February Round-up

Yet again, the last day of the month falls on a blogging day. Plus, since it’s a Sunday and therefore a Sunday Miscellany-themed post a round-up of the month is in order:

  • 4 F.O. – Ishbel, Blackberry Socks (see below); 2 Charity Squares
  • 4 WIPs frogged – Meters of Miter Scarf; Pebble Argosy; Origami Hat; Frou-Frou Swatch (not over the finish line yet but the green alapaca mess has been tamed!)
  • 3 WIPs-not-whupped – GlenvarAgin Cardigan; Not-so Frou-Frou (maybe later this evening); Hat for Co-worker
  • 12 Ravelympics medals – 8 for the two charity squares; 3 Aerial Unwind Events (maybe another later this evening); 1 WIPs Dancing (maybe another later this evening)
  • 2 Meet-ups with others that I’ve only previously “met” online – City Centre SnB at Café Bell and February Spin-in at Powerscourt
  • 2 U.S.A. – Schoppel-Wolle Admiral Ombré from Fourboys; Rotex Metalic Novelty Yarn from Clarabel
  • 1 S.E.X. – Malabrigo Lace in Blue Emerald
  • 1 Major House Task started: Architect hired to develop necessary drawings and documents for demolition of garage and building of deck (yay!)
  • 1 Little lad now no-longer using a pacifier at all (double-yay!)
  • 2 funerals (boo!)

And… don’t forget:

Blackberries in February?

F.O. Blackberry Socks

I only finished these this morning, just in time to wear them to the Spin-in Meet-up at Powerscourt Townhouse this afternoon.

These are so comfy to wear and they generated a very satisfying “Oooh” from everyone at the meet-up. I’m thrilled with the matchy-ness; which I only discovered by accident.

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My Tour de Force

My Ravelympics medal haul is up to eight already – the two squares I made for the “Knit a Square to Show You Care” charity event last weekend earned me a medal each for Junior Olympics, Charity Curling and Stash Compulsory Dance. One earned a medal for Nordic Colourwork and the other for Single Skein Speed Skate. My Knitting buddies were less than impressed by my medal winners, however, when I showed them the squares last night. Words like “disparaging” and “scathing” come to mind. They even went so far as to accuse me of cheating! There I am, knitting for charity, for babies, for Haiti, no less! How can they cast such callous accusations at this kind-hearted soul? I’ve one word for you, ladies: Jealousy!

It seems that Karma has taken their side, however, and has started messing with the rest of my medal hopes:

  1. My Hat Halfpipe / Designer Biathlon attempt – to which I was aiming to add Stash Compulsory Dance and Nordic Colourwork – has not progressed so well and I may revert to my original plan of using the King Cole Merino I bought at Knit ‘nd Make last December. I may abandon the Designer event altogether – why do I procrastinate so much about writing down my designs in pattern form?
  2. My WIPs Dancing partner, Blackberry Socks, developed a gammy leg injury. I was working away happily on the leg of the second sock last night when I realised the cuff was a lot smaller than on the first sock I made last October. My best guess is that I may have been working with 3.5mm hook when I put these away, whereas I picked up a 3mm hook when I started up again. I’ve ripped back and started sock two all over again.
  3. My other WIPs Dancing partner, Not-so Frou-Frou, is just not calling to me. I have to focus on 1. and 2. above first. If there’s time I’ll give this an afternoon towards the end.
  4. I’ve started one of my three Aerial Unwind events and for some reason I’m a bit “meh!” about carrying on. I want to give them a nice soak and a stretch before really saying I’m over the finishing line, so I may feel more like tackling these this weekend.
  5. I toyed with dyeing some cotton for a Downhill Dyeing event but I haven’t got so far as to procure the correct Procion Mix Dyes. All it will take is a phonecall to Helen Deighen in Crossways Patch (http://www.crosswayspatch.co.uk/) but I’ve been hit by a sudden bout of reticence and shyness.

In the meantime, I am the proud recipient of a bi-medal winner! Claire, a.k.a. Clarabel, made a Quincy Hat, by Jared Flood, while she was on holidays. For it she earned a medal in the Hat Halfpipe event and Stash Compulsory Dance (I think). She gave it to me last night as an early birthday present. I’ve worn it proudly all day. And when my camera decides to behave itself I’ll take a few snaps so that you all can enjoy it too.

