Friday, November 30, 2007

New Project & Pics of Finished Ones

I cast on a bulky baby kimono sweater on Monday.

The pattern is very cool and free!

Pattern:
Bulky Seamless Baby Kimono by Jacki Kelly
http://thecompletefabrication.blogspot.com/2007/11/bulky-seamless-baby-kimono.html


Yarn:
Lion Brand Chunky USA in Napa Grape
http://cache.lionbrand.com/yarns/chunkyUSA.htm
Bought a NJ Smiley sale in NJ - 3 skeins for $4! Already made a hat out of it.

Needles

US 10 Knitpicks Options from kit

I am already 75% done. Woohoo.

Bulky Seamless Baby Kimono

Pics of completed projects:

Jaywalkers -

Only the one pic so far. Will have to take some on my feet tonight.

STR Socks That Rock Atomic 6 Jaywalkers Socks

I really didn't do a good job tweaking the color either. But the original photo was really dark so I am surprised I got this much out of it.

Cupcake Purse -

Knitted Cupcake Purse for My Niece

Took some pics of the scarf, but they didn't come out. *shrugs* Have to take some more with the sock pics this weekend.

I also finished Paul's Xmas socks!! Woohoo! I am thrilled they are done. I will have to post some pics of those too when I get a chance to take the pics. Long story, but the camera is broken. So I have trouble getting the pics off the camera. I will try some with my camera phone when Paul isn't home.

Going to the Smiley sale in Manhattan! I went last year and it was much larger than the one in NJ I went to earlier this month. Time to scoot! I had planned on getting there way earlier in the day, but work has been a beast and I haven't been able to leave til now.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Productive Knitting Weekend


I am thrilled to say I got three project finished this weekend. The long weekend definitely helped with that. *smile*

I haven't taken pics yet. I am hoping to take some tonight. But I will be at a work conference tomorrow til Thursday. So I won't get to post them until probably Friday at the earliest.

The big accomplishment are my Jaywalkers.

Project:

STR Atomic 6 Jaywalkers

Cast on:

Wednesday, Nov. 14th

Finished:

Sunday, Nov. 25th

Pattern:

Toe UP Jaywalkers by Natalia Marek

http://azazello.org/nataliaknits/?p=36

Uses the original Jaywalker pattern heavily

http://magknits.com/Sept05/patterns/jaywalker.htm

Needles:

2 socks on 2 circs

Started with US 3 but went to a US 1 / 2.5 mm

One of each - Knitpicks Options & Harmony

Yarn:

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Mediumweight in Atomic 6

http://www.bluemoonfiberarts.com/colorway_detail.php?colorway_id=10&fiber_category=Animal&colorway_category_id=1

I have to say, I am torn with how I feel about these.

I really like the Socks That Rock yarn. The twist is nice. Knits up easily. It has a lot to recommend it. I can see why some people love it.

The thing I really disliked - the color came off on my hands while I was knitting with it. I ended up with rings around my fingers where I wrap my yarn for tension. And I got splotches on my fingers at the tips. Not great. I double checked on the STR forum on Ravelry. Seems this is common for them with dark colors. That is not what I expect from a pricey professional yarn. I have colored by own with dark colors and don't have the color coming off on my hands. So I was confused by it.

With the color bleeding onto me, I knew I had to wash them before I can wear them. I used a color fixative in hopes they will retain the color. It is weird though. When I washed them with some Synapol, the color didn't come off into the wash. So that is odd. I really wish I knew why they were behaving as they are.

Also, the colorway really isn't as dark & rich as I thought from the pics. There is a fair bit that looks more like a dusty rose than the burgundy shown in the image on their site. Also, I thought there was blue in it, when it is really green. Also, there isn't any black, only some grey. So while I like them, they won't be moving to my fav socks anytime soon.

