Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Who's Smiling Now?

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Aaah, Socktoberfest!

This has been the most fun project I have ever knit.

As October comes to an end, so does my very first sock!

Too bad it could be a pair of socks but I'm as happy as if were!

Since I was a little nervous about the heel and gusset, I took pictures of the finished cuff. I knew there was a possibility I'd flub up, so I wanted proof of a finished cuff in case I had a mad ripping seesion.

No one could have told me reaching this point would bring me such happiness, however fleeting.

After finishing the sock, I wanted to dance! Since I've never finished a sock, ever, I had no idea what a good angle would be for photographs. Therefore, posted here are four different shots of one humble little sock!

This baby needs a mate. Gotta get to work on that, and the blanket, of course.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

There's Hope for Me Yet

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After just a wee bit too much aggravation, I gave up on the Magic Loop. I haven't given up on the ML completely but as far as these socks are concerned, the Magic Loop does not exist.

I cast-on the stitches last night before heading to bed. Much to my delight, I managed to knit a few row with out any incidents.

Pleased with my progress, regardless of how slight the progress was, I took it to work with me and knit more rows during my lunch break.

This brought me to about 1 1/2 inches.

While my son watched a little television, I knitted a few more rows, bringing the sock cuff to just over 2 inches.

I love the yarn, Sockotta, but my sensitivity to wool is making my fingers itch. This, however, will not stop me from completing this project. I'm hoping my feet won't be as sensitive but it may truly be wishful thinking.

With a little perseverance, I might have a sock before the weekend ends! Of course, I haven't gotten to the heel or gusset but there's no reason why I can't just be happy about getting this far.

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The blanket isn't getting quite as much attention but I did manage to knit a few rows of it yesterday.

With a little luck, I'll get to knit a few rows of it tomorrow.

I'm rather enjoying these two projects.

Thanks for the kind words of support in my sock efforts!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Missing the Magic

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I've stated before that I have previously had trouble with dpn's when trying to knit socks. Becauses of this, I thought now would be the perfect time to once again try the Magic Loop. There was most certainly a loop but the magic was clearly not there.

After about six failed attempts, I finally stopped trying at about midnight. This is what I had.

It's about two rows of very humble beginnings of a sock. I may just have to go back to the dpn's because I'm still not happy using the Magic Loop.

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In other knitting news, the blanket is still lengthening. It's around 12X58 now. At least something is going well.

Navy blue yarn is difficult to photograph well. I'm sure better photographs will be acquired as I continue to with this project.

**I'm still not giving up on the socks. I will find a way to have at least one sock before this month is done!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Since there are only so many more days in October...

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After knitting a few rows on the blanket, a realization hit me. October is almost over and I have no sock to show for Socktoberfest. It's past time for me to get going on my socks!

Tomorrow, there will be a photo of the beginning of a sock...

Just for fun, I thought I'd share a few photos from our vacation, since I had planned to take sock yarn with me on the trip. I left the knitting bag sitting in the living room, however.

By the way, the blanket is now approximately 11 X 58 inches.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Just a Small Error

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Much to my delight, the blanket for my husband is progressing well. I've been trying to knit every day, even if it's only for fifteen minutes. Until a few days ago, that plan was going well.

Then, to my chagrin, I noticed a problem a few rows down in the knitting. Unfortunately, the error occured on a cable row, making it difficult to correct without pulling out rows. Rather than risk making the error worse in my correction attempts, I ripped out about four rows.

Progress Shots:

The first photo, of course, is when I first cast-on. The second is a photo of when I finally felt like I was making some progress. The third photo, shows how the blanket looked before I had to rip out a few rows. I had left my tape measure at work. The dpn was used as a reference for length. (The blanket is currently about 9 inches in length.)

I'm almost finished fixing the problem. I made the mistake of putting the knitting into the bag without point protectors on it, while in a hurry. This caused a few dropped stitches that now need to be fixed and then the journey to gift knitting will once again be back on track.

