Friday, January 30, 2009

Nine People!

I had nine students for class tonight! I thought maybe two or four, but surprise!!! Nine times ten dollars is that much extra in my paycheck. At least five of them will be back next week... woohoo!
It was a bit hectic, one lady wanted help with turning a heel on a sock and had a language barrier as well, she sounded like she spoke French but when I looked at her notes, it looked Arabic. i could be wrong about the accent, but in any case, she's willing to come back next time and learn to do the heel on two circulars instead of dpn's. She was using a cottony type yarn on size 11 bamboo needles... just not conducive to good movement. Turning the heel is kind of intense anyway and I had to share her with eight other people. I think she was told there weren't as many people on Friday and here she shows up to a full crowd. That was mildly frustrating I think on her part and mine.
At one point on opposite corners of the class tables two separate people asked about purling and then asked about 1/1 ribbing. At the end of class as things were breaking up, one of them wanted to learn how to do a 1/1 rib scarf pattern she had picked up. I showed the differences in the stitches, told them that if you have a bump on the front it's a purl stitch and if it's a V it's a knit stitch. I think they got it then, and then they wondered about the term 'stockinette' stitch...had to explain that as well. Two or three of them had figured it out, but had never been told what it was called, only that it was 'knitting'.
One lady kept wanting to put the yarn in her left hand and I told her if that was more comfortable, go ahead and do it. The lady sitting next to her wanted to know how to do it 'their' way... and I watched what she was doing and told her she was doing it that way. She didn't pick up on the differences in holding the yarn, but when I watched her, she was doing it the American way. Got me confused for a minute there, but we got it straightened around.
I used the thumb cast on for all of them because it was easier to teach a large crowd, the looseness of it though through them off and by the end I showed one of them how to do the knit cast on and she was a lot more satisfied with that.
I was picking up on their reactions and body language and picked up on whether they were totally confused or got it.
Yay! Most of them were very enthusiastic about coming back and only one, a little girl had expected to learn crochet, not knitting likely won't come back. She was getting totally frustrated between her mom and grandma trying to teach her at the same time. They left early because the little girl was almost throwing a fit which I didn't realize but her grandma apparently thought she was 'disrupting' class. Unfortunately, I couldn't reassure either of them soon enough so they left with apologies. That's cool anyway.
So yeah... hectic two hours of teaching and almost talked myself hoarse but found my favorite Ricola's at Target and took one of those (with Echinacea due to dodging a cold right now).
Two hours= 120 minutes divided by 8... not a lot of individual time. That's 15 minutes a piece... truly not enough time to teach anything worth while. Going to start a teaching sock for the European lady.

So anyway... I'm now tired and Ava's been a pill all day which we can't figure out. The only thing I realized was different was she got almost 12 hours of sleep and hadn't eaten anything sugary all day. Wierd. Okay..enough now, all other projects are going to be on a small hiatus until I finish the teaching sock.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Brainstorm idea

combining knitting and costuming. There's a pattern in the K1b book for a 'Checkmark Scarf' done in a solid and variegated yarn that to me looked like something for an ambassador to wear.
Brainstorm hits me and I've got an idea for a costume but it likely won't be carried out, but it's a cool idea. I have a costume drawing that is a beautiful idea which I have the fabric for, but have never sewn. I suppose I could make it in addition to my Jedi outfit.... that would work.
Yeah that would work! There isn't any one set outfit for Jedi other than the tunic and lightsaber, some women wore skirts, some wore pants... so this would work. Got it!

Okay, other than that, not much else. Working on the k1b column vest and it's turning out beautiful. The green sock is just a Simple Son In Law Sock, inch and a half of k1p1 ribbing and then plain sock until about 7 inches later. So that's my mindless project for now countering the concentration needed for the k1b vest.
Okay, off to look at some yarn alternatives and make some sketches.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I got gifties today!

