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Archive for the ‘I babble on’ Category

Ok, so I am a sucky blogger, no treats for me.

I’m still here, survived the long, long, LOOOOONNNNNGGGG OMGPLEASEMAKEITSTOPAUUUUGHGHGHGHGKILLITWITHFIRE winter. Seriously, we had over 6 feet of snow on our lawn and it only really went away about a week ago.

Yuk.

I’ve been doing a lot of socks lately. Here’s the most recent pair, just finished this morning.

Vanilla Stripes

I like these because I got the yarn on the cheapity-cheap from this bizarre little place (Cambridge Fibres if you happen to be anywhere near Cambridge Ontario). I had no idea what it would look like, but it was $3 and I’ve got loads left to make at least a scrappy pair or something. And they are crazy weird stripes, always fun. I’ve been stuck in some kind of ribbing rut. Not solid ribbing on every sock, but some everywhere. Not sure what that’s all about, but there you go.

It’s actually inspired a new pattern that I made for my friend Dennis, they are called (creatively) Dennis Socks (so creative Heather, way to pull out all the stops.) At any rate, it’s a free pattern, lots and lots of nice ribbing, including on the heels and toes if you are so inclined. Or not if you don’t want to. I’ve even done it in three different sizes, first time for that, let me know what you think ok? Good mindless stuff should you be looking for that kind of project. Also good for that really crazy coloured skein of yarn that you have that doesn’t go with any other pattern, you know the one I mean.

Dennis Sock

 

The yarn is Lion Brand Sock-Ease, the colour is called Taffy (really Lion Brand, where are you getting grey, yellow and orange toffee? Ew.) The cuffs, heels, and toes are just Paton’s Kroy, can never go wrong. Dennis really liked them, so yay!

Ok, kids, I’m going to be better about posting here. Really. Joey has some cool motorcycle stuff going on in the garage, so I’m going to go out and do some fun shots out there, you can see the new bikes and bike pieces. Assuming the sun stays.

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Well. Now I’ve gone and done it.  I started a new project, a baby sweater, as a foil to my current project, which is a huge, never ending swath of mind numbing garter stitch that keeps promising to grow up to become a scarf one day. Look, isn’t it a nice blob?

Scarf?

I needed something more interesting to keep me from falling asleep over the scarf. Also to motivate me to actually work on the scarf (just two more rows and you can have a wee taste of baby sweater! Come on, you know you want to!).

Auntie by proxy cardi

So.  Baby sweater starts out charming and sweet as many baby sweaters do.  Cast on that teeny number of stitches (did I mention that the scarf gets bigger with each row? yeah.) make some increases, oh look, little sleeves forming, so cute! Oh yay, time to separate the sleeves from the body, which is still not a very large number of stitches right?

Now all I have to do is knit a number of inches down to the hem. In plain stockinette. With just a bit of garter at the edges. How exciting… DAMN!  Now I have TWO boring projects on the needles!  I don’t think I planned this very well.

Well, I guess the only thing for it is to keep knitting, get them finished up.

Sock Strap Clue #1

Oh, well, hello, where did that come from?

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A fresh start

Start as you mean to go on is something you hear frequently at New Year’s.  Today at Joey’s House I’m practising Finish, since you don’t mean to continue.

I went and collected all of the projects that have languished and decided what to do with them.  It has been a busy morning of ripping!

Ripped and ready for something new

From the top: the caked yarn was a sweater that I had started for Jack, and finished about half of before realizing that I didn’t think I would have enough yarn to complete it , and that they yarn was really way, way to busy for a sweater, even a small one.  It will become socks for my mom, as I don’t mind variegated flashiness on someone’s feet, but I don’t think you need to coat an entire torso in it.

The large burgundy ball was supposed to become Hitchhiker scarf. Twice I started it, put it down, couldn’t figure out (months later) where I was, ripped it and restarted.  And put it down.  Clearly it wasn’t meant to be.  No current plans for that yarn although I did discover that it looks great in garter stitch.  The smaller balls were actually a hat, and one that I wore – although not much.  I have a really hard time finding a hat that doesn’t look ridiculous on me.  Anyway, i pulled it out yesterday and discovered a hole in it.  I couldn’t repair the hole nicely, and I really liked the yarn.  Don’t want to waste nice yarn!  RIP!

Hearts

These mitts are the only thing to survive the Epic Ripping of 2013.  I was making great progress on them when I messed up the thumb gusset – the little hearts weren’t lining up properly on the thumb.  They only needed a small rip back, but got put away because… well I guess because it was August and I thought there was no rush.  Anyway, I am ready to attempt the thumb again, so it is nice to have them ready to go.

Finally, this will be the hardest project to rip back because it is actually a finished sock.

