Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Spring Fling Socks, Rippleghan, and Summer of Socks

This week is nearly over and so is June. I can’t believe it, but this coming weekend will mark a year that we’ve been in our house! It just doesn’t feel like we’ve been there that long. Time just seems to fly by so quickly.

Monday I finished up my Spring Fling Socks.

Damsel Socks (Front)
Damsel Socks

Pattern: Toe-Up Socks (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: April 23, 2010
Completed: June 21, 2010
Yarn: Knitterly Things Vesper in Damsel, 1 skein
Needles: Knit Picks Nickel US 1 (2.25mm) DPNs for sock 1 and 40″ circular for sock 2, US 0 DPNs for both cuffs
Notes: Started these on April 23, 2010 as my Spring Fling Socks. Finished the first sock April 25, 2010 and put them aside for a while. Picked them back up and started the second sock on June 1, 2010, then immediately put them aside to work on other projects. After finishing my Diagonal Lace socks, I decided to finish these up. Picked them back up on June 18, 2010 and finished on June 21st. Takes me about a week of just working on a pair of socks to finish them! I still feel so-so about the colorway after knitting them up, but I’m sure they’ll still get some wear in during the winter months.

IDamsel Socks (Side)
Damsel Socks – Side

Damsel Socks (Heel)
Damsel Socks – Heel

Last weekend I was browsing patterns on Ravelry and came across the Neat Ripple Pattern from Attic 24. I’ve had some acrylic in my stash for a while that I think I bought for a bag that I never made. As soon as I saw the pattern, that yarn came to mind and I knew it had to be made into a blanket. I started it Saturday night. I’ve been working on it mostly while watching TV. Since it’s a blanket, I think of it as a long term, has no deadline project. The colors just make me happy and I know I’ll love it once it’s done. 🙂

Rippleghan
Rippleghan

Summer of Socks 2010 has started! The Ravelry group has all the information and chatter about this year’s Summer of Socks. (I designed this year’s group banner and icon! 🙂 ) My initial goal was to finish up a pair of colorwork socks I started last year, but I quickly realized the whole design needed to be re-worked and I haven’t had a chance to do that yet. Then I decided I would knit a pair of Merlot Vine Socks with Dream in Color Smooshy in the Ruby River colorway. I started the toe, got up to the number of stitches needed, then realized it was too big. There wasn’t a way to take out about 8 stitches easily without distorting the chart, so I frogged those. I wanted to use the same yarn I had already wound, so I browsed through the patterns I had and decided on Malestrom Socks.

Malestrom Socks
Malestrom Socks

Yep, another sock that I’m doing Magic Loop on!! I never thought I’d be a fan of this technique, but the more I do it, the more it grows on me. I think the biggest difference is it feels like it goes faster for me then DPNs. I still like DPNs, but Magic Loop makes it so there’s less I have to worry about while I’m on the go since socks are usually my portable, take-it-everywhere-with-me project.

Is there something crafty you thought you wouldn’t like doing, but then gave it a try and decided it wasn’t so bad? What was it and what made you change your mind? I’m always curious about other people’s experience with trying new things they thought they wouldn’t like. I think attitude can make all the difference in giving something new a fair chance. I was definitely reluctant to try Magic Loop when I first did a few years ago. I decided I didn’t like it and moved on. Then, a few months ago, I tried it again, giving it a fair chance and telling myself “Maybe it’s not that bad, maybe you’ll even like it!” Kind of psyched myself up for trying it a second time. I didn’t hate it! I can’t say I really loved it at first, but I did like it enough to try it on another project. Each project made me like it more and now I’d say I like it just as much as using DPNs.

This weekend will be a nice relaxing one for a change. Nothing going on, no plans, just hanging out at home doing whatever we want. I can’t remember the last time we had a completely free weekend with zero plans! We might go to Matt’s mom’s to go swimming sometime this weekend, but nothing is set in stone and is more of a “play it by ear” kind of deal. Anything fun going on for you this weekend?

Try and stay cool out there this weekend! It’s been hot and humid here, so I’ve been staying inside where it’s cool as much as possible. That’s my plan for the weekend, too. 😉

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Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Diagonal Lace Socks and Daybreak

Yesterday was busy, but in that good way where I feel like I got a lot accomplished. I planted my potatoes finally (in containers), cleaned up around the house, had dinner at Dewey’s Pizza (YUM), went grocery shopping, and managed to take, edit and upload pictures. I can now show off my finished Diagonal Lace Socks! This color with the green walls in our dining room seem like such a perfect color combination to me. 🙂

Diagonal Lace Socks (Front)
Diagonal Lace Socks

Pattern: Diagonal Lace Socks by Wendy D. Johnson from Socks From the Toe Up (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: June 1, 2010
Completed: June 16, 2010
Yarn: Wollmeise 80/20 Twin in Campari Piccolo
Needles: Knit Picks Nickel US 1 (2.25mm) 40″ circular
Notes: I worked this smaller then the smallest size listed in the book (medium). I removed one stitch and one row from the pattern repeat and had a 59 stitch sock. Adjusted the heel to accommodate the smaller sock I was making. It fits great, was a quick and interesting knit, and this yarn? I really love it for socks. It makes the most solid, squishy, and just dense enough fabric. As always, a fabulous pattern from Wendy! (BTW, this is available as a free download on Wendy’s blog under Free Patterns.)

