Sunday, May 18, 2014

I should know better

One of the primary reasons I have not tried weaving is the expense of a loom. Well, Saturday my granddaughter and I visited the Salomon Farm Fiber Arts Festival where I saw a loom made from cardboard. Ruh-roh. I could barely wait to get home to try this.

I know - not a pretty sight. In my defense, I was babysitting an increasingly restless pre-schooler at the time. It is an inexpensive way to get a taste of weaving, though.

I referenced this site for detailed instructions (which I failed to follow very well), in case you are tempted to try this at home.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Now we are six, plus toes up

I'm still making sporadic progress on the Easy as Pie blanket for my granddaughter. Six squares are done, not sure how many there will be total. That will depend on how the yarn holds out.

The problem with the pattern is there are too many reasons to pause, starting with the provisional cast on and ending with squaring the circle. I'll be marching along, and then have to change cadence, so to speak. Plus, I get distracted by socks.

These are toe-up "boot" socks for my son, knit in DK. Since they are heavier, I also try to make them taller, so they can be worn with boots. Since my son has big feet, I decided to do them toe-up, so I can make them as tall as possible before running out of yarn.

For a while, I was concentrating on toe-up socks. Then I took the Yarn Harlot's "Grok the Sock" class and reverted to top-down. Now I'm tired of that, so it is back to toe-up. One of these days I will try EZ's sideways socks. I know - I am one wild and crazy gal.

Friday, May 16, 2014

222 days until xmas

Have you started your holiday knitting yet? Well, why not?!? I have one gift finished, a pair of what I call boot socks for my son-in-law.

Pattern: Sock Recipe, by Stephanie Pearl-McFee
Yarn: ONline Supersocke 6-ply, 1615 colorway
Needles: US3
Modifications: cast on 60 stitches for the top, decreased to 56 for the foot, my own avoid-the-gusset-gap trickery. (For detailed instructions, see Ravelry post.)

My new resolution re socks is to try to get them to match. I almost made it this time - you can't tell from the photos, but the tips of the toes betray me. If asked, I will say that the difference is so the wearer can tell his right foot from his left.

Or wabi sabi.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

The secret is to have a plan

My SO and I spent a week or so in Massachusetts in the very recent past. The primary intent was to visit family, but we also wanted a bit of a vacation, so spent a couple of days in Springfield. While planning our very loose itinerary, I realized we would be within spitting distance of Webs in Northampton. And they are celebrating their 40th anniversary with a sale. Ruh roh!

First, I set a yarn budget, then created a project list, then spent an inordinate amount of time online, scoping out the sale items and tentatively selecting colors. Otherwise, I knew I would be overwhelmed with the sheer volume of choices available and either buy one of everything or not a single skein.

A subset of all the yarn available.

I pictured Webs being a giant warehouse, but the warehouse itself is separate from the store. Yarn is arranged by weight, which helped me avoid the sock yarn. (I have enough sock yarn to last me several years, plus Simply Socks is located in my hometown, so no need to visit those aisles.) They also have books and buttons, so my SO selected buttons for his Fibonacci vest and I was able to confirm the number needed by referencing Knit One Below.

These look black but are actually dark green.

One project I have in mind is a Danish-styled tunic sweater for cross country skiing, for myself. Other than wanting worsted weight yarn, my only criteria was the color, which had to be the perfect shade of red. I found it, and while I was not specifically looking for Superwash, that was a bonus.

Cascade 220 Superwash in the perfect shade of red

Another project idea is a sweater of my own design. I had already selected the yarn and color, so just needed to locate it in the store. Alas, there was not a sweater's worth there, but the helpful staff offered to find it in the warehouse and ship it to me free. It arrived home before I did.

Cascade 220 Heathers, in 'Cordovan'.

I knew I wanted Superwash for a sweater for my granddaughter, but did not know which color until I spotted this one.

Cascade 220 Superwash, in periwinkle

And then, because I like to have a selection of spare winter hats for visitors, I picked out some single skeins for that.

Plymouth Encore, in gray, hunter orange, and brown.

Some of my sweater projects are going to be knit in the round, and since I am rather round, I added some long circular needles to my purchase. (FYI: buttons and needles fall outside the yarn budget. Just saying.) The selection in US7 and US8 sizes was meager - very picked over - which is why one of those sets is "cubics".

Knitters Pride Nova circular needles.

And then we got the hell out of there. I had planned to visit another yarn store, over the border in Connecticut, because it features locally hand-dyed yarns, but I was out of money plus I probably would have selected fingering weight yarns in single skein doses, just right for MORE socks. All in all, I am very proud of myself for sticking to my budget. Different yarns are on sale in May at Webs, if you dare look at the website.