Socks for Boo

Knitted some baby socks for the first time for Ms. Boo Belle. The little lady is still a bit too little for them, but the important thing is that they fit, or will fit, eventually:

Yarn: Knitpicks Stroll Handpaints in Tiger (discontinued colorway, sadly)
Needles: Ehhh, 2 US probably??

I also made myself some fingerless mitts out of this yarn earlier this year but I haven't taken a picture of them yet. I will have to do that.

Enstriped

There is a finished object in the house. 

I know, it's been awhile since I've finished a pair of socks, hasn't it? (about a year)

 These are knit out of Knitpicks Felici Sport (Boutique colorway) on US 2.5 needles, 64 inches around. I was completely ridiculous about matching the stripes, and thus the second sock is actually bits and pieces of both skeins so they would match relatively well. It was kind of a pain. BUT I like stripes to match, it's how I roll. The second skein didn't start anywhere near the stripe sequence of the first, I wish they'd be a little more careful about that, it would make my life easier. 

These are the never-ending bluebell rib socks. They are so never-ending I can't remember what yarn they are made of. The colorway is "Peeps" though, and I do heart these socks. I only have 5 more pattern repeats before the toe, and when you are trucking along on the pattern, it moves pretty swiftly. 

Finally, another pair of stripeys:

Knit Picks Felici in what colorway I do not recall (Picnic or Summer or something – the colors are prettier in real daylight) but it is currently available. This one is ribbed and I am trying out a new-to-me technique: afterthought heel! I am interested to see how they turn out and fit because I don't really care for the fit of short-row heels. 

I am working on numerous other socks too, but I will photograph them another time. I am a half-repeat away from the heel turn on the second Bas-Relief sock and I actually turned the heel on one of Abby's rainbow socks, and a pink striped Jaywalker. I don't know when those pairs will be done, though. I'm trying to bust a move on the rainbows, and since I seem to be feelin' the stripes at the moment, I'm hoping to get going on those for real. There is a lot more stripey goodness in my arsenal too, so I'm trying to strike while the iron is hot. 

Work(s) in Progress

Despite all evidence to the contrary, I have, actually, been knitting. I even finished a pair of socks. Too bad they do not match, heh. I have been trying to finish the yellow bluebell rib socks, but I left them at my sister’s a couple of weekends ago and just got them back last weekend, so they are still not done. Since I forgot them, I ramped up work on a couple other pairs.

First up, the Bas-Relief socks from the winter/spring 2011 Knitscene. Very nice socks –

You can probably see that the pattern comes to a point over the instep – that’s my favorite part of the whole thing.

These are knit in Three Irish Girls Adorn sock (colorway a mystery; misplaced the ball band). I like it a lot. I’ll obviously have to give it the old wash’n’wear test, which other yarns I’ve enjoyed knitting with have failed (like Socks That Rock, my god, that stuff felts if you look at it wrong). Being me, I of course made mods: only one pattern repeat on the leg, and gusset decreases on the sole.

THEN I actually managed to knit a vanilla sock out of Knitpicks Felici Sport. Incidentally, the sport version of Felici seems more like fingering weight to me, though yes, heavier than the regular Felici. I love stripes. I can’t believe I managed an all stockinette sock.

I love the colorway (Boutique), it’s so cheerful! This one I kind of messed up the heel a little, but I haven’t done a short row heel in a long time. They work better with striped socks, I think. I did cut the yarn at the heel to maintain the stripe sequence on the leg/foot. Yes, I am that ridiculous. Sometimes I don’t care about the stripes matching, but… mostly I do. Heh.

Finally, here is the shawl I’m working on – the Bellingrath shawl. It is worked in Madelinetosh Sock in an unpronounceable colorway – Leopeditra or something. Yep, lost the ball band! (I’m noticing a trend.) This shawl is easy, but you have to pay attention – the lace is worked on both right and wrong sides, and when you’re working the wrong side, you have to read/interpret the chart from the left to right. Argh!