Diagonal Lace Socks (Heel)
Diagonal Lace Socks – Heel

Diagonal Lace Socks (Crossed)
Diagonal Lace Socks

Since I was in a picture taking kind of mood, here’s what Daybreak currently looks like.

Daybreak
Daybreak

I did end up ripping out part of Sweet Tea and going back to where I joined the two top pieces. I had put them together with one wrong side on the outside, which was causing one row to look different then the rest. It’s all fixed now and looks a lot better. Can’t wait to get it done and wear it!

TGIF everyone! I’m ready for a weekend that is less busy then the last. 🙂

Posted in Completed Projects, Cooking, Current Projects, Sewing

Walden Shawl and Project Updates

This month has been flying by! I can’t believe it’s already the middle of June. This month has been pretty busy both at work and home, but I have been busy knitting and *gasp* CROCHETING. In fact, last week I finished a crocheted shawl!

I’ve been wanting to branch out and learn more crochet for a while. I’ve been especially interested in being able to read and follow crochet patterns. When I asked on Plurk what crochet pattern I should try, Leslie (of The Knit Girllls) suggested Walden. It seemed like a good pattern to get started with, so I started it right away and was finished a few days later.

Walden Shawl
Walden Shawl

Pattern: Walden (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: June 7, 2010
Completed: June 11, 2010
Yarn: 1 skein Scarlet Fleece It’s Tubular x2 colorway Coffee & Raspberry Pie
Needles: 5.0mm/H hook
Notes: I worked as many pattern repeats as I could before working the border, trying to use up as much yarn as possible. The skein was 420 yards and I think I had about 20 yards left. I probably could have added another row or two before the border, but I would have cut it pretty close I think! For a first crochet project that follows a pattern and isn’t a toy, I think this is a good one. It turned out bigger then I thought it would based on it’s pre-blocked size (it stretched a LOT) and it’s a decent sized small shawl. I would totally crochet this pattern again.

Walden Shawl
Walden Shawl – Front

Walden Shawl
Walden Shawl – Side

Walden Shawl
Walden Shawl – Back

On June 1st, I ended up casting on for the Diagonal Lace socks using the Campari Piccolo Wollmeise. I finished the first sock on June 5th and had knit the the foot of the second sock before I put it aside to work on Walden, but once that was finished, I picked it back up and finished the second sock last night. I don’t have a finished picture yet, but here’s what they looked like Sunday night.

Diagonal Lace Socks
Diagonal Lace Socks

After finishing Walden, I wanted to try another crochet pattern. I looked through Ravelry at all the patterns for tops/sweaters and decided on the Sweet Tea tank top from Everyday Crochet by Doris Chan. Luckily my library had an available copy, so Friday I picked it up from the library and started it in NatruallyCaron.com Spa (side note, why would a yarn be called “whatever.com”?). The yarn is a bit splitty to work with at first, but it’s getting easier as I go. I thought I had the whole crochet gauge thing worked out and thought that I had gauge. When I joined the top front and back pieces and worked a few rows, I quickly figured out that I didn’t have gauge and the top was going to be HUGE on me. When I’d finished the top back/front pieces and held them up to see if it would fit, they did (quite well actually), but when I had added the stitches between the pieces, it added 8 inches or so. Since I knew that without those extra stitches it seemed to fit, I ripped back to where I had joined the pieces and added the extra stitches and rejoined them without adding any stitches between. When I tried it on after crocheting a few rows, it fit! Now I’m sort of winging the rest of the body. Since I’m not doing any bust shaping, I’m not worried about having to adjust anything further in the pattern and it seems to be working out pretty good. I think I may have joined the two pieces with one on the wrong side, so there is a row that looks different/weird. I’ll probably rip it back to the join again tonight and fix it. The picture below is from when I joined it the first time with the extra stitches.

Sweet Tea Tank
Sweet Tea

I’ve been working on Daybreak and have 9 stripes done so far. This is what it looked like just after doing the first few stripes.

Daybreak
Daybreak

The Damsel Vesper socks have been put to the side. I’ll finish them eventually, but I think the colorway just doesn’t appeal to me when I knit it, so they keep getting put aside for other projects. I’ve at least started the second sock, though!

Damsel Sock 2
Vesper socks in Damsel

After finishing up the Diagonal Lace socks, I haven’t decided on a new pair to start, so I think I might try and finish these up before starting another pair of socks.

The weather has finally cooled off a bit and not been super humid and miserable outside. Last night we rode our bikes to music on the commons near our house and there was a nice breeze. They do music on the commons on Wednesday and Thursday, so I think I may ride down again tonight. It was nice to be outside, riding bikes, and listening to music. They even had a vendor with funnel cake! YUM!

