Knittingdodo’s knit rants

Yarn, Needles, An Extinct Bird……What More Do You Need?

FO: Ankle Socks V.1 March 31, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 5:28 pm

Some of you may recal my plan to make myself a series of ankle socks using a single skein of sock yarn. This is mostly because ankle socks are my favorite, but also because I would be able to cut the cost and knitting time on half. I went ahead and got some skeins, figuring if there wasn’t enough yarn I could always use them for socks for the girls.
(Note to self: Must make socks for T soon. She keeps asking)

So, I picked a skein and started to work. I did them toe up two at a time to ensure I would get the most out of the yarn I had. Turns out, I needn’t have worried. I actually had too much yarn. See?

knitting 001

These aren’t really ankle socks. They’re more like tennis socks. And I still have yarn left over. Not much, mind you, but enough to make a mitered square for Mom’s sock yarn rug.

knitting 003

They’re not perfect socks, but every pair I make, I get better and better with the fit. Since I did them toe up, I was able to make sure they weren’t too big, like the Tofutsies ones. I ended up at 50 stitches, and I probably could have gone up to 52 as the yarn is being stretched a bit, but not much more. I hate for my socks to be loose and the Tofutsies ones are definately loose.

knitting 009

I wore these all day Sunday and all night and I was pleasently surprised how comfy they were during the night. I normally have to take socks off in the middle because they get all askew as I roll over. Not these, though they stayed right in place all night. And that’s after being worn all day too!

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I have to remind myself, though, that hand knit socks don’t fit like store bought socks. And that’s not necesarily a bad thing. I’m looking forward to forgetting how store bought socks feel. I have a lot more knitting before I get there, though.

knitting 006

Pattern: Basic Toe up
Yarn: Cascade Sassy Stripes
Needles: Addi Turbos Size US 2
Date Started: March 22, 2009
Date Completed: March 28, 2009 (can’t complain about knitting a pair in only a week, huh?)
Notes: I cast on using the Turkish method and used Wendy’s Generic To Up Sock heel.

*Change of Subject Alert*

I just had to share: D has been practicing all morning how to stand up from sitting without using the furniture to help. It warms my heart to see her try try again until she gets it. And it gives me all kinds of warm fuzzys to see the look of pride on her face when she succeeds.

delaney 006
(Please excuse my dirty carpet. Dark carpet hides stains, but it shows up every little peice of lint and trash)(Notice how tightly her little toes are holding onto the carpet?)

delaney 008

I think walking will be mastered soon!

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Pardon Me While I Digress… March 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 4:06 pm

I realize this is a knitting blog, but I ‘ve just got to show you some shots I got of the girls this weekend. You don’t mind, do you?

Didn’t think so.

There is a small nature center not too far from my house and this weekend they had their annual butterfly day. My MIL is pretty involved with the center, so she reminded us to come out. Unfortunately, Ron has school on Saturdays, so it was a girls day out.

I had plans to get all kinds of fantastic pictures to show off to you guys. I dreamed of the amazing shots where everyone would have to comment and say that my girls were the cutest kids they’ve ever seen and wasn’t I a proffesional photographer?

Apparently the girls didn’t get the memo, cause I got bunches of shots like these:

THe girls 007

Yeah, D wasn’t any help either:

THe girls 013
THe girls 022

(I love the second one, though. It’s a perfect papparazzi pic)

I couldn’t even get a proper picture of the zebra!
THe girls 017

(D held that thing the entire day. She didn’t play with it, just held onto it. It was cute.)

I did finally get some somewhat decent shots of them:

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(This picture was taken with me calling out both their names trying to get them to look at me. They decided they needed a reflective photo instead)

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This is probably the best one I got of the two of them together. I got plenty where one or the other is a blur or doing something icky like picking their nose…

I got a few just-a-little-silly shots:

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(She’s driving the boat, in case you can’t tell)
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(Look at those eyelashes!)

Oh, and just in case you worry about the lack of knitting on this glorious day,
THe girls 039

I brought it with me and did manage to knit a few rows. These socks are done now, by the way. I’ve got to wash them and them I’ll show you the pretty pictures.

Somehow, I think that the socks will be a wee bit more cooperative for the photo shoot…

 

Brand New WIPs March 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 5:00 pm

This is the first time on over a month that I’ve had a brand new series of WIPs to show you. I tell you, it’s kind of odd finishing all my projects at the same time.

