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Archive for April, 2011

Easter a little bit late

Well, I was going to post on Easter about the cute little gift I finished for my daughter and how our roses are exploding with blooms but I took a nap that afternoon when everyone left (after a very sleepless night) and then promptly forgot to make my post.

So, the knitting part was very last minute as usual. Kenzie had mentioned a few days before that she would like some fingerless mitts and the night before I decided to make her some of the Susie’s Reading Mitts which was the quickie KAL for the 90% Knitting podcast. I cast on in magic loop on Saturday evening, while watching the classic Doctor Who series (I’m up to the second doctor), and stayed up until I got to about the last 2 inches. When I woke up I went straight to work and finished just before she woke up. I gave them to her when she came in to say good morning and I think that is why she was hiding her face in the pic. She is definitely not a morning person. For some reason it looks like there is a big mistake in the picture on her right hand but I think it was just a pucker or something  because I looked at them afterward and everything is completely smooth.

I really liked knitting these because they are quick and simple. One thing I would advise anyone knitting them is that instead of waiting until you are done to fold under the edge and sew it down you can more easily do it by sewing it together when you get to the last row of the edging. Since the stitches would still be on the needle it is easy to see which row you need to be stitching into. It doesn’t affect the knitting at all and you end up with part of the finishing already being done. They would also be cute with a lace pattern or a cable inserted into the plain knitting portion.

I guess I not only got in under the gun for an Easter pattern, but I got the pattern right before they permanently took their site down. Luckily Fibernymph of the 90% knitting podcast was able to point out that the pdf page was still available even though the website was shut down. Here is her page: http://fibernymph.com/

Now for the Easter part. Even though the weather has been sort of back and forth between winter and spring by the time we decided to have our supper the weather was beautiful and we were able to sit outside at the table. We have recently been putting out birdseed so that the cats can watch the birds outside the window and because of that while we were out there we were graced by the presence of about 6-8 little sparrows. They are so cute and were quite brave by the end of the day. I hadn’t realized until that day that in addition to the Sweet Peas that grow up the rose arbor there is also a Honeysuckle vine. Hopefully that will bring some hummingbirds in soon. Grandpa and Minima both enjoy lots of hummingbirds at their houses and I’m crazy to get a few here.

One of the boys (most of the boys in the family are young adults so when I say boys I really mean young men) found out that Dakota is a talking dog and was playing with her a lot that day because he thought that was funny. She may act like a puppy, but she just turned 6 and was so worn out when she left that all she would do is lay on the bed. She wouldn’t even get up for her monkey, which is her favorite toy.

Another of the boys, my oldest son, was very obviously missing because he is in the Navy and is currently deployed for several more months. I wish we could have talked to him or at least gotten an email, but his ship is on a communication shutdown right now. If anyone had told me that he would be fighting pirates near Africa or the Persian Gulf when he was a little boy I would have laughed at you and said that when I was little I wanted to be a school bus driver or a ballerina. I guess you never know where life will take you. I don’t know if he can receive my emails but I send them anyway so that if they are getting held up he’ll get them eventually.

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Just something for fun today.

My kids love Pokemon (even the 19 year old Navy guy). For some reason I got it in my mind to make a Pokeball beanie but most of what I found was crochet. So, I put together a pattern myself that I’m going to offer for free. This pattern is also on Ravelry if you are a Raveladdict like I am. Here is the pattern, let me know what you think.

Materials:

½ skein of white and red worsted weight yarn such as Wool-ease, Vanna’s Choice, Cascade 220. ¼ skein of the same weight in black.

Size 5 dpn needles and size 5 16” circular needles if you don’t want to use the dpn’s for the entire hat.

Switch needle size as needed for proper gauge.

Darning needle to sew in ends.

1 stitch marker to mark beginning of the round.

Gauge:

5.5 stitches/inch and 6.5 rows/inch. Approximately, if you are slightly off I don’t think it will make a huge difference on a hat.

Colors: A=White, B= Black, C= Red.

Cast on 90 stitches with color A. Join to work in the round. Knit 1 row.

Ribbing: Work in k2, p3 rib for 2 inches.

Continuing in color A work in stockinette stitch until piece measures 4” from cast on edge. Do not break yarn.

Switch to color B. Knit 4 rows. Do not break yarn.

