Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sooo close to done...!

Yay, the Forget-Me-Not Shawl is starting to look like something! See?

Also, Friday morning, I finished the sock parts of the FTSC#1 socks on the ride to work, and balled up one of the tinyskeins so I could start embroidering. Hopefully, finished socks by the end of the weekend! Yaaaay!!

Now, I have to start my Sekrit Projikt socks for real. AND OMG!! Brainflash!! I just figured out how I'm gonna make the leg part (aka "the problem") work!! Woohooo! I have entire SOCKS in my head!!

(No comments from the peanut gallery about knowing I hadsomething between my ears, just never knowing what before...)

Friday, May 30, 2008

... and more yarn...

Strange thing. A Uniquities Google search pulls up the correct map for the store, and the correct address... and the website for a designer/custom clothing store in North Carolina. How, I wonder, does one correct something like that on Google? How did the clothing store's website wind up linked to a far-away yarn store?

In yarn news, I finally saved up enoug to get the Invernal I've been petting for the last six weeks at Stitch DC. Here it is:

Ooooo, the pretty! It's going to be the Katherine Hepburn Cardigan (Ravelry Link) from Lace Style. Wheeee! Pretty yarn!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I got more yarn. (Anyone surprised? ... Anyone...?)

Did I mention I bought yarn at the Uniquities sale? The first up is two skeins of bright yellow Catania cotton, 125m per skein, which will become socks during Summer of Socks 2008. (Signups are closed now, but let me know if you're playing along, 'kay?)

Next up, a lovely hank of Trekking hand art sock wool in the "Jamaika" colorway. This is the stuff for the photo-models of the step-by-step instructions for the Fern Lace Toe-Up Socks. I really should've taken a photo of the hank, so the colors would have a chance to show, but it's lovely. In lieu of a really good photo, I give you two artsy photos, instead:

I also managed to find some of my lovely mother-of-pearl stitch markers. Where the other six went, I have no idea - I just hope I find them before I get up to the pattern repeats when I'll really *need* them!

And, finally, since the Fairy Tale Sock Club Knitalong has begun, I can show my lovely socks without guilt. (Note that they're not really easy to see in the photo - residual guilt, I think, from starting so bloody early. But I really couldn't help myself!! Beautiful Sock, finished, is on the left; Hilda, with about five rows of ribbing at the cuff remaining, is on the right.

I'm excited that I'll get to start the embroidery on them this evening!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It's not all about the socks. Really.

Okay, so, in an effort to NOT post more pics of my Fairy Tale Sock Club #1 socks, here are two projects that needed pics over on Ravelry.

First up is the Ninja Armwarmer, which, once I figure it out (this is attempt #4) will (a) be a fun little pattern for armwarmers I can actually knit in and (b) be embellished with the "Snowball's Chance in Hell" motifs from Renée Rigdon and Zabet Stewart. Getting the bits around the fingers to work Just Right, and then still fit my hand? This has been a *major* challenge. I totally cheated with my Simple Top-Down Mitts without realizing it - they're ribbed the whole way down, so "fit" wasn't much of an issue. These Ninja-critters are ribbed on the digits, and across the palm (okay, it's still a bit of a cheat) and I still have to do some fitting down the side of my hand. Oh, and did I mention I'm knitting them on SIZE 0 needles? They'd better look bloody cool when they're done, or else!!

Second and final for today, the Forget-Me-Not Shawl by Shui Kuen Kozinski. This photo does NOT do justice to the true hot-pinkness of this fluffy, light, mohair yarn. It's like knitting with will-o-the-wisps, seriously! (That's not a bad thing. It's just indicative of its fluffyness.)

I am still knitting away on my FTSC#1 socks (Hilda, as Beautiful Sock is done), and hope to be able to start the decorating tonight. I was a very bad KAL'er, since I started them a wee bit before the KAL actually started (like an entire week), but I've had a LOT of fun knitting them!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tiny Circular Needles = Fun!!

