mistakes


I swear that socks just must really be out to get me.  I ended up casting on for my husband’s socks 4 times before I finally managed to make him a pair of socks!  They are finally finished. Here is a sneak peek. I am going to block them and make them look pretty and then do a big post.  I actually considered ripping the first one (left) out because I liked the striping on the second sock (right) so much better, but I am afraid of what will happen  if I have to cast that first sock on again!

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Last night, I decided to cast on a pair of socks for myself. I am making the Hermione’s Everyday Socks in Malabrigo Sock. I have had the yarn in my stash since early 2009.  I bought it at Hanks (which is now closed).  I did my cast on, joined in the round, and started my first row.  I got half way through when I noticed it…

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Do you see it? When I joined in the round, I was super careful not to twist my round. I did not pay attention to where my yarn was. It is on the inside instead of the outside.  It kept tangling on my needles.  So, I decided I would tink back. In trying to tink back, I managed to lose a stitch.  So, I ripped it all out. I am going to cast on again tonight.  I think it is just that I should expect that my first cast on is just for practice!

I do have to say that I really love this yarn. It is so soft.  I am not sure how well this yarn will wear, but it is a dream to work with (even when I have to rip it all out and start again).

1. For some reason, my post from Saturday didn’t post until I logged on tonight.  I don’t really know why.  I must have angered or annoyed the blog in some way.  This is paybacks.  Sorry for a second post in one day!

2. My Christmas tree and outside decorations are still up.

3. Last night I took down the inside decorations.

4. My plan was to take down the tree last night, but discovered that my cats have been peeing all around the base of the tree.

5. I spent the evening cleaning up cat pee.

6. The cats are not sick (they were at the vet last month). They just don’t like Christmas trees. They did this last year.  We thought they wouldn’t this year because last year’s tree was real and this year’s was artificial.  Our vet had suggested the real tree may have confused them and made them think they were outside.  I don’t think so.  The artificial tree didn’t matter apparently.  They are just grinchy.

7. If anyone would like two adult cats who have a tendency to pee on the carpet anytime they get pissed off (pun intended), please let me know.

8. I realize the above won’t really entice anyone to request my cats, but I believe in truth in advertising!

Here is the rainbow I saw on the way to Knit Night Out.  On Tuesday night, my knitting group met at a local restaurant.  We meet on the first and third Sunday of the month.  There is an extra week between the third Sunday of August and the first Sunday of September than we would normally have between meetings. We decided to get together in between. It was a lot of fun.  How can anyone complain about knitting, adult conversation, and food!!  It is like heaven.   I really enjoyed myself.

Of course, it was raining that evening. The rainbow was a complete rainbow (I couldn’t get a picture of the whole thing).  It was really beautiful!  I knew that it was going to be a great night when I saw it!

While at Knit Night, I worked on my one row scarf.  I have about 14 inches done so far (much of that done at dinner).  It is moving so quickly! I am still loving the pattern. It is so simple. It is easy to travel with as well because it is easy to pick up anywhere in the row and know where you are.

The only thing I don’t like is that I am doing it on straights. It would be a bit more portable if I had put it on circulars because they fit in my bag a little better. I keep poking myself with the needles reaching into my bag.  I am going to have to get some new circs this weekend!  I am planning more of these scarves so I will make good use of the circs!

Lately, I have not been very happy with the way my stockinette stitch looks.  I haven’t done a lot with stockinette because I do a lot of knitting in the round and garter stitch. I have been noticing that my stockinette just didn’t look right.  You can see in the above picture that every other row is twisted.  I started to question whether or not I was doing the knit stitch right. I taught myself to do Continental knitting with drawings on a website.  I went onto KnittingHelp.com to watch a video to see how it is supposed to be done.   I have been doing it right. My next thought was that maybe I have been doing the purl stitch right. I also taught myself to purl using this video.  I checked the videos on KnittingHelp. I realized that the purl stitch in Continental knitting is not how the video shows. That being said, I love the way I purl.  I didn’t want to change. I decided to try to figure out what I needed to do to make that purl stitch work. I then realized that I was knitting Continental style, but purling in Combination knitting!  I found Annie Modesitt’s website. I changed the way I was doing the knit stitch (only when knitting in stockinette…in garter stitch or in the round I have to do the knit stitch the way that I was)!  Here is the result!

