Monday, March 30, 2009

Another FO!

Remember: you can still leave a comment — through Tuesday night the 31st — with your favorite animal on the previous posting to be entered in the drawing!

After literally years, I've finished "my so-called scarf". I always thought the name was funny because, you know, it is a scarf. I think the "so-called" was meant to modify "my" ;-) Anyway: I knit it in the originally specified Manos de Uruguay in Wildflowers, using US size 10 needles and two skeins of yarn. It's currently blocking on the floor of my study, but here are some pre-blocking photos.

I tried binding off the usual way, but it splayed the end of the scarf; this stitch has a tendency to draw in. After some experimentation I did an Elizabeth Zimmerman sewn bind-off on the reverse side, pulling it fairly snug as I went. I'm pretty pleased with the result. It doesn't exactly match the cast-on end but it's pretty close! Can you guess which end is which?

Okay: down to 15 WIPs. That's not really that impressive, is it. Gotta knock down a few more before I let myself cast on again :-)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

More prizes! For you and for me!

First: Who'd like to win a copy of Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2008? If you would, leave a comment and mention your favorite animal. (If you want to leave a comment but not be entered in the drawing, just don't mention animals :-) .) I'll pull a name next Wednesday for the prize.

Second: Johanna is TEH AWESOME — she actually thought of me while on vacation in Japan and sent me a gift. You have to see the hilarious postcard:

The gift itself is a very amusing craft kit that has you make magnets that look like doughnuts. The whole concept cracks me up. I don't know if I'll be able to figure the instructions out, but I'm going to try.

Third: I'm finally done with the brown stockinette portion of Rob's gansey. Only just done, so it's still not terrifically exciting, but it's much more fun to knit!

Fourth: It's Spring! Hurrah!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gauge issue

I'm halfway through toe decreases on the bottom sock. Notice a slight size difference?

I knit the first sock mostly while surfing the Internet. I knit the second mostly while watching spy thrillers.

If I finished the toe up, they'd be over an inch different in length; they are also different in circumference, so much so that the second sock hurts my foot. Oopies. I think the ankle and heel are okay (at least, I'm going to pretend they are even if they aren't), so I'm going to rip back to the start of the foot and try again. But not right this second.

I've also been trying to finally finish this lovely little scarf, the classic "My so-called scarf":

Gorgeous, isn't it? But it turns out that knitting it is really hard on the hands. I don't know why exactly, but my hand completely cramps up when I'm knitting the purl rows, right between the knuckles at the base of my third and ring fingers. So I'm taking this one a little slower so I don't mess up my ability to knit entirely.

There's also miles and miles of brown stockinette, but there's no point showing you that!

I'm still ill, and this past weekend was worse than it has been, but I managed to get more done despite that than I'd feared: spent a good solid eight hours on the research paper I'm writing with my friend Louise, worked on the taxes a bit, worked on Grasslimb a bit, did a bit of knitting and read some more of Bleak House. But I missed two parties :-( On balance, though, it could be worse. I hate weekends when I don't get anything done.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Free yarn!

EDITED TO ADD: Juli has won the yarn! But there will be more to come, I am sure.

I'm going through some of my stash and deciding to part with things I know I'll never get around to knitting with. This Berroco Mohair Classic is a case in point. I have four skeins of a merlot color, one of a just-off-white.

This is heavy worsted weight; label says it should get 4spi and 5rpi using 5.5mm (US 9) needles. Each skein is 43g and 85 m (1.5 oz and 93 yds). I think this should be enough for a scarf with occasional creamy stripes, or a pair of mittens and change, or some other accessory. Makeup is 78% mohair, 13% wool and 9% nylon.

Would you like it?

If you would, leave a comment saying what you think you'd probably use this for, and I'll put all the names received by Wednesday morning in a hat and draw a winner.

I'm doing a bunch of knitting, but it's mostly boring. I am working on the brown stockinette portion of a pullover and brown ribbing for a sock, neither of which I'm going to bother showing you because they are very similar to past photos :-) I am making pretty good progress on Rob's sock #1, at last, though, and it's semi-photogenic (although you can see what a slob I am. There are magazines and lemongrass all over my kitchen table):

I'm also close to starting the heel on my not-quite-Reversai sock #2. This picture is great because you can really see the three-dimensional quality of the pattern:

As you can see, I now have SIXTEEN WPIs listed in the right-hand sidebar. I am determined to finish at least a couple of these before casting on again — but man, it's hard to resist!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I know I know I know I know I know. But.

But I'm sick, so doesn't that give me license to knit anything I durned well please?

This is, I admit it, a New Sock, when I haven't finished several old socks, including another pair for work (the Reversais) — so it's not like I can claim "I need to knit some work socks." I mean, I do, but I could finish the pair I already started. I am currently claiming that I am addicted to my new US size 1.5 dpns (and I do love 'em, not exactly sure why).

These Boring Brown Socks are not as entirely boring as they seem. The flash above makes them look holey, but they're not really. They are taller than my usual weekend socks (for work, I like taller socks), and I started them on 68 sts and reduced to 65 after the 2x2 rib. Then I worked 4x1 rib for the rest (heel, sole and toe are stockinette). I decided to try out a new heel — the Dutch Heel, an old-fashioned heel with a slightly odd shape. It's supposed to fit narrow heels well — mine is somewhat narrow, maybe not as narrow as this recipe creates, but I think it'll be okay. I'm using Sunbeam St. Ives yarn, which I found in some yarn store somewheres, just a basic 80% wool/20% nylon sock yarn but I like the richness of the color. It looks like brown but up close there is lots of variegation:

Just to prove I haven't abandoned the growing list of UFOs (if you look at my gallery in Ravelry, you can see how my list of both FOs and WIPs is growing as I work through the old blog entries), here is Rob's sock. I pulled out the crappily-fitting flap heel and knit him a short-row heel. Now I'm back onto the foot part of the sock. Rob has very wide size-10 feet, but his ankles are of a normal slenderness, so I'm trying to make socks that will pull over his feet but still fit his legs, and fit his feet properly. If he weren't so tall I'd wonder if he were a hobbit...

I'll spare you the medical details that are dominating my life at the moment. But let no one deny the healing power of knitting — if it can't cure the bug, at least it's distracting. And in the absense of wellness, you can be sure I'll take distracting!