Friday, November 14, 2008

Dad Socks WIP, Stash

Here's my progress so far on my Dad's socks. I'm using this Basic Ribbed Socks pattern with the size adjustments for large men. I have some twisted stitches that I keep noticing after I'm about 6 rows past them, but I don't have the strength to rip back to all of them (I'd be back to 1 inch of knitting). At first I thought it was just one spot, but now it's like 5 (ACK!). ::beats head against wall and then just keeps on knitting like she can't notice them:: Ahh the power of denial!

Other than the twisted stitches I am loving this so far! The Zen String yarn is makes such nice and squoooshy fabric and the colors are spiraling beautifully. The K3P1 rib pattern is boring but not as mind numbing to me as K1P1 or K2P2, and it is very nice in this yarn.

The picture below is a little more blue than reality (we finally got sun, but the light outside is kindof odd today). I'm about 5 inches down the leg, with 3 more to go until the heel flap. I chose this pattern because my dad hates socks that slide down, but also can't stand ones that have elastic or tight tops. I'm hoping the ribbing will hug his leg nicely for a custom fit.

Here's a stash yarn I got about 2 weeks ago but I've been unable to get an accurate photo of it (this is the best I could get and it's the 6th time). This is still a tad bluer than the yarn truly is, but it's fairly accurate.

I got this from White Willow on Etsy. Interestingly enough I was dissapointed when I got this in the mail because the picture she took made it look a lot bluer and I'm not a huge fan of warm purples. It was going to be socks for me because my favorite color is purple and it just wouldn't be right for me not to have purple socks, but now it'll be something for someone else. The base yarn, on the other hand, is lovely and the seller even included a lavender sachet with my order.

I got these skeins from SunnysideEllen on Etsy. They are dyed using the L0uet Gems base yarn and the colorway is called Dancing Leaves. I got one skein of this originally to make socks for Rach. My skein accidentally got shipped to another customer and I got hers. I mailed the other woman's skein to her and she sent mine back to me. To make up for that Ellen redyed a skein for me and now I have two! They don't quite match as they are different dye lots, but I have enough yardage for a small shawl for Rach. I'm not sure yet how they'll look knit up together, or if I'll be able to alternate skeins every few rows to blend them. I'm posting two pictures because the actual colors are somewhere in between these two.

I'm still waiting for my KnitPicks order to arrive so I can get started on the stole for A.

Monday, November 10, 2008

One sock done, Stash, More Holiday Projects and Babbling

Here is the first completed Monkey sock:

I decided to make these for my Mom for the holidays, and I followed Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's guidelines for foot length (as stated in her book Knitting Rules!) but they seem too long for my Mom's size 6 feet. I tried them on and I'm not sure if it's because of the stretch that the lace pattern gives the sock, but my size 9 1/2 foot fit it pretty comfortably. I'm going to have her try it on at Thanksgiving and I might have to rip out a repeat or two and redo the toe to make it fit well.

I like this pattern, but because the yarn I used didn't have a lot of stretch the cuff is a bit tight around my calves (I'm a big girl though so my Mom should be fine with them). I used the Twisted German cast-on for stretchiness, but if I made a pair of these for me in similar yarn, I'd probably cast on more stitches for the cuff and then work a couple of decreases before the lace started.

More Stash Aquisition to share (it's all from The Loopy Ewe):

Rach picked this skein out in "Lovely" from Chewy Spaghetti's Spaghetti II line. It'll be socks for her at some point:

This is the colorway "Verdigris" from Araucania's Ranco Multy (just cause it's pretty):

This is also from Araucania. The yarn line is Ranco Semi-Solid and the colorway is "Mauve."
These will be socks, but I'm still deciding who'll get them (no, they are not for me).

It's comletely overcast here [we had really wet sloppy snow last night (blech) and we have a winter storm warning in effect until Tuesday night...yay Western NY weather!] so I had to use flash in some of the pictures. The color of the mauve is closer to the second picture, but it was so unclear that I included both a flash and non-flash picture.

This is Zen String's Lotus Toes yarn in "Concrete Jungle." It is going to be my Dad's holiday socks, and I had to get so much extra for his size 12 feet (I got 2 skeins, that's 970 yards!), that I'll probably have enough left over to make myself some ankle socks from it...I hope!

I'm planning on casting on the Dad socks today so I can have one Mom sock done and one Dad sock done at Thanksgiving for fitting. Then I can make adjustments and make the 2 second socks between Thanksgiving and the winter holidays.

Of course using the excuse of needing to check the fit of the socks might be an elaborate disguise for Second Sock Syndrome, but I'm doin' it anyway!

