Monthly Archives: April 2007

Demon Socks

(Ignore the view into my bathroom, okay?) Here are April’s socks for SAM3. I finished them yesterday evening but didn’t get around to posting until this evening. Why break tradition, right?
Project: Toe-Up Socks with Short Row Heels
Yarn: Sweet Georgia Speed Demon Sock Yarn in Elf colorway
Needles: KnitPicks Options in US size 4s for the toes and heels, Addi Turbos 12″ circular in size 3s for the foot and leg, and Addi Turbos and KnitPicks Classic Circulars in 24″ size 1s for the cuff. I was trying different needles and techniques to see what worked best for this yarn.
Start: April 22
Finish: April 29
Thoughts: So much to say; where do I start? Yarn first. I loved this yarn. It had a tendency to be a little bit splitty, but that was minor compared to the beautiful colors. Even though there was a lot of pooling, I just loved these colors so much! The yarn was a giftie from KnitDevil a while back and I was so glad to finally have a chance to knit them up. They knit up speedy quick, just like their name, and I was glad. Thanks, Madge!
As for the technique, I’m a bit disappointed in my ability to do these short row heels. They’re Priscilla Gibson-Robert’s Priscilla’s Dream Socks pattern. I can do them fine, and to avoid the heel/instep coming out too tight, I just knit the heels using bigger needles. However, I got big gaping holes at the join when it was time to knit in the round again, even after I pick up a stitch between the two. I had to stitch them up closed, and while that’s not difficult to do, I have to say I’m a bit of a perfectionist and would really like something to the socks to come out nicely without little bits of stitchin’ here and there. I think it’s time to try some new short row heels… maybe from Cat Bordhi’s Socks Soar on 2 Needles, Charlene Schurch’s Sensational Knitted Socks, Interweave Knit’s Favorite Socks (I just got this book for free from my online book club! Whee!), or Wendy’s generic toe up pattern. I’ll begin experimenting next month. Oh wait, that’s tomorrow.
The story of the needles. Sigh. Not a very exciting story. A melodrama for certain. I’ve been trying out different needles and techniques for sock knitting because the fiddliness of 2 circs and dpns wears on me. Margie of Knit Happens in Half Moon Bay suggested her method, using Addi 12″ circulars and going round and round. Sounded like a great idea, so of course, I had to invest immediately in those for sizes 1, 2 and 3. It happened to coincide with a sale at my LYS, okay? I got a great deal so I might as well just get them, right? I have to say I’m not completely in love with the Addi 12″ circulars, but they’re pretty darn good. The needles are a bit short, so you have some limited movement, but by the time the annoyance hits me, I’ve already zoomed past a couple of rounds already. I’ll definitely try these needles out more and hopefully on smaller needles too.
Why did I bind off on size 1s, you ask? I cast on too many stitches, so the socks were a bit loose. They’re no longer just my house socks, but now they’re my baggy house socks. I got my gauge from my little swatch, a la Wendy style. Knit 12 stitches and stockinette until you have about an inch or two. Really scientific, huh? I decided it was easy enough for me. My gauge was fine, but the problem was I didn’t (and probably still don’t) know how much negative ease to factor in. So I calculated fine but my targeted number of inches was off. Okay, for the next pair of socks, I’ve got to figure out the “rule” for negative ease. Le slouchy socks needed a bit of help to stay up, so I went down 2 needle sizes for the cuff. I also used Wendy’s method for a stretchy bind off which was really easy and it worked too! Enough about socks now.
I’ve returned to Argosy and have just a few more repeats before binding off. TC Marie was a lifesaver today, when I showed up at group without any needles on the cable. I borrowed the needle tips from Argosy to work on the Demon Socks, and forgot to put them back on last night. So when I grabbed the old Argosy bag and ran out the door, I found out I was SOL at the coffee shop today. Luckily, Felix the Cat Marie reached into her bag of tricks and pulled out some Bryspun circs in size 4s. Hurray, because I’ve been wanting to try them out. But more about that, perhaps, another day. Thanks, Marie!
ETA: See an even better picture of the Demon Socks on Mac, the cutest little model ever!

WIP Report

I’m going to try to do a weekly WIP Report. Not too exciting, but at least it’ll be *some* knitting content on this blog.

Here are the socks I’m working on for SAM 3. They’re using Sweet Georgia’s Speed Demon Sock Yarn in the Elf colorway. I’m using a no-recipe toe-up and short row heel. Last night, I finished turning the second heel. I haven’t used hand-dyed yarn too much for socks before, so I am experiencing the expected pooling. I decided to put the more dramatic pooling on the sole of the foot. Now, all I have left are the legs and they’ll be done.

After these socks, it’s back to Argosy, the hempathy scarf. This is the one I was making for my Hawaiian host friend. I have 8 more increases before the homestretch, the last chart with the final set of decreases. I’ll have to remember to post a WIP photo of it too.

Before I started the Sweet Georgia socks, I knit up a pair of broken rib wristwarmers for a friend’s 40th birthday gift. I used the Capistrano Fiber Arts wool and silk yarn that KnitDevil Madge had picked up for me, and they were a tactile dream. I literally cast off, wove in the ends, wrapped it in tissue paper and took off for the party, so alas, I have no picture to show. I’ll have to get the giftee to model them for me.

That’s the WIP Report for this week. Go forth and conquer!

Coriolis Sock

I’m slow on the uptake, because it took me a day or so to realize that I could *finally* post pictures of the Coriolis Sock by Cat Bordhi from the Knitty Gritty episode. I finished them in January but had to wait until the pattern was released before I could show the pictures. (Thanks for helping me remember, Annie!)

The socks were knit double-stranded using Austermann Step. We were given 2 balls to make them, and I have plenty of yarn leftover. I just weighed the leftovers, and it looks like I used one entire ball and 1/4 of a second ball to knit up a pair of man’s socks. You can see from the picture how high up they go. If you knitted a woman’s size, I’m sure you’d have enough in one ball of yarn to finish them. Besides, they’re knit toe-up, so if you run out, the leg portion will just be a tad shorter than you might want.

They wash up super soft, and have made a great pair of house socks. Sweetie Hubby loves them because they keep his tootsies warm, and I am ever so pleased when I see him wearing them.

A Basket on My Doorstep
Look what goodies showed up on my doorstep! A package from my Secret Pal, I think. It didn’t have a card or note, but who else would send me a fabulous lined basket filled with wonderful things to stimulate my senses?
There was a wonderful hot chocolate mix, cute little notepads that will go straight into my knitting bag, KnitPicks dpns in sizes 1 and 8 (a little birdie must have read my questionnaire and shared it with her), and KnitPicks Memories in Spring Prairie and Gloss in Pumpkin. Thanks for spoiling me rotten, Secret Pal!

I Love Food, aka Hawaii Part 3

Anybody, who knows me even just a little bit, knows that I love food… as much as, if not more than, yarn. I know; it’s hard to believe but true. I felt compelled to chronicle our vacation through food pictures, a la LA is My Beat Ellen. So enjoy the food!

Shave Ice
The Sweeties made a family goal of having Hawaiian Shave Ice everyday. We came close to the goal, but didn’t actually succeed. Who knew that shave ice shops close at 7p, even on a Saturday night? Our favorite shave ice shop was Waiola’s by a long shot. There are two locations in Honolulu, and both were stellar.

We also tried the well-known Matsumotos in Waimea and Island Snow in Kailua, but neither lived up to the fine texture of Waiola’s.

Sweetie Hubby enjoyed pineapple, grape and rainbow flavors; Sweetie Boy was a happy with his bubble gum and cotton candy duo every day; while Sweetie Girl mixed it up with watermelon, cotton candy, mango and snahzberry (vanilla, raspberry and strawberry, I think). As for me, I enjoy the tropical flavors of coconut, mango, pineapple, and lychee with add-ins of sweetened condensed milk, ice cream, red azuki beans or mochi. Everyday there was a new shave ice challenge for me to conquer, and conquer, I did.

Ahhhhh, malasadas. How I miss them, the little portuguese donuts freshly fried and coated in sugar, filled with custard. Having a malasada after a shave ice will give you a major sugar buzz with an ensuing huge sugar hangover. Ask me how I know. Leonard’s bakery in Honolulu is THE place for these. Accept no others. These were so good, we *had* to go twice. What do these beauts look like?

Here is the Sweetie family just after our first malasada experience.

Giovanni’s Shrimp
We journeyed to the North Shore, not in search of the perfect wave, but for the legendary shrimp scampi. Giovanni’s is a local and tourist favorite. Is it the wonderful ambience? Not exactly. Giovanni’s serves wonderful, heavenly, garlicky, greasy shrimp out of a graffitied truck and you have the option of enjoying it on the wooden benches under their roughly constructed canopies. The quest for the shrimp truck was a fun part of the experience, but the shrimp is definitely the star. I think I oozed garlic for a few days afterwards.

A final huge thanks to my wonderful friends, Jo and Chris, who were the bestest friends and hosts anyone could ask for. They graciously opened up their home to us (a noisy lot), fed us (even the picky little eaters), drove us around their beautiful island, took us to the most delicious of restaurants and kept smiling the whole entire time. I owe them big time. Mahalo my friends! You guys are the best!

BTW, Vicki Howell just posted on her blog that Cat Bordhi’s episode of Knitty Gritty is airing tomorrow. That’s the episode when I was a knitster. Check out Jolly Ewe and me on the couch.

My Favorite and Least Favorite Projects

Knit & Purl Mama is hosting another contest for SP10 participants. List your favorite and least favorite projects. The favorite one is easy. My Simple Knitted Bodice from last fall. Lest you have forgotten, here’s a pic of it.

What makes it my favorite? Many things. The fact that it’s done is the number one reason. I’m super happy with the fit of it. The yarn, Anny Blatt Merinos, was a dream to work with, and the color is right up my alley. I love the pattern and how clearly written it was. I’m a big fan of the top-down raglan and this one did not disappoint. I even wore it when I was a knitster on Knitty Gritty. That’s how much I love it and how proud of it I am.

What’s my least favorite project? This one is a little tougher, because Robin wanted to know about least favorite *finished* projects. Let me tell you, if I don’t like it, I ain’t gonna finish it. I don’t have many FOs (that I can think of) that I look back upon with distaste. If I include UFOs, I can answer easily. The lacewings sea silk shawl.

Let me first say that it has *nothing* to do with the yarn. The sea silk is wonder and delight all wound into yarn. The texture is magic running through your fingers. Wouldn’t you think that would be enough to make it one of my faves, let alone push it to the bottom of the abyss of the dreaded? It’s all about the pattern, baby. The Lacewings Sea Silk pattern just about did me in. The directions were poorly written and I found a couple of errors. I know I’m not the only person who was done in by this pattern either. The last straw occurred when I was knitting along quite decently, and a fellow knitter left our SnB group. When I raised my hand to wave goodbye, it caught on my ring and 7 stitches were pulled off. I should clarify that the 7 stitches weren’t *just* pulled off, they were pulled off and pulled apart (read: laddered down when you didn’t want it to be) down to where they originated as yo’s. It was a horrific sight. It’s been sitting in a clump, waiting to be frogged again for the tenth time. Here’s a picture of the rascal before its unraveling.

I have a tendency to buy a lot of yarn and then put it away quietly. Really, what I post on the blog is not *everything* I buy in the way of yarny goodness. So when my comrades have been posting their recent Knit Happens online sale loot, I tucked my bags away. Maybe its the chinese guilt thing that causes me to do that. LiquidGirl convinced me that I should share my bounty with all. So imagine me shooting it from the rooftops. Here it is…

More Cascade 220 than any one person should have. This is just a sampling of each color. I acquired *multiple* skeins of each color, enough to make plenty of sweaters out of Stefanie Japel’s Fitted Knits. There’s also yarn to make Ariann, and sweaters for the Sweeties.

Both the Nashua Creative Focus Chunky and Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky are also for sweaters in Fitted Knits. You’d think I would have noticed I was buying the same color, huh? Obviously, I put one in the shopping basket before the Cascade 220 rainbow spectrum and one after. Otherwise, how else could I explain this? I also got something else, but it’s for my SP10, so no pictures. I don’t wanna give anything away.

This last bit of wonderment is a giftie from Michelle, my SP9 recipient. Michelle, everytime I read your blog, I let out a giggle, chuckle or guffaw. Thanks for the wonderful gifts. I love all of it, especially my first skein of Australian yarn. Hmmmmm, maybe my stash needs to include yarn from every country. Here’s a true story to tell you what an airhead I am. When I first saw the stitchmarkers, my eyes picked up t-i-n-k, and I thought to meself, “How does Michelle know I tink a lot?” Duh! Seriously, it was a few minutes later when I saw the stitchmarkers shuffled around and realized it also spelled k-n-i-t. (Hitting self in head) Okay, I ain’t the sharpest knitting needle in the set. Thanks, Michelle. You rock.

Hawaii Photo Album
Dipsy said she wanted to see more pics, so here they are. If you get bored, you can blame it on her.
Obligatory Frolicking on the Beach Pics

Those are the Sweeties paddling in the canoe.

Pearl Harbor
The ceiling of the Memorial itself struck me as beautiful with its lines.

Dole Plantation

Yes, Virginia, there are really pineapples on the plantation.

Shower of Flowers from buff Hawaiian dude up a coconut tree

Sweetie Girl really enjoyed the luau. Sweetie Boy did too but I didn’t get as many good pics of him doing stuff. Here he is showing off his tattoo.

Sea Turtles

These turtles were sunning on the beach. They were roped off, so no one would disturb them. We were able to get about 3 feet from them.

Coming up for air.

I made this picture bigger so you could see this little guy waving to you all the way from the North Shore.

This one’s for KnitDevil. Sorry, I couldn’t pack this one in my bag for you.