Archive for the 'Patterns (also known as Competitions)' Category



My apologies for the extended absence.  There was some shit going down and my state of mind was not worth sharing in more than little bits and bobs on Twitter. I also didn’t trust myself to post about anything else because I figured my bitter would show through even the most benign of topics.  I don’t know if things are better.  But I do know that I need blogging, bitter seeping in or not.  I need to feel connected to others and a place where I can be open and honest without worrying about super judgy people in my real life. 

So! Onward.  Have you seen these socks?  I saw them and damn near fell over.  How awesome are they?  However it’ll have to wait.  I’m still in baby blanket hell, though I’m staring down the last curve and looking forward to the home stretch of seaming and blocking.  25 blocks is a lot of knitting.  Well, apparently baby blanket hell isn’t enough to stop me.  I’m going to be in baby blanket hell for a few more weeks, so I took the time out to do some selfish knitting.  I’ve kept exactly one thing in the year and a half that I’ve been knitting, so it was high time.  I did the Skew Socks and I love them very much. 

Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Carabeño.
Needles: 2 US 1 24″ circulars, US0 DPNs for ribbing.
Satisfaction level: astronomical. I love these socks.  I will be wearing them as much as possible.

Not digging the holes on the sides, but knitting them on the bias like that made it hard to keep the increases from having little holes now and then.  I think of them as ‘air conditioning’.

I have also joined the Evenstar Mystery Shawl Knitalong.  It’s engrossing and lovely and the yarn is The Unique Sheep Eos in Silverlode.  I didn’t get the entire gradience set, just the skein second from the left in the picture.  The yarn is delicious and I want sheets made of it, it’s so soft.  I would wear Eos underwear if I dared make such an animal.  It’s that yummy. 


I also have finished another baby blanket.  I do not like the colors of this blanket very much.  I thought they would be great together, but the green and charcoal are not contrasting enough for my taste.  Alas, the blanket is done and I’m not redoing it. 

What’s everyone else up to right now?  I need to get back in the loop.


My Knitting Motto

Knit what’s fun.

This was what I told myself as I started project after project, and they were all fun, to start with.  But that wanes as the project slogs on, the blankets become never ending, the scarves knit in the round for double thickness are how long???  And the thought of trying my first sweater is both exciting, daunting, and, well… long.  The things I’ve set aside for projects that I’ve given myself with closer deadlines happen to be the long projects.  I have a scarf and two blankets in hibernation, and an irresistible urge to cast on sock after sock after sock.

What’s wrong with me?

Am I really that easily seduced by the quick finish?  Those ballband dishcloths look enticing to me, and we really could use some.  The cotton for them would be cheap.  I could use another couple of face cloths too, as Mike has used a few of them to clean the bathtub and I really don’t want Comet residue exfoliating my cheeks. 

So what did I do over the weekend?  I finished a pair of socks while watching my husband play mud volleyball and my son go nuts in the gloopy sloppy mud, and … you guessed it… cast on another pair of socks.  These would be the first ones for myself.  It all started last week, when I ordered a yarn I’ve heard good things about, Malabrigo.  I got the shipment in and it was such pretty yarn in such vibrant colors (the colorway is Caribeño) of purple, blue, and green that I spent a good amount of time on Saturday thinking about it as I finished a small pair of socks for Son.  Since I had empty needles, I though what the hell, and rolled up the Malabrigo on Sunday morning.

That’s where things started going south.  The skein was a bit tangled when I unwound it.  No problem, I’m a genius at untangling yarn.  I have more patience for that than I would ever have thought possible, but somehow, unknotting something is soothing to me.  But this skein was really whacked, and it took me a total of an hour and a half to roll it up in a ball.  Finally!  I was ready to start.  I read over the pattern I chose and saw that it fits a size 7.5 foot.  Oh.  Okay, this one means a little math.  I have fat feet that swell up on me.  I wear a size 9 shoe.  I had to modify the numbers if I ever had any hope of wearing these socks.  I’m getting more and more practice with this, and given that I’m an accountant, I can usually muddle through without much trouble, as long as I can figure out the pattern repeat just from reading.  I even swatched for this yarn to get my gauge on size 3 mm needles.  I was just about dead on the gauge recommended.  Only half a stitch more per inch. Should be fine, since I have bigger feet, right?