Fellow coworker and crocheter attended TNNA and knowing my thing for goodies she brought back a few freebies, a pen, free pattern handouts for the K1b scarf, a pen, and something I am going to hang on to proud and loud a button that says "Do you think I'm SOXY?" Has pictures of striped socks on severl feet. Too cool! The bestest thing was, she was able to secure an autographed copy of Knit One Below for me. Woohoot! Way too cool. Oh, she also had a copy of Crochet magazine but I'm not into crochet like she is, and after looking through it and only findine one pattern that was a stunning panelled coat, I told her kindly that I wasn't interested in that. She had someone else that would love to have it so I didn't feel too bad.
I'm about five or six rows into the K1b column vest and have figured out that I need to try and knit a bit tighter otherwise it's going to be long and baggy. I just have two worsted yarns and actually may size down even more. Despite this would mean ripping back 143 stitches and starting all over. But if I preserve the center point where I cast on originally, I won't have to guess at how long I need it.
I'm falling asleep here at the keyboard, it's been a long day.
Cast off!
The more I think about it, the more my knitters instinct is telling me it's going to be way big and baggy on me even for a vest. ::sigh::
My fingers are also itching to start another pair of socks. I'm abandoning doing a toe up for now and will do a pair that (hopefully) will fit (how do you mark the difference between sister in law and son in law in abbreviations?) Dan...
As for my socks... that's another project that isn't turning out as well as I hoped. It's absolutely gorgeous but not perfect and I'm looking for perfect fit for me otherwise I might as well not make it for someone else.
I looked at the Pomatomous sock and the design is cool and it's very popular but that's the downfall. It's very popular, nothing new here.
I'll be buying the book 'Sensational Knitted Socks' and will be doing a lace rib sock from there. It's top down but I like the flow of the stitches better.
I'm also working on a wide scarf at work from the ball band on the Tweedle Dee. It's a simple three/three zig zag knit/purl pattern.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Casting on...

for the K1b vest from Knitter's magazine, using two variegated Patons Decor colors. A blue/green/white and a darker blue/purple(wine) and green, jewel tones and 'country' colors. Both colors I picked out two skeins to do little boy stuff but mostly because I liked the colors. They work well for this situation where it will coordinate with one of my favorite long sleeve lightweight shirts I wear to work. I needed a vest or shrug that would cover the back of my neck and shoulders. I also needed something larger gauge to work on and relieve my tendonitis from size 2 needles.
Sock drive is slowing down, four pairs in three months is high density knitting for me. I now know how to knit socks and finish them so that's accomplished. My next goal is a lace shawl. I have one in the works but not as complicated as I imagined the one that would test my skills a little further. Lace knitting I've done and I know that it takes a good piece of time in one block to concentrate on a pattern row. The other issue is space to block it when it's done, I eventually want to do a round or square shawl.... large space needed.
So that's the goal for 2009, a lace shawl in a single color (which I have, though it's a medium brown and not balled yet.)
So... going to go wash my hands and sit down with my vest and get some rows done. Oh, the only frustrating thing about that is casting on 143 stitches. I had to do it three times and then do it again with the second color. I ended up with a lot more extra yarn on the second color despite holding the two together when I measured for the second. Oh well, I'll take photos when I have a good few inches done so the pattern is more visible.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Great gobbling goodies!

Thanks to Liz for bringing us a report from TNNA and the goodies. She showed us the knit one below in action, we had three new people, two said they would be back again. Nancy is making fantastic progress on her sweater, she's up to the neckline and ready to do the hood, Brandi did her swatch for the Sylvi coat, I was working on the psuedopomatomous sock and we generally took over the corner once again. I almost spilled my Double Chocolate slurpee on my knitting bag and I tried to take pictures of Nancy's coat but only one turned out good enough.
I'm debating on making a sock or a hat out of the Sour Balls sock yarn. Now that I know how to make a round top hat instead of a pointy top.
Oh and my son in law thinks he might have a size 11 foot! dangit!
Meanwhile in real life, we're out of money, out of food enough to fix for five people and I don't get paid until Wednesday, daught gets money Tuesday but most of that goes to daycare. I get vacation money and a day off next month, but most of that goes to bills. Really need to save out half the vacation money for a real vacation in April or June. Or to fix the car, pay up on some bills .. that kind of stuff.
::sigh:: Not enough to get a computer unfortunately..not even enough to pay down a credit card decently.
I'm looking forward to having a mostly empty house in four months. I already signed up for another 14 months here, so moving is not an option. The kitchen sink is backed up due to son not realizing that cucumber skins won't get processed good enough.
We're all hungry and it's not a good feeling to not provide for people under my roof.
Cross my fingers, knock on wood and all that the car holds out. Going to go see what I can scrounge in the kitchen.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ava found her socks

