Friday, April 29, 2005

Random Musings

I've been the happy owner of Tivo for just about a year now, and I've been finding myself thinking everything has "tivo-abilty", particularly my car radio: driving home from work listening to NPR and a big truck roars by and I instinctivly reach down to the controls to rewind so I can hear the last bit I missed. Or if the PumpkinBoy is acting up in back, I reach to press the pause button so I don't miss something while I talk him down. I do this ALL the time - anyone else, or am I just a freak?

I have discovered that virtually all of my socks (store bought, I only have 1 pair hand knit to date) all of a sudden have holes in the heels. Whats up with that? I think this might be the knitting gods telling me something.

Going to my favorite place for for the first time since October this weekend. This is my own personal official marer that spring has sprung. The 2nd Aran Braid sock is coming too for travel knitting, and maybe Branching Out will come along, don't think I'll have too much knitting time.

Aurora is almost done - finished the sleeves last night, body parts are blocked, sleeves have just been pinned and dampened and are drying, then assembly and the dreaded crochet attempt next week.

Happy weekend to all.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Aran Braid Sock #1

As I mentioned in a prior post - I am really liking this sock pattern. These socks are for a friend with much smaller feet than me, and in the photo below it is being modeled on my, *ahem*, less than petite foot, so its a bit streched. The yarn is the Froehlich Wolle from my SP, and it is quite nice to work with and the colors are lovely. The closeup is off the foot and unblocked, so the cable braid is looking a tad clumpy, but the pattern says to block the hell out of these which I will do when I finish its brother. On a side note, these socks are also my first real cable project as well.

Aran Braid #1 Posted by Hello


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Too many projects

I've decided that I am a knitter who can only have a couple projects going at a time. For the past several months I have had (and still do have) too many things on the needles and it is beginning to drive me bonkers. I walk a fine line between being a project and process knitter. I do greatly enjoy the process and enjoy learning new techniques. However, I also have an innate need to get things done, which is in part spawned by the imperative to start new things. For the most part these desires are pretty well balanced, I am able to keep one foot planted squarely in each camp. When I first started knitting I was very good at only having one or two things in progress at a time. I must have gotten cocky, because today I have four - see the WIP area on the right.

This is way too many projects for me, because with this many things going on, my get things done needs are not met and therefore the corollary start new things need is also left unsated and I find myself with merely a toe left in the process knitting camp, and that toe freqently joins the other feet and stomps with frustration. That is just no fun.

So...my plan is this:
  • finish Aurora: I am almost a foot into the sleeves, doing both at the same time so this should be soon.
  • finish Branching Out: I'm about 13 repeats in and will need at least that many more to make a useable scarf.
  • Aran Braid Socks: - these have not gotten any press here yet, but I am loving knitting these (with the Froelichwolle my SP sent me) and I am almost done with the first full sock. I've decided having a sock project to pick up is a good thing, and I won't count socks as part of a "2 project limit"
  • Clapotis: this is going to sit until it gets colder out. I do want to finish and I do like knitting it, I just cannot find any inspiration to continue right now. I am giving myself permission to shove this one to the back of the cabinet where my WIPS live and not look at it again until I start thinking I need to be wearing scarves. (Maybe I need to add a "languishing" side bar - I had hoped to avoid one of those)
I don't want to discuss futures as of yet, because I get all amped up and want to start 10 more things and that is what landed me here in the first place. The only definite is Rogue - I have the yarn and the pattern and would like to have it done and wearable come fall.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Shop Review

I made it over to Spark Craft Studio today. As you can find out from visiting their website, they are a craft supply retailer/studio space. They are most certainly not a "yarn store", yarn just happens to be one of the things they sell, along with beading supplies, scrapbooking materials, etc. The idea seems to be you can buy a membership and go over there and use their space/tools to do your crafty projects. I was there about noon, and was the only person other than staff in the shop - I'm guessing its more active nights/weekends.

The space is nice and clean and bright, well laid out. I didn't really poke around the studio space too much, just the retail areas. The lower level has the knitting stuff - they have nice neat hammocks along the walls to hold the skeins. Not a huge selection, they had some Manos, Mango Moon, a good amount of Gedifra, some Lion Brand (woolease mostly), Nature Wool (and Cotton, which I hadn't bumped into before). They also had a small selection of needles (Addis, Skakel and Clover mostly). Also a very small pattern/book area. Prices were typical. There were comfy chairs with knitting magazines out on the tables where you could sit and knit (if you're a member only? don't know).

I had a nice chat with one of the proprietors as I browsed, she was asking me to tell her if there were certain yarns I'd like to see to let her know, if they get enough requests they'll try to get it in. I told her you can't go wrong with stocking some sock yarn (they had none). She was also wondering what types of things knitters work on in the summer - I told her what I had planned for summer projects. She had heard conflicting reports from different other shop owners that the summer was slow and/or the busiest time. She herself professed knitting ignorance, but I would hope that other staff members have some expertise.

