bamboo


This is sort of a catch up post. I have had a lot of things on my mind and have done a lot of things, but haven’t had time to post it all. I am just going to put it all in one post.

1. The Sock-it-to-me scarf for my niece is completed. This will be a Christmas present and has gone into the Christmas Present Box.  I got the yarn (Trekking XXL) in a swap. It is not exactly my kind of colorway, but it is perfect for my niece. She is going to go crazy over the scarf!  The yarn was scratchy to knit with, but it softened nicely after blocking.  The pattern is a really easy pattern (from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders). The only thing that I don’t like is that you kitchener the two pieces together. I love doing kitchener stitch. That isn’t the problem. I just don’t like how it looks with this patterned yarn.  I think I should have gone a little farther into the yarn to a solid color. I might have liked it a bit better.

2. DH’s Panopticon Monkeymen socks are coming along.  The pattern is so similar to the Monkey socks, that I had it totally memorized before I finished the first repeat (I am doing the version with purls).  The only difference is yarn overs are replaced by make ones.  I really love the colorway too! It is amazing. The striping is my favorite part. The photo was taken indoors with no flash, so it is blurry.  That is what happens when it gets cold and rainy here…no outdoor photos.  Despite the really bad photo, you can see the cool stripe effect!  The Lorna’s is so soft too.  I really, really love this yarn.  By the way, these socks are knitting up super fast despite being really big!  DH will never get plain, vanilla socks again. Patterned socks are so much more fun and so much quicker!

3. I got to go on a Girl’s Night Out this weekend!!  I went to a bridal shower. Afterwards, several of the girls were going to the movies.  I haven’t seen a movie in a theater since LB was 2 months old. I haven’t been on a girl’s night out since law school (at least 6 1/2 years ago).  I had a blast. We saw Bride Wars.  It was cute.  The best part was hanging out with some girl friends.  I really, really need to do more of that. I have been fairly isolated since moving here after law school. All of my friends have been male or “work friends”.  I didn’t realize how much I missed having girl friends until recently.

4. It is cold.  Admittedly, not the kind of cold that I experienced growing up in Wyoming.  That kind of cold is intolerable!  However, it is cold for Florida.  There was frost on the ground this morning.  Things were frozen (fortunately not our pipes as we ran a tiny bit of water last night).  I hate cold.  That is why I moved to Florida!  I miss it at Christmas time. This weather would have been welcome then (instead it was 80 degrees on Christmas day). I am seriously thinking I need a scarf and some mittens, but I want them now.  Unfortunately, by the time they would be knit, I wouldn’t need them. I am putting knitting a scarf and mittens (or maybe some handwarmers) on my calendar this fall so that I will have them for the next time it gets cold.  Today, I am wearing my first monkey socks.  They are warm. I am sure it is a horrible fashion faux pas as they don’t really match what I am wearing, but I don’t care.  I wanted warm feet. Only handknit wool socks will do when it is cold!

5. My shawl is coming along (although I don’t have new pictures). I finished another repeat last night (7 repeats are done).  The pattern calls for 10, but I am thinking I may want around 15 repeats.  It is so wonderful to work with. The silk content makes the yarn so soft!  The only thing I wish is that my needles were sharper (I am dying for the Harmony options).

6. I am not going to talk about yesterday, other than to say that it was a really terrible day in court.  I really dislike being in front of a certain judge.  Court drags and this judge treats me very badly.  I had court with that judge yesterday.  It sucked.  I couldn’t wait to get home and knit. I handle stress so much better with knitting.  I think I am going to claim a medical necessity and ask to knit in court. If all else fails, I could stab myself in the eye with my needle to make the day less painful (just kidding…although I really think that might be less painful sometimes).

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Yup! All done! These socks are huge (around a 12 or 13 men’s). They seemed to take forever! I finished them on the way home from Orlando. These are made of the Regia Stretch. I didn’t love the yarn while I was working with it. I washed them (that took care of the ladders…yay!), and they got really soft! I like it better now that it is soft! DH loves the socks and plans to wear them to work on Monday. I am just glad to have them done!

I also have some new yarn. Just before I left on vacation, I got the June Nefarious Yarn Club selection. It is some of Carrie’s Bamboo Sock. It is really lovely and soft. I keep petting it. You can see it here.

