cats · crafts · finished objects · knitting · Life · yarn

One sock down…

I finished the first of my twin rib socks!

Yesterday as I was working on this sock a big gust of wind came down the chimney and knocked over the (giant, heavy) fireplace screen.  It scared me so badly that I lost all the stitches on one needle.  I’m really proud that I got them all on and fixed – dropped stitches used to be my evil nemesis.

I should have gone another half inch before starting the toe on these.  I tried them on at the time, but I think I was confused.  I must remember to always go at least 7″ before the toe.  Ah well – this is the left sock then, since my left foot is slightly smaller.  It’s slightly snug at the toe, but not in a terrible way.  Or so I tell myself because I can’t imagine undoing these!  I haven’t blocked it yet of course… perhaps I will get extra room?  I don’t need much… a quarter inch or less would do it.  My last socks grew like mad in the wash.

I cast on for the second sock right away.  While I love the sock knitting, I don’t love casting onto DPNs or the first few rows, so I think starting right away is the best way to avoid SSS for me.

I also balled up some of the cashmere island, and I’d like to swatch so I can figure out my needle size for Lady Eleanor.  The ball band says size 6, but I’d like to use a 7.  The colors are much prettier out of the skein, so I’m feeling better and better about the yarn.  The best part?  It retains the Noro color and “rustic” look while not being very thick/thin and having no bits of plant matter that I found last night.  Yay!  I wish it came in more colors… The Clapotis is on the 4th straight section repeat, and is having a moment of being temporarily stalled.  The cats figured out how to get into one of my yarn bins, and they had lots of fun with some of the Clapotis yarn.  It isn’t ruined, just a wee bit hairy (they are declawed and mostly just knock yarn behind the french doors where the cat hair hides), but I’m dreading having to ball it up again.

The cats are weird about yarn.  They never bother it while I’m knitting, and I could leave a project out for a week without a cat bothering it… but balled up yarns in boxes is like a little kitty nirvana to them.  Dionne will walk up to the box, chomp down on an end and take off, trailing a ball of yarn behind her.  She knows she’s not supposed to, but I guess the yarn is just so tempting.

All my extra yarn is currently either in a rubbermaid storage cart or in the new dresser we bought, and I think the cats are sort of sad.  I think Marc is also sad to realize that he still doesn’t entirely get his own dresser, since half 0f mine is yarn.  Oops.

I only have to teach two lessons tonight, and then we’re having a holiday party/trivia night with some of my friends.  Hopefully I’ll find knitting time in there!

crafts · finished objects · knitting · Life · yarn

Finally – a finished object!

I’ve finally finished the short row rib scarf!


Yarn: Noro Silk Garden #08.  I used 2.5 balls.

Size: A little over five feet by 6″

Needles: Size eight

Notes: If you recall, I started this scarf nearly two months ago.  It has languished as my third place project since then.  The silk garden was hurting my hands, and I was really not sure at all about the brightness of some of the colors.  Last night I looked at it and thought “I can’t have this hanging over my head anymore.  I declare it long enough!”  I quickly did the finishing squares and blocked it.  Does anyone else find that Silk Garden grows majorly in blocking?  Because this grew a good 6″ in length.

I found this scarf to be kind of tedious.  I couldn’t seem to memorize the pattern, so I had to pay constant attention.  The cast off isn’t as nice as the cast on, but I think that’s true of all scarves made with this pattern.  I’m going to wear it out tonight, but I think I’m pretty happy with it.  The colors are less bright when you aren’t staring at them from 4 inches away.

My yarn for Lady Eleanor finally arrived today, no thanks to UPS.  Does anyone else  hate it when something ships UPS?  Apparently UPS considers my zip code to be a “high crime area” (ha!) so they won’t leave a package even if you sign for it.  So I’ve been sitting here all day waiting for the UPS guy.   I ordered Noro Cashmere Island color #2, which is a combination of blues and greens with a bit of red thrown in for good measure.  I got nervous after ordering – I was going to get a different color, but decided that #2 was prettier.  I then got terrified that it would be too bright, and so I tried to ignore that it was coming.  I needn’t have worried though – it’s lovely!

I’m especially happy with the greens, which contain not a trace of teal (I like teal, but not the bright Noro teal).  The cashmere island seems to contain about 50 pounds of sizing, like all Noro yarns, so I can’t wait to swatch and block, so I can see how this yarn actually feels!

I also broke down and ordered some Skye Tweed, which WEBs has at really fabulous closeout prices.  I got a sweater’s worth of Loch Ness Teal and Spruce Green.


