knitting needles

Saturday was WWKIP day (or at least one of them). There was an event at our local mall.  DH agreed to watch the two boys (something he never does alone) so that I could go.  It was great.  I worked on my Shawl that Jazz. I got to the beginning of the ruffle on it. I am still on the first skein, so I am going to do the extra ruffly ruffle.  I might also make the ruffle a bit longer.  I learned that there is a local group that meets 2 Sundays a month.  I am going to start going to that. I am pretty excited. It is hard for me to go to group in Gainesville because the drive is so long. A 2 hour knitting group becomes a nearly 4 hour trip.  This avoids all that travel time, so I am able to go more often!  I am pretty excited.

We also had the option of making a donation and getting a goody bag.  The goody bag was great. There was a skein of yarn. It was Classic Elite.  It came with 2 soap sweater patterns. I love these things!  I can’t wait to make one.  I think my first one will be out of this yarn for my mom. I bought her some handmade soap at Hanks for her birthday (in January…yes, it is still in my house). I think I am going to put a sweater on that yummy soap!  The bag had all kinds of coupons and adds for local crafty places. There was some wool wash and lotion, a needle gauge, a ruler, and a button too.  It was pretty fun!

While I was there, several people were knitting 2-at-a-time socks toe up.  I have been thinking about knitting toe up socks.  I promised myself that I would not cast on any socks until I finished DH’s socks.  I had gotten to the toe decreases and realized I was still on my first skein of Lorna’s Laces (this was about 6 weeks ago). There is no way I should be able to get a whole sock for DH out of one skein of LL.  I had that sick feeling that the sock was too small. Naturally, I did what any good knitter does…I put the sock in a drawer hoping it would grow on it’s own.  While watching everyone knitting socks, I confessed that I had DH’s socks in timeout.   I was told to get them out, frog them, and cast on a toe up sock for DH out of the yarn.  I decided this was a fantastic idea as it kills two birds with one stone.  I have decided that I will not only do a toe up sock for DH, but I will go ahead and do it 2-at-a-time (on one circ).  I have an extra 47″ cable, so I just need some tips. I am going to make a Knit Picks order tomorrow and will add those on.  I ordered 2-at-a-time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes today too.  I think I am going to ditch the Monkeymen pattern for know. I think I am just going to do a ribbed sock.  So my knitting disaster that I have been avoiding has turned into an opportunity to learn something new.  So, I celebrated WWKIP day by frogging a nearly complete sock!

I have also finished the second April Square. I have one more April Square to do. Then I have to do the May and June squares!  For some reason, I don’t love knitting the April Square. I haven’t been working on them. I am excited to try the May one. It is a cabled square.  I have never done cables.  Even that has not gotten me moving like it should.  Once I get this last April Square done, things should pick up on the blanket making!


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).

On Thursday, I got my Reducio Sock swap package from my pal! It had two little socks and a little mitten. LB has already claimed the large sock for himself and the small sock for his little brother (for the Christmas tree for “the next Christmas”…something he talks about all the time!). I loved doing this swap. I am currently gathering some information to plan the next swap!

I also got some great news! I won a gift certificate to my favorite yarn store, Hanks! I found a bug on their new site and emailed them. They put my name in a drawing for notifying them. My name got picked! I am trying to decide how to spend it (either on dyes or a sock book, I think).

On Friday, I got my Knit Picks order in. Three skeins of their bare sock yarn (it is not very expensive, so I feel ok about experimenting with it). I also got a 24″ circular in size 2.5mm. I use my 2.5 mm sock needles all the time. I wanted an extra set. I thought it would be handy to have circulars. I think they will work better in the blankie as I add more blocks. These needles will stay with the blankie scraps. I found another use for the little circs (and those scraps), but I will talk about that tomorrow (let’s just say that the Hank’s Friday Five combined with the news that my high school best friend is having a baby girl in July caused me to drop everything and knit something new)!

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!
Today is my birthday. We celebrated my birthday over the weekend because I had court today. Here are some of my gifts. First up, a suncatcher made by Little Bug (I had planned on using Photoshop to take out some of the distracting background, but I am having a software issue with PS). Some of the paint is glittery!

Today, I got a “book” he made with Grandma (MIL…she keeps him while I work). It is the “story” of the making of the suncatcher. It is so cute!

Finally, some flowers picked out by Little Bug and arranged by him. He is so cute!

In addition to these gifts, I also got some knitting related gifts. DH gave me $50 to buy whatever I wanted. I ordered this set of the sock needles from Knit Picks. The rest will be spent at Hanks. I will probably spend a bit more than $50 total, but that is ok (I think DH expects that). My mom got me a swift and ball winder set from Paradise Fibers. I am really excited to be able to bring yarn home in the hank and wind it when I need it! Does that make me really geeky? Not that it matters…

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!