Thursday, January 24, 2008

Purple Spiral Bamboo

Socks for a co-worker, for whom no one has ever knit anything before. (That hurts my brain. Seriously, you could so get me to knit for you if you told me that no one had ever knit anything for you. Unless I knew you were lying.)

Yarn: Southwest Trading Company Bamboo. This is not sold as sock yarn; my co-worker chose it because she was intrigued by bamboo yarn and wanted 100% bamboo. It knit up to my sock gauge on my Brittany birch #2s, and is wonderfully soft. But I don't think I would choose it again for socks. I was knitting the leftovers into a baby hat when one of the tiny bamboo threads (that are formed into a yarn that looks like miniature Icord) snapped, and the yarn broke. Snags happen. A sock yarn needs to stand up under pressure.

Pattern: Standard toe-up learned from Bonkers Sock Kits (the Yarn Barn again), with k2,p2 ribbing at the top because my bamboo socks have gotten looser with time, and I wanted to make sure these would stay up. Why the Yarn Barn, when I don't live anywhere near Kansas? Because a) sister K does (K is for Kansas), and b) the Yarn Barn is one of my two favorite stands at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. (ooh, Bonkers has new colorways - love that Coal, and the Obscure Rainbow...)

The other is Mannings, where I get my annual Koigu fix. Speaking of which, I pulled some Koigu from my stash and started me some socks, because there were No Socks on Needles, and this cannot happen. And also because I discovered the moth invasion of last fall got into my socks as well, and one of my early lace footies in Koigu (back when my annual fix was one skein and footies was all it would stretch to) has an extra non-lace hole. I've fallen in with the Monkey fad, but am knitting them toe-up. Pictures when there's more than a toe to show off.

I finished the baby shower bear just in time (but not in time for a photo shoot). I'm knitting the rest of the yarn into a reserve bear (at my husband's suggestion - he thinks I should have baby shower knits stashed away in advance), so I'll take a picture of that one.

And it's time to bind off for the neck on KD's top. Scary.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ocean Waves

I had no idea it would be so hard to take a picture of a rectangle. *sigh* Thank goodness knitting isn't as hard as photography. This is my non-knitting daughter's Christmas present, a lacy shawl to wear when she's out in her little black dress.

Yarn: 2 skeins of Trekking XXL bought at the wonderful Yarn Barn in Lawrence, Kansas (I had planned to use 3, but she stopped me, declaring it quite long enough - more socks for me!)

Pattern: Wave and Shell Shawl (wonderful easy lace pattern, I would make it again in a heartbeat)

This shawl was the reason I bought blocking wires. I've gotten away with not blocking most of my knitting life, primarily because I started out knitting acrylic (the blocking of which is about as pointless as sweeping a mud puddle), and then moved to socks (seriously, who blocks socks?). But I knew lace was a different story, and was worried about driving myself 'round the bend trying to make the pins line up perfectly. (think Monk - I'd still be at it). Fortunately the knitblogs had introduced me to the concept of blocking wires. They worked as advertised and I was very pleased.

Which is a good thing, as I have another lace project or two on the needles. Meanwhile the knitting daughter's
vesttopshort-sleeved object is almost done. I'm using this pattern as a jumping-off point, since it is exactly the shape she had in mind. I just sized it up a little, since she's not quite my baby any more.

But there's a baby shower at work tomorrow, and I have a baby gift to finish...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Rose socks

Yarn: Panda Cotton Print in color Roses
Pattern: I searched on "rose socks" and found these, Ann Budd's pattern, which inspired me
Recipient: the same sister who loves Dr. Jones, so we'll call her J *

I loved the yarn, and the pattern. I thought it would look good in a solid color too (like these do), but that hasn't worked out yet.

The story of how these socks came to be is on its way to becoming a family legend. My sister-in-law misunderstood something J said, and asked me about the socks I was making. At that point I didn't know I was making socks for J, but if she thought I was, I'd better (because I still owed her a bear, you see, and was hoping to distract her). Eventually the miscommunication was unraveled, but by that time the socks were on the needles, and I was still looking for a distraction.

*I'm against naming names in a blog to respect people's privacy, but I have eight sisters - it's either label them or number them.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Yummy leftovers

My sister-in-law dyed some stretchy cotton for socks, then gave me the leftovers. I had thought to make sock legs out of them, making the feet out of something else. But life had other ideas. It was exactly enough yarn for my daughter's new lacy hat love, which I finished just in time to put her on a plane back to college:

Now I'm in that post-holiday pause, where I need to cast on something NOW, but so far nothing has had sticking power. I'll be starting a new pair of bamboo socks tomorrow for a co-worker (if she remembers to bring in the yarn), but what about today?

Because my daughter got into my stash rather heavily when she was home (apparently I got her all the way out of her teens without her realizing just how much yarn there actually is in this house), I now have a bag of Patons Canadiana that was going to be a sweater that is now going to be... a vest. Apparently for the above-mentioned daughter. Something close-fitting with little cap sleeves. Except that I can't find a pattern like that... ("think, think, think," tapping finger to head stuffed with fluff...)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Not for the squeamish...

I ran a #4 dpn into the palm of my left hand today, trying to grab it before it fell to the floor. If only I had known it was going to get stuck at the edge of my desk.... The puncture is small, nowhere near the big deal running an inch of #3 dpn into the top of my foot was back in 2001. At least my tetanus shots are up to date. Probably the worst thing about it was that it happened on a break at work and I had to fill out forms explaining what happened (which will be read by non-knitting muggles, I just know it).

Here, pretty pictures to distract you all from my clumsiness:

Comments should work now...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Over the weekend I've been knitting up leftover scraps of Christmas knitting into hats and mittens and such. My daughter will take these mittens back to college with her, assuming I finish the last thumb. Today in the mail I received a free knitting pattern - of the same mittens! OK, they striped the cuffs as well, and the top is shaped differently, but it's the same colors! I watched too much of the Twilight Zone marathon yesterday - I find the coincidence slightly ominous, instead of charming

Mine are this pattern, using leftover yarn from her Tigger (I bought all four kits before she started college; she gets one every Christmas, the only crocheting I do).

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Meet Dr. Jones...

This is "Professor Rusty" from Beautiful Bears, Saprotex Design Studio, in "Aran Fleck" Red Heart, one skein (which I stole from my mom's sweater leftovers) plus one arm's worth of a second skein. The vest is Chocolate Simply Soft, the tie is some oddment, and the watch, the lovely watch, I bought online from Dolls and Lace at Ruby Lane.

He is a birthday/Christmas present for my Sean Connery loving sister, who was very patient with how long it took me. Not to knit him, that went fast, or to stuff and sew him up. No, it was learning to make movable joints, and that darned vest, which still isn't right (look closely - no buttons, and it curls like - well, like stockinette in acrylic). But she'd been waiting long enough, so he was delivered Christmas eve.