Sunday, September 30, 2007

FO: Twisted Tweed Socks

It took me a few rounds to remember to slip the stitches with the yarn in front, but this was a really enjoyable pattern to work with.


Twisted Tweed by Schrodinger, toe-up version
Yarn: Knit Picks' Memories in the Yukon colorway (discontinued)
Needles: Knit Picks' DPNs size 1 (2.25mm)
Started: September 3
Finished: September 23
Modifications: Maia's toe-up gusseted heel instead of short row heels; picked up stitches 'the pretty way'; 72 stitches on the foot, but 78 stitches on the leg due to the constricting nature of the tweed stitch.
What I learned: 1) How to make socks toe-up on DPNs, which I think is harder than Magic Loop or two circulars because the DPNs are not flexible when you begin the toe. 2) I really, really like the Memories yarn and I'm sad that it's discontinued. Not a huge problem though because it's really only the colorways that aren't available anymore. The bare yarn is still available and only serves to fuel my burgeoning desire to dye yarn.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Mmmm meat pig!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Quick Hits

1. September has turned into quite the busy month. Two weekends ago, we went on a day trip to Milwaukee to pick up some Sprecher and Usingers. Click the links, I'll wait.... Delicious no? I recommend the Puma Kola and the Ravin' Red from Sprecher and the Hot Hickory Sticks from Usingers. Yummmmm.

Last weekend we had a wedding on Saturday and Sunday drove to Lansing to visit friends and their new baby. I did get to knit in the car on the way back, so it wasn't a total bust. This weekend, we're going camping. Yes, you read that right, it's the last weekend in September in Michigan and we're going camping. At press time, the estimated number of people is closely rivaled with the estimated number of dogs (8:6) so it should be an interesting weekend. It's not supposed to be too cold though, which leads me to...

2. I swear I must be the only knitter in the world that is not looking forward to fall. Everywhere I look, knitters are rejoicing in the nearness of cold weather, turning of the leaves and sweater or afghan knitting. Not I. I'll stick with my socks and other accessories for now. I hate being cold. Granted, being a larger guy it doesn't happen all that often, but still. I was so happy when, last weekend, I actually uttered the phrase, "I'm not cutting the grass. It's too hot out."

It might also have to do with the fact that I am not a speed knitter and I can't churn out a sweater in 2-3 weeks. It takes me that long just to finish a pair of socks. If I started a sweater now, I probably wouldn't get to wear it until next fall/winter.

3. The Twisted Tweed socks are done. I was waiting for the perfect convergence of lighting, weather, a clean place to stand and proper photo taking skills to post, but I'm going to have to scrap that to post them in time for the SAMKAL4 Sept. deadline. They've been done for a week but I haven't posted them because...

4. I was out of the office Mon-Wed with Flash 8 training. Hopefully I can find some time to put together a nice piece for the blog to spice things up a bit. Probably just flashy header though. Stay tuned.

5. I've been reading a LOT of the Yarn Harlot. Because I was in class for three days and I picked it up really quickly, during breaks (and sometimes during lecture, shhhhh) I worked on getting caught up on her blog archives. She's really hilarious, there were several times during class that I had to cover my face and bite my tongue to not laugh out loud. It also makes me feel better to know that a knitting celebrity like her still makes a lot of the mistakes that us commoners do.

6. I've started the sweater socks. Remember the sweater I de-constructed? I'm using the sleeves to make socks. Pictures of those next week, assuming they survive drunken-fire-smoky-camping-knitting.

7. I have another new project to show you, but we're not speaking right now. It decided not to follow the chart, so I decided that I didn't need to knit on it for awhile. We're in counseling. The outlook is hopeful.

8. In honor of this weekend's planned activities, I leave you with the following photo, a favorite of mine:

Tent and Jeep at Tawas, 2005

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Yarn pr0n and progress

Some yarn pr0n for you.


I ordered the two blue and yellow skeins and the girl took an extra week to ship them, so she tossed in the other skein and a free issue of Vogue Knitting. How cool is that! I'm thinking of making a shawl with this for my mother, any pattern suggestions? I was thinking of doing the Yarn Harlot's Snowdrop Shawl, but I just noticed today that is takes ~1300 yards and I only have ~850 in each skein (the two blue and yellow skeins are different).

Up next we have progress on the twisted tweed socks.


I hate progress pictures because they're immediately obsolete. From this point I've since picked up the gusset stitches and begun decreasing. But hey, the lighting is great. You can also see my newest sock knitting bag ;-)

And lastly, we have a progress picture of....the Fibonacci Ribs Sweater!!!


It's a Knit Picks pattern that is no longer available on their site. It was my first attempt at a sweater with good yarn. I'm not in love with the set in sleeves and I think it's too long, although my wife likes it that way. I think I started it almost two years ago now and I'm determined to finish it before winter! Right after I finish the twisted tweed socks... and a bag for my wife... and some more socks... and a water bottle cover... and so on...

P.S. - The yarn I got from the sweater? I'm going to - ever so uncreatively - make a pair of socks in the same stripe pattern. I figure I can get a pair of socks just out of the sleeve yarn, right?

