aswim in knits

Friday, June 23, 2006

leaving on a jet plane

Tomorrow evening, I leave town for a week. I'm going to Seattle to coach at the US Age Group Championship synchronized swim meet. I hope to get some time for a few touristy things, but I won't know until I get there.

I still need to figure out what knitting to bring with me! Obviously, the current socks will be coming. I am still working on the Fountain Lace Cardigan, but it just seems too big to haul around, especially as I am still making some pattern mods and will want to look at some other books and patterns as I do that.

I think I may need a second project, in case I finish the socks. So, here's what I could bring ...
- a long-unfinished alpaca scarf that I just want to get off the needles.
- some sock yarn to make socks for kids -- I'll either give them to one of my nieces, or to Dulaan.
- alpaca for the FBS
- more sock yarn for me

Here is one of the leading candidates for sock yarns for me ...

This is some Fleece Artist that I won as a prize. Earlier this year, I knit up 9 squares for the "Warming Grace" project. I was pleasantly surprised to win this yummy purply-pinky-reddish goodness!

The problem is, I've never knit with it, and no gauge suggestions are listed. I don't want to carry around multiple needles while traveling. Plus, you never know what you'll get when you knit up variegated yarns, so I might need to try multiple patterns before finding one that works with this yarn. I definitely DON'T want to lug around multiple patterns and books!

So, I will likely stick with the Regia, and downsize the Jaywalker pattern to make kids socks, since I know that will work.

See you on the flip side, hopefully with some significant progress to show you ... on something!

Monday, June 19, 2006

of socks and sacks

Since I finished the Simply Lovely Lace socks, I started some more socks. Socks are my "knitting on the go" -- and it seems like the only times I've been able to knit recently are while in the car or otherwise on the move. (Which explains why the only things I've posted about recently are socks...)

These are a simple pair of stockinette socks with about an inch of twisted rib on the top. I'm using Artyarns Ultramerino 4, which I first used on the socks that I made my mother-in-law for Christmas last year.

I tried a lace pattern first, but wasn't in the mood for lace, so went to stockinette. At first, the yarn was pooling, but I added a couple of stitches and got a pleasantly repeating splotchiness.

The yarn has some purple patches that are *exactly* the color of grape flavored popsicles, juice, etc. Every time I knit these, I want to go eat a grape popsicle. And I don't even really like grape!

A couple of weeks ago, I was bitten by the crafty bug. While not fatal, it resulted in the addition of a dozen crafty blogs to my Bloglines subscription, and an overwhelming desire to knit, stitch, cut, assemble, and decorate anything that wasn't tied down.

To reaquaint myself with my sewing machine, I decided to make myself a "Sock Sack" with some materials from my stash. (Why yes, I also have a tiny lil' fabric and notions stash...)

This is the end product. The bag is lined in pink, which is then folded over the top to create the contrast edging.
And here it is, with contents shown for scale.

I had so much fun figuring this one out, I think I might make some more! The next version will likely have an inside pocket to hold a pattern (an 8.5x11 paper, folded in quarters) and perhaps even a second pocket, with closure, to hold a couple of stitch markers, a darning needle, and a tape measure. For socks, I don't need to carry around my full "knitting notions" bag, but it's nice to have the basics on hand.

Simply Lovely

I finished these socks while I was in NY last week. They are the Simply Lovely Lace socks from the Spring issue of Interweave Knits. Except that I made them full length socks, not the shorties shown in IK.

I apologize for the boring photo. My in-house blogtographer is currently home on vacation and pretending not to be ill. And my lovely hubby, the back-up blogtographer, is dealing with some crap at work, and pretty frustrated by all of it. So, I shall not burden him with taking photos of my feet. You'll have to use your creative imaginations...

Project Specs:
Pattern: Simply Lovely Lace socks, Spring 06 IK.
Yarn: Louet Gems Opal, some blue-ish color.
Needles: Addi Turbos, size 3
Gauge: 6+ sts/in. Not sure exactly. I assume it's probably a tad smaller than pattern gauge, as this is the yarn called for, and they fit nicely even though I have narrow-ish feet.
Pattern Mods: Made the legs longer. I think everything else is the same!

I'm back ...

I'm back from New York. The work-related stuff was ... well, it was work-related. Let's just leave it at that.

However, the knitting stuff is much more interesting! Do you remember the skein of pale purple Koigu in my last post? This is what I bought it for...

These little, toddler-sized socks went to Kaitlyn, for her baby girl, MJ (a.k.a. Baby Sassy!). MJ is only 2 months old. But, I figured that she probably did not need any wool socks in the summer time, so I made them a bit large so she can wear them in the winter, maybe even next year too.

These were a great project for conference knitting -- simple and quick! The purple is a lovely and ever-so-subtly variegated color, although you can't tell in this photo. It's the only photo I have, as my camera batteries died immediately after snapping that pic. Props to the Club Quarters hotel for supplying irons with a fully-functional steam setting, so that I could give these a quick steam block before gifting.

Friday night, I met up with the Spiders at The Point, where I got to meet Kaitlyn "in person" after getting to know her through her blog. I also met Stephanie, another of the Spiders who is kind enough to leave me comments here occasionally -- check out her great purchases from the Renegade Craft Fair and her cute baby sweater. (I also met a bunch more Spiders, but it's all a blur now, as I was in the haze of springtime allergies). What a great group!

Before meeting up with the Spiders at The Point on Friday afternoon, I also went to School Products. Since I had allotted myself a fairly limited yarn budget for my trip, I walked back and forth, back and forth, before deciding what to buy. And, surprise, I came home with more Koigu for me!

