Monday, February 26, 2007

I've been Remiss

Yes, I have been remiss. I say that a lot. I'm remiss a lot. So, I thought I'd better post something. Here is an old finished object about which I posted earlier and an older finished object. You saw this at the beginning. Because it was a surprise for Mrs. Hoover's birthday on December 14th (2006), I was unable to tell you at that time that it was to be gloves, but I did give broad hints. The gloves were to match the scarf that I'd made her the previous year. The left glove has an M in purl stitch and the right an H, so that she can to hold out her hands in front of herself and read her initials in order from left to right. The letters don't show that well in the photo, nor do they in real life. They're subtle. She does wear the scarf and gloves every day. I think she likes them, but it could be that she wears them just in case I peek. Well, I do peek occasionally, which is how I know she wears them everyday, or at least on the days I notice. I don't always see her accoutered for the outdoors such as at arrival and departure and playground duty times. The gloves fit pretty well because it turns out we have the exact same size hands. Mine are a might chubbier, but they are the same length. However, I assumed hers would be longer than mine and so I made the gloves just a tad longer than I'd wear them. This is why I say they fit pretty well, not perfectly well. In any case, I knit them very tightly and they are quite warm. I never did block them and I never did mean to. I only just thought of it now as a nod to helping the initials show better. The best thing would have been to make them in stockinette on a field of purl stitches. C'est la vie. Live and Learn. You can tune a piano, but you can't tune a fish.

The scarf has a modified drop pattern in which a stitch is dropped about 5 or 6 rows every so often. I tried to give the knitted fabric a rich, organic effect. Then too, I thought the lacyness wouldn't be warm enough around the neck. It was a mistake to worry about that because the scarf would have been plenty warm enough even with holeyness around the neck. But anyway, to deal with that, I kept the drop stitch shapes but I filled the shapes in. I don't remember how I did that, but it was during the knitting. As I hope you can see, it turned out that the part of the pattern I tinkered with to fill in those drops is actually prettier than the lace sections because they keep their shape better and don't sink into the anonymity (sp?) of ribbing.
Details: Scarf knitted December 2005; Gloves knitted December 2006

Patterns: Scarf: None, but I got the drop stitch from the 365 Knit Stitches calendar.
Gloves: None, but I looked at Knucks on Knitty to see how the fingers were worked and copied how the baby finger is actually 2 rows lower than the others.
Yarn: Brown Sheep Company Lamb's Pride Worsted. Color: fuchsia. 3 skeins total
Needles: I think I used a US 9 (5.5 mm) on the scarf and a US 4 (?mm) on the main body of the gloves.
What I Learned/Relearned: Gloves are a pain in the a, but mighty satisfying to finish and to wear. Mrs. Hoover and I have matching hands.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

More Cold, More Knitting

Here is a view of the last several feet before my back door. Solid ice, minimum three quarters of an inch thick. I have been trying to break it up. Attacking the ice with my booted feet has always been a sort of hobby/guilty pleasure. It's so satisfying to get a big crack. You can see the cement where I've made a little progress at either end. This is just way too thick to take care of the fun way. Of course, I haven't gotten out there with an ice-breaking-up-tool. See the doormat? I've managed to break up enough ice from that so that there's a spot of safe territory. But last time I worked on it, I tried to pry it off the ground and it ripped. Oops. I think, this is a deferred maintenance problem it's because I need a new roof. The water melts off the roof and settles there because there is a lowish spot. I don't actually get puddles there when it's warm. It's not that low. So until there is no snow on the roof or the weather warms up, more ice will form whenever a little snow melts off the roof. It's an adventure in walking. So far I haven't fallen. Whee!

When I finished the happy fuzzy big success angora luxury socks, I knit a bit on a few things. I ripped back all the way to the color bar on Niko's Manly sweater because I had started the vee-neck way too low. I think I frogged 6 or seven inches. I've knit about 4 or 5 back now I think. I'm not sure because I haven't picked it up in a while. I knit a couple of rows around on the quilty baby blanket. I'm thinking about picking up on the ends and adding some length before proceeding around again.
I think I saw something somewhere on how to knit log cabin style without picking up stitches. While I could figure something out, I'm sure the instructions are much better than my clumsy finagling will be. I think I saw the instructions on Yarnival. Yarnival is new to me. It seems to be a magazine-like compilation of particularly good blog posts. There are links to the blog posts rather than having them on the blog where the table of contents is. I've added it to my Favorites menu under knitting magazines. I'm looking forward to reading the articles (posts).
I also knit a beanie with a 2x2 edge as a demo for my knitting class. But I impusively gave it away to somebody on a really cold day. She wasn't cold or in need or anything. That is what I mean by impulsively. I was working on a dog sweater for one of my students in Wool-Ease to see how the pattern worked up that I modified from the Internet .

