Wednesday, June 30, 2010

After a few days of NOT KNITTING

(because it was too hot to do anything!) I cast on for the color work mittens yesterday.

I am working free hand—there is no specific pattern, but I will use some premade charts/patterns from books for ideas. I cast on 72 stitches, with 3 colors of yarn (black, white, green) held together to make a Braided Color Cast on-- 1 row of purls (Wrong side of work) then joined into round(s) (working both mittens at once, natch) and followed up with a Latvian Braid in 3 colors (and towards the end, was counting each stitch!)

Latvian braids naturally twist the yarns up, and with 6 yarns--(3 per mitten!) it was a mess. But doesn't it make a beautiful edge?

The cast on edge rolls forward (the single row of knits does that) the beraid, (purl and floats on right side) bubbles out, and looks more substantial. Combinded, the alternating rows of knit and purl make a non roll edge—or perhaps more accurately, the alternating rows/rounds of knts and rows/rounds of purls balance each other to control the roll at the edge.

But now the braids are done (well, there will be another set at the end of the cuff). I've started the black and white cuff—a small, simple pattern—white stars on a black background. I went looking for a design—and found one in a photo—so I am using the photo as my chart. The beginning is simple, it get more complex in the next round, and then simple again.

At the end of the cuff (oh, about 3 inches) another braid (again in 3 colors) and then the hand of the mitten—Green fir trees on a black background. Again, I will just find a pattern I like, and fit it into the mitten-(if I need to change stitch count, that is easy enough do do at the transition between the cuff and hand.)

A large pair of mittens, suitable for a man simply decorated and dark colors. I find men who aren't married to knitters (or knitters themselves!) and don't know the joy and warmth of hand knit wool winter wear, tend to be conservative (and want plain black, or blue, or grey or other solid dull colors.)

Men who have experienced the pleasure of hand knit socks, or hand knit hats, or hand knit mittens tend to chose HAND KNIT first and are less concerned about the colors. (I know some knitters who' husbands will wear lacy socks in knit in a color array yarn that includes a small amount of PINK).

I still am thinking about what else to knit—a cotton tank top? A lace scarf? A cashmere scarf? An alpaca scarf? (both of theses would be lacy, and the cashmere large enough to almost be considered a shawl!)

The tank top is edging its self into the first place—we'll see—maybe by tomorrow I will have made up my mind.

Monday, June 28, 2010


I am not the greenest person—but I make efforts.

One green choice is energy start appliances, (computer too!), another is no A/C.

Most of the time, it's fine. I live high up (14th floor), my apartment has 3 exposures ( east, south, and west--(none are exact—but close enough).

I am ten miles or so (as the crow fliess) from the Atlantic (south, because LI more or less juts out) and it's not uncommon for me to be able to smell the salt in the air from ocean breezes.

And then there are days like the past week-- HOT Hazy and humid.. (not much fun) and the air so still, its feels solid—and its not much fun to breath. But worse,the evening are the same.

Yesterday's high was in the mid 90°'s (bad, but I spend a good part in doors with AC (not at home!))--but last night the low was in the 80°'s, (OK so it was 82°) but 82° with high humidity is no fun.

And the air was still—and no amount of fans could really make it feel comfortable.

No pictures of my skirts (2 new ones now, plus 1 more mended) No pictures of my computer desk (better but still unfinished) but LOOK Yoga Socks—not done either, but just a row or two more, and I'll bind off. And while I do have a collection of yarns crying out to be made into socks—I am taking a turn for the moment-- and will be casting on some mittens—Pair 1? Green, black and white.

I'll finish the yoga socks AFTER my swim. Normally, I avoid the pool in the early morning and after noon—there is NO shade at these hours, and the sun is at it most intense, but today, I want to get in and cool down—I'll be home by 1 PM--(and hide out till after 3) waiting for the sun to move behind the building, and go back late in the afternoon (4 to 6) –if there aren't thunderstorms.

That's the prediction—a HIGH is moving east—There will be strong winds, and chances of storms, and behind the storms, cooler weather! Tomorrow will be 87° or so (hot enough!) but this evening, and tomorrow evening will be back down to the low 70°--with drier air.

Maybe by then, I'll have also cast on for the mittens.. I haven't a pattern yet—just some ideas—a braided cast on, and braided trim--(3 colors—black, white and green) a cuff of black and white, and then green fir trees on –I haven't decided—should it be on a snowy white? Or a long winters night of black?

And I am already thinking about a second pair--(red, black and white)-- a red and black cuff that gives way to white snow crystals on a black background.. and ...

Well goodness knows, I enough socks right now to last for a few years!--I don't know what will be happening with the mittens--I NEVER WEAR mittens! But I think they will be fun to knit.

Friday, June 25, 2010

No Computer, no computer generated posts.

Last year—in a clearance (as in clearing out a space of no longer needed stuff—pack it up, and carry it away for free), I got computer desk. This one, and it came with 2 half round extentions, too.

One of them I can (and will be) using, and one I won't be (or won't be using as and extention.) but the extension didn't come with the hardware to install.

I also go a set of drawers on castors (similar to this but my set had 3 shallow, and 1 deep (not file folder deep) drawer). And to finish the set, I bought this rack to hang my CPU, so that it would be off the floor, and off the desk top.