Switch to color A and work back and forth as following:

1. Knit 12, turn.

2. Slip 1, knit 4, ssk, k1, turn.

3. S1, p2tog, p1, turn.

4. S1, k1, ssk, k1, turn.

5. S1, p2, p2tog, p1, turn.

6. S1, k3, ssk, k1, turn.

7. S1, p4, p2tog, p1, turn.

8. S1, k3, ssk, turn.

9. S1, p2, p2tog, turn.

10. S1, k1, ssk, turn.

11. S1, p2tog, turn.

12. Skpsso. Pick up 4 stitchs. Turn.

13. Purl across 5 sts, pick up 5 more stitches. Break color A.

Switch to color B. Pick up 1 stitch before color A starts, knit 10 sts, pick up 1 stitch after color A ends. Knit

remaining stitches in color B.

Knit 3 more rounds in color B. Break color B leaving a long tail (about 10”).

Switch to color C. Knit 15 rows or about 2” in color C. Decrease 2 stitches on last row.

Decreases for Crown:

1. *k2tog, k6* around.

2. Knit.

3. Knit.

4. *k2tog, k5* around.

5. Knit.

6. *k2tog, k4* around.

7. Knit.

8. *k2tog, k3* around.

9. Knit.

10. *k2tog, k2* around.

11. *k2tog, k1* around.

12. *k2tog* around.

13. *k2tog* around to last stitch, k1.

Cut long tail and weave through remaining stitches. Pull tight and weave in end.

For black ring in white circle: Take the long black tail and bring through to right side of work. Working in back stitch make a black circle just inside ring. Take remaining tail to wrong side of work and weave in end to the black stitches.

Weave in other ends and cut. Wash and block. Give to nearest Pokemon fan.

Second Sock Syndrome Again?!

I guess it was a good thing that I recently posted about second sock syndrome and the dangers of changing gauge. The day after I wrote that post I was going through some bags on my UFO shelves. My goal is to either finish or frog 3 projects a month until I have only projects that are 6 months old or less (I’m not going to put a number to it because it is perfectly normal for me to have 25 projects that are 6 months or less old). I found a pair of socks to unravel because they only had the ribbing done and part of the circular needle had gotten broken when we moved. Frog! Yay! 1 project down and it was yarn that I had hand dyed so I’m excited to go back and knit a project with these skeins. The second thing I found is a bag that had two skeins of my hand dyed yarn, a pattern I had designed for the yarn, and one completely knit sock. Now this is definitely a finish, not a frog.

After I was done going through the bag I looked at the pattern and sock to make sure that everything matched up and cast on for the second sock. A few inches in it was obvious the gauge was not the same as the first sock, I went that far because the first sock was very flat from being shoved in a bag for so long. I don’t know if my gauge was so far off because it’s been so long, or if I just didn’t make a note on the pattern that I had changed the needles. It didn’t matter, I just went ahead and ripped them out and went down another needle size. This time it was matching up much better, but was still a little bit off (although I think that had to do with the one sock being super flat and one having just been knit). I suspect that when I wash and block these two socks they will look much more alike.

So, back to second sock syndrome. Is it considered a cure to second sock syndrome to find a sock completely knit (so long ago you don’t even remember dying yarn, designing a pattern and knitting a sock out of said yarn and pattern) with all of the stuff you need to make the other one? Or is it a case of extreme sss that you have a project that is so old you don’t even remember it? Either way it is done and as a penance for my misguided SSS I am going to knit a second pair of socks out of this yarn, with the colors reversed and a little more patterning on the top of the foot so that I can publish both patterns. Watch for these patterns on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/addknitter00/under-the-pier-socks   I just have to finish a couple of projects that have April deadlines and then will do this.

Here are my notes from the knitting:

Notes
4-13-11: I started this project at least 2 years ago. It is at least
so long that I don’t remember dying the yarn or designing the pattern.
Today I was going through some bags in my “finish or frog it quest.”
When I pulled this out it was with one sock completely done, the pattern  I wrote was still in the bag and the first sock was complete. I tried it on and it was perfect so I decide this is really a finish project.
Once I do the first one I will put the pattern up for test knit, then
publish the pattern. I love these colors and the more I look at them the  more I remember hand painting this yarn but it is still a little fuzzy.
Today will be the day I put as the start of the project because I don’t
even remember what year the first one was done.

4-14-11: I knit most of the cuff last night and then had to tear it
out because I realized (well I had been thinking it all along but didn’t want to admit it) that I had either changed from size 2 to 1 needles without marking it on the pattern, or my gauge is so different now that I  needed to go down a needle size to match my previous gauge. I really can’t say which it is because once I went down a size my gauge matches exactly but that doesn’t seem right if it is a difference in gauge.
Either way I would have been able to finish the second sock today if
some siren fiber hadn’t been calling me to split my knitting time with my spinning wheel so I guess no new socks for me today. Maybe tomorrow though.