In the mean time, I've been reading Knitting In Plain English by Maggie Righetti. I started reading it years ago but was a little put-off by some of her opinions or her writing style. I don't remember which one. I remembered that there was really good information in it and decided that I could use some real advice about making knitting really work for me.

When I first started knitting, I had imagined I'd learn the basics. Then, I thought I'd just learn a few stitch patterns, "do the math," and just knit whatever I wanted. I assumed that most patterns were written well, and in clear language, and also that knitting a few written patterns would help me learn more about knitting fabric, knitting techniques, and garment construction.

Fast-forward a few years and even though I know more than I did when I first started, I don't know half of what I thought I would. I am now committed to learning more. I'm starting with reading this book, then possibly Sweater Design in Plain English or Sweater Workshop by Jacqueline Fee. I plan to pull out my Elizabeth Zimmermann DVD's and videos since I enjoy them much more than her books. I'll be practicing the new things I read and watch so I'm looking forward to the days to come.

Hopefully, one of these days I'll be a much more confident knitter.

Until then, I'm using what I know to knit what I can, and I'm enjoying that!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Not Leukemia

I am pleased to announce that my god-daughter does not have leukemia!

More tests are needed to clarify a few things but the doctors feel they are on the right track!

This is some of the best news I have had in a while.

Thank you to Sara and all who thought of her (my god-daughter) and who prayed!

Hopefully, I'll have a knitting post later tonight!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Change in Focus

I just found out that my god-daughter may have leukemia. I'm shocked and my emotions are going crazy.

The testing results don't come back until Tuesday, so I still want to believe that it's not leukemia.

Please pray for her and her family. Please pray for me to be strong so I can be helpful and supportive.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Socktoberfest Questionnaire

Socktoberfest 2006 Questionnaire

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1. When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?

I believe my first ATTEMPT at sock knitting occured in February of 2005. No one really taught me. I read the instructions on a few patterns and was familiar with the terms and techniques. Because of that, I decided to just jump in and try.

2. What was your first pair? How have they held up over time?

Again, my first ATTEMPT was the Florida Sock by Lynn H. They were never finished. I kept dropping stitches, dropping needles, and I could not get used to the Fixation yarn I was using. I kept pulling it to tightly. Then I'd rip and try not to pull as tightly but still ended up with something awful. (Fixation yarn is very stretchy.)

3. What would you have done differently?

I would have started with a different yarn. I really like Fixation but I need to practice with it so that I hold the yarn without stretching it. I also would have tried another method besides DPN's, which I love, because I seemed to keep dropping stitches.

4. What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?

I have only tried Fixation and Sockotta. So far, I'm feeling better about the Sockotta which I'm using for the current sock.

5. Do you like to crochet you socks? or knit them on dpn's? 2 circulars? or using the Magic Loop method?

Since I like DPN's, I thought I would prefer to use them for socks. For some reason, I just can't seem to manage the DPN's when knitting a sock, though I use them for hats and dishcloths. I'm not a big fan of the Magic Loop, but after a recent failed sock attempt on DPN's, I'm planning to try it for my current sock. I'm hoping to pick up the shorter circular needles to try at some point.

6. What kind of heel do you prefer? (flap or short-row?)

The jury is still out on this for me, since I've never completed a sock. I have knit short-row heels but never the flap heels. I seem to have a problem AFTER the heel.

7. How many pairs have you made?

I have started socks about six times...maybe more. I have never finished a pair. I have to believe that this will be that time.

Wish me luck! It's looking like I'm really going to need it!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Don't Put Sugar on your Fries

KAL's, and a Few Photos

As mentioned in my prior post, I have joined the Fall Cable KAL and Socktoberfest. For Socktoberfest, I have chosen the Basic Ribbed Socks from Spun Magazine. For the Falle Cable KAL I have chosen to knit my husband a blanket. At first I was planning to modify an existing pattern but then decided to consult a stitching pattern book to make up blanket on my own. I have cast-on twice after reviewing swatches but am back to the drawing board until I can decide on a border. Borders don't always have the same impact on a swatch as they do on a larger piece.