Yay! She found them in the laundry pile and is wearing them to daycare today.
I cast on for a pair of toe up socks in the Lion Brand Sock Ease 'Sour Balls' for son in law socks.
I showed it to him and my daughter and they both think it's a cool color. Why am I doing a toe up? Because I only have a rough idea of his shoe size. I think they're a mens 9 so I can work the length of the toe and when I see him next I'll double check measurements. Don't know how he'll feel about me measuring his foot.
I think I've found the pattern for the Lily Pond socks that has a kind of watery feel. It's either 'River Rapids' from Sock Bug or Overlapping Leaves. The first is a top down and the second is a toe up. The other issue is the sock size and pattern stitch count. Falling leaves is 24+1 and River Rapids is 8 stitches. The pattern I want to use is in the Sensational Socks book which I can't afford right now. I did figure out that the stitch pattern in that one is a modified Fuchsia by looking through my Barbara Walker book of stitch patterns.
Okay, now to the realization that despite my calculations, it feels like the toe of my sock is too big. I might have to back off several rows and start the stitch pattern immediately. I'm thinking of making these so I can wear them during the summer at work. If it gets warm enough that I should want to wear shorts that is.
Well off to find food and do some more pattern puzzling and knitting.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A knitters hands...

are kind of in the same class as a surgeon or pianists. If anything happens to the can seriously impact performance.
I was cutting some cucumber today at work using a serrated steak knife. Not the really heavy duty ones but good enough. Well, the inevitable happened and the knife cut my thumb. Relatively deep. I now I have a band aid on my thumb for at least another two weeks. At least it's on the outside edge and not on the pad. The last time I had an injury was when I closed the car door on my right pinkie. Broke it and also needed four stitches. That changed the way I held the yarn, which in a way is good. I've adapted to it and now can't hold it any other way.
I've had pokes and injuries to the pads of my fingers and it is seriously annoying when I knit.

You know you're seriously a knitter when the first thing that goes through your head in a situation like that is, 'Man, how is this is going to affect my knitting?'

I have finished the orange hat, pictures uploaded and ready to go. The sock only has the toe to finish, and then can send both pairs of socks and the hat off. A little late, I figured out a nearly invisible technique to sew the seam together. I don't recall seeing this anywhere but I'm sure it is, I just never paid attention to it for a hat. Only thing is, when I say it was a little late, I started sewing with overhand method at the top and halfway down I discovered the invisible technique. I've already finished it off and tucked all the ends in, not going to go back but might take another piece of yarn and double stitch that section so it looks consistent.
I've also cast on for a toe up and that seems to be going well, I'm double checking my own measurements so I don't make it too big this time. Still trying to decide what pattern to make, but might do the rivulet anyway..there might be another choice, have to look around some more.
I picked up the stitches on the peacock pair with two size 2 dpns just so I don't lose them. As soon as one of my circs is free, I'll slip them on there and figure that out. Actually, I think there's a set free or I could make them free, I started the pink and purple but now I think I'm going to finish that other pair as part of a new years resolution to finish UfO's.
Now, off to do the kitchener on the sock.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Interesting and banal

