The Rocket

Knitting, pregnancy, and other stuff

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

a sudden interruption

Things have been suddenly and unexpectedly busy here at Chez Rocket, mostly work stuff. Regularly scheduled content should resume soon.

In other news, I taped the Knitty Gritty show about spindling (sucessfully, this time) and I have been doing it all wrong my own special way. A way that's very, very different from everyone else's. (As long as you end up with something resembling yarn, can it really be so wrong?)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

another quick cable fix

I was reading what the Yarn Harlot posted about fixing cables, and it occured to me that I know another way to fix a miscrossed cable. Basically, it is very similar to the Harlot's first method of cable repair, except rather than unknit the entire cable, you only unknit the solitary miscrossed strand, because if there's a lazier more efficient way to do something, I try to find it.

For the purposes of this demonstration, I have used a 6 stitch plait cable on pp 244-245 of Barbara Walker's first treasury, the variation. Let's say you've been knitting merrily along, and you just finished a wrong side row or non-crossing round when you notice a flaw in yout beautiful knitting. Behold, the miscrossed cable:

(It is at this early point in the photography progress that I begin to realize I should have used a color of yarn other than white, for ease of viewing purposes. Mea culpa, I'll know next time.)

OK, you work over to your miscrossed cable, and free the errant stitches from the needles altogether:

Then, you unravel your stitches down to the last cross. In this case, we know it was two rows ago. When you examine the fabric carefully, you will see a little hole caused by two sets of stitches crossing each other at a distance. Normally, this hole is covered by the stitches you just unraveled, but right at this moment, you have set it free. (You may be able to see it more easily from the back of your fabric.)

Now, you have two little stitches that you just unraveled waiting right next to the hole, so push them through the hole to the other side of the fabric, which is not so coincidentally the side of the fabric a correct cable cross would have been made on.

Rescue your little waiting stitches with a double pointed needle. I often use one a bit closer to the size of the working needles, but in this case, I forgot to bring one with me, so I salvaged a sock needle. It doesn't matter, as long as the needle you use is the same size as the working needle or smaller.

Then, all that remains is to knit those two stitches up using the loose yarn ladders that you unraveled way back up at the top of the post. Et voila! You have correctly crossed cables and can go merrily on your way. Have a celebratory drink as suggested over at the Yarn Harlot's, or in my case, a nice glass of soda water with lime.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

embossed leaves part 2

Thank you so much for all your kind thoughts. I am trying to think positive thoughts and remind myself that this was just one test, and the next one might be more positive. By being negative. :)

Now that the brother-in-law socks are finished (yay!), I am making more progress on the Trekalong socks, the Embossed Leaves from the Winter 2005 Interweave Knits. I made a pair for my sister-in-law, whose feet are slightly larger than mine, on US 1 needles, so I decided to make the pair for myself on US 0s, so that the pattern would be pulled tighter and show up better. I think if I make these in Trekking again, I will add another repeat on the leg, and maybe do that repeat on US 1s as well. (I did the ribbing on 1s, for these- if I had done it on the 0s, there's no way I'd be able to get it over my heel. No. Way.)

I am very excited about the Socks That Rock. Not having used it yet, just wound it into balls, it's incredibly soft. I got the Jasper in medium weight and the Lemongrass in light weight, so I should be able to report on both, in due time. Eventually. (Has anyone used the heavy weight? It seemed a little thick to me, but I bet it would make good boot socks.)

Now if y'all will excuse me, we went to the Farmer's Market this morning, and I have some blueberries to eat.

Friday, June 23, 2006

guess what came in the mail

Some happy happy yarn came in the mail yesterday:

Socks That Rock, in Jasper and Lemongrass. And boy, did I need it, because it seems my glucose blood test was high on Wednesday, and I have to go in for a three hour test to determine if I have gestational diabetes. Which, bummer. Luckily, I suppose, I was going back for the 4-D ultrasound on Thursday anyway, so that will give me something to do in between testing at hour 1, hour 2, and hour 3. The silver lining is to think about how much knitting I can get done with 3 whole hours of waiting room time.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

this is a sad, sad day...