I used my cell phone calculator function, figured up some numbers, thought, that was easy, and cast on what I needed to cast on.  Short row toe, mm hmm, wrap and turn, okay, knit, purl, knit, going back through the wraps now, voila.  Toe done.  Wow.  This yarn is really pooling.  But the pattern should break that up.  That’s what all the people before me have said, so it’ll be fine.  I started the pattern instep and thought wow, this sock is big.  I tried it on, and if I kept going, then I likely could have gotten both feet in one sock, even my mammoth feet.  I realized that half a stitch bigger in the gauge was to blame.  For every inch, I was getting an extra stitch, which meant that the sock would actually be an inch bigger than I wanted when all was said and done.  No problem.  I frogged and switched to size 2.25 mm needles.  Tried again, but overcompensated for size and knit the exact number of stitches specified in the pattern.  I didn’t get too far before the insanity of that thought occurred to me.  What the hell, Andrea?  Your foot will never be 7.5 inches around and you’re using smaller needles than the pattern calls for, dumbass.  I frogged again.  This time, did the number of stitches I’d previously calculated on the smaller needles thinking that would work.  It was the equivalent of two extra pattern repeats per row.  Last night, after getting farther on the sock than I’d gotten before, I realized it was still huge but moving in the right direction.  With the give of the yarn, I would do well to cut back to only one extra pattern repeat and allow for the ease of the yarn. 

So I found myself frogging again last night, at about 10 pm and hoping I could get cast back on and going again this morning.  I was too tired to do more than rewind the ball and hope the next time would be the last time I cast on.  The yarn is showing signs of wear and I think if I have to frog again, I’ll be cutting off some length and trashing it.  That’s travesty in my book, and so, I double checked my math, cast on this morning, and am hopeful that this time will be the final time I do the beginning of this pair of socks.

 Tell me, are socks really this hard for everybody at the beginning of their knitting lives?  I haven’t even been knitting a year, so I’m wondering if this is simply a learning curve, if I’m destined to cast on five or more times for each pair of socks I start (remember the herringbone socks that took me eight tries before I finally got it?).  And really?  This is fun?

 This is fun.  This is fun.  This is fun.  Maybe I should go back to the boring garter stitch blanket, or the crocheted block blanket, or the ripple blanket that are all languishing in my drawers and shelves of my closet.  At least then I wouldn’t feel guilty for hibernating projects intended for other people.  But I’m realizing I hate crochet and two of those three are crochet.  They’ll take some enduring and a good pep talk before I can get  back to them.

 But my sock knitting clearly needs the practice.  Yeah.  That’s why I’ve cast on sock after sock after sock.  I’m not distracted by the shiny, pretty yarn I find on the web.  I’m bettering my sock knitting skillz.

 Ooh!  Pretty yarn!  I wonder what sock pattern I could do with that…


Sock = 8, Me = Smackdown

So the socks I started eight times.  I finished them.  Booyah!  Take that, socks!

Herringbone 1 by you.

Proof that there are really two:

Herringbone 2 by you.

Yarntini semi-solid sock yarn in the colorway Cabana Boy.  It’s 75% Merino, 25% Nylon in a light fingering weight 3 ply.
I love this yarn.  It’s soft, doesn’t split easily, and is vibrant and exciting to watch the subtle variations of color emerge, especially on this herringbone pattern.  The pattern is from the Winter 2008 Interweave Knits magazine and is available for free here but you have to sign up for the newsletter, which is also free.

