April 27, 2007

(My First Ever) Eye Candy Friday

I can't promise Eye Candy Friday every week, but if I've got something I deem worthy, I'll share.

Like this picture I took a few days ago, outside my house, around 4pm. That white spot in the sky is, indeed, the moon.

April 25, 2007

Progress and Distraction

Thank you guys for all the encouragement to press on with my cable cardi. I've been working on it a little bit and have made some progress on those pesky sleeves. My biggest concern/problem/hinderance was fear of mangling the shaping of the sleeve cap. Ali very kindly pointed me to this cool knitty article. And Margaret had a brilliant suggestion to put in a lifeline right before starting the cap shaping and then just go for it.

I've gotten right to the point of inserting that lifeline. I knit both sleeves at the same time. These are pictures of just one sleeve, but the other one is exactly the same. Well, not exactly, exactly but that's another story. Not a very good story, though, so I'm not going to tell it. Suffice it to say there's a teeny, tiny, almost imperceptible difference between the sleeves. Mistakes were made and if one were to play the blame game, then Past Jean would be found culpable. But we're not here to point fingers so Present Jean has taken (half-assed) measures to adjust for the difference and feels it's important to just move on now. Hopefully Future Jean won't be pissed at us both for being such slackers.

I used stitch markers to pin it closed then slipped it on my arm to make sure it's wide enough and long enough. I think it is. Theoretically, it'll hit right about at my elbow, which was my general idea way back when.

About three rows ago I realized the cables on the fronts and back turned every sixth row. I've been cabling on the sleeves every fourth row. Whoops! No, no, wait...I don't mean "Whoops", I mean "I meant to do that". Yeah, that's right, it was totally on purpose and fully intentional. See, I really need just to go forward. The likely hood of this sweater getting finished anytime soon is tenuous enough. If I don't allow for some let's say, "quirks", this darn sweater will never get done. Therefore, the cables on the sleeves will continue every fourth row. The fact that it's a mistake will just stay our little secret, 'kay?

So anyway, I'm going to insert that lifeline and then I'm ready to start shaping the sleeve cap.

Do you sense a "but" coming? An explanation for the "Distraction" in the title? You're right! You've got to get up pretty early in the morning to get anything past you folks.

Misti Cotton (83% Peruvian Pima Cotton, 17% Silk, Papaya color) purchased today at A Mano Yarn Center.

This yummy yarn is destined to be this:

This is Valpuri, a free pattern from Berroco. Did I mention it's free? And, c'mon, look how cute!

, the designer of the Mad Color Weave socks gets the credit for being the enabler who brought this pattern to my attention.

The sleeve caps for my cable cardi are just going to have to wait. Valpuri here I come!

April 23, 2007

FO: Mad Color Weave Socks

Pattern: Mad Color Weave, Round Four of Sock Madness
Designer: Tina Lorin
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Cabin Fever Colorway
Needles: US 1 (2.25mm) Aluminum DPN's
Mods: Made smaller by using 66 stitches instead of the 74 called for by the pattern. Using the lower stitch count got me a little confused at the heel turn. I just kind of "winged it" while trying to maintain the spirit of the pattern. It worked out just fine.
Verdict: I love them! These were a challenging knit for me (the mini cables down the side were a bit of a fight), but I got into a groove and was having a great time by the second sock. I'm thrilled with the yarn. I like the color even better knit than in the skein. I'm keeping these for myself. In fact, I haven't taken them off my feet since taking that picture. They feel wonderful.
Side Story: The second sock had something of an adventure with me on Friday. I woke up that morning with a sharp, localized pain on the right side of my lower abdomen. That symptom pretty much always means appendicitis. (Except, as you'll see, when it doesn't.) So, the sock spent the day with me in the emergency room. It was excellent hospital knitting. Just complicated enough to distract me from being scared and in pain. Not too complicated that I couldn't keep knitting despite the drugs. Several, unpleasant, probing exams later and the pain was declared not appendicitis or anything else which could pose imminent harm and I was sent home. Almost exactly 24 hours after starting, the pain stopped just as abruptly and randomly. Whatever it was, I'm all better now. And these are my "close call" socks. Can I have a hallelujah?

April 19, 2007

Sock and Frog

I've finished the first of the Mad Color Weave socks. It's posing here with my new knitting mascot. This frog was a gift selected for me by my four year old nephew. He's four. He has no idea how perfect it is to give a knitter a frog. But he's clearly got some serious gift picking mojo developing.

