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Monday, November 30, 2009

Four Rib Braid Mitts 5


Pattern: Four Rib Braid Cable Mitts
Yarn: Elann Highland Wool, Red Maple colorway
Needles: 4.5 mm (US7)

These are my 5th pair of these Four Rib Braid Mitts which I started at the beginning of November using the same yarn and colorway as my 4th pair (last photo on that page). I love this colorway. I even made a St. Albans Valentine Cable Scarf for my SIL using this same color. I last blogged about the scarf on 19 Feb 2009 and I finished knittig the scarf on 17 May 2009, but I haven't taken finished photos of the scarf yet. Would you believe I still haven't gotten around to blocking the center cable panel??? I better do it soon! I am excessively lazy when it comes to weaving in ends, seaming, or blocking. I also used the same colorway for Shui Kuen Kozinski's Luna Moth Shawl which went to my Mom (and she hasn't shrunk or felted it yet to my knowledge). And I also used this colorway for Benne's blanket square (there's a link here to Benne's blanket post)

I knit these using my Harmony DPNs. My daughter likes these needles and calls them the "rainbow" needles.

This is the completed cable section of the mitt before beginning the end ribbing section. The mitts are a fairly quick knit using worsted weight yarn. A quick knitter can knock out a pair in 1 or 2 days. I'm a slow knitter so it takes me a bit longer.

Being a right hander, I found it difficult to use my left hand to hold the camera and take a pic of the mitt on my right hand. So you're thinking why I don't take a pic of the mitt on my left hand? Well, I have this jade bracelet on my left wrist and it creates a bulge underneath the mitt. I'll show you a pic of my 6th (next) pair of these mitts worn on my left hand so you can see what I mean.


I finished reading Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris. There is closure at the end; we finally find out what happened to Harper's missing sister. I've picked up Man with a Load of Mischief by Martha Grimes. I've read and enjoyed several of her other Richard Jury mysteries, now I think it's time I read book #1 in the series.

Now that we have a Blu-ray DVD player, I find myself stalking Blu-ray DVDs. I don't see myself getting regular DVDs anymore which is too bad since the price of regular DVDs have dropped considerably. I've told myself that I will not re-buy a Blu-ray version of a movie I already own.

I've started to look at home theater systems. DH was thinking this would make a nice Christmas gift. I notice a trend of combo DVD/receiver units in these systems. Don't they make them with stand alone receivers anymore? I'd also like one with wireless speakers so it'll be easier to install at the back of the room. I have no idea where those speakers would go. The back of the room is pretty much the kitchen! There isn't a full wall separating the two rooms because it's an "open" design.

Copyright © Smariek Knits 2005-2009. All full copyright rights are reserved by Smariek Knits.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Vine Sock 9 Finished


No, I didn't just whip these up since my last post about Sock #8. I'm just way behind in taking photos, sorting through them, and blogging about them. For Sock #9, I decided to make another pair just like Sock #7 using the Traveling Vine motif (see Sock #7 post for pattern details). These are for my MIL who told me she wears a size 6 to 6.5 shoe. So I tried to make these a little larger. The only thing I did differently from Sock #7 is kniting for 7.25" before starting the short row heel.

I intended these socks as a Christmas gift for my MIL this year. I was very worried about not being able to finish them since I had that "thing" going on during the summer months which kept me from knitting. That "thing" is still with me, but I find I can do a little more knitting now and as you can see, I did manage to finish the socks. Now all I need is a pair of sock blockers to make these look pretty and presentable. I've ordered the Small and Medium size from KnitPicks this week. I haven't yet decided which size I'll use for blocking these socks. I'm thinking of using the Small size blocker since it would be safer to block smaller rather than too large, right?

Pair 8, Sock 1 start

This is the beginning of the 1st sock in the pair, you can see the Traveling Vine stitch pattern from BW1 in the back. The pattern will show itself better when the sock is stretched (viz. worn on someone's foot).


Pair 9, Sock 1 completed

Here's the first sock completed. It is a bit loose on my foot because I made it larger to fit my MIL.

Pair 9, Sock 1 close up

Here's a close up of the leg. I used the Traveling Vine motif in a washcloth about 3 years ago (pattern here) and loved how it looks, but hated hated hated(!) the P2Tog-TBL that was worked on the wrong side. I'm love knitting this pattern more now since a sock is worked in the round on the right side and I no longer have to work a P2Tog-TBL. I think I might even use this lace motif in some fingerless mitts too! :-)


Pair 9 flat side-by-side

Here's the pair shown side-by-side. If you look carefully, you'll notice that one sock is slightly larger than the other. I know exactly what is to blame. There was a gap between working the 1st sock and the 2nd sock. Obviously my tension had changed by the time I worked on the 2nd sock. Well, there's a good argument for knitting socks two-at-a-time!

I did try Magic Look once before and it was a total disaster. I think that if I were to work a pair of socks two-at-a-time, I would need 2 sets of DPNs (or 4 circular needles) and just switch back and forth between 1st sock and 2nd sock: 1st sock toe, 2nd sock toe, 1st sock foot, 2nd sock foot, 1st sock heel, 2nd sock heel, 1st sock leg, 2nd sock leg.

Pair 9 leg close up

Here's a close up of the legs. Isn't the Traveling Vine stitch pattern pretty?

Yes, the foot is a bit long on me. That's to be expected since I made them larger for my MIL. I can definitely feel that one sock is looser and the other tighter due to my tension issues in knitting the 2nd sock. I do hope that blocking them with the sock blockers (hope they arrive soon!) will even things out.

PersProjNotes in addition to those in Sock 7 Post.
-- 7.25" before SRH
-- total lace repeats = 12

Copyright © Smariek Knits 2005-2009. All full copyright rights are reserved by Smariek Knits.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Textured Sock 8 Finished


Here's Sock 8 completed. Overall I think the texture makes the sock look interesting enough, but I found it very tedious to knit. I think K2P2 rib is my favorite sock pattern.

These socks are for my Mom, who has larger feet than mine. I hope they'll fit her OK. I haven't blocked the socks. I need to get some sock blockers. I keep looking at the ones from Knit Picks.

Project Details:
-- 2 balls Elann Sock It To Me, Oasis
-- JMCO 12/24, 3x incr, 64 sts
-- 2.75 mm
-- 7.25" before starting SRH
-- foot is 9" long after finishing SRH
-- 8 rnds k2p2 rib cuff
-- leg from top to bottom is ~9.25-9.5"


Remember the vest I made my mother last year? She called me to tell me that she put it in the washer and it shurk. Aaaaaah! Although the vest was a relatively simple pattern, it vest took me 8 months to complete. I told her NOT to put anything else I have knit her into the washing machine, especially the Luna Moth Shawl. I think she still wants me to knit her another vest. I do have wool in 2 different colors to make another vest.

Oh, I finally picked out yarn for my Doctor Who (season 12) Scarf !!!!! I'll have to show you the colors next time. Though I'm not sure I could actually wear such a scarf ... a 4.5 m to 5 m scarf on someone just over 1.5 m tall prolly wouldn't work out very well. Wouldn't want to pull an Isadora Duncan.

I mentioned a new TV & Blu-ray player in my last post. I finally got my hands on a Blu-ray DVD, Taken. WOW! The movie looked great, and it didn't hurt that the movie turned out to be pretty good too. Now I don't think I can buy regular DVDs anymore. The downside is that the Blu-ray DVDs tend to cost more. Sigh.

Copyright © Smariek Knits 2005-2009. All full copyright rights are reserved by Smariek Knits.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Luna Moth failure

I've recently learned that Chris is undergoing chemo treatment. She could use some thoughts and prayers.

Shawl unblocked

Do you remember the 2nd Luna Moth Shawl I was working on with the hopes of completing it in time for a wedding way back in September? It felt large enough on the needles and I was afraid it would become too large, so I bound off. Then I laid it down flat and discovered it was much too small. If I stretched it wide, it would shorten. If I stretched it long, it would become more narrow. DUH! Why didn't I factor that in? It really did seem bigger when the stitches were all bunched up on the needles. So this shawl has been sitting in its bag for a couple of months awaiting the time when I feel up to undoing the binding off and then undoing that row before bind off. It sounds like just 2 rows of work, but there are A LOT of stitches. This shawl will hibernate for a little while now that I have more urgent knits to complete. It actually worked out fine not having the shawl ready for the wedding. It was such a hot day that I wouldn't have needed it anyway.

Here's something I found a few months back in a bargain bin near the checkout at IKEA. They called it a "media" something or other. I see a DPN zippered storage case disguised as a pencil case.

I was actually thinking this would be nice for throwing in a set of DPNs plus some pens/pencils, and then putting it in a carry-on bag. Ha! Like a travel on planes very often. I can't remember the last time I flew. It was definitely before the Little One was born, so more than 5 years ago.

I'm still processing old photos and I'm having trouble sitting still long enough to focus on typing up something about the photos. So I'll be doing them in baby steps.

I finally finished reading Shakespeare's Champion by Charlaine Harris. This was my first book in the Lily Bard series and I just couldn't get into it as easily as I could her other series (viz. Sookie Stackhouse series and Harper Connelly series). Perhaps the problem was starting with book #2 in the series.

I managed to get my hands on her new book, Grave Secret, which came out at the end of October. It is book #4 in the Harper Connelly series. I'm about a third into the book and am enjoying this much more. I want to read this book, however I'm dreading finishing it because then I'm left with figuring out what to read next.

