Saturday, April 30, 2005

Couldn't find a soaker pattern I loved, so I'm faking it. So far, it seems to be working. I'm extra proud of making the eyelets in the middle of the ribbing. Everyone else probably knows how to do things like that, but I had to work a bit to figure it out.

Think those needles would glow in the dark? The two colorful little skeins are what used to be Branching Out before I frogged it and got out the food coloring. If things work out the way I hope they will, they're going to be bookmarks one of these days.

It's been a good day. I made it to the Aurora Colony Handspinner's Guild Fiber Fair, and the kids let me sit through two of the three demos I really wanted to see. I'm still as confused as ever by how shadow knitting works, but now I've seen first hand how neat it looks. Wonder if I could put one of those SNB aliens on the front of a baby sweater? The talk on Exploring Color Relationships of Dyed Roving to Spun Yarn was incredible. The speaker showed samples of dyed roving, yarn spun from the roving, and swatches knit from the yarn. And some honeycomb pattern hats in different colors that showed how different the variegated yarn looked when paired with different solids. A lot of it went over my head, but I still know more than I did yesterday. I wanted to stick around for the talk on picking out fleeces, but decided it wasn't safe to push my luck with the boys.

Yesterday was kind of mediocre. I got in a lot more knitting time than I expected, because I was stuck at home without a car. Someone smashed the side window of the Tercel. They didn't even get inside -- either that, or they didn't take anything and locked the door behind them, which I kind of doubt. So instead going to the used curriculum sale and physical therapy and the grocery store, I cleaned house and knitted on Quinn's diaper soaker and a square for the blanket the Knittingparents list is making.

Right before bed, I was reading Knitter's Almanac because I thought the part about baby leggings might help me figure out what to do with the crotch of the soaker. The leggings made my head spin the same way it did the first time I read through the book, but the Pi Shawl makes sense. I need to knit one. Now.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Branching Out is no longer on my needles. I tried to do another repeat, wound up with the wrong number of stitches, tinked back two rows and still couldn't find the mistake. Since I wasn't loving the yarn or the way it felt, and probably never would have worn the scarf if I finished it, I unraveled the whole thing and have new plans to see what happens when you mix food coloring and alpaca and try to knit it into bookmarks. A more reasonable knitter might've tried a bit harder to salvage it, but a more reasonable knitter would've been sure to pick yarn she loved instead of picking the stuff that had been sitting in plain sight the longest.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Baby Socks!

The new Interweave Knits has baby socks....cabled baby socks...drop all the other WIPs and cast on for these baby socks. Braided Cable and Hugs and Kisses are my favorites, followed by cable rib and the other two. These could be just the motivation I need to learn how to read cable charts. I desperately want to knit cables from charts, because that's the only way I'm going to get a Rogue or the Heirloom Aran baby sweater, but they scare me and I keep putting it off. These look like a great learning experience. Do I have yarn for these?

I'm also tempted by the sketch book cover, the little socks, the lacy kerchief scarf (think I've got yarn for that one), and the Buffalo Girl neckwarmer and wristlets. Wonder how much buffalo costs.... Yup, it's out of my price range.

At karate yesterday, I swatched for my baby soaker, cast on the right number of stitches, and managed half a row before Quinn decided he wasn't going to sit still long enough for me to knit him a soaker. So we walked down to the grocery store and got a bunch of packets of tangerine KoolAid which they had on clearance -- which is really a good thing, because I want tangerine dyed socks and haven't seen that flavor anyplace else. And I've managed another fifteen rows of Clapotis. Nothing exciting enough to take a picture of.

Monday, April 25, 2005

pawing through my stash

Quinn, who keeps leaking all over me, and Nick, who has a great website that explains all about diaper soakers and how to actually use the things have just about convinced me to try cloth diapering again. The only thing I'm missing is the perfect wool. Should've bought some when I was standing in the Mill End Store with a 25% off coupon, or when I placed my Knitpicks order a couple of days ago, but I was trying to be good and didn't know I had an actual reason to buy those pretty colors.

Instead of buying new wool, I could use the stuff I bought for Bill's socks (bad idea, because then I've lost the possibility of making him socks) or the Fisherman Wool I haven't dyed yet (good idea, because then I can get more tangerine and mango Kool Aid and dye the soaker!) or the green stuff that's sitting in my lap (iffy idea, because I don't know how much of it there is.)

While I was ransacking the visible portion of my stash, I found yarn that might work for Ruffles from Scarf Style, and two skeins of yarn that will work for a pair of slippers I want to make my grandfather -- they're different dye lots, but if I use one skein for each slipper, who's going to know? And since the baby's outgrowing most of his hats (at least the ones I haven't misplaced), I want to knit one of these. There's gotta be the perfect baby hat yarn here someplace...

I've been productive, too. A bunch of quilt squares and six rows of Clapotis, which is suddenly the slowest thing I've knit since Knot a Knitted Paper Bag.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Horror Movie Knitting

Scary movies can add a great deal to the knitting experience. I cast on for Branching Out last night just as Dawn of the Dead came on. Probably not the smartest thing I could have done, since I've already spent several nights lying awake and thinking about disturbing scenes from that movie.

