Saturday, September 29, 2007

Post 87-Sick of It

Not Ravelry, no, could never be sick of, just sick of being sick, I have a whopping head cold. I have been a busy little bee, been babysitting alot, finally shopped around and upgraded my bike, got on to Ravelry and have been documenting my stash. It's alot of work this Ravelry. I've got all my books in that they have on their master list, which means I have aobut 10 that are somewhat obscure. Half of my needles are in, I was working on what I had pulled out for swatching, and have only nibbled at my stash. I decided to start it one box at a time, and the sock yarn box is in. It's not hard but actually rather easy since the photos are linked through Flickr, it's just that now I have to photograph everything and in doing so admit I have a problem, I love yarn! I can't type much more before my nose drips all over everything and I have to go pick up my bike. This is what my about me page in Ravelry looks like:

Roomie got an electric piano in the mail, the box full of pink peanuts proved to hard to resist for Piewacket, she jumped right and was having a field day. Believe it or not, this is her happy face.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Post 86-!!!!!!

I've been Raveled-in! And yes, I did flap my hands like a chicken and squeal like a piggy. I'm sure several of my friends will be happy know because I'll stop being obsessed with it, yea right! I've managed to get all my books in, except the ones that are not registered yet in their database. So now I'm going to take it slow and do one thing at a time, all the needles, then all the projects, all the yarn, you get the idea. If I jump around too much I might forget something and that will be messy.

Post 85-4:48

As of 4:48 P.M., and counting.

You signed up on July 18, 2007
You are #18190 on the list.
141 people are ahead of you in line.
18043 people are behind you in line.
49% of the list has been invited so far

Post 84

Today, will it be today? I'm down to 201 on the waiting list. Racheal who has been checking my status (she's on the waiting list too but a little behind me) has generously offered to assist me with entering my stash in the database, I have alot of yarn. Either she has offered because 1. she wants help when it's her turn, or 2. she wants dig into the depths of my stash like she's never been before.
The Jaywalker socks I was so into are on hold and have been put on the back burner. I love that pattern, I love that yarn, but I got to the heel and decided to try it on, and it would barely fit over my foot, too tight! It's the yarn, no stretch (100% wool, no syns), it was me, I swatched but maybe an error? I have fat ankles? So when I'm ready again and get over my sock burnout I will do them again but add one more repeat of the zigzag pattern and all will be well. I think I want to play with a sweater and the Elzebeth Lavold Silky Wool yarn has been stewing long enough. At stitches I bought two bags of the yarn, one in this deep grape purple color and the other a nice medium-dark brown that is very neutral not too cool and not too warm of a tone.
So this is the pattern I want to do:

Last night I was up late watching some instant view movies on Netflix and doing some swatching. The pattern to be precise is called Ljod and is the one featured on the cover of the book. The two needles sizes it asks for is a 4 and a 6, the size six is for the body of the piece. The designer recommends using circulars on the bottom part of sweater, probably because it flares out and is so wide, so I might as well use circs for the whole thing. I am among the few who still love their straight needles for large projects I think. So I started swatching with my Addi's on the six, not getting guage, go down to a 5, still not getting guage, the next size I have is a 3 and it's too tight so what I really need is a 4 I guess, which is the one size I don't have so off to the LYS I go. I guess I should have remembered that I knit loose on Addi's. My appointment for this morning was rescheduled for tomorrow, so off to the LYS I go and I really need some coffee too!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Post 83-Anticipation

Oh, ohhhhhh, oh oh O! Imagine me squealing like a piggy and a little flapping of the hands in excitement, I'm almost there. I predict that by tomorrow evening I will Ravele-In. I'm in the mid 400's and they are admitted 500-600 people a day, yea!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Post 82-Lazy Day

