Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sunday Travel Section: Memorial Day

Yes, I know it's Tuesday. But I was in DC for the weekend, and this week still has two tests and more assignments than I care to think about, so I'll have to ask you all to pardon my tardiness (and general lack of knitting content). Even though I wasn't there to play tourist, I did check out the Air Force Memorial:

(Knitting content to resume this weekend, I promise.)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunday Travel Section: Boston

The past week was a bit busy - we had a major project due on Friday, so I was spending very nearly all of my waking hours at school working on it. Fortunately, this hasn't seriously affected my knitting time (since I knit during class), just my blogging time.

I finished the Horcrux socks, and I really like the way they turned out.

Pattern: Horcrux socks in fingering weight
Modifications: I changed the heel, foot and toe.
Yarn: Trekking XXL

Remember the Schaefer I bought a while back? I dug it out of the stash and started Pomatomus socks. My yarn doesn't look so much like the actual fish, but it does make me think of a small, bright, tropical fish.

I'm really glad I started the Sunday travel section; it helps me post at least once a week and avoid the disappearances like happened last month. This Sunday, for no particular reason (besides that I was going through my pictures and found one I liked), we travel to Boston. I went to school there (technically Cambridge, but close enough), so I'm rather fond of the place, if not so much the weather. The picture was taken from Boston Harbor.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sunday Travel Section: Feeling Outdoorsy

Have you ever been overcome by the fumes in a yarn shop and walked out with enough wool for two sweaters, some silk for no particular reason, and some really gorgeous laceweight that may or may not become a shawl? Well, it turns out, that at least for some people, camping/biking/sporting goods stores have a similar effect. I don't know if the merchandise gives off endorphins, or what, but there's got to be something. I went shopping today at REI (my absolutely most favorite store - if I could max out my credit card anywhere, it would be there, and they have the funniest commercials, too) and spent um... rather a bit more than I'd intended to before going in. So I left feeling quite proud of myself (it was all on sale after all, and there's a dividend too, for members, and I am one) and ready for some outdoor adventure. Unfortunately, my next destination was not the great outdoors, or even a local bike trail, but school need not get in the way of the Sunday Travel Section!

So, please join me somewhere between Independence Mine and the top of Independence Pass, Alaska.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Knitting with sunset

The horcrux socks are coming along nicely.

And the knitting fates seem to be on my side (which means they'll probably smite me later in some other project. I didn't do any math before I started to make sure that there would in fact be enough yarn for two socks - I just dove in. The first sock took about 34 g of a 100g ball, so I'm in excellent shape there. I also made no attempt to start the two socks at similar places in the yarn. I just knit the first sock until it was done, cut the yarn and cast on for the second sock from where I'd left off. I don't think I could have matched the striping more closely if I'd tried.

I still love this yarn. It's quite soft and springy, and it's a very round yarn. It stands up to frogging fantastically (there was a bit on the first sock that got frogged three times). I still love watching the colors go by as I knit, and I realized something. Have you ever watched a sunset? I don't just mean the fifteen minutes or so after the sun's touched the horizon, but the full show from when the sun is still completely above the horizon to quite a while after it's set. In a really good sunset, the sky starts off day blue, and then turns orange and pink (this effect is particularly spectacular when you get pink clouds against a purple sky). As the sun goes down, the pinks deepen to purples, and the whole sky changes shades of blue. Sometimes, in a really, really good sunset, the sun turns green just as the last little bit disappears. And then, if you sit and watch until the stars start to come out, the sky turns a magnificent shade of blue, that slowly gets deeper until it becomes the black of the night sky. That's what this yarn reminds me of, with its pinks, purples, teal, and blue - a really phenomenal sunset.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Finished Object: El Zano Jaywalkers

I'd mentioned that I finished the El Zano Jaywalkers. Here they are in all their purple-orange stripeyness.

Cheryl asked how I got the yarn to be self-striping. As she guessed, there was some math involved, but it was easy math. Eunny has an excellent guide to dying self-striping yarn here. But here's my technique, in a nutshell: First, figure out what you want your striping pattern to be (i.e., 2 orange, 2 purple, 4 orange, 6 purple). Then you figure out how much yarn it takes to knit a round; this involves actually knitting. You make a giant hank whose circumference is the total number of rows in your striping pattern times the length of yarn it takes to knit a round. Divide the hank up appropriately - for me this involved making it look like a lopsided, four-tentacled octopus (I pulled all of the transitions to the center so each tentacle would be one color, corresponding to a stripe) - and dye away.

Lorraine asked if the socks smell like the Koolaid used to dye them. They don't so much smell like the flavors as they do like a non-descript Koolaid smell. What I mean is that they don't smell like orange or grape, but they do smell like Koolaid. Fortunately, the smell is not strong (smelling it practically requires sticking my nose against the sock), and I suspect it will fade with washing.

In other knitting, the Horcrux sock is coming along swimmingly.

(It doesn't look nearly as retarded on the foot as it does laying flat.) This is easily the fastest any of my knitting has gone for quite a while. Can you tell I like it?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sunday Travel, the late edition

Sorry this post is coming late. I spent most of the weekend goofing off, which forced a spurt of productivity this evening. I did finish the El Zano Jaywalkers last week; I'll have a finished object post on them in the next day or two. And I started a new pair of socks:

The pattern is the fingering weight version of Horcrux Socks, and the yarn is the Trekking XXL I got a while back. I have some minor issues with the pattern - I changed the way one of the rows in the lace part was worked, I've changed the heel, and I'll be making some minor modifications to the foot, too. The yarn, on the other hand, I'm completely charmed by. I love watching the colors go by as I knit, and I rather like the way the colors are knitting up.

As it happens, the colors of the Trekking bring us to this week's destination: Waikiki

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Happy Birthday Sarah

So, my sister's birthday is today, and I'm not done with her present. I'd originally hoped to have it done and in the mail so that she would get it today, but that clearly is no longer a possibility. Still, I want her to have something on her birthday. So I give her (and you) a photo essay: