Sunday, August 28, 2005

hello from boston!

No knitting, no pictures, just wanted to report that I am now in Cambridge, MA. My stuff is in various boxes and suitcases, some of which are partly open, and this room is SUCH a mess at the moment (after less than 24 hours...) that it's funny. Except, I can't find anything. And I can't even take a picture of it because my camera's batteries are dead and who knows where I packed the extra batteries? Not me!

But I had an awesome first night in Boston last night, and if I go to the other side of my building I have a gorgeous view of the river, and I think I can get used to this. :)

Friday, August 26, 2005

my first meme

I guess I was tagged-by-association by Amy for this meme, but I'm actually going to cheat a bit on it:

My 23rd post, 5th 6th sentence reads:

Progress, yay!
(The 5th sentence was some boring about waist increases and binding off - I like this much better. If only that could be the theme of my life...)

Instructions for meme:
1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five people to do the same.

Hmm... who to tag... how about whoever reads this? :) (I'd tag specific people but I don't think I have that many readers anyway!)

soon to come: another finished pair of socks, yet another pair started, and an attempted sleeve surgery

ribbed stripey socks

finished stripey socks

pattern: Wendy's Generic Toe-up Sock Pattern with 3x1 ribbing on the instep and cuff, 1x1 ribbing on top, and a sewn BO
yarn: 1 ball Plymouth Sockotta (45% cotton, 40% superwash wool, 15% nylon / 414 yds per 100g ball)
needles: Inox size 3 dpns
gauge: 6.5 sts / 1"
date finished: July 2005

I actually finished knitting these a while ago, but I wore them once before washing them, and they were not comfortable at all so they kind of got thrown in the corner. I finally washed them a week ago, and they're much better. But overall I don't really like this yarn... it's not the softest, and while I was knitting it had zero stretch. Because of this, even with all the ribbing, the socks are a little slouchy. The color repeats in the yarn were so long that instead of trying to line up the colors, I was only able to line up the stripes, so I couldn't make the socks identical. And the yarn made my 1x1 ribbing look awful, and it didn't really expand or readjust to fill in the holes at the ankles.

ribbed stripey sock

But with all that said, this is the first real pair of socks I've knit for myself. Next time I think I'll stick to wool (or stretchy cotton) sock yarns, but the finished product is very wearable and they do fit well.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

a socky miracle! and some tee progress...

So. There I was knitting away on the socks for my secret pal - I had finished one and was halfway through the second - when lo and behold, I ran out of yarn. I undid the toe on the first one, used that extra yarn to get the second up to the same place, and figured I would find some way to finish the toes.

Stop #1 was the small store where I got the yarn in the first place; they didn't have the same dyelot anymore, and they didn't have anything else that could work. Stop #2 was the tiny new LYS very close to my house that I had been meaning to try; they only had a few balls of sock yarn, nothing close to the right color. Stop #3 was the LYS I've gone to a few times and had moderate success at - still nothing good. I began to think I had an impossible request - sport-weight machine washable wool (or a wool/nylon blend) that matched these.

As a last resort, I made the trek allll the way out to Irvington to check out Flying Fingers, since I'd heard so much about them. And look what was there waiting for me!

louet sales gems quartz yarn

It's Louet Sales Gems Quartz yarn, with 3 strands of green twisted together, that matches perfectly!!

a perfect match!

It's a little thicker than the other yarn, but it's close enough. I finished off my toes, threw the socks in the washer and dryer, and they came out wonderfully soft. They're in the mail right now, I'll post a picture once my SP gets the package and my identity is revealed.

Flying Fingers was also having a huuuuge summer sale while I was there. Somehow I used all my will power and only came away with this:

colinette isis

Colinette Isis, a bulky viscose chenille, that was 50% off and is super soft and pretty. It'll make a really nice scarf I think.

My raglan tansy tee is finally coming along too.

more pieces of the tee that never ends

That's the back and a sleeve, I'm part of the way through the second. It would be great to get it finished and seamed up tonight, but if not I'll at least be finished by tomorrow.

That is, if I can squeeze it into my crazy schedule - I'm moving on Friday and I have about a zillion things to do before then! But packing really stresses me out so I can use knitting as a way to relax, and then I don't have to feel guilty, right? :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

... and back to new york.

Sooooo... after a long, hellish flight on Sunday, I am finally home. The weather was really bad in the northeast so we landed temporarily in Rochester on the way to JFK, and just sat there, with no indication of when (or if) we would leave. Two hours later, the plane finally took off. Then we got to JFK and had to sit on the plane for 45 minutes while waiting for a gate. Finally pulled up to the gate, got off, and heard a lovely announcement that our bags would be delayed another 30 minutes.


My plane was originally supposed to land at 11:20pm, and I ended up getting home a little after 4am. So, um, that was fun.

The only good thing to come out of it was this:

back of raglan tansy tee

After months of procrastinating, I finally worked on the raglan tansy tee. I brought the yarn and needles - and no other knitting supplies - on the flight with me, and with all the delays I went from nothing to half a back in that one day. Not bad, I think! It's just that it's boring stockinette all the way through, and the cotton is a little hard on my hands, but now that I'm working on it I just want to be finished with it so that gives me some motivation.

In other news, I pulled out the other 2 balls of wool from mystical creation yarns, and I was not so happy with what I found.

