Archive for March, 2007

On Knitting…

“Slow” is the word for the week, since it pretty much sums up the knitting action that took place. Apart from having BO these, which were put into good use as soon as they were done, nothing new has been started and only managed a few rounds of Dayflower. I predict this week will be no better since not only does my exit paper need some TLC, I must also work on a 10 page take-home exam due next week which the prof. assigned over Spring Break. So much for a Spring Break filled with excessive knitting. Nope, that will have to wait for some other time if I am to graduate in May as planned.

My Take….

Since there isn’t much else to report let me provide my impression of KnitPicks Bare fingering weigth:

1. The price can’t be beat and the chance to play/experiment with dying is such a perk. Really, you’ll feel bad if you mess up the colors but for less than $5 the feeling won’t last that long.

2. The softness factor is there. Bare felt good to touch and was a breeze to knit with. I experienced zero splitting, breaking or unexpected knots. I was a little disappointed upon closer inspection that the yarn does have a little halo effect. For some reason I was expecting a smoother yarn.

3. While the yarn felt nice and toasty on my feet, it did not feel as soft as I expected. Call me crazy, but the socks felt a little crunchy when I stepped on them. Could it be the bit on nylon in the material, the tight gauge or am I being oversensitive? I also noticed at the end of the day that the socks had stretched a tad and had a slight fuzzy factor. Being only the second pair of socks that I knit and wear, I really don’t know if this is normal. Enlighten me if you can.

4. The yarn is superwash and it did OK during my washing machine test. For testing purposes, the socks went into the regular cycle with warm water. The socks came out fuzzier but it’s nothing a sweater stone won’t fix. They retained their shape and gauge. In the future I’ll test a swatch in the gentle cycle to see how they do. Yes, I know hand knits should be either washed in the gentle cycle or by hand, but I wanted to push the limits; and yes I should’ve sacrificed a swatch instead of my socks, but curiosity got the better of me.

Verdict: 4 out of 5 dpn’s. I would not hesitate to buy this yarn again. Not only is the price reasonable, the fun dye able factor makes it a big plus.

On Stash Building…

Did I mention that I lost one of the Pony Pearl dpn’s I was using while knitting my second sock? I lost it in a blink of an eye somewhere in my sofa. I looked high and low for it, but nada. Luckily, I was still left with 4 so I was able to keep knitting but for some reason I prefer knitting with 5.

A few weeks ago I was able to score my first sets of Pony Pearl’s for 50% off at my LYS. Not only did I like the price, I liked the fact that they were 6” long, which made them perfect for knitting socks. After sacrificing the lost one to my hungry sofa, I thought it would be a good idea to head back to the LYS with the hope that I would still find these clearance needles in stock. As you can see from the image, they did.

I manage to find the last set of size 0’s in 5” after meticulously searching the box they were in for over 10 minutes. Who knows what the staff and customers thought of me as I dug and re-dug through that box, but I was determined to find what I was looking for. In the process, I figured I should get a back up set for the 2’s I already have since loosing one is always a possibility plus got the last set of 0’s in 8” because you never know when you’ll need those. One day I’ll knit a sweater in the round using chunky yarn. That justifies the purchase of the 13” size 19 dpn’s, in the mean time, they just add interest to the needle collection. Oh yes, that is a skein of Sirdar Snuggly plus some Interweave Press word play magnets which were clearance items as well. All this as the result of one little needle. Tell me, is this justifiable?

Until next time, happy knitting and stash building to all.


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Shake your booties, or anklets, or whatever you call them. Here lay my “Short and Sweet” “Bed of Roses” submission for February’s Socktopia theme. In this case I’ve managed to kill two birds with one stone. Whether two themes in one pair of socks is allowed or not doesn’t matter because I feel I’ve accomplished my own objectives.

About the booties:

Pattern: The inspiration came from Pom Squad and the “leg,” heel, and toe came from Embossed Leaves. Since I didn’t want to distract from the yarn’s coloring, I decided to knit in plain old stockinette for the foot.
Yarn: Approx. 200 yds of KnitPicks Bare hand dyed by yours truly with Kool-Aid in lime, lemon, berry blue and by accident: tropical punch. Feel free to read about this little mistake in my previous post.
Needles: US size 0


I found these socks a lot more enjoyable to knit than my first pair. Maybe it was the different yarn, or maybe the anticipation of seeing how my colors fell into place.

