Sunday, February 26, 2006

Rapunzel Socks

Yeah, Baby! The other pair of magic-looped, toe-up, worsted weight socks from d-made are finished! What a fun sock knit! Good stashbuster, or a good project for cheap-asses like me who only buy cheap worsted weight yarn (Go ME). You decide. But definately consider this sock (or its cousin, Traveler) when you find yourself in possession of about 200 yds of worsted weight yarn. These socks are also special because they are one of the rare gift-knits I perfom. As we speak these babies are on there way to my hometown in PA where they wait patiently to warm the feet of my dear Mom. :)

There's a shot of the front lace panel. Sorry the gray yarn doesn't do the lace justice, but hopefully you get the idea. The cuff is slightly long to allow for ample shin and ankle insulation (ka-ching!). Here's another shot of the socks footless and with a side view:

The cuff ribbing is a "faux cable ribbing" (can't really see it). I don't know why it's called "faux" because you actually cable the ribbing. Ionno. So with the lace and the cabling these are really ornate socks. If you're wondering why the socks look a little... well snug it's because my mother has smaller feet than I do and I want her socks to fit. I have recognized that not everyone has sasquawtch feet like me. *embracing inner sasquawtch...*

Oh, the socks as a gift for mom have a little special meaning. Throughout my teen years I was in the habit of not doing my laundry and thus running out clean socks. So I would sneak in my mom's drawer and steal a pair of hers (what are mothers for?). Even throughout college I would do this when I would come home to visit. My mom still teases me about me stealing her socks so these will at least help make up for my past misdeeds. :) Here are the specs:

Project: Rapunzel Socks from d-made (seen on
Yarn: LB Wool-Ease Worsted, gray, 1 skein (purchased for a buck-fiddy)
Needles: Denise Interchangeables Size 5 long circular
Mods: Almost none. This is a good pattern. She even includes little checkboxes in the pattern so you can keep your place (what a doll!). One thing though, because I was magic looping a rather small circumference the stitches at the half way point and endpoint would stretch out a bit. I remedied this by knitting through the back those stitches. Problem solved. You might not have this problem though.
Woulda-Shoulda: It's not like I have regrets about my knitting projects, it's just that since I'm somewhat new to this knitting stuff my knitting projects are more like learning experiences. I like to keep record of these lessons. For this project I wish I would have used a better color yarn. The gray doesn' t show off the lace work as much as I like. Plus, gray is just boring. Buy something bright or funky. Something that will show off the overall purdiness of this sock. That's it!

In other news, the BWC is trucking along, and I'm just about finished with the first MJ slipper. Here's a pic of the BWC in progress. It kind of looks like a mess of black and white homespun (which it is, try to imagine 2x2 rib on the bottom half and St st on the top, just try). I couldn't get a good close up (lack of good light and a camera that can't function without the flash >.>)

Needless to say, I'm feeling very productive. Ciao!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Knitter Knirvana, Part 2 (I hate you Blogger)

Ok, this is the part of yesterday's post that just doesn't seem to want to publish.

So here’s the baby blanket I want to make for Zoe. It’s definitely fancier than I was originally planning, but it’s so damn purdy I can’t pass it up. And honestly none of the other baby blankets appealed to me (ie, Big Bad Baby Blanket from SnB). And yes, I know that it’s not a blanket for ME but I wanted to knit something that wasn’t plain and boring. This is more like an heirloom, though I want them to get some use out of it so I’m going to knit with Caron Simply Soft so they can chuck it in the washer and dryer. Wish me luck. Estimated CO time-2 weeks from now. Maybe sooner. That’ll give me time to finish up the SIL’s mj’s and the stuff for the CD swap and make a big dent in the Ballet Wrap Cardigan (which I now dub the “BWC”).

Pics of the Rapunzel sock and possibly of other WIP’s will be up this weekend so check back. Until then…

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Knitter Knirvana

I received IK Winter issue, I CO on for the Ballet Wrap Cardigan, I’m working on the mary jane slippers for SIL, the Rapunzel Socks are ready to be mailed to their recipient, and I decided on a baby blanket pattern for baby Zoe.

Yes, all is right in my world right now.

Now if the weather would just cooperate so I could have a somewhat pleasant run without cold wind blowing in my face and snowflakes poking me in the eyeball then I would be in a state of bliss.

But this is ok, too. *chanting: come on spring, come on spring*

So here’s the baby blanket I want to make for

Monday, February 20, 2006

Recycling Yarn from Thrift Store Sweater, Part II

Where I last left you with this I was drying my yarn in my bathroom. I had unraveled the sweater first, neatly bound it, and washed it in the tub. Well, there are two very WRONG things with what I did.

