Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Blocking

The Airy Lace Wrap Sweater (Rav link) for my sister is blocking upstairs. I don't have a blocking board, or suitable pins, so around these parts blocking means I soak the piece in water and then spread it out on my laundry drying rack as best I can.

Today was a first, though, because I actually used some scentless Soak in the sink to try and give the sweater a bit of a wash. In all honesty, since the vast majority of what I knit is socks, which end up getting tossed in the machines for washing and drying, I've only ever blocked three things in my life.

We shall see how this venture turns out. I should have taken a pre-blocking picture of the crumpled heap of knitted fabric that was the sweater. I thought about it, but just couldn't bring myself to document the thing in that state. Now that it can't be done anymore, I regret it. Oh well.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I do it for her

For her birthday this year, I presented my sister with two massive skeins of fingering weight yarn, with the promise that I would knit them up into usable items for her. One became a wraparound sweater that still needs to be blocked, but is otherwise done. The other is to become two pairs of socks.

One pair is to be Jaywalkers, and I've already cast on and knit about halfway up the foot - I do socks toe up, no matter what the pattern directions are.

The other pair is, at this point, likely going to come out as Leyburns, unless she decides there is another pattern she would prefer.

Now, her birthday was in May. That means that really, I should prioritize these socks above my own - after all, I just finished off a third pair for me, so my sock panic should be lessened. That and I still have two full months of summer to work on refilling my sock drawer.

Today, though, it occurred to me that instead of working on completing my sister's socks, I should cast on for a new one for me. Why? To test out a new pattern of course! Maybe she'd prefer a pair of Froot Loop socks?

It has nothing to do with the fact that I'm anxious to knit up the Tinsel Toes yarn that arrived Friday. Couldn't be.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

It came!

My Eat.Sleep.Knit order came!

It actually arrived yesterday - Someone Else went to check the superbox last night, and brought it back for me, I think he got a kick out watching me flip out over it. There was a smile - either he was enjoying the spectacle, or he was masking the terrible unease he was feeling knowing that he chooses to spend his time with a person who gets this excited over a box full of yarn. If it was the latter, he did a spectacular job, because I'm pretty sure it was the former.

In any event, I now want to wind up the new yarn. Right. Now.

Problem: no scale yet.

Part of me thinks this is okay - I know a skein will do a pair of socks, and like I've said before, I've been getting by decently by eyeballing, so I could wind away and just run with it.

Problem: the part of me that wants the scale for precision in halving also knows that the scale is coming, and is insisting that I be patient so that I can do this properly.

So far, persnicketiness is winning.

It's okay. I've still got a sock. And a sweater.

I better be careful though. I'm onto the leg of this sock - I do my socks toe up. I could end up in a situation in which I have finished this sock, but still have no scale, in which case I will be unable to work on a sock. Which would be, you know, wrong.

Maybe I should put this sock down and go work on the sweater for a bit. Because, you know, it's Saturday, which means that I'm boycotting real work for the day.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Twitchy

I've been anxiously waiting for my biggish fix batch of sock yarn to arrive.

I've also been waiting for the digital scale that I ordered to come in. I've been making do with eyeballing the yarn cake as it winds up to determine where I should divide the skein for the two socks, but the crazy obsessed person perfectionist in me wants those two halves to really be equal, so I decided to take the plunge and get me a scale. It also helped that the scale was less than $20 USD.

Working on a sock is taking some of the edge off all this waiting, but I'm also getting worried that I might finish this sock before the scale comes, and I don't want to wind any more yarn until I have it. I also want to play with the new yarn! I really hope I like it - I kind of went a bit bonkers and bought something like five skeins. I think it was five. My memory is sort of fuzzy on that.