I added an extra pattern repeat because both my mom (the recipient of these) and I have big feet, and if I couldn’t get them over my feet, there would be no way she’d get them over hers, since hers are a smidge bigger.  Adding the pattern repeat also meant changing the heel and toe a bit, and I’m not sure I got the toes quite right, but they look the same for both socks, so if they’re wrong, at least they match.

This pattern got to be fun after I got used to it, but it’s fiddly.  It’s great for car rides, but not so much for watching TV at the same time or anything that will break your attention to it.  A mere dropped YO can be disastrous, so I would suggest a lifeline on these, at least until the pattern becomes second nature.

I’m glad to have these off the needles, but after I bound off, I was feeling a little empty.  I have four blankets, two pair of socks, and a scarf going, but I still felt naked, like there wasn’t enough.  So I started Nancy Bush’s Whitby socks from Knitting on the Road and I’m using Dream in Color Smooshy in the colorway Pansy Golightly, a blend of light purples, blues, greens, and grays.  It’s lovely so far.  I really like this pattern, as it’s written in a very straightforward manner and is clear on the directions.  I have also finished one sock for Son and am halfway up the foot on the second one.  I am stalled on the Viper Pilots because I keep finding reasons to start over.  That one is up to three restarts, but now that I’m using sharper Addi Lace needles, I’m hoping there will be no more dropped stitches and I’ll be better able to do the cables with the sharper tips.   I’m no further than I was three weeks ago.  

The reason I have so much on the needles right now?  Startitis.  I am a process knitter as opposed to a progress knitter.  I enjoy the process more than the finished object, and while it’s gratifying to get something finished and off the needles, by the time I get to the end of one, I’m already daydreaming about what to cast on next.  I feel a bit neglectful of some of the items on the needles though, and I want to start a sweater this fall so I would like to get some of the other stuff completed before I tackle my first sweater. 

As for non-knitting content, please say a prayer for my friend Kari-Mel, who undergoes surgery tomorrow for lung cancer.  I would imagine such an undertaking would scare the bejesus out of any of us, and I can only imagine what she’s going through.  If I could be in her neck of the woods to sit and wait for news or hold her hand, I would.  She recently has had a bad run of luck, not only with her health but also with a break-in, so things need to turn around for her.  I really hope you can take a minute to send up a good thought or a prayer if you’re of the praying persuasion.  Things in life get shoved into perspective when you think of it in terms of life or death, which this most certainly is for her.  Kari-Mel, I hope those socks go with you to the hospital and keep your feet toasty warm!


Progress Is As Progress Does

It’s been an exciting weekend in the Conniption Knit house.  There were monumental trades.  There was a relaxing drive.  There was a tornado or three.  There was a drunk driver.  There was vomit.  There were milestones met.  And through it all, there was knitting.  Always with the knitting. 

Confused yet? 

We’ve been dickering over the trade in of our trusty dusty Dodge Durango for a week, and it looked pretty hopeless at a couple points.  We were upside down on the loan, thanks to a tanking economy sinking the value of our trade in nearly by the day, banks with the only thing tighter than their sphincters were their loan approvals, and a dealer that was a little stingy on the negotiation end of the matter.  In the end, a deal was made, the dealer squealed a little at the pain of it (once calling me a ‘shrewd’ woman with the number crunching, to which I gave a Mona Lisa smile and didn’t explain that I wasn’t so much dickering and winning as trying any and everything I could think of in the manner of trade to get things rolling knowing that if we didn’t trade in our Durango now, we would be stuck with it because it’s value would plummet, and I just didn’t want to take the chance it would die a gasping death with our new camper behind it crippling the Durango’s transmission), a bank grudgingly gave us a loan, and we drove away with a new-to-us 2005 Chevy Silverado 3500 Duramax Diesel that takes a ladder for my 5’2” body to climb into.  Step sides are on the list to Santa for this Christmas.  In the end, it seemed the dealer wasn’t as staunchly self-serving as he originally appeared, just as tenacious was he to try to make it work for us as I was.  I even said no a couple times and was ready to walk away and we would just nurse the Durango through the remaining two camper trips we have planned for the summer and try again next year in the hopes that the economy would be turning around sometime in the next few months.  But the dealer came through for us, and while I was irritated at times with him, he turned out to be a generous sort where we were able to squeak something out.  I can rest easier knowing that when we travel with the camper later this summer, we won’t be looking at the potential of thousands of dollars to fix a crippled vehicle.  This new truck could pull a house without so much as a cough.  And I have to say, I love a man in a tough truck, and this truck fits around Mike like a well worn in pair of Levi’s with a great butt.  Rowr! 

