Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Odds and ends

Here is a peek inside my knitting odds and ends pouch that travels with my wips...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Block Party

I am a major blocking procrastinator. Last night, struck by sudden inspiration, I blocked 3 scarves I finished long ago.

From top to bottom: my first knitting project ever, in an eggplant alpaca boucle yarn; my second knitting project, a cable scarf in Louisa Harding Kashmir Aran yarn; and My So Called Scarf in ONline Linie 149 Rush.

Each scarf had a different blocking need. I was trying to block the ribbed Alpaca scarf for length, as it turned out short and wide. I blocked the cable scarf for width, it turned out long and curled in, pre-blocking. The So Called Scarf needed a good blocking because the nice, chunky yarn in the stitch pattern for the scarf created a suffocatingly dense fabric; I hope the blocking will loosen it up a bit.

I use the wet blocking technique, since I do not have a fun steaming device to use. I soak the piece in warm water, with a few drops Woolite, for 5-10 minutes. Then I pull out the knitting, and roll it up in a clean towel to remove excess water. Then comes the stretching and pinning, which I do either directly on my carpet, or with a sheet between the knitting and carpet. It usually takes 2-3 days to dry, even with a fan going, since I live in a very foggy and damp neighborhood.

My mom is a major contributor to my stash, and she gave me both the ONline Linie 149 Rush and the Alpaca Boucle.

I do love me some cables!

Some holiday cheer: a pecan pie, made last night:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gratuitous sock pictures. And a cute dog.

Although I spent the majority of the weekend under blankets with a hot water bottle on my chest, we did head over to Berkeley to celebrate a friend's birthday with some fun at the park, Thai food, chocolate cake and scrabble.

Dave the Mountain dog was along, sporting some knitwear here, looking a bit like he should have rasta dreads:

Picture taken whilst swinging of the birthday girl:
and gorgeous Berkeley oaks:
~Knitting Update~

Blueberry scarf, destined to be a late birthday gift. Which is okay, the recipient already got an early birthday gift. Saviche, prepare to be inundated with blue wool :)
Monkey socks! Well, really, all but the toe of the first monkey sock. I appear to have an unending attention span for sock photography. The yummy yarn is DIC Smooshy, purchased from the online shop Sonny and Shear. I think Kristina put it best when she introduced me to Sonny and Shear, saying "They have all the good stuff!" Great yarn, hilarious ads, and a couldn't- be-nicer owner. This site has been my biggest temptation during this time of yarn dieting. That and the Noro Silk Garden close out at WEBS a few weeks back.

I love that the pattern on this sock continues down the foot. I can get a bit bored knitting stockinette in the round for five inches on teeny needles. This pattern breaks the monotony, and is pretty, too!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Early Birthday!!!

A pair of Juniper Mitts for my dear friend, Saviche (aka My Quest to Save Baby Rhinos). It's only been a year since we met, but you have wormed your way into my cold, resisting, anti-social, stranger-hating heart. I hope your birthday is fabulous!

I am loving these cute little buttons that I found at Joann's. 4 buttons for under $2! SICK. They almost inspire me to search around for some buttons to finish up my mitts. I say almost because I have a lot of other crafty stuff on my plate, and I can't be bothered to make anything for myself. Well, except for maybe a Lina... and there is that handspun cowl I've been working on.... More details about that later.

The thing I love about these mitts is that they are so ridiculously simple to make, but once you put them on they look so sophisticated - chic without even trying. It's just a spiraling rib. No thumb gusset to worry about. The thumb hole is made by simply binding off a few stitches and then joining the rest to work in the round.

I am about a week early on the happy birthdays, but next week is Thanksgiving, and since she will be travelling to the frigid north, I deemed it best that she be prepared against the cruel and unforgiving weather. (Hey, it does get cold in California, I swear.)

FO: Birthday Mitts for QSBR
Pattern: Juniper Mitts by Jennifer Adams
Yarn: Argosy Luxury Yarns Hanna DK (less than one skein)
Needles: US 4 circ's
Started 11/11/08, Finished 11/16/08 (and only because I had to go buy the buttons)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Pinkie

I have strange pinkie fingers. When I get grossed out, say, during a gross CSI autopsy, my pinkies tingle and go rather numb. When I first learned to type we were taught to press shift with the left pinkie to capitalize letters. I had to retrain myself later to press shift with my ring finger because after a couple capital letters, my pinkie goes stiff and numb. Very strange indeed. Lately, this stiff numbness, which comes with a bit of pain, has been occurring while I knit.

