Things are good

I’ve got a new spindle that is very beautiful and well-balanced which is helping immensely to improve my technique.

I’ve got the money for a spinning wheel and just need to get ahold of the not-so-local yarn store that sells them so I can go pick one up.

I’m making some progress on several of the pairs of socks that I started for myself last year.

I’ve started a pair of socks for Dean that is coming along swimmingly.

I’m working on Peacock Tapestry again.

I got a haircut that looks nothing like any haircut I’ve ever had before.

no hair

Everyone's a junkie…even knitters

I finished knitting Monkey on Sunday and I have to say these are my new favourite socks. They are so comfortable and warm it’s great.

(click for insanely-large detail pic)

I’m a little obsessed with this pattern now since it looks so complicated but is very easy to do and remember. Though I will admit at first my sizing was a little off and I had to go up a needle size for the cuff. Plus as I was going I kept getting distracted and had to frog a few rows here and there since I lost track of my place.

Still, I love this pattern and see it becoming like Pomatomus and the Jaywalker sock patterns in the sense that every knitter in the blogosphere will have done it at some point.

Such patterns really are an addiction.

Needle Affair

I started yet another pair of socks. I had to frog one of the ones I did before, since the socks were supposed to be hand-washed and accidentally went through full wash/dry cycle. Since I’m not quite ready to redo that pair, I started some with KnitPicks’ Sock Memories in Easter. I bought this yarn at the end of last month when they came out with their circular needles, since I was buying a couple pairs of those and I didn’t want to waste all the shipping costs on just two needles.

Those needles are amazing, by the way. I like them better than the Addi Turbos, and I’ve been in love with those for months. The most notable difference is that the points on the KnitPicks needles are sharper, and the needles themselves have slightly more weight to them. This makes them the perfect needles for me, since those were my two main problems with the Addis. I was having trouble with stitches splitting because of the blunt points, and the needles were getting bent because of the death-grip I have when I’m stressed. Because of the added weight I don’t hold these needles as tightly, and they are holding up much better as a result.

The current pair of socks I’m doing two at a time on one circular, from the toe-up. When winding the yarn into balls I noticed that the colourway was going in the same direction and the ends almost started in the same spot, so I’m making these socks to match, as well. Both methods are new for me. I’ve tried two socks at once on two circulars before, but I couldn’t stand all the needle ends hanging around everywhere. This way is working out nicely. I’m using the same length needle I always do – 32″ – and it seems to work well for both one sock and two. I know most people seem to like 40″ needles, but they bother me with all the extra cable floating around. It’s possible that when I get to the heel and such I’ll miss the extra length, but I think for the most part I’m fine doing things this way.

I stashed, no more

Regia Spirit Vine SwatchI went to Cloth & Clay on Tuesday to get some cable needles and ended up buying more sock yarn. I bought some to make Dean a pair, it’s mostly shades of red and grey because his friends keep poking fun at his bright red socks.

The other is a cotton yarn in peach, red and burgundy that I’ve been staring at for months. It’s going to be a while before I get anything else. I tend to say that a lot and then randomly grab something, but this time I can’t afford any more than those. The rest of the money I have goes towards the new computer.Regia Cotton Surf Rosso Swatch

I’m glad that I could get this yarn, I really like it, and it’s a way to try out some of the cotton socks for the summer and see how they compare. Most people seem to prefer wool year-round, but some swear by their cotton socks, so we shall see. They have wool in them anyway, so it’s not like they are just cotton.

I resisted the urge today to buy some cotton/elastic blend yarn from Elann. It’s hard when I usually spend $15-$20 on the yarn for socks and this stuff is going for $6. But it will have to wait until later in the year, or next summer. I’m pretty sure they’ll still be selling it for roughly the same price then.

On a good note, I’m forcing myself to learn combination knitting. I find knitting and purling that way easier than knitting English style, but I got intimidated by the increases and decreases, and the specialty stitches that patterns sometimes call for. Really, the trick is just learning exactly how each stitch its formed because then you can do it any way. Once I get through this, my hands will thank me. It’s a faster and more even way of knitting, and since I’m using circular needles now it will save my hands as much stress as possible. Things are looking up.

Sock Update!

Exams are done, I had a nice quiet birthday, and I have time to finally do those important non-school-related things….Like show off more socks.

Wiggy Loves Sra's Socks

See? They Fit!

I finished Sra’s socks in February but didn’t have the camera to take pictures of them, and then when she sent me the pictures I was swamped and haven’t had time to do anything with them until now. I’m so glad they turned out well and that they actually fit.

What a Week!

It’s been one hell of a week. I’ve been sick, first with an ear infection and then a touch of the flu. I’ve been all queasy and gross feeling all week, and still am a bit. I had toast for dinner today which helps.

