Friday, August 31, 2007

THE Curious Monkey

You do notice I said THE Curious Monkey right? Well such is knitting for a 3 year old I suppose. I put the first complete sock on her foot and as soon as I got ONE picture taken she starts screaming and flipping her foot all around... "It's ITCHY! It's itchy! Get it off me!". Just the lovely appreciative words a knitter loves to hear huh? I tried not to be offended, but I was just a bit in spite of myself. So, this will be A very cute sock. But not destined to be a pair. There is an off chance that little sis might grow into them, but taking into account foot size & seasons etc... I'm just going to wait. IF it will fit her I might whip up a second sock... in a year or two.

I managed to get one more good picture so you could see the top. I really LOVE how all the little details came together. Though you can't see it very well, the sides of the swoops come down onto the instep along the side. And to make it pop a bit I borrowed that purl 1 along the edge that the Undulating Rib socks had. I think it made it look really nice.

I guess I should acquaint myself better with yarns of the "non-wool" variety for this one. Argh. Guess I know now why I bought "No Sheep for You" a while back.

I started a new sock for Hub. I dug some Regia out of the stash. I don't really like self-patterning yarns, but I bought this before I knew that about myself. It is nice and manly looking and I did get it for dirt cheap, so I'll just knit it up and not think too much about it.

I am also stuck on my STR socks. I was trying to go toe-up for the first time AND convert a pattern to sportweight. Yeah... hello. I can't figure out how to turn the heel. SO... I've pulled out some yarn that actually FITS the pattern that the heel is from and I'm going to follow the directions and learn how to do it. Then I'll go back and convert for the STR socks. Yeah, I know... this sounds like what I should have done to begin with. The happy news is that these are gift socks... and oh... how I love to be ready ahead of time!

And so ends August. I snuck a few projects into these last few days that were not for me. But I did manage to put out 4 pair of socks for myself in the two months. I think that's a plenty good start! Tomorrow begins September and so begins... longies season. It's time to start casting on Miss E's winter wardrobe.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Curious Monkey Socks

One evening I was reading a Curious George story to my daughter for the umpteenth million time. My mind was wandering... what can I say... I've read about that monkey A LOT! In sight was my sock yarn stash. And my mind started churning...

monkey... socks... Oh... I've got that leftover Daffodil from the Roza's... almost a whole skein... it surely looks like a banana filled jungle... hmm... wonder if it would work...

Well, I sat down and hashed out a way to make the yarn and stitch pattern work to fit her toddler feet. The best part about them... toddler socks (even for toddlers with big feet) fly off the needles!

Miss N got some new paints and is quickly refilling the art wall. She's going with more feminine colors this time. Such a lovely background for my pictures don't you think?

Hey! Lookie what I've been nominated for!

Thanks Meghann! As you know Meghann is the dyer behind Radiant Twist. Which I seem to have more of in my sock yarn stash than anything else... she just stocked two new colorways that are so nice, mellow and man friendly. Too bad for Hub I already spent my paypal on more feminine yarns from her last week! lol!

Ooohh... I get to nominate now!

Sarah Knit/Wit definitely rocks! I stumbled upon her blog from her Harlot blog pic of her and her fiance. Cute little couple! And they're getting married this weekend! EEEEEKKK! Wish her luck and calm nerves!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Stripey Socks

The Vesper Socks are complete! I just put my head down and went to it.

Nice heels eh?

Matchy matchy!

Pattern: Vanilla Sock from Knitting Rules - 72 stitches
Yarn: Vesper Sock Yarn, 80% Superwash Wool 20% Nylon, Knit and Tonic Colorway
Needles: 2.0mm, size 0

I did not love the yarn base. It gave me all kinds of trouble. I've heard it mentioned as "sooo soft". I did not find this to be the case. It was a little scratchy. After all the trials on the heel I was getting really irritated with it because it was so hard to pick stitches back up as the yarn would split in a really fuzzy way. (I should mention I get eczema outbreaks on my hands, so I'm a little extra sensitive. And I happen to be having one right now.)

Love the stripes and they turned out really well even if I did have to weave in 10 billion ends in the heel flaps! Thank you Miss T! A mighty sweet birthday gift indeed!

After this experience I decided to trade away the other Vesper I had in my stash. Between my need to control the stripes and the scratchy base yarn I just didn't really want to do it again. I got this in trade. (on Ravelry of course!) Medium weight Socks that Rock in Fairgrounds! Yay! It was oh so fitting when the mail person brought the STR just as I was closing up the toe on the Vesper Sock. It's so soft and spun nice and tight. Yummy. A nice treat for my hands.

