Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Hey Teach Blocks, TDF Wrap Up, Stripey Socks and Starlight

Last night I got out the blocking mats, washed Hey Teach, and it’s now blocking.

208/365: Hey Teach, Blocking!
Hey Teach, blocking!

I also finished up Clue 3 of the Secret Garden Shawl. The yarn is Green Sheep Fingering from The Unique Sheep and the colorway is Hearts on Fire. (Sorry, forgot to mention that yesterday!)

Secret Garden, Clue 3
Clue 3, laid out as best as possible

Secret Garden, Clue 3
Clue 3, close up

I did some spinning last night, though I forgot to take a picture. It feels like it’s taking a long time, but these are pretty thin singles, so I’m guessing that’s why it seems to be taking a while! I don’t think the rain has been helping, either. My knee, hip and lower back haven’t been allowing me to spin as much as I’d like to. When did my body get like an old lady?!? This morning I woke up sore and thinking, “It’s going to rain today.” Not 5 minutes later the radio said, “There will be showers and thunderstorms this afternoon.” I had to laugh a little at that! My body knows about the rain before the weather people tell me! Hahaha πŸ™‚

Speaking of spinning, I should do my Tour de Fleece wrap up! Counting it up, I did 30 hours and 25 minutes worth of spinning from July 4th through July 26th. That’s a LOT of spinning time! Here’s the break down:

July 4th: 1 hour 5 minutes
July 5th: 1 hour
July 6th: 2 hours
July 7th: 20 minutes
July 8th: 20 minutes
July 9th: 20 minutes
July 10th: nothing
July 11th: 2 hours 20 minutes –> Finished first yarn
July 12th: 3 hours
July 13th: 2 hours –> Was the scheduled day of rest, but I did some spinning since I β€œrested” on Friday, July 10th
July 14th: 1 hour 30 minutes
July 15th: 1 hour
July 16th: 2 hours
July 17th: 1 hour -> Finished second yarn
July 18th: 1 hour
July 19th: 1 hour 30 minutes
July 20th: 4 hours -> Was the scheduled day of rest, but I’m β€œresting” on July 22nd instead (knit night)
July 21st: 2 hours
July 22nd: rescheduled my day off
July 23rd: 1 hour
July 24th: 2 hours
July 25th: 1 hour
July 26th: 1 hour

Not bad! I was able to finish up 3 rovings and get part of the way through a third.

Tour de Fleece 2009, Wrap Up
Top Left: “Thinking of Fall” BFL from Zarzuela’s Fibers, 137 yards
Top Right: Pink and Purple BFL, 153 yards
Bottom Left: “Emerald City” Merino from Zarzuela’s Fibers, 210 yards
Bottom Right: Superwash Merino from All Spun Up, still in progress

I frogged the Fountain Pen Shawl last night. I decided I wanted to do it on bigger needles, so I frogged it and decided that I’ll try again later since I’m already working on a shawl right now. I would like to do it at some point, just not right now. Now that Clue 3 of the shawl is done and Hey Teach is blocking, I decided to get back to some projects I haven’t been working on. Last night I finished the heel on my stripey socks.

Open Flame Socks
Vesper Sock Yarn, Open Flame colorway

This morning, as I was thinking about what I’d take with me to knit at work, I decided on the Starlight sweater. Yes, THAT sweater. The one that I started in April 2007. My oldest WIP. The sweater I keep thinking about frogging, deciding I’ll frog, then deciding that I can’t possibly frog it because it will be so beautiful once I’m done. I’m going to finish this. This is my next “big” project that I’m going to work on until it’s done.

209/365: Starlight
Starlight Sweater in Rowan RYC Silk Wool, colorway Porcelin

I’ve been meaning to reply to the comments people have left, but recently, my webmail was blocked at work and I usually spend my lunch hour responding to emails when I have them. Since I’ve been busy at work, when I get home, I don’t even THINK about getting on my computer since I spend 8 hours sitting in front of one at work and I’m usually exhausted when I get home (or even on the weekend). As it is, it’s a struggle to make and dinner, do any house work that needs doing, and maybe get some time to relax and knit or spin, but most of the time I’d rather just come home and go straight to bed. I feel like I haven’t been sleeping well, but can’t really pinpoint why. Only thing that’s really changed recently is the stress at work, though I don’t see that changing any time soon – nature of the season and job I suppose. Don’t get me wrong, I do like my job quite a bit, it’s just mentally exhausting most days. This means that by the time I get home, my brain is mush! Anyway, all that to say I plan on getting back to you soon if you’ve left me a comment or emailed me recently. I haven’t forgotten, just been busy and tired lately. I think it’s a combination of moving and the new job and I’m just trying to get readjusted still. Though it doesn’t usually seem like it, there’s still TONS of stuff that needs to be done around the house to make Matt and I feel less stressed by the state of things. This weekend we’re planning on getting most, if not all, of the “To Do” list done so that we can get back to “normal.”

