Monday, April 22, 2013

KACBW Day One!

Yay! It's Monday! I know, I must be crazy to be this excited about Monday, but the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and it is the first day of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week! I am super excited (okay, I've had three cups of coffee so far today, please don't hold it against me) to be participating, and I can't wait to discover some new blogs! Google 4KCBWDAY1 to find more blogs with today's topic which is: The House Cup. There are four houses: Bee (flits from project to project), Manatee (knits for comfort), Monkey (likes a challenge), and Peacock (always embellishing and spicing things up).

I feel that I have been a part of each of these houses at one point or another, except for Peacock. I really hope that my knitting evolves to that point, but I tend to stick to patterns and seldom feel the need to add anything. I think Peacocks must be the designers, and I would love to design someday.

I was a Manatee in my early knitting life. I didn't even bother to learn how to purl until after college -- everything I knit was in squishy garter stitch, and I was perfectly content. It's only been in the last two years that I have really broken out of the Manatee stage of my knitting.

That all being said, I am a Monkey right now. I debated this for quite some time -- after all, I have more WIPs than I care to admit, classic Bee behavior. But truly, I want a challenge. I appreciate a vanilla sock as much as the next person, but it's a sock covered in lace or cables that really gets my heart pounding. I like to try different yarns, new needles, and techniques. I love knowing that I will probably never try everything, although that also stresses me out a wee bit. I want to knit all the things :-)

Commence photo reel of projects!

My first Socktopus Socks!

My first encounter with drop stitch!

My first short row garter stitch heels!

My first encounter with Birds Eye Lace

My first hat using this trick

First pullover!

First time using cashmere. Swoon.

First Patchwork Socks!

First colorwork project!

First time using linen

First Leethal pattern!

I think it is safe to say that I am firmly a Monkey, always looking for the next first :-)

 Which house do you identify with?

See you tomorrow! Happy knitting :-)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pattern troubles and Knitting and Crochet Blog Week!

I turned the heel on my second Marilinda sock a few days ago and only just got around to picking up the stitches on the heel flap for the gusset. I noticed that the pattern has an error: when you put the instep stitches on hold to work the heel, you end with row 7 of the lace chart. When you come back to the instep after picking up the stitches on the heel flap, it says to start with row 4 of the chart. On the first sock I looked at it and thought, huh, that's weird, but it's Cookie A and she must have a reason to do it that way and went along knitting like the pattern told me to.

I really don't know why I did this. I must have been tired, because it is not like me to blindly follow directions and not at least check for errata (I did check this morning, and there is none for this sock pattern. Several people have left comments on the pattern on Ravelry, but there has been no response). So this second sock is correct and the first one is a little wonky, but I truly don't care. There are some things in knitting that you cannot ignore -- like length on a sweater or sleeves -- but there are other things like one wonky repeat in a sock that will not show. I will most likely forget it is even there. (I tried to get a picture but my camera is not cooperating.)

In other news, I was reading the delightful Truly Myrtle blog a few days ago and found out about The Fourth Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. It sounds like so much fun, I just have to join in. It's going to be quite the challenge for me -- I don't think I've ever blogged every day for a week -- but I am all about challenges these days. Please come back on Monday for the first post :-)

Have a great weekend!

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Review: Addi Sock Rockets

Last year I decided to try Magic Loop to knit socks. I did a little research and decided to buy a set of Addi Turbos, US size 1, 40 inch circulars. I fell in love with them almost instantly and knit at least 8 pairs of socks with them. They are smooth, the joins are good, and the cords are flexible. The surface of the needles are slippery so the stitches move quickly. My only complaint was the they aren't terribly sharp, but it didn't bother me much.

These are V-Junkie Socks from the Socktopus book.
I knit these with Addi Turbos. Very sadly, they sprung a
hole... hopefully a future post will be 
about mending them!

About a month ago I decided to try Addi Lace Turbos in a metric size 2.25. I have loosened up in tension since I've grown more comfortable knitting socks and I wanted to try to tighten up my fabric a little. The Lace needles are much sharper! It's very nice to lace patterns and for cabling without a cable needle. The surface of the needles are not quite as slippery, so the stitches stick a little. It's rather nice for complicated patterns (Cookie A) since you don't run the risk of dropping stitches. I was in heaven after I bought these needles! Tighter fabric and sharper tips, everything seemed as perfect as could be.

