NaBloPoMo Day 14: going forward

This morning as I was walking out of my kids’ school I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful sky. I took a picture so I could share it with you. (Maybe there is something to that concern that people are living their lives with the purpose of putting things on the internet. The article I read was talking specifically about Facebook but I think a blog follows. Am I addicted to the internet? [Probably.] Moving on…)

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Pretty, right?

I got some knitting done today: I finished casting on and picking up for the second sleeve of my Conic.

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I also dug through my yarn to find my leftover Calmer from the cowl as well as some other chemo cap options.

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I have two balls which I think are almost complete. I was thinking about striping them in a Shedir. Or perhaps I can find another pattern that would work with stripes. I also have two balls of Bamboozled left (the pale lavender and multi-color) that I’d like use for a different hat. The other yarn in this picture is a full ball of pale blue Calmer which will definitely become a Shedir and a second hank of Sock Candy that I might use to make a second hat like the one Niels modeled here last week.

So many plans, so little knitting time. Dang.

NaBloPoMo Day 1…2 really: chemo caps

So yesterday I looked at the calendar and thought, “Hey! It’s November! I want to do NaBloPoMo!” Then I thought about what I wanted to write about on the first day and took a picture of Niels in the hat I just finished. Some how, none of that happened yesterday so I am going to start today instead, with the picture of Niels in the hat.

Look, here it is.

crown for tyrion

It’s not for him but I think he needs one. It’s my friend Kate’s pattern “A Crown for Tyrion” which I don’t think she has released yet.  You should totally buy it from her when she does, though. I enjoyed knitting it and I think it looks great on Niels. (My hair is too poofy for most hats. I hate the way it looks when I have a hat on and then taking it off causes even more problems.) This hat, though, is going to be donated to Breast Cancer Connections in memory of Trisha Creekmore. Trish and I worked together at the Discovery Channel. She was pregnant with her first daughter and I was the HTML developer on the project so I posted her pregnancy journaling posts. She was an amazing spirit and a good writer and the world is an emptier place without her in it. Since I can’t go to her memorial (it’s on the east coast) I am knitting chemo caps. I have another ball of the yarn I used for that hat which I think I am going to use to make a Shedir. If you are local to me and would like to knit a hat or two for me to donate, let me know. I know at least one other person is doing it with me.

So that is my first NaBloPoMo post for 2012. Hopefully I won’t miss too many more days. I am going to try to have a photo for each day again. Maybe. I’m not making any promises.

NaBloPoMo Day 19: more books, progress photos

This morning, Cookie and I did this:

books books and more books

I think she said she had 240 books signed and padded and I put them in envelopes, she and I taped them and I labeled a few before I had to go off to pick up the kids. I think she said she could use my help for one more day of this kind of packing up and her preorders would be done. I have to say that I see the value in having someone else to do all of that for you! Although I think her having complete creative control over her book was a good thing. Have I mentioned that the book is gorgeous? I know I have.

As promised, I took progress photos. First of wedge.

wedge, moving forward!

I’m pretty close to the heel, I think. This yarn is turning out to go farther than I expected. Thanks to Jen C, I can whip out my cool tiny scale and weigh the ball at intervals to check how far into I am. I assume I’ll need slightly more than half of the ball for the foot. I guess I’ll find out the hard way if that is wrong assumption.

Next up is my younger nieces cardigan.

one sleeve, almost done

I cast on that sleeve this afternoon and knit most of it while watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with my older son. I had to stop knitting to comfort him at one point. Even though he read the book he was still sad! He’s such a sweetie.

Today my younger son asked me to knit him a baby doll friend for his other doll. We have a gorgeous Waldorf doll that I bought for my older son when his brother was born but no one loves that one. Poor ignored doll. Anyway, I’m thinking of making this baby doll for him. i don’t know what yarn to use, though. I love the Lion organic cotton for the hair though. So cute! I’m thinking this should be a birthday gift because I don’t want him to think that I can just whip up a babydoll at a moments notice. That gives me until mid-January. We’ll see how that goes!

NaBloPoMo Day 9: even more knit. sock. love.

I really lied a couple of days ago, because here’s what I did this morning.

pile of knit. sock. love.s

I helped Cookie pack her pre-ordered books for shipping. I happened to have a day off from working in S’s preschool, so I was able to give her a hand. She has a lot of signing, packaging and shipping ahead of her!

I’ve finished two of the wedges of my wedge sock. I like the way it’s turning out. The only challenge is how the stitches get stretched out when they’re wrapped for shortrows in the cotton yarn. It only seems to happen on one side, so maybe the problem is how I’m doing it. I had to fiddle with the first set to hide them and I’ll have to keep trying as I go to make them even with the other knitting.

two wedges done

I think I’m making good progress. This means, of course, that my other knitting is being ignored. Oops.

NaBloPoMo Day 8: wedge socks

I guess I lied in my previous post. I’m still talking about Cookie because I was gripped with the urge to knit her Wedge socks from the new book. I decided to knit them out of my Blue Moon FIber Arts mill-dyed Sock Candy. I was very excited to see that they were making mill-dyed Sock Candy since I had some bad fading experiences with the hand-dyed version. I love the yarn and am hoping that the mill-dyed one holds the color better. So far, though, I’m irritated by the yarn because of how it is put up. Look at the diameter of this hank!

that's a big hank!

