11 April 2009

There are too many things I want to do. Too many knitting projects, too many interests, not enough time to do any of it. I don't know where the time goes. I've long since realized that time and I have a very poor relationship with each other. I don't manage it well, and it doesn't manage me well. I'm very aware of how it both goes quickly and slowly depending on what I'm doing or thinking, and how every year seems to hurdle by faster than the previous. Sure I'm only 36, but if I'm lucky that only leaves me about 60 years left! Of course I'm assuming I'm living to 100. Aren't we all nowadays? At least 20 of these years I want to raise a kid or two, but that seems to be getting less and less likely. I'm also generally lonely and bored, yet busy and enjoy my time alone. I can't win, can I?
This (barely) brings me back to my knitting. So many things I want to make. More to the point, so many things I want to have. I've promised socks to a friend's sister. Those should be fun. I know I like the yarn, as I've used it for a pair of socks for myself. I have two sock projects from last year I never got to. I know I have more projects on the way.. and if I'm going to keep up, I'll have to keep interrupting whatever project I'm working on at the time. I got some amazing green yarn for Christmas, and I want to have a sweater done for myself by winter. I even kind of know what style I want it, it's just a matter of cobbling together a pattern. I've only done one sweater before, and I did it as written. Easy. Like in most other activites, I'm a good directions follower. If there's a pattern or a recipe or instructions, it's done. Trying to piece together parts of other patterns, as well as increasing the size and shaping it to my atypical proportions is a little overwhelming.
I also want to make a sweater for my husband. I have a couple patterns in mind. He's a clothing maker's dream. Things fit him perfectly right off the rack. I really want to try out one of Elizabeth Zimmerman's saddle shoulder patterns, and I also want to make that Cobblestone sweater. I think he'd like both. They both look fun and relatively quick.
There's also that Shipwreck Shawl. I'm not sure what attracts me to this one. I don't really need a shawl, but maybe I'd find it useful if I had one. It is a neat one though. A little bit of lace, but not so fancy you'd be afraid to really use it. It annoys me when things are pretty just for being pretty. (Of course I hate functional just for being functional) This seems a nice blend of function and pretty. With a little rugged wearability thrown in. I love the idea of dying it after it's done too. I love the idea of the beads. I love that it looks like dark water with occaisional sparkles of sun, but the green of the beads give a hint of the seaweed below. Such a neat concept.
Anyway. I have company in the room now. I'll stop typing.

09 March 2009

So. After a year and a few months I thought I might start this again. It's so easy to get distracted, loose interest, have a lack of things to say. Is that a reflection on my life? Probably.

Since my last post, little kitten has grown up, and big grey kitty has passed on. He was more than a pet, and his loss is still felt daily. We named the little black and white kitten Katydid. And though we're kicking ourselves for not naming her Midna, after the character in Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (whom she looks exactly like), her name fits her. She would be a great hunter if we lived in the coutry and could be allowed outside. She's not a very affectionate kitty, but she's terribly cute.

My invitation to Ravelry seems to have usurped any knitting blogging I did, so I'll have to think of something else. Maybe I should go back to the title of my blog, and just make it a stream of consciousness thing. I tend to do that anyway.

07 January 2008

It's too flippin' hot. That's really all I have to say.
January 7th, and it was 65 and humid here today. Only last week we had snow, it was down to 9 and the ground was frozen.

It just ain't right ;)
In which Lydia tries to recreate a pattern she should have written notes on the first time.

Ok, so I wanted to make another cup cozy. I swear I wrote down how I did it, but apparently I'm mistaken. I decided to forge ahead with another one with only a vague notion of the construction, and no idea on the number of stitches or rows.

This is my first attempt at trying to write a pattern, so bear with me ;)

Here's what I have so far:

Made out of Lamb's Pride, 2 colors. Your choice.
size 6 needles, similar sized DPNs, tapestry needle

Cast on 15 stitches with CC. Knit in garter stitch for about 30 rows.

Now, you're going to cast on additional stitches to make the body. Depending on if you want your pocket to open for your left hand or right hand you need the body's new stitches to extend either left for your right hand, or right for your left hand.

