Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Clapotis revealed

Finally, a free moment while there is sunlight and it isn't raining thanks to the woman who is quickly becoming one of my favorite people! Hi Sarah! She is my son's best friend's mother. And she doesn't read the blog - how dumb am I for the shout out to someone who will never know it!

As promised, here are pics and details of the clapotis. I only did 2 repeats of the increase section. I wasn't sure how much yarn it would take and I didn't want a stumpy scarf. Like it matters, I'm not keeping, not sure what my sensibilities have to do with anything... I blocked the snot out of it. I'm still not sure about that. I really like the way it curled up and the dropped stitches almost created the look of ribbing. But, it's stockinette and it curled and that drove me nuts.

The difference between the skeins is remarkable. What you are seeing is a pretty true representation of the color. The teal is just a bit blinding.

I have just another moment before I must retrieve Caleb - which he will hate. But I wanted to show you the most remarkable (to me) flower that showed up in our garden. Keep in mind that we rent while Eric is in school and the landlords have a pretty well established perennial garden going. I have been doing the upkeep on it because I love fresh flowers during the summer. This one must not have shown up last summer because I would have remembered.

Overall I am quite happy with how the side garden looks.

Monday, May 29, 2006

2 down a bazillion to go

I managed to finish two projects this weekend. Granted neither were particularly difficult (provide that one can count stitches). The simple garter knit scarf from the discount yarn that I will sell at the craft show is now done. As is my clapotis. I blocked the clapotis as I wasn't keen on how it was curling up. Duh - stockinette. Oh well, either way, I love it and am very tempted to buy more of the kimik yarn just to make this again. However, I have oodles of yarn in my stash that needs to be worked before I can consider buying more just for the sake of stash enhancement. But so far, the best has been overdyeing the ugly gray and white yarn that I bought on clearance. I was not enamored of it but couldn't resist the price when I bought it. As I am on a bit of a purple kick lately, I decided to overdye it. As I mentioned yesterday, I started using the Paas, but it didn't really come out as I hoped. So, I picked up a bunch of kool-aide at the grocery store yesterday. As there are a lot of great tutorials out there on Kool-aide dyeing, I'm not going to reinvent the wheel. I used a ration of 3 packs of Kool-aide for each 3.5 oz. skein. I used 2 grapes and 1 black cherry and it came out beautifully. I am so happy with the results. The shades of color are much better than I expected. When I used the Paas, I heated the dyepot on the stove, but for the Kool-aide, I stuck the pot out in the sun because it was about 90 degrees yesterday - blech. I have already wound the first hank into a ball and cast on for another felted hat.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Clapotis is nearly finished

I haven't been blogging much lately because I have been horribly busy with work. This appears to be the new status quo, much to my dismay. I received my work laptop yesterday which means that I no longer have an excuse to not work from home. Thankfully, I have a couple of projects that will be do-able now that I am working on a laptop and not an internet-based interface. The cool part is that this laptop will replace my CPU at work. Don't ask me how, I'm not a techie. I just know that they set up something called a docking station and take the CPU away. I keep my monitor, keyboard and mouse, but it all hooks into the docking station and the laptop. Guess I better not forget it at home! On to knitting news... Clapotis has been an intriguing pattern to knit because it is well thought out. (Yes, I realize that I am WAAAY behind the times with this particular project.) I am working my way through the decrease rows and hope to finish this weekend. The use of knit and purl stitches at the begining of each row impresses me because it keep both edges looking almost identical. I am still liking this yarn even if it is brighter than I had hoped in the second skein. I have noticed that my bamboo needles are staining from this second skein of yarn, so I hope that when I wash it, the bright teal will tone down a bit. Right now it is rather eye-searingly bright. Hopefully the recipient will like it. Tonight I made my first foray into dyeing. The colors didn't come out quite as intensely has I had hoped, so I may try again. I used overdyed the 60% off gray yarn that I purchased a while ago. The color just didn't do much for me. I used some Paas Easter egg dye that I picked up after Easter. I think I used way to much yarn for the dye because it was exhausted right away. Tomorrow, I will pick up a coordinating Kool-aide color and try it again. Poor Eric is not thrilled that I used one of our regular pots for this experiment. I will try to make a run to a second hand shop for a used pot, but I definately want one that is stainless steel. I will post pictures of this after I get the colors just right. Overall dyeing was much more fun than I thought it would be. At some point, I am going to have to get the KnitPicks dye-your-own yarn and try it again.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Lace and other projects

I am not entirely sure that I am in love with this lace pattern. It appears to be well written. I have been following the chart and haven't found any errors. Generally, when there are mistakes, they are mine, a yarn over missed or that slipped over a marker. A part of me wants to knit something more like the Tina shawl, with loads of different motifs and patterns and a frilly, lacey edge. On the other hand, this is a nice simple pattern, with only 12 rows and 20 stitches in a repeat. Easy to learn, nothing too complicated. Good to see that this photographs so clearly. NOT.