 

Razzle dazzle ’em

Billy and Company:
Razzle dazzle ’em
Give ’em a show that’s so splendiferous

Billy:
Row after row will grow vociferous

Razzle Dazzle ’em from Chicago The Musical w. Fred Ebb, m. John Kander

So… you know the way that I’m being monogamous and back on the straight and narrow with DH’s GlenvarAgin Cardigan…

Yeah?…

…and I’m not going to succumb to Startitis like I did last month…

Uh-huh?…

Well…

Warning: Post-rationalisation disclaimer ahead:

One of the disadvantages of making seamless sweaters top-down is that they get too bulky to carry in and out to work every day, just so that you can do a row or two at lunch-time.

Wah…whinewhinewhine…

I realised this as I was about to head out the door to work yesterday morning lugging (what seemed like) the heaviest knitting bag in the world.

Wait… Le’mme break out the violins for you here…

The difficulty has arisen now that I’ve finished my Two Hoots! and the Ziggy Socks – my more recent projects for easy, portable, lunch-time knitting fodder.

Whadya want? A rubber medal?

I initially thought “socks” but then it dawned on me that my skein of Dazzle was all balled up and ready for action for the Ishbel I’m planning in Ravelympics.

I see where this is going…

So I cast on:

It's flying up...

And it’s soooooo addictive…

I hear ya!

And it’s going so slowly…

Rilly?

Yeah, I keep stopping every second row to push it into the middle of my cable so I can admire it for a few minutes… 😉

::rolls eyes::

Cue: music…

Billy and Company:
Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!
Give ’em the old razzle dazzle
Razzle dazzle ’em
Back since the days of old Methuselah
Everyone loves the big bambooz-a-ler

Give ’em the old three ring circus
Stun and stagger ’em
When you’re in trouble, go into your dance
Though you are stiffer than a girder
They let ya get away with a murder
Razzle dazzle ’em
And you’ve got a romance

Give ’em the old
Razzle dazzle

Extra! Extra!

When my e-friend Bridget – a regular commenter here – mentioned on her blog that she had an article in the Winter Issue of Interweave Knits I was gutted. Yes, gutted. Why? because my subscription was up so I’d have to employ devious means to get to read her article.  

Or so I thought…  

When I arrived home yesterday, I was greeted by a pleasant surprise: Winter 09 is my last issue. And they’re none-too-subtle about pointing it out to me! “FINAL NOTICE” !!!!! You’d swear I’d forgotten to pay the gas bill and they were threatening to cut me off!  

Read All About It!!!

 

After I recovered from my bemusement, I remembered that I had got my issue of IK Winter 07 from a member of the Irish Knitters Board, Gilraen, on Ravelry in exchange for my copy of Mason-Dixon Knitting. So, hurrah for me and for IK’s original delay in starting my subscription – every cloud has a silver lining; it takes two years to realise some of them.  

The first thing I did – after ripping off the plastic wrapping – was to read Bridget’s Article. It was a great story about her trials and tribulations as she slogged her way through a year of knitting ten pairs of socks to give as gifts the following Christmas.  

It made me realise that I still haven’t given you all a full accounting of myself after I embarked on my own Year of Socks: my naive promise – in Christmas 07 – to knit DH a pair of socks each month for the following year.  

I say “naive”. Clearly, I mean “plain-dumb”. When I made the promise I had knit exactly one sock. NOT pair, One! I made the promise as a spur-of-the-moment decision because the present I had *planned* on giving him was this self-same PAIR of socks. Of which I had half. And I had ONLY half a pair because that first sock had taken a twice as long as I’d expected. Not to mention, the foot was an inch longer than it needed to be.  

This should have been a warning sign. Alarm bells should have been ringing in my head. In hindsight, there probably were alarm bells but I’d assumed it was Tinnitus brought on by the stress of knitting this sock.  

