Friday, January 30, 2015

Wooden Feet!

It is very likely that no one will really care about this post, but this is just too cool to me, I can't not say something.

As is pretty obvious to anyone that ever reads this blog, peruses my Ravelry projects or, you know, talks to me, I like knitting socks. Probably one of the neatest sock-knitting-related things I've come across is the FLK heel. Specifically, the directions for making a personalized cardboard foot template. I can trace someone's foot, do a little math and then be able to make them custom-fitted hand knit socks. It's so awesome and why both my parents and my aunt received socks for their birthday last year.

The only negative of the cardboard template is... well, it's cardboard. I have made my templates with some sturdy cardboard, but then, I knit a lot of socks. Especially socks for myself and Dan. So our templates... they get a little rough. And that makes them harder to try the sock on to for measuring. Before, I've just made a new template to use until I bust up that one, too, but now... now I have something so much better.

Wooden foot templates.

Wooden Feet

They are from The Knitting Rose and made out of bubinga hardwood and utterly gorgeous. I'm so excited to get them. So now I have custom foot forms for both me and Dan that are made out of wood, not (ultimately) bendable cardboard.

A little interesting side note. These didn't come with the toe box, gusset and heel turn lines like mine have. I drew those on with a Sharpie. While I was drawing those lines on though, I accidentally got the heel turn line on my foot form a few centimeters off. Naturally, my (recovering-)perfectionist self freaked out at having messed up the lovely foot form with an improper mark. But thanks to the joy of the internet, I found out that you can actually remove permanent marker from wood by using a white eraser. Seriously. It actually worked. There's a faint bit of marker left from the wrong line from where the marker got into the grain a little and the eraser couldn't quite reach, but it is so faint that even my picky self isn't bothered. So now you know - marker on a wood table? Use an eraser!

And if you need a sturdier-than-cardboard foot form? Go to The Knitting Rose!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Happenings Have Happened

I've been quite the past couple of weeks. Sorry for that. I had a gluten reaction to some chocolate about three weeks ago and have been riding that out, so I've been kind of grumpy. Since I try not to post just to whine, I haven't posted, cause yeah, I would have just whined.

The whole reaction thing was kind of interesting objectively - seeing exactly how I react to something cross-contaminated with gluten after having most of my celiac-related problems calm down. Of course, after going through the first week of flu-like symptoms and utter exhaustion, the second week full of pain and more exhaustion, and the third week of crazy digestion issues and being unable to eat without pain? Yeah, no longer so objectively interesting. More just really, really annoying. Stupid gluten. I'm not quite out of the reaction-woods yet but I hold out hope that it will be soon. I was able to eat a normal-sized dinner last night with only a little discomfort, so progress?

Anyway, there have been more positive happenings lately, but they've all been knitting related. I'm still working on my striped cardigan. I've currently got about 39-ish hours in it or so and the end is nigh. Kinda.

39 Hours

I have no idea how much more time this sweater needs before it is done, but I can't imagine more than 10. Which is a lot (and probably underestimated). Especially since I'm used to socks that take between 25 and 35 hours a pair, depending on complexity. Of course, a big chunk of that time has been weaving in all the ends. Almost every stripe gives me two ends of yarn to weave in and I've been doing it as I go. That takes so much time. Ugh.

I'm also pretty much thinking I'm going to need to get some more yarn to finish this off because I think I want a big shawl collar. Maybe. I'll see how it goes when I get there, but I have already stalked the place I got the yarn from originally and they have more. No idea if it is in the same dye lot but eh. It'll be for the button band/collar so a slight mismatch shouldn't be too horrific.

As happy as I am with how my future cuddly cardi is going, I will admit to getting a tiny bit bored. I suppose not having a finished project after 30 hours makes me antsy. So I spent some of my Christmas money and got a cute little pattern book from Amazon, Mini Knitted Woodland. It arrived yesterday afternoon, so last night I made this little guy.


He's about two and a half inches tall and he's been dubbed Victor the Turkey Vulture. And as a project break, it worked perfectly. I spent the evening on him - the knitting took maybe an hour, the finishing another hour - and suddenly I was all enthused about picking up my sweater to knit more on the sleeves. Yay!

The book has a hippopotamus, which I think is next on my list, but I do have some yarn coming for a specific project, so if that comes in, Ms. Hippo might take a back seat to something (hopefully) even more awesome. Otherwise, I plan on continuing with my sweater and I will confess to having some yarn balled for my next pair of socks.

Other than that, not too much of note is going on here. We are still working on the guest bathroom. Demolition is done (though I need to get in there and clean up the remaining broken tiles, etc). Dan and I are planning on going bathtub and fixture shopping soon, then getting those things installed. (Pretty sure Dan's planning on getting someone to install the tub as we are leaning towards an enameled cast iron one and neither of us wants to have to try to lift it.) We've got the shower tile picked out but still have to pick a floor tile. And then, you know, put it all together. We need it all done before the end of May, but we are hoping to get it done before the end of March. No real rush, though. Plenty of time for more knitting!

Monday, January 12, 2015

One Down!

This weekend I finished up my first pair of socks for 2015. I've dubbed them my Cap'n Blueberry socks.

Cap'n Socks

One pair down, eleven more to go!

Of course, I am trying to expand my knitting horizons a tad (as fun as knitting just socks would be, I'm trying to keep some variety in my projects), so my current project is a striped cardigan.

A variety of criteria played into what colors I chose for this sweater, not all of them aesthetic. (One important factor was what would give me enough yardage to actually make a sweater.) This resulted in a color selection that was... a bit outside my norm.

8 Hours In

But I think the colors actually work well together even if they aren't the first color combination you think of when thinking of me. I think it will end up a funky but fun sweater.

Hopefully I'll see in a couple of more weeks!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2014 Knitting

I've already jumped into 2015's knitting, but I did want to take a moment and recap. Last year, I knit over 8 miles of yarn, most of which ended up as socks (or slippers) as I knit 30 pair.

Currently, I have 45 miles of stash yarn (if you don't count leftovers less than half a skein).

Yes, I have enough yarn to (theoretically) knit for the next five plus years without buying more. Yikes. Maybe I can work on that for 2015. (Though really only so I can free up some cabinet room for MORE YARN!)

Off to a Good Start

Already 2015 is off to a good start knitting-wise! I've finished up my last little project from 2014 and he's definitely has kicked things off with a smile. Meet John C. Chameleon!*


Yes, I knit a chameleon. He's a tiny little guy - smaller than my hand. So ridiculous yet joyful. And ridiculous.

Something else joyful (but not really ridiculous at all) is my first sock project for the new year. I am participating in the 12 Socks group again this year and my first pair is one I'm doing as a knit-along with a Ravelry friend.

Captain's Steps Socks

I'm using a new-to-me yarn (Dream in Color's Smooshy) and it's so lovely to knit with. Soft as an Emmett and such lovely colors. I'm particularly liking how the colors are working up in the pattern. I really think I'm going to enjoy these.

So knitting 2015, off we go!

*John is named after WWE wrestler John Cena, whose catchphrase is "you can't see me". I find it hilarious. Don't judge me.