Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The cure for the common pool.

Teenuh and I were discussing pooling sock yarn and what could be done to "unpool" it short of knitting your sock sideways or adding 20 stitches to the width of the sock. After a bit of brainstorming, Teenuh, made a freakin' brilliant suggestion, to knit the pooling yarn in a stranded pattern to break up the pooling. She had seen a sock somewhere that was stranded and the colors that were lifted up broke up the pooling a little. Merely from the strands in the front breaking up the color blocks. I totally dug the idea realizing she was right because the strands would use less yarn than a knitted stitch and the colors would start repeating differently than they were. So I grabbed my trusty pooling Tofutsies yarn and started to work it out. Here you see the sock with it's pooling in full effect.

After reaching this point I began stranding only in the front and it started to shift the pooling but did not get rid of it entirely. It wasn't until I started working the pattern on both sides of the sock (imagine a pattern on the sole of your foot!!?) and it was then that the pooling magically disappeared! Hurrah! Here you can compare the front (left) to the back (right duh!) and see that the inch and a half that I was only working the pattern in the front was changing the pooling somewhat into longer strands like windblown clouds, thinner but still connected.

You can really see the slip stitches changing the course of the colors as I work the pattern on the front and back stitches, the pools just slip into lines and actually break up. Here is a close up of the unpooled section as well. You can see the yarn is even kind of striping.
This is MUCH more pleasing than the blotchy pooled up yarn isn't it? The first problem is you have to keep doing this pattern which isn't very exciting or interesting to knit. Row 1: ( k2, sl2 with yarn in front) across, Row 2: K across, row 3: (sl2 with yarn in front, k2) across, row 4 k across, repeat until brain falls out bored slack jawed mouth and I did try knitting it without the knit rows on even rows but it began looking like a bizarre old thing with tons of strings stringing flatly across the front. The second problem is how many pairs of the same style of socks can I knit? I have 2 different colorways of Lorna's laces that pool and the Tofutsies as well as some other yarns I know I have in my stash which would make at least 3 pairs of socks knit from this mind numbing pattern. Any suggestions? I will have to sit and think about it and maybe incorporate the strands into another more interesting pattern. Maybe a barred stitch with some cables or something? Hmm.

Anyway, here is a glimpse of my Monkey socks in progress. The photo really doesn't do the color justice. The purple is much deeper and brighter and the green more shady forest-y. I am LOVING the Melody yarn and wishing I had bought like 10 skeins of this instead of only 2. I could have had one in every colorway.... What a fool....

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I changed my mind. Now I am making monkey in my Jojoland Melody sock yarn and it is coming out AWESOME! Yeah! I am happy. It looks good, feels good and I just KNOW it is going to be good.

Tofutsies and Monkey are SO not working. It is pooling SO badly. I have decided to frog it and work Monkey out of some other sock yarn. I identified said pooling by the top of the toe cap. Once the increases stopped the pooling started. Realizing there was no increase in stitches to fix this I immediately frogged the stupid thing. So now what? I am thinking of using the Kool Aid dyed sock yarn I made and giving that a try. We'll see how it turns out.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Tofutsies it is.
I spent the weekend, goofing off with some girlfriends, scrapbooking this weekend, so I didn't get any knitting done this weekend. Bummer. On the other hand, I have just started working on Cookie's Monkey sock (flipped over and worked toe-up) with Tofutsies. I wound it into two equally sized balls. I am using 723, Put your Foot Down. The yarn had lots of knot joins in it. The one skein had 4 knot joins in it, kind of annoying. It also has a smell that reminds me of baby vomit. I am REALLY hoping that smell will go away when it is washed, on the other hand, I will be wearing the socks on my feet and not my face so it probably won't even matter!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ostrich Plume Shawl is finished!

I finished the Ostrich Plume shawl. I cut it very close on the amount of yarn I used. I had about 6 feet of yarn left. Chart a was worked once, chart b (the body portion) 7 times and then chart C from row 1 to row 25 (instead of row 32) because I noticed I was running out of yarn and did the bind off. It would have had 2 more repeats of the ripple at the bottom. It looked very pruney and puckery before blocking. The plumes look puffy and puckered.

