New Heel

This weekend, I had some hangups, and still got quite a bit done, knitting-wise.  What other wise is there?  I mean, t.v. -wise I don’t really think it’s an accomplishment to get the DVR down to 38% full is it?  It was only a few percentage points above that anyway.  Family-wise, I hung with the niece and nephew Friday night and K the rest of the weekend, and that’s great, but…..it’s every weekend, right?

The  socks….I knit faster than I think sometimes.  There IMG_20140407_120703_056[1]was 3-4 inches to go until the heel should start, so I knit through a show and measured again.  Of course I was past where I wanted to be.  Oops.  But it’s fingering weight and only a few rows, so I’ll go with it. I’m doing the Fish Lips Heel, and it does look pretty cool.  No gaps. K came over to look and even he noticed just how smooth the transition is.

I finished one side of the Houndstooth Cowl.  As mentioned previously, it was fun.  However, once again, I show just how poorly I read patterns.  I start to look at how to end the thing and realize I was supposed to start with the contrast color from the inside portion, not the current contrast portion. So at the very beginning, I made a mistake that I am just going to have to live with somehow.  Ugh. Read, Janell, read.  I cannot seem to teach myself this tiny little important thing.  Oh well. In the end (literally) I will fudge it to make it work. As per usual.

IMG_20140407_121612_447[1]

 

IMG_20140407_121642_807[1]Can’t wait to finish it.

A mistake also reared it’s ugly head on the Hemlock blanket.  I feel as if I am pretty great at fixing lace patterns, especially after Rock Island and Susan’s lessons, but I just couldn’t seem to figure this out.  I put it down, finished something else, came back, and miraculously the mistake just jumped out at me, along with the fix. Back on track now, so all is well.   It’s getting bigger.

Over and out Knittas.   : )

 

Yarny Reading

When K and I are really bored on a Saturday, we will run to the library.  Usually I find myself in the knitting section, where they do have a surprising amount of books.  Then I meet up with him, reading either some sociological treatise or a statistical, mathematical, incalculable (to me) monster book.   This time I picked up ‘The Knitter’s Book of Yarn’ by Clara Parkes.   I have her socks book, and fabulous as it is, it has not changed my mind about knitting them.   At all.   But no one can.  Still, I like her on the pbs show ‘Knitting Daily’, so you know, it’s good to pick up something like that for a bit of light reading.

yarnLove it. It’s funny how I know something, sort of unconsciously, and then someone states it all official-like in a book, and suddenly, I’m slapping my forehead and thinking, yeah, that’s why that…whatever.   Clara is like that.

I’m not as obsessed with fiber as she is, but it’s lovely to read about every little thing.   No question it makes me a better knitter.  Even if I’m just admitting to myself what I already kinda knew.

Knitting:  I’d gotten down to one or two projects and suddenly just started a few things because my work in progress looked sort of boring?   Yeah, I know.   Do I really need a reason to start knitting new things?  No.  No knitter does.

Working on ‘Hounds of Winter’ by Mona Schmidt.   I’d faved it a bit ago and forgot about it until last week when I was looking for yarn for something else entirely at Blazing Needles.   I am quite a bit further than Hounds this pic shows…maybe 3 more repeats.   Stonehedge Shepard’s Wool and size seven needles remind me just what I love about knitting.  It’s not often my loosey goosey gauge does not matter and have me knitting on size ones.   Sigh.

Also working on some socks, with a bit of cashmere in the wool.  They’re so soft I feel like keeping them.  But if I’m going to put the time in for socks, I’m going to give them to someone who truly loves them and cares for them, like my adorable hubby.   He will like these I’m sure, and September won’t come soon enough.

I made these little guys:IMG_20140401_163546 IMG_20140401_163520They were fun and cute and all topsy turvy, from Susan B. Anderson’s Topsy Turvy book, of course.   I love when you knit some little thing, no biggie, and you show it to a non-knitter, or even another knitter, and they FREAK OUT because it’s so fabulous and don’t know how you can do that.   Ever had that happen?  And suddenly you’re a rock star with yarn and sticks.   These guys do that.   I brought them to work and you could hear the cooing down the entire length of the building.   Made me smile.

