Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Yarn: 1, Kristen: 0

So I am, I must say, zipping along fairly quickly with the second Pomatomus sock--well, quickly by my standards, anyway. Perhaps using two circs does make a difference. I've got exactly half the total number of stitches on each side, so no awkward pattern repeats breaking over needles--that's a plus. I've finished 1 repeat of the chart already; I think it's about 3 for the leg.


The other absolutely essential thing I'm doing this time is using stitch markers. Somewhere along the way I came to view stitch marker use as a sign of weakness, when in fact it's a sign of intelligence. It's certainly much easier to identify exactly where you've lost (or gained) a stitch, rather than get all the way to the end of the round and come up short.

And . . . I bought more yarn. I know, I know . . . shame on me. The thing is, Shivaya Naturals is having a ginormous sale--50% ALL yarn! So I picked up some CASHMERE and silk laceweight, a skein of sock yarn, and a huge skein (or hank? I don't know the difference )of DK weight Prime Alpaca, all for $50, instead of the usual $100. I know I don't need any of it, but it's just so lovely and cheap. Sigh.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

in which i've actually knit SOMETHING

You'll never believe what I did--I actually knit something! A complete something, as in, an FO. I know, I can hardly believe it myself, but here it is, the second Tidepool sock:


I started knitting these socks in, I think, February--pair 1 from my 2009 Personal Sock Club. Yeah, that's going really well--it's now June and I've finished exactly one pair.


Well, better than nothing, I guess. This was my first pair of socks knit on 2 circs and . . . well, the jury's still out on that technique. I thought it would help me knit a lot faster than I do on DPNs, but I'm not so sure. It's hard to tell, since I think I just got bored with these socks and therefore dragged the project out way beyond all reason. So bored, in fact, that as I was finishing up the 2nd sock, measuring it against the first to get the right foot length, I realized that I made the 1st sock very small--too small for me in fact, I was in such a hurry to finish. So I guess these socks are going to my mom for her birthday--she has tiny kid feet.

The 2 circ method does reduce your joins around the leg from 3 to 2, so you have fewer areas with potential ladders, but despite yanking on the yarn with all my might at both joins, I still have laddering. I also found my dangling needles getting tangled in the yarn far too often for my liking. On the plus side, this method makes it impossible to lose a needle--no more rifling through my bag try to find that sneaky 4th DPN.

Before starting any new sock projects, I'm going to knit the second Pomatomous (I know I spelled that wrong, but I'm too lazy to look it up right now) sock--fortunately it's one of the 2 half finished projects I included in my Personal Sock Club, so I still get "credit" for it. I recall having a bit of trouble with this pattern for the 1st sock--super slow going, took major concentration--so we'll see if the new 2 circ method helps this one move along more quickly. I zipped through the cuff super quickly, so now it's time to the start the leg.

Speaking of socks, it's really a good idea to wear them when riding a bike. And speaking of bikes, check out Claudia's Knitters against MS fundraiser. Donate $ to a good cause, be entered to win yarn-y prizes.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Swapping knits

Sign ups for HSKS 8 start today--join us for summer camp! Also, Secret Pal 14 sign ups are going on as we speak (er, type? read?). I ALWAYS miss SP sign ups, I'm so psyched to finally join!!

(I think it would be fun to cohost a swap one of these days; anyone want to join me? You'll need to come up with a brilliant theme idea, though, cuz I've got nothing . . . )

Saturday, June 6, 2009

talk me out of it

I don't need to join the Loopy Ewe Girasole KAL. I don't need to. I DON'T NEED TO.
I'll never finish by October 1. I have so many other projects to finish. It's too big for portable commute knitting. It wouldn't look just lovely in Cascade 220 Olive Heather. The 20% discount on the yarn isn't tempting.

Help me out here folks . . .

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned

Sometimes an interesting discussion on one of the Big Six over on Ravelry will catch my eye, and the other day I found myself scrolling through a topic entitled “Knitting Blasphemies.” Though the thread quickly devolved into a “heated discussion,” (the segue from knitting blasphemies to the abortion debate is just too easy, folks) it did start me thinking about my own knitting blasphemies:

I don’t get dishcloths. To put all that effort into something that’s going to be encrusted with food and other muck and sit collecting bacteria in your kitchen sink? Definitely a “it’s cheaper to buy it” argument winner for me.