Wonderful fun this weekend. My boss got married (great ceremony, fun reception!), I hit the cross-stitch sale at Scarlet Thread and the (still ongoing!) yarn sale at Uniquities, and my Dad showed up for a surprise visit!! Yay!!

Friday, I got a shot of a sock (I think it's Hilda) with George:


Okay, so I managed to finish the entire Beautiful Sock, the right sock (oh yes, my pretties, there *is* a difference!), and just have the leg of the second sock, Hilda, to do.

I was bad, and did my own short-row heel, rather than the one in the instructions, just to see if it worked. It did, perfectly! Look at that pretty little mitered bit! Yay, heel!

Then, further and further up the leg. (I went about, oh, five pattern repeats beyond the Actual Pattern, since I had a bunch of yarn left over. I would *not* recommend people do that, since, as previously stated, normal people knit much more tightly than I do, so will have used much more yarn at this point than I did.)

Then, finally, the right sock was finished! What seriously helped me fly on this sock was the purchase, at the Uniquities sale, of twelve-inch size 1 Addi Turbos! Little tiny circular needles, whee! Even though I've gotten pretty good at DPNs, the combination of "circular" and "Addi Turbos" is a LOT faster for me. The store only had one pair available; I'll be asking Jess at Stitch DC to order me three more. (Yes, I'm a needle hog.) I may actually finish the second sock today or tomorrow, depending on how busy work is (right now, it isn't!!), and then I can start all the decoration, which, being *embroidery and crochet* mostly, will just fly! (I'm probably going to cheat on the decorations by having my mother put on the socks with a bit of extra toe-padding, and just embroidering them while theyr'e on her feet, so things more-or-less strech out properly. Getting her to sit still while I do it? THAT will be the challenge!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sock Fun!

Monday, Wendy gave the link to the a Knitting Font for MS Word that she uses to make her patterns. Talk about timely, since I have a...

       Squee of the week!

My dad showed some of his hiking buddies my Fern Lace Socks... and they want the pattern! Eeeek! I get to actually write a sock pattern! Fortunately (for me), it's a darned easy one. It will follow by the end of the week. And the lace pattern (which is a *wee* bit different than I think it's supposed to be, since, after all, it's me knitting) can actually have a chart to go with. How very cool!

Also, thanks to the lovely A, who told me in very tiny words I could understand how to get the blogroll going down the right side of my blog (so I can tell what are the new posts!). I really love that setup!!

I'm pretty sure anyone that reads this has theirs by now, and I'm still not giving away the theme, but it's time for Actual Sock Photos. To wit:

I managed to solve the gauge/fit problem I was having, as you can see. Beautiful Sock (above) is a lovely, fitted creature, as is Hilda (below). I have been making increases as I go every so often, since I'd like to be able to turn the heel and just keep going on up the leg with an appropriate number of stitches to keep the pattern going as it should. (Aaaaaugh, KNITTING MATH!!)

I expect to have most of the sock-part of the socks done over the weekend, since Saturday is "sitting around waiting for a wedding" and Sunday is "sitting around for at least twelve hours watching the Indy 500 and Subway 600". Monday's just a bonus!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Toe insanity

Okay, so I achieved the toe of the first Beautiful Sock of my soon-to-be Fairy Tale #1 Socks, and a goodly part of foot, as of the end of Tuesday. Wednesday morning, in preparation of the Picture Taking of Same, I tried my Beautiful Sock on my foot. Clearly, I need bigger feet. I know I knit loosely, but, as I have long been cognizant of this fact, I was following the directions for a "small" foot, checked my gauge from my swatch, and all those happy things. I knit insanely loosely, and gauge-in-the-round must be looser than that, even though (to me) what I get is a nice, solid fabric.

I had to frog my toe back a bit, and not do a couple of the decrease rounds. I got back to the number of rows I should have had at the starting-the-toe part, made certain I had the correct number of stitches on my needles for the pattern repeats I wanted, and began the foot again, after checking the size, of course, which is perfectly fine now.

