A head start.

31 August, 2007 at 12:49 pm (caturday, knitting)

I woke up unusually early this morning, which must have done something to my brain, because if you had talked to me before about twenty minutes ago I would’ve sworn to you that it was Saturday, 1st September.

Yeah, not so much.

But of course, it being the first of the month and all, I thought, “I should start my day with some knitting–of endpaper mitts!” and I did. So now I’ve got a bit of a head start on the rest of the knitalong, but I’m going to do my best not to work on them anymore today.


I found some grey cashmere/merino (or maybe it’s cashmere/cotton, I’m not sure) from Colourmart in my stash that goes splendidly with the blue sock yarn that I dyed. I couldn’t be happier with this combo. Here’s a full swatch, for a better look:

As for my weird stranding technique, every reference that I’ve found has you hold at least one yarn in your left hand when doing colourwork. I can’t do it. I can’t knit continental. Which is fine with me, normally, but it presented a bit of a challenge for this technique, because I’ve never seen it done by holding both yarns in the right hand.

Doesn’t mean it can’t be done, though.
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The grey yarn is wrapped around my fingers the way I normally wrap my yarn; around the pinky, grasped in the ring finger, over middle and index fingers, thrown with the index finger. The blue yarn is wrapped around my fingers with the grey, except it only goes over my middle finger, and is thrown with the middle finger.

I’m sure I’m not the first person to invent this technique, but I must say I feel a bit clever figuring it out for myself. And my floats are delightfully even, although I didn’t get a picture of them. I’ll get one before next week.

I’m going to go find something to do to keep my fingers from reaching for the mitts, now that I’ve discovered how addicting they are, but in the meantime, some Caturday on Friday:
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Kitty’s been threatening to eat me–I think she’s taking lessons from Calvin.


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Mini Clap!

29 August, 2007 at 3:44 pm (FO, knitting)

I feel like I am one lone voice of dissent. Alllll alone.

(Mini Clapotis, Worsted Malabrigo in Tuareg, US8s)

I really don’t like Malabrigo. This is my second time using it (the first was laceweight on a flared lace smoke ring) and it just doesn’t feel that soft to me. It feels sticky. And snaggy. I of Unkempt Nails had a hell of a time managing to keep knitting on both projects. Not to mention, the stuff seems to attract every bit of cat hair and dirt and fluffy fuzz within a five mile radius. Don’t get me wrong, the finished Clappy is gorgeous, and feels nice around my neck, but it was a pain to knit with and I know I’m going to spend most of the time trying to rid it of cat hair and unsnagging it from my earrings, if I wear it.

I could only manage to work up one skein of the worsted for the scarf, and it ended up being just under six feet long, anyway. I’m either going to swap the other skein I have, or, if I can suffer through, use it for a matching pair of mittens. In any case, I am very lonely here in dissent-land, because everyone raves about this stuff. Maybe I’m just missing something. Oh well, at least I know now that it’s not for me. (Anyone want a scarf?)

In other news, I picked a colour combination for the endpaper-along, but I won’t be sharing what it is until Saturday. Also to be revealed on Saturday is my very strange technique for colourwork (also known as, I don’t know what I’m doing and I refuse to look it up, so I make things up entirely.)

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Colour choices, part two.

27 August, 2007 at 9:47 am (knitting)

I can’t choose.

(I finished a mini clap but I’m too lazy to post about it; it’s over on Ravelry if you want to take a look.)

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25 August, 2007 at 10:32 am (caturday, FO, knitting)

Yes, today is Caturday. Since I didn’t give her a proper introduction last time…

This is Kitty Carlisle.

She is very nearly two years old, weighs six pounds on a good day, and likes, among other things, to hide behind doors and pounce on people’s ankles; she thinks that this makes her the best cat ever.

I have to say, I’m inclined to agree with her.

Oh, and while I’m here,

(Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Black Watch, 2 skeins, US1.5/2.5mm Addi Turbos, top down with short row heels and toes, completion time: a week exactly, to the hour.)

(And I swatched a couple of those combinations up. All of them were terrible. But I do have some undyed stuff that I may play around with before giving in and buying new.)

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Colour choices.

24 August, 2007 at 4:11 am (knitting)

Ravelry and knittyboard are terrible influences. I’ve been wanting a pair of Eunny’s Endpaper Mitts for a while, now (since she put out the pattern, probably), but I’ve managed to resist. But now? I have knitties telling me to go for it, and there’s even an endpaperalong starting in September on Ravelry.

