Monday, February 26, 2007

Oh The Horror Of It All!

I got my first sock of the Falling In Love pattern finished a little while ago. Ok...hold back those cheers. I attempted to change the pattern a little - nothing major, I just added ribbing to the top of the sock. I finished on a row 5 so that the heart pattern would be completed and then did about an inc of the ribbing.

It look fine that way, at least I think. The foot looks horrible big in comparison with the leg section, but that's neither here nor there.

Here's where the horror comes in. I tried to put the sock on, and couldn't get it over my heel! The ribbing felt a little tight on the last round when I tried it on, so even though I did the bind off very loosely, it still didn't have any give when I tried to get it over the heel. So, because I can't get it over my heel, I don't know if the leg is too tight or did feel a little snug as I tried to get it over my foot...

This is where I need your help. I've never binded off with ribbing (except on a scarf when it didn't really matter if it was a little tight or not, because it didn't affect the look or anything). Is there a way to remedy this? I'm assuming I'll have to take out the ribbing. Can someone point me in a direction where I can find how to do this kind of bind off without it being too tight? Should I have gone up to 2.75mm needles to do it?

At this point, I think I will hold off on doing the second sock until I can fix the situation...oh well, this won't get done to count for February's Socktopia pair. Sigh...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

International Scarf Exchange

Sign-ups are taking place for the International Scarf Exchange. They are only allowing, I think, 200 entrants, so if you want to take part, hurry over to the ISE blog and sign up. The email I got from them today said they are about 1/3 of the way. I think you have until the end of the month to sign up, and exchange parterns will be assigned March 15th (I think, but you can find out this info for sure on their blog).

This is my first scarf exchange - or really any exchange, and I'm a little excited about taking part. I've read on many blogs in the past about this exchange (and others), and most everyone has enjoyed it. I already have a couple of patterns in mind that I am thinking of doing - well, I'll choose between those two and make one for the person I make one for.

In other news, I'm still plugging away at my Falling In Love socks and am about finished the first one. Sadly, I don't think I'll be able to get the second one done by the end of the month, and they won't qualify for February's Socktopia entry. The only way I can get done in time is if I end up with everything finished schoolwise and knit for like 8 hours straight for a couple of days...or something like that.

The Noro scarf is coming along slowly as well. The colours are starting to grow on me, though I'm still not overly fond of the rust shades...I'm nearly finished the first ball and have the second to do. I don't think I'll be adding fringe to it because I probably won't have enough yarn left over. I'll just knit until I run out of yarn, then block it.

No pics of either the scarf or the socks this time, but hopefully I'll get some taken soon to show you the progress on the sock - probably when I get it finished and try it on to see how it fits! Hope to have some pic soon, and when I do I'll post them; until then, happy knitting!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sock Update And A New Scarf

Here is the update on my Falling In Love socks. I have done the short row heel and one section of the ten row pattern so far. The foot looks so long! It measures fine with my other socks, and I was able to sort of try it on...I say sort of because I can't get it past my heel. Whomever said that toe up socks are great because you can try them on as you go, obviously did not mean when you use dpns! I even tried putting the stitches on four needles thinking that would make more room. I was able to get it a little further up my foot that way, but still not over the heel. I find it so much easier to try the socks on when I do them cuff down. I think that if I were doing them on circular needles it might make it easier to try on, though.

From what I could try on, it does fit in the width even though it looks so thin. My only fear now is that the leg portion will not be wide enough. This is also my first endeavor using the 2.25mm needles, so it just might mean I would need to have a few more stitches. I'll see though when I get the leg finished and try it on.
Here is a sort of blurrish picture of my first ever short row heel! Granted it's not perfect by any means, but overall I think I did ok with it. I've heard horror stories of other knitters hating this heel, that they have ripped out time and time again...but in all honesty, I didn't find too much difficulty with it. Mind you I think I messed up a time or two with it, but other than that I didn't mind doing them. Once I get the finised socks on, I will be able to tell better if I did good. I think, at the part where you join back into knitting the rest of the sock, that there is a little hole on either side of the sock. I even did as was suggested in the pattern and knit the last stitch from the heel with the first stitch of the instep. We'll see how it turns out though.
In other news, on Wednesday (Valentine's day) I started a new scarf with my Noro Kueryon that I bought myself for my birthday. The pattern I'm using is the Noro Silk Garden Scarf Pattern that was recommended by Rhonda. It's a fairly quick knit as it is all knitting. I haven't worked at it very much and think I have made good progress.
I'm undecided on what I think of knitting the Noro. I don't find it scratchy on my hands or anything like that, and knitting with it seems ok thus far. However, what I have noticed is that often there are places where the yarn doesn't look like it's been - what's the correct term, plied? There will be thicker sections, very thin sections and sections that look like roving. I don't know if that is normal for this yarn or not, and it might be ok for some patterns, but I have to wonder if that will affect how the scarf will look. Other than that, I don't think I have any complaints with the Noro.

