Monday, April 30, 2007

Baudelaire 2

There is progress on Baudelaire. Sock 1 is well up the leg and has gone on hold, with the sockyarn divided in half, by weight, while I knit Baudelaire sock 2 which is at 52 stitches on the toe. It seems there will be plenty of this Jitterbug for two socks with decent leg lengths.

A progress shot:
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In other knitting, like early Saturday, and at the farm Saturday before many customers got there, and in the car on the way to dinner, and on a break Sunday morning at church after bell practice and before the service... we have a hat for the Dulaan project. [click here for a link]

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And it looks good inside out too, so we could say it's reversible:
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For this years donations, for items to be taken to Mongolia during 2007, items need to be received in Flagstaff, AZ by July 1. So it's warm winter knitting time, as we warm up in Texas. For me, hats are a great way to bust some stash. I can use half balls of leftover yarn. I tend to do hats double stranded (found a size 8 addi circ 16" I didn't know I had that works great with double strands of worsted) for a warm warm hat that works up quick.

This hat had a 68 cast-on but decided it wanted to be k3 p2 swirling rib so there were 3 k2tog's in the first row to get down to 65. After the ribbing, I shifted the rib over by one stitch every 4 rows. Fairly standard crown decreases, in pattern, until the pattern got lost.

Tune in tomorrow for my May 1 status report, but now it's time to dig up some escaped bamboo, so... more later,

p.s. sometime in the last couple of days we've passed 8000 views. Thanks for reading me.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Baudelaire 1

I know, I know, bad blogger. It has been several days since I've posted. But I've been busy knitting. Witness:

Here we have baudelaire

The pattern is one of Cookie A's, available free on last summer's knitty. [Click here for a link]
I have been reading Cookie's patterns but had not yet, until now, knit one. This is a very nice pattern that I have been enjoying knitting. The 8 row repeat is easy enough and interesting enough. (The stockinette socks are booorrrring, and on hold.)

I am doing a Baudelaire knit-a-long with some of my Sisters Of the Wool knit night friends. Last Tuesday, several of us cast-on toes but I don't think anyone got to the "good" parts. I'll be interested to see next Tuesday, how everyone is doing. No one has made any posts about problems or finishing so I'm guessing we're all knitting-along.

The yarn is my Jitterbug in the bright charcoal colorway, purchased in February at SWAK in Guthrie. I may not get very long sock tops with it but I have options in mind for a contrast ribbing if need be. The ball started out at 110.4 grams, and is rated at 267 meters. I'm keeping an eye on the scale. The yarn reminds me of Koigu in its weight and twist. Or maybe just a smidge thicker.

I'm knitting ML style with my size 1 (2.5mm) knitpics circs (32"). The yarn suggests 3.25mmm needles which is size 3us, I think, and imho 3's would knit up way too loose for sock gauge. At least the way I knit. I like socks knit at a nice firm gauge.

For this pattern, and most patterns with lots of texture, I think a solid or semi-solid would show the pattern better. But I have very little solid sock yarn, and I've been wanting to knit the Jitterbug, so ...

I'm knitting Cookie's pattern with a few customizations. Here is what I've changed up so far:

Cast-on with 10 per needle (20 total) instead of 8. I just like a 20 toe cast-on, generally, for my feet.
Knit the toe increases for a more rounded toe:
.. knit 1 round
.. knit 2 increase rounds (with no plain rounds)
.. knit 1 plain round and 1 increase round until I get to 48 stitches
.. knit 2 plain rounds then an increase round (to 52 stitches)
.. knit 3 plain rounds then an increase round (to 56 stitches)

Centering the pattern on the top of the toe, on the first row 1 of the foot chart, I knit k9 instead of k10, then substituted a simple decrease (in the first row 2 only) instead of the double decrease. This reduced the toe flareiness I see in the knitty picture some. I think some of this is due to posing the sock on a "model foot" that is smaller than the sock. This adjustment brought my sock to 58 stitches, instead of the pattern 60 stitches, but it fit my foot, so I went with it.