Hope your week is turning out to be a little less stressful then mine so far πŸ™‚

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Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Emerald City, Nanners, and Buttons

Last night I spent two hours plying and skeining the lovely merino singles I finished spinning Monday night. I ended up with about 210 yards.

202/365: Emerald City - 210 Yards
Emerald City, merino, 210 yards

Emerald City - 210 Yards
Close up.

I really need to get a wraps per inch tool so I can get a better idea of the weight of yarn. Looking at it, it looks about worsted weight to me. I also need a niddy noddy to make it easier to wind skeins. I’ve just been using my swift, which works okay, but it’s a bit of a pain in the butt to do. A niddy noddy would make it a lot easier! I’m thinking about getting this one since it’s a) cheap and b) the same company that made my wheel. Eventually I’d like a nice wooden one, but this would do for now. I’ve even considered just making one out of dowels. I don’t know that I have the tools to do that, though. I wonder if just gluing some dowels together with Gorilla Glue or something similar might work. Anyone ever made their own niddy noddy?

Tonight I’m taking my “day of rest” (supposed to be Monday – the day I spent 4 hour spinning!) for the Tour de Fleece since tonight is knit night. Tomorrow, though, I’m going to be spinning up the batts I have from Gnomegarden. I was going to spin up one of the bumps of fiber I got from All Spun Up next, but with the Tour de Fleece ending on the 26th I wanted to be able to finish up one more bump of fiber before it’s over. Plus, I did want to see the difference of spinning with a batt vs pre-drafting a braid. I might have time to at least get started on one of the ones I got from All Spun Up, we’ll see. Spinning definitely isn’t going away once the Tour de Fleece ends, so I can still plan out what I want to do next! πŸ™‚

I got the toe done on the second Nanner sock and started the lace pattern last night. I really like how these are turning out. The only modification I’ve made is that I did 2 x 2 ribbing instead of 1 x 1 ribbing. I didn’t even change the heel to a short-row heel! I will say, though, that this heel flap business seems to take SO much longer. After this pair, I’ll probably go back to short-row heels.

203/365: Nanners!
Golden Nanners!

Even though these socks aren’t done yet and I’m still working on both the Absinthe and the Open Flame socks, I’m already thinking about the next pair I’m going to knit. Me? Obsessed? Nahhhh πŸ˜‰ I’d like to do another “quick” pair (thicker yarn/bigger needles), so I’ve decided I want to use a skein of Vesper I bought from a Raveler in Pumpkin Spice (special sock club colorway) and do the Tadpoles pattern. I think they’ll go nicely together πŸ™‚

Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin Spice Vesper Sock Yarn

I decided on some buttons for Hey Teach and the Button-Up Neck Warmer, which I received on Monday. These buttons are from The Button Shop – probably my favorite place to get buttons.

Buttons
The top buttons are for Hey Teach and the ones on the bottom left are for the Button-Up Neck Warmer.

I haven’t picked up Hey Teach in a week or so, but tonight is knit night and I plan on bringing it with me to work on. I’m up to the lace on the right front, which I think I can get done tonight and maybe even start on the sleeves. Hopefully I’ll have an FO to show you soon!

Happy Hump Day, everyone! πŸ™‚

Posted in Cooking, Current Projects, Spinning

Craft Room, Prezzies in the Mail, and Nanners

This weekend seemed busy, but long. I feel like I at least got a lot done, so that’s always a plus! We did 5 loads of laundry yesterday, which didn’t seem so bad because we only had one to fold at a time compared to the 2 we would do at a time when we were at the apartment since they had 2 washers and 2 dryers available (of course we paid per use for those). I love not having to get quarters anymore and not having to wait on other people to use them. We’ve been cooking a lot more lately, which I’m really happy about. I think I’ve had my fill of eating out for a while. Occasionally is fine, but when you’re doing it really frequently, it gets old quick! At least for us. We’re even making breakfast in the morning – mini bagel sandwiches with egg, cheese, and turkey sausage or bacon. YUM! And it keeps me filled until lunch, which is fantastic πŸ™‚

I unpacked almost all my books in the craft room. I need more shelving before the rest of my cooking and other books can be unpacked, so for now the ones that don’t fit on the shelf are in boxes in the closet area. I even sorted some recipe cards I never bothered to open however many years ago it was that I received them.

200/365: Sorting
Sorting recipe cards.

I’m hoping to use my cook books and recipe cards more to change up our dinner routine. We’ve started to get bored with the same old thing week after week and now that they’re unpacked, I plan on making use of the books that haven’t received much love over the years. I took some updated pictures of my craft room to show how it’s coming together.

Craft Room - Entering
View as you enter the room.

Craft Room - Books & Sewing Table
To the left after you enter are my book shelves and sewing table.

Craft Room - Stash
To the right after you enter is my stash.

