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March 28, 2006

Trials and Sock-u-lations

Who knew that introducing simple cables to a sock (and making them for largish boy feet) could suddenly turn socks into a three week process? I wouldn't be surprised if, after I finally finish the green cable and rib socks, I don't knit another patterned sock for the rest of my life. It'll be plain old stockinette socks from here on out people. I know they're not that much fun to look at, but it's not as if I've got much to show as it is. The second sock pretty much looks like this one right now.

What is it they say about taking hair from the dog that bit you?

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Socks that Rock in Olivenite (more accurate color here). Obviously too nice for just plain old stockinette socks. I think this skein is going to go and sleep in the stash for a while.

March 27, 2006

Back before Yak

[warning: this entry has a high colon count]

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Update on Spring/Summer 2006 Gift Knitting Ban:

You may recall that as recently as my last entry I was promising that this would be the summer of knitting for me? Er, this is terrible...but I’m already adding to the list. This week:

a) Baby sister Kricket got engaged. She wants River from Rowan 38 for the wedding (normally elli + lace shawl = disaster, but I love her. Stay tuned to find out if love does indeed conquer all).
b) Friend S. (one of my baby buffers*) is preggie. Boy due on July 4. I may have panicked and accidentally uttered the words “I’ll have to knit a sweater” in the presence of the baby bump. No going back now.
c) Thunk asked for a new hat. If you saw the old one you would knit one too.

Just don’t let me add anything else, ok? This is it. I promise.

This weekend was spent doing adult things, like catching up on the budget. The bad news: not much knitting was accomplished. The good news: I have more yarn money than I originally thought. Coming soon: a picture of my second expensive sock yarn purchase. Tee-hee.

Update on minimal weekend knitting progress:

a) I finished the first cable and rib sock, which was a bit of a disaster (still might be). More on that later.
b) The whole time I knitted on the sock I was lustily eyeing my unfinished Apricot Jacket. As I have completely forgotten where I was in the pattern, I blocked the already finished back so I could feel like I was working on it. Next up: figuring out where on earth I left off in the pattern.

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remember me?

p.s. Thanks for all the really sweet comments about the pattern! I’m still a tiny bit afraid that the first person who tries it will declare it completely unknittable, but I guess I’ll just have to wait to find out.

*baby buffers: those people who you point to when someone asks if you are planning a family and you say “I’m waiting for X to go first.” Being a cautious person, my buffers number as many as the sands on the seashore.

March 23, 2006

Guess what I finished?

The mitten pattern!

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Just to warn you, I changed the pattern a bit to make them a little longer. It turns out that, when it comes to guessing how long mittens for women with small hands should be, I stink. They were too short. They didn’t even fit my friend Ginny who has lovely short little fingers. So if you notice that the picture looks a little different from the instructions, you’re right. Follow the pattern, not the picture.

If you do decide to knit them, which I know isn’t highly likely with spring here and everything, feel free to drop me an e-mail at elliphantomknits(at)yahoo(dot)com with any questions. I proof-read it ten bazillion times, but it’s entirely possible that I’ve missed something. Oh, and you’ll need version 7.0 of Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the pattern. (free download here).

The pattern is here: Squirrelly Swedish Mittens

In other knitting news, I’m planning the spring line-up. This spring and summer is going to be devoted to knitting for me. I only have three gift-knits planned and I am going to try not to add any more (you can laugh all you want…I’m serious). More on that later.

March 19, 2006

Finished: Toothy DPN Case

I’ve been planning to make myself a dpn case for a while now. Saturday morning I came across some nice heavy green cotton at the thrift store and it was just the nudge I needed to get things going. Always a fan of dental hygiene, I decided to pair it with some tooth fabric that I picked up for a dollar a yard last fall.

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I spent more than an hour trying to figure out how on earth these things are constructed before I got smart and did a little research. I ended up loosely following the instructions for the “roll-your-own needle case” from Stitch ‘n Bitch (resizing it to be shorter and wider) and, taking inspiration from the Organized Knitter, I decided that mine should fold, not roll.

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Being a “collect all five!” type personality, I stitched the pockets in my case to fit exactly one complete set of dpns with an extra pocket on each end in case of dpn emergency (are there size 1.75 needles?). As I am not yet the proud owner of a set of size 11s, I’m using that pocket for my needle sizer.

Final Verdict: I love it. Love it, love it, love it.

March 15, 2006

Feeling Springy

Have you seen the new Vogue Knitting preview? I'm loving some of the spring sweaters...

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The jury’s still out on this one:

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It looks temptingly Delphine Wilson-esque, but I'd want to close the front and make it symmetrical.

I'm also intrigued by the knitted corset they show on their homepage. Not enough to knit it, but enough to be wondering what it's made of (hopefully not wool) and wondering how warm it would be. Of all the knitted undergarments I've seen lately, this is one of the less odd looking ones.

Things are still busy as all get-out at chez elliphantom--hopefully by this weekend things will have calmed down and I'll have time to get some serious knitting in. All I've had time to do this week is knit a bit on the Juniper socks, and work on the mitten pattern which, as you might have guessed, has turned out to be a whole lot more complicated than I anticipated. I've got a bit of pattern-writing learning curve to overcome. Maybe by Friday? I have to stop reading so many blogs...

March 10, 2006

bloggity bloggity

It's been a wee bit hectic around here this week--we had the apartment repainted, I was gone for a couple of days for a conference, and my sisters and their male companions came to visit for the weekend. I don't have much knitterly to report, but I did start a sock with the Mountain Colors Bearfoot, see?

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It's inspired by the Rib and Cable Socks from Fall 2005 Interweave. I decided to do them toe-up and make them man-sized, and I'm changing the heel. Other than that they are the same.

This afternoon's project is to work on the mitten pattern. I should have it finished in time for the warm weather...

p.s. Angela of yaiAnn knits! is running an Ironman triathalon for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Donate if you can, or just go and look at the cute pics of her being all active and stuff.

March 4, 2006

Big Spender

I now fall into the category of people who spend too much on sock yarn. That's ok though. Up until today I'd only spent $1.22 on yarn so far this year. Pretty good, huh?

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This would be Mountain Colors Hand-Painted in Juniper. If you look behind the yarn you'll see the new sofa which we finally got yesterday. I love it. It has nice flat arms. I know it's a little crazy, but I'm really excited about the flat arms because I can set things on them and the stuff won't fall into the couch the way it does when you set it next to you on the cushion.

Before we got rid of the old couch I stuck my hands down the cracks and I found all sorts of stuff...a couple of cable needles, a crochet hook, stitch markers, a dpn, and the ebony hairstick my dad made me that I had given up for lost. And I'm someone who vacuums under the cushions semi-regularly. Come to think of it, my mum was telling me that she found my brother-in-law's stuffed fanged rabbit in her couch a few months back. And it had been lost since Christmas 2004.

In fact, I bet there are all sorts of great things in your couch too. Go check. The best way to do it is to remove the cushions and stand on the couch so that the weight of your body opens up those deep crevices. Then stick your hands in. You'll probably find all kinds of things you thought you'd lost, plus a lot of crud, and enough change to buy a pizza too. Let me know if you find anything good.