Thursday, October 30, 2008

Two Types of Relief

Photos WILL come I promise. But in the meantime:

1. Whatever Flickr was doing to its servers has stopped, which means I can see images on my own and others' blogs, and I can look at new projects on Ravelry. I am so incredibly relieved. I totally forgive my workplace, which did NOT block Flickr after all. I am sorry, ALE. You are not so bad after all.

2. My second try on Mine Shaft socks is working FINE. I am using Sailor Rib from More Sensational Knitted Socks, and it is entertaining and stretchy and OK. at 70 stitches in diameter, it WILL fit on any thin elderly man's leg, too. I started the pattern in choir last night while what seemed like hours were spend on the tenors and basses. Besides, it seems to have made so many other knitters not-so-secretly pleased that something didn't work out for me, I guess it was worth it.

Folks, I mess up lots. It is the best way to learn. I heartily recommend it, though it's easier if you have someone who can help you out nearby! I tend to have to figure stuff out for myself--it's one reason I started the blog, so I could get help when needed. Thanks, readers!

Speaking of making mistakes, I am helping Nancy learn to figure out her own mistakes and yesterday it worked great. I showed her how to figure out what row in the Silky Kerchief border pattern she was on and I saw her doing it herself by the time she left. She will be a very independent knitter very soon at this rate--I am giving away all my secrets (I hope--they are free!). I sure like helping others out, and even more it warms my heart to see other knitters helping each other. I see wisdom being passed on from person to person, and that's neat. Oral tradition in action.

If I get time, I will need to write a review of the new Yarn Harlot book, since we have a "review copy." I guess I will stop with the coffee table books and home magazines for my bedtime reading and get moving on that. And work on those socks!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cute Wedding Gift Idea and Book Reviews

I saw this on Lime and Violet's Daily chum, so go there to read more about it. I wish I were invited to a wedding in the near future so I could do this for someone else. It's the idea of the prayer shawl: you start the bag the morning of the wedding, and work on it through the day, presenting it to the bride at the reception. So, you have been thinking of her all day and putting good thoughts inside the bag. Nice!

Well, like I said last night, in my despair over the useless socks (I will start the new ones today), I got new books. I took time of from knitting to look at two of them. I now present you with reviews of books without the actual book in hand, so I can't give page numbers or precise pattern names! Won't that be helpful? Sure!

101 Luxury One-Skein Wonders, by Judith Durant

I enjoyed the first books on this theme that I got, a lot. Pat at the LYS got this one on Friday and showed it to me Saturday. What makes me happy is that many luxury yarns come in very large skeins, which means this book has some very nice projects that are bigger than a hat or coaster. There is a horseshoe lace scarf/wrap in a soy yarn that would be nice to make in a variegated yarn, plus a lovely violet-themed shaw in a silk blend that I like enough to put on my sort list of things to do. The little lace motif that is violet-like is just precious. Another project I liked very much was a crocheted cashmere baby cap. Yes, don't all babies need cashmere? That's why they cry: not enough cashmere on their heads. I may make this out of alpaca or something not so hairy, but I do want to make it for that baby I plan to dote on come March. It is so feminine! And has holes, so might not smother a Texas baby.

All in all, this one's worth getting, if just for the shawl and scarf patterns. There's a wide variety ranging from each to hard, too. And of course, lots of mitts, hats, neck warmers and such. And I still like the graphic design of these books. Very feminine, yet readable. It's a nice change from most pattern books. I especially appreciate that they tell you on the picture page where to find the pattern, and on the pattern page where to find the picture. For folks who just want to see what's in there, grouping the photos together is really helpful.

Knitting on Top of the World, by Nicky Epstein

Well, I have to give Ms. E. credit, she's creative, all right. And this book has beautiful pictures and some very interesting commentary on knitting traditions around the world. I enjoyed reading those parts, though I realized I had read most of the original sources, so there wasn't much new to me (I have been knitting too long I guess).

