Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Mixed Bag

I'm home sick today, I think with the flu. I'm imagining it as a cat: it's been stalking me for a week, following me around, occasionally batting me with a paw - and then last night it chomped my head. (Ironically, just yesterday I was telling the 5th graders about the 1918 Spanish flu, and explaining the immune system to the 3rd grade.)

But that does mean knitting time, and also being home when there is good light. I also found a solution to not wanting to take my knitting downstairs and outside in full view of my sometimes-judgemental neighbors: I have a fire escape! (Note that I put the knitting on a tray - the drama of finding the camera and opening that window were plenty while my head is being chomped by the flu. I didn't want the added drama of losing a dpn five stories down.)
So here are my Mountain Bearfoot Wild Raspberry sock, newly cast-on with a brown contrast toe and future, imagined heel (I'm doing them one at a time, since I have one mongo yarn cake which I don't want to un- and/or re-wind to turn it into two) and my Cape Cod socks, which I took off of the circular needles. After I turn the heel I know everything's identical, and it's a straight shot up the leg, and going around and around two at a time with the circular needles starts to feel like it's getting in the way, with all the double lengths of foot and the heels and what-not flopping around too.

So that'll be my day - knitting and tarhana soup with plenty of red pepper, perfect for stuffy icky head-sicknesses.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I'm so scientific!

Using a triple-beam balance to weigh cakes of yarn. I wonder what the science teacher thought I was going to use it for? Interestingly, the Opal Sock Magic that was supposed to be 100 grams was only 94. The other two were both above-weight.
I've turned the heels on the Cape Cod socks, and I think I'm going to cast on that Bearfoot Wild Raspberry (the one being weighed in the picture, not that you can tell) today if I have time, thus today's weighing.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A little advice...

Don't go yarn shopping when you're bored of your knitting plans the way I just said I was... I'm "relaxing" in Hartford with my sister, and went to a real live yarn store for the first time. Now, I'm really happy with my purchase - but it's a lot of yarn, and a lot of money. (I took good pictures, too.) I'm crazy about every bit that I bought. But it's a lot. My sock marathon mileage is up to 7.13 - good thing they're extending the marathon 3 more months!

I bought some fabric too - I got a sewing machine in November and have been practicing a little, but it's time for some more intensive stuff. I'm really excited to get back home and start knitting and sewing all this. Maybe that'll alleviate the fact that going home also means going back to work...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Title? What's that?

Thinking of titles always was my weak point. Anyway, I figured I might as well post the progress on my sock, since there is a little and also, since I got a site meter I've realized that way more people than I ever thought are actually reading this - or at least glancing at it briefly - even though I haven't been getting comments. It's actually kind of freaking me out - people from Switzerland and Chile and Beijing? Wow. The site meter thing is really neat, I recommend it. Back to my original point: if there are people actually looking at this, I might as well give them something to look at.

The socks're moving along well, and I'm trying to decide what else to cast on. I think I want something bright, and I'm considering bright green. Knitting has made me realize I have some ADD tendencies, and to be honest although I'm really enjoying Project Spectrum, the 2-month thing is driving me nuts. Maybe once we get into a color combination where I like more than one of the colors it won't seem so limiting, but I have all my sock yarns divided by color groups and I really want to "keep" them until it's "time"...but I'm bored! And it won't be "time" for green for more than a month!

Anyway, here are the (not-stellar) pictures (my apartment gets daylight strong enough for really nice pictures for about an hour, and that's on sunny days. I could go outside to take pictures of partially completed socks but the elderly Russians in my building who have nothing to do but observe their neighbors might change their minds about me and my husband being a cute young couple, and decide that we are hooligans instead - people have actually been driven out of the building after similar decisions. Of course, they would probably approve of knitting socks... perhaps someday I'll risk it.)

(Oh, and the background in those pictures is my sleeping husband. The bedroom has the best lighting, and then I thought the white background of his t-shirt might help. Does it say a lot about me as a wife that when he wakes up to find partially knitted socks on him, the camera pointed at him and me saying "Don't move" he doesn't even question it? Even though he can probably infer that the picture is then going on the internet? I think we may have the perfect marriage. Now do me a favor and repeat a quick supplication that the evil eye not touch us for that! Thanks. I probably shouldn't blog late at night...)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Moving on

Here are my new socks - not a super great picture, I had to use the flash, but I'm really happy with them so far.

The toe is Knitpicks Essential, and interestingly enough it's been much rougher and also shinier than my previous experience with Essential. I'm curious to see if it plumps up and softens after blocking. Anyway, I wasn't sure about the colors when I started but now that I'm a little into the body of the sock I'm very pleased by how the colors work together. I think the more I get the little bits of beige in the body of the sock as I keep going the more I'm going to like it.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sock Marathon update

I decided to count my Me Socks, since they were knit in January after all. So I had a total of 6 miles of sock yarn, and in the meantime I've acquired 750 more yards (forgive me for not converting that) and knit 880 (the Me socks and Sweetie socks), which is about half a mile. So I've knit more than I acquired, and I should be somewhere around 5.5 miles. Not bad... even if the distance I've knit is actually a distance I think I could maybe run in real life, i.e. pathetic. (I may be overestimating the distance I could run, though - in college I ran 30 minutes a day and in my head I'm still there.) But what was all that talk of 5 miles in three months? Seems insane to me... maybe if I didn't have a job, but as it is I knit at my job, probably a lot more than I should. Better to get off of the computer and go knit the socks I cast on within ten minutes of finishing the last pair!

