Sunday, March 25, 2007

Finally an FO!

Here it is - my Wicked Sweater in all of its completed glory!! I finished sewing on the pocket and weaving in the ends on Friday. Here it is before I blocked it:

I decided it was a bit short, so I stretched it lengthwise during blocking, which also made it a bit more form-fitting. Once again, I am amazed at the power of "the block"! Here it is after a wet-block and a couple days of drying:

So here are the stats:
Pattern: Wicked from Zephyr Style - size small
Yarn: Stash Cascade 220
Modifications: I added two short rows across the back to make the back a bit longer than the front
What I'd do differently: If I knitted this again I would do more decreases for the waist shaping. As it is, it's a bit too boxy for my taste, although blocking helped quite a bit.
Final thoughts: A nice quick and easy knit, and it was nice being able to try it on as I went. I liked that the pocket provided some relief from the endless knitting in the round.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sock Monkey

For a while now I've been eying the sock-monkey-inspired hat and blankie in The Happy Hooker. I never had a sock monkey myself, but I think they're incredibly cute. I vaguely remembering discussing the sock monkey issue with my mother-in-law last time she was in town, and she said that she had made sock monkeys for both my husband and his brother.

Well, last weekend my sister-in-law came home from a visit to MIL, and delivered (courtesy of the in-laws variety store) "official" sock monkey socks. No need to knit sock-monkey wannabees anymore - I have access to the real thing. Given my limited success with knitting toys (witness Frankenhorace), and my limited sewing skills, I am a bit nervuos about attempting to sew a stuffed animal. Luckily MIL was thinking ahead and provided extra socks "just in case". The experiment begins this weekend...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

An SP10 Contest!

My SP10 hostess is having a contest! All I have to do is talk about my favorite current project. Can you guess what it is? Yes - It's Wicked!! I even have an updated photo:

I really meant to model it but I started the second sleeve before I thought to take the picture, and I feel too lazy to put the stitches on waste yarn. Don't worry, though - as soon as this sucker is done I will model it in all of its wicked glory! The pattern is Wicked from Zephyr Girls (of course), and I am using some stash Cascade 220 on it. I like it because it's fast and relatively easy, and because it's for *ME*!

In other news, sock class ended last night and we learned the sewn bind-off and we got to see (although only one of us attempted it) a tubular bind-off. They are both pretty nifty. I also got some hands-on practice on doing two socks at once, and it's definitely something I'll try in the future.

So, pros and cons of taking a class (since this is only my second knitting class ever):
*I learned some techniques I never would have tried otherwise. I don't think I'd go to the effort of learning the magic cast-on, or toe-up socks if it hadn't been for the class.
*I met other knitters and got to share the joy of learning something new
*I got to spend quality time at the yarn shop, and bask in the wonderful-ness of the yarn and patterns

*(Obviously) it's more expensive than learning on my own via library books or internet
*I don't do well with someone else's schedule - sometimes I got done with the "homework" a couple days after class and just had to sit longingly at the sock, while other weeks I didn't have time to finish the homework.
*Sitting in a yarn shop for two hours is awfully tempting when you're on a budget!

Overall, though, I am very happy I took this class. I will definitely be making toe-up magic loop socks in the future!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pocket Progress

Here's the most recent photo of my pocket. I took this picture on Thursday, and since then I've finished the pocket, attached it to the body, and finished one sleeve. Whew - Wicked is almost done!!

As you might have guessed, I've been ignoring my poor sock and therefore decided that I won't have time to rip the heel and re-do it before tomorrow's class.

Friday, March 16, 2007

My First Meme

Here it is, my first meme, courtesy of Lorinda.

In the list of books below, bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you want to read, cross out the ones you won’t touch with a ten-foot pole*, put a cross (+) in front of the ones on your book shelf, and asterisk (*) the ones you’ve never heard of.

*except I did mine in red because I don't know how to do a strikeout! As you can see, there really aren't any books I don't *want* to read.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. +Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. +To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. +The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. +The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. +The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. +Anne of Green Gables (L. M. Montgomery)
9. *Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. *A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. +Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. +Angels and Demons(Dan Brown)
13.+ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. *A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. +Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. +Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. *Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. +Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. +Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. +The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. *The Catcher in the Rye (J. D. Salinger)
23. +Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. +The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)

26. +The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. +Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. +The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. +1984 (Orwell)
35. +The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. *The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. *The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. *I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. *The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. *The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. +Bible
46. +Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. +The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)

50. *She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. +Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. +Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. +The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. +War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview with the Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. *Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. *One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo) (The abridged version only)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. *Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. *Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. +The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)

76. *The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. *A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. *The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. *The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. *Not Wanted On the Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. +Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. +Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. *Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. +Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. *The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. *Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. *Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. *In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. +Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S. E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Knitting Updates and a conundrum

I've gotten to the pocket on Wicked, and it's taking a bit of time since I actually have to look at the pattern line-by-line. Once I'm done with that, though, I should be able to zoom through the seed-stitch band on the bottom. So I am nearing the finish line!

I'm having a bit of a conundrum regarding my sock. After finishing the heel a second time, I've tried it on and it's actually a bit too long. Considering that a "perfect fit" is supposedly on the best features of a toe-up sock, I'm a little torn about what to do. I really have two options: 1) Do a bit of the cuff and wait until after my last sock class on Tuesday to rip it back, or 2) Rip it back right now before class. Option 3) - Do nothing and live with a sock that's too big - is not on the table. I'm worried that if I rip it back now, I won't have enough time to finish up the entire cuff before Tuesday - and yes I'm aware that the longer I stall, the less likely I am to have finished by Tuesday!

Anyway, on Tuesday we're going to go over a sewn bind-off, which is an Elizabeth Zimmerman unvention. I'm very excited! After Tuesday, I'll post my thoughts on having taken a class vs. learning techniques via books or internet, which is how I usually learn to knit...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Some sock progress

Last night was my second sock knitting class. We started on the heel, and it's a bit more fiddly than doing a top-down heel (in my opinion). I actually had the heel almost finished last night, but I was unhappy with the way my stitches gapped around the wraps in the short row, so I ripped it out.