But, GEEZ. Some of the patterns are totally weird. They take perfectly good traditions and mess them up. For example, there's a coat with Fair Isle patterning in it but she put the stripes right across one's hips, making the ultra-thin model look chunky.And there is a perfectly fine brown Aran-style cardigan with a funky uneven hemline (see, I am OK with some twisting of traditions) she also put dozens of knitted roses all over the collar, which completely detracts from the cables, and makes the thing look...well...too busy, I guess I'd say. There is a pretty coat (see photo--that's the book cover) using genuine Shetland stitches. Only, its back is slit all the way up to the neck. Lee says it looks like a very fancy hospital gown. And would it be at all warm? Well, NO. Same with the shrug with no back. Shrugs are supposed to keep your back and shoulders warm.

I will just mention one more. Now, Ms. E., she is good with tams. Wrote a whole book on them, even. So, she didn't feel like doing a tam for the book. No, instead she made something like a cape from multiple extra-large tam shapes. That makes the front of the thing look like two giant mutated breastplates. Really not a look I'd want to sport in public. I'd have liked a tam.

The other thing that bugged me was that, like so many knitting books, the photographer was trying to be artsy, so you don't get full views of many of the items. And the main model has such distracting looks that she, indeed, distracted me. That poor woman's hair is a pitiful mess. I kept looking at it wondering if it was about to crack and fall off. I see now that it's a Vogue Knitting publication. That makes sense. They have to be artsy 'cause they are Vogue.

I do like the book, and there are a few things in there that I might even make, though all with modifications (like removing embellishments like ugly lame crowns or lumpy collections of colored bobble doo-dads on nice mittens and fingerless mitts). So, you might want to try a discount place to get it, but since it is a great coffee-table size, it might be a fine conversation starter at your home or knitting gathering. I know we had LOTS of fun with that cape that looked like a giant bra.

Added later: I just HAVE to mention one more point. The book features three cute little baby/toddler sweaters in Aran, Fair Isle and some other style. They are perfectly fine and darling little things, though a bunch of extra flowers would guarantee that the Fair Isle one would bug a kid who spends a lot of time lying down. BUT, was it necessary to pose the Fair Isle one as a tea cozy with a too-long spout cover? Or the Aran as a really weird hat (advantage: it covers up the model's fried hair)? I forget what they did with the third one. Well, someone with the title "stylist" obviously had a darned good time with this book.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Crappy Dappy Doo

My socks won't go on my feet. That means they certainly will not go on the feet of an elderly gentleman. My cute pattern makes the knitting not give very much.

Back to the starting line. I sure have been having some knitting issues, haven't I?

The yarn will now be socks in a fisherman's rib pattern that I found in More Sensational Socks. Oh well, I did something creative, even if it didn't work out.

I got a couple of new books, so I think I will go read them. They are:

  • Knitting on Top of the World, by Nicky Epstein, a coffee table book but very lovely
  • Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders, by Judith Durant, another in that series I like so much, featuring many lace scarves made from yarns with a lot of yardage per skein
  • Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns, by no one and originally in Italian, on deep discount at Barnes & Noble, but hey I got almost 300 pages of patterns for less than $6.
But I don't know. Do I trust myself to knit anything at this point? YOW I keep messing up.

Comfort Socks on the Way

Comfort Socks
Originally uploaded by sunasak
Since it is the weekend, I can see Flickr and post images. Or get to my ones on disk to upload them. Here are the Comfort Socks I am knitting for Suzanne's father-in-law. I got tired of the ribbing I had started out with, so am using a textured pattern that sort of looks like one I used before but isn't quite it. It looks pretty good, so I think I'll write it up when I am done. I am getting close to the heels on these, so that means it won't be too long until I can do that. These are pretty socks, and I love the Mine Shaft colorway on Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock.

I got an offer to teach some additional knitting classes, which I'd like, other than it being sort of far away. I'd like to do an intro class that lasts more than two hours (the ones I do always end up longer than that anyway), and using my own patterns. I wish I had a bunch of places to teach knitting and could ditch the other job--ha ha, wishful thinking there!

I got my friend Nancy going on the border to her shawl that looks just like my Silky Kerchief. She is rolling along on the edging now, but doing an applied edging is not an easy concept to grasp. I could see her thought process (HUH? What am I doing?) and remembered having the same disbelief and having trouble wrapping my mind around how it would work. That was in 1989 when I was making my first Pi shawl! That edging ended up fine, but I sure started it a lot of times. I wish I'd had a live knitting teacher and not just EZ in a book (as good as she is!).

I am looking forward to Kid 'N Ewe in two weeks. I will be sure to write down how much yarn certain projects I want to do will take, so I don't waste purchases.

Well, off to look at all the photos on people's blogs that I couldn't see during the week, and to keep moving down those socks. I just can't decide whether I love or hate doing two socks at the same time. I do love them being the same and being finished when they are finished, but keeping all the yarn straight and tugging the needle so much gets old. I will keep thinking on that. What do you readers think?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Stripey Socky Done-y

Yay, I finished that second striped sock. That was made complicated by the fact that Some Dog at My House got the skein of reinforcing yarn out of my bag somehow, took it outside and gnawed on it quite thoroughly. I barely found enough contiguous yarn to finish the toe. On the bright side, rewinding it made the stripes go the right way, so the toe of sock #2 looks better than the heels or the toe of #1. Photo to come. Though I'll never see it at work.

This afternoon I will start the socks for Suzanne's FIL. I will be all sock, all the time, until that is done.

I will work on more interesting thoughts in the meantime.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Not Happy with Flickr--Edited to Not Happy with ALE

Happy Talk Like Sarah Palin Day, you Good Americans, Un-American Americans, and Commie foreigners alike! Gosh darn it, I must say that I am not pleased at how Flickr seems to have disappeared from the earth today. I am sure my photos will be back later.

Added Later

Ha ha, how cute. It appears that Flickr is still here. You just can't see anything hosted on Flickr from ALE. I don't get that "This is a bad website and we won't let you look at it" message. It just doesn't load. So, maybe there is some issue going on that is not particular to my personal viewing needs (like let me tell you, Ravelry looks BAD with no Flickr images). Well, that makes a LOT of websites look dorky. Guess I will have to go to the local Starbucks to blog at lunchtime now, if it's not just a temporary thing. The fact that I also can't get some of my applications to work from home today is hinting that there are some network issues, so I will think positive.

SEE, I can do that!

Second sock is at least halfway through the foot. Go me. And that's even with spending some of my knitting time last night talking to Suzanne and not knitting for her.

Oh, and since I can see my pictures now, here's one of the happy recipient enjoying her Nana's Afghan last Saturday.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Blogging Can Be Challenging

Simple Sock
Originally uploaded by sunasak
Gosh, I had no idea I would not have done this blog entry until now. I had been planning on doing it early yesterday afternoon! That darned life, getting in my way like that!

I just wanted to show you all my first sock from my fun Lang Jawoll yarn, even though I took it on a rather shiny table. It has the sturdiest heel and toe ever. I am now trying to ZOOM through the second sock. Now, what happens when Suna tries to zoom through a project? She messes up. Repeatedly. There are many ways to mess up a heel, and I found them all. It is hard knitting with two strands on tiny, very pointy needles. Then, I turned an entire heel only to realize that it was off. Crud, turns out I made the first sock with 68 stitches around and the second with 64, so the heel of a 68-stitch sock did not work on a 64-stitch one. True enough, it was very distracting casting on a sock at a high school football game. So, these socks will be a bit more fraternal than I had intended for them to be. It will still be pretty close.

Are you wondering why I am abandoning my Maelstrom and Wrap Me Up for socks? I have good reason. Suzanne TCL has asked some of us to knit cozy socks for her father-in-law, who is very ill. So, of course I will do that. I chose some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Mine Shaft to make mine. I hope I don't mess up THOSE socks. I mean, gee, if I can't get basic top-down socks right, I need to take a break!

I do love the Mine Shaft colorway, so I know I will enjoy making those socks, and can consider them Prayer Socks, because I will be filling them with love for an old gentleman in Rochester, NY. At least I will, when I stop blogging and go knit on my gusset for the second striped sock.

I enjoyed my day at the yarn shop on Saturday--I had lots of time because Lee was off doing carpentry for charity and I didn't have to be at the school until late afternoon. I was surprised at how much people liked my Shalom sweater, which I wore that day. Makes you feel good to get compliments. And lots of folks enjoyed Wrap Me Up, too. I got to a good stopping place on it so that I can concentrate on the socks. Poor Maelstrom is waiting and waiting. I will finish it!

