Saturday, April 25, 2009

Back in the saddle

Houseguests really take a lot out of you :) My husband's sister, her fiance and their baby were here from Sunday through Thursday - they're awesome people, but I'm just not used to so many humans around. The baby is very sweet and didn't cause trouble at all. Of course, it's pretty depressing to have a sweet new baby in the house when I can't seem to have one of my own, but those are the breaks.

I finally got pictures of some of the stuff I finished two weeks ago :) The carrot and rabbit hanging on the couch:

carrotyatid and coney

and in their potting soil:

potted carrotyatid and coney

I loved making these and I'd make them again. They were a hit.

And now, the piece de resistance (small so you can see the whole thing):

wood elf sock mark 2

This is my tweaked version of the prince of the wood elves socks. These went comparatively fast, and would have been faster but for my arm injury.

I used the spade pattern from Barbara Walker's 2nd treasury (pg 292 in my book). I need to find somewhere else to use it because I love how it looks. I started the lace panel 3 stitches from the right side of the sock and moved it over one stitch every 6th round. Because the top of the cuff is the same all the way around, I just spun the sock when it was time to do the heel so that I could keep moving the lace to the left as I continued down the foot. It gives the impression that I started the lace panel further to the right.

I can't explain why I'm so happy about how this turned out, but I could truly sit for an hour and admire my handiwork on this. I realize now that it would have been better to use a smaller lace pattern so that it's movement around the sock would have been more obvious, but I wanted to stick with a similar stitch count and row height. I could also have moved it to the left quicker (one to the left every 3rd row or something) but moving it on the 6th row made it easier for me to remember to do it!

Eep - I forgot to tell you - I'm calling these "birchies", since the color was inspired by birch trees. DP initially thought the color was not lotr-ish but amended his opinion once he saw them finished.

Now I just have to figure out what my next pair will be. I should probably make a pair for my sil's fiance since I already have the yarn for it. I surreptitiously measured his shoes while he was in the shower, 12 inches, so I'm thinking an 11 1/2 or 11 1/4" foot length. The yarn is paca peds HT (I think I wrote about it when I got it from the Sheep in the City gathering) and I'm hoping I'll have enough yardage. I'll be going toe up, and I might even work one foot through the heel, then the other through the heel and do both legs together to make sure they're even. I don't have any other skeins of that yarn, but I'm sure I have something of the same weight running around somewhere. I guess the real question is how many stitches around? 72?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Strange non-symmetry

I've worked the second prince of the wood elves exactly the same as the first re stitch counts and rows, and now it's feeling too tight at the cuff. I'm not sure if I'm more or less stressed out than when I made the first sock, but something's off. My plan is to make the whole sock with the cuff the way it is, then snip off the cuff if I decide it's too tight. I like the symmetry of 6 tulip bud repeats, so I may just pick up more stitches. I'm using a lace pattern that looks like arrowheads (I can't remember the name, but it's not arrowhead lace) and moving it around the cuff. So, these two guys are going to be siblings or cousins, not twins.

I called Diggers' Hotline today to get the gas/water/phone mains marked so we can redo the fence. I'm not good with directions (N, S, E, W) but they have our address, so hopefully they'll make it here okay.

I have today and tomorrow off, and I hope I'll make some good headway on that sock. Tight or no, I want to see what it looks like when it's done. That's the benefit of tweaking the pattern as you go along - surprises galore :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

A sprinkle a day

Of snow, that is. When I got out of work this evening, I could not believe my eyes. I didn't mention the snow to DP, hoping I'd imagined it. Unfortunately, when we got home he informed me that he'd had to put bags over the newly transplanted blackberry canes because of the snow. Sigh.

Easter dinner at my house went off relatively well. The main problem was my so called ovenproof serving platter. After 5 minutes in the oven, it exploded. Yeah. Not fun, but not a catastrophe either :)

We also celebrated my niece's birthday, and my sister made cupcakes. The cutest thing was that after my sister took the wrapper off the cupcake and gave it to my niece, she kissed the cupcake rather than eating it. It was, I believe, the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life.

