Friday, February 29, 2008
I have this less-than-stellar picture of the Jojoland Melody sock I am also working on. None of the ones I took came out too well, but you can get the idea. There is a diagonal line of YOs (which will go all the way around the sock) and a section of cables that starts in the center above the line. When the line comes back around, the cables will end. We will have to see how that works out. I did complete the short-row heel (ooh, risky, a short-row heel!) last night and am moving up the top. The YOs timed themselves perfectly and didn't want to go to the back until right where the heel ended. The yarn is, of course, beautiful. The slow color changes are so much fun. I will get a photo with more "sock" to it soon. I'll work on socks the rest of today then I hope to switch to the orange sweater for the weekend. I keep promising that.
I hope to work on socks on my commute, but a snag has developed. I have discovered that the bus ALSO has wi-fi! So, I might be tempted to read blogs or write in them during that time as well. Oh, the decisions.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I may have mentioned that I had an interview for a permanent job that had been scheduled long before the contract job last week came up. I really liked the people, and even liked the funky location. Well, I got the call offering me that position today--love that quick service, so unlike the dozen or so other places I interviewed with. After carefully reviewing my options and weighing the high pay of contracting vs. the lack of having to interview over and over with the permanent medium-paying job, I decided to accept this one (imagine me 3/4 of the way up that tower, and enjoying the carillon bells every quarter hour--I'll always know the time!). I just wanted to share this non-knitting news so you'll know I will be under less stress soon, though maybe with less time to blog.
Wait, what am I saying? Of course there is a knitting connection to this new position. And a blogging one. I will probably take the bus to this job, since there's a park and ride place fairly near my house, and an express bus that drops off quite near the new job. What will I do during the nearly two hours of bus time each day?? Well, of course I will KNIT. Just like the famous bloggers! And some of the buses have wifi. Hey, I can blog then! Very trendy, huh. University employees get free rides on the bus, which means I will save a LOT on gas. Well worth the time. I really hate stop-and-start driving, so will be happy to leave that to the bus driver.
I foresee making at least a bit of a dent in the sock yarn stash! WOO HOO.
Monday, February 25, 2008
On to my own stuff. I decided that my Garden Path socks in Jody's nummy yarn had been sitting there, waiting for me to decide which needles to make them on long enough. So, I frogged the version that was halfway up the foot on size 0s, and kept a-goin' on the size 00 model. I am glad I did, because as you can see, these fit fine. The others were noticeably loose. A quarter inch makes a lot of difference in a sock! The yarn is that firmly twisted sock yarn that I like so much, but it does have less give than some. I'm enjoying the pattern as well as the colorway, which has rare blips of pink in it, but is mostly brownish black semi-solid.
Due to my nearly 50 years on this planet, I seem unable to memorize the pattern, so I started a simpler sock to knit when I don't want to be holding on to a piece of paper. I picked one of my treasured JoJoland Melody colorways (Y14) and am making some kind of wandering YO line running through it, just for fun. The color changes are very slow in this yarn, which is quite the treat. I'll post a photo when I have a little more done.
I'll go back to the orange sweater as soon as Garden Path sock #1 is done. I do want to get that project completed. The next one is calling my name, as always.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
The sweater on the left is a plain one, though the original was striped. It has little front sleeves picked up from holes you make in the sweater body. The one on the left is more complicated, featuring an interesting broken rib pattern and a cable. I think the back ribbing is much too long unless you want it for a doxie or other long little doggie. I also wonder why both had such thick turtlenecks. The toy dogs didn't really have long enough necks to handle them, but maybe a real dog would.
Anyway, these are what I may end up mass producing, but in fancier yarns. And no, folks, I do not want to sell to local dog boutiques or on Etsy or Ebay. Just to the people who asked me to knit them, if they feel like paying my price. I'll tell you more about it once I find out.
I just have another week or so to mess with web pages for the knitting teaching job, too, because I got offered another contract where I met Lee today. It's just 9 months, but it 9 months of good pay, and will allow me to search for more meaninful stuff without that panicking feeling I've been having. What a relief! Thank you to everyone who sent out good vibes. I have another interview tomorrow for a job at the U of Texas, and I still hope to hear back from some of the ones I am waiting on, too. But, at least now that crushing anxiety has lifted and I feel like a person again. Now I can knit happy.
To celebrate, I cooked a pork roast in the slow cooker, green beans, and mashed potatoes, which I think we should eat soon. SlimFast for lunch makes me really welcome dinner (but I have lost 3 exciting pounds).
The socks I was working on will be done tonight--just have to bind off the toes. I will be happy to get them to their lovely recipient!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The pattern to the heart doily you see here can be found on CrochetDoilies.com and was found by my LYS friend Jamie, who just learned to crochet and made a much daintier pair of these just a week after learning to crochet. Cool, huh?
I made this one out of yarn from the discard bin at the shop (things that were damaged so they can't sell and we use to make samples). You can see on the edging, if you look closely, that it's full of sequins. How special! It's some Louisa Harding yarn. The center is, I think, Berocco Touche, but it had lost its label and was a bit dirty (someone had stepped on it). It makes a festive shop decoration, anyway.
So, happy knitting or crocheting, whichever you're doing!
I finally took better photos of this so I can share the pattern! Enjoy!
These “adult booties” are the color of river rocks, and look like trendy ski boots, but much more comfy and cozy for lounging around the house. In this pattern you will get to practice a number of skills: circular knitting with the “magic loop” method, figure-8 cast-on, the make-1 increase technique, yarn-over eyelets, and knitting with novelty yarns.
Choice 2: Muench Yarns Big Baby color #5505 (100% microfiber acrylic) four 50-gr. skeins.
OnLine Linie285 Smash-Crazy color #004 (70% polyester, 23% polyacryl, 7% polyamid), two 50-gr. skeins (CC).
Needles: US Size 8 45” or longer circular needles, or needles that will get the right gauge—these booties are knit at a very tight gauge so that they will be sturdy and hold up to hard wear. One way to change the size is to use larger or smaller needles.
Notions: Row counter (optional). Crochet hook for making tie and pulling tufts of yarn to the outside. Measuring tape.
Gauge: 3 stitches per inch in stockinet stitch.
Finished size: To fit about a women’s size 7- 8 foot. Try larger needles to get a larger slipper, or you can cast on more and make the instep portion longer (you’d do more back and forth rows before going back to circular knitting for the cuff), but keep the cuff 36 stitches in circumference.
Slide the needle with the slip knot forward (so you can knit with it), leaving the other needle’s loops near the edge (this is the needle you would have wrapped next if you’d continued wrapping). Bring the yarn from the rear needle forward and use it to purl across the loops on the front needle. You will be at the end where your cast-on tail is, and this is where your rounds will begin. Use the tail as the marker, or pin a marker to remind you.
It’s a good idea to measure here. If the knitting is very close to 9” long (within 1/8 inch either way won’t matter), you are on track for a size 7-8 slipper. If it’s too big or small, you may wish to start again with a larger or smaller needle.
Round 1 first half: K1, M1, K23, M1, K1; repeat for second half of round, maintaining your loop (27sts each half)
Round 2: P
Round 3 first half: K1, M1, K24, M1, K2; second half: K2, M1, K24, M1, K1, maintaining your loop (29 sts each half)
Round 4: P
Round 5 first half: K1, M1, K24, M1, K4; second half: K4, M1, K24, M1, K1, maintaining your “magic” loop. There should be 62 stitches, 31 on each half of the loop.
Sides: Starting with a purl round, work 10 rounds in garter stitch (knit one row, purl one row).
Instep: K36, slip 1, K2tog, PSSO, turn. It’s easiest to keep half the instep stitches on each side of your loop.
Row 1: slip 1 purl-wise, P10, slip 1 purl-wise, P2tog, PSSO, turn.
Row 2: slip 1 knit-wise, K10, Slip 1, K2tog, PSSO, turn.
It’s easiest to keep half the instep stitches on each side of your loop.
Repeat rows 1-2 six more times.
