Wednesday, November 30, 2005

KAL Updates

As you will soon be able to see from my sidebar, I've been on a Knitalong kick the last few days. The good news is that all of the new ones are projects that I'd already chosen to make, and for many of them, I'd already been working on for one reason or another.

Here's the status report:

Warm Hands
I'm doing this one slightly differently. I started making a 2x2 ribbed sock out of some lovely green Lorna's Laces sock yarn. (This is the same yarn that was briefly the cursed socks from late August) When I finished the sock, without any major mishaps, it looked to me like I'd have enough to make matching wristwarmers.

So, when I'm done with this KAL, I'll have both warm hands and warm feet... or rather Peacock will have warm hands and I'll have warm feet!

As you can see, one handwarmer is finished. It's a little baggy because the basket weave on the hand portion has almost no elasticity... it's more like stockinette than ribbing. (and since Peacock is going to be the recipient and I sized them for me, they're also a little big)
The other concern I have is that I did not sufficiently plan the intersection of the thumb opening and the basket weave pattern. So on this first warmie, I have an odd spot in the stitch pattern right next to the thumb opening. It's annoying me. Peacock says that I'm being way too persnickety.

Handknit Holdiays:
Yarn purchased for a candycane hat. Cascade 220 in red and white.
Probably start date this weekend.

First sock begun one week before I found the KAL. Worked toe-up, (my new favorite method), with Trekking XXL color 76. I'm to the heel having made the gusset a little too long and will be pulling two rows back out then starting the heel flap.

I'm still plugging along on my SYNO scarf. My poor recipient has been very understanding about my tardiness, but I still feel bad.

Contrary to what the picture would have you believe, I'm into the 5th ball of yarn. I should definitely be able to get her scarf to her before Christmas. Forbes Forest has been fun, however, as long wide scarves often do, this one has gotten a bit bulky to be good purse knitting and so progress has slowed. I am, however dedicated to working on it at class and Tuesday's stitch'n'bitch.

I've made test ornaments and now know what I am sending to my partner for this swap. I am not actually finished making the real ones (I love the prototypes too much to send them away...), but they will be something like this:

They're really easy to make. I love the process.
1) Convince roomate to card together star colored bats for me. I could have done this step myself, but she was kind enough to do it for me and her color sense is spot on. She was also making flower parts for me at the same time.
2) Layer fluff into cookie cutter and needle felt.
3) Turn over, add more fluff, needle.
4) Repeat until finished.
5) Thread ribbon through one of the points and knot to form hanging loop.
6) Show off nifty new ornament.

Favourites MeMe

No one's tagged me, but this MeMe looked like a lot of fun. (as did the capitalization scheme which I copied from PurlyWhites)

The Knitting MeMe

What is your all time favourite yarn to knit with?

That would have to be Noro's varegated yarns. While I'm not always sold on the bits of vegetable matter that come free with your yarn purchase, I love the color progression and the hand of the fabric once it's been knitted up.
(insert picture of either skein or puppy bed)
I'm trying to figure out how to get the same sort of color progression in my handspun. This is easier said than done since I overspin such that plying is a necessity not an optional step and I've not yet successfully navajo plied anything. I do have a bobbin full of little tufts from the spinning meeting last sunday that I am going to navajo ply. I really hope it turns out okay.

For sheer functionality and omnipresence in my stash, I'll switch to Lambs Pride and Cascade 220. Felting, sweaters, hats, housesocks, bags, you name it, those two can do it... except lace. I'm not a real big fan of worsted weight lace.

Your favourite needles?

I have lots of favorite needles. I love my Addi Natura's for almost anything I'd want a circular needle for. I switch to Addi Turbos for cotton (and cotton/wool blends). Crystal Palace double points are my hands-down favorite for socks and little things like that. And my Denise Interchangeable Set is the best for versatility.
(Realistically, I like almost any needle except the join on Clover's circulars and most old aluminum because of the noise they make when the needles touch each other.)

The worst thing you've ever knit?

The worst behaved thing I've ever knit is my little sister's Klein Bottle Hat.
(insert picture of someone else's klein bottle hat with citation)
I've probably said this here before:
I can knit a klein bottle.
I can knit a hat.
I apparently can not knit a klein bottle that looks good as a hat!

OOoh!! and then there's the tank top I knit for the Peacock as a test piece for some armhole alterations. It was very unfortunate. The armholes were cut too low and too far forward in the front and I refused to let her wear it. It is on the list of things I've knit that need to be ripped. The yarn, a lovely blue Cascade Sierra, is far too good to leave languishing in a top that should never be worn in public.

