Monday, July 30, 2007

I vanquished the socks!

Three cheers for my Sockapalooza4 Socks being finished by the deadline!!!! And with a few days to spare too. Hole-ing myself up at the cabin for the weekend doing nothing but knitting paid off and they are done. And I so hope that my pal will love them. She's a super lady who I've been emailing back and forth with. She made some pretty amazing socks for her partner and deserves really great socks herself. I hope that I can deliver for her *fingers crossed*. I can't wait for her to find out who I am either and see the rest of the great package I put together for her.

So, here they are:

Pattern: Basket Weave from "More Sensational Knitted Socks"

Yarn: Stone Barn Fibers in "Ominous Skies"

Needles: set of 5 US 1 dpns

They must be mailed by the 7th and rest assured that I'll update you as soon as I hear from my pal and point you to her fabulous blog which is well worth the read and stop by!

In other knitting news I was plugging away at the cable baby blanket and at the Mystery Stole. But I needed a quick fix and made some adorable baby socks (the ones I made before and stupidly forgot to photograph). They're for my friend's new born niece and they are just too cute for words. I can't wait for more babies to knit for in September :) The pattern was "Two toned socks" from Debbie Bliss' "Simply Baby"

Can I have an "Awwwww"? They're just so pink and fun. And tiny. Unbelievably tiny! But what I can't believe is for two socks that are so small that they could possibly have so many ends to weave in:

I think I counted like 18 or something crazy like that! They also happen to be the only thing I've ever done in two colours. That's something that I hope to fix this fall. Perhaps starting with a hat and moving on to gloves in more than one colour... But that's miles away at the moment because my mind is firmly on baby knits and how to acquire more baby patterns, lol.

But it's time to go and upload more into Ravelry. So I will leave you with a picture of a sign that was up at the university that made me go "huh?"


While I can surmise what they meant, the obviously unintentional meanings that could be taken from that are much more amusing. Happy Monday!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Yeah Ravelry!

Wow, I've been back for four days now. After a years worth of planning for that trip I can't believe it's over. But I'm back to work so it must be. And yes, perhaps I am at work but I'm waiting for a program to compile so I figure I should make the promised blog post instead of twiddling my thumbs while I'm at this temporary stand still :)
Just like I predicted, the day after I left for my trip I got my Ravelry invite. *sigh* It was a very long wait but I have to tell you that it is so worth it. Anyone who hasn't joined the waitlist should head on over there ASAP and get on it and check out the amazing screen shots they have posted. You can find me there under the username Mathgirl
Needless to say that I've spent the last few nights uploading pictures for the "My Projects" section and Wednesday night I photographed my entire stash. Luckily I've just been knitting for a year so it was still manageable. But while I've photographed everything, only half the pictures & info has been uploaded. The rest are for next week. But I did take a picture of my stash all layed out afterwards:
It's just a wee stash at the moment but in time it'll grow. (And speaking of growing stashes, you must see this blog post about a ladies gigantic stash room. Try not faint!)
In actually accomplished knitting news I just did the gusset on my 2nd sock pal sock. This weekend would be the do or die weekend to finish it. Nothing else is allowed to be done until it's been accomplished. And seeing as how I'll be at the cabin, I should be able to discipline myself into doing it sans computer available to waste time on. And that also means that in the next two-three weeks i'll get the socks someone is making for me. Awww... I keep forgetting that I'll have some arriving too. too exciting!
On the Mystery Stole front here is what it looked like after clue three two weekends ago because I never got pictures up:
Considering how huge clue 4 is and my sock obligations I probably won't be done it by the time clue 5 gets posted next Friday but we'll see.
Hope you have a great weekend all!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Back home!

After a crazy week with way too much time in my car I'm finally home, hooray! By the time I got home Monday night my legs were pretty much threatening a revolt after we drove about 6000 kms in 8 days. I tell you, I really don't think it's all that good for the circulation. It really was an amazing time and I learned a lot. And I got to give my first talk at a conference :) On Robust Parameter Designs in the Split-Plot Setting! Something no one else at the conference knew anything about (it was a stats talk at a mainly math conference) but I did have some of the few other stats people out representing! And it was great because Simon Frasier University (where the conference was) is where some of the big researchers in the area are. My traveling sock just couldn't take the excitement as featured below:

I was giving a talk on a paper co-written by them. Am I not a total geek or what? And do you know how hard it was to get this picture without people seeing me? Lucky for me the math folk were too engrossed in their work to notice me literally a few feet away from them.
I must admit there wasn't a great deal of knitting done this trip despite all the best of intentions. It turns out that sleep took too much priority. But I guarantee that my Sockapalooza sock had tons of fun. Too much fun as I now have about a week to finish it. But I'm almost at the heel so it's all good. Here's some highlights:
Playing cards:

Being contemplated by confused conference go-ers:

Sleeping over night in a car in the parking lot outside a five star hotel (If you happen to be a concerned parent, read that last sentence as "Happily camping a tent in Protection Mountain that we arrived to in broad daylight with plenty of time for setup"):