Slip 1 purl-wise, P10, Slip 1 purl-wise, P2tog, PSSO, wrap yarn around the next stitch on this round, turn, put the just-wrapped stitch back on the right needle, K11, work the next stitch together with a strand picked up from around below (to avoid a hole), K to end of round.
Cuff: K one round –when you get to the stitch with the wrap, work the stitch and the wrap together (preventing a hole).
Eyelet round: K1, YO, K2tog 12 times.
Knit 12 rounds in stockinet stitch (knit around).
If using thinner yarn, cut one strand of MC and pick up two strands of CC. You will finish the slippers using three strands, two of CC and one of MC.
Starting with a purl row, complete 9 rounds in garter stitch. Bind off as loosely as possible.
Make another slipper!
Ties (make 2): holding two strands of CC together, make a chain as long as desired. Thread through the eyelets. In the sample, the tie is long enough to wrap around and tie in the back, making for the look of a tassel at the heel.
Finishing: To get a “furrier” effect, you may want to use the crochet hook to pull strands of the trimmings from the CC to the outside of the slippers.
K = Knit
P = Purl
K2tog = Knit two together
P2tog = Purl two together
PSSO = Pass slipped stitch over the stitch previously worked
YO = Yarn over (wrap the yarn once without knitting, creating a new stitch and a “hole” in the knitting)
M1 = Make one (create a new stitch by inserting the needle in the bar of yarn between two stitches and drawing up a loop)
MC = Main color
CC = Contrasting color
These booties were inspired by a standard baby bootie pattern.
Copyright ©2006-2008 Sue Ann Kendall. This pattern may not be reproduced except for personal use. Rev 2.19.08
Monday, February 18, 2008
But I did knit a li'l dog sweater. It fits a small size toy dog just fine. No small real dogs to test it on around here! I'll share photos when they second model is done. I am doing both samples in a marled yarn I found in the closet, which I bought in the 80s. It's nice and sturdy, though not luxury yarn--you could wash it, like a real dog would need! It's Scheepjes, Norsewol Extra, from the Netherlands. We don't get that brand here any more--probably isn't made (I guess Yvonne would know).
I also got email from the owner of a new yarn shop near here, which made me happy. I hope to get to visit there soon. To top it off, two people I ran into seem serious about holding in-home knitting classes. Yay. I love doing those. Tearless and Fearless Knitting here I come!
Friday, February 15, 2008
I am rather down because I found out yesterday that my unemployment benefits ended LONG before I thought they would. I can apply again in March (of course, I keep hoping I won't NEED it by then).
The good news is that now that I am not getting that little bit of money, I can do something else. I figured I could either work retail or do something else for the same amount of money. Well, I'd certainly rather do knitting work for that much than ring up sales at the grocery store so...
I am starting a little enterprise as a knitting consultant (all set up to track taxes and everything!).
Since I am both an experienced knitter and a trained instructional designer I will even do it using adult learning principles! Here's my idea:
* Teach beginning knitting
* Teach intermediate techniques on a project of the student's choosing
* Help on a difficult project or one with new techniques
* Diagnose knitting problems and teach how to avoid them
* Help pick yarn/projects
* Teach young people
I'll be available at coffee shops and places that sell yarn in North/northwest Austin, Pflugerville, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander and area (that's in Texas, if you are a visitor from another land). I can also go to private homes for group knitting/crochet evenings.
I'll charge by the hour, with group discounts.
I will advertise on craigslist, a web page, and by putting flyers at various spots (coffee shops and such). If some money comes in I can advertise more--hard to start a service when you have NO funds.
Here's where I need help: what to call it?
*Your Personal Knitting Coach
*Let Me Help You Knit
*Learn to Knit at YOUR Convenience
*Knit with Suna
*Fearless and Tearless Knitting
*Learn to Knit without Tears or Fears
(I am liking the Tears and Fears)
Ideas? I am also posting this on a couple of email lists to get ideas. I just can't work at Target. I think my self esteem can't take it. Of course, I figure I will get this all set up and finally get a good job and end up having to do this only on evenings and weekends.