I’m on the last repeat before the edging. Looking forward to the final product!

I hope I have more time to work on this one this week! Last week I didn’t feel very good and one day had a major nap right after work. I suspect Daylight Savings has messed my internal clock up like whoa because right now it’s midnight and I’m TOTALLY AWAKE, argh argh. Yay work in the morning. A stockinette sock sounds just right, yeah?

I got some awesome new jewelry supplies this weekend, so there will be some more posts about that too. I’m thinking about if I want to designate days of the week to particular posts here, so we’ll see. And I want to get back into drawing, too! Too many interests, so little time…

Adventures in Sac and an FO

Yesterday I headed up to Sacramento (explain to me again why I don’t live there? I like it so much more than the Bay Area. Oh right, I bought a house here. Sigh.) to help celebrate Malvina’s belated 30th birthday. As usual, we would be heading out to Chevy’s on the River for dinner, but I showed up early because traffic on Fridays is always a big fat suck and also I made her a coconut cake that needed to be refrigerated. So anyway, I got there around lunch time and we went shopping for Felicia’s wedding present at various places (Ikea, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond – which I always call Bath & Bodyworks to my eternal annoyance).

We decided that we were officially old because we were getting excited about kitchen tools. Case in point, here is what I picked up for myself at Ikea and Target with some birthday money:

I feel a little strange about this turn of events; not long ago I would have bought DVDs or something. But the fact of the matter is, I keep sending tea spoons and measuring spoons down the garbage disposal so I needed some more of those. I’m also turning into a cake-baking freakazoid, so I was in the market for a serving spatula thing and a better froster-er. And that stirrer thing on the right? I just wanted it. I think it will be great for the spaghetti sauce I make, and other things I cook. And I’ve been needing a rolling pin for quite some time; now I can make tortillas and sugar cookies.

(I also bought myself some Wii Points and shall shortly commence downloading such old school classics as Street Fighter II and Super Mario World, and possibly World of Goo, which is new WiiWare. Lest you think I have completely lost my mind and don’t continue to love things that are completely frivolous.)

Anyway, so after a successful shopping trip, we went back to Malvina’s house where Sam mixed us a cocktail of something with Bailey’s and chocolate, and then later after the rest of her friends arrived we headed over to Chevy’s.

For Malvina’s birthday I got her a copy of Little Women and Werewolves (hah!) and knit her some socks:

(“will be mad” is an in-joke.)

I actually finished this pair of socks in about 2 weeks. It is a midyear miracle! These are, as noted, Oolong Socks by Mona Schmidt (rav link), available via Twist Collective (link). I couldn’t post about them before as they were a gift. But they have gone off to their new home where I hope they will be worn a lot.

It wouldn’t be a Melissa knit if there weren’t some mods:

  1. I knit the leg chart (A, I think) twice instead of three times.
  2. Used my own heel turn instructions because I either read the pattern’s wrong or it was actually written incorrectly.

And that’s it, which for me is pretty amazing.

Tonight we’re going into the city to our friend Jen’s birthday party at the beach house where she lives. Should be fun! I think I need to take a nap first though. *is old now*

Navy Rainbow Socks (FINALLY) & Etc.

I actually finished these socks in early May, shortly before we hied off to Environs Unknown (the midwest). I forgot to blog about them till now.

Navy Rainbow Socks

Man, these took For-Freakin’-Ever! I like how they turned out, though, and so did Abby – which was the point. As part of the never-ending “I Should Never Have Opened My Big Mouth And Said I’d Knit You A Bunch Of Stuff Since You Made Me That Fabulous Quilt” project, I am now three pairs into a five pair project that started oh. so. long. ago. (2008)

Anyhoo, that’s okay because if it hadn’t taken me so long to finish on this project, Knitpicks wouldn’t have come out with their rainbow yarn and as such, Abby gets a pair of those, which I think is pretty cool! (No those aren’t much further along than the last time I showed them. Shut up.)