Look at how nice and neat and pretty that is!!  All better!  It looks like it is supposed to look.  I was so very thrilled!  Not only does the knitting itself look so nice and neat, but it made the edges of knitting look so much nicer.

This is the monkey head. The top area is the top of the head.  The bottom area is the snout (it is bent down).  Both are made using short rows.  The red arrow is pointing to the “seam” made on the knit rows before I made the change in my knit stitch.  The blue arrow is pointing to the same thing, but using my combination knitting.  You can see that it makes the “seam” look a lot neater. It also makes it symetrical (the same as the “seam” made on the purl row).  I also noticed that my tension is more even between knits and purls. I think doing the knit stitch is easier this way too. I was so excited, I almost ripped out the whole head to start over. I decided just to leave it and consider it a “design feature”!  I have ordered Annie Modesitt’s book because I still can’t visualize how to do an SSK (and a few other random things).  I also found that Grumperina has a really helpful combination knitting page. I haven’t gotten to explore it as much as I would like, but that will be for this weekend.

In doing the research on combination knitting really helped me to have a new understanding on how the stitches worked. I realized that all combination knitting really means is that you always knit/purl into the leg of the stitch that is closest to the needle tip (unless you want to twist a stitch on purpose).  It really helped me understand how some of the decreases and increases lean.  It all made sense!  It was a big “aha” moment!  I can’t believe that I have been twisting stitches for so long and not realizing it!  Now I know why things haven’t really looked exactly right!

After I realized that I was knitting in a very mixed up way, I started examining the scarf I was working on. I had been not very satisfied with how my knits looked in the scarf as well.  I put in a lifeline and then just changed to combination knitting. I was hoping it would look a bit neater without looking dramatically different.  It looked different enough that I ripped back to the lifeline.  I considered frogging the scarf and starting over (it is fun to knit). Instead, I decided to continue knitting in my “mixed” way and consider it a design feature again!  I will do it “right” on the next one.  14 inches of scarf is too much to rip!

I have had a busy day today. I decided to go to the thrift store this morning to look for sheets. I saw a really cute skirt tutorial where the skirt is made from a sheet. The biggest bonus…no hemming!  I knew I had to make this skirt.  I managed to find two sheets. One is a blue floral. The other is a yellow and white check.  It already had a ruffle on it!  I knew it would make a really cute skirt.

When I got home, my 2-at-a-Time Socks book was in the mail.  I quickly read it. I then printed out the Judy’s Magic Cast on Tutorial.  I cast on immediately.  I had decided to take the Panopticon yarn from the failed Monkeymen and do a toe up 3×1 rib sock for DH.  Right now, I am about halfway done with the toe increases. This method is really clever. I also like that both socks will be done at the same time. I don’t mind the second sock when I am making socks for me, but a second sock for DH is too much!  I do think that I will still use DPNs in the future, but I also love this method.  I will post a picture later. I just couldn’t get a good one today!

After the boys went to bed, I got to work on my skirt.  I was just finishing the waist elastic, when I cut my finger. It is a pretty deep cut.  I was cutting through the elastic when the tips of my scissors caught my index finger on my left hand. I managed not to bleed on my project (only my white carpet suffered). After performing the necessary first aid, I finished the skirt.  It is so cute! I can’t wait to wear it (of course, I will need a white slip before I can, but that is a problem for another day).  After I cut my finger, DH took the scissors and told me that I couldn’t sew anymore tonight.  I picked up my knitting, but am finding that holding the yarn is a bit strange.  I may just read for a while.   I am still proud of how much I have managed to get done today.  I also think that I will be able to get a blouse out of the rest of the sheet (and probably some sleep shorts for the boys).

Besides all the crafty stuff, I have been learning my new phone too.  I got an HTC Touch Pro. I love it.  I can check my email, Twitter, keep track of all my contacts, keep track of my calendar, and play games (all from anywhere…even court).  There is a lot the phone can do that I haven’t figured out yet, but I am getting there!

