Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Some days it's harder to blog than others. Right now, I'm overwhelmingly tired. More than anything else I can think of, I'd like to take a day off to sleep in late, do some light cleaning, and have some quiet time to regroup. Probably not going to happen, but it sounds really good right now.

SOS began on Saturday, and I cast on for Whitby (Nancy Bush, Socks on the Road) in some Dream in Color Smooshy Sock that I had picked up a while back. The color is great, and since it's a thicker yarn, I managed to finish the first sock last night. If today were my dream day, I'd go back to sleep for a few hours and then cast on the second sock. As it is, I'll probably get to it tonight. Whitby is a pattern that I've tried before, and stopped multiple times. I had issues with gauge, not purchasing enough yarn to knit the sock, incompatible yarn choices - you name it. It's nice to be able to cross this off my list of things I want to knit, but it's oddly anticlimactic. I bought SOTR before I learned how to knit socks. I liked so many of the patterns, but they seemed so hard, and I kept putting off making the attempt. Really, it wasn't a big deal after all. I suppose there's a lesson in that. Anyhow, I'm hoping to finish off both of the Whitby socks by the end of the weekend. I don't have a whole lot planned, and these are very quick. The biggest drawback to them is the pattern down the front of the foot. I don't think the cables would be very comfortable with shoes.

I've been scanning books to figure out what I want to knit next, and I keep looking at a sock in the new Cat Bordhi book. I'm torn between 2 socks. One I really like, but is not easily adjustable to my size based on the stitch pattern, but I might be able to play around a little bit with gauge and get it to my specifications (it's really not that hard - I need 7.5 st/inch instead of 8, or to find something I can knit at 8.5 st/inch) The other pattern I like is easily calculated to size. Either way, I admit that I'm intrigued by the construction, and I'll probably attempt both in the near future. I've already picked out the yarn I'm using next, and wound it into a cake, so the motivation is there. Plus it's also thicker stuff. I forgot how quickly socks can be made on size 2 needles compared to 0s. (Secretly, I prefer the thinner socks, but I'm finding the display of rapid progress to be really gratifying.)

In my increasingly escapist pursuits, I bought Dance Dance Revolution this weekend after spending an afternoon at a friend's house playing video games, including Rockband. Much more fun than I had imagined. It got very hot and humid here, and despite the fact that it tends to rain every night at 8, I haven't seemed to grasp the fact that if I want to run, I have to get up early instead of running after work. Sometimes it takes me a long time to get clued in. Hopping around in my living room is at least helping me take the edge off my stress.

Speaking of which, my minor meltdown on Friday was followed by a rotten weekend, a temper tantrum on Monday, and my finally realizing I've had enough on Tuesday. I'm taking steps to improve the situation I'm in at work, and considering my options. I really really like what I do, but I'm not happy where I am. That's a tough combination, especially as I realize that my tolerance for an unpleasant work environment is pretty high, because really, that's part of how the training works. It's a messed up system, which I could go on and on about. Instead, I should probably take a quick shower and get a move on.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Choices for blog entries.

It's not very easy taking pictures of your own head. This is the best I could do until this morning. It was complicated by the fact that every time I tried to do this using PhotoBooth, the Amazing Blur wanted to get in on the action.

So, this is the Fountain Hat. I downloaded the pattern from Knitting Daily. I wasn't totally enthralled with it, but I had 2 skeins of ShiBui Sock that refused to become socks in my hands. I tried several patterns, but I couldn't find something that I thought worked with the yarn. It's a pity, as I thought they would be excellent socks. The yarn is nice to work with, the same Louet Gems-like yarn that I gravitate towards. I adore the mulberry color, and the tonal variation - it's deep and rich and the sort of thing I get far too excited about. However, it pools. I did know this when I bought it, or at least shortly afterwards, but I thought I could beat it. And frankly, if I alternated skeins, I probably would still be really really excited about it for socks, but I'm a bit lazy for that kind of effort. Even though I love this deep burgundy/wine color.

Fountain Hat - Lace
The lace pattern wasn't hard to knit, at least the large snowflake-like motif was a piece of cake. The only stitches in this whole hat are knit, YO, and K2tog. Simple. The smaller motif was more challenging. I'm not sure what the designer was going for, and I'm not certain there isn't an error in the pattern. There aren't any difficult stitches, it just required more attention as I couldn't figure out the logic of the yarnover placements, and the overall effect is kind of incoherent to me.

Fountain Hat - top
My only other minor gripe is here - the very top of the hat. It's finished by simply drawing the yarn tail through a whole lot of stitches and weaving in the end. This not only leaves a fairly prominent hole at the top of the hat (it looks okay), but also doesn't strike me as the most elegant way to finish the knit.

Fountain Hat - side
In the end, it's a neat hat. Not super impressive or exciting, but it is cute, and I'll probably wear it around sometime. Just not until after this summer. Even with the lace holes, I don't really need a wool hat in 85˚F weather.

Knitting has slowed a little more again, this time due to a work related injury. After 9 years, I finally got bitten by a rat. Little buggers have sharp teeth. It hurts less than you might think, but my finger is a little sore and I don't want to drag yarn across the wound. (Don't ask what I was doing - you probably don't want to know. Unless you do, in which case I'll tell you.)

Summer of Socks starts soon... why do I suddenly want to cast on for a sweater?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

On the knitting front

In the words of Dr. Nick - Hi everybody! I thought about posting yesterday, but Father's Day was a little rough this year. I sent a card, but I wasn't able to talk to my dad. Chemo and radiation will be done this week, which is good, but he's been unable to speak for a while now. Hopefully the recovery will be quick.

So I have been knitting, although slowly. It's just that what I've been working on, or finishing, hasn't been really exciting enough to warrant posts of their own.

For instance:
Not much I can really say. They're socks. Basic knit socks, my generic recipe for mindless knitting. Trekking XXL, more information on Ravelry of course. They're okay. I don't love them, but I will wear them when I resume wearing socks once it's cooler.

Slightly more interesting is this:
Brainmonster, which I found on Ravelry while looking for a cute hat. I didn't knit the ear flaps as well, it's hot here, and I don't think they're really needed here. My son likes it, it was cute, and it amuses me. I might add more teeth, but I'm more likely to buy some catnip and make some Feline Dim Sum as holiday presents this winter.

Oh, and I added another hat to my collection: The Fountain Hat, which was a free download from Knitting Daily. (Because when it's 90 degrees outside, I'm thinking that I need a wool hat.) It's cute enough, although I still don't entirely understand the upper lace pattern. I somewhat wonder if there's an error, but I'm not too concerned about it. I knit this mostly because I gave up on some Shibui sock yarn. I love the mulberry color, but I didn't like the way the two tones pooled. It worked better in hat form for me. I need to take a photo of it, but it's too dark right now.

I still haven't finished Sheldon the turtle, although I think I understand what I need to do to finish it. I'm not enthusiastic about the process, as it's going to be fiddly and I need patience. Which is the same problem I have with the Phiaro Scarf, which is done except for braiding fringe and weaving in way too many ends. I've been braiding that thing forever and a day, and it's still not done.

Summer of Socks begins in a few days. You can probably expect to see some socks from me. But then again, you never know around here...

In lieu of actual content...


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Will be back soon. Just behind on blogging, as well as many other things.