Tag Archives: 2012 sock project

What I Did & What I Got # 2 & A Real Live Knitting Update

What I Did With Week 2:

Thursday night was our traditional CSA pickup day breakfast for dinner – bacon and eggs with strawberries and dandelion greens (everything from the share except the bacon).

Friday night: baked greens (great fridge-cleaner recipe from the weekly CSA preview e-mail that allowed me to use up the turnip greens and bok choy from week 1 as well as the turnip and beet greens from week 2, a few eggs, some milk and sour cream that only had a few days left, and a block of cheddar it was taking us forever to get through) and fresh-baked bread made with some of the whole wheat flour and salt from the Winter pantry share.

Saturday I taught a friend to knit (it was an accident; I was supposed to help her with her crochet, but we sort of fell into a pile of knitting and there was only one way out), then I made swiss chard and garlic scape pesto and we had spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner.

Sunday…did we eat Sunday? I don’t remember.

Monday I made breaded rice cakes with garlic scapes and chives. Fried ’em till they were all nice and crispy and covered ’em in tomato sauce. Something green on the side.

Tuesday night we had a salad of lettuce, pan-fried beets and turnip, bacon, and feta, with homemade vinaigrette.

Wednesday I made pizzas mostly not from the share, but I did use the rest of the chard pesto as the sauce for one. I also made some strawberry syrup with the last handful of berries.

And then it was Thursday again before I even knew it.

Still left from week 2: collard greens, half the dandelion greens, some garlic scapes, escarole, turnips.

What I Got Week 3:

Peas, eggs, dandelion greens, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, turnips, bok choy.

In Real Live Knitting News:

I finished an actual, entire sock. Yes, I did. I’m experimenting with a slipped-stitch sole on this pair. I like the idea but the execution needs some work. You can see the jagged, holey line between sole and instep in this picture. Gonna try something a little different with sock #2 to see if I can fix that. I’m way behind on my sock schedule but I’m not sure yet if I care.

And now to clean the kitchen! I have 3 quarts of strawberries and I’m-a make jam tomorrow. Things must be sterile as hell so I don’t go in convinced my jam will kill me.

What I Did & What I Got

We’re up to the second CSA pickup of the Summer and just like last year at this time I’m already so, so happy we spent the money. So far we’ve gotten 2 items we didn’t get last year from the same farm, so I’m feeling good about the variety. And just like last year, this is feeding us both dinner every night for the week with some left over, so I don’t need to worry about the amount of stuff we get.

What I Did With Week 1:

Thursday we had pasta with spigariello and spring garlic.

Friday night was roasted chicken (the last of the meat share, and I am so sad), sauteed swiss chard with spring garlic, and steamed broccoli florets.

Saturday I made chicken (left over), spring garlic, roasted red peppers (from a jar) and parsley (from my window box!) with coriander sour cream. Served over rice. Side salad  of lettuce and radishes with homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Sunday night I shredded the last of the chicken meat, made stock, sliced up the rest of the chard and spigariello, added some red peppers and navy beans, and made soup.

All the vegetable leftovers went into the oven along with all the peels and ends from the freezer to take the chill off and get a little more flavor going before they became stock themselves.

And now the stock is in the freezer because I’m a little souped out these days.

While I was making soup and stock, I also got started on some iced coffee.

And I was running out of space in the refrigerator so I baked the last of a batch of 5-minutes-a-day bread dough.

Monday night was pasta with escarole, navy beans, and the last of the jar of red peppers.

Tuesday was fried rice with bok choy (leafy bits) and eggs (we got an egg share too! oh yes!) and a side salad with steamed broccoli stems, radishes, and more bok choy (stemmy bits).

Wednesday night I was that special kind of hungry where you just want grease and salt and nothing else will do. I departed from the share entirely and made bacon and potatoes (steamed, then fried in the bacon grease) for dinner, followed by a grown-up root beer float for dessert (that’s 1.5 scoops of chocolate ice cream, 2 shots of root beer vodka, and club soda till the glass almost overflows, and you’ll need a spoon).

Still left from week 1: turnips with greens that still look pretty tasty and a bunch of bok choy.

What I Got Week 2:

Collard greens, dandelion greens, garlic scapes, strawberries, 2 heads of lettuce, escarole, turnips with greens, beets with greens, swiss chard, and a dozen eggs.

What I didn’t get was a picture that wasn’t all blurry. I’ll do better next week.

