Stop already!

What in the name of hose is going on here?

I’ll bet you’re thinking, now that’s a long sock. You’d be right!

I am knitting a long sock, a knee sock in fact.  I got two balls of sock yarn for Christmas so I thought I’d take the opportunity to make a pair since the yarn is already evenly divided for me.

I trolled Ravelry for a free pattern that would work for me and found Knee Socks!  by Diana Parrington.  It’s a pattern, but not.  She assumes you know how to knit socks and describes the modifications she made to make knee socks.  Great!

One starts with a toe up cast on.  I don’t know if you know this about me, but I dislike toe up socks intensely.  Most toe up cast ons are the epitome of fiddly and insane making.  (I hope that’s not TMI.)  I thought I’d use my usual short row toe started on a crochet provisional cast on.  That worked great even though I didn’t have a crochet hook on me at the time I started knitting.  I just used my double point to pretend it was a crochet hook and made a mess of a chain.  It still worked even though it was messy since you take it all out after turning the toe.  Perfect!

I added calf shaping and am now going to knit ribbing until my yarn runs out – which looks to be soon.  Yay for knee socks!  Or just sock in my case, until the second one is begun.

Coats off!

I hate gardening but love tulips…

Did you know it was spring?

No, me either but look at the tulips I planted in December!   Yup.  They sprouted.  To be fair I think these are the early bloomers, but since I hate gardening and didn’t keep the labels, who knows.

That said, why I am sitting here in Baltimore today wearing the warmest coat I own?  I see no tulips…

Socky sock

We’re fraternal, thanks for asking.

I’ve been sitting about and was able to finish my current travel project socks.  Aren’t they pretty?

These are my first pair made from Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball in the indisch rosa colorway.  I like the yarn quite a bit, it reminds me of my favorite Trekking yarn.  You can guess from that, that I like a hard wearing sock yarn.  I’m sick of making pretty socks from fancy pants yarn that look like shit after two washings.  Give me some socks that can be worn and I’m good.

I just used my tried and true sock plan – top down with short rowed heels and toes on 60 stitches.  They fit well and I can make them in my sleep.  I did try to make them identical but this yarn doesn’t seem to be symmetrical enough to do better than fraternal matching.  They look close enough not to bother me.  Yay socks!

Magic?

They are very prescient at Pei Wei.

I know in the logical part of my brain that Jerry Rice Bear did not “actually” help my 49ers to victory and the Super Bowl.  I know that.  But I did get some clear indications of upcoming victory from my fortune cookie at lunch.  So now I have Jerry Rice Bear AND fortune cookies working on one more victory.

No, I am perfectly sober.

Yes, I had to lay down on the floor of my hotel room during the very exciting second half of the game.

Yes, I immediately took a very hot, cleansing shower after the game was over to get the hotel room floor funk off.

No, I could not knit during the game, too nervy.  No socks progress shots.  Sorry.

Pants-ing

I see London, I see France…

Yes, more pants. I won’t use “panties” because it’s a word that drives some people around the bend – so PANTS.

TMI warning:  I’ve got some undies that are past when they should have been thrown out.  They are also the ones you love wearing around the house because they are so freaking comfortable.  The elastic is all wobbly and worn out, there are one or two holes and the prints are faded from all the laundering.  Perfect!

Well it would be easier to toss them out if I make new ones.  Yes, I can buy them but for some reason it gives me such a satisfaction to make such a basic, useful garment.

Luckily for those thinking about making some pants yourself, the lovely blogger verypurpleperson put up a great comprehensive tutorial.  Check it out asap.

Don’t you love Jerry Rice Bear?

My pants are made from repurposed tshirts.  I picked up some tees at the thrift store the other day and bought great colors of picot elastic at Fabrix.  The tees are $1.99 and the elastic is 25 cents a yard.  I can make two pairs of pants from most of the tees and the sewing takes about half an hour tops, and even though the sewing isn’t perfect they still work just fine as undies.  Not a bad quick bang for your buck project.  Why only one pair here?  Because I had to go to work (of course) so the rest of the pant express in sherbet colors will be coming in next week.  Exciting, no?