I had some trouble with gauge. I did a gauge swatch. I thought I was right on the mark with the gauge. Seems I wasn't. The toe was so big I was going to be swimming in the socks. So I went down two needle sizes. It corrected the problem. So they fit in the rest of the foot. (Of course, I should have ripped out the toe and started again, but I didn't.)

Thing is the jaywalker pattern has next to no give. So that pulling the leg part over my heel is a bit of a challenge. They will go on, but not without a good deal of effort. I will be curious to see how they hold up given how hard they are to get onto my foot.

Overall, I am glad I did a pair of Jaywalkers. It was a simple pattern and easily repetitive so that was easy to knit. But there really isn't any give in the pattern itself. So I don't know if I will feel compelled to do another pair honestly.

I know next for me will be a Cat Bordhi pattern from the New Pathways book. I am definitely looking forward to that. Though they may have to wait til I finish ones for my sister in law's Xmas pressie or Paul's. I started swatching the Lisa Sousa Socks in Mars Quake this morning on size 3s. I suspect it is too loose on the 3s. So I will probably have to go to size 1 or 2s. The 2s are holding Paul's socks. I just finished with the size 1s for the Jaywalkers. But I really need to get started with Jennifer's socks if I want to complete them for Xmas. Just have to see I guess.

Project:

Drop Stitch Recycled Silk Scarf

Cast on:

Wednesday, Oct. 10th.

Finished:

Thursday, Nov. 22nd.

Pattern:

Double Drop Stitch Scarf by Amy Davenport

http://freshgroundknits.com/patterns/drop-stitch-scarf/


Needles:

Knitpicks US 8 Options from set

Yarn:

Recycled Sari Silk from Hunger Site

Have to say I picked the pattern as a way to burn through the recycled silk quickly. It is pretty rough and I really don't think I like the yarn all that much.

I am following the pattern except I cast on 48 stitches. Problem is that it is too wide for the 3 skeins I have. It only came out about 30"-35" long. So it is more like a shawl than a scarf.

I am going to give it to my sister Millie as a Christmas pressie.

Not really thrilled with it. But it is okay. I think my sister will like it. Definitely a good easy knit.

Project:

Cupcake Purse for My Niece

Cast on:

Wednesday Oct. 31st.

Knitting Completed:

Friday, Nov. 2nd.

Project Finished:

Saturday, Nov. 24th.

Pattern:

Cupcake Purse by Amy Gaines

http://www.etsy.com/view_transaction.php?transaction_id=5840116

Needles:

Knitpicks US 8 Options from set

Kit purchased on Etsy.com from AmyGaines.

Super fast project. Easy to knit.

I got the knitting pattern in a kit. The pattern on Ravelry says crochet, but she has both.

I knit it in the round so there is less seaming. Also, I did not sew the bottom it closed. I added two layers of stift felt to the bottom to make it more three dimensional.

Definitely a fun, quick project. Would do again if I ever have some who would enjoy the purse.

So it was a good weekend. Three projects off the needles. That is great.

Of course, now I am debating what to put on my needles! *chuckle* I know I need to start the socks for my sister-in-law Jennifer if I want to get them done in time for Xmas. We will do Xmas with them after the new year probably. But I need to start them.

I want to start a pair of socks with one of the Bordhi New Pathway patterns. I don't know which pattern yet. I know I want to knit the Lisa Sousa Socks in Mars Quake next without a doubt. Though I am a little tempted to do something else if I can't get the gauge on the 3s. Scary that I want more circular needles! Though on the flip side, I have the 2s in dpns. I *could* do a corealis pattern on dpns as the corealis really seems to require one at a time as there is a lot of slipping stitches from one needle to another. But I don't think I want to do that in the Mars Quake. I might try the sock yarn I got at the Etsy Trunk Sale for that. Not sure.


Decisions decisions. *chuckle*

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Pathways Formulas in Spreadsheet

I am a geek. It is indeed true.

I love the new Cat Bordhi book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Part One. Seems I have to specify Book One as she is already planning Book Two. She has the most amazing mind. I am stunned by the way she thinks.

