August 2007


I finally took a decent picture of my single 9 to 5 sock.

I finished this one over a week ago and I finally cast on for the second the other day.  I’ve never had horrible 2nd sock syndrome, but this summer especially I’ve been really good.  Sometimes I take little breaks in between socks to knit other things, which is why one pair takes a month.

I really like the stitch pattern on this sock.  It looks all cabled and awesome, but it is so easy to do; much faster than cabling.  I also love how the columns that travel down the heel flap.  This is also my first pair of socks with Knit Picks Essential (I have had it in my stash for a year…) and I love this yarn.  It soft and squishy and shows stitch patterns nicely, all while being totally cheap.  I don’t know how well it wears but I want to make lots and lots of socks from this stuff.  I am totally stocking up next time I order from KP.

I have been trying to make headway on just three projects: these socks, my Mrs. Darcy cardigan, and squares for the Color Bar Blanket.  I’ve started the first sleeve on the cardigan and I got some embroidery thread for seaming last night.  I got the Fall Interweave Knits a few days ago which has inspired much pattern lust, but I am trying to stick with what I’m working on, and find things that can use up yarn I already have laying around.  I definitely want to knit the Tilted Duster and the Minimalist Cardigan.  Right now I can’t afford to be spending money on more sweater yarn, but I have plenty to keep me occupied in the meantime.

With the first real heat wave of the summer around here, you wouldn’t know that fall is on the way, but I still can’t help but love my tweedy Beaverslide wool.

Life has been busy since I started my new job.  I like it so far; it’s not the most thrilling work in the world (lots of menial clerk-type tasks…I am an inventory clerk after all), but it’s nice to be doing something other than answering phones at a front desk.  It’s also nice to know I won’t be leaving in a few weeks.  I’m working there just 4 days a week right now, so I have still been trying to figure out ways to make enough money without killing myself.  A coffee shop/roaster in Oakland, who first called me over 3 weeks ago, is still pursuing me even after we failed to have an interview and we end up playing phone tag most of the time.  I finally have an interview set up for this Saturday, so I’m pretty excited about that.  My German class also started last night.  I’m going to have a lot going on this fall.

I don’t mind, though.  I’ve still had time for knitting!  I haven’t really had time for taking pictures, though.  The other day I finally got around to briefly photographing my mom’s Wyvern socks, since she was in town and they were leaving my house.

Wyvern Socks
Yarn: Crystal Palace Panda Cotton, 2 skeins
Color: Laquer Red
Needles: 2.5mm KP dpns

I discussed earlier my issues with the short rows and the sherman heel solution.  The second sock went pretty quickly after I sorted all that out and decided how I wanted to do the cuff.  I didn’t like the look of simple 2×2 ribbing flowing up from the back, so I switched to plain stockinette for 12 rows and did an EZ sewn bind off.  The cuff rolls down if you like, and it stretches enough when worn that the cuff can be unrolled and stay flat, if desired.  I like it better.  My mom was thrilled with them.

Also, for the record, Panda Cotton stands up beautifully to machine washing and drying.  The failed sock got thrown in with my boyfriend’s laundry, so I don’t know if it was washed on hot or cold, but it came out looking perfect (aside from the ugly knitting).  The yarn is very splitty, but I would definitely make socks with it again.

I have since finished one 9 to 5 sock in Knit Picks Essential, but the pictures I took came out blurry.  I also felt motivated enough to start a new sweater.  It’s Mrs. Darcy, and I’m *this close* to finishing the back.  I’m using my Beaverslide Fisherman’s Weight wool in Mountain Mahogany that I initially bought for a second Ester.  This is my first seamed sweater, and I’m pretty excited about it.  This is a quick knit because of the larger gauge, and I sort of like the idea of “finishing” a piece; smaller accomplishments on the way to the final one.  Hopefully I can keep motivated on this cardigan because it will be just perfect for fall.  Maybe next time I’ll have some pictures.

 

Last Sunday I didn’t feel like knitting MS3 or socks or spinning.  I wanted something mindless and comfortable, that would make progress quickly and maybe even get finished.  So I pulled out the feather and fan scarf I started back in February out of the Mountain Colors wool and mohair that I got for xmas last year.

I used to bring it with me to work on my breaks at Starbucks because it was easy to start and stop and it didn’t require too much concentration.  I hadn’t really worked on it much since I quit Sbux because it was a bit to big to carry around on a regular basis.  But…

An extended evening of TV watching rendered it complete!  Originally I was going to keep going until I completely ran out of the mohair, but I decided to save a little to make some matching wristbands.  I love that I was just able to pick up this project and finish it in a few hours.  When I started I really wanted to show off the pretty hand-painted colors of the yarn and I think it came out really well.

