Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Olympic Non-participant

There were many more watchers of the Olympics than participants, right? Well, at least I'm using that to justify my position of not knitting in the Olympics. I am still working on the vest from Dazzling Knits that I posted a few weeks ago. I don't take it on the road with me so my knitting is limited to only my days at home, lately that has been all too few. I'm getting ready to finish it though as it looks as if I will be staying at home with Grandmother Duty for 3 days one week and 5 days the following week later this month. I'll post when that is finished. I'm also still working on the Body Wrap by Catherine Lowe. It is 4 large triangles of which 2 are completed and the 3rd is on the needles.

This body wrap may be my never ending project. I decided to opt for the kit when I realized that I could spend almost as much money picking out yarn only to get a second rate product. The yarn is finger weight silk, wool and mohair. The dying is fabulous so the color is very even. I couldn't get her gauge with the size 6 needles and dropped to size 4s. This is hurting my hands, but at least it is on target with gauge. The funny thing is that I had a lot of yarn left over when I had completed the required number of rows and stitches, so I changed the sizing to a total of 423 stitches instead of the 375. I do like the density of the fabric better than if I had used the size 6 needles, even if it takes more stitches to get to the measurements. It's all a matter of taste, right, but its a LOT of stitches that I would have to frog and a lot of re-knitting I would have to do if it doesn't turn out right.

Your Olympic Socks are great! You live in a climate where you can wear the socks with clogs or sandals all winter. Have you tried to knit any socks with Cascade Fixation? The yarn is great for socks, although a little larger yarn than sock yarn. The yarn has some elastic spun into the fiber so it stretches. Makes a great fitting sock that doesn't bag or stretch out of shape. They have wonderful colors and great colorways in the yarn. Try this web site http://cascadeyarns.com/cascade-fixation.asp It is inexpensive, costs less than $5.00 a ball and requires only 2 balls to make a pair of socks. I get one sock with less than one ball, but will start the second sock with the second ball to avoid having to start the second ball halfway through the second sock.
When I first returned to knitting a few years ago I did a google search on knitting. I found a plethora of web sites with hand knitted socks. After spending a few hours online looking at a lot of the posts, I decided I must be the only person in the world not knitting socks, so I had to try my hand at them. I've made a few pairs, they make great gifts (where else is the recipient going to get a pair of hand knit socks) but aren't too practical for my climate. I have a friend who is an outdoor person and loves the socks with her boots. Not for me...How can I be outside, wearing boots and knitting. Just doesn't fit. I do wear them with my Berkinstocks in the fall and spring. They always get someone's attention, giving me what we all like, a chance to say, "Thanks, I knit them."

So maybe in 2 years during the summer Olympics I'll knit something, at least I can deram of what I would like to do. How about a summer cardigan, cotton, white, lacey??? I've got plenty of time to think about that one.

I like your choices in tops and can completely understand that pacing oneself with knitting is impossible. Maybe even an oxymoron, Pacing and Knitting, totally incompatible. I truely believe the saying, so much yarn, so little time.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

A Successful Pair of Socks

Yes, my olympic knitting socks are complete. In fact, I'm wearing them right now. I'm pretty happy with the way they came out. I'm not sure the heel is quite right, but they fit. On my next pair of socks - yes, I think there will be another pair - I hope to try a more complicated pattern and maybe it will have a different way to turn the heel.

The yarn is ordered for my Somewhat Cowl sweater, as well as cotton for my "beach knitting sweater." I'm afraid that I'm going to have a bit of withdraw without something to be focused on until the yarn arrives. I've got plenty of yarn to knit dish cloths for the next week, so I may try a complicated pattern to practice a few new stitches.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Olympic Knitting - Days 9, 10 & 11

I'm almost done with sock number 2. All I have left is the remainder of the foot and grafting the toe. If I can find some time over the next two days, I'll be in good shape. I know - socks aren't that challenging and required no blocking and such, but it was somewhat of a challenge for me. I don't like the way my stitches look when I pick up stitches, so I need practice or suggestions, or lessons or something. I just don't like how they look, so I'm doing something wrong, I'm sure.

It's important that I get this right because I have found my next project, The Somewhat Cowl, and I've got the yarn ordered - so this is a commitment. I found this pattern by accident when browsing Olympic Knitting blogs and I not only love this pattern, I really enjoy reading her blog. There's also a cool link to The Garter Belt. Some neat, modern, attractive patterns are available. I thought it was a good find. So, cancel the other two projects I mentioned last time - I have such knitting A-D-D right now it's horrible. So scattered about projects I want to complete that I get so overwhelmed that I can't even figure out the best place to start.

Friday, February 17, 2006

One Sock Down, One to Go - Olympic Days 6-8

I'm half way there! One sock complete, one more to go.

And the first one fits.