Oooh. Just enough time to pick my colours. Hopefully.

I want to knit these from stash because 1) I am a jobless teenager and cannot afford to buy more yarn and 2) I have so many 50g balls of yarn in my stash.

The problem? None of them seem to match with each other.

I could bring out my inner Ravenclaw and go for blue and orange bronze:

but… meh. That’s not quite it.

I could use up my leftover trekking with the blue:

which is pretty but seems a little off. Or not off so much as not quite what I’m after. Although the trekking would stripe, which could be interesting. Faux Isle endpaper mitts?

I could throw caution to the wind and throw together some Gems Pearl and some tasty, tasty Koigu:

which I think would either end up looking totally awesome or totally terrible.

I have some greys and blacks, I think, but those are boring. I think some swatching may be in order.

(Oh, and I just noticed that it is, in fact, Friday. So there you go, colour dilemma and yarn pr0n, all in one post.)

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I’ve got it bad.

21 August, 2007 at 5:36 am (knitting)

… Startitis, that is. My trekking socks were started because I needed some travel knitting; I intended to get back to my three long term projects as soon as I finished them. But I finished the socks while I still had some traveling to do, and none of my long term projects are really appropriate for train knitting. Mini Clap is just mindless enough to be boring, not enough to let me do other things while I knit. Forest Path Stole I probably could have knit on the train, but I also probably would have sent my needles flying at some point and killed someone. Also, I did not want to run into a beaded panel and try to juggle those on the subway. Angelina also might have been acceptable, except for the fact that one sleeve currently looks like this:


and I’ve been putting off dealing with that mess for a while now. So on my way out the door on Friday morning I grab some sock yarn and on the platform waiting for the train, I cast on.

(sorry for the terrible picture–I thought it was difficult to get a shot of both feet, but it turns out it’s even harder to just get one in there.)

Now, I have four options: I can crank out the second sock for this pair. I can fix up my Angelina and keep working on it. I can slog through the boringness of the Mini Clap. I can put in some time on the Forest Path Stole (and I have no clue why that one’s not holding my interest, but it’s not, at all.)

So why do I want to cast on for some endpaper mitts?

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Things I learned while knitting these socks

19 August, 2007 at 12:16 am (caturday, FO, knitting)

1. Non-knitters do not appreciate the idea of knitting while standing on a subway. (I promise I did not kill anyone with my Addis, although I came close to stabbing one guy in the kidney when he would not stop singing along to whatever crap was playing on his iPod.)

2. People do, however, find the idea of knitting while sitting on a subway completely charming, especially when it’s a teenager with a lipring. (I got no less than five questions about what I was knitting and/or stories of mothers/grandmothers/great aunt’s sister’s cousin’s college roommates who knit.)

3. There really is nowhere to sit in Penn Station, especially not during rush hour. (Okay, there are restaurants and stuff, but I wasn’t about to buy some food just to go have a seat, plus I wanted to be visible to be able to meet my friend.)

4. The express High Bridge train is not actually all that much faster, especially when it goes straight through a thunderstorm that includes hail.

5. My parents are overprotective in a way that is both annoying and totally awesome. (but seriously, I can walk a half a mile through upper-middle class suburbia at midnight on my own without encountering any trouble. I have pointy sticks and pepper spray.)

6. My friends can knit better than I can.

(That is a tiny dinosaur. Standing on a quarter. Go take out a quarter and marvel at how small the tinosaur must be to fit on said quarter. My hands are hurting just thinking about it.)

7. The layout I have on this here blog is too narrow for the width I usually use on horizontal pictures. Damn.

8. Handknit socks are so damn comfortable that I can’t even bring myself to be bothered by the fact that the stripes don’t match at all.

(Trekking XXL, colour 109, US1.5 42″ (? I think) Addi Turbos, 60 stitches, top down, completion time: a week)

[edit] Oh! How could I forget? Today is Caturday:
Caturday 4/08 3

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How to cure second sock syndrome.

17 August, 2007 at 10:55 am (knitting)

Step one: spend two hours on three different trains going into Penn Station. (insert modified version of the Lord’s Prayer here asking to ‘lead us not into Penn Station.’)