It's been Santa Ana conditions here lately (dry and warm westerly winds). I showed son in law the yarn, in fact he looked at the whole box of yarn and said any of it would be cool. He said that as far as snowboarding/skiing apparel the neon and bright colors are in. A pair of lime green socks would be cool according to him and his roommate up at Tahoe.
Alrighty then... one pair of lime green striped socks coming up. The Sock Ease has a colorway right up his alley.
I'm to the decrease point for the toe on the blue/red socks, started a toe up with the Essentials Lily Pad using the star toe pattern. I have to figure out what I'm going to do for the rest of the sock before I get to that point though. Might do the Riverbed/Rivulet pattern. I started that pattern with the peacock shaded yarn in my stash and have had to rip out the instep increase wedge because it was getting too big. I'm taking measurements carefully and doing stitch counts as well to make sure both will fit me properly.
My hands were killing me today, achey in the fingers and the tendonitis in the thumbs was acting up. That's preventable but would require me to stop knitting for a few days.
Going to put some lotion on, make sure to take my Alleve and glucosamine regularly and hope that helps it.
I almost seriously considered applying for 'The Best Job In The World' in Australia. Basically, in order to promote tourism and the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef islands they are conducting a worldwide hiring blitz. I read through all the conditions and requirements and when it got down to 'physically fit' and something about 'games and challenges' to decide the final winner, I decided against it.
You could take anyone you wanted, but the idea of six months of sun, sand, surf, and... isolation. Reporting via blog and video diary... not a problem, but if they're going to pit me against 20 and 30 somethings in challenges a la thanks. Oh and you would have to submit a video and photo of yourself as part of the application. Snorkel (which I have never done) I haven't swum in a long time and the idea of getting into a bathing suit is out of the question now. IF this had come up about six years ago, I would have jumped on it and taken all three of my kids with me.
So... I seriously considered it for about five minutes. Seriously. I'm not a young chicken anymore and do have some possible health issues (arthritis). Finances aren't in the best situation but it would have been $105,000 for six months! good god!
Now it didn't say if that was broken down monthly or all at once. Oh and the airfare and cost of a visa would be taken care of by the Australian Board of Tourism. You'd get to live in a three bedroom house for free, but they didn't say anything about food. I'd want to go fishing once in a while but the GBR is a national park situation.
Man that would have been the opportunity of a lifetime. Even three years ago would have been okay.
Back to knitting.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My KP Order came!

Got my new sock yarn, started another sock with the new needles and am now going to be putting one of my new yarns up for trade. It's a bulky weight and I don't remember why I bought it, I think I might have thought it was worsted weight and was going to make a hat out of it. Hmmph. Details coming soon on Ravelry stash listing.
Oh and today at work, a kinkajou climbed on my shoulders.
Short of it, a customer came in with it sitting on her shoulders (her pet obviously) and when she got close enough to me it did what they naturally do and used me like another tree branch and checked me out.
It was totally awesome! Sharp claws, kind of perfumey and musky but totally cute and not lightweight at all! I've been at the nursery for ten years and that is a first. We've had parrots, iguana, bearded dragons, dogs and cats galore and one spider monkey, though it was containerized so no contact.
A kinkajou. I've only seen them on tv and at the zoo, the zoo most likely would let a lot of people handle one for liability and health issues. No one else knew what it was, I felt like I should have been chaperoning her around. Oh, and when she was checking out a camellia, it leaned out and started licking the nectar out of one of the flowers (that's part of their diet, nectar and fruit).
It was soooo cool! Kind of like seeing a movie or tv star only you don't have to act cool. I'm only bummed I didn't have my camera with me. It was in my purse in the break room.

But anyway, I am finishing up the red and blue socks, starting a pair with the bright pink and purple BFF two ply and going to ask son in law if the black with speckles is to his liking for a pair of snowboard socks.
Black.. but with speckles! I stay away from black or dark colors like that because it's so hard to see the stitches, but since he doesn't want anything fancy, I can deal with that.
Okay... off to admire the yarns and maybe pop in a movie or maybe I'll make some dinner.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Headphones came, but not yarn

