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

06 August 2007

In Which We Went for Vegetables and Came Home With a Kitten
The Bathroom Goblin

We have a vegetable share, and ever Saturday we head to to the organizer's garage to pick them up. There were three kittens romping in the garden, and I overheard the yard's owner complaining that he didn't need more animals, and that these were strays. He also wasn't feeding them. (Completely against my sensibilities.) So, as we had toyed with getting another cat as a companion to our grey kitty, I thought I'd take a closer look.

The little black and white one seemed a bit of a runt, with the other ones picking on her a bit. I walked over to test her friendliness. The other two scampered under the plants, but the little black and white one stayed and let me come over to her. After a little hand sniffing, I picked her up and she was extremely happy to be held and petted. She was also extremely skinny.

My Mom and my husband took their turns holding the squirming purring kitty and with very few arguments against, we asked the owner of the yard if he wouldn't mind us taking the kitten home with us. He sort of blinked at us with bleary eyes (too much sun perhaps?) and said they were just strays, and he had too many animals already. I took this as his agreement to the proposal.

After thinking about it, I wonder why he didn't just take them to an animal shelter rather than let them starve in his backyard.

She's terribly cute, and very vocal and friendly. She lives in our bathroom while she's being dewormed and quarantined, though grey kitty is already beginning to warm up to her. A few liver treats at the bathroom door didn't hurt either. The yet to be named kitten isn't particularly happy with this arrangement, and protests with some of the most unusual patterns of determined meowing I've heard.

The picture is her first trip out of the bathroom. Grey kitty was in the front bedroom, so we shut the door and took her out to play with her. She was just a little freaked at first, which is what you see in the picture, but she was kneading and purring even while her hair stood on end.

Now playing: Boccherini, Luigi - Fandango
via FoxyTunes

04 August 2007

Towel is neat after a day of use. I think it will get really soft over time. It's pretty absorbant too, which I'm surprised about.

Specs on the towel:

It's about 10 inches wide and 27 ½ inches long. I could have gone a few more rows, but I didn't want to run out of yarn and have to rip out.

I did 6 rows of seed stich as a bottom border, and then a seed stitch border of 6 stitches on either side of the j-walker pattern. You might increase the bottom and top borders by a few rows, because they get a little lost and seem smaller than the side borders. There are three repeats of the j-walker pattern with 8 stitches between increases/decreases.

I used size 5 needles, but if I were to do it again, I might decrease that to 4 as it's a little on the loose side. The yarn itself called for 3s, but the Mason-Dixon pattern called for 5s, so that's what I went with. Obviously you'd get a smaller towel if you might increase the border widths or something to make up for it.

03 August 2007

The mystery of what to do with the linen yarn has been solved!

It came unexpectedly. I was even about to start the second toeless sock (take 2) for my Mom.
I was looking through my newly purchased Mason-Dixon Knitting when I stumbled upon their knitted linen handtowel patterns. It took one skein of linen yarn. Ah ha!

I ran to my yarn stash in the guest bedroom to see if my skein of pretty brown and blue yarn would do, and it was perfect! I started on the moss-stitch checked pattern and after a few inches into the pattern I thought that the verigatedness of the yarn totally hid the texture of the pattern.

What to do?!

Something that would highlight the pretty colors and verigation was needed. I discovered a serious deficiency in stitch pattern books. (Note to self: Rectify this problem in the near future.)

At this point I had a brainwave. J-walker socks! They make nice use of verigated yarn, making it interesting without muddling the pretty colors. The j-walker towel was born!

Of course there will be no walking with this towel, unless it is to the laundry. Maybe it should be called the j-toweler?

It was even nicer after it was washed. The colors faded ever so slightly, but it picked up this soft fuzziness. There is nothing like drapey linen. I love the heaviness of it, and the way is hugs what it is draped on so tightly. I'd love a sweater out of it. I am really uncertain though that I could knit it myself. I found the stiffness of this a bit of a struggle to work with. My hand is glad it's done, as it can cease its cramping and get back to easy sock knitting.

21 July 2007

Argh, so busy lately... and I don't even work! (well not for pay...) So many pictures still on the camera, so many projects done yet to be photographed... I'm lamenting the lack of photograph worthy daylight at 1:30am. Suddenly a few projects are calling me from the other room requesting their image be afixed to the pseudofilm in my camera. I realize that daylight at this hour would not be practical, and should it happen, I'm certain that some sort of catastrophe would be at hand rendering my desire to post pictures of socks rather inconsequential. Ah well.
Pictures soon, I promise. (though who this promise is to, I can only guess.. something tells me that I'm the only one who reads my little blog as of yet...)