Craft Room - Closet
On the back wall is the closet. I’m planning on hanging those curtains draped over the bar there in place of closet doors.

I wound up the pink and purple yarn I spun this weekend and found that I have about 153 yards. Not bad! This one was much more even then the first one, but that’s to be expected. I’m really loving spinning!! I’d say I’m thinking about it just as much as knitting now πŸ™‚

Pink and Purple Yarn
Pink and purple yarn, skeined.

Friday, I got prezzies in the mail! I received a shipment from All Spun Up. Talk about fast shipping! It was mailed out Wednesday from the west coast and I received it Friday. I love these colors even more in person then I did from the photos online! Simply beautiful πŸ™‚ This was my first order from Kristin, but you can bet I’ll order again.

Fiber from All Spun Up
Top: Mernio/Silk blend, Bottom left: Superwash Merino, Bottom right: Merino, all are 6.2 oz

I also received the yarn I one in the Cookie A. KAL on Ravelry. It’s Nature’s Palette in Seafoam. Very pretty! I’m already trying to decide what I’ll make with it.

Nature's Palette
Nature’s Palette in Seafoam

This weekend I decided I wanted something new to knit on, something that would go pretty quick, so I decided to cast on Nanners with Socks That Rock mediumweight using US 1.5’s (2.5 mm). I’m up to the cuff of the first sock as of yesterday, so it’s going pretty quickly. I didn’t even modify the pattern to do a short row heel instead of the slip stitch one the pattern calls for. I have to say, the slip stitch heel seems to take a lot longer and I can’t say it fits my heel any better then a short row one, but I like how it looks.

Nanners
Nanners!

Nanners On - Top
Nanners, on my foot, top of the sock.

Nanners On - Side

Nanners, on my foot, side of the sock.

I did some spinning this weekend, but I’ll wait until the next post to show you all my progress and talk a little about my Tour de Fleece progress. Hope your Monday is turning out to be a good one!

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

House Updates, Spinning, and Socks

Since the last time I blogged, I feel like I have a ton of stuff I want to share or say! I suppose that means I should just blog more, but other things keep getting in my way lately.

This weekend was good. Spent time with friends and had a good time with that. We bought lamps at IKEA that have their on/off switch on a button attached to the cord at the base of the lamp. I really love this idea, especially for the living room where the light switch isn’t connected to any of the outlets. We bought two for the living room and one for my craft room. We use CFL’s in all the lights we possibly can, but I’m always worried about breaking them. Well, I finally broke one. I was trying to fix the lamp shade for the lamp going in my craft room and while looking for a place to set the bulb, it broke! 😦 I was really stressed out about it since Matt kept telling me horror stories about people who broke them and had to have hazmat teams come out (CFL’s have mercury in them). I quickly looked up what to do. I found this very helpful article on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website. Now if it ever happens to you, you know what to do! It’s really not as big of a deal as I thought it was, thankfully. I also looked up how to dispose of them for Ohio and found EPA Ohio’s website that said to throw them in with your regular garbage. I was a little disappointed that we don’t have recycling facilities for this, but we did find out after a second trip to IKEA that they do accept CFL’s for recycling there (though it didn’t say anything about accepting broken ones, so I’m not sure if they do). We have a few others that aren’t useable anymore, so the next time we go to IKEA, we’ll be taking those there for recycling.

Anyhow… enough about broken light bulbs! I now have lamps in the living room and a lamp in my craft room. I’ll have to take a picture – I love the lamp shade I picked out. I bought a chair from IKEA for my sewing table, but we couldn’t get it together. One of the bars wouldn’t allow the screw to go in. We took it back and I didn’t bother getting another. It was on clearance and I didn’t want to chance getting another broken one that needed to be returned. Oh! And blinds!! We got blinds for the house, finally. We have them up in the living room and downstairs hall. We bought enough to also put some up in the bedroom and office, but I didn’t understand how you should measure for blinds, so we ended up with blinds too small for the living room. As a result of buying cheap blinds, we have two others that need to be returned on top of the two that are too small. One of them had holes and stains on the slats (near the top, so they can’t be removed) and I can’t remember what the issue with the other one was. Slowly, we’re getting there!

I took some pictures of the backyard and uploaded them to Flickr. You can see them here.

This weekend, just as the power went on Saturday evening, I finished spinning and plying my first yarn!

192/365: First Yarn!
Yarn I made!!

My First yarn :)
All skeined up.

I ended up with about 137 yards worth. I’d say it’s bulky weight, sort of thick and thin. I love how it turned out and I’m quite proud of it! The fiber is from Zarzuela’s Fibers, BFL in the “Thinking of Fall” colorway.