Which knitting does.  Oftentimes.

Un-Startitis

Every knitter loves to plan new projects, right? Startitis.   New yarn, new pattern, new everything;  just plain fun.   Last night, amazingly, I realized, I have the opposite of startitis.   I am tired of new projects!

It may be because I’ve taken out the fun of yarn shopping and trying to use stash.  It’s possible the fact that every project I’ve done in the last month has taken only a matter of hours to complete.

Composite

Composite

I don’t know.   Whatever it is, Saturday I started and finished a little baby sweater (Composite, so cute and quick!), and Sunday afternoon realized I had not started a new project. AND DIDN’T WANT TO.

I am tired of gauge swatches, especially since my gauge is out of control again and I’m knitting everything on size 2 needles.  Ugh.  I need a long project.  A Rock Island.  A sweater.  Something substantial. I think that’s it at least.  Maybe?

Then I start mentally searching my stash.  I have yarn for Hemlock Ring.  There is enough Steven Loves Tosh for that little sweater I picked last fall.  So I should start digging through my needles and figuring out gauge.

Legwarmers

Legwarmers

Instead I decide to do some legwarmers to match the baby sweater.  I can’t give just one thing, right?  No swatch, needles handy, all set.  There you go.  I knit and still, laziness complete.

 

P.S.  I feel this little sweater is a bit plain with no color variation.  Is it just because I’m not a fan of green?

What year is it?

I remember saying this would be the year of the sock, but honestly so far I’ve knit a lot of hats!! I have one pair of socks on needles, just a basic pair I swear to make fit perfectly using Fish Lips Heel pattern as mentioned before.

IMG_20140202_210319They are a little further along than this now, but basically that’s where I am.  The yarn is Knit Picks Capretta, which has a bit of cashmere in it and a bit of nylon too.  It’s very soft and squishy, and hopefully will feel great on.

The socks have been interrupted for a month though.

Last post I mentioned the Turn a Square, and the second Turn a Square, and the first face mask, and maybe the second one I did for K’s father, and then the hockey hat…let’s see, it’s February 5th and I have done five hats this year.  Maybe the year of the hat?

Jude's Dandy Turn

Jude’s Dandy Turn

Walker's Team Colors

Walker’s Team Colors

In between I finished a cowl with my leftover Tosh Merino Light Whisky Barrel.  I wanted something that would be sort of tightish around my neck and cover my chin and mouth when it was cold. So I cast on 130 stitches in the round, and started knitting, throwing in a few purl rows for some texture.  I finished it last night, didn’t even block it, and wore it today.  Only, when I take a pic, it just soaks in the light and looks like a black blob.  I’ll get a pic in the daytime soon.

Now I’ve started Barley with some discontinued Shibui worsted, in a cream color.  The yarn is a dream, of course, love Shibui, and that will be my 6th hat this year.  Hmmmm.

Knittin’ on in the new year!

 

Frustrated

I try not to complain that much. I actually feel a bit guilty when I do.   But I’m irritated and frustrated.   I knit Strago, using Shelter for Kimball. They were thick and bulky, so he basically wanted them as house socks.   I felt like the toes especially seemed sort of… thin?  But maybe that was my loose gauge.  It’s wool though, I sort of figured, like other socks I’ve made, they would felt.

Here they are, probably already shared on this site or elsewhere:

IMG_20140111_142205

 

 

 

 

 

 

So he wears them 10 or 12 times, over the course of less than two weeks, and I find this:

IMG_20140123_193300

 

 

 

 

The pic isn’t great, but it’s like the strands of yarn are melting away.  They get thinner and thinner and break.  This is absolutely not what I expected.   I’ve knit Flint with Shelter, and now this.  It’s fine to knit with, but breaks easily.  I’m a loose knitter so that doesn’t really cause a problem, unless I need to Kitchener, and a nice friend helped me with that.  But now this.