Since I've seen a lot of shorter cuffs on STR socks I decided this was a good time to dive into a toe-up. I sat amongst several toe up patterns and through trial and error... (ie this cast on worked for me) I landed on the On Your Toes Socks by Ann Budd from the Summer Interweave 2007. I had to manipulate the numbers to get the shape for the toe I wanted, but I think it's going to work out fairly well. After the short row heel trials of the Vesper socks, I am going to sub a heel flap. I have a couple of Wendy's toe up patterns and I'm going to try to sub in one of those flap/gusset heels. (Take a peek at her new Loopy's Laces sock pattern. It's gorgeous!)

So I'm off to a hectic shopping day. Every two weeks... time to stock up! Happy Knitting!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Knitters are great. I know we say it all the time, but it's so true. Last night I REALLY needed to get out of the house. You moms of toddlers know what I mean. I missed last week and I needed this week badly!

I was instantly cheered by the sight of Kerri spinning away! She brought her wheel! And her daughter was there (she's 17) and she was spinning too, on a drop spindel. How could that not cheer you?

This summer we've been meeting at the Rose Garden in the park. It's just gorgeous. And the teenage kids seem to be attracted to coming too. Three women have teenagers and they've all been coming - friends, boyfriends etc... in tow.

Yesterday it was one such teenagers birthday! He got cake. AND ice cream! Woot! He was a little embarrassed. But all in all was a good sport. He's enjoying a day at Silverwood today.

There seems to always be party favors at knit night. Last night was no exception. Patricia just got back from visiting her IL's in Montana. She brought us back local honey. Miss N spotted it on the counter this morning and declared it "my favoritest honeybear I never had". Then as I was heading to my car, Lara stopped me and gave me a magazine she's picked up that was geared more towards toddlers than teens and also a first aid kit to keep in my car for the girls.

Knitters are sweet and thoughtful and really know how to make a person feel good!

My treat for them all was to tell them about Ravelry. Can you believe they hadn't heard of it yet?

I also found out our group was mentioned in a regional magazine. How fun is that?!

There's been a little knitting too.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Lotus Socks

Isn't it fun to be surprised? It really put the pressure on me. I didn't want to keep you waiting too long!

Once they got going they really did go quickly. It is a beautiful yarn and was a delight to knit.

This was the first sock I've done where the stitch pattern was carried onto the heel flap.

Pattern: Gentleman's Half Hose in Ringwood Pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks
Yarn: Premium Merino from Radiant Twist in Lotus Colorway
Needles: 2.25mm - US1
Modifications: I made socks, not "hose". Shortened the cuff and leg and omitted calf shaping. I also used a basic toe whereas the pattern calls for a round toe. However, Nancy Bush gave it the round toe and the vintage pattern had a basic toe like this. So I feel I was true to the "vintage" in the pattern.

Psst... I already ran over and bought more yarn. I could not help myself!


I've been loving my time on Ravelry too! I got most of my projects and stash uploaded. This thing was made for people like me who love to catalog everything. I've still got some things to input and then I'm all set up! This is a great site. I think there are some bugs and things that would be nice if added, but I know they have their hands full and are working around the clock to make it an awesome place. If you're still waiting, be patient! It's worth it!

Friday, August 17, 2007

That Place

I'm in!

If you want to look for me I'm ItchyFingers. I'm a wee bit overwhelmed at the moment... wowza!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Block 7

Whew. How does that Kay whip out the afghans like she does? On to block 8... this thing just may be complete by the time it's chilly enough for Miss E to use it!

Oh, and yes, I realize... it's not something for myself. I bent the rules of "knitting for me only". A UFO doesn't count! ;) I could not in good conscience cast on a sweater when I've got this blanket staring at me.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Little Update

Last night I completed the first Vesper sock! Yay! Now I have two socks waiting for mates. And... since the toe on the Vesper sock felt so much better than the toe on the Lotus... I ripped it and gave it my standard toe. It's super comfy now. Perfecto!

Summer Of Socks Totals
Pairs of socks complete - 2
Single socks waiting for a mate - 2
Socks on the needles - 2 (well, shortly... I'm going to go cast on now!)

I also have worked on The Blanket now and then. It's in a black hole though. I worked on it for hours and... can't really see any difference.

I just wanted to post a quick note to all my wonderful commenter's! I do love getting your comments! Several of you use a "noreply@blogger..." email address to post with. And I just wanted to say that if you've asked me a question or thought it odd that I haven't ever replied... this is probably why! I love chatting and emailing with you all! So maybe check that if you think it's odd that you've never heard from me!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

My New Toy

The pattern for the Lotus Socks is the Gentleman's Half Hose from Knitting Vintage Socks. When I initially flipped through the pages of this book and saw this pattern I thought "What an ugly pair of socks." I am now eating my words. While I think this is an entirely BORING pattern in a solid color (especially that green... just doesn't do a thing for me.) it works extremely well for a busy variegated yarn.