In other food news:

Every day I come home to more flowers on Ray!

There’s this one…

…and this one…

…and all of these!

There’s even more now (these pictures are from a few days ago), and they all smell so good.

In knitting news:

The OppAtts were well received, which makes me feel awfully good about myself. I’ve returned to the blue CTH socks with the experimental slipped-stitch sole. I have some interesting things to tell you about those socks, but not today. I’m plugging away at the secret project and I’ve added a few squares to the life-long blanket. Progress, but nothing too exciting.

Now I need to go and get my brakes fixed. Try not to be too jealous.

What I’ve Been Up To

Finishing the socks-for-trade.

Pattern: OppAtt by Jeannie Cartmel
Yarn: Barking Dog Opposites Attract, which is a very cool yarn, in Antony & Cleopatra
Started: May 2012
Finished: June 5, 2012
Size:
Medium

 Making fantastic dinners now that the Summer CSA has started.

spigariello, swiss chard, escarole

bok choy, broccoli, radishes,lettuce, turnips, spring garlic (buried under everything else), a dozen eggs (couldn’t fit ’em in the picture, but they’re there)

Spending several minutes a day just staring at my plants. Occasionally not watering them enough. Probably watering them too much at other times. Wondering what that first lemon will taste like.

Working on a secret project and working up a strong desire to go back to Kristi for next weekend’s marathon knitting session project. (The OppAtts got me all cabled sock-happy.)

And, just now, finishing up a giant cup of cocoa with marshmallows bigger than my head. Which means any second now crashing hard.

Dreaming

I have this yarn, 1000 yards of it, all squishy and bouncy and wonderful.

I cast on for a lace shawl, but it turned out I couldn’t count. Several times in a row, in fact.

Then I started on Citron and made some good progress, but it turned out I was so bored I wanted to stab myself with my needles just to liven things up a bit.

So, I put the yarn back in the no-plans drawers and waited. While I waited I entertained vague thoughts of knitting a sweater, but no real plans materialized.

The last few days it’s been very sunny outside and a bit chilly in my cubicle, so I’ve been wearing this old pink scarf a lot. I don’t know what it’s made out of, but it’s a very light woven fabric. I can wear it around my head and neck when I’m outside to make a little shade and it’s just enough to keep the chill off my shoulders when I’m at my desk. It’s not as big as I would like, though, and it is pink, which isn’t totally my color. (Plus there’s fringe, which: meh.)

Which got me thinking. What if I knit myself something very light and very big and very not pink? Something I could wear around my head and neck to ward off the sun, but that wouldn’t be too hot, but that would also keep me a bit toasty at work? Something bouncy and flowy that would be good for Spring and Fall? And I remembered my thousand yards of squishy blue laceweight.

Now is the time for decisions. It can’t be all stockinette or I’ll die from the purling. It can’t be all garter or it will never get any longer. It needs to be a rectangle, but there’s no reason I couldn’t knit it on the bias. It needs to have some texture, but not a lot, and not the same texture all over, and not lace. Maybe it needs a border, maybe it doesn’t. So far, several pages of Ravelry’s pattern search have failed to give me just the exact thing I’m looking for. Next stop: stitch dictionaries and, if all else fails, a sketchpad.

In but-really-I’m-totally-going-to-knit-these-other-things-first news, I’m onto the sleeves for the baby sweater. I’m going to knit them both at once all magic loop-style. Must start sorting through the button boxes. The CTH sock (yes, still singular) continues slowly. I’ve knit enough of the scarf for the Grownup Bonnet to see that I do need to rip it out and start over. Not a ton of progress this week, but it’s been an official Bad Week for my left elbow, so I’ve been going easy on the knitting and heavy on the ice packs.

The spinning is another story, though. I’ve been spinning every day. I’m halfway through the second quarter of this fiber (so, that’s 3/8 done, yes?). I’m finding that my spinning technique is tending towards a mix of worsted and woolen – the fiber keeps changing direction in my hands. I’m also having a really hard time right now keeping the amount of twist consistent. I’m going with the Dory approach (just keep spinning, spinning, spinning) and figuring it’ll all get better at some point. In any case, I’m this much closer to handspun socks:

Also: steak for dinner tonight. Have I told you about my meat share? If I haven’t, remind me that I must soon. ‘Cause damn.

Bit by Bit

This has been a week for plugging away and getting things done little bits at a time.