I will try to post when I can, but I think this will be a busy work week. Of course, that is good. I want to be indispensable, so they will want to keep me!

Knit on, and hi to Vicki from high school.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Wrap Me Up with Beads

Wrap Me Up with Beads
Originally uploaded by sunasak
I am so proud of these beads that I am giving them their own post. I was very unhappy with the first bunch of beads I had put in this section of the Wrap Me Up shawl. I used whatever random beads I owned that had holes big enough to get through two strands of Cash Iroha, plus a couple from a cute set of knitting themed beads my boss had gotten me. It was not pretty. Lumpy and ugly is more like it. Yet another unsuccessful Suna Beading Experience.

So, on Tuesday I went to Michael's hobby store at lunch to try to find something with big holes that was not ugly. I quickly determined that even cheapo beads all come with small to medium holes, at best. I found some round wooden beads that would do, for just $2. Then, on a shelf separated from the rest of the seed and glass beads, I found some shiny beads in little bags. Some were lampwork and the like, but others were large round beads, but faceted. They were all sort of garish colors, and I tried in vain to find purple or blue. Then I saw these sort of aqua beads with a pink liner (that conveniently looks lilac through the blue). I figured that if they didn't work, it would be no harm, as it was less than $3 for the package (only about 20 beads).

When I got home and started putting them on the dark blue background, I was thrilled. They pop, but just enough, and really bring the colors of the surrounding yarn into the accent color band. Isn't it pretty?

I have to say I just love the knitting on this wrap. I am now in a section of seed stitch where you alternate balls of yarn every two rows, so you are in two different parts of the striping sequence. The colors merge so nicely. The designer just did a great job on this pattern.

Yeah, I am still putting borders on Maelstrom. Slowly.

I'll finish a sock today on the band bus. Honest, I will photograph my current socks. I just keep forgetting.

So, onward and upward. Since I need to make fingerless gloves for my wedding ensemble, I am guessing I won't get much "gift knitting" done this year. But I will try. I know Lee wants a particular item or two, and I have an idea for a kid or two, but the time...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Nana's Afghan, At Last

Nana's Afghan
Originally uploaded by sunasak
Quite some time ago a mom I met at lacrosse games came to me with a sad spectacle--the afghan her mother-in-law had knitted for her as a wedding gift had accidentally gotten in the way of the vacuum cleaner, leaving a gaping hole with horrible black edges where it went into the vacuum. I thought and thought about fixing it, and worked on it a bit back when I was working at the university as detailed here and here (so long-time readers will remember this story).

I had been thinking that I really should pick it back up, which I hadn't since my traumatic bad job experience happened, when the lady who owned it called and said she needed it--they are moving! So, I did it. I knit up all the good parts of the yarn and had to use a couple of the short strands from the damaged part in order to end it at the right spot. But yay, I did it. And it is lovely. They won't even know where the problem was. And I honestly don't think it will be discernibly shorter, either. This is a BIG afghan, and I am happy that I will be able to return it to its home, with all its original yarn intact.

I've been feeling sort of bad that I haven't been doing a good job on knitting for others (for example, I have red yarn for Suzanne that I have not worked on yet, and I did not start Katy's baby afghan yet). At least this one is done. I am making progress on getting unfinished issues addressed, not only in knitting, but at home too--today I got new tires and the 30,000 mile service done on my car, and next week the trim on the house is getting repaired and repainted. That is VERY exciting to me. Now, to just get all those wedding things done.

I'm saving some photos of the beads on the Wrap Me Up shawl for tomorrow. Stay tuned!


I forgot, I was going to share the pattern again:

Cast on a multiple of 12. This afghan had 84 stitches.

