Mystery OJ

A pair of socks finally done. May I present the Sock Knitters Anonymous September Mystery sock. Very fun pattern; it was the first time I did a toe-up with a heel flap rather than a short row heel. The sock had to be knit in orange yarn, so this gave me a reason to use some orange wool/mohair sock yarn that had been languishing in my stash (orange isn’t anywhere near my favorite color). First time making socks out of a wool/mohair blend, and they are quite warm, fuzzy, and squishy.


If you’re lurking around, don’t forget to post a comment on my Housewarming post by 5 pm PDT this Friday to be in the drawing for yummy yarn prizes.

In knitting news, I actually got quite a bit done this weekend. Only about 40 rounds left and I’ll be done with my Mystery OJ socks. Now to decide if I want to try casting on for the October challenge (I have until Friday), or to just go on to next month’s challenge (casting on Nov 1).

Racing to the finish

The Sock Knitter’s Anonymous Sockdown! challenge gives you 2 months to finish a sock. I cast on my Mystery OJ Socks on Sept 1st. I have only now gotten to the gusset increases of the 2nd sock. I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on myself because I am on the 2nd sock and not the 1st. But, I’d like to get at least one pair done for September. (I was silly and cast on a pair of Cookie A’s Thelonious Socks as well, which are only on the gusset decreases of the 1st sock.) Thankfully, there aren’t that many plans for this weekend, so I hope to get a chance to sit and knit… perhaps even slot some spinning in as well.

Just in time for the weekend

We now return you to the regular knitting content…

The shawl with no name continues… slowly… but then I haven’t been devoting a lot of time to it. I’m beginning to think it is upset at me for not having named it yet. I also think it is beginning to lament the fact that the only lace I had planned for it was a lacy edging… it’s now making mutterings about why can’t it have a smaller garter stitch triangle to make room for some lace before the edging. *sigh* So, I’m going to have to hit the books again and see what jumps out at me. Any suggestions?

At least I’m liking the way the variegation is looking.

The only other thing on needles (and getting any attention) is a pair of socks for the Husband. I wanted to call them the Dope Fiend socks cause I worked on this one while loopy on vicodin. I thought it was a funny name… the Husband was not impressed. So, they shall just remain a pair of socks for the Husband.

Aren’t you terribly impressed by my gusset?

Tomorrow, I am planning a short trip to the LYS to pick up needles for making myself a Ribby Cardi. I decided that the very pretty yarn I had picked out for Mariah was not as dark as I would have liked. And the whole goal of this exercise was to procure for me a darker cardigan to be worn over darker shirts (I currently have a light grey/silver cardigan that looks plain silly over a black tee). So, I bought a copy of the pattern… and promptly used it as an excuse to buy more yarn. *grin* I will be using Wool of the Andes in Mist (the body) and Hollyberry (the arms and collar). I am also going to try knitting as much of it in the round as I can… hence, the needed trip to the LYS. I don’t seem to own any size 7 circular needles of any length. Thus, me and a ball of yarn will venture forth tomorrow to verify gauge and make a needle purchase. It’ll be an adventure, right?

Bigger and Better Things to Come

Many thanks to Deb! I’m going to rip back the few inches of the Beginner’s Triangle Shawl and start on an adventure… my own shawl. :) Not like I’m doing anything fancy. I’m going to look around and see what lace edgings I like and figure out the base number of stitches for the edging of my choice. That will probably affect whether I start with an odd number of stitches or even. Deb told me she just did a garter stitch triangle, then a lace edging. This is the basic construction of the Wool Peddler’s Shawl I just completed, so this should be pretty straightforward. Nifty. :)

I’m also thinking of starting a pair of socks for the Husband since he has managed to wear holes right through the bottoms of both socks in the last pair I made him, now they were a little bit over a year old and he wore them a lot whenever it was cold out. I think they ran into the problem of the carpet in our apartment being rougher stuff than the wool they were made out of. I picked up a couple different colors of a washable wool yarn that looks to be sport weight, so it should work nicely.

I’m also hoping to get the drum carder out of the box sometime this weekend. I got it a month ago, and it’s just been sitting in its box the whole time. I had been so busy with school stuff that I had to ignore it to get assignments done. But, the long weekend should afford me some time to play.

Now for some peppermint tea… and some painkillers… for the kink in my neck is giving me a righteous headache.

9 + 1 does indeed equal 10

Cappucino Socks
Les Cappucino Socks sont finis!

I finished them at Lulu Carpenter’s in Santa Cruz Saturday night… sort of. I finished the toe decreases and couldn’t for the life of me remember how to graft the toe shut. So they were officially finished Sunday morning with the Kitchner instructions in front of me. You would think with the number of times I’ve done this I could remember how to do it.

For complete details, see Finished Objects from Outer Space.

The Wool Peddler’s Shawl
I kept trying, but I could not make 9 + 1 = 10. Then, I figured out that I was missing a yarn over. My brain kept it in the equation, I understood exactly where it belonged in the pattern, but I neglected to actually, physically include it in the shawl. So, now the lace portion is truely underway… let the rejoicing beginning.

Today I rode my scooter to work… it was fun. *grin* I had no problems with my laptop strapped across my back. I thought it might give me some slight problems, moving around or the weight of it. But, for the most part, I didn’t really notice it.

I have also just gotten word that my new helmet (in wine) is in. The husband, who is taking the day off from work due to stress, is coming to get me so I can pick it up and get lunch with him. I’ll be able to ride home without my eyes getting all teary from the wind… sunglasses work a little, but a visor will be so much better. And it’s red… my favorite color red. *sqeee*

The Waiting Game

At Knit’s End
It seems that it pays to get indignant.

I had emailed Amazon at the beginning of the month when my package did not ship on time, and the shipping estimate did not change. I thought the book I had special ordered was causing the wait, but it was At Knit’s End, and they didn’t know when it was actually going to be released. They happily sent my order on to me sans At Knit’s End. I emailed Stephanie to ask if she knew of anything that was preventing her book from getting into my eagerly waiting hands. She herself was eagerly waiting on her author’s copy.

Then, Stephanie got her copy, and a few days ago others began to talk of getting their copy. Where was mine? I had ordered it a month in advance… Amazon usually gets the package to you the day of the release. Yesterday I went to Amazon’s website to discover that the book is now listed as shipping in 2 to 3 days, but my shipping estimate still said I would see the book somewhere between March 7 and May 13. Thus, an indignant email was sent to Amazon asking why my copy had not shipped and would it indeed not get to me until May 13. I just received their apologetic email (though not apologetic enough in my opinion) saying it should ship by the end of the month (so much for ships in 2 to 3 days, eh?), and that if I do not receive a shipping email by Apr 1, I am to email them again. The email also informed me that there was a software problem that was causing the shipping estimate to say Mar 7 – May 13 and they’ve got someone working on it.

So, now I get to wait to see if they can actually ship it by next Friday… *gah* Can someone please explain to me why I am waiting a week for a book that is supposed to ship in 2 to 3 days?! Maybe I’ll just check my LYS tomorrow… if they have it I’m going to just buy it there and cancel my order with Amazon. Meanwhile, I will have to bid my time turning green with envy of those who already have their copy.

The only thing I can think of that has caused all this waiting for everyone is that it is so popular they didn’t print enough to meet the demand.

Cappuccino Socks
Not much to show because I have yet to take a picture of the finished first sock. The second sock is under way; I’ve got about 2 inches done so far.

Wool Peddler’s Shawl
I’m going to take a look at it tonight to make sure I didn’t mkae a mistake, like missing a yarn over or something. I was tired and had a couple glasses of wine in me when I ran into problems. If I can’t find any mistakes, it’ll go to the LYS with me tomorrow; someone else might be able to see something I can’t.

Readers’ Comments
Julie doesn’t think she’d know a guard hair if she saw it. Trust me, you’d know a guard hair… it’s longer and sticks out of the yarn… where the alpaca is usually soft and bouncy, the guard hairs are rougher and pokey. I don’t think they’re too much of a problem, but some people may find that they make the yarn feel a bit more scratchy than alpaca without guard hairs.

Natalie, Deb, and Heidi all made comments about the shrapnel I picked up in some war zone (it was Stanford University actually). I giggled when I read these. :) They are very close to what I thought when the tire dude dropped them onto the counter in front of me. (Of course, he then showed me a inch thick bolt they pulled out of someone else’s tire recently. He also told me that the worst thing they’ve ever seen in at tire at that location was a drill bit that’s used for cuttting door knob holes.) The screws were in a plastic bag like you would get to assemble something. They probably came from the constuction site I drove by on my way to the visitor parking lot.

