Saturday, November 24, 2007

Old and New

Monkey close-up

Yes, I started a pair of Monkey Socks from Knitty. And I admit they're as much fun to knit as everyone has said. Except, somehow they are so small around that they're going to fit no one; have to frog them - sigh.....
Going to have to really check gauge before I attempt them again.

The pattern calls for a size 2/2.5mm needle. I used a KnitPicks size 1/2.5mm needle which I assumed would be the same but I'm getting 9.5 stitches per inch while the pattern calls for 8 per inch. I'm not a fan of walking in socks that have been knit on anything larger than a size 1 needle. Guess I can knit the foot on a smaller needle when I get there. Good-bye Monkey.
Monkey socks
By the way the yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in the Spring Frost Colorway.

While I was coming to terms that my Monkey Socks weren't going to fit I switched over to knitting the sample socks in Cat Bordhi's new book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters, Book One. These socks really are constructed differently.
Here's the Sky Sock Architecture
Sky Sock Sample
that gusset in the front is the one and only gusset in the sock.

And I'm in the middle of the Coriolis Architecture
Coriolis Sample

I've always knit my socks on double point needles. I've tried two socks on one circular (hated the twisty yarn problem and constantly moving everything around) and the 2 16" circulars (didn't like the short needles on 16" circs) but for some reason never tried 2 24" circulars. Reading the directions for the sample Coriolis Sock I decided it would be easier to use the two circular directions so I hunted up two cirs - the ones I came up with aren't the same size and one is 24" while the other is 32". I have lots of stuff hanging off these socks but the two circ method is really working well! I'm going to have to invest in some matching size circs when I actually make this pattern to fit a person's foot. Can't tell you how long I've put off some patterns because they're written for two cirs and I'm just too lazy to translate - now I don't have to!

One of the items on the materials list for all the patterns in Cat's new books are A & B stitch markers.
Coriolis close-up
Cat's come up with a brilliant way to simplify her directions using these labeled stitch markers. BTW did you know that there are several, maybe even more than several, videos on YouTube of Cat demonstrating her techniques?

I tried regular colored stitch markers for the Sky Sock but soon realized how much easier it would make it to have the markers she specified. I got busy searching through Etsy's vendors and found red markers from Suann.
Suann A-B Stitch markers

And some lavendar ones from Beadmarker
Beadmarkers A-B Stitch markers
I think I'm set no matter the color of my yarn.

There's been a sock failure
Gusset yarn blow-out
There is a yarn break; I've no idea how or why the yarn failed. I wore the sock with out noticing any problem but when it came back from the wash (machine washed on delicate and laid flat to dry) there was this hole - "Ohh Nooo!!!"

I leave you with some visiting bird pictures from The Photographer.

Remember the perennial sunflower pictures six weeks ago; the birds have decended to scavenge the seed heads. There's also a flock of green finches but they're too skittish to photograph.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

My Camera is Back - Yeah!

My Canon A710 IS camera was delivered Thursday evening. The Photographer checked it out and said it is fixed! You can actually achieve focus now. That's all that's important!

There's a FO to show:
Chevron Scarf FO
Joelle Hoverson's Chevron Scarf Pattern in Socks that Rock Mediumweight - in colors Farm House and Watermelon & Tourmaline.

Feather and Fan closeup

I enjoyed knitting this scarf so much that I immediately cast-on another in Blue Sky Alpaca Melange; colors 804, 800, 803. And Blue Sky Alpaca Sportweight ; color 531.
Blue Sky Alpaca Chevron Scarf
the colors aren't exact in this pictures; the light color yarn is really a true baby blue. (Blue Sky calls this color 800 cornflower.)

Last Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending an all-day Lucy Neatby workshop on Finishing Techniques at the Shepardess in Old Town. (I'm asking for all her instructional videos for every Birthday and Christmas present until I have them all. She's that good!!) She uses her videos during the class for demonstration purposes so the whole class didn't have to gather around her while she knits up a small sample.

Before class we were to knit 2 - 8X8 swatches and 1- 5X6 swatch. We ended up making a small sweater sampler practicing her techniques.
Technique Sample sweater

First we grafted (Lucy doesn't like/use the term Kitchner) across the shoulders
grafting sample - top to top
My second color wasn't different enough to really show off the stitching well in photos.

We practiced mattress stitch when we seamed up one side and sewed in the sleeve. She spent quite a bit of time talking about sleeve heads and their seaming. And the last couple hours were spent on front bands and her button hole technique.
front band sample
We did a lined band with matching buttonholes and a picot turning edge.