Speaking of Zarzuela’s Fibers… have you seen her Luxury Sock Batts? This one was so beautiful, I had to have it! It’s BFL, mohair, and silk. I love the color and pictures just don’t do it justice. So soft!! I can’t wait to spin it up πŸ™‚

Luxury Sock Batt

Now that I have the other fiber off my wheel, Sunday, I started pre-drafting the next thing I wanted to spin. I picked up this BFL a while back at a fiber fest and I believe it’s from Twisted Stitches. Monday I finished pre-drafting it all.

Pink and Purple Spinning
Box full of pre-drafted fiber.

Then, even though I’d said I wouldn’t spin any of it since it was the Tour de Fleece “day of rest,” I ended up spinning a little anyway!

194/365: Pink and Purple Spinning
Pretty pinks and purples.

This weekend I spent 5 hours spinning and did 2 hours on Monday. I feel like I’m really getting the hang of spinning and find that I want to do it more and more! πŸ™‚

I’ve been working on my Absinthe sock and have started the increases. The pattern is going along pretty smoothly so far, no issues. It’s been a while since I’ve done cables, so that’s been a nice change of pace for me.

Absinthe Sock
Limey green Absinthe sock.

I haven’t worked on it much in the last few days between spinning and starting this sock…

Open Flame Sock
Vesper Stripey Goodness

It’s been a while since I knit a stripey sock and the recent sock club shipment was really calling to me, so Saturday morning, I cast on for a plain stripey sock. The colorway is “Open Flame” a four stripe colorway. I love it πŸ™‚

I’ve been working on Hey Teach. Pretty close to being done with the left front, but no pictures yet. It keeps getting put aside for other things lately! Ah well, I’ll get to it.

Tonight Matt and I are going to a cooking class at The Learning Kitchen. The class is called “For the Love of Garlic.” Should be fun! I’m looking forward to it. It’s almost mid-week again. Sometimes I just can’t believe how fast the time goes by! Later, all.

Posted in Current Projects

Tour de Fleece, WIP Wrestling, and On-Hold Socks

Monday night I was able to spin up a good portion of the fiber I had. I pre-drafted for a good hour before starting and had this huge pile to work from.

187/365: Pre-Drafted Fiber
Fiber ready for spinning!

After another hour, I had a bobbin full of singles.

Tour de Fleece: Day 3
Full bobbin

Monday I had a total of 2 hours of spinning. I’m counting the time I spend pre-drafting because it’s all part of the process. Three days into Tour de Fleece, I have 2 full bobbins of fiber!

Tour de Fleece: Total so far
Progress 3 days into Tour de Fleece

I have a confession, though. Yesterday I pre-drafted some fiber, but that’s about as far as I got. I was so worn out and just wasn’t feeling up to it. I’m counting my 20 min of pre-drafting for my time yesterday. I did spend 2 hours spinning Monday, so I think that evens out my time a bit (for my hour per day goal I set) – at least that’s what I’m telling myself πŸ˜‰

Total time spent spinning for the Tour de Fleece so far: 4 hours, 25 minutes. Not bad for someone who bought a wheel then hardly used it and has since been collecting dust in the corner up until now. I think a lot of my initial unhappiness with spinning had to do with the fiber I was using and not really finding my groove. Different story now!! I’m enjoying spinning quite a lot now. We’ll see if I still feel the same at the end of the Tour de Fleece πŸ™‚

My WIP Wrestling started out strong. I finished the Cotty socks just a few days in. Then the Tour de Fleece started and I was feeling a bit like I was puttering out of the WIP Wrestling. Since the beginning of the month, I’ve had my eye on the On-Hold socks from Socks from the Toe-Up since that is the pattern this month for the KAL over on Ravelry. I told myself I wouldn’t start them until I have at least half of the WIP’s I’m “wrestling” done and that maybe I wouldn’t do the KAL socks at all. Then I started to see people post their progress pictures of their socks. Each day I wanted to knit them more and more!! Finally, last night I caved and started them.

189/365: On-Hold
Beginnings of the On-Hold sock.

I don’t know that I’m loving the pattern, though. I think it might be the yarn. This is the second time I’ve tried to use this yarn and it doesn’t really speak to me as much as other yarns I have (or have used). I think it’s also partly the pattern itself. The gauge for the pattern is 8 stitches/12 rows = 1 inch. I am getting 9 stitches/12 rows = 1 inch. I figured this would help me get a better fit since at gauge the sock would end up 8.25″ around and I like socks about 8″ around giving me a half of an inch of negative ease (my foot is 8.5″ around at the widest point). Still, I took out 4 stitches – 2 from the ends of the chart and 2 from the sole. I should have 66 stitches total and instead I have 62, but it still seems just a bit big. I thought about ripping back and taking out 4 more. Instead I think I’ll knit the sock length a little shorter to make up for the slight difference. I might even do the heel called for in the pattern this time around!

As for the WIP Wrestling… I really don’t think I will finish all I set out to do. I’m not super surprised by this because I kind of knew going in that the Fountain Pen Shawl wouldn’t get done, but I did think that I’d be able to do the rest. We’ll see how the month goes. Tour de Fleece seems to be cutting down my knitting time and I didn’t really take that into account when I decided to work on all of my WIPs for WIP Wrestling.

