Thursday, May 25, 2006

I was gonna be so proud...

I must digress for a moment...

Did you see American Idol last night?! Oh my f*&%!$ing gosh!!!! PRINCE!!! (or whatever he is currently known as) -Prince on American Idol?!!!! Whatever, he was brilliant as always, but I swear my jaw dropped to the floor. Made my day in a sick kind of way.

Now- on to the knitting. So, I have been working on a sock. A beautiful pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. The Socks That Rock colorway (Lemongrass) was beautiful and it was striping nicely with no major pools. See? :

Gauge: 8 st/in on #2 dpn's.
Yarn: Socks That Rock- med. wt.

But now I am realizing that it is just too big. See, since it is a 8-stitch pattern I had to cast on 80 stitches instead of my usual 72. I thought it would be a better choice than the alternate 64 stitches. Everything looked fine, I don't exactly have dainty legs so I figured I was good to go. I cast on, I knit, nice pattern and then I started to run into a problem around the ankle. It just was looking downright beefy. So, I decreased all the way down to 72 (rather than 80) stitches at the heel gusset but now the pattern is just too big over the instep and the whole thing is just looking a bit large. Plus, it is also starting to pool with the green on one side and the yellow on the other. Fine, but it doesn't exactly match the rest of the sock. So, I figure my choices are as follows:

a) Rip it all out and start over trying the 64 stitch method. Stick with the #2 needles and pray that it stripes nice.

b) Rip it all out and cast on 64 stitches with a slightly larger needle size, #2 1/2 or 3. This would make the sock a little bit bigger, but might make it less comfortable and/or make the pattern look a little "looser". Not sure. Keep praying that it stripes nice.

c) Finish the sock and hope that it will shrink a little in the wash- although this still doesn't solve the instep or the puddle of color issue.

Any and all advice will be welcomed.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Go see this!

Seriously. Take your friends. Pledge to go on the website (link in title.)
But for this, you might want to leave your knitting at home....

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Stash and Yearn

I guess I have been busy lately. Yeah. Stressed with kids. You'd think that I would have this down by now, but somehow they keep evolving and throwing me for a loop. I was recalling lately about how people used to stop and stare at me anytime I went anywhere with all of the kids when they were all younger. Just imagine this youngish looking mother (31ish) followed by six children between the ages of 2 and 8. Mamma duck and ducklings. That was me. People would literally stop and stare, ask "are they all yours?!", and then inevitably someone would say, "Just wait till they are teenagers!"


Well guess what, they are all teenagers. (Well almost anyway, Anna will be 13 in August. Close enough. She is in her 13th year.)
Somehow, while I knew it would be difficult, I just never expected it to be so constantly emotionally straining and frustrating. Maybe I am expecting too much from them. Maybe I worry too much? Probably. But it is sometimes hard to trust when you know they aren't being 100% honest with you. It makes you wonder, just what exactly are they being dishonest about? And somehow I have a feeling that my imagination is very much worse than the reality. Ahhh..... I need to exhale.

Well the good news is I reminded myself that knitting makes me feel better. It really does. When I say that knitting keeps me sane in my profile, I'm actually not exaggerating. I think it just gives me something completely different to think about for the time that I am able to devote to it. I can focus on creating something beautiful and forget about my worries.

I did have some good news last week. When I was in Olympia, WA I found a beautiful pattern for a Dale of Norway sweater. I also found a perfect wool to use- a dark heathered navy blue. BUT they only had 3 balls and I needed like 16 or 17. Well, they tried to order some more for me but were not able to get it for me. Sure I could have found a different color, there are plenty after all, but I really LIKED this color! Not quite black but also not a "wrapping paper" color (don't ask). Anyway, I finally found an online vendor , who you have to call by phone, and who orders directly from Norway so eventually I came home to this:


No. Don't expect to see the sweater any time soon. I am committed to finishing some other things first, but I will do it. I think this purchase might have officially put me in the "stasher" category though. Better than slasher... (that would relate more to the first part of my post..)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sensational socks and alpaca allergies....

Somehow Spring has come and gone. Summer weather seems to be here already. It is hot. It is humid. It is uncomfortable. YUK. Maybe the long gray days weren't so bad after all? And now, when it is hot and sandal weather, I have completed my first pair of socks (wool, 'natch.) Wait, let me try this again...


There that's better.

Thanks to Jeni, I already have a plan for pair number two (yeah!) and I also managed to cast on the right front piece for my "husband sweater" (aka "the black fog"- an upgrade from "the black death") But here is the rub. The yarn for his sweater, Andean Silk from Knit Picks, a lovely blend of wool, silk and ALPACA- well let's just say that's the problem. I am, apparently, allergic to alpaca. Did I tell you I love alpaca? It is yummy soft and warm and light. But every time I work with it my eyes get itchy and my nose and throat feel sore and scratchy. I have checked this against the vest I am working on as well- 100% alpaca- and the same thing happens.

I have to rotate working on these things with the good 'ole wool, but I am desperately hoping that it is only WORKING with the alpaca that is the problem. I used to have an alpaca sweater that I wore often and I don't remember having that problem. But now I am concerned because the reaction seems to come much more quickly. Does this means that the allergy reaction is getting worse because I am working with it so much? This sucks.

Oh well, luckily I like wool too. Guess I won't be running an alpaca ranch after all...

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Well. A finished object! (insert drum roll........)

My first sock!

It fits perfect and I love the colors. I needed something a little more uplifting after the long grey days of winter. Maybe that was the problem with my last sock. It wasn't bright enough. Anyway, the winter blues have been cheered and I have already cast on for the second sock! (No SSS here.)

Happy May! I am off to whip together dinner and go to the knitting Meet Up. See you there!