So, these socks are the ever-famous Monkey pattern, which I have knit four times. And I do not plan on knitting them ever again. (Note how I didn’t say never… just in case.) I am tired of knitting Monkeys. Not that it’s not a fabulous pattern (it totally is) but four times is more than enough when there are so many OTHER fabulous patterns out there. Still, I will always hold Monkeys close to my heart because it’s the sock that taught me top-down socks. Before this I always knit toe-up because I was confused by and afraid of heel construction. Nowadays, I prefer top-down construction because heels are my most favorite thing to knit (you can file that under the WTF category).

The yarn is Perchance to Knit Sock Yarn, and I forget where I got it from, but I am assuming the Loopy Ewe. It’s very nice yarn and complements the pattern well.

Here are all the monkey socks I’ve knitted. Two are mine (the hot pink and turquoise) and two are for Abby (the blue/purple and navy rainbow).

monkey socks mosaic

It’s been a good run, Monkey socks! Now, onto something else.

***

Here’s some of the recent jewelry items I’ve made:

I’m definitely into antique gold/brass and bright colors right now. While I do love silver, it’s just so overdone these days.  Everybody wears silver. I would argue that people need to broaden their horizons and get on the “other metallics rock too” bandwagon.

***

A few other things on my mind:

  1. I got curious so I installed Google Analytics on this page. I feel like it’s 2002 all over again! Good times, good times.
  2. I want to make macarons, the sandwich cookie kind. I found this great article on how to do it. Only problem is it calls for grams of ingredients instead of cups/tablespoons. I have been wanting an excuse to get a kitchen scale so this could be it.
  3. Tomorrow I’m going to help Abby buy a flat screen TV. I like watching other people spend a lot of money. She says she needs me there to sigh dramatically and say things like, “Just buy THAT one already!” hehe
  4. I actually am really tired today and feel kind of rotten. There has been much lolling about in these parts. I’m not sick – I don’t think I’ve been getting enough sleep.
  5. I’ve been organizing the back end of my blog all week, and when I was working on tags, a list of the most popular tags that I used popped up:

    I would say that about sums it up.
  6. Burritos.

Hope everyone is having a great Thursday!

Current Projects

I have been haphazardly working on various projects, and finishing none! It’s highly annoying. You would think that with the sheer amount of time I have on my hands I would be whipping out the finished objects like nobody’s business, but instead I’ve mostly been back and forth over the following projects:

Rainbow Over Lahaina

These are the Rainbow Over Lahaina socks from the Sock Club book. I like them a lot. They are pretty easy to memorize.

Then we have Jaywalkers:

Jaywalker

I’ve never knit Jaywalkers before, can you believe it? They’re kind of a classic. They’re being knit up in Knitpicks Felici, which I continue to enjoy working with (and good thing too, considering the sheer amount of it I have in my stash. Does one person need this many striped socks? Well, obviously.)

Then we have this Lacy Kerchief scarf (Rav link) that is going to take me for-effing-ever to finish because scarves are boring. This one is less boring, and I actually desire the finished product, so we’ll see how long it takes me. Not super long, I hope.

Lacy Kerchief Scarf

But I’m really like the garter stitch aspects of it. It’s still not quite reversible, but it’s an interesting knit, which is the important thing.

I also wanted to work on a sweater that’s not totally boring like the alpaca blob (but I will LOVE the alpaca blob when it’s done, hopefully by the end of the summer. I like the look of stockinette, I just hate knitting it when it’s not in the round). So one of the things I have been mulling over was making another Forecast. However, I already have one, and I do like the designer’s Bulky Cable Sweater as well. Though I don’t want a bulky sweater – I just want a regular worsted weight sweater. So I hybridized the two patterns and came up with this:

Red Sweater

It’s knit out of the Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe in geranium (a tomato-y red) which I got on sale awhile back. It’s actually pretty nice and is half wool, half bamboo (well, rayon if you want to get technical). A little splitty but nothing my inexplicably sharp Susan Bates circulars can’t handle. Seriously, those things are sharper than the Addi lace circulars, which are pretty dang sharp. What gives, Susan Bates? Incidentally, I really like them. If you’re going to go cheap on your needles, go Susan Bates.

