August 29, 2005


When I was finishing off this blanket, I was a concerned because it seemed as if I was missing some yarn. And when it turned out that the afghan wasn't as long as it was supposed to end up, I was a little miffed because I really had measured the length of work from the first skein and it should have worked out.

Well, turns out my misgivings were right after all. I was poking about on the shelf with all my knitting stuff yesterday and what should I find but one more ball of yarn! I thought I'd left it all downstairs on the table, but I can only assume that during a fit of cleaning I brought it upstairs and actually put it away...then promptly forgot about it by the time I had made my way through the other seven balls.

I'm about halfway through the sixth skein of yarn for the Hot Waffles afghan for my niece, and I'm using the same needles for this as for the basketweave. However, once this hot pink thing is complete, I'll fiddle out the bound off ends of the basketweave afghan, rip back the moss stitch border, and knit on that final ball of yarn.

I'm hugely relieved, because even though I love this yarn and the blanket is lovely, it was intended to be a birthday present for my brother-in-law, but it was too short. Now it should be just the right length. Phew.

Posted by Jenipurr at 01:19 PM | Comments (1)

August 27, 2005

On display

Richard and I headed down to Los Gatos last night (after spending the day at the State Fair, so we were both pretty exhausted by then) to see a play put on by his parents' community theater company. This being the Bay Area on a Friday night, we gave ourselves a few extra hours to make the trip (because what might usually take about 90 minutes to drive can end up taking 3 or 4 hours during rush hour). Naturally, however, this meant that we hit almost no traffic at all, and had lots of extra time. I brought my sockpal-2-za socks with me to work on, having guessed this would happen, so we tracked down a Starbucks close to the theater, got sandwiches and chai tea, and settled into some chairs to pass the next hour or so in air conditioned, quiet comfort.

Two young women with two little boys sat down near us, and I was working on the sock when I could feel that someone was staring at me. I looked up to see two pairs of wide eyes avidly watching me, and it was obvious they were trying to figure out just what the heck I was doing with all those weird pointy sticks. So I held up my completed sock, and showed it to them, then held up the sock-in-progress so they could see the comparison. There was a burst of grins and 'oh!'s' from both of them and then tugging on arms of mothers to point out what I was doing. I'm not sure what language they were speaking, but the gist of it was obvious, and it made me grin. For the entire time they were there, they kept sneaking peeks at what I was doing. It's good to know that I can provide entertainment for little kids just by sitting and doing nothing more extraordinary than knitting a pair of socks.

Posted by Jenipurr at 01:18 PM | Comments (2)

August 21, 2005

All the pretty pictures

Time to round up pictures of a few more finished objects. First up (and most recently finished, of course) is Kiri, posed artfully around one of the miscellaneous pine trees in our back yard.

The finished width is about 72 inches, which means I could have easily stopped one pattern repeat earlier than I did...which of course would have meant I would not have had to break into the third skein of Alpaca Cloud. Ah well.

Next up is the latest finished afghan, made using the basketweave pattern from this sock pattern, with a seed stitch border.

I used 8 skeins of vintage Bernat Berella 4 yarn I got on eBay - so old it only had a number for the color instead of a name. I only wish I was able to find more, because this ended up just barely over 5 feet long, and I would have preferred even just one more skein.

Finally, here's a picture of something I finished a month or two ago - my Market Bag (pattern from Folk Bags.

I used some of the Lara Endless Summer cotton I bought ages ago and never found a use for. I'd originally bought it to become a summer top, but the way the colors pooled made it look more like camoflauge, which just isn't my style. For the Market Bag, I doubled the strands, so while I do get a little pooling here and there, I kind of like the way it created those neat diagonal stripes. Plus, double-stranding it means the bag is extra sturdy. I've been using this to cart around knitting projects, but I could also see tossing this in my car to take with me on a grocery run one of these days.

