Sunday, May 28, 2006

Today's Adventures

Today I took a little trip to Home Depot and got some goodies to repot my houseplants. Everybody was severely rootbound and sad, so everybody got bumped up.

Here is the end result.

Repotted Plants

I won't show you the 'before', or the mess I made. But thankfully nobody was harmed in the process. I can't wait for my spider plant to start growing some babies, and I'd like to see how the hosta does indoors. I have a north-facing window, so sadly I can't grow any herbs or anything, but I'll try the shade plants. And hostas are pretty tame, anyhow. 'Golden Tiara' is a pretty quick growing, yet smallish variety, so I'm hoping it does well in the house. And I miss my old one at home. (Yes, I miss my plants.)

Now I have a big bag of potting soil in my house. Anybody want some?

Today I also finished the first sock of that crazy rainbow stuff.

One sock done

Somehow, it knits up much less obnoxiously than it is in the ball. The only places it looks like the ball are in the heels and toes, where the rows are very short.

Sock Toe

When the boyfriend saw the yarn for these, the first thing he said was, 'those look like they could be gay pride socks.' I hadn't thought of that. Guess they could. But I liked the next thing he said.

You know what? Remember when you were a little kid, and you had a set of markers? And whenever you drew a picture, you had to use all the markers, even if there were a hundred of them, because you had to use all the colors? Even the funny peachy color? That's what that yarn reminds me of.


So... to childhood, I guess. Have some socks. They're made of acrylic and nylon so you won't ruin them (or probably wear them very often).

In the last of today's adventures, I set the fire alarm off. Again.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Good Things

But no, not the Martha Stewart kind.

Today we have a New Project Parade, an FO, and a shower update.

I finished the slippers made with yarn I dyed with Easter egg dyes.

This is what happens when you knit both ends of the ball at once: Siamese twin socks!

Still attached

And the finished project. Again, these aren't the most fabulous of slippers, but they get the job done, and looking down at the colors makes me happy.

Finished Slippers

Of course, because I finished one set of socks, I had to start another:

New socks

Ordinary stockinette stitch socks, made with Bernat's 'Sox' kindly given to me by Natalie. The colors end up looking a lot different knitted up than they do in the ball. I'm not sure if that's better, or worse.

I was knitting these this morning in the Dunkin Donuts, and a nice lady stopped to talk to me about them. She told me she'd knit her husband socks for 15 years, and now she's knitting for great-grandchildren. Pretty awesome.

Finally, here is something I began recently. Any guesses as to what it's going to become?

Linen Stitch

Coming in last but certainly not least, here is a shower update!

Repaired shower

Looks a lot better than it did before, doesn't it? The nice folks from maintenance were shocked that it had only broken just a few days ago, as apparently the plumbing was all kinds of jerry-rigged back in the wall. But it's fixed. We can't use it until the morning because the caulk has to dry, but I'm ok with that. That should give me enough time to clean up the mess they made in the bathroom -- there's solder and dirt everywhere. Yuck.

P.S. Don't ask me about the Gossamer business. It's in a bag in the corner like the misbehaving, willful thing it is.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ya Win Some, Ya Lose Some

But let's start with the winning.

#1: School is over and done with. Yay!

#2: The yarn I dyed with the Easter egg dyes finally spoke to me (after I'd wound it into a ball and swatched), so it is well on its way.

Right now it looks like this:

Slippers

I'm knitting them both toe-up, from either end of the ball, because I didn't have much of a good idea how much yarn there was, or how much these little socks would take. I'm using Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Sock Pattern, modified for 36 stitches around. Let's just say they're going quickly!

I'm having trouble getting the colors to photograph correctly, but I'll give it a better try when the slippers are actually done.


... and now it's on to the losing.

#1: Witness my shower.

shower

See all those parts laying around, that are supposed to be attached to the shower? Yeah. Yeah. They were supposed to have fixed it today, but I doubt they're coming now. Thankfully I can take a shower elsewhere, but this is kind of a pain in the ass in the meantime.

#2: Remember that Gossamer Ruffle Shawl? Well, at about 500 stitches into the last increase row to make it 1760... I ran out of yarn. I have to knit over 1000 more stitches, and bind everything off. And I don't have any more yarn. I hate you, Karabella shawl pattern.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Because I'm Grumpy Today

For anyone who's ever experienced the phenomenon, writing a paper is usually a relatively unpleasant activity.

To take a break, I'm going to complain about other stuff.

First of all, wtf is up with the Weavette mini-looms? Before you all get your panties in a twist, I have one (an original, so ha!), so it's not like I'm against them. I don't understand why people are purchasing them, stringing them full of sock yarn, and not doing anything else. Maybe the new ones don't have this, but my old one came with a cool little booklet of all different kinds of textured and jacquard weaves that I defaced with my mom's cheap acrylic. I think at one point I was going to Weavette myself a little sampler throw. But just making little plain squares, over and over again? I don't get the appeal, even if sock yarn makes plaid. Just another way in which people on the internet are going to follow each other around some more.

(Now, though, I'm thinking again about that Weavette sampler blankie....)


And for rant #2:
Why is sock yarn comparatively so much more expensive than other yarns? Again, for the record, I'm not talking about hand-dyed yarn, for which even I will pay a premium, or the self-striping stuff, which I know takes machines. But solid colors?

Let me refer you to Exhibit #1:

kpprices

Here we have, courtesy of Knit Picks, comparative prices on 100% wool yarns. Stay with me here. Each variety weighs the same -- 100 grams. And the prices for 100g of worsted or laceweight seem very reasonable, and about the same: $8. Why, then, is the 'compare to' price for fingering weight over one-and-a-half times more?

