Archive for the “jaywalker” Category

I'm just past the gusset decreases and into the foot of the first Timey-Wimey Jaywalker, and very near the toe of the second Sibling Sock, so I've swapped them out: the Jaywalkers are going to become my traveling sock and I'm cranking away on the Sibling sock right now, hoping to finish it (and the pair!) tonight. Pirate-Husband and I are going to be at a party from tomorrow morning into Monday afternoon, so I should be able to put a few more inches onto the Jaywalkers then. One of the goals of the gathering is to fell three large trees, something I'm just not physically up to right now, so I plan to knit and watch stronger people swing axes and wield chainsaws.

The math to convert my Fleep-Tops to a larger size for Michael was giving me fits. I mis-read my notes, then I mis-judged, and then I mis-calculated, but eventually figured out what to do. The numbers should all be right now, but there's only so far I can go before I'll want him to try them on for perfect sizing. Once I have the first one done, the second will be much faster.

Happy news: I just found out that my friend Angie is pregnant with her first! She's only seven weeks along, but I'm already planning out what to knit for her. I ordered the yarn from WEBS this morning, and downloaded some patterns from Ravelry. Knitting babyclothes is total instant gratification!

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I'd been putting off writing out the pattern for the Sibling Socks for too long. There were a few portions of my notes that made sense to me, but I knew that I'd have to be more clear if I wanted to share the pattern. So after I made myself sit down with my notes and just write them out already, I felt that I deserved some kind of prize for getting the pattern published and released into the wild.

There are some things I'm already wondering about - should I have made the heel flap longer on the larger size, or is that the kind of thing that knitters will adjust based on the sock's recipient? Did I describe what I meant clearly enough? Are there any horrible mistakes or typos? I'm sure it will be just fine, and if it's not, then surely the first few people to knit the pattern won't hesitate to let me know if I've made an error.

My reward for publishing, with some poking from my sister the Ninja, was to cast on for a new pair of Jaywalkers with the Felici Time Traveler yarn. First, I figured out that if I wanted the socks to match, I'd lose the least amount of yarn by starting with the red stripe. Then I cast on and worked on the cuff while we watched Saturday Night Live. I knit while we watched the F1 race in Monaco, I knit while Pirate-Husband watched the Mazda MX-5 race at Virginia International Raceway, and I knit (and drank beer) while he played Assassin's Creed 2. I haven't had a whole day to just sit around and knit in a long time. It was lovely.

I like the Felici yarn, but I'm not yet sure if I love it. It is soft and it smells nice, but it feels just slightly thinner than what I think of as 'standard' sock yarn like Regia, Lang, or Lana Grossa. So far I've had minimal trouble with it being splitty, even in working the double decreases. The real test will be how well the finished socks wear, but they're going so fast that it won't be too long before I find out. (The socks are further along than this now, but it got too dark to take good pictures.)

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KnitPicks has my vote based on shipping speed alone - I ordered this yarn only two days ago, and here it is. That is amazingly fast! This is the first time I've seen the Felici yarn in person, and already I'm pleased with it. It feels very soft and smells deliciously of wool. The only disappointment I have is that the skeins don't begin with the same colour, so I'm going to have to skip a few stripes of one in order to make matching socks with the stripes properly lined up. It will be incredibly difficult to keep myself from casting on for the new Jaywalkers tonight. I haven't been this excited about starting a new pair of socks in a while!

When I told Pirate-Husband about this yarn, he quipped, "If you knit the socks for me, then you could be The Time Traveler's Wife." *groan* Awful.

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Last night I took the new Trekking Ribbed Sock to SnB, and I stitched while I bitched and then suddenly realized that I'd knitted where I should have purled. Drat. Intrepid knitter that I am, I dropped the stitch and tried to pick it up the right way. Except I dropped it again. And again. Lissa took the sock from me and got all the stitches back on the needle, then Gwen got them all turned around the right way, and now I have purls where there should be purls, thanks to the wonderful women I knit with on Wednesdays.