Slipping stitches and knitting two stitches together and passing the slipped stitch over and then trying to figure out which row you're on it much more exciting when there's music getting louder and more ominous by the second and there's something on the screen that needs looking at, but if you look up and lose what little concentration you have, there's no chance of making it to the end of the same row you started...

Wonder what else has good knitting music?
Not knitting is fine, as long as it's because you're doing something that's more fun than knitting, or something that'll make it possible to knit without guilt later on. I'm not sure what's filling up my time lately -- but it isn't knitting, isn't making time for knitting, and not enough of it is more fun than knitting. Since the guild meeting two weeks ago, I've only managed a few rows on my Clapotis, and a pair of socks. Which sounds more productive than it was, since I knit the socks from start to finish in about 2 1/2 days.(I also cut and pieced four quilt squares, but that doesn't even sound like much.)

I've got yarn, patterns, time.... there's no reason I shouldn't be doing something wonderful with it. So here goes:

This will hopefully grow into Branching Out.

This stuff -- Joann's Sensations Rainbow Boucle -- will be either a sweater for Heath or a poncho for Quinn now that I've talked myself out of trying to use it for the hoodie from Knit One. The yarn itself seems okay, and is incredibly cheap, but I'm not in love with the color and don't have the slightest idea how the colors are going to look once it's knitted up into something bigger than my already huge gauge swatch.

And this stuff, which I've been wanting for ages, is going to be something baby sized with lots of wonderful cables and texture that didn't show up in a photo of a photo.

I'm trying very hard not let myself get distracted by the fact that I don't seem to own the right yarn for any of the patterns calling to me from Scarf Style.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Some days, it's easy to be happy. Just look at what I've got next to me while I write this in the front seat of my car and my little girl learns new ways to kick people and keep them from kicking her:

The box itself is pretty exciting. I've still got visions of endless knitted bags, but for sitting and knitting in the car, this works a lot better. No more needles getting caught in something else and sliding loose from the stitches.

There's my springy Clapotis, which has been a bit neglected lately because I've been learning how to work a short row heel and wrap the stitches.

Do you see the socks? I'm just a few rounds of k2p2 ribbing away from a real, functional pair that fits my son's feet. Suddenly a lot more of what I've been reading on Socknitters over the past couple of years makes sense, and I'm not nearly as intimidated by my pretty skeins of Opal. And I've got an actual reason to buy more self patterning yarn because I CAN KNIT SOCKS!

I'd have finished them and restarted my Lolita Toes if it wasn't for the new book. I've been trying to get my hands on a copy of At Knit's End since the day it came out and now that I've finally got one, I can't get over how cute it is. Smaller than I expected, a great size for toting around from room to room. I've seen the cover art dozens of times but I never realized that it was a knitted road stretching toward a big sunny ball of yarn there on the horizon. What a great image! (That title sounds a bit ominous though, like the knitting might someday stop.)

I've only read the introduction and a few pages from the middle -- just enough to convince myself it's as much fun as I'd hoped it would be -- because I hate to use it all up. For a crazy moment, I even considered rationing it out, reading one page each time I finished a new projects, but that's just an insane idea.

I even had a good parking spot right in front of the door, so I could watch class through the window.

Here's the plan for tomorrow:

Monday, April 11, 2005

My Head's Spinning!

I think I overdosed on inspirational fibery stuff this week. Between the quilt show, the knitting guild meeting, going through a bunch of quilting books with my mom, & the new issue of Knitty, I'm a little overwhelmed. There's another quilt show next weekend, and two fiber festivals within the next month, and then I think Sheep to Shawl and Black Sheep Gathering are both June... I could keep hauling the kids to this stuff all summer!

And, as if that wasn't enough, thanks to a lot of very kind advice from members of the Socknitters list, I actually learned to work a short row heel!

This fits my foot:

I'll be ripping the whole thing out soon to make it a bit narrower in hopes that I really can get a pair of Lolita Toes out of one ball of Fixation. But that's okay because it fits, and I understand how to make another one that fits even better.

And because I need some instant gratification before I start the ripping, I started this:

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I did cast on something new -- Lolita Toes -- and now the suspense is killing me. Can I do this? If I can, will they fit? If they fit, will there be enough yarn?! I'm using cascade fixation I originally bought with a baby hat in mind, so I've only got one skein. Which is what the pattern calls for, so I should be okay...right? (I tried to do a google search to see if any other knitters had blogged about them, but the results were really really scary.)

My toe quite right, because I tried to do the figure eight cast-on from memory, but if I'd hauled my butt off of the couch and logged back onto the internet to find out how to do it right, I probably never would've started the project at all. And what I've got seems to be holding together well enough.

And now I understand where to put the increases if I ever finish my toe up Magic Stripes sock and need to make a second one! That alone is such a wonderful thing that it doesn't matter if my Lolita Toes turn out to be a total disaster. Although I'd really rather have enough yarn and make cute socks that fit my feet.

slipping from room to room in the dark

The Fly Lady says to hit the ground running, and so does The Organizer Lady. If I'm going to be up this early, I'm going to be a quiet little mouse. Not taking a shower or running the vacuum cleaner, or anything else that might inspire the three kids to hit the ground running with me. So I slip from room to room in the dark because it's still cold and dark and I want to get in some knitting time before anyone joins me. I haven't decided if it'll be Clapotis or something else.

I should get off the computer and go cast on something new while they're all sleeping and I've got the chance to actually count.


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