Archive for June, 2008

We’re off…

We’re off, like a herd of turtles.  Weekend in Denver, and if I’m lucky, a stop at the Lamb Shoppe.  I was trying to post up some pictures of the monkeys so far, but no luck.  Let’s just say I know why they’re so addictive.  At least the no purl ones.  I’m bringing some other yarn as well to see if I can maybe do the regular ones when I finish these.

Kids have had NO nap, and went to bed really really late last night.  God willing, they will take a nice long car nap.

More from Denver later.  Grandma, are you ready for this????


Getting ready

So, no pictures today, but yesterday sure was interesting.

I finally gave up the fight, and started some Monkey’s. But I’m doing the no-purl ones. I had started the normal ones a while back, and was getting nasty ladders between the needles whenever I’d have to start off a needle with a purl. It may have been my inexperience, but I didn’t want to repeat it. Perhaps after I finish these, I’ll give them another go. I’m using the last skein of my first “real” sock yarn purchase. It’s Sock Garden, from Knitpicks, but I bought it off of e-bay a few years ago. Unfortunately, Knitpicks doesn’t sell Sock Garden anymore, but if you ever see any, snatch it up and if you don’t like it, I’ll be glad to take it off your hands. The color is called Star-Gazer Lily, and it’s a not-quite striping, a little more than variegated between a beautiful dark pink, an almost baby pink, and a really pretty yellow. If you go hunting down in my previous posts, you’ll see the socks I made for the fair a while back, they’re the Broadripple socks, and it’s that same yarn. And now the rest of it is going to be Monkeys. They’re going to be part of my Summer of Socks KAL.

The other ones I’m working on are an adaptation of a candy cane pattern I found on Ravelry. Excuse me a minute, I have to sunscreen my boys…Ok, I’m back now. Anyway the candy cane ones are in my go-to sock yarn, Palette, also, oddly, from Knitpicks.

The getting ready part? That was mostly yesterday, but is on-going until Friday. I had the boys do their activity boxes for the drive over to Denver. See, I’m old-fashioned, and we don’t (insert gasp here) have a dvd player in our minivan. We have windows. If they want to watch tv, they can do that at home. To avoid the dreaded “Are we there yet?” question, we pack activities. Remember those tomato boxes? They come in handy for this as well, since they fit perfectly in between the 2 car seats. We put Patrick and Russell in the back seat, with a box between them to share. David sits in the middle, usually with the other middle seat folded down so we have room for the cooler. They pack up some books to look at, crayons, etch-a-sketch, magna-doodle, little car games and toys, and they’re good to go.

I think I just about have a handle on what “activities” I’m bringing. I have to bring the angora Stargazer, because it was at Grandma’s insistence that my sister in law got me so much, and I want to show her what I’m doing with it. Then there’s the socks. And I may go ahead and divide up and re-wind up another ball or two, wait a minute, I think I already have some Palette divided up, it’s a blue color. Note to self, go look for that. I may bring the alpaca shawl as well, just in case the mountainous air gets chilly at night. In June. Yeah, it could happen, right?

Lorna’s Laces DK swirl socks

Lorna’s Laces DK swirl socks, originally uploaded by YarnDork.

This yarn is so very nice. I got it at the Knitwit sale a few months back for $3 a hank. It’s normally $12. I think it’s worth it. I totally want more of this. it’s the DK swirl, in Mixed Berries, and now I’m kicking myself for not grabbing the other hanks I saw in that box. But, I had no idea how great this was.

The socks are plain vanilla anklets, except that the yarn felt so good, I did like 40 rows of ribbing. Plus, it’s a thicker yarn, so the socks will be for fall/winter wear, and I thought maybe they should be slightly longer than my usual anklets.

We’re gearing up for the trip over to Colorado to see Grandma and most of hubby’s sisters and their families. Most of them live around the Denver area. Grandma’s there visiting from FL for a few months because one of the sisters’ hubby’s died back a few months ago, and Grandma’s helping her out with several things. The death, while sad, was an expected thing, and even though I know that many many people are very very sad, I think the majority of the family are glad to know that he’s no longer suffering. He had been very very ill for several years, and had been hanging on for quite a while.

The boys are very excited to be able to see Grandma, and me too. She’s one of the things I miss about living in FL, because she was in the next town over from where we lived. Grandpa is still in FL, so we won’t be able to see him just yet.

We leave on Friday, and stay for the weekend. We come back here on Monday, then on Wednesday, the boys and I will be driving over to IL to see my dad for his birthday on the 4th. We’ll be staying with my sister and her hubby, so that’s always fun. We joke that my boys and I provide the service of birth control for her hubby. Like, he starts to think that it’d be nice to have kids then we come for a visit, and he’s all like, no, we’re not ready yet. Bless his heart.

