Monday, February 25, 2008

I went to Stitches and all I got was...

... a huge yarn and fiber haul and several new knitting techniques. This is a pretty pathetic post considering the time since my last one. But I haven't much energy still.

I finally got a chance to see in person the Handmaiden/Fleece Artist sweater kits and got an Imogen in pretty colors from the Beehive Wool Shop's booth.
And a unique and beautiful shawl pin to close it with (in 2019 when I finally get it finished).

I also got the new Cookie A sock patterns from the Full Thread Ahead booth. Some Stitch Diva sweater top patterns from their booth and some Fiber Fiend sock patterns from their booth. And the pattern for a cardigan I'm considering making from Purlescence. I'd need to clone myself several times over (losing weight each time) to be able to make and look good in all the sweaters/tops but I don't care. Hope springs eternal. Especially with Denial holding the watering can.

And a lot of fun fibers and yarns from the booth that Tactile Fiber Arts and A Verb For Keeping Warm shared.
Which was one of the coziest most inviting booths despite how small it was. And I wish I had a photo for you but I remembered a sign about no photography from last year so didn't even take my camera. Dumb in the long run since I could have used it outside and in the classes. Doh!

Oh and, naturally, a little Ravelry swag...

I took Debbie New's class on Cellular Automaton knitting and once I get my brain to wrap around that properly I intend to play with that big time. I really enjoyed that class. It was well taught and her examples were amazing. Here's a photo of my sampler. I'm pretty a pretty slow knitter, especially when I am trying to learn something so it's pretty small. I'll play around with it a bit and post more someday.

I also took Ruth Lantz's Cast-Ons class (Fancier Beginnings iirc) and I really recommend it. That's the second class I've taken from her and I really recommend her in general. She's a great teacher for techniques. If they do her Cast-Offs class next time I'm totally signing up. These are even less easy to see from the photo but I really did learn a lot.

And as if it weren't enough that I did Stitches, I decided to join in on the Loopy Ewe's Dream In Color Cardigan Knit-A-Long so I ordered 6 skeins of Lunar Zazzle Classy to make Mr. Greenjeans out of. I'm going to start swatching tomorrow for Zazzlejeans. My lungs are still too wimpy for me to stay up late enough to start tonight.
This photo is really just here for a fellow KAL participant who is curious about the color.

Oh, and if you're local to the SF/SJ Bay Area and a spinner, my guild is hosting a two day Comprehensive Spinning workshop with Stephanie Gaustad mid-April. If you are interested, shoot me an email or comment with your address and I'll get you the info.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

So far behind I've been lapped three or four times

I've got to apologize for being so far behind on my comment replies. I will be working on them this week after a short trip Monday/Tuesday. I've had off and on cold/sinus/lung stuff going on the last month and I've been self-indulgent and choosing working on knitting over replying to everyone's lovely thoughtful comments. I do appreciate them and I will be replying next week.

In the mean time, there's a couple of things before we get to knitting content. I still haven't heard from fuzzbutt so I have decided that it is time to give Turtle the first choice of the two prizes and choose a new second winner. If fuzzbutt turns up later on I am sure I can find something around here (pauses to take in the complete disaster her knitting area has become) somewhere to make up to him/her not waiting any longer.

So, I've already asked Turtle to choose which she'd like. And gotten a third random number from the online integer generator. The new winner for the other prize is edina. I have already e-mailed her to let her know. Thanks again to all of you for giving me so many great ideas to try for finding more knitting time.

I've had a lot more knitting time since I've been lazing about in an attempt to stop feeling like I am suffocating. Of course the periodic naps have cut into it a bit so there's not as much to show for it as I'd like.

I did manage to get my Cluaranach knit back to where I had it before I had to rip back and I think a couple of rows further on.

I also managed to finish the Barbie Dress at last.
While working on it I had a little epiphany about casting off circular knitting. I realized that by using a darning needle to draw the yarn on the path I could make the end just about invisible. When I do them normally, no matter what I do I end up having to futz it a bit to "hide" the end but it doesn't usually work to well. I started with one stitch left to knit on the cast off line. I've got some photos of how I first did it but it didn't come out quite right because I went the wrong way through one of the stitches at the end. I redid it and it looks pretty good now.