Anyway, I think that’s pretty much it around here on the knitting front. I’ve also been working on some jewelry but haven’t taken pictures of that yet.

I have to go to a meeting for the library gala thing I’m docenting at this weekend and then going to Jason’s after for dinner, so I probably won’t have a jewelry post until tomorrow. But hey at least this whole unemployment situation has gotten me to blog more, right? I’m having fun with it again at long last.

This is not the end it is only a new beginning

PROLOGUE:

I hella updated my real actual website last week. Check it out! There’s actually a couple of new drawings in there too. It’s still futzy and I’m not totally done with it, but considering it took me like an hour and it was offline for three years, that’s just dumb.

NOW:

Friday was my last day at the job that I have both hated and loved over the last several years. Right now, I’m simply burnt out. I will miss most everyone there but… I need a break. I’ve needed one for a long time, actually.

By lunchtime my cube was super empty! Anybody who knows me in real life knows that I am not a very neat person, but dammit those piles had meaning and organization within them! (You should see my house. Even I am noticing the mess, which is saying something. Should I really be admitting my untold slobbery on the internets? Sure, why not. Still, it’s about 100% better than my wee apartment back in Texas… probably since my house is about 3 times as big. Can you imagine all my STUFF in 468 square feet? Me neither and I actually experienced it. Yikes.)

This week I am going to take it easy and enjoy being off work. I filed for unemployment because I don’t have a job lined up yet (still! ugh!) but hopefully will find out about that soon.

I let myself spend a little bit of post-employment monies and what I got myself was the new Vogue Stitchionary #5, for lace knitting. I don’t have any of the other vogue books, but this one is definitely worth it. I also downloaded myself the fabulous Intwined Pattern Studio, which is a pattern writing/charting program. I first saw it at Stitches West, and I really should have gotten it then (especially since I was wishy washy about buying anything there) but it’s only now that I’m ready to start writing my own patterns.

Here’s an example of what you can do with the program. I’ve only had it since Saturday and I already put several charts into it, including the below Barbara Walker, and will soon work on translating some of the charts from my Japanese books, which I will then write into sock patterns.

Nice, huh? The program itself is only $44 and WELL worth the money I would say. There is also an active group on Ravelry where you can report bugs and whatnot and the actual developers are there to help you out. I have not experienced any problems with it, however, so that is pretty nice.

Here’s some pics of what I’m currently working on. Keep in mind I took these photos at 11:30 p.m. and therefore absolve myself of any particular artistic flava.

wipmosaic

Clockwise from top left we have: Alpaca Blob (a v-neck grandpa cardigan I’m making for myself; it will even have pockets for me to hold tissues and chapsticks), Snow Petals Socks in Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 Pumpkin colorway (awesome AWESOME pattern, and it’s only $1.99 to boot! You can get it via Ravelry or Knitpicks), The Infamous Rainbow Socks (Knitpicks Felici rainbow self-striping; get it while it’s hot, it’s apparently already on “last chance” and dudes, I just made my order a couple weeks ago), and the last blue cuff thing is a test on the above mentioned chart. I like how the lace looks but not in that yarn so I suspect that’s going to the frog pond sooner rather than later.

EPILOGUE:

Anyway, in news that makes me feel like an old, old, OLD person (countdown to the big 3-0, 34 days and counting), my wee cuz the Bean has received her drivers license today and it seems like only yesterday I was fishing fuzz and spiders out of her wee baby mouth. Kid is practically an adult! She’ll be a senior in high school next year! WHAT.

If I remember I’ll write about the Legacy thrift store next time. A thrift store that only has craft items! You will be amazed at what eight bucks and change can buy you.

Heating Up

It’s kind of hot today so I’m hiding in my dark house with only the glow of the computer monitor lighting the room. I don’t want to turn the A/C on yet!! I plugged in the big fan in the den where it was helping me enjoy the latest episode of “What Would Brian Boitano Make?” (lots of cheese related items, apparently.)

This has been a nice relaxing weekend except for the moment of “OH CRAP” when I was at Walmart buying cake pans and paper goods when my debit card was not in my wallet… but then I remembered where I put it and whipped out the abused USAA card to complete my purchase. Didn’t want to charge it, but whatever. Best that I was prepared! :P

Incidentally, the cake pans I got, which I needed to replace the old ones that are suspiciously rusty, worked out really great, and I say this about Walmart brand cake pans. I’ve actually been pretty pleased with that cheap-tastic brand. I wound up making a Devil’s Food cake with them that turned out pretty much perfect in terms of getting out of the pans all right.  I think I may have over mixed the batter because the cake was more light and fluffy than I care for. However it was eaten up by Malvina and Sam and I brought over a big piece for my dad today.

I’m getting geared up for the Milwaukee trip that is happening in like ten days. It snuck up on me! I first posted about Milwaukee back in February, and since then 2010 has been one big awful blur. So it’s nice that there is an inevitable-already-paid-for trip on my horizon! The only thing that is going to be tough is that I will be on Jason duty while my parents are gone (being that I am not retired or a business owner I am not participating in the road-trip portion of this trip and instead am flying out with Abby to rendezvous with the rest the fam in Chicago). This will entail me going there before work and making sure he has taken his pills and is fairly lucid. Sigh.

I also have another dentist appointment this week, a continuation of the Epic Dental Saga In Which I Have Yet Another Cavity Drilled Upon. I would have rescheduled it but decided to suck it up and go because I’m going to have to go at some point, so.

I definitely feel whiney about it, though.

SO WHAT I HAVE BEEN KNITTING ON? I’m glad you asked.

I finished one of the Laeticia socks and it totes doesn’t fit.

Laeticia

I hope it fits Abby because I liked making it and I still owe her a couple pairs of socks so it would be a nice addition to her collection, plus it looks like falling leaves which I know she wanted. As I was making it I was kind of thinking of this pair being one of hers anyway (seriously, it’s not an “oh it doesn’t fit me so I’ll just give it to Abby” sort of situation).

It has a handsome gusset:

Laeticia

So, with that sock finished I ADD’d over to a sock from the new Wendy Knits book, Toe-up Socks for Every Body and cast on with some Knit Picks Essential in a long discontinued color (which is why I’m saying Essential and not Stroll). This pattern is the Cables and Diamonds pattern for an obvious reason:

Diamonds & Cables Sock

Considering I taught myself how to do toe-up socks long before I learned cuff down, I find it humorous that I’m not sold on them anymore. I just love a top down gusset!! But I decided that I should learn how to do a gusset from the toe-up (rather than a short row heel) and so far it’s pretty interesting. I’m curious about how it will look (supposedly identical to a top-down gusset) once I’m done. It’s a new technique for me, so I hope it works!

Diamonds & Cables Sock - gusset

It’ll be nice to have some socks out of the Essential for myself finally. It’s my go-to yarn for Malvina’s socks because it’s hard wearing and she likes it because it’s soft. I like it because it’s nice to knit with and also dirt dirt cheap, hah. Abby also likes it and the Monkey socks I made for her forever ago still look really good, she says.

Anyway, so that’s what I’m working on right this second in my ADD knitting life.

SOCK IT TO ME

Papaver

So I finished a pair of socks. I like them. They are Papaver socks from Anne Hanson at Knitspot. The pattern is great and they pretty much knit themselves. I recommend all the patterns I’ve knit from Knitspot. The only thing I modded was that I didn’t do a short row heel because those don’t really fit me too great so I did a stockinette heel with the gusset decreases on the bottom of the foot to maintain the integrity of the pattern edge (blah blah blah, haha).