Since we were a way outside of the city to make the deal for the truck, we thought we’d take a drive to an old campground from Mike’s past that was nearby and also to our latest campground where I needed to tweak some reservations to accommodate our late summer float trip.  While we were winding through southern Missouri back roads laden with trees, other trucks (isn’t it funny that when you buy a different vehicle, suddenly you see that vehicle everywhere?) and taverns that would feel at home as a set in Deliverance, we saw some serious storm damage.  Apparently the storms that moved through the Midwest last week hit southern Missouri particularly hard.  There were straight-line damaged trees that were simply blown over, there were tornado damaged trees stripped of their leaves and branches and standing bare and naked against the foothills, and there were limbs and debris everywhere.  The majority of the blocked roads had been cleared, but it was very obvious something mean and snarly had blown through there and it left a giant path of destruction in its wake.  There’ll be a lot of firewood to be had in the coming weeks.  

We arrived at the campground we’ll be visiting later this summer and I headed into the front office to square away our final reservations.  When I emerged, I couldn’t find Mike.  Now, I understand that to us, the truck we were in was really only a couple hours old, but for the life of me, I couldn’t see it.  This is so totally something that would trip me up.  I knew what it looked like, but wasn’t positive I’d recognize it out of hand the way you recognize the difference between your vehicle and an identical one next to it.  It’s black.  It’s got 4×4 painted on the side towards the tailgate.  It’s pretty tall.  But it would have totally blended in among all the other 4x4s parked haphazardly around.  I felt pretty stupid, but I have our license plate memorized and it transferred with the deal so I looked at plates.  Missouri, Missouri, Missouri, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Missouri…  None of them had our numbers.  Gods but wasn’t I feeling like an idiot.  Well, maybe he took Son and Daughter down to the river for a peek and a little time on the beach skipping rocks.  I started in that direction and realized that it was a ten minute walk and if I got there and he wasn’t there, I’d be irritated, and he might be looking for me somewhere back by the front office.  Or maybe he took a drive through the campground to see if there was any damage to speak of in this area.  I started along the road to the sites we’d be staying at later and didn’t see him.  There were plenty of scantily clad girls around, cleaning up after their own floats, and plenty of guys around to ogle all the skin.  I felt even stupider in my t-shirt and shorts and nicer sandals as opposed to beat up flip flops.  He wasn’t down there.  I turned to walk back to the front office thinking he’d come through there again soon and I’d be rescued saved picked up and we could head out.  A red truck passed by me and beside it a small black Mazda with a couple girls hooting and hollering at the truck over their blaring radio.  Man, I was so ready to go on our own float.  I remember thinking she was ballsy to pass that truck that way at the speed she was going.  It was, after all, a campground with a posted 5 mph speed limit sign every 20 feet.  Then, a couple minutes later as I walked back into the circle area by the front office, I saw Black Car Girl had plunged through a mud puddle and parked within inches of the main shower house.  There were campground employees leaning in through the passenger side and demanding her keys.  Turns out she was three sheets to the wind and had only barely stopped her car to avoid slamming through the wall and into the showering girls within the bath house.  Wow.  Maybe I wasn’t quite that ready for our float.  That was some enthusiasm.  But yeah, Drunk Black Car Girl brayed laughter as she joined her group of friends exclaiming about how she’d had her keys taken away.  “Probably schmart.  I’ve had jusht a wee bit to drink,” she slurred as she slung her arm around a cheerful companion who brayed along with her.  It was in that moment that I was glad that not only had we not parked in the spot near where her car had barreled through before its close shave stop, but I was glad my kids in the backseat were nowhere around to see that girl.  I’d have had some questions to answer from inquisitive Son who misses nothing.  The gate attendant saw me looking about for our truck one more time and hollered an inquiry about if I was looking for a black truck.  I said yes and he pointed to where Mike was parked outside the gate, as the gate attendant had put it, so as not to scratch ‘your purty new truck’ (I guess Mike talked to him a bit while I was taking care of our reservations).  Relieved, I climbed back in and we turned for home as I relayed what I’d just seen to Mike.  He chuckled, shaking his head at the hubris – and stupidity – of the young, probably college aged Drunk Black Car Girl.  

