Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Team Sit n' Knit New York

I show off our team metal with great pride. Good times, good times.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

No Agony in Da Feet

In honor of the 2006 Knitting Olymics, I model my fancy shmancy socks in my ice skating pose. Sasha Cohen fell and won the silver, but if she had these nifty socks, she could have fallen and gotten the gold. Like me.

My patience was tested with these socks. First it was the new challenge of knitting with 2 circs. Lesson learned, shorter ones work best, 20" to be exact. Leave the 30-something inches for the crazy baby sweater that was supposed to be knit years ago. Secondly, provisional cast on. Knittinghelp.com not much help on that one, but casting on with scrap yarn and frogging it later was easy and worked perfectly.

Best advice given to me was to knit both socks at the same time. Everything was done in tandem and kept me from 2nd Sock Syndrome. Oh but knit twists - ugh. It's not that they are difficult, just a pain in the ass. They look inconsistent (ok maybe that's just sloppy knitting) and add bulk to the pattern. If I ever make these socks again, I'll skip the twists all together.

The biggest challenge of course, was warding off the devil cat who has killer lust for Opal sock yarn. Lost a whole day of knitting because I had to rewind the ball of yarn she attacked. The only good thing was that the sock was strong enough to fight off Killer Kitten and came out of it all relatively ok. I figure that means they will wear well.

So here they are - gold medal winners Righty & Lefty, wearing Petticoat Socks designed by Veronik Avery from Weekend Knitting. I have them on now and I must say, handknit socks are indeed quite comfortable!

Friday, February 24, 2006

2d3h27m35,34,33s remaining

Just...a little...bit more...to go... I hope to finish today, block them tonight, boast tomorrow. I'm still learning my new camera, so the color of my pictures are all wacko. I hate using flash - but sometimes you just gotta. Anyhoo, this is probably the closest representation of the actual color.

The only thing that may possibly keep me from Olympic gold is this little vixen right here. I was able to rewind the yarn (lost a whole frickin' day) but it's a little traumatized. It's knitting ok, and you can't really tell, so you know, it's all good.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Bedroom Scene

Hot Boyfriend: Baby, see this, I have your yarn!

Annie: (wiping sleep from eyes) Huh? What yarn is that?

Hot Boyfriend: I don't know, blueish greenish.

Annie: Is it connected to a sock???

Hot Boyfriend: I don't know, I don't see one.

Annie: You don't see one???

Hot Boyfriend: (moves to dining room)Yes it is connected to a sock. And here's your yarn. (hands Annie a blue green blob) (Goes on to pet the Abbysinian cat, congratulating the little tart for killing the savage sock beast)


Not exactly the romantic Tuesday morning wake-up I was hoping for. My sock survived. Mind you, this is my Knitting Olympics project. I would have had a melt down if my sock was destroyed. You killed Kenny!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

A Flap, A Flap, Ballchange

After several emails back and forth with Sockaholic last night, I finished both heel flaps. It's not like they are that difficult (except of course, those durn right & left twists continue down the heel), but I kept messing up my edge slip stitches. It may be too soon to say for sure, I don't want to pull a Lindsey Jacobellis or anything, but I do feel a gold medal finish coming on.

Previous post - I failed to mention the yarn for the wrist warmers! It is Flilatura Di Crosa's Zara, 100% merino. I've had it in my stash for awhile. Makes GREAT baby blankets. My socks are being made out of Opal yarn. The color is showing inconsistently in the photos. It is actually a blue/green, but the photos make them look very grey! I will take a better picture in daylight when they are finished.

The Olympic Timer came from here.

I have a button! (Thank you darling boyfriend!) Go ahead...link me...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Very Cool Detour

I had to take a minor detour from my Petticoat Socks. I have been wanting to make these gloves for a friend of mine for quite some time. I spent last weekend obediently working on my socks so I completely forgot about them. These are the wrist warmers from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. I had roughly 24 hours to make them. I knit like crazy, changing the pattern as I went. (Added four extra stitches and another round of the pattern to make them longer, and also made the thumb hole bigger) I finished them Tuesday at 11:00am and left my house to give them to my friend at 11:30. Last minute, indeed!