I’m still working on Hey Teach. I’m up to the lace on the left front, though I don’t have an updated picture of it yet.

House is sloooooowly coming together. A/C and hot water were restored Friday, but we’re having trouble getting the 2nd floor to be as cool as the 1st floor. I suppose this is an issue in any 2 story house, though. Always warmer upstairs! More boxes are being unpacked almost every day. I’m not feeling in any rush to get them all unpacked, but I have to admit, I am getting sick of seeing them and them constantly being in the way. The rest of this week I plan on attacking them pretty fiercely, making Matt set up the living room properly so we can have the TV back and making him finish unpacking his stuff in the office. We’ve met most of our neighbors now. Yesterday we went out and said hi to the two guys who live in the house across the street since they were out doing a bit of yard work. While we were chatting with them, more neighbors came out and introduced themselves. They all seem really nice! I’m really not used to having friendly neighbors, so this is a welcome change πŸ™‚ I found out that one of the guys across the street has recently learned to knit! Of course I told him about the weekly knitting night, so maybe he’ll be able to go sometime.

Well, there’s lots that I should get back to! I can’t believe it’s already mid-week and knit night. I’m looking forward to it, though. Happy crafting!

Posted in Current Projects

Moving, Cotty, WIP Wrestling, and Hey Teach (Take 2)

There are so many things I’ve been wanting to talk about here, but I just haven’t had the time! Between the new job and moving, I’ve been quite busy the last week or so. I wrote down a few topics I wanted to cover on the blog and hope to share them with you all over the next few days.

This weekend we moved into the house. It took us Saturday and Sunday to get all the major stuff moved, then on Monday, we filled up both of our cars with stuff on two trips to get what we thought was “a little bit of stuff left” at the apartment moved to the house. Tuesday we had to turn in the keys, but we still had to get another trips worth of stuff in both of our cars before we could clean a little and turn the keys over before the leasing office closed. We made it, though, and now everything is over at the house! Of course since there has been repairs going on at the house this means we’re living in a sea of boxes while things are getting finished. The first night we stayed at the house was Sunday and while we knew we’d have no a/c for a few days, we didn’t expect to not have hot water. Since then, we’ve lived without hot water and a/c, but I’m crossing my fingers we get both today. We had the a/c and heater replaced right away instead of waiting and because of that, we had to go without hot water because the gas line to the water heater was disconnected while they were installing the other stuff. There’s still other things that need to be done, of course. The living room floor, steps and upstairs hallway are going to get refinished soon, so that’s the next big thing until we decide to do the kitchen. The rest is just small stuff.

The bedroom was the first room unpacked. Can you guess which room I’m getting anxious to settle in to?

The craft room! I think it’s done being painted now, but since I wasn’t sure I haven’t unpacked anything yet. I did take some pictures of it, though!

Craft Room

I didn’t realize it at the time I picked out the paint, but Michelle recently painted her craft room yellow! Now we have matching craft rooms! It made me giggle a little when I realized our craft rooms are the same. What can I say? We both have good taste. πŸ˜‰

I do want your opinions, though. I’m considering not putting the closet doors back on the closet and instead putting up curtains. What do you think?

Craft Room - Closet

Last week when I blogged, I mentioned that I was going to start the Cotty socks. I’m almost done with the first one!

Cotty, almost to the cuff lace!
Just before I started the cuff lace.

Cotty - Cuff Lace
Cuff lace – about to start the ribbing for the cuff.

If you’re on Ravelry, you may have heard of WIP Wrestlemania 2009 (Ravelry link). I decided to join in to give me even more motivation to get some things finished up that have been hanging around. It starts today and runs through the end of July. The idea is to get as many WIPs completed before Winter Ravelympics 2010 starts, so the whole month of July you “wrestle” your WIPs so that you don’t have a whole lot of projects laying around come the Winter Ravelympics 2010. You can see my WIPs over there in the side bar and I’ve decided to try and complete them all! I’m thinking I could do all but the shawl, but we’ll see where I stand closer to the end of the month.

To give me an added boost to get Hey Teach back on the needles and finished so I can get some wear out of it this summer, I figured WIP Wrestlemania might help. I cast it back on Monday and have about 3 rows done on the back piece.

Hey Teach, take 2

Time to get going – knit night is tonight! ‘Til next time, happy crafting πŸ™‚

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Sunshine Socks FO, What to Knit Next, and Blogcation

Last night I finished the Sunshine Socks. Took me exactly a week to knit. If only work and packing didn’t get in the way of knitting, I would have had these done a few days ago! πŸ˜‰ These are my 3rd pair of socks for the 52 Pair Plunge and the first pair for Summer of Socks 2009!

Sunshine Socks
Bright sunshiny socks!

