Thursday, April 30, 2009

Two out of five


I've snapped another size 1 bamboo dpn.

This is getting ridiculous.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

You know it's time to do laundry...

Today I put on hand-knitted socks and wore them out of the house.

I'm not sure I've ever done that before.

Friday, April 24, 2009

"Uh-oh" or "Oh, an opportunity!"?

Just found out my landlord will not be renewing my lease. I guess I should have seen this coming, since I told them I probably would not be staying, but I realized how inconvenient moving would be right now, and couldn't find a decent place I liked well enough to justify the trouble of moving, and during a phone conversation on Tuesday I was told that I could still sign the new lease, no problem, and they'd do all the repairs I keep asking them to do. And today I was told otherwise. So, I have less than a week to find a new place and move my ass into it.

I have an appointment to look at a place on Saturday afternoon, but if that doesn't pan out, I need to know where to look next. If you live in Chicago and know of a place that will accept 2 cats, is available May 1, and is around $650 per month or less, please, let me know! I found my current place on short notice, so I know this can turn out all right... but I'm still panicking a little bit!

It's 8 o'clock on Friday. I can't do anything about this tonight. Got my Knitpicks order today (finally!), and have two gifts to work on, plus my own project. Should I knit, or should I pack? Hhhmmmmm......

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The really cool thing about all this...

If you're someone who doesn't go out much, then suddenly decides it's time to be social, or

If you're new in town and don't know anyone, or

If you just figure it's time to meet some new people, or

If you've got nothing else to do on a given evening, or

If you happen to be shopping when your favorite craft store has their knit night...

You show up, sit down next to someone, and say "What are you working on?"

I've sporadically attended a few local knitting groups, including a brief appearance at tonight's meetup group. It's amazing how anyone from anywhere could just show up and ask "Can I join you?" and... they can!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Now it's an actual toothpick


I broke my toothpick!

And by "toothpick" I mean "size 1 bamboo dpn".

And by "broke" I mean "broke". In half.


Dramatic representation of the tragic event:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I'm in grad school, and spend two evenings per week in class. Tonight's class was interesting and informative, full of useful information, engaging and entertaining, but none of that mattered, because I could not get my mind off the cuffs on the professor's sweater. It looked machine-made, but I'm pretty sure I could have reproduced it, if only I could have gotten a good, close-up look at the way the cables met the cuffs!

Fortunately, I was able to restrain myself from walking up to this poor woman after class and saying, "Excuse me, may I please closely examine your shirt for a few minutes? Would you mind just taking it off and turning it inside out so I can take a look at the reverse side? Please? Just for a minute?"

I'm pretty sure that would have meant an automatic F. And possibly a referral to social services.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Note to self

Dear Self:

The size one needles looked like a good idea, didn't they? Making socks with them seemed like a fine, idea, too, right? But next time? Try something less likely to take weeks and drive you bonkers.



Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Reasons to not finish a sweater

I started the Shapely Tank, from Joan McGowan-Michael at White Lies Designs, last year, and it's still a WIP. Or, to be more specific, it's still only half made. After I'd started, I read in a forum (Ravelry, I think) that the hip measurement is meant to be a high hip measurement, rather than a full hip measurement. Since I sized it based on the measurement at the largest part of my hips, this top was always going to be a little looser than suggested. To complicate matters further, I've lost weight since I started!

The front panel is done to just before the short rows, which may no longer be necessary due to the large size. The back panel is done to the same point, since I wanted to be certain both panels were the right size before I did any further shaping. I pinned the edges of both pieces together, with the active stitches on a string, and slipped it over my torso. And... yep. Too big. And now I can't decide whether to keep going, or rip it and start over, or rip it and start a new pattern.

So there it sits, mocking me with its unfinishedness.

Monday, April 6, 2009

First Post: On My Toes!

For my inaugural post at this blog, I thought I'd discuss my current favorite method of constructing a toe for a toe-up sock.

When I made my first pair of socks, I used a short-row toe. I liked the look of it, and didn't find the wrapped and double-wrapped stitches to be quite as annoying as people on the various online forums claimed. However, when I found the magic cast-on, I was almost an immediate convert. I say almost because, even though it was a quicker and easier way to make a toe, I didn't like those wide "stripes" that occur on both sides of the toe when you work the increases as many patterns suggest: knit a stitch or two at the beginning of the round, increase (I like a lifted increase), knit to almost the midway point, increase, knit a few stitches, increase, and so on, so that there are a few stitches between each increase. I found that the finished product looked a little blocky and somehow not as nice as a short-row toe. After a little playing around, I realized the obvious: all I needed to do to create a smoother and better-shaped toe was to eliminate the stitches between the increases.

After casting on using the magic cast-on (or a figure 8 cast-on, or any other manner of two-needle cast-on), place a stitch marker at the beginning/end of the round, and another at the halfway point of the round. After knitting one plain round, slip the marker, and L1B in the first stitch. Knit all the way to the second marker, and do L1A in the last stitch. Slip the marker, and repeat. Work these two rows until you've got as many stitches as you need for your foot. The result has the look and shape of a short-row toe, but without any wrapped stitches, turning, or purling.

Fortissima Socka in Sea Blue, with size 1 needles:

Mirasol Hacho, with size 6 needles: