Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Momma's got warm feet

Finished Hederas!

Pattern: Knitty's Hedera
Yarn: Lang Jawoll Superwash in the oh so attractive colourway named 83.0135
1.75 mm Inox DPNs

A day before Lacevember ends. That was close. And I have to say while I love the socks and all, I'm not proud of the fact that it took me almost a month to finish them, particularly since I had the first one within a couple of days of the cast-on.

But the pattern is great. The lace is super easy to memorise and the fact that the heel is a little longer than the usual heel means that the gusset is longer, which means that the sock stays interesting longer (can you tell I'm easily bored?).

The yarn is also great and I love the little spool of reinforcing thread (though admittedly I was so used to knitting without the stuff that I almost a heel turned before I remembered it... rip, rip, rip). And I think the colour suits the pattern nicely. The straight up and down of the lace pattern seems more masculine than the Baudelaire socks that I had wanted to make originally, and I thought the navy blue lent itself to that purpose well.

But what next? Mariah is still a mighty attractive prospect, but that would also mean that I would have to figure out how to get the charts and whatnot printed. And I think I still have a pair of socks in me. Time to get digging though the stash...

P.S. I find it kind of creepy that right after I posted that picture of my Hederas to Flickr, it had 4 views. Do foot fetishists frequent flickr too or something?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I can see the finish line...

But am I going to make it?

This is how much I have done on the Hederas.


And only a couple days left to finish them off. I'm worried. But apparently that's not incentive enough to prevent me from swatching for Knitty's Mariah.

I'm swatching with some worsted-weight yarn I got here in China, and if the socks weren't worry enough for my muddled little mind, this yarn biases as you knit with it. I made my swatch and I washed it and tugged it straight to dry and it looks fine to me, so I think I'm going to press on with it.

Now to figure out how I'm going to get that pattern printed...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I have been doing things. Honest!

Just mostly not knitting-related. My heart, the dear SO came over to visit for 2 weeks and most of my time was spent making the most of the short time that I had with him. We went and hit a bunch of the tourist spots in Beijing. We didn't manage to do it all, but in all likelihood he's coming back to see me again soon. (Some of the photos from our travels are in here.)

But now he's gone (*sniff*) and to console myself, last night, the first night I've had alone for 2 weeks, I skipped school, put on Scrubs DVDs and knit.

Finished Fetching

Pattern: Knitty's Fetching
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Possum Worsted in Bluestone
Needles: 3.25 mm Aero DPNs

This is such a fast knit and the yarn is lovely, soft and warm. Both the pattern and the yarn are great. However if I were to do it again, I wouldn't do this with the same yarn. As you can see in the close-up of the cable below, the yarn is somewhat fuzzy, which obscures those lovely cables somewhat. Another adjustment I might make is to make the mitts a little longer. I like my fingers a little more covered up than they are with these mitts.

Fetching cable

I would post a picture of Hederas, but they don't look that different from before. I need to get my bottom in gear if I'm going to make the Lacevember deadline.

P.S. That FO photo illustrates one of the reasons why it's good to have the other half around, other than the fact that he's my other half. He takes nice photos, and he'd probably be able to take a picture of my hands better than I am able to.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Lacevember quiz!

Ahh, Lacevember. How I love how you motivate me.

The knitting questions, or the usual suspects

How long have you been knitting?
Two or three years? It probably would have helped if I kept a journal, hey? ;)

How did you learn to knit?
Grammy taught me when I was little. But I didn't have the attention span for it. And I was getting upset that my stockinette was curling. I picked up a book later and retaught myself.

Favorite thing about knitting?
It's soothing and makes me feel productive.

How long have you been knitting lace?
One of my first projects was lace. I didn't know lace was supposed to be difficult, so it never was for me.

Favorite thing about knitting lace.
It keeps me amused longer than stockinette does. And it's pretty!

The yarn questions, or flash your stash

Favorite lace yarn?
I might have a little bit of an obsession with Jaggerspun Zephyr.

Variegated or solids for shawls?
Solids! Variegated yarns obscure lace patterns!

Favorite lace color?
I'm not that picky. The usual suspects (blue, neutrals, burgandy, but maybe not so much pink) are just fine by me.

Technique, or show us your skillz

Circs or straights?
Circs. Love the flexibility.

Favorite lace knitting trick?
Understanding how lace patterns work make your life so much easier. You won't have to refer to charts or patterns and mistakes are so much easier to identify and fix.

Lifelines? If so with what?
Ha! I like to live life on the wild side.

Fancy blocking wires, or just sewing pins stuck in your carpet?
At the moment, it's just sewing pins. When I move back home to Vancouver though, you'd better bet some sweet blocking wires will be moving in with me.

Pattern, or can you follow directions

shawls or lacey items?
Either works for me!

triangle, rectangle, or circular shawls?
Again, not picky. (Are we noticing a trend here?)

Charts or printed instructions?

Favorite lace you've knit?
The Flower Basket Shawl is so pretty.

Favorite lace you want to knit?
I'm still in limbo about the state of my Kerry Blue Shawl, so I'm going to count that as something I still want to knit.

Just Fun, yup that's right, just for fun

Favorite jelly belly flavor?
Smores. Yum.

Tell me everything you know about Eric the Red.....

(That was your answer up there!)

Coke, classic or with lime?
I don't drink Coke! (Okay, maybe I'm a little pickier than I implied.)

Holiday carols, sing along, or wish they would be banned from all public airwaves?
I'm indifferent. But maybe that's cause I don't have to listen to any this year! ;)

What is the definition of irony?
Sitting on your knitting needle by accident while explaining to your significant other that it's not that bad, it's an organised mess, you know where everything is.

