Monthly Archives: November 2008

FO: Firestarter Socks

Jill P:

I started these socks while in Hawaii and thought I was going to finish them there.  But I got sidetracked when I didn’t have any size 1 needles with me on vacation to finish the cuffs.  But I finally finished them.

The pattern is Firestarter by Yarnissima.  (505 projects and 1906 queues!)  I used Socks that Rock Lightweight in the colorway Tidepool.  I used size 0s and 1s.  The only “mod” is that I knit an extra repeat on the foot, and maybe an extra one on the leg before switching needle sizes.  There was some more yarn, but I decided to stop where it was because the length was fine.

The striping was going along perfectly until I got to the cuff.  Once I jumped up needle sizes it started pooling on me.  I don’t mind too much.  It’s kind of cool to see how a little change in pattern can really affect the amount of yarn used in each round.

I’m pleased with them.  I never understand how people take sock modelling pictures wearing heels.  First of all, that really isn’t my fashion aesthetic, but also my socks end up so bulky.  I was wearing these in boots yesterday and I felt like my left toes were being squished.  I don’t know if these would fit in Converse let alone heels.

A few years ago I made the Anna knee high socks from Rowan 40.  I really should have listened to the knit bloggers that said you should switch to a smaller needle when working the foot.  After wearing the socks throughout the day they were so baggy.  My point was that I would have worn those with some heels or dress shoes, but the foot was too bulky to fit right.  I don’t want fabric bagging out of the straps.  Now I can really only wear them when I wear rain boots.

Strangely enough my main incentive for posting, was to embed this video my coworker found today.  I don’t know why I love it so much. The title says it all: “Squirell eats a ritz cracker to Huey Lewis’ ‘If this is it” ” [sic]

Enjoy!  Have a happy and safe holiday!  [ I tried to post this on Wednesday but messed up!]

Jill B.


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Finished handspun

Jill P:

I finally got moving on my spinning and finished some yarns.  I feel like it was taking forever!  I was working on some Lisa Souza 50/50 Merino/Silk that managed to take me months to finish.  It was my first lace weight spinning, so I guess that’s how 4 oz took forever.  But now it’s done and I’m really happy with it.  Maybe a tad underplied though.

I ended up with about 800 yds of it.  I am currently working on a secret project with it.  My one piece of holiday knitting.  Here’s a close-up:

A little uneven, but I’m just glad it’s done!

I’ve had a bunch of cool fiber sitting around waiting for me, so I was eager to spin something a little thicker.  I pulled out some roving balls that I bought from Gaslight Dyeworks.  I think I meant to take pictures of the cute little roving balls but didn’t want to take them out of their bag.  These were in the Jupiter with Rings colorway.  I am a reader of Yarnzombie’s blog and was excited to order some of her fiber.  These were superwash wool, nylon and sparkle nylon.  I was trying just to enjoy spinning and not worrying too much about an even yarn.  This 4.75 oz only took me a couple of days to spin!  My two skeins ended up looking quite different, but I’m very happy with them anyway.

Here’s a close-up, a little blurry:

It’s definitely a little more sparkley in person.  It’s a heavy worsted/aran weight yarn.  I’m excited to find a project for it!

I don’t have much else to report.  I finished a scarf for my co-worker/friend Sam’s birthday.  I was only able to get kind of crappy pictures of it while it was blocking.  It is the Striped Illusion scarf from Knitting New Scarves.  I used Rowan Yorkshire Tweed DK in Top Hat and Rowdy.  About 1.5 balls each color. 

It was a fun knit.  You use intarsia between the two vertical sides of the scarf.  One thing I noticed after I finished it, was that it was curving considerably to one side.  I thought it was just the pattern.  But then I realized it was because you do all knits on one half of the scarf and all purls on the other side.  My knit to purl gauge is so different that one side of the scarf was ruffling out!  Luckily I was using wool so was able to block the difference out.  I was hoping to get better pictures of the scarf, but have to settle for these ones.

