twist and shout

Because I just never shut up

Fruit Stripe June 27, 2014

Filed under: knitting,laughter,life — kathy @ 2:14 pm
Tags: , , , ,

So, unfortunately I had to let the cats post for me last time. I know, pretty silly. But what can I say…little more than I was waaay under the weather these past few days; nothing I’d really like to share, so instead, let me share something a little more fun than the specifics of a botched “routine procedure.”

DSCN0005Fruit Stripe Socks! Doing these plain old vanilla all stocking stitch socks has been so much fun. And fast as all get-out–I finished one in just 4 “days” worth of knitting. Truth be told, I haven’t even felt like knitting for the last 6 days or so. This sock, however, had a total of about 12 to 14 hours invested in it, and that includes screwing around with the short row heel, like 3 times (I will blame the splittiness of the yarn, my “super dark in the evening” living room, and my pointy ChiaGoos–love those needles, though.). So that meant I could knit about an inch or so an hour. Meanwhile, the shifting color changes really spurred me on. You know: “I’ll just knit until the color starts to change.” So much fun. I realize that most of you guys out there are saying, “Duh, Kathy.” (Head slap) But truly, this was–to me–a revelation. I always do socks that have some sort of fussiness somewhere. That’s great, but I really wanted to try something super easy that featured this crazypants yarn.

I mentioned before that the yarn is rather splitty and a little on the rough side, and that opinion didn’t change as I worked through this sock. I’m hoping that a nice wash will soften it up like it has for socks I’ve seen made of similar yarn blends.

Onto sock number 2, which you can already see will be completely different from the first. This is very interesting yarn…very interesting.

Well, thanks for dropping by! Hope you have a fabulous weekend! Whatchya doing, anyway?

Advertisements
 

On the knitting front… June 18, 2014

Hello darling fiber-lovers and other dear friends!

So last time, I showed off my little veggie garden, and this time, I’d like to show you what knitterly things kept me from blogging the last month.

Finished!

Finished!

First, I decided to tackle a couple of UFOs (unfinished objects), starting with my “Little Leafies” socks. Let me tell you, there’s nothing like feeling the bottoms of my current socks grow a bit thin to inspire me to finish the pair languishing on the needles (not to mention, remind me to darn any that are sitting in the mending basket). Once I determined to finish these and I focused on them alone, it took all of a week and a half to finish the first, then start and finish the second, which really makes me a little crazy. I mean, I am in no way a speed knitter, but look what happens when I focus on a single project. Makes me reconsider the “benefits” of multitasking, something I’ve been wondering about over the last year or so, but that’s another subject entirely.

Crazy Zauberball in "Rare Jewels"

Crazy Zauberball in “Rare Jewels”

So, those done, I decided I’d make the next pair plain old vanilla, but pulled out a wildly colored skein of Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball that Momma kindly bought for me last summer to make it more fun . Up until a week ago, it was sitting as a lovely decoration in my yarn bowl. I thought, however, it deserved a little more recognition than that, so I cast on for another pair of socks right away. Yowza. You may or may not know I like to put a panel of lace or cables down the fronts of my socks, but this time, I just wanted straightforward stockinette stitches. Bang, zoom! Seven inches and a heel turn in just 2.5 days of knitting while dinner was cooking and afterwards before bed. I may be jinxing myself by mentioning it, but it makes me very happy to see progress like that. Plus, there’s the added benefit that it’s very socially compatible knitting–no pattern to concentrate on.

The yarn, though…well let’s just say I have very mixed feelings about the stuff. I love the color changes which will ultimately yield some truly crazy fraternal (not matching) socks, however, this stuff is splitty as all get out. Further, the way the ball is wound by the manufacturer–cool, because it shows off the yarn colors–is insane to knit from since huge wraps of it fall off and tangle as you work, yarn bowl or not. And I don’t think it’s wise to pull it from the center. In fact a review of it on Ravelry warned against this very thing because it tangles so dreadfully. I believe that because the fiber is pretty fuzzy, it really clings together and nearly felts itself  into a knotty mess.

And then just a few days ago while cruising through my queue on Rav, I remembered I wanted to start Lichen to get a jump on my Christmas knitting. This is a delightfully fun and clever project I first saw made up in Elgin last summer when my Darling Cuz and I were on our annual Summer Yarn Crawl. So pretty it just took my breath away. The only problem is, as I make this, I think I should’ve gotten 3 skeins, instead of the 2 the nice lady at the yarn shop told me to get. Sigh.

Magnolia Yarn by Classic Elite--so squishy and pretty!

Magnolia Yarn by Classic Elite–so squishy and pretty!

Oh well, just another reason to by more yarn. 😉

What have you guys been knitting? I’d love to know!