MCY wool yarn

The colors in the ball on the right are much paler, as if the dye didn't saturate fully or was diluted or something. I know that some variation is normal between skeins of handpainted yarn, but this much? So I emailed them and I'm waiting for a response. I don't really want a refund, I just want to know if this is normal because I doubt I'll order from them again if it is. Sigh, I was so excited about the yarn at first... I can probably work with what I have by alternating skeins every 2 rows, but that doesn't make it any less annoying.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

living and swatching in california

Hello from California! I'm here for a week, visiting my boyfriend and friends and generally being weirded out by walking around the campus of the school I graduated from just 2 months ago. It's been a really relaxing vacation so far though... went down to San Diego to visit a friend, went to the beach, had a BBQ, lots of random fun things. And on Monday, I went to my very first stitch 'n bitch! Or, well, a mini stitch 'n bitch anyway. I met up with Jane at a coffee shop (we got a room in the back with a really comfy couch all to ourselves) and it was so much fun! I've never really talked knitting with anyone else, or at least with anyone else who knew what I was talking about. (My family members are getting pretty good at the whole smile-and-nod thing when I ramble on, but that doesn't count.) I can totally see how a regular knitting group with lots of people would be a great way to relax and relieve stress.

While we sat there, I kind of meant to work on one of my projects already in progress, but my order from MCY was waiting for me in California and I couldn't just let it sit there! So I ended up with this:

swatch with yarn from mystical creation yarns

That's the 100% wool in a custom colorway. I kind of like the way it pools in the swatch, but I know I'll get a completely different result when I knit something wider like a sweater. I haven't found a good pattern yet but I'll probably end up winging it. And the colors are just so gorgeous! Can't wait to get home so I can wash my swatch and figure out the gauge and start knitting. Except for that sock I still have to finish, and the stupid raglan tee... hrmph. Too many projects in progress!

Monday, August 01, 2005

i'm here i'm here!

Turns out that 2 weeks of travelling, being sick for a few days, and changing computers all combined are not conducive to blogging. But I'm back now, so I'm updating with lots of pictures to make up for my absence! I was in NYC for a week and got back 2 days ago to find not one, but two packages waiting for me... I'll show a picture of one and see if you can guess the other:

secret pal goodies

My secret pal sent me handmade soap, some really cute beaded stitch markers (which are MUCH nicer than my pitiful attempt to make my own a few weeks ago) and - the best part - a hank of koigu! It is so soft and the colors are gorgeous... reds and purples and pinks... the picture does not do it justice. And yes, I did say she sent me a hank - the toy that came in my other package turned it into its current form. :)

Next up, what I did with (most of) my leftover cotton fleece:

one skein wonder

It's a one skein wonder - knit up very quickly but it was kind of a pain in the ass to knit. Before blocking, it was way too small... I washed it this afternoon and I'm waiting for it to dry. I stretched it out as much as I could so I'm just hoping it will be wearable!

Next up is my newest project:

sock for my secret pal

I feel like I've suddenly become addicted to socks, so I want to spread the addiction around. :) My SP listed herself as an "advanced beginner" and I'm sure she can handle socks, but she had never tried before. So I'm sending her the book "Cool Socks, Warm Feet," a ball of sock yarn (Trekking something or other - saw it at my LYS and it looked interesting), and a pair of handknit socks. I'm using the leftover yarn from the socks I knit my mom for mother's day, I think I should have just enough to make ankle socks for her. (She has size 10 feet, but I keep trying them on on my size 6 feet anyway - when asked what I was working on, I answered, "foot bags.")

I think I really really need a lesson in self-control. I promise I only went into the LYS to buy sock yarn for my secret pal - that's it! - but somehow I left with the sock yarn, 2 balls of Karabella Aurora 8, and a special order for 2 balls of Regia. Um... oops? Well the Aurora 8 is totally defendable - slightly mishapen balls on sale for $5 each, if you've touched this yarn then I'm sure you understand. ;) And the Regia, well, they had one ball of this colorway and I asked if they had a second, almost hoping that they would only have the 1 and I wouldn't even have to consider it. They didn't have any more, but she was very quick to offer to special order it for me at no extra cost, and before I could stop and think I found myself saying yes!

So, uh, here are the reasons I should not have been buying more yarn:

crystal palace kid merino
5 balls of Crystal Palace Kid Merino in a light blue color, to be used doubled for the lacey wrap sweater from Rebecca 29

purple yarn for sockapal2za socks
1 ball (100g) of slightly variegated purple wool for my sockapal2za socks from Weaving Southwest in Taos, NM (technically this is one of their "solid" colors, but there's definitely some variation, which makes it more interesting I think)

yarn from new mexico
This is the rest of the yarn I bought on my road trip from CA to NY that I'm going to use for a sweater. The color is horrible in this pic unfortunately. The top two are camel-colored and dark green natural dyed 100% wool yarns from Tierra Wools in Los Ojos, NM. The middle row is dark red Lamb's Pride which I found incredibly cheap in hank-form at a rest stop in Tuba City, AZ; natural-dyed 100% wool (violet/pink) from La Lana Wools in Taos, NM; and a dark variegated wool-mohair blend also from Weaving Southwest. The bottom is a skein of black Lamb's Pride that I bought from Webs just because I thought it would look nice with black between stripes of the other colors to make them stand out. I still haven't decided if I'm going to look for a pattern for all this, or just make up my own.

But wait, there's more!

berroco pleasure
10 balls of Berroco Pleasure (bought very cheap from Webs because the yarn is being discontinued *sniff*) for this sweater

jo sharp silkroad aran
12 balls of Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran (also bought very cheap, for the same reason, but this time from Elann) for a top down V-neck raglan

AND, waiting for me in California (where I'm going on Friday) is a pound and a half of wool from Mystical Creation Yarns that I ordered 2 or 3 months ago when they had a 20% off sale. TOO MUCH YARN!! (Is there such a thing?)

And that's just what I've acquired in the past 2 months or so, let alone the random yarn I had from before then. It's kind of... um... everywhere. It's taking over the house. If I don't treat it well, there might be a yarn revolution. Guess I should go knit some more...