Friday, March 30, 2007

So, exactly how much yarn have I used?

I have had this question in mind ever since I reached Tier 6 ... when the stole was long enough to spread out despite the dpns holding those idle stitches. If knitting with single balls or skeins, finishing one unit of yarn is always one way of measuring my progress. So, you see, the problem with the FPS is that I am knitting from a 1lb cone!

I know, just looking at the stole itself should be enough to assure myself that I did make progress:
Same trick ... tape the whole thing to the wall. For 18 tiers, it's either the carpet or the wall ... and it's easier to capture the whole length standing. Oh, I taped a 6-inch dpn for size reference too.

Yet, I still couldn't help myself ... just have to take the other 1lb cone out and have a look:
Mmm ... love the wine red!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I started a Monkey

I still think it is a pretty weird name for socks ... Monkey! But whatever the name, the pattern is a lot of fun to knit ... and very easy to remember. I am using the gifted Panda Cotton:
Do you think the colourway is too busy for the pattern? Maybe ... but I like it. Panda Cotton is an interesting yarn. I am not sure if it is because of the bamboo, the yarn feels squishy; and the knitted fabric feels like chenille. Since I intend this pair of socks for warm weather, I made the leg short ... fast knit, yay!

In the meantime, I am back to the knitting of the Forest Path Stole. Many others in the KAL are thinking of knitting fewer tiers than in the pattern. I am not sure about this ... will decide when I finish Tier 20. Now I am starting Tier 17.

I just discovered a new toy for the blog ... very cool:

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Traveller's Socks

My dear readers, I think only you would understand how annoying it really is to have knitted a pair of socks having the same colour tone as your carpet:
Well, don't get me wrong. I like this colour ... I have always loved natural-toned colours. It is just that having to take close-up shots of them on the carpet is too much a test on my photographic skills, don't you think?


Details:
Pattern: Traveller's Socks designed by Nancy Bush from "Knitting on the Road"
Definitely love all the details of the design. The travelling stitches are lovely and appear to be complicated. I started with US0 and it turned out to be too small. When I started again with US1, I was already able to knit the pattern without referring to the charts again.
Have you noticed that I made the heel flaps? Interestingly enough, after knitting on the FPS for almost 2 months, I think I am doing a lot better with picking up stitches for heel flaps. Besides, I now, finally, understand that it doesn't really matter if you pick up 17 stitches (as instructed in the pattern) or 19 stitches along the flap ... as long as you keep decreasing back to the number of stitches for the foot. Not being able to pick up the exact number of stitches was what had been bugging me about the heel flaps. Silly, huh?

Yarn: Elann's Sock It To Me Essential 4-ply (75% Superwash wool, 25% Polymaide) 2 skeins Colour: 7411 Tan
I bought these Elann yarns a long long time ago. I thought it was time to use up these in the stash. They are nice and comfortable.

Needles: CP US1

Start date: 03-10-2007
Finish date: 03-25-2007

On a non-knitting note, did you watch the new Discovery series, Planet Earth? Watch it on HD channel if it's available ... simply amazing!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunday ramblings

First of all, I really really have to thank you all ladies who offered your help concerning my camera. I finally figured out how to format the memory stick from the camera. So, I got my disk space back. Such problem never happened before ... so I did a little investigation. And I discovered that if I delete the files from the Mac OS, the camera doesn't recognize the delete and so the disk space remains the same. I have yet to find out if this happens when I delete from Windows.

Something good and something not so good happened over the weekend. Besides recovering the camera's disk space, one other good thing includes finishing the Traveller's Socks:
I'll be able to show you that once they are dry from blocking. Another good thing came in the mail:
Shouldn't I feel spoiled? Another lovely gift from another generous knitter-blogger ... Peggy ... who celebrated the 10,000th visits to her blog ... which happened to be made by me! Woo hoo! Thank you very much, Peggy!

