Knittingdodo’s knit rants

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

FO: June Lake Socks July 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 6:37 pm

(My cat is totally on my poopy list. I was almost done with this whole post and she erased the whole thing. I’m going to rewrite it now, but it will never be as good as the original. Just know that as you read.)

So. Camping. That’s what I did this last week. My folks have a RV and invited us to join them in the Sierra Nevadas. It’s gorgeous up there and I’m not just saying that because it was 20 degrees cooler there than it was here.

Another good thing about camping? I got to knit a lot. I mean, a lot! In fact, the only time I wasn’t knitting was when I was sleeping and cooking. My mom broke her hand a few weeks ago, so I did pretty much all the cooking. But it worked out because, had I not needed to put the needles down and cook, I probably would have run out of things to knit. It is nice, though, to get a pair of socks done in less than a week. I started them the second day up there and was able to wear them home.

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(Also in the picture you see my girls being the most clean they were all week. What is it with camping and dirt and kids? It’s like the dirt attacked them until it covered every square inch of their bodies. We bathed them every night and the water was very nearly black after.)

These were an ok knit. I got a little bit bored with the easy pattern repeat after the second or third go round. I will say, though, that they were perfect for traveling, since I didn’t really have to pay much attention to them and they look adorable finished. The pattern was a perfect match to the yarn. There isn’t any pooling and the stitch definition is perfect.

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Project: Toasty Twist Socks by Teresa Fox (Rav Me!)
Yarn: Happy Feet by Plymouth Yarns
Needles: Size US 1
Date Started: July 11, 2009
Date Completed: July 15, 2009
Mods: I actually changed these quite a bit. On a size 1 needle, 60 stitches fits my foot perfectly. The original pattern was calling for 68 stitches on sixe 2s. I knew the socks would just fall off. So, I adjusted it to work. Luckily, the pattern repeat was short, so I made it to be 60 stitches and knit it on 1s. The result is a perfect fitting sock.

On a side note: I made these with one skein of yarn. I felt that, after the Breeze incident, I would have plenty of yarn left over. I maybe shouldn’t have gotten so cocky. This is all the yarn I had left:


I was sweating bullets while working on that second toe, I tell ya.
Of course, it wouldn’t have been too terribly bad had I run out. Since there are so many colors in the yarn, I could have easily done the toes in a solid. But that would have meant that I would have had to take out the first toe. And I couldn’t have worn them home. All in all, it worked out better this way.

On another side note: I was so looking forward to being able to tour the local yarn stores and maybe even get some great sock yarn I’d never seen before. Well, turns out, there’s only one yarn store in all of that region. And, while it’s a cute little store called The Green Thread, it only had one brand of socks yarn, Lornas Laces. And, it only had about 4 colors and they were all solid and not colors I care for. And they were several dollars more than they are down here. I wasn’t about to buy yarn that cost more in a color I don’t like when I can get it at home. So, my yarn store tour was a bit of a let down. Oh well, maybe next trip.


FO: A June Breeze July 10, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 7:05 pm

These are my June Personal Sock Club socks. I finished then a few days late, though.

The personal sock club is something that a few of us are doing where you make one pair of socks using your existing stash every month. With the shop closing and gifts, I’ve managed to amass 60 pairs worth of sock yarn, so I needed to do something to use it all…especially because I still want to buy more yarn. Sock yarn is my weakness, I tell you.

So, my Spring Forwards were my May socks and these are for June.

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These almost didn’t get done. I only had one skein of yarn and I was afraid I’d run out. Now, I know that I’ve done other socks out of one skein, but those skeins were 215-225 yards. This skein only had 185. That’s when all the trouble started.

Because I was afraid I’d run out, I tried to change up the pattern. I failed…everytime. I changed the toe 3 times and everytime was worse. I tried a pedicure sock, a partial toe and, finally, a flip flop toe. They all looked bad, so I finally decided to take my chances and follow the pattern.

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Turnes out, I needn’t have worried. I had plenty of yarn. I even had a little ball left over.

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Project: Breeze by Jennifer L. Appleby (Rav Me!)
Yarn: Louet Gems in Cherry Red
Needles: US 1
Date Started: June 10, 2009
Date Completed: July 3, 2009
Notes: The reason it took so long is becasue I had to banish them for a little while after the toe debacle. Once I stopped being mad at them, I was able to do the second one in a week or so.