Pattern: Feather & fan lace stitch, two repeats wide
Yarn: Mountain Colors 4/8s Wool; Mountain Colors Mohair
Colorway: Obsidian
Needles: US 8 (5mm) bamboo
Notes: I used beads in the cast on and bind off.  I think the cast on was just long tail, and the bind off was a decrease bind off.  I placed beads every other stitch.  There is a two-stitch garter border on each side of the scarf.  I carried the yarn up the sides of the stripes so I wouldn’t have a million ends to weave in.

The wool is nice and soft, and this is the only mohair I’ve actually enjoyed working with.  It was thick and smooth and reflected the dye more brightly than the wool.  Both yarns were the same colorway (Obsidian) but the contrasting fibers show it off differently.  The textured stripes stand out from each other, but blend well, especially with the waviness of the pattern.  I haven’t blocked it and I don’t know if I’ll bother because I chose feather & fan more for the ripple effect than for the lace effect.  In any case, I love how it came out and it’s going to be wonderful to wear this fall/winter.

I was in the city on Saturday and we went to Japantown to get ice cream crepes. I got vanilla ice cream with Nutella and cinnamon.  We also made the requisite trip into the bookstore and I finally bought a Japanese craft book. I always almost buy one and then convince myself I “don’t need it”. But this one just had too much cute stuff.

It’s filled with pretty little crocheted things for the home. I’m not sure about the yarn weights (since everything except the page numbers are in Japanese), but most of it looks like sport or fingering. And so I find myself coveting any and all lightweight cotton and linen in sophisticated colors.

So many pretty things. Now I think I can feel justified buying a ball or two of Habu that I otherwise wouldn’t know what to do with. Lately when I buy yarn I feel guilty getting only a skein or two if I don’t know what I’ll use it for – unless it’s sock yarn. It would be nice to buy other kinds of yarn too. I’m always need more more small simple projects.

The charts should be pretty easy to follow. There are a few things that look a little confusing, but figuring it all out is the challenge (and hence the fun). I really wanted to get one of these amazing stitch dictionaries they had (with big gorgeous pictures and clear charts), but I’ll save one of those for next time. I guess it’s a good thing there are no yarn stores in Japantown. Crepes, books, AND yarn in the same place? I would be lost forever.

P.S. The ISBN on this book is 4529040941.

I have a permanent job!  Last Monday, one of my interviews called me back and offered me the job as wine inventory clerk.  Of the two interviews I had, this is the one I was feeling better about and hoping I would get.  I won’t be starting until the 13th so I can finish out my Berkeley job.  It’s only 30 hours/week, and the pay is nothing spectacular, so as soon as I have my schedule set I’m going to be finding something else part time.  I’m really excited though; I’ll be getting paid to become a wine expert.  It’s definitely the kind of thing that could develop into a career, or at least help me down the road to do something else.

MS3: I took a little break after finishing Clue 3 (completed above), but I finally got myself going on Clue 4 on Thursday.  I was nowhere near to finishing before Clue 5 (and the theme!) were released, but that’s ok.  Clue 4 is long, but repetitive, so it should go quickly as long as I keep at it.  I’m not really concerned about “catching up” before the end, but the releasing of the clues does keep me motivated to keep plugging away at it.  I’ve loving the purple I picked and the pattern is so beautiful.  Melanie also designed the Hanami Stole which has been in my queue for awhile, and I think that will be my next big lace project.

I also took a break on the Wyvern socks after I completed the good one, but on Thursday I cast on for the second (aka third).  The first (failed) one is being used as a machine-washing test sock.  I don’t even want to bother trying to unweave the ends and all that to use the yarn for something else.   I have enough for a complete pair anyway.  I’m anxious to get these done so I can start a new pair.  Next up is probably the 9 to 5 socks with some KP Essential. And for the record, I like heel flaps WAY better than short row heels.  A big thanks to JessaLu, however.  She pointed me to the Sherman technique for short rows, which worked better than anything else I tried for that ribbed short row heel.  It looks pretty good on the heel, and absolutely fabulous on the toe.  It’s amazingly simple and makes wrapped short rows seem ridiculous.  Maybe I will even created a photo tutorial at some point.  I like it THAT much.