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Archive for March, 2008

You know how sometimes when you start a project, thinking it’s going to be beautiful, and it turns out totally different than you expected, and not quite so beautiful?

That’s what is happening with the socks I started last night.  I’m using Cookie A’s Monkey sock pattern on knitty.com that has been so popular on Ravelry and among my knitting friends.

I purchased this Knit Picks Essential Sock Yarn in Riberbend Multi, thinking it would be really pretty.  The problem is that the sock is designed for hand dyed yarns and I think this yarn is what’s called space dyed.  BIG difference.  I AM still learning about all these wonderful new yarns. This could be why the yarn was on clearance, though. 

Anyway, after three repeats of the lace pattern I can’t decide whether this sock is ugly or interesting.  It’s definitely not the right kind of yarn, still it’s kind of fascinating the way the color spaces seem to be spiraling down the sock leg.

It’s supposed to look like this (picture on knitty.com):

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But mine is looking like this.  Here are 360 degrees of pictures of MY sock:

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I’ve been debating all morning whether to frog or keep going.  I’d love some opinions.  Please be honest:  FROG or KEEP GOING?  Be assured, I am not adverse to frogging, ‘just not sure whether I should. 

Hey!  What about this thought:  I keep going, finish the socks, and call them my Funky Monkey socks?

After a rough start this weekend I’ve also gotten past the hard part (I think) of my first entrelac project.  More on that later….

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The colors in the pics are way more blue and less purpley than actual.

Still working on March TIF.  ‘Not going to make the deadline, tho’.  I can only quilt so much before my fingers start getting sore.  I no longer have my quilting calluses built up like I used to.  

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Leaf Details

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I have one or two hours left of quilting to do on my Primrose Path table runner for my March TIF project.

This photo shows some of the detail quilting.

I’ve taken the templates used to cut out the curved pieces that form the “flowers” on this piece and used them to echo the fabric tessellations with veined leaf designs.  I’ve also used them on the border to continue the wavy effect into the black from the brown pieces. 

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Even though our night temps are still below freezing, the perennials are making a good start on spring.  The iris, hollyhocks and maximillian sunflowers are putting in an appearance already in our garden.DSCN1757 

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This morning I grafted the toe on the second of John’s socks.  So it seemed appropriate to do a photo shoot in the garden. DSCN1752_edited 

For these socks I used Knit Picks Essential 75% superwash wool/25% Nylon sock yarn (Slate Multi) and Ann Budd’s Undulating Rib Socks pattern in Favorite Socks

 

 

 

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I actually had quite a hard time with these socks, but learned a lot as well.  The pattern was pretty difficult for me, but I did manage to figure it out. I liked the yarn, but this particular colorway was not the best choice for this pattern since it rather obscures the undulating ribs.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I made some mistakes, but since this is only my fourth pair of socks, I figure it’s going to be a while, if not forever, before I can really get a pair of socks done perfectly.

 

 

 

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But as I mentioned before, these socks are going into boots, anyway! 

John doesn’t own a pair of regular shoes.

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Lovely Lace

I’m so excited about my Blue Optic Waves Shawl.  I took it off the blocking board today and it is beautiful.  It far exceeded my expectations.

DSCN1750_edited As I’ve written before, I started out with this lovely Brooks Farm Duet yarn to make a Bias Self-Fringing Shawl.  I got it finished to the point of cutting for the fringe and decided I really didn’t much like the shawl.

So I frogged it completely and set it aside while I looked for another pattern.  This was not easy because everything I found that I liked called for a different weight yarn, lots more yardage than I had, or lots less.

When I got The Knitter’s Book of Yarn a month or two ago I found the Optic Waves Shawl pattern by Sheila January and thought this might be pretty in Duet even though the pattern calls for Brooks Farm Primero which I thought might be a lighter weight.DSCN1751_edited

I thought and thought about it and finally decided to give it a try.  I’m not very confident yet about substituting yarns.  I also decided to knit it on larger needles–10.5 US compared to the 8 US called for. 

After starting out the specified width and knitting about a foot, I knew it would end up wider and shorter than I would like.  So I frogged again, eliminated two pattern repeats and finished it.  

I still wasn’t sure if it would turn out looking like lace, but once I started stretching it on the blocking board I began to feel better.

And voila! I love it.  It has turned out light and airy just as lace should be and is a very attractive and wearable length.

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I have another skein of this yarn in shades of aqua, brown, and turquoise that I have the same dilemma with. 

I’d like to try something different, so will look around some more for patterns.  But because this one has turned out so nicely I just might make another one.

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy wearing and showing off this one. 

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For the last couple of weeks it hasn’t felt as though I’ve made much progress on anything.  Although I’ve been working on several projects, they’ve all been in middle stages with not much to show, and very little feeling of accomplishment.