When I got the the gusset/heel area, I increased as specified in the pattern but just to 80 stitches, instead of the pattern 84. It seemed big enough for my arch and I didn't want it getting too loose. So I had to adjust the heel turn stitches. And I wrote down what I did because it worked and I want to make sock 2 the same without having to figure it out again. Feel free to use my adjustments if you have a narrow foot like mine.

I knitted the heel flap as specified in the pattern, but when I was done, somehow I had 56 stitches. Not quite sure where the missing two stitches went, and the sock still fits so I went with it again. Now the sock pattern area (my arch) was in mid-chart when the sock front/pattern took a break, while I knit the heel turn and flap back and forth. So when I resumed knitting 'round and 'round, I finished out the chart and kept the heel in stockinette. The back of leg area joined the pattern when the front of leg area restarted on row 1.

Now we (the euphemistic we) still had the issue of missing stitches (56 vs. 60) and those missing stitches on my sock were in a k2 area at each side of the leg where I needed 4 stitches for the cable. I considered just going on up the sock with k2 but decided to stay with Cookie's cables at the side, so while the sock progressed over rows 4 and 5 of the chart, I did a kfb on the end stitch of each k2. I did consider some other increases (even took a increase test swatch break) but decided to stay with kfb. On row 6 of the chart the cables commenced. Maybe, with a more literal interpretation of the pattern the cable would start earlier (lower on the ankle area) but in case the cable might have had any tendency to cause at-the-ankle-tightness, I moved it up the leg just a few rows. Now I cable on rows 6 and 2.

Back to knitting for me,

Monday, April 23, 2007

what is the deal with weather on Tuesdays?

There is another forecast for stormy weather on Tuesday.

Doesn't the weatherman know we knit on Tuesdays?

more later,


Sunday, April 22, 2007

clapotis is done

My clapotis is done. Blocked and drying as I type. She was started and finished in April. With yarn knit in the same year it was purchased. This is soo not me.

Here is her pic:

pattern - Clapotis from knitty fall '04 (link)

yarn - lotus blossom (ebay seller) twinkletoes sock yarn in the Midnite color, 115.9 grams [and 4 grams are left]

I left out one increase section, stopping at 95 stitches per row, because I had used almost 20 percent of my yarn. I knit 15 straight sections (instead of the pattern 13 straight sections), stopping when I had just over 20 percent of my yarn left. One of my Sisters of the Wool told me about the 20-60-20 rule and it worked well.

needle - size 6us pink nylon circ

size - preblocked - 56 inches long and 7 to 12 inches wide
blocked gently (no pins) - 60 inches long and 18 inches wide

more later,

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007


during the trip. These are the projects that got knitting time. I was tempted to cast-on and swatch some of the new goodies but I resisted.

mountain colors barefoot socks:
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Sock 1 is past the heel with the provisional yarn removed and the mass of needles (probably 4, but it looks like more?) inserted. This is why this sock did not get plane knitting time. The other reason is that there was lots of unbagging and rebagging for pics and somehow some stitches got loose. It was not fun to retrieve them as the yarn is darkish. Sock 2 is near the heel.

scarf - kp suri alpaca. This scarf is just past the mid-point. It is just past the mid-point and makes excellent mindless knitting.
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and progress on clapotis:
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Photos in rhodies and maples were taken in my back yard. Variety names available on request.

more later,

new yarnie goodies

Here we have the stash enhancement from the trip. Now I'm thinking these don't really count as stash because they're more like souvenirs, right? Kind of like the box 'o rhodies that the airlines counted as our fourth checked bag. Yes, you can grow rhodies in north Texas, but not the same way as they grow them in the pacific northwest or in new england.

And the goodies will be show and tell tonight at knit night. Based on the weather forecast, it may be another night in starbucks bathroom. Stay tuned. But I digress, here are the yarnie (or is it yarny, the spell checker said it wasn't a word either way, what does it know) goodies:

malabrigo The color is called verdeazul. Four skeins:
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and up close:
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The blue natures palette on the left has a look and feel like koigu. And it was in the sale corner. And I like blue.

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lornas laces worsted:
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for a new hat perhaps for the mapleman. It's superwash but that's a story for another post.

