Tuesday, August 29, 2006

No holes barred

This sock just keeps getting better and better! I turned the heel this afternoon. I think I managed to match it up to the first one... can't seem to find part of my notes. :P I had a much easier time picking up stitches from the flap this go 'round. Used my new 2.5mm Crystal Palace needles. The point on them is fabulous and made it so much easier! The smaller size didn't hurt either. With a little experimental fiddling in the gusset area I was able to complete my first heel with NO HOLES! No gaps, no holes. I'm thrilled. I've had a bit of trouble with that on all the previous socks.
I've also discovered why the feet of my socks are tighter than expected and I tend to get hand and arm pain more frequently once I get well into a sock. I've been starting out on 5 DPNs but going down to 4 once all the heel stitches are picked up. Apparently that has been altering my gauge and stressing my hands. I think that going back up to 5 will solve the problem.

Another great thing that happened today was my trip to the bookstore. I took my brother over to Hilton Head to pick up a book he ordered. I hadn't expected to be able to get anything myself. Just before we left it occurred to me that I had a book to return. I got this book on thyroid imbalances a few weeks back and while it's loaded with useful information, I simple cannot read it. The writing style just makes me go crosseyed. Can't hold my interest at all. It's not overly technical or even dry. I'm not sure why but I just can't get through it so I took it with me.

Once we got there I realized it was a more expensive book than I thought so I had a little more money to play with. Since I no longer have the receipt, I had to exchange it for something else. Of course I was hoping for a good knitting book of some sort. The selection there isn't the best though. It's a small Barnes & Noble and not very well stocked in most areas. Plus it's always so much easier to find beginner how-to books and fast, easy patterns but it can be difficult to find good intermediate or advanced books around here at all.
I've been wanting to get a stitch dictionary pretty badly. I'm hoping for a couple of the Barbara Walker treasuries for Christmas. So I considered the vogue Stitchonary but it's more than I wanted to spend and I the first green yarn they use burns my retinas. :P Can't bear it.
Considered Sensational Knitted Socks but again, it was more than my other book and while I really liked the content, it should at least be spiral-bound for $25! Geez.

Found the Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns. I dug back past the first two bent up copies and happened across a lone copy with a 30% off sticker! That's 40% with my card. Seeing as the book is only $15 to begin with, I had enough left over for a magazine. :)

That plus the fact that our trip took only about half the time I expected and included Backyard Burger made me a pretty happy camper.

Ah, freedom...

I ought to be snoozin' now since I have my early class tomorrow but that's been even more difficult than normal lately so here I am. :P

I'm thrilled to say I ripped *partway* back without fear for the first time tonight! Thanks Knit Fix I got the nerve (and the know-how) up to grab the stitches up correctly the very first time and yank out the tainted work. Now that I've taught myself to tink properly, figured out how to rip back, and I'm armed with clear instructions for dealing with dropped stitches, I can knit without fear of having to start over if I mess up at all. With the help of the occasional lifeline, of course.

I'm very pleased with the way the second yoga bag turned out. Wish I could take pictures! I suppose I could hunt down some film for the regular camera tomorrow while I'm out but then I still have to wait to finish the roll and develop them. :P Digital caters to my complete lack of patience.
Anyway, back to the bag... I did it in Peaches & Cream Fiesta Ombre. I'm in love with this colorway now. I was looking originally looking for pink (to break away form my knee-jerk everything-blue thing) but they were all out. The Fiesta looked quite interesting so I decided to go with it. It knit up into a great sorta tie-dyed look. I added a triple crochet border to the top of the bag and laced that with a bright pink beaded silk scarf to function as a drawstring. The whole thing is very 'hippie' and it works. It *is* a yoga bag after all. The colors length of the yarn color sections turned out to be the absolute perfect fit for the triple crochet, changing at just the fight time. I should think of something interesting to do with the remainder of the last ball. Actually, I think I'll pick up a couple more balls and crochet something neat.

I realized the bag is quite vibrant with the rainbow colors and hot pink scarf and all so I'm giving my swap partner a choice of the hippie bag or the blue one before I send out. I'd hate for her not to use it because it was too loud or something. Mom loves them both so she'll use the crap out of whichever one doesn't get sent off.

Well, this halfway done (for the second time) heel flap and I are going to lay down now.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Well, in an effort to correct the format of my poor blog a bit, I've changed most of the photos into links. I think this also kept all the links from being broken when I reorganized my photobucket earlier. I could be wrong. Let me know if all the links are broken or anything. :P

Hopefully I'll get around to some other formatting stuff I've been wanting to do soon. Until then, at least my sidebar has returned to it's indended position. It's a start.

I'm a terrible person... didn't get the handle attached to the yoga bag in time to mail it yesterday. :( It'll have to go out tomorrow.

Today is the boy's mom's birthday. They're grilling so my dad and I will be heading over there in a bit. I suppose a shower would be a good idea. :P

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

It's that time again...

Started classes yesterday. I'm taking another light load this semester with just two classes again. Computerized Accounting started yesterday morning. I'm feelin' good about that one because the work appears pretty basic and if I turn it all in early I get to stay home. *yay* ACC102 starts tonight. The great news on that class is 1) it's the same book we used for 101 and 2) I was informed that the second workbook the bookstore sold me is unnecessary so I got to take it back. I'm elated. This means I'll actually be getting a couple hundred bucks from my grants in a month or two. Last semester they only covered about half of my books. I'm hoping to be able to pick up a camera with the extra this time.

I had considered picking up another class or two but now I'm glad I didn't. Apparently my thyroid has chosen now to start acting up again. Or, more accurately, underacting. :P Hello fatigue, weight gain and hair loss. :( I'm hopeful that I'll finally be able to get treatment now though. I should be seeing the doc next week and I had the lab work done today. I've been having on and off trouble like this for 10 years now so it'd be fabulous to finally get it taken care of.