Driving through the mountains:

Trying to be a bad influence:

Getting in touch with the "animals":But my favourite would be when we stayed the night at my driving buddy's father's place. Before we left I insisted I get a photo of the sock and his dad didn't question me at all and was all excited to find the best spot to show it off. A true friend of knitters!:

As you can see, it was quite an adventure for the sock. You can see the complete sock on vacation collection here if you like :) I sincerely hope that my sock pal will be able to convince him to lead a quiet suburban lifestyle after all of this excitement.
So yes, a great trip, lots of yarn was acquired, lots of mathy inspiration but I'm still not caught up on my sleep. Off to bed and more news on yarn, mystery stoles and perhaps some avelry-Ray news tomorrow!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Off to knit... I mean do math

It's been a very busy last few days as I've been anxiously awaiting today. And what's so special about today? I leave for Vancouver!!!! Hooray!!!! The car is all packed up and I'm ready to leave with a fellow math partner in crime to attend the Canadian Undergraduate Mathematics Conference. Now I think he might be aware that I do "some" knitting but then again maybe he's totally unaware. One way or another I am sure he is unprepared for the three big bags full of yarn/projects/patterns/supplies I have brought with me. Never mind what he'll think when I stop to take pictures of my socks-in-progress with the mountain scenerary for the Summer of Socks "Socks on Vacation" contest! Oh well, I have a beyond geeky reputation so this can't make all that much of a difference and it'll be amusing for me :)

On the personal knitting front I got another sock finished. I haven't divulged the purchase before but after my post about wanting to try Duets sock yarn I found another shop that sold it and put it in with an order of yarn for my friend's mom. Though I'm not sold on the toe-up sock, this is yarn that clearly needs a toe-up pattern to get a full heel in the contrasting colour. The pattern was mostly from an easy toe-up pattern in More Sensational Knitted Socks. I must say though that I like her short-row heel better than Wendy's. Here's what the first one looks like:

I think it's lots of fun. And a super quick knit because it's a DK thickness yarn. The colourway is called Laguna Waves and I knitted it on size 3 dpn with 56 stitiches. If you're interested in the yarn I found the dyers web page at A Swell Yarn Shop. If you hurry there, their sock club just went on sale! I can't wait to get the second sock done.

I also got my clue #3 of the mystery stole finished Saturday afternoon. I freely admit to being a very impatient Taurus and I knit it the second I had a chance and didn't stop until I was finished. Now I'm trying real hard to wait until Friday so that I can keep knitting when clue #4 comes out. Atleast I have the conference to keep me pre-occupied. I don't have a picture for you at the moment because I was too busy last night preparing for the trip to dig out pins to pin out the stole. But I can say there are definitely flowers appearing in the pattern, interesting...

Oh! They finally have a program up on ravelry to see where you are on the waiting list. I'm #171 in line. Hooray! They said last week their goal was to get up to the May 28th signups which was my signup date (I hope they meant inclusive!). But ofcourse this means my invite is going to come while I'm away and I'll have to wait a whole week to actually play around on the site, Boo-urns :( Oh well, can't get everything I guess :)

Here's the trip knitting wish list (in this order):

-Redo toe on Sockapalooza sock & knit second sockapalooza sock

-Knit up 2 more balls worth of the cabled baby blanket to put me at 2/3's done

-Knit some cute pink baby socks in hopes of encouraging my friend's baby to be a girl so that I can knit girly outfits for her :)

-Knit second Duet sock

-Finish first Sweetpea sock and start the next.

That should keep me oocupied though there's more knitting if need be. It'll be a long trip (2.5 days) in both directions so there's lots of potential. And I signed up at Audible so for my first book download I loaded "The Notebook" up on my mp3 player to listen to it whilst knitting. Have a great week and enjoy Harry Potter 7! I'll leave you with a picture of Misty getting in on the sock knitting action:

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

More bandwagons

Another week and we finally got some sunshine in the city. So after a bad weather induced knitting funk, these past few days I have been a knitting machine fueled on sunshine :)

While a lot of my knitting time was taken up by a (I can't believe I'm saying it) new project, first and foremost I must mention my sock progress for the Summer of Socks. Normally, I would've waited until tomorrow because of a bad blogging error on my part but I must get this updated for my blog reader (Hi Jen!).
My sock accomplishment of the week was the completion of my very first toe up sock! Only I made the mistake of making it on four needles (all my five needle sets were in use) and so I couldn't try it on as I was going. If I had I would've noticed that they're a bit more than snug. I am a very tight knitter and that came back to bite me. Especially the bind off. After ripping it three times because there was no way it was getting on my foot, I went up two needle sizes on the bind off, tried my hardest not to tighten anything at all and it's still on the tight side. *sigh* So I decided to wash and pin in hopes of stretching them. My fatal blogging error being that I soaked and pinned them before photographing. So here is my very first toe up sock all pinned out on the futon:

This sock was made in Cherry Tree Hill's "Brights" colourway using Wendy's general toe-up formula on size 1 dpn. I think my toe is pretty cute but my heel has some definite issues. Like bad hole issues. I'm finding the double wraps on the stitches impossible to pick up (particularly on the purl side) with the stitch and am wondering if I'm doing it right... Maybe it just takes practice in the form of the second sock? Also, you might notice some dye issues on this sock. My hank was a bit defective with some odd black patched in it. In the end I decided against returning it (though that was offered to me). Just some sock eccentricity right?