I'm glad that I have read loads of tips on knitting lace, most importantly, how to use lifelines. I had just finished the first repeat of the pattern and was counting and recounting stitches, when I saw IT. A dropped stitch. That had unraveled several rows. My heart stopped. At this point, I am such a novice lace knitter that I chose to frog back to the lifeline. All is well now and I have started the second repeat. Clapotis is moving along well. I have started the second skein and have fallen victim to the classic dilemma of hand painted yarns. They don't match. Take a look at the pictures from the beginning of the scarf compared to the end by the needle. The teal is much more prominent in the second skein and is pooling horrendously. However as this FO will not stay at my house, I think I can live with it.

It also touches a nerve because I CANNOT tolerate scarves that are not reversible, such as My So Called Scarf. While the front is amazing - the stitch pattern is simple beyond belief, but what a pretty fabric, the back is booooriiiiing. But again, this is not staying here, so I will suck it up.



Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Completely random Tuesday

Yep - I got a whole lot of nuttin' so I thought I would post about all of the little dribs and drabs that have come up. 1. The second Very Pink Hat is off the needles and just needs felting. I knit like crazy over the weekend and got it done. However, my wrist is now killing me. 2. Clapotis progresses. I have nearly completed the first of 2 skeins. This will be a rather short scarf, but I am loving all of it. 3. The size 2 needles are much better for the lace. The once bent tip works like a charm. 4. I am going start a My So Called Scarf out of the another color of the Cartwheel - bronzeberry (the VPH is raspberry). I have another 4 skeins of Cartwheel in neapolitan which is a lighter pink than the raspberry. 5. I have 5 more skeins of the thick and thin stuff that I am making the garter stitch scarf out of and because they are 3 different colors, I am thinking of trying my hand at overdying them so that I can at least use all of them in the same project. At a minimum, the stuff that is grey, dark grey, white and all the shades in between has to become something else. I picked up some Pas egg dyes after Easter, so who knows what I'll get. 6. While surfing (the web) this weekend, I stumbled across this link. I thought I would pee myself, I laughed so hard. Check out the missions. 7. Check out the way cool shadow knitting shawl my friend Tracy finished.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Last night I was knitting for a bit on the garter st scarf when I decided that it was too boring. So, I pulled out the thread yarn and cast on for the Pinwheel Lace Shawl. It was more fun than I expected, but I did run into a couple of snags. First, I think I might need to go up a needle size. I bought a size 1 circ, but am thinking that a size 2 might be better. However, I am way too cheap to spring for another needle. Then, I got inspired and dug through the stash of needles I inherited from my great-grandmother. I found a pair of size 2 straights (I never use straights - hate them, too much strain on my wrists) but the tip on one of them was bent. Not just a bend in the needle from being used, but the super pointy (yeah! - the circ I purchased was too dull) tip looked as if it had been dropped right on the point. Being the cheapskate that I am frugal, I thought about it for a bit and realized that I might be able to heat the tip on the gas stove and bend it straight, or at least straighter. It worked like a dream. It did burn off the pretty pink coating, but hey - I get to use Grandma's needles, how cool is that! Second, I discovered that I was not able to keep an accurate stitch count. How big a problem this will be, remains to be seen. Third, I realized that I don't have an available row counter. I guess this means that I will need to finish up either the Clapotis or the felted hat. Or, I could stop by Joann's and pick up another set, but somehow, it seems like I should be able to survive with 2 of them. Because of the problems with the stitch count, I ripped it all out. I was only about 15 rows in, so it wasn't a big deal. I am enjoying Clapotis more than I thought I would. It is fun to see the stitches run and know that it is intentional. The colors are lining up well also, not too much pooling or flashing, but enough so that it doesn't look stupid. The second very pink hat is progressing. Sorry, no pictures of this as it is an exact repeat.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Added bloglines

Just as a bit of an ego stroke, I added a button so you can subscribe to a feed of my blog through bloglines. Personally, I love the site, but that's just me. Today was a total loss of a day. I swear, I had the anti-Midas touch. Everything I touched turned to total and utter crap. I won't bore you with the details, but for once, not all of it was due to my own inherent stupidity. I'm a bit nervous about picking up the knitting tonight. I might just stick with something simple like this.

I should have enough mojo left to not screw up garter stitch. I hope. Maybe, I'll give this a whirl.

Or, maybe the next very pink hat, which is already on the needles. All of them are easy. On the other hand, it might not be a bad idea to start for the Amazing Lace. There is no way that I will finish the thing in the "allotted time" so, hey, I may as well start now. I am a bit worried about knitting a pattern that calls for laceweight yarn and substituting cobweb weight, but I had been coveting that yarn for several years. When it finally offered itself to me with a 30% discount, how could I hurt it's feelings refuse. The yarn is Merino Oro in black. (I couldn't link to just the black because they don't have a picture of it.) I bought a size 1 needle, so we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Finally - knitting content

I'm done with the third second sock! I am so happy with how the stripes lined up, it's just about perfect.