I'll try to get some how-to photos up soon in easier to see yarn so I can remember how I did it next time I'm doing a circular cast off that I want to have look as pretty as possible.

Lastly, I finished the first of my January Rockin' Sock Club socks in the Serendipity pattern in the Dragon Dance yarn.
It wasn't really easy to see until I was finished but the heel is about 2 rows too deep for my foot as well as too wide at the bottom.
The too wide is what makes the little pokey ears. I'm not sure if it would do that over fewer stitches but the same row count, but even with my high instep there is enough extra material there that I can take out a couple of rows just fine. So when I knit this pattern again I will do the heel with only 7 unwrapped stitches in the middle and also over 2 fewer wrapped stitches. I also won't use the star toe because it doesn't fit my toes too well. There's a ton of extra sock over my small toes and my big toe feels crowded.

Fortunately I think it will fit the person I decided to gift these socks to pretty well. So I started the second sock. When I get to the lace pattern section I'm going to start half way up so that the socks mirror each other. Same with the toe, I'll do it with ssk instead of k2tog when I get to it. We'll see if these "clever ideas" look like they'll work out once I start working the lace pattern.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentines Day!

I haven't got much actual content today. The last week or so I've been coughing and feeling under-oxygenated. I'm heading out to the doctor this afternoon to see if he can find out what's wrong (probably bronchitis or something) and more pertinently, from my point of view, fix it. I explain only because I haven't gotten much done fiber-wise since just getting the responsible grown-up type stuff of every day life done has been sucking up what energy I've had. I do have a photo of the RSC sock with the heel turn and about half of the first lace repeat of the foot done.
As you can see my foot and the heel of this sock are not really compatible. There's a little extra something there at the bottom right. I think it's because the heel is centered over 9 stitches left unwrapped in the middle and that doing fewer there would work better for my particular (or even peculiar since it's wide up front - I usually say I have duck feet and leave it at that) foot. But I'm not certain I'm right about that. Other ideas cheerfully entertained.

I think these socks are headed to someone else's feet though (a particular someone whose feet are the same size but whose heel is wider so I think they'll fit her fine) so I'm just going to knit them both to pattern and then make a note to try it over fewer center stitches for the next pair I knit in this pattern. It's been a fairly easy to knit pattern so I will probably make it again since it seems to play nice with the variegated yarn. Of which, I have rather a lot.

Still waiting to hear from fuzzbutt...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Doh! I totally forgot I've been tagged.

Well, this certainly isn't a good week for brain cells. Well, mine anyway. I hope, dear readers, that yours are doing better.

Shea tagged me for the "Power of 7" meme. You'll have to forgive me Shea, I never expected to be tagged for anything and I totally flaked out about it. Here's the setup:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

7 facts about me (I'm guessing that means ones I haven't already mentioned so saying I'm a redhead is out.):

1 I was born in the same hospital as my brother even though we were born 14 years and at least 4 inter-state/country moves apart.

2 I got so conditioned by my family moving every 7 years when I was growing up (they slowed down after I was born) and after 7 years in my first home with the FoUI, that when we didn't move after 7 years in the current house I was unsettled for months until I figured out why.

3 I prefer to drive a standard transmission but am stuck with an automatic for now. I've had it for two years. I still sometimes try to shift down after stopping at a red light. I should take up knitting at red lights to stop doing that.

4 My mother was going to name me Myfanwy until she heard that my father had an ex-girlfriend named Myfanwy. So it's her fault I don't have girly handwriting. Can you imagine how florid a style one could develop while trying out signatures for Myfanwy? I'd by sorry except that I'm certain I'd have ended up called Miffy for short. I don't think I'd have liked it.

5 I have doctor style handwriting. Even I can't figure out what it says if it's been too long since I wrote it.

6 Despite that I still have all my class notes from college.

7 I find it very hard to give up on things. Apparently that includes, besides holding onto knitting projects that have gone horribly awry with the intention of someday sorting them out, trying to someday relearn my college coursework.

I'm going to be a bad bad bad neophyte blogger and not tag anyone downstream for this. That's mainly because most of the bloggers I know/read have done one variant of this or another at some point and/or they have a policy of not tagging anyone specific when they do memes. So if you're reading and you'd like to do the meme then by all means do so. Feel free to tell me you did and I'll edit in a link to you if you like.