Row 1: K
Row 2: P
Row 3: [k2tog] 3 times, *[Yo, k1] 6 times, [K2tog] 6 times* until last 6 stitches, [K2tog] 3 times.
Row 4: P

Repeat these 4 rows for pattern. ending at row 4, then bind off.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Things I Wonder about on Ravelry

So, when I am not knitting, I often browse Ravelry for ideas and inspiration. I don’t spend a lot of time on the discussion boards—I usually don’t have enough time for it, and I’d rather spend spare time knitting, anyway. But I do try to keep up with all the new patterns that are posted. Sometimes, I get to wondering about those, however.

My main wonder is how in the world so many people got fascinated by making dishcloths. Every few days someone posts 20 or 30 new dishcloth patterns. I am sure that, if it is an interest, an animal, a place or a good cause, you can make multiple dishcloths in their likeness. Or in some cases, sort of in their likeness. I was glad about this when I needed to make a dishcloth with cherries on it, because, sure enough, there was one that fit the bill. I just now thought, hmm, wonder if there’s one with my favorite on it, the pansy? Why, yes there is (this is the link to where you can pay your hard-earned money for the pattern, since I know some of you still aren’t on Ravelry. But why? It’s fun and free!). That's it in the illustration--not a bad pattern at all! I must say I am sorely disappointed, however, to find no dishcloth with a tuba on it! I mean, what’s a band parent to do? I was thinking of making tuba boy a cloth to clean his instrument with a tuba on it, geez! OK, so really I wasn’t, but this was actually the first dishcloth search on Ravelry to come up empty. So, if you are one of those incredibly prolific dishcloth designers, please get to work on a tuba cloth. Band parents and grandparents worldwide are just itching to get started.

My other wonder was the recent spate of hilarious 80s sweaters that one company recently uploaded. Actually, I think it’s cool to have all their patterns from the past available, because some of them have interesting colorwork on them, if you can look past the shoulder pads and gigantic hair (and bangs). Someone took a LOT of time to put together all those patterns! I wonder if they hired an intern to do them, or what? It makes me feel good that a few pattern companies have taken it upon themselves to upload all their library of past items—this will be great for anyone interested in making things from out-of-print pattern books. I’m just amazed that they have the time to do them.

My final wonder is how some of these people have the time to write so many comments on so many forums. I guess I used to wonder this about attachment parenting types and breastfeeding advocates. But it’s the same thing: how to you find time to do your hobby, parent your children, or whatever, when you spend 8-10 hours a day on bulletin boards? (Yes, I wonder this about some of my email friends and some incredibly prolific bloggers, too.) Maybe they all just type fast. Yeah, that is the answer. Sure.

I am not being grumpy about any of this, just wondering.

And back to the ever-fascinating topic of my knitting. Yes, I have been doing it. I went out at lunch yesterday and got two types of beads, the only ones I could find with holes that seemed large enough to handle two strands of Cash Irhoa. One set was wood and the other very interesting faceted glass beads that were blue with purplish-pink lining. The latter looked rather garish in the bag, but when placed on a background of navy blue Cash Iroha, they were absolutely perfect. They are not too big, nor too small, and not too dull nor too sparkly. I will be sure to get a photo of them.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Going Forward at Last!

Maelstrom Beaded Border
Originally uploaded by sunasak
Ahh, I am finally moving forward on the Maelstrom border. This weekend I got rid of the overly beaded border and got going on the simpler one that you see in the picture. Right now the green beads that border the main part look awfully close together, but when I stretch them out like they will be once blocked, I think they will look really good. And still the little beads in the center look great. There are now just three top beads per repeat, which will add just enough weight I hope.

I am liking doing the Super Floss method of bead application much better than the crochet hook method, but it is still rather slow and tedious. I have told myself that this is not a race, so as long as I keep going on it, I will be fine, so I am trying to do at least three repeats per day. That makes pretty slow going, though, because it takes 12 repeats to get through one section. I am thinking some days I will be up to more, so I will finish, eventually.

I am having a lot, and I mean a LOT of fun doing the Wrap Me Up shawl, though. It's one of those projects that really sucks you in. It has all the things I like: interesting patterns, lots of changes, and the intrigue of not knowing how the colors will come out. Heck, in the next section I even get to add some beads. Of course, these will not be very spectacular beads, since I don't have many larger ones. I found OK ones, though. See how cute it is? I love the ruffle right there in the middle, just ruffling. I am glad I have such a fun project.