The Spruce green is actually brown, but it does contain tiny green tweedy bits, which are lovely.  Plus this yarn was super cheap, and I’m really happy to finally have some tweedy yarns in my stash.

Now that my scarf is finished I would like to start another.  I want to make “My So Called Scarf,” but I’m unsure about yarns.  I have two skeins of Malabrigo in Verde Azul.

You see the problem?  One skein is darker than the other, although they’re the same color otherwise.  Is there any way I could use both skeins without it looking weird?  I’m not sure if it would matter, since the yarn is variegated anyway.

I have to go pick Marc up from yet another holiday office party in a bit, and we’re going to my church group’s potluck Christmas party.  I have nothing for the potluck, since I’ve been stuck here all day waiting for UPS (and we need groceries), so I’m going to have to go the crappy route and pick something up.

crafts · knitting · yarn

I’ll speak to you when you learn to behave!

The Jaywalkers and I are in a fight.  Yes, again.  I’m beginning to feel that this relationship may not be worth all the trouble.

You can see a giant snafu in the center decrease row.  Apparently I have not yet learned that sometimes it’s better to tink than to press on.  You can also see (right under it) where I started the heel and somehow managed to shift one row over (but only on one set of increases.)  There are a few other problems, but I’ll leave those out.  Because I would forgive all the flaws if the sock didn’t manage to still be entirely too large!

For those of you playing at home, I’ve now restarted this sock at least 4 times.  I’m making the smallest size, but it ain’t gonna fit.  It’s huge around the ribbing and the heels, and none of the rest of it fits especially well either.  I think my Jaywalkers may be taking a trip to the permanant frog pond.  I am pleased with the Lorna’s laces yarn, which has stood up to repeated frogging with absolutely no signs of wear… so as soon as I get over my grief I’ll use it in a non-cursed pattern.

I was so depressed over my Jaywalkers that I went out and bought this

And started this

That’s the twin rib pattern, in Claudia Handpaints “Eat your Veggies” over 54 stitches on size 1s.  That’s right – 54.  And it fits.   No wonder the Jaywalkers don’t – they pull in, but not 22 stitches worth!

Anyway, the Claudia yarn is lovely to knit with, and I’m not having any pooling (yet).   I love the book.  I think it needs a more exciting cover – from the outside it does not look like a book I want to buy, but on the inside it’s the best sock book I’ve seen!  It’s also amazing how much faster socks go when you have a third fewer stitches on your needles.  These socks are going to fly off the needles!

Yesterday was Sunday, and I had three masses.  That also means I had lots of time to sit around and knit, so I decided to swatch for the Provincial Waistcoat.  Go get your copy of that magazine, and tell me if you can figure out what the heck I’m supposed to swatch!  It says “body pattern” but it doesn’t mean the cable pattern… and as far as I can tell the body pattern is not easily swatchable.  I’m using Lamb’s Pride Bulky, which claims on the ball band to get 3st per inch on 10.5 needles.  The called for yarn gets 3.5 per inch.  However, online I saw Lamb’s Pride being listed as 3.5, so I decided to just to a plain stockinette swatch.  Sure enough – 3.5 per inch on 10.5 needles.  I felt a little better knowing that I was getting the gauge of the called for yarn, so I decided to give the pattern a try.

This pattern is one of those that has lots of redundant directions if you’re making the smallest size.  Lots of p0s and [rep 0 times from *].  No kidding – it’s incredibly hard to read.  At this point I would rather it were a chart, and I hate knitting from charts.  So I sat down and tried to write out the directions for only the smallest size, which was no small task.  I did the first row and ended up with two extra stitches, so I think I probably wrote something down incorrectly (there is no errata for this pattern yet).  I pressed on to try out the second row (wanted to try all those cross 2s,) and then ripped so I could reread the directions and try again.  I was having lots of trouble with the C3Ls (I think that’s the right abbreviation.)  I know how to do cables, but these were not looking right.  It could be the bulky yarn though – I’ve never made anything except scarves with bulky, so I’m not sure how it behaves with cables.

I’m not sure how well the pattern is going to go overall.  I read all the directions and I think it’s sometimes a little vague.  For instance, in the second row it starts saying “knit x# of stitches in rib,” only nowhere does it specify a rib.  I finally figured out that it wants you to just mimic the first row, but I honestly think it should have said that.  Ugh.  Gonna have to think about whether this one will be worth it.  Bulky yarn hurts my wrists anyway.

