Monday, September 25, 2006

This post brought to you by Duracell

Hi everybody! I bought batteries! This means I can finally show you pictures!

First off, the socks are coming along nicely. With just one week left in September, I can now guarantee that I'll still be working on these when Socktober comes around.

I've just started the leg increases. If only I could figure out how to take good closeup shots, so I could show you the lovely way I've snuck them into the lace pattern. I will be needing quite a few increases, because my chosen sport (fencing) has given me big buff calves.

Laid flat, it looks like a nice, simple sweater:

But put it on, and it's smokin hot even if you have just written a paper and spent two days locked inside your apartment and have done absolutely nothing to your face and hair!

Still quite a ways to go on the body--I think I probably ought to make it long enough to fit my (obviously pretty low) jeans, then the sleeves. I JUST added the third ball of yarn- the sweater calls for five. I wonder how much the sleeves will eat up? Maybe I can have a matching hat!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Fiendish sockknitting

I foolishly bought yarn for the kilt hose in Folk Socks to make for the boyfriend, in hopes that he would get a kilt to go with the socks (mmm sexy). Yall. Knitpicks Bare superwash sock yarn is sooooo soft. If I weren't so worried about tangling it I would snuggle up with it at night. So I thought, "perfect! it is easier to get boys to wear soft things than itchy things!"

BUT, not if the boy a) isn't going to be buying a kilt anytime soon and b) doesn't want socks. He told me this very nicely and then politely reminded me to please finish repairs to the scarf I made him LAST YEAR (all the ends popped out after about five minutes) so that he can enjoy the handknits I've already made him.


Well, I am undeterred. I am going to knit essentially the same socks, but for me, which is awesome because I already know what size my feet are. The cool thing is that I'm going to take these cream-colored socks in progress to the Renaissance Festival when we go, and I'll be dressed as a knitter! What a clever disguise!

The really clever part comes in when I go up to the overpriced clothing vendors and point out to them that they don't sell stockings but I happen to have some lovely handknit ones right here on the needles and would their customers be interested in paying (what would otherwise be considered exhorbitant amounts) for such lovely socks? Just gonna test the waters to see if they are even willing to sell stuff on consignment. If somebody wants to buy that pair off of me I won't complain, but I probably would have to work all summer to get a large enough stock to sell next year. It's a devious plan, I admit, but I think ren faire is one of the few places you'll find people willing to pay what is actually fair for handknits.

The sweater is going marvellously, as are the koigu socks. I can't show you pictures because the truth is that I only have two working AA batteries in my apartment and every time I want to use the camera I have to take them out of the remote. I'm worried that the camera will kill all my battery power, because it's the DVD remote and you actually can't watch much without a remote.

Mary Charles has asked me to do a class on the mittens I knit for her. I turned her down at first but the mittens have gotten such a great response that I'm kind of reconsidering. I don't know what to do... I have so little time, but it seems like it would be so much fun and possibly financially rewarding. And easier than selling socks at the Ren Faire.

It's sad that the next time I post, the very last of the Italy posts will disappear from the sidebar. Sniffle.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


I just joined Socktoberfest. It isn't a real knitalong, it's a celebration of socks! I think my koigu kneesocks are about as festive as you can get. Plus, once they're done I may be knitting a pair of kneesocks for boyfriend, whose superbuff fencing calves will probably require lots of yarn.

In other news I have STARTED THE SWEATER. It's Licorice Whip by Blue Alvarez designs. I made the collar quite a bit bigger--because I could no longer wait until my Knitpicks order came in with the right size DPNs. I was going to cast on using those and switch to the circular once I had enough stitches (it's a top-down raglan that grows a lot in the yoke), but I decided that I love boatnecks! and skipped right on ahead. The collar rolls a lot so I'm thinking about my options there, but the yarn is sooooo soft and feels great. This sweater is going to be a wardrobe staple, I can tell you that.

I've finished the yoke. The sleeves are now on waste yarn and I'm soon going to start zipping away on the body. Very exciting.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Knitter profile

I've recently gotten into the Lime & Violet podcast, which y'all should definitely check out because those gals are so funny. They have a message board that is super fun. Look for me as Aggie Epee.

Somebody posted one of those quizzy things, and I thought I'd post it here. Blog buddies, you should do these too!

Favorite item to knit: Anything with an interesting pattern

Least favorite item to knit: Anything involving that really skinny novelty yarn

Preferred yarns: Love the Koigu and Mission Falls 1824 Wool. Anything else made of natural fibers, unless those natural fibers are hairs from hairy moley guy.

Needle preference (material, type, size, etc.): I tend to knit with bamboo dpns.

