Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Slippers v. 2... or 3?

I just want to say I'm sick of spending my Tuesdays off with the dentist.

Finished slipper #1 of the Dorm Boots, slipper pattern #2. Actually it's slipper pattern #3, since the Cozy House Socks are slipper-like. This one's more like what I had in mind. The Guinea Pigs are a bit low on the foot for Wisconsin winters, but would be adequate for summer. One more Dorm Boot to go then I can try the other pattern I printed off. All feet should be toasty warm at my house in the future. Unless people flash puppy dog eyes and then I let them take them home.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Turning Frogs Into Guinea Pigs

Remember those House Socks I was making out of that Super Bulky Lion Landscapes yarn? Well, I was decreasing the gusset stitches on my way to the foot and realized that I had nearly 55 yards (an entire skein) in it, which would mean that I'd use 4-55 yd. skeins of fairly expensive yarn to make a pair of slippers. Slippers, people, something you wear around the house to keep your feet warm. Seemed like a lot of yarn for not a lot of output. I wanted to make the yarn last longer, plus my hands were aching from knitting super bulky yarn on size US 6 DPNs. Off to the frog pond went the slipper. Ribbit!

I still wanted to make slippers, though, and I wanted to use that yarn so I went to my favorite free pattern site and found 3 patterns using thicker yarn and bigger needles--Dorm Boots, Three Strand Slippers, and Bulky Yarn Booties. Yay!

I immediately made a pair of the Three Strand Slippers--fast and easy on size US 11s, although I thought they looked like Guinea Pigs when I was making the toe so that's what I'm calling them--they used about one and a half skeins for the pair. And I also knit the first 18 rows on straights rather than try to cram 24 super bulky stitches onto a DPN and keep them from sproinging off the other end.

I cast on Dorm Boots (size US 10s) next and am just past the 10 rows of garter stitch that forms the bottom. Next comes the stockinette body with every row decreases up the foot.

I think it's safe to say I'm on a slippers jag.

Oh, and this morning? It's snowing. Ugh.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I Love My Job...

And last Monday proved it once again. I work in a scuba shop selling dive gear and certification classes. I work 3 days a week and I never have to be there before 10 AM. Most of my customers are in a good mood and happy to be there; they're interesting people, have interesting lives and are, therefore, fun to talk to. Sometimes it's very quiet there. Sometimes when the economy is a little shaky, people keep their money to pay rent and buy food and other non-luxury things, and the dive shop is a bit deserted. My boss doesn't mind if I read or write or knit while I'm there, as long as I get my work done and jump up and wait on customers when they come in, I'm conscientious about doing just that. It's been very quiet lately so I've been getting a lot of crossword puzzles and reading and knitting done. Last Monday I hit upon the perfect non-busy work activity--I watched a DVD while knitting at my desk. Getting paid. Seems a bit like stealing and makes my Germanic work ethic self feel slightly embarrassed about it, so I won't do it too often, but damn, it was fun.

Spring Flowers & Knitty Stuff

It was overcast but warm and humid yesterday, and last night it rained and blew like crazy. I went out this morning (in the overcast, chilly and windy front yard) to make sure the daffodils and tulips survived. They did--and they don't look too much the worse for the experience. Whew.

Mom and I spent most of the day yesterday gathe
ring supplies and cutting out the tartan cummerbunds for both "Father-of-the"s, and FOG's (aka DH) tartan bowtie (the FOB will wear a long, non-tartan tie) for David & Abby's wedding 3 weeks from today!! Yikes. It took a whole lot more time than either of us thought it would, mostly because cummerbund hooking-together parts were nearly impossible to find. We got things that will be adequate but I will continue the search once the stores open today. *Mom found the cummerbund buckles at some place in Newark, so they should be on the way early next week. The shipping's more than the cost of the notions. sigh* Mom's a really good sewer so I'm confident she'll do most of the work and I'll fetch and carry and give sage advice. Oh, and pay for supplies and buy lunch, stuff like that.