They're done!

Sweetie's socks.

Knitpicks Memories in Yukon, knit on 80 stitches with size 0 Knitpicks circular. Stockinette with short-row toes and heels. Nice and simple! And done!

I've been enjoying my break - I've finished two books so far (Teacher Man and Stiff, which I couldn't put down even when I was eating, even though it was disturbing and I wasn't even sure that I wanted to be reading it at all). I got my copy of Sensational Knitted Socks, but I'm going to wait to do anything from them because I decided to use my Memories Cape Cod colorway for a pair of stockinette socks, with beige toes, heels and cuffs. So now I'm off to cast them on! And this time, since I finished my Sock-a-Month pair, there's no time pressure and I might even cast on for more than one pair at a time!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Wouldn't you just know

Of course the day vacation starts I'm up at 5 am! That's okay, I wouldn't want to waste all the free time. Sweetie wants 3 more inches of sock, and I'm dreaming of what to cast on next. I'm thinking of blatantly copying these socks (I saw them on the Project Spectrum flickr group, and then google-stalked them) but I haven't decided yet. I did want to do plain stockinette socks... but I have so many pairs of socks in my future at the moment that no matter what I'll get to those anyway.

I've decided I need to get myself a sock book - either Knitting Vintage Socks or Sensational Knitted Socks (it seems like every time I stalk a pattern I love lately, it turns out to be from that book). If one of my friends is up for it I'm planning a trip to Barnes and Noble today - I've made a vow to not internet-shop for six months, so I'll have to see what I can find in real life (the horror!). One of my goals for my knitting year was to experiment with various toes and heels, and I think it's time to read up on them. If anyone has a book recommendation I'd love to hear it!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Minor Update

Sweetie's socks are nearing completion - I've turned the heel, and the legs seem to be going quickly as they're straight stockinette. Somehow I got one sock turned around on the needles (I told you I was bad at spatial stuff), so in the picture you're seeing the back of one and the front of the other. I like this stockinette-sock deal so much I'm going to make myself a pair next...I just have to decide which yarn to use.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Yarn! Yarn! Yarn!

Well, I was hoping to get good light today, but the storm is thwarting me so I had to use a flash and my pictures aren't that good. But the important thing is that I have new yarn! [Edit: I got better light, so I switched out the pictures]

First is Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Wild Raspberry - my skein seems to have more blue, green and rust in the mix than others I've seen online, and I love it! In real life the burgundy color is much more intense.

Then there's Hill Country Yarns' Sweet Feet Sock Yarn (love the name) in Chocolate Covered Kisses.

Now I just have to decide whether to wait until their colors come along in Project Spectrum, or to "cheat" on PS - I doubt I have the self control to wait long, so that only leaves a decision about which one to use first....

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Praise be!

I've been making dark threats about what I'm going to do if this week were to be as bad as the last two, but finally the streak has broken! Today many, many wonderful things happened; I think I need a list.

1. I got a Valentine's present, and it is jewelry.
2. I got another Valentine's present, and it's yarn. Two skeins of gorgeous sock yarn. (I'll explain about pictures below.)
3. I finally confronted someone who's supposed to share a responsibility with me and has been consistently ditching me, AND I did it fearlessly and cleverly so it was almost a joke but they got the point, and I am so incredibly proud of myself because I'm usually too afraid to confront anyone! Much less cleverly!
4. I have another Valentine coming, and it's also jewelry (I'm 99% sure).
5. The program I was supposed to participate in Valentine's Day evening (!!) is CANCELLED so I can have my date with Sweetie as planned!
6. SCHOOL IS CANCELLED TOMORROW! (Cold weather) Which means I can finish Sweetie's Valentine socks, I can RELAX, I can take pictures of my new yarn in good light, I can do whatever I want!
7. I came home after school to a totally free evening, Interweave Knits and Glamour were in my mailbox, and there's good tv tonight.

So whatever it is I was being punished for by means of the past two weeks... it's over. I hope.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

More blue

Those beaded flowers I posted yesterday are from a pair of dollar-store slippers I wear as house shoes - here's a (slightly blurry) picture of the whole thing.

Taking these pictures and knitting helped me calm down considerably yesterday (after cleaning energetically (ie angrily), which also helped quite a bit) after a stressful week. Two weeks. I think I haven't made enough room for creativity in my weekday life.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

After a very bad day

This is how I killed time until I could just veg and watch Tyra and not think about anything.