I mean, I have plenty of yarn left over, but what good is just darning or doubling?   And the yarn would break if I tried.  So he loves the socks.   I’m going to have to do something to fix the heels, and I know probably the toes too.

What is really bothering me is that it took me longer to knit them than he got to wear them, which seems preposterous.    Oh, I’ll figure it out I guess, but I’m not happy!  And I feel bad about being a complainer too.

Mad Hatter

So K asked me for this thing, so I made it.

542MEDIA$IMAG0305I followed the directions, didn’t like it (although I notice many other people’s turned out well), redid it to fit, dutifully (this is for Susan) wrote the things I changed into my ravelry notes, and finished it up.  It was quick, even with the rework.  A few hours.

So in the spirit of my goal to use stash yarn and my new feeling of liking how quickly this went, I started a Turn A Square for Jude out of some Cascade I’ve had around for awhile.   It’s still sitting there where I left it blocking , so he has not tried it, obviously.

The thing is, I’m a semi-experienced knitter, so I should know that when it says 5 stitches per inch, and I’m getting 4.5 stitches per inch, on a hat with 104 stitches, it’s going to be about 2″ too big.   It looks too big.   But you know, I continue to weave in the ends and block it.   Will it look slouchy, or will I need to redo it?  I don’t know.  Don’t ask.   It’s a mystery since he seems to have no interest in trying it on,  the little brat.   Okay, okay, he’s not a brat, he’s adorable and actually tried to try it on while it was still wet.  Now he’s probably forgotten.  We’ll see.

The thing is, that was so fast, I started another one. I’m not striping it the entire way up; it’s for my sister in the colors of her son’s hockey team.  But guess what? I must have learned something because I went down 2 needle sizes. I hate using 2s  and 4s with worsted.   Ugh. But I would like it to fit, so whatever.

So the socks I started are sitting there, about an inch from the toe, un-worked and unloved. But I bought a new sock pattern recommended from a friend, and I am planning to finish them using the techniques there.   It’s Fish Lips Kiss Heel, by Sox Therapist.

I am also working on finishing up my Winnowing.   I had to buy another skein of Tosh, IMG_20140121_074523which I figured I would.   It’s a bit frustrating: I had eleven little sections left to put the border on.  See in the picture?  It seems such a short piece, but oh well. It will leave me enough Tosh for a nice little hat or cowl or something and why would I complain about that?   Especially since I will probably give this away.  Then I will like to have something in this colorway left to wear. It’s Whiskey Barrel, and I do like the color.

Rambling on….I tend to actually wear my more neutral pieces more.  Or pieces with something matching–a cowl and a glove set, etc.  I need to knit more towards the things I would wear.   I seems as if I have an awful lot of shawls/scarfs that just sit on my little mannequin.

patience would be helpful at this point

So my goal this year is to use up some of my stash before purchasing any new yarn. I even have most of my stash on ravelry so I can match project to yarn.  Should make it easy, right? It doesn’t.  I’ve been trying to start a project for a couple of nights.

First, there is a cowl I want to make that calls for worsted yarn.  So I pull out this nice hand strange yarndyed skein that was a gift to me, labeled in hand written wording, ‘worsted, 430 yards’.  Well, after pulling out a bit, I felt like saying, if this is worsted, I’m Kate Moss.  It’s fingering at most, possibly smaller.  So ugh on that. Then I find some nice worsted that I have enough of, and go to get out my size 10 1/2 dpns, only to find 2 in the little pocket of my needle case labeled 10 1/2. What? 2 dpns will not do it. But I know I have a set, right? There are two right there. So I go through the house, every single place there might be needles, drawers, bowls of yarn, nightstands, every where! It took 2 hours! I found 5 other variety of needles and really organized my needles and the drawers, etc, but no 10 1/2.

