Thursday, May 20, 2010


Knitensity. Is that a word? Well, Walt sure seems to think it is. He says this is when I am knitting intensely. Is there such a thing? Can one be knitting intensely? For me, this is when my knitting mojo is spot on; the lighting is good, there is a cool breeze, stitches are flowing off my needles, & I am completely comfortable. I don't find this perfection very often. Usually, one thing or another is off. I either can't be outside or my hands are hurting or I'm knitting to tight. So when I find that zone nothing else can break in. If I could feel like that every time I knit I am sure I would get much more accomplished.

On another note. Finished the first of Walt's socks yesterday. I was so excited to have the first one finished. Had to figure out how to do the super stretchy cast off which wasn't to bad. Unfortunately, the sock did not fit. It fit my foot like a glove so I knew there was no way it was going on his big manly foot. He tried and failed. So I frogged the sock last night and started over. I left the toe increases intact because well up until the instep the sock fit fine. So I am going to try and add some more stitches before the instep and see how it goes. I think it needs to be longer as well.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Yay!! I CAN Spin!!

So I recently received my first drop spindle. Thanks so much Francesca!! Not only did she send me my first spindle but also sent me some beautiful pink roving that I was terrified to destroy. So I made a few attempts at spinning after watching a bunch of different videos and reading lots of instruction. It wasn't going well and being the perfectionist that I am, it didn't take long for me to put my spindle in time out. For those of you who may not be familiar this is what a spindle looks like:

So we went over to Paul & Julie's Wednesday night to watch the new Sherlock Holmes (great by the way). Julie then gave me a one on one lesson about spinning. How to draft, attach my leader yarn, etc....So yesterday when I got home from work I was so eager to try spinning again. Yay!! I CAN do it. My roving actually looks like yarn. I was only able to spin for about 30 minutes because my arms had just had enough. Oh did I mention Julie also gave me a bunch of roving to practice with. Some easier to spin than others so that I could try my hand at spinning different fibers. Thank you so much Julie!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Smokey & His Carrot

I am aware that this is not the best quality photo but it is hard to get a picture of a sleeping bunny without waking him up. So here he is:

Walking & Knitting

This morning I learned that I have the ability to walk and knit. Amazing? I know. I expected it to be much more difficult than it actually was. I think at one point I had discovered that I had added and extra stitch. No biggie. I just knit two together and carried on. Some of the ease could have come from the fact that it is a scarf that is only 10 stitches wide being knit on giant size 15 needles. However, it is a fun fur scarf for my niece so that in itself adds some extra frustration. I really enjoyed my walk to work this morning. I decided that I would let Walt sleep in and not bother him a bit until I kissed him goodbye. I started walking and said "Hey. I wonder if I can walk and knit??" I pulled out my scarf because I wasn't about to try it with Walt's socks on size 1 needles. Like I said, it was pretty successful. It's nice to find something to do in the 20-30 (time depends on how many baby alligators, turtles, bunnies, & dogs I am distracted by) minute walk to & from work. I feel less guilty working on the scarf then as well.

I am really making an effort to only knit on Walt's socks. He asked for them a while ago, but I really didn't wanted to alternate between a skein of black yarn & a skein of white yarn so I searched & searched for some self-striping black and white yarn which I was unable to find. So, I decided that I would dye my own. I hadn't ever dyed any yarn before but I thought taking white yarn and dyeing alternating sections black should be no problem. Then Julie told me about all the things that can go wrong with black dye. It being to purple or brown or just some yucky muddy color. Apparently, Jacquard doesn't use black pigment it is a mix of all sorts of colors. Julie kindly invited me over to help me with this process. I had already done my calculations ahead of time to determine how many yards would be needed per stripe (I just love my math-y side). Julie then measured out the length of yarn using a nose to fingertips technique. I started wrapping it around (hmmm....not sure what that thing was) this PVC knitting contraption. Once finished I decided what side to dye black and what side to leave white. Julie said adding some navy blue dye would really help get a black color and avoid the muddy brown. Once the yarn was in the pot we then began to peel apples for some apple pie. I was really impressed by my sudden ability to be able to peel apples so quickly and nicely with a plain old knife. Next, thing we knew it was time for knit night and off we went yarn still in the pot (we turned it off). They yarn didn't come out muddy brown but it was more of a dark gray than black. So I went home and a few days later after picking up some vinegar I redyed the black part and it looked perfect. I was really nervous about felting the yarn as it isn't superwash, but all was well. It then took me several weeks to get up the courage to actually wind the yarn. As I don't have a swift or any other fancy knitting equip and my center pull ball skills are a bit lacking. It turned out to not be such a terrible task and my ball looks okay. After that I got caught up knitting a birthday scarf. Then a knit along. A baby hat. A baby shower cake. And well the list goes on. So once I was actually able to cast on his socks I have tried to avoid touch any other project.
Walt's sock thus far:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Try, Try, Again....

I am currently making my second attempt at toe up socks. This time using a traditional heel. Last time I tried using a short row heel and well.....I just can't ever seem to see the wraps. It could be the solid colored fingering weight yarn on size ones that is causing my problem....I just can't get it. I will have to practice short rows on something else in maybe a variegated worsted weight fiber. The upside to the first pair is they were going to be for a friends baby so I made it to the heel part rather quickly before learning that I just couldn't do it. When I tried to frog back my yarn got all tangled up and well I just cut it off and tossed it. This time though the socks are for an adult male. They are Walt's first requested knitted item since I started knitting. I have put lots of love in to them so far. I even hand dyed the yarn. My first hand dyed yarn. I am feeling enormous pressure from myself to make these the most perfect pair of socks I have knit thus far. I want him to love them and wear holes in them (seriously I want him to want to wear them all the time!!) Hopefully the heel will go fine and it will be smooth sailing from there. Had a slight mishap with these last night. I dropped stitch and it tinked back about 2 rows. Usually, not a huge deal, but when you are knitting with size 1 needles there aren't a whole lot of things you can find to help pick up that stitch. I didn't want to move my working needle at all for fear of making the stitch fall further so finally a found a safety pin and all was well. They are black and white striped socks with rather wide stripes (Walt's request) and I am on my second black stripe. I am actually really enjoying knitting on these and can't wait to see the finished product. Special thanks to Julie for helping me dye self-striping yarn!!!

In other try, try, again news. I got my first drop spindle last month. A swap partner on Ravelry sent it to me. It was her old one. It is so beautiful and I have been dying to learn to spin. She also since this B-E-A-UTIFUL pink roving. This is where the problem begins. First, I am a perfectionist. I like things to be perfect! I like to be GREAT at things! Second, the roving is such a pretty color that I just don't want to waste it. I want it to be beautifully spun yarn that I can actually knit with. I have watched endless youtube videos and I just can't seem to get it right. I am having a hard time drafting. I am going to try to predraft & see if that helps. I am just so frustrated with it that I can't even pick it up. I want to do it, but I want to do it well. So I am pledging to try, try, again!!