Problem 1 was disassembling the units and getting them home. (harder to do when the are not in the neat flat boxes--and hard because they were so heavy.)
Probem 2 –reassembling (I had to take apart my old computer desk to have room to assemble the new one, and the desk is big, awkward to move and more awkward to turn right side up (it is easiest to assmble upside down) and heavy.

These problems got resolved LAST summer.. and the basic desk was assembled and put in place

Problem 3 was finding the hardware needed to add the half round extension. (since it normally come packaged with purchase, and while it can be purchased at customer service seperately, finding the name and part number of the individual components is not easy.)

Problem the next, (and this list could go on for pages) was the computer rack (purchased last year, but just installed this week.)

It came with the right hardware—and was designed to fit into the metal frame of the desk. The frame that it fit into? (part of the original desk)-It had the smallest of dings—and the parts wouldn't fit (well, not till I took a hammer to the frame and removed the ding.)

After everything was assembled, and I was plugging thing back together, (neater and more organized, and labeled) I discovered that my monitor cable was about an inch to short—and I needed to disassemble and find something to raise the CPU up and inch--(a temporary fix is in place. A long term fix is needed.)

So I am not sure if I want to install the table top extension before I get a permanent fix, (because its a real PITA to access and plug stuff into the CPU with the table top extention in place-) but since the table top extension is where the printer is going to be—with out the extension, no printer.

I won't go on...but it amazing how a little project becomes a big one—-I could set the printer up in a less convenient location—but the cable for the printer isn't long enough to do that, either. And I still haven't moved the swing arm lamp...

Did I mention, it was 90+° (Wednesday and Thursday) and, Oh, yeah might as well get the floor cleaned and rescue all the stuff that is fallen under the desk, and organize all the extra cords (so many and never one the right size!) and power supplies.

And do I want this external DR drive? (Do I need 3 R/W CD's? Or this flat bed scanner? (and where on the desk will I put it?)

Some extra hardware was gifted to a friend (a USB hub—my current computer has 6 ports (my old one had 2, and 4 port usb hub was needed) —and some got thrown out. (a non optical mouse) and ...endless sorting and organizing went on.

Still on the list, is the wireless router, to make a wi-fi network –and the lap top more useful. I consider myself lucky that I am skilled enough and comfortable enough to do this all myself—I am not a great network engineer, but I can (and do) muddle through, and eventually make things work! (I've never actually been a network engineer, but just someone who has been willing to help—and all my knowledge is second hand.--I know hardware very well, and software very well, but my networking skills are only so so))

So after hours of work, I have a somewhat improved computer desk, but not a completed work station. Still, its is 90% better than it was.

Needless to say, I haven't done much knitting! My yoga socks have a heel hole—but I still need a few more inches of instep.

I do have 1 new skirt-- a new, new one—not an old one mended or altered to make it usable again. And I have a mended skirt too, (it was in need of mending –a simple seam to be sewn--for more than 3 years)

There is still have a big pile of mending/altering/repairs to do.

And a pile of fabric –(some recylced) to make into tote bags (for friends) and maybe even a new skirt--Actually several pieces of fabric slated to become skirts, one forest green, one white. And some light blue denim—that last fabric? It's the tote bag fabric. But I have so much of it, about 6 yards (54 inches wide!) that I think I might make a skirt from it too.

Plus I have the yoga mat bag to make—to go with the socks—that is another green—not exactly the same green as in the yarn—but close.

When I was young—I had energy enough to do all this, take care of family, and work full time. Now, I am overwhelmed by the list--and actually doing the work?!

But I am whittling away at the list, and will be rewarded with a nice computer network, neatly organized, working efficiently (I have most of the components on a new energy saving power strip—turn off the CPU, and most of the components are auto off, too!) and new clothes (who isn't happy with new clothes!?) and a destash of stuff that is obsolescent. (oh my pack rat tendency be damned!) and a neater apartment.

My current computer is my fourth—my laptop, is my third (OK, the first didn't count, because it was a loaner, and not owned by me) and its amazing how things have changed, and how once common parts are now junk (in just a few years.)

Last year (old computer) I needed a card reader (for camera) now, I have a new computer with a build in card reader, (and a compact flash drive reader,and a memory stick reader, too,) and my separate card reader (one of the USB devices I needed the hub for), is an unneeded bit of hardware, too! My first computer, (1982!) didn't start out with a floppy drive--(a real floppy--the 5.25 inch ones!) forget about a hard drive--how things have changed!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Where Does the Time Go?

I just realized—3 PM and I haven't posted today—and why not?

Well, I have been busy—Took some photo's of the finished Waterfalls Lace Scarf—its really is prettier than I thought it would be.

I tweeked and detailed the pattern, then uploaded the PDF of the same—It's now available on Ravelry for sale ($3)--so you too can knit one! (and I am going to have to play with the link to the pattern on Ravelry--since I just checked it, and its not working!)

And I made a new video of a Bind Off. I am not too persnickety about bind offs.
I know a few bind offs that match cast ons—and I sometimes intentional match a bind off to a cast on, but sometimes I don't.

There are at least a half dozen variations of the standard (k1, * K1, pass the first K1 over the second, repeat from * till end) and some details for the last stitch bound off – one set of tricks for flat knitting, another set of tricks when knitting and binding off in the round. Plus, there are sewn bind offs, and picot bind offs and other not so standard variations.

