The Sordid Truth

I should be knitting my second pink cable-rib sock. The progress?
Not much.
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“She’s done only TWO rounds of gusset decreases! What’s a first sock gotta do to get a second?!” The First Pink Cable-Rib Sock.

But the first Oak Ribbed Sock (with heel mods) in lovely blue stripes is coming along famously.
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No excuse.

And what’s happened here?!
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The Shame!
The start of a leg in Pennant Stitch from More Sensational Knitted Socks in Sundara’s Lenten Rose yarn.

Oh, no.
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The Temptation.
Habu Tsumugi 100% silk yarn (color 33). 450 yd.

Must. Knit. Pink. Sock.

Chevron Scarf: Pattern Notes

I wove the ends in on the Chevron Scarf this evening after not knitting all weekend. I needed a weekend to read fiction, and I can’t read and knit simultaneously. So I read two 300+ page novels and didn’t knit. But now it’s time to knit again, and so I’ll clear the decks and get this FO post done. The Chevron Scarf blocked out better than I had hoped.
Chevron Scarf
Yarns: Fleece Artist Merino sock yarn in Burgundy and Woodland (I have over 75 g left of each 115 g skein!!) Striped socks?
Needles: US size 4 Clover bamboo
Blocked dimensions: 6.5 x 44 inches (I wanted a short scarf)

Chevron Scarf stitch detail
Truer colors in this photo.

Stitch pattern: 1 stitch at each edge in garter, which folded under very nicely, leaving a clean edge, then between these garter edge stitches, 3 repeats of 15 stitches (cast on 47 st):

Row 1 (RS): *K2tog, K5, YO, K1, YO, K5, Sl1, K1, psso*

Row 2: Purl

Repeat these 2 rows for pattern.

I used a cable cast-on and used a size 6 needle for binding off. There are two rows of stockinette after the cast-on before starting the pattern and two rows before binding off, both in the burgundy yarn. Easy peasy and nice and pointy.

The scarf was just glad to finally get to meet the coat of its dreams, my “black coffee” brown, wide-wale corduroy peacoat:
Chevron Scarf and Coffee Peacoat
Finally, doll face, we’re together! The perfect harmony of chevron merino and black coffee corduroy.–Chevron Scarf.
Who are you?–Coffee Peacoat.
I’m your destiny. We are meant to be together for all time.–CS
Well, I hope you don’t think this is an exclusive deal. I happen to know there’s going to be a lot more scarf knitting going on at chez Molecular Knitting. And if you think I’m going to stick only with you when I know there’s a red sportweight alpaca scarf on the horizon, you need your head examined.–CP
You wound me, angel! I don’t match any of her other jackets or coats! I need you to be true.–CS
If I had a dime for every two-bit merino scarf that sang that sad song, I’d have a diamond stick pin in my lapel.–CP

Perhaps it’s best if we leave this sad little scene. I’ll try to find something else that I can also wear with the chevron scarf. I had no idea my peacoat was such heartless coat about town! It must get very bored with just me to wear her.

Well, I’m off to work on the pink cabled-rib sock. Time’s running out on my self-imposed deadline.

Happy knitting, everyone!

ETA:  M ran a daiquiri experiment on Sunday.  You can read about it on Cocktails with M.   It was very tasty!

Double Tagged!

Both Lorraine and Megan have tagged me for the 7 Random Facts Meme. Before I get tagged by anyone else, I figure I better answer up.

Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write in their blogs 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and need to read your blog.

The 7 Facts:
1. I’ve lived in 6 states: New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Kentucky and California.
2. I horseback rode from the ages of 10-17–English saddle, dressage, Morgan horses. I’d like to ride again even though I was thrown by a quarter horse into a metal gate and broke my right shoulder blade when I was 34.
3. I’m an avid mystery reader, but a very, very fussy one, too. I don’t like to be able to figure the mystery out. Raymond Chandler, Robert van Gulik, Susanna Gregory, Rex Stout, and Candace Robb are my favorite mystery authors.
4. I married M when I was 35 and he was 2 weeks from turning 30. I had lived alone for 9 years before that. It was a big adjustment but very much worth it. Most people think M is older than I am, a fact I am rather fond of–M not so much.
5. I have one sibling, my younger brother, who I call Bunky. He calls me Wuzzie. No one else calls us by those nicknames.
6. I’ve never had a cavity. I don’t floss either, and my dentist told me I really didn’t need to, but she’d like me to anyway on general principles.
7. I love to drive unless I have to look for a parking space. When we’re together M only drives if I don’t want to. Heavy traffic doesn’t bother me.

I’m tagging PCR, Kim, Alison, Kristy, Christy, Rachel and Mayhem.