Now comes the not so good thing:
Does Crystal Palace have a life-time guarantee for their needles as Denise?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Random Thursday

I was forced to be random today ... because my camera is sick! Aaarggh! This really sucks! It keeps telling me that there is no space in the memory stick, but actually there is no file on the memory stick. Except this, the camera is working fine! LOL! Anyone knows how to fix this? I am hoping there is something like resetting the whole thing ... you know, like punching the tiny hole at the back of a PDA or a reboot button on the computer tower.

Yesterday, I visited the Knit the Classics blog and was shocked to find that they have moved to the third book of the year! And I am still reading Woman in White! Suddenly feel that I am reading as fast as a turtle.

Last week, I received this book in the mail that blew me away! I love all the bedspread projects ... they are so elegant and gorgeous! Talking about bedspread, a while ago I saw this project on Elann's free patterns page ... it almost ruined my YFC plan!

I am still working on the Traveller's Socks ... but my mind is thinking of what pattern to go with the Panda Cotton ... maybe Monkey from Knitty.

Monday, March 19, 2007

I haven't stopped knitting

... but I don't have anything new to show you. Why? The Forest Path Stole grew from 10 tiers to 16 tiers ... but visually, there isn't much difference:
It is so long now that I figure the best place to photograph it is against the light of the TV screen! But very soon, even that won't do.

I am dying to start a new pair of socks using the Panda Cotton gifted by Debi ... but I know I shouldn't do that ... because that is a sure ticket for accumulating UFOs! So, I also worked a bit on the Traveller's Socks.

The worst of all ... warm season is worming in and I so want to make some summer knits. *sigh*

Friday, March 16, 2007

Totally Irrelevant Friday

I know this is completely unrelated to knitting, but it is also too good not to share:


Wish you all a wonderful weekend ahead.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

This is no Secret Pal

If you've been reading my blog and noticed, I haven't taken part in any Secret Pal thing. We are not going into the why today. Today is a really blissful day for me ... my Forest Path Stole entered Tier 14, I finally got hold of some Wool-Ease in Natural Heather for my Great American Aran Afghan, and I got to know how it would feel to receive a wonderful Secret Pal package:
The only difference is ... there is no Secret Pal. Just look at the card and it'll give a hint who's the sender is ... right, she is the proud human pet of Pumpkin from FluffyKnitterDeb. It was such a wonderful feeling to receive such well-thought gifts. I think the best way to thank her is to turn these lovely yarns into lovely socks using the lovely book! Oh ... this is what I LOVE best among all these goodies:

Paws!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Bright Spring Socks and a couple of squares

The past weekend has been a wonderful one. Daylight is longer and the weather is gorgeous ... we could even swim a bit in the swimming pool! It felt like all the kids in the apartment complex had rushed to the pool already! hahaha ... It seems spring has arrived! And my Bright Spring Socks are also done. Ironically, with spring coming, it is about time for me to pack up my wool socks!


Details:
Pattern: 3k1p ribbing with strong heels (Knitter's Magazine 2003 Fall) and 64 stitches cast on
Talking about strong heel, I am not sure it was such named because it is stronger than other types of heels, or after the writer Gerdine Crawford-Strong. The magazine was several years old and would be difficult to find. Besides, the method described seems to be quite a generic one. So, I guess Gerdine Crawford-Strong wouldn't mind me sharing how to do it here.

The socks are knitted cuff down with 64 stitches cast on. When you've reached the desirable length for the leg, start working on the heel increase (A):
increase round - k1, m1, k to last heel stitch, m1, k1, k the instep stitches (32 stitches)
knit 1 round even
Continue the last 2 rounds until there are 60 stitches for the heels.
Then, start turning the heel (B) using short rows back and forth on the heel stitches:
Row 1 (RS) - k33, ssk, k1, turn
Row 2 (WS) - slip 1, p7, p2tog, p1, turn
Row 3 - slip 1, k8, ssk, k1, turn
Row 4 - slip 1, p9, p2tog, p1, turn
Repeat R3 and R4 until there are 32 stitches remaining.
Start knitting in rounds for the foot.

Using the method, you'll get a stocking stitch heel flap. But if you miss the cushy slipped stitch flap, you can definitely knit it the way you like ... or you can even add a little pattern with a different colour. Very versatile.

