28 February 2007

You Know A Man Loves You...

when he gives you part of his stash. I know I already posted today, but gosh darn it, I just had to share this right away. This box arrived in the mail today from my Texan:

gifted stash

He keeps saying his stash is too big (it totally isn't) and I keep saying mine is too small (it totally is), so he sent me a few things to help even things out. He also sent me one of his gnome hats, with what is probably a silent dare to wear it in public. I'll leave the decision up to the S'nBers: should I wear it this Sunday?

The yarn: four balls of Cascade Pearls (two each of colors 9464 and 9546), two balls of Di.Ve' Laureen (discontinued, 15% Mohair, 44% Wool, 41% Acrylic) in color 821, a ball of Lamb's Pride Bulky in Fuchsia, and one ounce of glow in the dark phospherent nylon from HeartStrings FiberArts.

Not pictured were two boxes of curry mix, a bag of Earl Grey candies, some music, Firefly, and one of his old shirts. Every girl in a long-distance relationship needs a Boyfriend Shirt, you see. Wrapping herself in his scent helps keep the loneliness at bay between visits.

It's time for me to feed the dog, put on my Boyfriend Shirt, pop Firefly in the DVD player, and figure out what to make with all of this yarn. Mmmmm.

Word of Warning

I hate to speak ill of a company unless it's deliberately obnoxious, but, for the sake of preserving the sanity of other sock/lace knitters out there, I need to warn you about Crystal Palace Yarns needles. Let me say first that I have no experience with their larger needles. This warning is only about the bamboo US#1/2.25mm circular needles.

These needles have a lip where the needle meets the cord. That joint is a ball-and-socket, which allows the needle to twist without twisting the cord. This is, in theory, a great idea. Unfortunately, at the 2.25mm size, there's enough of a difference between the size of the ball and the size of the socket that moving stitches from the cord to the needle is extremely frustrating.

Crystal Palace Yarns 2.25mm bamboo circs

I apologize for the blurry picture, but even with the blur, the lip is obvious. I want to love these needles, I really do, but trying to get stitches over the lip is annoying and time-consuming. Over the course of working the SuperSockeSock, I've found a way to hold the needle when moving stitches that sort of works, but the last few stitches still get stuck, and it doesn't work at all for lace rows.

As I said, I want to love these needles. I adore wood needles, and would love to have nothing but. These circs are just getting on my nerves so much that I don't want to work with them again. I may end up working the second SuperSockeSock on DPNs for the sake of my blood pressure.

So there it is: beautiful needles, soft and quiet, but that lip drives me bonkers.

26 February 2007

Super! Claudia!

Y'know how I said I'd been bad, casting on new projects and ignoring the old ones? Yeah. It gets worse.

After finishing the Falling Leaves socks (which I wore to the S'nB today), I decided that I need more socks, and since they're small and quick to make, they shouldn't take much time away from the older projects. Right? Right. So I cast on with the Supersocke yarn Friday night.


I just finished turning the heel on the first one tonight. I went with Mum and sis to an orchid show in New Hampshire on Saturday, and while everyone else was looking at the pretty flowers, I was working on this sock. Five or six people came up to me during the three hours we were there and asked me what I was working on. One woman was amazed to learn that one could knit with needles the thickness of toothpicks (US#1). I love the cotton/wool/nylon yarn, I have a burning hatred for k4tog and k4togtbl, and I won't buy Crystal Palace bamboo circs ever again. The lace pattern is #188 from Lesley Stanfield's The New Knitting Stitch Library.

Apparently having one sock to work on isn't enough. Halfway through SuperSockeSock #1, I picked up the Cherry Tree Hill merino I got at Rhinebeck and started a sock I've dubbed "The Claudia," since I saw Claudia shortly before looking at the yarn, and I think her orange obsession rubbed off on me. (I was too much of a wuss to say hi to her, or to Stephanie, but seeing knitblogging celebrities in person really thrilled me. I'm going to try to say hi to more of the bloggers this year.)

Where was I? Oh, right, The Claudia.