On the drive back to our house, we decided to use a gift certificate we had for a local steakhouse since we’d be rolling into the driveway at a time when evening turns to night.  This would turn out to be a bad move, since Mike would have something unsavory with his meal that had him up most of the night curled into a fetal ball and moaning with the pain of food poisoning.  Sometime around five in the morning, he ejected his digestive contents and with a sigh of frustration and misery, he climbed back into bed hopeful that it would be the event that would help him feel better.  He endured another hour or so of cramps and then finally drifted off into a fitful sleep.  Around ten in the morning, the cock-a-doodle-doo of our kids woke us up and, surprised by the lateness of the hour to which they had let us sleep, I told Mike he was not to get out of bed until at least noon.  But he was up, despite his body’s fatigue, and over my protests, he decided to clean the truck since the little dealership from where we’d gotten it hadn’t even given it a cursory vacuum.  So we all traipsed out to the driveway, Son running over to play with the neighbors and Daughter tooling around our front lawn playing with the hose and some of her big brother’s old scooters.  That accomplished, we headed out to do some cleaning at the house Mike’s sister and her husband had flipped, a house where Mike spent many hours helping turn an old brick shell built in the 30s into a livable, character filled house replete with modern conveniences.  With Son’s bike in the back, we knew he’d be entertained, but at one point, he complained that one of his training wheels kept coming off.  So I located a socket wrench and in a moment of bravado, Son proclaimed himself ready to bid adieu to the training wheels.  So I removed them for him and set about teaching him to ride his bike big-boy style, as he put it.  After a good workout on my part, consisting of nearly half an hour running behind him with my hand on his seat, I told him I was letting go.  He wanted to panic, but I told him he’d never learn if he didn’t try, and if he wasn’t going to try, well we might as well put the bike away because I wasn’t going to put the training wheels back on.  That shored him up and he said he was ready.  We got going again, me huffing and puffing behind him and him steeling himself to crash, and I let go, shouting for him to go faster, faster and he did.  He rode his bike, big-boy style and even when he reached the end of the sidewalk and fell over into the grass, he was too happy to get upset by the bike pinning his foot.  He ran around like a loon, whooping and bright eyed and in those moments, I saw the world at his feet and won’t swear that a tear didn’t mix in with the sweat on my face.  Just one.  He rode his bike, wobbly and with very little grace but all by himself without training wheels, for another hour or so, improving the whole time.  I’m betting by next week, he’ll be a pro. 

What does all this have to do with knitting?  Well, on the drive I made progress on the Herringbone Socks.  A lot of progress.  What’s been a fiddly pattern for me finally stuck and I was able to get the leg done.  You can see the pattern best in this picture. 

Herringbone Socks

Or this one…

Herringbone Socks 2 by you.

I also received my Signature Arts Needles in the mail on Saturday and while I was on the phone with the dealership about our trade, I got a few rows done on my sister’s wedding blanket. 

Log Cabin/needles by you.

Log Cabin/needles 2 by you.