My adventures with yarn continue. Remember last week I got that Lion Landscapes yarn on sale? Well, I couldn't not cast on something with it, so I decided to make more Cozy Hou
se Socks with the lighter colored one. It's super bulky weight, not regular bulky like the pattern calls for, and while the ball band recommends using size 13 needles, I'm using size 6, but I thought that it would be okay. My forearms ached when I was knitting the k2, p2 cuff ribbing but I always struggle with knitting ribbing. I tried to put it in time-out for making my arms sore, but I can't seem to leave it alone. When I read the directions for the heel flap, I realized that I'd forgotten to knit the cuff on one size bigger needles but, pfft, so what, right? Right. The cuff seemed quite a bit bigger than the previous ones made with the recommended yarn, but I held them together and they seemed to at least be shirttail relatives. Then before I picked up the stitches for the gusset, I thought it was just too big and maybe I should just frog the whole thing and find something else to knit with my 4 skeins of sale yarn. I kept knitting. I will say that the house sock seems almost pre-felted because the fabric's so dense. I love the colors and it's really soft. I'll keep going and see what happens. And you know I'll make it a mate, a person can't wear just one. Can you say denial?

I will say that as hard as it is to knit that thick yarn on such thin needles it's making working on the Red Licorice Sweater sleeve a breeze. Rows just seem to effortlessly stack up in groups of 8, which is when I have to increase so I see it in 8-row segments in my mind. See?

And for nearly totally mindless knitting I cast on a Silk Road Bias Bag from some of my eBay-bought reclaimed silk yarn. I could stare at the colors all day. So rich.

I still also have the Accidental Sock OTN for waiting room and dentist's chair knitting. I'll have the pair finished by next fall when I'll need wool socks again, I promise.

Finally, I used my Barnes & Noble member coupon for April to purchase a
copy of Charmed Knits. I'm such a Harry Potter fan, it's a bit embarrassing.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Darned Sale Rack!

I had to go to Hancock Fabrics yesterday to get a piece of lining fabric and did you know they have yarn there? Just a little, but enough to make a few shelves of 40% off yarn. I told myself I was just going to look for some variegated bulky to knit more House Socks. There wasn't any bulky variegated, but there were some skeins on the sale shelves that looked pretty interesting. And I was powerless to resist.

What I bought was 6 skeins of Lion Landscape (Super-Bulky maybe too bulky for house socks but I'll try) in Deep Sea, 4 skeins of Lion Landscape (ditto) in Spring Desert, and 2 skeins of Lion Jiffy (which is Bulky so should be good for house socks) in Plum.

Someday I'll have enough hands or time to knit everything I want to make when I want to make it. Although I think even if I morph into the Hindu goddess with the eight arms (Kali?) it wouldn't be enough for my greedy eyes.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

So, What Am I Working On Now?

I haven't been lolling on the couch like a slug or doodling around on the internet, no siree. I've been knitting and here's proof.

From oldest project to newest: I knit a few rounds on Accidental Sock #1 at work last week and while waiting for a friend to arrive at a cafe. I am eternally enchanted by the magic of self-striping/self-patterning yarn. I wonder how someone figures out where and how long to make the colors to make stripes and speckles.

Then I cast on the second sleeve of the Red Licorice sweater/swing jacket. I do love that variegated yarn; it's got all my favorite colors: red, yellow, orange, and brown. And it's going faster too. Maybe I'm getting better at this knitting stuff.

Finally I couldn't wait any longer to cast on and knit another Unbiased Bag (I'm calling it the Silk Road Bag) with some of the 10 skeins of Free Trade silk yarn I got off eBay for next to nothing. DH reprised his role as yarn swift while I cranked the ball winder; I have to say he's much more entertaining to watch than a swift. Love the jewel tones of the yarn. I could admire it all day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

House Socks Done!

These were a fast knit. I confess, I do love knitting with chunky or thicker yarn. Don't get me wrong, I like worsted and DK and fingering yarn, I do, but you need to use such tiny needles and it takes so long to finish things. *sigh* I'm all about instant-ish gratification. Love the Cozy House Socks. They're, um, cozy. See? I also decided I'm in love with the pooling on the feets. You can kind of see where I had to join the second skein on the left foot but really it's just not that noticeable in the whole swirly scheme of things. Next time I make them, and there will be a next time, I'll decrease to fewer than 10 stitches on the toe before Kitchener-ing to avoid the wide squared off ends.