Let's see, what else is going on here. Oh, our 12 year old TV died. This seems to affect the other people is the house more than it does me. So we're getting a new one tomorrow and hopefully set up this weekend. I'm sure DH is highly motivated to get it all connected together with the other components. We got a nice little TV/Blu-ray player bundle on sale. Yay! I was shocked to discover that the Blu-ray DVD player did not come with an HDMI cable, it is sold separately. The cable included in the box doesn't support HD. What?! Guess they're trying to cut costs.

Of course we won't be getting HD reception just yet since our Tivo box and DirectTV box are not HD. I'm not looking forward to getting a new Tivo box since we have lifetime service on ours.

I've been making Banana Nut Bread in a loaf pan lately. I used to bake it in a Bundt pan. I cannot figure out why it comes out more "fluffy" in the Bundt pan. The rectangular loaf shape makes it easier to wrap up for people at DH's work. DH thinks that the banana flavour is more concentrated in the loaf form. Oh, I've recently discovered baking sprays with flour. OMG, it makes greasing/flouring a pan so easy!!! How long have they been selling this stuff is the stores? I guess I've just been oblivious.

Copyright © Smariek Knits 2005-2009. All full copyright rights are reserved by Smariek Knits.


Monday, November 09, 2009

FRB Cable with a Twist


Someone pointed out this cable discussion on Ravelry, where Wenchetta wanted to know about a cable swatch she saw. For those of you who don't have access to Ravelry (sign up, it's quick & easy!), this is the photo she posted in the Ravelry discussion:

Hmmm... looking at her photo, I thought it resembled the Four Rib Braid Cable which I used in my Four Rib Braid Cable Mitts. It really is very similar, except that some of the cable crossings are crossed over/under differently than in my cable mitts. Then I thought, surely the FRB cable could be tweaked so that the cable crossings matched the swatch Wenchetta saw.

So I grabbed some scratch paper and tried to draw the cables in the Four Rib Braid Cable. Sorry, I'm not good at drawing so it looks sloppy, but it shows how the cables cross over/under. Then I looked at Wenchetta's blue swatch and circled the cable crossings that needed to be changed to match.

Now I looked at the Four Rib Braid Cable pattern in my mitts and took a guess that Rows 6, 10 and 14 needed to be changed as follows:

Row 6: P3, CF4, P3, CF4, P3
Row 10: P2, K2, p2, TB5, P2, K2, P2
Row 14: P3, CF4, P3, CF4, P3
All the other cable rows remain the same, and of course you just knit the stitches as they present themselves on wrong side rows.

So I grabbed the closest yarn available (which turned out to be this hideous green worsted weight kitchen cotton yarn) and some needles and got to work making a swatch to test my theory.

This is what my swatch looks like:

I think it looks pretty close to the cable panel Wenchetta was inquiring about. If you ignore my uneven tension (I was in a hurry knitting that up), you can see that the cables cross over/under in the same way as in her swatch.

Well, this was an interesting exercise! :-)

Copyright © Smariek Knits 2005-2008. All full copyright rights are reserved by Smariek Knits.


Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sock 8 Oopsie


There was a little oopsie in the the 2nd sock of Pair #8. Can you see the problem?

Without thinking, I continued stockinette up the back side of the leg. I meant to start the textured pattern on the back side of the leg after completing the short row heel.

lifeline, front sick of sock

Lifeline, back side of sock

Not wanting to tink back all those rounds, what I ended up doing was using a couple of circular needles to insert as lifelines on the front and back sides of the sock. (see sidebar for lifeline links under the "knitting resources"section) I tried to place it a couple rounds above where I wanted the texture pattern to begin. It was not easy picking up those stitches with the circs due to poor nighttime lighting and the itty bitty tight tension stitches. I thought I picked the same round on both front & back, however after frogging back to the lifeline, I discovered they were off. So I had to deal with that little hiccup.

Here's what the sock looked like after the fix. You can see that the textured pattern as on the back side of the sock.


A little while ago, I mentioned the Little One wanting a Pooh Bear cloth. I found two patterns, this one and that one, and showed them to the Little One for approval. She chose the yarn in her favorite colour and decided which pattern to knit first. She loves her washcloth and uses it as a blanket for her smaller toy animals, the ones the size of the Littlest Pet Shop toys (which is one of the things she's getting for Christmas this year ... shhhh). After finishing the first cloth, she decided she didn't want me to knit her a second cloth.

This is my latest snack, which can be found in Indian markets such as Namaste if you're in the Bay Area. It's a little sweet, a little spicy. The mild spiciness sneaks up on you after a few bites. I haven't yet figured out the best way to eat this. It comes in very small pieces so it is a bit difficult to pick up with fingers compared to a large potato chip. I've been pouring it into a small bowl and using a spoon ... kinda like breakfast cereal without pouring milk into the bowl.

Copyright © Smariek Knits 2005-2009. All full copyright rights are reserved by Smariek Knits.