Where oh where has my winner gone?

Well this is a bit of a pickle isn't it? Fuzzbutt hasn't contacted me, nor has anyone to say that they can point me to him/her. I think in fairness to everyone else, if I don't hear from Fuzzbutt by the end of the week, say Friday at 11:59pm I will let Turtle have first choice and draw a new second winner. Does that seem fair? I have asked the very nice evergreenknits to post something to her contest blog since I suspect that is where "fuzzbutt" learned of the contest. But other than that I am stumped about what to do. Ideas cheerfully accepted.

In the mean time, let's move on to some knitting. I finally finished, blocked, and shipped my DSIL's last holiday present. I think we'll have to call it a Valentine's gift though considering how late it is for Christmas. I provide modeled shots but since I'm larger (much) than my DSIL, bear in mind it will look better on her than on me.

I ordered a skein of yarn from Twisted's etsy shop the other day. Look at the "mailing label of supreme cuteness" that came on the package.

Awwwww. And I'm not usually a big sucker for cuteness but that just got me.

I did another stint at upholstery class today. I think by the end of next week I might have a finished cushion. There may just possibly be a slight tinge of light at the end of the "reupholstered knitting chair" tunnel.

Oh, and I turned the heel of the first RSC January kit socks. Photos of that another day though. Time to go make food.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

And the winners are......

First choice of prizes goes to fuzzbutt and second choice to turtle (which actually, now that I think about it since there's only two it's not really a choice is it?) Blogger gave me nothin' for getting a-hold of fuzzbutt (a link to a private profile and that's it) so if you're fuzzbutt contact me (see sidebar) and if you know fuzzbutt tell him/her to contact me. Turtle's been told on her blog to e-mail me too.

And that's it for tonight. I finally made it back to upholstery class today and I am wiped out.

Goodnight, Gracie.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Blog-versary Day!

Ok, clearly I've had too much wine at dinner because my first attempt at a title was Bolg-versary Day! Pathetic much? I could at least have said Borg-versary day and amused the FoUI.

Anyway, any additional folks who leave comments before 11:59pm Pacific time today will go into the "spreadsheet of yarny goodness" which I will use to pick the winners via a random number generation thingy. Tomorrow. I'll be heading for bed as soon as I finish this post.

In the mean time, Look Knitting!

I made yet another pair of Maine Morning Mitts.
This time they were for a male friend so I up-sized them a bit simply by adding a repeat of the ribbing pattern (so 36 stitches instead of 33) and knit a bit longer before and after adding the thumb. I also picked up extra stitches for the thumb so that I had 15 total and did the thumb in k4p1 rib. These too are Plymouth Boku color 6 this time.

I started a sock with the first ever yarn I bought from Sheri at The Loopy Ewe. I finally just picked a pattern I saw flip by on my 365 Knitting Stitches a Year calendar and went for it instead of trying to find the perfect pattern.
Zen String Lotus Toes in Patchouli k2p2 rib going into a k4 c4front over a stockinette ground

And, naturally since I wasted months agonizing over a pattern for this yarn, it turns out to look pretty nice. Doh! I plan to base the other one on k4 c4back so they'll spiral toward each other. I'm using these socks to teach myself to cable without a cable needle. So far it's taking at least as long (if not longer) to do without the cable needle but we'll see. Maybe I'll get the hang of it soon.

The Sockswatch Sighting Sundays sock swatches for last Sunday still aren't ready so I think it'll have to skip a week. Plus I don't like either of them yet (I'm just over half way through the repeat) so they aren't tempting.

Unlike my Rockin' Sock Club January socks. Which are tempting. Stop reading right now if you don't want to be spoiled. (I think everyone has their packages by now though.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~RSC Spoiler Ahead!!!!!!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I've gotten through the first repeat of the lace pattern. I have decided I like the yarn better in the ball than I do in the sock and much better than I did in the skein in terms of "for me -ness" (as opposed to in general). In general I think they are a lovely red-orange color but that's really not my color. So when I finish the socks, which seems like it will be sooner rather than later, I think I will gift them. Still they make great Project Spectrum knitting.

OK, I'm still having trouble with feeling like my lungs aren't working quite right so... th-th-th-that's all for now folks.