Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nine? NINE?! oy

The swatch I posted (rather emotionally about) yesterday for Sockapalooza was on size 2s and a bit loose for socks. So I did another one on size 1s and got nine stitches per inch.

Nine. NINE, people!

I don't even knit that tightly!

Using Wendy's method (scroll down to "Detailed Toe-Up Sock Pattern" and download the PDF), that means 75 stitches around for my sock pal's socks! That's a lot of stitches. The Yarn Harlot likes to calculate exactly how many stitches she has ahead of her during a project. My theory? That way crazy lives. No WAY do I want to know how many stitches I have to put into these things!

On the happy side, the stockinette swatch was pretty stretchy, and lace tends to be stretchy, so I can probably fudge these down a bit further to 72, and use 8 repeats of Vine Lace pattern around the cuff, and 4 across the instep. So that works out. I am very happy that I'll be able to use the Vine Lace. Otherwise I'd have to decide on a different pattern, and then all the dyeing drama would have been for nothing!

Another happy thing is that my sock pal likes her socks on the shorter side. Whew!

Contest Alert! Skeins Her Way

Skeins Her Way is having a contest! Leave a comment with your age when you learned to knit on the contest post and you could win a hank of Blue Skies Alpaca Suri Merino - a brand new yarn, as I understand it. Leave the name of the blogger that referred you (that's Heather T or www.tinkymcfrog.blogspot) and I might win something too. Post about the contest on your own blog and you might also win as a referrer.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tour de France Knit Along! (KAL)

My brother is a big* an avid cyclist and Tour fan (although, sadly, not a knitter. yet.), so I thought this would be a fun KAL to be in. Click here for all the details.

I have decided that Nettie fits nicely into the "market bag" category, and since I'll be knitting it anyway for the class, won't it be more fun to do a KAL? I think so.

I chose the yellow jersey because Nettie fits into my "average skills" category (choose what is average for you, as I understand it). I plan to finish before the race ends, but I will enjoy the group thang.

I don't know when the signup deadline is, but the Tour starts July 7. Bon voyage!

*Edited June 27. My brother is tallish, but he ain't big, lol.

WANT: Ball winder & swift

I knew this would happen:

I worked on balling this skein from 11 p.m. (after work) until 4:00 a.m. (before work). This is the tangled mess at 1:30 a.m. Oy.

But then, at lunch today, I cast on a swatch, and almost cried. I am so happy with how it turned out. That last desperate, random dousing with the blues was the BEST THING EVER - the blue comes through in random speckles like little sapphires.

How am I going to give these socks away? (What socks?)

Because if I don't, I won't have time to knit another pair, and then I will be the biggest fink weasle ever.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

FO - Sky Socks

Sky Socks
Yarn: Vintage-ish Hayfield Pretty Baby Pastel Soft
Fiber: 82% Acrylic, 18% Cotton
Needles: Susan Bates metal size 2 (US)
Pattern: Gull Wing from Socks, Socks, Socks with my own modifications (can't remember what they were now, tho.)
Started: Early May
Finished: Mid-May
Learned: How to make lace and modify patterns.
Knit for: My mom (and still not sent! eek!)

Promises Update * Meet Nettie * Houston, We Have Purple

Warning: Randomness ahead, but, hey! Pictures!

If you donated to Gleaners of Southeast Michigan, email Tracy at Tracy -at- gmail -dot- com (you know the drill) and let her know. She is giving away a GORGEOUS prize to one donor.


Meet Nettie...

Nettie II, she is done! Mwah! I am going to make the bag body a little longer and the handle a little shorter. (Note to self: cotton stretches. A lot.) I'll post the pattern once I'm done teaching the class. That just seems more fair to those who pay to take the class. Confession: I'm nervous that no one will sign up! In that case, I'll post the pattern here sooner.

Look how cute - she matches my ironing board cover!

Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cream in colors Hot Blue (solid) and Summer Splash (varigated)
Fiber: 100% cotton
Needles: Straight size 8 (US) and 15 (US)
Pattern: Mine! (proud mama) Will be posted here by August if not sooner.
Started: June 9 (ish)
Finished: June 16
Learned: How to make a pattern that makes sense (we hope).


Houston, We Have Purple Sock Yarn

I am out of my Sockapalooza denial and have dyed the yarn! It took way more time and Kool-Aid than I thought, but I'm sure that's due to lack of experience dyeing multicolored yarn. I used 6 packs of Grape, two packs of Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade, one pack of Strawberry Lemonade, and one pack of Berry Blue. I can't even walk you through the process because it got pretty random by the end. The "planned" stage ended up WAY more red-purple than I wanted, so in the end I doused the whole thing with the two shades of blue and called it done. It's on the drying rack right now. If it's ugly, I'll keep it and use either my pretty Trekking or some Louet Gems for my pal. (Probably the Louet Gems. Probably sportweight.)