Those needles are divine.  The points are so sharp that a yarn with the tendency to split stands no chance with them.  The only complaint I have with them is the same complaint I have about all straight needles.  The weight of the project (in this case a big blanket) hinders the movement necessary for total freedom to swing the needles as I need to pick up stitches.  I use the continental, or left-handed, or ‘picking’ method of knitting, which simply means that I hold the working yarn in my left hand and manipulate the right hand needle to pick up the working yarn and pull it through the stitch.  So my right hand needle swings around a lot with the movement of my hand.  With a heavy project weighing down the end it’s harder to pick up the working yarn.  But other than that little quibble, I love them.  They’d be perfect for a washcloth or hand towel, something with a larger stitch size without all the yarn weight hindering their movement.  Still.  These needles are the best needles I’ve worked with, except for that one niggling little complaint.  And they’re very elegant looking, too. 

I also made a smidge of progress on the Viper Pilots.  I’m having a hard time capturing the color of that yarn, though.  It’s not at all pinkish, as the picture would have you believe.

Viper Pilot socks 3 by you.

It’s kinda hard to see the pattern.  At some point, I’ll have enough knit on it to capture the pattern in all its twisty, awesome Battlestar Galactica glory.  Truly.  This picture is a very slight bit better for the pattern.  At least on one side.  Oh, and you know what works in a pinch for stitch markers?  Daughter’s elastic ponytail holders.

Viper Pilot socks 2 by you.

So that’s my busy weekend in a nutshell.  Tell me.  How was your weekend?


A Knitter’s Conundrum

We’re attempting to buy a new truck.  Back in December, our pop-up camper sustained damage in a windstorm that resulted in water damage to the interior and essentially rendered the camper totaled.  When the floor is one piece, even water damage in one corner is catastrophic in that everything has to be ripped out in order to replace the floor.  There’s not much patching possible in that case.  So February found us at our local RV show where we were very careful to select a new camper that would be within the towing guidelines of our Durango.  However, Mike was worried about the Durango’s towing capacity with the new camper, so we had some transmission maintenance done and had a new set of shocks put on to help with the bumpy ride.  Memorial Day weekend was the big test, when we drove to a campground we stay at every Memorial Day weekend that’s six hours away.  We did fine, for the most part, except through the Missouri Ozark vicinity of I-70.  The Durango was sluggish on the hills.  Capable, but the downshifting was significant and the RPMs would jump from 2500 to 5500 and cause my heart to flutter a bit.  It was nerve-wracking.  So after much teeth gnashing and eye rolling (all on my part since Mike loves to buy and trade cars around) I agreed that we’d end up ruining the Durango if we kept it going.  After asking around to his RV and camper owning friends Mike learned that diesel trucks go longer and tow better and it’s one of the reasons that most construction crews and essentially any type of work truck you see is diesel.  He convinced me and then he found what he wanted on the Kelley Blue Book website, listed by a small town dealer in southern Missouri.  

Long story short, we’ve made a couple trips to a small dealership about an hour south of St. Louis, and it’s been prime knitting time in the car.  Last week, I frogged my sister’s knee high socks because my short row heel had holes in it and there was another mistake up by the toe that I’d missed.  I started over last Wednesday and by Friday I was ready to tackle the short row heel again with a new technique.  A snafu with the dealership meant that we had to return on Saturday for a different truck to test drive, and that we’d likely get an even better deal with their mistake.  The original truck we were going to look at was sold out from under us and they were extremely apologetic, which could possibly translate to dollars on the deal for a new truck, which has fewer miles, is a year newer, and is also a heavier duty engine.  But it also meant another two hours in the car.  I turned the heel Friday night after we got home and worked my way up the ankle on Saturday on the ride down.  Pretty soon, I’ll be ready for the calf increases and will be able to cast off the first sock and cast on the second.  The pair will likely be late as my sister’s birthday is on Thursday this week, but this is okay with me. 