Happy Anniversary to us!

Stargazer, waistband started, originally uploaded by YarnDork.

Today we’ve been married 17 years. Oh. My. Gosh. June 23, 1991. Things I hope I never forget:

Managing to not cry until the photographer made me look at my mom in one of the pictures. The rest of the pictures all show me with a red nose.

My sister uncomplainingly taking tissue after tissue because I cried pretty much during the entire ceremony. She walked down the aisle with her bouquet in one hand and her other hand literally overflowing with my snotty kleenex.

Steve’s brother busting into the room after the ceremony and giving me the biggest hug.

Half the wedding party getting lost on the way to the outdoor pictures.

The way he looked at me. The whole day.

How glad the younger guests were that they got to toast us too, because we toasted not with champagne but with sparkling grape juice. I didn’t turn 21 until 2 months later.

I had no idea how much our love would grow.

I love you. Still.

Oh yeah, and I added the waistband on the Stargazer.  Cool, huh?

What a great evening!

Last night was our knitting night, and wow, was it ever fun. We had a new lady join us, and I think we may not have scared her off! It looked like she really enjoyed herself, and I sure hope she comes back.

Last night also was the kick-off of the Summer of Socks, which is a KAL I signed up for, and as of right now, have done nothing on. It’s a KAL where you just knit socks, any socks, there are very few rules, mostly that the socks can’t be teeny toe warmers, that they have to be real socks, there has to be a pair. There are several little contests/raffles along the way. I think there’s a weekly one, and there’s a most socks knitted one, among others. I do have some yarn pre-wound and divided in half,and some free needles waiting, but I just didn’t feel like starting something last night.

Why? Because I was so excited that I started the waist band part of my Stargazer. I took a picture, but it’s on the other computer and I haven’t loaded it up onto flickr yet, which means I can’t post it here yet. It really looks quite cool. I figured my gauge, cause this was new yarn, not the angora, and I wanted the underbust/waistband part to be a little fitting without being tight, and I spent several minutes trying on different shirts to see if any of them were about right so I could get a measurement. I finally did, and then figured out how many stitches I’d need to pick up to get to that measurement. Then I had to figure how far I wanted the arm/top things to overlap in front and spent a lot of time with a tape measure and a pad of paper and a pencil and lots and lots of safety pins. I finally got it all pinned out and picked up and everything. I even made sure I picked up an even number of stitches so I could do the seed stitch easier. I got about 2/3 of the way done with the second row when I found a mistake on the first row. I had done 2 knits in a row. I couldn’t figure out how I could have done something wrong, when I know I ended up on the right stitch, so I kept looking, and there, several stitches later, there was another 2 knits in a row. So, I thought, undo each stitch as I come to it and re do it the other way, ie, changing each knit into a purl and each purl into a knit, or undo the whole thing back to the first mistake.

I’ve tried the undo each one and re-do it before. It sounds easier and faster, but in my experience, it’s not. So, only 2 rows into my waistband thing, I’m frogging. Wheeee. But, it is fixed now, and I’m 10 or so rows into it with no problems that I’ve seen.

The ladies at my knitting night seem to think that I should try some socks for that Cascade thing at the fair. I’m still unsure. I love socks, and I think I do do them pretty well, but I just don’t know if socks are considered all that when it comes to the fair. I guess I’m just afraid that I’ll get my hopes up and then some stupendous knitter will come in there with an afghan and some other one with a fair isle sweater and kick my socks on their behinds. I have to look and see if I can enter more than one item in that class. If I can enter a few pairs of socks, or maybe a nice hat/scarf combo thing, I’ll feel better about my chances.

That’s all for now. Today is cleaning out the car day, because on Friday…we’re off to Colorado to see Grandma! She’s usually in FL, but is visiting most of hubby’s sisters out there for a few months. We thought, hey, if we can drive for one day to see her, it’s way better than driving for 2. Don’t even suggest flying. Remember Hawaii? Yeah…there won’t be any flying in my future for quite a while.

June Mystery Sock, part 1

June Mystery Sock, part 1, originally uploaded by YarnDork.

OK, now this is cool. I bought this yarn at the Knitwit Sale a few months ago. It was I think 30% off. I wasn’t sure what I’d do with it exactly, but the colors are lovely, and I couldn’t resist. Then, one of my Ravelry sock groups, Socktopia, is doing a Mystery Sock KAL, and the person who designed the pattern said it was nature inspired. So, I thought, hey, that green yarn would be perfect. The pattern called for a bunch of YO’s on the top of the foot which turned out to be little butterflies flitting across and up the foot. It was so very cute.

