Thursday, November 29, 2012

Whoa! Work In Progress Wednesday

The past few days have been pretty insane. There were tests, casual get togethers, family events, chores, and added responsibilities.I am still trying to catch up from being gone so long. I started this post quite some time ago, and as I continued to not quite finish it, I proceeded to make even more things to talk about.

There is only one photo from Thanksgiving. Me contemplating which dessert I want. I went with Bavarian apple tort and key lime pie. There was also the chocolate pecan pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate torte, holiday nut cake, and caramel pecan spice cake. Those items on the table weren't the only ones. Apparently there were 4 pumpkin pies, and at least 2 key lime. DSLO's family does not pussy foot around when it comes to dessert.

I finished a sock, and started the second, and finished the second, and wore it to knit night.

Woo hoo for a FO! I do not like toe up socks however. I much prefer matchiness at the top, than at the toes.

Hell, I don't have many complaints about the actual socks. Really I just don't like the construction. If I do this pattern again, I would do it cuff down.

The blue is pretty accurate in the photos. The color is just gorgeous. I am glad I finally got around to this skein. I got it last Christmas.

You can see in this photo what went strange. The second sock ended up longer than the first. Huh, yeah. I wasn't willing the trouble shoot where the pattern went wonky. I have and inch of ribbing on the first sock after the last repeat. I think I did one row on the second before I realized I really needed to bind off much earlier.

Grrrr. This problem never happens to me on cuff down socks.

I started a hat, though it has been strange. It is mostly aran weight, which would mean increasing to less stitches, but I am using smaller needles, and the fabric is quite solid.

Mystery solved, I needed to knit some stockinette, to ease the stretch on the disk. Increasing is not as stretchy a process as decreasing in a hat. Closed disk is stiffer than an open disk.

Then I made it too big.

Then it was still too big.

And now I am cooking!

The plan is to make it reversible. There is a pattern one direction and a different pattern in the other. Since it is double layered, this shouldn't be an issue.

Here are the things I have charted out so far. I have the Rose-Hulman R-h, and the all over pattern

direct tile of 5 unit
5 unit block
tile of 4 block subset

I ended up going with the direct tile, however, the subset tile would have been the most true to the original pattern. Really I just needed a cell that had all three colors in the row.

I am also adding in a pair of elephants from Rose Hiver's water for elephants pattern, though I will need to mod it a bit to get it to work for 3 colors. I might need some more black. We shall see. I am screwed if I need the other colors. I would rip back if that was the case and just do stripes.

I also had a lot of time to work on Evenstar.

It doesn't look like much in the vague bag of lace stage. I finished the 4th of the 4 row repeats. There are basically 3 more to go.before I need to follow the chart again.

The rows have become incredibly long. It is taking more than an hour for the rest rows now, and even longer for the patterned ones. 560 stitches per row does that to you. Looking at the chart, I am 40% of the way there with 35576 stitches completed, out out the 88776 total.

The mesh is really pretty, though at this point it is less fiddly than it is boring.

The twisted rib is interesting looking. I am not sure how much that is going to change when this is blocked. I am wondering if it is always going to pull in.

Go and check out the other cool projects for WIP Wednesdays.

It is so much fun to be a part of it.

That's all for now, take care guys!

Molly : )

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Socks? I like socks!

You know what I also like? Pie! I like pie!

Ok, back to socks.

Magic Mirror is completely hopelessly charming. Nazar Boncugu is so gorgeous. Here is a close up

Imagine that the subtle color variations were slightly less subtle, and that would be this yarn.

I actually ripped this out and restarted, because I tried a new toe, and did not like it.

I went back to my old standby, which is increases along the edge.

I have been knitting so furiously on these, that it is hard to stop, take a picture, and blog/share about it.

I was working on the FO post for the bohus, because I cast on these the moment I was done. Or rather, I cast off, went to the yarn room, picked out a lonely skein of wollmeise, and then launched into these.

I love the eyelets. I love the garter detail. I love the swoop of the twisted ribbing. This sock it exactly what I want to knit.