The problem is that I have a huge case of startitis, where I have three or four projects that I am chomping at the bit to get started.  I have a pair of booties for a baby expected by our HR lady that I want to do, and I have a couple baby blankets that need to be done, one by September and one by November.  But the thing I can’t get out of my head, the thing I’m fantasizing about casting on, the thing that is whispering its siren song of stitches to me is this pair of socks:

The picture is from the pattern Viper Pilots written by GlennaC, on Ravelry for the bargain price of $5.  I. am. salivating.  I have recently developed an obsession with the show Battlestar Galactica on my sister’s urging, and I have a deep love for the series that has given me words and phrases such as ‘frak’ for the eff-word and ‘so say we all’ for solemn announcements.  So to find a knitting pattern inspired by the show, with detail work to simulate the Vipers the pilots fly in the series as well as some details in the cabling attributed to the perils of space flight, well.  You can imagine the pitter patter of my heart as I clicked the PayPal button to fork over my eager monies and hold this pattern in my grubby hands.  Never mind that I’ve only successfully finished one pair of socks.  Never mind that I haven’t learned cables yet.  Never mind that I’ve got a full plate of things I want to finish and a husband that thinks when I’m knitting that I’m ignoring my family and my responsibilities, and so he rolls his eyes and makes disparaging comments when I pick up the needles (to which I complained that he does his hobbies whenever and wherever he chooses so I’m allowed to do mine at my discretion and he should shut his everloving pie hole, so say we all)!  Never mind all that.  I want these socks.  In the tone of Fat Bastard of Austin Powers fame, “Get on my feet, wee little socks.”  I supposed I could frog the knee highs again, or just hibernate them and cast on the Viper Pilots for my sister for her birthday since I’m a process knitter (enjoying the making of more so than the finishing of a project) and she’s the one who turned me on to the series so she deserves a pair herself, but man, a little restraint would probably do me some good.  Even if I do already have planned out what yarn to use, and have just made sure to procure the proper size needles, and even if I make it a point to go out to Ravelry and browse all the versions people have done and read their comments on the ease of the pattern.  Even though I have yet to make something for myself yet, and it’s high time I show my own feet some loving, or if I make them for her I can look forward to making this sock TWICE, oh the geek inside me did a little backflip at the thought!

There is one more trip down south in our future for the truck buying, assuming the cards all align in our favor with the financing.  It will be the trip down to make the trade and say goodbye to our beloved and reliable Durango, which I’m actually a little sad about.  But I’m telling you what, disparaging remarks from Mike or not, I’m knitting on those knee high stripy socks and I will finish them in record time.  SO SAY WE ALL!


On the Needles

I’ve had a bad week.  Between a snafu with a bill paying website and a utility company, I’m in a position that royally pisses me off.  The bill paying website has behaved in a manner that has resulted in me owing a lot of money to the utility company.  It’s a large portion of yarn money and it is only my fault in that I didn’t read the fine print thoroughly enough.  The worry abounds.  But I’ve learned something.  I should not consider starting over on projects when I’m that upset about something else.  It makes me want to start everything over.  Luckily, I listened to the cautious voice in my head instead of ripping back the pair of socks I’m making for my sister’s birthday to the heel because I don’t like the way it turned out and I think I’ve come up with a solution without having to undo hours and hours of work.  Here are the socks.

That heel is too pointy and the short-row construction has little holes where the decreases happen.  Those little holes are an assault on my knitter spirit, which is like The Force and is surprisingly strong in me for someone so new to knitting.  The solution?  After I finish the leg, I’m going to snip the yarn at the heel and rip out only the heel.  Then I’m going to redo the stitches in another short-row heel technique which professes to get rid of those abominable holes, and when I get to the end, I’ll rejoin the yarns and then weave the ends in the wrong side.  Voila.  Not sure how it’ll work, but there is nothing worth doing in knitting without doing it right.  Well, it’s a not technically a mistake, and there are some things I will live with, but apparently this isn’t one of them.  When I first started knitting, I was scared to try anything new that wasn’t in the pattern.  But really?  Scared of knitting?  What’s there to be scared of?  The worst that can happen is that I mess it up and have to rip it back and reknit.  Since I like to knit, while I might end up frustrated having to redo something, it’s still enjoyable to make the stitches.  Besides, what’s life without a little risk?  Problem with this particular pair of socks is that I have about two weeks to get them done and in the mail to my sister for her birthday so I don’t have a lot of time for risk.  I also don’t have enough time to rip them back and do the leg all over again.