I don’t want to buy them because I know five minutes after I walk in the house with new ones, I’ll find the old ones.

So project one, down the drain.

Well, I know I have plenty of sock yarn, so I’ll make socks, right?  I’ve been wanting to make a pair of stranded socks anyway.  I decide on these beauts:  Butterflies Are Free.  Nice huh?  So I look through the patterns and pull up my fingering stash on ravelry….I have plenty.  And now the hours of putting my stash there seem to so worth it. It’s so organized and easy to see that I have plenty of colorful yarn. In fact, it’s so colorful, there is no way any one skein would go with any other skein for a patterned sock.  Is it cheating to buy yarn to use with yarn I have?  I decide on project number one of the new year, I probably shouldn’t breakdown and buy new yarn. NOT ON PROJECT #1.

So another project idea, annihilated.

I go back to the lovely unknown hand dyed yarn, in fingering or other weight and just knit up a square to see if that directs me.  It’s a baby sweater. Definitely baby sweater yarn. Guess what? I could get ahead of the game and knit a nice baby sweater for the next baby, but I don’t want to.  Plus, I already have one baby sweater stashed away in case of emergency.  No need yet for two.

Without much fuss at all, project idea three kaputt.

DSCN0452_medium2So finally, I just pull out sock yarn, two skeins in armyish green, look up Judy’s magic cast on, and decide to knit K a pair of toe up socks in a made up design, that will fit perfectly and tell me how much yarn I need to make socks for him.  It only takes three tries to get the toe to look the way I want (twice I knit the first row of the second side without knitting through the back loop on the first stitch and it made a weird loop I didn’t like).  Two days later and many hours of irritation, and I have a project!!

I think the new year is messing with me.

La di da!

Going along, knitting along, and suddenly I find myself not with 12 projects but 4. Four puny projects, all more than half done. It seems weird. It seems as if I have very little choice in what to knit!  Fie.

And, no traveling knitting. Nothing that is just knit, knit, knit! What is up with this? What am I to knit while I watch Dexter, which is what I am currently catching up on? PFFT.

So I started to watch an episode of Lilyhammer, a new Netflix series.  Within 5 minutes, he’s on a train in Norway, and the woman across from him is knitting away! Yeah! I love when I see knitting in t.v., movies, etc.  I don’t understand it on ‘New Girl’ though. She says crochet, but I swear when she’s teaching Nick’s girlfriend in season one, Jess is knitting while the others crochet, am I right?

Tell me why when I give knitted gifts I always feel as if they are just not quite good enough? I knit my friend a scarf and just turned myself in knots, sure he would not like it. It wasn’t the right red, it was too thick, it was boring, etc, etc.  He loved it. Or at least he says he does.  But I am still sitting here cringing, thinking I should have done something else.  Hmmmm.  Same with other knits I give away. I knit the cute hat in my last post for a 1 and a half year old. All the little flowers seemed to be sewn on wrong, it looked ridiculous, the colors were wrong, and everything was terrible. I glanced down and saw a pic of it and thought, ‘what a cute hat!’, until I realized it was the one I made. Then I started picking it apart. Why all the doubt?  Jeez, it’s a knitted gift! A time-consuming, thoughtful, hand-made gift, that any decent person would appreciate.  Sigh. I have no knitting self-esteem.

New Year week 1: Still off the coke (soda that is), worked out 2 out of 3 days so far,  half my stash is already on ravelry, and my queue is all organized.  Not too shabby.

Sorry about the need to sign in to wordpress to leave a comment. That is the way the hackers hacked me, and no matter what settings I used, I could not filter them,  so I had to stop the comments.

Teachable Moments

So I had a Christmas plan.  And some of the things I’d finished made me feel secure in the plan, right? Gloves finished in one weekend.  Projects moving along. So when I was asked for a couple of easy things, I figured, what the heck. I have time.