I decided to switch out the heel. I am following the pattern for a deep gusset flap heel since I know I like the flap the best.

I realized a little late that I could have done these socks cuff down, like normal. I am treating this as a learning exercise. A lot of people come to Sock Knitters looking for help on toe up heels, and my advice is less helpful, because I have not knit many true toe up heels.

Earlier this year I did a short row, and now I have a flap and gusset, and a few years ago I did an afterthought. I still need to try fleegle, and the sweet tomato. That isn't too bad eh? Nevertheless even though I tend to choose cuff down, I can choose toe up and still make a nice sock.

I hope this isn't too big. I need to try it again once I finish the flap.

Above is the ugliest side, which is quite pretty, all things considered. It was much harder to get holes when you don't have the wrap and turn plus shortrows on the other side.

Below is my first pair of socks. I made them about 3 years ago, when I took the plunge and learned how to read knitting patterns, and knit socks, and use needles smaller than size 6, and fingering weight yarn.

I have talked about them before. The dye wasn't set right, so they bled like mad, and what used to be blue and natural and brown, turned to grey. So, last night I dyed them red.

That wasn't the only thing that got thrown in the dye pot.

I dyed the yarn for the dear sweet lovable one's hat. I might need to darken it, because it is less a true red, and more a coral. I was really excited because it seemed like I got the dye to set first try. At first I used all red, then I switched to adding red and yellow 2:1. At the end we added just a touch of blue. Perhaps a touch was too little. I think I used a glazing technique. I would set the dye before adding more drops of food coloring. I was worried about flooding the pot and not being able to set the dye. When it seemed like it didn't want to clear any more, a couple of glugs of vinegar did the trick.

I guess I will need to decide soon if I do need to throw it back into the dye pot. I am so glad to have a win on this.

The fractal challenge was a sneaky one. I needed to make my favorite emoticon. The thing with fractals is that it is way easier to make abstract stuff than, well, what you intend.

I didn't try really hard. If I was trying hard the smiles would not have gone outside the head. These smilies are rocking the cheshire cat look.

That's all for now, take care guys

Molly : )

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bohus for the Win

I finished the Dean Yoked Pullover.

I had been day dreaming about this sweater months ago. The goal was to make a colorwork sweater out of Wollmeise. There were not too many contenders, because maybe it is a little insane to knit a fair isle sweater in fingering weight yarn. I even bought blue yarn in the middle of the night, when I could not sleep and caught a German update. I couldn't just be happy with a simple pattern. I needed something complicated, and colorful, and ridiculous.

I found all of these qualities in the Bohus designs. Nine colors! Four color rows! Small intricate motifs! Purl texture in color work!

I had to learn a lot to be ready for this sweater. Color theory, because my digital swatch let me down, and the combo that did work was amazing. Fair Isle, because my real swatch was pretty sloppy, and that wouldn't do. Making sweaters that fit, because this was a project that spanned months, and that was a big investment.

A lot of people helped me out. Bonnie gave me her color book, Teri gave me small ball of yarn, Joni sent me a security skein, Sally consulted on how much waist shaping is appropriate. I am really grateful.

Thanks everyone.

Honestly I enjoyed the experience enough to buy another set of main color yarn to make another one. I have so many small balls it should be no trouble to throw together another combo. Especially one with reds and blues.

I am so happy with the finished result, and the entire project was a fantastic challenge. It was the perfect intersection of want to knit, and want to wear.

I just love how this glows. This is a sweater that can brighten any winter day, but I can wear it so much more often than that, because it isn't overly warm.

I bet this is going to be the last to be put away in the spring, and the first to be brought out every fall.

Yay for the Bohus!

That's all for now, take care guys.

Molly : )

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's a Nearly a Sweater!

I have made good progress on my sweater and my shawl.

This comes in 2 parts. Monogamous knitting in a serial fashion.

Evenstar got a lot of love this weekend. I finished the 2nd chart, and did all of the setup for the 3rd. The stitches are seriously crowded on my needles so it looks like I might need to just buy the longer size 2 needle. Doing all 560 stitches on a 16 inch needle is silly.

