November 2006


i am not completing things as quickly as i would like, but i am still completing things. last week i finished the first of the cabled footies for j’s dad. after that i started an armwarmer (undisclosed recipient) and i finally finished it yesterday. so that’s halves on two projects. i’m ready to start the next footie but i realized i need to get cracking on mom’s cozy, which has sort of been on hold for the last month since we came back from our trip, in favor of smaller and more exciting projects. however, after i did the finishing on the armwarmer last night i did a few rows on it, finishing the third skein and starting the fourth. it is just long enough to wrap to my shoulders. i know i’ll need to go into the 5th skein but maybe not need to finish it to get the length right. my mom is shorter than me too so i don’t want her swimming in it. i can’t be finishing it at the last minute because this is one project i’ll actually be blocking!

i found out who my family gift recipient is: drake, my baby second cousin whom i’ve never met. he’s around 3, and he lives in arizona. at first i thought i could make him a quick little baby hat, but since he lives in a warmer climate, i want something that will get a little more use. so i think i’ll be making him a dinosaur toy! i think i will make him mr. stegs, and i just showed them to james and he wants trice. trice will probably not happen until after xmas (that after-xmas list is starting to get really long too).

my pre-xmas list also continues to grow, but i think it’s still managable. i’m still waiting for my knitpicks yarn but i’m in no rush for it because i need to complete at least one project that i’m in the middle of before i start amy’s purse. i currently have five gifts (armwarmers, hat, cozy, chain, footies) on the needles right now. and i have…dinosaur, purse…oh good, that’s only two, that have to be done before xmas that i haven’t started. there’s a few other things, like james’ convertible mittens and zissou hat, that can wait until after. having counted that up…i think i can actually do all that in time! four weeks from yesterday. i can do this.

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AAHHHH! ok, i know i said yesterday that i wasn’t going to buying yarn for awhile, but i just placed a knitpicks order. however, it was necessary. or partially necessary. but when there’s $40 free shipping, one is logically inclined to add a few extras instead of pay shipping fees.

so, the most important thing i got was bulky green yarn for amy’s cabled bag. the present list just keeps getting longer. this project shouldn’t take too long, though. and i know she is totally going to love it. i will still need to find something to line it with (my first lining of a purse), but that will take no time at all once it is knit. that yarn accounted for $20 of the order, which just chalks up to xmas gift money that would have been spent anyway.

i also got two skeins each in two colors of ‘essential’. i have been wanting to try this yarn for awhile, and i almost ordered some before i decided on the thuja sock pattern for my dad, which uses worsted weight yarn. before actually placing the order, when i was still mulling over if getting the ‘essential’ was worth it, i didn’t have any specific plans for the yarn, but then someone on the punk_knitters lj community was asking for knitty’s red herring sock pattern and i realized the two shades of blue i wanted in ‘essential’ would be perfect for those. so once xmas is over and done with, i have two pairs of socks planned for myself, red herring and jaywalker.

that all only put me at $31 (knit picks is so CHEAP!) so i started browsing the books because i figured i didn’t need anymore yarn, especially after yesterday. i was lusting after a cable stitch dictionary that was closer to $20 than $10, but then i found the knitting answer book for only $9. i’ve been wanting that for awhile just to have a good (and more portable) reference for when i don’t have the internet easily accessible. voila! $40 was reached!

but now i’m really not allowed to buy yarn for awhile unless it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for someone’s gift. no more! fortunately i do have plans for much of the yarn that i’m acquired, and even plans for yarn that has been sitting around for many months. i have no lack of projects for after the gift knitting is done.

i’m up to 14 links on the felted chain. this picture is clearly less than that but you can get the idea of how it’s coming along. i have been taking this project with me a lot lately to knit during breaks at work, etc, and knitting a chain seems to get many strange reactions. most people want to know why i’d knit such a thing, and upon learning it’s for a friend who was excited about a knitted chain he saw, still want to know what one might do with it. brian said it was “kinky”. i think it’s supercool and i bet keith will too. i can’t wait to see it felted.

so after i got off work today i went a grabbed my tips from starbucks #2 and headed to yarn! in alameda to investigate the liquidation sale. unfortunately it seems their last day of business is saturday. i am a bit sad because it was nice to have an LYS in alameda, but it certainly wasn’t my favourite so i won’t miss it all that much. the prices were definitely nothing to be excited about. except TODAY, because the sale means that everything is 40% off. i wasn’t plannig on buying much yarn from now until xmas, except anything else i might need for presents (CERTAINLY nothing for myself), but when yarn (or really anything) is 40% off, you can’t pass it up. so i got a few things.
ok, so i do have intended use for a little of it. the three fuzzy balls of mohair are feza kid mohair that i will probably use to make sweaterknit candleholders like at anthropologie. the other six skeins are rauma finull-garn in three lovely colors. i don’t really have any plans for this, but i have some in from awhile ago in blue and grey and a little green, so i’m sure i will figure something out. i got all this yarn for $33 with tax! can’t complain much there.
the last thing i bought was at the needlepoint store near my house. since my scissors got confiscated in iceland i’ve been needing some new ones, especially when i take the felted chain around to work on. so i got these awesome peacock design sewing scissors. they are so pretty!

those are my acquisitions. onto more knitting!

this time of year, time seems to fly so quickly! i knit away on my various present projects, but sometimes it seems as if they will never all be done.