Yarn: Lion Brand Magic Stripes (75% wool, 25% nylon) Colour: Bright Spring Stripes
Needles: CP bamboo dpns US1.5
Start date: 02-19-2007
Finish date: 03-08-2007

After finishing the socks, I knew it was time to return to the Forest Path Stole, which I did, but not before making a couple of squares for the Blanket of Hope:


The one on the left is another square I made from the Leisure Arts Afghan booklet and it was called the Candle Tree Square (Sensations Dolcetto in Lime, 54% Wool, 24% Nylon, 22% Cotton). The one on the right is from Barbara Walker's Learn to Knit Afghan Book Square 7 Garter and Rib (Bernat Lana in Smoke, 100% Merino wool). I bought these yarns in single balls some time ago just to try them out. The Sensations Dolcetto was already discontinued. But I really like the Bernat Lana ... it's really soft and the colour I bought is really lovely. I may use it for a cardigan later.

And of course, another pair of socks were also started:
Another pattern I've always loved from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road ... the Traveller's Socks. Lovely intricate pattern, right?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I made 2 socks ...

but they don't make a matching pair:
Can you see the difference?

I was knitting happily the usual way I knit Lion Brand socks - 64 stitches cast on, 3k1p ribbing and short-row heel. Just after I started the second sock, I came across this page about Strong-heel Socks by Gerdine Crawford-Strong on Knitter's Magazine 2003Fall. This method of heel knitting sounds interesting ... and it doesn't involve picking up stitches (though I am a lot better with this now). So, I tried it out when knitting the second sock:
As you can see, the flap and gusset are knitted at the same time as one piece. I didn't follow the suggestion of using the other end of the yarn when turning heel, so the striping on the front was somewhat broken. But it was actually not too visible.

This heel fits quite comfortably. But my feeling while knitting was that it took a bit longer to make ... and more yarn too. So, I weighed the 2 socks ... and my suspicion was confirmed. The short-row heel sock weighed 39g while the strong heel one 41g. I have yet to decide which one I like better. For now, I am happy to have tried something new. So, there is no short-row heel Bright Spring sock anymore.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Clapotis

How would you define the success of a knitting pattern? There are numerous ways ... lots of knitters love it, lots of knitters hate it, lots of knitters have made it, lots of knitters vow never to make it ... but when it comes to Clapotis, I think its success should be defined by how accurately a knitter can always identify it when she/he sees one, no matter if she/he has made one. Just a small photo of a small portion of the wrap, and almost everyone can tell it's a Clapotis.

It was entirely an impromptu FO. I was fumbling in the closet looking for something ... what I couldn't remember. I saw these 3 cakes of yarn left over after knitting Ella. The idea of making Clapotis struck me at that moment. I started and knitted the first section ... and felt that I liked the way it turned out, so I continued. For the entire week last week, I just knitted this project. Since the knitting can become very boring, I knew I had to finish it in the shortest time possible, otherwise, I would lose steam and add another UFO to the stash.

The finished wrap is LARGE ... or maybe I just didn't expect it to be this large. Even the largest beach towel was not big enough for the blocking. So, I enlisted the help of my yoga mat. I am now wondering if I should buy some interlocking foam mats or just another yoga mat for future blocking needs.




Details:
Pattern: Clapotis designed by Kate Gilbert from Knitty Fall 2004
Do I need to say anything more about this? I just want to say that I love the rolling style of the unblocked Clapotis a lot more. After blocking, the whole thing becomes flat ... even though I just let it dry flat without any pinning. Can anyone tell me how to revert it to the pre-blocked state?

Yarn: Araucania's Nature Wool (100% Wool) Labels were lost, so colour unknown
Less than 3 skeins were used. I have a very good feeling using up these yarns ... I feel like I have made a dent in the yarn stash! hahaha ... Besides, the way the variegated colours play out with the pattern is pretty.

Needles: Denise US8

Start date: 02-26-2007
Finish date: 03-03-2007