Let's say we're right handed.

With MC, purl across next row and cast on (whichever method you prefer.. backwards loop or cable cast on both work) 3o more stitches. Knit back across all stitches.
Continuing in stockinette knit 23 more rows.
With CC knit two rows.
With MC knit two rows. Bind off.

You now have what looks sort of like a sideways L.

Loosly weave in ends. Doesn't have to be too pretty, as it will all felt together.

You are now going to assemble the main body of the cupholder.

Wrap flap around with stockinette side out and overlap flap to create a pocket for your hand. I like about 3 inches or so overlap. Pin top to hold. It might be easier also, to pin the body to the base to make sewing up easier.

With CO edge of body slightly overlapping base, with MC and tapestry needle, catch the CO edge of body and sew it with mattress stitch to base all around. You will be sewing through two layers of body when you get to the pocket. Cut yarn and weave in ends.

With a crochet hook and 3 DPNs , pick up stitches with CC all around top of body. Divide stitches among the 3 DPNs as needed. As with base, you will be picking up through two layers when you work across the pocket. Try to pick up stitches to a multiple of 4.

When you've reached the beginning of the picked up stitches, begin knitting in a 2x2 rib (if you've picked up to a multiple of 4.. if not, continue in all purl stitches.)
Knit about 4 rows and bind off.

Weave in ends, and you're done!

Now for the felting. Put cupholder in a zippered pillowcase and throw into top loading washer with several towels and/or jeans. Set washer to hot/low water/high agitation. Add a squirt of detergent or dishwashing detergent and let run through a cycle. Do not let water drain. I like to leave the top up while agitating to stop the rinse cycle. Check felting to see how it's doing. It will probably have felted a little but we want it tight.

Zip back up in bag, and reset the cycle again. This time the fabric should have seized up pretty tightly. Remove from bag and rinse under cool water. Let excess water drain, then put your hand into the pocket to break apart any felting that might have started to happen. I havn't had much trouble with this. You also are stretching the pocket a little to fit your hand.

Block cozy around a grande Starbucks cup (or similar sized drink cup.) You might pull the cozy up around the sides a little and stick your hand in the pocket again to make sure all fits well. Stretch and tug until everything fits how you like it.

Turn cup with cozy upside down and let dry.

Enjoy your longer lasting hot cup of coffee!

28 September 2007

In Which Lydia Gets a Surprise Email
and Discovers That She Hasn't Posted in Quite a Long Time

I sit down to my computer to check email and to my surprise I have an invite to Ravelry! Only a day or so ago I was at least 1400 people down the queue. Coolness!

4 hours later......

That was a bit of a pause... Not that you the reader will notice. I think I have all but two yarns added to my stash, and I took pictures of almost all of it only to find out that I had my camera on the wrong setting and they were all too dark. Argh! I'll have to do it later, as my light is gone. I really should set up some sort of yarn/knitting photographing station in my house with a light and a white sheet or something.

I finished my CTH Sockittome Birch socks, in a toe up Jaywalker pattern... They were so dull to knit for some reason. I was excited about knitting this colorway as it was so unusual, but man... dull to knit. They look OK as a finished project though, cozy looking. What was worse is that I was knitting Husband a pair of socks as well on size 0 needles. Holy cow are his feet long. More so when knitting his socks on size 0. They took foreeeeeever.

Note to self, don't do THAT again!

I made myself finish the whole set of awful socks before I started something more fun, otherwise I knew I would never complete the sets. Husband's socks don't even match. I made the stupid decision to start his second sock on a circular. I had only used DPNs up till now and was anxious to try out the new circular. His second sock went much faster but it's SMALLER! I guess I knit much tighter on the magic loop circular.


I'm not doing it again. He'll get a new pair before the first is ever ripped out. I just hope he doesn't loose circulation. O.o

I'd really like to post pictures of the evil pairs, but I don't think I will. Not to deny you the readers of the pleasure of looking, but that the Birch socks got in the laundry (their very first washing, I might add...) with a brand new pair of jeans, and now they're a greyer birch than before. Oh well.