This is how I hold my knitting with my left hand:

I seem to curl my pinkie under the left needle to hold it up while I knit. I have two projects on biggish (US 10 and 10.5) needles, and the larger the needle, the more acute the pinkie problem. The pinkie problem lead me to cast on the green monkey socks on wee socky size 2 dpns. I have tried to loosen my grip with the left hand's fingers, but its not working so well, and slows down my already manatee-esque pace.

That blob above is my DROPS cable bag...almost ready to be delivered to my friend Jess and her sewing skills.

Here is my preferred lunch knitting spot, a roof top garden atop a galleria with shops and restaurants:

This is my favorite spot to spend my lunches, which will soon become impractical with the rain, but these past weeks its been up in the 65-70 degree range (did anyone order a large portion of climate change?!) but its starting to turn cooler.

Enjoy your Wednesdays!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


WIP: Lina Beanie
Pattern: Lina by Johanna of Joko Knits
Yarn: leftover Fibranatura Baby Merino from Neiman

So far I am really liking this beanie. I hope it's big enough because my hair gets way too fluffy and sometimes beanies just don't work. But it is so squooshy. Gotta love the twisted rib!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rainforest Socks

Kinda blurry pictures (blame the lack of light and day light savings)....

Cookie A's Monkey Socks
in Dream in Color's Smooshy, happy forest colorway. I love these socks. They are making me feel like a real knitter, not just a novice with gaping holes at the gusset joins! The yarn is ultra delicious, and the pattern is fun and easy. Cookie A is a genius!

Stash Managed

This weekend I photographed and organized my whole stash, updating my stash page on ravelry.

Needles did not get organized...perhaps another time!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Blueberry Scarf

A simple K1, YO, K2tog stitch pattern, a gift for a friend.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tote Bags? Knitting? Cats!

Great tote bag challenge bags completed: 0
Knitting FO's: 0
Cute chunky monkey cat pictures: 2

Her head looks shockingly small compared to tummy size, but so lovable!

Happy Friday.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pretty Pictures

These were taken at the Newport Environmental Nature Center last weekend.

I thought this cactus was ridiculously awesome. Find the lizard!!! I'll give you a hint: there is actually a lizard in there.

And here are a couple of better pictures of my latest FO's.

Little Herbert chillaxing in the shrubbery in my front patio. He's gone now. Left me to go have happy-fun-times with some new baby. I hope they have a great life together. =)

And here's me wearing Nieman. I cheated. It's still not blocked. This stupid daylight savings has sucked out my motivation to do anything after I get home from work. Oh Darkness. You are so depressing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Weekend Sights

The Nor Cal coast on a blustery November Sunday...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wavy Gravy Socks

FO: Wavy Gravy Socks
Pattern: Yarn Harlot's Basic Sock recipe with a couple mods. I changed the 2x2 rib to a 1x1 rib, and knit in the rib all the way to the heel flap. Additionally, I adjusted the number of stitches cast on, as I was using a chunkier yarn than sock yarn.
Yarn: Elann Superwash Chunky yarn, hand dyed by moi, using Easter egg dye
Needles: 3.75mm bamboo dpns

Please not that the ONLY instance of pooling in this haphazardly hand dyed yarn is smack dab on the top of the foot of the sock on the right (my left foot) in this picture. Why, oh why could it not have plunked its chubby pooling self on the bottom of the foot?

I cast on 48 stitches, making the circumference of the leg an inch smaller than the recipe calls for, as my first pair slouches around the ankles. These fit perfectly, and do not slouch. Slouching socks are one of my all time pet peeves.

I hand dyed this yarn, and thought it was not the purtiest thing in the world. It reminds me of an old, hippieish tie dyed t-shirt. I have to say, they do not look half bad knitted up! I actually kind of like the colors. Made from chunky yarn, these are slipper socks, and will probably not venture much into public. They are deliciously thick and soft, the perfect thing to ward off the chills of the fog.

And look at this handsome, noble mountain pooch:

love you davey... off now to cook up a storm, and perhaps cast on a scarf.