Almost had it

Winter, that is. We are now adrift in a big pile of snow that got dumped on us. A few days late for my tastes even. Here I thought all this winter knitting was going to put the whole thing off, so I’d never even need my knitting. The irony of it all. But alas, I am not a strong enough knitter to keep winter at bay for too long.

Which is why I’m glad these are coming along quite nicely.

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There’s one completely finished, and the other is already halfway done.

As others before me have taken note, there is a special joy in looking at the inside of thrummed mittens, thrummed anything, really.

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And I love the roving as well. My favorite is one of the middle chunks of roving. It looks like unicorn hair.

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Well, at least these mittens nearly being done means that even though the winter is really and truly here, my hands will be superbly warm.

The Aftermath

Now Christmas is good and over. For another year at least. It leaves me with the sense that I’ll really have to start next year’s knitting now. Or maybe next week. This one is going to be a bit picture heavy to get everyone caught up, since the holiday meant a bit of radio silence.

The good and the bad. I didn’t end up finishing all of the socks. I did get the grey pair wrapped up and gifted for Christmas day, and the gloves from forever ago also went to their respective home. The blue pair is now, however, finished.

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I finished these bad boys yesterday. I’m just glad to have them off the needles. Another pair on now, though.

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Although, these ones are interesting, since there’s a lovely chart I get to follow. So it keeps me on my toes. I’m also kept on my toes by the learning of the magic loop method. I sort of dove into the deep end with this one and decided that upon first learning the method, that I’d go ahead and just do them two up. It was a bit more fiddly than if I’d tried to learn the magic loop with just one sock, but I definitely have the technique down now. It’s a good go to for sock knitting, but I honestly still think I prefer my double points. I do like this method for hats or other type of circular objects that I don’t want to get fifty million different lengths of circular needle for.

I got a nice little haul for Christmas as well.

Some Wool of the Andes from Knitpicks and three books I’ve been eyeing. I’m getting my knitting library rounded out. Nothing like a little EZ for some light reading.

Another project has made its way onto my needles as well.

I’m making thrummed mittens with my Shepherd’s Wool merino, and the roving I got last month. They are so soft. And it’s keeping me interested in my other knitting since I get to take mini breaks to thrum more floofies. I’ve been treating the floofies as a reward for getting a set amount of the chart knitted up.

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All this sock knitting has also given me splitty fingers. It only hurts when I accidentally stab a 2.25mm needle into the split, then start shrieking in agony. I also managed to get a lovely amount of green food dye into one of the splits that only just recently all came out, no matter how many times I washed my hands.

Tomorrow, I intend to go to the yarn store and procure some more lace weight, I think. Or perhaps more roving. These thrums are growing on me.

Never Tell Me The Odds

That’s what I’m thinking when people think I’ve gone crazy with the Christmas knitting. And perhaps I have. The biggest set back I had was all of the homework. Damned school. I mean, it’s not like I’m paying to go there and have all my knitting time squandered, right? Wait…

Regardless! Here is an update on the sock front.

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Exactly three socks totally done. This last one is testing my patience, however. I’m only 25 rows from finishing the leg though. I don’t think this one is going to make it for Christmas, but I’ll have one sock under the tree at least. Right?

This last sock has committed some pretty egregious crimes. First the damn skein took a dive on a plate of leftover ranch. I managed to perform emergency surgery and isolate the ranchy parts, saving everything but the outermost layer from contact. Then I took a damp paper towel and got off what had gotten on the skein, then patted it down dry enough with a clean paper towel. I was even able to keep knitting with it that same night, aside from the occasional crunchy bit. You can’t see it though, so it’ll wash right out the first time these go in the machine.

Next, the sock decided to test my patience by having an entire row that I needed to ladder down and fix because for some reason I went space cadet and instead of 3×3 rib I decided to just knit all the things.

And today when I picked it up, the working yarn decided to play a fun little game that I didn’t notice until I worked a full round and found this

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The working yarn decided to wrap around the needle and leave a nice little loopy that meant that I had to tink back the whole row.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think this sock didn’t want to be knit. We’ll see about that. I will not be bested by a damned sock.

Et tu, gauge check?

My gauge checker contraption, pictured here, is also a filthy lying liar pants.

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See if you can figure out why. I’ll wait.

Well, enough waiting, I’m just going to tell you.

It’s a filthy liar because the numbers directly under both the US 9 and US 10 needle sizes are totally wrong in mm. This stupid piece of crap says that a size 10 needle should be 5.75mm. This would mean that when I attempted to double check my US10 addi turbo, that I was faced with a small dilemma. The damned thing wouldn’t fit. Curses.

I have verified with the packaging

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and with the needle itself

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This is in fact a 6mm circular needle. I have done a quick google search, and have since verified that the Skacel people are not in fact imbibing any kind of illegal substances that would make them think that a US10 needle was not 6mm if in fact it really wasn’t. They are correct. It is the Boye needle gauge checkers who are in fact wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. And I won’t stand for this kind of injustice. I paid approximately $1 for this hunk of plastic and it doesn’t even do what it’s supposed to. (never mind that I get what I pay for). I only bought the stupid thing because my Susan Bates knit-chek was forever lost. Susan Bates never let me down, Boye, what makes you think you can jerk this knitter around? Huh?

