Friday, September 29, 2006

Pomatomus Socks

I wonder if any of you have the same feeling ... but I always find modelling socks with a ballet foot pose very beautiful. Now, not in a million years would I be able to stand on ballet toes, but the rotating function of photo editing software enables me to make myself feel that I can do this:
Hahaha ... pretty, huh? I mean the sock! Can you notice any unusual sock feature? Another photo to help you:
Yeah, no short row heels this time. I did try though, but really, short row heels don't go well with the pattern.


Details:
Pattern: Pomatomus Socks designed by Cookie A. (Knitty Winter 2005)
Do I have to say anything more about this pattern really? At first, I thought it only goes well with solid or near-solid yarns. But I've seen lots of colourful ones, so I thought the Sockatta would be good too. The pattern is quite a challenging one. Even when I knew how it worked, I still made some mistakes from time to time. Yet, no complaint at all! I followed the pattern strictly, except for a short leg ... just 2 pattern repeats. I absolutely love these socks! So much that I may even knit another pair in wool.

Yarn: Sockotta (45% Cotton, 40% Superwash Wool, 15% Nylon) Col: 9
Good sock yarn for warm weather and love this colourway!

Gauge and Needles: 8 sts per inch using Crystal Palace bamboo DPNs US1

Start date: 09-09-2006
Finish date: 09-29-2006

Some of you asked me about using blocking wires. Actually I bought my set well before I started knitting lace from Angelika's Yarn Store (stroll past the blocking board). I found that sweaters don't really need blocking wires, but for lace, they are really useful. And I learned how to use the wires to block the pointy points of lace from Marnie ... just wonderful. I think it is a great investment. :)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Trellis Scarf

If you have the IK that contains this pattern, you would know that none of the pictures shows the scarf with both its ends. Now we know why ... hahaha ... To be honest, even if you don't want to go through all those troubles of grafting and just follow the instructions as they are, you can still get a beautiful scarf ... just like Ruth did.

I don't usually enjoy knitting scarves. Once the pattern is established, scarf knitting can become pretty boring. Trellis is a little bit better because there are some variations in the pattern. But still, I couldn't knit for too long before I felt bored. That's why it took so long to finish it. I am happy I did because I have been aching to start a new lace project. But I told myself not to before Trellis was done. Besides, the lightweight airy scarf couldn't come in a better time to help me drive away the occasional early autumn chill.



Details:
Pattern: Trellis Scarf designed by Evelyn Clark (IK Spring 2006)
Lovely lace pattern. Except for the 2 non-matching ends, I have no complaints about this pattern. Since I didn't want to have too much leftovers, I cast on for one more pattern repeat (73 stitches). The thing I like most is the 7 into 5 cluster.

Yarn: JaggerSpun Zephyr Silk/Wool (50% fine grade Merino wool;50% Chinese Tussah silk) Col: Aegean Blue
I love this silky smooth yarn and find almost all the colours are gorgeous. However, I find it a bit heavier than other laceweight yarns, like Alpaca Cloud. Besides, I am a tighter knitter, so maybe I should have used US7 to get a more airy fabric.

Gauge and Needles: Susan Bates US6

Start date: 07-07-2006
Finish date: 09-24-2006

More shots of the scarf - indoors and outdoors:

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It's natural light, people!

Wow ... this is exciting! I haven't been able to do this until now ... a macro shot of my lace blocking with NATURAL LIGHT! This is not the most artistic shot you would see on knitting blogs, but it's a good one for me:
Trellis is coming. Thanks for the patience. ;)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sometimes I don't understand myself

Most of the time, I am very forgiving with mistakes and imperfections in both patterns and my own knitting ... especially when it is the time when an FO is in sight. But then all of a sudden, I found myself just wanting to get everything as perfect as I can.

So, the Trellis Scarf was first finished last Friday. I just couldn't bring myself to bind off according to the instructions. Why?
Do you think they match? What I left undone was the bind off row. The beginning edge, as you can see, is obviously pointy. I read some other knitters complaining about this already. One of them knitted the beginning edge again and grafted it to the scarf. I didn't have much confidence in grafting lace, but I wanted a better matched ending edge.

So, I ripped the scarf body to the last row of the pattern, knitted the matching edge and grafted the two together:
Despite the too obvious grafting row, I thought it was better ... but still something caught my eyes. The picture didn't show too well, so I added the red lines. The two ends of the scarf were put side by side. The right side was the beginning and the left the grafted end. The edging lace should form a square with the scarf lace pattern. But the left one didn't. So, more ripping and grafting. The pattern instructions asked me to stop at Row 8. I ripped back to Row 2 and grafted again:
Now, despite the too obvious grafting row, the two ends really match! The scarf is still waiting to be blocked, which will be done tomorrow.

At the same time, I received some goodies.
The Japanese knitting book was given to me by erin in a magazine swap. I haven't knitted from a Japanese pattern yet. I know a little bit Japanese, and with the help from the internet, I think I would be able to do so. There are some lovely patterns:
Thanks a lot, erin.

The beautiful package and card on the right was the result of my being sock lucky. Yay! The socks are here! Allison said that they were probably too big for me (and yes they are), so she wanted to block them to my size, but unfortunately, she had some problem with the plumbing in her home (poor girl!). The socks are indeed a bit big, but the yarns are yummy beautiful and the pattern is lovely:
And they are actually super comfy as house socks ... perfect for running around inside the apartment when the cold weather comes. Thank you very much, Allison.