 

What I wish I were doing instead of finishing this d**n sock December 26, 2013

D**n Sock

D**n Sock

1. Finishing my Ollalieberry Girl sweater

2. Starting a couple of knitted baby girl gifties

3. Eating (more) homemade fruitcake

4. Sorting through my manymanymany skeins of fingering weight yarn for 7 skeins to use on the Albers Cowl in my queue

5. Starting the Darling Emma I swatched for this past July

6. Tidying/organizing the pit of hell the studio/office, yet again

7. Taking a walk

8. Taking a nap

9. Laundry

10. Having a beer with the most interesting man in the world—wait I married him 😉

I know I said I’d never knit another sock for a size 13 foot, but what can I say, I love him. And this pattern from Tin Can Knits, Rye, is quick, fun, and free. Except for the d**m heel flap, but those are both done now, so even that’s a non-issue. So okay, that does it. Staying up until this sucker is finished. Period.

A lovely old ornament from my BFF Meggie, on my vintage tinsel tree

A lovely old ornament from my BFF Meggie, on my vintage tinsel tree

Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful and Merry Christmas!

And if I could please ask also, for a prayer or healing thought for a friend who’s suffering through some heavy duty cancer treatments. The cancer, which was serious to begin with, has spread from his brain through to his lungs and lymph nodes, and although I know the doctors are doing all they can, any extra prayers or healing thoughts wouldn’t hurt…at least in my mind. I’m sure his wife and two boys would be grateful as well.

 

Hats off! February 25, 2013

I heard the most rotten thing the other day.

The friend of a dear friend (let me just call my dear friend “L”) of mine has stage 4 breast cancer. That in itself is rotten. But to make things over the top rotten, my friend L told me over coffee that her friend who has breast cancer was on her way to yet another chemo treatment with the intention of going for a wig afterwards, had her purse stolen. $700 cash was in that purse, and this poor sick woman–a single mom with a teenager and a couple of young kids–has no other way to pay for her wig.

I mean, how freakin’ rotten are people to steal from someone so obviously unwell. It makes me furious. 😦

I hope this pretty and soft merino feels like a hug.

I hope this pretty and soft merino feels like a hug.

But instead of simply getting angry, I decided to channel that anger into this lovely little chemo cap. A free, easy pattern, and a super terrific way to use up a lone skein of pretty Dream in Color Superwash Merino. This was a skein of Purple Paisley leftover from my Amelie sweater a couple of winters ago. It only took me a day or two. And I heard that the friend of my pal L, really liked the hat, that it fit her, and she loved the color. 🙂

Yeah, I gave her a little money toward her wig, but I’m just so happy I also made her something cuddly, something a little like a hug. I even got inspired to make a few more of these hats to give out to a cancer center–when I get my yarn a bit sorted out.

First, however, I needed to make the Bug a new hat.

The actual color is a bit richer in person.

The actual color is a bit richer in person.

She’d outgrown the Wolf Hat I made her a couple of years ago (not to mention it got lost in the Pit of Despair, but whatever), so she picked out the Seedling pattern by Alana Dakos. A pretty hat, to be sure. But it was all purling in the round. Not a good combo for me, let me say.

So typical me, I changed the pattern: I knitted it inside out! Yes! And it worked amazingly.

First I swatched a lovely filigree colorway of Madtosh Worsted and found I had to go down 2 sizes to get gauge. Good thing I took the time to swatch, Haha.

And after reading all the different projects (thank God for Rav and everyone who actually posts comments), it confirmed to me that all that dang purling would make this an endless project, so I decided to follow my gut and knit this puppy “inside out.”

By that I mean I “reversed” all the pattern stitch directions: instead of P2 K1 ribbing, I’m doing K2 P1 rib. And when I increased stitches after the ribbing, I did all the increases knitwise. I took special care there to space the pattern setup area in reverse as well, counting to make sure I had 12 stitches on each side of the “stems.”

When I reached the “leaves” chart, I read it all in reverse and made sure I started from the lower left corner and read left to right.
It got a little dicey around the double decrease in the pattern, but there were only 3, so I didn’t get terribly worried; I simply took my time there.

The ssp (instead of ssk) required a look online at Knitting Help, but it was a good thing to learn, and I only needed to make a dozen or so anyway. I think the best thing about doing the pattern chart in reverse was that it was a good stretch for my brain cells…I loved it!!

Have turned the heel and am racing toward the toe!

Have turned the heel and am racing toward the toe!

Oh yes, and I’m chugging away on my 6 pair of socks in one year. Maybe I’ll even end up doing bonus socks. Yippee.

 

 
%d bloggers like this: