Sunday, May 23, 2010

Updates - two steps forward, one back

I finally uploaded pics of DP's purple and orange socks. I give you the socks of Dr. Caligari:

caligari socks side

I'm so glad they're done! Schaefer Anne is the best yarn for socks, but having to knit it on such small needles makes me insane. It's DP's fave though, so I'll be knitting several more pairs of it, I'm sure :)

I don't have a good picture of the waterfall socks, since I gave them to my sister before I had a photo shoot. But to prove they really existed:

waterfall sock

And cuff detail:

waterfall sock cuff detail

I love the feel of STR mediumweight for socks - but I enjoy thick, cushy socks. For the next version of those, I think I'm going to go with STR lightweight, if I have an oceany color.

And here's a process shot of the Hearts cardigan, or Dunkle's cardi, as it will now be called:

hearts yoke

It's the only shot I have, since I ripped the entire thing out yesterday. I was 10 centimeters into the stockinette section when I finally decided that my gauge was just too far off. I'm now two repeats into the yoke - sigh. The pattern is neat, and I don't mind knitting it again, but I could do with the instructions being a bit clearer. I think that's an issue when a pattern is in translation, just like when a book is in translation.

And finally, I was playing around with hairstyles and copied this from an LotR hair how-to:


It's Eowyn's hairstyle from Theoden's funeral. I don't prefer the movies, and I don't particularly like the funeral, but someone on Ravelry posted the style, so I had to try it. I think it would be even easier if I had my long hair, though I don't know if I could handle my four foot hair in this weather!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A quest, or an obsession?

I love bread. I know, it's totally un-cool to like any bread that's not fancy schmancy, made with all whole organic grains, but I just love a good loaf of french bread. Unfortunately, I can't make a loaf of it to save my life. Truly, if I was kidnapped by French bakers and had to make a loaf as a ransom or be cast into the Seine, I'd end up at the bottom of the river.

So, I've been trying to get better. For the past week, I've been making a loaf of french-ish bread every other day, trying to figure out how to make it taste good. A couple loaves were so bad they went from stove to counter to garbage can in short order. I just can't let it go - I have to figure it out.

Yesterday I made the dough and put it in the fridge to age (?) overnight. I took it out this morning and went through the 3 1/2 hour rising process, then baked it at 400 for about 35 minutes. It was better, but still not great. I just can't seem to get an open crumb, no matter how much or little I knead it, or what my hydration level is. Yargh!

In other news, I'm working on a cardigan for my niece - Hearts, by Tora Froseth. I'm about halfway through the yoke, and it seems like it'll be cute. The directions I have seem to have incorrect marker placement for the 4 year size, but I think I'm making it work.


Monday, May 10, 2010


I finished the STR mediumweight socks yesterday and gave them to my sister as a mother's day present. She loved them! The pattern didn't work out quite the way I wanted it to, so I'm counting those socks as a practice version that found a good home. On to mark 2.

I'm also almost finished with DP's orange and purple socks! I just have two more rows on each cuff and then the bind off. Hallelujah!

I'm currently trying my hand at french bread, yet again. I'm using a recipe with a lower hydration level - 60% - so we'll see how it works out. I usually feel like the crumb of my bread is too wet, no matter how long or short the cooking time is. This may remedy the situation.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Buffalo gal

The buffalo spun up pretty well - I love my charkha! - but the plying went less well. I'm going to have to figure out a better way to ply. I may end up using my Ashford, but we'll see. I got about 30 yards of 2 ply at about 18 wpi. I don't know that I can make anything out of it, but it's wonderfully soft. Maybe an accent yarn?

I'm almost done with the STR socks, and I'm going to give them to my sister as a mother's day present. I gave my mom a bottle of wine, but we all drank it last night :)

Mother's day is pretty depressing for me, because it's a day that I have trouble not thinking about motherhood. Man proposes, God disposes, I guess.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Still working on them

I still haven't finished those socks for DP! I only work on them on the bus, and the going is so slow. I really just have 15 more rows of ribbing on each sock, but it feels like an eternity.

I've been working up a new sock pattern and I'm a bit peeved. I'm using STR mediumweight in Bella Coola, and the striping is really, really pronounced. The colors are right, the weight is right, it's just that the bit of light blue in the yarn makes the other blues seem to stripe more. It hides the pattern (should have known!) making all the work meaningless. I guess the good thing is I'm getting to practice toe up gusset heels, which is something I don't have a lot of experience with. I think that if I write the pattern up, it will be with a short row heel, because that involves less fiddling, to my mind.

I'll probably make them in a solid yarn, after I finish the pair, just to see if the pattern is worth writing down at all.

In other news, I found two skeins of gold ribbon yarn - a shimmery gold bamboo! It's only 140 yards, so I'm not sure what to make of it :)

On the spinning front, I think I'm going to try to spin the buffalo down on my charka. I want to make a laceweight, and possibly ply it with some light brown cashmere. We'll see - the barber-pole effect might be too pronounced. I'm going to ask DP's advice, since he's good at helping me with color choices.