Depressing though that is, my new socks make me happy, so it’s still a good day!

crafts · knitting · yarn

Must finish socks!

This time I have actual Jaywalker progress.  I’m 5″ into the leg of the first sock.

I love the way the yarn is striping.  I wish the other Lorna’s laces striping yarns were my colors, because I would definitely buy some.  Simply Sock Yarns  has a special one that is brown and pink.  When it goes back in stock I’ll be sure to get some.  The Jaywalker pattern is going easily now, I just haven’t had a lot of time to sit down and knit.  Yesterday I worked, played a mass, and then went to Marc’s office Christmas party, so I didn’t have much time.

I did have time to order more sock yarn, so I have to hurry up on these in order to get started on some more lovely socks!

Claudia Yarns in “eat your veggies”.  I love these colors together!

Cherry tree hill in “Misty Moor”, a new shade.  It’s a very pretty mix of blue, purple, and moss.

Shelridge farms yarn in “Fury.”  It’s a little darker than the picture shows.  I wonder what pattern would be the best to go with a darker color.  This is also lovely yarn, and it seems to be slightly heavier than either the CTH or the Claudia.   I am a little worried that it might be too dark for me.  I ordered it because I’ve heard good things about their yarns, and because I wanted a solid so I could make a more lacy pattern, and it’s pretty inexpensive.

Save me from sock yarn.  Ah well… there are worse bad habits I suppose.

Christmas · crafts · decorating · knitting · yarn

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Our Christmas tree?  Yeah… it’s a rubber tree plant

Marc’s family have owned this plant since he was a little boy.  His Mom was going to throw it away, when Marc suddenly decided it reminded him of his childhood and brought it home.  I was not amused.  I don’t have any houseplants because A. I won’t wanter them and B. Plants kind of freak me out… especially big giant plants that sit by the window and stare at me.  Yes, I know that it’s crazy.  I would say that the tree has grown on me, but that would be a lie.  Marc accuses me of trying to murder the plant, but that isn’t true.  And we aren’t getting a Christmas tree because there’s really not room, so… happy Christmas, rubber tree plant!

Here is a picture of my Jaywalkers

What’s that you say?  They look exactly the same?  That’s possibly because I got 4″ down the leg of the last one and had to rip.  I was making the larger size, because I’d seen so many people claim they turned out tiny.  After 4″ I had to admit that they were going to be huge on my teeny ankles.  Plus I did the decrease wrong for the first inch.  So I ripped and started over, and this time I am determined!

The sock bug has bitten me hard.  I just spent an hour staring at my computer, trying to tell myself that I really don’t need any Trekking XXL sock yarn.  Or the “Angel” colorway of Sweet Georgia sock yarn.  It’s a sickness I think.  I only have a few balls of sock yarn, but I can already see how hard it’s going to be to avoid the temptation.  After all, it’s just one skein, right?  Not like I’m stashing yarn for an entire sweater.  And yes, 25 dollars for a pair of socks would have seemed crazy before, but maybe I just didn’t appreciate socks.

It’s a sickness I tell you!

In other news, we bought a new dresser.  It will be half yarn, half my clothes.

It’s a Target special, so last night we spent a good three hours assembling the thing.  I think it was worth it though – I really love the dresser, which has mission style slats on the sides.  I own the matching desk too.

Christmas · crafts · knitting · Life · yarn

Almost sick…

I apologize for my lack of response to the last several days’ comments.  I’ve spent most of my time trying really hard not to get sick.  It really makes my day to get commments, and I’ll respond soon!  In fact, I’ve been making a point of commenting on the blogs that I read, because I love getting comments so much.

I have a vague sore throat and general sense of unwellness.  I took a 3 hour nap today, followed by another hour-long nap after dinner.  I really don’t want to get sick just yet – I have two more weeks of teaching to get through.

This afternoon Marc and I went to my Mom’s, where we helped her to decorate for Christmas.  Her house is easy to recognize – it’s the one with the giant peace symbol.

Why yes, I am the child of hippies, why do you ask?  My Mom lives a few blocks from us, and I’ve seen a few other peace symbols crop up after she started this a few years ago.  Did I mention that I love my neighborhood?  Because I do.

I haven’t knit since Friday.  Yesterday I was resting my hands, and today I’ve been asleep most of the time.  I’m two repeats into the straight section, and it hasn’t become tedious yet.

