Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Close, But No Cigars

The title refers to my race with the Falling in Love socks. It’s sort of a silly self imposed challenge that I could finish my hand spun socks made from Spunky’s April fiber club before I received the fiber for May. Well folks, I was thisclose to making it. As a matter of fact I had just started the ribbing when I got the package in the mail. Oh well, at least I got my first pair of socks made from my own handspun which is the reason that I wanted to learn to spin in the first place. Well that and the best enabling buddy I’ve ever had. *begin flashback* It was a Friday, I was surfing the net minding my own business when she IM’s me a link to these socks in all there craftastic glory. I vowed on that day that I would one day make a pair of socks using my own unique handspun and the rest is history *end flashback* . Without further a due, The socks that describe my relationship with spinning…

Falling In Love Socks

Pattern by Anniken Allis

Started: May 8th

Finished: May 24th

Yarn: My own handspun (yay)

And look at that, they’re fraternal. Gotta love it. I ended up doing Maia's heel which I now will use for all my toe up socks. It was a lot of note taking but I think it was well worth it.

I tried to not immediately cast on for another pair of socks so I decided to do something a little out of the ordinary. Not really out of the ordinary because it seems to be spreading through the blogisphere like Monkeys but as Maribel would say, I’ve crossed over to the dark side.

Since you already know I’m a sheep, it was either crochet some granny squares or a ripple. I chose the latter. It will be a baby blanket eventually but I think I may have to put it on snooze for a bit. I was going full speed ahead when I started but somewhere along the line I lost steam. Plus, crochet eats up yarn like a mofo. Now I realize why acrylic is the number one choice. I’m using Caron’s Simply Soft which is my absolute favorite acrylic yarn. This blanket will eventually be donated to the charity knitting circle at my job so I’ll only work on it when I’m there.

In the meantime, guess what? I cast on for another sock and not just any sock but a Jaywalker. And not just any Jaywalker but my very first Jaywalker. I don’t know what I was waiting for but I can see how this pattern can become very addictive. I casted on around lunch time today and here’s where I was this evening around seven.

I love knitting this sock. I purposely chose some yarn that’s been languishing in my stash for quite a while. I don’t know what I was thinking when I chose these colors but they really are not something I would normally choose but they seem to be coming along great. By the way, the yarn is Regia just in case you were wondering. I’m sure I’ll be done with this one in no time. I may steal Nancy’s idea and do a poll for what socks I should cast on next (even though she called me dirty names). It is the Summer of Socks after all.

Well that’s all. Oh wait, I have done a little spinning. Here’s a lone skein that I spun up due to idle hands.

I received the roving from a swap with Faith. I don’t have any specs on it at the moment but I’ll let you know as soon as I do. I should be updating my shop this Friday so keep a look out for that too. When I do, I’ll add my hand picked items to the side bar of this blog. And while you’re there, you should check out Allena’s shop also. She’s planning some great stuff for her shop and I can’t wait to see her ideas come to life.

Happy Knitting

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I'm a Sheep

I bet you already knew that. I was tagged by Faith so I feel it’s my duty to give the public what they want. Everybody’s doing it, so I’ma doing it too!

1. Each player starts with 8 random facts about themselves.
2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their 8 random things and post the rules.
3. At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and post their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I am obsessed with the color green. No really. I get all giddy when I see the color. I wore green so much in college that my friends told me it seemed like I never changed my clothes (I in fact did change my clothes everyday, thankyouverymuch)

2. When I was young, I had dreams of performing with the Dance Theater of Harlem. I did join a dance company during high school but I started too late and lacked the dedication to really pursue a career. I also danced with the first class of the Fieldston Young Dancemakers company. I still have my tap and pointe shoes lingering somewhere in the back of my closet.

3. Although I’m a native New Yorka, I have lived in Rhode Island and Texas at some time or another.

4. I graduated with a BS in Accounting from a culinary school (Go J-Dub!)

5. I might deny it later, but one of my favorite shows is Degrassi: The Next Generation. I grew up watching the original on PBS and I just tuned in originally out of curiosity. They’re still covering those hard to face realities. ( I like Beyond the Break too)

6. I’m a big pansey when it comes to movies. I cry at the drop of a hat. I still cry at that part in Dumbo when his mothers trunk is hanging out the cage and she’s swinging him and singing….Oh my goodness, I’m getting all choked up just thinking about it.

7. My boyfriend says I’m bossy even though I don’t think I am. I just told him that things would be a lot easier if he just did things the way that I want them done.

