Field Trip

31 March, 2009 at 4:55 pm (knitting, travel)

I hopped on a train on Sunday and went into NYC for Franklin’s book signing, and I’m super-glad I did. He read a few excerpts from his charming book, answered questions, and modeled Tsock Tsarina’s gorgeous shawl/circle jacket:

franklininshawl

Speaking of Lisa, she totally stole a spindle from me.
tsockyandspindle
Reached straight into my bag and grabbed it and wouldn’t give it back. I plan to start a thread on Ravelry later to ruin her good name—first she’s a tscammer, and now a tspindle tstealer? Tsk.

But I got plenty of sock knitting done on the train :)
springleavesankle

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Caturday

28 March, 2009 at 2:10 pm (caturday, knitting)

My dad keeps asking me when I’ll post Caturday (hi dad!) so here it is.

meepyinthewindow
Kitty Carlisle’s got spring fever in a big way. Hanging out in the window, running around outside, stalking the mailman.

I’m doing my part to get into spring by knitting some very spring-y socks.
springleavesfoot

I think I’m starting to come around on toe up socks; I used to exclusively prefer top down because a heel flap/gusset construction fits my heel better, but the toe up heel flap fits well and is delightfully fun to knit. Maybe I’ll start knitting all my socks this way. We’ll see.

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Ganesh

25 March, 2009 at 3:10 pm (FO, knitting)

Couldn’t you just plotz from the cute?

elephanchine3

Pattern: not yet available—see notes below
Yarn: Kauni Effektgarn 8/2 in EQ (rainbow), 70g
Needles: US1.5/2.5mm Addi Turbos (has anyone noticed that this seems to be my needle size of choice?)
Notes: I won’t outline everything I did here, because I am writing up a pattern, however there are a handful of small details that probably won’t make it in: one, I wove every float. Every single float—any stretch more than two stitches. The logic for this was two-fold: first, I was worried about my tension, and second, I didn’t want anything to be potentially snag-able by little baby fingers. I think it worked well for the first point, and I suppose we’ll see about the second.

elephanchinesteeks

Two, I cut all but the front steek before grafting the shoulders. I can hear experienced knitters screaming out in horror, and yes, it did make the shoulder grafting a very fiddly and alarming process. However, thanks to my stupidity (or ingenuity, take your pick), I was able to fold the steeks under and graft them right into the shoulder. This made for a clean, invisible seam, both inside:

shoulderin

and out:

shoulderout

The third thing that probably will be rearranged for the pattern is the ribbing; I knit it all in one piece, with mitered corners, and while it came out nicely it was very annoying and getting the corners straight just once was frustrating enough. I’m not sure I could possibly manage to crunch the numbers and make the process clear to anyone else.

elephanchinecollar

The fourth thing is more of a little trick rather than something that will be excluded from the pattern; I knit my buttons straight into the buttonband. This was kind of a whim that came along during knit night last night and I decided to try it. I’ll write up a proper tutorial when I fine-tune it, but suffice to say it makes button placement (at least for shank buttons) a snap—just thread them onto yarn and slide them down at the appropriate point, similar to beaded knitting. I’m still going to tack these buttons down with some extra yarn, because they’re a bit floppy and I don’t trust a single strand to hold them on in a baby garment, but I think with some further tests I may be able to devise a way to avoid any sewing of buttons at all.

elephanchinebuttons

I do think the buttons (from The Button Drawer) really make this vest, and were well worth the few days’ wait.

On Ravelry here.

elephanchine2

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Settling In

22 March, 2009 at 1:50 am (caturday, knitting)

Oolong is settling into being a Real Housecat, rather than just a Foster Cat. I think she likes it here.

I am settling into a new project while I wait for my elephant buttons.

springleavesstart

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Option C

19 March, 2009 at 7:28 am (knitting)

I knew I’d find a solution if I just gave it enough time!

elephanchine4

Who really needs sleeves, anyway?

This is the last you’ll see of the elephant vest until sometime next week—I ordered the buttons for it yesterday and I want to wait until they get here to finish the button band and all the rest of the ribbing.

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Gradients

17 March, 2009 at 4:21 am (knitting)

This post could also be titled, “Sometimes Jesh Does Not Think These Things Through.”

