Monday, October 27, 2014

Socktober Sundays - Sock Needle Woes

Sorry for being a day late.  Yesterday was hectic. I am blaming the fact that I don't have a completed sock yet on my needles.  

I was happily knitting on my sock with my Knitter's Pride size 1 (2.25mm) sock needles, after I realized that size 1.5 (2.5mm) was too big. then the yarn stopped gliding.  It actually got snagged by the needle.  I was devastated.  I'm sure I just received a bad batch, and Jimmy Beans Wool has a great broken sock needle replacement program.  So, i just have to actually send the thing.  But the worst part is......waiting.  

So, my impatient self bought a pair of bamboo needles as a quick fix to keep my sock mojo going.  There is a notions store a few blocks from my job that sells these.  They are a quick fix when I am pressed for time and can't make it to Purl Soho or Knitty City. 

I made some progress during my commute.  Enough to try them on at work.  Haha.

However, I didn't realize until after the fact that these needles were 7 inches, and my original needles were 5.  I felt like I was going to poke my eye out.  

Then someone in my knitting group asked what we thought about 9 inch circulars.  Ding ding ding!!!  I had a pair at home for years, and never used them.  It turns out that they were the size I needed.  

So, I transferred them to my project on Saturday morning.  

I took the train to 34th Street and back, to spend some time with my best friend, having lunch and shopping. 

Here is my progress when I got back.  Notice how the sock on the left fits perfectly, and the sock on the right is just a little too loose.  So, I need to do that one over. 

Time to insert the afterthought rip cord.

And this is where my sock stands as of now.  I am contemplating how I will do the heel.  
So, I decided that the heel will come from the outside of the second ball.  I will start with the pink section, and continue until it is done.  Once that is complete, I will know where to cut the yarn from this skein for the next afterthought heel.  Then, I can measure and finally get the yardage count that I have been so desperately looking for.  And hopefully, I will have perfectly matching socks that use up all of my yarn.   

My take on the 9 inch circulars.....I feel like I am knitting with my fingertips.  I have to hold the needles a bit differently.  I could be knitpicky and complain about it, or be happy with all this progress I made.  I choose to be happy.  I do have my eyes on a pair of 32" Chiaogoo circulars for future projects though. But i'm not rushing to get to the store to buy them today.  

I may not finish my knitting in time for Socktober, but Operation Sock Drawer is still underway.  These socks will not be made in vain.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Official Rhinebeck Wrap-Up

You all must be wondering if I made my sweater in time for Rhinebeck.  Yes, I did.  here is a little backstory.  
On Thursday night, my sweater was here. 

I had started the button band, and was at the point of doing the button holes and then 3 more rows before binding off.  

Friday morning, I decided to bind off using the tubular bindoff.  The buttonband used a whole skein of yarn, and I had just enough to put on the needle and bind off. I bound off for 2 hours before I had to leave for work.  

So, I knitted the remaining sleeve decreases on my way to work.  The sleeves were here by the time I got to work.  

I super-power knitted during my lunch break and left work with about 24 rows to go before getting to the ribbing.

This is where I was at about 1AM. 

I kept telling myself, I can last on 2 hours of sleep.  I finished the buttonband bindoff after I completed the sleeve.  I looked at the time and it was 4:49 AM.  I swear that tubular bindoff is a time warp.  But it looks amazing on the finished project. 

I had to hustle to sew the buttons, and had just enough time to hop in the shower and get my stuff together so that I could make it to the bus on time.  

And of course, I took a selfie as I was heading out the door.  The lighting isn't so good, but I was just proud of actually finishing.  

My actual Rhinebeck experience was all a blur. 
We got there.....I spend all of my budgeted cash on Miss Babs yarn......I walked around......hugged lots of people......kissed babies......saw tons of sweaters I want to make......found a Grandpa Cardigan Twin......Fondled yarn......bought another yarn kit that I have been drooling for a long time.......sipped wine......talked to more people about their handknits.....took my tired behind back to the bus.  

I managed to get a few photos of the fun time.

My Grandpa Cardigan Twin CassyTom on Ravelry.  It was so nice meeting her.  She knit hers in Mosaic Moon yarn.

My dear friend CreativeCeci who also did the Joji Fall KAL with me. Here is her Tourist sweater in Fuschia Malabrigo yarn.  

Ceci graciously took a picture of the back of my sweater for me.  

The beautiful baby I kissed, wearing the hat I made for him.  He had fun tugging at my curls. Haha!  So adorable. 

His brother wearing the other hat I knitted.  Too cute! 

And last, but not Rhinebeck Haul.


Yowza, Whatta Skein Worsted in Oyster.  This will become a scarf for me.  I'm also trying to find a slouchy hat pattern, so I can make it with a second skein. 

Cosmic Fingering in Across the Universe.  It will become socks.  Just not sure which sock pattern yet. 

