the rest of the handmade goodies

Now that everything has been given away I can show you the rest of what I made!

My mom requested fingerless mitts after seeing mine on Thanksgiving. So she got a pair.

mom's mitts

On Hannukah I found out that the socks I had given to my dad a couple of years ago were too snug around. They were colorwork so I guess I didn’t account for the loss of stretch. Oops. So he got a new pair of socks from Berroco Comfort Sock. That yarn is so soft. I am going to need to get more to make myself some socks.

dad's christmas socks

The same year I gave my dad the (too small) socks, I gave my aunt a pair also. She lost one in the laundromat. She always wears sneakers so I decided I could cheat slightly and make her socks out of DK weight cotton/acrylic yarn. They felt soft and cozy when I tried them on. I hope she loves them! (She didn’t try them right there so I didn’t get to find out.)

teddy's christmas socks

She also got one of the matroyshka doll ornaments that I made. I gave two of these to Rachel and Shauna and kept one for myself. I think the one I made for my aunt is not pictured here but you get the idea, right?

matroysha doll ornaments

Last night, in honor of being finished with all of my crafting for other people, I decided to cast on a new sweater for myself that I’ve been wanting to make. I am starting with the sleeves so I was doing magic loop on my Signature Needle Arts circular needles. Today in the car, I discovered something tragic.

broken needle

So sad! I’m going to write to them and see if they can put my tips on a new cord or something and then never EVER use them for magic loop again.


NaBloPoMo Day 12: let’s not talk about the sock

I wasn’t sure what size needles I used to cast on for the wedge sock, but they “seemed” right.

Lesson 1: don’t go by how things “seem” in knitting.

They were not right. They are 2.5mm, or US size 1.5. Sounds small, right? Not small enough. I was getting 7 sts/in when I needed to be getting 8. Plus, the stitches were big and open, which is not good for a sock that is supposed to hug your foot. I ripped back and cast-on again with size 2.25 mm, or US size 1. Let’s hope that works better.

Now let’s not talk about the sock anymore.

N, my older son, had a day off from school for a Staff Development Day and it wasn’t my work day at S’s preschool so I decided to take them on a field trip to the California Academy of the Sciences. We bought a membership there in April and I feel like it’s not worth buying unless we use it. It was a fun day, in spite of it being more crowded there than I expected.

We saw Moon Jellies.

moon jellies

And, of course, visited the living roof.

the living roof

You certainly can’t argue with the view up there.

NaBloPoMo Day 10: dumb sock mistake

I almost forgot to make my post today!

I helped Cookie a bit more today. That book shipping thing is a lot of work! The books are going out, so hopefully some of you who are waiting will get yours soon.

I also realized after my post yesterday that I Messed Up. Darnit. I somehow convinced myself that I need a stockinette band between the increase and decrease wedges of Wedge. I don’t know why I convinced myself of that. It doesn’t say that anywhere in the pattern. Then I started to be convinced that the whole pattern was wrong. If the whole pattern is wrong perhaps maybe it’s time to step back and look at how you are interpreting the whole pattern, eh? I ripped back and my sock is now shorter than it was in the picture from yesterday. I didn’t get much knitting done today because of kid stuff and my own homework. Hopefully I will get some knitting time tomorrow since the kids have no school and we don’t have to get up and rush places the next two days. Gotta love that.

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!

NaBlaPoMo Day 24: newsflash: I like reds and oranges

I noticed something odd today when I was taking my hand knit socks off of the drying rack.

Except for that lone pair of blue/purple panda cotton all of my hand knit socks are reds and oranges. I did not notice this before. In my defense (sort of) I also have three more pairs that I don't wear anymore for various reasons: blue fixation socks that got a hole, two pairs of panda cotton socks that have stiffened up so much I can't get them on anymore, one is pale blue and one is black with a variety of other colors. Oh, and one pair of orange fixation that I do wear but just didn't make it into this wash. So yeah: red, orange, blue, that's it.

Perhaps I should knit up my green mill-dyed Sock Candy next just to throw a wrench in the works.

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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 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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NaBloPoMo Day 4: more books, knitting the wrong thing

We got a Scholastic order from school today which included a copy of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I had been considering buying it and thought it was a bargain in the catalog. I see now that it's 39 cents cheaper on Amazon but this way we earned points for our teacher to get more books for class! I feel a bit guilty buying books like this because I feel like I am trying to turn Niels into the same kind of reader I am: the kind who also enjoys comics and graphic novels. This book is half pictures, if not more. I haven't started reading it yet but I flipped through it and it looks really interesting. He already likes comics, of course, but this will help that along too.

I was running around all day so far and the only knitting I did was on the ribbing of my stripey socks. I'm done and am going to bind them off as soon as I finish posting this, which doesn't help me reach my sweater goal, of course, but gives me a fun new pair of socks to wear tomorrow! I will probably knit a bit on the sweater too. I want to watch yesterday's episode of V before I go to bed, even though the things I've read so far have not been terribly positive. It could get better! Right? Right!

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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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