Is fingering weight somehow more difficult for machines to spin? I doubt it. Is there some sort of worldwide nylon shortage that makes reinforced sock yarn inherently more expensive? Again, doubtful. So why make plain sock yarn more pricey?

Sadly, the answer's obvious. It's whatever the market will bear. Manufacturers know that many knitters think sock yarn is somehow 'special'. And sure, a great deal of it is. But solid colors? Hey folks, they're screwing us over. Down with capitalism! Protest for cheaper sock yarn across the board!

Today's post brought to you by not enough sleep.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Swap?

I have some stuff I'm not fond of anymore. I figured I'd make an offer here before I ask strangers....

First off, and best:
7 hanks of Araucania Nature Cotton, 105 yds/100g. Retail ~$7 ea?

naturecotton

And the other stuff (all of this is still available):

2 balls Ironstone Yarns Monet, color 11 (rainbow/black). 100% viscose, 123 yd/50g.

monet for swap

1 ball Trendsetter Voila, color 4 (camel). 100% polyamid, 187 yd/50g.
1 ball Crystal Palace Fizz, color 7120 (yellow/burgundy/charcoal). 100% polyester, 120 yd/50g.

fizz voila for swap

2 balls Unger Aura, color 2860 (silver). 50% polyester, 50% acrylic, 114 yd/40g. This is from the 80s -- the real deal in vintage eyelash!!!

aura


What I'm interested in:
-- old 100% nylon circular needles, sizes hopefully in the single digits, length unimportant.
-- sock yarn.
-- laceweight.
-- things from my Amazon Wish List
-- make me an offer?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Are You Ready to Ruffle

(Said in the announcer's roar a la "Are you ready to RUMBLE!")

Here's where I was last night on the Gossamer Ruffle Shawl:

gossamer mostly

And here's what it looks like right now.

ready to ruffle

What you see as the bottom edge is actually the inside 'U' in the other photo; what's on the needles is what I picked up all around the outside edge for the ruffle.

It's a pretty standard garter-stitch ruffle: on rows 1, 3, and 5, knit into the front and back of every stitch; rows 2 and 4 knit plain. Cast off.

I made the mistake of doing some math. What it comes out to is multiplying the initial number of stitches by 8 (2x2x2=8, right? Please tell me it's somehow less...). And then I made a second mistake. I counted how many stitches I picked up. 220. (Or so -- it's not like I need to be accurate.) And then I made the biggest mistake of all. I figured out how many stitches there will be by the time I bind off. 220x8=1760. One thousand, seven hundred and sixty stitches. This is Not Cool. Well, ok, it's the only saving grace of the shawl, which is otherwise pretty boring... but yikes. I'll see you in, um, several weeks.

At least my new socks will be keeping me company.

paradedone1

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Aren't I Supposed to be Writing or Something?

Well, this is arguably writing. So there. And it's even on my to-do list, which means blogging is an approved activity!

First of all, it's good to know that I'm by no means the only one who hates knitting with cotton. Unfortunately I think this is going to make it more difficult to get rid of the 8 hanks of Araucania Nature Cotton that I have sitting around....

Thanks for your compliments on my Picovoli. I am enjoying wearing it [unlike some famous knitters out there, I wear my sweaters ;)].

And my Mom can knit and crochet; my guess is that if she used the yarn it would probably be for knitting, though. UPS tracking tells me the package was delivered yesterday... I hope to hear from her soon!

And now, here's what I've been up to. I've finally conquered the Parade sock, and having finished one, have started the second. I want to get these over with so I can knit something different!

Parade Sock

I've also been working on my Gossamer Ruffle Shawl. This is what one ball of Gossamer gets me to:

Gossamer Ruffle Shawl, 1 ball in

Since the ruffle is the very last part, it's going to look sad and lumpy until the very end. But I have to get this off the needles, too, so I can knit a felted bag. Why do all the patterns I want to knit right now all take the same needle size?

Finally, here is a gratuitous photo of my sock yarn, which I may be installing into one of my bookcases in the near future so I can look at it more often:

Sock Yarn Stash

Question: I'll be gone on a 4 or 5 week trip with cross-country plane flights and lots of in-car time. How much sock yarn do you think I should take?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Again with the yarn

In a lull yesterday I was able to spin and ply up the last of my teal roving:

teal

For the life of me, I could not get this stuff to photograph properly. Anyhow, teal 2-ply, again about 40 yards and 60 grams. I think I need to learn to spin a little finer, but this has been fun.

I decided that even though my first efforts weren't necessarily awesome, they would still wow my mom. (Moms can always seem to appreciate those kinds of things, can't they?)

So I made up some labels, and now my yarn really looks like real yarn. I'm so proud.

irislabel

Hope my mom likes it, and Happy (early) Mother's Day to anybody out there who fits the description. Now I have to go spin some more!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Picovoli

And without further ado, here is my finished Picovoli, which is almost (but still not quite) dry.

picovoli

Yes, that's what I look like when I'm waiting for the self-timer on the camera to go off.

I think this came out great, although maybe a hair too short (seriously, like, 2 rows). I love the shaping and it was easy enough to do. However, I still have a hatred towards cotton. The blocking helped so much to make it have not toooo much negative ease and helped the picots lay down flatter, although I think they're still going to roll annoyingly.

Here is my only major modification:

picodetail

I added eyelets around the sleeves, neck, and bottom, which is probably contributing to the rolling, but I like the way they look, so too bad.

I also finished a panel on my giant red afghan, so now I have all the rest of the panels to make.

I think my next project is going to be KnitPicks' Candle Flame Shawl in some of the light blue Alpaca Cloud I have laying around. I'm saving socks for the Southwest when I go in just a month (!)

Three weeks til the end of school... not dead yet!