Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Love Me, Love My Stash

It's the end of Month 2 in the Grand Stashalong Project here at Casa De MuthaKnitter. Let's check in with our contestant:


But not too hard. I actually feel like my appreciation for each individual yarn project has increased, and I've started to enjoy shopping out of my stash. Much like I have appreciated my real shopping days.

I never posted my April Free Day haul:

(Insert picture I can't find here. aaauuggh. Think sock yarn.)

So moving on, to the May Free Day haul:

A lovely Schoeller + Stahl Limbo yarn in a colorway that I'm too lazy to look up right now. Think socks.

A beautiful handpainted yarn locally produced in Indiana. My May Free Day also could qualify for a Souvenir Yarn Day since I spent it in Bloomington, Ind., while visiting my sister and the lovely folks at Yarns Unlimited. Think yet more socks. (Sense a theme?)

I must apologize for my sucky photo-taking skillz. It's embarrassing. Really. I think I'll sign up for a digital photography class at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, site of the abortive knitting class this winter.

Also I picked up my first self-striping yarn, which is going into the Welt Fantastic chevron pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. Alas, the picture still resides in the Canon, as my downloading patience has waned.

But the wonderful, marvelous, simply groovy thing about this Stashalong is that I have WON some sock yarn from the Lovely Laura on Sugar Bunny Boulevard. Check out this Spicy and stripey goodness:

As I said, my photo skillz do sucketh. Check out Laura's etsy shop for some real photos of the Spice colorway. But like I said, I WON. I WON, I WON, I WON!!! I NEVER WIN ANYTHING!!! Think, oh I don't know, you guess.

Other yarn presents have been forthcoming, but as I can hear the family coming back from their walk, it is time to post this puppy and move on to lunch preparations.

Think socks. I dare you not to.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Back Home Again

... not in Indiana.

We're falling into our routine again after our Southern and Midwestern trek. I'm not going to count up how many hours Malcolm, Mia and I spent in the car because it would sound too impossible. NC to IN to NC and back to DC again. Phew.

There's much to blog about, not the least my second pair of socks FO, the AWESOME package of sock yarn waiting for me when I got home and the amazing store where I used up my May Stashalong Free Day on in Bloomington.

I'm sorta all over the place right now, so I'm going to head to bed and try to get more organized tomorrow. I'm feeling so overwhelmed right now.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Knitting On the Road, Part II

I have no idea if my ancestors ever walked these fields with babies on their back and knitting in their hands. But I'd like to think they did, and that I can claim their heritage.

After a rough night with the kid (up every two hours...when does this end?!?!?), I did not feel like walking the dog and baby. But we set off anyway, kid in Snugli backpack, dog checking out the new smells, me with knitting in hand.

There was a little frost on the car windows, and you could see the dog's breath. But walking briskly, I felt a little bit of the tightness in my chest go away and I started to warm up.

The project I'm working on is this organic cotton on Size 6 Addi Turbo 16" circulars. At first, slippery cotton + slippery needles = unhappy hands, but I've gotten into the rhythm of it. I don't like how the plies of the yarn separate, but the finished fabric is so soft I think it's worth working with.

Also, I love the overall statement about using organic cotton. Apparently, a shit-ton {very scientific term meaning lots and lots} of pesticides each year are used to spray cotton plants. And the person who is getting this as a gift will appreciate that, too.

The project is simple, just knit stitches and a few decreases/increases. It was like walking meditation today. Speaking of, in a very cool visit to Yarns Unlimited in Bloomington, I picked up Mindful Knitting, and I can't wait to get started on it.

Which reminds me, I posted to the Stashalong blog about my April free day, and now I have to update everyone on my May free day, which I've already used (godhelpme).

But, y'all.

If you could have seen the inside of that store, you would have been lucky to walk out of there with less than a couple hundred dollars worth of yarn too. Colinette, Malabrigo, Brown Sheep, Rowan, Manos. I wandered around a bit in a daze, so those are the only names I could remember. Some of the locally dyed stuf was the most spectacular of all.

