NaBloPoMo Day 5: finishing socks, scarf, not sweater

It turned out that I needed to knit a few more rows before I could bindoff on my socks so I did that last night and didn't end up knitting on my sweater at all. I have a cool new pair of socks though. I love them so far. I am curious to see how this yarn holds up because I have definitely durability issues with some cotton sock yarns. Time will tell!

These are the Upstream Master pattern from Cat Bordhi's New Pathways book 1. I think it might be my favorite architecture. The increases happen on the sole and there's something about it that makes a sock that hugs my foot well.

I also finished a woven scarf today. I started it waaaaay back in May when I first got my loom and just kind of lost my oomph. I will be teaching the kids at Niels' school how to weave this week, though, so I need my loom for the class and had to finish off the project that was on it.

I thought we had enough of the loom that you can half see in that picture for the class, but I was wrong so I am going to be taking my Cricket in so we can have several kids working at once. The loom pictured is a Beka 10-inch rigid heddle beginner's loom. Here it is with my Cricket.

They are both the same type of loom but the Beka is much simpler. I have to work on getting it warped over the weekend. I'll probably also weave an inch or so on each loom to make the starting easier for the kids. I got Weaving Made Easy out of the library this week. It happened to be in the new craft book section, I wasn't actually seeking it out and I really like it. It's simple projects for rigid heddle looms. I might actually try to make the bag in there after the kids are done using my loom. It will depend on me being able to warp it long enough for the bag. I have to figure out a way to clamp the warping peg farther away without taking up the whole house with my warp yarn. Perhaps a warping board would be more useful at some point. Not yet though.

My sweater continues to grow. I have started the waist decreases but the edges of the fronts continue to increase more rapidly so the quantity of stitches is still growing fairly quickly. I can take it though. I'm tough like that.

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bleeding dye, broken hooks and socks

Last year I dyed some yarn. This week I tried to use it. I knew I was going to have to wash the item afterwards because the yarn never rinsed clear but I didn't realize just how much I was going to have to wash it. I washed it in the sink with textile detergent (the Dharma version of Synthrapol) then I soaked it in vinegar and washed it in the machine with hot water and the textile detergent. It's still bleeding. On everything. I'm very frustrated. Dyers out there, any suggestions on setting this crap? It's procion fiber reactive dye on a cotton/rayon yarn. It's frustrating because I think the color is pretty and I loved how it looked in this pattern (the darkside cowl – Rav link).

Another frustrating thing happened when I was crocheting a baby sea turtle for Stefan.

Cute, right? Yes, but this happened.

Sigh. I have to say I'm not having much luck with the Kollage square needles and hooks. I have an I and J hook that are solid wood and work very well but this one, clearly, has issues. Or had. I glued it with Erik's model epoxy (my go to, must stay glued, glue) and it seems to be holding so now I can make the legs for that little guy. Then Niels wants the robot from the cover there.

Last, but very much not least, a pair of socks in the self-patterning cotton sock yarn I got at Sock Summit.

This picture is from a few days ago, I'm almost to the heel already. I was making the Upstream architechture from Cat Bordhi's book but I decided that I'd rather have the increases on the foot so I'm flipping it over and making it a Foxglove sock instead. Gotta love Cat's genius socks. And they aren't even bleeding or broken!

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sweaters in progress

I decided at the beginning of this month that is an ideal time to knit the February Lady Sweater, since it's February and all. I also seem to like to set an unrealistic goal of finishing a sweater for myself the month of Stitches. I don't know why I do that. In any case, I'm actually close to my goal this time. The body is all knit and I am close to being done with the first sleeve. At a suggestion from Mary I wet the sleeve and hung it up (on my new duct tape torso replica) to see if it would grow. I'm glad I did, the sleeve was 1 inch longer in the morning! I might atually finish it by Thursday. Or at least Saturday.

Since I couldn't knit on that sweater last night while it was hanging up, I started something new. I've been wanting to knit the Slipstream Pullover from More Big Girl Knits for a while, since the book came out. Last night, I finally cast on and started one of the sleeves. So far, so good!

Stefan wanted the baby tree kangaroo to be in the picture. I love this color of Hempathy. There are a lot of stitches in this sweater, at 22 sts to four inches, but it's going to be lovely and drapey, I am pretty certain.

Now, the only thing I need to remember is that I have homework before my Stitches class this weekend. I might have to use All Seasons Cotton for that, since it's the only sock-appropriate light colored yarn that I have in a heavier weight. I think it will work.

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6 month socks

Just over six months after starting them, I finished my Woven Ridges socks yesterday. I am not sure why these took me so long. A severe case of second sock syndrome, I suppose! I wore them all day and I love them already.

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lots of wips, no fos

I have been a bad blogger. Part of the reason for that is that I now have an abundance of projects on the needles and I am not being monogamous with any one project, therefore nothing is getting finished. So, we are going to have a parade of WIPs. First up is the project I started first, my Woven Ridge socks. I started them (and completed the first one) while we were in the Netherlands in the summer. I cast on right away for the second one but it's been languishing ever since.