The stitches are easier to drop than on my last Clapotis.  They do have to be helped along, but it isn’t too stressful.  My goal for finishing this is still Christmas eve, so that I can wear it to the many holiday obligations I’m bound to have.  I only have one more washcloth to knit and all the holiday stuff will be done, so hopefull I won’t get too sick of this.  It took me 3 weeks on the last Clapotis, and that one had more repeats than this one will.

I think I’ll go knit now.  Since  I slept all day I’m not even faintly tired, so at least I can get something done!

cooking · food · Life

Recipes from the past

It seems as though the less time I have for actual cooking, the more time I spend on the internet searching for recipes.  My standard cooking varies from Italian to Chinese and doesn’t include much else.  I’m a good cook, I just have this obsession with rice and noodles you see…

I’ll be on winter break from my job starting December 15th, and while the holidays are going to limit my cooking experiments, I’ve still been searching for recipes I want to try soon.  We are, for example, going to have some of our vegetarian friends over so that I have an excuse to cook vegetarian.  Given the choice I think it’s highly likely that I would slip into vegetarianism.  I was raised on a healthy diet, and meat doesn’t usually appeal to me all that much.  Marc doesn’t feel that a meal is complete without meat of some sort.  He tolerates my veggie cooking, but I occasionally catch him over at the fridge after dinner, eating a slice of lunch meat to round things out.

I want to make these Hungarian Hamburgers though.  I could not tell you how authentically Hungarian these are, but I can tell you that this recipe is a variation of my most requested food at my Grandmother’s house growing up.  I’m pretty sure she used ritz crackers instead of the bread, but other than that it’s her mother’s (my great-grandmother’s) recipe for hamburgers.  I had completely forgotten about these, and I’m so happy that I found the recipe.  They manage to be even worse for you than regular hamburgers, but I think they’re worth a splurge (and how happy Marc will  be when I cook them!)

cats · Christmas · crafts · knitting · yarn

So many stores…

Marc came home unexpectedly today – I wasn’t expecting to see him until he gets back from Scrabble at 2 am or so. It turns out that all the electricity at UofL went out, which makes it exceptionally hard for him to accomplish anything on the computer. So he accompanied me to the Grinny Possum in Jeffersonville. It’s a good thing too, because I had once again managed to get my southern Indiana towns switched in my head, and I would no doubt have searched around New Albany for hours. There are 3 towns on the river that all sort of blend together for me.

The store was ok, but I didn’t see anything I really needed. I did fall in love with Noro Silk Garden color #203 (pretty olives and blues)… I will continue to tell myself that an entire giant stole in Silk Garden would give my tendonitis fits. I got to see some Southwest Trading company yarns in person too. The variegateds are all too bright for Lady Eleanor I think, and besides I’m totally in love with the silk garden (my poor bank account!) We came back across the river and went to the Knit Nook, where I unfortunately did find some things.

5 Skeins of Lamb’s pride bulky. Isn’t the color fabulous? Yes, my green obsession continues. I want to make the Provicial Waistcoat from the new Interweave knits out of this.

I was suprised when I saw this was made with bulky yarn, because it doesn’t look it. But hey – hopefully this will be a relatively quick project then! The model is wearing the smallest (30″) size, and she looks around my size. I’ve never used Lamb’s Pride before, but the color and softness won me over.

As an aside I really liked the winter IK magazine. I want to make the Equestrian blazer too – I am such a sucker for blazers. WEBs has Classic Elite Skye Tweed on closeout for majorly cheap, so I’ll order that soon. Here’s hoping for yarn GCs for Christmas! I’ve asked Marc for a few knitting books. When we were first dating I used to be disappointed by his “practical” gift ideas, so I’ve now given in to the idea of a list. I’ll be happy if I get Yarnplay and Knitting Vintage socks!

I also got some Brown Sheep co. Wildfoote sock yarn. I’ve been wanting a red and black yarn, and this was the best I’ve found locally. Some people don’t like the wildfoote but I do. Plus it’s cheap – $5.50 a skein!

The temperature is down 30 degrees from yesterday. It’s so cold that the cats are huddling for warmth underneath my coat.

Poor kitty… all he wants is to be covered up at all times. He’s the only cat I’ve ever seen who wants you to tuck him under the blankets with you.

I’ve dropped my first stitch on the clapotis! No new pics yet, because I want to wait until it’s big enough to really show the pattern. I still love the yarn. Tonight my plans are to slave away at the Clapotis while watching star trek and the DVDs of the Bob Newhart show I rented from Netflix. The fact that this is my idea of a great friday night makes me feel old.