So, it was a good trip, not a huge enough selection to have me back there just for browsing, but if I find I need something specific that I know they have it sure is convenient. The staff was certainly very friendly, and I liked the space itself a lot. I don't live around here (just work nearby) so the membership idea is not for me, but can see where it would make sense for some people - mostly for non-knitting crafters that perhaps could benefit from access to specialized tools and/or the very social who like to knit and be crafty in groups.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

New Store

I work just outside of Davis Square in Somerville, and have been moderately confounded by the fact that there was no yarn store in Davis (yes, I know I can hop on the T to Porter or Harvard, or take a quick drive into Arlington) to some great shops, but I want it all - somwhere I can stroll to on my lunch and poke around. Thanks to Grumperina for posting the Somerville News Article that mentions Spark Craft Studios - which sells many other things besides yarn. Guess who's taking a walk on her lunch break today?

EDITED LATER: I jinxed myself. At just past noon, a whole rack with 6 of "my" servers in it got accidentally unplugged. No lunch for me, and no yarn fondling trip. I'll try next week sometime and report back.....

Monday, April 11, 2005

New Beginnings

I am a TIGHT knitter. I have known this since I started knitting, learning to not even try to get gauge on recommended needle size, always going up one, more often two needle sizes. I knew I just needed to practice knitting looser, but never took the time to muster the focus needed to break the habit.

However, one pattern and one article in the spring Knitty have inspired me to take the time. The pattern is Susan's Branching Out - designed specifically for newbie lace knitters like me. However, I have always known my tight knitting will get me into trouble if I ever tried lace - you can't really k3tog when your stitches are way too snug on the needles. It has been a fun excercise, and I hope I can ingrain the loose knitting habit over the course of making this scarf. The yarn, by the way, is from one of my GoodWill harvests a few months back.

lace attempt Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Spring Knitty - yay!

So here's PumpkinMama's unedited first reactions to the new Spring Knitty patterns:

  • Cleaves: I am not a shrug person at all
  • W: This I like - very pretty, and I really like the diamonds of texture in it
  • Mariposa: cute, but not my style
  • Cambio: Not something I would normally gravitate towards, but I find myself intrigued by its atypical shape
  • Asana: I like the look of the front, but am not fond of the open back nor the ribbon straps
  • Ribbon Xback: Pretty and I like the stay-on-ability of the back crossed straps
  • Soleil: LOVE this - reminds me of Honeymoon Cami but with better coverage
  • I do: Beautiful! Perfect for the occasion it was used for - maybe I need to start wearing sundresses and things so I have an excuse to make shrugs and shawls
  • Spring Fling: very cute and practical. I like.
  • Tie one One: these are pretty but apart from the unique closure, kinda blah to me
  • Branching Out: been looking for a good 1st lace pattern -this might be it!
  • via diagonale: VERY nice - I love Wendy's other bags on her site too - I might have to try one finally
  • cocktail monkey: not a fan of cutesy girly bags, so this ones not for me
  • itsybitsy/kitchen sink: These look both practical and fun - might have to pick up some kitchen cotton and give one a whirl
  • wheelie: cute idea! I love practical knitting
  • shade: ditto the above
  • petals: good pattern to have stashed away when you need some adornment
Some things that could certainly make my list for sure. I was about to start Honeymoon Cami, but I will now have to do see if my yarn will work for Soleil, as that design is much more wearable for me in my day-to-day life. I have never been a "bag lady" but I think via diagonale might need to be knit, and I know for sure the kitchen sink bag would come in handy this summer, bringing the PumpkinBoy and his gear to the beach.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I lurve my SP!

My Knittyboard Secret Pal has been revealed. She is Becky (ArchivistBlue) and she is a wonderful secret pal. Check this out:

could you just die? Posted by Hello

That is 3 (THREE!!) skeins of Noro Cash Iroha (wool, silk, cashmere - drooooooool), a very large and delicious bar of dark chocolate, another set of Brittany DPNs and home made cranberry walnut bread. I had to position the needles over part of the loaf for the photo shoot, because the PumpkinBoy and I had to eat some right away - even my picky-eater boy loved the bread.

Thank you Becky for brightening my days these last three months - you've been a wonderful secret pal.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


Finally!!! Project specs:

Pattern: Devan
Size: 2-3 years
Yarn: Elann Sock-it-to-Me Harlequin in Polar Ice and Sock-it-to-Me Essential 4-ply in Eastcoast Blue
Needles: #3 straight
Mods: lengthened body and sleeves by 1"
Notes to self: NEVER EVER knit a sweater in sock yarn again

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