Saturday, April 29, 2006

Sixth Sense with a Twist

What better reason for two posts in one day than to share another pair of socks off the needles!

Pattern: Sixth Sense from the 6Sox Knitalong

Yarn: Regia Cotton (34% cotton), Surf Color 5413 (tropical)

Needles: US1 dpns

Notes: This is a fun pattern (thanks, Susan) that seems to knit up nicely in all the colorways that the KAL gang can find. Mine bring me thoughts of boat drinks and sunny days.

Deviations: Much of my sock knitting is done at work over lunch. I must have been flustered the day that I turned the hem for the first sock. I liked how it looked, but it seemed different from the picture in the pattern. I continued, but the differences were more obvious as I started seeing all the other socks being knit by the group. When I was waaaaaaay down on the foot, I realized that I had managed to turn the sock around and inside out when I turned the hem. Thus, I had stockinette showing with a little purl edge instead of the reverse stockinette that was designed. I liked it so I decided to repeat it for the second sock. (Okay, so I just didn't want to frog an almost finished sock! Sue me.) The fun began when I realized that I had also made two additional errors on the cuff (one fewer purl row and one missing knit row just after the hem was turned). In the end, I'm happy and my feet are happy.
In Which Questions Are Answered

A perusal through the comment logs tells me that I have been remiss. There are questions about and the curious want answers. So, today's post will be about the past.

First off, a big thank you to Kay for the shout out at Mason-Dixon Knitting. It's so fun to have publicity! Next a HUGE thank you for all the complements from my readers. Appreciation feels good!

Now for those anwers that were promised.

For Rebecca in CO, yes, I did use the channel cast on for the New England socks. It was not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. The only downside was that the doubled yarn meant that there was an extra end to weave in. The tops of the socks do seem to curl but they seem to lie flat when on.

For Allison, the colorway of the Gryffindor Socks is Regia Nation farbe (color) 5393. I purchased mine at Velona Needleworks and I also saw that Suzoo's Wool Works had several skeins of this the last time I was there.

For Jennifer, I don't think that all the house colors can be recreated in Regia Nation colors, but there is a yellow/black that would be a good Hufflepuff substitute. There is a green and white, but not a green and grey.

Eyja, you are braver than I. No way, no how was I going to weigh my stash. There are some things I don't want to know.

One more for Rebecca in CO, I completely relate to your daughter the chemical engineer. My degree is actually in chemistry, but I work in engineering. It is all good and, yes, we are a little different.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Earth Day Every Day

In case you missed it, Saturday was Earth Day. We spent a few hours at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. The original intent was to help at the beach cleanup, but a late start and Young Man's froggy voice in the morning nixed that plan. We did have a great time perusing the conservation displays and, of course, visiting the fishes. Young Man again proved that he was a good sport by not correcting the gentleman who was "helping" to explain the tide pools to the boy who was obviously not being watched by any parents. Mr. Engineer and I were both chuckling because we figured that Young Man could probably explain more to the adult than the other way around. We love this aquarium! It is small enough for a quick trip, but there is enough there (and enough fabulous docents) to keep even Young Man happy.

Supposedly, the Governor came to the aquarium later that afternoon. We left before he arrived, but not before Mr. Engineer caught the attention of the security detail. Something about a tall guy looking with great interest at water intakes made the security guys really nervous. Haven't they ever dealt with an engineer before? In other news, Young Man's teacher told us last week that she really thinks that he will be an engineer. You think?

After a picnic lunch, we headed home where I dug up our garden. Mr. Engineer didn't think that I was serious. Boy, was he wrong. Sunday the whole family got into the act with a trip to a local arboretum for their annual big garden show. We came home with lots of gorgeous veggie plants that are now safely nestled into the garden waiting for sun and water so that they can grow their goodies for us. It wasn't a big knitting weekend, but today I received both of Janet Szabo's books. They are fabulous!!!!

Now for some in-progress shots:

My Sixth Sense socks have at least six errors (some deliberate to end up with a matching pair), but they are working out well.

Aran Peach is progressing slowly. Very slowly.

Finally, some better photos of Durrow. I can't think of a better way to remember Earth Day than with a great kid like this.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Not Close to New England

We are about as far as we can get from New England while remaining in the contiguous United States. Still, we have a little taste of the area right here on the blog.

Project: New England from Knitting on the Road, by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Brown Sheep Company Wildfoote in Little Lilac
Needles: US 0 DPNs (these are soooo much smaller than US 1s!)
Notes: Another wonderful pattern from the ever-talented Nancy Bush. I knit these per the pattern with the exception of the toes. Since these are a gift, I stuck with the toe shaping that I know I like. I really like the lacey diamonds. I could see myself knitting these again. Well, I may knit them again once I've forgotten how long it takes to knit with those small needles!
Recipient: I haven't decided, but they may be a teacher appreciation week gift for the best third grade teacher in the state. We are biased, but Young Man's teacher is really wonderful.

