No Mojo

28 December, 2008 at 1:34 pm (caturday, knitting)

Knitting mojo has disappeared. Can’t find it under the couch (although I did find two DPNs there), nor under the bed (a missing set of circs there), nor in the closet (there was a cat in there), nor hiding in my stash (only yarn in there).

Maybe Oolong ate it. She chews on all of my other knitting stuff.

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Spin

22 December, 2008 at 9:54 pm (knitting, spinning)

Over here in post-project letdown (again—didn’t I just experience this?), I’ve decided to get back to a little spindling.

tealmerinosinglesstart

Nothing fancy, just some straight up merino which will make a lovely three-ply sock yarn. I’m spinning it on one of my own spindles—.8oz, polymer clay whorl. There’s a similar one up in the shop, and I’ve got a whole line of polymer clay spindles that I hope to have up and ready by the middle of next month, if not sooner. The poor shop will probably look a little empty ’til then, though.

Other than that there’s not too much going on, except some gift stuff that I can’t share ’til the end of the week. And I cast on for some rainbow mittens today
rainbowmittenscaston
but I think the yarn I started with is too pink to be my purple. We’ll see. (Anyone got any purple Rowanspun 4-ply they want to part with?)

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Oh Susanna

19 December, 2008 at 9:06 pm (FO, knitting)

susannamodeledfront

I swear these socks were cursed from the get-go. From the first attempt which was way too small (but I didn’t notice until after I’d finished a leg), to the second which was too large (courtesy of my pair of US3s that look remarkably like the US2s I meant to use), to the final pair, in which the second sock is slightly smaller than the first, for reasons I do not understand but probably involve the speed I used to get the socks finished in time to mail them tomorrow. Still, they’re done, which is a good deal more than can be said for a lot of things I’ve been working on lately.

susannamodeledback

Pattern: Susanna by Stephanie van der Linden
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in Denim, two skeins
Needles: US2.5/3mm Addi Turbos, 32″
Mods/notes: I started these socks on the recommended needle size of US1.5 and had them come up way too small—they wouldn’t even fit on my foot, even after an aggressive blocking. I moved up to a US2.5 and although they’re a bit snug going over the heel, they do fit. But there is very little stretch in some areas of the lace pattern, and I think if I were to make them again I’d use a light fingering weight, go down to a US0, and work the sock on 80 stitches instead.

Rather than the 70 stitch 1×1 rib cuff, I worked a 60 stitch 2×2 rib cuff for six rnds before beginning the lace pattern. After one and a half repeats of the pattern, I worked the heel flap over the first half of the sock, plus one stitch from the second half, continuing in the lace pattern for 26 rows. 16 stitches were picked up off of each side of the heel flap, then the sole decreased to 29 stitches. Subbed in a modified wedge toe (at this point I’d not actually looked at the pattern in ages, so I don’t know what kind of toe is in there), and ta-da! A pair of socks!

My scale says I have 60g leftover, and since we just found out today that the recipient of the socks is pregnant—with a boy!—I think it’ll make the perfect set of matching baby booties.

On Ravelry here.

susannaflat

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Emergency knitting

13 December, 2008 at 12:16 pm (caturday, knitting)

I really don’t do knitted gifts—especially not knitted gifts around holiday time. For one thing, I’m terrible with deadlines. For another, I’m pretty flighty with my knitting, casting on and frogging and abandoning things rather frequently. I’d guess that only one in every four projects that I cast on actually get committed to with any seriousness, and only about half of those ever get finished. So, gift knitting, not my thing.

However.

I was playing in a swap game on Ravelry a couple weeks ago and someone offered some LL Shepherd Sport in a nice solid blue shade. I’m not much one for blue, usually, but I absolutely adore the LL Shepherd line so I wasn’t about to let someone else grab it. When it arrived here though, I realized that it is the perfect shade for my sister-in-law, who, oh, incidentally, has a birthday on the 21st.

What was that about deadlines?

susannastart
The first sock attempt, as seen above, with 60 stitches on US1.5s, was far, far too small–this stitch pattern, despite being rather lacy, has absolutely no give in some areas, thanks to some stacked decreases that act like faux cables. Of course, I was in denial about the non-fitting issue the whole way down the leg, which led to some serious frustration when I finally admitted that it was, in fact, too small, and I would have to start over. I went up to a US2.5, though, and now it’s going swimmingly. If I’m lucky I’ll have them done and ready to mail by mid-week.

