Saturday, March 31, 2007

4 Socks a Season

In order to further encourage my sock knitting I have joined the 4 Socks a Season KAL (that's Knit-along for those of you non-knitters out there). The premise is simple -- Knit 4 socks or 4 pairs of socks each "season". Sounds like it will be lots of fun! It officially starts tomorrow (April 1), but I have a few things -- both knitting and non-knitting related -- that I have to work on this week, so my first pair probably won't be cast on until Thursday when I return home to Connecticut for Easter. I have 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces here in Boston, but they are not wound yet because I've been saving them for when I go home to play with my new swift and ball winder. At home I also have Lorna's Laces in the Flamingo colorway as well as my Sock Club package waiting for me. Not to mention the extensive stash... Oh the choices!!

Friday, March 30, 2007


I cast on the Jaywalkers on Monday using US1 DPNs and Cherry Tree Hill supersock in "brights". So far the sock is knitting up fast and going well. The superwash merino is very soft and I love working with it!

Take a look!

Jaywalkers 03/30/07

Monday, March 26, 2007

And we have a picture!

Here is the completed pair!

Completed Pair

EDIT: Knit with Plymouth Sockotta on US2 DPN's; K3 P1 ribbing for the leg and instep, Stockinette for the heel and sole. I did not use an actual pattern for this sock - I merely adapted a basic stockinette sock pattern to have the ribbing and adjusted accordingly to fit my foot. However in recent searches for sock patterns, I found there is a similar pattern here that uses the same ribbing pattern.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

And we have FO's!!!

Not one, but TWO FO's for today! First, I apologize that there will be a delay in any new pictures as the batteries have died for my digital camera... *sniffle* Perfect timing. The charger is back home in CT, but tomorrow I will try to pick up some AA's so I can post new pictures.

The WONDERFUL news is that I have COMPLETED a pair of socks!! I love them :-) There is a picture below of the first sock of the pair, and here is another one:

First Sock

The other FO's are the bright orange and blue mittens, the first of which is also below in a previous post.

I am so tempted to cast on my next pair of socks (Jaywalkers in CTH brights (orange/red)), but I really should finish up the last two projects I have OTN's here before going back to CT in 11 days.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Yarn Diet

Okay, I am jumping on the yarn diet bandwagon that I have been hearing so much about on the forums and podcasts. With exceptions for 2 projects that I already began planning, I will not be purchasing anymore yarn for the time being. On the side bar, I've even added a count "up" since I last purchased yarn. Yes folks, I bought more yarn yesterday... sad, but true. Well sad for my wallet. Happy for me. As a student, I keep to a pretty tight budget and I have yet to over-extend myself, but I feel that in the past couple months I've gone a little yarn-crazy and it's time to slow down a bit.

I think this realization especially hit today when I was updating my Excel sheet with my new purchases. Looking through it, I noticed yarn that I completely forgot I had. Most of my yarn is back at my parents' house, so it's literally "out of sight, out of mind."

In my WIP's news, I am 1/2 done with the second mitten of the pair for my cousin; I have less than 2 inches to go before shaping the toe of the second sock of my first pair; I am 4/5 done with the top-secret project; and I haven't picked up Carlos's lime green hat yet this weekend. I think that will be moving up in the rotation tomorrow.

Friday I started knitting a pair of Jaywalkers with the CTH I picked up from Windsor Button on Wednesday; however, after about an inch of the ribbed cuff I dropped a stitch and became very impatient trying to remedy the relatively simple mistake. Needless to say, I frogged it. Then when I tried to re-cast on I somehow miscounted or dropped a stitch again. Too frustrated to start for a third time, I rolled up the yarn, zipped up the ziploc bag it is in, and put it away until I finish one or more of the above projects. I think it was a sign from the knitting powers-that-be that I had too many OTN's and not enough FO's for the year (case in point, see the graphic to the right). And they are correct. I should have listened when I spent hours untangling the CTH after a debacle trying to wind it... But that is another story for another day.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

So much for stash management...

