Archive for the “ostrich plumes” Category

My new Addi turbo lace needles arrived yesterday, before I even got the tracking number for the package. Turbo shipping for turbo needles, I guess! ...okay, that was a bad joke. Anyway, I had time to do a couple of rows on the Ostrich Plumes scarf, and already I'm in love with these needles. When I get home from work I'll try a pattern row!

Pirate-Husband's socks are coming along as well. I'm a couple of inches past the gusset decreases and can knit in the car again since I don't have to look so closely. I'd like to have them done before I go on vacation next weekend.

And, someone on an IRC channel I frequent has commissioned me to make a Swiffer cover for her! That seems like it will be good vacation knitting along with the next sock.

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My parents came to visit this past Sunday, and my mom brought with her the bare beginnings of a swatch for a stole she'd like to make from KnitPicks' Alpaca Cloud in Smoke Heather, a lovely light silver-gray. When she saw my Ostrich Plumes scarf she decided that she wanted to make the same pattern, but knit lengthwise. It's been over 30 years since she did any lace knitting, and she needed explanations of some of the stitches. So I got my scarf off the shelf and got her through a pattern row.

After they left, I thought to myself, "Wow, it's been a really long time since I've put any rows on this scarf. I really should get to work on that; it's been more than a year since I started it." And now I remember why - I hate, hate, hate the needles. Long, slippery, blunt aluminum needles are just not suitable for this project.

So I just ordered an Addi lace circular needle in the right size, and I didn't add any yarn or roving to my cart. Stickin' to the diet! Yay willpower!

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This is the beginning of Pirate-Husband's Plain Sock. It's made with Regia 4-ply in colorway 1039, a manly brown-brown-black. I did 20 rows of ribbing (an inch and a half) and now it's a long stockinette journey to the heel.

I shouldn't be working on these at home; they should be my traveling sock. I should be working on the Pomatomuseses or the Ostrich Plumes scarf. But I'm tired, and they're easy, and I want to give Pirate-Husband his socks sooner rather than later. My feet can wait for Pomatomii and that scarf may be done before I'm 40, but at this rate I'm not sure!

Someone else offered to wind off some Pirate's Booty for me. Knitters are the nicest people! I let her know that I'd already spoken to someone and expected the yarn next week, and thanked her profusely. I can't wait for those socks to be done. It's like they're taunting me with their unfinishedness - just a few rounds to go, and they sit on my desk glaring at me for abandoning them. It's not their fault. They don't know that I'm waiting for their toe-yarn to arrive.

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Cailleach asked, Have you considered NOT doing heel stitch as ‘written’? I knit continental, and knitting is faster for me than purling.

I also knit continental, but I haven't noticed a real difference in speed between knitting and purling. Then again, I have never seen anyone knit continental the way I do (though I'm sure someone must) - I wrap the working yarn around the needle with my left forefinger, rather than picking the working yarn up with the needle. Then the needle sort of 'ducks' out through the old stitch with the new stitch on it. The movement is the same whether I'm knitting or purling.

The Garter Rib Sock came from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks. Because this is the first pattern I've knit out of the book, I decided to do it as written, with the garter stitch edging on the heel flap. It's interesting, and it does go with the sock, but I'm not sure I'd like it all the time. The lack of a slipped stitch edge makes picking up the gusset stitches a little... well, a little picky, pardon the pun!

I think my problem with heel flaps is that I lose the rhythm that I get when I'm knitting in the round. Having to turn the work every 36 stitches or so means that I keep getting to 'stopping points' long before I'm actually ready to stop. Being slightly (okay, more than slightly) ADD makes it even easier to put the sock down at the end of a row. When I'm working in the round, my brain forgets that there might be an end of a row at which I could stop.

That said, I finished the heel flap and picked up the gusset stitches, and I'm cranking my way down towards the toe. I expect to get a lot of knitting done this weekend. Pirate-Husband and I are headed down to my parents' for Passover. When we're not cooking or eating, there will be lots of down time for knitting! I promised to show my mother how to do each of the stitches in the Ostrich Plumes pattern, too. They're easy enough, but it's been so long since she's done lace work that she asked me for a refresher.

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Cici commented, "I liked seeing your ostrich plumes.. I just got the pattern and am ready to cast on.. I was dissapointed that there wasn’t a chart. Did you make a chart for yours? Is it easily read without it? I think charts are lifesavers."