Beautiful Sock now fits as she should, as does her twin sister, Hilda. I present, then, the socks, done about past the ball of the foot, with about two more Mystery Pattern Repeats (which are tactfully hidden on the other side of the socks) before I start making Heels.

Lessons learned:
1. Alway check the size of the toe before starting the foot, especially if making a gauge swatch.
2. I have suspected for some time my running shoes were a bit too big - and now I have proof, as the Women's Standard Sizing Chart is likely correct. According to those measurements (and others found on the web), my foot, for SOCK purposes, is a size freakin' FIVE. NOT an 8!!

Underlying Truths: Gauge swatches LIE, as do some shoe store employees.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New Place to Play: Eleganza Yarns

So, Courtney mentioned a magical thing: Eleganza Yarns rents out spinning wheels. I'm not quite sure it works - if it's an in-store timeshare sort of thing, or what... but it's one less excuse for me not learning to spin, now that I can actually handle sheep-borne products without breaking out in hives. (Sadly, I still can't handle dogs and cats. I'm hoping my regular exposure to my friend K's pets will help with this, but not enough to actually cuddle the kitty just yet.)

Anyway, back to Eleganza Yarns. I'm giving serious thought to taking the beginning spinning class, assuming I'm not flying south that day. And they've got a blog, too. They had some photos of the samples in their store Just Now in said blog, and one of them was this lovely:

from the Eleganza Yarns site

I really like this sweater, and think it would be lovely to do. Plus, it's one of those fantabulous knit-sideways-all-at-once critters, which I've always wanted to do. And the lace pattern is the same as 'Section 2' of my LabCat Lace Scarf, so I know it won't be beyond my abilities.

I'm totally going to have to find an excuse to drive up to Frederick and check out this lovely store!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fairy Tale Sock Club, Yay!

Oh, the squeals!! Yesterday, my husband went to the post office to check my PO Box for my Fairy Tale Sock Club package. It wasn't there. When I got home, though, it *was* in the parcel box of my house (which makes sense, as Gryphon has my home address!) - oh, the squealing that commenced!!



Okay, hopefully that shooed away anyone that might complain of spoilers later. I'm certainly not going to spoil the surprise of the Fairy Tale, or the Theme, or show everything I got. But I was very, VERY excited about the package, and the presentation - oh, it was lovely! A carefully tied scroll, a little sachet - all sorts of extras that I wasn't expecting, that were absolutely charming! The finished product will be such fun, too.

So, first, I had to have my husband get my swift out of the craft room. I had very carefully put it in the Very Safe Corner, which, due to work on the house, was unreachable by my short-armed 5'6" self, even with two grippers at full extension. He, of course, could just reach over and grab it. (*Sigh.*) Quickly, I set up the swift, and began to create a ball of yarn:

Then, having met myself previously, and realizing that I am really bad about judging "about half the yarn" by eye, we broke out my husbands Super-Special OXO Scale, and weighed the yarn (120 g). Then I balled it to "about half", and was pleasantly surprised that I'd guessed correctly - and thus had two nearly-identical balls of yarn!

Then, I just had to start knitting, which meant my brain completely emptied of anything I'd ever read in Knitty. This necessitated a firing-up of the Mac, and a trip through cyberspace at those startling speedss known only to the six of us left on dial-up in a major metropolitan area. I went and watched the rest of "Two and a Half Men" while the page I needed loaded. It did, I printed it, and scampered back to my chair, whereupon I knit... a toe!

Hopefully, nothing here will give any sort of clue as to what's going on with the secret socks. I've already started the sock part (purposely not pictured!), and will work that for a while before starting my second toe. (Now that I have something on the order of 19 size 1 7" needles, this is not a problem.)

PS, did I mention I'm really excited about this?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Not the weekend I had planned...