I like these socks and I want to wear them, so I need to finish them! I have made some progress in the past couple of weeks, so that's good. Also, Cookie gave me some Sock Candy for catsitting for her cat and I am itching to cast on with that… or my Panda Soy. So much yarn, so little time. Anyway, I also got some Bamboo yarn from Jeni's going away, she was destashing. I had to tackle Lisa for it, but she was nice enough to give it up.

sock candy thunderYarn Place Vivace

You can't see very well in the picture, but that is four hanks of Sock Candy. So either I'm going to make two pairs of socks or I need another project. I was thinking about a scarf. I hope that two would be enough, because I do really want to make socks with some of it. The bamboo is from Yarn Place. Freecia (I think?) mentioned that they make socks from it but it's 100% bamboo with absolutely no give, so I'm not sure that is going to be my plan. We'll see.

Next up in the WIP parade is Niels' sweater. I finished the front and back and started the first sleeve but then I got distracted because I need to recalculate the decreases. His arms are much longer than the pattern size and I don't want to have all the decreases before the elbow and then the whole top straight or something. It's getting close, though! Other than all the ends to weave in, of course. Maybe I should focus on finishing it for Christmas. Maybe.

Last, but very muc not least is my Tapestry Cowl in calmer. I love this pattern, am entranced with the technique and I am loving how it's turning out. It needs a lot of focus though, to follow the totally non-repeating chart.

Also, the farther I get into the more the thought of having to kitchener stitch the front to the back looms over my head. That's 110 stitches of each color! I don't generally mind kitchener stitch, I have to say. I think that comes from having started my knitting career on diaper soakers. Theresa and Pam helped me to cut my teeth on knitting in a small, managable format. Theresa, by having very clear instructions in her patterns and Pam by being my friend and encouraging me as well as including me in all of her classes on her forums. I wouldn't be the knitter I am today if it weren't for them. Anyway, when you knit a soaker you have to kitchener the crotch closed. Luckily, though, you use large yarn and it's generally not very many stitches. I'm not sure I'd be so comfortable with the technique if I had started on sock toes with their tiny tiny yarn. This yarn is fairly tiny but it's the sheer volume of stitches to be sewn together that really makes me nervous. I should stop worrying and just knit, right? I'm only on row 20 and I have to do 64 rows of chart and then a few plain rows before the finishing starts.

So, since I got new yarn and have finished at least one project I thought I'd check my stash totals. I am currently up to 60889.6 yards of yarn or 34.6 miles. Um. Oops. That's up a mile since last time I calculated. I haven't purchased any yarn, it's just been finding me. Does that make it better? I didn't think so either. In the interest of decreasing the stash, I put my Regal Silk into my Sell or Trade Stash on Ravelry. I have five hanks of it that I was going to use to make a silk corset for myself. I've basically decided that if I do end up making the silk corset, It's not going to be out of variegated yarn. It's really pretty yarn, though, but I don't know else to do with it. I'm asking for $75 for the whole lot, plus shipping. You know you want to give this gorgeous yarn a home, right? If not, you must have a friend who does, of course. (Please buy my yarn.)

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corny baby items

A friend of mine is due for a baby at the end of this month, so I decided that my "Indian Corn" colorway of Maizy would make perfect baby items. I knit up a pair of Max's Springy Ring Socks by Cat Bordhi (Ravelry details) and a Heartbreakingly Cute Pilot Cap from the Mason-Dixon Knitting Book (Ravelry details). I think they turned out very cutely. I hope they fit the new baby when he or she arrives.

corny baby hatcorny ring socks

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sokjes, dyeing and manon

I finished the socks for my niece. They turned out as anklets, but I think they are cute. I hope she likes them. They are the Rushing Rivulet socks from New Pathways for Sock knitters. (Ravelry details)

Last week Anabel and I had a mini dyeing party. She wanted to dye some curtains and I had some undyed Panda Cotton and Henry's Attic Soie Naturelle that I wanted to dye and some Henry's Attic Riviera that I wanted to overdye because the hanks were two different shades and I didn't like the color. Here are before pictures, notice my very cool homemade PVC niddy noddy!

PVC niddy noddybefore

And here are after pictures. The very dark purple is the Riviera and the orangey-red is the Soie Naturelle. The two two-tone hanks are Panda Cotton.

hand dyed silk, oxbloodoverdyed cotton, imperial purplehand dyed panda cotton

These aren't real after pictures because the yarn is still. Not. DRY! Right now they are spread out on a drying rack with a fan underneath and they are progressing much more quickly towards being dry. I like the purple of the Riviera (sorry, Cookie) but I'm a bit disappointed in the silk and the Panda Cotton. Both have lightened significantly as they've dried. Ah well, it's my first try. Maybe I'll get better, if I get up the nerve to try it again. The rinsing was endless.