Posted by Jenipurr at 06:45 PM | Comments (2)

August 20, 2005

Blocking Kiri

I finished Kiri this morning. Started binding off last night and ran out of the second skein of Alpaca Cloud about 100 stitches in. Arrgh. So I oh-so-carefully opened up the third skein (I got four of them because I was paranoid about having enough) and gently teased out the 6 extra yards necessary to finish off the shawl. Then I twisted it back together and put it away. The fact that the ends are dangling loose is my reminder that I used part of this skein. Ah well.

The cats watched the blocking process curiously (and as you can see in the picture, Rosemary has decided to keep a close eye on it), but otherwise have left it alone - so far. I'm not stupid enough to tempt fate too far, however, so when we leave today the room where Kiri is drying will be cleared of cats and then have both doors shut, just in case.

This is the first time I've used my new 'blocking squares (aka those interlocking rubber squares you can buy for kids rooms, or to go under exercise equipment) and they work great. The only reason I'm using the blanket over the squares is because I didn't want my shawl to *smell* like the blocking mats.

I draped it around my shoulders and it's plenty wide enough pre-blocking, so I didn't focus so much on width during blocking as I did on length. Still don't know what I am going to do with this once it's dry, but there's a tea I'm going to in September, so maybe I can wear it then. Hmm.

In the meantime, I'm about halfway through the foot of the second Sockapal2za socks, and I did break down and start on the next afghan. I'm using the Harlot's baby blanket as a jumping off point, but made a number of modifications because, well, that's just the way I am. The colors are bright, hot pink, purple, and a gorgeous shade of periwinkle, and with the way the pattern creates alternating squares of eyelet waffles, I have decided that henceforth, this afghan shall be known as Hot Waffles. Easier to refer to than 'that pink waffle pattern thing I'm working on currently', right?

Posted by Jenipurr at 08:59 AM

August 10, 2005

Un Limited

The one downside to finding a pile of amazing vintage yarn that has been discontinued, is that the amazing vintage yarn has been discontinued. So even if one has swatched and measured, and is completely positive that those 8 skeins of yarn, of which one will never be able to find any more ever in one's life, will surely be enough to make an afghan large enough for a full grown adult, one would be wrong, wrong, wrong.

On the plus side, this means that maybe I will just keep it for myself because I really do adore the yarn, and the colors, and the snuggly softness of it. On the not-so-plus side, this now means that I am no further along on the holiday knitting than I was when I started. Sigh.

I went to Knitting Night at the library last night and it was fun, in an interesting sort of way. Usually there are several other people there with oodles more experience and knowledge than me; however, last night they were not there, so when someone said 'can someone show me how to do increases and decreases', and when someone else said 'I have this sweater I started ten years ago - how the heck do I put the pieces together', everyone started at me. Yeek. I've been knitting for I think 2 1/2 - 3 years now and I have learned a *lot* in that time, but I still feel very much a newbie at times, and a little unprepared to actually show someone else what to do. Luckily it was all stuff I know how to do, so I did my very best to make it all make sense, and somehow I think was able to show them what they were asking to learn, in spite of myself.

I find it amusing, in a self-deprecating kind of way, that I can be so damn good at writing technical papers, curriculum, scientific reviews, and user manuals, yet turn into a babbling idiot when asked to provide the exact same service in person. I suppose this is just yet more proof that I really was meant to be a computer nerd. I interact so much better with a keyboard (grin).

But back to the knitting. I am having a very hard time right now because I keep chanting to myself 'do not start another project', now that the afghan-which-isn't-long-enough is done. I am telling myself that I have more than enough projects currently on the needles and I really need to try to finish off at least one or two of those before I start a new one. After all, I'm nearly finished with the heel flap on the second of my sockapal-2-za socks, there is the second basketcase sock that I really ought to cast on for so I can get *that* out of the way, there is a mesh bag made from autumn colored cotton (the second one of the same pattern and same yarn) that only needs a few hour hours of work, and let us not forget Kiri (which I *have* been working on, and is, I think, only one pattern repeat (we will not mention how many hundreds of stitches this means I have on the needles, no we will not) away from switching to edging and being able to bind if off at last).