(ignore the cankles)

I am way to incompetent lazy to kitchner the toes, so I did a three needle bind-off, but other than that I tried to follow the directions faithfully. As usual, Kathy's pattern is spot on. I can't wait to find just the right yarn for her Odessa cap. (Sorry - I am too tired to find the link right now, it's on

Monday, May 08, 2006

Knitting Content at Last

This is going to be short and sweet. I sucked it up and have almost finished the second Jaywalker. I just need to finish the toe decreases and weave in the loose ends. All of this was enabled by Caleb wanting to spend several hours at the local playground on Sunday. Thank goodness for sock knitting at the park. I don't know how other mom's do it. I can't just sit there. Instead, I cranked out a good 2" on the foot. I will have this bad boy (girl?) done tomorrow and ready to mail off to Mom next week after they get washed. A girl has to model her conquests, right? Thanks for the great responses to my last post. It was not intended to be a diatribe, begging for more comments, but thanks for leaving them. I promise that I will have more knitting content and pictures in the next few days.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Bad blogger

I've been thinking lately that I would like to increase the traffic to the blog. For me, part of the fun of blogging is reading comments. But, I have to admit, I am an inveterate lurker. I surf lots of blogs but don't leave many comments myself. Mostly, this is because, by the time I get around to posting, what I want to say has already been said. Once a posting has X number of posts, I don't see much point in saying "me too." On the other hand, I know that one of the best ways to increase traffic to my blog is to leave comments on the blogs of others. Just like me most bloggers check out who is checking them out. Its a conundrum. Putting soapbox away On the knitting front, I have started a new project using the gorgeous KimiK yarn that I bought off of ebay. Holy cow is it some nice feeling yarn. The fabric is a bit looser than what I would like for a sweater, but the drape and the hand are to die for. I don't know where she gets her yarn, but I love it. (now that I've said that, it is probably some of the dye your own from KnitPicks or something similar - just 'cuz that is my kind of karma lately) The colors are pooling nicely, not too much all at once. I do realize that this is more a product of the number of stitches than anything else, but still, it's nice that it is working the way I would like it to. The gusset is done on the Jaywalkers. Hopefully that means the entire sock will be done soon. Alas, as my house has not been invaded by either knitting or yarn fairies, I suspect that I may need to pick up the project for this to occur. Last night I was quite diligent. I knit a round, stopped and looked longingly at the KimiK yarn project sitting all by itself on the chair. Shaking myself mentally I knit another 2 whole rounds when my hands wilted onto my lap causing me to gaze at the KimiK for longer than was seemly. Mustering great fortitude, I cranked out another 2 rounds, then I had to pet it - the KimiK that is. It was a long evening of knitting without much accomplished. I will promise picture of the sock that won't end once they are both completed. Just a note to my mom - the destinee for the Jaywalkers. I am enjoying knitting them, its just with all of the false starts, finishing the second sock is really like knitting a third. Honest.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Oh crap

It looks as if I have fallen victim to my own sense of inadequacy and join a KAL. Check out the new button. Good thing I got the toy when I did. It would have been a real pain to wind all that yarn by hand. I already have the pattern picked out and am just waiting to start. Not as if I didn't have anything better to do in my "free" time. The Jaywalkers are progressing. Sorry, no picture, I am just about done with the gusset. Been there, done that. These appear to be identical twins, we'll see how they finish up. I am still designing (mentally) a felted handbag. I'm just not sure what exactly I want to do. I am thinking a shape that is similar to the Sophie bag, but I definately want to add some color work to this. Maybe a houndstooth type pattern. Although I am having some difficulty in getting my hands on that particular stitch. Hopefully this weekend I can get to the library by myself and see if they have a Barbara Walker Treasury on the shelf. Hmmm, on second thought, maybe I should use a zigzag done with stranded color work, not like the jaywalkers.

Monday, May 01, 2006

My new toy

I started this post on Friday of last week. I am WAY to lazy to edit it and start over. So, change all of the today's to Friday's. This post is very picture heavy - so grab a cup of your favorite beverage and hang for a bit. My ball winder arrived today. It appears to be an older model where the guide for the yarn moves and the post stays in the same position. I was a bit nervous while bidding on it, but it works perfectly.

I turned this

Into this. Which begs the question, what am I going to do with it now?

But what made me even happier was turning 1200 yards of cobweb weight black thread into this tidy little ball. What you barely see at the bottom of the ball, next to the thread yarn, is a size 0 needle.

Eric snapped a couple of pictures of me winding the black thread (honestly, this stuff is too thin to consider yarn - what was I thinking). Doncha love the improvised swift? After the most recent credit card bill, I will be using this one for quite a while!

Even with the winder it still took more than 20 minutes to wind this ball. But, had I been doing in around my thumb, it would have taken house.

I finished the baby hat and that is going in the sell pile for the craft fair this fall. I know it looks like the umbilical hat from S'n'B but I don't have that book, and have been knitting these since who knows when.