Do you use gauge swatches? yup, and they always piss me off.

Do you spin?: no

If so, what kind of spindle or wheel do you use?

Tell us about your knitting bag(s): I've got a felted bag holding what will someday be a sweater (still waiting on the right size needles). My current projects and notions live in a big wool bag I bought in Mexico

# of projects currently on your needles: one in progress (koigu kneesocks), one UFO (damn you moebius), and a granny square afghan that I'm in no hurry to finish.

Do you KIP? of course, whenever they let me out in public

Do you knit at red lights? no, but the lights in this town are so long I bet I could get a lot more done.

Favorite knitting book: Folk Socks by Nancy Bush. Knitting AND history!

Last knitting related item you purchased: Big ol order from Knitpicks: 2 circular needles for socks, size 9 dpns for a sweater, sock yarn and some worsted wool of the andes.

Next knitting related item you plan to purchase: Maybe some options needles

Organs you are willing to sell to pay for all this stuff: I dunno, I could probably steal a mouse brain set in plastic from my boyfriend the neuroscientist. How much do you think that would go for?

Continental or English: english

Toe up or top down: trying my first toe ups. we'll see.

Most unique thing you ever knit: For Christmas last year I had a good mix of crazy phone cozies for all my loved ones. The two best were the fair isle fencing cozy with crossed swords and little fencers, and the monster cozy- orange wool and novelty fuzz, with a button made of a googly eye.

Most you would spend for one skein of yarn: $30

How you learned to knit: My mom taught me when I was just a wee bairn.

How long you have been knitting: 15 years from that day to now, about, and 6 years more consistently. But I have only been an obsessive knitter for about a year and a half.

Needle storage system: Some bag. But I wrote them all down in my knitting journal to guide me on my furious diggings.

Yarn storage system: A little plastic dresser. My stash is not enormous, though I am working on changing that.

Monday, September 11, 2006

World's warmest kneesocks, part 1


Thanks for all the great compliments on the mittens. I went to drop them off at MCYC last Tuesday but had missed Mary Charles, so I went home, devised some additional adornment, and brought them back on Wednesday to universal acclaim. The additional adornment was a string--remember those little strings they put on mittens and you run em through your coat sleeves so you don't lose your mittens? I made this one by braiding all three colors together and sewing it in. It gives Mary Charles additional options for display (before I left I tied them around a lamp- hope that's not a fire hazard!) and will make sure they don't get separated.

Here's my current project:

Aint she purdy? These are Koigu (mmm Koigu) in a blue that is slightly less vibrant than the one in the picture. I am too anxious to post to wait for natural light.

I used the magic cast-on and for the structure of the sock I am using basically comes from Widdershins although I have been altering it rather sacrilegiously. Because my sock has two extra stitches.

The lace pattern is all my own though. I love the way it branches like that.

I have reached a point where, in the next few rows, I will start lengthening the branches to naturally increase the circumference of the socks. In theory it will look like little trees getting bigger and stronger as they grow up the leg. Depending on how much yarn I have in the end they will either have a cuff or not, but I am thinking about adding an eyelet row and threading ribbon garters through there. I don't have much confidence in the socks' ability to stay up.

I am planning to put this guy on waste yarn in the next couple of rows and cast on for the companion sock. On the other sock I am going to reverse the tree pattern for yummy symmetry. This way I won't forget what I did on sock 1 (hopefully) and I'll have a better idea of how I'm doing in terms of leftover yarn.

Gonna place a big Knitpicks order pretty soon and get two circs for socks. ^_^

Monday, September 04, 2006

Queen of the Mattress Stitch

Thanks a bajillion to Auntieanne for her advice. By the way, what is your blog address?

So it turns out that mattress stitch is not hard. In fact, I would say that it is just as easy as any other seaming technique I've ever used and it LOOKS SO MUCH BETTER! I did both seams in probably a half an hour and they look practically seamless. (haha i'm so punny)

On stripes and seaming, no, the thread does not show. To be safe I used the lighter of the two colors, but it totally didn't matter. The only place it was visible at all was in the garter stitch cuff, but even then it was only little peeks which are practically invisible. The thing about seaming stripes is that the lines don't line up perfectly. Mine are a little less than half a stitch off. I tried again a couple of times to the same results, and then decided that it was a much smaller difference than you get when knitting in the round. I was unable to get a good pic but will see if I can get some help.

The garter stitch selvedge didn't get in the way or anything but I don't think I will deal with it again.

FO! Tomorrow I will bring these in to Mary Charles Yarn Company where they will begin their new lives as display pieces.