Can you believe that I finished two projects in one weekend? Amazing. I'm still knitting away on my FLAK, but the warm weather is making it less appealing. I'm re-swatching for Aran Rose from Interweave Knits. I'm planning to do it in a Debbie Bliss Cotton DK in a delicate peach color (thus the "Aran Rose Peach" name in the progress area). More socks are certainly to come. I have a nice Regia cotton Surf Color lined up for the Six Sox Knitalong socks. Yes, it's time for some spring knitting!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Spring Has Sprung

I now have a sure sign that winter is officially over. The calendar has nothing to do with it. The weather forecast is also inconsequential (given that it was dripping rain at the same time that today's forecast stated it would be clear, we KNOW that the forecast is faulty). No, I know for a fact that Southern California is in for nothing but hot weather from now until Young Man grows at least six inches.

How do I know this, you might ask? It is simple. Durrow is finished. Yes, nothing forecasts hot weather better than finishing a long-sleeved sweater in April.

Pattern: Durrow by Jodi Green

Yarn: Rowan Denim in that elusive black

Needles: Addi Turbo size US 6

Instigator: Kay, of Mason-Dixon Knitting. She has no shame, but her new book with Ann is fabulous!

Details: I knit the smallest size in the pattern and then shrunk the yarn with lots of hot water. For the neckline, I picked up the recommended number of stitches, knit the first row in K2 P4 and then decreased one purl in each rib over the next two rows to end up with K2P2 rib for an inch. This was a fun and challenging project. I learned a LOT (intricate cables, mattress seaming, dealing with Rowan Denim, and figuring out how to modify a neckline), but it was all worth it. I am very proud of this one. Young Man loves it!

Since he wouldn't stand up for the photo, you can't see that I added a few inches to the sleeves (at the cuff) and to the body. My hope is that this will fit him for a year. He grew three inches in the past year (!) and will undoubtedly beat that this year, so the race is on.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Weekend at Gryffindor

With all the fancy schmancy socks that I've been knitting, I completely forgot how quickly I can whip up a simple pair.

Socks - Weekend at Gryffindor
Pattern - Basic sock with 56 stitch tubular cast on and stockinette
Yarn - Regia Nation
Needles - US 1
Destination - Young Man's feet (I know, they will never look this good again.
Notes - Okay, so these aren't really HP socks, but this was a quick, easy pair of socks that is definitely close enough for an eight year old.

Next up is a progress shot of my New England socks from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush. These are being knit on US 0 needles in Brown Sheep Wildfoote. This is the first time that I've knit with size 0 needles and, man, it takes forever to see progress! The weekend break with the US1 needles was a shocker. That one size difference is huge!

Finally, it's a progress shot of my FLAK. I know, it's about time! This is in Brown Sheep Nature Spun in Blueberry. The yarn is nice and soft. I am loving this and learning so much! Janet has done a very nice thing with this pattern and her guidance.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

No Pictures Today

I had a delightful post with photos of my stash, but Blogger was persnickety today. I set out this post and then, suddenly, I was once again able to upload photos. I guess today is a twofer.

Electronic Networked Guardian Responsible for Assassination, Nullification and Online Negotiation
"I'm Telling Dad!"

It was an average day, just another April 1st. I had heard about this Flash Your Stash thing and thought I might give it a go. It took a little while to get it all organized and photographed and then Mr. Engineer installed a new hard disk in my link to the outside world, so the pictures had to wait until today to be seen. I have heard that the first step to solving a problem is to admit that you have one. Okay, let's see.....

First we have the sweater yarn stash. No problems here. My goodness, several of those skeins are being used right now for my FLAK, so they aren't technically even stash yarn. Three other sets have already been swatched and are ready to knit. All of these have patterns tagged and are in queue.

Next is the sock yarn. Absolutely no problems here! We have a nice variety of yarns and all will eventually be worn by someone. Very nice. If there is a problem, it could be that the stack doesn't have any STR in it!

The felting stash is very small. Again, all this yarn has patterns ready and are in queue for knitting. I even have fabric ready for the linings of the two bags that are in the raw state here.

The frou-frou yarn isn't too bad. I'm glad that I discovered real yarn before I bought too much of it. Still, the Fun Fur makes fun hats and I have some takers for scarves. Young Man appreciated my "gift" of the Bernat Disco. It's allllllll his, baby.

Okay, there may be a little problem here with the scarf, hat, and baby sweater yarn stash. I don't have any babies to knit for so what am I doing with yarn for 3-4 baby sweaters???

Put it all together and it isn't so bad, right????

As I was almost half finished with the photography, Young Man walked into the room. He stopped and gasped, "I'm telling Dad that you have too much yarn!" I quickly countered with the logical response that he has too many toys. Thus a stalemate was born. Mr. Engineer did peek in the room as the final photo was being taken. He asked if I had added a box or something to make it look like more. When I responded that I had not, he paused and then said, "Well, you should." He then quickly left the room. Hmmmm.

Here is my stash in its native habitat where it plans domination over lives in peaceful harmony with the quilting stash.