Variegated yarns on sweaters. Just . . . ugh. It almost never looks right to me. That much swirly goodness needs to be administered in small doses. Sweater-sized, I think it looks like someone ate a box of crayons and vomited it up on you.

Baby Surprise Jacket—bleh. And Elizabeth Zimmerman in general, while she’s come up with some cute stuff (I do love the February Baby Sweater), is just too darn “pithy” for me. How about some actual sizes? Or, for that matter, instructions? If it weren’t for help from the message boards, my FBS probably would’ve come out with 3 arms—and I know hardly any three-armed babies.

Neither Clapotis nor Calorimetry interests me. At all.

Bobbles, tassles, fringe—just why?

Beads on knitting—love the way it looks, but can’t imagine struggling through the tedious process of actually doing the beading. I’ve got enough trouble finishing projects as it is.

Most of the stuff in Vogue Knitting scares me and leads me to believe aliens are now dictating our fashion choices.

What are your knitting blasphemies?

p.s. Don't forget to check out my destash, and help me clear out my unloved yarns--still got some Malabrigo lace, a skein of Noro, some Artyarns Ultramerino 4, Alpaca with a Twist Fino, a few sock yarns and some other odds and ends.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

do i have my knitter's license yet?

I know you're here to read about the blogiversary contest winners, but first I'm going to ponder my knitting life over the last two years, so you'll just have to bear with me. Or scroll toward the end of this post.

I think I've reached an age, or perhaps just a disposition, where milestones, rather than prompting me to recognize my accomplishments, serve to remind me of everything that I haven't achieved. Sigh. For example, I can't help but be disappointed that I've yet to take a knitting class, try fair isle, learn to steek, or make any "real life" knitting friends. It feels like I've spent the last couple years accumulating yarn I'll probably never use and books I couldn't possibly ever knit all the patterns in.

The truth is, though I can recognize some progress over the last couple years (I'm quite proud of my Lotus Blossom Tank and Tangled Yoke Cardigan), I'm still hesitant to challenge myself because failure is not something I deal with well in any area of my life. And if you don't try, you can't fail, now can you?

But, it's only knitting, I have to remind myself--if I screw up, it's hardly a harbinger of the apocalypse. So, I've come up with 5 knitting goals that I hope to accomplish by my next blogiversary, although how exactly I will go about doing so remains to be seen (and yes, I'm aware that I also set New Year's knitting goals that I'm not exactly keeping up with; time to recommit):

1. Take a knitting class, or possibly an intro crochet class so as to add lovely trims to knitted items

2. Steek something--even if it's just a practice swatch because I'm not quite courageous enough to cut up actual knitting

3. Knit the Endpaper Mitts and Selbu Modern--two stranded knitting projects to get started with

4. Knit socks toe up--I've got Wendy's book, may as well put it to use

5. Design something--possibly the boatneck sweater I've got floating around in my head, but even just a scarf is ok

Ok, enough empty promises.

Without further ado, let's get to that moment you've all been waiting for. The blogiversary contest winners are (drumroll please) .....................

Adrienne and Jags!!!


And here's what they've won:

The Alpaca Yarn Company Paca Peds HT in Summer Berries

Storm Moon Knits Tornado sock yarn in I Kissed a Girl

Congrats, ladies!! These are lovely yarns that are hard to part with, but I know you'll put them to good use.
I'll be messaging the winners in some way, shape or form to get their addresses and ship these out by the end of the week (I don't know who'll get which, it'll be a surprise). Thanks for playing, everyone, I loved reading about your worst knitted items. For the record, mine was the first scarf I ever knit, made with some acrylic yarn with "silver" plastic threads woven into it that wouldn't lie flat and that I eventually mashed into a pancake with the iron.

As a side note, I mentioned a few posts ago, my stashed yarn is really getting out of control, so I've got a bit of a destash going. Some of this is really great yarn that unfortunately just isn't my color and probably won't get used, so I think it would be happier in a home where it won't be overlooked . There are also just a few odds and ends leftover from projects. Please take a look. I've done some pricing, but I'm quite flexible, and I might be open to trades if the right yarn comes along.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Last day!

Last day to enter the blogiversary contest, folks. Leave a comment on this post about your ugliest knitted (or crocheted) item by midnight (EST) tonight, June 1, to be entered to win some sock yarn. Winners will be announced tomorrow, June 2!!