I am planning on picking it up again after I finish the sweater.

I switched to the sweater because it is so close to being done. And now is the perfect time to wear it. 

I am 18 inches into my 23 I want in this photo. Sorry about the awkward brown spot. Apparently my coffee mug wasn't empty when I threw it into the bag with the sweater.

The waist is currently exactly where I want it to be.

Election night turned out to be a great time to knit. Since we don't have cable, or bunny ears, or a desire to watch TV, we went to a coworker of DSLO's house. Pro tip, if you are going to watch election results, it is so much better if everyone agrees on who should win. Happily everyone agreed, and most present were engineers.

I am currently employing the knit faster method of yarn usage. My ball is so very very small. But I did make it to the ribbing.

The paranoid part of me wants to weigh the ball, knit a round, and then weigh again. I need 3 inches of ribbing.

This might also be the rational part of me too. I want my sweater to be as long as my t shirt. I started the ribbing 2 inches past the full body shot. The end is so very close. It does not help that being a thower, there is nothing more obnoxious that 1x1 anything. Not enough to drive me to learn continental. Just enough to make the knitting less pleasant. 
I switched to my 1's for the ribbing, and since my 1's are 12 inches long, I am doing 2 circulars since all of the stitches won't fit on one needle.

Maybe I will have a FO post tomorrow! Fingers crossed.

On the fractal front, there has not been too much activity. I got a late start on the challenge, because I decided to re-render a flame another challenger made. It was a sweet design, it just had a lot of grain, which I knew a high quality render could fix (where by high quality I mean the new term density)

The apo challenge this week is to make a fractal using the number 2. For example, the number of transforms is divisible by 2, the variation is 2, .2, .222, 2.22, along with the variables, and the weights are also bound by the same rules for 2. It is pretty hard to make a pretty fractal with those sorts of rules.

I'll keep trying, this one was a surprise because I wasn't expecting so many details in the final render. The next one will be much more minimalistic.

That's all for now, take care guys!

Molly : )

Friday, November 2, 2012

What? So Soon?

I didn't get around to all of the things I wanted to talk about in my last post. I hadn't had a chance to take photos in daylight. There was gorgeous morning sunlight. Yay sun!

Department of Stashquisitions

I bought some stuff. It all arrived this week. I am not buying more yarn from quite some time . . .

I buy yarn very erratically. It comes sporadically. It is a little shocking to have it all land in a 4 day period. Then again, I knew months ago this would be a glutinous week.

This one landed on Thursday

My MIL pointed me in the direction of an epic Wollmeise destash.

I could resist the lace.

I could resist the twin.

I could not resist the 100%.

Visions of more fingering weight Wollmeise sweaters danced in my head.

The Ebenholz will be a MC for another Bohus. Because Eben goes with everything. Hortensie did not . . .

The Blue Curacao will become Elphaba. I am hoping to learn a ton about the craft of sweaters that fit by working this pattern. Technically I should have had enough, or nearly enough with 2 skeins. But better safe than sorry.

I am a sucker for sweater yarn with a purpose. I never buy a sweater quantity without having a really clear plan for what it is going to be. And I have a hard time saying no to blue.

In light of all of the socks (and giveaways), I caught a named color update for Wollmeise. This one should have landed on Thursday, but I missed the mail carrier and had to pick it up on Friday.

 After receiving Stella Polaris in a swap, I knew I wanted it in sock. I threw in the Lavendel for the purpose of diversity and shipping.

The picture does neither justice. I forgot to grab the Wollmeise when I had my morning photo shoot. Not sure if the camera can really catch the subtle prettiness which is stella.

I might actually swapping the Lavendel, because I am all about spreading the Wollmeise love. It is entirely possible to buy more than you have money in the account. You just need to be in the right place at the right time, be it destash, shop update, or from the loopy ewe. The cheapest by far is from Germany. I got this pair for 50 dollars, including shipping, from Germany. Yay weak Euro! Who gets 300g of indie dyed yarn for that price? Me!