I'm hoping by making this frog the mascot of my knitting (live with the stash, hang out with me during knitting time) it will want to be the only frog around and keep the other kind of frog at bay. If this frog should decide it needs friends and feels like inviting that other frog to Casa de Golden Purl, well then, maybe it'll help me keep a good sense of humor about it all.

So do you think my new frog is a boy or a girl? And further to that, what do you think it wants its name to be? If you're not backing away slowly, sure that this time I've really lost my mind, I'd love opinions. Sir Frogington? Lady Frogette Me Not? Frogga Logga Ding Dong?

April 16, 2007

Bobbing and Weaving

Round Four of Sock Madness has been a great spectator's race. Lots of excitement, drama, amazing gallantry, thrilling highs, crushing lows and creamy middles.

I've been slowly knitting along on the sidelines. I'm currently creeping my way through the first heel flap.

Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Cabin Fever Colorway. I'm lovin' this colorway. I think I'll be keeping these socks for me. Mwaahaahaa, mine, all mine! (Settle down, Coco. Your request for socks is duly noted. And these aren't your colors anyway.)

Before this pattern was released, the organizers gave us a teaser for future rounds. They said one pattern would have "stitches just dangling...you pray you don’t accidentally drop the hanging stitches..." Well that phrase struck fear into our poor, knitter hearts but inspired some very funny, sock-themed, horror movie title parodies. My two favorites both came from Techno-knitter: The Am-knitting-ville Horror and Terror on Size 00 DPN's. Tee hee, giggle, giggle.

Anyway, this is the pattern with the dangling stitches. Just letting those stitches hang out there did make me very nervous early on. But now that I've finished one leg, I've gotten all bold and a little cocky about it. I'm all, "Yeah, that's right, I'm just gonna drop this stitch. Nah, I'm not worried. It'll stay. 'Cause I'm just that good, baby." It's really not me that's so good, though. It's the genius of the stitch pattern that makes it work. It's modified from a Barbara Walker, bien sur. Kudos, of course, also go to sock designer Tina Lorin for figuring out the modification.

The pattern is slow and fiddly but I do feel quite the sense of accomplishment for even getting this far. In fact, I want to go knit more. Right now. Toodles.

April 15, 2007

Painted Madness

I finally finished the Painted Madness socks (round three pattern from Sock Madness)

Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, Tuscany colorway
Needles: US 1 (2.25mm) aluminum DPN's
Designer: Tricia Weatherston
Mods: Made 'em smaller. I started with 11 garter stitch points for 66 stitches on the cuff, decreased down to 60 stitches for the ribbing and decreased further down to 56 stitches for the foot. They're pretty short in the foot, too as they will be a gift for a friend who wears size 4.5 shoes! (She's itty bitty. I'm actually worried they'll be too big for her.)
Verdict: This was an enjoyable pattern to make. I found the process of making the cuff very cool. I was worried I wouldn't like the star toe and considered doing a flat toe instead. I'm so glad I did the star toe anyway because it was fun and I like the way it came out. I doubt I'd make these socks for me, but they'll make a great gift. They were an excellent introduction to cuffed socks. My only quibble is that the striping is different on the feet. I'm pretty sure that's somehow my fault, which frankly makes it more bothersome. I'm letting it go, though, because the non-knitting recipient of these will a) mostly likely not notice b) not mind even if she does notice and c) certainly would never complain about it to me.

April 12, 2007

It's An Oldie, But Is It a Goodie?

Living in Los Angeles, where we just barely have seasons, I sometimes say that one can lose track of the time of year, the way you lose track of the days of the week when you're on vacation.

Recently, I've had cause to believe the (almost) lack of seasons has possibly encouraged my internal, passage-of-time clock to become actually more sensitive.

The sweater I'm about to show-and-tell is a case in point. I started working on this sweater exactly one year ago. I charged into the project, was completely monogamous with it, made lots of progress, then stopped abruptly before completion. I put it and the remaining yarn in a ziploc bag and forgot about it. It may very well have stayed forgotten. But last week, out of nowhere, I started thinking about it again. I didn't see it in the ziploc. I was not organizing the stash. I was not doing a project inventory. I just spontaneously remembered this sweater. My only explanation is my subconscious reminded me of the thing I was working on exactly this time last year.

So I've decided to drag this back out and reassess. I might try to finish it up. I might put it back in the ziploc and forget about it for another year. Not sure. Either way, though, I figure I'll air it out on the blog.

The yarn is Louisa Harding Kashmir Aran in color 01. I got it on sale at my LYS. I decided to design and knit something for myself with it. (It had been 50% off, I think. If the design didn't work out, I wouldn't stress about what I'd spent on the yarn.)