That’s my swift opened as wide as will go, and it wasn’t wide enough because at the end of the hank the yarn slipped down and something somewhat tragic happened.

yarn winding disaster-ette

It was worse than it looks there. The yarn had wrapped around the bottom of the swift because it slipped down only partially and the swift kept spinning, wrapping the yarn around the post of the swift. Luckily, I was able to untangle it and was more careful with the second hank. Ugh. I feel like I am cursed when it comes to Sock Candy. We’ll see if these at least hold up better! They still warn about dark colors fading on the label. Well, still is the wrong word because there was no warning on the previous labels but they certainly did fade!

In any case, the yarn is all wound and is becoming the Wedge sock.

wedge cuff

So far, so good!

NaBloPoMo Day 9: starting gift knitting, faded socks

I'm not focusing very well on my NaNoSweMo sweater. I started a new project today, a chemo cap for my friend because no one had gotten a chance to finish one for her yet. She starts chemo tomorrow and I know her hair won't fall out instantly but I think if it were me I'd take it off before it had the chance to fall out bit by bit. I have no idea how quickly it all progresses, really, but I want her to have a hat in her possession, darnit! Anyway, I picked a pattern that calls for worsted weight yarn so it's a quick knit. If I write this post fast enough I may even get to the top decreases tonight. I thought maybe I could finish it but that's not happening.

So, now that I've figured out that I can export my photos from iPhoto in a roundabout way, my card reader won't recognize my flash card so I can't get photos off of my camera. I seem to have whatever is opposite of the Midas touch with mechanical and electronic devices these days. I took a couple of iPhone photos of my faded socks instead. I know it's not great but I think you can see what is going on in this one.

The sock on the left has faded less than the sock on the right but it is still faded and pretty dull looking. The ball of yarn between my feet is the leftover yarn that hasn't been washed. This is from one wash. In cold water and Soak. Here's the photo of them freshly knitted and not at all faded, for reference.

It seems like excessive fading to me and I'm very disappointed. The yarn, in case anyone is curious, is Blue Moon Fiber Arts hand dyed Sock Candy. They aren't making it anymore and perhaps this is why. I have another pair of socks made with this yarn that faded similarly and I have four more hanks of the yarn that I'm wondering if I should knit, six if you count my Tube Sock kit.. I need to find something to knit with this yarn that doesn't need to be washed. Ever. If you have ideas, let me know.

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NaBloPoMo Day 7: giving the gift

I visited my friend who is about to start her chemo today and delivered her shawl. (I've also figured out a way to upload photos so you get to see it.

For the back I followed the pattern exactly (the Chunky Highland Wool Wrap from Elann.com) — other than not using wool of course. If I were to do it again I'd change the cross of the top left cable of the fleur de lis pattern to make it so that it doesn't go over twice in a row. I'm not sure if you can see that in this photo or not.

For the front I changed the pattern completely. The cable they had on the front pieces was very pretty but it pulled far too much in this totally synthetic yarn (Crystal Palace Puffin). Since I couldn't block the pulling out it had to go. I fiddled with a couple of more simple cables but ended up just using a stitch pattern from Barbara Walker vol. 1. I like the way it turned out. My friend liked it too. She said that the nurse told her that some people get cold sitting in the chemo chair during the treatments and it would be perfect for that. I hope it is.

I need to dig out a chemo cap pattern. I'm thinking about making one from some Sock Candy I have. I'll have to soak it in vinegar before giving it to her though, since my Sock Candy always loses its color on the first wash. I need to get a good picture of my post-wash Holey Socks to show you. It's really astonishing.

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holey socks!

I left someone out! My holey socks. The name of the pattern is Bosnian Toes and Turkish heels from one of the old issue's of Knitter's that my aunt gave me. I will always call them my holey socks, though. I was ready to post about them last week with this photo.

Who can spot the problem? Anyone? The one closest to the camera is inside out. Duh. (Editted to add: that's "Duh" as in "Duh, I can't believe I put it on inside out and didn't notice until I saw the photo." Not a comment on you, my dear reader.)

There. That's better.

They're a little slouchy around the ankle but I think if they weren't in this yarn they'd never fit over my heel. I might try this pattern again in Fixation at a smaller size. I'm not sure what Fixation would do to those holes though. We might see, some day.

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lightning bolt man and the yarn that followed me home

It occured to me a couple of days ago that Niels' birthday is swiftly approaching, so I cast on for the Greatest American Hero superhero cape from New Knits on the Block. I'm calling it Lightning Bolt Man because that is what Niels calls the Flash. (I know the Flash doesn't have a cape, I'm hoping Niels doesn't point that out when I give it to him, but he probably will.)

I gave in and went back to Purlescence for another ball of Panda Cotton in Baby Blues. I'm going to make those footies even though they take more than 1 ball of yarn. I'll have to try again with another ball to come up with a more yarn conservation minded pattern another time. While I was there, this hank of Sock Candy jumped into my hands. I had seen this lone hank sitting there when I was there a few days ago and I had been thinking about it ever since. It turns out that it wasn't lonely, there were three of them but you need two for a pair of full sized socks so I thought that this one needed rescue. Am I the only one who has thoughts like this? I suspect not. Anyway, I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. Something not sock related, I think, since my previous pair of Sock Candy socks haven't held up well to washing. (Has anyone else had that problem or am I doing something wrong in my washing process?)

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