The book has all these tables with values for you to calculate the # of stitches you need for various parts of the pattern. It is very cool.

So what did I do? I figured it would be much easier to plug all the info into something so it would spit out all the other numbers you need for a pattern. Easier than looking up figures on up to 6 tables. Also, there are figures that are easier to calculate with the formula, rather than having to figure it out manually.

I spent way too long scanning them in and retyping them as my OCR software blows. My husband was kind enough to proof the tables for me. But of course, not without mocking me mercilessly. *grin*

I have posted the spreadsheet on a website where I have some space:
http://akasha.onmyweigh.com/data/new-pathways-formulas.xls

Please feel free to use it. It won't make any sense without the book however! So unless you have the book, it really won't help you.

I chose Excel mostly because many people can use it. It isn't the ideal method. But it was the easiest to put together with the tools I have at hand.

Please hollar if there are any problems with the spreadsheet. I have locked the most of the cells so folks won't enter data into the wrong areas or delete things. It wasn't out of any sense of propriety of the data. I know this is Cat's info. The password to the spreadsheet is 'cat'.

If you have the book, make sure to check her site for the errata/corrections page. I got the second printing which has a lot less errors than the first. But there is nothing worse that working on a pattern for a while only to discover an error that will mean frogging hours of work.

Her website also has a bunch of super useful videos. They are also on YouTube. I love the demo of Judy's Magic Cast On, the LaRink & LaLink increases. I have started using those for any toes & heels I am doing. They make such a difference.

All in all, I am loving the book. When my Jaywalkers are done, I am definitely doing something from New Pathways. Debating which one would work best with the Lisa Souza Socks! yarn in Mars Quake I got. That is the yarn I want to get on the needles next.

Toe Up Socks in Schaefer Lola Done

Cast on:

Saturday, Nov. 3rd.

Finished on:

Sunday, Nov. 11th.

Yarn:

Schaefer Lola


Needles:

Knitpicks Options & Boyd Circulars Size 5

I am going to sure the small images on the page. My mother-in-law is still on dial-up. So I don't want to overload her with the images. And I will just give links to some of the images.

Front View:

Toe Up Socks in Schaefer Lola - Front View

Side View:

Toe Up Socks in Schaefer Lola - Close Up Side View


Other Views:

Side View of Pair

Flat

Flat Pair


Pattern:

I didn't use a specific pattern.

I used the Lifestyle Toe Up Socks as a guide.


The toe is done with Judy's Magic Cast-On. Though the YouTube video by Cat Bordhi was even more helpful.


I took the numbers from the Knitty Universal Toe Up sock recipe.


I looked at different sites for the heel I went with one that didn't require wraps. I think that was a mistake.


I did a garter rib on the top which will carry up to the leg. Took that from Sensational Knitted Socks.



This is a Frankenpattern! *grin*


Love the yarn! It is knitting up so fast. I did 6" of the foot in the first 48 hours. This is after spending a lot of time learning Judy's Magic Cast-On and frogging the toe once after it didn't go right the first time. It is also super cushy and soft. I know I will have to get more of it.


I really enjoy toe up socks. I like that I can tweak them as needed. It may be my new method for socks most of the time.

I will definitely find a new heel though. I got holes at the seam. Not good. I had to use the yarn to sew up the holes at the gusset. I am trying another method with the Toe Up Jaywalkers. And this method is a lot better. So I won't use the no wrap method again. Too much of a mess. Not that the one I am doing now is tough at all. It has a gusset and is worked nearly identical to a cuff down which I like.


I am wearing them again today. I really like them. They are kinda bulky, but I don't mind that. I suspect most people would say they are house socks, but I don't think of them as that.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Socks That Rock Atomic 6 Jaywalkers Cast On & New Pathways Book


I wrote part of this on Wednesday, then more yesterday. Just need to post this before dashing off to the EtsyFast sale!


I just cast on the Socks That Rock/STR Mediumweight yarn in Atomic 6 Wednesday morning. I was sooo tempted to cast something on Tuesday night. I had just gotten the latest Cat Bordhi book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One.

I was soooo tempted to change what pattern I was going to do. But I have other sock yarn. I can wait on the Bordhi patterns.

I was very tempted to do a pair from New Pathways for my sister-in-law Jennifer. There is a pattern called Rushing Rivulets. Part of her last name is Rushing. Also, the pattern could look great with the yarn I dyed for her.

Problem is getting it to fit. The Bordhi patterns all call for the midfoot circumference. Most sock patterns call for the foot circumference which is different. I have been looking at the numbers in the book. My sister-in-law Tee made Jennifer some socks so I have the more standard foot measurements.

I may take the stitch pattern to create the Rushing Rivulets and transfer it to a more standard pattern. I think that could work very well.

Here is someone on flickr's pics:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/malinkan/1690083495/

A flickr search on Rushing Rivulet shows more pics as well.

I still desperately want to do a pair of the Bordhi design. But I suspect it makes more sense to do them for me so I can tweak it as needed.

I am *definitely* loving the Bordhi book though. It is amazing. It has eight "new forms of sock architecture". Each of these has a few patterns written out patterns with pictures. And for the eight few forms are "master patterns". So you can take any design and tweak it to any size & gauge. I adore that sort of flexibility! I am so excited about it.

I am a big ol geek. I spent a good deal of Wednesday working on a spreadsheet with all the data in the various charts. This way I can just plug in the gauge, midfoot circumference & foot length and get all the figures I need for a Pathways pattern. Paul thought I was nuts. But I really do think it will save a lot of time in the long run.


Paul did proof it yesterday so I should share it soon.


Friday, November 9, 2007

Most Recent Batch of Dyed Yarn

I dyed another batch of the Sarah's Yarns 100% Bamboo yarn last weekend. It is so soft and has a great sheen to it. I really do like it.

Yarn:
Sarah's Yarns 100% Bamboo
http://www.sarahsyarns.com/SY100PctBamboo.html

Dye:
Dharma Fiber Reactive Procion Dyes
www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/3796-AA.shtml?lnav=dyes.html

I am calling it Berry Tasty for lack of a better name. *chuckle* Not so inspired but hey, I am sleepy!

It is various purples with a bit of burgundy & a touch of black. I was good. The only black is some dashes for some self patterning areas. There are 3 or 4 different purples in there.

This batch was a long skein for self-striping with some self patterning areas. There were 12 areas of 3 feet each so about 36'.

I took the pieces from one of the swifts. I placed them on flat on the table with the additional pegs sticking up. I then used the pegs as a warping mill. It worked out pretty well other than they shifted with the tension. Paul picked up some more wood. He is going to modify one of the swifts so that the end holes go all the way through. This way I can have a warping mill and a swift from the pieces. This should help with creating long skeins for the self striping/patterning yarn.

I have to thank the folks on Ravelry boards for all their thoughts and suggestions. This wasn't half as tangled as the last batches. So that is a definitely plus!

I am soaking it for longer. I am allowing each soak to sit for half an hour. I did 4 soaks that way. The water was nearly clear after that. I washed it with the Synapol just once. I am also not agitating the yarn as much when I am washing it.

I am also trying to snap the yarn as Cynthia on Ravelry suggested. It seems to help as the yarn fibers separate out from each other.

I used two swifts with the correct distance between them to get the yarn off the skeins and into balls. Since it is for me, I don't need to reskein it. It went fairly well. Took a while, but not it wasn't tangled. It was about some modifications than need to be swifts & figuring out what to do with the loose end.

Though I am curious if anyone has experience with the long skeins. I am not sure what to do with the loose end. It was getting tangled into the yarn as I was unskeining it. I am thinking next time I would just a slip knot at the point where it comes back to the beginning of the loop. I have been tying it to the yarn I use to tie off the points.