Claudia sock

It's bright, happy, and just a little bit twisted. Like me! It was partially inspired by Stephanie, as well... the darker sock in this post got the creative juices flowing in my brain when I was planning this design. The two-stitch cables are twisted every fourth row, and have a 1-stitch purl border on each side. And while I'm thinking about patterns and charts, go pester David to add more stitches to VisiKnit so we can chart lace as well as cables. ;)

Putting down the needles and going to bed now... well, maybe once I finish this row... or this repeat... or something.

22 February 2007

Falling and Frogging

They're finished. Finally. The ends have even been woven in. I love these socks, but it took me way too long to make them. This is the problem with having too many WsIP: there are too many distractions.

Falling Leaves socks

There's yet another WIP that I'd like to tell you about, but I'm thinking about submitting it to Knitty, so I don't want to let too much slip. If I do submit it, it'll be for next Autumn/Winter, so I'll just tease you with glimpses of it until then.


That's it on the left, in the jug. See, I got it just about finished tonight, and then decided that it needed to be re-worked, so I frogged it. I'm evil, aren't I? The blue and the crazy variegated yarns were a hat and a pair of mittens that I frogged in the theater on Sunday. (The Bridge to Terabithia is NOT for young kids. The last half hour had all of the adults sniffling and most of the kids sobbing. It was very, very good.) The orange at the bottom is the sock yarn I picked up at Rhinebeck. I'm trying to decide whether to use it or the Supersocke first. The purple is a mitten in the middle of being frogged, and will probably end up being a pair of gloves. Way over on the right you can see a little of the alpaca shawl, tucked away in its bag so the cats don't nest in it.

I have to be up in 8 hours, so it's time for sleep. I hope I can make it upstairs before I fallzzzzzzzZZZZzzz...

21 February 2007

Finished Falling

The Falling Leaves socks are finished!

More when I've time and energy to think beyond *k2, p2, rep from *.

19 February 2007

More, More, More
(How Do You Like It?)

I've been a bad girl.

I have over a dozen WsIP. I still haven't finished Falling Leaves. (Just a few more rows of ribbing to go!) I really shouldn't be starting anything new, right?

So why is there a new project on my needles?

I bought yarn the other night. It wasn't much... just three balls of Wool-Ease. One will be a hat for my sister (which should have been a Christmas present, but I got distracted), another will probably be Greenery mittens/gloves when I get around to designing them, and the third ball was out of its band and being worked an hour after I got it home.

Let's hear it for cheap and easy yarn!

The third ball is on its way to being my first pair of gloves. All of the digits for the first glove are finished, and now I'm trying to figure out how to work the hand. At the S'nB yesterday, Sunflowerfairy mentioned that I don't work from patterns very much. She's right... I think Falling Leaves and Intolerable Cruelty are the only projects I've used patterns for. Well, there were those mittens that I made just before Christmas and frogged at the movies last night... ugh. I like experimenting, but I like using particular techniques. Like with these gloves, I worked the fingers tip-down with short rows instead of palm-up with decreases.

David says I'm a knitting snob. I say I have a refined and specific taste in designs and techniques.

Yeah, I'm a knitting snob. I'm also easily distr... ooh, pretty new yarn! I need to go knit now.

16 February 2007

To Frog Or To Finish?

After that Active Projects showcase, I present the Dormant Projects collection. First up, a project that was put aside relatively recently:

magenta bag

Tunisian/Afghan crochet isn't something I can do for long stretches, apparently. It's more of an on-again-off-again affair. I'll finish the bag eventually, but for now it's living in the bag I bring to the S'nB, hoping I'll put down Intolerable Cruelty.

brown bag

Remember the brown bag? The one I was messing with last year, and was so excited about when I started it? Yeah. I haven't touched it in months. I still love the idea, but I don't know if it'll come out the way I pictured it.

grey shrug

I officially hate this shrug. I should frog it. Trouble is, the yarn is Lion Brand "Jiffy", which doesn't frog well, and which I can't really use for anything else because of the fuzz factor. (I itch. Hooboy, do I ever itch.) It's not that far from being finished, but it requires more motivation and love than I have for it right now.

