Happy Two Year Blogiversary!

It’s that time of year…My Mom’s Birthday and my Blogiversary…conveniently located on the same day so I won’t forget!  Normally this would be a great day for a blog post…I like to knit things for Mom’s Birthday.  Unfortunately, this year things have gotten in the way.

 

I started blogging when I was funemployed, awash with free time.  This year, not so much.  Having been through a series of not even close to ‘real’ jobs, I’m now back to work at a very real job.

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Hello Organic Chemistry!  You’re looking mighty fine today!  Also, like you want some attention, so this will be brief!

Instead of an FO worthy of one’s mother, today, I give you one third of a sock.  I’ve been dutifully carrying it with me, hoping to find time to squeeze in a row or two.  I’ll take it anyway I can get it!  This weekend that meant, knitting during brunch with friends.  Luckily, my friends all understand, the knit must go on.

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Even if it’s sideways.  Eventually, a row here and a row there adds up.  I’m almost to the heel!  This is going to be a traditional gusset sock with a slip stitch heel.

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Eventually.  I’ll keep plugging away.  Slow but steady wins the race!  And eventually, I’ll even get Mom’s Birthday present done.  It’s going to feature all those flowers I knit last fall.

It’s going to be worth the wait!  I promise!  I’ll even have time to orient the photos properly when the time comes!  Until then, it’s tech difficulty and chemistry for me!

Happy Birthday Mom!  Hope you’re having a great day!  I’ll call you when I reunite with my phone!  XOXO!

FO Friday – SOCKS!

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Work continues to take all the best hours of the day AND they expect me to show up again next week, next month, next year?!?!

Despite that obvious setback, I still managed to get some knitting done this week!   I slipped in one more tiny thing…

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A tiny, vaguely holiday themed cat!  The pattern is Tiny Window Cat, a Ravelry freebie!  The ears, head and body are seamless so it went quickly!

The real news this week though…I finished my socks!!

If I can’t have a Christmas sweater, Christmas socks will do nicely!  It’s been cold here, only San Francisco cold, but still…I’m excited to start wearing them.  I think it’s going to be hard leaving my shoes on my feet.  The urge to show them off is strong!

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I didn’t follow a pattern, just cast on and went with it.  Even though these are my first socks, I’ve taught socks for years.  I’ve knit plenty of booties and slipper socks.  And I’ve been hanging around with hardcore sock knitters for years.  I’ve had plenty of time to study socks without actually knitting them.

I suppose these are my version of a ‘vanilla’ sock.  64 Stitches, Toe Up, Short Row Heel.  I did try two different short row methods.  The left sock is the traditional wrap and turn short row.  The right sock is a modified Japanese short row.  The Japanese short row is by far the winner.  It looks better, there’s virtually no gap at the corner of the heel and it was vastly easier to execute.

Japanese short rows are the variety that employ locking stitch markers instead of wraps. It is a bit goofy looking…

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…but it is incredible effective!  Those locking markers actually save the day!

It’s bad enough picking up a single wrap while knitting from a sock blank.  The needles are tiny.  The yarn is kinky.  The whole thing is weird and fiddly.  Picking up a double wrap, as one does with a sock heel, is virtually impossible with a classic wrap and turn.  It made me kind of crazy.

Enter the Japanese short row and the locking stitch marker, which acts as the perfect little handle!  You just pop that wrap up on to the needle via the marker, remove the marker and knit on.  I loved it.  No fiddling with finding a kinky wrapped stitch, inevitably splitting the yarn and dropping the stitch in the process of fixing the split.

No, it was absolutely worth fiddling with a marker to avoid the aggravation of picking up a double wrap!  I’m not sure I’ll do it again though.  At least not right away.  I plan to test out a whole bunch of different heels.  I’ve got sock blank two queued up and ready to go…

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Yarn my mom & I dyed when I was home for Rhinebeck.  And it’s a sparkle base!  I can’t wait!!  I’m gonna stick with toe up, but probably go for a slip stitch heel this time.  If I’m going to wear these socks to work, they need to be reinforced at the back of the heel.  I’m hard on socks, I want to give them the best chance of survival possible.

To confirm that the sock bug has bitten, I think I’m going to set a pair a month goal for myself in 2017.  I certainly want to own that many pairs of hand knit socks!  Time to make it happen!

 

 

One Sock Down

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My craft fair, this weekend, may not have been financially successful but I did manage to finish my first sock blank sock!  I didn’t make it as tall as a store bought sock.  Yay customization!  That’s what knitting is all about…being the boss and making those big decisions!  HA!

I’m already dreaming of the franken-socks I can make with the leftovers.  I used 31 g of yarn for sock one.  If that trend holds, I could potentially make 3 of these socks.  I’m not really hung up on the concept of a pair.  A trio of socks is nice too :)

But first, I’ve gotta finish #2!  I’ve made it as far as the toe increases.  It’s beautiful and foggy out, I might take my sock to the park for some quality knitting time today!

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A couple more craft fair observations.

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(L to R):  Heisenberg, Cupcake, Green Booger, Tree of Life

These were the most touched hats.  The one that surprises me is the Green Booger.  It wasn’t in a prominent place which could be said for the others.  I guess the texture just drew people in.  Everyone who touched things agreed, it was all soft and lovely.  I got lots of compliments on my craftsmanship.

