Monday, March 28, 2011

Another only semi-productive week

Although you wouldn't know it from the state of my "work space." I really need to organize myself better.

That photo of the pretty green socks is what I'm hoping to achieve with small needles and charts. Charts!

I did start working on the complicated sock that's knitted on teeny size 1 needles. But I'm also trying to finish another sock, so I really didn't get too far. I now know how to knit through the back loop though, so I've got that going for me.

I don't know how clear it is, but the one on the left is using much smaller needles than the one on the right.
The best part of my weekend, though, was heading down to Biago Fine Chocolate for their monthly chocolate tasting. I picked up some really interesting stuff, including some tasty super-dark chocolate, a chocolate toffee (which is already history), and a bar from Dubai made with camel milk that's really quite interesting. I love me some Biagio.

That's $56 worth of chocolate right there. I don't mess around.

Monday, March 21, 2011

It can be dangerous when I stay in town for the weekend

Especially after having survived SIX migraines in the past week. I felt like I deserved to treat myself! So off I trotted to my LYS (reminder: it is a 7-minute walk from my home...hence the danger).

I bought a huge hank of orange sock yarn for a complicated chart-involved sock that I will be attempting (on size 1 dpns!), and some cotton-linen blend yarn for a sweater that I'm going to try to make with my double-ended crochet hooks. I tried doing a swatch and failed miserably ... hopefully I will be more successful on my next attempt.

People who know me should be impressed that I stepped out of my color comfort zone.

I didn't accomplish much craft-wise this week (six migraines will put the kibosh on crafting right quick), but I did start another sock ... the colorway should indicate that this one is for me.

There's something about the construction of a sock heel that's deeply satisfying, whether it's knit or crochet.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Many, MANY years ago I stole a sweater from my father, a sweater he'd owned for a million years before I nabbed it.

I think the tag illustrates just how old this sweater is.

I haven't worn it for about 15 years. Now, I am a strong adherent of the Toss It If You Haven't Worn It For a Year school of thought when it comes to cleaning out the closet. But I could never bring myself to take that sweater to Goodwill.

So this year, when I cleaned out my closet, I thought I'd actually DO something with that sweater. I spent crazy amounts of time unraveling it this weekend, after spending even crazier amounts of time undoing all the seams. And also: sweater dust is really unpleasant to breathe in. My weekend was filled with epic sneezing fits.

Here it is after a thousand hours of cutting seams.

I learned that there are two ways sweaters are made: (1) like they've been handknit, so that each piece will unravel in one nice long strand of yarn, or (2) knit across and then cut, knit across and then cut, etc. etc.

Naturally, this sweater was made using option 2. So after unraveling I had five huge balls of yarn that I'd painstakingly knotted together.That biggest one on the right is the back, which took a solid hour to unravel and tie together.

Then I wound them into hanks, washed, rinsed, hung to dry while weighted to get the kinks out, and wound them into five huge skeins.

A nice soak in hot water with a drop of dishwashing detergent (left), followed by a rinse in cold water (right). Appetizing!
Drying, West Virginia style.
The finished product.

Now comes the hard part: what do I do with this yarn? Ideally I'd like to make something for my father for his birthday. I could knit, crochet, or weave something, but it would have to take into account that I have thousands of individual pieces of yarn, each between 8 and 18 inches long. Any ideas would be most welcome!!!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Slow week in crafty land

The knitting thing is getting a little easier. This week I started and finished another sock, this time for The Husband. It's made out of a really lovely sport weight yarn, Knit Picks Felici Sport. It's thicker than your usual sock yarn, which I thought would work to make a man's sock with the same pattern I used for my socks, and I was right. Just a little length added to the cuff and foot, but otherwise all the stitches remained the same. Another benefit of this yarn is that the stripes worked up at just about an inch apiece, so I didn't have to do much measuring. And I finally conquered kitchener stitch, which is used to close up the toe. I mangled it badly on both of my socks.

Word to the wise though: if you get this yarn to make yourself a pair of socks, get two balls of yarn per pair of socks. I had some yarn left over after making a man's sock, but not much. I suppose you might be able to eke out two ankle socks, but with yarn this soft and yummy you want full coverage.

On a recent episode of Knitting Daily they were talking about other uses for sock yarn, which appealed to me because I have lots of odds and ends from my various sock attempts. The Husband was all over the blanket  they showed made out of sock yarn, and decided he wanted one of his own, so I started making granny squares from my leftovers. They are really very nice and soft and have great drape, and I think that once they're all blocked it'll be a very comfortable blanket. I just don't think it'll be too easy on the eyes. But he doesn't care, so I'll just grit my teeth.