Two Left Needles

Knitting, spinning and dyeing
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Da-Dum. Da-Dum. Da-Dum Da-Dum Da-Dum Da-Dum Da-Duuuuuuuuuuummmmm...

Pink Panther

Pink Panther
Started:
5/26/06
Finished: 1/13/07
Pattern: basic toe up with short row heel
Yarn: Kona superwash dyed as knit blanks
Needles: #3
Notes: Let's not talk about how long it took me to knit these socks (a little more than 7 months) or the number of times I reknit the heels (3 on one, 2 on the other). It's better that way (for all involved).

Pink Panther

This was a fun project, from dyeing the yarn to discovering the speckly color transitions when knit. In hindsight, it's a lot of work for a pair of socks; at the time, the dyeing was a cool experiment, a "what if". Honestly, when I began knitting and saw how the striping/speckling was coming out, my curiosity was satisfied. (This probably had something to do with the 7 months it took to finish them.)

It was the first time I made an effort to change the yarn sequence at the heels, and it was worth it.

Pink Panther

I used the extra heel yarn to finish off the tops so there's very little left over. Because the yarn was dyed as knit blanks, the yarn was crinkly, and the socks need a soak to smooth out the texture.

Pink Panther

They're a little roomy at the ankles, so maybe in the future I should decrease a couple of stitches there. Or not. Overall I'm very happy with how they came out, and even happier that they're DONE! AND, officially, they're my first finished object of 2007. Heh.

And for the first finished object started and ended in 2007:

Pebbles

Pebbles
Started:
1/1/07
Finished: 1/13/07
Pattern: basic toe up with short row heel and double seed stitch pattern
Yarn: Kona Superwash dyed in blues and purples
Needles: #3
Notes: I finished knitting the Pink Panther socks while traveling and immediately cast on for these socks. The impetus: seeing how the yarn I dyed would knit up. I was surprised that it spiraled so nicely.

Pebbles

I wanted a textured stitch to play with the changing colors, to give them more depth/dimension, but nothing complicated because the colors would obscure a lot of patterning. So I chose double seed stitch and named the socks for the "pebble-y" texture.

This is the first time I continued stockinette stitch on the back of the heel on a patterned sock, and I like how it affects fit. Next time I'll add an inch instead of half. They're shorter than most socks I knit, but I wanted to knit it with the one skein, and apparently, I dyed smaller skeins. It's a good length, though; high enough to keep my ankles warm without needing to fold down.

I really like these socks, the colors make me happy, and there's something special in knowing I dyed the yarn (even more than with the Pink Panther socks, couldn't put into words why; maybe because Pink Panther dyeing was more of an intellectual/technical experiment, where this one was done whimsically, intuitively, with luck thrown in for good measure). I've been a lot more hesitant to dye yarn than fiber because there is less wriggle room with yarn. With fiber, if it doesn't come out the way you want, there are many ways of spinning to compensate. With yarn, Game Over. I think I'll always be more comfortable with dyeing fiber for that reason.

Before I forget

You may have heard by now, Mini is organizing hat knitting for Children's Hospital Boston:

"There seems to be a ward of 10-16 year olds who are undergoing radiation and chemo for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses who need some hats. No, not just ANY HATS... they want the fun fur. Yup, I said it. FUN FUR. And they want a lot of it! Girls, boys... teens, preteens... all running around the wards at Childrens' Hospital with fun fur "hair"--- laughing, playing, raisin' hell.... sounds good, doesn't it?"

(Okay, non-fun-fur hats are allowed, too.)

She's got a bunch of patterns put together, you can find all the info here. There'll be prizes for most hats knit, random drawings, etc. She's got a bunch of prizes already and I'm donating a skein (or two?) of to-be-determined handspun. If you're able, sign up and knit a hat!

Knitting

Pebbles sock 1 is done! I wanted to knit the pair from one skein, and the skeins are about 3.5 oz, so I had to stop a bit sooner than I might have. Here's the last photo I have of it: 

Pebbles Socks - in progress

I really like how the color swirls around the foot.

I like knitting socks with this weight yarn, it's just right for me. It makes a heavier sock, which maybe is not ideal (especially this winter); but it takes less time and requires fewer stitches, which is more my speed. For socks.

Sock 2 is already at the heel! Some lunch knitting and Knit Club tonight did some damage. I suppose it helps that I have small feet...

Stash

Last weekend we met up with a friend in Cambridge and I was too close to Mind's Eye Yarns not to stop by. Dangerous, I know. I couldn't help picking up a couple of things.

Merino/tencel sock yarn dyed by Lucy. Gorgeous! Socks? Lacy scarf?

Mind's Eye Yarns merino/tencel

4 oz merino/tencel top, soft and silky:

Merino/tencel

Isn't it weird that I bought merino/tencel in blues, one fiber and one yarn? I didn't realize until afterwards... I'm definitely into the blues these days...

Happy New Year!!!

I don't even know where to start.

What's up with BSG being on break until late January???

Just kidding. (Though, seriously, what up??? I am not as happy with this season as last, but I'm seriously addicted. Seriously.)

I just got back from a weekend of family and good eats and New Year's celebration in NC and DC. It was a darned good time. I mentioned recently that we celebrate New Year's and not Christmas, but what I failed to mention was how Christmas and the weeks leading up to it tend to seriously bum me out. I won't go into the wherefor's now, but I'm sure it had a lot to do with my radio silence. I didn't want to rain on anyone's parade; maybe next year I'll actually talk about it.

For now, I'll share some highlights from New Year's.

My dad is more talkative with Scott around. We learned some things about him growing up in post-war Japan. After the war, much of his hometown was destroyed. They collected a large pile of debris in the field behind his house and set it on fire. The heat from the fire set off a bomb that had fallen but not detonated, probably hidden in the field. If the fire had not set off the bomb, who knows what would have. My dad playing in the field? There was a sobering moment as we all realized how close we had come to not being there together, or at all.

[Edited to add: Scott reminded me I remembered it wrong. The sobering moment was if the bomb had actually detonated on landing. Duh.]

Between eating out in DC and home cooked meals, we ate delicious Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Italian and Middle Eastern meals. It was truly a weekend of gluttony.

Baby girl had been relatively quiet for several days, but managed to kick everyone at one point or another. Bonding pre-birth. My family is so excited about the baby and, between not being allowed to lift heavy things, concern for my physical and stomach state and general belly rubbing, it was impossible for me to forget I was pregnant while I was there. It didn't take long to forget once I got home, however. Business as usual. Then, being startled looking in the mirror! Hey, look at THAT!

I'm so round. I'm almost an outie.

I'm sure I had another growth spurt since last week (I'm sure the gluttony had something to do with it). When I wash my hands at work, my belly touches the counter. I've got the beginnings of a waddle. I nearly fell over trying to fold my pant cuffs in the grocery store.

From the front there's not much to see:

Week 24

But from the side:

Week 24

HELLO!

Between the plane ride and car ride, I finished knitting the second Pink Panther sock and started another pair from Kona superwash I dyed back in August:

Pebble Sea - in progress

I'm realizing I'm not a big sock knitter. When it takes months to finish a pair, this becomes self-evident. However, I wanted to see how the yarn knit up. I think it's nifty.

Pebble Sea - in progress

I also spindled some, but I'll leave that for another day, hopefully soon. :)