Thursday, January 27, 2011

Did I seriously NOT blog about my sock completion yet?

So! I wanted to try to make a sock so I casted on sock yarn on a size 1 needle and basically did an okay job until I had to get to the heel of the sock. Then I started to suck it up big time. There were holes where I had to add stitches it was just ugly. (BTW, for some reason I hadn't figured out how to properly pick up stitches until a couple days ago.) 

Then I went to a knitting group in Taunton, my first real activity since moving to MA, and was so inspired by sitting there knitting with all the ladies that had braved the freezing weather to knit amongst other ladies and make fun of each other, and eat, and cuss, and laugh at one of the lady's little girls playing in the background --- that I decided to try a thicker sock on thicker yarn with thicker sized needles to FINALLY after several attempts through out my knitting years, successfully finished a sock. 

I ordered some Fisherman's Wool from online and it got there on Friday. So I found this simple pattern Comfy DK Socks on Ravelry and got to work. I was ambitious and tried to finish on Friday but it got late so I wrapped it up at the heel. THE DREADED HEEL. When I got up on Saturday I was hell bent on finishing my first sock and it actually wasn't too hard to do so cause the pattern calls for the double circ method, which is a favorite of mine. I breezed through most of the ribbing and stockinette but when it came to picking up stitches I got nervous and started looking up tutorials online. Which I had done before but none of them ever clicked until that day. Isn't it funny how you can try something a few times and it not make sense and then one day it just does? That is how a lot of my learned techniques with knitting are.

Any who, the second took me a few more days cause I was enjoying my one sock high too much I guess. But I am so proud of them and so enjoying knitting socks with double circular needles. Now if I could only learn to graft for reals my toes wouldn't be so pointy. 

Ronin is curious about the socks

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Went to my first meeting with the Taunton Stitch n' Bitch group I found on Ravelry. It was a lot of fun. The ladies were all nice and ragged on each other all night. A lot better than any weird hippie circle I have sat through before. They even gave me a free hank of sock yarn from Knit Picks for being a newcomer. Which I love cause I am trying to make my first sock right now!!!

It was my first night out since moving here, so I am happy to have finally spoke to other people besides Tree. And they all said I have a Texas accent, can y'all believe that?!?!?! =P It was fun hearing them speak too. An initiation into the New England speak. The words "wicked" and "retahhhded" were dropped a couple times.  I was gonna post a pick of my current sock in progress but I am gonna wait until it is complete, so that the whole thing can be laughed out. Laters.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Johnnie's B-day Hat - Fails and Success

My friend Johnnie, who I have known now for like 12 or 13 years recently commented on some of my knitting pics on Facebook and mentioned he wanted a hat. I bumped him up over other people I have promised hats to cause I love him so much AND he married Tristan and me at a time when it wasn't legal for him to be married in California. so needless to say I feel indebted to him and wanted to get him a groovy hat. 

I started one before I left Austin, tackling what I hoped would be a new skill (double knitting). I was unsuccessful at doing it so I put the project on hold until I moved to Mass cause I wanted to be able to have something to do when I got here. Since I got here I had attempted a couple different hats and wasn't happy with any of them really until I found this pattern for a checkered hat on Ravelry by Spirals420. Johnnie wanted Royal blue & Kelly green so it was a perfect 2 color hat to do. But I am a tight knitter and didn't realize I would knit this thing so tight (with the two strands of yarn) that it would end up being too tiny for my dear friend's big head, or even mine. I will be giving this one to Tristan since he has such a small head. It is super thick and warm, which will be better here in Mass than it would have been in Cali anyway. I really like this pattern though, especially the added touch of a star top its fancy. I think I will make another one in Orange and Grey or Black and Grey.

Taken with iPhone in bad light, sorry. 

I did finally just re-use my plain hat pattern that I did for the purple diagonal dot hat for the final hat attempt for Johnnie. This one turned out to be successful. It will be big enough number one, and also I added a little Greek pattern from the Stitchionary Volume Three. It turned out decent I think. I even got a "that's cool" from Tristan WHILE I repeat WHILE he was playing video games. Normally he can't pay attention to anything but the screen when he plays but he noticed. The flash might be a bit harsh so hopefully you can make out the pattern.

That's it for this one. On to the next project, which is a sock. I will finally try to finish a sock for a change. Keep you posted on that one.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hello from Massachusetts

Well I THINK I have finally settled in to my new (old) home here in Bridgewater, MA. Tristan and I packed up the truck and left Austin on December 27th and after a few days of hard rental truck travel with four cats in the cab we made it here in between snows.

The house we are staying in was built in 1844 and my new landlord wishes that one day she will find out it was a stop on the underground railroad. I guess there are a lot of houses around this area that can make that claim. To me it is just crazy to think I am living in a house that was built when my ancestors were still slaves in this country. It is a nutty house. Has a bunch of oddly angled walls, has different color paint in every room, and my LG TV has no business being in the living room here. (Hahaha) But it is cool. Just such a huge adjustment to go from the heat of Austin and easy access to every comfort and necessity we need, to moving to a town so small that we actually have to drive to other towns and cities to get all the things we need. 

Another oddity is that unlike a regular duplex (or what I am accustomed to living on the West Side) we share a corner with the main house. Not a full wall or a side, but a corner. Ours is the one hiding behind sleeping trees. And oh yeah, did I mention all the snow? Since we have been here it has only snowed twice and not that bad, shoveling was as simple as pushing the shovel against the ground until we hit a snow bank. But from what I hear it can get pretty dicey here from time to time. 

Ronin watching Papa shovel for the first time.

I have done some knitting since we got here but in this small town, it took 10 days until we could get someone to come out and install the Internet and Cable. That's right they have to come out and do that. No sending me a remote and trusting I'll figure it out. I guess in this place, when people move out of homes the cable companies come through and remove the lines to the towers. I don't know why but that is what both the customer service agents AND the installer said. Strange. 

Here are a few of the projects I have recently completed. I did a bit of a detour on promised projects to people to selfishly knit things that would keep my baby and me warm on these cold, cold, days. 

Diagonal Dots (Purple)

I made this hat using my basic hat pattern but added a purl every 6 stitches for some fun. Some friend brought this yarn back from Italy for me about 6 years ago. I have started a number of projects with it but just never got around to finishing anything. Nothing was perfect I guess (until I moved to the snow). It's nice and warm though, so it should do the trick. 

I also made a WWII Balaclava using a pattern I found on Ravelry. I am digging it and hope to make a few more for friends and family. My first attempt at these was not as great (sorry Richard) but I think I redeemed myself on this one. The trick is soft, stretchy yarns.

Turquoise Knittin' Kninja

Well, that is all for now. I got a few more projects to get on sticks since I am currently unemployed in MA so I should be posting more often.