Monday, October 29, 2012

Two socks!

My socks are done! I'm very happy with them, although they are a little long for me. I really didn't know how to judge the way a half-knitted sock would fit me while they were in progress, but now that I have a completed pair, I have a better idea of what to do next time. And yes, there will be a next time. I'm not sure yet whether I'll become a Sock Knitter, but I already am thinking that a pair of holiday socks would be a nice project to work on soon.

I'm also thinking I might give DPNs a try, because with my supertight knitting, it was hurting my hands to get each side of stitches worked back onto the needle with magic loop. I really like magic loop otherwise, but unless I can change my tension, it is not a fun experience fiddling with such tiny stitches.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I have a sock!

As I mentioned before, I'm doing GnomeAcres' Socktober KAL, because it is the perfect opportunity for me to learn to make socks, and once I know how to make socks I will have a reason to buy more and more lovely yarn from Amanda. I'm using Wendy Johnson's gusset heel vanilla pattern from Socks from the Toe Up. Yesterday, finally, I bound off my first sock! I am going very slowly, but right on schedule to finish before October 31.

I'm thinking the second sock will go a lot faster. I had to restart this sock three or four times due to my inability to read the instructions correctly, and then I redid the heel a couple of times because I kept second-guessing my measurements. Turns out every time I worried that the sock would be too small, I should have stuck with my initial instincts, because it could stand to be a bit snugger. But it fits pretty well, and for my very first sock ever, I'm quite happy with it.

There is cat interference in the above photo because she had just woken up from a nap, which means that everything needs to be all about her until she goes back to sleep.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


We're going to Japan next month (!), and as soon as we booked the trip I decided I was going on a yarn diet, so that I could save my money to buy yarn, among other things, while we're there.

But then there was that Naruto yarn from GnomeAcres that I needed to have immediately, because who knew how much of it she would make and how often it would be available. And then there was a present I needed to start working on, and I had to buy some yarn for that. And now my local yarn store is having its pre-inventory sale, and what was I supposed to do, just not go?

I have been staring at their shelves of madelinetosh every time I've gone in the store since early this summer. Really, it was for my own well-being, to end the torment of wanting to have the yarn but knowing I shouldn't really spend the money. (Full disclosure, I used a gift card that still had some money on it, so really it was about time to buy this yarn.)

So, like the very few, very brief food diets I've attempted in my life, it seems that deciding I'm "on a diet" does nothing other than trigger this desperate urge to gobble up everything I'm not supposed to have before I remember that I'm not supposed to have it.

But now, really, I'm not getting anything until we're back from Japan.

Unless there's another sale somewhere. Or I decide I need some Christmas-y GnomeAcres mini-skeins.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Like finishing all over again

Having finally witnessed the glory of blocking when I finished my Old Town scarf this summer, I decided to go back and block my first FO, my Old Shale scarf. At the time, blocking sounded really scary and complicated, and I decided I was happy enough with how my scarf looked un-blocked. I was sure that if I did try to block it, I would somehow ruin its appearance or texture. Better not to risk it.

Now I know better, so I blocked it, and then I was so happy with it I had to wear it right away even though the weather just started to warm up again.

To make things even more exciting, I had always been mildly bothered by the very poor-quality picture of the scarf that I had on my Ravelry project page. So with it in its freshly-blocked, pretty state, I did another photo shoot. I went from this:

Ugh :(

To this:

Much better :)
I was never unhappy with this scarf, especially as my first completed knitting project, and now that I've given it a makeover I like it even more. But it is interesting to realize that while I still feel like just as much of a beginner most of the time, I have learned a few things since then. Like, it's really hard to see a) what you're doing and b) the pattern you created on dark yarn. And that blocking is not scary at all, but wonderful and magical. And that it is, in fact, possible to fix mistakes in lace (I restarted this scarf after working on it for weeks because I messed up and thought all was lost).

Monday, October 1, 2012

Two quick projects

My boyfriend has complained about cold hands at the office. Luckily for him, making warm things is my hobby! I showed him a few patterns on Ravelry and he picked out Sarah Chilson's Manly Mitts pattern. This was an easy and fast project, nearly instant gratification. And yes, both mitts are the same size, but the angle of the photo makes them look different.

As part of my ongoing stash-busting quest, I was driven to find some way to use up the remaining almost-full skein of this Bernat yarn that I had left over from making my mom a scarf for Christmas in 2008. I wanted to give her something else, since I picked the color for her, and she suggested a coordinating hat or ear warmer. Sarah Arnold's Divine Hat was really quick to crochet, and I think it will look okay with the Isar Scarf I made years ago. But, the pattern did seem to work up a little tight and short, so I'm waiting for my mom to try it on before finishing it.

And now it's time to cast on my first pair of socks! I'm using GnomeAcres' Naruto, as I mentioned before. I loved it in the skein and I love it even more after winding it into a ball. I'm really hoping my socks turn out okay!