So I’m working with Kauni EQ (the rainbow one) on this baby sweater, and I knew when I cast on that I wanted to start with two colors right next to each other on the spectrum, so that the whole thing would be nice and coordinating as it shifted through hues. And it worked! See?

elephanchineneckstart

What I totally failed to take into account is that now I have a body knit in blue, green, yellow, and orange, and the yarn I have left for the sleeves and ribbing is yellow, orange, red, and purple. Coordinating? Not so much.

I figure my two choices at this point are to:
A) Knit the sleeves in orange (background) and red (foreground), use purple for the ribbing, and pray that it all comes together in some not-clown-barfy kind of way, or

B) Sneak into an LYS tomorrow night and replace the blue/green/yellow/orange sections of one of their skeins with the leftover yarn from mine.

I’ll probably end up going with A. But I’m very, very tempted by option B.

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It’s Official

14 March, 2009 at 5:56 pm (caturday, knitting)

She’s ours to keep.

oolongandjesh

Thanks to all of you for your kind words and emails, donations, and spindle purchases. There was more than enough to cover the adoption fee, for which I—we! are so grateful. The little bit left over went toward catnip mice and treats.

In knitting news, I decided to avoid the dreaded just-cast-off-what-now? syndrome by going immediately for something new. Baby sweater!

elephantstart

I’m test knitting/tech editing/formatting this pattern for my dear Elin, who is something of a knitting genius but never writes down what she does. Hopefully this time I’ll be able to put together a nice clean PDF for her to put up to share.

There will also be a brief tutorial post coming later this week on my technique for stranded knitting with both yarns in the right hand. I tried to get a video of how it works and totally failed. But here’s a still shot so you get the idea:

righthandedcolorwork

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Noro Striped Knee Socks

12 March, 2009 at 4:15 pm (FO, knitting)

At long last!

norostripedkneesockswheel

A few people have asked me for a pattern, and I’m afraid to tell you… I don’t have one. I took notes, obviously, so I could make the socks match, but they are in a strange form of shorthand that I’m not sure even I understand anymore:

“k 16 str inc 1 st in fin rnd of 16th bcklp inc 2 mir sts every 3rd rnd for 12 str”

But essentially these socks are just your plain basic toe up knee socks with a color change every four rows. Nothing complex, I assure you!

norostripedkneesockstanding

Pattern: none—see above
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Sock in S245 (purple/green/blue/red/orange/black/grey) and S269 (neutrals)
Needles: US1.5/2.5mm Addi Turbos
Notes: If I were the kind of person to knit the same thing twice, and I decided to do these again, I’d probably go up a needle size. While the yarn is marketed as a fingering weight, and there are certainly points where it is that thin (or thinner), most of it is more toward a sport weight. These are pretty bulletproof socks, and they would probably be much softer with a looser, drapier fabric. They’re also a little tough to get on because there’s very little stretch to them.

That said, once they’re on they feel great—no sliding, no itchiness. A slight woolly feel, but that’s a good thing in the middle of winter when you’re freezing your toes off. On the whole, while I can’t say that these are my favorite socks ever, I think the majority of that is related to the neverending knitting experience, because they are otherwise a fine pair of socks.

On Ravelry here.

norostripedkneesockssitting

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The Oolong International Relief Fund

10 March, 2009 at 3:06 pm (caturday)

It’s not Caturday, I know, but this news was too important to wait: we’re officially adopting Oolong! The plan the whole time we fostered her was to eventually foist her off on someone else give her up, but when push came to shove… turns out we just can’t do it. Could you? Look at that little face!

oolongface

There’s one problem though—after all we’ve done the shelter is still making us pay the $120 adoption fee, and we need it by Saturday. So, to help get that together and in honor of Oolong’s official adoption, there is a 10% off sale in the shop—today only. Mention Oolong in the notes to seller and I’ll send you the refund!

Alternatively, for those of you who have expressed an interest in helping, but aren’t interested in spindles, I’m accepting small (less than $10, please!) donations toward the cause.

(But please buy spindles. They’re shiny! They spin well!)

Oolong thanks you from the bottom of her fuzzy little heart.
blurryoolong

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I think I can

7 March, 2009 at 11:21 pm (caturday, knitting)

secondstripedcalf

96 rounds to go. I think I can.

Kitty Carlisle doesn’t agree, though.

“Oh please, kittengirl. You never finish anything.”

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