This past week I've also been working more on the cabled baby blanket (September is fast approaching!) and it is several repeats bigger than the last picture but still looks very much the same :) But the big new project is (and I'm sure anyone who's been paying attention to the latest knitting bandwagon can guess) Mystery Stole 3! The premise being that every Friday Melanie releases a "clue" in the form of a part of the pattern for a stole (except the Harry Potter release weekend). We have no clue what it will look like in the end. There's a bead option which I'm foregoing though. I started almost a week late last Thursday so Thursday through Saturday I was madly knitting up clue #1 & #2. I've tried a bit of lace but nothing like this before. Here's how it's looking so far:

Maybe it's just me but that kind of reminds me of a scarab. Perhaps an Egyptian theme? There's muchos theme guessing going on in the discussion group at the moment. The only thing we've been given is that Melanie suggests that it might not be appropriate for a wedding gift, hmm...
Well, this week will most likely include a toe for the second toe up sock and more baby blanket with the weekend for lace. I must pace myself for the following week when I road trip out to a math conference with a fellow math geek. That's 30+ hours in each direction so there will be lots to knit. And with all my projects on the needle, well, I doubt I'll be running out of things to knit on the trip :)
Hope you're enjoying the summer!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Back in the city

Well, it's back in the city at the house for me. There's been no blogging around here not because of a lack of knitting (minus a mid week no knitting funk last week), but because I've been mostly living at the cabin. It is very convenient because my cabin is equally as far from my day job at the university as my house is so I can stay out there durring the week if I want. Which is heaven in June because my parents are only there on the weekend so I have a nice place to relax and destress. I mostly watched bad reality television and ate take out Chinese food. Not very productive but occassionally good for the soul.

Since the great Sockapalooza sock disaster in my last post, most of the knitting time has been devoted to making a new sock for my pal. And trust me, getting something was once again not easy. I settled on the ominous sky yarn but getting the pattern was something else. I tried a whole bunch of designs from More Sensational Knitted Socks. The first one I tried I realized after one repeat that there was no way I was going to put up with it for two socks. The pattern was nice but I had to M1 and M1R all over the place and it was driving me batty. The next few attempts were axed because you couldn't see the pattern. The yarn is variegated in such a way that the colour changes at a lightning pace and all detail gets buried. So I ended up settling on a very simple Basket Weave pattern. It's not plain but still visibile amongst the yarn. Clearly these socks were meant to be about the yarn, not the pattern so I'm happy with that. Here they are right at the toe (I had to stop because I'd left my pal's foot measurements at home and didn't want to make them too short. However, being home with her info, I now feel foolish as her her feet are the same length as mine).

I do hope that my pal will love them. It's very hard to judge for me because they're outside my colour palette (her favourite colour list looked pretty much like my colours I really don't want list except the blue). But my mother keeps asking to have them and fawning over them so that must be a good sign. Any thoughts from people out there who like blue/brown/grey dark colours and no lace? I plan to finish this one Wednesday and the save the second sock for my road trip mid-July.

On the needles for myself for the Summer of Socks KAL I cast on for the Sweetpea Socks from the Summer Knitty with my Claudia Handpaint in the Carousel colourway. These socks are so much fun because all the bright colours keep me entertained as I knit. And I absolutely cannot say enough about the cuff of these socks. They start by casting on 120 stitches and then instead of K3P2 on the first row you K2TOG(x3)P2TOG(x2) and you get this super funky ruffle. I didn't really capture it in this picture but I'll deinfitely highlight it after the first finished sock picture. This sock I think will become a definite must knit. Here is what it looks like just after starting the gusset

Notice the coke can above modeling the sock :) I really want some sock blockers however I have now come to a dilemma. Ordering yarn without sock blockers makes it come in an envelope and I escape paying customs. Ordering with makes it come in a box and that makes me pay customs (an extra about $20). And as much as I want them, I don't know how I can justify basically doubling the price... But they are on my to acquire list. And in my search for new sock yarns the next ones high on my list of wants are: Duets, Yarn Pirate, Yartini, Tofutsies and Socks that Rock. While the rest I had heard of, in the last sneak up the Loopy Ewe had posted some Duets and the colours were amazing. It's called Duets because it's a variegated yarn but it also comes with a small amount of a solid yarn in co-ordinating colours for the heel/toe. Isn't that smart? I'll have to wait until the next time it's stocked...

But it's late and I'm off to go dream about the rest of the socks in my future and try to forget the ever quickening arrival of two babies I'm knitting blankets for that keep getting cast aside for socks...