I forgot to take a picture of my sock in progress, the Jawoll Aktion one. I am on the foot of the first sock already, so its first photo may be a nearly complete sock--I got a lot done on a long bus ride Saturday!

Speaking of socks, I put on the second pair I ever made today. I can tell I learned a lesson with it. I obviously cast on the first sock using the thumb loop method, because whoa, it is pretty tight at the calf. The second sock does not have that problem. I seem to have attempted a sewn bind-off on it. It isn't very pretty, but it certainly feels better. None of my other socks feel weird at the top, so I must have switched to one of the other MUCH preferable cast ons after this one. I am positive I knew the long-tail cast on when I made this pair of socks. I must have been feeling lazy or thinking that if I did it loosely enough it wouldn't matter. Well, it mattered. So, if you are a new sock knitter, please do yourself a favor and learn to use the long tail, knitted or other stretchy cast on. I tend to use the long tail, but the knitted cast on works fine for me, too, since I do it pretty loosely. And if you're doing toe-up--remember that I highly recommend the bind off used in Wendy Johnson's toe-up socks. It's perfect.

I am sure I forgot to write how I met some of the ladies on the LoneStarState Knitters group who were yarn crawling while I was working at the LYS on Saturday. Or that I was happy to learn that my birthday twin and dear friend from so long ago has the same comfort knitting as me...we are still something alike. Or...can't remember. Tired. After writing and editing all day, I have lost my words...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I am not a raving maniac

Originally uploaded by sunasak
Apparently my last blog post was too angst-filled and had some of my friends worried. I was just a bit cranky, that's all, and you would be, too, if you had worked a month or so on a project only to find its ending not going well. But, thanks to you wonderful commenters and the kind folks at the yarn shop, I have come up with a plan for the beads on the Maelstrom, and tomorrow evening I will rip out what I have and go at it again, with fewer beads. I think it will go a lot faster that way, and not be so "crunchy." Some folks did like all the beads, but understood what my issue was once they touched the border. It is crunchy.

Jody (visiting briefly from the Netherlands) showed me a different way to do the bead attachment, which I need to try if I can just remember the name of the dental floss thing that does it. I know what it looks like, though, so I will go to the store. She is putting tiny seed beads on a shawl, and they look marvelous.

I can attribute a bit of my slight happier knitting mood to the fact that the Striped Celebratory Chevrons socks are done. In real life, the colors are much more muted and blendy, so the pattern shows up beautifully. I really love this pattern and highly recommend it. I hope the Loopy Ewe still sells it. It reminds you of the Monkey pattern with no purls on the outside, so it is all smooth and flowy. Click to see the larger photo to see how nice the pattern is. And the yarn. Wow, that is one nice bamboo blend. It is from the Twisted Fiber Arts Etsy store and is called Batty Organic Stripe. The base yarn is great and the dyeing is a step above the norm.

I am still working on the Wrap Me Up shawl, and will try to get a picture tomorrow (today is full of work and a high school football game). It is really a fun project. Never a dull moment, because you are always changing directions on the knitting and patterns! I made a fun ruffle yesterday. I'll have to set it aside to finish Maelstrom, but with my new plan, I am confident that WILL happen.

But also I started that nice, simple sock I mentioned last time. To balm my psyche. I am doing one sock, cuff down, K3P1 pattern, standard sock pattern in any way. Like comfort food, sometimes comfort knitting, a thing you know you can do and do well, soothes the soul.

Question for the crowd: What's YOUR comfort knitting?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Knitting Funk and Needing Feedback

Maelstrom Border with Beads
Originally uploaded by sunasak
Well, crap, nothing is going right, at least in my warped perception of my knitting progress these days. I feel like I wasted the weekend and am not happy with my progress on the Maelstrom border.

So, look at how it looked when I was finished with one repeat. I admit that it looks marginally better now that I have four, but I have stopped working on it. I am very worried that I have too many beads in there. I think I may decide to rip out what I have done and try again, omitting the second row of beads on the edge. I think they make the shawl too heavy and “crunchy.” I like the little clusters in the center and the row of beads along the edge of the main part. And I think the outer row MIGHT be better with just a bead at the top of every point. I would love some feedback on this. What do you think? I was really hoping I’d see Jody when she was here so I could ask her, too, but so far, that hasn’t happened (no doubt she is hanging with her family).