When I came home I got to work on the Jaywalker toe. I knit as fast as I could, but it got to be bedtime and I was still only about halfway through the toe. Am I a slow knitter, or does time go faster when it's almost bedtime? Anyway, tonight I sat down with determination and I have finished! my! socks! They fit great, though as is usual for Jaywalkers, they're a little hard to get on. I know they'll break in just fine.

Something else from last night - Lissa told me I was the most efficient knitter she'd ever seen. Well, how about that? I guess I do knit with an economy of motion. Not only that, but she volunteered to teach me to spin on one of her wheels! That's the coolest thing ever. I am so excited! (There may be a wheel in my future. It might be my birthday present. I'm not thinking about that yet. It's too far ahead and who knows what might happen between now and then.)

So tomorrow, the Trekking Ribbed Sock and I are off to the airport, where it will keep me calm as I wait for my flight, which is almost certain to be delayed. I hope the TSA doesn't steal my needles; this is the first time I'll be trying to bring aluminum needles on a plane.

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A day of steady sock-knitting has gotten me to within a few inches of the toe. My goal is to have it done before Friday evening, so that I can have a Whole New Sock cast on for airport knitting. Hopefully the airline won't have a problem with five size 0 aluminum DPNs!

Now what I have to do is decide on color. I've already decided to go with the Trekking XXL, and I've already picked a ribbing pattern, but I have two colorways (66 and 90) and choosing between them is difficult! I'm leaning towards the 90, which is deserty browns with a little bit of blue thrown in. 66 is dark greens, purples, navy and burgundy. Pirate-Husband says the brown one will go with more of my clothes, so I think that's going to be the winner this time. I've taken it out and have it on my desk to remind me that if I hurry with the Jaywalker, I could be casting on for a new sock (and wearing new socks, too) in just a few days!

In spinning news, I'm eyeing wheels and drum carders. What a dangerously costly hobby this is turning out to be.

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Okay, the stripes *almost* match from the first Jaywalker to the second, but they're close enough that I think I'm going to just stop worrying about it. The heel is turned, the gusset stitches all picked up, and here comes the foot!

Pirate-Husband gets "Awesome Points" for the following conversation, in which I told him about the thing that's been bugging me for a few days:

me: ...and when I'm done with the Jaywalker, I'm going to cast on for the second Pomatomus. The only thing is...
PH: What?
me: Well, the stripey striped scarf is almost done. That'll leave me with two lacy projects that I can only work on at home. So I was thinking I'd cast on for a second, easier sock that I could take places with me.
PH: Oh, well yeah! You need a traveling sock!

No hesitation. No sarcasm. I need a traveling sock. It's just a fact of knitterly life! I don't know why I thought that I might be, y'know, going overboard by having two socks going at once. Maybe it's a concern that I'll only work on the simple one and not finish the more complicated one? Anyway, I decided that it'll be a simple ribbed sock with some of the Trekking XXL that Janis gave me for my birthday. I may have said that before, but now I have to decide which colorway (purplish or brownish) and how many ribs of what width.

But first... Jaywalker foot!

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Last night I got through the heel flap on Jaywalker #2, but decided to go to bed rather than turn the heel. That's the kind of thing I prefer to do all in one go, so I don't lose my place and have to start over. I was right, the stripes are off by two rows, but I'm going to ignore that. They're close enough that I'll consider them matching!

I also spun up another section of orange roving. Man, pre-drafting makes that go so much smoother! I kept having to stop and pick out little bits of straw and crap, which was a little annoying. I'm happy that I seem to be gaining a little bit of speed with the spindle. Pirate-Husband wants to know what I'm going to make with this yarn once it's done. I'm really not sure at all - guess I'll have to see how thick it turns out after plying, what kind of yardage I get, that kind of thing.