But realisitically, most of my truly bad ideas never see the light of day. Either I get bored and never get back to them, or I figure out a way to squish them into something more successful.

Most valuable knitting technique?

To borrow Dorothy over at Missouri Star's answer, "Do knit and purl count?"

I'd also like to add weaving in ends to the most valuable technique list. While I've seen people try to make loose ends part of the esthetic appeal of a piece, it is generally my opinion that the results wind up looking like they belong on Thursdays are for What the Hell is This? or You Knit What???.
(Insert picture of that Jacket from Crochet Your Way if I can find it)

Best knit book or magazine?

Knitting book: That one that's out of print with the greenish-blue and black two tone printing for the illustrations. 'Cause that description helps so much for the people that aren't in my head. The local public library has a copy and I need to check it out again.
(Find citation, ISBN, picture if possible and post)

Knitting magazine: I'll have to go with Interweave Knits on this one. I enjoy their patterns, most of the time. I often enjoy laughing at the ones I'll never, ever knit... And really, I wouldn't mind knitting a pretty good number of the ones they publish, I just don't know that I'll ever get around to it. The rest of the magazine is generally a pretty good read and well put together. I hope the recent transfer in ownership doesn't change too much for any of their publications.

Your favourite knit-a-long?

So far I'm only doing a few of them and I'm loving them all. Not as active as I should be on the blog side of things, but really enjoying lurking and working on all the projects.

Your favourite knitblogs?

RoseKimKnits, Grumperina's, Another-Hobby, and Purly Whites
I know there should be others, but then my list would start getting too long... and besides, this is pretty much the shortlist that I'm currently checking everytime I get online to do bloggish stuff.

Your favourite knitwear designer?

Eeek!... Elsepeth Lavold? Haven't actually knit any of her designs, but I enjoy paging through the books. Same with Cornellia Tuttle Hamilton.

The knit item you wear the most? (how about a picture of it!)?

That'd be the koigu hats. We have at least 6 of them wandering around the house at this time and any one of us can wear any one of them depending on our mood... well, mostly depending on which one we can find at any given moment.
(take picture of the koigu hats)

And who are you tagging to do this MeMe?

No one. It's been around. Anyone that wants to is welcome to swipe it and do it themselves, but I'm not interested in coercing anyone.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

NWRSA Exchange II

Back in June, I got a package that contained over 8 ounces of fiber for the NWRSA fiber exchange.

I've spun 7 ounces of it into a roughly fingering weight yarn that I think will make a reasonably sized shawl. Knitting has not yet commenced and will not until after the new year. Here are the skeins...

The remaining 2.25 ounces will be spun at a later date. If I run short of yarn for the shawl I will try to spin it to match. If not, I'll spin it however it seems like it wants to be spun... maybe fluffier yarn for wristies... we'll see that when the time comes.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Corkscrew Scarf III

In this post from July, I blithely maintained that my corkscrew scarf was finished except for "just weaving in the ends"...
It took me 3 months to admit that I wasn't going to get around to weaving in the ends and finally ask Peacock to weave them in for me. She agreed and now I have one more thing I can take off my work-in-progress list.
What got this project off the shelf and out of knitting purgatory you ask? Well, I was putting together a box for Mia and needed something to round out a package for her. Mia was my Secret Pal in round 5 and she was fabulous. I was putting together a thank you box full of green things and this scarf filled the box perfectly.

The 'tacka 'paca is slightly mad at me for stealing its scarf, but it thinks Mia is a neat person. It has promised to forgive me... eventually.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Uglified Blog Template

I made some template changes.
I've been planning to do this for months.
When did I decide to do it?
The day my local geek is moving our web server
As a result, I can make no changes to the content we host ourselves and all my new images are broken/nonexistant.
I will fix this when I can.
Not really sure when that will be.
I also have some formatting questions for the aforementioned geek regarding how to standardize the appearance of my ring codes. The obviously cut and paste look just doesn't do anything for me.
Again, no real clue when I'll be able to get that done.

Sock Puppets !!! !!!

You probably remember my SET socks...

Sadly, they didn't fit, so, at Peacock's urging, I asked my knitter if I could turn them into sock puppets.
I was so happy when she said yes! I asked a friend of mine to transform one of them for me. We both used short ends of yarn from my past projects as well as some of the samples from my yarn of the month subscription.

Mine is slightly sheepish (for very blue values of sheep)

It's embarassed to be missing a line of dinosaur scales down the center of its back. Look, it's hiding its face...

His is so cute...

Just look at those teeth, and that eyeball piercing...

He has a bit of an attitude problem...

And scared my poor sock puppet flat...

~The End~

Post-dated Post Test

If blogger works the way I want it to, this post will show up tomorrow!
Therefore, if this shows up tonight, I'll know that blogger is broken.
This particular varietal of broken is special in that the product in question is working exactly as it was intended to, but not the way I want it to.
However, if it works, I'll be able to set up bunches of posts and have them magically appear over the next few days.
Won't that be fun.

Can you even post-date checks any more? I suppose it's probably at the merchants's discression...
Wonder how many merchants are willing to reward a customer who is honest enough to say, "I'll be able to pay for this after payday, can I post-date the check so that it will clear?"
Proably only a very few small ones that already know their customers by name.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Secret Pal 6 Package 2

Secret Pal
Did receive package {full stop} Was convinced had already posted... Until tonight, Peacock proved I hadn't {full stop} Hope I emailed you a thank you note then... Cannot say for sure {full stop}

Okay... enough with the telegram already, you can't send pictures in a telegram and I have a picture to post of the fun package that my wonderful secret pal sent to me.

The package contained some lovely Araycbua... (woops, that's what I get for touch typing with my hand in the wrong spot) Auracania Nature Wool in shade 16. It's the prettiest mottled green. I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to make out of it. There were also an assortment of rovings, three wool, two of them hand-dyed in pastels, one plain white. I'm looking forward to spinning the pastels because I've not worked with roving that contained very much white before and I have no idea how they're likely to come out. Last, there was a bag of cotton sliver that is currently sitting there in the box and intimidating me.

The reason the cotton sliver is intimidating me is because I currently am only capable of spinning cotton on a drop spindle! I realize that this is not the normal way of things, but it is a VERY light drop spindle and I spin a very high twist cotton single on it. However this requires putting quite a bit of strain on my wrists and fingers, to say nothing of the inordinate amounts of time required to spin a decent quantity. This cotton will likely remain unspun until I have mastered the long draw and am the proud owner of a charka (preferably a Bosworth, though I suspect that is getting ahead of myself).

Thank you Secret Pal, you rock!
I very sincerely hope that I have not left you hanging for far too long, but if I have, please accept my sincerest appologies.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I have pictures, I swear!

I posted when pissy about a week ago. And shortly thereafter I got all my projects out and photographed them and at some point here, I'll actually manage to post about them (hopefully). The pictures are uploaded and I just haven't managed to post.
I did, however, clean the kitchen, clean the foyer, fold a small portion of our mountains of laundry, film a 15 minute class project, lock myself out of the house, and take the puppy out for two laps around greenlake (roughly 6 miles, I think) over the weekend.
Mostly, I'm proud of my accomplishments. I got a lot done and there's more time before bedtime, so I'm off to fold more laundry....

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Old game, New name

I just found a new name for a game I play when shopping for patterns. NonaKnits calls viewing pattern photos with a healthy dose of skepticism "What's She Hiding?"
Given that I love knowing where there's a problem I'll have to work around early on in my project's progress, preferably well before I purchase either the pattern or the materials, I love playing this game.
And now I have a brand new name for it. Huzzaah!!

Speaking of pictures, I have lots of pictures for the blog that Peacock and I took this afternoon. Remember that list of things I've done that I posted when I was pissy yesterday? I'll be trickling photographic proof that I wasn't delusional. I really have been doing things... and you all (all three of you that actually read this blog) will get to see them in the not too distant future.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I'm Pissy

I have two weeks since my last blog post and no proof that I've been doing anything and it's just not true.

I have two socks for the sock exchange thingy, and another sock and half a wristie and a sock puppet and a half, and a third of a scarf for my roomate and 4/5th's of my stitch your neck out scarf (she knows it's late and said ok) and a whole bunch of felted flowers and a bunch of boxes to mail to nifty people and a box I got from my SP6 and a bunch of grad school applications in various states of completedness and a clean kitchen and piles and piles of folded laundry and one and one sixth hyperbolic planes (the second one's going to be a bracelet, the first one's just a dust collector thingy) and 8 ounces of spun puppy (I for the NWRSA fiber exchange project that I still have to knit before May) and 4 ounces of blue sparkly stuff that my roomate keeps threatening to steal from me and 4 ounces of purple and red sparkly stuff that's knitted up into 1/2 of a triangular shawl that needs a border of commercial yarn 'cause I ran out of the handspun and 3 drafts in my list of blog posts and lots of little sample skeins, some wool, some silk, an ounce or so (wild assed guess) of camel down mixed with soy silk... and a trip to the Renn Faire

And way too many "and"ses

And I'm sure I'm forgetting something or someone and I really hope they don't take offense.

(it'd be fabulous if anyone I'm forgotting would drop me an email reminding me who they are and what I'm forgetting so I can rectify the situation)