I think I had one of the best days in along time. First I started out with sleeping in, which I always do anyway, but I actually woke up before 11. In my defense, I do stay up late too much so it balances itself out in the end right? I piddled around the house, made coffee, took shower and even blow dried my hair. I took the car in for a long over due wash. There is this great full service carwash by my house that will wash the car, vacuum and towel dry for the low price of 9.95 plus tips. It's not quite like getting it detailed, but then I didn't pay 100 dollars either. I decided I wanted to see a movie and choose The Jane Austen Book Club. I'm on an Austen kick after seeing the movie loosely based on her life and have also reviewed all the latest movies and mini series based on her writings. That was a lovely movie and I'm glad I saw it even though it was in a limited release. Due to the few places you could see it I had to go to Pipers Alley which is not my first choice for a theater because there is so little street parking and the parking lot costs too much. Well I got there extra early and found street meter parking right in front of a cute boutique. Needing quarters for the meter I went inside the store, bought a bday card for a friend and asked the owner how late they were open, 10 pm she said, so I asked her to put some more quarters in the meter and she was nice enough to do that, its refreshing to be able to trust strangers some time! I found a bead store on Wells that I didn't know existed, the selection was ok, but I did find little alpaca beads that I made into stitch markers and are for sale on Etsy. After the movie when I was walking back to my car I just felt good, it wasn't too late out, the moon was nice and bright, a slight breeze was in the air and I felt like a tourist in my own city, I even passed the cutest Bistro the felt straight out of Quebec, I have to go back! Before I forget, I saw the previews for the new Elizabeth movie and it looked so good it gave me chills!
I've been playing around with making my own stitch markers for several years now, even before Etsy was online. Occasionally I would sell them at a few local yarn stores or to my friends, but damnit, I don't know why I never actually put any on Etsy. I'm picky, ask all my friends, I'm also really into the details of the way something is made and I didn't like what I was seeing out there in regards to stitch markers. Either the design contruction was good but the bead choice heavy, or the beads were good and designed badly. I had a Secret Pal send me some really pretty stitch markers made with silver and evil eye beads, in all respects they were very nice, except the ring was wrapped with the wire that was holding the beads and would snag my yarn and poke my finger all the time, a big no-no. I like a clean look with nice materials, I want my stitch markers to be like jewelry for my needles. Naughty Linda jumped the gun on me and bought some new markers to be used with the new Cat Bordhi Book instead of asking me to customized some for her, and I wouldn't even charge her mark-up. So in all I like Etsy, I like the idea of it and there are some really nice items out there, the tough part is pricing your product, you don't want it too low so as to undervalue your time but then you don't want it too much so no one will buy. I think there are alot of people out there who charge too little.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Post 81-Sock Mania

Here are the long awaited sock pictures.
This first one is what I called my "Army/Navy" socks, but really the pattern is from one of the Sensational Sock books, it's the garter rib. The yarn I used is from Lorna's Laces, I love their sock yarn and I loved the yarn and its colors when I first saw it, but the stripes it makes not so nice, these will be work horse socks.

These are my first completed pair of Pomatomus, designed by CookieA of course. My first attempt was with the wrong yarn, dummy me did not realized it was DK weight, duh. I think the yarn I choose really works with it, yea the colors are alittle crazy but the pattern does stand out when you see them in person.

My first try at the Jaywalker socks did not work out but this time around it's perfection. The color is great, the stripes are great, sometimes it's a crap shoot with hand-dyed yarns. Like the Army/Navy socks and the first try at the Jaywalker with Socks That Rock, in a skein form the yarn looks great, colors melt into each other and I buy it, but knitted up, sometimes it's like a Jekyl/Hyde thing. My new passion in sock yarn is the semi-solid craze, or heck even solids, what ever happened to solid colored sock yarn? While flipping through the new Cat Bordhi book I don't know what I was in love with, the patterns, or the colors of the yarn. I guess I will always foolishly buy multi-colored sock yarn.

Isn't this just cute, harmony in the animal house.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Post 80-Yum!