First, I tried a couple patterns from Sensational Knitted Socks. The Elongated Rib and the Baby Cables. Neither worked. Rip, Rip. Then I tried this one. It DID work, but... the gauge was off and I needed to go down in needle size. So then I ripped the entire thing, including the cuff and began again. At this point had I KNOWN what I was doing when I started I'd have been past the heel already. But no, start over. Since starting over it's gone very smoothly. I've made minor modifications to alter it to my own preferences, for instance, a sock - not hose. And I modified the toe, but now that I've completed it I'm thinking it probably would have been better as the pattern was written. Oh well. I am not ripping anymore!

I am SOOOO excited to have my new scale to play with! Since I do have these big old clonkers for feet running out of yarn is a worry. There are 360 yards in this particular ball. Just by feel I'd say I THINK I'll be ok. But no longer do I have to think. I KNOW!

Sock #1, 48.4 grams.

Remaining yarn 73.1 grams.

Hooray! PLENTY of yarn!

You didn't think I'd really show you a picture of the sock did you? Just a wee peek is all you get today. Not to worry. Hub thinks it's the best sock yet.

Summer of Socks Totals
Pairs of Socks Complete: 2
Single Socks Needing a Mate: 1
Socks on the Needles: 2

Monday, August 06, 2007

Monday Mornings

A little yarn prOn for you. My little splurge purchases from Hub's recent bonus. He handed me cash and said spend this on yourself. So I did. He rolled his eyes when it arrived. ha! He should have known! My Yarn Love arrived along with some gorgeous Electric Blue Claudia Handpaint. From the Loopy Ewe of course. After watching how exact Grumpy could be with her little scale, I decided to take the plunge for one myself. I am very excited to put this to use!

I generally feel frustrated on Monday mornings. Hub gets the weekend off... I see him getting rest from his daily grind and feel like I should too. The problem is with a young family... the moment I sit, things pile up.

So Monday mornings I turn into a grumpy tornado. I'm cleaning, I'm picking up all this crap that somehow gets brought into our home. And I shovel it back out. I make Miss N put things away that she's squirreled into odd places. Her favorite is to put all her stuff in mine and Hub's room. She calls them "presents". I call it frustrating. I know she's trying to be sweet... but it's more stuff to pick up.

It's 9am and so far I've cleared my room of everyone's clutter and cleaned the bathroom. Tossed in some laundry. More clutter issues to take care of and the floors to clean. Summer sure tracks in a lot of dirt from all the outdoor play.

I've started working out again. It feels good. I'm sore at the moment... really sore. But it's good. I've worked out most of my life and it really helps me to feel like myself when I do. It's not easy with the kids. It takes the relaxation out of it. But the endorphin's still kick in and my Miss E belly just might retract instead of being so saggy! Bleck. So, more cleaning and then a session with Bob.

I have been knitting. If I wasn't trying to be so perfect and thus ripping so much I'd have a sock done by now. As it is I'm picking up the gusset. I did work a wee bit on the Vesper sock too. No hurry on that though. I don't want to show you my new sock yet though. Sometimes I feel like I take the fun out of it by blogging in progress pic's. So this time I'm holding out... at least for a little while. I will tell you it's on this yarn.

Now that my coffee is done it's back to Monday Morning clean up madness!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Undulating Rib Socks

Pattern: Undulating Ribs from Favorite Socks
Yarn: KnitPicks Bare - KA dyed by me

I finished them last night which means I started and completed two pair of socks in July. Plus a partial! Not to mention all the sewing I managed to wedge in on top of this. Sometimes in my day to day chasing the kids I feel like nothing ever gets accomplished. I think that's why I love the knitting. I can look back and say - see - I DID something.

The toe is so funky I had to revisit this image for you.

And the tree shot.

Summer of Socks Totals
Pairs of Socks Complete: 2
Individual Socks Complete: 4
Socks on the Needles: 1

That's all in one month thank you! I have been sticking to a 6" long leg plus cuff for fear of running out of yarn. On this one I could have gone longer. I have quite a bit leftover. That's a happy surprise... you know... with my giant feet and all...

Did you score at the sneak up? I did. I have Yarn Love. Yum. While I am finding that I really do like shaded solids best for most patterned socks, I have a soft spot for Yarn Love. I started buying from Katie when she was dying under the brand Bungalow Buns. She still very occasionally stocks under that name, but she's moved on to Yarn Love fame these days.