Pattern: Sunshine Socks from Sock Innovations by Cookie A. (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: June 19, 2009
Completed: June 25, 2009
Yarn: Wollmeise 80/20 Twin, colorway Sonne
Needles: Knit Picks US 1 (2.5mm) DPNs
Notes: I changed a few things about this pattern. After I talked to someone who had knit the pattern already, she said she would have taken out 1 repeat of the chart on the leg and cast on more stitches to start with. I cast on 66 stitches, knit the cuff, then for the very first round of the leg instead of doing the increase chart, I did a knit round and increased to 72 stitches (spacing them out as evenly as possible). This gave me enough stitches for 9 repeats of the chart instead of 10. For the heel, I didn’t decrease any like the pattern says to and instead did a short row heel over 30 stitches. This gave me a few extra stitches when I got to the toe, though. I did the cable decrease round before starting the decreases for the toe and on the first decrease round for the toe, I only decreased on the top of the foot. This evened out the number of stitches so that I then had 30 stitches for the top of the foot and 30 stitches for the bottom. I decreased every other round until there were 9 stitches left on each needle, then decreased every round until there were 16 total stitches left (4 on each needle) and kitchnered it closed.

Sunshine Socks

Sunshine Socks

I’m a bit torn on what to knit next. I want to start four sweaters: Hey Teach (for the second time), Climbing Vines Pullover, February Lady Sweater, and Annette. Usually, when I finish a project, I know what I want to knit next, but this time I’m not really sure. With the move happening this weekend, things seem all up in the air, which always makes me feel uneasy. So much is going on! Right now, a sweater of any kind seems like too much commitment for me.

I thought about continuing to knit the Fountain Pen Shawl I started back in May…

138/365: Fountain Pen Shawl
Oh poor neglected shawl!

… but with the charts it makes it not real easy on-the-go knitting which I really need right now with everything being shifted around.

Of course, you know this means that a sock would probably be perfect right now, don’t you? I think I’ll wind up some Lime colored Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn I have and cast on for Absinthe soonish, but I didn’t get the chance to wind up the yarn last night. I need something to knit right away, so I’ve decided to cast on Cotty with the Socks That Rock mediumweight in Dreidel that Laura sent me. Pretty simple lace pattern, so no real worries about having to carry a chart with me or refer to the pattern much. I’ve decided to do it toe-up instead of top down and I’ll probably change the cuff. I find that while picot edges are nice, the socks don’t really stay up, so I think ribbing would be better.

Summer Blocation ™ – I just wanted to talk about this for a moment. Ida, who started Knitting Purls, is hosting a new contest on her blog: Summer Blocation ™.

From the description: “Forget the high price of gas and hotel rooms. Join us and discover fiber-related blogs you might never have visited before. Use your Google, Bing, and other Internet search skills (and don’t forget Ravelry’s search capabilities) and earn prizes. Those who have visited the most correct blogs by Sunday, September 6, will have the chance to win a prize. Other prizes may be awarded during the course of the contest.”

I don’t know about you, but I won’t be doing any traveling this summer. Too much is going on for me with the move this weekend and settling into a house that hasn’t been occupied for a few months and needs some work. This is a great (and free!) way to get to visit some places you might not have been before and get to know some place new through other fiber folks. And come on now, who doesn’t love a good challenge and some prizes?? πŸ™‚

The very first stop along the way was my blog! I was so excited when I saw the first stop and realized it was me. It’s such an honor to be the one to kick off the Summer Blogcation! We’re currently on stop 2 (which closes this Sunday, so get your answers in soon if you want to participate!) and there’s a new stop each week. So come on and join in on the fun! It’s a great way to get to know other fiber folks and maybe even win something, too πŸ™‚

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Baby Socks FO and the First Sunshine Sock

Last Thursday, I finished the baby socks I posted about last week. I meant to blog about them on Friday, but completely forgot! Every time I see these, I just keep thinking about how adorable they are! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not longing to make a ton more baby stuff and I’m not wanting a baby of my own to put them on. It’s just that these little baby socks are cute as all get out and so tiny! I’m not used to tiny baby things as no one I know has little babies, so I’m rarely around them at all. I wanted to make a pair to have made baby socks (in case the need to know this ever arises) and to use up scraps of leftover sock yarn I have. Anyway, on with the socks! This is my second pair of socks in the 52 Pair Plunge.

169/365: Baby Socks
O hai, we are tiny babeh socks!

