They're Coming to Take Me Away (Ha Ha)

They're coming to take my computer, that is. And all the rest of my stuff, which I will be officially without for some 2 - 3 weeks. Somebody help me. So, this may be the last post for a while (like 2 - 3 weeks) depending on the "situation" at the other end. But before that happens, enjoy another completed project!

Project Specs:
Pattern: Gentleman's Socks (With Lozenge Pattern) by Nancy Bush from Knitting Vintage Socks
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock (100% superwash merino) in Java, 1 hank (420 yds/ 4oz)
Needles: 5 size 0 metal dpns
Size: To fit a slightly narrow US ladies size 7 1/2
Started: 11 May 2007
Finished: 25 May 2007
Pattern Mods: As mentioned before, I used only 75% of the stitches throughout to fit my US size 7 1/2 ladies foot. This meant casting on only 54 stitches for the cuff and increasing up to 60 for the body of the sock. Worked approximately 75% of the rows as written for the heel flap, picked up the same proportion of stitches for the gusset, and decreased back down to 54 stitches for the foot. One other thing I did do to try to get a snug fit (since 60 stitches is a tad on the big size for me and I have small ankles) was to switch to size 00 needles for the instep only after working the heel flap. I switched back to size 0 when I finished decreasing back to the original 54 stitches. I don't know if it made a difference, but the socks fit very nicely indeed.

Of course I cast on right away for another pair, because I am insane and packing is not stressful enough without random yarn strewn about the place.

I am having a hard time committing to putting the yarn in the boxes. I keep thinking, what if I need it? As if they don't sell yarn in northern California. The books and magazines are (mostly) all packed, and I am experiencing knitting withdrawl. Here's one item that is not getting packed in a box, even though she thinks she is:

What? I so fit in this box.


Oops! (I Did It Again)

Ha! You didn't know I knew any pop culture references, did you? Anyway, in between packing and not packing (aka procrastinating), oh, and work too, I may have accidentally bought some Noro Silk Garden:

I may have accidentally cast on for something too:

Have no fear though, the Gentleman's Sock (with Lozenge Pattern) is not forsaken. I have turned the heel and picked up the gusset stitches, so it's all down hill from here. I will not fall into the same trap you did, Veronique! I know that trap all too well (ahem, Absorba, ahem).

Sunday morning was bright and sunny on the Upper East Side, and I caught these guys having a frolic across the way from my porch:

Can't see? How about now:

Though the babies aren't that small anymore they sure do like to play rough and tumble! Cuteness cubed.

I am trying to cut the coffee out of my diet, or at least reduce it somewhat. I'm two days down so far. (Plus we have a crap-load of tea to drink in the next month.) You can perceive the depths of my coffee-centric-ness by my automatic assumption that the Java colorway referred to coffee. It occurred to me the other day that perhaps it refers to the island.


PS Packing sucks.


2 1/2 Weeks

I was looking for a blog-worthy photograph to accompany The Big News, but after two days of searching I find I have nothing (in digital format anyway). So I will spill the beans without visuals:

I got a new job!!!

Those of you who know me personally know that I rather despise my current job and have been meaning almost since Day 1 to find a different one. Without going into specifics, I'll just say that the workplace environment is undesirable; coworkers are lazy, my boss is apathetic, and there is no opportunity to advance in the position I am in. In addition, I am really tired of this city, and this city life. There are many things about it that are really great, but it just isn't for me. (Ask me again next year when I don't have the Met to go to...)

Anyway, I found an opening online for a company that does very similar work to the company that I used to work for back in California, before I moved to New York. It was a job I loved. And this job was perfect. Even better, it was in northern California (I didn't much like southern California either, at least not to live in - though it is lovely to visit!) And I got it! They liked me so much on my phone interview that they flew me out for the weekend to meet me in person. I must have done something right, because the offered me a great deal, the pay is better than what I am making now (cost of living is about the same, if not somewhat cheaper), the position has lots of room for growth, and they are paying for my move! Yipee! I can't wait!

I start in 2 1/2 weeks.

Needless to say, things are going to be a little hectic around here the next couple of weeks, so posts (and comments) may be sporadic at best. I am going to try to get the packages out before I go though, otherwise who knows how long it will take. Knitting will continue, as much as possible, or I may go mad.