lemonegg shrug

I want to finish this one, and it's almost there. It just needs another five inches or so. Then I get to decide what I'm doing with the other four skeins of this airy acrylic/nylon.

project linus blanket

I feel bad for not having this finished yet, since it's for charity, but... it's so boring. Long rows of stockinette turn my brain to mush. Unhappy mush, at that. Mush that longs for lace or cables. Mush that would give anything for a sock that would work up quickly. Mush that... well, you get the idea.

renfaire stockings

These will be finished by the first RenFaire of the year. They will. I may be up late the night before the faire, cursing my procrastination, but the bloody things will be finished. Grr.

I'm thinking about taking the hoodie off the sidebar. I haven't touched it in ages, and I've already started thinking of alternate uses for the yarn. I think it's on its way to being frogged. It's a pity, but I've learned my lesson: when doing a big project, make sure you have enough yarn for it to begin with. Don't buy a few skeins and figure you'll go back and get more when you have time/money.

The Falling Leaves socks are almost finished. If I don't have time tomorrow, I'll almost certainly be binding off at the S'nB on Sunday.

14 February 2007

Hi, Craftsters!

First off, a hearty welcome to all the nice people who came here from Craftster thanks to Sunflowerfairy and Baigneuse. Have a seat, and I'll put the kettle on.

I think it's time for a progress report. A lot of the projects in the sidebar have gone dormant while I focus on my favorites: Intolerable Cruelty, Falling Leaves, and the Alpaca Shawl.

intolerable cruelty

This is center-front. The purl row down at the bottom of the picture will be the top of the waistband. I've just started decreasing as I pass the widest part of the hips. Only another 15 inches to go!

falling leaves socks

I'm almost finished with the Falling Leaves socks. I'd forgotten how quickly these things work up. Once I finish these, I should probably give some of my older projects some attention, but I'll most likely cast on with the Supersocke yarn and see if I can find a lace or knit-purl pattern I like. Speaking of the Supersocke:


It's not a colorway I'd usually like, but it spoke to me that day.

alpaca shawl

I haven't touched the Alpaca Shawl (I need a better name for this thing... suggestions?) in a while, but I'm still madly in love with it, and I'll probably do a few rows tonight. I think this is the best picture of it, color-wise. It really is that bright.

11 February 2007

I Hab A Code

David made me smile. He made me laugh. He made me sigh happily. He made me wish I could see him more often than once every few months.

He also made me sick. This sore throat? Stuffy head? Sneezing? Coughing? Inability to sleep? All his fault.

If I'd known how icky I was going to feel because of him before he got here, would I have told him not to come?

Not for the world.

Since he left, I've done one row of Intolerable Cruelty and started the second Falling Leaves sock. I'm not feeling up to going to the S'nB this week, but I'll try to get in some knitting time between Tylenol doses.

06 February 2007

Short But Sweet

The weekend was wonderful. We had dinner with my family Saturday night, and my family managed to act like normal people. We went yarn shopping and hung out with the SnBers on Sunday (and David fell victim to my "honey, please?" eyes bought me a copy of Naughty Needles). Monday morning we browsed the LYS, toured my school, and then he got on a plane back to Texas and I cried all the way home.

I picked up a ball of sock yarn (On Line's Supersocke 100 Summer Color #790) and two US#1 Crystal Palace bamboo circs. I'm trying to keep myself from casting on with this yarn until I finish some of my WsIP, but I don't know how much more self-control I can muster.

Now it's back to reality and routine, with a countdown to April, when I'll see David again.

Smitten. Definitely smitten.

Edited to add:

Sunday night at dinner:
waitress - "So, you guys aren't really interested in the game, huh?"
David - "No, we don't follow hockey."

Altered Greenery

Baigneuse made (and adapted) my hat! Yay!

I'll post about the weekend once I've had a chance to relax and sort out all the memories.