I made a carrot and bunny from the ninjabun as a birthday present for my niece, and the carrot has been a big hit so far. The ears are great for chomping :)

I'm on the cusp of a brand new venture. I can't say anything (don't want to jinx it), but I'd appreciate any positive thoughts you can throw my way. New things scare the daylights out of me, but life doesn't stand still.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I'm at work. It's erev Pesach. I can't go home until the furniture store delivers the table to DP, because the bus doesn't run at non-peak times.

And I don't have my knitting with me.


I did find a crochet hook in my pencil jar, and I have the latest Interweave Crochet in my purse, so I may go into the arts & crafts cupboard, get some twine, and have at it.

But still.

In non-fiber related news, I washed my hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar and it actually worked this time! I'd tried it before, but with a paste of baking soda. It was hard to work through my hair and it didn't really feel clean. This time I took a tupperware container that I use for cookies (holds about 2 doz) and dumped about a quarter cup of baking soda in the bottom. I filled it with hot water and mixed it up. I got in the shower, got my hair thoroughly wet, then poured about a half cup on my hair. I poured it on, sectioning my hair to make sure I got even coverage. Then I massaged my scalp and put my hair up in a clip while I finished the rest of my shower. I rinsed with hot water, then poured the acv over my hair, massaged it in, then rinsed in cold water. It took much less time to do than it seems from typing all of this out :) It got rid of the buildup from the water softener, and best of all made my hair feel clean.

Off to the cupboard...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


One wood elf sock down, one to go!

wood elf sock

I love the feel of this sock - the cedar sockitechture seems to fit well, and it's relatively painless to execute (if you don't keep miscounting!). Here's a pic of the yarn before I had my way with it:

prince of the wood elves closeup

The yarn felt great, very smooth, but it was as splitty as the dickens. Very irritating when doing k3tog.

Now I just have to figure out how I want to make the second sock - identical twin, sibling or cousin?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Socks - LotS

I got the shipment of the Lord of the Strings sock club on Friday and dove right in. It's a top down sock, and I actually decided to go top down for it :) I couldn't resist tweaking the pattern somewhat though. My sock is top down, but it uses only one of the lace motifs in the pattern, and I used Cat Bordhi's Cedar sockitechture so that I wouldn't have a short row OR a flap and gusset heel. It's turning out well, but the proof will be in the finishing. The riverbed and Coriolis sockitechtures felt okay, but turned out too big. I scaled the increases down for this one, and I'm hopeful that it's snug enough.

I did end up doing the heel 3 times. First, I got all the way past the heel turning and then found out I'd missed a k2tog somewhere. Rip 1. Next, I got to the heel turning, then found out I'd somehow gotten the heel off center. Rip 2. Third time was the charm.

I may make the second sock using the other lace motif. The one I'm using for this sock is the falling leaves pattern. There's also a "bow and arrow" pattern, so I may have two sibling socks, rather than twin socks. Might make the second sock go quicker...

I finished spinning up my Mooi knockoff, then plied it with a strand of silk/cashmere, then dyed the whole thing in a saucepan with a packet of black cherry koolaid. The bamboo didn't take up much of the dye, so there's a silvery strand through the whole skein. I'm not sure what I'm going to make of it. There's not very much, so maybe a pair of lacy handwarmers.

I'm being very strong and resisting the siren song of the Crown Mountain Farms roving. DP loved the "light my fire" colorway - he was very impressed that what I got in the mail looked just like the picture. I'm enamored by the "tobacco road". If I had a ton of money, I'd buy 3 more 8oz packets of it so I could make myself a sweater.

If I get myself in gear, I'll get some pictures up of the sock, the yarn and the roving. I've also got to show you my craft room - I've gussied it up so that DP's sister and her boyfriend, along with their baby, have a place to stay. They could have stayed in the room even without the gussying, but they would have had to sleep on my rubbermaid yarn totes.