Summer and Socks

We had two days of summer here in the SF Bay Area this week – it was quite a shock to the system, I must say.  This is probably the two days that we will get, so I’m not complaining, even though I was pretty darned warm.  Fortunately for the knitting, I had some socks to work on.

First, I have finally worked with the Madeline Tosh Sock.  A lovely yarn with glowing colors.  Sure it’s 100 percent wool and may not last all that long, but you buy this yarn for its beauty.  I was a bit dismayed to see some dye bleed in the blocking, but maybe that will settle out.  I’m just very happy with them!  See?

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The use of this pattern is an ode to the Yarn Harlot – who created a sock club for herself by pairing yarn and pattern at the beginning of the year for each month.  Her most recent update showed that this was working quite well for her.  I don’t have this kind of sock yarn stash, but I was hemming and hawing about how to use this Tosh yarn, and she got me off the dime, and I went to Wendy Johnson’s Socks from the Toe Up and found the lovely Ribbed Ribbons Socks (rav link).  It’s a pretty pattern, and a very stretchy fabric – I thought it might be too big, but it fits perfectly.  You can also easily modify the stitch count, which is something to appreciate in a sock pattern.

I’m also starting to work through the dyed yarn for Afghans for Afghans, and have now finished these (even though only one sock is showing). A lovely mosaic stitch pattern called Caesar’s check from Sensational Knitted Socks. Other than the stitch pattern, this is a toe-up sock based on Chrissy Gardiner’s Toe Up! book.

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A Little Bit of Dyeing

Decided to add to my charity wool for socks, since it seems I have more time for some more socks – this is what I kettle-dyed yesterday – the heat made it easy to get the wool to dry quickly:
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The turquoise came out very well, a nice solid color.  The darker brown was not completely even – I’m calling it a heather, in spite of a ton of dye in the pot, so maybe I needed to let it stay in the pot for some longer.   The lighter brown was a last-minute decision, since there was some dye left in the pot. I just threw in the unsoaked wool, then added a bit of brown later on.

When I add those colors to what I’ve dyed before, I realized that I copied the colors of my placemat – how funny!

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FO: Mythos Sweater (It Rocks!)

Oh my, I am very, very happy that my sweater has turned out well.  But first, let’s review the journey.

  1. I decided to knit the Mythos sweater out of lace-weight yarn that had been looking for a project.  This meant an entire recalculation of all the relevant numbers because my gauge is different.
  2. Just as I was about to begin the sweater, a second version knit for the designer showed up, with a loose fit that was very attractive and more what my particular body needs at this time.  I ended up knitting mostly the 44″ bust size, but with a smaller back and neck because I wanted less volume there to make me a bit skinner.  I think this was a good decision for me.
  3. Knitting – I knit the first half, thinking all went well, started the second half, and realized that I had knit the first front incorrectly.  Finished knitting the second front, went back and tinked and reknit the first front.  Then, on the home lap of the 2nd half of the back, I realized that my body and sleeve stitch counts for the first half were too big (my mistake).  By one inch.  I gnashed my teeth and put the sweater into timeout for a couple days, and realized that I could fudge it – only six stitches,  and this is lace weight which will block easily.
  4. Finishing – let me just say for a sweater that has so few seams, this is a lot of finishing – 5 hours at least.  And I’m not a slow finisher.  There’s a version out there that eliminates the sleeve and side-seams, but I’d be cautious about that because there are already no shoulder seams.  Anyway, you block each piece, put it together, then you block again because of the back grafting and the seams.
  5. Try it on.  It fits.  It looks good.  Whew.  I put it down because all I have left is the weaving in of ends, and Brandy makes sure that I know that Izzie is not the only knitting inspector in the household.  Brandy employs the “full body” approach.  Who can blame her with such lovely yarn?
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  7. Enjoy and wear.  I wore this today and had at least three people compliment me unprompted.  Yay!  These photos were shot by my LYS store owner/dealer – Sophie of Blue Bird Yarn and Fiber.

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On that rear view, it looks like the sweater goes up in the back – actually, I think I just need to block the bottom edge a bit so that it doesn’t roll under. The sweater itself is plenty long…

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Uh-oh.

Well, the Mythos cardigan has a few problems. I found out that I had managed to screw of the shaping of the right side when I knit it, so I tinked back and reknit that after I finished the left front. I was excited – I only had the back left side to finish.

Well, that is, til I realized that the entire right side of the sweater body is too long by 6 stitches. Argh.  The sweater has been in time out for a couple of days.   It was just too painful to think of ripping out, and I needed to consider my options.   This is lace-weight yarn on size 3 needles. I’ve already reknit the front once. So, what are the options?