First, I have the shop sample that I’ve been commisioned to make. This is a sort of “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine” type arrangement. The shop needed some sample garments kint up on the new yarns they want to promote. The owners never have much time to knit and the other patrons are busy knitting their own stuff. I needed money and never have the funds to be able to get the pretty new yarns to play with. So, we are helping each other out. It’s working out well.

Anyway, this is being made out of Araucania cotton yarn. It’s a fingering weight, done on 3’s and 4’s, so it’s good that I’m making the small size for the sample. Being a bit of a big girl, I’d hate to think how long it would take to make it in my size. Regardless, here’s all I’ve done so far:

knitting 008

It’s the back panel, and it’s not all that exciting yet. It’s going to be pretty when done, though, I promise. On a side note, I need to learn how to convert patterns that are knit in pieces to patterns that are knit all together in one piece. I’m sure it’s very easy to do, and I almost tried to do it with this one. But, since it’s my first real shop sample, I wanted to do it by the book. For any of you out there that do that sort of thing, do you just do all the shaping like the pattern says with it just one big solid piece, or is there some special stuff you have to do to the pattern?

My next WIP is a bit of a cheat. You may remember that I was complaining that after I finished the taffy socks, I was going to have to make socks for Mom? I was bummed because I wanted to work on some socks for me. Well, when I finished Jerry’s socks, I very diligently pulled out the yarn that I needed for Mom’s…then I realized that I had to get size 1 needles. You see, Mom’s socks will be the negative version of my Tofutsies for my Tootsies and I learned the hard way that that yarn needs to be knit on smaller needles. I know this because I can feel the individual stitches on the bottom of my feet when I wear the socks with shoes.

Well, I don’t have a size 1 needle, at least not a good one. So, while I’m waiting for one to come from Knitpicks, I went ahead and cast on some socks for myself:

knitting 004

You may remember that I’ve bought several single skeins of sale sock yarn with the plan of making myself several pairs of ankle socks. Well, this is the first round. I am, of course, doing them toe up at the same time in order to get the most out of the yarn. I will basically knit until I run out.

But, since these are, in essence, half socks, they will take half the time. I only started them 2 days ago and I’m almost halfway to the heel already. I love quick stuff!

 

FO: Taffy Socks March 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 4:38 pm

In December, we got a knock at the door and were surprised to see one of the couples from church carrying a rather large basket standing on our doorstep.  Apparently, their family had decided that, instead of buying each other gifts, they would do a charitable action in each other’s names.

Since last year was such a rough one for Ron and I, Jerry and Linda decided that making sure we had a nice Christmas would be their charitable action.  Ron and I were floored, let me tell you.

Jerry and Linda showed up with a ham and all the fixin’s for a nice Christmas Eve dinner, gifts for the girls all wrapped up pretty, and several gift cards.  Some of the gift cards were for important needed things like the one from Target, and some of the gift cards were just for fun, like the move tickets and the one from Starbucks.  And, to top it all of, they inclosed $100 bill that we were able to use to pay our vehicle registration.

(You see, this is how I know God takes care of us.  I didn’t know where I was gonna find the money to pay for our tags.  I was rather worried about it, actually, and then He provided)

Anyway, I immediately wanted to make something to show our gratitude for their amazing generosity.  It took me a little while to find what would be perfect for them, but I finally did.  For Linda, the Undulating Waves Scarf I showed you yesterday.  She’s a very classy lady and deserves a classy scarf.  For Jerry, who’s a little bit silly and yet still a business man…socks.  I went ahead and asked him first if he would even wear them and he seemed really keen on the idea.  So here they are, being modeled by Ron:

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I really like the marbling effect that the yarn has. It looks a lot better knit up than it did in the skein. If fact, I didn’t think I’d like it at all when I first saw the yarn. But, I’m pleasently surprised. I have some more of this yarn in purple that I’m now looking forward to knitting up.

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The yarn is Patons Stretch Sock in Taffy and it came from Michaels. Now, you all know that I want to be an uber yarn snob, especially when it comes to sock yarn, but my finances don’t always always allow for that. This stuff wasn’t too bad at about $5 a skein. I don’t know how well it’ll hold up when worn, but it was pretty ok to knit up.
The sock pattern is just a straight vanilla toe up. The only special that I did was to knit them both together. I knew that if I did them one at a time, I’d never finish the second one. As it was, they seemed to take forever. I need to remember to make gift socks only for people with freakishly small feet.

