Hmm... My resolution to blog more frequently is a resounding failure. Oh well. My life is full of fail.
My knitting production in the last three weeks seems to be pretty paltry. But there were a bunch of evenings when I didn't have time to knit. And last weekend I spent an entire day cataloguing my stash. (Or, to be perfectly honest, part of my stash).
So what have I done? I have completed the first Queen of Beads sock. I might try the floss threader method with the smaller beads for sock #2. I have been unsuccessful in procuring more matching beads. This really is a bead wilderness here. It's such a shame, because a few years ago we had the Bead Pod and the place was hopping.
So, Queen of Beads.... Of course I love the yarn because it's STR Lightweight. It's the old put-up of 360 yards, so there may or may not be enough to finish the second sock. It looks to my vaguely educated eye as though there should be.
I like the pattern; it's intuitive. But because I changed beading methods (using a single bead placement instead of pre-stringing), I ended up placing the beads on knit stitches rather than purl stitches as called for in the pattern. I think it looks pretty okay.
I was a little worried about the tubular cast-on, but it works pretty well. I think I only had to rip it out and re-do it once. I don't know whether I'll get the second sock finished now or whether I'll leave it to next August. We'll see.
Since there are beads on the top of the foot, I am unlikely to wear these anywhere other than in the house and to bed. But I'm okay with that.
I decided I wanted to design a sock. The leg uses a bamboo pattern, and I was attempting to get the effect of leaves at the top of the bamboo. It still needs some fiddling. I'm calling it Eats, Shoots and Leaves. It will be a free pattern and I think I can wing it for 3 sizes.
The test is in Sweet Georgia Yarns Cashluxe Fine in the Botanical colourway. I haven't used that yarn in a while and I had forgotten how much I utterly love it. It's a 70/20/10 MCN blend, but it's nice and thin. Some of the 70/20/10 blends are a fair bit thicker (ie. Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 and Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label and of course Bugga), but this is nice and thin. It's like Hazel Knits Entice. I'm sure I've said this somewhere before on my blog travels. (Speaking of which, my blogaversary was in August- I started the blog in August 2010.)
I started a second one and fiddled with the leaves. This is in Shibui sock. I was trying to get some of the "leaves" more "leafy" and less chevrony.
Yes, there is more knitting, but let's just go with the photos in order, shall we?
My Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour Club offering for September arrived. It's a new base - Grey Label. It's a chunky 12-ply 80/20 Merino/Alpaca blend. The colourway is Margarita. It's natural with grey, pink and a limey / scummy yellowy green.
The colours are beautiful.
The pattern is a cowl by Tanis and it uses a 6-stitch cable (2/2/2). It's called Rove and is on Rav. I started mine on September 23 and finished it the next day.
In my enthusiasm to figure out the cables, I ended up not doing 3 rows of rib at the beginning (so I had 2 rather than 5 before starting the first cable row), but it's fine. This will be a great cowl for walking the dogs. It's taller than 8" so I can pull it up over my mouth to my nose to keep me warm.
It's knit on size 8.0 mm needles. My god, those are so large. It really is like knitting with pencils or sausages or something. Unfortunately my Hiya Hiya interchangeables are the small sizes, so I don't have a set of the large ones. (Note to self: must rectify that). Hiya Hiyas are my favourite interchangeables. The pattern said to use a 20" circ, so I figured the Addi Clicks Lace Long Tips wouln't work because the stalks are so long and it would have stretched too much. As it was, I used my Marblz, and there was a bit of stretchage with the cable cord. They're okay to knit with, but I would really have preferred Hiya Hiya. I noticed as well that one of the needles kept unscrewing. I managed to save it from disaster, but it was touch and go.
The cables actually require use of a cable needle because of the multiple stitches and the back and forth moving around stuff. I have a set of Lantern Moon cable needles which are notched (supposedly to stop the yarn from falling off the cable needle). I used the large one but got quite frustrated with it. The yarn wanted to jump off anyway. So I ended up switching to one of the large Clover locking stitch markers, and that worked pretty well.
Nice pattern. I might use it for another skein of chunky or bulky or whatever it's called.
But when I switched to socks afterwards, my hands were so clumsy after using the uber-large needles that I was having trouble until I re-acclimatized.
And I played a major game of yarn chicken. I won with about 12" to spare (which of course is less than that once you consider that the end has to be woven int).
As usual, Leonard is my model, but there's a guest Appearance by AmphibiaJr. And the ginger jar.
I might borrow that motif for some socks at some point.
