Archive for the “SnB” Category

My test swatch came out of the laundry looking just as nice as when it went in, so I applied the cable border to the whole blanket, wove in the ends, and did a small celebratory dance before arranging it on the couch for a photoshoot. It's squishy and warm and I couldn't be happier with it! I used 8.5 of the eleven balls of yarn that I bought, and I'm planning to return the last two to the store rather than make any coordinating accessories.

A red and teal blanket with a cabled edge is artfully arranged on a black leather couch.

On Wednesday I met up with friends for knit night at the bookstore, and someone was just *giving away* yarn and books. With some arm-twisting, she convinced me to take some. I came home with a German stitch dictionary, two balls of Supersocke, and one skein of Silkie Socks that Rock. Now, to decide what to make with them...

Two balls of self-striping pink and black sock yarn.

A skein of "Silkie Socks that Rock" yarn in the "Walking on the Wild Tide" colorway - handpainted, variegated tan, blue, green, brown and shocking pink.

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On Tuesday night, I stayed up too late in order to turn the heel on my second handspun sock. I may have had some difficulty counting, though I hate to admit it. A short-row heel is not hard to do, so I don't know why I was having such trouble. With thirty-six stitches, I just needed to work back and forth, wrapping the next-to-last stitch as the rows got shorter, until there were twelve wrapped on each side and twelve unwrapped in the middle. So back and forth I went, keeping a mental count: One, one. Two, two. Three, three... until I got up to Eight, Seven. How did that happen? I tinked back until everything matched and tried again, and got it right the second time.

The reason for wanting the heel turned Tuesday is that on Wednesday, I was finally able to rejoin my old crowd, the Reston Stitch 'n Bitch, for their third anniversary celebration. We had about 40 knitters (and crocheters, and embroiderers) there and it was a wonderful time! I can't say that I got too much knitting done, but at least it was all stockinette and I don't have to worry too much about messing that up. We meet at Cosi, which was as warm and welcoming as I remembered. Our group takes up the entire back of the restaurant! Towards the end of the evening, our organizer Marie organized cheesecake for everyone.

I think I am going to have to make more of an effort to get back there on some Wednesdays. Maybe not every week, since I do have to stay late at work in order to get to Reston at the right time... but some weeks. Yeah. I miss everyone. It was awesome to go back.

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Knitter's Day at Veronica's house was great! There were about a dozen people there, a half-ton of food, and *lots* of knitting. I brought the ribbed socks and got to within a few inches of the toe decreases. It will be great to finish a project, for the first time in months. Gonna crank through the rest of the socks-in-progress and get more of that finishing going on!

And I've made plans to go back to my old SnB next week for their anniversary celebration. I was there at the beginning; I would love to revisit everyone for an evening and catch up again. Besides, if I don't spend the whole night talking, I'm sure I'll make lots of progress on whatever project I bring.

In non-knitting domesticity, Pirate-Husband and I have been using the stand mixer to make lots of bread. The more loaves we make, the better they get! The latest was an oatmeal-raisin breakfast bread. We brought a loaf to my parents' on Sunday, and they loved it. Last night we tried a recipe that could be used as a sandwich bread for cold cuts, with half white and half whole wheat flour. It was still in the oven when I went to bed, so I didn't get any - but Pirate-Husband emailed to tell me that it's "a semi-wheaty sandwich bread. Slightly chewy, soft, but it holds together well. The crust is perfect, it could be store-bought." Hooray!

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If all went well, we now have threaded comments up to ten levels deep, so that you'll be able to reply to other people's comments in addition to commenting on my posts. Pretty nifty! (Please feel free to test the system.)

I've been planning to go to Stitch 'n Bitch tomorrow, but I've had a sore throat for about a week. In the last few days I've started coughing. If I'm not feeling better by morning, I'll have to put it off another week. Phooey. I was really looking forward to it, but I certainly don't want to infect anyone with this cold.

Next weekend I am taking a quick trip up to Philadelphia, and I'd love to visit a yarn store or two while I'm there. Can you recommend one? Loop is already on my list. I enjoy buying souvenir yarn when I'm traveling. Later, when I knit it up, I can reminisce about my trip. And even after that, when I'm wearing the finished product, I think, "These are the socks I knit with the yarn I bought with Michael in Ottawa, in that neat little shop on Bank Street that's closed down now," or something like that. "This is the hat I knit with the yarn that I bought when Janis and I snuck off after dim sum to splurge at Woolwinders. This is the--"

I remember where I bought most of my yarn, actually. Even though there's so much of it now.

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Last night I went to SnB for the first time in six months. It was so good to see everyone again! I'd like to try to get back there more often, if possible. The timing and location aren't so great for me, but I love being surrounded by two dozen awesome knitters. I got one pattern repeat done on the baby blanket while I was there, which is half of what I'd hoped to accomplish. The pattern row wasn't too hard to do even with all the conversation and distraction, which pleased me.

I gave some thought to the sock design I'd like to make up, and I think the lace pattern I originally had in mind might not work. The pattern is a multiple of 24 stitches plus one, which would mean having it repeat three times around the sock. How would that work over the instep? I'll swatch for it just in case, but it might not be the best of ideas, so I'll go to the design class armed with a couple of different stitch patterns.

Pirate-Husband continues to be awesome. I took out the yarn that I'm going to use in the sock design class, and was fussing with the scale and ball-winder. "What are you doing?" he asked. When I told him that I was splitting the skein in two and winding it up, his first response was "But the class isn't for three weeks! Should you be winding the yarn up now? It isn't good to have it under tension." I love that he knows these things about my hobby and that he's so supportive, but I reassured him that three weeks of being wound up wouldn't make much of a difference to the yarn.