Tada! Here is the blocked version, much nicer and smoother. It is 82" wide and 43" long down the center.A close up of the chart b (top) sections as well as the chart c setcion (bottom).

This is the bottom point of the triangle. The towel it is on has cows on it sorry it makes the picture look weird.

The silk was very nice to work with. I think this will make a nice summer shawl.The yarn had a funny smell when I washed it to block it, just as soon as it was wet. Sort of like moth balls or something smelly. Yuck. I hope it doesn't retain that smell when it is dry.

Next on the needles? I am not sure. I am in the process of designing a shawl with "lots of hearts on it" for my DD. She asked me to make her a lacy shawl with the Half Pint Farms Merino/tencel I picked up for her at Stitches. So far though, I only have the cast on, center strip and edging. I am still working on the body of it to try and add more hearts. It is hilarious she loves hearts and pink so much which are some of my least favorite things. Oh well. If it makes her happy. Maye I'll start some Tofutsies socks.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Stitch Markers.

During Stitches I was TOTALLY inspired by Teenuh, who bought a spiffy bag of glass beads on Friday, ran home and cranked out some stitch markers and had them to show off on Sunday. Which for some reason she has never posted a picture of *nudge nudge*. Seeing how cute her stitch markers were, I just HAD to make some too. So on Sunday of Stitches I picked up a bag of the glass beads and last night I finally got around to making something with them. These were my favorite beads in the bag.
They are so cute, these little duckies. Sorry for the blurry picture it was late last night and I was a spaz.
These wierd little guys, I had a lot of debate over. The kitty heads (and purple mushroom) came in the bag and I had the weird little underwater mine beads already that happened to match so well. I tried several different configurations with lots of other beads, but DS really like them like this and so I went with it.
Lastly, I quite like the birds, they are opposite colors, the white bird (not clear in this pic) has lavender wings, so I did opposite colored beads on them to make them a "matched set". The hearts I just had to use. I actually hate hearts. Hate em!! But I am a SERIOUS crow and I LOVE shiny shiny things and they are SO shiny and red.

Not too much longer I'll post pics of the Ostrich Plume shawl. It is almost done, probably 1 more repeat and then the border before I run out of yarn.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

A little bit of Luxury

I was so super excited to get those yummy little angora puffs that I couldn't wait to make them into something. But pathetically they only contain a meager 50 yds each, imagine trying to make a sweater or even a scarf, the number of balls it would take plus the cost makes me feel a little faint... So I sat around and thought of a nice project that would make the skimpy amounts of angora into something usable and enjoyable (what's the point of an extra soft mouse cover or finger puppet or pony tail holder right?) and finally came up with these little spiffy things.Each one is made from one ENTIRE ball of angora. As I worked on them I had some people say to me, "Oh you should make them go all the way up your arm!" at which point I want to smack them in the head and yell "DUH!" because I only have 2 balls and I could just make one that goes up to about my elbow and then only have one or I could make 2 short ones and have one for each hand. Hmm, which do I choose? Like these people think this stuff is cheap or angora grows on trees or something. I made my own pattern using a little lacy 11 st wide edging from Knitting On The Edge (Nicky Epstein) along with a made up rib with a mini cable that was a p2, mc, p2, k2, p1, k2 rep worked in the round on size 5 dpns over a total of 44 sts with an Elizabeth Zimmerman cast off.

My only qualms with this yarn, other than it being the softest most pleasurable to knit with yarn ever in the history of yarn is that it breaks SO easily. Tug a stitch a little too tight to try and close the ladder between your dpns and POOF the silly thing has torn apart and it wasn't as if it was pulled very hard. It is very, very weak yarn. Also, at the cost of 10 cents a yard on super clearance lucky sale price and with a full price of about 25 cents a yard, I wasn't going to make a swatch and leave it swatched. I swatched it then unwound it, boy howdy, once you knit with it and unwind it (perhaps even as you make a project and you have made a mistake and must frog) this yarn is even weaker after. It falls apart just tensioning your stitches as you knit. Still, sesory wise, it was nice to knit and I feel grateful to have just this little bit of luxury (boy will I be typing in style...) and I will revel in it and enjoy it because it will probably be the only piece of angora luxury I will ever knit.