Pattern: My own (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: June 10, 2009
Completed: June 17, 2009
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, in an unknown colorway (lost the band long ago)
Needles: Knit Picks US 0 (2.0mm) DPNs
Notes: Cast on 44 stitches, knit for 15 rounds, work short row heel down to 6 sts, work 16 rounds, work toe decreasing 4 sts every other round until 3 sts left on each needle, kitchner to close. These would have taken me a lot less time if I didn’t get all determined to finish up the Sprucey Lucy socks, but even so, it only took about a week to get them done anyhow. No idea what will become of them right now since I don’t know a baby that will fit into them! They are cute, though, aren’t they? πŸ™‚

Friday, with only one plain sock on the needles and yarn that was screaming at me to knit with it, I cast on for the Sunshine Socks from Cookie A’s book, Sock Innovations. The yarn that was screaming at me was Wollemiese in Sonne, which says “sunshine” to me! After talking to Sarah R. in my knitting group who’s knitting these with Yarntini yarn, I decided to modify it a bit. She said that starting with 60 stitches for the cuff and then increasing to 80 stitches for the leg made the sock a bit tight in the cuff and too loose around the ankle. She said that if she were to do it again, she’d just start with 72 stitches, making the cuff bigger and not so tight and eliminating one pattern repeat in the leg. Following her advice, I went to cast on 72 stitches, only to find that doesn’t really work with the cuff chart since it’s based on a 6 stitch repeat (k1, p1, k2, p2, repeat around). So, I cast on 66 stitches, knit the cuff, then on the next round, I knit and increased to 72. The pattern says to follow the increase chart, but that would have given me too many stitches, so I just sort of winged it doing the increases on a knit round. I got a lot of progress done on it this weekend and even thought I might get it done Sunday, but I ended up being too tired to finish the toe. Today I did the bind off for the toe of the first sock and immediately cast on for the second one.

173/365: One Finished Sunshine Sock
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) sunshiny day! (I can see clearly now, anyone?)

I have a feeling I’ll be showing you the 3rd pair for the 52 Pair Plunge pretty soon! I absolutely love this pattern and the yarn. It’s been a match made in heaven πŸ™‚

PS. You know the Summer of Socks 2009 started yesterday, right? I’m curious to see how many socks I’ll be able to knit up this summer!

Posted in Completed Projects, Sewing

Sprucey Lucy FO, Sewing, and Baby Socks

Last night I finished up the Sprucey Lucy socks, which means I also finished my first pair for the 52 Pair Plunge III!

167/365: Sprucey Lucy

Pattern: Sprucey Lucy Socks by Wendy Johnson (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: June 1, 2009
Completed: June 16, 2009
Yarn: The Yarn Bearer Uber Sock, April 2009 Sock Club shipment with the theme of “Falling”
Needles: Knit Picks US 1 (2.25mm) DPNs
Notes: I changed the heel to a short row heel because I find they fit my foot better. The yarn was great to work with! First time I used this yarn, I made a Marlene sock that I ended up not liking and frogging. Then I decided to use it for this pattern, but I used US 0’s and knit the medium size. I didn’t like the fabric I got with US 0’s, so I frogged what I had and went up to US 1’s (2.25mm) and knit the small. Worked out much better and I love the socks! The lace pattern was easy to memorize, but it wasn’t until the leg of the first sock that it really flowed for me. If I hadn’t put these socks aside to knit Hey Teach, these probably would have been done a lot sooner. Took me 3 days to knit the second sock, but almost 2 weeks to do the first one! Ah well, sometimes I get side tracked πŸ™‚

Sprucey Lucy, Sock Blockers
Pair 1 for the 52 Pair Plunge III! πŸ™‚

On Monday, I finally decided to fix the strap on the purse I made a few weeks ago. When I made the bag, I didn’t think about the size of it and how only having one strap would make it sag in the middle while I’m carrying it. The sagging in the middle was making the D rings for the straps to turn and start damaging the fabric. I needed to do something about this, so I decided it needed two straps. Monday I finally went to the fabric store and got a set of four D rings in a 1/2 inch smaller size so that I could make 2 new straps and attach them to the bag.

IMG_2080
This is what the bag looked like before with only 1 strap.

I used my seam ripper to get the tabs on each end out and sewed up the spot where they had been. Then, I used my seam ripper to open up where the new straps should go and I sewed together two new straps and four tabs to hold the D rings to the bag. Once those were all put together (with interfacing and all that jazz), I sewed the tabs with D rings in place, then sewed the straps onto the D rings. Since the initial tabs were sewn into place between the inner lining and outside lining and I wasn’t willing to take it all apart to make it perfect, I had to hand stitch the parts where the tabs were to make it look right and not gap in those places. It probably took me about 2 hours total to do between doing laundry, but it’s done now and I absolutely love how it turned out. So much better then just having the one strap!

166/365: Brand New Bag
“New” bag, now with 2 straps instead of 1!

Right now, I’m just working on a pair of baby socks I started. There’s no intended recipient yet, I just wanted to use up some left over sock yarn. I think I’ll get these finished up before starting something new.

Babeh Socks
Little baby sock, just started the heel.