The tag on the Green Booger says $40.  I don’t think that’s an outrageous price.  The Cupcake Hat is $20.  I did think that one had a good chance of finding a home.

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My two most touched shawls, Southern Skies and a Reyna gone wild.

The Reyna was definitely by design, so a confirmation of my instincts was nice.  Blue & gold were the school colors so I made sure to hang it at the front of the booth, right where you’d want to touch it!   The Southern Skies on the other hand was hung in the middle of the rack nestled in with all the other stuff.  I’m guessing the color drew them in, the softness kept their interest (thank you cashmere!) and it enabled nice conversations about the design being an accurate representation of the southern hemisphere’s night sky.  Everyone liked it, no one wanted to spend $400 on it.   There’s lots of nice things I can’t afford either, so I understand.  At least they stopped to admire it.

I’m happy I can knit things like this for myself though :)  Another big change at the next event…being close to home, I’ll be able to promote my classes !  Can’t afford this?  Let me teach you how to make it yourself!  :) More knitters will make the world a better place.  Guaranteed!

WIP Wednesday – SOCKS!

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I’m really excited about my sock progress!  I turned the heel!  It looks like a sock!

And it fits!  Whooooo-hoooo!

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While this is the first sock I’ve ever knit for myself, I didn’t find it necessary to use a pattern.  I’ve knit enough booties, slippers and pseudo-socks to know what I’m doing, more or less.

I’ve opted for a short row heel in this sock.  It looks nice and it’s conceptually easy to execute.  Picking up those double short rows wraps on size 0 needles is a bit more difficult in practice though.  I sort of hated it.  I’ll definitely be trying out different heels in the future.

I know lots of you are sock fanatics…what’s your favorite heel?

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A Sock is Born

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In what seemed like the longest 48 hour wait ever, my itty bitty needles finally arrived!  I have spent a lot of time whining about how I don’t want to use needles this small.  I was resolute in absolutely denying they even existed.  And now I think I might love them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to complain about how small they are.  Seriousleeeeeee??  2.0 mm.  OY.

But, this progress does not lie!  I am loving it!

I have progressed rapidly.  The beginning was terrible.  I went with a Turkish Cast On.  It looks awesome…yay for toe up!  But the M1Ls and M1Rs were a test of my patience.  The small size doesn’t help but the real issue is the kinks in the yarn.  A dropped stitch doesn’t behave as expected when the yarn has a kink it in.  It’s like backing up an 18 wheeler with a trailer.  I’d jack-knife it every time.

Lucky for us, no one was hurt this time and once I got passed the first couple rows, everything got better!  Everything is falling into place nicely now.

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The yarn is a sock blank my Mom painted back in the summer!  We dyed another sock blank when I was home for Rhinebeck,

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I couldn’t make any more excuses.  I want to wear those socks! A lot!  This could be the beginning of a whole new era for me.  I’m on the verge of addiction.  The second sock will be the test.  I’m not down with two-at-a-time so Second Sock Syndrome could be a problem.

Then again, I don’t mind if my socks don’t match, so maybe it won’t slow me down at all :)

Friday Photo Dump

Here’s all the random photos I’ve been collecting on my desktop.  I’m cleaning up and getting rid of this clutter!  (because digital cleaning is so much nicer than actual cleaning!)


This is from the short row hat binge two weeks back.  I like the colors, I like the shaping, I like the fit, I like all the wedges, I like the stockinette texture!  I do wish the short rows were just a bit less harsh.  I used the standard wrap and turn for the short rows.  My intention is to try YO short rows and/or German short rows to improve it.  I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.  It’s on the list.  Soon come.


I’m really putting the hiker into this Hitchhiker.  It’s been on the go and making good progress.  This was a particularly photogenic day in Golden Gate Park.  It’s had me wishing I was back in Iceland.  I stood in front of a lot of waterfalls taking selfies wearing that hat in Iceland!

Several days later, the sun came out briefly.  I had to run and hide in the nearest bar I could find.  And this happened…

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What you don’t see is the Golden State Warriors logo, painted on the window next to the Warriors graphic you do see.  The whole Warriors mashup has always tickled my fancy, so shadows and the garter ridges lining up just right and then there’s that weird green dot?  It must be a fairy.  I don’t think there could be any other explanation for it?


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and then, my mom painted me a sock blank!  I can’t wait to get started!  I’m trying to talk myself into socks but it’s not going well.  I think it needs to become something that will be seen!  I want to see these colors!


And then, Rocky didn’t get mad when I forced him to be a pom pom photo prop.  He didn’t help much though.


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And then, Trillium Sequoia’s birth announcement showed up with this photo.  Trillium is the white flower on the hat, the pinecones are from a Sequoia.  The whole thing is just so sweet!  I find it irresistible.  And they did a very nice job of hiding just how huge the hat really it.  I don’t really know how big babies are?  She’ll be growing into it soon enough.  Perhaps a dress to match?  (this is how I end up with 10 projects on the needles…)


I have done a little de-cluttering around the house.  I came across a bag of stuff from my cross stitching days.  I always wanted the back to be clean.  Looking at it now, I’m completely impressed with myself.  I don’t have the patience or focus for it anymore.  Every time I try to cross stitch now, I fling it down out of total boredom and disinterest in about 9 minutes.  I loved it once upon a time though. How else do I explain that pheasant??

And with that, my desktop is clear and it’s time to start the weekend!  Hope you have a good one :)