Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I had far less knitting time the past couple of days than I was hoping, so I don't have much to show. I did, however, get three of the four skeins of yarn that I'm bringing on my Italian vacation swatched AND I figured out what they are all going to be!

Swatches for Italy

Clockwise, from the top left:

BMFA STR Heavyweight in Falcon's Eye, purchased at The Fold when I was visiting my family at Christmas. I swatched this one on US 3's at 6.5 sts/inch. I've decided to make the Cable Rib Socks from Favorite Socks, with modifications for gauge (of course) and to make the cables line up on the cuff AND the instep.

Fiesta Boomerang in Misty Morning, purchased at The Loopy Ewe. These also swatched to 6.5 sts/inch on US 3's. I'll be making the Southwestern Socks from Wendy Knits.

Mountain Colors Weaver's Wool Quarters, in Clearwater, also purchased at The Fold. This is the only one I haven't swatched yet, but I'm going to guess that it'll knit up to the "right" gauge on US 2.5's. I'm going to make the Heelless Sleeping Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks.

And finally, Chewy Spaghetti Spaghettoni in Frivolous, from the Chewy Spaghetti Blue Plate Special Sock Club. This yarn I did on US 2.5's and got a gauge of 7 sts/inch. I'm going to make the Open Rib Socks from Sensational Knitted Socks.

So, all sportweight socks for this trip. I'm also going to ditch my beloved Knit Picks circulars in favor of some bamboo DPNs, because of the international flights. I'm not flying through London, and I haven't found anything forbidding knitting needles on the Frankfurt, Germany, or Rome, Italy, airport websites, but I figure better safer than sorry.

I don't expect to get through ALL of these in the 12 days I'm gone, but I want to have enough to knit on, without running out and without bringing my entire stash. Hopefully this puts me right around where I want to be. There is going to be A LOT of time in airports, on planes and on a bus.

Now I just have to decide which ORDER I'm going to make these in. :-)

Friday, August 24, 2007

August Shipment of Rockin' Sock Club

Apparently my yarn thief has not learned just how often I have yarn delivered, because my August shipment from the Rockin' Sock Club arrived unscathed. :-P Here's the whole thing:

Rockin' Sock Club - August

We got a skein of Socks That Rock Lightweight (my new favorite) in Flower Power, the emergency skein keychain, the Love Lace pattern, Dyer's Notes (of course), a few pages on sock history and a couple of temporary tattoos to complete the Summer of Love theme.

The colorway...

Rockin' Sock Club - August

... is not one that I would have chosen for myself, and not one of my favorites. In fact, I think it's my least favorite of the four we've gotten so far (it's the orange, it's just not a great shade). But I don't hate it, and I will knit with it.

As for the pattern...

Rockin' Sock Club - August

... I have mixed feelings. It's not something I would have picked or my favorite FOR MYSELF. I think it would make a fantastic pattern for a little girl, though, and I also think it's going to be a fun knit... it's got a somewhat unique construction, at least as far as the cuff is concerned. So I will knit it for myself (since that's what I have decided to do with club patterns), and I'm sure I'll enjoy the process, even if I don't love the finished outcome. But I do hope one day there's a little girl I can modify the pattern for, because they'd be ohh so cute on little feet. :-)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Loopy Groupie Goodies

Well, my package still hasn't shown up, but Georgia is being wonderful about it and sending me a new skein. I just might have to buy some more of her yarn. ;-)

Speaking of yarn, I said yesterday that I got a free skein of BFL for becoming a Loopy Groupie, but that's not all I got:

Loopy Groupie Tote

I knew the tote was coming, and I figured there would be a few other goodies in there, but a whole skein of sock yarn! Wow! The yarn is from Gypsy Knits, and it is BFL Superwash Fingering yarn in Mountain Rain. It's really soft and shiny, as BFL has always promised to be.