I recently bound off a pair of socks, and made a mistake as I did so—and ended up with a new bind off!
It is easy (an other basic variation of the standard), it's attractive (with a chain on the front of the work), and it's stretchy (not the stretchiest—but stretchier than average with no effort --no need for a larger needle, or other tricks).

You can find the newest video on YouTube—and try it for yourself.

Oh, yeah, Knitting—the yoga socks are growing—and any thoughts I've had about working with the NORO are gone—its too hot and humid right now to think about WOOL. I remembered, I have some cotton in a similar color way (turquoise and purple) to the Pagewood Farms wool I just used—Time for a cotton top I think!

I haven't got back to my sewing (my new demin skirts needs pockets, a waist, and hem) but need to soon—I plan to make a Yoga mat bag to to with the Yoga socks (a set!) and the pile of mending isn't going to mend itself!

But I have been getting to the pool—and working out, and my upper arms are getting stronger, and my knee hurts less when I work it out with out impact, and in theory—all the sun light is going to make some Vit. D3—and help my body absorb all the calcium and keep my bones strong. It's made an impact on my blood pressure—every day I exercise, it's back down to below 70--(125 over 69 again!)

Monday, June 21, 2010


Here it is Knit, not finished, not blocked—and it looks OK. When i finished (with about 2 yards of yarn left over!) , it was, unstretched at all, about 4 inches by 62.
but the pattern is almost a rib--(alternate columns of knit lace, with columns of purls between)--slight stretched (and on the needle) it was about 6 inches wide.

Now, here it is, pinned out and drying.. and WOW! I didn't do a hard block--my cast on, stretchy as it is, will only stretch to about 10 inches--so the finished size is about 9 inches by 84 inches (or metrically, about 22mm by 2.2 meters.)

It's warm and humid today, and I think, even with the fan on, I will have to wait till tomorrow to show you the scarf draped and lovely looking—but it is a nice start.

I especially like how the dark purple makes zig-zag waves thought the piece. Its always chancy how hand painted yarn colors are going to pool--and the zig zag waves are not consistent--but recur often enough--with no major pools or splotches, to make a nice pattern.

The Yoga sock have been cast on (the Russian Knotted cast on,) but with a scant half dozen rounds knit—they don't look like much-so I didn't bother taking a photo.

A solid (rosy red) cuff, and then self striping yarn--Kroy stripes in Crayon—(yet an other discontinued color way) I bought a bunch of discontinued color ways—and tried to get pairs (as a minimum) or 3 or 4 skeins, of each color, if I really liked the color way. But somehow, I ended up with a single skein of this color way. (I really like it!)

I rarely use a whole skein for a pair of sock—and never use a whole skein then I add contrasting cuffs, heels, and toes. These stock won't have heels or toes—and with deep contrasting cuff, I should have plenty for a short leg, and short instep section. I don't expect to have more than inches left over of the self striping, but I should have enough of the rosy red to use to trim out another pair of socks.

I used the Russian knotted cast on—because
A—It a good stretchy cast on for sock
B—Its a good cast on for ribbing (and this socks will be mostly ribbed)
C—Its a single yarn cast on, and I can use it again—and have some constitantcy after the heel opening.

What next? Maybe for the NOT socks project, a small vest out of the Noro I have--i think something like EZ rib warmer-- but not.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Going FAST!

Of course its fast!—only 36 stitches per row—and it's size 5 needles.

Compared to the socks I have been knitting as of late, it's nothing to do a row! I am not half way done with the skein (by weight) and it's already over 25 inches long.. So it will be at more than 50 inches long—likely closer to 60 inches.

Like it? It will almost certainly be a pattern for sale once I've finished it and blocked it. Even just pinned out, it looks lovely. And while its not reversible, the back looks nice too.

There has been some pooling, there is not a lot, and no unattractive puddles of color.

By now, I know the stitch pattern--perfectly--and it's just complex enough to be interesting (as I start repeat 30 or so) but not so hard that I can't do it late at night, or while watching TV.

Tonight I'll start with the Yoga half socks... They will be quick to knit too, even when worked on small needles.

I have a list-no make that LISTS –of sock ideas, of Vest Ideas (I knit 2 sweaters last year, and even in the rush of having new things to wear, I don't think I wore either more than 3 times). I have some hats I need to knit, and maybe some more fingerless gloves, and even a pair of mittens. Then there are the scarves and shawls I WANT TO KNIT (I do?) in silk! And clothes to sew, and clothes to mend, and my work is cut out for me!

A bunch of chore need doing too—and throwing out—I done a lot of that already—but I am such a pack rat—I have to work hard and getting rid of thing--I need to work as hard at getting rid of things as I do at turning stash into things!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

NOT SOCK!- Story to follow.

Of course this post is about socks! I finished the knitting, and then finished weaving in the last 3 tails, and the ROY G BIV socks are done! How could it be NOT SOCKS. (well there is more!)

For Neen (and others) I've included a a view of the 'side (seam as it were) where the BoR is—I mentioned on Ravelry, that while I obsess about cast ons, JOGS don't bother me in the least! I do make a small effort to obscure them,--and an other small effort when I weave in the tails, but not much.