The entire process was far less painful than the previous batches. So I am really thrilled. And I do like the colorway a lot. It is always hard to capture the color in photos.

I am going to have small pics. Please click on them to see larger pics. I know I am posting a lot of pics. So I don't want to kill anyone's connection. I know some folks still have dialup.

Hand Painted/Dyed Sarah Yarns 100% Bamboo - Berry Tasty

Hand Painted/Dyed Sarah Yarns 100% Bamboo - Berry Tasty

Hand Painted/Dyed Sarah Yarns 100% Bamboo - Berry Tasty

Hand Painted/Dyed Sarah Yarns 100% Bamboo - Berry Tasty

Hand Painted/Dyed Sarah Yarns 100% Bamboo - Berry Tasty

Hand Painted/Dyed Sarah Yarns 100% Bamboo - Berry Tasty

Hand Painted/Dyed Sarah Yarns 100% Bamboo - Berry Tasty

Hand Painted/Dyed Sarah Yarns 100% Bamboo - Berry Tasty

Hand Painted/Dyed Sarah Yarns 100% Bamboo - Berry Tasty

Hand Painted/Dyed Sarah Yarns 100% Bamboo - Berry Tasty

Hand Painted/Dyed Sarah Yarns 100% Bamboo - Berry Tasty

Schaefer Lola Socks

Here are my Lola socks. They are my first pair of toe up socks. I got the Schaefer Lola yarn at Rhinebeck. I love it. But I wanted to make sure I used all of it so I am trying the toe-up method.

Yarn:
Schaefer Lola
http://www.schaeferyarn.com/


Needles:
Two US #5 circulars
Knitpicks Options & Boyd

Pattern:
I am not using a specific pattern.

I am using the as a guide.



Lola Socks Top - In Progress
Originally uploaded by akkasha

The toe is done with Judy's Magic Cast-On. Cat Bordhi has a great video on YouTube with how to do it. The voices are *very* silly. But it did teach me how to do it.

I took the numbers from the Knitty Universal Toe Up sock recipe which I put into a spreadsheet with the recipe on a second page so I can use the numbers again easily.

I am doing a garter rib on the top which will carry up to the leg. Took that from Sensational Knitted Socks. So in a way, it is becoming a Frankenpattern! *grin*


I decided to try the short row heel that doesn't require twisting & wraps. I found this tutorial with videos & pics. Though I have been struggling a lot with it. I ripped one heel out three times before it looked close to correct. I ripped the second heel out twice before deciding it was close enough for now. Not ideal honestly.

I have taken a pic of the first sock heel. Tried to get close up.



Lola Socks Heel - In Progress
Originally uploaded by akkasha

Love the yarn! It is knitting up so fast. I did 6" of the foot in the first 48 hours. This is after spending a lot of time learning Judy's Magic Cast-On and frogging the toe once after it didn't go right the first time. It is also super cushy and soft. I know I will have to get more of it.

I am really enjoying toe up. It may be my new method for socks most of the time. I like that I can know how much yarn I have left for the cuff. I can just keep knitting til I am going to run out.

Thing is, I think I need to either get some help with the heel or try another method. It hasn't been easy with this method for me. I am not sure if I haven't been doing it too loosely somehow. Maybe I should go down a needle size or something. I really don't know. I keep getting holes. But then I wonder if it isn't similar to my first socks. I thought the holes along the edge where huge. But they weren't. They don't even show up! I am not sure...

Ah well. I have to get some exercise in today. So I best get to it! The day is whizzing by!

Cupcake Purse Nearly Done

Finally! I am caught up with work and have a moment to breathe. Thank heavens...

So I have some time to edit and post the photos I have taken. Also, I should take the time to do some posts to my journal.

This is done from a cupcake purse kit I got from Amy Gaines on Etsy.