Slowly but surely, well not so slowly now is the tickergetting closer to me being in Ravelry!
I've had a lovely last couple of days. I made an overdue visit to The Spice House here in Chicago, it's one the best places for anyone who likes to cook. All the spices are fresh, you can taste them all, want some cinnamon, you have FOUR to choose from, and did I mention the prices, cheap. If you knew about this place you would never shop anywhere else, look how bright and fresh these spices are!

From left to right:
Greek Oregano
Garam Masala Curry
Chili Con Carne
Dill Weed
Dehydrated Garlic
I finally broke down and bought a pepper mill. Several years ago I realized how yummy pepper was, I mean I always used it but I wasn't enjoying and now I am. A couple of months ago I was talking to a coworker about spices and I asked him where a good place was to get a quality pepper mill that wasn't too expensive and he said the spice house of course! Apparently this is a top of line mill with a simple gear inside and if you loosen to pin at the top you can adjust the grind.

Now on to the knitting. The pomatomus socks are all done and are currently on sock blockers drying attached to the refrigerator by magnet clips. Now the big question is what sock pattern to do next. I have been looking for the new Cat Bordhi sock book everywhere after seeing Linda's copy. I should have bought it at Stitches like she did but I wasn't aware how cool it would be, I thought it was just another sock book and I have lots of those.

In my effort to try not to wind up yarn until I need it I think I'll be playing with this lucky skein. It's not actually the same named colorway but the colors are the same, it was a gift my secret pal got from the etsy shop of RubySapphire yarns.

As lovely as the colorway is, it does make it diffult to do anything lace like, but I love it so, I've never seent this color combo in a sock yarn before. I think I'll try it on the Jaywalker pattern since I seem to be the only person in the knitting universe that hasn't done it, I really thing the zigzag nature of the pattern will lend itself well to the way the colors will stripe.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Post 79-Getting Closer

Just a quick note on Ravelry for all those who are sick of reading about my obsession, 4100 and counting with 41% accepting, Oh yea! Took another quick look at the innards of the Ravelry system tonight at Stitch and Bitch on Linda's laptop, and damn it, someone has my name, Yarnsnob. I was worried that this would happen so now I have to think of another one that's similar, maybe YarnsnobChicago or ChicagoYarnsnob? Rounding the toe now on EuroPoma sock, add in a the newly purchased West Wing Season 6, and I'm good to go on finishing this baby. Now to think about the next project...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Post 78, Tick Tock

It's just a manner of time now, Ravelry is speading up it's acceptance of people now at a rate of 300 a day, up from 100. I'm predicting that I'll get my Ravelry e-mail in 14 days or less, or by September 30 (I had previously predicted mid-October) It may seem I'm alittle obsessed by this whole Raverly thing, and yes, I am, but it is seriously the coolest thing ever! I hope by the time I get to join that no one has made use of my name :(
My first class of the season was last night, I really like having it on a Sunday, makes it less hectic during the week. Class size was just the right size, 5 people, one guy, a mother and two adult daughters and an elderly woman. Also, a small class means I can spend more time with the older woman, she's taking to it all a bit slowly.

I have no interesting pictures of my knitting today so I thought I would show you this, it's a photo I took at the Art Institute last week. There was some sort of historical coins of the world display and I thought this was funny. What is so unique about this US quarter that it would have to be on loan? How much would you insure it for? I thought it was hilarious.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Post 77-Gimme More!

What a lovely day today! The Renegade Craft Fair was busy as ever and it looks like they are starting to jury the entries so now the stuff looks even more professional, but I do miss the days of some crafty person selling their wares on a table cloth in the park. Watch out Renegade, you might start turning into the Bucktown Arts Fest! I didn't buy anything because I spent my money at Nina's,(a LYS by the fest)and scored this from the sale bin, 60% off! You're looking at 20 balls of Rowan Tweed 4 ply, what got me was that all the colors in the back work well together.
The Celtic Fest was as expected, had my curry fries and Guinness, I tried to make it to 8 PM for Dolores O'Riordan of the Cranberries, but it was just too cold, grrr. It was a nice day overall for all.