Darn it. Really wanted that tonight, oh well. It shipped on the sixth so maybe it will come tomorrow. I have turned the heel and am working on the gusset for the second sock, got lots of pictures. Told daughter tonight that I would be starting on a sweater for her older son soon, going to have to considering he's 6 years old and that's as big as the top down sweater patterns go. Might use the socks as a bribe for better behavior for him, he's been having issues lately with behaving.
Oh, when I was knitting the blue/red socks today at work, I had the finished one on the table in the break room and a coworker (who is Philippino) walked by and told me that 'what I was doing was cute' he picked the finished sock up and admired it. So fun..he's a bit older than I am so it was cute for him to stop and notice what I was doing.
My fingers have been aching a lot lately, I haven't been taking my glucosamine regularly as I should and I can tell. Same with the alleve. Just might have to give the doctors a call and see if there's anything else I can do to help. It doesn't usually hurt when I'm knitting but if I'm typing for too long, or playing a game online where it's just the keypad, it's bad.
I admit it that a I have been bitten by the sock bug. Part of the initial hesitation was the confusion on the heel. Well since I figured out a simple short row method rather than all that wrap and turn business, it's easy! With multicolored yarn it makes it even more fun guessing where the color is going to change in the pattern.
I've made baby and children socks, and have a beautiful blue green pattern started. It's a toe up so I'm going to have to find a different pattern to follow. The Riverbed pattern turned out too big but I'm not ripping it all out, just to the start of the increases. Trying to remember where my kp size two's went. I was using them on a sock... finished the orange pair and then started on the blue pair, where did I put them? Just found them, I started the second orange pair. I think I'm going to call it good for that and use a new yarn. Bright pink and purple alpaca sock yarn from Lonesome Stone. It's way bright but it's soooft!
"I'm itchin' to get stitchin' "

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Trust The Pattern

If I had kept in mind the directions for making socks I wouldn't have had the issues with the sizing on the foot. Also I was shwon a wonderful little tool that a fellow knitter got that shows different shoe sizes and equivalent sock length then subtract an inch and a half for the toe. Doh! I knew this.. I've read it a few times with different patterns...
I'm tempted to buy the Knitted Lace of Estonia book for my next knitting challenge. The goal is to complete a lace shawl pattern before the end of the year. Preferably by December. I may end up starting it by Summer because a lace shawl is best done in the warmer months unless you're working with mohair or something fluffy like that. I'll have to see what happens. I would like to do the Peacock Shawl but in the appropriate blue green and brown shades for a peacock. I've got a yarn in mind, in fact I have it at home but only one ball.

Again, I'll have to keep muddling that through while I finish the pile of socks and the sweater or two that are in my head to finish. I still have the sweater for my daughter that needs the sleeves finished and then put it together and blocked. Or blocked and put together. I hate doing a sweater in pieces like that, it's tedious and it seems like it never ends and I hate finishing a project like that. That's why it's been sitting around for almost three years. Luckily my daughter is in her twenties and won't be growing anymore.
Need to do a sweater for grandson that I'm doing socks for, that's a longer term project and I want a certain yarn in a good wool blend for that.. His birthday is in October so I do have a way to go on that. Never too soon to start planning. I know the pattern I want, just a matter of finding the yarn. Already used up the knitpicks money, oh well.
More pictures soon. I uploaded the orange sock picture already.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Once again...

miscalculated on a sock size. Got all the way to the toe and tried it on my granddaughter who's 4 and it fits her perfectly. It needs to fit a 6 year old boy. Dangit. Debating whether to rip it all out and start over or to just do the next sock and start another pair. Sigh. Going to have to really work out gauge and just go for larger than I think. I now know the gauge for this particular yarn and the other so now I can make a better judgement call on the size.
I'm getting good at making socks, but not intentionally. Well that didn't make any sense... but you know what I mean.
Going to debate on the to rip or not to rip for a day or so then make a decision.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Stash find

I was looking through my stash for a yarn suitable for making a vest to wear at work and discovered a long lost skein of Lion Magic Stripes sock yarn. It's heavier than the new Sock Ease, which is okay, and it's in the Washed Blues color so it's all kinds of blues and red. Perfect for another pair of socks for grandson. It's turning out great and I'm using size 3 needles which is easier on my fingers. I have discovered that I can now make a standard sock without looking at the heel instructions. I've mastered sock knitting finally. Now on to lace. I can do lace, but doing a full lace shawl with actual fingering or lighter weight yarn is the next test.
I have yarn to do it, in enough yardage, just a matter of finding the right pattern and there are tons of them out there! I got the knit picks catalogue which means my order isn't far behind.
I have pictures of all my socks on the computer, just a matter of getting them uploaded to flickr. Oh and as a reminder to anyone reading this, I still have my etsy shop with earrings and beaded knitting markers. I need the extra money so take a look please and tell others about them.

Okay, enough. Going to go pick up my sock and get that done, the gusset is finished and now it's just figuring out how long to make the foot before the toe decreases. Ta!