Good thing I cast on for a cardigan the other day. If my goodies don't arrive today, that means they won't show up till Monday at the earliest. The sweater and I will be enjoying some quality time in that case.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

No denying

I've been in a bit of sock panic lately. I walked holes through three pairs of socks - three! - within weeks of each other, and I've got five more pair that are getting ever closer to having holes. Given that I started with about eleven pair that I liked enough to wear regularly, which ends up being roughly once a week, losing those three took me down to eight, and losing the next five will take me down to three. I cannot get by with just three pairs of socks!

Since the panic set in in February or March, I think, I've managed to knit myself three pair. That helped to take some of the edge off, with summer and sandal weather looming ahead, and my panic is less.

Or, well. It was. Until I looked at my sock yarn stash - a small stash, really - and realized I have enough yarn left to knit myself six pair of socks. As I type this, really, that seems totally fine. But yesterday? Plunged back into panic mode.

So I placed an order at Eat.Sleep.Knit. today for more.

Now, I should be good for a bit.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Speed must be the key

Whenever I'm trucking along on some project, and I start to worry about running short on yarn - I always worry, even though I don't think I've ever really run out of yarn before finishing to the point I had hoped to get to - for some reason, I feel compelled to finish as quickly as possible.

I try to speed up my knitting - which I don't think actually works, I knit as fast as I knit, which isn't that fast, but then again, if I really did knit quickly, I'd need a bigger yarn budget, which I don't have, so it's probably just as well that I knit at the speed I do, probably strikes a nice balance between having finished projects and spending boatloads of money on yarn.

I also try to devote more time to that project - either by finding more little moments in which to knit, like that 60 seconds while I'm swishing with antibacterial fluoride rinse after brushing at night, or by being less easily distracted by the alluring call of other projects on the needles, or by the small stash of sock yarn that I keep. It really is small - I only have yarn for five pairs of socks stashed right now. I don't stash other yarns either. Hence the name (Mostly) Stashless for the blog.

This need for speed makes no sense though. I know this. Knitting something faster is not going to make the yarn form more stitches, no matter how fast it may go, which as it turns out in my case is not very fast anyway. The length of my working yarn is finite, and is in no way correlated with the passage of time. I understand this.

And yet, when I start getting nervous about running short, I always think, Wheep, better start hustling!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Empty needles

Well. Not entirely empty. I've still got a sweater on the go - the Airy Lace Wrap Sweater from Fitted Knits, which is for my sister in celebration of her birthday last month. She knew she wasn't getting it in time. My original plan had been to wrap up the yarn for her to open up on the actual day, but I got antsy and showed it to her when it arrived back in February or March, and I think I cast on in March. So really, in the end she'll be getting it sooner than if I had stuck with my original plan!

I'm just about to cast off that second Anastasia Sock, though, and I don't have any other second sock demands to attend to. This means that it's time for a new sock!

Now, I do need to knit up a couple pair for my sister - also part of her birthday present. But that yarn still needs winding. I do have some ready-to-go sock yarn all wound up. The problem there is picking a pattern.

It's more of the Fleece Artist Nyoni in Indian Summer, which is what my Leyburns were done in. I'm a bit ambivalent about what I want the other half of the skein to be though. Jaywalkers? Maybe. More Anastasias? I think the yarn will work for the pattern, but it might just be too soon. Plain stockinette? No thanks. Clover Lace? Ehhhhhh. Mistake Rib? Doubtful. Something new? I dunno. I know that there are about a billion sock patterns out there I haven't tried yet, but I'm feeling a bit like a stick in the mud - I want to pick something I've knit before. I'm having trouble visualizing how the yarn will knit up in that pattern though, and I'm not up to knitting a bit, changing my mind, ripping and trying again.

It's funny that this sort of inertia has never been a problem for me in the past - I was quite happy to just pick a pattern I like and pick a yarn I like and see what happens. I don't have any recollection of being dissatisfied with the result either.

I'll likely just end up winding up the yarn for my sister's socks today, and casting on for those, since she's already picked out her patterns. I've got a dentist appointment tomorrow morning - I need some waiting room knitting.