The Ostrich Plumes pattern is so simple that I didn't bother to make a chart. I did, however, write out the pattern with each instruction on its own separate line, which made it easy for me to follow. By the second run through the pattern, I found that I didn't even have to look any more. It's repetitive and easy to memorize (especially the odd rows, which are "purl across"). If you are more comfortable working from a chart, there are only two rows which would need charting - the pattern for rows 4, 8, 12 and 16, and the pattern for rows 20, 24, 28, and 32.

On the other hand, I've found the chart invaluable for Pomatomus. I don't think I'd make it through those socks without referring back to the chart at every round!

In other news, last night at SnB, I was able to borrow the needles for my Sekrit Winterholiday Gift Project, and that should be cranked out this weekend. I'll take pictures, but I can't post anything until the gift has been given!

Also at SnB, I got up to the part of the Trekking Ribbed Sock where the toe begins. I wanted to re-measure against my foot before starting the decreases, so I stopped there and chatted for a bit before heading home with the toe-less sock. I'm still a little worried that the sock will be too small, but I've had this fear before and everything turned out okay then.

Samantha asked, re my plan to block the socks right on my feet, "Won’t your feet be cold? Mine would shiver…" That's what the hairdryer is for, to keep my feet warm and expedite the drying/blocking process! Unfortunately, I don't have real radiators in my apartment, and I don't think I can hold my feet up to the registers in the ceiling. (I love having central air, really I do, but sometimes I miss radiators.)

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The new local yarn store is quite nice. It's a small store in Fairfax, near a good pho place. They have a bunch of yarns I'd never seen before, but unfortunately not the stuff I was looking for (and no sock yarn that really called out to me, either). But! the people there were incredibly nice, helped me look around to see if there was an acceptable substitute, and directed me to two other semi-local stores which do carry one or both of the brands of yarn I'm in search of. Very cool.

The lace is going well. I'm getting back into the swing of it and it's not quite as slippery and futzy any more, though I do have to pay close attention on pattern rows still. I've finished three pattern repeats in total (32 rows each) so I do feel like I'm getting somewhere. Even if it is slow. It's so pretty, I want to finish it before spring so I can wear it!

As far as the house goes, there is no news yet. The bank has two offers on the place. They're going to do an appraisal (why wasn't this done first, I wonder?) and get back to us, probably by the end of the month. I hope it doesn't turn into a bidding war because we really haven't got much more to offer, and I promise to keep you all updated as I find things out (since you asked). If I'm not writing it's because I don't know - or because I'm annoyed that there's a second offer - or because we didn't get it and we're really annoyed about that, "annoyed" being a much more polite word than the one I'd like to use.

In yarnier news, on Monday I'm going to go to one of the semi-local yarn stores on my way home from work, as it's kinda-sorta on the way. I hope they have the yarn I want. Normally I'd call ahead to find out, but since I've never been to this store before, I want to check it out anyway. If they don't have it, I'm going to have to order online, because the other semi-local yarn store is not on the way home from work and is not so convenient to get to, and I'm in a bit of a hurry here. Not a panicked hurry, but a hurry nonetheless.

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Last night I finally sat down with the Ostrich Plumes Scarf and put five or six rows on it. It's over 12" long now when it's stretched out, though I think serious blocking would have it at more than that. I'm not finding it to be very relaxing knitting at all. The yarn is slippery, the needles are slippery. I have to concentrate on each stitch, even on the knit across or purl across rows. Once I start a row, I can't stop or I'm convinced I'll drop a stitch - fortunately it's only 81 stitches across! That said, I'm enjoying the project. It's coming out beautifully and I am really looking forward to having the finished object.

On the way home from work today, I plan to stop at Nature's Yarns, the new yarn store in Fairfax. I haven't been there yet and I'm excited to check it out for myself! I have a thing or two in mind to purchase, but it's related to winterholiday gifts, so I don't want to say anything. (If I can't find it at this store, I'm going to order online tonight and hope it's delivered quickly.) Of course if I find some spifftacular sock yarn, I won't be able to resist it!

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Rowan Felted Tweed 157 It's here, it's here! The last piece of my WEBS order is here! There's only one thing that disappoints me - they charged me full price for this one ball of yarn, even though I ordered them all together and should have gotten the 20% discount. I guess that only applies to yarn that goes into one shipment? Ah well, at least it's all here now.