At least I knew I had picked something up… the last time I got a screw stuck in a tire it went all the way in, flush with the tire and only let the air leak out slowly. I had to put air in the tire every few days until it dawned on me something was wrong that I should get checked.

Approaching the weekend

I first would like to apologise for my inability to spell cappuccino in my last post… I was doing a disservice to a fabulous drink.

Cappuccino Socks
The heel was turned without great difficulty, and there was much jubilation.

The sock progressed along nicely, and was actually completed a few hours after these pictures were taken to even more jubilation. Now to get to work on the second, which should be too hard. This was a nice, simple sock to knit, and it went pretty fast.

Felted Kitty Bed

The felted kitty bed that was finished last week was thrown into my parent’s washing machine and felted on Sunday. (I do my felting at their place because it’s a top loader, so I can check progress, and I don’t have to pay for it.)

As soon as I find a box for it, it will be winging its way to Florida for my sister’s new kitty.

Reader’s Comments
Julie asked where I got the pattern for the scarf.

I got the lace pattern from The Dishcloth Boutique… it’s the Garter Stitch Lace facecloth on page 1 of the knitting patterns. I modified it slightly, doing only 4 rows of garter between the lace segments. This facecloth was the first lace pattern I knitted, so I have an unusual fondness for it… of course, being easy to remember while looking complicated is a bonus.

I finally got around to not only snapping a picture of this, but uploading it so I could share. This is what they pulled out of my tire 2 weeks ago. No wonder it went flat in a couple of minutes, eh?

The patch job seems to be holding up nicely, too.

Is it Spring yet?

In a week’s time we went from 88 F and sunny to 55 F and rainy. I know the Vernal Equinox was on Sunday, but we been suddenlt plunged back into winter around here. On an interesting note, a tornado hit South SF on Sunday.

I’ve had plenty to post about recently, but I’m damned if I’d had the time to do so. Thus, this post is mostly going to be look what I did last week. :)

Lace Scarf
This is a lace scarf I knit up as a belated Christmas present for my best friend’s fiance. I used fingering weight Frog Tree Alpaca. It seems to be a nice yarn, although I was a bit shock by the amount of guard hairs in it.

Cappachino Socks
Since the felted kitty bed was finished on Thursday night… well, the knitting part anyway… I cast on for a pair of socks. Back in November I got my Secret Sock Kit in the mail from Inspirations Yarns. It’s a beautiful chocolate-y brown color with variations in the (now let me show my complete lack of dyeing vocabulary) darkness/lightness of the color. It’s their Java yarn, which is a superwash 3-ply that they claim is sport weight. The Secret Sock Kit also came with a pattern. I decided it would probably be best to use the pattern that was written for the yarn. I get out my size 2 dpns and look at the pattern to see how many stitches I should cast on. The pattern has 2 sizes: woman’s small and woman’s large; by the numbers associated with the sizes I assumed I was a large… cast on 42 sts. This is when I notice that if you’re making the small socks you woudl cast on 40 sts. I was perplexed… 2 sts difference didn’t seem like a lot even with a gauge of 6 sts/inch. I decided to give it a shot even though I am feeling great doubt. I got through the ribbing (just an inch, thankfully) and started into the st st. I thought it looked more than a tad small while doing the ribbing, but ribbing can be deceptive. I measured my gauge in the st st… 7 sts/inch. No wonder it looked small. Switching to size 4 dpns got me to gauge, so I ripped back and started over again.

Still looks a bit too small doesn’t it. I slipped it on my foot… the knitting stretched as far as it could. Those would not be comfortable socks; I would feel every ridge of the sts. So, out it came again.

Third time’s the charm, right? I decided I liked the look of the fabric when I was using the size 2 dpns. I have a sock pattern for basic socks and one of the sizes uses a gauge of 7 sts/inch… perfect… I thought. It was huge. I didn’t even bother taking a picture of that one. I ripped it out as soon as I realized it would work for a sleeve.

The too small sock was 7 inches around, the too big sock was 9 inches around, so I settled on something in the middle. I cast on enough sts to get me 8 inches and went for it… this time I’m actually writng it down so I can knit the second sock. I started the heel yesterday – it’s a short row heel that’s a mixture of 3 different ways of doing it. So far, it looks pretty good.

I’ll take pics once the heel is completed as well as before and after shots of the felted kitty bed.