Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Le Socks!

Originally uploaded by squeakyweasels.

Look at these tasty little softies! My Instant Gratification Socks are done.

Friday, May 26, 2006

So here we were Wednesday night after the Lost finale:


That's right, I figured we'd just do a nice, traditional, ribbed sock. Nothing fancy. Just ribs. I love ribs. They would be a classic complement to the brilliant yarn colors.

I don't know if you've noticed this about me or not, but I can't leave well enough alone. And so, I give you:

Psychedelic daisy socks

Psychedelic Daisy Socks.

It also seems that after a day of writing promotional materials for health care books, the daisies start to look a little like skin lesions. In a good way.

I just love them!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Last Day of School!

Originally uploaded by squeakyweasels.

It's the end of the school year! Don't they both look a thousand times smarter and more sophisticated than when they started? That tall one is going to middle school next year. Eep.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Did you know Brittany makes double points? Yes! They do! Like buttah.

Okay, so that super-secret package that came in the mail? I'm test-knitting Hill Country Yarn's Instant Gratification sock yarn in the color "Happy," which is exactly what I have been since the moment I touched the stuff. The hand dyed colors are rich and vibrant and the yarn is so nice and soft.

To prove to the yarn my intentions were pure, I immediately wound it into balls and swatched it. I'm getting about 6 stitches to the inch on my brand-new Brittany #4s.

We're so very much in love, this yarn and I.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Looks like the definitive answer to the sock toe question is RED! I'm so with you guys. Red was my first choice, followed closely by the black. Nice! These are going to be kick-ass socks after all.

I'm about 25% through sock number two, but it turns out I'm going to have to set both of them aside for a couple of weeks because of a super-secret and exciting package that just came in the mail! More on that in a day or so, because I have to go pick up some new #4 needles.

I accidentally typed "meedles." Hee hee. I like that better.

Friday, May 19, 2006

I was about to tell you that I had a sock crisis on my hands. But then I feared you would just tell me to take the socks off my hands.


progress on Go With the Flow

I started these socks with the firm belief I had two skeins of this sock yarn. I don't know why, but around 11 p.m. last night I decided I should go rummage around and find the second skein because when you're nearing the toe of your first sock, you start to think about the second sock. And then that makes you think about finishing them both and kicking around the house in them, and you get all giggly and excited about the whole thing.

Well. There is no second skein. Not that I can find.

So this presents a problem. I could throw up my hands and abandon the socks because now they won't be perfect. I could keep going and keep my fingers crossed that I can squeak two socks out of this one skein. Or I could stop now, put this one on a holder, and get as far as I can on the second sock. If there's not enough yarn to finish them both, I can make the toes a different color.

I think that's what I'm going to do. I have half-skeins of three different colors of this same yarn that could be used for the toe.

And this is where I need an unbiased opinion. Which color would you make the theoretical toe of this sock?

#1 Almost-Sortof-Matching Denim Blue

toe color option 1

#2 Classic Black

toe color option 2

#3 Obnoxiously Unmatched-in-an-Almost-Intentional-Way Red

toe color option 3

Please vote in the comments! This young sock's life is hanging in the balance.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

My mouth just fell open!

As you may or may not know, I've become a knitting podcast* junkie. Whenever I have a long stretch of text editing or mindless work to do, I play an episode or two of one of my favorite podcasts like Cast On, Pixie Purls, Knitty D and the City, Pointy Sticks...

So today I was making edits to an email promotion and listening to Knit2BTied, which is a lot like being on the phone with a good friend. I'm typing. She's chatting about life and knitting. I'm listening.

And then she Said My Name! And talked about the DNA tank pattern down below!

I actually clapped my hands and wiggled with glee.

Touch me, I'm famous.

*What? You didn't know there was such a thing as a knitting podcast? Are you living in 2004, or something?

Sunday, May 14, 2006


P1010011 MOMOPOLIS, the coolest virtual city/Mother's Day card ever created by two girls and a terrific dad.

This cracks me up. I love it!


They made me coffee. We ate strawberries. And for dinner they're going to make me banana pecan pancakes with maple butter and crispy bacon. And I get to do whatever I want all day!

So I've decided to have a moment of reckoning with the works-in-progress shelf.

WIP #1: Ill-conceived legwarmers
Start date: Sometime in 2004 when I thought legwarmers were back.
Status: Fully knit, just need to be seamed.
Prognosis: Poor. They're itchy and ugly and full of newbie-knitter mistakes. Plus, they're legwarmers.

WIP #2: Mystery Shawl
Start date: August 2005.
Status: I'm on the last lap, the knitted-on edging.
Prognosis: Good. Although I'm only ever to get about one lace repeat done at a time before I get bored again, I've invested far too much in it to give up now.

WIP #3: Monk's Travel Satchel
Start date: Who the hell knows.
Status: The strap and a few other bits and pieces are knit. There's a tangle of intarsia that makes me want to throw up. The whole thing is a mishmash of ugly, scratchy, old acrylic from various decades past.
Prognosis: Terminal. The only reason I haven't tossed the whole thing in the trash is some lingering guilt over the fact that it started out as a gift.

