Monday, March 19, 2007

Roza's socks

I am a sock knitter there is no doubt about that. I love them. I feel lost whenever I dont have any on the needles. So I picked a pattern I knew I wanted to knit and that I knew I had yarn for. I emailed the designer and asked a question before getting started. I pulled out the yarn that I thought was going to be absolutely perfect for these socks... I grabbed the pattern and I swatched. I was overly proud of Justin for knowing what I was doing and giving me his opinion when I asked (He said "oh starting something new... oh wait your swatching" it was perfect and I love him so much more because of it). I officially swatched and then cast on for the socks on the 17th. But that's all I did before bed. I really started knitting them on the 18th. I got through the leg rather quickly. Did the heel flap, turned the heel, and then the gusset. Now I'm on the foot of the sock. And now is when I'm started to question the needle size I'm using. I slipped all the stitches onto my addi that I got for magic loop and tried it on. It fits. The leg pattern is a lot stretchier than I thought it was going to be. It isn't tight anywhere but the pattern is stretched out a little more at the ankle than I would really like, but its okay. its not to loose and its not to tight. But the part that gets me the most and makes me wonder if I should take it out and redo it is the sole. The pattern calls for 2.0mm needles to get a gauge of 33 sts and 46 rnds = 4" in st st int he rnd. I'm using 2.5mm (because I have a bigger foot and thought this might help resize it slightly for a better fit for my foot) but of course we all know swatches lie. I was happy with the swatch but now on the sock I'm thinking its not knit tight enough. I'm getting about 8 sts an inch. I'm continueing to knit even tho I really want to take it out and redo it on smaller needles. I'm hoping after a wash the yarn will bloom up and make me not hate that they are knit looser than I like (I'm using KPPM). I know if I just knit them that i'll wear them even if I dont LOVE them. The other socks I have that I dont think are knit tight enough I still wear (just around the house tho).

This is a close up of the details since the other picture doesn't really show it.

In other sock related news. Justin was home for the weekend and put on his socks (since i finished them while he was gone). He wore them all day friday. He says he loves them. But I failed to get a picture of him wearing them. So when he gets back on the first (yep he left again. that's the military for you) I'll do my best to not forget to get a picture. They really do look good on him. I'm proud of them.


Thursday, March 8, 2007

Yarn Porn


picture flood! (now that i can finally upload the pictures AND update, i'm making the most of it!)

I got my Favorite Color Swap package in the mail today, and I love it. It's so wonderful. My secret pal picked out the best stuff for me. :) I gave tons of information on my questionnaire because that's just how I am, and she did really well with picking out special stuff from what I said. She sent me candy (Reese's Pieces, Starburst and Milky 3 to hide it from Luke, hehe), bath/body stuff (pear & white tea moisturizer and strawberry and green apple pie scented bath crystals), a green apple scented hand-poured candle, a magnetic notepad, 3 really cute post-it pads, really pretty stitch markers she made herself (which I can't wait to use, because...well...they're like jewelry for my knitting! and they're PRETTY!) and 2 skeins (218 yds) of the most gorgeous dusty rose elann baby cashmere yarn. It's so soft. And the color is perfect. I already have a project in mind for it. I think I'm going to use it to add color to the Estonian Garden lace stole I plan to make for myself to wear at my wedding. :) The color is exactly what I have in mind for the bridesmaids' dresses (and convinced Luke to go along with last night), and I was trying last night/this morning to figure out how I could incorporate some of that pink into my stole without having to buy a separate colorway of whatever yarn I decide to use. I swear, my secret pal must secretly know me or be psychic or something. I love everything she sent me. And it was all wrapped up with pretty pink, green and bright-striped tissue paper tied with purple ribbon. (My favorite colors for the swap were pink, purple and green.)

Okay, now pictures.

The tissue paper wrapping on all the goodies. (I was too excited to get a picture before I ripped the things open, so this'll have to do, hehe.):

All the package contents together:

The bath/body stuff (which I can't wait to try out):

The candle (which smells so good it's making me hungry):

The candy...mmm:

Cute notepads:

Handmade stitch markers:

Gorgeous yarn:

I'm so happy with this stuff and I'm glad I did the swap. If you're reading, Rhoda, thank you SO much! I love it, all of it!

I also have pictures of the package I sent off to my own secret pal. See?

This is how the box looked just before I taped it up. On top there's a mix cd (of music she likes of course) and a card. I didn't individually wrap everything because I didn't have any pretty tissue paper and the stuff was oddly-shaped and stuck in wherever I could fit it. Hehe.

Next layer: an assortment of various fabrics. Some scraps, some remnants, some large pieces; some from my stash, some purchased specifically with this in mind. She likes sewing and patchwork, and I tried to pick out an assortment of pretty prints and textures. There's some floral, some corduroy, some denim, some jersey-knit, some satin, some I said, it's an assortment.