Last night I really made some progress on the Pomatomus sock, and then right before I went to bed I wanted to compare the color strips to the first one I made when I realized that I made it too long, one repeat too many. Now I have to rip back from the gusset decrease to the heel flap. :(

Friday, September 14, 2007

Post 76-B

I've got Ravelry envy. Linda was accepted last week and was nice enough to shows all the goodies at Stitch and Bitch on tuesday. I think things are really starting to roll for them and my anticipated date of acceptance will be sooner than I calculated. Not even one hour when I updated my countdown on the right side of the page it said this:
You signed up on July 18, 2007
You are #18190 on the list.
5533 people are ahead of you in line.
14506 people are behind you in line.
38% of the list has been invited so far
I was about to turn my computer off but a little thought jumped in my head, "check Ravelry again", and this is what is says now:
You signed up on July 18, 2007
You are #18190 on the list.
5379 people are ahead of you in line.
14544 people are behind you in line.
38% of the list has been invited so far
It used to be 105 or so aday and now it's jumped to almost 200! It's starting to snowball. I'm going over to Racheal's shortly to watch a naughty movie and I'll check it again.

Post 76, Chilly Willy

Mother Nature is giving us a preview of things to come. Tomorrow there are several activities to keep me busy in the city, Renegade Craft Fair, Celtic Fest and lots of knitting. To top it all off the high temperature will be a hot 62 degrees, YEA! Wearing short sleeves and sandals at the Celtic Fest is about apropriate as swimming on Christmas day in Arizona. Did I mention that autumn is my favorite season? I'm looking forward to apple picking, yarn dying, pumpkin carving and some good live music concerts. Then again, being that this is Chicago, we could have a heat wave next week, it's happened before. Today was the first time in 5 months that Bella wore her coat on a walk, I'm guessing it was good timing for Rachael and I to have gone biking around the Chicago Botanical Gardens yesterday.

Sock one of the revived Pomatomus is done and thanks to my West Wing Season 5 DVD set I'm at the heel flap of number two in one night. I've decided to rename the sock, Pomatomus is just not right, it's too simple, this yarn screams for something more unique, colorful, perhaps Europomus. Sure it sounds like a disease but it looks very european, colorful, funky and oh so gaudy.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Post 75, Pomatomus Revived

When you have nothing to do, you can get alot done. I woke up this morning and seriously had nothing to do, no list of errands or a desire to go anywhere. I almost went to see a movie and the thought, Eh, not today. I did make a quick visit to Joann's to get some fabric on sale for a neighbor, some icky acrylic yarn to make some more Coral Reef Hyperbolic space examples and then dashed over to Target for some odd bits. Before and after my quick trip I had the Pomatomus reincarnated into this:
I'm totally in love with this yarn. I picked it up on a whim at Knit1 a year or so and really hadn't thought about it since, until last night. When picking out new trial yarn I really didn't want to have to wind it up into a ball. I used to buy yarn and if didn't come in a ball I would wind it up as soon as possible, now I prefer to leave it in a lovely little twisted skein and let it stew for awhile. So last night when I was digging around in my sock yarn drawer I came across this Trekking XXL, color 100. This is a very unusual yarn, it has a subtle color change that is not produced by space dying like what you might see in a Regia type yarn.

Up close the yarn is actually a four ply yarn with every ply being a different color that subtlety changes shade and even with that each ply changes color by the way it was spun, not dyed, I think. Talk about going the extra step. I don't know if all of their sock yarns are made like that but it really works when knitting a lace pattern and wanting some color changing yarn. This time around the pattern in the Pomatomus really pops. I had originally made a swatch sample using my usual size 0-1 needles and it had a really nice feel, like real store bought socks, but the gauge was too dense. I upped the needle size to a 2.75 MM, and while it is a little looser and fits the pattern requirements, given the twisting of the knit stitches it won't really matter. When it comes to the foot I think I will go down to size 0's to give the sole that yummy department store sock feel. Oh and another thing, about my new DPN sock needles, I read about the Knit Picks new sock needle set on the Yarn Harlot's blog, so of course I really wanted to try them. I love them! It's taken me awhile to loosen my grip on the needles, they were starting to hurt my hands, now I know why I bend my bamboo's. I've also realized I miss the sound of knitting needles and these make a very subtle clicking sound, so old fashioned.

