Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Ends

The Good News

I finished the afghan.

The Bad News

OK, it's not 100% finished.  I have to weave in the ends.  And there are A LOT.  If you figure 10 skeins of yarn, and a couple skeins had knots... I have over 20 ends to deal with.  Why did I figure that out?  Now I'm going to have an even hard time getting it done.  

The Sock

So, as you might have guessed, I started on my sock again.  All so I don't have to weave in those ends.  Procrastination they name is Neeners.  Here's where we're at:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


9 is my favorite number right now.  I'm on my 9th skein of yarn for the afghan.  When I hold the afghan up it's to my shoulder.  I'm going to keep going until I'm done with the 10 skeins.  It's going to be big, but I don't ever want to see this yarn again.  Then I'm going to have a serious talk with myself before I even think about knitting another afghan; it makes the '8 hour' baby blanket look like a walk in the park.  It's unwieldy.  But it's also pretty and will be great to snuggle under in the winter.  I'm pressing forward and will not work on the sock again  until I'm done with the afghan.  Light at the end of the tunnel, people.  Light at the end of the tunnel.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Oh, Hey. Hi!

Vacation Knitting

We went on vacation for a long weekend, and I took my sock knitting.  Guess how much knitting I got done? None.  Not a stitch.  I think on the way there I was too excited to knit, during vacation I was too busy to knit, and on the way home I was sick.  I ended up coming home with bronchitis.  Not fun. I've never had bronchitis before.  Coughing gets old - fast!  So no knitting happened while I was away on vacation or while I had bronchitis.  Ah well, it gave my hands an opportunity to rest after knitting on that damn sock.  I am now working on that damn afghan again.  I got through another skein of yarn.  I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 2-3 skeins to go.  

Not Knitting Didn't Stop Me From Buying!

I ordered these before vacation, and they finally came in and hubby picked them up for me.  I haven't used them yet.  I'm not letting myself use them until either my afghan or sock is done. 


We went to my first fiber fair yesterday.  My friend who dyes fiber had a booth, and I picked up a couple of beautiful skeins.  Check out Moose Manor Hand Paints to see her awesome colors and work.  It was extremely difficult to choose. This pic is extra big so you can hopefully see the gold tinsel in the yellow skein.  

Also at the fiber fair:

Jump, llama, Jump!  Llama obstacle course.

This guy looks like a sharpei.  You can barely see his eyes.


Someone got a haircut...

Monday, May 6, 2013

Getting Deeper Into Socks (And More Deeply Confused)

The sock class I'm taking turned into more of a knit-along, because I was the only one who signed up it.  The instructor, who owns the LYS, is knitting her own pair of socks while she helps me along.  As I've already said, learning to knit on two circulars was a little awkward and challenging at first.  The beginning of the ribbing was a real bugger, but I eventually got the hang of it.  Once I had knitted two inches of ribbing, I did an inch of just stockinette that went very quickly.  That's where I left off yesterday when I said that I wouldn't do any more sock work because I needed help and didn't think I was going to get to the LYS until Tuesday.  Well, I jumped the gun and went yesterday instead.  This isn't me, but I'm fairly certain I had this expression on my face both during and after the session:

Before socks I would classify my knitting skills as maybe beginning advanced.  I'd stuck to generally easy things (the majority being scarves), with some cables, increasing, decreasing thrown in a little bit here and there.  This sock stuff, however, is blowing my freaking mind so far.

So far in sock knitting I've learned how to:

  • knit in the round on two circular needles at once. 
  • turn the work and knit on the other side.  I didn't even know that was a thing!
  • pick up stitches.
  • knit a short row.  I still don't know what this even means, but the woman teaching me told me I did it...
  • use stitch markers.  I've never really used them for anything other than marking the beginning of a row before, but they are important in the sock because for one color you do one thing right before the marker, and for the other color you do something totally different right after the marker.
  • slip slip knit.  She did the first one of these, but they are part of the sock and I will be doing this stitch today for the first time.
And I'm not even to the toe yet, which has some knew stitch I'll be learning, as well.  SHEW!

Don't get me wrong.  There are parts of the sock I really enjoyed knitting.  The heel flap was a lot of fun and went really quickly. Turning the heel was mostly fun, because she just read to me what to knit and it went quickly and it was different with all the turning.  But rearranging the stitches and the gusset... what?  I still don't know what happened there because she did most of it, even though she tried to claim I did it myself. I'm on to the foot part now, where every other round on one needle I knit the last two together before the stitch marker, and on the other needle I do the slip slip knit right after the marker.  Again:  SHEW!