The dyed yarn - still damp. I think it will lighten up when it dries.

There's the Trekking on the upper right. I HAD to pull out the center as soon as it was officially mine. (It's an obsession.) The two brighter cottons are what I used for Nettie.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Whew, that was a little unplanned vacation from Blogland. Sorry, in case anyone was actually checking!

In knitting news, Nettie II, The Beach Bag is almost finished. The pattern is written out but needs a couple modifications. I am going to write it to make the bag a bit bigger since the one I have made is a bit smaller than I would like. The kids' knitting classes are planned, mostly. I am a bit nervous that the LYS hasn't yet sent out the email advertising these classes that are supposed to start in July! But who am I to criticize others for procrastination? (Sockapalooza socks? What Sockapalooza socks?)

Speaking of Sockapalooza, I am being put to shame. People are finishing their socks left and right, and I haven't even got the colors worked out yet. Check it. The people in brown have finished. Others have finished as well, they just haven't updated their info yet. (Yes, you, Caitlin.)

In the promises department, I probably completely freaked out a fellow blogger by asking for the following email to be sent to me so I could post it here, then totally failing to follow through by actually posting said email. So here it is, and hopefully Tracy will see I am not some psycho cyber-stalker.


Subject: My campaign for Gleaners
From: Darlene P.

Dear Friends and Family Members,

As you probably know, I have the honor of working in the development department at Gleaners to raise funds on behalf of our hungry neighbors in southeast Michigan . I am usually writing grants or corporate solicitations, but everyone in the development department has been asked to come up with creative ideas to help raise funds so we can meet our budget for our fiscal year ending June 30. I decided to do a friends and family campaign via e-mail.

I hope you will help make it successful with a generous gift or pledge! My goal is to raise $10,000. I ask that after you make your gift that you also ask one or more of your friends or family members to contribute by forwarding my email to them along with your personal note. If you haven't participated in a "viral" campaign before, you will be surprised at how generously people respond. I need your help to reach my goal, so please consider asking a friend or family member.

Our entire region in southeast Michigan is really struggling, and I would be grateful for your help.

Please click on the Donate Now button or link below to make a gift by credit card or call 866-GLEANERS, ext 241. You may also mail your gift to Gleaners, 2131 Beaufait, Detroit MI 48207. And if you can't donate right now, your pledge will count toward our current budget.

Please mention Darlene's Campaign in the comment section if you donate online or on your check in the memo section.

Many thanks in advance for your help!



Whew, just in time. Gleaners' fiscal year ends in 9 short days, so please donate if you can. Thanks.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Summer Knitty

Hip in Hemp
Tangerine Twist (ack! buttonholes! Good thing this Knitty has an article on these buggers.)
Chapeau Marnier
Most of the socks (as usual): 'Vog On, Coupling, Sweetpea.

And I'm thinkin' Prickly Girl would look really cute with the Hip in Hemp skirt. hmm...

Like I didn't have enough projects on my mental "To Knit" list. sigh.

PS - they also have an article on solar dyeing.


Summer Knitty is up! Go! Go! Go!

(Meet me back here later. I haven't even looked at it myself.)

Friday, June 8, 2007


So, of course, the best thing to do when overwhelmed?

Catch up on the knitting blogs.

Lots going on here:

I heard from one of the jobs I recently applied for, and have an interview set up for next week. (One more step away from retail - I hope!)

I have to finish (start) a pattern for a net beach bag for the yarn store so I can teach the class I scheduled for July. It's in the thinking stages; time to sit down with some yarn and needles and get to it. Let's set the deadline at June 15, so the yarn store can see that, yes, I actually have a project to teach. (Although if I start tonight, and it works, I can show them something tomorrow when I go in for their Knit In Public Day Sale.)

Need to solidify the projects/schedule/materials lists, etc., etc., many details for the kids' knitting classes at LYS. Oh, and those start in July. eek.

I need to finish with the Kool-Aid dye experiments, already, and start dyeing my Sockapalooza yarn. Just under 8 weeks until the socks are to be mailed (August 2). (Oh, hey, lots of time there, lol!)

In addition, this summer I need to finish the recycled navy sweater for Girl, and make the long-promised Jimmy Neutron sweater for Boy1. He is a science nut and loves both Jimmy Neutron and Bill Nye the Science Guy. I guess I should be glad he didn't ask for a knitted lab coat.

Then it's on to dragon mittens and sweater for Boy2, plus some sort of cropped sweater for myself. I have about a bajillion patterns bookmarked, but just... can't... decide... And maybe somewhere in there, I can find the time to knit Hubs a pair of socks.

Tomorrow is Knit in Public Day. Go knit something! In public!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Are You A Knitaholic?

Found this one on the Knifty Red blog:

Are You A Knitaholic?

Ask yourself the following questions and answer them as honestly as you can.