1. If yarn is wrapped (even loosely) in piles and then hung to dry it takes forEVAH to do so. I mean, that yarn was hanging up there for a solid 5 days before it was all dry. Keeping the yarn in tact and drying flat would have been a better choice *smacks self on forehead*.

2. Winding yarn in large loose piles encourages tangling. And I mean knock-your-head-against -the-wall-throw-your-ball-winder-out-the-window (through the glass)-vow-to-never-knit-again kind of tangles. I spent HOURS last night winding my yarn because of those stupid tangles. Believe me I started a system about half-way through: let out a couple yards carefully by hand, wind, repeat. But then I would get overzealous towards the end and just wind directly from the pile. Bad idea. This is where my excitement to unravel the yarn kicked me in the ass later.

The morale of this story is:

PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS SANE AND LOGICAL, WASH THE DAMN SWEATER FIRST! It'll dry faster and you can just unravel and immediately wind, thus avoiding any tangles.

But with all that drama in the past I now have several balls of slightly-used silk blend yarn that is clean and wound and ready for the needles.

Mmm... scrumptious! Most of the balls are rather tiny, but that's ok. I also swatched some on Size 6 needles and I would honestly say that this yarn is best on Size 5's or lower, which probably makes this closer to a fingering weight yarn (right?). Which is ok, because I'm thinking of making a Lucky from SNBN (see previous post) with it. Now I can feel like a yarn snob with this natural fiber stuff in my stash. Te he. I never thought the day would come *brushes back tear*. Not bad for a $5 investment at the local thrift.


In other news, I'm almost done with the Rapunzel socks and they will soon be getting their proper acknowledgment here at ESK. Knitting socks is awesome. I was telling Mr. V that they're probably my favorite thing to knit now because they're just so damn practical (not to mention fun).

I signed up for my first craft swap on Craftster. The "What You Listen To Whilst Crafting" CD swap. I thought this was perfect because you get a collection of new music (DING!) and a small craft to go with it (DING!) AND it's not so involved that it has to take up all of your time (DING!). I would try some of the more involved swaps that require a couple crafted items but I already have some deadline knitting on my plate as it is. I don't need anymore, because like most knitters I feel that knitting with deadline looming over me takes a lot of the fun out of it. Here's the Swap Page. Check it out and join in if you're interested. And check out Karin's Recipe Swap, too! She makes lots of nummy things over her way.

Here's the tenative KnitList as of NOW:

1. Ridiculously Easy Mary Jane Slippers from Craftster (for SIL)
2. Baby blanket of some sort (still not decided)
3. Miss Dashwood baby bonnet from Knitty
4. Ballet Wrap Cardigan from IK Winter 05 (whenever the actual mag makes its appearance)
5. Maybe, Lucky from SNBN with newly recycled yarn

Thursday, February 16, 2006

can I get some sock yarn up in here?

I’ve been trucking away on the Rapunzel Socks (see sidebar). They’re turning out great (esp since I finally learned how to do YO’s right. Hmm… that would help make lace look right, umm… yeah). I finished sock 1 and I just started the foot of the second (they’re toe-up sock, btw). I wish I would have a different color besides boring gray. I’m really feeling some funky, bright socks, but the Wool-Ease colors schemes are more neutral colors. I really wish Joann’s, or any craft store for that matter, would carry actual sock yarn. They carry all that fun fur novelty-type crap. I mean, who really buys that stuff anyway? And what can you make with that yarn besides funky scarves and clutch bags? Sure, it’s cute and bright, but are you really going to knit a sweater out of that? *BLEH*. Hell, no. If stores carried sock yarn I could save a little money on shipping, not mention I can get instant gratification. If anyone knows of stores within driving distance that sell affordable sock yarn, please let me know. Rant is over.

The Rapunzel socks are going good. I’m thinking of making some Ridiculously Easy Mary Jane Slippers for my SIL out of some the Bernat Boucle she and my brother got me for x-mas. In ruby red! Those would be cute. Not to mention ridiculously easy. Though, I can’t help to think it’s a little strange to gift-knit for someone with yarn they bought you. Maybe she won’t notice.

So I finally got something from Interweave Knits this week: the Spring Issue

*record skipping noise in the background*

WTF! I called them to inquire as to why the Spring Issue beat the Winter Issue to my doorstep. A friendly lady informed me that they ran out of the issue and had to put them on back order. It should be here with the next 1.5 weeks or so. They were kind enough to extend my subscription to make up for the trouble so my winter issue will be free. Which is nice, but I’d still like to knit the Ballet Wrap Cardigan before Memorial Day people!. (Bitch, bitch, bitch-I’m sure you’re tired of it by now). But I’ve been having fun paging through the Spring issue oogling the projects. I’m not sure what I want to knit from it yet because it’s still too cold to be thinking about Camis and such. Soon, though.