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(T had to model her feet too)

Pattern: Basic toe up stockinette socks
Yarn: Patons Stretchy Sock in Taffy
Needles: Addi Turbos size US2
Date Started: February 25, 2009
Date Completed: March 19, 2009
Notes: I couldn’t find the center pull in either of these skeins. That was frustration number one. I knew that if I just knit them form the original wind, I would have a mess of yarn from them rolling all over each other and getting tangled. I looked online and got a tutorial on how to wind your own center pull by using your thumb. I wound and cast on and got about 2 inches into it when one of the center pulls got a knot and the yarn broke while I tried to get the knot out so I could see it to untangle it. So I rewound it and, just a few rows later, had the same problem. Only, this time I stopped pulling on it before the yarn broke. I then rolled the yarn up into regular balls and knit up the rest of the socks that way. This was a little bit dificult since the yarn was still connected to the socks. But it worked. I just know now to avoid winding my own center pulls. It’s just more proof that I need a ball winder.

knitting 023

 

FO: Heather Undulating Wave Scarf March 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 7:48 pm

Contrary to what you might think, I am not dead, I have not been abducted by aliens, and I do not have the bubonic plague. What I do have, however, is three extra 1 year olds running around wreaking havoc in my house. If you’ve ever had four 1 year olds together for any length of time in one room, then you’ll understand why I haven’t been able to blog…or nap…or do housework… Well, I might be able to do housework, but don’t tell that to my husband. Why, you ask, do I all of a sudden have so many small people around? Well, I wanted to see the world from Octomom’s point of view, but could only get halfway there. ;o) No, really, I am trying to bring in a little extra cash by watching some friend’s kids. It’s a whole lot more work than just watching my kids, let me tell you. I have been knitting, though, even if I haven’t been able to do much in the blog world. See what I completed? knitting 003 Yup, this is the infamous scarf. I finished it a few days few days ago. Isn’t it pretty? knitting 008 Although the pattern said to put the beads on all the way through, I decided to nix the beads on the middle. I thought it would make it awful heavy and may pull her hair, so I did 6 repeats on either side with beads and 7 in the middle without. knitting 006 The pattern originally called for 19 repeats. I did the 19, but wish I had done a few more. I don’t think the scarf is quite long enough. I mean, it’s fine if you just hang it down from your neck, but you can’t really wrap it around at all. I guess for just a fashion scarf that’s ok. I don’t have any pictures of it being worn because I don’t have my own proffesional photographer like some people. ;o) knitting 017 I’m really happy with the way it turned out, though. It’s one of those things I can be really proud of making. They’re even gonna put it up in the shop for display for a few weeks. It’s a gift for a friend, so I guess I’ll be waiting a little bit longer before I give it to her. Since she doesn’t know it’s coming, I don’t think a few more weeks will matter much. knitting 010 Pattern: Heather Undulating Waves Scarf by Laura Nelkin Yarn: Schaefer Yarn in Heather weight and Indira Ghandi colorway Needles: My Knitpicks Harmonys in size US 6 (LOVIN’ THEM!!!) Date Started: February 15, 2009 Date Completed: March 21, 2009 Mods: As stated above, I skipped the beads in the middle 7 pattern repeats. All in all a very satisfying knit. And, since I dislike knitting scarves, that’s saying a lot. Plus, I have a great story to tell my grandchildren about my first LYS class! I think my only frustration was, since you bead the yarn before you knit, I had to spend 5 minutes every half repeat pushing the beads down the yarn. It was a bit of a bother. Oh well, it was worth it for this: knitting 019

 

Blasted Kids! March 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 5:35 pm

I think one of my girls got ahold of the camera and ran the battery down. That or Ron did. Either is totally possible. And it doesn’t really matter who did it, the point is I couldn’t take a picture of my WIPs because the batteries are dead and there isn’t a fresh one in the house. So, you get crappy cell phone pics again.

Sorry ’bout dat.