I have to get moving on my knitting projects.  I’ve been doing some online dating and it’s cutting into my knitting time!

Jill B.


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Halloween wrap-up

Jill P.:

This has been kind of a crazy week!  Saturday night was my Halloween party.  I had a good time, but I was a little disappointed in the turn-out because I invited a lot of people and there ended up only being 10 people.  But I still enjoyed myself.  I’m glad that a couple of my knitting friends showed up. =)  This definitely has me questioning when I will ever throw another party.  It was quite a bit of work.  I love costumes though, so it was worth it.

For years I have wanted to dress up like Bjork.  This year I finally did it (if maybe a few years too late).  I made a replica of the swan dress.  It’s not perfect, but I was pretty happy with how it turned out.

I made the neck and face out of felt.  The face and beak took me quite a while, especially given my questionable sewing skills.  There are plastic eyes on both sides of the swan head, even though one side is safety pinned to my top.  I glued feathers onto the neck with Tacky Glue.  I used 6 yards of crinoline for the skirt.  I sewed a thread through the top of the netting and then gathered it into the width of my waist.  I did this for three layers, with a marginal difference in length between each layer.  I sewed these gathered layers onto a cylinder of plain muslin.  I realized that I needed something underneath or you could see straight through the layers!  I put a casing and ribbon drawstring through the top of the cylinder/skirt so that I could cinch it around my waist.  I also used maybe 2 yards of tulle for the very top layer.  I needed kind of a buffer so it didn’t seem so stark of a difference between my waist and the skirt.  For that I took a ribbon the size of my waist and tied strips of tulle to it.  Ideally this would have been a little fuller, but I didn’t really plan ahead.

I really wanted to get a nude bodysuit to wear underneath.  Like the kind that figure skaters wear.  I found one online for $9, but the shipping was going to be $8.50 so I declined on principle.  I took the guys at work on a wild goose chase through the seedy stores on Hollywood Blvd looking for something similar but no luck.  I had even bought sequins to sew onto the bodysuit.  I imagined sewing snaps onto the swan and the bodysuit for future use.  Then I realized that I was going overboard and decided to use a nude camisole I already had and just use safety pins.  Sometimes I really need to pull myself back.

I was planning on doing more “Bjork” make-up.  Or at least trying to use lipstick to make my lips look like a little pout, but ran out of time.  Oh well.

(There you and Brian are in the background!)

Here’s one of Adrienne and Kevin.  He is dressed like House and she pulled together an Indian outfit.

But what I got really excited about was Paquito’s annual costume.  He is such a good sport about wearing stuff.  This year I made him a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume.  He is dressed as Michelangelo.

I adapted the Sheldon pattern to fit him.  I knit the shell as written, but doubled up worsted weight yarn.  I used Vanna’s Choice and Wool Ease Worsted, knit on size 10 needles.  Instead of making the bottom panel with leg openings, I just knit a stockinette rectangle to go under his mid-section.  I attached this when I did the applied I-cord.

I had some left-over orange batik fabric from my Counterpane bag.  I made a belt for him, and also a little eyemask.  The mask itself is made from orange felt and I sewed two ties onto it.  As you would guess it is very hard to keep a mask on a cat.  Just the structure of their head is enough of an impediment.  There was no way I could just tie it behind his head.  I made him some little nunchuks out of black construction paper and safety pins.

At some point before the party Miely was so tired I was able to put the mask up to her face for a picture:

Miely also tried on Paquito’s Freddy Krueger costume from last year:

Lots of fun.  I should probably start thinking about costumes for next year…

Also this week was my birthday and Election Day!  Of course I am very excited about the outcome from yesterday.  But at the same time I’m really disappointed that Prop 8 is going to pass.  I didn’t think it would in California.  It seems so shitty to pass something that begins, “Eliminates rights…”  And it was so windy last night my power was off for 6 hours!  I couldn’t get into my garage, I had to park a few blocks away from my apartment.

Hopefully I’ll have more of a serious knitting project to show you soon,

Jill B.


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