4-15-11: Woke up this morning, went to work on the socks before that siren spinning wheel could call me and finished. I think I need to wash and block these since one sat in a bag for a couple of years and is pretty flat while the just complete one looks a little more dimensional.
Love these socks and can’t wait to do the second pair with additional texture to them. I will post the pattern asap.

One Sock, Two Sock, Red Sock, Blue Sock

Ok, so all of us at times have been guilty of second sock syndrome. When we were moving and my MIL was helping me go through stuff I’m sure that she thought I am completely crazy when she found several bags with one sock, a ball of yarn, a pattern and needles. As a matter of fact one of my first knitting experiences as an adult was with socks and an extreme case of sss.

I re-learned to knit so that I could knit socks. For some reason the idea of knitting socks completely fascinated me. The shop where I had learned to spin had wonderful yarns (this is before I discovered true yarn shops as they were primarily a spinning and weaving shop with a few shelves of knitting yarn). So, I told them I wanted to knit socks and they directed me to a few balls of appropriate sport weight yarn and a book/pamphlet “I can’t believe I’m knitting socks” and some dpns. I was so excited I left with all of this stuff and some maroon tweed acrylic sport weight yarn to make hubby some socks. At least I’m assuming they were for him because the first one was loose even on him when I finished it a couple of weeks later.

I don’t really know how it happened, or remember getting this terrible illness called second sock syndrome, but it happened. About two years later we moved and I came across a project bag with the one sock and all of the things that went along with it still intact (I hadn’t even cast on the second sock). So, I decided to try this again and finish the project. What I think the book didn’t tell you is to go by measurements, not rows (or at least that is what I did). When I sailed through the second sock, that I made with the exact same number of rows as the first I was so excited for hubby to get home and try them on. He came home and I proudly presented him with his new pair of socks (he has never understood or shared my enthusiasm about socks) he tried them on and I learned my first lesson about gauge and knitting when you are stressed out vs. when you are calm and relaxed. I think that second sock was at least 3 sizes bigger than the first. I did make him wear them at least two times btw. =)

Maybe that is the reason that my hubby never asked me to knit him any more socks until a few years later and then only realized how great they were after he had worn them?

Ok, so now for the cure! Well, I’m not sure it so much of a cure as a distraction technique that may work sometimes. Recently I found the group Year of Stash Socks where they pick 2-3 patterns each month and you are supposed to knit a pair of socks out of one of those patterns or knit a plain vanilla type. The yarn for these is supposed to come out of your stash so you have the benefit of several pairs of socks and use up lots of your stash by the end of the year.

Since I didn’t find the group until March I decided to catch up with the group starting with the January pattern and do a plain vanilla sock to count for February. I was hoping to finish these by the end of March and do March/April  in April but an unfortunate fall hurt my back and I ended up in the hospital.

The January pattern I picked was the  

St. Brigid’s Carnamoyle Stockings in red and grey Cascade 220.
 
My project notes and pics are here:

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/addknitter00/st-brigids-carnamoyle-stockings

The February pattern I started at the same time is just a plain sock pattern in my dad’s size as a late b-day present in some Opal Rainforest – Peacock colorway with plain navy blue toes, heels and cuffs.

My project notes and pics are here:

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/addknitter00/yoss-plain-vanilla-sock

So, why the title and what is the cure?! Well I did the first of the red socks and was sort of frustrated at the end of it because the pattern had some mistakes and some things were left out so I set it aside and picked up the blue sock. I hadn’t made much progress on it because the navy blue sections were hard to see and I had to be near a reading light to do them. So I set to work on that one and was able to complete it because every time I wanted to stray my dislike of the red socks made me keep working.

Ok, now I have two totally different socks so now what? Well, when I finished the first blue sock I ended up going to the hospital and I told my hubby to take the bag with both of the sock projects (for waiting room knitting, not knowing I would be there a week). So, by then I was ready to take red sock #2 out of time out and work on it, even though the morphine made me knit in slow motion and it took me all week to finish one sock that would normally only take hours. I came home and have been stuck in bed so was able to put the reading light next to me and had forgiven the navy blue yarn enough by then. Now I have one pair of socks done and on hubby’s feet and Dad’s socks 75% done. I think I’ll be completely done by tomorrow and am thinking I will try to do two pairs at a time like this from now on.

Now if I could only get around to pulling out all of those single socks and finishing them…..