Back to Ravelry fun! My username is Aidylsock.

05 September 2007

The Difficulties in Photographing One's Own Foot.

Here's a picture of my new favorite socks. I call them Half Monkeys because I only did the pattern on the front. The contortions required to achieve this photograph are almost more difficult than I anticipated. I did manage to get one in frame though.

I love the color. It's Nature's Palette Odd Duck #3. I wasn't convinced it would make a nice sock, it's kind of funky yarn, but once I got going I loved it. Nice fabric and such pretty colors. I love the spottiness. The sock is just two repeats of the Monkey pattern by Cookie A, and I used a dutch heel and star toe of three points from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks book.

Actually I should call them Half Monkeys v.2. After doing one and having it turned out completely whacked, I made notes, did another and ripped out the first to make the 'new' second.

When gauged this yarn, my calculations told me that I'd have to cast on a lot more stitches than the Monkey pattern called for, so I thought to myself, 'Why don't I just do two repeats, and then I can do as many stockinette as I like!'

This was great in theory. I did some calf shaping and everything. After getting maybe four repeats in, it looked like I was about to run out of yarn, so I decided just to go ahead and do the heel and finish the foot.


Either my calculator lies, or I should just not knit at night. The top was loose and the foot was about an inch too short. Not only was the leg loose it was REALLY loose. So loose that I figured I could cut out like 15 stitches. This brings me back to the 60 stitches that Monkey calls for originally. (Incidentally I'm having this same gauge-lying problem with the new CHT Sockittome yarn I have. Anyone else find that their gauge gives them way too loose a sock?)

Oh!My drink cozy turned out much better than I expected once it was felted. It actually fit, and even more amazingly, it was stable AND I could get my hand in the pocket. I'd change how I made the bottom though It was more square than I'd like and the points come up the sides.
I am generally pleased though.

I have a new toy! Now I can ball up yarn when I'm alone! Amazing, I know. I decided my husband B wasn't that good of a helper anyway. He wouldn't let go and my balls ended up way too tight.

I end with an obligatory photo of the kitties. Arent' they too cute?

23 August 2007

Of Cats and Beans

New kitty is fitting in well. She still hisses every time she walks by the dog. We think her name is Katydid. We think. It's still slightly up in the air.

Amidst all the pet related hubbub, I have actually done some knitting. I finished my first pair of jaywalker proper socks. I've used a self striping sock yarn from OnLine. I think they turned out tres cool.

That's a pretty horrible picture now that I look at it. I'll see if I can get a better one posted later.
I love the fit though. I actually went to the trouble this time to knit a swatch and get proper measurements for my foot/leg. Have I mentioned my gigantic calves? Knitting the top inch or so in a larger needle seems to solve the sock calf issue, thank goodness. Heaven forbid I have to calculate in extra stitches into the pattern.

I love the way they don't slouch at all . I foresee more of these socks in my future.

Our vegetable share gave us fresh beans this week. I've never had beans still in the pod in my life, I've only dealt with dried ones. I actually wasn't sure how to approach this phenomena. I mean, one would think this an obvious problem to solve. Sometimes I'm slow. I admit this.

I have this nifty little book called Timing is Everything. It informed me that you could indeed cook beans right out of their pod and, as I'm sure you've guessed, gave me a time frame in which to do so.

They lost their pretty color in cooking, but they were very tasty.

So, I had this idea. A drink cozy (think paper cups of coffee from ) with a pocket to hide your fingers in for those cold days when you want both your coffee and your fingers to be warm.
I had some leftover wool yarn from a purse I made a couple years ago that I knew felted well. Throwing caution to the wind, I just went at it. With only a vague notion of how I wanted to construct it, I came up with this.

The pink wraps around and makes a pocket for your hand.

I knit the whole thing vaguely a third larger than I wanted it, hoping that felting would work to my advantage on this one. I may add a small strap for toting, but I'm not sure yet. We'll see how it turns out. This may be good or bad, hehehe.

Now playing: Martin Denny - Harlem Nocturne
via FoxyTunes