Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Her Grand Duchessness

I just did a random aristocratic title creator thingamajig (that's not its official name, but I'm too lazy to go back, its linked here). And my official title is...
Grand Duchess Laura the Disheveled of Bumpstead under Carpet
Its quite ironic really. One of my former principals used to tell me that I could be disheveled at times (we think she thought it meant stressed.) I just had to share.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Grape Ape

Look! It's a sock!

And a mess, but pay more attention to the sock. Just in time, too. Becky called to tell me she completed her second pair of socks last night. Did I tell you that the loser of our little competition has to knit the winner a pair of socks? I think I had better get knitting.

The Sock Details:

Pattern: My own, in that I've made several modifications to the Jaywalker pattern from Magknits (different stitch pattern, stitch count, and toe)

Needles: Size 1

Yarn: Yarntini Grape Ape bought from the Loopy Ewe

Notes: I love the striping pattern on the yarn (I'm even thinking about making identical socks, it'll be that easy to match up) Plus there is a ton of yarn here. I started with a 110 gram ball and I still have 70 grams left (keep in mind that I wear a size 10 women's shoe). I'm thinking one of the baby presents may be socks made out of this yarn. The yarn did tend to want to split a bit, but overall a great find (I'm glad I have another skein in Loopy Blooms in my stash)


Dear Yarn,
Yes, I know the stash is getting a bit cramped these days. I know more skeins have been arriving than have been leaving and that makes it hard to breathe, especially if your neighbor is mohair. But, I have had a very busy week judging reading fair projects, processing books, looking at fifth wheels with Wheezy, and playing My Little Ponies with Julie. I would have taken you to some of these places but Muggles seem to frown on that sort of behavior. I also know that you are planning a revolt if you do not become the many hats, booties, and socks required for gifts over the next month. I am planning on knitting and watching season 11 of MASH today in an attempt to catch up. I will also be going to Tuesday night knitting this week. I might even take the car in to get the windshield wipers fixed (even more knitting time). BUT I will not give in to your ridiculous demands that say I should keep up with my sock clubs. I'll knit all those Sweet Sheep skeins when I'm good and ready (The same goes for the Lenten Rose Socks).
That is all.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Question and Some Ramblings

Melanie had asked me a question about the yarn I used for my Irish Hiking Scarf. She said,"How did you like the Ella Rae yarn? I'm thinking of getting some for a sweater... "
I liked this yarn for it's price (it was around 6.99 a ball) and the yardage I got from it (219 yards). Anderson (the recipient of the scarf) had accompanied my to my LYS and she picked it out. So it was easy to get and I knew what I was getting.

What I don't like about it is it's a bit harsh. I probably wouldn't want to wear it next to my skin all the time (but I'm not a girl who likes to wear pure wool sweaters unlayered). I have seen it used in felted projects and they came out beautifully. I'm a fan of superwash yarns for sweaters that I'm making for myself. If I was looking to make a sweater in the similar gauge for a similar price I might go with one of the Cascade 220 superwash.

In other news, Becky and I have decided to run our Linneman Family Sock Knitting Race through the end of February (Becky's working on a sweater and I'll have baby gifts to knit, so that will give us more time). I'm still winning (insert gloating laughter here) but I know I'm going to need a huge lead through January to carry me through February (at least baby gifts are a fast knit).

I also figured out why my Jitterbug sock looks like it's made for Bigfoot. 1. I didn't swatch. 2. I was going by US needle sizes and not European. Third time will be a charm (maybe) I'm also going to switch over to the basic sock pattern in the Yarn Harlot's book. Maybe that will get my head on straight.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sweet Charity

Last night, I went to the Orpheum to see Molly Ringwald in "Sweet Charity." We went to celebrate E.B's birthday and had a blast. Unfortunately, I didn't get home until well after midnight. I got up at 5:30 to go to school, so I got very little sleep.
One thing I can't blame on lack of sleep is the ginormous nature of the socks I've been knitting lately. The Collinette Jitterbug pattern tells you to knit 33 rows for the heel flap. That seems huge now, but at the time I didn't question it. Needless to say, the Jitter bug sock is getting a rip back (I'm too lazy for pictures of anything right now). I've spent the last hour listening to knitting pod casts and knitting swatches with the thought that some socks I knit this week may turn out right.
The Loopy Ewe updated with lots of cool yarn I'm lusting over, including lots of yarn pirate. I bought my yarn for my Martha Socks (Check out Sheri's blog) and can't wait to get started on them. I'm thinking a jaywalker pattern, but I need to ponder that when my brain cells can function.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Too Many Socks...Too Little Time