Tarte Fingering in Fireball.  This is for my mom, whose favorite color in the whole wide world is orange. She saw a pair of Monkey socks, and fell in love with them.  So, these will be Monkey Socks.  

Tarte Fingering in BFF.  These will be socks for me, but I haven't found a pattern yet.  

A Soakbox kit in Grape Gatsby.  This is EVERYTHING all in one.  A cute pedi and sweet smelling soak wash. 

And a closeup of the mini skeins that I acquired from Gynxyarns and Miss Babs. They look perfect for a sock yarn blanket. 

My favorite is the sparkly orange yarn.  Glitz Sock Mini Skein in Pumpkin Spice.  That's sure to be my next purchase.

So, that's my Rhinebeck Wrap-up.  I have been trying to catch up on sleep ever since.  WIP WEDNESDAY will return next week.  I can finally get back to the projects that I put on hold for the sweater.  Whew!  Operation Sock Drawer and Socktober are still in full effect.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Not giving up.

Rhinebeck will be here this coming weekend. I have been working in my sweater so fervently. I refuse to have a half-knit sweater. Here is my progress.  

At this point, I have 3 more sleeve decreases to do, as well as the button band and collar. The button band involves picking up around 280 stitches. I  will shape the collar portion with short rows. 

My plan is to work on the button band at home, and the sleeve on the train, since that's a bit more manageable. 

I still have faith that this sweater can get done in time. I will knit until I fall asleep with the yarn in my hands. 

I will keep you posted. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Socktober Sundays - NYC Yarn Crawl

Today, I met with Tawana (Carmelnap on Ravelry) to go on the NYC yarn shop excursion. 

Our main mission......SOCK YARN

Our first stop was Knitty City. I decided to drive, and it took us forever to get there because the police blocked off traffic going across town, due to a parade. Ugh. 

So, when we finally got there I was so relieved. I felt a sense of calm, being surrounded by all of the glorious yarn. 

There was a 40% off bin, and I saw this color that stood out to me. 

It's merino wool goodness, and I love the color. 

I initially went looking for MadelineTosh's Tosh Sock Yarn in Holi Festival. However, that yarn flies off the shelf like nobody's business. One of the lovely staff members found me a suitable replacement. 

Julie Asselin's Nanos in the Shortcake colorway. It was dubbed "unicorn skin" by one of the lovely staff members at Knitty City. I think it's a cute name. It's made is Merino, Cashmere, and Nylon. This blend is turning into one of my favorites already. 

Our next journey lead us to the new pop-up shop Gauge & Tension. I got there 5 minutes before closing because of stupid traffic on the BQE. However, the owners were very gracious to have us there an made us feel very welcomed. 

The best part was, I got to meet Kristin of the Yarngasm podcast (Voolenvine on Ravelry). I have been a podcast junkie lately, and her podcast is one of my favorites. I feel like I know so much about her, and it was great to actually meet her in person. She is super sweet. 
And of course I had to purchase some of her beautiful hand dyed yarns. The funny thing is, I knew most of the colorways without even looking at the labels. My memory from the podcast is better than I thought. Haha. 

The first color that I picked up is Reflektor. 
This looked like grey and white on screen, but in person there are these light blue pops of color. It's a far cry away from my warm pink tones, but it's a color I couldn't resist. The fiber content is a blend of Merino and Stellina. I love love love the sparkle. My first sock ever was a sparkle yarn, and I got second sock syndrome and never completed the second one. This will gladly replace that. 

The next color is something I drooled over when I first saw it on Instagram. The Wool & Wine Collection's "Malbec". 
I currently have this obsession with anything remotely close to Oxblood, so this just did it for me. The fiber content is Merino, Cashmere, and Nylon. Once again, my new favorite. I am contemplating making Owlie socks with this yarn. I have to make it to the bead store to get a suitable color for the owl eyes. 

So, now that you have seen my yarn goodies.....a proper sock update is due.
I made some progress on Révolté. 

I tried it on and felt a little funny about it. 

I feel like it's too big. It's laying on my feet instead of stretching over my feet. 
I initially used size 1.5 ( 2.5mm) needles. I also noticed that my knitting is looser on DPN's than magic loop. 

So, I decided to start the other half of the skein with the size 1 (2.25mm) needle. 
I have to knit a few more inches before I actually try it on though. 

While I was knitting with the Knitter' Pride  needles, a piece of one of the needles chipped off. 
I found this to be very strange and unexpected. 
I'm not sure if it's worth contacting the yarn company for a replacement. I will just carry on with the knitting in the meantime. 

Aside from my sock knitting, I have been stuck on sleeve island with my Rhinebeck  sweater. I try to knit a few rows every chance I get. I have finished all of the decreases on one sleeve, and I'm a few inches shy of starting the cuff. I'm just hoping I can cast on the other sleeve in the proper size tomorrow. I am trying to give myself time to complete the button band as well. Rhinebeck is less than a week away. 