As for colours, I love some of them and others are not my cup of tea. Towards the bottom of the scarf, I like the pinks and greens, but the oranges/rusts aren't in my favourite selections. I don't hate them, but they're just not my cup of tea. They look find together so far - reminds me of summer colours moving into fall ones - and in all honesty, I would never have thought of putting them together. I think they'll have a good and/or interesting effect in this pattern, and who knows, it could turn out to be beautiful. Well, I did want to get some yarn that was or contained other colours that I normally don't use in my knitting - I got that with this yarn for sure, and the oranges/rusts are kind of growing on me...though they still aren't my favourites ;o)

Anyway, off to hit the books. I have a lot to do this weekend - finish reading my book and do up my book review (due Thursday) and study for my history mid term that is also on Thursday (plus I have TESL homework due Thursday, but apparently it shouldn't take too long this week so I'll have to get it done up over the weekend so I don't have to worry about it when I'm trying to get my studying done.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, February 09, 2007

First Toe Up Socks

Edited to add: I mentioned that in my first round of the 10 rows that on one line somehow I had made a mistake but didn't know where. Well, I figured out what it was.

To those attempting this pattern (or who want to but haven't), there is an error on line starts with p1, k5 but that leaves you with one extra stitch at the end. I think that is supposed to be a k6 instead so that it all works out. Besides, the rest of the 10 rows all start with p1, k6 and end with k6, p1 so it only makes sense that there is a typo. I've since changed it on my copy of the pattern.

Just wanted you to be aware...

Will ya look at that? Will wonders never cease? I have finally begun my first ever toe up socks! I used the crochet cast on method (I think that's what it's called) and it wasn't nearly as difficult as I had imagined. The only problem I had was in getting the crochet chain undone to ravel out...not entirely sure I did it correctly, but nonetheless, I did get it out.

This is the beginnings of the Falling In Love pattern from MagKnits, and I only have the first 10 rows done so far. It isn't difficult (at least not at this point, but then you just repeat these 10 rows to get your pattern so I doubt there will be any difficulty), and I think the pattern will look nice with this colour. The pattern gives you options to do short row heels or the gusset/flap heels, but at this point I'm not sure which I'll choose. Normally when I do my socks (which so far have all been top down), I do the heel flap and gussets. But, I think that since this is a new experience for me - the toe up method - it might be a good time to learn a new heel as well. We'll see when I get to that point at which I decide to go with.

I made at least one error in the pattern when I was knitting it, but I couldn't tell what I had done wrong, so I just left it. On the particular line I had to k6 and end with a p1 at the end, but somehow I ended up with 8 stitches left instead of 7 so I just k7 instead. I don't think it will be terribly noticeable.

Also, in the wrap arounds for the toe I messed up a couple of times but that was due to having started it before school and not having enough time to finish it, which resulted in a loss of rhythm doing it. I know that when I do the second sock that I will have to do that section all at the same I don't get lost. But, I will just chalk this up to experience ;o). I'll show more pics another time when there is progress on the maybe when I get to the heels I'll show you how I'm doing - especially if I decide to go with the short rows.

Now, I must go and do some reading for a book review that is due towards the end of the month. The book is on the history of Prince Edward Island (for my Maritime History class) - some of it is interesting, and some is boring (like the political aspects...). At any rate, it must be done.

Happy knitting!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

More Mittens

The other day I finished the mittens I was making for my nephew. They are made from Paton's Classic Merino with size 4.0mm dpns.
I am going to start another pair (hopefully this weekend) in a Fair Isle pattern for Fair Isle February (button including link is in my sidebar for anyone interested).
I've also started my first toe-up socks for the Falling In Love Socks over at MagKnits. I don't have very much completed of it yet - really not worth picture taking at the moment. When I get a little more progress done I'll show you how I'm doing with it. I'm using the yarn (Bernat Sox) that my best friend Kristina got me for my birthday for this pair.
Off to do a little knitting before my morning class (ok, technically it starts at 11:50am so it's more of an early afternoon class since it's so close to noon...). I have another class this evening (from 6:30 til around 9:00/9:15ish) and then I'm off for the weekend. Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Secret Pal 10 Questionnaire

Well, I finally decided to take part in one of the Secret Pal exchanges that I have been seeing take place all over blogland. It sounds great, and I can't wait to take part (this will be the first one that I've taken part in). Hope they will have a button to put in the sidebar!

