Gone to the Beach

Leaving for a week at the shore, and I can’t wait! We’ll get to see my brothers and other family types, and relax for a week at the beach. Can. Not. Wait. :)

I’ve done a lot of my prep work so that there’s less to do chore-wise once we’re there…I made chicken chili for our night’s dinner (everyone does dinner one night dinner so it’s fair), and I have the stuff ready to make cornbread (homemade), then I’ll make a salad and I’m thinking of making some raspberry sauce to go on ice cream for dessert. Oh, and I always make this wildly popular taco dip that everyone loves, so I’ll do that again too.

I have of course done the requisite amount of planning for what knitting I am taking. I’ll definitely take my Solstice Slip socks, I’m on the leg of the first sock now. Sorry, no photos. I have run out of time with the packing and all, but I promise to post a photo when I get back.

I can now officially say that I LOVE this pattern! When I slipped it on my foot it seemed to fit perfectly…nice and snug. (This of course after its little dip in the frog pond, but it was worth it!) I can see myself making another pair of these, that’s for sure. Especially now that I’ve got it all sorted out with the sizing and number of rows to fit.

I’m also going to take my Fuchsia Lace Scarf, which is a very fun one to knit. (No new WIP photos as it really isn’t that much farther along, just imagine this one a little longer! :) And here’s the one I took where it’s stretched out a little and you can see the pattern better.) I think I’ve mentioned before, this is a relatively easy lace pattern, but at the same time just complex enough that it requires some attention so it’s entertaining all by itself. I know I’ve mentioned this before also, but this is a really awesome scarf pattern, and I’d highly recommend it. (Links on my sidebar.)

Even though I think those two projects will suffice, I am trying to decide if I want to bring along my other sock project, the plain gray Trekking socks. I might do that so I have some completely mindless stockinette knitting which I can do and still carry on an intelligent conversation.

Lastly I am taking the Harry Potter #7 book which I am about two chapters into. I’ve sort of been saving it for this trip, since it’ll make great beach reading. I don’t tend to take my knitting to the beach, even though I’m often tempted. I guess I’d just rather be clean and free of sand and salt spray for knitting! That’s why I love knitting after all. A nice, clean craft. I quickly lose patience with paints or stamps or other messy things. Soft and clean works for me.

So, I probably won’t be posting until I get back (last year at the rental house there was a weak wireless signal we were able to pick up, but you had to lean off the edge of the balcony to get it. No thanks!) so until then, have a nice week and I’m off to knit and read Harry Potter under the beach umbrella!


Take a good look...

...because I now need to frog this half a heel I did, to shorten the foot.

One thing about toe-up socks, which I have given a fair chance and am learning to like, is that I am never sure when to start the heel. Especially with the short row heel. I suppose this is something that will come with practice, which I am willing to give it. The first pair of toe-ups (with a short row heel) I did was the Inside Out socks from the Rockin' Sock Club January kit. Those are a tad too long, ideally, so I was going to try and use that knowledge to my advantage this time around. But no.

See, with the Inside Out socks, the heel was done on exactly half the total stitches. With this Solstice Slip pattern, there are 10 rows of increases before starting the heel. Now I can certainly see the reasoning here and I think these might even fit a little better (if nothing other than going over my heel easier), but I sure didn't allow for that extra length when I was comparing this sock to the Inside Out sock. sigh. I started the heel anyway, and figured I'd probably have to frog but thought I'd at least try and get an idea of how much. So I did half of it and now I am resigned to the fact that I need to frog and am unwilling to go further until I fix it.

I have to admit, I'm not so scared of frogging anymore. Of course it depends on the complexity of the pattern, but I recently frogged some of my Fuchsia Lace scarf which is a lacy pattern (I won't go so far as to say it's a complex lace, but still lacy nonetheless) and did so successfully. The technique I have found that works for me is this:

  • Sit at the kitchen counter, turn up the lights, and ask my husband to please not talk to me for a little while.
  • If they're not sleeping, close the cats out of the room (especially Moose).
  • Take a deep breath, cringe a little and pull the needles out of my knitting.
  • Resume breathing (since I didn't realize I was holding my breath) and tell myself, I can do this.
  • Frog one row at a time, making note of what rows I am undoing on my pattern so that I know where I am.
  • Use smaller needles than the pattern was using to pick up the stitches again.
  • Not worry about which way the stitches are facing, just get the little buggers safely back on the needles.
  • Tink back at least one more row, thereby righting all of the stitches, putting them back on the correct needles, and making sure no yarn is split and all is well.
  • Resume knitting sans error!

So...with that said, I am going to go apply my own advice to my sock and see what happens.

But first...here's why we have more than one project going at once. While the Solstice Slip sock was getting a time out, I resumed this sock and turned the heel. Successfully, I might add, since this is a more familiar top-down pattern. However it should be noted that I am writing up my own plain sock pattern guide for this as I go since I've never knit a sock at this gauge. (I did have to frog the heel on this one too...but we're not mentioning that.) I did use the Yarn Harlot's third book Knitting Rules to help me figure out where I went wrong on the heel turn, and now I'm all set, and feeling a teensy bit more knowledgable on the subject too.

Back to my knitting now.


Yummy Yarn

As Lynn kindly and so rightly reminded me in a comment on my last post, this love of fiber many of us have in common? Much more fun when you share. :) So here we go.