... to be a fan of US soccer.

I mean, I'll still be watching the World Cup, but this takes away from the fun.

one more to go

Yesterday, I spent the wait at the doctor's office putting afterthought heels on my brother-in-law's socks. Here they are, pre-heel, looking a little snaky:

And here they are post heel, looking like actual socks. I used the Round Toe from Nancy Bush's Folk Socks (which is one of two first knitting books I ever bought, and remains to this day one of the ones I use the most.) I wanted to avoid the decrease line that regular toes (even when used as heels) have, but I thought a Star Toe might be a little girly for a guy with such huge honkin' feet.

The yarn to the right of the socks is all that remains of what was once a pretty darn big ball of Regia. It might look like there's a fair bit left, but it's actually cut into about 4 or 5 pieces, since I wanted these socks to match pretty closely. (Which they do. I'm very pleased.) As I was knitting the heels, I had a moment of thinking "I'm going to run out of yarn. Everything about these socks except the heels will match and it will torment me to the end of my days." Luckily for me, there was just enough. I like to live dangerously.

What this means is that I have only one more pair of socks to knit before the Great Sneaky Sock Project of 2006 will be complete. Whew! I could do a little dance, I'm so happy. This leaves me free to knit the Trekalong socks, at least until I somehow figure out my father-in-law's shoe size. (I really hope it's smaller than this brother-in-law's. These socks are huge.)

The doctor's appointment went well. Everything looks good, and next week, we're going in for a 4-D ultrasound. We're going to walk out of there with a picture of the Future Progeny's face. Technology is amazing.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

from spindle to skein

Here is the result of my second spindling effort. After filling up the spindle with my single, I decided a good way to skein it would be to wrap it around a book, tightly enough that all the overspun pieces would straighten out. (You can see an overspun piece immediately to the left of the spindle.)

Then I tied cotton yarn around the skein in four points. (I had help.)

Next, I let the yarn hang out in some hot water with a little Soak.

Next, the yarn got hung up with a spritzer bottle full of water to weigh it down. (And in between the last picture and the next, it dried enough for me to rewind it around the back of a chair and wet it again, because the book was just not long enough. The stubby little skein was not being pulled out by the weight of the spritzer bottle.)

Finally, I twisted the dry skein into the familiar shape we all know and love, and then admired it, and made Ben admire it, and taunted the cats with it. According to my calculations, I have 28.5 yards of homespun (whee!) plus whatever's in the first (much smaller) skein. Now, what can I do with 28.5 yards of (thick and thin) yarn?

Monday, June 19, 2006

unmatched cuff

Aija pointed out that one of my haiku was featured on the Beer Haiku Daily website on Saturday. And then hers was featured on Sunday! You step away from the computer for the weekend, and all kind of cool stuff happens.

We watched a good amount of soccer this weekend. Fun games with some very bad officiating, and lots of knitting time. And, it must be said, bead stringing time. With soccer calling us all day on Saturday, I was unable to resist the pull and made this:

The pattern calls for US 0s, I used US 00s, just because I had them and I could. The cuff is a little big for my taste (not for my wrist- it fits just fine), but luckily, my MIL saw me making it and loves it, so I gave it to her.

I think the next one I make, I'll use smaller squares (3 beads across instead of 4) and eliminate the red beads. They bug me. They're too warm for the rest of the colors, and they pop out too much. Obviously, they didn't bug me enough to pull them out and start over, but they definitely change my plans for cuff number two.

I've also been processing my spindled single (attempt #2) with the notion of maybe knitting something from it. I think I have enough for a little hat, possibly just big enough to fit on the head of the Future Progeny, when he gets here. I've documented my (highly scientific) process, and thinking maybe I need a niddy noddy, because the book I wound my yarn around didn't quite cut it. The Trekalong socks are also proceeding apace. I just need to get out and, you know, trek somewhere with them. I'm pretty sure the parameters were "get out and hike with your socks," not "sit on your ass and knit."