So yeah, it would have been a very BFL-filled few days if the USPS didn't suck so much (ohh, I placed a formal complaint yesterday and they were supposed to call me back within 24 hours - that was more than 25 hours ago - I hate them and will probably call to yell at them again tomorrow).

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Calamity, Indeed

Here is a picture Georgia posted of the Yarn Pirate Booty Club packages going out last week:

Booty Club Packages Leaving with the Mailman

And here is a picture of MY Booty Club package that arrived on Saturday:

Yeah, the package never got to me. :-( My tracking number says it was delivered at 12:50pm on Saturday, August 18, 2007. I was out of town this past weekend, but my roommate was home (though not at the time) and she never saw it. I have called the USPS and my post office in Somerville several times, and it seems there's really nothing that can be done - they claim they did their job (I beg to differ - I don't have my package, therefore their delivery confirmation is a lie).

I emailed Georgia to beg ask for a replacement, and hopefully at some point I will have a skein of superwash BFL in Calamity (yes, that is the name of the colorway this month) in my possession. Ironically, I have never had any BFL in my stash, and I received a FREE skein from The Loopy Ewe on Friday for becoming a Loopy Groupie (that's coming in a later post, along with my other loot). Maybe it's a balance for having to pay for a second skein of Calamity, when I didn't get the first?

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Cardigan for Italy

I think I mentioned my trip to Italy next month - 12 days (well, I guess it's more like 11) touring around Italy with my roommate - we're going to Rome, Sorrento, Florence, Milan and Venice, with a few stops in between (Isle of Capri, Pisa, Verona, etc...). I'm really looking forward to the trip, because I've always wanted go. I'm REALLY looking forward to all of the food and wine we'll be having (both my roommate and I are kind of wine snobs).

I decided that I was going to make myself a sweater for the trip, and the lucky winner was A Cardigan for Arwen, by Kate Gilbert, which can be found in the Winter 2006 edition of Interweave Knits. I'm not sure I'm going to make my deadline, as the cardigan is on hold (!!!) right now, due to a friend's upcoming birthday and the socks I'm way behind on, but I'm going to give it my best shot.

I've finished the left front:

A Cardigan for Arwen - Left Front

And I am up to the sleeve cast on for the right front - that leaves the rest of the right front and the back (which I imagine will be pretty easy), plus a lot of seaming, to go! The left front took me a little over a week, and I leave in 24 days (I'm not counting or anything...), so I think I can do it, even with the devil socks needing to be completed beforehand (the socks are lovely, they are just taking forever - I'll of course show them once they are done and gifted).

The sweater is being knit out of Cascade 220 in the Pistachio colorway (#8234). I think it's a lovely shade of earthy green (my friend says the sweater looks very hobbity, particularly with my chosen color). I am again cabling without a cable needle, like I did with The Solstice Slip, and that is going along swimmingly. Look at this closeup of the cable:

A Cardigan for Arwen - Left Front

I'm almost (ALMOST, I say) as excited about the sweater as I am about my trip!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Sock Club Goodness

I haven't really mentioned the sock clubs I'm in lately, but that doesn't mean there hasn't been any sock club goodness going on around here!

For instance, last month I received my first shipment from the Yarn Pirate Booty Club:

Yarn Pirate Booty Club - July

The colorway is called Rum Runner, and it looks like a lot of fun. I haven't figure out what it will be yet, but I'm looking forward to knitting it up.

And that little package next to the skein of yarn? That's a limited edition soap from Good Soapworks of Athens, created just for the Booty Club! I heard Georgia asked for something spicy - to me, this smells like cinnamon. I'm also loving seeing my first Moo Card - I see why people have raved about them!

My next package from the Yarn Pirate Booty Club is in the mail, traveling across the country as we speak.