I want to start Hey Teach over again, but I also want to cast on for the Lacy Ribs sock. This would actually be the second time casting on for the Lacy Ribs sock since I frogged my first attempt because I thought it might be too bulky in my shoes, so this time I was planning on knitting the foot in stockinette and the leg with the pattern. I didn’t bring Hey Teach with me today, but I did bring the yarn for Lacy Ribs, so I’m guessing that I’ll get started on that first since tonight is knit night and these baby socks shouldn’t take too long to finish up.

This past weekend on Sunday, we washed the walls in the house with help from Alita, Karen, and Than. Without them, there’s no way we could have done it! Thanks for the help!! There was a leak we found from a pipe that had bulged and burst when we were turning on the water for the first time, so now the kitchen has a nice hole in the ceiling that needs to be fixed, but at least we found it now instead of after we moved in. Matt and his dad were able to find and fix it, thankfully. The house is currently getting painted and this weekend, I think we’ll start to move stuff over to the house. Things that we don’t really need and can live without for a week or more. Oh the joys of home ownership and moving! hahaha πŸ™‚

Happy Mid-Week everyone! I’m still trying to figure out how it’s already the middle of June. Where does all the time go?

Posted in Current Projects

Almost a Sweater, Sprucey Lucy, & 52 Pair Plunge

This morning I finished up the second sleeve of Hey Teach, which means all the body pieces are now DONE!

Hey Teach
Top: all finished pieces (L), sleeves (R)
Bottom: front pieces (L), back piece (R)

Next step is to wash and block the pieces. I haven’t had a whole lot of experience blocking things. Only one sweater I ever knit needed to be seamed I didn’t block because it was made out of Caron Simply Soft and it didn’t seem worth it to bother with since it’s 100% acrylic. Hey Teach is made from Cascade Sierra which is 80% cotton/20% wool. The pattern says to block the pieces before seaming and knitting the button band. My initial thought was “be lazy, just seam it up now, knit the button band, then wash and block it!” For me, once something is blocking, it means it’s DONE. I’ve done a fair amount of blocking, but that’s mostly consisted of “wash and lay flat to dry” more then “wash, pin flat, let dry, seam together.” I have blocked shawls, so I know how to do that, but I wasn’t sure what the benefit of doing that to the pieces would be vs finishing it then blocking. So, I asked with Laura about blocking. As it turns out, blocking should make the sweater easier to seam by getting rid of the curling ends, so I definitely want to block this before seaming it up. It should also open up the lace and make it easier to pick up the stitches for the button band. My only concern is the loose stitches on the back and front pieces that you pick up when knitting the button band. I think I’ll put them on waste yarn (they’re on stitch holders right now), then block it. We’ll see how that goes!

Since Hey Teach is at the point where I can no longer knit it, I’ve gone back to the Sprucey Lucy socks. I turned the heel the other night and now I’m working on the leg. The first time I knit the heel, I started it too soon, so I had to rip back, add an inch, then do the heel again. It could have used another 1/4 to 1/2 inch on the foot before starting the heel, but I haven’t decided if I want to rip it out again. I’m thinking (hoping) it will grow some when washed and I don’t want it to be too lose, so I think I’ll leave it as is. Even if it doesn’t grow any when I wash it, it still fits well – just a smidge more snugly then I usually make socks. I might end up liking that, though!

Sprucy Lucy
Sprucey Lucy, picture taken today on my lunch break while sitting and knitting in my car

While I’m on the subject of socks… I have a confession to make. I joined 52 Pair Plung III. I think in a moment of complete tiredness or craziness, I thought it was a good idea to join, so I did. For those not familiar with the 52 Pair Plunge, the goal is to knit 52 pairs of socks within one year (June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2010). Socks can be done in any pattern, yarn, or size (baby, child, adult). I’m thinking I can do it. If I throw in baby/kids socks to be donated or gifted and some thicker socks for wintertime for me (and maybe others), I think I could get quite a few pairs done pretty quickly that way. My goal is to knit as many pairs as I can in a year. Aim for 52, but not stress if I don’t get there. I want to challenge myself, here, and this is one heck of a way to do it! (I’ll be keeping track of my progress here.)

Somehow, this week seems to have flown by without me realizing it. It’s been a busy one, though. This past weekend we picked out paint colors because… Monday, we closed on the house!!

IMG_1186
Our New House!! You can see more photos of it on Flickr, here.

This weekend we will be washing down walls in preparation for people to paint before we move in. We’ll be moving after the painting and some other minor repairs get done (before the end of the month is out). I have a feeling that all this moving and new house stuff might get in the way of my knitting for a while, but I’m okay with that! Moving out of the apartment and into a house will be a welcome change. No more Mr. & Ms. Stompy McStomperton upstairs! I get my own craft room, too, which I’m super excited about :o)

I’m kind of glad this week is almost over. Despite it seeming to go quickly, it feels kind of long and drawn out at the same time. I’m looking forward to some down time this weekend. How about you? How’s your week been? I’m still trying to figure out how it’s almost mid-June!

Until next time… happy crafting!