So you know how Sunday I posted here about how I was trying very hard to keep my yarn buying to a minimum? Well that went through the window yesterday. *Sigh*

It started Tuesday night actually. I was browsing Lorna's Laces website and came across the new color: Flamingo Stripe. Not only is this a great multi-color yarn with bright and light pink shades, but they will donate 20% of the proceeds to breast cancer research. How great is that? Wait. It gets better. True to the economic theory of supply and demand, the lower the supply, the higher the demand will be. Well, this was especially true for me. As I browsed various online yarn shops, I soon realized that this particular colorway is very popular and sold out all over. While this realization might deter some folks, it did not stop me. Now it became a challenge. So I posted on Knitters Review Forum asking if anyone had bought the yarn and very quickly got a response that a store in Virginia just got some in! Score!! So the next afternoon I called a few local places to see if they had it (cut down on the wait time), and when they didn't, I called down to Ewe Knit Kits in Virginia Beach and ordered it. Success!

But it does not stop there. Yesterday morning I learned about Yarn4Sock's upcoming sock yarn club. As a new sock knitter, I missed the boat on the sock clubs for this year, so this was the perfect timing for me! Plus I like the fact that I can pay as I go. Every other month for the next year, I get a new pattern and new yarn -- how exciting!

And since I was already on a roll, why stop at a sock club and ordering yarn from Virginia? On my way to school yesterday I also stopped by Windsor Button and picked up some more Cherry Tree Hill and some small DPN's.

Carlos says I have a problem and he is going to stage an intervention similar to that in the A&E show of the same name.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

New Technique - Three Needle Bind off

I finished one of my cousin's mittens the other day and learned the three-needle bind off to close off the top of the mitten. This is my sixth or seventh pair of mittens and I have always decreased the top and then I would thread the tail through the remaining stitches to draw closed that way. I must say that I really like the way the three needle bind-off looks on the finished mitten. Take a look:

Mitten 2007 Close-up

It may also have to do with the difference in the way that the top was decreased as well. The pattern I had used in the past decreased something like: "K4 K2tog" all the way around for 4 rounds and then "K2 K2tog" for two more rounds, etc. The decrease for these mittens was something like this (I do not have my pattern in front of me so this is all from memory): K1, K2tog, K(x number of stitches), K1, SSK, K1, K2tog, K(x number of stitches), K1, SSK. The first way creates a rounded top whereas the second method creates a more angled look. Compare with my other recent mittens in a prior post here.

I used my trusty Knitting Answer book with me to help me with the three needle bind-off, but if you'd like a video demonstration, be sure to check out To do this for the mitten, I turned the mitten inside out so that the right sides were facing.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Knitting Realization and Stash Management

Even though I had plenty of time this weekend, I have had a hard time finishing these projects. I think it may have something to do with the fact that until Easter, the only yarn I have with me here in Boston is the yarn for my blue socks, the gift, my cousin's mittens, and Carlos's lime green hat. As you can see from my new progress bars, I am not too far from completing each of these four projects. In reality, I am probably closer to finishing than I represented, but due to my dislike of weaving in the ends, sewing seams, and basically any tedious finishing technique, I have left a greater percentage toward those tasks. Anyway, once those few projects are finished, I have no other yarn here with me and will be greatly tempted to buy more. So if I drag out these projects, I can have something to knit for the next 17 days without spending more money on yarn.

It's taken a great deal of discipline, but I am trying really hard to keep my yarn-buying to a minimum. Every time I mention I want to buy something, Carlos asks me "Do you want it? Do you need it? Do you love it?" and if I can answer all three in the affirmative, then I should buy it. If even one answer is a "no", then I shouldn't buy it. When it comes to yarn, I can always answer the want it and love it with a resounding YES! But the need it question - that's a bit iffy, especially if I have comparable yarn already in my collection.

Particularly sock yarn. I have several sock patterns bookmarked, including the ever-popular Jaywalkers by Grumperina, these winding cable socks from Interweave Knits, and many others. I don't have the yarn here to do these projects. I do, however, have several skeins/hanks/balls of yarn for these projects at home in Connecticut and do not need to buy more.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Let it Snow!