Regardless of this small setback, I have dutifully (finally) swatched out the stitches which I plan to use in constructing some throw pillows.

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This obviously isn’t the full design, but I was tinkering with the idea of a seed stitch outer edge versus a stockinette stitch one. The stockinette won. It’s beautiful and will mix in well with the stockinette back (because I’m too lazy to cable a side that most people won’t see when the pillow is on the couch). I wanted my pillow to be styled after an aran sweater. I love how the cables frolick with one another. It’s charming.

I wish the pillows weren’t going to be knit with acrylic, but I’m not spending a bunch of money on wool that my cats will just end up throwing up all over. No thank you. Especially since once I sew the bad boys up, they will be locked in. Forever.

On another note, I did manage to give the headband to the happy recipient who noted “It is soft!”

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I think it looks fetching.

 

Vacation!

Yay, a knitting vacation. Not to say a vacation from knitting, so much as it’s finally winter break and I have boat loads of time to knit now. My schooling and my stress is finally done for the semester and I have a lovely three weeks of time to spend finishing Christmas presents and catching up on Doctor Who and Merlin with my honey.

I’ve spent this time productively getting my hair cut.

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Here, pictured with said honey, who was being a doof.

Also, I packed some light holiday knitting

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(code for this entire bag full with skeins and roving). I mean to be fair, its only the yarn for the sweater, the thrummed mittens,  the pillows, the glittens, the rest of the socks, plus honey’s socks, plus a little more for a pair for me, and the lace weight in case I wanted to start a wee lace project. It’s not that much. And totally not overpacking for three weeks. Definitely not. It’s just….variety. In case I get bored. (Nevermind I also packed my cross stitch). Okay, so I may have gone a little overboard, but that’s what I get for depriving myself for so long because of school. So. Yeah. Yarn. Who needs project monogamy anyways? (I told you guys a case of startitis was brewing)

Just keep knitting

Sing that one to the tune of “Just keep swimming” and you’ll have my life currently as the big beast of Christmas roars its ugly head in the distance. Sorry for the radio silence, between exams and the large amount of boring knitting I’m doing it didn’t seem like I had much of interest to add to the blog. But hereafter I show you the depths of my craziness.

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This is the aggregate of sock knitting I have done thus far. These need to become two full pairs of socks before Christmas day. I am confident I will have at least one sock from each pair for gifting by then, but I’d like to just be done with it at that point. This isn’t even counting the other pair I have to make for my boyfriend for Christmas either. This is just for his family members. This also isn’t counting the two throw pillows I plan to make for my father, which are supposed to be done by this Saturday….and aren’t even cast on yet (nor pattern noted nor swatched out, I might add).

Meanwhile I’m fighting with school deadlines, living my life in the University library and generally just trying to keep from using my yarn as a tissue to gently weep into before slowly euthanizing myself by wool.

But hey, we broke open a pinata yesterday for no other reason than it was a pinata and we are in college. So…there’s that. That’s interesting right?

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(pardon my appearance, I’m ten shades of crazy mixed in with a little bit of panic because of all the deadlines. Makeup falls to the background in these deadline induced situations)

 

Unorthodox

I’ve been known from time to time to do things slightly…unconventionally. Like that time I tried to knit two socks in one, you all remember that fiasco right? Hahahaha…ahem.

So after finishing the first sock of the first pair, I, in my infinite wisdom, decided that the last bits of the ball would make excellent waste yarn for the rest of the socks. So I stuffed it in my knitting bag and didn’t give it another thought.

Sometime in between setting the socks down temporarily while I finished other Christmas gifts and packing the socks up for a weekend off campus, I totally forgot the purpose of this tiniest of skeins. So when I dumped the contents of my knitting bag out onto my bed, I did repack things like my scissors and my tapestry needles, my needle gauge and my tape measure. I did not however repack my waste yarn. I saw it, sitting all innocently in the pile of spilled contents and thought “oh, wow, you know what I’ll do? I’ll be totally organized and go put this back in the stash”. Lo, I proudly placed it in the stash, nodded to myself (feeling ever so smug that I had gotten the hang of this whole “putting things back where they belong” thing), and went on my merry way, socks in tow.

Well it just so happens that I finished the leg on the navy sock and needed that waste yarn for the instep stitches while I made the heel. I rooted through my knitting bag, ever am I  the prepared knitter, and came up empty handed. Then it all dawned on me, like a bolt of lightning crashing down on my feeble brain, and I will tell you that what came out of my mouth was not ladylike.

I then attempted to cannibalize the insides of the skeins of sock yarn that I do have, being loathe to chop off either of the working yarns and reattach them for a twelve inch piece of %^$@& waste yarn. So after nearly completely disemboweling the skeins I still couldn’t find the other end on either.

Then I spotted these, laying unobtrusively on my boyfriend’s floor.

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I checked the thickness and was like AHA! I snipped the ear pieces off and ended up with a little rubber string like this

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Which then became this

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I am nothing if not resourceful. I will also confide that once while making a pair of socks, I didn’t have a tapestry needle, so I made clever use of a bobby pin to graft the toe closed. I will not be defeated by my knitting.