Saturday, March 29, 2014

Knitter's Logic

Today is rainy and all my projects feel rainy too. I'm sure you've all been there: every project seems to have stalled or become difficult for one reason or another. I'm trying to be disciplined because I have a deadline for one of the designs. But I have a whole cubby of sock yarn that says, "Knit me, knit me!" And the only thing stopping me is that the needles I'd like to use for new socks are being used for this rather stubborn design. (The design is a pair of mitts which you can see in the upper left of my knitting basket. And now that I've fixed my very silly mistake that I made in the pattern, it should knit up much faster. Bonus: The mitts have a companion hat that has been finished and is just about ready to be tested.)

Anyways... as I went out to take the picture, I noticed that I'm knitting all blue projects! The mitts, a pair of Police Box Sox (I'm on the foot of the second one!), and a Watch Cap for me that I started last night. I heard the siren's call and I gave in. Also, I can't seem to find any of my other hats, so I used knitter's logic: make a new one.

What colors are you guys all knitting at the moment? Do you have a predominate color ruling your knitting life?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It's So Squishy

I have a weakness, and that weakness is yarn. The other day Anzula was having a trunk show at Green Planet Yarn, so I thought I'd go over to "Just Look." I thought I'd be safe because of what I did to myself at Stitches West. No such luck.

I ended up with six skeins in the Squishy base. The colors are, starting at the top orange one and going clockwise: Arizona, Black, Boysenberry, Poppy, Charcoal, and Spruce.
Spruce is what started it. I've eyed it for quite some time, but just hadn't managed to get my hands on it. Once I chose one, it was all over.

Who else has fallen down recently? It can't have been just me.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sock Report

I haven't had any finished project news in quite some time. I'm pleased to share that I have finished not one, but two pairs of socks! First up is the Haleakala. The pattern is by Cookie A and I found them quite enjoyable to knit. I chose to make mine out of Tosh Sock in Nebula. I will note that I had to make my heel flap longer than normal because the tops of the socks are a little tighter due to the pattern, but that was easy enough to do.

I also finished my Days Of Wine And Roses socks, named after the Canon Hand Dyes yarn. It's just a 64 stitch vanilla sock. I had hoped to finish them in time to wear for Valentine's Day. No such luck. I'll just be sure to wear them next Valentine's Day.
As always, Scooter decided to help out during the photo shoot.

At this point, I had run out of projects, so I've started up some new ones. This yarn is Alexandra's Crafts Diamond Lake in the colors Blue Pacific and Navy. They will become a matching hat and mitt set. After a few false starts, the hat is coming along nicely.

Then I decided that I needed a new pair of Tardis socks. The black and white are Koigu. The blue is Knitsch in the color way Tennant.

I've decided to write up my own pattern for these ones. So many of the patterns for Tardis socks have either really large sizes (72+ stitch socks) or are a chart with the instructions "plug into your favorite sock pattern." I don't have a problem with that kind of instruction now, but one of the first pairs of socks I ever wanted to make was Tardis socks and fixing a pattern was way beyond me. So I thought I'd try to make something that a beginner sock knitter might have a shot at. It will have a 60 stitch size and 72 stitch size. So far so good.

Has anyone else knit up Tardis socks?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Laughing In The Face Of Large Skeins

My poor ball winder has decided that it no longer cares to wind yarn. Halfway through a ball, it decides that it's too dizzy, resulting in yarn barf. So after some research (I asked everyone at knit night what winder they have) and seeing that Bethany had the same one that I was interested in, I committed. Look at this beast! It's a Stanwood 10oz ball winder and it laughs in the face of large skeins. Laughs.
After winding this yarn, I promptly worked on a project that didn't involve this yarn.

The day the winder came was a great mail day. My two box bags arrived. I've had this fabric sitting since Stitches West 2013 with the intention of sewing up bags myself. But after purchasing one of the box bags that Maria of A Needle Runs Through It made, I knew that she would do a far better job than I ever could. She said yes to the custom fabric (which I so handily had already washed, ironed, and brought with me) and a week later I got them.  

Check out the interior fabric. For the record, I specified which way I wanted the direction of the print to go, which I know is quite... ah... precise of me. Maria was happy to oblige. For those of you who don't sew (or, like me, do, but don't ever get around to it) I can't recommend these bags more highly.

So that was my happy mail day. I'm so excited to play with my new toys. Has anyone else had a great mail day recently?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Sock Surgery

Ever have a pair of socks that you love, but just never find yourself wearing? I sure did. I love my Sleepy Hollow socks, but when I finished the toes, I made them more pointy than some of my other ones without realizing it. Although it doesn't look like it in the picture, they pulled too much towards my big toes and weren't comfortable to wear all day. So they sat in my mend pile until I finally couldn't take it anymore. 

At first I thought I'd just take a few rounds out of each sock to make the toe wider. So I placed some markers to help me match the socks.

But when I started taking one apart, I realized that these socks needed a more serious solution. So I took out the entire toe in both socks. I knit a few plain rounds before replacing the toe.

And now they are perfect! I wore them the day after I fixed them.

Anyone else have a sock they need to fix but have been putting off? 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Big Sur and Morro Bay

Two weekends ago, it was my birthday. And for the first time in 12 years, I wasn't sick for it. (Hurrah!) So I was able to go with Rachael for a hiking weekend. We started out in Big Sur. The color of the water here is unreal.

The first hike we did was the Tanbark Trail. While going up to the top of the ridge, we saw a tree fall. So now we know that if a tree falls in a forest and there are two people around, it will make a sound. Also, it will dawn on those two people that more trees could fall and that maybe they should hike a little faster. Once we got to the top we had lunch and enjoyed the view.

At the top of the trail is the Tin House. It was a house that was apparently abandoned because a metal house in a coastal area expands and contracts so much that the sound is intolerable. Later on a fire went through it and the glass that was left there melted from the heat of the fire. We ended the day by driving to Morro Bay and having a lovely dinner. Our server suggested a hike for the next day.

And that hike was to go to the top of Mt. Valencia. So, the next day we went to Montana de Oro and hiked up the mountain. The view is unmatched. Morro Rock looks so small. 

After wandering down the mountain, we ate lunch by a cove, then headed out to check out the Los Osos Oaks. I wish I could share how much I enjoyed it here. The warm breeze brushed past the oaks and dappled light danced through the lichen and moss. Many of the oaks are hundreds of years old and many have fascinating shapes. This one looks like a cross.

After seeing the oaks, Rachael stayed at the motel and I went over to see Morro Rock close up. It's pretty impressive. Apparently, at one point in time the rock had been mined. Now it is a protected area where Peregrin Falcons roost.

After two days of hiking, I was a little tired. We had done nearly 20 miles at this point. So before leaving Morro Bay we did a small hike around the Elfin Forest. This area is full of dwarf oaks. I think I could spend all day in an oak forest.

All in all, it was a terrific trip. I'll be riding high from this one for quite some time.
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