Cupcake Purse
Originally uploaded by akkasha


Her shop is:
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=38931

It is super easy and very fast to knit.

Started Wednesday Oct. 31st.
Knitting completed Friday, Nov. 2nd.

I knit it longer than the pattern. I wanted it to be bigger overall. Also, I knit in the round so there would be less seaming work. I am lazy! *grin*

I need to pick up some felt for the bottom to complete it. I am going to take some cardboard and glue it between two pieces of brown felt. This way, the purse will be three dimensional.

It is an Xmas present for my niece.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Yummy Yummy Yummy

I am sooooo happy! I just got the Lisa Souza yarn I ordered! *happy dance*

I had wanted to try one skein of Sock! and one of Sock Merino. However, she would have had to dye the Sock Merino in a colorway I want. So I just got two in the Sock yarn. She would have shipped it early this week. But I was impatience so I figured I would just get it sooner this way. *grin* And she was kind enough to swap it and sent it out the day I order it. Great customer service.

The Sock has some nylon which is supposed to help with longer wear & greater durability. So I am not complaining. *smile*

I got the Wild Things & Mars Quake colorways. The Wild Things is so much more yummy than the image shows. Someone made the Monkey socks in this colorway. Shows off the gorgeous colorway.

Mars Quake has more light bits in it than I had hoped. But it is still really pretty. I like the colors a lot. Again, Monkey socks with the colorway... *chuckle* Seems a popular pairing for the Lisa Souza sock yarn.

I really love the yarn. I think it is soft enough that I won't have any allergy issues. *crosses fingers* I really hope that the superwash wool will not set off my allergies.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Waaaahhhhh!!! Dracul Is Gone

I am very sad... Dracul is gone... *pout*

My dragon scarf is gone. I seem to have lost it on the way to work this morning... *grumblegrowlbitch*

There is some off chance that I lost it on the PATH train and someone will turn it in to lost & found. But that is pretty unlikely. I could have dropped it on the walk to or from the train as well. But it is raining. So if that is the case, I suspect it will be a felted mess anyhow.

This sucks...*sigh*

The good news is I have the pattern. So I can make a new one. But I am sad because it was first piece of three dimensional knitting... The first piece where I saw how stitches could really shape an object in ways I didn't expect.

Paul had me take it off when we went to the movies last night. He kept worrying I would lose it. He was right... *sigh*

I am so frustrated by it...

Waaaahhhh!!

There is a tiny part of me holding out hope I will find him...but... I called Lost & Found. No one has turned it in. I will check back again later in the day... *sigh*

Here he is:

Morehouse Dragon Scarf Kit - Dragon Draped Over Chair

*sigh* Need to get work done. But man, this is not a good start to the day. Then I dropped my bowl with some oatmeal I was about to add water to. Got all over the place.

Think I should have stayed in bed today...

Monday, November 5, 2007

Lovely Fiber...

OOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! My Socks That Rock showed up today. It is soooo pretty. It is also very soft.

I got a skein of the Atomic 6 colorway in the mediumweight superwash wool. It is so loverly.

I suspect this will be what I try the Jaywalkers pattern in toe up so I can use as much of the yarn as possible.

*in my best Kaylee voice* Shiny!

Only thing I don't like. The skein doesn't smell great. I can definitely tell they used vinegar. Doesn't seem like that is completely washed out. Not strong, but I did rub it against my face and can smell it. (I do the face rub to test it. If it is scratchy there, I suspect I won't react well.

Have to take pics tonight.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Free Vintage Patterns

Found on Lime & Violet's Blog:

http://www.agoodyarn.net/PT_Main.htm

Some great vintage patterns from the 20s. They are all free! Woohoo!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Too Bad I Missed Halloween...

But I am sure that there has to be some baby I know who needs this... *grin*
http://www.theanticraft.com/archive/samhain07/itsybitsy.htm

Anticraft has some interesting patterns. I need to recall to check there every couple months.