And now that Mother’s Day is past, I have to show you what I sent my mom because it all started with a great etsy find.
Mother's Day gift to Mom
Photo by Bunky.
The Laurel Birch tapestry tote bag is from Janine King’s etsy shop. It’s not knitting specific, but Mom does a lot of stuff, so a general zippered tote works for her. The workmanship is top notch. I was extremely pleased with the quality and price of the bag. Mom has been knitting socks from the same free Lion Brand pattern for three years, so I thought she might like a few more options hence the copy of Sensational Knitted Socks, and it seemed unsporting to send a book on knitting socks without sending sock yarn. Mom seems pleased. My work is done.

Aran Pocket Shawl: Pattern Notes

On Monday, Lorraine asked me to do a FO post on the Aran Pocket Shawl. This morning I found out she tagged me for a meme. I hear and obey! However, I’m going to do the FO post first, as I need a little time to think of 7 random facts about myself (no need to dwell on that difficulty). So, here is the Aran Pocket Shawl without pockets!

Aran Pocket Shawl in Morning Sun

The blocking went very well. I soaked it for 15-20 minutes in water (I have so many detergent sensitivities that I usually block in water) in a big tub (which can double as a light diffuser!) and then threw it in my fancy-shmancy frontload washer with two large, dark bath towels for a low speed spin. I had trepidations (and the shawl palpitations), but all came out well. I didn’t pin the shawl but just laid it flat on towels on the floor and let it dry. It came out at nearly 7 feet long by about 2 feet wide.

Aran Pocket Shawl

The Berroco Ultra Alpaca worked well, although I would sometimes hit a stretch of yarn several inches long that was thicker than the rest. Only once was it bad enough to break the yarn and bypass it, but I didn’t like it all the same. The color is very rich and there was very little bleeding when I blocked it. I also thought it was a nice yarn to show a knit-purl stitch pattern well. I knit 25 of the 28 repeats called for, and Ultra Alpaca is a worsted weight yarn as is the yarn called for in the pattern. However, the pattern calls for 7 skeins at 220 yd/skein, and I used about 4.5 skeins at 215 yd/skein.

stitch pattern detail

I have the second printing (copyright 2000) of Folk Shawls by Chery Oberle. The pattern is very well written, but this printing has an error. To make both ends of the shawl look the same, you need to do rows 1-15 only of the last pattern repeat before the seed stitch border; the text tells you to do rows 1-16 (it’s an 18 row repeat). I enjoyed the pattern; it was easy to memorize but not tedious. I went a little seed stitch/basketweave crazy toward the end, but it was all worth it.

This is my seventh completed project for 2007. I have the chevron scarf done too but for weaving in the ends (personally, I think it unwove the ends, as I was sure I had already done that), but that will have to wait until after I do the meme. Lorraine is the mother of two teenagers, and several of my friends here are also the mothers of teenagers (I’ve been offered many teenage children to take home–no give backs!). It’s best to keep the moms happy I’ve found.

WIP Status

We won’t be discussing the second pink cable-rib sock today. SSS has set in bad. Since it is the last project with my old way of tensioning the yarn, and I think I have figured out a new way that will work for me, finishing this sock in the old way (a must really) is driving me nuts. I’ve given myself to the end of May to finish it–I’m half way through the heel flap. Yes, it’s that bad.

Anyhoo, moving on, there is a new sock in the works, featuring the new knitting! The pattern is the Oak Ribbed Sock from Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush.
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Left: Regia Cotton in Surf Colors (wool/cotton/polyamid), 63 st sock leg on 3 mm (US 2.5) needles. Right: Sockotta (wool/cotton/polyamide), 56 st sock leg on 2.75 mm (US 2) needles. Both socks: Oak Ribbed Pattern.

Add seven stitches, go up a needle size, and get a slightly smaller sock. My new way of tensioning is a little tighter, and the resulting fabric is much better. It pays to study the basic knitting technique pictures in how-to-knit books. Who would have thought!? Moving right along…
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A scarf for M! Pinnacle Chevron pattern from Barbara Walker #1, p26.