One last thing, I realize that the last post seemed a bit scattered. I was going to go back and fix it, but decided against it.  LB had been having some health issues.  He had toxic synovitis (an inflamation in his hips following a viral infection). He has been in a lot of pain.  On Monday night (when I wrote the post), he was supposed to be sleeping. The pain was keeping him awake. He was crying every few minutes. It made it a bit hard to concentrate.  I ended up taking him to the doctor on Tuesday, where he had x-rays and blood work.   He is doing better now, although he still has times when he is pretty sore. They say that it will last for up to two weeks and will return anytime that he gets a viral infection in the future. It is pretty yucky stuff.

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!

I have been knitting like the wind for the last week or so. I think it is the new Knit Picks needles. I love the slick metal. I knit much faster with them. I have finished several things in very short period of time. First up, the Wee Tiny Sock for my pal, Pischi. This is knit with Lorna’s Laces Shepard Sock in Buck’s Bar colorway. This is the leftover from my Valentine’s Socks.
I put the quarter in to show scale. The sock is so little and cute! Next up, the socks for Little Bug made out of the Regia. They are a little bit big, but probably won’t be for long. After finishing the first sock, I had LB try it on. I discovered that I had mismeasured. The foot was too short. I knit the second sock, and then went back and frogged the toe of the first and reknit it. I was pretty scared since it was the first time I had pulled something off of the needles and pulled back that far. I didn’t drop any stitches, and you can’t even tell.


I took what was left of that yarn, and I knit a little “sock” for my Zen MP3 player. It only took about two hours. I will post more about it in a day or two. I have been without a camera since the weekend. I decided to sell my camera, and buy a new one. My old camera was a Kodak Easyshare DX6490. I loved it, but I never carried it around. It was big and heavy. It had manual settings, but I never learned to use them. I always said I would, but never had the time. I decided I needed a small camera that I could throw in my purse. I also wanted it to be a simple point and shoot. I decided to get a Canon Powershot SD850 IS Elph. It should be arriving tomorrow. I will then take pictures of the Zen sock.
I also started some Lace Heart Anklets (Ravelry link). I knit the whole first sock. I was getting ready to Kitchener the toe when I decided that I would try it on. It was too small. I checked my gauge. I was getting 10 sts/in with size 1s (2.25 mm). I need to get 8 sts/in. I frogged the whole thing and started over with size 2s. My confession is that I only frogged after asking numerous people their shoe size. If they had fit someone else, I would have just knit the second sock and given them away. I will post pictures of these in progress when I get my new camera.

I am feeling so clever right now. First, I have turned the heel of my first sock and picked up the stitches in the gusset. That is the part that most intimidated me. I had read the directions at least a hundred times. I just didn’t get how it would work. I even looked at a tutorial with pictures numerous times. I just didn’t get it. However, when I got to each part with sock in hand, I figured it out. It even looks right, IMO. How cool is that?! It is like magic. It looks like a sock! I am just so impressed with myself! I can tell how people become addicted! I am quickly headed in that direction.

Want to know how I can tell? I have been obsessing about needing a sock bag. I finally settled on this one. I also have been only interested in sock yarn online. I have neglected all other projects in favor of the sock! I am just loving how clever the little thing is!

There are two small mistakes (not big enough for me to rip back). First, there is a row right in the middle of the heel flap where the slip stitches don’t quite line up. Not worth tinking as LB will never really notice. I also did decreases on each row (not every other row). It still looks fine. It also appears to fit fine, so no going back. I will just need to make that same “mistake” on the second sock.

Poor LB doesn’t really understand where the second sock is. He keeps saying, “Can I wear the other one?” I have explained that the other sock hasn’t even been started. He always, “Ok, can I wear it now?”

I am also feeling clever because I figured out a way to keep my needles together and to keep them from poking my bag or losing stitches off the end. It is just two end caps for the Closet Maid shelving stuff and some beading cord. It works really well, doesn’t add any bulk to the bag, and cost about $2 to make (the $2 was enough to actually make about 12 sets, but I have only made one since I only have one set of dpns…something I expect will change rapidly).