To take my mind off the amount of package and organizing and decluttering that is going to have to happen over the next week or so (ack!) I took some pictures. Ok, a lot of pictures. Shetland Triangle was being very uncooperative:

As good as it gets today, I'm afraid.

Project Specs:
Pattern: Shetland Triangle by Evelyn Clark from Wrap Style
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Laceweight Possum (40% merino, 40% possum, 20% silk) in Java, 1 hank (480 yds/ 50g)
Needles: size 3 Clover wooden circulars (24")
Finished Dimensions: 56" across the top, 28" top to point
Started: 05 March 2007
Finished: 12 May 2007
Pattern Mods: I knit 5 extra pattern repeats to make sure the finished shawl was big enough, since I was using finer yarn. It ended up being just 2" wider at the top and 4" longer at the point.

This pattern was very easy to memorize once a few rows were established, and I only needed to refer to the charts at the ends of the rows and the stitches right around the center column. Great for bus-knitting! I like the end result too. I might try it again in the future in a heavier-weight yarn.

I almost did end up in the corner crying though, when, as I spread the wet shawl out on the floor to block, that hole opened up right before my eyes, like a black hole that began to devour the yarn closest to it with the intent to devour everything. Thank goodness this was a sticky yarn or I would have ended up in the corner gnawing on my fingers. I managed to fix the hole by knitting the stitches back up and then doing a duplicate stitch with a sharp sewing needle (piercing the base strand in multiple places) and then sort of tie the free stitch in a busier section of the pattern. It's really obvious right now (to me anyway, though probably not anyone else I suspect) but I think the next time it is blocked it should smooth out.

Knitting with the possum yarn was interesting! The possum is gleaned from the skins of dead possum in Australia, where there are very destructive (from what I understand). Now, I am an environmentalist, there's no doubt about that, but I don't see any harm (and in fact think some good could come from it) to use a product from an animal that is going to die anyway. Pest management is Big Business, and there's little chance it will go away soon. The situation may be changing in Australia, though, as the possum yarns no longer seem to be available. What do you think?

As I mentioned last post, as soon as I cast off the shawl I cast on for a sock:

This sock is cruising along - that much done just in just 3 1/2 days, and truthfully I think I might finish the first one tonight. It is the Gentleman's Sock with Lozenge Pattern from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. I did much of the work on the trip up and back to Connecticut to see my parents for Mother's Day. I had been eyeing this pattern for a while - I love the lozenge pattern, which is like a sort of faux argyle made with purl stitches instead of a different color yarn. Very textural, very earthy, very me. What's that, you can't see the lozenge pattern very well? Here you go:


That last shot shows off the colors, and the pattern, really well. It is Cherry Tree Hill (again) Supersock in Java. I do love the Cherry Tree Hill, and apparently I love coffee! This is the same colorway that I used for the Shetland Triangle! It looks quite a bit different in the merino, more vibrant colors with more hues present (greens, blues, purples - it is just gorgeous). The laceweight is much more muted, with more red tones, but also very beautiful. It reminds me of the woods in autumn. I didn't even realize they were the same colorway until I looked at the lables for this post!

Cuff detail.

Since the pattern is written for a large man's foot, I wasn't sure how these would turn out. But, I saw that the number of stitches to cast on was 78 (increased up to 80 after the cuff), and that the gauge was 8 1/2 stitches per inch. I normally get around 8 - 8 1/2 stitches per inch with my trusty size 0 needles, and socks that have an initial cast on of around 56 - 60 stitches seem to work well for me. So, since 60 is 3/4 of 80 I merely used 25% fewer stitches! I cast on 54 stitches (had to be divisible by 3 for the cuff) and increased up to 60 for the lozenge pattern (had to be divisible by 10). I work just slightly over 3/4 of the specified rows for the heel and picked up approximately 3/4 of the specified number of stitches for the gusset. Then you simply decrease back down to your original number od stitches cast on. So far it has worked like a dream! The cuff is nice and firm when I try it on but the leg doesn't seem too baggy. I'll let you know how it goes!