I wanted a spring to summer cardigan. Something cute to toss on over a tee shirt. It was to be long and narrow with probably 3/4 length sleeves. I'd be willing to make the sleeves shorter if I ran out of yarn.

Back when I lived in Phoenix, I would carry a cardigan with me more during the insanely hot summers than any other time of year because the air conditioning indoors is so aggressive. Someone once called me "queen of the twin set". To this day, I hardly ever leave the house without a 'what if I get cold?' back up plan. This sweater was meant to fit that back up plan category.

Here are the fronts:

And here's the back. (That's not waist shaping, it's just that the edges are curling in and I couldn't get them to lie flat for the picture.)

The edge which leads into the cables is Brunhilda's Broom Border from Knitting on the Edge.

I bought pretty, mother of pearl buttons. You'll notice they're not attached, though.

I seamed the fronts and backs at the shoulder. I started the sleeves and stopped just a few rows short of finishing the edging. The sleeve cuffs are together on one circular needle in this picture.

I think the biggest reason I stopped working on this was I don't really know how to do the math to figure out the shape and size the sleeve cap should be. I had made the fronts and back for set-in sleeves. I just kind of eyeballed the bind offs and decreases. But when faced with the prospect of knitting a sleeve cap which would need to fit the arm hole, I got stumped.

I think the other reason I stopped working on it was that I'm not sure it's turning into what I want. I think it's cute, but I'm worried it's too cute. Are those scalloped edges really what I want to wear? The fact that I designed and knit it myself would go a long way towards my wearing it, for sure. But the fit would have to be good, too.

See, I've hit this wall of uncertainty. I'm not willing to rip out the work but I'm not sure I'm motivated to go forward.

The thing is, if I am going to try to finish this, now is the time of year to do so.

April 11, 2007

Don't send out the search party just yet...

I'm back home, alive and in one piece.

I'll have a proper post tomorrow. But I've been in front of the computer all day and now I think it's time to grab some knitting and get in front of the TV.

(All this sitting and snacking...how am I not 700lbs?)

April 3, 2007


I've come down with a cold and my head is fuzzier than a mohair angora blend. Given this state, I'm afraid the best I can do today is a random, list-style post.

A) Thank you so much for all of the wonderful tips, suggestions, and advise about pattern writing. I really appreciate the input. All of it was very helpful. You people are smart!

B) I finished the item necessitating the aforementioned tips and delivered it to my friend. She loved it. Yay!

C) I kept very detailed notes and, using your suggestions, I could actually write those notes up into a pattern. However, I'm going to keep working on it. The delivered FO holds "prototype" status. I'm going to make a few more. There are some things I want to do a little differently. I'd also like to come up with some alternative detailing. And I need to work out the different sizes.

D) Since then, I strung these beads onto this yarn (Debbie Bliss Pure Silk, Ecru)

The following picture is a more accurate representation of the beads.

I've been playing around, flipping through the stitch dictionaries and trying to incorporate the beads into various stitches. I'm not sure what I'm trying to accomplish. I'm just trying to find something I like which will speak to me and tell me what it wants to be. (A beaded handbag? Knitted jewelry? A beaded edging to a scarf or sweater?) I haven't gotten anything yet. Instead, all the knitting, frogging and sliding of beads up and down the yarn is pretty much just destroying that first length of silk. Sigh.

E) Round three of Sock Madness begins tomorrow sometime between 4am and 9am PST. It's a good thing I'm out of the running already. If I weren't I'd be real tempted to wake up at 4am to wait for the pattern. That would be very bad for getting over this stupid cold. Also...

F) I shouldn't spend too much time knitting tomorrow because I have to get ready to go out of town for Easter. We leave Friday morning. I have tomorrow to do laundry and pack because work is going to have me completely tied up on Thursday.

G) Here at casa de Golden Purl, we've been having fun with the I am in your base killing your d00ds-genre of captioned animal pictures. Steve started it over at Big Action!.

Sadie and her friend Cohen on a play-date. They were too wild in the house, so we put them in the yard. Then they just sat, steaming up the French doors, whining to come back inside. It was quite cute. Of course, in this picture, they look like earth-bound minions of Cerberus.

This adorable, Beagle puppy is Daisy. She belonged to a neighbor back in our pre-Sadie, apartment dwelling days. She had us completely wrapped around her little paw. Look at da giant ears! You totally would bring her treats, too.

H) I think I'm done. Thanks for tolerating the disjointed post.