To keep me motivated I also joined the Sock-A-Month KAL. So, I may I present my Calender of Socks 2008:  

Click on image for Rav-link to project

January: Sock-A-Month KAL = 1/1

 

January: Socks for DH = 0/1

 

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February: Sock-A-Month KAL = 2/2

 

Click for Rav-link to project

February: Socks for DH = 0/2

 

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April: Socks for DH = 2/4; SAM5KAL = 4/4

 

Click on image for Rav-link to Project

March: Socks for DH = 1/3; SAM5KAL = 3/3

 

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July: Socks for DH = 4 out of 7

 

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May: Socks for DH = 3/5; SAM5KAL = 5/5

 

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September: Socks for DH = 6/9; SAM5KAL = 8/9

 

August: Socks for DH = 5; SAM5KAL = 7

 

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November: Socks for DH = 7; SAM5KAL = 10

 

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October: Socks for DH = 7/10; SAM5KAL = 9/10

 

January: I started the year by trying to finish the Christmas-Present-Socks. Unfortunately, I decided to knit the second sock on metal circulars; whereas the first was knit on Bamboo DPNs. When I realised the socks were cursed (I was getting a pair of Little’n’Large) I abandoned them and opted instead to knit a pair of kid’s socks so that I’d at least get a credit on the Sock-A-Month 5 KAL. It wouldn’t do to just knit a pair of plain – oh no! I had to design them, based on EZ’s Fishtrap Aran. My Cheer-Me-Up Socks – which were intended for my DD, but which ended up only fitting her younger brother – were finished on the last day of January.
January’s score: DH – 0; SAM5KAL – 1 

February: Started “Hidden Passion Socks“, from Favourite Socks, for DH thinking I’d get them done in time for Valentine’s Day – bleuch! Realised after I’d turned the heel of the first sock (some time in mid-Feb!) that I should have been working in stripes or I’d run out of one colour.  These got frogged while I quickly double-knit two tubes and stuck “after-thought heels” in on the last day of February in order to qualify for a credit in SAM5. Thank Goodness it was a Leap Year that year!
February’s score: DH – 0; SAM5KAL – 2 

March: I started the Hidden Passion Socks again but this time I re-wrote the pattern so that I could make them toe-up and two-at-a-time. What’s more… I finished them! And I started another pair, “Diagonal Cross-Rib” from Favourite Socks, in anticipation of April – I was wisening up. March’s score: DH – 1; SAM5KAL – 3 

April: Abandoned the Diagonal Cross-Rib socks in mid-April when I realised that the stitch-pattern was taking too much time. Cast-on “Back-to-Basics” instead. And finished them within the month! April’s score: DH – 2; SAM5KAL – 4 

May: My version of Undulating Rib from Favourite Socks were toe-up; whereas the pattern is written cuff-down. So I called them “Bir gNitaludnu” – that’s Undulating Rib backwards – geddit? May’s score: DH – 3; SAM5KAL – 5 

June: I got busy with knitting gifts and abandoned sock knitting this month! June’s score: Socks for DH – 3; SAM5KAL – 5 

July: Cat Bordhi’s book “New Pathways for Sock Knitters” must have arrived into my life around this time. Suddenly all my socks became a collation between patterns in Favourite Socks and one of her Sockitectures. July combined “Cable Rib” socks with her Upstream Sockitecture. Started in June, finished in July. DH – 4; SAM5KAL – 6 

August: I picked up my “April” Socks again and entered them into the Ravelympics under the event “WIPs-wrestling” And I finished them too!
August’s score: DH – 5; SAM5KAL – 7 

September: Another collation this month between Mock Cable Wave from Favourite Socks and Cat Bordhi’s Riverbed Sockitecture. Technically, my “Babbling Brook” socks were done in August but I fear I may have held off posting them on SAM5 KAL until September to make sure I got a credit that month. September’s score: DH – 6; SAM5KAL – 8 

October: I called these “Tornado Toes” because they started with a Whirlpool cast-on from Cat Bordhi’s book and the pattern is her “Spiraling Coriolis” which affected the colour-changes in the yarn to produce this gorgeous Whirlwind effect. I was thrilled with these socks – they fit DH beautifully too. October’s score: DH – 7; SAM5KAL – 9 

November: On my return from The Irish Knitter’s Weekend Away I discovered that, not only had DH been minding our three kids, he’d decided to do the laundry and had inadvertently tumble-dryed and felted his March socks. I quickly released myself from my commitment to knit him any more socks. My next pair of socks were for me – my long-awaited “Monkey” by Cookie A. I decided to make these toe-up, however, and Cat-Bordhi-ize them. I called them “Simian” because they’re not quite Monkeys – they’re … similar! November’s score: DH – 7; SAM5KAL – 10 

December: I’ve no recollection of knitting any socks in December and certainly I became disillusioned with the Sock-A-Month KAL. December’s score was zero all round.
Overall score for the year: DH got seven pairs of socks; I got one; I frogged 3 and re-knit 1. Overall: Socks completed =10. Socks started? Who knows, I lost count.
Edited to add a poll (really coz I want to figure-out how)
Vote for your Favourite pair all those I knit for DH

Can’t blog, must knit!