In the meantime, I received my first shipment from the Chewy Spaghetti Blue Plate Special Club last week:

Chewy Spaghetti Blue Plate Special - August

The colorway is Frivolous. I love the matching sock bag - I didn't think I'd like one of these bags, of which there are many variations around the web (this particular one is by an Etsy seller whose name I do not know off the top of my head), but it turns out it's very convenient! If I'm bringing knitting with me somewhere, it's usually a sock in progress, and I found out that it's much easier to bring this and my purse than to pile everything up in the big corduroy bag I use as my knitting bag. But my knitting bag is happy to have another button (the Yarn Pirate button is already in place on the bag).

I haven't decided what this yarn will be yet, either, but I do know that I will probably pick a pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks or More Sensational Knitted Socks, and that it will be part of the sock queue I bring with me to Italy next month. :-)

In addition to my new Yarn Pirate shipment, the August shipment of the Rockin' Sock Club ships out next week, so there will be no shortage of sock club yarn around here!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mystery Stole #3 - Nearing the End

Here's a shot of the first part of the "wing" on my Mystery Stole (a.k.a Clue #5), finished more than a week ago:

Mystery Stole #3 - Clue #6

I really like that the wing actually looks feathery!

I have finished Clue #6, and Clue #7 (the last one) gets posted tomorrow. I will try and get one last progress shot of the shawl before I begin Clue #7, but since I'll be away this weekend and I need to move the shawl to a bigger circular, this probably won't happen until next week.

I'll miss this shawl - I've really enjoyed working on it. Luckily, I have several projects lined up (and the yarn to go with a lot of them) that will be of the lace variety, most of which are from Victorian Lace Today. I can't wait!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Solstice Slip

And here's another pair of socks! I don't actually finish projects as quickly as my posts this week would suggest, I'm just behind. :-) I am happy to be posting this one now, because the next club package should be shipping out next week, and I need proof that I finished these socks before that package.

The Solstice Slip - 2 of 3

Pattern: Blue Moon Fiber Arts (Rockin' Sock Club June Pattern)
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight, Firebird, 1 skein
Project Timeline: 7/11/07 - 7/26/07

This is probably my favorite of the BMFA club colors so far - I just love anything red. I do wish my particular skein had more white in it, but that's okay - plus, this may be the only color I buy an EXTRA skein of, just because I love it so much.

I thought that of all the Socks That Rock weights (Lightweight, Mediumweight, Heavyweight), I was going to like the Mediumweight the best. This was my first skein of Lightweight, though, and it turns out I was wrong - I ADORE the Lightweight. It is slightly heavier than than most other sockyarns I've used, but still works up well on my Knit Picks US 1.5 circular (which I use for pretty much all of my socks). It's tightly spun AND supersoft. Plus, there are yummy Blue Moon colors at a price point lower than a lot of the indie dyers (that I still adore, of course). I have a couple more skeins of the Lightweight in my stash, and I can't wait to knit them up.

This pattern was pretty simple, and worked up quickly. We were given a toe-up and a top-down option, and I chose to go toe-up, since that was the original intention of the pattern designer (at least according to the Dyer's Notes). I really enjoyed the mini-gusset with the garter stitch short-row heel. I'm happy that so far in each of three club patterns, I've learned something new (garter-stitch short row heel and toe, toe-up with gusset, mini-gusset with short-row heel).

Each of these socks has a mistake, although they are hard to spot. On the first sock, I didn't cross one set of stitches on the first half of the first repeat. I didn't notice it until I was already all the way up the foot, and it just wasn't worth dropping all the way down and fixing. On the second sock, I left out the last row before the heel, but didn't realize until after I was done with the heel, so... yeah, not going back to fix that, and just did all of the cable crossing one row early. But there's also a little design feature that I added in myself - the cables actually zig in opposite directions on each sock, so there's sort of a left sock and right sock. Neither my two mistakes or my design feature are noticeable, though, even in a close-up shot.