I’ve been plugging away at the new sock. Just a little every day. Nothing better than some play time with your favorite yarn. I love it so much I’m not even thinking about the sock schedule (but for those of you keeping track: this makes about 4.4-ish pairs out of what should be 5 by now out of what will, I hope, be about 17.3 by the end of the year).

This weekend I’ve also been plugging away at the spinning. I’ve spun up about a quarter of the Mad Color Fiber Arts Superwash Merino/Bamboo/Nylon Top I’m trying to turn into sock yarn, wound that into a ball, and started on the next quarter. I’m trying not to tempt fate by keeping too much on the spindle at once. I suspect that if I spin this in 4 bits instead of 2, then (1) I can keep a better eye on the thickness of my singles and (2) if said thickness ends up more varied than I would like, it would be easier to have, for example, 2 thicker balls and 2 thinner balls that I could mix and match for plying, than to have just 2 balls, each of which has thick bits and thin bits. (Also, I just have to: balls! bits! thickness! OK, I’m done now.)

I don’t know a whole ton about spinning yet, but I found with the last yarn I made that spinning it in just 2 sections led to a finished yarn that doesn’t look very consistent. I’d say it goes from a fingering weight in some sections to a bulky weight in others, and I really wasn’t going for that. I was trying to be as consistent as possible, and didn’t quite realize how much variation there was until I started plying it. So, for this yarn, going very slowly with smaller bits and stopping often to let the yarn twist back on itself to see if it looks roughly like fingering weight when doubled is the strategy.

I feel like I’m getting the hang of spinning bit by bit as well. I’m starting to move away from park-and-draft. This feels very exciting. I can actually keep the spindle going while I draft, and it just sort of started happening at some point. I didn’t really notice the change. I’m finding a spinning rhythm that works for me, too. The thing I still need to work on is how to hold the fiber supply. I can’t seem to find a way that’s comfortable if I want to hold more than a maybe 6-inch long section at a time. If I have a very long section of fiber to work with, I can’t wrap it around my wrist or fingers because then I feel like I’m constantly stopping to unwind more of it (is there a good wrapping method that allows you to smoothly “feed in” more fiber as you run out?).  But if I let it hang towards the floor I find more often than not it gets caught in the spindle and things get sweary. Ah, well. I’m taking things little bits at a time this week, so I’ll just not worry about this goal for now. One of these days maybe it will just come to me.

I’ve been plugging away at the exercising as well, managing to get at least a half-hour on the bike or yoga mat every night, and on my less busy nights a half-hour on each.

Thanks to a horrid antvasion I’ve been plugging away at cleaning up the dinner prep dishes while I cook and keeping the counter tops sparkling every night as well. That’s not to say the antvasion was caused by my or Dan’s housekeeping skills – we just get a different bugvasion every year and this year it’s carpenter ants – but it’s fallen to us to deal with it. We’re trying as much poison and cleanliness as we can muster. So far we’ve avoided a resurgence.

Finally, I’ve been plugging away at a few City of Heroes characters. My sad, lonely game account was crying out to me. The last few days I couldn’t resist and I’ve been logging in and playing a bit while I have breakfast.

All these little bits are adding up to progress and that feels good. All this routine makes me wonder if it might soon be safe to tempt the cello out of hiding and see if I can’t squeeze in 10 minutes a day with him as well. It’s been years since I played. I’ve lost my calluses by now. Now that I think of it, this might be the perfect time for me to start playing again – you have to build those calluses up bit by bit too.

Over the Weekend

I washed all the wooly stuffs and got them ready to be put away for the summer. This involved all the blocking mats, two yoga mats, the entirety of the laundry room closet-dowel-y rod thingy, and much cat chasing.

I wound up some Malabrigo and swatched thrice, getting gauge on the last swatch with the recommended needle size. This never happens. I was so excited I promptly cast on with the wrong needle size. I haven’t decided whether I care yet. This is for a Grownup Bonnet and the gauge specified applies to the hood. I don’t know if it’s such a big deal for the scarf. We’ll see. No pictures yet because red yarn does not behave.

I also started a baby sweater –Tadpole’s Purple Sweater – in Knit Picks Bare and Prism Saki. As a rule, I don’t get much of a kick out of baby things, so I only knit for the babies (in this case, the grandbaby) of special people. I’m digging this sweater, though, I have to say.

Finally, I started some new socks in my favorite sock yarn, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select Semi Solids.