These are Marilinda socks knit with Addi Lace needles

Last week I went into my LYS to purchase another pair of Lace needles, and what have we here! Addi Turbo Sock Rockets? The smoothness of the Turbo needles combined with the sharpness of the Lace needles? Can it be true?

I asked the lovely sales ladies if they had tried them, and they had not. I picked up a pair and four skeins of Regia sock yarn (on sale! I can't resist) and couldn't wait to get home to cast on. I was delayed by a visit from my sister that resulted in a 2 hour stay at the tattoo parlor, but that was fun. When I did finally cast on, I was instantly in love.

My sister's tattoo!

These needles are the best of both worlds. I can't believe how fast I can knit with them -- the stitches fly! Very lightweight, very sharp, very smooth. Love, love, love.

These are pretty much knitting themselves.

They are available in 24 inch cables and 40 inch cables. The sales ladies like to use 32 inch cables, so that was their beef with them. I like 40s just fine and am very happy with them. I believe I paid $13.50 for a set of 2.25mm.

If you like Magic Loop or have been thinking about trying it, I highly recommend these needles.

Happy knitting!

Friday, April 12, 2013

I Want to Knit all the Things

As for many people, knitting is my therapy. I also run and do yoga, but really nothing calms me down like knitting. I love watching lace patterns develope, stripes form, I love turning the heel of a sock and knowing I'm halfway to a finished object.

But lately I feel overwhelmed by All the Things. I want to have my stash yarn knit up so I can try new yarn and now. I want to knit more sweaters (I knit Hannah Fettig's Lightweight Pullover out of Quince and Co. Chickadee, and am addicted to that yarn) and I want to knit for my mom and for my friend's baby. I've been starting projects like crazy -- I think I have two pairs of socks going, three sweaters, and a scarf for my MIL -- and feeling guilty when I only work on one thing all day. My comfort place, my knitting, is becoming a chore.

I know that I am just stressed out right now. I am moving next month to Portland, my husband has not been well, and my job is... it's just beyond stressful. I have put on weight in the last year, and for the first time since high school I feel unattractive. I want to eat All the Things. I don't want to run or go to yoga. In short, I don't want to do anything.

But this week, I rediscovered something I hadn't even realized I'd lost: my love of reading. I was lucky enough to receive an advanced readers copy of Sarah Dessen's newest book "The Moon and More". I started reading her books in high school (ten years ago... I don't want to talk about it)  and have never missed a release of a new book. She writes about girls in high school, their families, their girlfriends, their boyfriends. Her books are so well rounded and thoughtful and have gotten me through some tough times. Her characters are so relatable -- their struggles, their goals, their values. Her books never fail to touch me to the core.

After reading "The Moon and More" (in two days, absolutely fantastic) , I promptly picked up "Along for the Ride" (reread it in one day, I am so like the main character in this book) and so on. I've reread three of her books in the last week, and am now halfway through "This Lullaby" which is my very favorite. I named my first car after Remy, the main character, and my computer is Dexter 2.0.

I've been feeling overwhelmed by adulthood for quite awhile, and reading Sarah's books again has helped me remember who I used to be, and who I wanted to be. The perfect therapy :-)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Marilinda socks

Last week I bought Cookie A's book, Knit.Sock.Love. and a skein of Baah yarn at Stash in Corvallis, Oregon. It is a gorgeous hot pink skein of superwash merino and I spent an hour going through the book, deciding on a pattern. I finally picked Marilinda, for the beautiful heel. I have not knit a sock with the foot pattern running all the way down the heel. So gorgeous and fun to knit. I am going to have to buy a pair of clogs just to show these socks off!

The lace chart for this pattern is very straight forward and I picked it up pretty quickly. I love knitting lace so much, and these socks have so much to offer! The cables are just fantastic and I love the use of the double yarn over. I feel so smart when I am working of these socks.

If you haven't checked out this book, you really should. It is not available online for less than $200 that I have found (however you can buy the digital book for $16.95 on Ravelry), but my local yarn store had it, so you should check yours. I want to knit nearly every sock in here.

So I was on a yarn diet at some point this year, and fell off the wagon, and am trying to get back on. I did buy two skeins of sock yarn this week, and I am swearing to myself that these will be the last before I move in May! Seriously, no more yarn for me!

I bought these online at Eat.Sleep.Knit. Beautiful, right? I know these will be amazing socks, and I'm really excited to try these yarns. The green one is Sweet Georgia Yarn in Lettuce Wrap and the blue one is Tanis Fiber Arts in Peacock. Gorgeous!

But seriously, no more yarn for me. No more.


Happy knitting!