So, this was *going* to be a post about how I went through my craft room this weekend and found all sorts of projects that I could discard, or found a bunch that were thisclose to being done that I could whip up, or something like that. At the very least, it was going to contain a picture of my done-to-the-wrist Ninja Armwarmer. But, there was a flat tire, my husband needed a new suit, my mom had a project at her house that required a spotter, duct tape, and a square of tin... and the Ninja Armwarmer wasn't actually fitting the way I wanted, so it got unraveled.

The upshot is you get this photo of my mother's two dye lots (now separated) of Patons ice-blue Allure from the local dollar store.


Hopefully, some actual photos of actual progress on SOMETHING tomorrow!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Finished Fern Lace Toe-Up Socks!

Okay, so, the UFO count is getting back to where it was at the start of the year. Progress in May, thus far, has been pretty good.
  1. Finished my third Yarn Candy headband, in some sort of lace from the Barbara Walker Treasuries.
  2. Finished the current Michael Powell XS project. (I count all my crafts in my UFO list.)
  3. Unraveled Tailored Scallops II - it wasn't gonna happen. Must now find new sweater for pretty grey yarn.
  4. Realized that I was never, EVER, going to finish my little canvaswork winging-it mandala, and pitched it. I feel bad for wasting the lovely fibers already in it, but enough is enough is enough. This is as far as I got:
    It's just never gonna happen.
  5. And, oh, finished my Fern Lace Socks!!!

See? They are sooooo pretty! It's my first original sock design, and they went quickly, and didn't come *close* to using a whole ball of TOFUtsies! Also, the UFO count is back to 60 almost UNDER 60 now. If I am a Diligent Gryphon, then I should be back to being headed back to the right direction (under 50) soon!

Anyway, back to the socks.

First, the sock started small.
But look at how well it fits my foot!

Getting the ankle-bit worked better
than I thought it would, too!

Putting 20 rows of ribbing in my arch helped.
Getting it on the proper part of the foot
for the second sock was a challenge!

I really like the Fern Lace.
It worked well, and would be good for
tall socks when you don't have a lot of yarn.

They make my feet happy!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Meme! Meme! Baa!

Gryphon tagged me with this one. The rules are thus:
The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
Let the person who tagged you know when you've posted your answer.
Okay, seems easy. Here goes:

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
Almost exactly what I'm doing now, with less knitting. I've now had a job longer than I ever thought I would (I've been employed at my job just over a decade now), so that covered the day...

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
a. Send check to MaryKay rep in California to cover "Hey, I got a Tax Refund!" order;
b. Check PO Box for possible Fairly Tale Sock Club package;
c. finish my Fern Lace socks (original design!);
d. finish murder mystery on loan from library so I can get next one (Laura Durham's For Better or Hearse, the second Annabelle Archer/Wedding Planner mystery); and
e. take final gauge swatch before unraveling the final six rows of what was going to be Tailored Scallops II.

3. Snacks I enjoy:
Goldfish Colors. Which for no apparent reason were available, for free, in our break room today. Yum!

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Quit my day job. Then just have fun being an angel for various local crafting start-ups, drama productions, and writers. I would totally get my own publishing house, with a strong crafts division. Wheeee!

5. Places I have lived:
In no particular order, Washington, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia (3x), Massachusetts (3x), Arizona, South Korea, New Jersey... and I know I'm forgetting a couple, but I was Very Small when my dad got stationed the most.

6. Peeps I want to know more about:
Okay, no guilt whatsoever, since I know some folks don't like playing with memes, but I'm curious about:

Cat and



We interrupt this knitting blog for an *awwwwwww* moment.

My virtual kid sister, K, is getting hitched this summer. She got the following custom-order stamps through for her response-card envelopes:

If they'd had this sort of thing when I got married, I totally would've done the same thing. I think it's adorable!

Congratulations, Kitten!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Okay, time to get back on track...