Oh, and I cast on the second Red Licorice Swing Jacket sleeve last night.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Extreme Pooling

I go back and forth feeling like I should have frogged back and fixed the foot of this house sock, but then I think it's just a house sock and it's for me so I kind of like how the color changed from the cuff & heel, to the foot, then back at the toe. Thankfully it looks like the second one's doing the same. Whew.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Monday? Oh Wait, It's Thursday.

This is what happens when you take a day off mid-week to hang with your groom-to-be son for a couple days before all that "mature adult real life" stuff happens next month. I have to face it, my baby David's grown up (he'll be 30 in November) and I'm not his best girl anymore--and it would be wrong (and more than a little creepy) for me to be that at this late date. We lovelovelove his bride (hi, Abby) and think they're going to have such a fun and adventurous life together. All you mothers of sons out there should be so lucky if your son finds a girl like our Abby. She's funny and down to earth and an absolutely fabulous cook and, best of all, she thinks our son is wonderful. Since we do too, she fits right in. Anyway, when you take an extra day off you lose track of the days and are lucky you caught it early enough that you don't stay at work an extra hour and miss knitting with the ladies at Patti's. It would be bad to miss knitting night.

Real knitting content next!

I've been working on my Accidental Sock pretty regularly (it was a big help during my surprise root canal on Tuesday) but the yarn's so skinny and the needles are too. I knit and knit and don't get very far and get a little discouraged. I hoped that making the April KAL dishcloth would help, and it did a bit but not enough. For some reason I'm not quite ready to cast on the next sweater piece so I'm left with...nothing else to knit. *gasp*

Mary was knitting on a house sock last week and said it's really easy. I have the book with the pattern but didn't have any bulky/chunky yarn that I wanted to use for them. Solved that problem by going to Patti's after my haircut yesterday, mostly to show off David who I talk about incessantly (I talk about you too, Ann, but they hadn't met/seen David. Sadly Dorothy & Iris weren't there so David didn't get the full treatment, but it was spur of the moment. And don't think you won't get dragged in there one day, Abby. I'm just waiting for my chance to show you off too), but also to buy some chunky yarn (it's color #7128). Then of course I had to cast them on last night. Got the cuff done and I'm zooming through the heel flap. Knitting sock-like items is even better with thicker yarn and bigger needles!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

April Dishcloth

When I get bored with the projects I have in progress I yearn for something fast and easy, enter the Yahoo Groups Dishcloth Knit-A-Long. First of the month's cloth is a picture and usually calls for solid yarn, middle of the month is a new technique or stitch and can be made with variegated. This month's cloth is what looks like four Dum Dum suckers with the sun shining down but is probably meant to be some sort of flowers. It has bobbles. Maybe you're not supposed to wash with this one, only admire it. Or maybe it's for exfoliating. I like it, especially the seed stitch border, I love seed stitch borders, it's just not what I expected, but it kept me amused for a few days.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Red Shoes

Just so you don't think I'm going to be a total wallflower in my pretty ecru dress at our son's wedding in six weeks (everyone knows the mother of the groom's supposed to wear beige and keep her mouth shut), here's a peek at my shoes and bag. RED and shiny and pointy! Also very comfortable, but that's not the important part--they're red! I have matching nail polish and have requested a red corsage. Now all I need to find is some jewelry...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I'm not very patient. People who know me know this. So it should come as no surprise that as soon as I got back home from the successful Mother-of-the-Groom Dress Hunt...

I picked up my needles and decreased away on the raglan part of sleeve #1. I didn't expect to have to keep knitting on the last 6 stitches to make it as long as needed, but that's what the pattern said to do. See that odd little tab-thing on the top? I'm hoping that
once it's attached to the other pieces it'll look normal.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I never thought I'd be so happy to see an armpit, but I made it to the raglan decreases of my first sweater sleeve last night and I couldn't be more thrilled. I can't wait to get this sweater done (all I have left to do is finish this sleeve, make the other one, then knit the fronts, the back, seam it together, and add the collar) and wear it.

I could have used it yesterday at work. It was rainy all day and just above freezing so it felt extra chilly in the dive shop. Good thing I grabbed my Short & Sassy Shawl as I left the house. Who'dda thunk a webby triangle of fuzzy yarn with big holes in it would be so warm? Not me, but it was. And it didn't leave too many threads on my yellow sweater.