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Oh, and for those of you who were wondering, we still haven’t heard anything about that job for Ron. Ron called the guy the othewr day, but he wasn’t available. He hasn’t returned the call yet, so Ron will try him again tonight. I’m getting the feeling, though, that maybe this job isn’t God’s plan as I thought. While I’m bummed, I’m at peace with the fact that God will take care of us. And besides, we still haven’t found out for sure.


FO: A Shop Sample

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 6:41 pm

Well, I’ve only been working on this for eleventy billion years, but it’s finally done.

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This is the shop sample I started so many months ago. You may recall when I told you I’d been asked to make a blouse out of some new yarn the shop had as a way to highlight it and get people to buy it. Well, not more than a few weeks later, we got the news the shop was closing.

Since making the blouse for the shop had only been part of the plan, I continued working on it. You see, one of the regulars bought the yarn and had me make it to fit her very thin daughter. That way it could still be of use after the shop was done with it.

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When I found out Sandra was planning to open her own shop and wouldn’t need the blouse for a few months, I decided to take a break from it. I had done the back panel and the sleeves, and had started on the front, but the almost 10″ of stockinette in fingering weight yarn was just about driving me crazy. I needed a break before I started hating it. So I stopped for nearly two months and knit on other things. It was wonderful.

But, soon the new shop, Knitting With Sandra, would open it’s doors. So I pulled out the top and knit again in earnest. It only took me another week and a half or so to finally finish it off.

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I think the reason why the last bit went so fast is because I had finally gotten to the fun part, the cable bit. That makes all the difference for me. If it can keep my attention by changing things up regularly, I can knit things up very fast. It’s never ending basic stitches that tend to bore me and make things draw out.

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Project: #21 Simplicity by Verena Design Team Spring 2009
Yarn: Araucania Lonco Solid
Needles: US 3 and 4
Date Started: March 21, 2009
Date completed: July 8, 2009
Notes: I wasn’t too keen on the way the pattern was written. I don’t think it’s for a novice knitter at all. There were too many place where they assumed you knew what you were supposed to do, places where they didn’t tell you. I was able to figure it out, but if I had tried this pattern a few years ago, I doubt I’d have been able to. Also, the yarn is very pretty and works perfectly with this pattern. However, it’s a complete bear to wind and the twist is loose. I worry about my weaved in ends coming undone. Other than that, it was a pleasure to knit with.

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FO: Helmet Liner For Father’s Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 6:17 pm

I knit gifts for my family. I’m sure you all knew that since I post on here who I’m knitting what for. But there’s one person in my family that I’ve not been able to knit anything for. My dad.

He’s just not a knitwear type person. I suppose if we lived somewhere that got colder than 50 degreees in the Winter, he’d probably wear all kinds of hats, gloves, and sweaters. But, we don’t, so he doesn’t see the need. And I don’t want to spend the time knitting something for him that he’s not gonna appreciate. So I don’t knit for Dad.

However, a few months ago, he actually asked me if I could knit him something. I decided I would even before he told me what it was. I mean, knit wear he would want? Of course I’ll do it!

Dad rides a motorcycle for his 45 minute commute to work everyday. He bought it a few years ago when the gas prices started to rise and he realized just how much he would waste on gas money driving his Jeep to work everyday. He leaves early in the morning and, in the Winter on the bike, it does get cold enough to need knitwear. So he asked if I could make him a helmet liner to keep his face and neck warm.

Of course, he wanted it in black, which is icky for me, but, again, I was just happy to be able to knit something for him finally. And, as luck would have it, I was making one for a customer of my LYS. I was able to make that one and have Dad try it on to see if he liked it as the pattern was written. He made a few changes like making the neck bit longer to go all the way to his shouulders and ensure it would stay in his collar.

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Even though Dad had asked in Frebruary or so, I figured I’d wait until Father’s Day. He doesn’t need it until November anyway. And, since my LYS had closed by the time I started it, I got Knitpicks Swish instead of Brown Sheep. I’m glad for that as the Swish is sooooo mush softer than the Brown Sheep.

downsized_0621091814a[1] (2)

Project: Helmet Liner by Bonnie Long
Yarn: Knitpicks Swish worsted in black
Needles: US 6 and 8
Date Started: June 18, 2009
Date Completed: June 22, 2009
Mods: Well, as stated above, I made the neck bit longer. And I made the part around the face a bit longer. Other than that…


FO: Yoga Socks July 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 5:57 pm

My brother’s fiance is a dancer. She also just had her 21st birthday last week. She’s also asked me on several occasions to make her some socks.

So, I took advantage of the situation and made her some.

