Sunday, February 25, 2007

It's a socky kind of week

Pattern: Standard toe-up sock pattern from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks

Yarn: Lana Grossa's Meilenweit Fun & Stripes in color #625.

Needles: Takumi Bamboo #2 dpns

Previously deemed the Fugazi socks this project has seen me through thick and thin and good times and bad times. And I do think I have finally made my peace with them. As things gradually started to calm down the knitting on the socks seemed to calm down and I realized that these were really pretty simple little stockinette socks that are actually pretty cute. I think I'm going to like wearing them and I think we should have a long happy life together as long as they keep me warm. Pardon the lame picture with the rolled up jeans. I know you can't see the tops of the socks but I'm a married woman and it's February. In the winter I shave my legs just often enough so no one at the gym will complain, close up sock photography is a whole different ball game I'm just not up for this weekend.

So here's a top of another sock to look at

It's my first Jaywalker sock and it's probably been totally frogged by the time you read this. As you can tell, I decided to go with the pink Trekking XXL yarn and I love it. I am so not a pink person, I would never be able to wear this color all over my body, but for something small like socks it's A-OK. I also love the Jaywalker pattern. Love it love it love it. I like patterns that don't require too much concentration and this is like that, but interesting to look at at the same time. The only reason I'm frogging this beginning here is that the sock was coming out way way to big. Serves me right- sometimes with socks I figure well, just start the sock, it takes almost the same amount of time as a gauge swatch. And that is how this one ended up frogged. Which leaves me using the smaller 76-stitch version of the Jaywalker pattern. Which is so random-not only did I not have to upsize this pattern like I thought I would but I'm actually using the smaller version of the pattern? Well, it kind of makes sense, the Fugazi socks are 70 stitches around, so 80 stitches around did seem kind of large. Hey-I'm not complaining-fewer stitches around means finishing faster right? Sweet!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Knitting and Running into Spring

The Canadiana cardigan is moving along. The back is finished and I'm working on the fronts, both at the same time. I finished the ribbing today and I'm already on the stockinette. And the gauge karma hasn't bitten me back yet, so... so far so good.

The Fugazi socks will be finished up soon I hope. I love how the toe and heel of each sock both kind of mimic the other sock, yet aren't exactly the same. I know if I cared I could have probably made them the same, but I like them a little different.

I'm hoping to finish them soon because I have a March knitting event coming up. FiberFlix is a really neat group where we watch different types of movies and discuss them in the online forums. I am a big, big movie lover, so just the process of voting on movies and picking new ones for each month is something I get totally interested in. March is going to be really neat because for the first time there's a little knit-along to go with the films. The films are Run Lola Run and Logan's Run. And to go with the films people can choose to knit either Jaywalker socks orRPM socks. I think I'm going to knit Jaywalkers-I know I'm probably the last person in the blogosphere left who has not knit them. I like the mostly-stockinette look of them and I'm excited to try the pattern. If anyone has any tips on knitting these please let me know-especially if you made the larger size. I have to knit the larger ones and I'm hoping that they will be big enough and I won't have to upsize them more. I don't have dainty little feet and I've heard these socks can come out kind of narrow. So today I started the planning for the socks. The first big question-which yarn to use?

This was a quick survey of some of the sock yarn I have to chose from. (See why I'm trying to cut back on buying the sock yarn a little? That's 6 pairs right there and that's not even all of it!) Right now I think I'm mostly leaning towards either the Patons Patonyle in the lower left corner or the pink Trekking XXL. The pink is really pink and how it ever ended up in my stash is really beyond me. I'm really not much of a pink person at all. But it's there and I love it just as much as the rest of the sock yarn. I think I'm favoring those 2 because I think the colors will look good with the pattern and also they are kind of spring-y colors. And you know, spring will be here before we even know it...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

For the Seafood Lover (and Gauge Heretic) in you

I missed a week of blogging last week. Call it a blogacation I suppose. What was I doing? Everything except taking pictures or sitting at my computer or knitting it seems. I know, lets not speak of this non-knitting/picture taking/blog reading/writing episode any longer. There are more pressing things to discuss.

Like the excellent dinner I had last night. Husband & I drove to lovely Bayonne, New Jersey to meet my dad for some much needed Bayonne soul food. Not traditional southern American soul food-which is also something I do adore and rarely turn down. This is Bayonne Spanish soul food. Rincon de Espana is always a family favorite. And I love going with my dad, we tell him what we want to eat and then he orders in spanish for us. The waiters are probably better with spanish than english, it is Bayonne after all. For stick to the ribs, tasty spicy stuff you want to eat when it's 10 below outside, it's just the ticket.

Garlic shrimp, spicy chorizo sausage and yes-snails!

The appetizers are always coated with delicious golden garlicky olive oil. You always have to dunk your bread in the bottom at the end, just to savor one last bite. A lot of the dishes at Rincon come in these huge tin-metallic pots that they've probably been using longer than I've been alive. But I think that just makes it better. Big pots of yellow rice, seafood, plates of meaty spare ribs and delicious sliced and fried potatoes.

Paella Marinera and friends

Sorry, I know somewhere out there there is a seafood hater cringing at that last picture! (Sorry!) Pitchers of fruit laden sangria and creamy flan for desert completed the feast. And of course the company was great too!

Me and Dad

Anyway, on the knitting front my dad says he really likes the socks I knit him for Christmas and is eagerly requesting another pair for Father's Day. I think that's doable, I have enough time. And of course it's always easier when knitting for people that you know appreciate the work and really enjoy the finished project.

Which is not always the case with myself-I can be so picky! The project I'm working on now isn't even done and already I'm all whiny about it.

Yep, it's another sweater! Already! Well, everyone seems to be in this reduce-the-stash yarn diet spirit so I figured I should play along. This is acrylic-Patons Candiana I bought with my husband's aunt in Queens last year. I'm trying not to discriminate against the acrylic but somehow it just always happens and I sound apologetic about it for some reason like I do now. But I like this acrylic, it has body without being scratchy or crunchy. In a way it almost feels like cotton to me. You'd think I'd be happy to already have the back almost halfway done. But there have been issues. Issues of the worst kind-gauge issues. When I started knitting this I knew I was knitting tight. I just couldn't relax the tension for some reason (Wonder why Jana? Stress much?) Anyway my hands were hurting and but I liked the gauge (20 stitches to 4 inches) and I just kept going for some reason. However, yesterday something changed. I was all curled up with a nice cup of tea, knitting and watching Good Night and Good Luck and having a grand old time. When the movie was over I felt like the sweater was looking kind of big. Sure enough when I got out the gauge check it turns out all of a sudden it was coming out only 19 stitches to 4 inches. What's up with that? It's not a huge difference, but was still kind of annoying me. So today I just said "Screw it!" and went ahead and changed from size 6 needles to size 4 MID SWEATER. I know, how bad is that? But hey, it did get me back to the original gauge. I'm hoping it doesn't end up causing major size issues or anything. But the acrylic is pretty tough and even. And in my experience the sweaters I knit (especially the few acrylics ones I have done) seem to just stretch out on their own no matter how I knit them anyway. So maybe it will be ok? It's not a sweater I'm planning to wear to the Oscars or anything, maybe something to just keep on my chair at work when it gets drafty. And after I knit it I will have more room to buy more yarn. Which seems to be my main motivation right now. Pathetic, but yes, true.