I have decided to wait to do the heel of my first sock. I am making the leg of the second sock instead. This will hopefully save me from the tedious task of knitting the dreaded second sock. I will turn the heel of sock #1, and then the same for sock #2, knit the toe of #1 and then #2... bada bing, bada boom, I will have two socks done at the same time. I tried bringing my sock to my knitting group tonight, but it's not a very good social project. I just kept frogging. Lesson learned!

I got the Knitting Olympics counter, woo hoo!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Divide and Conquer

Goal accomplished! I finished the leg of the first sock. Stitches are divided and ready for heel flap. I am getting better at knitting with 2 circs, though I think part of the problem is that these are a tad too long. Pattern is fairly easy to memorize but I musn't get cocky. I did have to frog a couple of stitches because I wasn't paying attention. Dangnabbit!

Ah, those damn right and left twists. The beauty of handknit, they never look even. I noticed that the socks pictured in Weekend Knitting are different. Obviously the length and color are different, but I believe the lavendar pair are missing the knit twists. And I know why, they are a pain in the ass and definitely slow things down! Maybe it's just the angle of the photo, but I am fairly certain that those stitches were omitted.

Anyhoo, this snowy day proved to be a great knitting day. I knit and knit and knit and I think I have myself on schedule...

Winter Olympics Indeed!

Woke up this morning to a perfect knitting day! We haven't had any real snow this winter, so at last, early February we get nearly 2 feet.

It takes awhile for the city snowplows to hit the side streets, so if you look closely you can see somebody trying to clear the road with a snowblower. Crazy!

The view from my knitting chair. (Yah yah yah, knitting pictures will come...)

What's a knitting blog without a picture of a cat? I swore I would never post a picture with cats. Oh well.

Will post sock progress later today. Just taking a much needed break. My goal is to finish the leg of sock #1 today!

Knitting Olympics

I have been waiting a long time to make these socks. A couple years ago I bought Weekend Knitting and I fell in love with the Petticoat Socks by Veronik Avery. I never had a desire to make socks until I saw these. I never made them because I am one of those knitters who gets stuck on making hats and fingerless gloves for other people. I want to try stuff that is more challenging and that *I* get to keep. (HARUMPH!)

I wasn't sure I was going to participate in the Knitting Olympics. I didn't have a project and I already have a list of things to make - for other people. The idea of the Knitting Olympics has completely won me over. You are supposed to pick a project that is challenging and inspires you to do your knitting best. I hemmed and hawed, right up to the last minute. I kept going back to these socks. What better opportunity to make something special for myself? And as far as being challenging, they are for many reasons:

1. Besides Christmas stockings, I have never made a sock, muchless a pair with a lacy, interesting pattern.

2. I have never done a provisional cast-on.

3. I am a DPN person, and I am making these with 2 circs.

4. I really want them.

I started late. I didn't swatch ahead of time (I wasn't even committed 'til Friday morning), when I did swatch I wasn't making gauge, I had to go get more yarn (poor me) and 3 attempts at doing a provisional cast on ala knittinghelp.com made me ready to poke my eyes out with my teensy weensy needles. I finally got it figured out and made my way along with the pattern. Even took the time to rewrite the chart as a list so that I didn't screw up. This pattern has right and left twists. UGH. These are tiny needles and tiny yarn. And 2 circs, I keep dropping stitches because I didn't push the non-working needle out of the way and the work started sliding off. Many hours and a couple movies later, I think I finally have the hang of it. This is a challenge to say the least, but I am pretty damn proud of what I have done so far. It's about time I got to work on something besides fingerless gloves!