This weekend I’ll post Part 2 of my Recycling Sweater series. I’m thinking I might make a Lucky from SNBN with from the silk blend yarn I rescued. I can show off my mad YO-skillz! I’ll have to get my hands on a copy of Stitch n’Bitch nation though to look at the pattern closely. Karin, weren’t you planning a Lucky recently?

On another note: check out this blog is you like food and funny bitches!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Recycling Yarn from Thrift Store Sweater, Part 1

Here we go. My detailed and illustrated adventures in recycling yarn from thrift store sweaters. FYI-I highly recommend this tutorial at Neauveau. It not only tells you how to deconstruct a sweater, but what to look for when shopping for cheapo yarn at your local thrift. Apparently, not all sweaters are the same, and not all are ideal for unraveling. Also, if you want to do this I would pick up sweaters now even if you don't plan on unraveling right away. The Sal-val (salvation army for you "talk proper" folks) I went to had TONS of sweaters. Tis the season so take advantage. Now onto the show:

First off, I deconstructed what I'm calling "sweater 1" which is the LL Bean ladies M silk/cotton/wool blend sweater in a kind of denim twist color. Following the tutorial, I unraveled. Now, Karin asked me about washing and I'm going to say this: I think it's best to wash before you unravel. However, I couldn't wait for it dry flat in my cold-ass basement, so I went nuts. I'll probably pay for it later. As I unraveled I wrapped the yarn around my hand and elbow like I was wrapping rope or something. And when the yarn broke (I think this has something to do with the silk) I tied each end of the loop with a twistee tie. After about a week of unraveling off and on (I would say this takes several hours. I hope you're patient) I had this:

It seems like a decent amount of yarn although I really have no way of estimating yardage. If you can see the thing in the upper right corner that is the turtleneck part I left whole to give you an idea what the sweater looked like before it felt my wrath.

Next, into the bathtub it went with some warm water and a few squirts of Garnier shampoo. I tried to be gentle so that the yarn wouldn't tangle. I think I did a pretty good job. It's currently hanging over the tub drying (and taking its good old time about it). >.>

I rung it out by hand, rolled it in a towel (twice). I figure it will take a day or two. Then I can wind it up with my trusty ballwinder (oh how I love thee). If I were to estimate the weight of this yarn I would say its probably a sport/DK weight. I'll have to swatch some of it when it's all said and done. But I can tell by looking at it that it's not worsted weight. Oh here's a close up of the fiber in its kinked-up, perfumed, dirty glory. Oohh... baby, baby!

So what to make with this yarn? Since this is a skin friendly fiber I think it would be a sin to NOT make a garment out of it. But what? *opening suggestion box*

Still no Winter IK issue. I plan on using that Customer Service # they gave me in reply email. In the meantime, I casted on for sock 1 of Rapunzel Sock (the snobby cousin of Traveler Sock). I'm using woolease (of course) in gray. I bought the skein for a buck-fiddy at the Joann's in the mall that I don't like going to. Thankfully they're going out of business and all there yarn was 30% off plus I got to use my coupon. I might have splurged more but there wasn't any other yarn or colors that appealed to me. Although, they have tons of fuzzy and ribbon-like novelty yarn if you're into that sort of thing. Cheers!

Coming soon- Part 2 of Recycling Yarn, Part 2

Friday, February 10, 2006

I'm a Llama!

my pet!
I'm named him after my favorite anime Samurai Champloo (see side bar). I've always liked llamas. They're so cute!

In knitting news, I finished the "Traveler Socks" and I've a little more of the sweater to unravel. Then I need to wash it, dry it, and wind it. Can't WAIT :) Still no IK issue yet. Haven't checked the mail today though. I'll give them Saturday, too, but if Monday comes around and no magazine I'll be a very upset subscriber. More info and pics on tomorrow's post (that is if the home comp cooperates. *sigh* long story)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Patience is a Virtue!