Today, I got my June Wee Tiny Sock! It is so cute! Andi (the organizer of the monthly swap) was my spoiler! It is made of Tofutsies. I love the colors too!

I love the sock yarn scrap blankie and do blocks nearly every day. I don’t feel like posting about it every day, though. I think I am going to do blankie updates on Wednesdays only.

There are now 15 blocks. There are four new blocks. Block 1 is from Plymouth Sockotta yarn. It was nice to work with, although not too soft. Blocks 2 and 3 are Trekking Pro Natura. I like this yarn. It is very, very skinny yarn. Those two blocks are a bit smaller than the others. The fabric is looser too. I love the yarn. I can tell that it will make socks that are very cool and airy (the bamboo is surprisingly soft, too). Block 4 is Knit Picks Essential. I was really surprised at how soft this yarn was. From the pictures on the Knit Picks website, it looks like it would be scratchy. It really isn’t.

I am participating in a scrap swap, so I should have lots of new scraps to make little squares soon. I am thinking about playing with dye, too. I figure that mistakes will probably be fine as small squares.

There we go…a proper Ravenclaw mini-sock (I don’t know if I have said before, but you can click the picture to see it bigger). I used the Trekking Pro Natura I bought at Hanks. I really like this yarn. It is very fine, but not stringy. It is really soft. The fabric it creates is soft and slightly fuzzy. It has a nice feel. I think that I love it because of the bamboo!

Here is how I did it. I used the Wee Tiny Sock pattern. I knit the cuff as usual with the blue. On the first row of the leg (stockinette), I knit half the stitches in blue. I then dropped the blue yarn, and began knitting in the bronze. I knit all the way around to where I dropped the blue. I then dropped the bronze and picked up the blue (without twisting the yarns). I kept doing that until I had the leg of the sock long enough. I then made sure that I was on a blue round. I knit to the point where I changed yarns. I redistributed the stitches so that I could work the heel flap in blue. I had the yarn change right at the end of that group of heel stitches. I knit the heel flap and turned the heel in blue. I then picked up the stitches on the first side of the gusset in blue. When I got to the top, there was the bronze yarn waiting for me. I dropped the blue, and picked up the bronze. I knit across the instep and picked up the other side of the gusset with the bronze. I then knitted around back to the blue (the color change was now right at the top of the first gusset). I knit the sock as usual, changing yarns each time that I reached that point. I did that until it was time to decrease for the toe. I then cut the bronze yarn, and finished with just the blue. I really love how it turned out! I wish I had taken pictures as I went along. Since I didn’t, you will have to rely on the pictures Grumperina used to demonstrate helix stripes and heel flaps using helix stripes to “see” what I did.

The technique was really cool. I was able to get great stripes with only two extra ends to weave in. The yarn didn’t really tangle (except for the time that I jumped up to grab the drink I almost knocked over dumping both balls onto the floor…that resulted in tangling, but that is unrelated to the knitting technique). I was a little worried for the first couple of rows. The stripes didn’t appear to be spiraling at the yarn change point. It looked like there were funny little jogs in the color. After getting a few more rows in, it suddenly looked right. Kind of amazing and ingenious, really. I am thinking of making DH’s next socks this way (probably they will look like giant versions of this sock). I think it will make the miles of knitting more interesting. I am glad I only used two colors to start. It really helped me to visualize the spirals a little better. Next time, I may add a few more!

The madness continues. I absolutely had to figure out what kind of scraps I needed for mini-socks and mini-blocks. I just had to. Why, so I can figure out what size scraps are good for each (and how much I need to leave from each skein to make one of each…or how much will be left in a full skein if I make one of each).

That means I have to knit one of each, right? Last night, I measured what I had left of the Lorna’s Bucks Bar. I had a little over 41 yards. I then knit a Wee Tiny Sock. I measured again. Now I had about 30 yards. So Wee Tiny Socks take about 11 yards of sock yarn. Madness, I tell you. Here is proof. Exhibit A:


Then, I knit a wee little block for the sock yarn blankie. Then I measured again. It took about 7.5 yards. I have 22.5 yards of Buck’s Bar left. (If this were a math quiz, I would then ask you how many socks and blocks I can get out of this yarn, but it isn’t…and I plan to trade these for other scraps anyway…yes, that is what I have been reduced to).