My computer died again. I spent a good 6 hours between Monday and yesteday on the phone with Dell. On Monday they decided my hard drive was busted, and sent me a new one yesterday. It was still busted (which I could have told them) so I called them back and spent some time explaining and trying to get them to listen to me. Eventually they caught on that I have a piece of crap with lots of stuff wrong with it so they told me to send it in with most of the peripherals and they are going to check it all. It’s about damn time. I stole Dean’s iBook for the next week while they fix it so I can still do school stuff.

Tudor visited on Tuesday and delivered a copy of his book, which is amazingly wonderful. Go buy it. I was feeling icky and out of it and forgot about the offer of tea. Bribes work best when you deliver on them.

I crammed like mad in order to finish the WTC quilt squares before Wednesday, but they are done and mailed now. I’m so glad that I’m done. I never should have volunteered for the second one. It was really making my carpal tunnel act up. Oh well. Hindsight.

I got some Koigu KPPPM in the mail that I ordered a few weeks ago. It’s beautiful and amazingly soft. I’m going to love the socks I’m making out of it. It bugs me that it’s made in Ontario but you pretty much have to buy it from the US. *grumble* It’s worth it though.

My amusement for the day: Rocky talked about truthiness and the Colbert Report. Philosophy classes kick serious ass.

No knitting allowed?!

I’ve done a very bad thing, even though it didn’t feel that way at the time. I’ve been knitting so much lately that I’ve managed to give myself carpal tunnel. At least, hopefully that’s what it is. My left pinkie went numb, which is unusual for carpal tunnel. The doctor is wary of something more serious, but for now things are looking alright. After five days of varying states of numbness, my left hand is pretty much back to normal. I’m not supposed to knit for a bit, to be on the safe side, since I’m not going to stop using my computer. As well, I’m predominantly going to switch to magic loop for all the socks I want to make. It puts a lot less stress on my hands. It seems faster as well. I’ve been poking around on some lists and websites looking for something a bit more permanent, and the solution seems to be learning combination knitting. Rather than knitting from the wrists as I do knitting English style (by throwing the yarn), this is a variation on Continental knitting which puts most of the action in the arms. It reminds me of art class, where I was always reminded not to sketch from the wrists, but to make larger motions moving my whole arm. I’m hoping the combination of the two of these will help keep this problem from returning.

Edit: Now that it’s not numb my left hand really hurts, especially my wrist. Hence, I shall be getting a brace to prevent my doing any further damage to what is obviously a very abused hand.


Lots of things came in the mail today. 16 balls of yarn from KnitPicks and most of my books from Chapters and mail from Dean. I want to make lots of socks now. Well, I wanted to do that before, but now I’ve got a room full of yarn (exaggeration) staring me in the face to do that with.

Sra’s socks are on hold a bit because the sizing seemed really off, but now that I’ve got more yarn I may try something different with them and make them super-awesome. There’s a socknitting (it’s a word now, really) book at the library for me which I may go get today for some ideas.

I returned my Addis because after trying it I really hate making two socks at once and there’s no other reason for my having 40″ 2.0 and 2.5mm needles. Though I’m going to be buying them again, just in a shorter length.

I started a pair of socks for myself from the yarn I bought from Grand River Yarns. It’s not as soft as commercial sock yarn, but it’s knitting up fast and making some really great socks. I’m not sure if most people would like them, but I kinda like the slight rough feel that this yarn has. I even started up an email conversation with the owner thanking her for this yarn and chatting about our cats and stuff. She’s great and I’m definitely ordering from her again.

I’m considering trying identical socks with the self-patterning yarn rather than making fraternal ones. People swear that it only takes an extra five minutes to keep track and get them to match properly. It’s worth a shot, at least. I don’t care for my socks, but if I’m going to be gifting them out to people they make like to have socks that are the same.

Oh the goodies…and the baddies

It was a pretty uneventful vacation this time around. I think I needed that. I didn’t get to see Leya, or Meggie. Leya’s got a new job at Wendy’s and they made her work pretty much the entire time I was down. She got time off the weekend after I came back. I called Meg’s a couple times and got no answer, but considering it was Christmas and how much she has to do for it, I wasn’t all that surprised. It would have been really awesome to do stuff with her since I haven’t been able to pretty much at all in the last couple years.

For the most part, I spent most of my time at home with the family just sitting around and watching movies/tv. I got to see Spencer and Joey once. I was going to visit them more as well but got sick again, which also helped encourage the sitting around and doing nothing. We (Dean mostly) set up Stephanie’s computer. It got completely wiped and reinstalled which took a lot of time. We got her internet up and running too. We needed to download the service packs and doing that on really crappy dial-up is never easy. It took a couple tries because the breaker popped in the middle of the install the first time.

Pete stole the coat I stole from Dean. The little mooch. Though I let him have it rather than taking it back so I can’t really complain. It’s better than any of the coats that he has. They’re all really old and practically falling apart. He’s grown a lot in the last year and most of his coats are at least 6 years old. It’s safe to say they barely fit if at all.