Yarn is Rio de la Plata merino sock in raspberry. I got it for myself for my birthday about 2 years ago. It was always destined to be Papavers! I’m glad I finally made them.

Papaver

ANYWAY now I’m still working on the yellow socks I talked about last time and also these ones:

Laeticia

These are Laeticia from Twist Collective. It’s a fabulously written pattern, totally charted. Anytime a pattern isn’t charted it makes me want to smack it.

And I am actually pretty much following it exactly except for (haha) the cast-on – instructions call for a rolled edge which makes me want to screech so I did a turned cuff. Doesn’t look too much different. OTHER THAN THAT THOUGH it is by the book.

This yarn is also Rio de la Plata that has been marinating in the stash for awhile. It was briefly part of a shawl before I ripped it out. I don’t recall the colorway as the ball band has long been lost in the sands of time.

At any rate, Ravelry has informed me that Rio de la Plata is out of business, so good luck finding any! :P

It is too bad because their base yarn is great, almost cottony and strong, but all wool.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch

So anyway, the week before my life completely fell apart through no fault of my own, in a fit of fiscal irresponsibility (which always precedes terrible things in my life, so maybe THAT is a sign, :P) I ordered a bunch of the new Knitpicks Stroll Tonal sock yarn skeins. Like, a bunch. They have great colors in this new line, and they’re so cheap! *is weak*

Here’s what I got:

DSC03344

The colors are actually pretty accurate, considering I took these pictures on a cloudy day at 6 pm with flash. And I like most of them… but not the purple one. It’s too gray for me. I’m debating if I want to return it and get the darker purple. The yellow is a great butter yellow and I got that one for my mom, who was super stoked to receive it. (“That’s the last time this is going to happen for awhile, huh?” she joked, referencing the Jobpocalypse. :P)

The brown actually perfectly matches a skein of Dream in Color Classy I have to make a hat with. I was hoping that would be the case. The green is more green than pictured here, and the red has more variation. Red is a tough color for my camera unless it’s got strong natural light and no flash. But for the most part I’m pretty pleased with these yarns and look forward to using them. The yardage is generous as well at 464 yards; that’s more than enough for a nicely sized shawlette.

When I last talked about my current projects I mentioned that I was working on a couple socks and since then the sock WIPs have exploded. I even finished a sock:

DSC03346

This is the Papaver sock from Knitspot. It’s one of those great patterns that basically knits itself. It’s a sixteen row repeat, which has four rows of plain, four rows of pattern, four rows of plain, four rows of pattern. So just when you are getting bored with one thing, a new thing starts. Very cool! This pattern would look fabulous with all sorts of colors, and I wouldn’t be averse to knitting it again. I’m currently knitting it in Rio De La Plata merino sock in the “raspberry” colorway, and it’s great yarn to knit with. I don’t know that this company still makes yarn. I looked at Ravelry to see, and it looks like maybe this is still available but their other lines are not. I got this at my LYS two years ago for my birthday, so this is “birthday yarn”, heh. It’s now past the heel and over a couple of repeats till the toe.

The next project is one that I have meant to make for a long time. It’s the bluebell rib pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks in (I think) Dye Dreams sock in the “Peeps” colorway. I looked a long time for the perfect yellow and finally found it sometime last year (I think at the Loopy Ewe).

DSC03351

DSC03353

I have nothing in particular to report about this yarn. I like it. But then, I like most yarns.

My work BFF Amy stopped by yesterday to pick up some earrings I made for her to wear when she elopes this weekend and I don’t think she’d been at the house since I painted and put the Expedit full of yarn up. And she said, “Holy shit! You could knit a whole wardrobe!”

And I said, “Yep,” rather smugly.

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