(Yes, I am knitting directly from the skein. More on that later this week.)

In other news, I whipped up some new business card prototypes, and now I get to do my (least) favorite part of actually picking one of them to send out to have printed. I’m really liking the lower lefthand corner, but um, I can’t remake that spindle, so I’m afraid it’s a bit of false advertising.

In other other news, I will get a blissful cat-free night on Tuesday, when Oolong goes in for a certain surgical procedure.

(Honestly? I’ll be grateful for the sleep, and she’ll only be gone for 24 hours, but I think I’m gonna miss her like crazy. I really love this little cat.)

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Pick-me-up

10 December, 2008 at 10:40 am (knitting)

Immediately after writing my last post I went over to my to-knit stash (where I keep all the yarn that is earmarked for a project) and picked out one yarn at random. And then I cast on for that project.

jeshalope2

I picked well! Apparently my knitting mojo was hiding in a fiddly but adorable toy pattern. Really, this project is just the kind of thing I love—it is complex and challenging without being too terribly time consuming or mind numbing. I’ll have a more in-depth review of the pattern once I get through the other ear, two antlers and some embroidery on the face. And I think that first ear is a bit too far back. We’ll see.

Of course, I just realized that I didn’t think to block any of the pieces before I assembled and stuffed them… maybe I can spray block the whole thing, once it’s done?

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Ennui

7 December, 2008 at 10:04 pm (knitting, life)

Do you ever get that feeling like none of your knitting is working out, and you have so much of it to do, and it’s all on a deadline, and you just want to work on something fun but you can’t because you’ve got all these other projects going, and maybe this whole thing isn’t worth it and I just ought to sell my entire stash and give up this knitting thing because obviously I’m no good at it?

I think I need to cast on for something quick and fun.

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Entre(not)lacking

1 December, 2008 at 5:33 am (FO, knitting)

(This would be the part where your usual blogger would offer excuses or perhaps an amusing story as to their unexplained absence. I think we’ve established that I’m not a usual anything, so I’ll just pretend that I’ve totally been posting all week as usual, and hope that my readers haven’t already deleted me from their blogrolls in disgust.)

entrelackingcoiled
Yarn: Di’Ve Teseo, just over 4 skeins
Needles: US8/5mm
Notes: I’m not sure I managed to mention even once while I was knitting this that it was a gift, but it was. A dear family member asked me—in the way that people do, without any actual intent—for a scarf, last Thanksgiving. I equivocated at the time—again, as one does, not out of disinterest for the project, but because we hear these requests all the time, without any true interest. “Hey, could you knit me some socks?” “Oh, that sweater is gorgeous. You should make me one!” But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that if any of my relatives (although truth be told, he is my dad’s uncle’s wife’s cousin’s husband, so there is no actual blood relation, but that doesn’t make us any less family) could appreciate a handknit scarf, it would be this one. So I knit him a scarf.

You know the nervous feeling you get when giving a handknit gift? Something that you’ve spent hours, days working on, making sure your selvedges were neat and your ends were woven in nicely? It is ten times worse when the gift is a surprise. I worried that it was too short (even though it was taller than I could reach, easily six and a half feet.) I worried that it was the wrong color (even though, in last year’s “knit me a scarf” discussion, green was brought up as an acceptable hue.) I worried that, like nearly every other “knit me a…” requests I hear, this one, as well, wasn’t actually serious, that my efforts would be met with an “oh, that’s… nice,” and shoved aside not to be talked about again.

Of course, in retrospect, I shouldn’t’ve worried even for a moment. He praised the scarf at every chance and even wore it all through dinner, the threat of any potential harm via gravy spills not even enough to dampen his delight. And I was delighted to see it so well received.

Despite my best intentions, however, I only managed the one FO photo of it. Oh well. The project is here on Ravelry.

(PS because I have, of course, been blogging all week, you all already know about the 15% off sale that’s going on in my shop, but now would be a good time to tell you that it ends at midnight tonight. Want a spindle, but don’t see anything you like? Convo me about a custom order today, and the discount still applies when you pay after your spindle is made.)

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