The next day she was giving her sock class but I had to work and we won't mention the $$$ to take TWO of her classes. I did get her to sign my copy of her Cool Socks book.
Lucy Neatby Autograph

Everyone in the USA have a Happy Thanksgiving this Thursday.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Flagstaff Vacation Photos

Since I can't show you any new knitting photos (my camera was two weeks past the 1-year warranty date but Canon took it in as under warranty - YEAH!) I thought I'd post some of our vacation pictures. If you hate other people's vacation pictures - Stop Reading Now.

A decade ago we tried to go to Walnut Canyon but it was so cold ( with wind chill it felt like ZERO) we never made it out of the Visitor's Center. This trip it was 70 degrees F, a perfect day to hike through the Early Native American Cliff dwellings down in the Canyon.
Walnut Canyon
If you look in the center of the Canyon Wall you can see the hallowed out areas which were made into rooms.

Me at Walnut Canyon
Here I am for scale - these people were much shorter than we are today.

cliff side path
This will give you an idea of the cliff side path we walked along and you can see how the canyon-side holes were walled into rooms.

looking out of room walnut canyon
The Photographer stepped inside the hole in the wall to photograph the view looking out.

over hang Walnut Canyon

Walnut Cayon Climb
This is the view from down in the Canyon looking up toward the Visitor's Center where we started our hike. See it up there - that little white triangle in the center of the rim? We had to hike back up out of there - all 257 steps at 7000 ft! Our own little stress test.

The following day (Sunday)we drove to the Grand Canyon. The Village area was wall to wall cars and buses. No where to park and it was getting very windy; even thought it was sunny and clear it was unpleasant to be out in all that wind. After talking to a park ranger we drove east out of the Village and found some view sites with better views than in the more frequented Park View Points.

Grand Canyon, River_2
We actually saw the Colorado River down there.

Yellow Couple
This couple dashed out of their car, set up their camera on a timer, took their own picture together at the Grand Canyon and were back in their car in under five minutes. Guess they wanted to show up in those photos?

Jewelry on the side of the road
Stopped at the required Native American Jewelry on the side of the road.

Desert View Tower
And stopped at the Desert View Tower which was built by the Harvey Company in the 1930. (You remember that Judy Garland movie The Harvey Girls?)

Inside Desert View Tower
Interesting painting inside the tower.

looking up desert view tower
Looking straight up to the top of the tower.

All day Sunday the winds' speed kept increasing; it was that evening we got the call about the fires at home. We knew from past experience that the winds would be driving the fires westward which made us worry. Monday morning we decide to change plans and head home. You know the rest...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Socktoberfest Confessions

The end of October brought an end to Socktoberfest 2007; I only finished one pair of socks - plain gray ribbed for The Photographer - who is yet to wear them.

(Sorry no new photos! My Canon A710 isn't working right; the Imagine Stabilizer has become a de-Stabilizer! Even with a tripod the pics are blurry. Sending it back to Canon to see if they can fix it. We'll see how long that takes?? Not like there aren't half a dozen other camera's in the house I can try and use. "Try" being the word of the day - I prefer my little point and shoot! Any photos in this entry are old pictures you've probably seen before.)

So, only one finished pair of socks in the month that was suppose to be devoted to socks. Now, I did knit on socks, it's just that I have several in the works and even started another pair while on vacation. Let's count the socks I'm knitting:

1. My traveling sock in Paca Peds. Spiral Eyelet Socks.
Spiral Eyelet Sock
I'm into the gusset decreases on the first sock.

2. Seeded Rib Socks from Getting Started Knitting Socks by Ann Budd in Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Peacock. End of decreases on first sock

3. Waving Lace Socks from Favorite Socks Interweave Press in Fleece Artist Paris colorway
Just to heel on second sock.

4. Cookie A's Monkey Socks in Cherry Tree Hill, Spring Frost Colorway.

I swear I knit on every sock project during the month; just not enought on any one to finish. Do you think I have Knitting Attention Deficit? Is there an organization dedicated to helping Knitters learn monogamy to one project? Would that be any fun? I think I have the Knitter's Almond Joy mentality -- sometimes I feel like [knitting] a sock, some times I don't!

I do have a photo of a FO that I haven't mentioned before. It's from Monthly Dishcloth's Yahoo Group - Sept Mid-Month Kal.
Dress DishclothDress on bottle
And it hangs around the neck of the bottle to dry, how clever is that?

Now to go see if I can figure out one of The Photographer's cast-off SLRs. Wish me LUCK!!