Friday, October 7, 2016

Persian (Day)Dreams

You know how sometimes you're just surfing the Internet, minding your own business, when you see something so beautiful you forget about everything you're currently doing, should be doing, and have planned to do for the foreseeable future?

Yeah, I had one of those recently over this:

I love this. Look at this one. Gorgeous.

I just received my--wait for it-- $8 check from the Indiana State Fair for the second place I won for the Knitsonik mittens. I used that as my excuse to buy the Persian Dreams pattern and its expansion pack.* Today I ordered 11 balls of Knitpicks Palette in black, which, as an unanticipated bonus, was on sale as part of their Halloween shenanigans. The black will be the background, and the foreground will be in




This is going to be awesome.

*You read that correctly. Expansion. Pack.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sad Christmas Socks

The Sad Christmas Socks are finished and dry.

Sad Christmas socks (ravelled here),
knit in dyed-by-me Universal Yarn Ready To Dye 

They photographed better than they look in person. The red is stronger in the photo. They're not terrible by any means, nor are they what I wanted. Gift knitting!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Happy Christmas Socks

Well, it's been awhile since I've posted. Rather than get bogged down by what I haven't posted about, I'm just going to post what's happening now.

And what's happening now is HAPPY CHRISTMAS SOCKS.

Happy Christmas Socks (mine ravelled here),
knit in Cascade Heritage Solids in 5656 Christmas Green
and Knitpicks Stroll Tonal in Gypsy (discontinued, 
which seems dumb since it's a lovely red)

These are Happy Christmas Socks, as contrasted with Sad Christmas Socks. Those bad boys are still drying, so you'll just have to imagine a striped sock with gray, a too dark almost wine-y red, and a light green. Very sad. Luckily, my mom likes them, so I'll give them to her.

The Sad Christmas Socks are knit out of yarn I dyed myself. I'm currently 4 classes into a 6-class yarn dyeing extravaganza. Self-striping yarn is a pain in the ass to dye. Now I know.*

Sad Christmas Socks are actually attempt #2 at making myself Happy Christmas Socks. The first attempt was equally terrible.** It, too, had colors just off enough to make me yearn for someone who understood that Christmas is bright red and bright green and has nothing at all to do with the color salmon.

Nothing happy has ever had even a passing acquaintance with the color salmon, in my opinion.

The answer, which was obvious as soon as I stopped being lazy, was to stripe it myself. And so I am.

Third time's a charm.

*As if I needed another reason to buy Felici. I have a sickness, and it is stripy.***

**Poor Mom got those socks, too. I wonder if she's just too polite to agree with me when I say I've knit really unattractive socks.

***Oh, for the love of wool, they're having a sale on remaining Felici. I cannot allow myself to order more. I'm two balls away from Crazy Yarn Hoarder.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Socks, socks, socks!

This weekend I finished the requested Hanover socks for a friend's kid who is headed to Hanover as a freshman. When I washed them, I threw another couple pair I finished this summer that are going to be gifts. 

The Hanover socks are 6-row stripes. The leg and top of foot are 3x1 rib.

Hanover socks (mine ravelled here),
knit in Opal 4-ply in 5180 and 5188

A friend requested navy socks. The solid color let me play with a lace pattern I've been wanting to use.

Rose Ribs socks (mine ravelled here),
knit in Cascade Heritage Solids in 5623

Whenever Knitpicks comes out with a new round of Felici colors, I set some aside that I think specific people will like. I think Holly will like these (and I bought some of the same colorway for myself--I'm no dummy).

Baker Street socks (mine ravelled here),
knit in Knitpicks Felici in Baker Street

These are also 3x1 rib. The difference between these and the Hanover socks is that I did a round of k1, sl1 each time there was a color change on the leg and top of foot. It just adds a little more interest, both to the knitting and to the finished socks.

So, does anyone remember back in January when I wrote about being more intentional and allowing myself to not get things done? I'm not going to lie; I don't feel like I'm doing very well at that. I did the Knitsonik mittens, which was a project that took some intention and planning, but I don't feel like I've been successful at addressing my Crazy besides that. I do not lie fallow well. I don't give myself very much space to just be, and I think I'm doing myself a disservice.

In the grand scheme of things, this isn't a huge problem. It's better than a crack habit, for example. I am a work in progress.

And friends get some nice socks as a result.

Thursday, August 25, 2016


We had some insane storms yesterday, so I spent a bit of time moving from place to place at work, watching the radar and staying away from windows. Everything turned out just fine for me, although there were some tornado touch downs in other areas.

When I finally did get home--after staying late because a second cell of storms was coming through right over our heads--I realized I'd forgotten my knitting at work. Last night we planned to watch the final Inspector Lewis, so I went to the yarn guest room to pick something to work on.

I remembered that a friend had shown me a picture of a knit gnome and gently hinted that she and another friend would both adore them. I dug out some scrap yarn, size 3 needles, and some poly-fil from the linen closet. Today, Gnome came to work with me to do a little exploring.

He hung out in my plant.

 He approved of a flower left from an event we had here.

He approved less of the bird. It alarmed him a little bit.

Travelling Gnome (mine ravelled here)

He's about 4" high. I have no idea what yarn I used. I just searched for the correct colors. I converted the pattern to knit it in the round, and I used black French knots instead of safety eyes. I knit the beard together with nine stitches of a round in the face color instead of sewing the beard on. The little guy took about an hour to make.

Today when I got to work someone had set my knitting bag on top of my desk. I'll now go back to my regularly scheduled knitting.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Ravellenic Color Affection-- Anyway

Quite awhile ago, I wandered around Simply Socks, holding skeins together trying to find three I liked for a Color Affection.

Then I set the three skeins together on a shelf and walked away. The Ravellenic Games were a good motivator to get this knit. It's a lot of garter stitch and not a lot of counting, so it worked well to knit while watching the Olympics.

Color Affection (mine ravelled here),
and Cascade Heritage Solids in 5648 Strawberry Cream

I was surprised when I ran out of the dove-colored yarn. When I looked at the label, I realized why it had happened: Yellow Label is DK. Rookie mistake.

It ended up fine anyway.

Then, many, many rows into the third and final section, I realized I hadn't read the pattern carefully enough and hadn't increased two stitches on the end every fourth row. I had just increased one stitch.

It turned out long enough anyway.

I thought for sure I'd left enough yarn for the bind off. Of course, I ran out with a few inches of stitches left. I used dark scrap yarn to finish, and it looks great anyway.

On one hand, I feel ridiculous I made mistakes I could have avoided if I'd just read a little more closely and been a bit more cautious.

On the other hand, I like it anyway.

While I'll try to learn from this and read more carefully before I begin knitting, this project didn't turn out to be a cautionary tale. It turned out great, and I hope to wear it a lot this and future winters!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


You can protect yourself from misfortunes sent by Heaven,
not from misfortunes that you bring on yourself.
-Zen practice

My Buddhist tear-off calendar recently displayed the above quote. I kept it on my desk for a few days, then recycled it. This morning, I dug it out of the recycling bin.

Today, I know that my brain is creating problems that don't exist, judging people who need to be shown grace (including myself), and generally being a jerk.

I haven't had much success getting my internal self turned around so far today, but I am going to reread that quote throughout the day and remind myself how much power I have over my own experience. And when negative thoughts arise, I'm going to do my best to acknowledge them, let them go, and move on.

So say we all.