Your Hidden Talent

You have the natural talent of rocking the boat, thwarting the system.

And while this may not seem big, it can be.

It's people like you who serve as the catalysts to major cultural changes.

You're just a bit behind the scenes, so no one really notices.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I've been tagged!

Emilee tagged me for the "Five Secrets About Me" meme, and it's my first time! So exciting. So, five things I haven't mentioned here before...

1. I'm American, but I spent 4 of the last seven years abroad, most recently as an aid worker (teacher) in Central Asia (but not Afghanistan - I'm not that brave. I had some really great Afghan refugee students whom I love dearly though).

2. My husband is Turkish, and we met in 1. when he was an expat English teacher at a fancy private school in the same town where I was working. I earned the nickname "Turkish Princess" for how spoiled I got by all of the Turkish food (local food was...not to US tastes), Simpsons in English, and air conditioning he lavished on me. (I was there as part of a group, and the conditions we lived in were local standards and not US. Thus air conditioning was unimaginable luxury for most of us.)

3. When I want to, I shamelessly exploit my headscarf and the fact that people make assumptions to pretend that I don't speak English. Earnest cult member handing out pamphlets? Creepy, chatty guy in line or on the train? I've perfected this blank look that, combined with the scarf, somehow creates a forcefield that protects me from any and all weirdos who want to talk. It's like magic!

4. I used to be vegan, until I became allergic to soy. (I'm running out of ideas, can you tell?)

5. My little sister is taller than me, and the reason I was so crazy about platform shoes in high school wasn't because they were fashionable, it was so people wouldn't notice she was growing more than me.

Okay! I wasn't sure I was going to make it there. Now I have to tag five people... and I'm not sure who even reads. I'm tagging Teal for sure, and pretty much anybody else who's ever left a comment here. That means Knit Nurse, Smug Sheep, Kneesocky, and Lauren. Oh man, I hope you people still read here sometimes. And I think I'll also tag anyone else who happens along - and don't do what I always do and say to yourself "Oh, she doesn't mean me" and continue on your merry way - I do mean you! You're tagged!

And just for interest, although the interest is minimal because it's just longer stockinette than before, here's a picture of my progress on my Sweetie's Project Spectrum sock.

Now, anybody who read this should go write a meme! Seriously!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I wrote

a long and colorful update about my Friday, yesterday, but Blogger ate it (to be fair it was a scheduled maintenance session but I was trying to tempt fate) and I gave up. I'll just say that the movie was postponed, and the home visit involved a building fire, real-life NYC firemen, and taking refuge from the cold and rain at a different student's house. So technically, I visited 4 students in one night, and I wore my handknit socks, and I knitted through most of those events - all of which made me feel extremely productive.

The blue-gray socks are moving along well - I really like using two circulars, it feels much more intuitive than Magic Loop did (I have spatial perception issues). And last night I even had a Project Spectrum dream! I went on a trip to Iran (of all places! Actually, I have a series of dreams about taking trips to Iran - which I've never been to - with various people. Maybe I should do that "weird" meme) with Lolly (that made me feel a bit like a stalker...but oh well), and we were riding around on a bus taking pictures of blue things. Sweetie was there too, and I woke up mad at him for not chasing away a creepy man trying to chat with me on the bus. I always stay mad at him for things that happened in dreams after I wake up, poor guy.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Project Spectrum! (And SAM3)

Yesterday was the first day of both. A day late and a dollar short, I'm casting on some blue-gray socks.

I don't anticipate getting very far today; after school I'm helping another teacher with her very (very very) ambitious plan of taking a group of students to the movies, then immediately after that Sweetie and I are going on a home visit (to one of my students for once!) so I might, might finish one toe today. But this weekend should be fairly low-stress - if it starts to be otherwise I'll make up reasons I am busy, and stay home and knit.

As far as Project Spectrum goes, I anticipate sticking to blue for the first two months. I've never been much into white or gray, and don't have any in my stash.

SAM3 only gives you credit for the first pair of socks you knit in a month, and I'm so glad - it takes some stress off. You only have to knit one pair, but I know I'd plan more and then freak out if I couldn't finish them. And really, a pair a month is the most one should aim for. Otherwise things just get out of control. (Oh, and the Sock Marathon? I'm up past 7 miles of yarn now. I don't even know for sure, and I'm not going to calculate it until I've knit some of it away. I guess this pair is the beginning of my marathon, too. Hooray for multitasking! It makes me feel productive.)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The End is Here!

The picture is awful, but they're done! [I replaced the really bad pic with a better, but still blurry one. And I had a hard time taking one that didn't highlight the thickness of my ankles, thus the 'artistic' close-up.] And I love the tubular bind-off. Now to block them - I want them to "bloom" a little because they stretch a lot right now and I feel like it distorts the striping. Next time I might try stockinette instead of ribbing.

And if The End is here, Next Time is too! And next time is Sweetie's socks. If I can remember to bring a crochet hook for the provisional cast on I'll start them tomorrow - it's definitely time for bed tonight.