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Now, they’re really not what she’s been asking for. What she really wants is a pair of knee socks in funky colors. I totally plan on making her some someday. But I feel I should make a pair for myself first, so I can get down the construction. Plus, it’s gonna take time to knit knee socks and I didn’t have the time before her birthday. If you read my post a few days ago, you know that I also didn’t need the stress. So I thought the yoga socks were perfect becasue they were mindless.

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They’re called yoga socks, but I think they will be perfect for dance rehearsals in the Winter. She still has the ball of her foot and heel to get traction, but her whole foot doesn’t have to freeze. I’m hoping she likes them, because they were dead easy and would be perfect to add to other gifts at Christmas and birthdays over the years. I could have fun making them fun.

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Project: Yoga Socks by Claire Herne
Yarn: Wildfoote in Rock n’ Roll
Needles: US 2
Date Started: June 19. 2009
Date Completed: June 23, 2009
Mods: I did change things up a bit. I added a few rows of garter right before I bound off for the heel and right after I cast on again. I thought this might help with any rolling. Also, I think a size 2 needle was too big for the number of stitches. I would think she would like them a little bit tighter. So I think that if I make another pair, I’ll use 1’s.


FO: A Hat For A Little Boy

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 5:42 pm

A friend at church is a foster mom. I think the world of what she and her husband are doing. It’s great that these kids get a little stability in their lives, even if only for a few days, and they get to see what a family is supposed to be like.

Well, last week, she had two brothers, and she only had them for a week. However, they left an impression in her, the younger one the most. You see, he’d been accidentally burned with scalding hot water on his scalp and forehead. As a result, he has no hair, burn scars, and very, very sensitive and thin skin. Apparently, if he lightly bumps his head on something, it’s sure to tear his skin and cause problems. So, he wears a crocheted cap that someone made. I have a feeling it’s something he got in the hospital. It’s a little skull cap and it does the job, but it’s pretty dingy and beat up since he wears it everyday.

So, my friend asked me to make him 3 or so more so that he’d be able to trade out. I would have done it at just that, of course, I’d love to help out any kids, for sure. But, when I saw the cap he was wearing, I was doubly sure I’d make him some. You see, the cap he had on was acrylic. Crappy acrylic. For those of you who love acrylic, please don’t get angry with me. But acrylic has one major flaw that could be really dangerous for this boy in particular.

It melts.

When it comes in contact with fire or a really strong heat source, it will melt directly to whatever it’s on. And, in this case, that’s this little 3 year old boy’s very sensitive and injured head. I feel that, just in case his accident wasn’t so much of an accident, he needs some good old fashioned wool in his caps. Wool doesn’t melt. It doesn’t even burn. Wool puts itself out. I think that’s probably the best thing to put on his head, don’t you?

So, I went through my stash to find something that was wool and still soft enough to set on his sensitive head. And, what did I come across? My prize package from winning the speed knitting contest on Kintpicks back in February. I won one of their yarn samplers, which included 4 skeins of wool, each a different weight. Well, what else can you do with one single skein of yarn besides make a hat? (Yes, I know you can make bunches of things with one skein, but stay with me, huh?) And, 3 of the skeins were superwash, perfect for a little boy who is active and dirty. AND…they are all different shades of blue! Could this be a match made in heaven?

So, I set out for patterns. I had a bit of trouble with that, though. I found baby patterns and adult patterns. I even found grade school patterns. But none that were really set for a 3 year old head. At least, none that were really interesting. So, I took one and made it fit.

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I got the pattern out of 100 Designer One-Skein Wonders. I swear that is the best pattern book I’ve got. I’ve made more out of it than I have any of my other books.

It took slightly over half of the skein and I worked it up in one evening. The architecture is kind of interesting in that you knit the band first as one long 6 stitch piece. Then sew it up, pick up the stitched from one side, and then knit up. I chose this pattern to do first becasue I knew I could easily adjust the size by knitting my long piece shorter than the pattern.

It wourked out perfect. It fits T just fine and she’s only a year older than this little boy, so it should fit him as well.

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Project: New Directions Hat Margaret K. K. Radcliffe (Rav link)
Yarn: Knitpicks Swish Worsted in Marine Heather
Needles: US 10
Date Started: June 30, 2009
Date Completed: June 30, 2009
Mods: I changed the decreases a bit as I wanted a smoother top. I did a k3 k2tog, then k2 k2tog, then k1 k2tog, putting a kint row inbetween until I had 4 stitches or so. Then I pulled the tail through.