Okay, so, Thursday last, I went to Sweet Life (this is when Husband was too sick to make the trip to Detroit, but before I realized that I was gonna be that sick, too) to see people's Sheep and Wool stuff. It was all beautiful, and fuzzy, and wonderful. My favorites from vendors I don't already know are pictured below:

I mean, this stuff totally looks like ice cream to me.
If I actually ever got my hands on it,
I don't think I'd spin it (even if I learned to spin well).
It's decoration.
It's so wonderful existing just as a

Giant Ball of Fluff!

Over the next few days, during The Sick, I could still coordinate one hand working. Thus I finished my Michael Powell Tiny Cottage II:

And, this morning, I took advantage of the only sunshine we may get for a while (that I've been out to see) to take a picture of my almost-finished Fern Lace socks. I just have the top ribbing to do on each - this doing-both-at-once *really* works for me. And because it's an open, lacy pattern, I totally have enough left over for a couple of matching headbands, or maybe a whole headscarf. (Seriously - one ball of TOFUtsies is a LOT of yarn!).

Finished socks, really, REALLY soon now!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Still a bit under the weather. I've slept a lot the past five days (so I actually feel rested, which is very odd), and did manage some knitting after all (pics tomorrow). Also didn't buy yarn.

Did, however, run amok at The Scarlet Thread, my favorite needlework store. (My order from the On-Line Needlework Show was in. I'd actually shown admirable restraint in ordering, and only bought five other things besides my order once I was in the store.)

More sleep now.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Didn't buy yarn over the weekend. Didn't do much. Instead of Fun Detroit Road Trip, turned into a helpless ball of whimpering fluff, unable to even knit.

V. sad. Achoo!

Friday, May 9, 2008

I want more yarn.


I must not buy ANY YARN this weekend.


              Any bets as to whether or not I can go a WHOLE TWO DAYS without buying any yarn?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Oooo, the pretty yarn... can't resist...

I had a Terrible Yarn Accident yesterday at lunch. I went to Stitch DC to pick up some extra size 1 DPNs, but the needle order hadn't come in. So, I decided to try to find something that would go for the other end of my LabCat Lace Scarf... which led me to the Shelf of Koigu. I did find some sky blue that will work beautifully. I also found really pretty, rich green there. And some Noro Kuryeon in sunset colors. As you can see.

These accidents happen.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

i cn hz totbg?

Drat. It looks like the Ravelry store will finally be going live - today or tomorrow. Lateish. When I will have no computer access for a week due to Giant System Overhaul from Hell. (And, yes, I have computer from home. It's dialup. Buying things just doesn't work well.)

On the bright side, I know what I want: two Ravelry pins (because I'll be have one on my bag at all times, and my record for holding onto knitting-pins-on-my-bag sucks), a Bob pin, a set of Fiber Animal Buttons (once available) and a Ravelry totebag. And maybe a t-shirt, but I can't decide between disagree (1) and love (1). I don't think I've ever actually clicked "disagree" on Ravelry, ever, but the shirt would be funny, given I could wear it to work.

Knitting is galloping apace. Here are my Fern Lace Socks (my design 'n' everything!). You'll note I'm halfway through a pair... by virtue of having knit both up to the ankles (which means they actually match, and I got the arch ribbing in the right place on each foot). I also noted the brilliant idea Wendy had for size adjusting socks - bigger needles as you go up! This works for the Oriel Lace Blouse, so I should've been able to See The Bleeding Obvious on my own, but that's the magic of the internet - doing thinks so I don't have to! Anyway, here are my two lovely little socks, up to the ankles, in TOFUtsies:

I'm still working on my LabCat Lace Scarf, too. You get a much better idea of the lovely of the colorway and the pattern in this photo. You also get the idea that I'm going to run out of yarn, so I'll have to find some complimentary Koigu this weekend for the other end of the thing. Or two, and make it a three-skein. Anyway, here is scarf:

Should have lots of time to knit over the weekend (which, for me, starts tomorrow), so maybe I'll have Finished Objects to show you next week! Ta!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Incidental Crafting

Today's topic: Guys Who Crochet Without Knowing It.