The Solstice Slip - 3 of 3

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Pomatomus - It's About Time

Well, I've been promising an entry about my Pomatomus socks for quite awhile now, and here it is. These socks have been a long time in the making. The skein of STR Mediumweight in Seal Rock was actually one of the very first skeins of sock yarn I bought, if you can believe that. I knit my first pair of socks last May and June - they were just plain stockinette, using stripey yarn from Knit Picks. I decided I was going to do Hedera next, for a little bit more of a challenge, and then Pomatomus, using my very first skein of Socks That Rock.

Well, I didn't even get to Hedera until January, after I had knit SEVEN pairs of gift socks, including one with a skein of STR. Yeah, I was way off schedule. And I would have done these right after Hedera, but I thought they would require far more concentration than they did, and most of my sock knitting at that time was done on the T. So Pomatomus continued to be put off (and I continued to knit more socks in STR, because of the Sock Club). Finally, though, I got around to knitting these, and now I'm posting about them.

The socks, I gotta say, were a pain to knit. All of those knitting through the back loop, using needles that were slightly too small for the yarn (at least in this pattern). I was also worried about running out of yarn - I had seen other blog posts from people using this yarn for this pattern, and they said they only did 2 repeats on the cuffs instead of 3, and I wanted 3. But running out of yarn was not a problem for me. I had just enough to make it through the socks.

Pomatomus - 2 of 3

Pattern: Knitty
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Mediumweight, Seal Rock, 1 skein
Needles: US 1.5
Project Timeline: 6/16/07 - 7/10/07

The socks are nice and snug - I really think they fit me well, and I love love love this color (which is not currently on the BMFA website - not sure if it's discontinued or just not available). I am particularly happy with the way they stripe on the cuffs (which is hard to see in these photos, I realize), though the pooling on the foot is not my favorite look.

Pomatomus - 3 of 3

So in the end I'm very happy, but I will probably never knit this pattern again. :-)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Purses for My Family

I have four sisters plus my mom as far as knitting for women in my family goes (let's not even get into my dad - I have no idea what to knit him most of the time). I decided this year I would knit them all purses for their birthdays - but I have had quite a time getting them into the mail. Finally, last week, purses for my mom and two of my sisters went out and arrived on Thursday (which was ironically my birthday and nowhere near theirs, which are in January, February and July). So, here's a parade of purses!

Sophie Purse #2

Pattern: Magknits
Yarn: Cascade 220 Quattro, #9433, 1 skein
Needles: US 10.5
Project Timeline 1/8/07 - 1/13/07

This is the second Sophie Purse I have made, and since I love mine, I thought my mom would like one, too. One thing I did on this one that I don't like is I overtwisted the handles - I thought I'd want it more twisty, but it turns out I like the twist on mine much better!

Booga Bag - 1 of 2

Pattern: Black Sheep Bags
Yarn: Noro Kureyon, #194, 3 skeins
Needles: US 10.5
Project Timeline 1/21/07 - 1/24/07

My sister Emilee is 10, and she loves pink. Finding a color of Noro Kureyon with enough pink was quite a challenge, and I'm still not sure that I did a great job, but it is what it is. This one annoyed me with the felting - it got little lint things all over it (you can see in the picture) and I just couldn't get enough of them off. I doubt a 10-year-old is going to notice, but it bugs me!

Here's another shot of the purse close-up:

Booga Bag - 2 of 2

And the last one:

Saturday Market Bag #3 - 1 of 2

Pattern: Magknits
Yarn: Lily Yarns Sugar and Cream, Black, 2 skeins
Needles: US 15 and US 10
Project Timeline: 7/4/07 - 7/5/07

I just love the Saturday Market Bag - I think it's the perfect beach bag where you can fit a lot of stuff; the Sugar and Cream yarn is cheap, easily accessible and comes in lots of colors; and it only takes a couple of days to make! I have already received a note from my sister Rebecca that she loves this one.

Up-close, since black is hard to see:

Saturday Market Bag #3 - 2 of 2

I have one more bag to send (one sister is in limbo right now as far as address is concerned) and one more to make, but luckily those sisters haven't had their birthdays yet this year!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Remember Mystery Stole #3?