i am nearing the end of the first cabled footie, just working the body of the foot until it is long enough. i’ve also been working on the chain i’m making for keithy, which i realized the other day needs to be done asap because i am sending him a thanksgiving package to london. at this point, with thanksgiving now a week away, it surely won’t get there in time (because there’s no way i’m paying to rush ship it), but he can have his stuffing and cranberry sauce a little late. the links go pretty fast, but it is one of those projects where i only do one or two in small sittings. and i want this chain to be long enough to do awesome things with. so i need to get crackin. i also really need to get some new sewing scissors (after mine were confiscated at the reykavik airport) so i can cut my work when i need to. today on BART i had to stop knitting when i finished binding off a link because i couldn’t cut it free from the skein.

i think when i finish the first cabled footie i will start one of my upcoming armwarmers, and then alternate footie and armwarmer. that way i keep things more interesting for me. but i am not allowed to start any armwarmers until this first footie is done. that’s a firm rule.

chunky cables are in. really any cables. amy loves this chunky cabled purse from club monaco so now i’m thinking i should make her a cabled purse for xmas. the list of projects just keeps growing. though it’s nice to think that most of my xmas shopping involves yarn stores.

that reminds me. today we drove by yarn! in alameda and there was a big sign in the window that said “LIQUIDATION SALE”. i am so going there tomorrow when i get off work. omg.

i really should try and update this thing more than once a week (or longer). because i certainly do enough knitting!

i successfully completed my first pair of socks. they are the thuja socks, from knitty. i started them as soon as i got my yarn from WEBS, and finished the second one last night. things i learned: the basic construction of a sock, picking up stitches, turning a heel/working the gusset, and grafting! i liked this pattern, since it was in worsted weight it went quite quickly. the seed stitch ribbing is very nice. i didn’t really have any trouble with any parts, even though this was my first sock. the instructions were all very good and turning a heel isn’t so scary. there’s a closeup off the gusset, with the stitches i picked up along the flap.

the thuja socks are for my dad for xmas. i hope he likes them.

on friday i was in the city with james when he had a split shift at work. we went to MOMA and saw the anselm keifer exhibit. afterwards, we had some time, and i needed to go to imagiknit to pick up a few things, so james agreed to come with me! i got one skein of cascade 200 that is two tones of grey, to make keith a felted chain. i also got US9 dpns, and a skein of lamb’s pride worsted superwash, to makes james’ dad some house socks. james said his dad would like socks because his feet are perpetually cold. so, i started the cabled footies, from one skein, yesterday after doing the finishing on the thuja socks. here’s what i have done so far. they are coming along quickly and the cabling is looking really nice. i think i am going to make myself a pair as soon as possible.

as you can see, i’ve just finished the gusset. i am hoping they will turn out all right because i am using 7s instead of 8s (because i just bought the 9s, which made the knit fabric too thin, and i already had 7s, so i didn’t want to spend another $10 on needles right now), and the stitch gauge is slightly smaller, but i think they will be ok, just fit a little snugger. the row gauge doesn’t matter too much (and is close to spot on anyway), because i can make the foot as long as i want. for fun, here’s a closeup of the cables.

other than that, i have started the felted chain, completing 4 links yesterday, mostly while on breaks from starbucks. i am putting cozy and the pirates hat on hold for a little bit because these socks are so much more gratifying! i always thought it was funny how people got addicted to making socks, but i am totally starting to understand.

one more thing i wanted to note: while in the city the other day i went in anthropologie looking for inspiration. i found it: “sweaterknit cozies”. there were long candle holders done up in a loosely knit fine gauge yarn, with purposely messy seaming on one side. the votive candle holders had like a crocheted belt around them that covered the majority of the glass, with a button. both were totally awesome.

also, chunky cabled stuff seems to be really in right now. i’m seeing it everywhere.

The other day I received my Halcyon Gemstone 2/5 from eBay. Isn’t it pretty? Half of it of each color was in a ball while the other wasn’t, so I spent the evening watching TV and winding it before it got hopelessly tangled. Now it is safe back in plastic bags until I get the needles I need. Oh and am not working on three other projects at the same time.

Said other projects are: the hat of the previous post; Knitty’s Cozy for my mother, which is a little over halfway done. My WEBS order came two nights ago so I have the rest of the yarn I’ll need. This is the project I have been carting around with me to work on during breaks and things because the pattern is repetitious and not complicated.

The last project I began the night I got my WEBS order. They had emailed me and told me my Artyarns Supermerino was on backorder and it wouldn’t come for three weeks, but actually it came with everything else. It’s for my Dad’s xmas socks, and I was so excited that I rolled two of the three skeins into balls and then got started on the cuff. The pattern is Knitty’s thuja socks. These are my first socks, and since their in worsted on US6’s they’re going sort of fast. I’ve just been working the leg a little during TV watching. Soon I will begin the heel flap and things will get interesting. James thinks it’s funny that I’m knitting my Dad socks for xmas, but then he told me his dad would really like some because his feet always are cold. So if these go well, I guess I will make another pair!

I also made this superfast headband the other day. I used the green Sugar n Cream I made that dishcloth from. The green matches my Starbucks apron so I made it to wear to work to make my appearance a little more exciting. The pattern was posted on one of my LJ communities. I did an 11-stitch width in seed stitch. I am going to get out my stitch book and see if I find any that might look good for a few quick xmas presents. I made it sporadically knitting over about 24 hours.

And so, xmas knitting continues. As long as I don’t conjure up too many more projects for additional people, I think I should be just fine. The best part is that I can justify yarn purposes because it is not (mostly) for me.