Have you seen what Sinéad, our Team Captain, has been up to lately? Putting us all to shame Inspiring and motivating us to reach further, aspire higher, attain better, knit faster, she’s become a knitting machine lately (okay, not literally) – churning out three (and a half) FOs in the past ten days. She’s well on her way to earning her fourth medal long before the torch goes out on Sunday.

I feel compelled not to let the side down. This is a euphemism for “I’m doing my damned-est not to have egg all over my face next Sunday”. And it’s touch and go… Hence, I’m keeping the head down, knitting whenever I can and staying off-line (yes, except for now – I thought I should explain my absence).

So far it’s working. Over the weekend, I managed to complete one sock (bar a bit of Kitchener) and power on down the leg of the second sock. I’m on the gusset decreases now and here’s my plan-of-action from now until Sunday:

  • Wednesday p.m. – complete gussets (I’ve got a lot of laundry folding to catch up on so not so much knitting time available);
  • Thursday p.m. – half of the rest of the way on the foot;
  • Friday p.m. – I’m visiting my sister so I may only get an inch or two more done
  • Saturday – Hopefully, complete the foot up to the toe. We’re going on a train-trip to Dun Laoghaire to visit the Festival of World Cultures. DH wants to show the kids the Kite-flying and Samuri Warrior Swordsmanship demonstrations. (Just to be clear – that’s two different demos, on at two different times. Sword-weilding? not so kite-friendly, I imagine)
  • Sunday – complete the toe and graft-up both socks, weave ends. Then, breath a sigh of relief so huge it will be felt in China and may well quench the torch all by itself.

For someone who’s not blogging that’s quite enough from me!

Choose-day

Somehow I’ve become Vice-Captain for Team Ireland Ravelympics. At the very least this should mean I’m taking part, shouldn’t it? To do so I need to sign up by tomorrow, 6th August.

What to knit, what to knit???

I thought about signing up for WIP Wrestling and get cracking with DH’s cardigan again but there was the (not-so) slight issue of frogging The Behemoth and thereby having the yarn to continue. Didn’t happen. Of course there’s always socks to fall back on? The question now is…

What socks to knit, what socks to knit???

I wondered about Rainbow Socks in Regia Canyon Colour for a while. Then I read the instructions and decided against back-and-forth knitting.

WIP Wrestling with wibbing

Araucania Ranco Multi for Monkeys

Getting carried away with knitting socks for me for a change I wondered about Monkeys in my Arauncania Ranco Multi. Or even these crazy Houdini Socks by Cat Bordhi that Mary (a.k.a. Fezzik on Rav) told me about. They look an absolute hoot.

Then GUILT set in. How can a frolic around knitting socks for myself when I’m still in deficit on my promise to knit a pair a month for DH? Nonchalantly, I opened the press where I keep my sock yarn (which is getting nicely depleted, I might add) and asked DH to choose. (I know, I’m abdicating my responsibilities to you, Dear Reader) He’s spotted the much maligned Diagonal Cross-Rib socks from Favorite Socks that I abandoned in April and, being a pragmatic sort, insisted I finish them. Looks like I’m WIP Wrestling after all.

WIP Wrestling with Wibbing

WIP Wrestling with Wibbing

This is going to be a big-ask to complete in 17 days. The cross rib stitch happens every seven stitches, every second row and it’s slooooooooow. On top of that I’m doing them one at a time, to try to get the stripes to match. Plus, I’m doing them top-down so there’ll be grafting when (if?) I get to the toe! These will be the first thing I’ve knit in ages that will be by-the-book. I deserve a medal just for putting them back on the needles, let alone finishing them. Have faith that I can make a dint in these this time…