I am still struggling to catch up with all the unread entries on my Bloglines. You all know how overwhelming it can be if you miss a week's reading! So, bear with me! :D

Thursday, September 21, 2006

What time is your sunset today?

Though I am a knitter, I have to admit I am a warm-weather person. It is okay for me to live with white snow surrounding for a short vacation ... but with that throughout the whole season? Never happened in my life ... and nothing something I look forward to either. Therefore, the end of the summer season always brings a tint of sadness to me ... never mind that I live in California.

In the past few days, such sad feeling has been creeping up now and again ... especially when I noticed the time for sunset came earlier every day. :( Today, the sun will set at 7:09 p.m. ... less than 2 hours to go!

Well, maybe I should work harder on my winter projects then. The Trellis Scarf is about to be finished:
With blocking, I think it would be long enough.

Or should I hurry to finish the green tank before winter comes? I don't know! How about you? What time is your sunset today?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Driving by blogging post

This is going to be a photoless post. Husband has taken his mother for a drive in the 2-seater car, so I can have some time for a post. ;)

Some good news and some bad news during the last week, all not knitting-related. We got the very sudden news that our favourite restaurant would be closing down before the end of September. Their website doesn't show that news yet. We were happy that we got to eat there at least once before its end ... and the halibut cheeks with ratatouille was such a delight. And that's what made us feel even sadder! :(

The good news? We discovered a new good restaurant last night ... just about 5 minutes from home. There are quite a lot of dishes on their menu I am eager to try.

It's always a hactic time when my mother-in-law visits, but I still found the time to finish one Pomatomus sock. I have started the second already. Hopefully, I can finish the pair soon.

For now, that about it. Regular blog-reading would resume next week, I hope. :D

Monday, September 11, 2006

Progress

Very good progress actually ... 95% of the boxes have been unpacked and the contents inside being assigned a place in the home! After 2 weeks, Husband said he still hadn't had the feeling of home here ... he is till on vacation mode! I think the elimination of the U-Haul boxes would help him realize this is home, not a Hawaiian hotel! hahaha ... Besides, we are just in time for my mother-in-law's arrival tomorrow.

The resuming of knitting goes a lot better than blogging. Since I don't get to use the laptop, where I store my knitting photos, much during the evening in the new setting, I actually have more time to concentrate on knitting ... in front of the TV. In the past, my attention has always been divided between blog- and news-reading and knitting. But I can still blog in the morning and afternoon ... after housework, that is. ;)

And I have new project to show you too:
I know I am a bit late to the party ... but it's better than never, right? This is the first of my Pomatomus socks. I am using Sockatta in a lovely colourway. When I was knitting the leg, I kept feeling afraid that it would be too tight. But when I tried it on, it fitted surprising well. Since I don't really like knitting through the back loop in the ribbing, I went for a normal knit stitch. So far, I am loving this pattern.

Speaking about sock patterns, there are lots of new patterns popping up in MagKnits and Knitty, have you checked them out yet?

Friday, September 08, 2006

I got busted!

Have I told you the story? I don't think so. Well, you know that I am not a yarn-patter. That means when I get new stash, I usually put them away in the closet instead of displaying them around ... which is more convenient for a patter or even a sniffer. My old home is on the whole a very dim and dark place ... without too much sunlight into the living area, not to mention the inner corner of the closet, where there is no electricity fixture. And you all know that how yarn stash grows (too fast, I have to say), right? Yarns placed in a dark closet is like molds spreading in damp corner! And when we unpacked the boxes containing the stash, Husband was amazed at how big it is. Also consider the fact that it was the first time the stash was exposed to full day light ... and the first time he was aware how much I have!

"I think you have enough yarns to knit for the rest of your life!" That was what he said. Well, since I am already 42 years old, that may not be too far away from the truth! hahaha ... But seriously, I am exercising much harsher control on myself. And I discover that not stashing actually means I save lots of time going to LYSs and browsing online shops ... not to mention the money.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bow Tie Socks

Hello everyone, still remember me? ;) I know ... it's been a week since I last post. The new home setting causes a disruption to the daily routine I was so used to that I am still figuring a way to incorporate blogging and knitting back into life.

But I've been knitting here and there though. Remember this? They have now become these:
I like them a lot before than their previous form! The bow tie details are fun to knit and look at them up close:
Cute bow tie!

Details:
Pattern: Mother & Child (May pattern) from The Sock Journal: Knit the Year in Socks
Since I am not going to knit the baby booties, I just call my socks Bow Tie after the stitch pattern. I love this sock pattern book ... there are some others I'd like to make ... some day! ;)

Yarn: Socks that Rock (medium weight) by BMFA Col: Fairgrounds (100% Superwash Merino)
I seriously hope the remaining 3 kits would be containing lightweight yarn ... it's just a personal preference.

Gauge and Needles: 7.5 sts per inch using Plymouth bamboo DPNs US2, casting on 60 sts

Start date: 08-20-2006
Finish date: 09-05-2006

I have also been working on the Trellis scarf ... and it's approaching the end. I am not sure when, but hope to show you the FO soon. For now, wish you a wonderful Friday and weekend.