Happy Knitting everyone. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Fitting Tight vs. Fitting Right

I have been making good progress on my Grandpa Cardigan. I got to the point where I am 1 cable cross away from starting the ribbing.

But all that glitters isn't always gold. I decided to try it on and was not entirely happy with the result. 

If I can see the imprint of my arm, it is definitely too tight. Eeeeeek.

So, here I am faced with inevitably having to rip out 3 days worth of knitting. I seriously need to finish this sweater by October 17th. And when I say finished, I mean all of the finishing. It must be completely ready for Rhinebeck. 

I had 1 more skein that I used to complete the ribbing of the body. I decided to use that to cast on the other sleeve in the bigger size. 

I actually have made it to the shaping portion of the sleeve now. I feel like it's smooth sailing from here because it actually fits correctly now. 

Another project on the needles..... The scarf for J. 

I sent him this picture and he is happy with the progress. This is almost to the end of skein # 2.  I have been lucky enough to have a skein that began with the same color as the skein that ended. A little water and friction from my hands joined them together seamlessly. You gotta love natural fibers. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Socktober Sunday - Week 1

On Saturday, I spent hours knitting the sleeve of my Grandpa Cardigan.  I needed a bit of a change for the day.

I decided to take a stab at completing socks for SOCKTOBER!!!!  Today was the last official day that I wore a  pair of sandals.  They are these cute open-toe booties.  As I dreaded the thought of putting them away, I began to realize that pretty soon I will need winter boots, and I have no socks.  EEEEEK!  

I have countless skeins of sock yarn.  Enough where I have sock yarn split into 2 skeins, and just waiting to be cast on. Here are some of them.

And.......I may even have a few more skeins tucked away in the OTHER bin, that hasn't been split yet.  

So, why do I have no socks???

I figured it out.  I got all happy when I learned the magic loop 2 at a time technique.  I get all excited, work the socks to the heel turn / gusset, and then Boom!  I stop.  Something weird happens with the counts.  It's like front sock 1, front sock 2, back sock 2, back sock 1.  But when you are doing k2tog  between the backs and the fronts, things get all crazy.  So, it took me about 3 pairs of socks getting stuck somewhere at the heel turn to recognize this flaw.  Silly me should have heel turned 1 at a time, but .... I digress.  

So, here is an example of one sock.

I casted on this sock on July 26, 2009.  The yarn is Araucania Ranco Multy in Pink, and it was given to me by one of my really sweet knitting friends whose Ravelry ID is Carmelnap.  It was a birthday gift, and I was so excited that she gave me this gorgeous pink yarn.  The pattern is Kai-Mei from Cookie A.'s Sock Innovation book.  

For some reason, I got stuck at the gusset.  I have decided to separate the socks, and knit the pattern to complete it.  Now, I just need to figure out where exactly I am in the pattern.  

That is another one of my personal knitting "problems" that I am trying to fix.  I get lost in a pattern, am apprehensive about ripping back, and then I just put it to the side and do the inevitable.  Cast on another project, promising myself that this one will be better.  I will take notes this time.  I will follow it graciously and have a nice completed something in the end. 

So, yeah.  I'm guilty.  I kinda just did that about an hour ago.

I purchased this yarn from The Loopy Ewe about a week ago.  Biscotte & Cie Felix Self Striping Yarn in "Gazania B". 

Gazania is actually a flowering plant native to Southern Africa.  Here is a picture for color reference.

So, the yarn spoke to me and said "I want to be a pair of Toe-Up Afterthought Heel Socks".

So, in my knitting drunkeness (because I had to be drunk off of the yarn fumes to cast on another sock while there was a perfectly pink sock begging for attention) I wound it into a skein.

It's soooooo pretty!!!  

Then, to take a step further, I split the skein so that they were even in weight (53g), and I cut it so that both skeins started with the same color.  Yes, I am a little bit picky about having matchy-matchy socks. 

I casted on 20 stitches, using the Long-Tail Cast On and alternating it between two needles.  This is the cast on that I have done over 200 times for my hexipuffs.  I can do it in my sleep. 

I am using my new 5 inch Knitters Pride needles.  They take a bit of getting used to.  They are so little that I feel like they will snap at any minute.  So, I am being extra careful with them.  Maybe I should have gone with the 6 inch ones.  I was worried that my stitches were going to fall off of the needle after I finished my increases.  But, after putting the stitches on 4 needles, that worry went away.

So, here is the sock that I started.

I am going to call it "Révolté" for 2 reasons.
1. The yarn is made in Saint-Bruno, Quebec.
2. This is the "rebel" project, because although I should be knitting other things..... I am going against all that and knitting away.  

This will become my travel project, because all of my other projects are too big to travel with now.  

I am hoping for 2 things.
1. Beautiful self striping patterns
2. No second sock syndrome.  

Happy Knitting Everyone!