Exhibit B:

Yes, both were knit last night (a wee tiny sock takes 1hour 45 minutes…a wee tiny block takes about 25 minutes). I just had to know. That is my story and I am sticking to it. Another sock yarn scrap/Wee Tiny Sock knitter on Ravelry called both of these the “crack” of the knitting world. She wasn’t kidding. Please don’t stage an intervention. It won’t work. I don’t really want help. I haven’t hit rock bottom. When I start holding up LYSs, then maybe…

On other knitting madness news, I am getting another skein of the Regia Stretch that is going into DH’s big socks. I realized that two skeins was not enough to make two big sized 13 socks. Well, it might be enough, but I don’t want to risk it (and I want leftovers….bet you can’t guess why). I managed to find a skein with the same dye lot on Ravelry. Yay! If I assign myself a Ravenclaw in the “Reducio Sock” swap, I might be forced to knit a mini-sock out of it for that. The yarn looks like Ravenclaw movie colors (silver, blues, and black). All my sock yarn purchases have fit that general theme lately (Ravenclaw colors, I mean).

I am also ordering another set of 2.50mm Knit Picks metal dpns today. I want to have a set just for little blocks since it is a size I love for socks too. Right now, I am using my bamboo needles, but I really prefer a sharp point and slick surface. Ok, maybe this shouldn’t be under the heading of “other knitting madness news”. It kind of seems like the same knitting madness, doesn’t it. Oh well!

I finished these about 5 minutes ago! Yup…on my feet! This is the yarn I got for Valentine’s Day. I love this yarn. The colors are really beautiful.
The way they made small pools and stripes was really, really pretty. The socks came out more like each other than I expected, too! Similar little pools (just slightly different placement). What was even more exciting was that they only took one skein of Lorna’s Laces! I bought two because I thought I would need two. Part of the reason it only took one was because I don’t like tall socks. I prefer anklets. This is all that was left, though (besides the second skein)! I cut it a bit close.

At this moment, I have nothing on my needles. I am going to be starting another pair of socks tommorow with the Regia I bought the day I didn’t intend to buy yarn. I am deciding what else to start for my evening project. Probably another Alan Dart gnome. I also need to decide what to do with the other skein of Lorna’s.
At the end of these socks, I don’t hate the bamboo needles. I don’t love them, but I don’t hate them. I knit a bit tight, and I prefer a more slippery needle for socks. I liked that they were pointy, but I didn’t like their flexibility. I got more used to it by the end of the socks, but I really prefer not to have a bendy needle. It is ok because my KnitPicks needles came. I am going to use them for the next socks. I love the feel of them!


I finished Critter Bug’s socks last night. They only took me a week and a half. When I finished the first one, the sock fit perfectly. Like a little, bitty glove. This morning, both socks just barely fit. Critter has been eating like crazy. He is growing so quickly. The socks won’t fit him in another week or so. Not only that, but Little Bug’s socks just barely fit him too. He has been eating like a little horse. Turns out he is growing too! So the big lesson is that I need to knit them socks that are a bit big for them so that they can wear them for longer than it took me to knit them!

I also began my own socks. I am knitting them with the yarn that I got for Valentine’s Day from DH (Lorna’s Laces Shepard Sock in Buck’s Bar colorway). The yarn is so beautiful! It was pretty in the hank and pretty in the ball, but that was nothing compared to how it is knitting up. I can’t get a picture that does it justice. It looks like a watercolor done by an impressionist painter knitted up. It was raining all day, so it was dark a bit early. I hope that I can get a daylight picture in the next few days so that I can show off how it really looks. The blues, greens, and purples are so pretty. The grey color really shows off how pretty they are. The only disappointment I have is that I am knitting these socks on bamboo needles. The boys’ socks were knit on Addi nickle plated needles. I love them, but they are only 4 inches long. I needed longer needles to knit my socks since they have more stitches. I love bamboo needles in larger sizes. They are warm and beautiful. In this small size, they are super flexible. I am constantly afraid that I am going to break them. I don’t like the flexibility. I think that my next purchase will be some 6 inch metal sock needles!