For the first time in a very long time we had Christmas dinner at my grandma’s house. All of us. It went surprisingly well. Everyone was well-behaved and there was no yelling or screaming or complaining. Good times. my grandma is big on Christmas, though my parents don’t really care. My mom swears she just went for Emile’s cooking. I got Tim Hortons gift certificates and some bath stuff, and a mug for the bicentennial of the chapel where I was christened. I was not expecting that last but it’s a great gift. I got my grandma a tealight lamp, and some cans of stew for when her and Emile go camping. She looked really surprised when she got those open. It was totally worth it. Dean and his family got me the Bumble, a scroll frame/floor stand, a nice white dress shirt, a red jacket thing, and Christmas dishes for when we have our own house. Pretty darn sweet. I like the pattern on them. It’s not too flashy. Considering most of the Christmas dishes I’ve seen are really showy, these are nice.

I got some other stuff, but not because of the holidays. A cell phone because I got out by myself a lot at night, and on the busses alone a lot, and it’s good to be able to let people know where I am/call for help if need be. A USB drive to back up the websites and my school stuff so that if my computer has anymore pleasant surprises for me I won’t lose anything important. I bought myself a new purse to fit all my pills and crap in. A new wallet while I was at it because I could never properly fit everything in the one I have. These are perfect. I caved and got a new razor since the one I have is obsolete and it’s almost impossible to get blades for it anymore. Fishies! Three (now two) fantails, a pleco, a black moor, and an albino clawed frog. The poor froggie is in a separate container for now because the fish keep eating his food. The other fantail ate a huge chunk after already being fed and died from overeating on the first day it was here. Stupid fucking fish. I’m mad at a dead fish, I know. But jeez. How dumb.

A person from the cross-stitch list I’m on sent me her spare Q-snaps. I’ve been using them pretty much since I got them. That was a wonderful way to finish up the year. Free stuff is always good. Useful free stuff is even better. I’m so thankful. She put her return address on the package so I’m going to make her something as a thank-you and mail that. I’m not telling her, so it’ll show up one day as a nice surprise.

I’ve been kind of spotty with my knitting this last week. I’m making my parents wool socks this time instead of the cotton ones. Wool holds its shape much better than cotton so these should not only be warmer but hold up better. I’ve ordered a lot of sock yarn in the last couple weeks. Probably 15 pairs worth. It’s selfish, but most of that is for me. I don’t like store-bought socks, but I wear them because I have nothing else. I have four pairs of socks that I’ve knitted for myself, but once those are gone my feet freeze. I hate buying socks, so most of the ones I have are a couple years old and getting holey. I get to spend the next couple months making me nice warm wool sockies.

Currently I’m making Sra a pair of anklets out of a really nice green shade I got from Elann. I bought some more of it last week for me because they are almost out and it’s really a great colour. I also got another Addi. Most of my knitting is done in class and if I’m going to be making all these socks with fingering yarn it’s got to be portable and two-at-a-time. Addis kick some serious ass in the magic loop knitting department.

I’ve got some Kroy for Dean that we got at Len’s Mills a couple months ago. I tried making socks with it at home using a chevron pattern and couldn’t get the right number of stitches to cast on. After frogging everything three or four times I think I’ve got it. I hope they work. It’s a nice pattern.

Tomorrow school starts and I proceed to have no life. I’ve insanely signed up for three seminar courses, two of which are kind of above my head. I’ll have class for six straight hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s going to be interesting. As a plus, still nothing on Fridays, and only one 80 minute class Monday and Wednesday. So not too bad. Still, tomorrow and Wednesday will be especially busy. I have to get up early to try and get used books before everyone else buys them all up. Then go to class all day, come home and get planner and binder and stuff ready for the term, then off to a Blueprint meeting. Wednesday I have to go through the OSAP mess, go to class, get my blood test done finally (I was supposed to do it in November), try and schedule and eye exam and dentist appointment, and then most likely start reading for the whack of seminar-ness on Thursday. Still, it’s good to get stuff done and start a routine now. Though it’s a lot I’m rather looking forward to it.

I’ve also got a volunteer job at the public library, so I’ll be doing that six hours a week. I still have to negotiate the schedule, but with any luck I’ll be allowed Wednesday and Friday afternoons. I’m excited about that, but a little nervous about screwing stuff up. It seems pretty simple though so I should do fine. My main concern is that I tend to work really fast once I get going. It’s kinda hard to do six hours a week if I can finish faster than that. I’m supposed to be putting out the books on hold as they come back in. Since that depends on books and movies being returned it’s not like I can create more work for myself once I’ve emptied the bin. Ah well. I’m sure there’s other stuff they can find for me to do.

I'm a bad, bad, girl.

I finally got my credit card in the mail yesterday. Rather than even pretending restraint, after activation I promptly purchased the 40″ 2.0mm Addi Turbo circular needle that I’ve been coveting. And then, because I felt bad buying only one thing (even if it cost $15) I bought some really bright green sock yarn that was on sale for half price. It could have been worse though. There were a couple more colours I considered getting, but I managed to stop the insanity after the pretty green yarn.