I got this great sock yarn I had never seen before: Limbo from Schoeller + Stahl and Heirloom Jigsaw. Now I'm reading and re-reading the Chevron sock pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks to see if I can understand how it works. I also bought a locally dyed sock yarn.

Really, can I find 3 more hours a day to just play with yarn?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A First Second Sock

...Pair, that is.

The camera quality is not ideal, but as you can see from the moving toy car in the background, I was being distracted.

These are Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in rainbow knit on Size 5 Takumi bamboo DPNs. It's the yarn I got at Stitch DC to learn on for Karida's sock class, but I finished Oren's Paton's socks first because I promised him the first pair of socks I made. The above picture captures the color OK, but it's not quite as technicolor in real life.

I ended up ripping the part I made in class back down to the toe and going up to 48 stitches, instead of the 40 called for in this toe-up pattern. Then I decided to accent the foot with a stitch pattern instead of doing plain stockinette, so I used the Elongated Corded Rib pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. (This blog has a lovely close-up picture in a solid color so you can see the pattern better. That was beyond me the other day.)

The yarn is mad soft. I actually like how the pattern pooled the red/blue/purple together and the green/orange/yellow together. It's pretty random striping in just stockinette. And the pattern is super easy to remember and keep track of where you are, but is still fun to knit.

And I finished off with Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind-off after an abortive attempt to remember the K2,P2 bind-off from Vogue Knitting. That cast-off and I did not get along AT ALL on the first pair of socks I made, and not having my entire knitting library with me while traveling, I couldn't find the exact instructions again.

For some reason, EZ's bind-off wasn't making sense to me when I was first doing it, but then something clicked and about 3/4 of the top edge of the sock looks very, very good. You can sorta see it in this blurry picture here:

Bottom left, icky poo. The rest of it, even steven. Though a little tight. I still need to work on casting off more loosely.

So this one sock is now residing in North Carolina as a late birthday present for my stepmom. I just cast on last night for the second one (thereby avoiding the dreaded SSS {Second Sock Syndrome}) so hopefully I can get it done this week while the aunties amuse the boy.

Will have to update more later about Stashalonging. So far I'm faring well, but I better keep busy for the rest of May because I've already used up my free day. (Eek!)

Knitting On the Road

Technically, this was not knit on the road. This hat (aka Malcolm's Conehead Hat) went on a road trip with my sister Laura after this conversation:

Laura: (on seeing the hat hanging on the coat stand) "That hat is so cute."

Me: (busy puttering in the kitchen)

Laura: (walking over and feeling the hat) "I love this hat."

Me: (trying to feed the baby peas)

Laura: (picking up the hat and checking it out) "Oh my God, this is so cute."

Me: (cleaning up peas from the floor)

Laura: (trying the hat on in the mirror) "I love this hat!"

Me: "What? It fits you???"

That's right, folks. The hat I knit for the 10-month-old boy fits my 17-year-old sister's head, and isn't cone-shaped when it actually fits. I think it means his head is big. Or hers is small.


I'll make another post about my first FO on the road.

Monday, May 01, 2006

On the Road Again

I'm writing when I should be knitting or sleeping.

I'm almost finished with the first of the Lorna's socks. My problem is that I picked up a couple of extra stitches on either side of the gusset to close the holes and now that I've decreased back down to where theoretically I should have 48 stitches again, I have an extra 4 stitches floating about. The Ms. Schurch's advice is not clear to me exactly where I should decrease them down. So I'm fudging it.

My MawMaw has found me two cool knitting books at yard sales, and the boy has a new car to wheel around on. I'll try to post a photo tomorrow. He only goes backwards so far. Pretty funny.

The drive down from DC was good over the past couple of days, but I think I'm going to crash soon. Tomorrow I'll try to post more photos.

Smooches from NC.