Since this is a KAL, and also a possible entry into this month’s contest, I had to figure out a way to have both of the socks finished by the end of the month. The way the mystery part works is that once a week, a new clue is given, meaning that the next set of instructions is posted. Like, the first week gave instructions on the toe and then said to knit stockinette for 10 rows. Then the next week gave the chart for the YO butterflies. The next week gave part of the heel instructions. Make sense? I thought, if I wait until I finish the one sock, then start on the second, I probably won’t finish it in time. So, I thought, since this yarn is in a hank, what’s to stop me from knitting off of both ends of the hank? That’s what I did. I knit the first one up to where the clue left off, then gently flipped/rolled the hank over and found the other end, then gently slipped my OTHER size 1’s out of the project they were in (sorry David’s horcrux socks, you’ll have to wait, I’m NOT buying a 3rd set of size 1’s!), and started in on the second sock.

Then, my anality kicked in again. I realized that those little YO butterflies made a little pattern as they went up the foot. So, on the second one, I reversed it. Like on 1 row, it said to k25, make the butterfly, then k2. So, on the other sock, I did a k2, make butterfly, k25. So, they’re mirror images. Yeah, I know.

Other cool thing #2…I was checking the state fair competition information to begin listing out what possible classes I wanted to enter things in, and found a new one. Cascade Yarns is sponsoring one, and you have to use only their yarn and make up your own design, and give them your receipt and everything, and if you win, they own your pattern that you designed, and the prizes are pretty great. First gets $500, second and third get bags of yarn. That’s a tough one. I was thinking of all the different Cascade yarns I knew of, and what I could possibly make, then I remembered that this yarn, for the Mystery Sock KAL was also Cascade. They do have sock yarn. So, I’m thinking, design a sock?

Twisted Rib socks pattern

Twisted Rib socks, finished, originally uploaded by YarnDork.

First off, thank you to those who responded during my pity party. It’s pretty much over now, and I feel better. Nothing’s really changed, I just feel ok with it all. For now. Ever read that book by Dr. Seuess called “Oh, The Places You’ll Go”? It’s a great story, and I kept thinking back to that part about being in the slump, where he writes, “Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.” I was in a slump. Thing is, I don’t know exactly how I got there, nor do I know exactly how I got out. I guess the important thing is, I’m done with the slump.

On to socks… Can you tell from this picture that I got all anal and did the twists different on each sock? Here’s what I did…

With waste yarn and a size B hook, I crocheted a chain of 30. With a size 2 needle, pick up a stitch in the back of each ch for a total of 30. Purl the first row, and start the short rows on the first knit row, going down to 8 stitches between pairs, then short row back up. Undo the provisional cast on, and pick up the back 30 stitches.

Knitting in stockinette, increase 2 stitches on either side of the front stitches for the next 2 rows, for a total of 34 stitches in the front and 30 in the back. This is to allow for an extra set of purls on either side. Start P2, K2 rib on front, ending with a P2, and keep the back 30 stockinette. Do the rib for 3 rows, then on the 4th row, cross the knit stitches.

For one sock I did this by knitting into the back of the second stitch on the left needle keeping in on the needle, then swinging around and knitting into the front of the first stitch on the left needle, then sliding them both off the left needle.

For the other sock, I did this by knitting into the front of the second stitch on the left needle keeping in on the needle, then knitting into the front of the first stitch on the left needle, then sliding them both off the left needle.

I did not cross the outermost K2’s on either side, as they would most likely be covered by my shoes anyway. Continue with 3 rows of K2 P2 rib followed by 1 row of crossing until row 50.

On row 50, in those extra purls on either side, start increasing one purl in each of those outermost sections, every other row 3 times. So, the increases would be on row 50, 52, and 54. I just did a purl front and back of one of the purl stitches. This makes a teeny gusset and allows for just a little more room in the heel area.

I started the heel short rowing on row 56, and only did the short rows on the centermost 30 stitches. Go down to 8 stitches again between the pairs, then back up again. On the next row, begin decreasing the purls that were increased back down every other row until they’re back to just 2 again.

I knit the back plain until row 61, which was right after a crossing row, then I started the ribbing all the way around. On the next crossing row, which would be row 64, I crossed all the K2’s around, including the back one, and those 2 that had been on the outermost sides of the foot. I kept going until I ran out of yarn. I just counted, and I did 103 rows total, and bound off using a size 4 needle on row 104.

These may be fair worthy. I’m still thinking.


June 2008
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