Thursday, September 27, 2007

FO! With bonus pattern

Here are my fractal stripe socks I was posting about before. I used Spunky Eclectic's Fiber of the Month "Tulips" which was 4oz of BFL. To spin I split the roving into two equal strips lengthwise. I then weighed them out to make sure I had close to the same amount in each batch. Then I took one half and split it into thinner strips, breaking away lengthwise and predrafted a bit. I then spun it up into a very variegated yarn
I then took the other half and predrafted, trying my best to maintain the color runs. I would up with a less variegated yarn
Then I took the two bobbins of yarn and plied them together so this
became this
the resulting yarn fell somewhere between worsted and Dk weight.

I wanted to knit something to show off the fractal stripes I had created, but the idea of a scarf just wasn't appetizing, plus I only had about 230 yards so it would either be a real skinny or real short scarf. So I'm thinking about what I wanted to knit and I was reading the yarn harlot book "Knitting Rules" and she has this great sock recipe. I have only knit one pair of socks before and like a fool my first pair was baudelaires which are very intricate and I knit them with twisted stitches and I couldn't even shove my chubby calf muscle in the opening when it was finished. But I said to myself that was years ago, you are a more experienced knitter and you should try socks again. So being the fool I am I decided to not only knit socks, but design them as well. I scoured the interwebs for patters and borrowed heavily but the end result was this!
And now for the pattern

Fractal Stripe Socks
Makes on pair socks (will fit up to a size 8 foot)
Heavy sport/light DK weight wool yarn approx 250 yards
US 4 DPNs or size needed to obtain gauge

21 st over 29 rows = 4" x 4" in st st

Cast on 48 stitches and divide between 3 needles work in the round making sure not to twist when joining the ends.
Work in knit 2, purl 2 rib stitch for 5" (or desired length) ending the round on the last needle.
K14 then (P2 K2) x 3, P2 K16
Slip last 14 stitches of last round onto needle and knit 12 stitches of new round on needle for heel (needle should have 26 stitches with 22 stitches left for instep)

With wrong side facing and working heel stitches only, work the following
Row 1 - (p2tog p2) six times, p2tog - 19 stitches
Row 2 - K1 *slip 1, k1 repeat from * across
Row 3 - K1, pearl across to last stitch, k1
Repeat rows 2 & 3 until heel measures 1 1/2 inches end on row 3
K5, Make 1, K5, Make 1, K5, Make 1, K4 - 22 stitches

Slip 1, P12, P2tog, P1, turn
Slip 1, k5, slip 1, k1, psso, k1, turn
Slip 1, p6, p2tog, p1, turn
Slip 1, k7, slip 1, k1, psso, k1, turn
Slip 1, p8, p2tog, p1, turn
slip 1, k9, slip 1, k1, psso, k1, turn
Keep knitting in this pattern (increasing 1 stitch more before every decrease stitch) until 14 stitches remain. End on a right side row.

With the same needle, pick up and k9 stitches across side of heel with second needle work 22 stitches for instep in k2 p2 ribbing, with last needle pick up and k9 stitches and first 7 stitches of heel (54 stitches total)
Divide stitches needle 1 16 st, needle 2 22 st, needle 3 16 st
Working in k2 p2 rib for instep and st st for all other stitches knit as follows
Round 1 - Knit to last 3 stitches on needle 1, slip 1, knit 1, psso, k1, knit across needle 2, on needle 3 k1, k2tog, knit to end of row
Round 2 - work even
Repeat round 1 & 2 until 44 stitches remain split into the following, needle 1 - 11 stitches, needle 2 - 22 stitches, needle 3 - 11 stitches

Work even in st st all the way through the round (no more rib stitch for instep) until foot measures 1 inch less then desired

Round 1 - K to last 3 stitches on needle 1 K2tog, k1, K1 slip 1, k1 psso, knit to last 3 stitches on needle 2, k2tog, k1, k1, slip 1, k1 psso, knit to end of needle 3 (40 stitches)
Round 2- Work even
Round 3 - Work even
Round 4 - Repeat round 1 (36 stitches)
Round 5 - work even
Round 6 - Work even
Round 7 -Repeat round 1 (32 stitches)
Round 8 - Work even
Round 9 - Repeat round 1 (28 stitches)
Round 10 - Repeat round 1 (24 stitches)
Round 11 - Repeat round 1 (20 stitches)
Kit 5 stitches from needle 1 and place stitches from needle 1 & 3 onto one needle (10 stitches on each of 2 needles) cut yarn leaving a 16 inch tail for grafting

Grafting toe
With instep facing you thread yarn tail onto darning needle and proceed as follows
Pass yarn through 1st stitch on needle 1 as if knitting and slip stitch off
Pass yarn through 2nd stitch on needle 1 as if to purl, but leave stitch on needle
Pass yarn through 1st stitch on needle 2 as if purling and slip stitch off
Pass yarn through 2nd stitch on needle 2 as if to knit, but leave stitch on needle
Repeat these last 4 steps until all stitches have been grafted.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Movin on up!