Here's my progress after yesterday:

This thing takes concentration.

I promise not to talk so much about socks with the next one.  The first one, though, needs to be properly documented!

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Little Blue

Here are a few picture showing my progress with little blue.  The color was a little messed up in the first pics, so hub fixed my camera settings.  This is from basically three sessions.  I'm now to the point where I need help - I think she said we do the heel flap next.  I'll work more on this probably Tuesday.  The next couple of days I'm going to work on the poor neglected afghan.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Of Socks And Clouds

I am learning to knit socks on a pair of size 2 circular needles.  I was told it's easier than using double points. Since I'd never done either before, I had nothing to compare it to.  I will say I had a little bit of a learning curve at the beginning and really didn't understand the love of knitting socks.  First of all, I've never knitted anything on such small needles.  Secondly, it take some getting used to having an extra needle attached and hanging around so closely while you're knitting.  This is different than when you use a cable needle, because you can move the cable needle out of the way pretty easily.  The 'extra' circular requires holding your work differently; it feels awkward and bulky at first, but you eventually figure it out and get into the groove.  Getting set up, knitting the first few rows, and learning how to move the yarn correctly after every half row was a pain in the butt.  I'm not going to sugar coat it.  I will say that now that I've gotten the hang of it, I do enjoy it.  It helps that my yarn is so pretty.  Meet Little Blue.  (Yes, I've named this yarn).

It's so strange for me to have two active projects.  I feel like I'm cheating on the afghan, and yet I just can't quit Little Blue.  The nice thing is when my hands get tired of knitting on the little needles I can switch over to the 13 US and it's like knitting on clouds.

Exhibits A & B:

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Little Things

Caving In

One reason that I stuck with scarves so long (and then added hats to the repertoire) is how quickly they can knit up.  A few weeks ago I added the dishtowel.  There isn't really anything else useful and small to knit... except socks.

For some reason I've always been leery about trying to knit socks.  I guess I was a) convinced I would end up cross-eyed, and b) afraid of those itty bitty needles.  My LYS is giving a sock class and I decided to take it.  I am still working on the afghan, so this will actually be the first time I'll be working on two projects at once.  Of course I have a couple unfinished projects in various bags right now, but I haven't touched those in years.  I'm usually all about finishing one thing before I start another because I don't want to add to that unfinished project list. Wish me luck.  Between the yarn, needles, and class, this will be the most expensive pair of socks I will ever own.   

                                                          (My hub is not fat, and I have better hair.  Otherwise, this is about right!)


I wish I had some news like, "Woo hoo!  I'm back to where I started yesterday morning!"  I don't.  12 inches doesn't really knit up that quickly when we're talking blankets.  I want to get this sucker done.  Baby blankets are a relatively 'quick knit' when you compare the two.  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013



Yesterday I got to my 7th skein.  The afghan was long and cumbersome to knit.  It was exciting.  I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  All those sentences are sadly past tense sinceI found a mistake.  I think I got so comfortable with this 'easy' pattern that I didn't take the time to look at the work.  I just kept knitting and knitting and knitting.  And knitting.  I literally had to rip out over 12 inches of the freakin' afghan, which equals about 2 skeins.  I rarely have to rip mistakes out; I usually just tink (knit backwards) because I *usually* find the mistake within a row or two at most.  Usually.  I have no idea what I did.  I held my breath ripping that sucker out.  I suck at trying to put the stitches back on the needles since I think I've only done it twice  before, and it's been at least a couple of years.  This was one hell of a lesson to learn:  ALWAYS CHECK YOUR WORK EVERY FEW ROWS REGARDLESS OF HOW EASY THE PATTERN IS.  In the past, something like this would have put me off knitting for a while.  I guess this time I'm more addicted than I thought, because I'm still plugging along, although definitely grumpier.

In trying to find the silver lining of having to redo so much, I will say that I found three (!!!) knots in the 6th skein; two I cut out and treated it like changing the yarn, but the third one I didn't see until I was halfway through the row.  I was sick of the blasted knots and I just kept going.  The silver lining of the huge rip out is I ripped out that knotted part so it won't be in the afghan anymore.*  

*I would rather have lived with the knot than rip and re-knit.  AhHHHhHhHhHHh!