Under that, there is more fabric tucked into the empty spaces, plus a bunch of smaller stuff. In the upper corner is a bar of Dove pink soap. (Her favorite color, obviously, is pink...and she also likes red and green.) tied together with a handknitted face cloth with an "M" imprinted on it. (Her name is Michelle.) Below that is Bath and Body Works stuff...which happens to be exactly like what I have, but it smells good and it was pink and it was cheap. (Going-out-of-business sale.) :) Tucked into the edge is a group of old magazines and leaflets that I didn't plan on using. In the center, on top of some of the rolled-up fabric, are 2 packages of pink and green beads. On the right is a knitted 100% alpaca eyemask filled with rice (so it can be chilled) and lavender (for its relaxing properties and because it's one of her favorite scents). And underneath that is a homemade Sculpey magnet depicting Kentucky (complete with white mark to show where I am) to add to her collection of magnets.

And finally, on the bottom, yarn. 3 skeins of Simply Soft in pink, green and cream, 2 balls of 100% wool from my stash, and 2 balls of Peaches & Creme, which she said she likes using.

And that's her package. :) I hope she likes it as well as I like mine.

And I ALSO have progress photos of Rogue, some of Mom's Perfect Sweater and a couple of swatches for the Estonian Garden stole. I swatched the 3 lace patterns with some spare Simply Soft last night, to get an idea of the difficulty level and how long it would take. It was relatively easy, I'm happy to report. Very happy, since I plan to make 1 modified Estonian Garden stole and 3 Lily of the Valley stoles (using the modified Lily of the Valley lace pattern from Estonian Garden) before my wedding.

I'll post the Perfect Sweater pictures later (they're on the other camera card) but here are the two swatch photos...

and a bunch of Rogue-in-progress photos:

~and more pictures...later, when I have more time~ knit some more, so I have more to post. Hehe.


Sunday, March 4, 2007

pink love

So I was out shopping and decided to stop by Tuesday Mornings. You can (on occasion) run into some really good deals there. Its also right beside a yarn store I wanted to go to, and also a used book store (which had some good knitting books but mostly they were overprices). Anyways so I go and while looking around I happen across some pink cotton yarn. Now normally I dont care for cotton, but this was a cotton rayon blend and I liked it. Its Classic Elite's Image ( But there were some small issues with it tonight while trying to wind that hank into a center pull ball.
Full picture story below:
I got out my swift and winder (first time using the swift) and off we went.
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a before shot of what the hank looked like after Nathan got finished swinging it around.

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an "oh crap" shot of the problem we ran into.

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a nice pretty shot of what the ball now looks like. Oh how I love my winder.

I promise to get some process shots of swift and winder next time I pull them out. I have several hanks that need to be done, but Justin showed interest in helping me with it (he always helped before I got the swift)... and so I want to wait for him.


Thursday, March 1, 2007


Ok finally got Justin to try on the first sock (wanted to make sure I didn't need to make any adjustments before I bond off the second one). He loves it. But it was a bit loose around his ankle. I know this was because I just bond off when he said it was the proper legnth instead of adding some k1p1 to the top. I knew it was wrong when I did it, but he talked me into it saying it was just perfect how it was. Well I finished the second sock with about 7 rows of k1p1 ribbing and took the bond off out of the first one and knit some ribbing and bond off. The socks are officially finished now. I'm amazed at how much better they look with some k1p1 ribbing on the tops of them. Really adds a lot to the socks. They really do look great. But Justin isn't here to model them for pictures (he is navy and his ship pulled out). The sewn bind off that I used (first time using it) was easy as cake to take out. Much easier than I could have ever imagined. I enjoyed doing the sewn bind off. It was easy and the results are okay. Yeah just okay. I'm not 100% thrilled. Its a nice bind off, I can see it coming very handly for lace. I dont find it so much "stretchy" as it doens't pull in as much. Its just loose (although not even "loose" describes it very well in my opinion). Perhaps I've made some error in my execution of the bind off. I dont know. I like the bind off. I enjoyed doing it much more than the regular knit and pass over version. But I'm not so sure its the right one for me for socks (not that I really enjoy socks toe up. I do see myself knitting toe up socks again but I can't say toe up is my favorite. although socks are my favorite). I think I'm going to add a little bit of elastic thread to the tops of these socks to help hold them in a little. I was hoping this bind off would be "stretchy", but no luck. All in all these socks were fun to knit. A learning experience if nothing else.
New techniques used on these socks:
Magic loop
sewn bind off
The sock yarn used isn't my favorite to work with. Magic loop isn't my favorite to work with. I liked working the sewn bind off but I'm not thrilled with the results. I did a new heel that I really like. Another successful short row toe (no holes). With all that said I can honestly say that I do really like how these socks turned out. I can't wait to see them on Justin's feet. And he has already promised to wear them at least once a month *grins* (i'm actualy over flowing with excitment).