Any fun weekend plans? We’ll be going to see the Cincinnati Roller Girls on Saturday night and probably working on cleaning up the basement the rest of the weekend. Oh and yard work. It definitely needs some attention. Needs a good mow and some weed whacking and pulling. Might finally try and get my raised beds set up, too. We’ll see. Right now all I want to do is just relax and knit all weekend! 😉

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Knit Ramblings

Pattern Update, Finished Ishbel, and New Projects

I have plenty of project things to share today, but first I wanted to give an update about the the pattern I blogged about last week.

I did decide to write the designer an email. I think I was nice and offered constructive criticism, but really wrote to ask for an updated version of the pattern (which I was willing to wait for) or a refund. In all honesty I didn’t expect a reply, let alone a refund for a digital pattern. (I did let the designer know that I had deleted the file and will not be re-downloading it.) So, much to my surprise, the next day after sending the email, I received a reply letting me know she’s refunded me and the PayPal notification of the refund. I think that was probably the best outcome I could have hoped for and I’m glad that the designer stepped up and did issue the refund. I think secretly I was hoping for an updated pattern, but knew that was unlikely and not an immediate solution that could happen.

Since I have no plans to knit this pattern and in interest of full disclosure since the designer did step up and “do the right thing” here, the pattern I wrote about is the Lamb’s Lace Cardi (Ravelry link). There are a few finished projects in Ravelry, so obviously my concerns aren’t the same as everyone’s, which I am well aware of. Others may have different expectations about patterns and can certainly decide if this is a pattern they want to knit for themselves. It is a lovely sweater and if there ever is an updated version of it fixing my biggest issues of no stitch counts and no schematic, I will purchase it again. I definitely think there’s more room for improvement then that, but those were my two biggest hang ups with it and if those two things were present, I likely would have knit it anyway, not emailed the designer, and just mentioned the other issues in my project comments. (I still feel that it’s a bit high of a price for the pattern without the other improvements, but I digress.)

Now that I’ve said my final piece on that, I have an FO to share!

Ishbel (Full)
Ishbel

Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: April 19, 2010
Completed: May 28, 2010
Yarn: 1 skein Handmadien Fine Yarn Sea Silk 150 (larger skein) in Sangria
Needles: US 5 bamboo circular
Notes: Since I had the larger skein of Sea Silk, I knit the largest size. My gauge was slightly smaller then the pattern called for, but since I was knitting with silk, I knew it wouldn’t bloom much in blocking and only stretch out, so I figured a little smaller would be better. It still ended up rather large even with the smaller gauge. I haven’t weighed it, but I have quite a bit of yarn leftover. I probably could have added an additional repeat of Chart A and B. Of course then it would have been even bigger, so I’m glad I didn’t do that! Like all of the Ysolda patterns I’ve knit, it was very well written and I’d knit it again.

Ishbel (Front)
Ishbel – Front

Ishbel (Back)
Ishbel – Back

And of course, one on my lovely model, Matt!

Ishbel (Matt)
Ishbel on my lovely model

In my last post, I mentioned frogging the Labyrinth Socks and that I was still working on the Ampersand socks. Well on Friday I frogged the Ampersand socks, too. I just didn’t love them and was rather bored with the pattern (plus the leg was a bit tight). Since I finished Ishbel Friday, that left me with one project on the needles – my Spring Fling Vesper socks. Actually, that project wasn’t even really ON the needles then because I’d finished the first sock and never cast on for the second one. I looked through my stash and my queue and decided on two projects: Daybreak and Cubist.

I cast on for Daybreak first, using Dream In Color Starry in Punky Fuchsia and Happy Forest.

Daybreak
Daybreak Shawl

Last night I made it up to the stripes. It’s a bit out of the range of “portable” now, though. It no longer fits in my large Oh Snap bag from Namaste because of the two balls of yarn, so it no longer fits in my purse. Since I figured that was going to happen and because it’s been so hot out that it may not make the best outdoor knitting, I cast on for Cubist on Sunday. I decided on using Wollmeise in Campari Piccolo. I was through to the heel yesterday, when I noticed that on the front leg of the sock there was a double decrease where I’d not picked up all the plies of the yarn. I tried to correct it (a full repeat back), but I couldn’t get it back to looking right after 4 attempts. This wasn’t the first time I’d have ripped back (more like the 5th) and I was having a lot more trouble with the pattern then is normal for me, so I gave up and frogged the whole sock. The problems I was having were mostly me not reading the directions or chart correctly. I don’t blame the pattern for that!

I totally forgot to take pictures before frogging, likely due to being so frustrated with it. The sock does look great in a solid/semi-solid yarn, though. I think the pattern is a bit obscured with the variegated sock yarn used in the sample photo. The double decreases do pull the yarn in, which was making the leg a bit difficult to get over my heel. I’ll likely knit it again sometime, but probably on larger needles and with slightly thicker yarn to make up for the double decreases pulling it in.

With that sock being frogged, I decided it was time to get back to my Spring Fling Vesper sock. I started the second sock this morning and I don’t think it will take me long to finish, so I’ll hold out on starting a new one until after that. Maybe. The Diagonal Lace Socks are tempting me. I plan on using the yarn I tried to use for Cubist. This will be the FOURTH project with this yarn and I’m determined to make it work for something! 🙂