I'm babysitting tomorrow night for a little one, and after he goes to bed I'll have some uninterrupted time to dedicate to sock number 2. While completing the matching sock (fingers crossed), I'll have to think of a name for these girls (I think green and purple socks have to be girls).

I've really enjoyed knitting these socks and I'm excited to cast on the second one tonight. I'm already looking for my next project since I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with these socks. I'm thinking about this bandeau top. I thought it would look cute for spring, maybe with a white t-shirt and jean jacket. It's cute and it is a beginner's fair isle pattern.

Another choice is this cute tank from knitty called Honeymoon . It's a good pattern to practice my shaping and it will be cute to wear with jeans or, if I dare, under a suit.

I've not forgotten about my Einstein coat. It's just so hot here this winter (82 today) and I'm burning up with it just laying in my lap. I cannot imagine wearing it this year. So, once we turn the A/C on in the house - I'll get back at it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Knitting Olympics - Days 4 & 5

I'm working on the foot of the sock. After successfully turning the heel and in the middle of knitting the instep, one of my brand new Brittany needles cracked and eventually broke. I had enough length on the needle to continue to work, but I will have to make a trip to the LYS to get another set.

I was a little shocked by the break, since I have other Brittany needles and they are such high quality, I really didn't expect this to happen. But I believe that the true sign of a good company is how they handle problems and Brittany has this covered. I happened to notice on the needle pack that the needles are guaranteed for five years. I went to the website and all I had to do was send an e-mail with the needle information and they would replace my needle within two weeks! How fantastic. While I will still need to purchase a new set, eventually I will have two complete sets. I guess I better get good at knitting socks.

Could this be equated to Kerri Scruggs in the 1996 Summer Olympics when she hurt herself on her first vault, but went back out there and nailed her second vault to win the gold for the women's gymnastic's team? Ok, that might be pushing it, but I am making progress. I just hope they fit after all is said and done.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Knitting Olympics - Days 1-3

I'm making progress. I hope to finish the heel tonight, but here's what I've learned so far in my three short days of the Knitting Olympics:

1. Knitting with toothpicks takes some getting use to. However, I love my size 2 Brittany needles and after a few rounds I've gotten the hang of it. I can't imagine what working with size 1 or 0 might be like.

2. I'm not knitting socks for church. In the process of working the leg, I missed a stitch and had a hole in my sock. Not good.

3. Frog in circles. I tried to ladder down to fix the hole, but being a novice at making teeny, tiny stitches, I had little success at fixing my mistake. I ripped back, but didn't rip an entire round, so after a couple of rounds I realized that the end/beginning of my round was no longer the end/beginning.

I need to get moving on this heel if I want to try and stay on schedule. Only 13 days left.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Its great that you are knitting in the Olympics. I was so amazed with some of the projects when I visited the web site. I thought about joining, but couldn't decide what I wanted to knit. So, I'll be anxious to follow your progress with the socks. I have knit a few pairs and find them a lot of fun to knit, but not nearly so much fun to wear. I agree with you, can't wear them to work, don't wear work boots and since I'm always traveling the Birkenstocks don't travel with me. I find that when I'm at home, I do wear the socks with the the sandals around the house. So I get some wear out of them.
I haven't started anything new lately. Still working on the vest from Dazzling Knits. It is so much fun to knit but can't work on it while on the road as well. I am traveling with the Catherine Lowe BodyWrap from the kit I bought. It will take a long time to finish it. I find the knitting difficult since the yarn is lace weight and the wrap is so large, however it is all garter stitch and is meditative knitting. Stress reducing after a long day.
I'm in Newark this week, going to Texas next week. If anyone reads our blog I'll bet they think we must work for the same company, both going to Texas at about the same time. I'll be in Bryan/College Station, what about you?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Newest Knit-lete

I decided to challenge myself over the 16-days of the Olympics, so I signed up for the Knitting Olympics, just prior to the deadline of midnight last night. However, I decide not to tackle the sweater I posted previously. I plan on knitting this sweater over Spring Break at the beach (yes, when you're married to a school teacher you still get spring break). Due to lack of funds to buy the yarn required for the sweater and the threat of a ton of travel in February, I've decided to complete a basic pair of socks as a part of the Knitting Olympics. I figure that if I am sent back to Texas over the 16 days of the event (totally likely), that socks will be easier to manage on the plane.

I'm going to use this pattern from Vogue Knitting, Fall 1992. It gives good directions (believe it or not) and I like how basic the pattern is (I'm not all that keen on fancy socks anyway - I can't wear them with heels and a suit, so why bother). I'm going to do my best to update each day.

In other news, I've felted my free-form purse. I don't know what I will use for handles, but what I do know is that they won't be knitted. I'm going to try something different. Who knows what I'll come up with. I'll post photos later once the handles are on - whatever they turn out to be.