These are not yoga socks, which means they won’t be done by this weekend, which means more messing with the sock schedule but whatever. I started some yoga socks in Patons Stretch but the stitch count I needed for a good fit made the yarn pool in ways I could not allow to continue. But CTH always does well by me in the color department. Plus I want to try another slipped-stitch sole and see how it works.

Basically, I’m on a started-three-new-projects-this-week high. Isn’t that the best feeling?

Just a Quick Word About Some Socks

Pattern: Just your basic top-downs using the numbers from an old pre-blog pair. My gauge has changed considerably in the last 2 years, it would seem. These are some looooooose stitches, but I’ll survive.
Yarn: Berroco Comfort DK left over from these gloves.
Started: March 10 (or so), 2012
Finished: April 1, 2012
Design Features: I transitioned between colors with 3 pairs of one-row stripes after the cuff and before the toe. I knit one-row stripes on the heel flap, too, which was trickier than I thought it would be. One thing I learned if you want to try this is don’t slip the first stitch of the row. Things get awfully sloppy when it’s time to pick up the gusset stitches. I’m talkin’ holes, people, and you know how I feel about holes in socks.

Overall, there are some things I’d do differently about these socks. Some things I may do differently, actually, as I still have plenty of this yarn left. But you know what? They’re still a finished pair of socks. I can’t complain.

Why I Recommend Yoga to Knitters

Sometimes you need to take a picture of the bottom of your feet when there’s no one around to help.

Well, it finally happened. I finished the Aquaphobias. And I lurve them.

I lurve their tops.

And I lurve their sides.

Pattern: Aquaphobia Socks by Crystal Flanagan
Yarn: Ivy Brambles Sockscene Fingering Weight, color The Basin (Franconia)
Started: February 9, 2012
Finished: April 1, 2012
Mods: I shortened the leg from 20 pattern repeats to 17. I continued the slip-stitch pattern on the sole rather than working it in stockinette because (1) it’s prettier and (2) I wanted to avoid the sole wearing out right away while the rest of the sock still had a few years left in it. And I worked a Dutch heel because I had just read about them and they sounded cool.

They look cool, too, even if my sloppy-stitch side is more pronounced than on my usual heel.

At 4 pairs and 13 weeks into the year, I’m doing alright on my pair/3 weeks average. I just hope the next pair doesn’t give me attitude. I think I’ll make some yoga socks next. Those look easy. Very short, no heels, no toes. No attitude.

Not that I ever really mind the attitude once the socks are done.

Who could be mad at these socks?

Déjà Vu

This happened last time I knit Muriwai, too. This break only slowed me down for a few minutes, though. I moved the left-hand tip to the right and put a smaller tip on the left. Things went smoothly for a while, until the now right-hand needle almost gave me a splinter and I had to hunt down a nail file to fix that. Grrr. Sigh.

Now I have no longish 5 mm circulars, and I think I’m done with Knit Picks needles. These were actually the 5 mm tips they sent me to replace my original 5 mm tips that had broken. I got the 5 mm replacements at the same time as the replacements for the 6 mm tips that broke when I was knitting the first Muriwai. So, it looks like the replacements for the tips that had a 3-ish year shelf life have a 1.5 year shelf life themselves. That’s easy math, and I don’t like the trend I see developing here. If anyone has recommendations for reliable wood or bamboo needles with very pointy tips, let me know. I am now officially shopping for a new brand. I’m not sure I want another interchangeable set, but I love the idea of them so much that I could be swayed.

Anyway, back to the knitting. I powered through, and I finished.


Pattern: Muriwai Bath Mat by Tracey Ullman and Mel Clark
Yarn: 8 skeins GGH Big Easy color 003 held double; 1/3 skein each Classic Elite Star color 5116 & Bernat Organic Cotton in white held together
Needles: KP Harmony interchangeables 5 mm; 6 mm to bind off
Started: September 17, 2011
Finished: March 31, 2012
Mods: Thinner yarn and smaller needles than called for (when you’re shopping clearance, there’s only so much you have to work with). Knit to 250 stitches. This is much smaller than I thought it would be. If I’d realized that before I bound off, I would have changed a few things at the end. But it’s big enough for me to stand on, so I’m not unhappy overall.
Also: I know, I know. I’m supposed to be knitting socks. My hands needed a break from small-gauge knitting. I only have, like, 8 more pattern repeats and a toe. I’m totally good.