27 June 2007

It's not The Monkey, it's Me

I started The Monkey a few times. I wasn't convinced about the fit of the cast on and over-thought my response to the Claudia yarn's tendency to pool in this the Chocolate Cherry version. I tried a second time on a needle a size up, but then I thought the lace was too loose. Third time, I had a plan. I would alternate yarn by row. That's what people do, or so I read. Perfect plan. And I doubled up on the yarn in the cast on, a strategy borrowed from the IK Rib and Cable sock. Liked the way the colors alternated in the ribbing.

Not surprisingly, the yarn continued to artfully elude my attempts to control it. I unleashed pooling in a broad swath. Really thought it was pretty, though. The tone on tone variations were really pretty as pooled.

Soldiered on alternating skeins by row and started to puzzle over how the other sock WOULD look. Would I get that synchronous pooling from the alternating skeins? I realized at the heel I would need to stop alternating, particularly as the spot for alternating was dead center back. No worries. Tackled the heel. Marched onto the foot and resumed alternating from the two skeins. Discovered that I was creating a more visible ridge in the foot than I'd noticed in the leg.

Tried it on. Sure enough, that visual ridge was also a nice firm one underfoot. Rats.

The fourth time will be the charm.

26 June 2007

Restraint or Heat?

It is with a measure of respectable restraint that I find I am not making much knitting progress on projects already suffering on the needles. Similarly, I have managed to pretend to cast on for the Monkey socks, but it's a no-go. I really can't permit myself to do much except for stitching together the pieces of the messenger bags.

I've stiched up the length of each bag's strap, matching cast-off to bind-off in 200 precise little stitches, - 200 per strap, one strap per bag.

Stitching on the overlay takes a little less precision, though I'm a bit obsessed about getting the stitches along the edges of the overlay to run along a precise column of stitches. One is about half done, and the other awaits attention.

Maybe it's the heat. Who can think enough to start something afresh?
So I'll sew.

I may have cheated in other ways. It's true. I've also sewn most of a blouse.

I like sewing cotton in the summer. It takes me back to my teen years, sewing madly a wardrobe of blouses for 2.00 apiece or less. I don't even mind standing at the ironing board. Maybe I'll go home and cut out a skirt.

20 June 2007

Just the same, only different

During March, when I endured the first week of the evil flu that really hammered some of the adults in my circles, I worked on pieces of a Boom Bag messenger bag for one of my nieces. Her sister requested a bag of the same pattern, only with stripes and a flap.
The navy is from a stash of Bartlett's I've had long enough to have moved across the country once and probably twice. It was meant to be a sweater.* When navy was requested, I decided the fates were telling me to move on from the sweater notion. I knit the underlying bag of navy and have saved the striped bit for the Boom Bag overlay, now with stripey flap. Okay, so you can't really tell it's navy in these pictures. Funny, seemed clear on the camera.

Similarly, the black is from all those bits of the UFO Maine Monster I frogged clear back in September 2006.** I purchased the offwhite. Imagine: I was out. Unfortunately, I didn't have my thinking cap tied on tightly enough. I purchased Cascade 220 - a fine yarn, but actually a little lighter a worsted weight than the navy or the black. The striping pattern utilized the ever famous random stripe generator. I generated the pattern at 4 row stripes and decided to play with the proportions by knitting all blue stripes for 6 rows, all ivory stripes 4 rows, and all black stripes 2 rows. Even kept the same number of rows: I counted to be sure I had the same number of blue and black, naturally.

And now this is off the needles. Only have to make the strap for this one. Then I must stitch together the pieces of both bags and we're off to the washer.

* eh, I was going to link text in here to the Stash post with the picture of the Bartletts. Not much of a picture, and that 1 April 2006 post is just too lengthy for loading. Didn't want to annoy anyone, so I've abandoned that.
** abandoned that link, too. I could find the post, but then I couldn't capture the permalink with out going back page by page. I think I need to find and to learn about installing more helpful navigating tools.

19 June 2007

Counting, as of May 2007

Last May I posted a Summer to Summer tally of the knitting I'd done that year. It's surprisingly full of small projects. Must have been due to the increase in commuting via public transportation. (Good reminder. It's summer. Need to increase that habit again.)

I've been running the list in the sidebar, and it's time for a little housekeeping.

May 2007:
Steel Penny sweater
HBCute Kimono (okay, I have to finish a seam, but it's done, really.)

hats, 7
black purl baby hat & matching booties

another pair of booties
Hedera socks
Fuzzy Feet, 4 pr
Aunt socks
Lorna socks, 2
Bearfoot Rib & Cable sock - first sock done but too small. Must redo.

gift scarves, 2
Kitty Pi, 2.5 (lost a half-finished one)
fingerless mitts, 2 pr
washcloths, 5

Simple Socks

Earlier this winter I was determined to knit a quick sock. I had some lovely Shepherd's Sock in Ravenswood. Having grown up taking the Ravenswood el line, I was much pleased that the colorway had nothing to do with Brown. I have never been a fan of the no-longer-new color-name scheme for renaming the not very complicated transit system in Chicago.

The colors were posted most effectively in this November post. I revisited them and finished in May. Since I hadn't gotten too far, I applied Wendy's gusset heel pattern, just on the heels of its appearance as a pattern she so generously shared. I decided the bulk of the sport weight yarn was worth giving straight-forward stockinette a fair shake.
I was pleased with the sock as a very quick, end of the term and easy on the brain project. Even managed to finish under the influence.

The martini's influence didn't harm the sock, but it did clearly impair the judgement of the photographer, who might well have waited until morning for better light.

16 June 2007


I've not been very posty this spring. This year. I've been productive, though.

I've also been unplugged for stretches at a time. That's not bad, though.

Finished a pair of socks. Tackled some sewing repair. Did some cleaning at home. Worked on archiving some old sewing patterns. (Archiving gets them into a system where I can access them and use them.) Have been working on knitting a messenger bag for a niece - the second of a set. Tackled The Monkey Sock, and realized I'd sent myself down an unfortunate road. Took it apart - took pictures, and will share the adventure. I'll be redoing - a really enjoyable knit, my 4th start notwithstanding. (I'll explain, I will.)

Had a spare moment at a computer, so I thought I'd step up, post, leave a picture conveniently uploaded to photobucket on a previous occasion, and be a better blog ring member.

Excuse me, though. Won't be gone as long as before, but it is time to unplug again!