Rob and I were approved by the co-op board last week so we can finally move out of the dumpy dump that is our current apartment. The living situation in and around NYC leaves much to be desired and unless you have a trust fund or are willing to sleep with someone who has a trust fund finding affordable housing is next to impossible. We found our soon to be new home on craigstlist and though it was a bit more then we wanted to pay we figured we would make the sacrifices in order to live nicer life.

For Rob's birthday I gave him his present early, it was tickets to see the Beastie Boys in Toronto on Friday the 21st. We packed up the car Thursday night for a long ride to Hamburg, a cute little town a few mile outside of Buffalo for our first night's stop. We left the city at 6:45, the delay was caused by my yarn diet lapse. I found myself outside Knitty City on the UWS of Manhattan with a few minutes to spare and the next thing I know I'm buying Austerman Step sock yarn and metal DPNs (doh!) This means I will have to extend the yarn diet to the end of the first week of October so I don't feel too bad for cheating. The yarn will be jaywalkers for Rob so I have something to give him for his Bday. The colorway is light and dark gray with hints of tan and I think that the Jaywalker pattern is manly enough in these colors. Teva Durham was giving a lecture and trunk show while I was in there and I found myself keeping a close distance to hear what she was saying. The next think I know Rob is calling me and telling me to come outside already because he had been waiting 15 minutes (oops!)

It was a long drive to Hamburg, almost 8 hours due to traffic and construction. I was able to finish my fractal stripe socks. (Will post pics and pattern soon.) We stayed in a comfort inn, which had the NICEST hotel bed I have ever slept in, and woke up early for the free eats. We then went back to sleep for a bit before getting back in the car. I was exhausted but since Rob had done all the driving the night before I volunteered to drive to Toronto. We passed into Canada with relative ease and drove past Jellystone National Park (home of Yogi bear and future site of my next vacation!) We made it to Toronto around 1PM and checked into the Park Plaza hotel, which was lovely and in-expensive, but undergoing renovation. I worked on my Kauni for a bit before we set off into the city.

Toronto is a lovely city, clean and bright. Living in NYC for so long has spoiled me on so many other cities, but Toronto was one of the few places I've visited that seemed 'city' enough for me. We headed back to the hotel for a nappy and some knitting, I cast on Rob's new socks as he slept away. And then back to the city for Beastie Boys.

The concert was amazing, they haven't lost touch and they still put on a great performance even though they are all in their forties(!) now. I sipped on a Canadian beer and rocked out to Sabotage which they performed as their finale. Then we cruised around the city looking for good eats at 11 o'clock at night. We found a cute sushi join and tucked into some grub before heading back to the hotel.

The next day we stopped in Niagara to see the falls from the Canadian side, and we rode the Maid of the Mist which was exhilarating and breath taking. I'll post pics soon.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Well I hate to procrastinate, but I actually finished my Coachella two weeks ago. Here's the FO with my mods listed below
I only used about 3 balls of yarn. The 4th is sitting in my stash waiting for something to do.
I knit a size down, I opted for the smallest size because so many knitters on ravelry and craftster were complaining the size was off.
I did the short row shaping for C cup ta-ta's, because I have c cup ta-ta's and I was worried the my decision to knit down a size was in error.
I added two additional hip increases
and I shortened the final length, because I'm short.

It was a good knit, quick and painless, great for tv knitting. The yarn is not my fave and tends to stretch out like a cotton yarn would during the wearing process. When I first tried on the top it was way small but by the end of the night it had loosened up significantly.

I don't get the awesome drape that some other knitters have gotten, but I think this is because I opted to downsize a bit.

I happy with this top and I've worn it twice. Too bad the summers over already, I guess I will have to wait until next season to enjoy it to its full potential.