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?
I don't know. Maybe we should do tests. I suggest you all send me Tootsie Pops. The more the better. We'll be able to get a better average with a lower variance that way.

Why is my cat always puking in front of my son's bedroom door?
How old's your son. Does he bathe in smelly stuff like my little brother does? That might be why.

What is your superhero power?
My ability to sleep through anything. Including the cops breaking down the door of the apartment across the hall. (Our place really isn't that sketchy. Those boys just got in a bar fight with the wrong people.)

If the laundry is 9 foot by 11 foot (just dreaming, that's a big laundry room), and the walls are 8 feet tall, and you are going to tile the entire room in tiles that are 3 inches by 5 inches, what color should those tiles be?
Probably blue.

What's for dinner tonight?
Whatever the delivery boy brings.

What is clogging my children's bathtub drain?
I bet it's a Tonka truck.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A couple of stalls, progess, and just so you know, Danielle is amazing

I just want to start this one off with a big THANK YOU to Danielle. The woman's bloody amazing. She's got a heck of a to-do list. That Lacevember thing that she's co-hosting? Over 100 people. Yet it still comes into her mind to send over a Flickr Pro account? I bow to her wonderfluous amazingness (yes, I'm making up words to express how truly great she is).

So I played with Flickr last night and started putting things into sets. That pro account was great motivation for me to take a look and see what you can really do with flickr. And I put together this set today. From the trip to Xi'an I took last week. Jen, note that according to this site the Banpo Neolithic Village is about 6,000 years old and is a matriarchal community typical of Yangshao Culture (the Wikipedia entry is highly sparse). Does this fulfill the requirements of going to see a matriarchal community? I went. But they went years ago. (Bad joke, I know!)

On to knitting content, I'm stalled on a couple of things currently. The Kerry Blue Shawl is progressing...

Kerry Blue Shawl in progress

But it's also going to be too small if I knit the pattern as written and I think the lace will lose its impact if I just make it bigger. So that's in time out.

And the Somewhat Cowl (or what I like to call the bane of my existence).

Somewhat Cowl

That foldy bit by the armpit? Yeah, that's driving me crazy. It's there on the front and the back. It's driving me crazy. So I think it's going to end up sitting in the closet until I get the nerve to frog it. AGAIN.

But I did make some progress. Meet Hedera number 1.

Hedera in progress

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The socks are done! Now onto the lace...

It's been a while since I last posted so I have a lot to talk about, but I'm thinking that shoving twenty photos in one post might not be so great. So I'm not going to bog you down with that many photos. The plan is to space them out a little bit. But apparently I have a tendency to *cough* not blog, so we'll see how that plan goes... :)

First things first, I beat the socks that had left me so thoroughly disheartened last time. I took a deep breath and frogged to the gusset. Then I looked down. And I saw this:


Then I took another deep breath and wound that all into a ball. But the good thing is that now I have this:


Pattern: Just plain-old stockinette socks
Yarn: Elann Sock It To Me Harlequin in Blue Stonewash
Needles: Inox 1.75mm DPNs

Even though these socks gave me hell, I love, love, love the wide fair-isle stripes that this yarn knits up in! It makes it all worth it.

And I think from now on, I'm going to try and stick to one project at a time. (We'll see how long that lasts....)

My one project for right now isn't going to be the cursed Somewhat Cowl though. No. I'm so upset at that project that it's been shoved into the closet. Maybe I'll post about it when the bitterness wears off.

My one project for now is going to be for Lacevember! I've been a bad blogger (surprise surprise!) and I haven't put up my linky or my button. I am lame. But I'll try to get that done soon. I'll also have to update my linky to the amazing, wonderful Danielle, one of the hosts of Lacevember. (If I link Lacevember enough, will that make up for my not having put up my button yet?)

I digress. Before we get to my actual project though, I'm going to introduce you first to the failed starts. First off, let's meet the Chinese yarn that looked like a good fingering weight, but was too light.

Chinese yarn that isn't working out

I was hoping to use this for Knitty's Baudelaire, but it's just far too thin. I was using my trusty 1.75mm Inoxes and the fabric was still too floppy and the gauge was too small.

I was intent on the idea of socks though, and I thought I'd give Knitty's Hedera a shot, using the Jawoll I have. My gauge was 9 sts/in, which is slightly stiffer than the pattern recommended, but was what I thought was suitable for the yarn. The author mentioned that the lace was stretchy so I figured I'd go for it. I got the cuff done... (You can kind of see it in the background. I should check photos before I turn off the camera.)

Socks to be?

Problem? Cuff isn't going too high up my leg. I always knew I had fat legs. I'll credit this goof to blind optimism.

I searched and searched for more lace sock patterns, but couldn't seem to find anything that would suit the yarn in the stash (stash enhancement just isn't as easy as when I was in Vancouver anymore). I'm not really feeling up to re-writing or writing up a new pattern, so I decided I'd break into the Zephyr stash and go for the Kerry Blue Shawl from Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls by Martha Waterman.

Beginnings of a Kerry Blue Shawl

It's going well so far. It looks like it'll be a pretty easy pattern though. I hope I can get it done for December. I'd like to give this one to mummy.

I didn't mention my trip to Xi'an yet either and I should because it was great. It used to be the capital of China so there's a lot of history and a lot to see there. The Terracotta Warriors are there, as well as other things. In the Tang Paradise, we managed to catch some acrobats and the dragon (lion?) dance. One of my favourite shots from the trip:

Dragon dance