8. I love wearing mismatched socks. I may bypass this rule for handknit socks but most of the time, my handknit socks turn out fraternal so no worries. Sometimes I'll wear matching socks to appease my family and friends. Usually on my birthday, but the other 364 days, my socks do not match and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I’m not going to tag anyone for this meme but feel free to post it on your blog if you wanna. Just let me know in the comments so I can go check it out.

On Knitting

I have been working on my socks and here’s a progress shot.

Actually, I’ve done a bit more than what’s pictured. I was trying to finish by tomorrow but this tonsillitis slowed me down a bit. They still won’t take them out no matter how much I beg and plead. I knew I was gonna get sick because it only happens when I have fibery events to go to. I was supposed to head up to Webs for their tent sale but you guessed it. My tonsils had other ideas. I’m in such a rush to finish these socks because I want them done before my next Spunky club fiber comes in. I just turned this into a personal contest for no apparent reason, just because. I think it may show up some time next week so I’m knitting in hyperdrive right now. I’ll let you know if I made the deadline.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Pay It Forward

Like the title today, I’m posting so I can try and pay it forward. I got a little inspired by Maia who’s taking the time to make a tutorial for her toe up heel flap method. I butcher knitting patterns on the regular so I thought I’d share with you one of the ways I remixed my current pattern. Hopefully it will save you from repeating a lot of the curse words I said last night.
Start Falling in Love
I started my Falling in Love socks that I’m knitting along with Nancy. Toe up socks are my favorite so I figured it would be smooth sailing. I decided to magic loop ‘em on my favorite Addi Turbos. You can tell they’re my favorite because they have this warped gangsta lean thing going on. Anyhoo, so I’m chillin at my Tuesday knitting session at Barnes & Nobles and I glance over and see my buddy Nancy. I’m so anxious to show her that I started my socks that I smugly hold them up high in the air so she can see that I am a knitter of my word. Nancy holds up the beginings of a toe and Maribel holds up her chocolate Hedera sock so we had a little wonder twins, sock knitting moment.

We commence to talk about how the patterns going so far. I tell her that I wasn’t feeling the short row toe so I remixed it into a magic cast on and increased every other row each end of the needle until I had the appropriate number of stitches. I still had like 2 more increase rows to go when Nancy casually states “Oh, and how about that knit 4 together?” Knit what?!?!?!? Where?!?!? Like usual, I just skimmed through the pattern. I was totally blindsided by the pretty picture and I didn’t realize there was a knit 4 together in there. And here goes Shameka, who’s sitting right next to me, snatches up my pattern off the table and states “Yup, right here on row 5, Knit four together”. Can I tell you how mortified I was when I found this out. HAve you ever tried to knit 4 together using an Addi Turbo? Let me just tell you that it aint gonna work. I haven’t had to deal with anything like that since the nupps in the Swallowtail shawl. I was really discouraged about the knit 4 together but I was determined to finish these socks.

I thought about my dilemma the whole train ride home. It finally clicked when I thought about the double decreases I did in the Baudelair socks. I just had to find a way to mix that with how I purled the nupps in the shawl. First thing I did was make myself a chart in excel because it’s easier for me if I can get a clear visual of the stitch pattern. By the way, does anyone know of any free knitting software I can use to make my own charts? Once that was done, it took a couple of tries but I think I came up with an alternative for the knit 4 together. Here goes my attmept at a tutorial.

Here’s what I did for the first knit 4 together:
-Slip two stitches
-Knit 2 together
-Slip the two stitches over the knit two together one at a time (as if you were binding off)
-Go on about your business

Here’s what I did for the second knit 4 together:
-Knit two together
-Slip that stitch back to left needle
-Slip the next two stitches over the knit two together one at time.
-Go on about your business.

(see below)
Because the knit 4 together is surrounded by yarn overs it seems to look OK. I’m using handspun yarn which is kind of lumpy and bumpy so I can’t tell if it messes with the pattern or not. Fell free to comment if you have any input on this subject. I’d love to hear what you guys think.
Happy Knitting 4 Together!

On second thought, scratch those instructions above. I did a couple of rows on the sock durign my lunch hour and it looks like I should have switched them (of course I'm not ripping back, wabi sabi). Here' show it should go:

For the first knit 4 together
-Knit two together
-slip that stitch back to left needle
-Slip the next two stitches over the knit together one at a time

For the second knit 4 together
-Slip two stitches
- Knit two together
-Slip the two slipped stitches over the knit together one at a time (as if binding off)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Been away too long

What happened to April? It’s May already? Whoa!

I guess the older you get (not that I’m that old) the faster time seems to go. I have been very busy but for some reason there hasn’t been a whole lotta knitting going on. I’m still hooked on Jewelry making and swaps but other then that I’ve been in Spin city. As usual, I’ll try to tell my story in pictures.