  1. Do nothing.  Not an attractive option – the grafting of the back will not work.
  2. Increase 3 stitches on the left back that I have yet to knit, and add 3 stitches to the right side.  The back will match, but what about the sides – they will be uneven.
  3. Blocking.  This is laceweight yarn, it will stretch, and this is only 6 stitches out of 90.  This will help some.  What else?
  4. Seam “management”.  I can also ever-so-slightly pull up the seam to match the other side in length.  This will make sure that the side are equal as well.
  5. That leaves the front – which I’m hoping will just drape beautifully and show off the gorgeous colorway.

Any other ideas?

May the knitting force be with me as I go onward!

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FOOIR: Poplar and Elm

[FOOIR: Finished Object on Intended Recipient]

Well, I got the sweater and the recipient in the same room, so I could put it on her, and get the buttons put in the most advantageous places. Allison has great shoulders and a tiny waist, so it looks really good on her from the front:
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and the side:
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and the back.
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Hooray!!! I don’t mind a long knit as long as it works out. Whew.

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FO: Milkweed Shawl

I finished the Milkweed Shawl this week too. A comfort knit, that’s for sure! Although I got gauge when I knitted it, I forgot that this was pre-blocking. So I ran out of yarn at the final chart, but fortunately, it still looks fine. Ain’t gonna re-knit this baby. And Iove this colorway from Pagewood Farms – crayon – and the Alyeska yarn is just scrumptious to knit!

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FO: Crochet Flowers and Poplar and Elm

Last week, I was lucky to have some friends visiting who came up to especially see my Mom and me. It was great fun, but I was so tired. On Saturday, when I had a wedding, my stomach and head weren’t doing so well, but I managed to get through it – figured it was allergies.

On Sunday, I wasn’t feeling so hot when I woke up.  This is not good when your job is to speak and pray with folks.  But I managed to get myself going by taking a caffeine pill (coffee wasn’t going to be good thing) and headed in after finishing up the sermon/talk.

When I got in, I was feeling better – good enough, and turned on the heat so I wouldn’t freeze.  I led the service ok, and was doing well enough that I decided to try some of the goodies at coffee hour – we have a GREAT social hour with tasty stuff and not just store-bought cookies.  Then the fade came.  When one congregant came up to chat, I realized that I needed to sit, so we did.  A few minutes later, I realized that I needed to leave pronto, which I did and got myself into my car, up to my apartment.  Within five minutes I was at the porcelain throne in the bathroom.

I finally realized that I’ve got a bad sinus infection – and for the past couple of days, I’ve been trying to deal with it without antibiotics, but I’m about to call my physician to get something for it.

What is bad for my body has been good for the knitting – and even a bit of crochet.

I have made good progress on the Mythos Cardigan, and am starting the back/front section of the left side.  Because of the new gadget that I got (see below), I know that I have enough yarn to finish this. Whew!

The Poplar and Elm sweater that was all knitting except for the finishing got finished yesterday, except for the buttons.  What a lovely pattern~
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The color is amazing, the yarn is so yummy, especially after blocking.  The buttons are not yet attached because I need to rendevous with Allison, my cousin, so I can put them on to the best effect for her lovely hourglass shape.

There is also crochet to show.  My mom has a new rollator (that is a fancy word for the walkers that have seats).  This the one that she has, in purple (a sophisticated choice, if you ask me).  She wanted something fun on it (most of the rollators have great decoration), so I make these out of some Noro Kureyon (so I could get lots of colors and pay for only one skein):

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Aren’t they cute?

But probably the best knitting thing this week is that I finally purchased a food scale to use to measure fiber and yarn – see?

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Honestly,  just like my swift and ball winder, I wish that I had bought one of these a long time ago.  I was able to confirm that I will have enough yarn to knit the Mythos in laceweight  – – imagine my distress if I had run out of yarn for this project – words fail me.  And with spinning, I can now more readily calculate yardage of my handspun.  A total WIN!

This model is the Escali Primo – and it does have the Tare function so that you can weigh the container first and have that taken out of the weight of the thing you are weighing. It was only about $25, and totally worth it!

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Progress and diversion

The Mythos sweater is progressing, but knitting it with lace yarn at a smaller gauge, while a good thing for summer (although unlike a lot of the country, we haven’t had much), makes for an endless knit.  It’s hard to see the progress (this is one sleeve and the beginning of one front and back):

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I badly needed  a diversion from endless stockinette in tiny yarn, so, of course the solution is garter stitch in slightly less tiny yarn – behold my Milkweed Shawl (rav link) in Pagewood Farm’s amazing Alyeska yarn (Crayon colorway).  I am in love with the yarn – I know that I won’t be buying more cashmere because of the environmental problems that are being caused by too much production, but I will enjoy this skein!

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Knitting with two Pagewood Farm yarns at the same time – glorious!

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