The other thing which I've actually finished is my second Fiar Cowl. I used my birthday Miss Babs Gradient Enlightenment set. It's a 5-colour set and goes from a purple, to two purpley-reds to a red orange and then an orange. I like it, but I think the colour change between the last 2 colours was a little abrupt. But that's just me.
I knit the larger (336 stitch) size and I *think* I did it on 3.75 mm needles. I didn't actually manage to write that down in my knitting book.
It's not blocked yet. Lola and Leonard did the modeling honours.
The colours are actually darker than they appear in the pictures, but you get the idea.
And speaking of gradient yarns, I ordered some of the Sweet Georgia Party of Five Mini Skein kits. I ordered the gradient sets in Hanami (the pinks), Royals (the purples) and Sea to Sky (Blue to Green or verce visa).
Felicia has added new colourways and new yarns to the shop and I am trying to be ever so good and not order any.
But it's hard, because I am a covetous creature. I tell myself that these are now standard colourways and they will be there for a while.
I started my June String Theory Colorworks sock club sock. It's the Entanglement base in the Aconie colourway. I was originally going to do a plain vanilla sock but then I saw that someone had knit the Oxytocin colourway using the Geek pattern, so I decided to give it a whirl.
It uses slip stitches (3 in a row on the first colour change, then the one in the middle of the three on the next row). It's a free pattern on Knitty, so I'm not giving away state secrets here.
But the 3 slipped stitches means that essentially there is a float behind.
You can see where I am going with this.
Floats are what make stranded colourwork socks so small and tight.
So even though I've done this with 72 stitches, I'm not sure how it's going to fit. I also did twisted ribbing just for the heck of it.
I like the visual effect of the pattern. At first I was trying to keep the floats loose, but then it ended up with those ridiculous sloppy stitches which you can see. The rest of it is pretty okay. But I will see how they fit.
I've had an urge to knit some pink socks. I think it's seeing the Hanami Party of Five kit. And I don't mean my usual magenta; I want to knit something more delicate than that. I've even been thinking about my skein of the Cepahlopod Skinny Bugga in the Sea Pig colourway.
I might knit the Pink Pony socks or Prancing Pony or whatever they're called by Kim Swingle.
But on to the organization.
As I said, last weekend I spent organizing my stash. I noticed a while ago that when you add to stash on Rav, there is now an option to say where the yarn is stored. That may not be an issue for most people, but when you have yarn in tubs and closets, it's helpful to know. So I decided to go through my tubs of yarn to ensure that all the yarns were in Rav and that they all indicated where they were stored. As it turned out, there were probably about 20 or 25 skeins of yarn which were in the tubs and which I hadn't added to Ravelry. So last weekend's stash organization fixed that.
I have labelled the tubs with a Sharpie, so I know what's where. All the yarns are in plastic bags in the tubs.
The only ones I haven't done are the non-fingering weight tub (the one with the big blue ball of Bernat Handicraft cotton on the right hand side) and the one under it which contains my Tsock Tsarina kits.
I have a smaller overflow tub which contains nothing but Tanis Fiber Arts overflow.
I haven't done the closet yet. I keep yarn in sock / clothing hangers. The ones on the end are double-sided shoe hangers, so there are yarns on both sides.
This is where I keep my Hazel Knits, my Sanguine Gryphon and Cephalopod, my Sweet Georgia, my Tanis Fiber Arts, my Fleece Artist / Handmaiden, my Sokkusu, and some other random things such as Madelinetosh, Slackford Studios, Holiday Yarns, Shibui, Azlynn, Woolen Rabbit etc.
The Impulse of Delight and Zen Yarn Garden yarns are in the tubs on the floor of the closet.
These are mostly arranged by yarn type and colour. They need to be re-organized and catalogued to make sure I haven't missed anything.
It's a good way to fall in love with your stash all over again. If you have to actually look at / pick up each skein of yarn, you remember precisely what appealed to you enough to order it in the first place.
So that's a bit of an ongoing project.
The other thing I decided to do was to create a WIPTracker. I'm just using a word processing table (I'm using Pages rather than Word because my licence expired.) I have a column for a photo of the project, a column for a photo of what project bag it's in, and then there are columns for description of the yarn, the pattern, the needles, etc.
That should keep me organized so that I know what's where and what's in the project bags without having too look at things.
I'm not all that far with that, but I don't really care. Right now I feel the need for perhaps a bit of a nap and some reading. Then it's knitting time.
Ciao for now. Where did September go?