Finally greenery has gotten a wee bit bigger. Too bad I won't be around to eat it!

Clockwise from top left: catmint, chamomile, basil, parsley.
All are approximately 4 weeks old.

The basil seems to be the slowest starter and also had the lowest germination rates. I don't know if it is typical of the species, or if I got a "bad" batch. Still, at least some grew! I also have parsley in a pot with an orange tree and it is a bit bigger than this parsley. It has started growing parsley-like leaves! The small pot of parsley is only hinting at its final form, as is the catmint. Victoria is doing quite well in her new pot home! But the mango still looks like a pot of dirt.


E Fini!

Hi y'all! I'm back from my hiatus with a finished project! Sort of. Well, you'll see why. Anyway, I have been in kind of a funk lately, and not knitting much, but since finishing the Elfines (which are still waiting for a photo shoot) I had a deep desire (for an unknown reason really) to finish off another WIP I had started more than two months ago. Enter Evelyn Clark's Shetland Triangle Shawl from Wrap Style. I was so close to being finished that I just pushed on through. I was relying heavily on an ability to be able to guess when I needed to switch to the edge chart such that I would not run out of yarn. Essentially, magic. But, magically, it worked - I don't think I would have gotten another pattern repeat out of the skein! I'll post the specifics tomorrow, but I will say I used a different yarn, different needle size, and different number of pattern repeats. So there.

Binding off a gazillion stitches is a pain takes forever...

Hmmm, I seem to have lost a stitch (on the left).
Luckily it did not go anywhere before I found it again.

Two grams out of 50 were left over!

The shawl at rest after an invigorating dip in the pool.

Ack! Ack!
(Let the hyperventilation commence.)

This is what happens when you get cocky and don't use lifelines, though it hardly would have mattered since I didn't spot it until after it was all spread out and stretched to within an inch of it's life. Luckily this is a sticky yarn, oh yes indeed. There are actually now three live stitches (I think), which I have rescued (I hope) and will re-attach tomorrow (with luck). Two dropped stitches on a single project, good grief.

In other goings-on, I have good news, which I have not jinxed by talking about too soon, and which I will write about soon! It means a big change, and a lot of stress the next few weeks. This, of course, does not mean that I have abandoned knitting. With the completion of Shetland Triangle I had only one other project on the needles, Absorba, the Rug, can you believe it? Since Absorba is not terribly portable I cast on for a sock right away, since the only yarn I have wound and ready to go is sock yarn. More on that tomorrow.

And don't dispair, people who are awaiting packages from me! Soon! Very soon! (Incidentally, did you know that postal rates went up? Again? My question is does this means we will get better service?


Stymied again...

...by my own lack of planning. Thank you so much for the kind words though everybody! I promise my act will be together...soon.

Here, have some more photos of BBG! I can't talk about "what's up" until Sunday night at the earliest. Sorry to leave you hanging!

Beautiful parrot tulip (of some sort).
It really is a tulip, and it really was that color!

Cactus. Of some sort.
I am a bad note-taker.

You know the drill.

And some of my own greenery:

Baby catmint, 2 weeks old.

Baby chives, 2 weeks old.

The seeds sprouted about a week ago. I am dreading the thinning phase! It just seems like such a waste and makes me really sad...

Oh yeah, and my mango still looks like a pot of dirt. I will give it one more week...


I Lied

I said on the SAM3 blog that I would do a photo shoot of the finished Elfines yesterday.

I lied.

I did not do a photo shoot today either.

In lieu of socks I give you Sakura Matsuri at the Brooklyn Botantic Garden, which my parents, roommate, and I went to on Sunday:

Got off the train here. Nope, didn't go to the museum.

Saw lots of these!

"Every living thing from a living thing." - Louis Pasteur

Traditional Japanese fan dancing.

It is also apparently Tulip Time!
(Click to make bigger to
witness the gorgeous variety of tulips on display.)

It was a nice time with beautiful art exhibits, music, and dance, not to mention some pretty spectacular plants, but as you can tell from the photos the weather was not so nice - it overcast, windy, and even a little drizzly. Those cherry trees were pretty much all blooming, but almost no petals were falling yet.

Will we see socks on parade tomorrow? Only time will tell...