Besides not liking how it is coming out, I had trouble getting the beads where I wanted them in the first place, and had to start again a couple of times. And I would lose count in the border, because the rows are too short to use tape to mark them, and my really nice electronic row counter has broken. I guess I will look for my “kacha kacha” old one and that will relieve me of the frustration of using pencil marks. Wow, I sound crochety.

And furthermore, even easy things I am working on are bugging me. I am taking a break from Itchy Shalom because it itches and is hot. Soon as it cools off, I will get back to that one and the alpaca sweater from this spring (while it is not cool, at least it rained last night). I started the Wrap Me Up shawl that I am supposed to be doing a Knitalong of, only I started and didn’t tell anyone. I am doing it because I need something easy that isn’t as fussy as all the beads, to rest my hands and eyes. So, I manage to read the instructions wrong multiple times, and had the first squares backward, so I had to re-do them. Then I attached the second unit at the wrong place. Yadda yadda. At one point, I was doing linen stitch wrong. I mean, come on, I have made entire garments using that, and designed a scarf in that stitch! I must say, it’s pretty in its Noro glory. Photo next time!

I must just be in a knitting funk. Shoot, you know it’s bad when your favorite female political personage Schaeffer yarn is the one named for your least favorite candidate, like, ever, by golly. I am just not in the mood for bright, shiny colors at the moment.

I can’t even get happy about my darned socks (which, in fact, are not darned at all, since they aren’t done!). It has taken me way longer than I figured it would to get the toes done (thanks to not much out-of-the-house knitting time). I think, though, that I may finish during Beccano’s guitar lesson today. These socks seem to have taken forever, but I know it’s just because I have been focused on other projects all this time. I have purposely chosen a simple pattern in a very cheerful yarn for the next pair—it’s Lang Jawoll Aktion in a very happy self-striping color with a lot of blue in it. And it comes with reinforcing yarn for the heels and toes! I will make something more complex after that.

I hope tomorrow at the yarn shop I will get more inspired. I will have a shopping trip before that, so I should feel good.

Let me know if you think all the beads on the shawl look good, or if you think they are just too much. Yes, you, non-commenters. Please chime in if you can!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Yeah, Yeah, Got More Yarn

Noro Silk Garden and Cash Iroha
Originally uploaded by sunasak
I broke down and got more yarn on Wednesday. I had BETTER make the Wrap Me Up shawl, because I spent a wad of money on ten balls of Silk Garden and three balls of Cash Iroha for it. I do love the colors. The Cash Iroha is on the left, and is dark navy. The Silk Garden has fuschia, some other purple, navy, brown and black. It is one of the more subdued colorways, but since it has all the colors of pants I wear (no, NOT fuschia), I figure it will go with a lot of stuff. I do look forward to making the shawl and working on it with people. I'll have to do it along with the OpArt blanket for Charlie, future baby of Katy. Those are both projects I look forward to!

But, before that I HAVE to finish the afghan that was eaten by the vacuum cleaner for that friend of mine. I totally forgot to finish the last six rows of it. I will take it to the LYS tomorrow and get that DONE.

Then I can finish the LAST row of Maelstrom. The penultimate row went very slowly, because I had made a pattern error in the antepenultimate row and had to patiently turn K3tog into K2tog all across the 800 stitches. Then I found I had forgotten to put beads in a couple of times. I think I was sleep knitting or something. Tonight there will be no Maelstrom or the afghan, as it's football night. I will at least get a bit more done on the socks, which are showing signs of approaching the toe.

Tomorrow, though. Knit, knit, knit. And teach, teach, teach. I will have some fun stuff to help people with, so I look forward to that. Then I get to look forward to the return visit of Jody, which I hope includes some knitting. We do so miss her in the comments, but it will be even nicer to see her, and her handspun, and her lace, in person. I hope we can get together with other friends while she's here! Gosh, I might have to use the PHONE and call someone.

Happy knitting to you all. And use the phone. It doesn't bite. Often.