P.P.S - ekgheiy, the Twisted Tweed pattern is available in both cuff-down and toe-up versions, the toe-up is at the bottom of the PDF.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I went to TJ Maxx this weekend to try and find a suitable dye pot, so I can stop using our expensive All Clad. While it's ok for dyeing with Kool-Aid, I want to move on to food dyes and possibly acid dyes eventually, so a separate pot is necessary. I didn't find the bargains I had hoped to - the cheapest was $25, I was hoping for more around $15 - so I moved on to the mens clothes to kill some time while my wife looked for a dress. I was merely strolling aimlessly through the aisles when lo and behold, this popped out at me.


I checked the label and sure enough, pure wool! There were a few other nice Polo cardigans, but they were cotton and twice the price of this find, which I got for a sweet $13.



After 3 hours Sunday afternoon spent snipping, picking and unravelling, I ended up with this:


It's currently drying on an IKEA clothes rack after I soaked it yesterday to remove most of the kink. It should be done by the time I get home tonight, so maybe I'll wind some of it up into balls. I don't know how much I have yardage-wise, but the sweater was a size large. Anyone know the best way to figure that out? I was thinking I could weigh 1 gram of it, then weigh the whole skein and extrapolate from there. I don't have a yardage measuring tool, plus if I can find a home solution, I'm all about it. It's two-ply and, while in sweater form at least, was very soft. It doesn't feel as soft in hanks, but I'm sure once I knit it up, it'll be nice. Now I need to decide what to make with it, any suggestions?

In other news, the twisted tweed socks tarry on. I had to rip out pretty much all of this weekend's progress to make the leg 6 stitches smaller, but that made the makeup work go that much quicker. I think I'm already back to the length I was at before frogging. I was a little nervous about them being too small, but so far they fit perfectly. I'm also a little nervous about running out of yarn, so the smaller leg should help with that. I tried a new style of heel as well, but...well you'll just have to wait until they're done. I can't give out all the secrets before hand!


Finally, I decided yesterday that I want to knit this.

The sample is definitely more colorful than I would ever make it, but I'm thinking Knit Picks' Wool of the Andes in Onyx Heather - and some contrast color to be determined later - would make a nice winter coat. I have a vision of being clad entirely in handmade knits: hat, scarf, coat, gloves/mittens and toasty socks. It would be awesome if I could make it before it gets cold this year, but alas, I'm no where near fast enough and don't have enough time. I'd have to give up the SAMKAL4, plus my wife's Fibonacci sweater (are we sure this is even real??) still wouldn't be getting done. I promised her it would be done before it gets cold. I have a few other projects that I've promised her (and myself) standing in the, I'll just have to go without this winter. Perhaps for next year.

P.S. - Matt, the Memories is great to work with. I really am sad they discontinued it. The stockinette stitch is making a nice uniform material, there's no way you'd be able to feel stitches on the bottom of the foot. I can barely feel a texture when I run my hands over it. The stitch definition overall is good and it's nice sliding through the fingers as you work with it. A very solid yarn overall.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Twisted Tweed

twisted_tweed_001, originally uploaded by Camping Jason.

I started these Monday night after a weekend of relaxation and fun with friends. The pattern is from Schrodinger and the yarn is Knit Picks Memories in Yukon.

I know I'm supposed to be knitting the Campfire Socks according to the response from my poll, but I'm an idiot. I somehow failed to notice that they are made with DK weight yarn, not fingering sock yarn. That wouldn't really be a problem except...I don't have and DK weight yarn. At least, any DK weight yarn that is worth using.

What I do have is some nasty Bernat acrylic that is actually a very similar colorway to the Yukon. But it's awful to work with. I started the Campfire Socks (and actually did knit them beside the fire!) this past weekend, but alas, I could not continue. The Yukon cried loudly and miserably all the while I struggled with the nasty, practically plastic acrylic. I thought I would forge on, convincing myself that the speediness that larger needles and thicker yarn provided would make up for the spine tingling squeek of the needles passing through the yarn and the unbreathable monstrosities that would be the result, but the yarn cried on.

"I'll get to you soon enough," I tried to tell it, "these will work up quickly on size 4 needles."

"But you promised!" it pouted.

What can I say? I'm a sucker for good yarn.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Oh Yeah!

So I dyed my first yarn this weekend and Kool-Aid man was right there with me. It was pretty fun and I'll definitely do it again. It was also a lot quicker than I thought. I ended up dyeing the yarn twice to get a richer color. I started with Lorna's Laces in the Sweetie colorway. Here's a before shot:


I got this out of a clearance sale at She was out of the colorway I wanted and substituted this. Definitely not a color I would wear. Anyways, here's the result after 4 packets of orange Kool-Aid and 2 packets of cherry.


Much better! I wanted the yellow to be orange - check - the pink to be red - check - and the purple to be a lot darker - check! I'll probably end up knitting this up with some black to subdue the colors even more (I don't think I could pull off orange, red and purple socks) and I think it'll look pretty cool. All in all a successful experience at the dye pot. You can check out more pictures of the process here.