I didn’t.

These got me all complacent:

542MEDIA$IMAG0285I mean, cabley gloves, quickly finished, mean I am a master of my holiday knitting. But maybe I should have remembered that the second pair of gloves were fingering weight.

Maybe I should have thought about the requested hat having 40-50 little knitted do-dads on it.

Maybe I should have realized that I did not have time to spend on baking treats for everyone in my world.  Not if I was going to knit some stuff….

 

These set me back:

542MEDIA$IMAG0280At 1am on Christmas Morning I had one complete except thumb, and one halfway done.  I was thinking, if I just stay  up and knit, I’ll finish them.  In 3 hours I’d knit about 3 inches, so by 8 am, it was possible. Then hubby pulled out his financial calculator (brain) and lectured about the law of diminishing returns. I was getting tired, I was going slower, it was going to take longer, so go to bed. I wrapped up what I had and did that. And finished knitting them Christmas Day as we sat around enjoying the day.   I don’t often get tired of knitting, but by the end of that day, I kind of was.  Which may be why I spent the day after Christmas putting my stash, or about half of it, on ravelry.

I’d started a hat for Kimball, but he’d seen it, so I bought a few more skeins of Shelter, and started on house socks/slippers.  He got one. Still working on that project.

This is what I agreed to that held me up:

IMG_20131229_175521It’s cute though, huh? Yeah, it is.  She’s gonna love it.  Or hear it from me.

So I’ll just leave it at this for now. The things I accomplished, or semi-accomplished.  Next year I will do better.   I just won’t promise any knitted gifts!!

 

 

 

 

More On New Years Reflections

So I usually do New Year’s Resolutions.  My weight ones never work, but I’m pretty good at other ones.  For instance, my family historically is a weekly movie-going group. Even if their wasn’t anything fabulous on, we’d go to Sunday brunch and a movie.  Only since Hollywood started sucking and just about every movie is either a comic book character or a remake it started to get tedious. It was just habit.  One year, I decided to not see any first run movies (except a Harry Potter which was coming out that year and I was not going to miss).   After the year was up, I was over it. I go now if something looks good, but it’s just nice and I realize I like my Sunday mornings hanging out at home, all lazy and knitty.

This year, I was going to say one pair of socks each month.  A knitting new year’s resolution.  But suddenly it feels as if I have 20 other knitting resolutions.  I want my stash on ravelry. I want my queue updated with the patterns I have purchased with the yarn I have purchased for it all ready to go. I think this might help me stop starting new projects instead of the ones I have all prepared. I want to stop buying extra yarn. As it is, I probably couldn’t knit everything I have in  years, so why do I keep adding to it? I know, yes, I realize, this is the age-old, universal problem for knitters and yarn addicts of all types, but I can get a hold of this. I can.  One day at a time.  What are the other addicts sayings?

I guess my knitting goals are not exclusive. I’ve got enough yarn for at least 10 pairs of socks. If I didn’t buy anymore until next November, that would work, right?

Also, very ungenerously, I want to knit less for other people.  A large portion of my knitting time is spent making things I’ve made multiple times before, when really I want to be doing new stuff, learning more, trying different things.  That’s what’s fun. So I am going to make myself scale back my offers of knitting. I’m not saying that I won’t knit something if someone I love asks me, but I might buy books for birthdays instead of knitting hats for nieces and nephews.  I might offer to teach to knit more than knit.  This impulse is also something I think other knitters feel sometimes.  You have a talent (albeit one almost anyone can learn), and people love your stuff. But sometimes you have to focus on growing the talent.

So officially:

2014

1. Year of the sock– to master the art of sock knitting and be able to measure someone’s foot and do a perfect sock for them without a  pattern by year end.

2.  Stash and queue updated on ravelry. Queue only for items I have ready to go.

3.  Knit less boring crap and more fun interesting things -  forgo knitting unless asked by a knitworthy loved one.

I think that’s it. Yeah team!!