I really digged the little details of these socks. The heel and gusset are easy to do plus look nice and clean. Notice the way the gusset came out on these socks. The stitching has some definition to it.

Unfortunately I only managed that look on one side. The other side looks like this:

My goal is to find out a way to make both sides of this area to look the same and get a symmetrical looking sock.

I did cheat a little in the rejoining of the leg and heel since I hate weaving in loose ends. Instead of cutting the yarn at the point where the turn heel is completed in order to start the pickup of stitches at the flap, I continued using the method used in Knit Dorm Socks. This modification worked out well for me.

The forming and finishing of the toe is awesome. I’ll likely use this technique again since it gives a very clean result and there is zero grafting involved. Yay!!!

I’m off to plan the next pair of socks for this month.

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On Knitting….

Knit, knit…frog. Knit, knit…frog. That’s been the theme for the past couple of weeks. Luckily it’s been more knitting than frogging and a little bit of dyeing as a bonus.

Let me start with my WIP. The Dayflower Shawl has progressed in baby steps since I first started. There have been a few little bumps along the road but nothing to justify frogging more than a few stitches back. I’ve been lucky to catch my errors sooner than later and the ease of the pattern really helps with that. At this point I am 2/3’s done with the second repeat and am truly enjoying the pattern.

Here are some things I’ve learned along the way:

My stitching became very loose at one point after moving on to circulars. I just couldn’t control the silk’s tension since it is so slippery. As it is, I am a very loose knitter and have to go down at least two needle sizes to get the correct gauge. I hadn’t tried wrapping the yarn twice around my finger because past experience proved useless, not only did the yarn not move, I’d end up with a blue finger. In an act of desperation I tried the double wrap with the silk. OMG, it actually worked!! The silk’s slipperiness helped it flow even with the tighter tension caused by the two wraps around my finger. After knitting a couple of rounds this way, the pattern is looking so much better and I am more excited and motivated than ever to keep on knitting this baby.

Stitch markers are really needed for this pattern and believe me, I gave in and place one after every repeat. Now I can tell where I’m at and what I should be knitting; plus, if I make a mistake, I can easily locate the error and fix it. Stitch markers quickly become a necessity when you knit in the round and have a lot of repeats present.

Socktopia’s February theme is almost due and I got into gear only two weeks ago. I dyed 2 hanks KnitPicks Bare. Once hank I wanted pink and purplish in honor of Valentine’s Day and the other one I planned for shades of green and some blue for March’s “It Ain’t Easy Being Green” theme. Well I got the results I planned for pink/purple hank. The green/blue was turning out nice until I got a pack of Kool-Aid I thought was blue. I froze when I dumped some of the contents into the pot where my green/blue masterpiece was soaking. OMG!!! The water was turning red. OMG, the yarn was soaking that red like it was starving for color. OMG, my green socks weren’t meant to be. Oh well, “Life is like a box of chocolates…”

Waiting patiently for the yarn to dry and be run through the winder.

Closeup of my little cakes ready to be knit into some toasty socks. Notice how sparse the green became after that little hank decided it loved red Kool-Aid.

While my yarn dried and waited to be wound, I selected IK’s Winter ‘05 Embossed Leaves Socks for my “Short and Sweet” Socktopia submission. I modified the pattern to make ankle socks. Unfortunately, once again, my loooooose knitting was an obstacle. I was able to finally get the correct tension halfway through the sock but at that point I did not feel like frogging and starting the same pattern over again. Instead I opted for something different even though I loved knitting the pattern.

I got my to be green/blue yarn and decided to knit some booties instead using the basics in the Embossed Leaves. I was sticking to the “short and sweet” theme. As I knitted up the bootie, I liked the mistake yarn more and more. I couldn’t wait to see what the next color effect would be produced and the little hint of green was a lovely touch IMO. A “Bed of Roses” comes to mind when I see the yarn knitted up. I’m ready to start the gusset and hope to be finish with the second bootie by the end of this week.

On Stash Building….

I couldn’t resist discontinuedbrandnameyarn.com offer of 100% Bamboo at the price they had so I broke down and ordered the lilac. All I have to say is that the color is exquisite. I hope everyone took advantage of this offer and has some of this pretty yarn in their stash.

Until next time. Happy Knitting and Stash Building to all!!

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