Sunday, May 25, 2008

Like a giant colour card

A couple of weeks ago, I needed something relatively mindless to take to knitgroup. I'm sort of tired of knitting socks for the time being, so I dug around and pulled this out.

Sophie's Toes Pastel_01

That's a Sophie's Toes Magic Ball that I bought from someone who was destashing on Ravelry. I'd admired this sock yarn from afar for a while because the colourways are incredibly pretty, but I've never actually bought any because a)I usually miss the updates, b)I can't decide which colourway to get, and c)I have way too much sock yarn and am trying to be good.

The Magic Ball is several different colourways put together for a total of ~15 different "blocks" of colour (there are a couple of repeats). It came with a pattern for a simple scarf, so I cast on and started a little basketweave pattern.

Sophie's Toes Magic Scarf_01

The knitting is indeed very mindless, and it's incredibly fun to see all the different colours emerge. I think a Magic Ball is a marvellous idea, because I get to play with several different gorgeous colourways (yay! pretty colours!) without having to actually knit an entire pair of socks out of each one.

And, just because, here's a photo of the "real" Sophie's toes. =)

Sophie 080302_04

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Not intended for the "shrine of precious yarns"

I've been knitting dishcloths. Cotton dishcloths, in bright hot colours.


These dishcloths are not ultimately for me (ballband dishcloths from Mason-Dixon Knitting, using Sugar'n Cream cotton), but they got me thinking about "precious" yarns and knits that are "too good" to use. I've developed this pattern with my knitting -- I'll knit something that I absolutely love, wear it proudly for some time, then I'll put it away and start having thoughts like "well, now I can't wear it too much, because then it will get worn and old and it won't be pretty anymore". And then it just sits there in its plastic bin to be periodically admired, but not taken out into the world where it might, heaven forbid, get dirty or ragged.

Even worse, I have handknit socks that are just sitting in my drawer unworn, because I like the yarn too much to stuff it into shoes where they will smell like feet and get pilly at the heels. Not to mention all the yarn that I don't want to knit with because it's "too pretty to disturb" or "too discontinued".

All of which is silly, right? I mean, there will always be more nice yarn (the rate at which I buy the stuff definitely attests to that), and as for not wanting to wear out the things that I've actually managed to make, I DO intend to be knitting for a good long while, and absolutely DO intend to make many more scarves/socks/hats/sweaters/whatever. By no means do I intend my current knits to be the pinnacle of my knitterly achievements.


I guess it all stems from my packrat tendencies, which in turn stem from a sense of scarcity that I often tend to feel. I'm always thinking "but what if there's no more? What if this thing I love is the thing that I love the most and always will, and what if I never find anything else to love better ever again?" But the thing is, I've always found more things to get excited about. My favourite yarn/colourway is always changing and evolving. Last year's favourite scarf is not this year's favourite scarf. That thing I thought was the most flattering garment ever looks weird on me now (am I the only one this happens to?). So what am I saving up for, if I'm just going to move onto other things eventually anyway? Why can't I have faith that there are indeed so many better things to come?

(we're talking about yarn here, but obviously this could be applied to other Life Issues, which we won't get into).

So anyway, dishcloths (and boring navel-gazing). Not for me, but perhaps I should knit myself some eventually as an exercise in using-the-handknits-already. Hopefully they will at least brighten up the recipients' kitchens and put a smile on their faces, if nothing else. =)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hello kitty!

I was feeling ambitious, and was determined to finish the kitty today. So, I pressed onward!


Meet...uh...Kitty! Yes. I suck at naming. Would any of you lovely people like to take a stab at naming him/her?

Of course, it's not a stackable cat unless, well, stacked on another kitty. Therefore...

Some things I learned thanks to this project:
1) Mattress stitch - Wow is this ever a neat technique! Quite magical indeed.
2) I suck at embroidery.
3) Making toys so so much fun! And you get to be a little lazy with your ends because you can always hide them in the stuffing. I love that part.

Okay....back to my Monkeys now I suppose (^__^)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kitty pieces

Stackable cat fever hit, and I decided to finish knitting up the little appendages today, and felt them.


Doesn't look like much yet, but I have faith that a cute and cuddly kitty is hiding in there somewhere. The pieces are drying as we speak, so I should be able to sew everything up this weekend. I decided not to felt it too much because I wanted the stitch definition to still be there. I'm quite a novice felter, so I'm not really sure if what I did was correct, but I guess we'll see!

No monkeys on my back

So, it seems that I have fallen prey to 'second sock syndrome'. It's not that I haven't started my second Monkey, because I have (only on the 3rd repeat of the lace pattern for the leg though, and definitely not worth taking a photo of), but I couldn't help falling victim to the cuteness of some of the patterns over at Mochimochi Land, and wound up buying a couple of them. I wound up getting the patterns for Stackable Cats, and Pepto and Tums.

Sad to say, I've already cast on for the small version of a stackable cat - the body, and 2 ears are finished. I just need to finish up the arms, legs and tail. All the little pieces seemed a bit odd to take a picture of, so I'll take a picture when it's all done. I'm a little scared of how much seaming is required, but I need practice anyway. And what better way to do it than to churn out lots of cute little kitties?

I seriously wanted to buy a lot more patterns (Tubby was just so cute!), and this has kinda gotten me on a toy making groove. It's going to take some discipline for me to get my sock and garment projects done now! Haha!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Big feet in Tiny Toes

More socks! Toe up, plain stockinette foot, short-row heel, garter rib for the leg. The yarn is Interlacements Tiny Toes. Very squooshy and very bright!

Interlacements Tiny Toes 410_03

I think the garter rib plus the slightly stripey effect of the yarn look really cool together.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

1 Monkey done....Monkey 2 on the way

Got one of these babies off my needles. All in all, it was a really fun time, so I'm looking forward to the second one. Maybe I'll do a better job of grafting the toe. I seem to suck at Kitchener stitch - I seem to get funny bumps on each end.

Here's a photo I took while still working on the sock. I wanted to see what Hanatarou thought of it.
I don't think he really wants to wear it (haha!)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Pooling Colors Scarf

THANK YOU all for your very sweet comments regarding the Nothin' But A T Shirt! With your encouragement, I probably will wear it out in public eventually, after I get those last few pesky ends woven in. =)

I've finished the STR Pooling Colors scarf (the first time I typed "pooling" I left out the "l". Then I giggled. I am a 12 year old), it actually knit up incredibly quickly.

STR Pooling Colors Scarf_02

I should have thought more about what I was doing when I started the scarf, since one skein of Socks That Rock Lightweight (this is the Count Cluckula colourway) is ~360 yards and resulted in a scarf just over 5 feet long after blocking. Which is actually a perfectly fine length for a scarf, it's just that I like mine to be at least 6 feet. I've worn the scarf out a few times, and the too-short length still bothers me, which makes me suspect that I won't really wear it much, so it may end up being given away as a gift.

This yarn is incredibly springy, in contrast to the Schaefer Anne that I used for my first scarf, and the combination of the yarn + lace pattern probably wasn't a very good match in this case (the pattern just looks a little....weird). Which means that my quest for the second perfect skein of Anne continues. But it was still really cool that I was able to make the pooling work again.