Neen was concerned how the back of my sock would be spoiled by jogs—but since I knit 2 on 2 circ's –using a method of my own to start –my Beginning of Round (BoR) is at the side, not at the center back. (and I sort of agree about the center back of the leg—its very noticable when going up strairs—and I do that all the time on the subway!

The stitch patterning does a lot to obscure the jog—but you can see I rather clearly at the heel gusset in the RED, where the decreases make the jog very evident (who cares? It in the heel!) Another trick I used—and this works perfectly--was I alternated the BoR, and sometimes started a new color on the Mid point—half a round away!

I still knit my 5 round--(it works-its just a variation of spiral knitting) and ended them at the mid point.

So half the jogs are on the other side –and this too, helps to obscure the jogs—

But the news of the day is, I finished ROY G BIV, and didn't cast on new socks! Instead—I found a new pattern for the Pagewood Farms wool and cashmere—and look—5 repeats of the lace pattern completed. I've slightly stretch (and in the end, I will do the same when I block) to open the pattern up so you can see it.

I love the pattern, (called waterfalls) –6 unique rows—including decreases, (but not YO's) on the wrong side. Complex enough to be interesting, simple enough that I almost have it down pat in 5 repeats (20 really, since there are 4 repeats in a row, and I've worked 5 repeats, if you count by rows.)

Of course there are still socks (potential socks!) clamoring for attention in the back ground –5 pre-packed sock club bags, and as many again in my mental queue!

Likely, IRIS's (Moose Manor Yarns) will be next—Well next after a quick pair of yoga socks.. (toeless, heelless tubes!) that will be another contribution to DD fund raiser (won't be till August likely, so I have time—and you'll have to have patience.)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Not Finished, not Done...

But almost on both accounts!

There are still 3 ends to weave in, and the toe to shape and finish.. but ROY G BIV the third is finished. And they look good!--but you'll have to wait till tomorrow to see the finished results.

I love color work in knitting-- always have—I learned it long long ago, when I was too you and stupid to know that is was thought to be hard—and lacking that knowledge—I didn't find it hard!

There are so many options to incorporated color—you only have to look back at the past few months, to know—I love self striping and self patterning yarns—this is color work at the easiest. I frequently add a solid yarn to commercial color ways—to make them more of my own—but really—self striping and self patterning yarns are a great way to get started with color work.

These socks a perfect testament to color work that I often advocate for beginners—stripes (look at the pattern—simple stripes—on the sole). Stripes are often overlooked—but custom stripes are worth all the effort of weaving in the ends. Getting the colors and proportions YOU want is always is worth the effort. Random stripes, and spiral stripes are other options (been there, done those too!)are other often overlooked options for beginning color work.

Now, look the pattern—the simplest pattern—stripes and slip stitches. The stitch pattern is based on 'scattered oats' Kx, then do a double wrapped stitch. Slip the double wrap for a few rows (rounds) and then, drop it, knit 2 (or 3) and knit the dropped stitch.

The double wrap create the ease needed for the elongated stitch, and the drop, knit some and then knit the drop stitch created the movement.

I was looking for something like the effect of rain drops--(and rainbow stripes) and I also want to break up the straight line of the simples stripes—but this scattered oats stitch also look lovely worked in a single color.

I've done elaborated color work in socks—and I've done the simplest of sock with nothing but a self striping or patterning yarn. These socks rather simple as a process—stripes and slip stitches are easy beginner techniques. And the color choices—the spectrum—are hardly difficult ones to work out.

But there is a gestalt—the total is greater than the sum of all the parts. Some commenter's have called them happy socks—and they are—Rain drop and grey—and a rainbow.. what could be happier?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

R O Y G—Repeat # 3!

Heel turned. Yes, in the light of day, with a clear head, I can turn a heel! This time both sides of the heel match and make a nice sharp V.

There are a number of different styles for turning a heel—I don't have a real preference by style. I chose based on the desired ratio. (Learn more here)

This sock had 72 stitches to start—the deep 2 x 2 ribbing and length of the leg were factors in the number, as was the stitch pattern, and the placement. I also wanted a larger number of stitches because the slip stitch pattern, changes the gauge, and I'd rather socks be a bit baggy in the leg, than too tight.

But the foot part of the sock only has 60 stitches—I decreased 12 stitches between the leg and foot. Some in the heel flap (and the round just before I started the heel flap), and some in the gussets . For theses socks I wanted a turning that left the fewest stitches (and each style turning results with a different number of stitches left over). Then I just slightly extended the gussets –and hid some decreases in the gusset there--where the decreases are invisible.

The change is stitch count is almost imperceptible.--But now that you know it, it's is as obvious as the nose on your face!

The last strand of the V was woven in—the leg is now totally finished—and strands from ROY are finished too. I also wove in the tail from the cast on (since the beginning of the round is the first stitch of the sole of the sock.. and its easy to keep track now that the heel has been turned!)

G and the stripes to come will be the last of the finishing—well except for the bind off tail, (which hardly counts; the bind off will be a graft, and it's easy peasy to just continue with a weave in after the graft!)

I don't think they will be completed today—But the end is in sight! And when I have completed the knitting, the socks will be nearly (or maybe completely!) finished, too.