First, the scarf.

downsized_0311091010[1] (2)

It doesn’t look much different than it did last week, but that’s mainly beacsue I’ve only been working on it in Sunday’s at the LYS. I did manage to add another pattern repeat to it, so I think I only have two more to do and then I can start back with the beads for the final 6 repeats. I know that if I just focused on it, I could probably get it done in a couple of days. The reason I haven’t is that I’m afraid if I finish it before I finish the socks, then I’ll drag my feet on the socks and they’ll never get done. That might not make all that much sense, but it works in my brain. So I keep chuggin’ on the socks, hoping to get them done soon.

And, speaking of the socks…

downsized_0311091009[1] (2)

There’s heels in them there socks! I love it once I turn the heel. I can now say that I’m over halfway done! My original plan was to just knit until I ran out of yarn. I had two balls of the yarn, so I figured one ball for each sock would be perfect for a man’s size 10.5 foot. And it might still be. I have to see. Since I’m looking over at my sock stash and longing to cast on a pair for myself, I may stop a little early on these socks. I mean, I’m not making them ankle socks or anything. But, if they start to looking a little long, I may just go ahead and stop without finishing the balls. Who knows, there may not be enough yarn left for this to be a problem.

But you know what the kicker is? I can’t even cast on a pair for myself after I finished these. Mom’s been bugging me for a pair of Negative Tofutsies For My Tootsies. (Basically, the same as my Tofutsies socks, only with the colors switched) She keeps asking when I’m gonna get them started. So, I have to make hers next. (darn it!)

Luckily, though, she only wears a size 6.5 shoes, so her socks won’t take nearly as long.

*sigh* one day I’ll be able to make all the socks for myself that I want. My goal is to have enough handmade socks that I can get rid of all my store bought. That’s why I’ve got several single skeins to make quick ankle socks.

If anyone knows of some super cute ankle sock patterns, let me know, huh?

 

Grrr, And Thanks March 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 5:37 pm

Let’s start with the thanks, shall we?

I wanted to thank all of you who have offered your prayers and well wishes to me and Ron as we try to find a new place for him to work. Some of you have even offered me yarn and, I tell ya, God’s got a special place in heaven for you guys!

Here’s an update on Ron’s job. They were supposed to let him know about the incentives to stay and not quit. Apparently, they are having a hard time figuring out what those incentives should be. They’ve also asked every to sign an affidavit saying the we won’t sue for wrongful termination and the like. You have to sign the thing in order to get the severance package. Ron thinks they are going to try to get people to quit or come up with phony problems and fire them so that they don’t have to pay the severance. With what this company has done so far, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Thankfully, Ron’s gotten a lot of on the job training in all different areas since they started laying off people. He think he might be able to take advantage of that training and get a job with another aerospace company and maybe even make more money. I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but that would really help us out. He goes to the Long Beach Grand Prix every year (he volunteers to work it, so he gets in for free!) and there are several guys who do to that are with some of the bigger companies. He thinks that he might have and “in” with them. Let’s hope he’s right, huh? It would be nice to be able to not have to worry about where the mortgage payment is coming from.

*On To The GRRR…*

I have finished three projects int he last week and a half. That’s not the Grr, that’s a little bit of Yay! The Grr is that I can’t show you any of them!

One is a gift for my March Traveling Scarf Group Secret Swap Reveal package, so that has to wait until I actually sent out and she receives the package.

The other two are not surprises. They are just things I’ve made and given without getting proper pictures! I made a 5 hours baby sweater, but didn’t have my camera on me, so I took a picture with my mom’s camera. One day she’ll remember to email me the picture….maybe. The second I just finished yesterday. It’s the helmet liner that I was comissioned to make. Well, being the dunderhead that I am, I dropped it off at the shop yesterday with out taking one single picture! Blasted!

So, you’ll have to trust me that they look good and that I am actually knitting and not just playing on the computer. I am, of course, also still working on the scarf and socks that were in the WIP post last week. As much as I would like to be able to say that I’ll get them done in time, I’m pretty sure they’ll be in this week’s WIP post too. I need to get crackin’ on them, though, ’cause I’ma itchin’ to get started on another pair of socks for me!

I hate to do a post without at least one picture, though, so I’ll leave you with this:

knitting

This is my backyard. We’ve had a lot of rain lately, so it’s grown it’s own mini forest. I guess we need to mow a little bit….