I have nearly 4 skeins of Berocco Ultra Alpaca in dark green left from my Aran Pocket Shawl (which needs a FO post!), and I decided that an excellent way to practice knitting in the new way was a knit and purl patterned scarf for M. He is quite partial to dark green, and the Pinnacle Chevron is reversible, so perfect for a scarf. As Barbara Walker points out, this fabric can be left unblocked and the ribs will look like mock cables (photo above), or it can be blocked to open the ribs, emphasizing the chevrons:
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These are the projects that are working. I need to take the start of my fuschia fulled tote to my LYS because I think I need larger needles and I want to discuss this with the owner. I also have some Jo Sharp yarn that I may start knitting into a log cabin pillow top to felt. My aunt made M and I a “half log cabin” quilt for a wedding gift 8 years ago, and the yarn I have would compliment it well, and as I have a lot of the lightest color, and several darker colors in smaller amounts, the half log cabin might be just the ticket. But you’ll have to come back to see…

Diffusing Light and Pink Knitting

Well, I promised to tell you the trick I learned for diffusing light, thereby getting rid of shadows. I learned this a while ago from Domesticat. An article on photographing beadwork in the new June issue of Bead and Button magazine, spurred me to try it. My first diffuser worked better than the one I am using today, but today’s will work for demonstrative purposes. Here it is in all its high tech glory:

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Yes, it’s a translucent, plastic wash tub with a light shining through it. It should be a bit more opaque and whiter for clearer color, but it does help (see the B&B article for more home-made diffusers). I do use a small tripod and the timer setting on my camera, a Canon PowerShot A510. I usually choose aperture mode so I can set the aperture and let the camera set the shutter speed, so setting the 2 second timer means I am not touching the camera at all when it takes the picture. I thought about getting a SLR camera a couple of months ago, but my back really, really wanted a new mattress for our bed, so the camera needs to wait a bit.

Here’s a close-up of the project in the tub:

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Oooo, garter stitch!

It’s the start of a felted bag in Lamb’s Pride bulky, color fuschia. I’m knitting it using my new way to hold the yarn and tighten up my tension. But before I get too carried away with my new way of knitting, which I’ll talk about later, I need to finish my last project knitting in the old way. Therefore, we have the pink cabled rib sock:

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The second sock is mid-heel flap. I like the sock, but the Tofutsies yarn is very splitty, which is kind of annoying. I have already planned in my head the second variation of the cable rib sock, so I want to get this pair done. I need to do some swatching in the round with some left over sock yarn to see what sorts of gauges I get with my new yarn hold. I think it will all work out well, but a little swatching will smooth the way.

To the needles!

Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered my contest! I really enjoyed reading all the stories behind the knitting blog names, and I know a lot of contestants did also. I found out about many new blogs, too, so it’s all good! I wish I had yarn to give to each contestant, but with 121 entries (my last contest had 12) I would run out of stash long before I got to 121. So, with the help of M and his knowledge of random number generators, the winners are

Schaefer Anne yarn: PCR of expressionist knits

Cherry Tree Hill Yarn: Jack of Of Purls and PCs

Congratulations to the winners! I have emailed them, and I hope the subject line of “you’ve won yarn!” won’t send the messages to a spam junkbox.

Today is M’s and my 8th wedding anniversary, and we will be busy, so no knitting content today. I hope to post Thursday all about diffuse light, little pink cabled socks and my cable-rib sock theme and variations project. In the meantime, check out M’s post in our joint cocktail blog Cocktails with M; it’s his mojito recipe. It’s very techy, but I took the cool picture (and drank the mojito!).

A Very Quick Note

Huge amount of stuff to do at work last week. Had to present my research at the weekly lab meeting also. Have read everyone’s excellent comments on the contest. Still time to enter! Everyone’s entered, even those I have not yet replied to! I want to reply! Got big, bad migraine! Ouch! Am feeling a little better now. Go to Cocktails with M for a new cocktail. Winners announced Tuesday morning Pacific Time! Then back to knitting content (I have much, much to tell you about).

Welcome! Contest!

If you are coming over from my blogger blog, thanks for making the trip, and I hope to see you here often! If this is your first visit, welcome! I blog about my knitting, but there’s some other stuff as well, mostly cocktail stuff. To get the ball rolling, I’ve decided to have a contest. I know, you would rather see the 2 inches I have done on my second pink cabled sock, but you’ll just have to do with some pictures of lovely yarn. It’s hard being a reader of knitting blogs. To enter, leave me a comment before May 8th, telling me what you have named your blog and why you chose the name you did. If you are blogless, tell me what you would name your blog if you had to have one, and why you would choose that name. I see a lot of variety in blog names, some are simple and straight forward and some are mysterious, and I’m frankly curious as to why people choose the names they do. Everyone who comments in the appropriate manner will get their name entered and I’ll draw 2 winners on May 8th, M’s and my 8th wedding anniversary. So, let’s take a look at the prizes!

First up, we have a lovely, silky skein of Schaefer Anne in Jane Addams:
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Second up involves a choice, as people have color preferences, so the second winner gets to choose between either of these skeins of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Potluck in either Purple/Blues or Green/Blues (I trust, dear reader, that you can tell which is which).

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Return visitors may note that I have finally figured out how to diffuse light to get a nicer photo. I feel so empowered. I’ve learned an elementary photography skill!

Well, why are you still reading? Enter!