The first Bloo Sock is almost complete. I hope to get it done tonight so that Michael can try it on this weekend. I am a little anxious for it to fit well, so I can knit the second sock without worrying that I'm just going to have to rip it all out and start over. Anyway, I'm meeting up with him in Philadelphia to do touristy things and drink beer. The women at SnB last night were recommending Philly yarn stores to me. I may try to resist, as I'm still supposedly on a yarn diet!

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I was going to go to the Sit 'n Knit yesterday, but the person I was supposed to meet couldn't make it at the last minute. She called when I was on the road, just before the exit I'd take to go home, and I decided to just go there instead. I spent the evening cleaning and doing laundry, which is not nearly as much fun as knitting.

Today I blew out of work a little early and came home to finish my cleaning and get back to the knitting. I'm 68 rows into the Baby Surprise Jacket. 46 to go. Can I do it by Friday without destroying my wrists? We shall see!

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I called the yarn store and verified that they have a Sit 'n Knit on Thursdays from 17:00 to 19:00. I'm thinking of going there straight from work anyway, which would get me there at around 16:30 - they probably won't mind if I'm a little early! Must resist buying any new yarn. MUST.

There is a week left on my Baby Surprise Jacket deadline. This is really, really not good. I always procrastinate on these things, and then I'm up the whole night before seaming. Maybe instead of going straight to the yarn store, I should go home, get the BSJ, and bring that to Knit Night instead. As long as I remember to keep track of my rows, I think I should be okay. I hope. Maybe. There is a definite tendency to talk more than knit at these things, and to pay more attention to the conversation than to the pattern, and as a result to have to rip back when I get home and find mistakes. So maybe I shouldn't bring it.

Either way, the two conversations on the Ravelry forums which were taking up way too much of my time are now fortunately winding to a close. I guess I'll just have to be disciplined about knitting twelve rows a day on the BSJ, and it will be done on time!

Next time, I start the sweater as soon as I hear about the pregnancy. Next time, I buy only gender-neutral yarns. I have enough yarn left for one neutral sweater and one boy-color sweater. Next time, maybe I'll just start the sweater before anyone's actually pregnant, and then I'll be able to lean back in my chair for nine months, knitting socks for myself, glorying in the pleasure that is a project completed before-- oh, who am I kidding?

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It's not really a return, exactly - I've been getting a few rows done here and there. After a weekend of knitting a LOT, my wrists were really bothering me, so I took it easy for a week. Then this past weekend, I was too busy to knit. Now it's Tuesday, the Baby Surprise Jacket is still incomplete, the shower is coming up, and I'm starting to get stressed over it. If I hurry, I'll hurt my wrists again. If I don't, it won't be done on time.

On Thursday I'm going to check out the knit night at my LYS - it is a store I've been to once because it was far from the apartment, but now that I've moved, it's only about 12 miles down the road. I'm pretty excited to meet some new people! ...and I'll probably bring the sock, since it's my traveling project and I know I can work on it without thinking or having to count rows.

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I am so glad I went to SnB last night. I'd really missed the companionship and conversation - and I made a new friend who lives near me! My favorite parts of going to a SnB are seeing what projects other people are working on, touching the yarn, looking at the patterns, and sharing tips and advice. Though it's a wonderful community, Ravelry doesn't quite give the same sense of togetherness as being in a room with fifteen or twenty other knitters all at once.

It took me about 45 minutes to get home, so insisting on leaving at 8:30 is the right thing to do. That gives me enough time to unwind a little bit before bed. Of course, I didn't get very much knitting done, but I had a lovely salad and glass of wine for dinner, and a ton of fun. I'm not sure if it's realistic to go every week, but I'm going to try to get there as often as possible. Next time, I should remember to bring pictures of the house. Everyone asked me how I like living up on the mountain, and I just grinned and said I love it!

The second Garter Rib Sock is about three inches long now, so maybe I got more accomplished than I thought. This weekend I will be attending an SCA event called Defending the Gate, run by a couple of my friends, and I'm certain that I can make a lot more sock progress there. Since the mother-to-be for whom I'm knitting the Baby Surprise Jacket will be there, and I would like it to be a surprise, I'm going to put that project away until after the weekend.

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Lately I have been spending more time on Ravelry than actually knitting. This is because I have internet access from work, but I can't sit at my desk and knit. Yesterday I re-organized my stash by breaking apart an entry that included several colorways of the same yarn, and re-listing them separately by colorway. Today I did some queue re-arranging. For those of you without Ravelry accounts, you poor things you, the next few projects include plain brown socks for Pirate-Husband, Clessidra socks for myself, and a Napramach bag (here's a picture of someone else's) for a gift.

I do plan to finish the four projects I have on the needles first, of course.

Then I'd also like to do some work on the progress bars that appear in the right column. There's lots of help available and some wonderful examples of what can be done. I just haven't had the time to work on them yet.

Tonight I'm going to SnB for the first time in a while. I'm meeting another knitter who also recently moved to Haymarket, and I'm quite excited to be seeing everyone again! It'll also be nice to get some work done on the Garter Rib Sock. I've not touched it since I started the Baby Surprise Jacket, which has taken priority for knitting at home. The Sock-in-Progress, whatever it is, is always my traveling project.

There's been so much going on lately that it's keeping me from making significant progress on any of the knitting or spinning projects. I did get a lazy kate but I haven't even taken it out of the box yet. Now that the bedroom is finished (with paint, if not with furniture) I think I'm going to haul the spinning wheel up there. It will make the room seem less empty, and I'm much more likely to spin if it's upstairs, rather than hiding in the basement!

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