I recently purchased a kit for a fair isle hat that I could not resist. It's from KnitWhits, and it's called the Siena Hat (in cotton), in the Napa colorway. It came in this adorable tube:

I'm excited to learn how to do that braided edge, which I think looks cool. Here's the yarn, all wound into little mini cakes and stuffed in the tube:

As it turns out, the colors actually will go very well with my winter ski coat, a nice bonus! That dark eggplant color at the top is exactly the same color as the main part of my coat. I already made a hat to go with my coat, but I figure, what's wrong with having another? :)

Then on a recent trip to my favorite LYS, (a treat I give myself after I go to the dentist, since the shop is on my way home and I'm early enough to get there before they close!), I found some pretty turquoise yarn that I want to use to make the scarf Branching Out from Knitty. It's almost solid but not quite, so I figure it'll be good for a lace pattern.

I also purchased the sock pattern book by Interweave, Favorite Socks. So then I got some plain sock yarn to use for some of the fun patterns in there. This is some Fortissima Socka, and I actually used that and started one of the patterns in the book, but found this yarn to be a tad harsh, even though it feels soft in the ball. I think I'll use it for a simpler pattern (there's one for ribbed socks with a little cable up the side) that might suit this yarn better.

Then since I just had to get some more plain yarn to make socks with patterns (most of my yarn is multicolored), I ordered some stuff from Simply Socks Yarn Company.

Here is some Cherry Tree Hill solid, in Mulberry:

I've never tried CTH so I will enjoy seeing what that's like.

Then I decided to see what the buzz is all about and got some Dream in Color Smooshy yarn. hee. I find the name amusing! I believe the colorway is called Wisterious. It's gorgeous. It has multiple colors but is still tame enough that I think I can get away with doing a patterned sock as well.

And last but not least, I got some OnLine sock yarn, which was on sale. I believe the color is 839.

And now, because it's been far too long since I've shared a photo of our little friend Moose, here he is snoozin' in his favorite spot, quite the definition of "comfy" if you ask me:

p.s.--as I sit here typing this, my DH is pointing at my yarn, and saying to Moose, "Yarn! Yarn here!" Huh! Whose side is he on, anyway?!


Solstice Slip Started

On to the June kit! I finally started the June Rockin' Sock Club kit. And so far I love it! The colors are gorgeous, and I am enjoying the pattern too. Here's the skein of yarn:

It ranges from a magenta to red to an orange and a light pink...and everything in between. The color name is Firebird. Aptly named, I think!

Here it is wound into a ball. I love seeing how yarns look when they're wound up too.

This is my sock-in-progress:

I'm actually a little farther along than this picture shows, but this is what I've gotten around to taking a photo of. ;) The pattern is fun. I've seen various photos, and I think I like it better than I'd mentally pictured it. It's a neat variation on a 2x3 rib. And since it's a rib, it's nice and stretchy. I've tried it on my foot and so far I think it's going to be great.

The sole is done in stockinette, and the yarn is behaving with a sort of randomness that I like, even though more of the magenta is on one side, and the reds are on the other. But I really like it.

So far with these sock club patterns I have learned a few new techniques. These haven't taught me anything new yet, other than the pattern itself, but they did give me the opportunity to try the provisional cast on again. Yes, it's true! I voluntarily did the provisional cast on! See, this pattern gives you the option to do them either top down or toe up. I chose toe up, since I've been enjoying that type now. Anyway, I have to admit, the provisional cast on went much smoother this time. I no longer fear it like I once did. Granted, it still takes about 15 minutes of good light and undivided attention, but I can live with that.

One other thing I've learned from this club is that I really do like this Socks That Rock yarn. Even though it has a tendency to twist something fierce as I knit, it's really great yarn. I feel like it's sturdy, and not going to wear out minutes after I put the sock on. Some sock yarns make me feel like they might do that. This stuff is so soft and yet it has, I don't know, substance. I also have decided I like the lightweight yarn.

Back to my knitting! One of these days I'll post about my latest new yarn acquisitions! :)



Here’s proof that I really did finish the second installment of the Rockin’ Sock Club. Here are my completed Knee High to a Grasshopper socks in Silkie Socks that Rock yarn, Walking on the Wild Tide colorway (wow, those are long names, huh?!).

As I mentioned, I finished sock #2 on our camping trip. It was the perfect thing to bring along since I already knew what I needed to do having already completed the first sock, and it didn’t require a lot of notions and tools, and I knew what ones I would need to bring along. With camping, I didn’t want to be bringing a ton of extra stuff that I didn’t need (not that knitting notions take up all that much room, but still). I also wanted to pack carefully so nothing got lost or broken.

I like them! They fit nicely and even though they’re lacy I can tell they’ll be warm, at least they sure were when I did this little photo shoot. (We won’t mention the little detail that it’s currently summer and all...) See this page for the specs on these.

Now I can begin the next pair, Solstice Slip. I wound the skein and am ready to get started.


Very Pink Bag

It’s done! I felted/fulled the pink bag. In all truthfulness, I did so a few weeks ago. I know some of you were interested in seeing how it turned out…so I’m sorry for the delay! Anyway, I think it came out kinda cute. It sure didn’t shrink as much as I thought it would, but that’s okay. It also took forever to shrink even as much as it did. The yarn was a loosely spun 1-ply, the kind that’s really hard to sew up seams with, since all it wanted to do was pull apart. I had to keep twisting it as I sewed. Anyway, I am happy with the bag! I got a zipper for it but am unsure whether I want to sew it in or not. I’m going to leave it as is, and if one day I feel the need for a zipper, I’ll add it then.

So without further ado…I give you, the Very Pink Bag:

I like the way it looks, the stripes are still very apparent, and satisfyingly symmetrical in a random sort of way. I had originally imagined this bag ending up smaller and with shorter handles…but this is okay too. I can put the bag over my shoulder.

Here are the specs on this bag.

Stay tuned…more FO’s to follow!