Note that I will not publish my phone number or have people at my house. Trying to be safe, I'll only meet people in public places, unless it's for a knitting party, which I wouldn't do unless I knew the folks or took Lee.
And More Work That Is Knitting
So, also today I will write up patterns for those tiny high-end dog sweaters and calculate how long it takes me to make one, so I can start making money doing that when I am not teaching knitting. Oh, I will soon be rolling in dough and not need a "real" job. Tee hee.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Here's a photo of one thing I sort of organized, my straight knitting needles (most of the aluminum ones are hiding). The random knitted thing is a magic ball scarf my son once worked on. I have no desire to finish it. The container is a Noni bag (you may want to click: her home page currently features a knitted felted flower bra). People at the yarn shop love to make them, and I test knitted one (you will see my name on the brochure of this pattern). My flowers came out pretty well, but the bag itself lists badly and can't really sit up on its own. I have no urge to make any of the other patterns, but they are very well printed and pretty. There's a messenger bag I may do for my son, but of course, all black. Whee.
As for playing tag. My blog friend Dragonfly has tagged me for yet another meme. I have the same issue as her, which is running out of bloggers to tag. So, if I tag you, don't feel overly compelled unless you have the time!
- Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog
- Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
- Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
- Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
My Random Facts:
I'm going to make some of my facts knitting tidbits. No rule said you couldn't.
- For 20 years I did "combined" knitting and purled by going under, not over. At least I eventually learned the trick to compensate for it.
- Many of you may already know that I collect things with pansies on them. I have lots of nice pansy art, pansy wallpaper, cups, dinnerware and such. You may not know why I collect them. When I was young, my mother always had them, in a large square planter on the back patio (near the wonderful fish pond my dad had made, full of goldfish and catfish). She told me she liked them because the blossoms looked like faces, so if you plant pansies, you always have friends. I really love those friendly faces, which come in almost as many varieties as human faces.
- In 8th grade I made spending money by crocheting bikinis for friends out of this totally bizarre 100% acrylic yarn that actually made nice, stretchy, wearable bikinis. I never wore one. I also made dozens of granny square purses for fun and profit. The li'l entrepreneur.
- I like almost all foods other than natto, which is fermented soybeans from Japan. The smell and texture combine to make me feel sick.
- I never wanted to have children. I thought I would be a terrible mother. Whew, am I glad I had those little boys, who are now young men who make me incredibly happy and give me the drive to keep going.
- I subscribe to Car and Driver magazine. I really like cars--think they are interesting and beautiful (some of them) and I enjoy driving a good car. Of course I am all for alternative fuels and less pollution. And don't get me started on how foolish it is that we build houses that have no services within walking distance. I always loved it in Ireland, where you could walk to get food, go to the pub, or go to the drug store, no matter where you lived.
- I have never enjoyed a computer or video game except Bejeweled. Playing games takes away knitting time. I do like Bejeweled, though. It makes me feel old. Like a lot of things do these days. Of course, I will be old in three weeks, so it makes sense.
I'd probably have more interesting facts if my mood was better--the job search clouds my perceptions, some times more than others.
OK, here are my seven people: Lee, Judy, Killer Peach (cause she started posting again), Diane (ditto), Titianknitter, Saranda, and Yvonne (because I didn't tag her last time). If you're already tagged, ignore me.
Knitting: The sock is going well--I'll try to finish it tonight. Too many errands and events yesterday to get much done.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
So, in honor of the Plymouth Eros scaf, here is its glamour pose, blowing in the breeze hanging from the redbud tree.
This one is for my old friend, Alice, who I am happy to say has returned to my circle after a hiatus. She says she gave away her previous one to someone who just loved it, and wanted one in red and black. I knew the LYS had one ball of this Eros Drifters yarn left, so I said I'd make her one. I will give it to her at church tomorrow.
I also started the purple socks, which will be plan top-down ones (I find it easier to get foot length right top down and these have to be a size smaller than my feet).. Wow, Trekking XXL is pretty, and this colorway of purples is gorgeous. I'll share photos tomorrow. I also almost finished that first sleeve on the Inka pullover. I'll have it done soon.