I am trying very hard to be strong, but there is this little voice in my head that is insisting that the Yarn Harlot's baby blanket pattern would go really well in a full sized afghan, especially one made with this yarn, which is much brighter and pinker and more purple in person. Because there is a little girl up in Seattle (I am sure I do not need to tell you that she came up with that outfit all on her own) who loves pink and purple with a passion (a fact which makes the rest of us gleeful for the sole reason that her mother simply hates pink), and I already have the yarn, and seeing as how this is the Summer of Afghans, how long can I possibly last before I cast on for the next one?

Posted by Jenipurr at 10:47 PM | Comments (1)

August 07, 2005

Sockpal-2-za - halfway there!

My first sock for my Sockpal-2-za pal is done! It looks a little floppy because my sock pal's feet are a little bit longer than mine, so my toes don't go to the end here, but I'm happy I was able to get a picture that shows off both color and pattern. It's a five stitch zigzag eyelet pattern that I modified from a few things I found online, and I think it actually looks pretty good with the dark, bold blues.

I have measured and measured while making this sock, but I am a little worried about the length, because I've usually just sized socks to my own feet, so I am going to leave the tail end (even though it's tucked in tight) free and uncut, and when I send my socks off to my sock pal, I'll send her the extra yarn as well, just in case.

Oh, and I realized I never posted a picture of the eyelet stripe blanket I made (and finished in June, I think), so here you go - yes, it's the summer of afghans around here, because there's nothing better to knit during a heatwave than warm, snuggly blankets! Heh.

Posted by Jenipurr at 05:07 PM | Comments (3)

August 06, 2005

A little cat action

First, a belated picture of the first of my pair of basketcase socks. The color's a little brighter in the picture and I'm not sure you can really see the pattern, but ta da, at least I finally have a picture.

I finished off the afghan for my brother-in-law (using the exact same 12 row stitch pattern as for the socks). No pictures of that yet, but I did want to share an action shot, just so you all can see what I have to go through to knit around here (grin).

Rosemary is perched on the arm of the loveseat (an unusual spot for her, since she's normally rather insistant on being *under* whatever I am working on instead of over it). Allegra is the little grey face smooshed down between me and the arm. Azzie is on my lap, blending in quite nicely with the dark yarn, and Sebastian is the white one who, if pictures came with sound, you would hear purring extremely loudly. He is also the one who I am convinced can shed his weight in fur on a daily basis (and he's a short-hair, too), so anything made of yarn is sure to have its fair share of his fur worked into the stitches.

There are two other cats in the house, but luckily (?) they are wee bit more aloof, so I usually only have to contend with up to four cats getting in my way.

Posted by Jenipurr at 05:16 PM | Comments (3)

August 02, 2005

Back to socks

I am having no luck with pictures these days - seems like they either come out too dark or too grainy. But it's been over a week since I posted, so an entry with no pictures is better than no entry at all, right?

I am one skein away from finishing the basketweave afghan, but that's been a little stalled lately since the past few days I've been focusing fulltime on socks. I finished off the first basketcase socks (if you scroll down you'll see a picture, which tells you what the stitch pattern looks like on both the sock and the afghan), and contrary to normal habits, did not immediately cast on for the second in the pair, because I knew I needed to get working on my Sockpal2za socks instead. This weekend I cast on three different socks, with three different yarns and three different patterns, and I have a sneaky feeling I have knit an entire pair of socks already from all the trying of this and that. But instead I am only about 2/3 of the way into the first sock, which I am making using a zigzag eyelet pattern (inspired by several different patterns) in some gorgeous teal and blue yarn.

It's nice to have something little to work on again - afghans quickly become too bulky to be portable, and Kiri is, at this point, rather slow going and requires too much concentration to be mindless knitting.

Posted by Jenipurr at 08:32 PM