I finished Becky's Birthday Socks out of STR "Hard Rock." Becky has big feet as you can see in this picture (What are big sisters for if not to make fun of their younger siblings?) Her birthday is February 6th and I was actually planning ahead on the knitting for once. Becky and I knit drastically different things, but after both of us looking at the crazy amount of socks we have to knit (I would like to finish 7 more pairs by the end of February), we've decided to have a sock off. The person who knits the most pairs of socks by the end of the month will be declared the winner. I'm ahead for the moment with 2 pairs. But Becky is one of those crazy people who can knit 2 socks at once on double points using a slip stitch method. She's almost ready to finish her second "pair" of socks, which would make us tied (she has one of each color at this point). I had better go and get knitting...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Re-Re Socks

Last Friday I got some yarn from Sheri over at the Loopy Ewe (One of my favorite places to shop for sock yarn). It was Fleece Artist Sock Yarn in the color Nova. I'm not a perfectionist when it comes to my socks matching. I'm a fraternal twin vs. identical twin person. What I got was more like second cousins. It's been rainy here over the last couple days, so the pictures aren't that great, but here

are my Re-Re socks. One is black with lots of color and the other is gray. I was a bit disappointed. I loved the yarn itself but the drastic difference in color did not make me want to buy more of this yarn. After thinking about it long and hard, I decided to email Sheri and see what her opinion was and if she had had this happen to her before. I was amazed at the quick and friendly response I got from her. Within 8 minutes she had emailed me back and emailed Kathryn at Fleece Artist. To make a long story short, Fleece Artist is sending me a new skein of yarn (They recommend dividing your hank into two separate balls and using the knit every other row approach to blend the two different looks that can occur with hand-dying). I'm excited to be trying their yarn again and grateful to Sheri for her super fast and friendly customer service. You can bet that she'll be receiving a good bit of my sock yarn allowance.

Mom has claimed the Re-Re socks for herself since I "have never knit her a pair of socks" and she can wear them with her motorcycle boots (Keep in mind that this is the woman who started me knitting when I was 8 and my first project was socks).

In other knitting news, I've cast on a pair of socks out of Collinette's new sock yarn called Jitterbug. I had finished a Monkey sock out of this over break, then weighed the sock and discovered I did not have enough for a second sock. The first sock was promptly ripped out and I'm going to make some short Stockinette socks with a twisted 1x1 rib edge. I'm off on Monday so I'm hoping to have the Jitterbugs and Becky's STR done by the end of the week.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Socks That Rock

I love my Socks That Rock yarn. For Xmas this year, my parents gave me cash to put towards the STR 2007 club (My grandmother gave me 2 skeins of the lightweight sock yarn, too. How lucky am I?). My full support goes towards the Blue Moon women (If your don't know what I'm talking about, read the yarn harlot's blog) and I can't wait to become a STR club member soon.
Rock on ladies!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Why I knit

I knit to stay sane. It's really as simple as that. Knitting relieves the stress that occurs in my life (like my assistant not showing up for work today when we have a meeting with 100 parents scheduled for tonight) and allows me to calm down and focus. Today while I was in the knit free zone known as work, I realized how much I depend on my knitting to make me not want to kill 12-14 year olds. I'm going to go knit now and recuperate from today before I have to deal with those parents tonight.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Irish Hiking Scarf aka Stash Project #1

I finally finished Nikki's Irish Hiking Scarf (Look at Hello Yarn if you want to make your own). I really like the way it all turned out. Here it is both far away and up close. I didn't space my cables evenly (House and Scrubs were more interesting than counting rows), but I think it adds character. My friend who now owns the scarf is a muggle and couldn't care less about the spacing between the cables. She loves her scarf (Thank goodness, I was a bit worried) and I love the Jimmy Stewart collection of DVDs she got me (I want my own Pukka named Harvey when I grow up).
Alrighty, now for the specifics of the scarf...

Pattern: Hello Yarn's Irish Hiking Scarf
Yarn: Ella Rae Classic in a light green
Amount of Yarn Used: 2 full skeins made around a 60 inch scarf

I really liked this pattern and I now understand why people can't seem to stop at knitting just one.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

You Know You're a Knitter When....

In my real life, I'm a librarian in a middle school. I was in charge of the spelling bee this year at my school. I can't spell worth beans, so I was the word caller. I also had to give definitions and example sentences. The fact that I knit too much became apparent to me when one of the spellers asked for a sentence using the word "graft." Being the person that I am, I didn't hesitate to give the following sample sentence : "Before I am finished knitting a pair of socks, I must graft the toe stitches closed." The speller decided to ask for the definition instead of figuring that one out. Oops.
In real knitting news, I finished Nikki's Irish Hiking Scarf without stressing out about it to much. I'll try to remember to download the pictures off my camera and blog about the project tomorrow.

Monday, January 01, 2007

I lie

Alright... so I already broke the keeping to projects using stash yarn (Really, I can justify it by making a lot of stash projects quickly). The new Blue Moon website is up and I have no will power. I got the two patterns from the 2006 sock club (Hippie Crunchy and the one by Cookie). I also got a skein of medium weight Socks That Rock (I think Chapman Springs, but don't quote me on that one). Now, I just need to complete 4 stash projects before it all arrives. Wish me good luck on that one.