(Some) Mondays are no fun

Well. Here it is. Another Monday. This one, in particular, has been established as A Very Bad Day by virtue of the following:

1. I arrived at work, ready for a very busy day of lab stuff, only to find that the cells I was going to use were all growing beasties that should not have been there. Break out the bleach, rejigger the experimental schedule, and grumble.

2. I have, apparently, come down with the same beasties that my cells have. Cue runny nose, headache, scratchy throat and general brain fuzzies*. So off I go to procure pharmaceutical aids.

Better living through pharmacology.

Better living through pharmacology.

3. Ahhh...there isn't really a number 3. I think numbers 1 and 2 have taken care of it.

So now I am huddled in front of the computer, trying to get things taken care of for the Yarn in the City Road Trip, and wishing I could consume Lemsip more often then every four hours. Thankfully, there is a steaming hot toddy in my very near future, plus huddling under the covers with my latest, very special design project. 

On the left is the start of the sock on Saturday, on the right is the new sock and the old one that I'm reproducing. Suffice to say that this design has historical, genealogical and medical interest, and I'm looking forward to getting it in a final form** for you all. 

* We will ignore the fact that said brain fuzz might also be a general state of being in my world.

** Top-down and toe-up FTW y'all.

FO: Silly socks for a silly girl

Just in case you were concerned about the lack of knitting content in this supposed knitting blog, here's a pair of socks for the wee Devil:

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Pattern: my own toddler-sized interpretation of Mata Hari (detailed below)

Needles: Susan Bates US1

Yarn: Knit Picks Dancing

Started: on vacation in the UK, around 8/30/07

Finished: 9/25/07

Comments: I just made up the pattern as I went along, after several abortive attempts to get the right size. I ended up casting on 48 stitches, knitting 6 rounds of k2, p2 rib and then started the pattern. Pattern row: knit 6, k2tog, yo. Repeat to end of round. Then knit three rows plain. On the next pattern row, on the first repeat knit 5, k2tog, yo. The other repeats are still k6, k2tog, yo. This shifts the eyelet over one stitch so they end up spiraling around the leg. I worked the leg until the first repeat of the pattern started with a yo (about 8 repeats), and then knit one round before starting the heel. Short row heel - I did short rows down to 6 live stiches, but I'd do fewer short rows next time since the heels are a little narrow and pointy when they're on the feet. Once the heel was do, I knit 2 rounds and started up with the pattern again. Worked the same distance for the foot, knit one round and then began decreases for the toe.

Toe decreases: row 1, k1, ssk, knit to last 3 stitches on far side of toe, k2tog, k1. Repeat on back of toe. Next row: knit all stitches. I repeated these two rows 5 times, then worked row 1 every row until there were 12 stiches total left. Then grafted the toes together and started sock 2!

Devil was very excited to have a new pair of silly socks. They weren't as silly as I had been envisioning since I remembered the yarn looking like this:

dancing imagined

Instead of like this:


But so be it. She immediately put them on her hands and started dusting off the coffee table. Clearly not my child!

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Picture 511

Gotta get this place cleaned up...

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Look! Silly socks!

Picture 514


OK, a quick update on the stuff in progress.

1) The all important Peapod - thanks to an almost 2 hour bus ride home on Monday night (we sat in the HOV lane without moving for one. whole. hour.) and a day sick at home on Tuesday, I have finished the body and moved on to the sleeves. It's a pretty quick knit - aren't baby sweaters great for that? - and it's intended recipient is still ensconced in his Mama's tummy, so I'm hopeful it will get done before he arrives. Or only very shortly after his arrival.

Peapod in progress

2) The bus socks, which have been neglected horribly while I've been on a Peapod binge, are past the heel on the first sock and well into the ankle. These may have to go on hold until I can measure Dad's huge honkin' feet next weekend on his fly-by visit.

Dad's socks #1

3) Last week I started a little bag to put my fancy new portable hard drive in - finished today on the ride home, but it really only took me about four hours total. There was a lot of ripping out at the beginning. When I get a free moment over the weekend, I'll write up the pattern for anyone who might be interested.

Hard drive bag

Other things that have not seen any progress include Coachella (Peapod priority) and the spinning of Hello Yarn's fiber club shipment for May. Hopefully those things will be up and running soon.