And the printed matter:
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more later, the what-got-knitted-on-the-trip post,

Monday, April 16, 2007

San Francisco ~local yarn shops

Here are some local yarn shops I visited during my trip to San Francisco and environs:

First there was Boll Weaver in Eureka, a small shop with a bent toward spinning and weaving but with lots of entertainment for the knitter. I spent a couple of hours there without are-you-ready-yet questions as the mapleman drove to see more redwoods. Actually, I finished at Boll Weaver [they closed] before he returned so I walked up the street looking for a coffee shop but found a pizza place and enjoyed some wine and knitting while waiting for his return. And since it was Tuesday, I attended my Sisters Of the Wool knit night by phone. At Boll Weaver, I got some handspun yarn, a pattern, and the spring interweave which I not been able to find at local yarn stores or big box craft stores. This will not be a problem in the future, I have started a subscription.
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My favorite of the trip was Imagiknit in the Castro area of San Francisco [link]. A nice sized shop packed with yarn, organized by gauge and content. Including my favorite sock yarn, Koigu. I got enough for two pairs.
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And my first Malibrigo. A very nice, very soft single spun yarn. They had just received a shipment of many many boxes of Malabrigo so besides what was on the shelf, Alison let me tour the boxes. Opening each box, pulling bags of interesting colors..

Imagiknit has an area with lots and lots of scarfs made to showcase yarns and patterns. [They give you the pattern when you buy the yarn.] So when wondering what to make with my prospective Malabrigo -- I was thinking a wrap -- the owner, Alison, showed me a scarf knit with one skein of Malabrigo. The length was good, maybe a smidge long. I laid it out folded back on itself and determined that a wrap about four scarfs wide, would be good so I worked on choosing my color, ending up with a nice tealy bluey variegated almost-solid. Later during my visit, I found another scarf in a pattern I favored, which turned out to be also knit from Malibrigo. I got both patterns and they turned out to be quite similar in construction, differing only in the decrease, one being ssk and one p2tog.

I stayed at Imagiknit for a long time. It is in an area of San Francisco where you park where you can, in the surrounding neighborhood. Where I parked, the sign says you can park for 2 hours. I asked Alison what to do if I wanted to stay longer than 2 hours. She said to check my tires and if I found no chalk marks, I got another 2 hours. The parking monitors were kind; there were no chalk marks.

I also visited Art Fibers downtown San Francisco [link] .
A nice small shop with their own yarns that you can sit and swatch. [I did.] I didn't see anything I wanted a sweater's worth of. They had a drapey cardigan-wrap-kimono on display. I would have bought the pattern but it was $10.00 with yarn purchase or $20.00 without. Maybe I don't need a pattern that pricey to knit and seam some rectangles and triangles. A yarn that I might have bought for a scarf for dd was out of stock and their shipping policy meant it would cost 4.50 to ship 40 grams of yarn that would cost two stamps to mail.
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Then there was Generations in Fortuna [link]. Actually, the first shop I visited. When you stop for lunch and happen to know there is a yarn shop in town, you have to go, don't you?
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But I don't knit red heart so I didn't buy yarn.

more later on the yarn buys and trip progress knitting,

The sock visits San Francisco

The sock (and the mapleman and I) have been on a trip to northern California.

We saw the redwoods:
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and crossed the Golden Gate bridge:
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and saw rhodies on the garden tour:
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and rode the cable car:
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There was the fisherman's wharf (but at this point the sock was packed and in the trunk) so the scarf is standing in:
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and ice cream for lunch at ghiradelli's square:
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We're home now and the laundry is in process. First the socks were pulled from the suitcase, matched, and sequestered safely.

more soon on the yarn shops we visited, and the yarny goodies,

Monday, April 09, 2007

San Francisco

Just a quick post, sans pics, as I need to go finish packing, and get a shower... before we wing our way to San Francisco and environs.