I am once again behind on photographs for Mystery Stole #3, but I have yet to fall behind on the knitting. Clue #4 was extra long - 135 rows, when the previous two clues had been 50 (the first clue was 100 rows, but we increased up from a point, so the knitting probably works out to be the same). Clue #4 was also pretty monotonous - the center pattern of the shawl didn't change. Since we had two weeks to knit it, I spread it out over two weeks, but was finished last Monday, a good four days before the next clue:

Mystery Shawl #3 - Progress #4

Right now I'm kinda regretting my decision to keep the stole the length it was intended, because it looks kinda small (it should be 50 inches long and 20-something inches wide - it's 40" by 16"), but I'm hoping wet blocking will fix this - lace is stretchy, right?

Things did get intriguing towards the end of the fourth clue:

Mystery Shawl #3 - Progress #4

A row of eyelets! I knew the pattern must be drastically changing in the fifth clue because of this, but I had no idea what was coming.

Here's another up-close shot of the lace:

Mystery Shawl #3 - Progress #4

In case you haven't heard (it's been almost a week now, I don't mind revealing it here), the theme of the shawl is Swan Lake - white shawls like mine represent Odette, black shawls represent Odile. And for the last third of the shawl (the last 3 clues, as it were), we'll be knitting a wing. Yes, a wing, complete with short rows (which are more like attaching a border to a shawl at this point than short rows, but really I guess it's all the same thing). I have Clue #5 done, and will photograph when I get a chance. I'm still having a ton of fun with this, and will be sad when the shawl is done!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Looking Back at Convertible

You might remember that I finished Convertible awhile ago. It was actually the first time I posted one of my finished projects on Knittyboard, and I got a few questions about the wearability of the shawl. So, I posed the question to my sister, who sent me this:

Kim wearing Convertible

It looks to me like the shawl stays on by itself, and her feedback was that it works pretty well as a shrug. She also said the only problem she's noticed so far is that the button holes have a tendency to stretch out, and then the buttons sometimes slip out, but otherwise it's great. She says she likes to wear it as a poncho, and sometimes she wraps it around her waist like a skirt.

I hope that information is helpful to anyone looking for it!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Finished Socks - A Preview

I have two recently completed pairs of socks to show here, but I haven't had a chance to get modeled shots, because of one thing or another. So, I'm not going to go into detail about either pair, but I will give you preview shots of the socks lounging in my living room. They are Pomatomus and The Solstice Slip:

Pomatomus Socks

The Solstice Slip Socks

More details about each pair once I get a chance to model them (which will hopefully be this weekend unless I am overburdened by work).

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The LAST Patriots Tychus

Last year around this time, I got this idea in my head that I would knit hats for my guy friends who love the New England Patriots. There are four of them. Four hats. The same hat pattern. I never want to knit this pattern again. In fact, I never wanted to knit it again after the THIRD hat, and so it took me forever to knit poor Patrick his promised hat. But I finally sat down one week in June (yes, I know wool hats are pretty useless in New England in June) and cranked out the hat.

Tychus #5 - 2 of 2

Pattern: Knitty
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Superwash, Red Pepper, 1 skein, Dark Navy, 2 skeins, Coast Gray, 2 skeins
Needles: US 8
Project Timeline: 6/17/07 - 6/21/07

Interestingly, despite how much I hate this pattern now and never want to knit it again, this was my favorite of the four Patriots hats. I finally got the sizing right (the directions in the pattern give you a hat that is way too big, so I had to make some adjustments). In previous versions, I modified the hat to have a provisional cast on with a three needle bindoff - this time, I used a provisional cast on and then GRAFTED the stitches (I recently learned how to graft in garter stitch, thank you Victorian Lace Today), meaning no seam AT ALL. And I really like how the hat looks with the gray dominating (all four hats actually had slightly different color patterns, but always using these three colors).

But really. I'm never knitting this hat again. I mean it. :-)