FO: Wyvern socks

For a long time, I've been resistent to trying Koigu. All I knew is that it came in lots of gorgeous colors but was a little outside my comfort zone in terms of price. Coming from a staunch New England Puritan upbringing, I somehow could never bring myself to spend $12-14 on one skein of yarn. And what would I make from it anyway? Then I started reading about how wonderful it was to knit with, and how soft, and saw some pictures of how it looked when knitted up. I started thinking that maybe getting just a little bit would be ok, just to try out.

Then came the Great Yarn Diet of 2007 (in which I am resolved not to purchase any yarn for an entire year, knitting from stash alone). However, the Great Yarn Diet of 2007 was preceded by the Great Yarn Binge of 2006, in which I went to one of the


in town and dropped about $300 in 45 minutes (Hey, they were having a sale. I got a lot of stuff). Included in this great haul were two skeins of Koigu for a pair of socks. They sat in the stash for about five months before I started thinking about what pattern to use. These socks were definitely going to be for me, since I'd been knitting my husband a pair of socks for what felt like forever. I looked around a bit and came across the pattern for Wyvern socks - I've always had a soft spot for dragons, and these looked like dragon scales to me, so off we went.



Wyvern socks

Yarn: Koigu KPPPM in color #1014 , 2 skeins

Needles: some unknown brand size 2/4 US

Modifications: I added some additional space in the heel area by increasing 2 stitches every other row for the last inch or so before the heel. Did the short row heel, and then decreased the extra stitches at each side of the leg until I was back to the normal stitch count. I did these in the unribbed version, since my size 10 clodhoppers are neither narrow nor high arched.

Here's another picture of the scales:


and you can see that I have not yet cut the yarn and woven in the ends. Sigh...it's the finishing that gets me every time. One of the things I like best about these socks is that they're knit from the toe-up, so you can use as much of the yarn as possible. These are a bit of a tight fit to put on, even with the extra space towards the heel, but nice and comfy once they're on. And so pretty. I suspect, from what I've heard about using Koigu for socks, that they won't wear well, but so be it. Most of my enjoyment in knitting comes from the process, not the end result, so I'll be happy to make more when these are done.

OTN Report

So here's what I'm currently working on:

1. Commuting socks – I ride the bus to work, which in Houston means 1 hr+ from where I live on the west side of town to downtown where I work. Socks are always in progress – this pair were supposed to be a present for my Dad for his birthday. His birthday was at the end of March. I used to have a really hard time remembering the exact date of his birthday (the 21st or the 22nd?), but now I have no problems because his birthday is the day before my oldest daughter’s birthday. Problem solved. Anyway, his birthday was at the end of March, and I cast on for his birthday socks a week and a half ago. Oooops! In my own defense, I was working on a pair of birthday socks for my husband in March, and his birthday is earlier in the month then Dad’s, so…these are the current bus socks: Trekking XXL with Knitpicks Essential on the heels and toes to maximize the stripy goodness.

Socks for Dad

2) Baby pants from Alison Hansel’s pattern. in Knitpicks Shine Sport, which I’ve never used before – it’s very soft and nice to knit with. Plus machine-washable which is a necessity with anything going within a 30 foot radius of a baby. Or at least my baby. I’m trying to finish these very soon so they still fit her. You may wonder why a baby would need knit pants in Texas in June*, but her classroom at daycare is approximately the temperature of a meat locker, so these seem like a good idea.

Baby bell bottoms

Another knit item for said baby: EZ’s baby surprise jacket in the wrap-around, V-neck version from Spring/Summer 2007 Vogue Knitting. This poor sweater has been languishing for at least a month and a half with one shoulder grafted. All I have left to do is knit the cuffs and (maybe) do some edging. And find buttons. Not so hard, right? I predict this sweater will be finished when its intended recipient is potty-training. Oh well.

EZ baby surplice sweater

So that’s the current OTN list. Want to take any bets on how long it takes to get them finished? Also: please note the attractive backdrop for the first two pictures is the ongoing kitchen renovation. Not the most lovely of photo ops, but so be it - it was handy.

*My husband rolls his eyes and says “Knit pants???!!!” in a totally scandalized voice whenever he sees them. Whatever dude, they’re cute.