02 July 2007

Wow! Two more scarves and three sets of socks later, I'm finally 'in between' projects. I really want to start a pair of toeless socks. I'm thinking of a mishmash of a couple different patterns that I think will look good on varigated yarn. Hummmmmmmmmmm.

Husband loved his new socks, he's actually wearing them! (I find this amazing! Noone ever likes what I make for them =D)
Doesn't he make a nice sock model? hehe I was really pleased with the heal and toe of this sock. it's the french toe and german heal from Knitting Vintage Socks: New Twists on Classic Patterns.

Of course as pleased as I am, the next sock I tried was a toe up sock, and I may have found my preference. I swear these are quicker. This pair I knit my Mom are out of Regia yarn. They feel a little rougher to knit with, but they're still comfy on. I anticipate they'll wear well.

01 May 2007

the lucious yarn turning into a scarf...It didn't turn out quite as long as I hoped, though it's sooo soft. I may have to unravel it and use it for something else. I instead bought a ball of Alchemy Pagoda,

and I don't know if there's just not enough variation in value, but it didn't knit up as nice as I had hoped. I wanted those triangles to be obvious, dangit! Better picture coming later.

Now for the tangent. It's been frickin' hot here. I know many people would complain about how we've had such a cold spring (except for those few days back in March) but sheesh, 86 in April?

Percival (my greyhound) almost caught a rabbit this afternoon! He's so quick it's crazy. He and I were tossing a kong around the yard (well I was doing more tossing, he did the chasing and refusing to bring it all the way back to me) when he startled a rabbit hiding in the brush pile in the corner of the yard. Now our yard is not that big but Percival was nowhere near the rabbit when it started to run, but by the time it got to a little hole in the fence the dog had almost caught it. I'm surprised he didn't lose his tail on the way under. Poor bunny hehehe.

17 April 2007

I got my first bento box yesterday! I'm so excited. Now to figure out what to put in it. So many possiblilties! It's pretty tiny, maybe it's decieving. Pictures later!

On my quest for lunch today I found THE coolest tree. I was taking a meandering route though a local neighborhood when I found this huge burr oak, with a sign saying it's 300 - 400 years old. Amazing! We used to have a tree very similar behind the house I grew up. I think this one was even older. Moss on the branches, little knobbies coming out all over the place.. squirrel eyeing me suspiciously from a little ledge-perch the tree had made almost for the purpose. I definately need to go back with a camera.

I'm about to finish the purple sweater. I have it all done but the neck. The neck had to wait for the pomatomus socks, which were undoubtedly more important. I'm not sure I'd use this yarn again, Lion brand Homespun. We'll see how it wears/washes.

Hm sweater or City of Heroes..... CoH is awfully tempting... =D

16 April 2007

Ahhh what happened!? I followed the instructions on both socks the same, but the first one is horrible!

Look at that super crazy long toe. I wonder if I should rip it out and reknit the foot. Think it's worth it? It's pretty bad. Maybe I should just call it my practice set and go on. Eeeeck it makes my skin crawl though.

I think this calls for an obligatory picture of the kitty. He always makes me laugh.

Ahh much better.

13 April 2007

Eeek, it's been a while. I'm almost done with the pomatomus socks, but I'm afraid I'm running out of yarn! It was one big skein of cherry tree hill supersock, and I'm only a couple inches away from doing the toe... but the ball of yarn is oh so small!

In other news: snow flurries is what we had today. Today. April. Three or so weeks ago it was almost 80. Insane, I tell you!

I also need a job. Anyone know of a job I where I can sit and knit all day? Hahaha. Right. Le Sigh.

15 March 2007

Yesterday I bought (and read) Knitting Vintage Socks: New Twists on Classic Patterns. What a great book! I'm already planning my next socks (is sock knitting addicting? I seem to always come back to them eventually).

Nancy Bush has so much information in this book. I love all the variations on heels and toes. My only trouble is many of the socks I'd love to knit only have a pattern for one size. Sure there are larger sizes in the book, but what if I don't want to knit the sock that fits? (If the sock fits, wear it?)

Does anyone out there have tips on how I can adjust sock pattern sizes? I've always followed a pattern, never knitted willy nilly.... I'm frightened! What if it blows up?

12 March 2007

I've started a new knitting project. Pomatomus socks from knitty.com. I love knitty.com . I want to knit almost everything on that site. I'm not that fast yet hehe.
I love the pattern, it reminds me of a Japanese print. Sock yarn is hard to find in Indy, apparently. I did hunt down some Cherry Tree Hill supersock yarn. It's nice to knit with. I've never knit with sock yarn before. It's so tiny! It took forever to ball it up, as it tangled big time. I think it took me four hours just to unknot and roll the stuff.
I also bought some alchemy yarn, silk purse, in green. It's so lovely. I just want to rub my face in it. The shop only had one skein, I'm not sure what to do with it yet. Maybe a scarf.

07 March 2007

I was sent an interesting quiz.
Apparently I have a dead-on Midland accent.

What American accent do you have?
Created by Xavier on Memegen.net

Midland. The Midland (please don't confuse with "Midwest") itself is the neutral zone between the North and South. But just because you have a Midland accent doesn't mean you're from there. Since it is considered a neutral, default, "non-regional" accent you could easily be from someplace without its own accent, like Florida, or a big city in the South like Dallas, Houston, or Atlanta.

Take this quiz now - it's easy!
We're going to start with "cot" and "caught." When you say those words do they sound the same or different?

06 March 2007

Ok. In reference to creating the previous post... this editor sucks rocks. lol. Everytime I tweaked something a bunch of other things changed. One paragraph insisted on being grey. Finally I caved in and made everything grey.. and it decided it wanted to be a different font. Fine. Rogue paragraphs is what I should call this.

Hours, HOURS to create a simple little post. So this is my first time with pictures. So I'm not an HTML genius. How difficult should it be? Seriously.

05 March 2007

I'm almost done with my first sweater! I made too small for me to wear, lol. I wanted it done fast so that I could put it together. I've never assembled a sweater before, so all this seaming is new to me.

I don't think I'll use this yarn again though for a sweater. It tends to disintegrate as I sew up the seams. It's all fluff held together with a tiny little floss through the center. I hope it holds...

I learned (or remembered ) quite a bit about using two colors doing the little pattern. The back of the pattern looks like crap for the first two rows. I'll spare you the horror of actually posting a picture of them. The first square puckers a bit because I pulled the yarn a little too tight.

I'd like to point out my impatience now, and that unless the problem is so serious that it can't be ignored, I don't go back and fix problems. The top square is all nice and neat, however, with all the extra yarn woven in.

My cat insisted that the sweater looked better with him on it, and asked me to take a few pictures of him with it to prove the point. He was right, afterall he is a cat.

26 February 2007

The weather turned blissfully cold this February, and we even had snow. Amazing! I'm sure the rest of the commuting world doesn't agree with me, but I think it's awesome. The more clothes I can wear the happier I am.

Along that thought, I think I'm going to expand the subject matter of this to include my knitting projects. We'll see how motivated I am ;)

I'm making Teriyaki Chicken tonight. It's super easy, I'm making the sauce now.

1 half scant cup each mirin, soysauce and sake. Add 1 Tbsp sugar and boil until sugar is dissolved. You can store this in the fridge. Saute the chicken until it's about half cooked, remove it, add the sauce and cook a little until it's reduced and shiny... add the chicken back in and cook it all until done. So yummy.

I think I'm going to have brown rice and miso soup, maybe some leftover sesame carrots. Heaven.. I think I'm going to faint now.

09 January 2007

This has been the longest November ever.

Usually even if the rest of the winter is warmish, January is always cold. We haven't even had snow once this winter! It's been in the 40s, 50s.. It's like living in the south again. Though at least people don't walk around in gigantic fluffy coats when it's 58 degrees outside like they do in the south. And at least when it threatens to get below 40 the grocery stores don't sell out of bread and milk.
The first time I went to a grocery store in North Carolina in the winter, after a forecast of flurries, I was stunned.. I didn't make the connection between the empty sheleves and the weather at first. How could a grocery store be so slack as to sell out of milk?!

04 January 2007

There is crap all on television this morning.
I have a nice morning, no appointments, breakfast is cooked and eaten. The Everquest 2 servers have come down for a patch, and I'd just like to get into a little show or something while I wait.

I've read the paper, drank my tea. Maybe I should cast on my stitches for the sweater I'm planning.

Even my favorite channel, TCM, is disappointing me. Boring movie. I have trouble getting into steamboat movies. It's like movies about the army. The story may be fantastic, but it's all drab green. My eyes aren't interested long enough for my brain to catch on. In contrast i have no trouble getting into black and white movies. Go figure.

Usually my backup channel is the History Channel. Army programs. At least I had some anthropology programs yesterday.

I refuse to watch the Style Channel unless I'm both very desperate and there's something extremely interesting on. And, as you can imagine, that is extremely rare. I even resorted to trying Animal Planet. Backyard habitat was one I'd seen. One of the few shows I can get into. Animals are great and all but I really don't care about people's obsession to make pets out of every undomesticated creature they can find. I think humans should support the natural habitats and stay the hell out. But I may be biased for reasons I won't go into.

Oh well, maybe I'll go shower.