a sweater, plus buttons, for $4.

and I have 2 more sweaters to unravel, both men's sizes. and one of them is cashmere. and i got a couple sweaters for myself, plus a book, for about $35. I couldn't buy decent yarn for a sweater for that much.

Free(dom) wins.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

2011 Update

Well, January has gotten the year off to a great start. Craft-wise, I'm on track and making good progress. Home-wise, well, we're getting there. We have some furniture we're trying to sell (if anyone locally is interested) to get the house looking like we live here, not like we just moved in. The laptop is still out of commission. The guy fixing it figured out it was the monitor that failed (not software thankfully) so we ordered a new one and he installed it. The laptop worked for about 3 days and then died AGAIN. I was beside myself. So it's back at work with him and hopefully we can figure out what the problem is. His payment is currently a Turn a Square in Cascade Superwash. Whenever I see the light at the end of the technology tunnel, I'll cast that on.

Goal Update

I've already knocked out a couple of my goals! I'm making steady progress on my year long goals as well and (slowly) depleting my scrap bin.

#2 - 12 pairs in 2011

Pair #1 of 12 is complete! They are vanilla socks made from Plymouth Yarns Happy Feet in color 26, which is purples and grays, and we all know how much I love those color together.The yarn is so soft and squishy. These are also the BEST FITTING pair of socks yet. I noticed my socks were just a tad tight after I washed them, so I tried an adjustment. I added 1/4 of an inch to the length of the foot. Fantastic.

#5 Knit from Handspun

This is the beginning of a lace scarf made from some merino I'd spun a few months ago. It's a 2-ply semi-worsted (for you spinners) that's about a DK weight. I started at least 3 other patterns with this yarn and they just weren't turning out like I wanted. I finally cast on a basic lace pattern (r1: yo, k2tog; r2: purl across) and WOW. It's perfect. One skein looks much better than the other I think, but it evens out in the knitting. It's also flying by, so it should be done soon.

#6 Beading - Accomplished!!!

That is the Citron of Doom. But it's gorgeous and I love it. It's knit in Malabrigo Sock (so how can it not be awesome?) in the Indecieta colorway. I got some extra yarn from a friend in my knitting group, and used it first since most project pages I'd seen said that with sock weight yarn, they were barely able to finish the pattern, or had to cut it a couple rows short. It's the same color, but CLEARLY a different dye lot. However, I like how it came out. It looks intentional. I also did a beaded bind off using size 6 beads and a 1 mm crochet hook. The tutorial can be found here. My bind off took about 6 hours, so it's not for the faint of heart.

#8 - Charity - Accomplished!!!

A couple weeks ago, I took a fieldtrip to Martinsville, IN to meet a woman I met on Ravelry to give her the bag of baby hats. She was so excited and appreciative for them! I will probably meet with her every couple months to give more.

#1 52 Hats

This goals should be easy enough to achieve. I didn't really make any baby hats during the first few weeks of the year because of the other projects I was working on, namely the Citron. But the past week or so I've been fighting some startitis, so I grab a ball of yarn and a crochet hook and knock some out. Here are the 18 I've made this year so far:

After I get some more pictures taken, I'll show off the other random things I've finished so far this year!