Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Another project finished!

I've finished my Cypri shawl, and I can't be happier about it. I enjoyed knitting it, but, seriously, 382 stitches for something like 1000 rows (just kidding, it was probably more like 70 rows) is a lot. It didn't help that I forgot some decreases that were supposed to happen right after I started on the first chart. And the confusion I had near the end of the second chart, that caused me to have to un-knit about a dozen rows. And almost running out of yarn before I finished binding off - I finished with 18". I had another skein in reserve, but who wants to add new yarn just for a bind off? I'd probably have un-knit the last four rows before I'd have chosen that. Ugh.

I have also finished my State Fair socks, but I'm not ready to show them just yet. Maybe in a couple weeks or so. I can say that they practically flew off my needles, the pattern is gorgeous, and I love the yarn. Aside from that, mum's the word.

So it's a short post tonight, Friends. Until next time.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

There: I fixed it.

Oh, Friends, I fixed that damned sock! I undid the messed up part, re-did it, undid it again, and finally re-did it correctly. Once I took a good look at the photos of the sample and wrapped my head around how the foot of the sock would come together, the knitting went pretty quickly.

I think I might have gotten back on the right track on Friday or Saturday, and by yesterday afternoon I'd finished the toe. The foot section ended up being a little longer than I'd expected, so I had to graft the toe closed a little sooner than I would usually have done. It's not a big deal though; I have a pretty wide foot.

There were what felt like a million ends to weave in, as the sock is constructed from 12 triangles that are knit from the outside in to the center. So that's 27 ends, if you're counting the cuff and the toe in that number, and that's before you close up all the gaps where the corners of the triangles meet.

Now, the thing is, right now I've only got one complete sock. I'm not going to start its mate just yet because the yarn for my State Fair socks just arrived, and I've been dying to start these. I took last year off from Fair knitting, as I'd won the points total the year before. Last year, my thinking was that it wouldn't be as much fun entering if I couldn't win the big prize again. This year, I've decided that I like seeing how my work does compared to my peers across the state. I have a couple friends who have a category that they consistently win, and I kind of feel that the socks category is mine. I don't want to get a big head or anything (maybe it's too late?), but I did win the last two times I entered and the socks that won last year placed behind mine the two previous years. I want my ribbon back, y'all.

I'm not going to reveal the pattern until I've submitted the socks to the Fair, so this might be the last time I mention them for a couple months. I will, however, show you the yarn, which is freaking gorgeous. It's Dream in Color Smooshy, in the Melon Bomb colorway. I think it a little more coral in real life, rather than the slightly muted hue in the photo. I only ordered it on Friday, so I'm really pleased that it was waiting for me when I got home from work today.

So that's it for this evening, Friends. I have new socks to start! Until next time, then.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Well, THERE'S your problem.

I am currently knitting a sock that isn't foot-shaped. It's so not-foot-shaped, it practically has two heels. That curve toward each other. The blue arrow above? It's pointing to a part that's supposed to curve that way. The red arrow? Yeah, it's supposed to curve the other way.

It's my own mistake. I'm sure it has something to do with overconfidence and/or skimming through the pattern. Actually, it has everything to do with overconfidence and skimming through the pattern. You'd think I'd know to carefully read the instructions by now, especially with this project and its unusual construction. But, no, I just wanted to get going again on these socks and so I have to pay for my folly.

While I was knitting this incorrect bit, it was impossible to tell that it was going to be wrong, as the way the stitches were mounted on the needles, it looked like it would be just fine. Once I finished that triangle and got it off the needles, the truth of my situation was clear. It was wrong.

See, in this picture, with my foot in the sock, there's some egregious bunching in that place where the front of my leg meets the top of my foot. Socks will do that a little bit, even when they're done right, but what's going on here is way beyond the ordinary. I'm going to have to undo it, then redo it, and I'll have to wait until I've gotten a little sleep so that I don't make a bad situation worse. I guess it's good that I like knitting.

Anyway, that's all I've got for tonight. Earlier in the day I was thinking how I wanted to post, but that I didn't have anything to write about. Funny how these things work out. I hope to have better news next time, Friends.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hey! It's a WIPs Wednesday post. On Wednesday!

So I have two projects on the needles right now: a Cypri shawl and a Euclid sock. The shawl is humming right along, while the sock is kind of stalled, so it looks like I'll talk about the shawl first.

I've been working on it pretty steadily since I completed the Feminine Lace socks, getting about two rows done during my bus rides to and from work. 382 stitches is a lot! Especially when, at stitch 350 or so, you realize you've been decreasing too much and have to unknit back to stitch 12. The nice thing about this project is that the garter stitch is super-duper easy and the traveling stitches only happen every fourth row. It's really just a matter of getting through those long rows. I really like how it's knitting up and I can't wait 'til it's finished!

As for the Euclid socks, I've gotten through turning the heel, but I haven't decided if I want to knit the sole with the centered double decrease as it's written in the pattern. I love how the yarn (Knitivity Phydlbitz) is behaving in the triangles, but I'm pretty sure that the ridge from the decrease will be uncomfortable. I suppose I could try and see how I like it. It's only one sock, after all. I can make it differently without too much trouble. This sock (how long has it been since I knit a single sock? I have no earthly idea.) has been a lot of fun to knit, thanks to its interesting construction. I think the only way I'd like it better would be if I had this yarn in 4 small skeins: 3 semi-solids and 1 variegated, so that the triangles would be a little more obvious. I think this pattern would be great for stash busting, which I might consider after I complete my State Fair knitting.