Tis Wednesday again! Not much going on except knitting the second traveler sock (though it’s my third take on the pair), unraveling one of my thrift store sweaters, and waiting for my damn Winter IK issue. I finally broke down and emailed them last Friday. I got a reply Monday afternoon saying that my issue should be here this week. No issue yet. I have a feeling it’s going to be one of those Friday afternoon deliveries (bastards). Gus (the replier) also informed that I should be receiving the Spring issue no later than the 18th. Umm, that’s good. If you can’t remember why I’m so impatient, remember I’m planning on making the Ballet Wrap Cardigan that’s on the cover of the issue. I have the yarn all ready to go (for almost a month now). All I need is the magazine. Any day now…

So here’s a tentative knitlist for the next few months in a relative order of priority:

-Ballet Wrap Cardigan! duh
-Big Bad Baby Blanket from SnB1 (due date for little neice is late April, I should make sure to give myself enough time start and frog if needed)
-Some kind of baby hat: maybe Knitty’s Baby Tart or Miss Dashwood.
-Some socks here and there. MORE SOCKS!
-Whatever I decide to make with the oodles of recycled yarn I recently purchased.
-Some kind of original-artistic-less-practical project for this art exhibit at work called “On My Own Time”. I have a few ideas, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to share. There’s lots of time for this. The submissions aren’t due until April or something like that.

Ok, that list is pretty vague, but you get the idea. Recycled yarn pics this weekend, promise!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

What the F$%^ is going on?

Ok, so now according to my blogger dashboard, yesterday's post doesn't even exist even though there is a post on the page. Who knows, sometimes I wonder if I should look for other blog hosts. Blogger just seems to have weird things wrong with it all the time. And by weird I mean annoyingly weird. Anyways, here's pics that were supposed to be in yesterday's post.
This is sock #1 which is now unraveled and being re-worked in order to achieve a better fit (still nice looking even with all the mistakes):

This is sock #2 in progress, which is currently finished. Fits like a charm. All the changes I made from first one seemed to work. To rec-cap I made sure to purl right (see post below), pick up wrap stitches and k or p2tog right, and also made the foot longer by working one more cable repeat. So cute and so warm.

OOHH! I went to the thrift store yesterday and purchased three sweaters to unravel and recycle the yarn. Here are the specs. I'll be sure record my unraveling adventures.

Sweater 1- Blue denim colored, women's size M, 55 % silk, 30% cotton, 15% lambs's wool, tagged said LL Bean, cost: $4.99

Sweater 2- Charcoal gray colored, men's size L, 100% Shetland wool, tagged "Britches", cost:$3.99

Sweater 3- Moss green colored, men's size L, 100% Shetland wool, tagged "Spin", cost: $3.99

Grand Total: $12.97 for three full sweaters-worth of yarn. Freakin sweet!

Update: Now, not only is my post from yesterday 2-4-06 not showing in my dashboard it's not even showing up on the page. The post has disappeared. It's one of the forgotten. This is really freaking annoying. That post contained information that I referenced in this post. So I apologize if the post is a little confusing. I'd like to complain blogger, but I can't seem to find a help desk email address. Can anyone help?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Whoa! Time seriously flies. It’s mid-week already and time for another update. There’s only one project on the needles over here at ESK, so I guess I’ll have to find something else yak about.

Well, the Traveler sock (see progress bar) is going along alright. This is my first experience with short-rows and the one aspect of this pattern that is a little hard was that the toe and heel shaping requires you to knit the sts and it’s wraps together. Now this was just a completely hard concept for me. My brain just said “no, no… no…..umm, no”. So I winged it which left tell-tale holes along the heel line. So… I’ll be doing a little more fixing and finishing on sock #1. Luckily, the pattern writer set me straight saying that I should be picking up the wraps and then transferring them to my left needle, THEN k2togging. Hmm, when I think about it, putting the wrap on the left needle does sound like it would be easier. Don’t even ask what I was doing before. *slightly, blushing* Maybe I’ll sneak a progress pic in later when I get home.

I’m still waiting for my freaking IK winter issue, dang-namit! I’m starting to wonder if they’re going to wait until spring to send me my first issue. Either way I’d like to know. I can always take a 40% off Joann coupon and go buy the winter issue. Those 5 skeins o’Homespun are waiting to be worked into the ballet wrap cardigan, and they’re getting kind of impatient (yes, my yarn talks to me… don’t ask). Anyone with a IK subscription know how they work with their first issues?

In non-knitting related news, I’ve finally decided on how I can improve my rather pathetic running skills (I’m not being a defeatist, I’m a pathetically slow wimpy runner): run with people who are faster than you. There’s a friendly bunch of 30/40-something runners who have been dropping major hints for me to join them on their leisurely (10 min per mile) 4 mile runs. Now lately I’ve only been able to pound out about 2 miles at a pace about a clip above power-walking on a treadmill (most of my problem is mental, I know I can do a lot better). They run outside, rain or shine (they break for snow luckily). Up until today I’ve been politely declining until one of the runners informed me that sometimes one of them breaks off and takes a shorter loop. Hmm… tempting. So I accepted. I’m gonna bite the bullet next Monday even it causes me cardiac arrest. I just hope I don’t collapse on the shoulder of Buckely Rd where my limp body might get run over by a passing mini-van.