So that's the un-fun stuff...

Asheville was awesome. I'm ready to move now. I was spoiled by my no-humidity time. The weather's great, the scenery is gorgeous, the people are nice and yarn is everywhere!! I hit up three yarn shops I'd found online before the trip and happened across yarn in two other completely unexpected stores. *swoon* Around here I have to drive an hour to even hit a Michael's!

I managed to restrain myself in the spending department. The first places I just bought needles and waited until the last place to buy yarn. I'm so glad I did though. At Yarn Paradise I got two skiens of Blue Sky Alpaca's Alpaca-Silk and seven balls of Classic Elite's Patina (cotton/silk blend) which was 40% off. Oh yes.
Downtown I picked up a set of #1 (2.25mm) 5" Brittany Birch DPNs. I've been dying to try those since I started even thinking about knitting socks. I also got a set of #1.5 (2.5mm) 6" Crystal Palace bamboo DPNs. I haven't gotten to test drive the Brittanys yet but I've fallen madly in love with the CPs after using them to whip up a little freehanded extra thingy for my Craft What You Can swap buddy. I should be sending out tomorrow. I just have to attach the strap and sash to the bag and pack it up. I hope she likes it. The hoodie I'm getting from the swap is due anyday now. I'm super excited.

Oh! I forgot... I also got a skien of Lamb's Pride Bulky in a nice pink to go with the leftovers from my blue hat. I think I might try felting a hat. I haven't attempted felting yet.
I'm thinking Green Gable for the Patina. Either that or I have a design sketched out for a tank that I might design. I'm decent at designing simple patterns (hats, socks, scarves, toys, etc) but I haven't *made* a top yet, much less designed one so I might just go with the Green Gable pattern for now and pick up more yarn for the tank idea later.
The Blue Sky Alpaca will be waiting patiently for me to get around to knitting for myself for once. That means it'll likely be hanging out until after Christmas.

Christmas knitting will begin as soon as I get the swap bag shipped out. I'm going to attempt a Claptois for mom. Might make Dad some socks if I can get the yarn. I was going to make the bro soem socks but I think I'll have to aim for his birthday for those. I should still pick up the yarn ASAP so I can get going on them. Freak'o wears a 15 and will only wear really tall socks so I've got my work cut out for me there. :P

Anyhoo... there's an update. Now I'm off to finish up the bag while trying to resist the xbox. Oddworld awaits.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I devoted yesterday to the persuit of a less devistatingly expensive phone bill. A fun filled day of the wonders of Sprint. :P It was reasonably successful even though it didn't go anywhere close to my original plan. In the end I shaved $30-40 off my bill and got a new phone number. It was really the only option to get my account down to one phone (since I wasn't allowed to add a third like I wanted) and not have to buy out of the contract on the second phone. :P I've been contimplating changing my phone for a bit now though. It seemed like it might be time to do so. I've had that number for 5 years or so now. Through the exhusband, the crazy guy, the other crazy guy and all of FL. It's time for a fresh start. Kinda weird though.
Anyway, another bit of getting my bill down was to cancel my Vision service. This is what allowed me to use the piddly web browser on my phone and upload pictures *sob* I finally decided that my phone's little camera simply isn't good enough to pay that much to upload the photos. :( On the upside, I should be able to get a real digital camera in a few months. Yay! I haven't had one since I fried my beloved Nikon by losing it in my car in the FL heat for a couple months. Don't ask how you can lose soemthing in a Miata, I assure you it's entirely possible. I can lose anything, anytime, anywhere. It's a gift. :P
So until I can afford a sparkly new camera, I'm stuck with no way to take pictures and get said pictures onto the computer. I'm deeply saddened by this.
I'm 98% done with my third sock and can't take pictures! Not even crappy ones! *weep*

Yeah, I have a problem. I'm completely addicted to documenting everything with photographic evidence. I loooove pictures.

Anyway, the sock is almost done and that excites me because I get to try my hand at grafting again.

The yoga bag for the Craft-What-You-Can swap is coming along but I have to admit I've neglected it this past week to spend more time with my socks. There's still time though. Once I finish this sock and cast on the second I'll devote the week to the bag.

Started the third incarnation of Mom's hat this week as well. I started a flat knit ribbed beanie for her a good 6-8 months ago. Made a couple mistakes I couldn't live with and frogged it. Started again not long after that and finally decided I was completely over that patter and loathed the needles I was using. Frogged again, rolled the yarn into a pretty egplant colored ball and tucked it away. I've thought about starting a new hat pattern, carried it around to do to, lost it twice... you get the idea. Saturday I cleaned up at a nice JoAnne sale (40% off coupons and 50% off items. *wheeee*) and picked up some yarn to make a swap hat for a friend of my dad. Found Mom's yarn again and decided to knit one up for her first.
This it the pattern : http://stitchcafe.com/freepatterns.html
Same as the alpaca hat of a few months ago.

I also picked up some cheap acrylic/nylon baby yarn to try out a toe-up short row heel sock pattern. I've signed up for Sock Wars and want to make sure I have a little more practice in before the start next month.

In other news...
Not this coming weekend but the next I'm going on a trip. Woohoo! Should be lots of fun. Mom, the boy, my brother and I are headin' up to Asheville for a couple days, with a couple stops on the way. I haven't been up that way in at least a decade. and haven't seen my uncle in at least that long. I also haven't been on a recreational trip since that fateful trip to Orlando three years ago.

So in short:
- no more photos for a few months
- third sock almost done
- going on vacation soon