1. Do you lose time from work due to knitting?
2. Is knitting making your home life unhappy?
3. Do you knit because you are shy with other people?
4. Is knitting affecting your reputation?
5. Have you ever felt remorse after knitting?
6. Have you gotten into financial difficulties as a result of knitting?
7. Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when knitting?
8. Does your knitting make you careless of your family's welfare?
9. Has your ambition decreased since knitting?
10. Do you crave yarn at a definite time of day?
11. Do you want a knit the next morning?
12. Does knitting cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
13. Has your efficiency decreased since knitting?
14. Is knitting jeopardizing your job or business?
15. Do you knit to escape from worries or trouble?
16. Do you knit alone?
17. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of knitting?
18. Has your physician ever treated you for knitting?
19. Do you knit to build up your self-confidence?
20. Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of knitting?

If you have answered YES to any one of the questions, there is a definite warning that you may be a knitaholic.

If you have answered YES to any two, the chances are that you are a knitaholic.

If you have answered YES to three or more, you are definitely a knitaholic.


#17 was my favorite.

I don't know if I am a knitaholic, probably borderline at least. I can say that I have lost almost all interest in scrapbooking since I started knitting. I still scrap, but not nearly as much as I used to. And now I am so far behind that it feels more like a chore than a fun hobby.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Lack of SockaProgress

But we have a plan...

I still want to dye my own yarn for Sockapalooza. I still want to do a purple-blue sort of combination. Still want to do Vine Lace.

If I quit with the dyeing experiments now and just use the purple portions of the Experiment, that will work. I'm not sure about the striping portion, tho. Should it stripe or should it just be mottled shades of purple? I liked how the striping worked out, but not sure if it works with the vision in my head for these socks.

Also, now that I know I can make the self-striping yarn, I am leaning away from using it for Sockapalooza. This is pretty typical thought process for me. One personality profile for my type said that once we think through a process, that can be as satisfying as actually having done the project. So true.

The Backup Plan: Trekking! I couldn't stop petting it in the LYS last week, it had to come home with me. It's #184, shades of blue and green, which my buddy likes. I haven't worked with Trekking before, but it seems to get much love from the blogosphere.

The Backup Backup Plan - Louet Gems Sportweight. Louet Gems is soooo beautiful. I hadn't seen it before last week in my LYS. Sportweight because it will knit up faster than sock weight, AND I should only need one skein of sportweight vs. two of sock weight. I hope I am figuring that right - it doesn't seem to make sense, but there it is.

The LYS lady told me they had a customer come in and buy two skeins of every Louet Gems color in fingering weight. They thought she was going to knit a WHOLE BUNCH of socks, but no. She said she just likes them! Must be nice...

Last night I was bored and a little cranky, so I started a worsted weight sock for me. It is knitting up super fast - here's the pattern.

So rare that I have (or can afford!) the exact yarn specified in the pattern. But Hubs bought this for me for our anniversary last year (along with my first Alpaca blend that I am terrified to use, lol). I even have it in the same color as the photo.

Caitlin gave me some nice compliments about this blog. Thanks! It's nice to know at least one person is out there reading. But even if not, a blog is a nice place to work out some thoughts on things.

Monday, June 4, 2007

We All Scream (with laughter) for Ice Cream

Conversation I had with my 8-year-old Girl today after dinner:

Me: "We have vanilla, but we some different ice creams too. We have Oatmeal Cookie Crunch, Chunky Monkey, which is banana ice cream with fudge chunks and walnuts, and Chubby Hubby, which is fudge covered peanut butter filled pretzels in vanilla malt ice cream with fudge and peanut butter."

Girl: (thinks a moment) "I'll have plain."

We don't usually (or ever) have this much Ben & Jerry's in the house, but there was a sale + coupon incident that I cannot fully explain.

In Knitting News:

I finished the Vine Lace Scarf - it's about 20 inches long! I guess one ounce of yarn was not quite enough. I like how it looks, though, and hope to work it up as a Real Pattern sometime soon. (Does that mean I have to knit one that works first?) Haven't done any further Kool-Aid experimentation for Sockapalooza, but maybe tonight after the kids go to bed.

I spoke with the LYS about teaching a class this summer. We decided on a mesh beach bag, so I'm working on that pattern right now. The current iteration has a 3 inch x 72 inch strip of garter stitch for the sides, bottom, and strap - I might rethink that (ya think?). And I am thinking of lots of fun class patterns for fall - the vine lace scarf being one of them.

Having visited my fave LYS twice in the last week (and JUST NOW realizing they called on Friday and I haven't called back... my bad), of course there was some stash enhancement. I have a photo, just have to do the usual arguing with iPhoto to get the folder to show up. (Time to drag out the manual.)

Friday, June 1, 2007

Babs Quote of the Month - June 2007

Happy June!

"Me life flashed before me eyes! It was really boring."