DSCN1746_edited But now I’m beginning to feel like things are coming along.  Last night I finished knitting my Optic Waves Shawl and this morning have gotten it onto the blocking board.  That’s a huge accomplishment.  Knitting this shawl has felt like diving into a bowl of spaghetti:  the more you eat, the more there seems left to eat.

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I knitted and tinked some at our Wednesday night knitters’ group.  Tinking is almost always likely as you get engaged with talking to others and looking at what they’re doing.  There was some FABULOUS show and tell last night!  Then I came home and completed the rest. 

I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it the same size as the pattern since I had a different yarn and smaller amount but I was still able to stretch it to 21″ x 70″.  Pretty close to the pattern size of 29″ x 80″.  I’m looking forward to taking it off the board and seeing how it fits.   It felt like it took a really long time to finish this shawl, but I just checked and, including the start over a little narrower, it’s only taken three weeks.  

I’m so glad I frogged the Self-fringing Bias Shawl I originally made with this yarn and made this one instead.  It’s much nicer.

My digital camera won’t allow me to take clear close-ups, butDSCN1748_edited I got quite a lot of quilting done on my March TIF project yesterday.  I was hoping to be able to complete the quilting today.  However, as usual, I’ve decided to add a little more detail quilting than originally planned, so it will take at least tomorrow and possibly more to finish quilting.

Once that’s done, I can turn over the backing edges for binding.  I’m planning to stitch them with an uneven blanket stitch.  Then I’ll  begin the embroidery and beading.  I might actually come close to finishing on time.  A lot depends on whether I have the right beads in my stash.DSCN1749

I also got past the gussets on the second of John’s Undulating Rib socks this morning, so now I’m heading into the home stretch on the foot. 

I’m anxious to get started on my next knitting projects, so I’ll be glad to finish these socks. 

The question is whether to knit or quilt today.  I think I’ll do both. 

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I know it’s nearly the end of the month, and there’s no way I’ll be finished, but I AM making progress on my March Take It Further (TIF) project.DSCN1744

The half-yard I dyed yesterday for the backing turned out great.  I was afraid I had put it in too large a container and it wouldn’t come out mottled, but it did.

I finished the piecing of the top this morning and the corners are still a little funky, but I think they’ll be ok.  I’ve drafted and sewn them in twice and still didn’t get a perfect fit, but that’s probably because I’ve been hurrying more than I should for pattern drafting.  What’s that? you say.  We’re supposed to be paying attention to detail this month?  Well, I will.  Just in other places than the corners.

DSCN1745I picked up some nice purple 100% cotton hand quilting thread this morning, also, so I’m ready to baste and start quilting. 

I have some ideas of how to “weave” the tessellation pattern in more with the quilting, so we’ll see how it goes.  I MIGHT get the quilting done before the 31st, but I’m sure I won’t get the beading and embroidery completed by then.  ‘Still thinking about how I want to add all those little details.

For anyone interested in hand-dyed fabrics Bunks’ Blog is a must-see.  She came up with a “snow dyeing” technique that is fascinating and has produced some wonderful fabrics.  (Here are more, or you can just scroll up from the first one or down a few from the current post.) 

I wish I’d known about this when we still had snow.  I don’t think I want to trek up to the higher elevations to haul some down at this point….but I might.  Do you think John would want to take me up to find some?  ‘Might be stretching it a bit.  Although it would give him a chance to do some four-wheeling.  Hmmmmm…………I wonder how long snow would keep in a bin in the back of the truck. 

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DSCN1742_edited Definitely not eye candy, but everything I’m working on is mid-process so there’s nothing exciting to show today.

What is it?  Not spinach or collard greens, but 1/2 yard of fabric being dyed blue green for the backing on my March TIF project

This is the first time I’ve tried dyeing anything larger than a fat eighth, so I hope I figured the dye solution correctly and that I didn’t put it in too large a container.  I want it to turn out mottled, not evenly dyed. DSCN1743_edited

I am just about to turn the heel on the second of John’s Undulating Rib Socks.  The lifeline idea that my friend Meredith gave me last week worked great on the first sock.  The specified length wasn’t quite the optimum length for John’s feet, but I wasn’t sure if I had enough yarn to add some extra rows, and if so, how many.  So I put in a lifeline by threading in some crochet thread at the end of the last specified row, knitted to the end of the toe, and saw I had some yarn leftover.

Then I merrily ripped out to the lifeline, measuring as I went along, and picked up the stitches being nicely held by the thread.  We discovered that it takes 16 yards of yarn to knit this particular toe.  This may be a good thing to know in the future. 

I had enough yarn to add an additional 5/8″, which is exactly the right measurement for John, with about a yard to spare after completing the toe.  Yay!  This was a great learning experiment.

John has been totally amazed–while watching me do this and helping me with the calculations–that it takes, for this sock, two and a third football fields’ length of yarn.  For just one sock.  And he’s not even much of a football fan.  

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