Yes folks, on Tuesday I posted that I hoped the nice weather would stick around so that I could put away my mittens. But, no, it is snowing pretty steadily out there today. Wednesday night I didn't need a coat and today I needed a hat, scarf, and mittens. Being a native New Englander, I should have known better. I believe Mark Twain said it best: "If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes." and also, "Yes, one of the brightest gems in the New England weather is the dazzling uncertainty of it. There is only one thing certain about it: you are certain there is going to be plenty of it -- a perfect grand review..."

But with the inclement weather comes motivation to stay in and complete some of the projects I have OTN. Currently I am 1/2 done with the heel flap of my second sock, 1/3 done with Carlos's new (and hopefully better-fitting) hat, and then there are a few others as well that are at various stages. Now I just have to pry myself away from the computer, grab a hot cup of tea, and curl up in my comfy chair with my knitting.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring has sprung

Sunday I returned to Boston to finish my last semester of school -- exciting, scary, and bittersweet all at once! Break was nice, but too fast. I didn't get as much knitting done as I had hoped but I did take care of other things, so it was still a productive 10 days.

I bought some new yarn to add to the stash: Cherry Tree Hill in the Blues/greens colorway, and Sockotta color #'s 364 and 367 - orange & pink and purple & pink respectively. Can you tell I am now obsessed with sock yarn? Did I also mention that I haven't yet turned the heel on the second sock of my first pair?

Over break I did finish a pair of mittens for myself - just basic stockinette mittens with a K2, P2 cuff, nothing fancy. Take a look:

Mittens 3/2007

Hopefully this nice weather will stick around and I can put them away for next year :-)

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

As a third year law student, most of my reading is for school, but once in a rare while I have the chance (or the desire) to read for fun -- this week has been one of those rare occasions. In addition to all the knitting I have been doing over break, I have been able to finish an entire book that was not law related -- it was knitting related, of course! Claire LaZebnik's Knitting under the Influence is a great, fun, light-hearted book about three friends in their late 20's who share the common bond of their Sunday morning knitting circle, even though their lives are very different from one another. I absolutely could not put it down!

Not much to really update on the knitting front -- especially since I've been updating like crazy this week. Today I frogged Carlos's lime green hat because I realized after about 4 inches that the K2, P2 rib was not going to stretch as much as I had hoped. No biggie.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

New needle case

needle case
Knitting needle case 1
Originally uploaded by ndjen04.
My mom helped me (or I should say, I helped my mom) sew this great roll-up case for my knitting needles - pattern from Debbie Stoller's SnB Knitter's Handbook. Notice, of course, the many empty spots. No, they are not all for new needle purchases. Most of them are for needles with current projects on them. I guess that's a sign that I should get back to my knitting - ha ha.

Below is what the case looks like closed:
Knitting needle case - closed

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Finally organized my stash

Some of my stash
Originally uploaded by ndjen04.
A few weeks ago while cleaning my closet, I found this great sweater storage/hanging shelf contraption that I had used while in college and it is perfect for storing my current stash of yarn. And it makes Mom happy because it is now organized and in one spot - beats having plastic bags all over the place. I also created an Excel sheet to keep track of what yarn I have, how much, and what it is currently being used for. I've found that I often will be in the store, find yarn that I like, think that I have something similar at home and then realize that what I have will not be enough or isn't right for the project I had in mind. Or the opposite happens - - I think that I don't have it, buy it, and then I have too much (although, is there ever a such thing as too much yarn?).

Finished Sock #1
In other news, I finished my first sock!!! This picture is a little fuzzy, but tomorrow when I have more energy, I'll take a new one. And then of course I will cast on the mate for this one. I really want to start another pair to work on, but my goal for this week is to finish the few projects I already have started before starting anything new. So far I have been doing well, but we shall see how long it lasts.

For now it is bedtime.

EDIT: I re-took the picture this morning under better lighting conditions. Now you can see the texture of the ribbing and it's just a better picture than the one I had up last night.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

First Pair of Socks

First Pair of Socks
Originally uploaded by ndjen04.
Finally got around to uploading my pictures. Don't have many yet, but here is one of my first sock, taken a week or so ago. Currently, I am almost done with the foot and am getting ready to shape the toe. The end is in sight!

Socks made with Plymouth Sockotta on #2 DPN
K3, P1 ribbing for the leg and the instep, stockinette stitch for the heel and the sole