WIP #4: Short-sleeved silk cardigan
Start date: A few weeks ago
Status: More than 1/2 finished
Prognosis: Excellent. This is a quick knit, a nice yarn, and a pretty pattern. I don't expect this to be on the WIP shelf for long.

WIP #5: Go With the Flow socks
Start date: Two days ago
Status: One sock is over 50% completed
Prognosis: Good. I really like this pattern, so as long as I can keep the momentum going through sock #2, this should be a finished pair in a few weeks.

WIP #6: Knitty's 1930 underwear set
Start date: Summer 2004
Status: 100% knitted. 75% second-guessed.
Prognosis: Fair. Oh, the importance of gauge. While the top fits all right, the bottoms are nowhere near my size. You could fit two of us in there. With each of us holding a big, juicy slice of triple-meat pizza. So I'm either going to unseam them, rip them out, and reknit them, or forget the whole thing.

So, there. That's not too bad. Now that I've given them each their moment in the spotlight, maybe I can let a few of them go.

Now I'm going to go pick up some sushi for lunch!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

ProtoPretty DNA sweater shell or tank

ProtoPretty DNA Top... THE PATTERN!

Protopretty modeled

Sizing: Bust 33(36, 40, 44)"

Sizing note: Negative ease is built into this pattern because the front lace panels are stretchy. Choose the size closest to your actual measurement.

Gauge: 19 stitches and 26 rows to 4" (measure a mainly stockinette portion of diamond lace pattern)

Stitches used:
1x1 rib (row 1: K1, P1, row 2: knit the knits, purl the purls)
Diamond background lace (see chart A)
Modified Torchon lace (see chart B)
DNA cable (see chart C)

CO 76(82, 90, 100) stitches. Work in 1x1 rib for one inch. On final WS row, place markers after 11th(14th, 18th, 23rd) stitch, 29th(31st, 35th, 40th) stitch, 49th(51st, 55th, 60th) stitch, and 65th(68th, 72nd, 77th) stitch. You should have a section of 11(14, 18, 23) stitches, a section of 17 stitches, a center section of 20 stitches, 17 stitches, then 11(14, 18, 23) stitches.

Begin working charts. Work Chart A in the first section of stitches, Chart B in the next section, the DNA cable in the center section, Chart B, then Chart A. NOTE: begin with ROW 3 of the DNA cable (the chart, as written, begins with a 2-row border. Skip this border and begin on row 3 of the chart).

At the same time, when work measures 3 inches, begin waist shaping: Decrease 1 stitch at beginning and end of every other RS row 5(4, 5, 6) times. Maintain pattern and be aware of stitch count. Always be sure you have room to decrease after a YO, otherwise omit the YO and knit to the end of the row. When you have 66(74, 80, 88) stitches, work even until piece measures 9 inches total length.

Begin increases: Increase 1 stitch at beginning and end of every other RS row 7(5, 7, 8) times, staying in pattern. When you have 80(84, 94, 104) stitches, work even until piece measures 16(16, 16.5, 17) inches total length.

Bind off for arm holes: Bind off 3 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows, 2 stitches at beginning of next 4(3, 4, 4) rows, and 1 stitches next 10(8, 8, 10) rows. You should have 56(64, 72, 80) stitches.

Work even until piece measures 19.5(19.5, 20, 21) inches. Begin neck shaping: Work 23(27, 31, 35) stitches and put these stitches on a holder. Bind off center 10 stitches, then work to end. Decrease at neck edge every other row: 4 stitches twice, 3 stitches twice. Work remaining stitches until total length is 23(23, 23.5, 24) inches. Bind off. Repeat neck shaping on other side.

CO 78(84, 92, 102) stitches. Work 1 inch ribbing. K1 edge stitch, then work Diamond lace pattern (chart A) repeating to last stitch, K1 edge stitch. Work shaping the same as front piece, leaving one edge stitch on each side. (NOTE: this edge stitch is important because following the lace pattern will require certain rows to "begin" with a yarn over.)

Seam front and back pieces together. Pick up stitches around arm holes and neck, working 1x1 rib for about one inch each. Block to size.

Diamond background lace (Chart A)
Get chart here (it's a PDF. sorry) Diamond background lace chart
Work odd rows in pattern and purl even rows.

Modified Torchon Lace Insertion (Chart B)
Get chart here: Torchon Insertion chart

DNA Cable (Chart C)
Get chart here: DNA cable
Omit border and BEGIN WITH ROW 3

Friday, May 05, 2006

Dedicated to anyone who gets it, here's my ProtoPretty lace tank:

Protopretty modeled

Protopretty closeup

And the back:

Protopretty modeled 2

Protopretty back closeup

Here it is being modeled by my new best friend, Bessy (yes, after the band Dressy Bessy):

Protopretty DNA tank/shell

I got--er--will be getting her for Mother's Day. Just because she's hanging out in the yarn studio outside of her box doesn't mean the ceremony of it is any bit diminished.

I wrote this pattern up all on my own using actual math, which makes me even more astonished that it fits so perfectly. I plan on posting it later or whenever I feel inspired to type it.

But the cable is not my creation, that's June Oshiro's DNA cable which is one of the more brilliant things I've ever seen.

The DNA is pretty
You know it makes me smile.
The oxygen is plenty
Don't touch that dial...

--Proto Pretty, by the Wondermints