As the circle of life continues in it's perpetual spiral as on knit falls off the needles a new one is cast on in place
That's my Kauni Cardigan. Its my first stranded knit EVER!! I think its a great entry into fair isle. The kauni yarn is beautiful, but scratchy and sticky as hell, I'm knitting on metal as opposed to wood like most stranded knitters because I can't deal with the stickiness. There are also bits a pieces of vm stuck in this yarn, like it was dragged through the woods before skeining.

On to spinning, I was working the black Alpaca I swapped with glittergirl on craftster for, I volunteered to clean and card and spin a bit for her with the understanding that I could keep the other half of the fleece, when my footman to treadle connector broke! I looked it up online and I realized that I didn't even have the correct part. The person who sold me my louet on ebay had replaced the plastic tube with what appeared to be cable cord. On closer inspection I see that this has caused my treadle to start splintering. I'm totally freaking out because as much as I love my spindles I will die without my wheel. I was told to contact louet for a replacement, so we'll see how it goes. In my desperation I ordered a replacement connector, and a yarn winder as well (what did you expect me to pay for the shipping and NOT get my monies worth?) I swear my logic makes sense to me. So until then its spindling and knitting, I'm already in withdrawal.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Sky is Crying Over NYC

Today marks the 6th year anniversary of the attacks at the World Trade Center. As a New Yorker who was employed by the city as an EMT it also marks a very sad milestone in my life. Today marks the anniversary of a 4 day trip through hell in which I witnessed and experienced things that no human being should. I think about all those across the ocean experiencing similar travesties without the comforts of home and family. I'm floating through today as if I'm not fully awake or aware. People have stopped to ask if I'm ill, and I guess I am. Please take a few minutes of your day to call you loved ones and remind them that they are special and important in your life, tell them you love them and care for them, you never know what fate will bring.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


I've been taking photos of Lola for someone's project revolving around fashion week. I thought I'd share the pics here.

And here's the roving I dyed up this weekend for the September Spin-along at ravelry
I used wiltons and natural dyes with alum mordant. I hand painted and wrapped the roving in plastic wrap then shoved it in a ziplock. It microwaved on level 3 for 20 minutes and then it got a warm bath to rinse out the extra. I'm happy with how this came out and I can really see how mordanting makes a difference in the outcome.

I joined the Secret of the Stole KAL and I am hoping to spin the yarn for this kal. I made myself a deal that I will purchase no yarn for the entire month. *suffers withdrawal symptoms* and I will stick to this promise. A stash dive proved futile as I do not have enough lace weight on hand. I have one skien of Valley Alpaca silk, but its the same color as my print o' the waves stole and my two stoles should be different colors! Also a few hundred yards short of the reccomended yardage. What I did have was this lovely soy silk (8oz worth) and I figured if I got spinning now I could have 1200 yards by October 5th. I've never spun soy silk before so I may be over my head but what I have on my bobbin is looking good. I may have to buy size 8 beads to fit the yarn though because as with all handspun I have thick areas.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

What to do when you're home sick

I have issues sitting still, I guess that's why knitting and I get along so well. Knitting gives me something to do while I sit to watch TV/Movies/car rides. Spinning is a good distraction too, just not a portable (it would be funny trying to sneak my spinning wheel into a movie theater.) I was sick on Thursday, fever of 103 and cranky attitude. I called out sick and did what any sane person does when they're home bound by fever, I dyed wool and baked bread! Oh and I knitted, but that doesn't count, I'm always knitting.
Le Slouch
Knit on 6's and 9's
Made good use of my Spunky Club "Nightshade"
Dessie is so not happy with my request for her to model
I still have about 70 yards or so left over, any suggestions?

Then I got baking, its a quick and easy 1 hour honey wheat recipe
1 Package yeast
2 cups warm water
2 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp salt
4 cups whole wheat flour
olive oil
Corn meal

Turn oven on to 200 degrees
Dissolve honey, salt and yeast into water and let sit until bubbles form (5 - 10 min)
Mix in flour and knead into a ball
Turn off oven and wait until temp drops to 120-150
Place ball in pan and let sit in oven until dough has doubled in size.
When dough has doubled turn oven on to 400
Coat ball of dough in olive oil and add a few slices on top so air can escape.
Coat bottom of baking pan in corn meal
Sprinkle 1 tsp salt on top of dough (optional)
Bake at 400 for 10 minutes
Drop to 300 and bake for another 20-30 minutes (until bread is firm)
Taa-daa sick day bread, excellent with honey butter or strawberry butter and easy on the tummy too!