Friday, February 8, 2008
What I wanted to post about today was a nice time I had at Chicks with Sticks on Wednesday. It's almost always a nice time there, but it was extra special because more members of the Texas knitting ladies email list I am on were there than usual. the photo shows all of us (I will preserve privacy by not mentioning most names). It was great to meet Pat, who reads this blog (HI PAT) and is seated in front of me and whose camera took the picture. I do love putting faces to names, so I am glad the roving knitter roved over our way.
Most impressive though is Allison, in center front. Take a close look at her arm, if you are not squeamish. Tonight was the first time we saw her since a pretty bad auto accident she had, made worse by being out of the US. She is a festive collection of pins and braces--we hope a bone graft will fix her up soon. Now, if I had all sorts of pins in my arm, I'd be going nuts because I couldn't knit. I remember how frustrated my friend Cheri was when she broke her wrist and was trying to do craft--working in a yarn shop and not being able to knit! Ugh!
But, Allison was cool. She put her mind to it and figured out a way to anchor one needle so she could knit with the other needle and her good arm. She is not making tenuous garter stitches, either. She was making beautiful stranded colorwork. I kid you not. I was already incredibly happy to see her and verify in person that she was OK, but it was a real upper to see her knitting. I sure am glad she showed up before I had to leave for choir practice! She's a real example of how important knitting can be to members of our community--it keeps us on an even keel and gives so much pleasure that we'll go through a lot to keep doing it.
I am going to start a new pair of socks today, for my friends' college-age daughter, who is stuck in a place where her feet are really cold. I've been wanting to do something nice for them, so when I got that request I jumped at it. I have chosen one of my precious Trekking XXLs, in shades of purple, since she requested purple. I'll just do a 2x2 rib, so it will go quickly for her.
Of course I plan to finish the sweater, too. I want to wear it at least once this year!
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I figure that when unemployment runs out I will advertise knitting instruction on craigslist. Might as well. At that point, any income will be good.
My current only active job offer is a bit different, and it's a knitting job. People want me to design and knit up luxury dog sweaters. Apparently they have a market. So, if someday you hear of this place selling very small canine apparel for very large prices, I might be that knitter toiling away in the background. A thing I would only do if the price is right, believe me. I'll let you know if anything comes from this. I'll be getting a sample of the kind of thing they want soon, then I'll know more.
You just never know what will come up, will you?
Knitting progress: close to halfway through the first sleeve on the Inka pullover. The sleeves look nice so far. Off to file more job applications!
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Buds, as pale green lunar moths
Land overnight on the naked birches
And comes the warm Spring light
They will unfurl their sticky, verdant wings
And shed Winter's dark shell
(poem by: Silver Dragon )
I found this poem here. I chose it because it reminds me of the little sprouts I was spotting all over the garden today.
I am participating in the Bloggers Silent Poetry Reading that Stephanie the Yarn Harlot mentions every year. It's a nice way to honor my favorite goddess. And it makes me like the famous blogging knitter more, too.Yesterday I got a lovely Imbolc gift--Lee sent off for this beautiful statue from Sacred Source, which I have mentioned before is run by my friend Liana's family. It was so cool to get it on the right holiday. The statue is just chock-a-block with Brighid symbolism, too. She has scrolls with ogham on them (poems), she is standing at her well (note resemblance to ACTUAL St. Bridget's Well in photo), she has lots of shamrocks and celtic knots, she has sheep that make knitters happy, and not shown in the back is a cool forge with a St. Bridget's cross on it, and a sword. Gotta remember she's that goddess, too! I love how detailed these statues are--the original artist knew her stuff.
In knitting news, I did teach a nice lady to knit today (even purling), I got to see some old friends (including a bulldog and a small, multilingual child) at the yarn shop, and I am almost finished with the back of the Inka pullover. The instructions for the back of that thing are NOT correct, so I am relieved that I figured out what to do anyway. Onward to the sleeves for Superbowl Sunday.