The last few days I've been working on my Jitterbug socks. I had started these quite a while ago but I had trouble with the heel and so I put them away. I was trying to make a flap heel from a new pattern in the Winter Knitty. I didn't trust the directions and thought I was screwed. I e-mailed the designer and she got back to me right away, but it was too late. I had fizzled. Now that I picked them up again, I'm just going for the basic afterthought heel. In the pictures the reddish yarn is my temporary place holder for the heel stitches. It is actually my other color of Jitterbug yarn. I had a lot of trouble settling on the design for the cuff of the sock. I tried all manner of diagonal ribs, like Knitty's RPM and my own (except not any lacy ones) and a couple of zig zags. The first picture shows the last zig-zag attempt. I had wanted to try and break up the striping. Those stitch patterns did break up the stripes but not enough to warrant the difficulty of keeping the pattern going on small, dark yarn. It was too hard to see and they weren't pulling in.

For the hell of it I thought to try a plain old 2x2 straight rib, et voila! Not only is it easy, the yarn likes it and it feels very nice. It looks good, too. Go figure. The stripes are a little wider and slightly helixical (izzata word?).

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Angora & Wool Socks

As you can see, I've finally finished these. I did it on Monday, our first of 2 "cold" days in a row. They are holding up much better than the red angora Sockettes I made. I think it's because of the strand of sock weight wool I knit with the sport weight angora. I've worn the green ones to bed twice now, but I turned them inside out in case they were about to fuzz up like tribbles on acid. Forturnately, they only fuzzed up a little. I think it will be safe to turn them around. I did find out that I like look of the reverse of the cable pattern.

Speaking of the cable pattern, I came up with a fine innovation (cop out). (BTW--how do you cross out a word on the blog in order to put in the euphemism & still show the original, crossed-out word?) I had so much trouble keeping track of when it was time to cross cables, that ultimately I gave up and started putting them in when I felt like it. These were not made 2-at-once and so the crossings don't match from sock to sock. But because of my counting insufficiencies, they didn't match anyway. About half-way through the second sock is when I started this. It's not obvious at all. Of course, nothing is obvious in the first picture. I think it shows the thickness of the socks, though. And it's the only picture that shows both. This is Lynne's piano. I don't have a piano, but if I did, I couldn't play it.

The color is more accurate in the second picture. You can nearly see the cables. You can also see how thick these are. They fit very well, though and can be worn in shoes. I still don't want to subject them to hard wear yet. Right now they're for keeping my tootsies warm at night while the winter winds try to annihilate humankind.

I included picture number three because it shows the fuzziness the best. My feet really care. They are quite happy. I think I should call them Happy Fuzzy Socks. They are a big success. Maybe I should call them Big Success Socks. Angora Luxury Socks? Happy Fuzzy Big Success Angora Luxury Socks?

Details: Happy Fuzzy Big Success Angora Luxury Socks

Pattern: Ad Hoc: 4 st cable w/ 2 st reverse stockinette, toe-up

Heel: Afterthought on 1/2 the stitches

Yarn: 1 strand Vintage Red Heart Baby in light blue, 100% wool and 1 strand Laines Fonty Tricotez l'Amour, 80% Angora 20% Merino

Needles: US size 3 metal dpns partly and partly 2 circs (Yes, I have knitting A.D.D. or K.A.D.D.)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

O.F.O Post

Oldest first: Pear. I made this for a workfriend last spring (2006). She was in a bad car accident and her sternum was fractured and her heart was bruised. I thought she needed something to squeeze. Incidentally, it's more than 6 months later and she's still healing. I'm just happy she's still with us. We are almost exactly the same age. We're able to appreciate each other's bad days. I've been going into her 2nd grade classroom and we've been teaching writing together. I'm having a good time and I hope she is, too, even though it's such a difficult thing to teach. She is the favorite teacher of almost every child and parent we have. When the kids are ready to graduate almost all of them say 2nd grade was their favorite grade or MM was their favorite teacher.

Soapy the Sea Turtle. This is actually made from a soap holder pattern called Soapy the Soap Turtle. Find it here: 3 If By Land, 6 If By Sea! The name refers to the differing decreases needed to make a land turtle or a sea turtle. A sea turtle is flatter. This is an excellent pattern. MM saw a mouse I made for another teacher's baby shower and asked me if I would make her son a turtle because he loves them so. (This was before the car accident.) Generally I say no to such requests, but there were special circumstances here. I had known MM for 9 years and never once had she asked me for anything. The second circumstance was that I had just seen TurtleGirl76's Knitty Coffeeshop Gallery post of her Soapy and had linked to and read the pattern and was intrigued. At my request, MM recently brought Soapy and the pear to school for me to photograph.

Da Pears

Details: Pear
Pattern: None
Yarn: Frogged from Land's End cotton vest. Abit greener than shown.
Needles: dpns, 2US
Soapy makes a break for it. Just-gotta-keep-climbing-two-more-steps . . .

Off to see the world. Back to the sea!

Details: Soapy the Sea Turtle
3 if by Land, 6 if by Sea

Yarn: Frogged from Land's End cotton vest. A bit greener than shown.
Needles: dpns, 2US