I am totally feeling the spirit of the Knitting Olympics, and so are my hands. Yeowser. Hopefully some daily stretching will help my hands stay in fine working order and I will be able to finish my project as a part of Team Sit n' Knit.WOO HOO!

Monday, February 06, 2006

8 Down, 51 To Go

I like to think that it is a goal of mine to knit for charity every year. There are many opportunities, and it is fairly easy to do, and therefore, easy not to do. Knit Out 2005 collected scarves and squares for blankets for homeless shelters. The Point had a garter stitch square drive for babies who were victims of Hurricane Katrina. I didn't participate. I consider myself a charitable and giving person, and have given to the Red Cross and Unicef. But knitting is something I can DO. Perhaps it is the leftover spirit from New Year's Resolutionitis, or the catchy determination of the Knitting Olympics, I am pumped to do this! This is something I as a knitter can do to make a meaningful contribution.

I recently asked my knitting group to get involved with Project Linus. So far the response has been great. Some may knit their own blankets, some together as a small group, or contribute to my block blanket. I think it is amazing to think that a few people knitting one skein's worth in garter stitch blocks can make a beautiful blanket. So imagine what a couple hundred knitters can do. Hmmmm.

I always have grand ideas of what I can do with my knitting and the elaborate blanket that I can make for a charity such as this. But I may never get to that elaborate blanket, or square, or scarf, or hat. But I can do a garter stitch square everyday. It takes about 1 hour for me to do 44 rows using a size 7 needle and Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece yarn. I have decided that I will make one square (maybe more, we'll see...) everyday until Friday, March 31. That's 59 squares (starting Feb 1). It takes 96 to make one 40X60 blanket and 49 squares to make a 36X36 blanket. Between what I can knit and donations from my group, we may be able to provide 1 or 2 blankets to this organization. I think that's great.

Sooooo, for your inspiration - check out these charities.

Afghans for Afghans
Soldiers' Angels
Operation Top Knot
Warm Up America
Precious Pals
The Painted Turtle
Mother Bear Project

One hour and a little garter stitch can go a long way! WOO HOO!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Katie's Koolaid Yarn

As I kept thinking about how I was going to go about my blog, I figured the best way to start was to write about my favorite project and I immediately thought of Katie's Koolaid Yarn. I dyed yarn as a Christmas present for my niece. It would have been more fun if we had done it together, but alas, we don't live in the same town. Or state, for that matter.

My niece is 9 years old. This past summer I went home to Michigan to visit and I taught her and my nephew Mikey how to crochet. I have been waiting years for this moment. My niece is the only girl as far as children go in my family. With her brothers and cousins, she's 1 for 6. Mikey (her cousin of the same age) is an extroverted dude who is willing to participate in anything. Together we made tons of bracelets, necklaces, headbands and bookmarks. To the uneducated eye they were just crochet chains but to them it was cool new stuff. And I like to think they had a cool bonding moment with their Auntie Annie - the cooky aunt who likes to poke sticks at yarn.

I don't know if my niece will keep up with her yarn doodling, but I have decided that it is my duty to keep her interested. Her grandmother taught her some knitting, and she knows a little crochet. I bought a box of Cascade yarn, had my mom send koolaid packets (I can't find them anywhere!) and set up my lab in the kitchen. I wish she lived nearby so she could stand on a foot stool and watch the yarn soak up the koolaid and help me pick color combinations. Everything smelled like koolaid and I felt gleefully 9 years old myself!

I sent it to her along with colorful knitting needles and gadgets and gear along with a photo collage of the yarn dyeing process. I may have gone a little overboard sending 5 balls of sweet smelling colorful yarn, but hearing her talk to me over the phone about the fact that she was worried that she had forgotten how to crochet - but then picked up the needle and yarn and it all came back to her - made it all worth it. Yarn is in her blood!

She summed it up quite succinctly in a note I later received: "Thank you for the koolaid yarn. It was very kool."