In an attempt to make this blog post even less interesting to anyone else in the world, let me share my lucky 49ers Jerry Rice beanie baby with you.  He’s lovely and will hopefully propel my 49ers to victory on Sunday with his magical love.  Yes, I have to work so Jerry Rice Bear (my name for him) will have to work his magic solo for a win.  (This is an American Football reference to the team I support, the San Francisco 49ers.)  His other duties are to watch over me when I sleep, not in a creepy way of course.  Magical thinking much.  Nah…

Animal style

Chic or grandma?

When I saw that Pretty Grievances was putting together a “Jungle January” sew-a-long I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring. I’ve been thinking of breaking out of my sewing comfort rut and making something different and this was great motivator.

I also gave myself a few ground rules for this challenge. I wanted to make something I’d wear. I know that sounds simple, but really it’s not. I tend to wear a limited part of my non-uniform wardrobe – mostly jeans, knit tops and an embarrassing quantity of sweats. Sure, in summer I love me a knit sundress because there is nothing more comfortable than that, but mostly I don’t ever wear dresses unless it’s an “occasion”. I’ll  wear the occasional casual skirt, but that’s about it. Hmmm.

Lone serged seam (green arrow), french seam (red arrow), mismatched buttons (orange circle)

My other “rule” was that I needed to use stash – fabric, notions and pattern. If I didn’t have it on hand it wasn’t meant to be. Now this is an animal themed project, but that can be a print with an animal in it, in addition to the more traditional interpretations of “animal print”.

That’s a rather long way of saying I made a blouse. The pattern is from Burda Style (03-2012-127) which is a button front blouse with a stand collar and 7/8 length sleeves. The fabric is some georgette I bought at Joann one day on the way home from the airport with some pretty hideous jetlag. I remember I’d bought it to make a sundress but relegated the fabric to the stash bin when I got some sleep.  I can’t really describe the print, it’s vaguely animal yet feathery and mauve.  Pride week emu?

I constructed the blouse in a standard manner – shoulders, fronts, collar, sides, sleeves/cuffs, hem, buttonholes.  I did use my new copy of Sandra Betzina’s Power Sewing a bunch.  It’s a good book and it inspired me up my game a bit.  I used french seams for all seams except the armholes.  I used Sandra’s method of collar attachment and loved it!  All in all a pretty easy project.  The buttons on the front and sleeves are different but are small, black and shiny so it should only be noticed by me and it used up 7 buttons from stash (of one million).  The photo on the side shows a nice french seam and the mismatched buttons.

For more sewing info go to my review on PatternReview.

The hardest part of this project was summoning up the energy to sew.  My sickness has lingered and even made me go to the doctor.  Eeek!  I’m back to work tomorrow as an experiment to see if it will kill me.  I think it will be fine but I’ve got to make some money to support my hobbies and eating habits – twin vices!

Flipping out

All wonky laying on the kitchen table. The color is pretty good here, but brighter in real life btw.

A cute detail of the Shellseeker pattern is the split shirttail hem.  I did suspect that my yarn would flip that ribbing over and no amount of blocking could prevent that from happening when wearing this sweater.  I think a more drapey yarn would work fine, and there are numerous examples that don’t seem to being indulging in the circus antics my front hem seems to favor.

Knowing all that, I gave it a try anyway while watching an episode The Killing (the Danish one of course) last night.  I’m a little bit sick and have taken up residence in my bed for the next few days and am taking quantities of Chinese herbs and tinctures to stave off further sickness.  That is good news for knitting progress so I had the time to try the cute hem.

Fail.

I’m ripping it out and planning on about 2″ of regular old 2×2 ribbing then starting sleeves.  The neck edge is still rolling like a mother f-er but I did find another knitter picked up those neck stitches and did a 3 stitch i-cord bind off that solved the problem well and attractively.  I shall give that a try too!  Home stretch knitting approaching!  Good news since I ALREADY bought my next sweater’s worth of yarn…top down set in sleeve experiment for those interested in that.