So, if you're tired of your long extension cords tangling, just crochet them. My husband got this trick from his dad - he just didn't realize it was chain stitch. If you, like me, refuse to spend actual potential yarn dollars on a fancy cord-winding system and tend to toss your cords in a corner when you're done with them, only to spend HOURS untangling the dratted things the next time they're needed, crochet them. Seriously. And they pull right out of the chain for next use.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Did I miss an announcement: re getting a password for Or is this a drastic error of some sort? Does anyone know?

More yarn, more gadgets, more projects on the needles

So, there I was, minding my own business, and I discovered a Horrible Needle error.

Okay, okay, fine, I was bored, so I started playing with yarn candy again. This happens. Today's ball-o-yarn is cotton of some sort; it's got great drape, but it's a bit splitty. I tried it on size 1 needles - too tight. I tried it on size 9s - too loose. It looked like size 4s were going to be right on target.

I actually know where a pair of size 4 needles lives. In my Hello Kitty camera bag (hey, it was $6, and it's the right size with a long enough strap for convenient small project toting).

Sadly, these needles are already knitting my LabCat Lace Scarf. Do I let that stop me? Heck No! We've all heard of knitting two socks on circular needles, right? And these are two small flat projects: the LabCat Lace Scarf, and another yarn candy headband. Same basic principles of "don't tangle your balls" and "knit all the way across both items before turning back to avoid confusion/lopsided projects" should apply. Ergo, Two Projects on One Circular Needle:

And look, I actually finished one of them!

Turns out this was a good thing because I finally got out to Nature's Yarns on Saturday. It was dead, dead, dead in the store because of Sheep and Wool, which left me lots of time to rummage around the 50% off bin (can you say deep pumpkin merino laceweight in vast enough quantities to make the Peacock Feathers Shawl (which is henceforth renamed the Phoenix Feathers Shawl)?), discover the stash of Tofutsies, and delight in the notion that DPN Tubes come in two-packs. Photos of the haul from the GOOD camera tomorrow. And the already half-finished pair of socks. Not, please note, a half finished sock. A half finished PAIR of socks. WoOt!!

And how was your weekend?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Yarn with George, Yarn from Socks, Yarn in Video Games

Okay, so, I am knitting, and since yesterday was beautiful and sunny, here's a picture of my Lace Scarf with George. I've been working on it long enough now that I've got the pattern down without looking, and I'm about six pattern repeats on the diamond in. May have to get another skein of KPPPM, in some colors that go with this one (since it was a single), or it'll just be a little short hair-cover thingy or neckwarmer. But man, I like the colorway, and the Koigu is really nice to work with. (Unlike the tiny ball of cotton and/or linen yarn candy I'm working up as a headband right now. It tends to split if I breathe on it funny.) Anyway, here's Knitting With George, May 1 (and yes, next time, I put the knitting on the shady side, where it will actually show up):

I went ahead and signed up for the Summer of Socks! It's low-key, and I'll have fun with the Vacation Photo Contest - since I'm traveling all over creation this summer, I may have multiple entries (I'll have to see if that's allowed). I should manage to get at least two pairs done over the summer, right? Hopefully, one of them *won't* be the Sekrit Projikt socks, because I'd really like them done SOON. I'll be taking them with me as my ride-along and ONLY project on the upcoming road-trip to see the Nepieces - so I should have lots of little sock-parts, and a better understanding of Getting Socks to Work The Way I Want. Still debating toe-up vs. toe-down. Anyway, if you wanna join the Summer of Socks 2008, just clicky!

And while we're on the subject of Things to Do With Free Time (like knitting socks), I'm a Peggle addict. I downloaded the "free download", and discovered I liked the on-line version better - but at least I got a screenshot of Cat Tut holding forth on a subject near and dear to us all - YARN! See?