Step two: spend five hours waiting in Penn Station for a friend that never shows up.

Step three: spend two more hours on three different trains coming home, worrying all the while about said friend, who is Not From This Country, so who knows what evils might befall her.


Full story details and actual good pictures of the socks to come when I’m not dead tired and I don’t have to catch another train in an hour.

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Food pr0n… Thursday?

16 August, 2007 at 3:00 pm (food)

(Go with me here. I still haven’t finished those stupid socks. And it boggles the mind how I can knit one sock in a day and then take a week on the second.)

I love tortilla chips. They’re crunchy and satisfying and they’re good with salsa or dip or a bit of cheese melted on top, and when I’m in true teenager mode I make pizza nachos, which really, given the opportunity, I could live off of forever. Or at least until I’m out of college.

So when I made chili the other night, and discovered *gasp!* that I was, in fact, out of tortilla chips, I was understandably disappointed. I’m gluten intolerant, so I can’t eat crackers or bread with my chili, and the chips often serve as an all purpose replacement for those things.

But then I thought, ‘I have tortillas, why don’t I just… chipify them? It can’t be that difficult.’ And, in fact, it wasn’t. I cut up a couple of tortillas, spread the pieces out on a baking sheet, added some salt, tossed into the oven for about ten minutes, and, dare I say it, they’re better than store bought.

I will be making these again. And again. And again.

(I’m going travelling all over on trains in the next two days, so the socks should be done by weekend.)

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15 August, 2007 at 12:15 am (knitting)

I overslept and didn’t go to the hospital, so I still have unfinished socks.

(I need to work on my sock picture taking setup. it’s hard to get both feet in there.)

But, that’s okay, because today was meant for knitting horror stories. Like I mentioned in my last post, I am a hardcore knitter. So hardcore, that I have sustained a few rather serious knitting related injuries… (those of you on knittyboard will probably remember the first half of this story.)

(and a warning that this post contains injury pictures, nothing bloody or too graphic but the terribly squeamish should look away.)

It was Friday, the twentieth of April, the day before my school goes on spring break. The weather was gorgeous, one of the first nice days in a while. My school’s street hockey team decided to take the half day and go play hockey. I used to manage the team, so they invited me along, and like most of my peers would, I jumped at the opportunity to skip classes and go hang around outside for a couple of hours.

We left at nine o’clock and got to the rink not long after. I spent most of the first hour there cleaning up the vans, reorganizing equipment, and getting water passed around. After I got bored with that I started taking pictures for one of the players, including several shots that I got while standing at various dangerous places around the rink, like right behind the goal, smack dab at center ice (which isn’t ice at all, but we called it that anyway), and one while clinging to the fence on the far end of the benches.

But eventually the daredevil photography also got pretty boring, so I did what any self respecting knitter would do–sat down (on the bench, mind) and pulled out a project.

(To add insult to injury (literally!), the finished cabled calorimetry is just the teeniest bit too small.)

Not twenty minutes later the hard rubber hockey ball came flying out of nowhere and smacked me in the left eye, leaving the eyeball bruised (my contact lens saved it from further damage) and my nose broken and in need of surgery to set it straight again.

The first thing I asked after I got past the “what the hell just happened!?” stage was “where’s my knitting?”

Two months later, to the day: the twentieth of June, the day after graduation, I went into school despite having received my diploma the day before. I had a bit of a hard time letting go. I spent most of the morning helping various teachers clean out their rooms and get their grades organized. Twenty minutes before leaving, I was helping Sandra (who nearly failed me in Chemistry but eventually became one of my favourite staff members) move all of the books off of her bookcase, while discussing the knitting project I was working on at the time with her (she ran the knitting club, although near the end there I was running it while she got paperwork done.)

As I reached up to pull down some books, my arm bumped the shelf they were on and everything starts slipping. I remember thinking that it was no big deal; the shelf would land on the one below it and some books would fall, but they were far to the right and not a danger to anyone. But then the fallen shelf knocked the one below it off, too, and a second later both were crashing to the floor, or, more accurately, my foot.

Nothing was broken, this time, and I only spent 45 minutes in the hospital getting an x-ray, as opposed to five hours when I broke my nose. But I’ve learned my lesson: on 20th August there will be no knitting, no discussion of knitting, no thinking about knitting, in fact I may just hide under my bed and hope to hell it doesn’t collapse on me.

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