There should be pictures of the start of the blanket after the digital camera is recharged.

As far as the dischloths go, I have two photos which were uploaded previously. The first is the basketweave and the second is the apple dischloth.

A couple of recent acquired items are my Knitting Sisters Bag and my yarn for my Flower Basket Shawl, which I will knit some day.

Hold the Ketchup

In case you're wondering about my title, I stopped by a fast food place yesterday to get a quick meal. The last time I stopped at this particular eatery, the fries, which are usually just about perfect tasted as if they were barely salted. As a precaution, I requested a packet of salt from the drive thru associate.

Once I arrived at my destination and began to eat, I discovered that, once again, the fries were quite bland. I reached into the bag and picke up a red and white packet and sprinkled a small portion onto my fries. Fortunately for me, I did not use very much.

I put a fry into my mouth and tasted something I never want to taste again. Since I had only used a very small portion of sugar, I was able to mask the sweet taste by adding a little salt to them.

Sometimes, wonderful flavors are discovered by mistake. This was not one of those cases.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Traveling, The Frog Pond, and Other Pond-ering

Journey to a Richmond Store

A few days ago I traveled to Richmond. We had several meetings but I was able to run out for about an hour. I was excited to find that I had about five yarn stores available to me. Unfortunately, time was only permitting me to visit one of them. I chose The Yarn Lounge.

It was wonderful. I was greeted immediately when I entered the store. I was offered a basket to carry around my items as I shopped. The store was neat, well-stocked, and items were clearly labeled. There was a table at the front where two very pleasant persons were knitting. At the back of the store there was a very inviting sitting area with chairs that called out to me to sit down, relax and knit.

With little time to spare, I picked up a couple of balls of yarn for a hat for my husband, an older Rowan magazine, a pattern book, and since I've never tried Addi Natura, I purchased one so that I could see if I would have a preference.

Hopefully, I'll get back to the store again when I have more time. It was such a great place. Of course, my heart still belongs to Knitting Sisters.

Tales from the Lily Pad

Since I hate the idea of the UFO's hanging over my head, especially when I'm unhappy with the current state of the items, several pieces, including the Wonderful Wallaby have been sent to the Frog Pond. I will restart the Wallaby again but it probably won't be before January 1. When I start it again, I'll be knitting the larger size. The Fair Isle sweater will also be frogged. I have no idea when I will resume this sweater. I, however, see no reason to just linger, ponder, and fret over these items any longer.

Out with the old - In with the new

Now that the frogging is almost done, I can begin other things. Both items that I plan to start are right in time with a couple of KAL's. I have decided to enter Socktoberfest and the Fall Cable KAL's if approved.

For Socktoberfest, I going to finally use the Plymouth Sockotta that has been frogged more than I'd like to admit. For the Fall Cable KAL, I'm finally going to knit the blanket that my husband has been requesting for while. Both projects are to be knit in yarns in the blue family.


Now some of you don't consider discloths real knitting but when I'm forming those stitches, it feels like knitting to me. It has been so convenient to carry the cloths around in my purse for whenever I need a quick knitting fix. I have four cloths finished and one that's quite close to completion.

For three of the cloths, I just picked a simple stitch pattern that I liked. I cast on a random number of stitches and just knit until I felt like the cloth was big enough, the yarn was running out, or until I was ready to knit a different stitch pattern. One, as mentioned in a prior post, is the basket weave. One is seed/moss stitch. The third is double seed stitch.

The fourth completed cloth is the apple pattern, which I will make again.

The fifth cloth, which is just waiting for a few rows is the double flower cloth. While it is entirely portable, whenever I take it with me I seem to drop a needle from the waiting project. I have been too lazy to replace the dpn's with a circular. Hopefully, I'll get to switching the needles soon because right now I'm very much in a mind-set of completing things.


I've been pictureless for quite a few post and hope to remedy that in the next few days with pictures from my recent acquisitions and my upcoming projects. With a little luck, I'll actually have a progress photo of a sock or the beginnings of a blanket.

Wish me luck.