As far as the rest of what’s on my needles, here’s the rundown.  This is the pair of socks that have been consuming my time mostly lately. They are Mother’s Day socks for my mother in a herringbone pattern that is not confusing as long as you know there’s a published errata, but is finicky, and while Mother’s Day has come and gone, I wanted her to pick out her own yarn, and she didn’t pick until two weeks after Mother’s Day anyway.  So when I get them done is when I get them done.  I’m shooting for having them done by the end of June.

DSC_0301 by you.

You’ll notice I’m not very far.  I would be.  I’ve knit enough stitches on it to have a whole sock and part of the second.  But I’ve frogged this back a record SIX SEVEN times.  The first time, I made a mistake on the pattern after the ribbing.  The second time was another mistake.  The third time, I gave up on the pattern and was just going to knit a plain pair of stockinette stitch socks.  I decided that was boring and ripped it back a fourth time to restart the herringbone pattern ones.  The fifth time, my daughter ripped it back for me.  Ugh.  The sixth time, I got the farthest, nearly to the heel and discovered that the yarn I was using was the wrong gauge and that since I didn’t swatch for a measly sock (hubris of the new knitter) the sock was too small to get over my own foot, let alone my mother’s, which are a size bigger than mine.  It was then that I decided to switch yarn to this one.  It’s Cabana Boy from Yarntini’s Super Summer semi-solid Sock Club that I signed up for in April and goes through September.  It’s closer to the gauge and this time I swatched and while I didn’t exactly get gauge, it is close enough.  It’s a sock.  Then, I messed up the herringbone pattern again and ripped it back a SEVENTH time and if it doesn’t work this time, I’m finding another pattern.  First I thought it was a challenge.  Now, it’s a matter of pride.  But I’m not so prideful that I can’t see the reality that it may be a more difficult pattern than I originally thought.  I can do the stitches, but dude, it’s persnickety. Persnickety is hard with the little ones running around and ripping my knitting out for me.

Here are the rest.  A blanket for Son, my five year old.  He chose the blanket, and I’m obliging.  Technically it’s not knitting but crochet.  I went through a phase at the very beginning where I thought crochet might be fun to learn too.  I realized the error of my ways after starting this blanket.  It’s not that it’s not a good stitch pattern, it’s that I prefer two needles to one.  Somehow, I get more knots with crochet and only one needle.  I’m about a third of the way done.

Here’s another project, a blanket for Daughter.  It’s also crochet, but a little easier.  It’s several little blocks that will be sewn together to make the blanket.  I’m about half done.  I have a few more purple squares to make and then all of the green ones.  Then the blocking of the blocks, the sewing together, and the border. 

Here’s a better picture of the green.  It’s minty.

When I’m done with this blanket, I’m done with crochet except as an edging to my knitting.

Then there’s the Harry Potter Prisoner of Azkaban Ravenclaw scarf I’m doing for myself.  It’s too hot to knit on now though.

I picked Ravenclaw because I like the colors.  I knit a Slytherin one for my sister for Christmas (sadly didn’t get pictures) that started me on this whole knitting obsession anyway.  I’ll finish it by the time it’s cooling off in the fall.  It’s not exactly an exciting knit with its miles and miles of stockinette stitch.  It was perfect for me as a beginner, but now it’ll be good for when I’m watching TV and can look away from it and not have to stop.  It’s not persnickety at all.  Maybe it’s my antidote to the Herringbone Rib Socks.

Anyway, I’m off to knit on the herringbone socks.  Or the stripy socks.  I have a zen place I need to find so I quit thinking about the stupid power company.

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