I agonized over several different color choices. I finally chose this variegated purple one, and I plan to use the leftover lavender Koigu to make contrasting toes and heels (and maybe ribbing).

Stay tuned for more news, including a FO (completed while in NY), a new WIP, some progress on a current WIP, and some new crafty endeavors...

Thursday, June 15, 2006


I'm sitting in a hotel in New York City, borrowing the Mafia's mobile blogging machine. She's out for dinner with a friend, so I thought I'd take a few moments to post some stories and photos of our employer-financed yarn crawl through New York attendance at a professional conference.

Well, the damn b*tch beat me to it. I had a great little story about Joelle Hoverson, and a few good pix to post. But, you might as well go visit the Mafia's blog to get the full scoop.

That's ok, though. Gives me more time to go ramble about and explore a few blocks of Tourist Central NYC. I'll leave you with a photo of my Purl SoHo purchases ...

(I think I scared someone when I asked if they could wind up the skein of lavender Koigu "for immediate consumption". What, did they think I wanted to eat it??)

... and my cool, slightly artsy photo of the shelves at Purl Patchwork.

Anyways, go visit the Mafia's blog for the whole story...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

mobile blogging enabled

In reponse to a question, I am travelling for work this week. With the Mafia. FYI, the Mafia's mobile blogging machine is fully functional. (Although the wireless access cannot compare to the speed of internet connections at MIT.)

Perhaps there will be pictures tomorrow. There is *hopefully* some fibery fun planned for the brief interlude between my morning appointment and my afternoon conference. With the Mafia herself.

In other news, I plan to meet the Sassy Stitchess and her band of Spiders on Friday. Fun, fun!!

still here ...

I was sick for three days, and now I'm going to be travelling for 4 days for work. Hopefully, I'll be back with a real post next weekend. (Or, if I can borrow the Mafia's mobile blogging machine, maybe sooner!)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Blog Break

I just finished some particularly tedious pieces of writing at work, and I am rewarding myself with a brief blog break :)

This is what I started when I finished the Jaywalkers. Yep, that's another sock for ME ME ME ME! I am quite the greedy knitter this month.

This is the "Simply Lovely Lace Sock" pattern from the Spring 2006 Interweave Knits. I am using -- gasp! -- the yarn called for in the pattern! I had some Louet Gems Opal leftover from my Dad's Whitby socks, which is what was used for the green sock in the photo.

The pattern would have you make these as short socks, just a bit taller than anklets. I personally have no use for short wool socks, so I'm making them full height. The sock in the photo has 7 repeats of lace, while mine will have 17. I'm done the leg on sock #1, and have 4 more repeats to go on sock #2, which I hope to finish while at SnB at lunch today.

The photo of my sock-in-progress was taken yesterday. Today, I'm wearing wool socks! I didn't think I would get to wear the Jaywalkers until next fall, but with cold rain and a current temp of 53 degrees, my feet are cozy in wool...

Monday, June 05, 2006

Walk This Way*

The Jaywalkers, they are complete.

I got this yarn as a prize for winning a contest on Chris' blog. There is not much else to say. Nothing exciting, tragic, or dramatic happened while knitting these socks.

Project Specs:
Pattern: Jaywalker from MagKnits, smallest size
Yarn: Sock it To Me Collection Colori (from As always, color not noted :(
Needles: size 1 Addi Turbos.
Gauge: Umm, probably somewhere close to pattern gauge.

I have now started another pair of socks. What a surprise! I'll try to post a photo tomorrow...
*Why yes, I am a child of the eighties. Although, at the time I had no idea what the lyric to this song meant. I'm surprised that my parents allowed me to listen to it!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I need a new hobby ...

... like I need a hole in my head. Yet, I think I want to learn to quilt.

Here's the dilemma: I work 2 jobs. One is a full-time (40 hours) professional job. The other is a 20-hour a week coaching job. I love both of them.

I also drive to both jobs. To get to the Real Job in the morning takes 45 minutes. Several days a week, I share the commute with the husband, and it ends up taking 60-75 minutes. I drive him into his office, which is about 10-15 minutes past my office, and then back to my office. Then, to drive from Real Job to Coaching Job after work can take anywhere from 50-75 minutes. Driving to Coaching Job on the weekends only takes about 25 minutes. (I live about halfway between Coaching Job and Real Job.)

Anyways, the point of that last paragraph was just to say that commuting to and from work takes about 10-12 hours per week, on top of the 60 that I work. So, I really do NOT have time for a new hobby.

Yet, look what was on my living room floor last night ....

This is a quilt top that I pieced together a long time ago. Well before this blog. Probably 2 years ago. Then, I never did anything with it.

Now, to say that I "pieced a quilt top" would imply a lot more skill than I actually possess. What I really did was sew together 9 squares of fabric and add a mitred border. Apparently mitred borders are not supposed to be that easy. Nobody told me that. I just went online and figured out how to do it. No closeups, but it looks pretty good to me.

The red squares are a dog-themed print. I am a dog lover who can't have a dog for many reasons:
(a) no-pets lease
(b) aforementioned lack of time to take care of a dog
(c) allergic husband

So, I thought that a doggy-blanket would be cute. Here is a close-up of a few areas of the fabric, with basting threads visible:

You can also see some chalk lines about an inch from the border of each square. I'm going to make a stab at hand-quilting this, just as a learning piece. I'll donate the finished blanket to an animal shelter, I think. Then, I want to make a Denyse Schmidt quilt.

Regular knitting content to resume soon, I hope ...