Bye bye lumpy sock

And a really long sock at that!  I have knit the leg of this sock three times now, in an attempt to get the shaping correct.  This version is the most successful, but no matter what I do there is always a bump where the decreases start. (can you see it in the picture? I can.) I have since looked into other knee sock patterns with different decreases, and I feel i have an idea that could save it – BUT, here’s the thing.  I don’t want to knit it again.  The striping pattern, while striking was not all that fun to knit.  I am not in love with them any more.  And once I got this sock figured out I’d still have a second one to knit!   That’s a lot of knitting for a project that you feel very meh about.  I’m saving this rip out for TV time tonight so I won’t have to focus on just how much I’m ripping.  Maybe less painful that way.

In other news there is a new critter on the way – hoping to get Version 3 knit up today.

Stay tuned!

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Hey, how are you?  Enjoy your winter holidays?  Good to hear.  Things have been a bit busy Chez Joey, and not in a good way; so if you have missed my enchanting presence in the last couple of months my apologies.  Things seem to be getting better now, so I will endeavour to be around more often.  Would you like to see what I’ve been working on?  Excellent.

After all the Christmas knitting, wrapping, decorating, blahblahblah was done I was really looking forward to knitting whatever I felt like.  After that last two pattern releases I was also looking forward to knitting a pattern that didn’t invlove me writing down every blessed stitch.  First off the needles was a pair of socks for me, in a yarn that fortuitously showed up at my door on the very day I was going to start something.  Clearly it was a sign.

Block of Gnomes socks

These are my Block of Gnomes socks, which went by very quickly, and I wore Christmas Eve.

Block of Gnomes socks

Yarn: Gnome Acres Sparkle Gnome Sock in the Bertie Botts colour way.  Sparkles (the yarn has stellina in it!), Harry Potter and gnomes?  Yeah, you know I couldn’t resist!  Awesome stuff to work with and it’s washed beautifully too.  Go look at her shop, it’s ok, I’ll wait.  Just don’t buy up all the Zombie Flannel, ok?

Pattern:  Block of Chocolate Socks – a nice free pattern that I’ve had in the queue for a while.  A nice easy stitch pattern that (of course) I modified slightly, by not taking it all the way down the foot so it looks like someone has been biting off blocks of chocolate.  I made each foot different so no notes were required. I also fancied up the toes.

Once I finished those I wanted to start a pair for Joey who has been so awesome during the past two months of Doom.  He has cooked, cleaned, rearranged his schedule, come flying home from work early, given up several weekends and days off to help me all the while keeping me well stocked in chocolate and alcohol.  The least I can do is socks.  But they better be really good socks.  I had seen this pattern a while ago, and then it was featured in the Sock Knitter’s Anonymous group on Ravelry.  I liked it the first time I saw it, and the repeated viewings weakened my defences.  Joey usually likes crazy coloured socks, this time it would be a crazy patterned sock.

Gladys Sock in Progress

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Heritage in the stunningly named 5627 (oh, their website says it’s also called Jade) colour.  Nice, smooth, soft, a good price and it comes in lots of colours.  You can’t miss.

Pattern: Gladys – hey this one is free too!  Looks more complicated than it is (psst: it’s just knits and purls) although I’ve gotta say – there’s a lot of seed stitch.  I’ve discovered that I like to look at seed stitch more than I like to knit seed stitch. This one just needs a toe – fortunately not a seed stitch one.

Next up:  Look, it’s not a sock!!

Guernsey Scarf

My friend Rose bought herself a beautiful red coat, and as soon as I saw it I thought it needed a purple scarf.  I’ve had this lovely skein in my stash for a year, never sure what it wanted to be.  Obviously it was waiting for this!

Yarn: Indigodragonfly MCS Sock, in the one-of-a-kind named I thought the email said “Present Enlarger” from last year’s Giftapalooza.  It’s squishy!

Pattern: Brooklyn Tweed’s Guernsey Wrap. Originally written for worsted weight yarn, turns out if you cast on with sock weight on 3.5mm needles you get a good scarf size.

So after knitting so many patterns with texture I was beginning to want a break.  I started to think that maybe I needed to put the seed stitch and ribbing down for a day and just do some nice boring stockinette. On the other hand, I was afraid if I did that then I wouldn’t go back to any of the textured stuff.  I struggled with it for about a day.  Then I ran into this.

Noro Kureyon

In case you were wondering, the Dark Side has cookies AND Noro.

Noro Addict Sock

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Start it up

What is it with the new year that makes everyone want to start everything, right NOW?  I have read blog posts, had conversations and myself fallen prey to Startitis, that most insidious of all creative maladies.  The only thing worse, of course is writer’s block, which, you may know, can happen to anyone, but has been accredited to writers; aren’t they lucky?  Do not confuse a bout of Startitis with your Muse.  The Muse will bring you wonderful ideas, and command you to start on them.  Startitis has nothing to do with the ideas being good, and everything to do with starting about 12 967 464 projects, ripping your house apart looking for supplies, buying supplies, trashing your work area, leaving started projects randomly over the house as you flit from one thing to the next and demanding to know where all the scissors are until your mate is tearing out his hear, your dog is hiding out under the table covered in marker and your kid is eating cookies and glitter because you forgot about dinner.  Startitis is a term I most often hear in relation to knitting, but at Joey’s House can be applied to pretty much anything creative.  There has been a lot of  “oooh, I want to make THAT!” in the past week.  What I’ve been making has varied from bracelets to robot drawings to mittens.

There were supplies purchased for the beady bracelets

bracelet supplies

One bracelet has been completed, but Punky has absconded with it and it has vanished into the vortex that is her room.  More are planned for tomorrow.

Mittens have, (shocking!) almost been finished.

Almost done!

Sharpies were in use for another thing when robot inspiration struck.

Robot mess

Wee socks for Jack were started late last night.

Wee socks

Socks for a new project I am working on for y’all were started this morning. (It involves new patters!  Stay tuned!)

It's a start

And then… this came in the mail just after I started those orange socks.

Radishcake yarn

Hmmm… wonder if I have time to wind it before Punky gets home?

Oh, wait I did finish something! My Christmas socks! Look!

Zombie Waffles meet the Light

Now, where are those scissors?

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Squeeeeeee!!

Only one more sleep and Sarah and I are off on our U.S. knitting adventure!  Tomorrow morning we are leaving the husbands and kids to their own devices and heading south.  We’re hoping to be in Rhinebeck by evening, although I’m sure there will be shopping and eating stops along the way.

I am making good progress this morning in my things to do list (including surprise cookies for Joey and Punky – shhhh!).  I have my knitting packed, that’s the key thing right?  For this trip I’m hoping to finish up Anne’s Christmas socks and I’ve got this!

Liquid Love handspun

Gorgeious red handspun that was Sarah’s birthday gift to me.  It tells me it wants to be a hat.  I need a hat. Obviously we were ment to be.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I should likely pack some clothes.

WOOT!

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Do you keep your left over yarn?  What do you do with it?  Charity hats/blankets?  Striped something or other? Really big game of Cat’s Cradle?  Tie the kids up with it?  Some leftovers I don’t mind using up just as string or a craft supply for Punky.  Some is too nice for that, so I put it away, going to use it for SOMETHING you know.  I love using up my leftovers, I really do.  I feel a bigger sense of accomplishment doing that than I do releasing a new pattern (new pattern are a lot of work, by the end I just feel tired and not wanting to look at it any more).  And you know I’m all about the colour – the more colours the better.  SO, a scrap busting project that lets you throw colours around – I am so in.  Go take a look at this, see what you think.  I know, I know the first reaction is often “are you CRAZY?”  – or was yours (as mine) “that’s AWESOME!”  I was not interested in making mine out of sock yarn scraps – although you know I have a metric tonne of them.  I wanted to use up my heavier stuff.  Yarn that I loved but didn’t have enough to make much with.  So I dragged it all out and tossed it in this old fish bowl.

Bowl o fun

I borrowed an 8mm zillion inch long circular needle from Sarah and started to cast on.  Now the pattern gives approximate length for a sock yarn scarf.  Obviously a worsted scarf would need fewer stitches to achive the same length.  I did a little gauge swatch, did a bit of math, cast on the number of sts the math said to… and then cast on some more. I didn’t want it to be too short.  (HAHAHA) In the end I decided to use 400 sts.  I was concerned that 300 wouldn’t be quite as long as I was hoping, and anything over 400 just seemed crazy-making.  400 somehow seemed reasonable, if you understand reasonable to mean crazy, but not super 500 st crazy.  Yeah.

It takes a while for the stitch pattern to show up on this one.  Maybe an inch?  This picture shows when I first thought it didn’t look too terrible.

Linen stitch

Here it is all curled up on the needle. Can you tell how long it will be? Me either.

It's a scarf.  Really

Messing with the colours is part of the fun of this scarf.  You can try to plan it out so one stripe blends into the next, or you can just randomly pull stuff out of your pile and stripe away.  Because you are using so many colours you don’t need to worry about things matching.  I did a bit of both – I have some nicely blended stripes and some where a colour just caught my eye.  I did have some neutrals in the bowl, so I tried to space them out, use them as a spacer between other colours.  I didn’t want a giant beige stripe in there (shudders). The stitch you use is called Linen Stitch.

Linen st

It uses slip stitches to create the colour blending effect.

A scarf of many colours

It’s a reversible stitch too. It doesn’t look the same on the back, but it is nice and nubbly.

Wrong side

Mmm... leftovers scarf

In the end this is a big scarf.

it's a long one!

The stats:

Pattern: Mini Mania Scarf by Sarah Core

Cast on: 400 sts

Number of yarns used: 19 – some were used more than once

Yarn weights used: everything from DK to Bulky

Number of rows knit: 41 including the cast on and bind off rows

Scarf width: 14 cm/5.75″

Scarf length: 2.5 meters/over 8 feet, not including fringe

Number of sts: 400 st x 41 rows = 16, 400 sts

Length of time it took to knit: 7 days.  Obsess much?

Amount of yarn I still have left: a lot.  Oh well.

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