There are some wonderful advantages to making your own striped—even if there are ends to weave in. The perfect match (OK, I am not that obsessed with a perfect match—still its nice!) The consistency of the pattern over the instep –no break cause by working the heel flap, (YES, this is one aspect I really like) and the consistency of the stripe width especially while working the longer rounds at the gusset. (My Oh My, I do like this!)

Best of all, is the ability to chose all the colors and to great a stripe that is total mine --OK so the colors of the spectrum are hardly original. But-- you can ask my kids—there isn't a box of crayons that is safe around me—they are always organized in color order when left alone with me. (I don't care that the kids play with the crayons and mess up the order—I just want them in order when I PLAY with them.)

I really like colors organized this way--and I like that lots of other knitter have done ROY G BIV (or ROY G B(i)V socks--and that pretty as they are, they are nothing like mine!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

It was all so simple.. just one 15 minute chore, and I would be on my way to Brooklyn for WWKIP day.

2 hours later, and it was good I hadn't started out to Brooklyn—but I had started feeling ill. Fever, chills and aches—nothing serious—just an acute attach of a long standing condition.

Still I resolved to knit. Violet was done Saturday—and Roy G Biv was complete on the legs. One round of grey, and it would be time to start the heel flaps.

Saturday evening, all but the last Violet end got woven in. So the cuff and leg and both knit and finished.

On to the heel—First the flap--(and a dropped edge stitch that required frogging back 3 rows.)

When finished, the turn—and look at this!

One edge moving along nicely, (3 stitches left unworked)-- except why are there rows of knitting after the heel stitch pattern? What is that about? (some error!)

And the other side? Its has a bunch of stitches still to be worked –it appears to have a version of a square heel turn—and scads more stitches to go.. but it would be to long and too narrow!

SO, knitting with a fever is not a good idea!

Feeling a bit better today—and will frog the turn, and do it again. Then start on the gussets and race my way down to the cuff! I think I will hold off starting the Pagewood Farms LACE scarf for the duration (of the fever) –if I can't turn a heel, I don't think I should be doing lace!

I'll take my anti-inflamitories, try to get some water aerobics in (if the weather co-operates!) to keep my joints limber, and soon enough, all will be well again.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Roy G is now ROY G BI--

and V is just a round of grey away.

Once V is knit, I will take a break (likely tomorrow at WWKIP day!) to weave in ends. I haven't done any weaving in since I completed the first Red stripe—and a misplace snip severed the grey at one point, too, so I have 1 set of grey ends to weave in as well.

Then the heels—and after that, one repeat of of the stripe set, and the sock is done!

Last night, the Bottle sock was finished. At 9 inches or so, it's just ¼ of pair of socks work.
Wool is a good insulator—and it's just as good keeping cold water in a bottle cold, as it is keeping warm feet in a shoe warm.

I might make some more—I have this metal canteen bottle and collections of other bottles.. a wide mouth one (easy to add ice cubes too) and narrow mouthed one (easy to drink from) a Rubber made square one (easy to fit in freezer.)

(Ideas like that are easy—doing the actually knitting--Knitting up all the other ideas, is the hard part!)

I knit a lot I think, and I still have way more ideas than time!)

My son, and his family have a family of water bottles too, as does my daughter, who also uses refillable water bottles, not bottle water. I could make water bottle socks of scraps or partial skeins for everyone --since almost everyone I know could use one.

When they were kids, we often traveled with glass lined theromoes—We just never were ones to use disposable stuff.. (Both my parents and in laws were big thermos users too.)
I still have a few thermos bottles around—but I use them less often these days.

YOU could make one for your self.

You'd need about 20 to 30 gm of sock yarn—or a few coordinating (or not!) scraps to equal that weight.

Cast on 8 ( I used a collapsing loop cast on).
(and goodness its a water bottle sock—PRACTICE that cast on here—if its not perfect, so what!? )
I increased 8 stitches, every other round K1, m1 (8 times) a plain row, K2, M1 round, then plain round; with the number of K's increasing every other round.

I used a YO as the M1, and knit it through the back loop to close the hole (mostly). This increase will keep the base flatter (and not domed or cupped)

When I had enough (how many is enough? Depends on your bottle) at 9.5 stitches per inch, 80 stitches turned out to be enough for me.. but YOUR number will be larger (or smaller) depending on your yarn, your needle choice and your gauge.

Once I had enough, knit straight, (no increases) till it was long enough (8.5 inches for my bottle) then a round of eyelets, (make an even number! 6, 8, 10--but not 5, 7 or 9!) followed by an inch or so of ribbing.

A crocheted cord, or an I-cord—threaded through the eyelets to secure the sock on the bottle. A bit of ribbon or an shoe lace would work, too, if you have them handy, or if you run out of yarn.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bits of Progress (and not)

Doing Lots of things, making progress on lots of fronts.. but nothing is finished!

First house cleaning—spring cleaning chores from LAST spring are finally getting done.

Most are not too important—but.. Last year I bought a bunch of tins—and they still haven't been redecorated (Mostly they are just in need of a spray painting!)
Now, I have cleaned the terrace --OK that is a real chore that I really didn't pay attention to last year—since my spray painting booth—a couple of pieces of scrap wood and a drop cloth, is set up out side on the terrace. Now, on the next not too windy day—old tins (and some not so old!) will become new ones. I have almost a dozen waiting to be painted!