I had a weak plan for my Vogue Knitting Live. I walked through all of the market place on Saturday, to get an idea about anything I was really lusting after, and what was available. Sunday I knew I would get some gorgeous laceweight, and maybe some sock yarn.

The woman I was with (Teri, recipient of the very bright socks) convinced me to get something for the dear sweet lovable one. So I also bought 2 skeins of aran weight kid mohair wool for the purpose of recreating the sausage hat, such that he did not look like a pothead/clown. He loves the hat, and wears it despite the awkwardness.

I am dyeing one skein red (his favorite color) and keeping the other natural, and basically making a classier version of the clown hat. I chose this blend, because there was a sweater knit up in the booth, and with wear, this yarn really blooms gorgeously and while soft in the skein, it is beyond delightful after a few washes. Like Wowo! If you want your own go to Green Mountain Spinnery. I got the Green Moutain Green.

I was not sure if I was going to pick up any sock yarn. There were not many indie sock dyers there, and frankly, I can buy large brand ones from my LYS.

I was going through Emily Parson's stall, and I found this one. When I saw the colorway, I knew I had to buy it.

How could I resist June Wedding? Nope, mine.

And there has been a funny joke running in sock knitters about pink yarn. I do in fact have bright pink socks. But only one pair.

Yay for Merino-Cashmere-Nylon. It just feels so delightful. It will be a joy to knit this up.

I was thinking Monkey Socks. That might keep happening until I knit them. All variegated yarn might want to become Monkeys.

On the last part of my plan, I saw a lot of merino silk on my walk through. On my second pass I found this yak silk, and I was completely sold.

They had little scratch cards, and I got 15% off, which was fantastic.

It came from Bijou Basin Ranch. They had a lot of delightful things, like Quviut. Let's just say the yak was much closer to my acceptable price range for a luxury fiber.

I hope to find the perfect pattern for this.

 The last item was a gift. Apprently Teri has had this sock yarn in her stash for over 8 years. She doesn't like blue that much. Oddly enough, I do love blue very much : )

 It is a discontinued type of Chery Tree Hill. So basically tight twist, 4 ply, merino nylon blend.

Since it is semi solid, complicated socks are probably going to happen with this yarn.

Teri was using it as her swatch yarn in the Cookie A class, and it was so pretty.

I used this random homespun I got from my LYS's Christmas swap. Not sure what to do with it really. The homespun is bizzaro stuff. I might just trade it back because it is so purposeless in my stash. Pro tip for the next swap, quality not quantity.

I haven't set aside the time to think about what to do to my Bohus. The snarky answer is finish it.

By the measurements, it is a touch too far. So I think I will rip back to the last decrease, count to 6 more rows and then start the increases. By how it looks on me, it is just to were I start flaring out. Good news, the measurements from class make sense.

I feel like this class is going to be 100% worth the money.

I am really trucking on the Evenstar. Nothing like 20 minute freeway closures to get some nice unexpected knitting time.

Sorry, the color is so much deeper than this photo is showing. I'd say it is about 1 1/2 feet in diameter, and I am 25% of the way there. I have even gotten a few more rows done since I took this photo. After I do the next double the stitches row I am going to switch back to the sweater.

So, what does the future hold? My sock needles are lonely. I might need to start another pair of socks. Like Monkey sock with variegated yarn. I'll figure it out Monday. I still have Cookie A on the brain.

The next sweater is going to be the drops pattern I ripped out and redyed the yarn for. Wollmeise sweaters beckon, so I just need to get the re-knit over with. The next shawl will be Summer Blooms by Susanna IC for my Grandma. Last year my Grandpa got socks, which was a huge success. I am making the shawl with purpley alpaca/bamboo/nylon/whatever yarn. She is not as adventurous with color as me. So this will be more chill, and distinguished.

The challenge this week is for my favorite style. Wire and tubes. This one has a refined use of tubes. I also downloaded the latest version of apophysis, and my problem with invisible transforms rendering visible is gone in 7xD, yay! So this flame has the awkward line, but a re-render turned out perfect. Thank goodness because I love using invisible transforms.

That's all for now! Take care guys

Molly : )