The only problem I have with these needles is that they are so close in size, literally down to a .25mm difference. If you don't close that snap nice and tight when those needles spill out you're going to have a difficult time matching the sizes again. I think I correctly figured out the right sizes, I'll have to double check and if satisfied I'll mark them somehow, maybe nail polish dots?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Post 74, Kapoot

You shouldn't struggle when knitting, I don't like projects that fight me. So, with great hesitation, I frogged the Pomatomus sock. Basically I had turned the heel and got past the gusset when I tried it on and found the heel section way to big and loose. I remade the heal and instead of using the the heel in the pattern, and tried a twisted stitch heel to pull it in and make in dense and tight, but still it just wasn't right, I was even going to decrease the gusset stitched more than was designed.

I think part of the problem was I didn't read the label and the yarn is in fact DK weight, which was why it fit so well around my chunky calves and was really loose around the foot. On the other hand I really like the pattern and was getting really good at memorizing it, so it will have to wait for some other sock yarn.

There is no other option but to start a new sock. I can either A-choose another yarn and redo the Potatomus or B-choose another yarn with a pattern already choosen for it. I have some more lovely sock yarn from New York that I still haven't touch Jitterbug and some Fleece Artist. On the other hand, I have this lovely bundle that I just purchased and I'm dieing to play with it.

Now doesn't that look lovely! The minute I read about the yarn with real sterling silver in it on Knitters Review I just had to have some, it is the perfect mix of my jewelry background and knitting passion. There is a lovely little sock pattern called Snowflake Lace Sock that I saw on Magknits that would be perfect, on second thought, I should hold off until winter comes to make these socks. I just a vision of myself knitting them, the snows falling outside and I'm watching my fireplace DVD with my dog on my lap, all nice and cozy. I'm really tired, can you tell? I was at the Hideout Block Party this evening, I didn't wear the right shoes and my feet hurt. I saw the movie Once this week and am now a big fan of Glen Hansgard, of The Frames, and tonight I saw them live.

I like the way they set up the stage with such a picturesque view of a sanitation building.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Oh, look, I finally got my shit together and made my own banner. The picture is mine too, taken during my last visit to the Fold.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Post 73, Grrrr!

Some more words of wisdom from Peggle. Seriously, what are the odds that one of the most addictive games online would have such wise words for us knitters.

Linda's on Ravelry, when will it be my turn, I wanna join too! There are 6700 people ahead of me, yea that's alot, on the other hand there are 13,000 people after me. On to other things. I fell good right now, I was putting off a couple of things this summer, some tasks I needed to do, I don't know why, I just did. Well they are done and sent off into the world and the burden is off my shoulders. Also, I have enough students in one of my classes this fall, so that's a go, and my date per year ratio is rising. So far the late summer is turning out OK, who knows what the fall will bring. I've been having some issues with my current sock. I'm using some DK weight glitter sock from Cherry Tree Hill. I picked this yarn up in New York and thought the color combo was kinda cool, definately not something I had in my collection. I hear about Cherry Tree Yarns all the time, yea the glitter thread is cool, the colors interesting, but the yarn, rough and a little itchy, more of a hiking boot sock. I've chosen to do my first Pomatomus sock, and really love the design of the pattern, but when you have a slightly thicker sock that's a little rough, the twisted knit stitches Cookie is fond of putting in her patters makes it feel very, ah, durable. The heel design didn't work too well with the yarn, it was too big and stretchy so I ripped it back and redid the heel flap using a twisted Stockinette stitch pattern. I guess I should start working some more on the Habu bag, that evil EVIL bag.