Here are the answers to the questionnaire:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I have developed a fondness for Opal sock yarn. Other than that anything is fine. I would like to try Koigu, Lorna's Laces and some of the other popular sock yarns. I'm not overly fond of acrylic anymore, or the novelty type yarns.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? Right now I don't have anything to store them in.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I have really only been knitting (pretty much self-taught) for about six years now. I consider myself to be probably in the intermediate range (though beginner in lace and Fair Isle)

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yes, and the link is on my sideba. I also have a little Knit Picks list started as well

5. What's your favorite scent? Fruity scents. I am allergic to strong flowery scented things like purfumes, lotions, etc. However, anything that has a fruity smell is fine

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Oh yes, I have a sweet tooth...pretty much any sweets, especially milk chocolate (don't like dark chocolate or white chocolate). I also like sour candies.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I like to make cards, use rubber stamps, some scrapbooking. I don't spin, but I want to learn using a drop spindle (I'm going to sign up to take a 'how to' class on this in April. I also enjoy writing novels/short stories

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I listen mostly to Christian contemporary and worship/praise music. I have a Sony MP3 player, and a CD player, but I don't play music on my computer

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? Favourite is purple (any shade), least favourite is browns/rusts (any shade)...I pretty much like most colours though. I'm trying to expand my colour selections from the purple shades (though those are always welcome)

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I'm single and have a cat named Tinker Belle

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I do not wear hats (fine hair and hats create too much staic and leaves my hair standing on end), or ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I love to knit socks, mittens, and scarves, as well as baby/toddler items

13. What are you knitting right now? Socks and mittens (and a couple scarf WIPs)

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? yes

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I like all needles and use bamboo, aluminum and plastic (not overly keen on the plastic though)

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? no to both

17. How old is your oldest UFO? ummm...a year or two I think

18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

19. Is there anything that you collect? angel and cat items

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? The knitting books are listed on my Amazon & Knit Picks lists on the sidebar; I'd love to try Koigu, Lorna's Laces, Cherry Tree Hill, Socks That Rock, Opal and a lot of the popular sock yarns being seen and used in blogland. No particular pattern that I'm dying to get my hands on, but would like more sock patterns, mitten patterns, scarf patterns, lace patterns (new to this), Fair Isle mitten/hats/scarves patterns. I don't have any subscriptions to knitting magazines but love any that I can get my hands on

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Fair Isle, more lace, knitting 2 socks at once (I have a DVD for this but haven't had the opportunity to use it yet), drop spindle spinning

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes, I am a sock knitter; I take a size 8 - 8 1/2 US shoe (foot is about 9 1/2 inches long - wow, that's big! and 9 1/2 around the widest part of the foot). I don't like knee socks, just "crew" socks that go about 5 inces or so above the ankle bone)

23. When is your birthday? January 20

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Finished Socks

I finally finished the socks using the Opal yarn I won from Karen's contest. I did the Lacy Trellis pattern from the Sockamaniac Yahoo group, and I just loved it. It's such an easy pattern and I'm sure I'll be doing it again sometime, probably using a solid colour to see the pattern a little better.

Sorry that the picture is a little blurry, not sure what happened there. They aren't quite identical, but very close. I guess when I started the second sock I wasn't quite in the right spot; however, they are close enough that you can't really complain (or if you do, I just won't listen, LOL).

As I said, I used the Opal Dreamcatcher yarn (I forget what the colour number is offhand and don't have the band near me), and knit them up on 2.75mm dpns. The fit is great, as is the feel, and I can't wait to wear them for longer than it takes to snap a picture.

Here's a closeup of the pattern. I think it looks ok in the stripes, but it would probably stand out better if it were in a solid colour, but nevertheless, I still like it. It was very easy to do, and I recommend it to anyone.
Now I need to get back to my homework - two essays and an outline/bibliography for a term paper are due this week, so I have lots of reading and writing to do. I'm hoping to get quite a bit done so that I can get back to working on the mittens for my nephew (no, I didn't get those finished yet), and the children's socks I had been working on. I also want to cast on for my next pair of socks from MagKnits that I mentioned in the previous post. And, since I don't want to feel guilty when I'm knitting, I'm going to get some school work done first. Happy knitting!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Another Package!

Well now, look what was waiting for me when I got home from my afternoon class again today!
It's my package from Knit Picks containing the other gifts I got myself for my birthday! I ordered a set of 2.0 mm and 2.50 mm dpns and the book "Knitting Stitches" by Mary Webb. It has over 300 contemporary and traditional stitch patterns, and I've only had time to glance through it so far, but it looks great! I've already marked one of the stitch patterns that I want to try. I think the pattern would look great in a scarf, so that is probably what I'll use the pattern on.

Most of the stitch patterns aren't named, except to indicate if they are easy, medium, or difficult, and the number it is. For example, it might say "medium stitch 27". The book shows pictures of the patterns, gives the instructions written out in some cases, but mostly are charted. It's a way cool little book!

Have you seen the latest MagKnits (the link is in my sidebar)? There is a pair of socks called Falling in Love Socks by Anniken Allis, and I have printed off the pattern and am going to give them a try. These are toe up socks, and I have yet to try this method (this gives me another reason, other than I like the look of the socks, to try the pattern). But first, I need to finish the socks I've been working on in the Oplal yarn, the children's socks (I'm on the second one), and the mittens for my nephew (on the second one). I've said it before, and I'll say it many patterns, so little time!