Whatcha Knittin’?

Like I said before, I really haven’t knitted anything. I finished knitting my secret feet socks then I was at a loss. I couldn’t find anything that my fingers wanted to groove to. Until recently that is. A certain somebody stated that I need to start knitting with my handspun so I set out to use some up. I first tried to knit socks but this yarn is a three ply in which I spun with a heavy twist so it was no good for socks. I finally settled on making an Argosy scarf due to the low yardage. Here’s what I have so far.

Here’s a picture of my secret feet wearing the socks that I made for her. I was worried that they wouldn’t fit or that she wouldn’t like them but rest assured, she gave them two toes up. The yarn is Socks that Rock medium weight in the Chanticleer colorway. I used the Baby Fern Pattern from this book. As far as the socks I received, Judes made the greatest pair of Socks that “Freakin” Rock. The pattern is called Knitslexia and it’s a Judy original. I heart them so much. Especially since I’m a big fan of pooling and these socks pool like a billiards club in Vegas.

Here's a group shot of all the socks. I can't wait for the next sock swap.

They be spinnin and spinnin and spinnin

I’ve been spinning like crazy. My poor Vickybo has been getting a workout. First is this yarn that I spun from roving I purchased from the Yarn Tree. I swear, I was only going in there to get a niddy noddy but the owner just happened to mention that she had some roving for sale that she hand dyed herself. I fell in love with the colors as soon as I saw them. I thought I put the wool back but somehow it ended up in my bag. Weird I tell ya.

So I ripped open the bag open as soon as I got home and was a little disappointed to find that the roving had felted a bit during the dyeing process. Not one to be discouraged, I was determined to get my moneys worth, so I spun that sucka up right then and there. This picture still doesn’t do the colors justice.


Fiber – Corriedale
Method – Forward Short Draw
Ply – 2
Weight/Length – 1.9 ounces / 58 yards
WPI – 11

I finally joined the Spunky Fiber club. I don’t know why it took me this long to join. I received the wool on a Monday and I had it all spun up by Wednesday. I love the way she dyed it and it spun like butta. I’m planning on knitting some socks with it very soon. As a matter of fact, I’ll be knitting the Falling in Love socks along with Nancy.


Theme – Strawberry Fields
Fiber – Correidale
Method – Forward short draw
Ply - 2
Weight/Length – 3.7 ounces / 148 yards
WPI - 16

My most recent spinning project was also a goodie. Like I said before, I don’t know what took me so long to try this fiber. Spinners all over blogland have been raving about their roving and I don’t know why I thought I would be immune to their wooly fumes. I am in love with Crown Mountain Farms roving. Necia swapped me some roving for stitch markers and I am in love. This wool spun so smoothly and poofed up so much once I set the twist. You don’t want to know how much more of this stuff I ordered.


Colorway – Wild Thing
Fiber – Superwash Merino
Method – Forward short draw
Ply – 2
Weight/Length – 2.15 ounces / 100 yards
WPI – 20

Sew whatcha doin’

I actually sewed something other than a bag. I fell in love with this pattern once I saw it on Necias blog so I ordered one. This was my first ever garment and I don’t think it came out too shabby. I believe the fabric is cotton although I could be mistaken. The only thing I would have done differently would have been to read the pattern correctly. No matter what I’m doing, I never read the pattern thoroughly. I usually just skim it or think that I’ve read over things and skip over whole paragraphs. In knitting I can usually fudge around those parts and Tim Gunn it (yanno, make it work). For some reason, in this pattern I missed the part that says one inch seam allowance and sewd it as if I was doing a bag which is a quarter inch seam allowance. Oh well, Wabi Sabi. I’ll try to get it right on the next one.


I’m still addicted to beading. I’ve been making stitch markers but I give them away before I get a chance to take a picture of them. I’ll try and be more diligent about that. I have meddled around with making earrings and bracelets. I really like making bracelets but there’s so much to learn. I have a few books that have helped me a bunch. Here are some of my experimentations.

Is that the end?

It may seem like I’ve done a lot but I really haven’t. This is like 3 weeks worth of stuff packed all into one. So for this month, I’m going to try and blog once a month so it won’t seem like so much. I’ve been really busy getting my Etsy shop together and I finally got it up. There’s not much in there because I’m still getting settled but I’ll let you guys know when I update. I’m planning on offering hand carded batts, Hand dyed roving, maybe some hand dyed yarn, stitch markers, maybe some jewelry and hand knit head bands. We’ll see how it goes. I also started another swap for all you spinners so go check it out.

Thanks for checking in on me and I‘m sure my next post will be much smaller.

Happy craftin!