I haven't worked on the Stripey Striped Scarf since last week's SnB, so I'm going to bring it with me tonight as it's the only current WIP that's simple enough for me to work on while I chat. Though I said I was going to end it when this ball of yarn is done, I found some leftover Kureyon from a Booga Bag I made, and I'm thinking of extending the scarf a little. This thing will never be done at this rate, or it will be as long as a Doctor Who scarf! The theme of tonight's SnB is "Show and Tell"; I'm looking forward to seeing what people bring!

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I'm in the middle of the heel flap of the Jaywalker, and had to take a break, so I'm stretching my fingers out and typing a little. For some reason, I didn't want to start the heel. I think it was because I did my best to get the stripes to line up, but eventually came to the realization that I would be two rows off no matter what. Either the second sock leg will be two rows short, or the stripes on the foot will be offset by two rows. Eventually I decided that I would rather have my sock legs be the same length, and started the heel... only to stop two rows later and daydream about a pattern for the next sock.

This is silly - the next sock is going to be the second Pomatomus of the pair. Then I thought, "but I'm almost done with the Stripey Striped Scarf, and that will leave me with two projects I can only work on at home - Pomatomus and the Ostrich Plumes scarf. I'm going to need a simple traveling project." Well, simple doesn't require much daydreaming, does it? I think I'm going to do a ribbed (4x1) sock in some of the Trekking XXL which Janis gave me for my birthday. That oughta be simple enough to travel with.

I look like a bug. This weekend I upgraded my WordPress installation and added a new feature - a JavaScript lightbox effect. Try clicking on a picture. Isn't that neat? If you're the type who likes pictures to open up in their own tabs/windows instead of getting the animated effect, you can still right-click > open in new window, or middle-click if you use Firefox and enjoy that tab thing. Middle-click may work in IE7 as well.

Also this weekend I mentioned to Pirate-Husband that, other than socks, I'm running out of things I really want to knit for myself. Kinda. I want to make the Shedir hat (link to pdf), and some purple-and-green armwarmers to go with my green-and-purple scarf, and a pair of fingerless glove-convertible mittens. He said that I should feel free to knit him a sweater. A cabled sweater. A big warm gansey, in fact, is what he has in mind for himself. I laughed. If anyone's getting a hand-knit sweater around here, it's me - but other than baby sweaters, I'm not sure I'm interested in making one. It seems like a lot of work... who knows? Once I say "oh, I'm not interested in that," it's almost a sure thing that at some point in the future, I'll be interested.

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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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Ahhh, vacation. I finished one Jaywalker and am halfway down the leg of the next. Everyone who saw the socks-in-progress was impressed, which makes me happy even if it is a very simple pattern. I tried carding some of the alpaca fleece but I'm not sure I know what I'm doing - and mostly it was too hot and humdi to work with fleece, so I knit instead. I'm hoping someone at the SnB knows about carding alpaca fleece and can show me a trick or three.

Things I bought: 50g white silk/cashmere cobweb weight, to make lace cuffs for Pirate Husband's SCA shirts. 8 oz or so of beautiful green wool roving that is exactly the color of my eyes - mostly green, with some orange and some flecky bits and some blue. Some SHH QUIET IT'S A SEKRIT yarn for the Knitting Ninja, partly because the color just screams NINJA and partly because I was drunk at the time, but sober enough to say "no no no I'm on a yarn diet... hey, that means I can buy it for someone else, doesn't it!"

Thing I did not buy: A spinning wheel. But I really, really want one. I was mesmerized by it. Round and round and yarn twisting out of fluff and round and round some more. (This is when I bought the Ninja's sekrit gift yarn. I'd been to a margarita party, see...) When I buy a house and have room for a wheel, it'll be one of my first purchases. Again, I'm hoping someone at the SnB has a wheel and will let me try it. I hear that people can be picky about letting unskilled hands on their wheels, but maybe if I ask around someone will take pity on me.

The house is full of laundry, both washed and unwashed, but other than that we're pretty well unpacked. Everything smells delightfully of woodsmoke, except the yarn and roving, which was carefully kept in an extra cooler, serving double purpose as packing materials for some pottery. And tomorrow, it's back to work! Life is pretty damn good right now.

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