As with most knitters, I struggle with what projects to take more than clothes and stuff. Here's is what is going with. Yes, my ufo numbers will be ballooning some, you can't expect me to knit old stuff on a new trip, can you? And just a warning, the stash may be ballooning some too. Does it count as stash if it's souvenir yarn?:

mountain colors barefoot socks
easy to knit round and round. My other mc barefoot (or is it bearfoot, I never can remember) socks have some knit/purl basket type ribby pattern and the mohair content in the wool has obscured the knitted texture, so I'm taking the easy way out on these. I will like to wear them just as much. The color is larkspur and I'm knitting these on kp options 32" circ size 1 which is sized like the Addi and really a 1.5us (2.5 mm)

brown cotton wool socks
This is one ball of yarn left from my Christmas knitting. I tried to dye it orange (with koolaid) but that didn't work out as there is perhaps too much cotton in the yarn. Since it my first time knitting socks with this yarn (It's packed but I'll post the label name later), I'm going with socks as big as 50 grams will get me. Probably just above the ankles. Unless I decide I really really like them and that they really really have to be taller. In that case, there may be some striping. Or a contrast ribbing sock top. Watch to see how this one goes.

"red" cotton sweater
Top down boat neck raglan (pattern from webs ( current pod-cast-kal. Knit with 2nd time cotton from the stash. A heck of a deal last year on ebay but there are just 5 balls which is just exactly the yardage the pattern says I need for size small. Wish me luck. I already have in mind to do 3/4 sleeves if necessary. And I did a provisional cast-on so I can do the trick I did with the other 2nd time cotton (vest) where I used an extra ball, in a likely different dyelot, for the button bands and bottom ribbing and sleeve edgings.

pink/purple suri scarf
This yarn was a try-out purpose for a flip coat. And the color is not me. Confirmed by Angeluna at knit night last week. So this is a garter scarf for someone for Christmas. I have a niece and a great-niece who are gift-candidates for this one. Be warned, this yarn does not do so well with frogging. The first knitting (swatch?) was cast on with a larger number (like 45, I knew my likely gauge from an earlier swatch in another color of the same yarn) in case it worked for me. It didn't. So I frogged, and cast-on 22 for a scarf. About 8 inches in, some weighings and calculations projected a too-short scarf. Now reknitting with a 17 cast-on. There will not be another "start over". Knitting on short bamboo size 11(us). This is no-thinking, not-much-looking car/plane knitting until the yarn runs out.

shown last week. I'm about 5 or 6 repeats into the "straight" section. Gotta go make sure the scale is packed so I'll know when to do the decreases.

Is this enough? I don't know. I feel like there should be more but I don't want to get carried away. And, umm, I think there are yarn shops in northern California? dh was "passing out" the trip money last night, so we'd both be carrying some of the cash we're taking. When he counted out my share, it was generous. And he said it was "yarn money". Let's just say I'm taking an extra suitcase and dividing some of my stuff up so the extra doesn't look empty.

Speaking of yarn, I NEED to know how much yarn to buy for Irish Moss from Starmore's Aran Knitting for a tall guy with a chest about 44". Can't find my notes anywhere...

more later, maybe much later, if I don't find some wireless internet, or if my laptop doesn't not cooperate. It may be a quite bulky ipod charger.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

knitting in the bathroom at Starbucks

It was a very interesting knit night last Tuesday. I stayed home for a while waiting for the storms, with possible large hail, to blow on through. Then I had to take a longer route to get there because there was a jackknifed 18-wheeler on the expressway route I usually take.

It was a small group, partially because of the weather, but we were well into the knitting when a Starbucks employee came to talk to our group. She said her manager had called, and there was a wall-cloud in the area with a possible tornado and they were locking the door and going into the back room. And did we want to leave or stay? And she recommended we not stay at the front of the store where the building is pretty much all glass. We stayed. We moved our meeting to the bathroom. Now this is a smallish Starbucks and has the single user bathroom configuation. And we were six knitters. One knitter had a "seat", and the rest of us had plenty of floor for sitting or standing. Andthe lights stayed on. There was knitting. And book reviewing. And phoning husbands and family members to check the weather and send them to take cover. (What did we do before cell phones?)

And as it turned out there was no tornado in our immediate area.

more later,

late to the party

I know I'm late to the party. I've just started Clapotis:
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I'm knitting it with a sock yarn that didn't want to be socks. It's from ebay seller lotus blossom and is a pretty fine fingering weight. Her twinkletoes yarn in the color mid-nite. The yarn swatched up to what seemed like a good clapi gauge (I'm not thinking about gauge according to some count, but based on feel. I'm not sure what the number is, and it doesn't matter to me for a scarf/wrap.) on these size 6us knitpicks options needles. I tried it on size 0us (2 mm) sock needles and it might have worked but was very difficult to stitch. It's a two ply with a fairly loose twist that knits easily on the 6's but was not cooperative on the sock needles.

I've knit a couple of repeats on the straight section and done a couple of drops, though there was just one drop done at the time of this pic. When it was light out, which is good for pictures. I knit on this yarn/clapi for a couple of evenings before I saw what I had in sunlight and was amazed to see the stripiness. But my Sisters Of the Wool said it was just fine so I'm knitting on.

Based on weight of the ball and the weight of 20 yards, I think I have between 500 and 600 yards. I'm using the 20 percent for the increase section guideline and left out one section of increases. I'll do as many repeats of the straight section as I can, saving as much yarn for the decreases as I used for the increases. It should be a generous scarf or skimpy shoulder wrap.

I'm doing a lifeline after each section. I slide all the stitches onto the cable and slide a needle full of crochet cotton (from a collection my mom gave me years ago) through all the stitches. The lifelines made me feel safe at first and though I have the pattern pretty much down now, the lines give me an easy way to count sections. I have found that they get in the way of the dropped stitches, as in the stitches stop dropping when they hit the lifeline, so they won't stay for long. I'm now attaching little coilless pins at the start of each row 1 so I can keep counting.

more later,

Monday, April 02, 2007

It is found

The missing blue sock from Sock Madness round 2. The sock that had been worn just once or twice. I found it yesterday, shortly after my post, when I shifted the whites from the washer to the dryer. I don't know how it got in that batch. I noticed that it was missing early in the laundry doing. I had been checking pants legs etc for hiding socks.

The bad news: The yarn was not superwash. The sock is no longer useful as a sock.
Nominations are open for what this sock may be good for. Maybe a small Christmas stocking. A small blue Christmas stocking?

The good news: There is plenty of yarn left to knit another sock. As a matter of fact, there is more yarn left than what I used for the pair.

However, I am not in a mood to knit another one of those socks.

maybe later,

Sunday, April 01, 2007

April 1 status

Three months into ’07 and the ufo pile is going down. And the FO pile is going up. Here are the lists:

Socks: total started or planned 12 complete 8
rpm socks done January
aqua kp cottony socks done January
brown mis-matched socks done February
Cat Bordhi smile socks frogged February
koigu socks done February
STR Fire on the Mountain socks done March
birthday cth socks done March (sock madness 1 entry)
Angela’s sm 1 socks done March
Sock Madness sock 2 done March
brown socks for dh ...wool gatto almost done … so close
Cat Bordhi lace socks
Mountain Colors barefoot socks
blue Regia socks two skein striped

finished during March 2007 count 10
cotton shrug
STR Fire on the Mountain socks
multi acrylic baby hat 2
baby hat blue gray/fake isle
baby hat pink gray/fake isle
learn-to-fair-isle baby hat
SM sock 1 (CTH birthday yarn)
SM sock 2 (Harbor)
Angela' SM 1 socks

2007 Knitting status 3/1/07 Started: count 9
Cat Bordhi lace socks
blue Regia two skein stripes
knitty Grace
pink cotton sweater
recycled silk bag
multidirectional scarf
dh brown socks (wool gatto)
New to the list: multi-color fake isle baby hat
New to the list: clapotis

For March, I planned to work on the shrug and str fotm socks. Both are complete.
And I planned to knit in Sock Madness. I made it through round 1. Knitting my pair of round 1 socks and finishing Angeluna’s (so, I only knit one-half of one of Angeluna's socks. I finished them, and I'm count them as an fo, It's my list I can get to do the counting. ) I was eliminated in round 2 but finished the round 2 socks. (Sad news about the round 2 socks: one of them is missing. It is sock washing time, and there is just one round 2 sock. This will drive me crazy until I find it.)

For April, I plan to finish dh’s brown socks. There has been toe knitting today and they are so so close. I may get out knitty Grace or the pink cotton sweater and give them some knitting time. There will be sock knitting but I’m not sure which pair is next up. There will be time for airport and plane knitting and I'm trying to figure out what is mindless enough yet not too mind numbing.

more later,