I also found out on Saturday that we're going to North Carolina for my Birthday and Thanksgiving this year to visit my Sister, my Grandpa and his Girlfriend. ::HAPPY DANCE!!!:: The reason for this last minute descision is because my Grandpa was going to sell his car (due to some medical complications his eyesight no longer allows him to drive). My parents know my car is held together with sealing wax and chewing gum so they offered to buy it from him for my Birthday, but he decided to give it to me himself for my Birthday!!!!! ::100,000,000 hugs to my Best Buddy (that's what I've called my Grandpa since I was little)::

I am very excited as my car has no heat/defrost (or AC), the driver's side window doesn't work, the Anti-Lock Brakes are messed up so sometimes my car doesn't feel like stopping, the O2 sensor is shot so the service engine light is always on (which is really fun come inspection time), it has a gas leak, body rust and has had almost everything on it replaced once (minus the engine and the body). Yeaaahhhhh, I can still drive it, but it's a problematic vehicle. My Grandpa's car is by no means new (it's a '98) but he's taken great care of it and it's in immacualte condition. I am very excited!!!

Of course I am even more excited to see everyone and have Thanksgiving together!!! Rach is coming down too!! Have I mentioned that my family in general, and especially my parents are awesome and adopted Rachel as a "daughter-in-law" before we had even been dating a year? We've been together nearly 5 years now and we share holiday custody between her Mom and my family. This isn't Rach's year to spend Thanksgiving with us, since she spent it with us last year, but her Mom was pretty understanding. Thanksgiving always gets a little extra tricky because I want to spend my Birthday with her and it's the 25th, so it falls around or sometimes on Thanksgiving itself.

Anyway, babbling about my personal life aside, because we are going down in 2 weeks (yipe!!!!), my Mom suggested we bring them down their holiday presents early to save shipping costs. They can't open them early, but that still means I have to finish them...quick!

I hadn't thought what to get my Grandpa's Girlfriend yet. So, yesterday I decided that I'm going to make her the Andean Treasure Shawl (it's actually a stole). The pattern is a free PDF from Knit Picks that also has instructions for a scarf and a throw in the same lace pattern (if anyone is looking for a last minute gift idea, you should check it out!). It's a super-easy (but pretty) lace pattern done in sport weight, so it should go pretty fast. I ordered the yarn and needles yesterday, hopefully they ship soon. I'm making it in the yarn and colorway shown in the pattern and I got a pair of the Options Interchangable Harmony Wood Circular Needles to knit it on.

I know I'm probably going to be using the 14 hour drive down to North Carolina to work on it, so I figured circs would be easier with less chances of dropped stitches and dropped needles for that matter! I'm always dropping my DPN's and then freaking out hunting for them. I'm going to have to block the stole at my Grandpa's house, but I'm sure he won't mind. Of course if it's sitting wrapped up for a month will it stayed blocked?

Yikes, what a long post today, I've got to get off the computer and get knitting!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monkey WIP

Here's my Monkey sock so far:

I am working on the 2nd lace repeat of 6 for the leg and it's moving along. The Imagination yarn by Knit Picks doesn't have as much stretch as I'd like due to the alpaca content and it's a bit splitty, but I really like the way the colors are working up so far.

I took advantage of the Loopy Ewe 20% Halloween Sale and I've got 2 skeins and a pattern coming to me for more holiday knitting. I still have to find something I like for my Dad's socks, but it's going to take a lot of yardage and I just haven't found the right thing yet.

I'm going to be crocheting some more cat toys for the kitties in our family this holiday and
I'm sewing up some super simple rice bags for my Grandpa to microwave and put at his feet at night. I made my Dad some a few years back and my Mom snitched one and uses it almost every night (she's always cold).

It's good to have so much of this decided so early this year, now to churn out some FO's!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Finished Socks-New Socks-Stash

The 80's Glam Rock Socks are done!!!

I found out a few things knitting these:

1. I enjoy Kitchener stitching way more than most people.

2. I don't have the willpower to make it through a sock with a peasant heel without picking up the stitches and knitting the heel (in fact I barely made it halfway down the foot each time).

3. I like heel flaps better because it breaks up the monotony of the leg and foot on a stockinette sock. (Again, no willpower with the peasant or afterthought heel)

4. I like the star toe (I might go back and Kitchener the toes on these though because they're just gathered and I want the durability of the Kitchener stitching).

5. My socks are the coolest things ever!!!!

Moving on to pair #3:

I am knitting Coggie A.'s Monkey pattern in Knit Picks Imagination. The colorway is Lost Boys. I'm only down the cuff so I haven't taken pictures yet but here's the yarn:

Some new stash (more sock yarn...and there's more in the mail):

Yarn Lust's Silk Sock in Peacock:

Yeah, my family is getting socks for the holidays. So far I have yarn set aside for Rach and my Mom, but now my Mom convinced me to knit a pair for my Dad too (size 12/13 wide feet!!!). My Sister wants a pair for her Birthday (end of January) and my friend Mark wants Slytherin-colored socks that he may or may not be getting for the holidays.
I'm going to be a sock-knitting fool for the next 2 months (well, 3 counting my Sister's B-Day pair and probably Mark's pair).

Happy Daylight Savings everyone!! Enjoy that extra hour of knitting or sleep or whatever you use it for!!