Regarding the Fair, I haven't yet decided what I want to enter this year. I have a couple projects I've been  considering, but I don't want to broadcast it just yet. I'll save it for a post later in the summer.

Well, I think that's about it for tonight. Until next time, Friends.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Catching up.

Oh, Friends, it's been a minute, hasn't it? I keep meaning to write, thinking about writing, and then I don't. Ugh. I could give you a whole litany of excuses, but in the end, it doesn't matter how often I post. If anyone reads, okay. If no one reads, that's okay too.

In my absence from this blog, I have actually finished a few projects. It seems like the Spring wasn't especially productive from a knitting standpoint, but that may just have been because I was so busy at work. Anyway, first up are my Zirkel socks, which Ravelry tells me I finished near the end of February. February! I've actually posted since then, but not about these socks. There was a glimpse of the beginning of them in this post, but since then, nothing. I feel a whole lot better about stranded knitting now that I've completed these socks. Because of how the first sock used the yarn, I had to knit the second sock with the colors reversed, ending up with a positive/negative thing going on. Each time I look at them I can't decide which version I like better, though I think I usually end up liking the white toe-and-cuff one better than the green one. Ah, well.

I've also finally finished my Hanami stole. I'd set it down over the winter without really thinking about it much. It might've been because I was feeling a little stuck about how I would do the beadwork on the "petal" section. It might've been because the table I like to sit at while I work on it is on my back deck, and outdoors in winter is no place to work on beaded blush-pink lace. Once it started being warm enough (and not so windy), I picked right up where I left off and finished it pretty quickly. The beading is beautifully subtle and I can't wait to see how it behaves is a low-light situation. I think it will be gorgeous. Now I just need the occasion.

Lastly, I completed another pair of socks, Feminine Lace, another Stephanie van der Linden pattern. I'd been wanting to knit these socks for awhile, since I bought her book, Around the World in Knitted Socks. I had the perfect yarn for them in my stash, Cascade Heritage Silk in black, so the socks would turn out very much like the example on the page. Once I got going on them, I kind of lost my excitement for them because the stitch pattern was very similar to the Lotus socks I've made twice before, most recently winning a blue ribbon at the Fair. So it was a bit of a slog to get through them, but the consolation was that my mom really wanted them, and since she has small feet, I was able to finish them a little sooner than if I'd made them for myself.

Well, that's all I think I can stand to bore you with tonight. Next time, and I hope I can manage it sooner than two months from now, I'll have an update about the two projects I currently have on the needles: a Cypri shawl and a pair of Euclid socks.

Until next time, Friends.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tap...tap...Is this thing on?

Oh, Friends, I've meant to write. Really, I have. Usually it's 20 minutes before I go to bed and I think to myself, "I should write about that on the blog." And then I tell myself I'll do it tomorrow and the next thing you know, it's nearly three months before you actually compose a new post.

Since late December I've been training for a 25K (15.5 miles) race, which I completed last weekend. Well, when I say "completed," what I really mean is that I had run 12 miles when it was made clear to me that I might not make it to the finish line within the allotted time, so I called it a day at that point. I'm certainly disappointed that I didn't go the whole 15.5 miles, but I've never run 12 miles in my life, so I can chalk that up to a personal best. At least now I know a half marathon is not outside my realm of possibility, so I might consider signing up for an autumn half marathon.

So what with running four days a week and cross training for two, I didn't have a whole lot of time (or energy) for knitting, much less writing about knitting. Since I last posted, I've come to an impasse on the Streymoy sweater. Once I got it to the armpits, I tried it on my husband and discovered that it's going to be much too big. I was also going to run out of yarn, but that's not an insurmountable problem. Four inches too big is too damned big. Now I'm just working up the courage to rip it out and start over. At least I have until next winter to get it done.

Once the race was over, I had a chance to do a little yarn shopping. I got to check out seven (!) yarn shops while I was in North Carolina for the race, and the standout of the bunch was Warm 'N Fuzzy in Cary. There were so many of my favorite yarns: Stonehedge Fiber, Quince & Company, Fibre Company, Dale of Norway. There were plenty of others that were new to me, so I had a difficult time deciding what to get. I ended up getting two skeins of Fibre Company Canopy fingering and a skein of String Theory Caper Sock. There was a lot more I wanted, but I was pretty much over my yarn budget, so I had to exercise a little restraint.

On the way home from our trip, I worked on a my Feminine Lace socks, from Stephanie van der Linden's book. They're coming along just fine, but once I got about halfway through the leg chart, I realized I'd knit a pattern very similar to this at least twice before. I'd show it to you here, but I don't seem to have photographed it yet. I'll do it for next time.

Until then, Friends.

Monday, January 6, 2014

I'm a big fan of Eero Saarinen.

I really wanted to write something intelligent, cohesive and original about the Eero Saarinen exhibit I went to at the Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft, but in the week since I went, I haven't been able to come up with anything. So this post is pretty much just a photo essay. Of how much I like architectural models. Enjoy!

Case Study House #9

Side Entry to Case Study House #9

View into living spaces in Case Study House #9

Model of TWA Terminal at JFK

View through entry doors

View of seating area

Model of Yale Hockey Rink

Actual Saarinen chairs (Tulip armchair at back right)

More actual Saarinen chairs (Womb chair at left)