Roy has become ROY G B—I is up next! Looking good too! I am happy with how they are turning out.

Progress has been slowed—because I am knitting things that aren't socks-Yes, its true!
One project is almost a sock—in fact, I mentally call it a bottle sock!

Shades of the Winecozy—it's a simple sock for one of my many water bottles.

Just as I always bring coffee to work, I bring water (NYC tap water, some of the best water in the world—and FREE) everywhere. I have a few water bottles (and Yes, I have, on occation, used bottle water—but rarely) and I long ago learned to wrap them in aluminum foil, and then tuck them into a sock. It used to be old tube socks, but now, its more often cotton sports footlets.

But that will change--I am working on a bottle sock for my wide mouth metal bottle. It's just the base so far.. but now I am at the easy part—not increases—just round after round of self patterning yarn.

And that's not all I have been knitting–this last bit is not really progress—because now you see, and later you won't.

I have been working on it, and the lace edging free hand—and mistake after mistake has crept in, till now. Now its going to the frog pond and will be started again, with a chart and markers,and other tootls to keep my on track!

I need a pattern that work bi-directionally, since the plan is to work both halves at once and join when I run out of yarn. Next time, the body of the shawl will be more interesting too. 6 inches in and I was bored of plain garter. And its very clear that one end of the hand painted skein doesn't quite match the other.. a more open pattern will I think, break up the colors more and make it a bit less eveident.

The bottle sock is left of Sensations Sock yarn (JoAnne's Fabrics house brand) the Turquoise is Pagewood Farms Alyeska, 80/10/10-Merino/Cashmere/Nylon. It is sold as sock yarn—but much as I love comfort—cashmere is too good for my feet! Cashmere is going round my face!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

RY is now ROY

The new pattern is emerging—And I like it!

I love self patterning yarns—be they jacquards, or stripes, or just mutli color hand painted look. But nice as any of them are, they are OTHERS choices, others designs. A sort of color by number sock pattern. I wore my Crowning Achievement socks last week, and Lots, and LOTS of people said “ I love the colors” I said thank you—but really, I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE COLOR SELECTIONS—well nothing beyond basically agreeing with all my complimenters—and chosing and buy the skeins of yarn.

Once in a while, I will make a totally generic sock with a self patterning yarn, but more often, I try to add something—a stitch pattern, a bit of contrasting yarn, an edge, a novelty heel design—something that changes the sock from just using someone else's design—exclusively—into a design that has something of me in it.

I suppose its a bit of vanity—but I am creative, and I want my socks to be reflective of me.

Sure it's work to weave in ends every 5 R's—but it's so worth it to have a simple stripe that is MY STRIPE. My design. ROY G BIV is hardly a new creative color way.. and the stitch pattern, a version of scattered oats is nothing very much either.. but together, the two become special.

I like working out the details (and will be pleased no end when it comes to the heel and gussets to be able to have a perfect unbroken pattern on the instep) I like seeing how what I imagine become reality.

And, of course, with a ROY G BIV color way, these socks will match everything!

Monday, June 07, 2010

You Get Sucked In

Or you drift off.

It started a few years ago with a blog. I wanted to write about my knitting, my design efforts and other stuff. Slowly but surely, I developed readership—for I while I was obsessive about readership—so I joined Site Meter—so I could see HOW many readers I had, and who referred them to my blog. (Since then, I have learned I am (or I was!) in the top 100 knitting blogs--if anything my readership has gone up since then. )

If you are interested in knitting or crochet, it's almost impossible not to be on Ravelry. It's THE resource for knitters and crocheters. And so, I joined Ravelry—and love it. And I love that I can (and have!)been able to sell patterns on Ravelry. Needless to say, there is a link to my blog on my Ravelry profile page. And a link on this blog back to my Ravelry store--where you can buy (or download free) patterns.

Then, all my Word Nerd friends ended up on Facebook, and well, I had to get onto Facebook.
But too many people play Farmville, or Mafia Wars, and too many strangers want to be my friend—so not only am I on FaceBook—Golden Apples has a fan Page—any one can be my fan. And Fans will be treated to videos first, and free pattern, and other stuff as it comes along.

Today—I uploaded a Knitting Video to the Golden Apples fan page-- a 9 minute tutorial on how I start socks for working 2 sock on 2 circs.

Some where along the way, I started to make videos --all of them about knitting--and I have a fan base on YouTube as well. The video will be posted there, too in a few days.

Meanwhile, SiteMeter tells me, that some of my blog readership is coming from Twitter—I am not on Twitter (make that I WASN'T ON) Twitter—but as of today.. I am tweeting, too. And seeing who is tweeting about me! My twitter account is still pretty new (no photo yet)--and no followers, and not yet following any one--but that will change, too, I am sure.

Next is a phone upgrade, so I can tweet from my cel phone, and let you know that I have completed some element of the on ROY G BIV sock (right now, the cuff is totally completed — all knit, and all the ends woven in.)

And that's when you know, I am totally Sucked In!
With a web enabled phone, I'll be able to tell you that I have started the new stitch pattern on the sock, (and made a mistake, and knit RY—not RO-and frogged my way back to R)

Or that I have started a small triangular shawl out of some cashmere blend sock yarn (I forget who when and where—but I look it up)

I only have a scant inch done-- (cast on 4, increase every other row) but I am working both ends at once (working from the center and outside of the ball) so I can work till I run out of yarn—with out having to work to hard to keep track of where the middle lies.
Saturday, at the Mets game, some knitters admired the colors in the ROY socks—and wanted to know what yarn. When I explained—8 balls (7 colors and grey) they lost interest and expressed it was too much work to do a real stripe and weave in all those ends.

Me? I think its entirely worth it! I will have the stripes I want, and they will be perfect—even over the instep, as I work the gussets, the striping will be consistent!

By tomorrow, I will have RO and maybe even ROY and photo's of the same—but for now, just a bunch of links—and the new video on my Facebook fan page.

So go look at it already!

Sunday, June 06, 2010


First: It was bag day, and everyone got a Mets bag--I am going to recycle mine to my friend Iris--a real Mets Fan (me? I am not much of baseball fan to begin with, but if any team holds my heart it would be the Yankees)

Plus: Everyone for Stitch N Pitch got a Stitch N Pitch bag-a great bag!

And what is a Stitch N Pitch event with out yarn?

As a volunteer, I helped –with a great crew-- to packed over 200 bags with Lion Brand HomeTown-(San Diego Blue, and Syracuse Orange—or as we saw the colors Mets Blue or Orange) with yarn and hooks (in under 1 hour!)

But at the end of the day, what I went home with was the Tahki/Stacy Charles cotton --given a choice of chunky or fine, well for me, fine (not really fine—about DK weight ) wins every time. (another crew packed those bags)

I ended up with the blue—and almost rue my choice- the orange was just so pretty!

Still as lovely as all the loots is—The best part of the day was the people.

First the Stars--
Libby—from TNNA—An organizer, and host who worked tirelessly.(she never stood still and all my photos of her are a blur!)

Lily Chin (what crochet event would be anything with out her?)
And she spent hours in her knit and crocheted Mets uniform--a real slave to looking good (in 87° degree weather, with high humidity!)

Stacy Charles—a gentleman of the first order--(standing next to Jessica, from Vogue knitting) It wasn't till the crochet event was over that I realized who he was!

Debbie Norville (here in the middle of the event, giving a demo on how to crochet.)

(Behind the camera for several shots—and unseen—Mike Devessa, from Lion Brand (who trudged from NJ for the event--Thank you Mike, for helping me with some photo's!)

Not photographed --we were all too hard working--was a great crew of volunteers--I am going to hold off naming names (since I don't have all of them!) but most of us didn't know each other, and in minutes we were working like a well oiled machine--each of gave (and took!)orders --no single person was in charge--we all just pitched ina and make quick work of huge job.

The Stadium—a really nice place—both inside and out.
It was my first time at this stadium--and it was the nicest one I have been in--(OK so my experience is limited to the Old Yankee stadium, Shea and this one.. but..well its still the best)

And Saving the best for lastThe PEOPLE—over 400 men, women and children—crocheting away—and with a half dozen more counting and verifying—and the Guinness official standing by as the witnesses counted.
(yes, that's me in the corner of that photo!)

Friends, too were part of the event! That's Kimberly, and Stacy, and Carolyn and Ruth further up in the nose bleed section.

The final count? I am not sure—I heard 410—but it could be a few more-Enough to qualify (350 are needed to qualify) More than enough to make it a Guinness Book of World Record's record setting event.

Oh, yeah, the Mets won, 6-1 over the Marlins.
(and I went home exhausted!)

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Hi Roy G Biv!

Cuff is done—and almost finished; most of the cut ends of the stripes woven in-- Roy G and one set of B - I and V still need to be worked in. I like how they look already!

Next: Roy G Biv again—in a different pattern—but the grey separating stripes will be repeated.

The Flap? (Just 56 R's away!) will be solid grey as will be the turning. The flap and turning, will be positioned to keep the stripe pattern on the instep intact.

Then another repeat of the Roy G Biv pattern—then a solid grey toe.

One big advantage of making your own stripes, is the pattern will be perfect over the instep.
(the big disadvantage is all the ends to weave in!)

The new stripe pattern will have wider stripes, AND a stitch pattern too. As I proceed I will still have cut ends for every color but the grey—lots more finishing. But...
(Oh and a correction—the color way is Flagstone, not Slate—I think it's gone the way of Red, Orange, Yellow..(etc, etc) from Paton's color pallet.)

I like some of the new speckle pattern of the Kroy—but the very limited set of solids sock colors is a bit disappointing. I am too creative to be content to just make plain socks with nothing but someone else's choices of color ways as a design. I like a large selection of color to add details to self striping and hand painted yarn. (One idea for a detail came to me last night as I worked the Violet stripe--but that is getting ahead of my self!)

The challenge this afternoon will be to remember to take some photo's—It's the New York Mets at Citi Field Stitch 'n Pitch—and the Guinness Book of World records attempt –The most people Crocheting at one time in one place. (I'll bring knitting too, since I prefer knitting to crochet—but I will be crocheting today!)

I've already take some photo's and updated my Face Book photo album with the two pairs of socks that had been hiding out in the dirty laundry hamper—50 Pairs of socks on display –I still haven't added socks that I have given away--(another 20+ pairs.)

I always warn other knitters, Sock knitting is pretty addictive. I keep thinking: Enough. But then, I finish one pair, and can't wait to start another. Wool for other projects; wool I have envied and admired (NORO silk and wool--a yarn that I now have in my stash)—cry as it might, sock yarn cries louder “KNIT ME”--and a vest of many colors is still just a thought.

Been doing some late season spring cleaning (not just organizing the sock yarn) and found my pair of lost socks (sandwiched between 2 long sleeved winter T shirts). Not a very special pair—but one more for the collection. You can now see all MY socks (no images yet of the pairs I have given away—in my Face Book Photo Album.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Bed Time Blues and Rainbow Days

Finished (natch) yesterday. And eventualy, I started the ROY G BIV.

I went hunting a few weeks ago for the colors for the ROY G BIV socks, and for a nuetral tone to go along. I had a few choices—Black-thought knitting wih black is such a drag—still better the summer time with lots of natural light than winter and artifical light.

I had Flax –a lovely taupe shade from Patons, too and Greys—several shade of grey, including a marled grey. Most Patons, (as are the spectrom of colors) but also some Lane Cervanties Calzetteria in grey. (and an olive green I had total fogotten about.

I have LOTS and LOTS of white—very little of it stays white—but since I already had grey and taupe, I didn't even think about dying some of the white to another nuetral color.

But—I miss filed (yeah lets say that, and not that I lost the zip lock back with 8 skeins of yarn) the greys.

So yesterday I organized and consoladated all my sock yarns into to collections—1 suitcase sized bag of stripes, jacquards, hand painted and color ways that don't pattern. Another collection (equal in size) of solids and semi solids (most of these are home dyed) and a third (very small bag) of left overs.

I really have a lot of sock yarn! Not included in this, is the large skein of merino/cashmere yarn which while it was sold as sock yarn, is way to nice (and way to soft!) Plus it doen't have any nylon in it for re-enforcement. Cashmere is partculary sensative to wear from abraison making socks a bit to fragile for me. This yarn and the 3 skeins of Fashion Toes in dark blue jewel tones are going to be made into some small shawls. Melaine has been making them and I love what she'd done—so I am going to follow her example.

While hunting (and organizing) I found 2 more of the mini bags I love for sock bags—so I now have 6 more pairs of socks lined up ready to go when the ROY G BIV socks are done.

Speaking of the ROYG BIV—at last (the last place I looked of course) I found the grey yarns, and selected one (Kroy slate grey).

I cast on, using the Open Closed Long tail cast on (Nancy Bush learned this as the Estonian Cast on)--a pretty, and plenty stretch variation of the Long Tail. And followed up with 2 by 2 ribbing—1 by 1 is my favorite--but its nice to change up every once in a while.

I did the math—and 1 full set of colors in the pattern I am going to be using is 56 R'sconsiderable shorter than my usual 80 or so R's—so I am making an extra deep cuff. It's already 1.5 inches –and I just have 2 colors! I cast on more stitches than usual, too for the extra deep cuff.

As always, I am weaving in the ends as I go—so when they are done, they will also be very nearly finished, as well. I haven't woven in the cast on tails--I use these as my BOR markers. But the red and orange tails are done.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

A Few Rounds Short

Of being a completed pair of Bed socks. --and they still need the anti slip treds (to go between the rows of garter stitching on ball of the foot.

The socks will be the key piece to a 5 part foot care package-- Spa Salts for a foot soak, Exfoliationg cleanser, Shea Butter soother, and a Callus file—and the matching socks –and sill to come, a small matching tote bag or case for the set. Everything co-ordinated and pretty.

And there is a plan for an Esty Shop for some of the crafts items; so if you like hand knit easy care (machine washable) bed socks, and love a foot care package (every thing but the toe nail polish!) this set, when finished, could be yours. Pamper your self, and do good work at the same time!

Yesterday I finally got all the ROY G BIV yarns rewound into 2 balls per skein, I am not going to divide the grey that is being used as a nuetral between the colors. I have a few skeins of grey, and I won't mind have 2 about equal partial balls. I've decide on a stitch pattern –I am still working out the math—I might even do a gauge swatch! --to make sure I get it right.

A blend of rain drops and rainbows—They will be cast on and started this evening—since I am about to go to work finishing the bed socks—which are fast work and getting faster as I decrease every other round!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

By an Hour

Finished these last night at 11PM—Pair number 3 for the month of May

Now, its divide the ROY B BIV yarns, and pick a pattern.

I still don't know exactly how I am going to do that.. but last night while admiring the Crowning
Achievment socks--I rememberd I had a resourse.

I have The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques by Margaret Radcliffe –and even if I don't find exactly what I want in there, I will be inspirations—and I will find something close enough.

Today is my first day out of work.. Its strange and feels holiday like. I need to get to work (that is build my own schedule, and do the things I need to do. I like external direction. I tend to drift with out it.

So the detail of the socks.Paton Kroy sock yarn, cast on 80 with a Channel Island cast on, worked 1 .35 inches of a shevron for the cuff, decreased to 64, work the leg, and finished it with a small lace clock detail. Basic flap/turned gussetted heel—with a slightly longer flap and gusset, plain foot, flat heel.