In other news, I started a new sweater project. On Thursday evening I was talking to Anabel about my failed sweater projects. Well, failed as in I don't wear them: Tomato and Ribbi Pulli. She encouraged me to think about the projects that I've made that I do like and wear, in other words: Rogue. She asked me what it was about Rogue that I liked so much. I've decided that two of the biggest selling points about Rogue for me are that it's All Seasons Cotton, which I love knitting with, and it's a cardigan, which I find easier to wear. So after talking to her I went home and started a new cardigan in All Seasons Cotton, Norah Gaughan's Manon. So far, I love it. I hope my love continues. I think it will, I also really love this color and how the yarn looks with the cables and texture.

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an outing to de afstap

I decided that since we had a long day yesterday that I would take today to go by myself to Amsterdam. Erik agreed and off I went. I went to the train station in Haarlem, bought myself a ticket and set off. I thought it was a good sign that my yarn expedition began with a sighting of Dutch sheep, even though I wouldn't be buying any yarn made from them. Also, as you can see, I kind of have a thing about wind turbines. They fascinate me for some reason. Some of these ones were really close to the train track too.

sheep!wind turbineswind turbine

I had written down directions to de Asftap, a yarn store that I had heard was fairly Rowan-centric, and then from de Afstap to de Kinderboekwinkel, a children's bookstore to buy books for a friend as well as for Stefan and Niels. I was afraid that I'd need to whip out the map I brought regularly but it was surprisingly straightforward to get there. I felt like less of a tourist than most of the people I saw! Although I did stop to take some rather touristy pictures.

herengrachtde westerkerk

On my way there I saw a sign that said, "homomonument." I felt a bit like Beavis and Butthead thinking, "heh, they said homo." Then, of course, I found it and it's a lovely peaceful monument to the gays and lesbians killed during World War II.  Shame on me for being so childish! The tip of the triangle in the water, which is the point of a larger triangle made of three – I only got pictures of two of them – points at the Anne Frank house.

homomonumenthomomonumenthomomonument

I had gotten it into my head that de Afstap was this huge Rowan mecca. It did have a lot of Rowan but it wasn't all that big. What I ended up buying will be no surprise to anyone who knows my knitting habits. (Hey, it was about 30% off of the full US price!)

de afstapall seasons cotton

I was walking toward the bookstore when I passed an adorable little shop called The Egg Mercantile. The stuff in their window enticed me, so I went in. They had a lot of lovely stuff, including some melamine dishes on sale that I'm now wishing I had gotten. I did get a gift which they wrapped up in typical Dutch fashion. I love how the Dutch stores wrap gifts. I was surprised to find that the had a small selection of yarn in the back, Manos. Too bad I can't knit with it because that stuff is beautiful. They also have a very cute sheep mobile that I almost bought until I saw that it came from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. It seemed silly to pay European prices for something made in the US. It was cute, though!

manos in the egg mercantilesheep!i love the way dutch stores wrap things for you

My last shopping stop was de Kinderboekwinkel where I got several books that a friend of mine asked me to find for her son as well as a few lovely books for Stefan and Niels. I was feeling guilty about spending to much on all those books but then Erik's other offered to pay for them as a gift for the boys. Yay for Oma! I don't have a picture of the pile of books, just of the store.

The last stop was to get lunch, a spinach, cheese, bacon and tomato pancake from a cafe on Rozengracht. Yum! It was nice to walk around alone and have some downtime. Yarn and new books are always fun too!

Here I am enjoying my time to myself. Please excuse the messy hair.

me


Oh, and since this post was pretty light on the knitting content, here is a picture of my most recent work in progress: another pair of Woven Ridges socks, this time for my nephew Sven. I decided to use the same pattern he saw me knitting when he was so fascinated by my sock knitting. This time I'm knitting them two at a time so I can hopefully finish them up by Saturday when we are going to see him again, I think for the last time this trip? Wish me luck!

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heads and toes

I finished my dream swatch headwrap last Wednesday. I had to block it to try to get it to curl less and we went away for a bit but, of course, that doesn't work very well and it still curls a bit. I don't think you can tell when it is on, though.

finished headwrapknitting "finished object" "dream swatch headwrap" sonata "wendy bernard"

We spent a couple of days in the woods with Erik's brother and had a long drive to get there and back, so I got almost a whole sock knit. It's Wovn Ridges from Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters.

My nephew was fascinated by the process of sock knitting so I measured his feet and am going to knit him a pair. I have a ball of Panda Cotton to use but I haven't picked a pattern yet.

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my new favorite socks

I finished my Jeweled Steps socks tonight, from the Cat Bordhi book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters. They are sidestream architecture. (Ralvery details.) So far, they are my favorite of the socks I've knit from this book. I might have to revisit that once they've been worn and washed a few times, but they sure are gorgeous and they feel great right off the needles!

It probably helps that I am utterly and completely in love with this colorway. I bought some of it in Bamboozle to make a Ribbi Pulli, along with the Bamboozle that was my last failed attempt at the Bombshell Tee. We'll see how that goes. The only negative thing about these socks was my own fault, I had a major case of second sock syndrome partially because I couldn't find my notebook with my measurement and stitch numbers in it so I had no idea how many stitches to increase and all that. Silly me. I'm glad they're done and I look forward to wearing them!

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