I really miss SnB, after two weeks without it, and I'm so looking forward to tomorrow night! I'll bring the Trekking Sock, still in progress, and see how far I can get on it. It's the only project I have that's really able to travel. Tonight, before dinner, I am going to work on the Ostrich Plumes Scarf. Someone pointed out to me that I haven't made any progress on that in a while, and it's true - I've been sorely neglecting my lace.

No house news from the bank yet. Keep your fingers crossed for me! :)

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Alpaca FleeceThis is just a few ounces of the eight *pounds* of fleece currently awaiting rotation through the freezer. I am thrilled to have it; I just need to decide what to make! Alpaca mittens would be nice, or maybe those fingerless gloves I keep thinking of - or maybe convertible fingerless glove mittens! Yeah!

Green Roving Unfortunately, pictures of this green roving don't do the color justice at all, though I tried and tried. I found two bags of the same color, but they were obviously two different dye lots, so I'm going to card them together and split the difference. Omnomnom glowsticksIt's very tightly compressed right now and feels a little bit rough. Originally I was thinking of making a hat with it. If it still feels rough when I card it, I might have to change that idea, or make a lining so it's not too itchy on my head. Here's an older picture of me, from two years ago, but there are my eyes... and there is this roving. It's incredible. I've never found anything this color before, so if I'm ranting a little, please forgive me!

White Silk/Cashmere Cobweb Weight, purchased at Pennsic XXXVIAnother thing I bought at Pennsic is this cobweb-weight silk/cashmere blend. It's the same as the coppery brown stuff I already have, and bought from the same person. She says she keeps this and several other colors in stock, or I'd've been tempted to purchase two spools of purple as well. it's amazingly fine. I spent a long time in front of the tent just admiring the different colors and gently touching the yarn.
White Silk/Cashmere Cobweb Weight, purchased at Pennsic XXXVIWhen Pirate-Husband picks out a pattern of lace that he likes, I'll put the project in my Ravelry queue. I'm certain that I will be able to make two cuffs for him by next Pennsic. If I make it three times the circumference of his wrist, it should ruffle nicely from the cuff of his shirt and look really spiff!

Ostrich Plumes Scarf, Pic 5Speaking of lace, here is the Ostrich Plumes progress, gently pinned out this time so the pattern shows up better. I'm still not sure how long I should be making this, but I'm developing a reputation for dressing however I please and still pulling off the look - so I'm confident that it will look good whether it's short or long. I'll just wrap it around my neck and go. How could it be bad?

Stripey Striped Scarf, Pic 6 The Stripey Striped Scarf ought to be finished before autumn, since I really want to wear it with my gray coat. I am so pleased with the way the colors are playing out! It doesn't seem like it should work, then for some reason it does. It may sound egotistical to say this, but I'm going to say it anyway: one of my motivations for finishing the scarf is to hear other people's reactions to it when I wear it.

Jaywalker 2, pic 6And now, the Jaywalker. By some miracle, I got the second sock to start in almost the first place as the first sock. I think the color is only off by two rows. I'm going to start the heel in the same place so that matches, because no one will notice if my socks are an eighth of an inch different in height, even me, especially if they slouch a little. Jaywalker 2, pic 5I love that the tip of the toe and the tip of the heel have that tiny little bit of light blue in there. If both socks have that, I shall be very pleased indeed! Once the Jaywalkers are done, I'm going to go back to the Pomatomus sock and make a mate for it. After that... well, I really want to start designing my own socks. I've been really inspired by the patterns that Wendy has been coming up with during the Summer of Socks, and I've had some great ideas (at least, I think they're great) for patterns of my own.

And I decided not to take any pictures of the Ninja's Sekrit Yarn Gift. She's just going to have to wait until I see her in person!

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Jaywalker 2, 4th picThere are two occasions when it is necessary for me to work on a traveling sock at home - turning the heel and grafting the toe. Now that the heel is turned on this one, it's gone back in the bag to await the next bit of travel - which is Thursday, so it won't have to wait too long. I think I'm going to finish this pair before going back and knitting the second Pomatomus. Then I have so many ideas and plans for socks... good thing I have a whole set of aluminum sock needles in addition to these trusty bamboo size 1s!

Ostrich Plumes Scarf, 4th picThis scarf, on the other hand, is always going to be a project which I'll only work on at home. The further I get, the faster and easier it goes... but I wouldn't want to mess this one up when I'm not in a place that I could just put it down and calmly walk away from it. I still don't know how long to make it, or how to wear it, but I like how it looks so far!

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