Friday, September 28, 2007


So, I was all set to post about Jane's Show your socks contest when I realized something.

Here are my first, second and latest socks. The green pair (unknown Opal yarn) were made at least 5-6 years ago. The Dork had seen the yarn at Stitches and said "Hey Mom, that yarn would make great socks for school." (school colors being green and white, uniforms...) So I made them, and he wore them for about 2 months before outgrowing them. And, oh darn, his feet had been the same size as mine were for those 2 months...MINE!

The 2nd pair was again Opal yarn, and right now I'm too lazy to go look up which colorway it was. They were made a few months after the first pair.

The green/blue/lavender toe-up sock on 2 circs was discovered in the Great Inventory of 2007. I don't remember making it! I had even cast on the second toe right away, hoping to avoid SSS. Clearly that didn't work! Went back and looked in my Knitable program on my Palm Pilot, and it indicates that I made the first one in Feb. 2004. I need a small knitting project to keep in my purse, so I throw this in. In the last couple days, a few stitches here and there.

Tonight, at the fencing club, I'm knitting away when I accidentally grab the back needle's end, instead of the other end of the front needle, thus creating a bit of looped circular and no way to go anywhere! One needle is now completely free of the sock and drops into my lap.

As I'm laughing at myself and slipping the stitches back to where they should be, I realize that I'm fighting the stitches, which seem awfully tight. A closer examination reveals that I have 2 different size needles in this sock. One is a 2 mm and the other is a 2.5 mm needle. What!? How could I not tell that I'm using different sizes? And, horrors, I'm sure these are the same 2 that I used in the first sock, because of the cast-on stitches I found on them. More investigation - sure enough, the sole stitches on the completed sock are slightly looser than the top of the foot! AAARRGGGHHHHH!

So, what should I do?
A) Ignore everything and keep going because that way the socks would match.
B) Rip out the 2nd toe and start over with 2 needles the same size.
C) Rip out both and start over with 2 needles the same size.
D) Throw it in the corner and start new socks using needles of the same size.

After all, I need something to work on while I'm at TKGA/CGOA conference this weekend in Oakland! I'm driving up tomorrow with Sandi, and maybe again Sunday by myself... And it's my birthday tomorrow, so getting to spend it doing what I love to do is just Heaven! But I've got to find something to work on!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Where did the week go?

I know, I know where the time went! (hand waving wildly in the air) Ravelry took it! Work took it! Nagging The Dork took it!

Monday - Back to School Night. I got to talk with all the 4th grade parents who came about Information Literacy and why it's important that students learn how to quickly find relevant, accurate info in this age of information overload. I mean, think about it in fiber terms - how are we as adults deciding which patterns we'd like to make, what clothing option might actually suit the person it's made for, what yarn to use, whether the pattern is accurate or not, how to modify or fix the pattern to suit what you want to make, and then decide whether or not we did the right thing? (Couldn't knit, though. Out of the house from 7 AM to 9:30 PM)

Side trip: the Big6 research method in action:

1) Task definition - What questions do I need to answer? What is my end product supposed to be?
In other words: what's my next project? I need to make a sweater for my roommate. Parameters - Hopefully one that fits her! Needs to be made in something washable, soft is good, and she's a plus-sized woman whose size is not reflected in the standard knitted pattern measurements.

2)Information seeking strategies: What are all the sources I can look at for info on this question? Which are the best ones for me to start with? Internet, subscription databases, books, interview....
In other words: Ask her what she wants, search through my sweater books for something that might have elements she'd like. After all, I don't need to bother with the sock books for this question! Other places I should use are the Ample Knitter's site, Big Girl Knits, ask at my LYS for help, talk with knitters who have made plus-sized sweaters about what how they've modified existing patterns to fit.

3) Location and access: How do I get to all these resources?
In other words: Online is not a problem because that's available to me and I know how to search effectively. Getting to the yarn shop - maybe I should wait until they open...darn it, that's not until after I have to be at work. I guess that'll have to wait until later. Oh no, I now have to wait for a copy of Big Girl Knits because everyone is out of it and the library's copy is checked out.

4) Use of information: Once you've found some information, you need to understand it and take notes. If it isn't quite right, go to the next source. Constantly be thinking of the Task in mind to make sure you're doing the right thing.
In other words: measure and write it down so you don't have to do it again! Look at the different options for the sweater, stitch pattern, find something that's close to the defined sweater, choose the right yarn and color (in this case, Encore worsted in a sage green), make a gauge swatch so you can play with the numbers... scribble various numbers in the margins of some possible patterns. Decide that recalculating existing patterns is too much work. Decide that you need to draft the pattern on your own when you find a link to tutorial on fitted sweaters.

5) Synthesis: put all your notes & information together in the final product.
In other words: Knit it! OF COURSE, you are constantly evaluating whether or not the end product is going to suitably answer the Task Definition. Take your gauge numbers, plug them into your pattern formula and actually do it!

6) Evaluation: did I do the right project? Did I do all the things I was supposed to do on it - did it match my Task Definition? How did I feel about it?
In other words: does it fit and does she like it? What have I learned from this project? Would I do another one? Why and why not?

Where am I in the process? Only at #4, but almost ready for #5. Can I get this one done for Christmas, seeing as I started this process around this time last year...?

Okay, back to the week:
Tuesday & Wednesday - besides the regular day school librarian thing, I also work for a public library. Usually only Wednesday evenings for 3 hours, but got asked to fill in on Tuesday night too. Out of the house from 7 AM until 9:45 PM.

Thursday - After we arrived home about 6 PM, thought about going out again to Knit Night at Purlescence, but then decided I was too tired to do any more driving. Loaded projects into Ravelry.

Friday - School all day, get The Dork to his fencing class by 6:30, have to pick him up around 9:30. What to do in between? Why, go to Late Night Knits/Movie night at Purlescence! Pirates of the Caribbean, comfort food, friends, yarn...what more do you need? Out of the house from 7 AM until 11 PM.

Saturday - Out of the house by 9:30 to get The Dork up to the fencing club to help coach the younger kids and then his lesson and class. Should pick him up around 3:30. Although, he needed to learn to wire his new epee blade, so he called and said pick up around 4:30 because the wiring should take between 15-30 minutes after his coach finished private lessons. Well, we didn't leave the club until 6 PM, after they'd worked on it for 2 hours and something wasn't quite right. [That's okay, lots more knitting time!]

On the real knitting/crocheting front, I'm finally blocking the Pretty-in-Purple tank top.

and I've divided my Ribby Shell into front and back, and might actually have another finished product soon!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Time suck!

OMG, OMG, OMG -- I got my Ravelry invite in the mail this morning! Didn't think I would get it so soon, because there were about 1700 people ahead of me about a week ago. They're moving faster in getting the invites out, so hopefully you'll get there sooner than you think you will! Look me up, if you're on; my name is KathyinSanJose. "QueenofPurpleYarn" was too long, and "Purple Yarn" was already taken by someone in Ohio.

More later!

Edited to add: The title of this posting said it all. It's 2:30 AM; my alarm is going to go off at 6 AM, and I'm trying to extricate myself from Ravelry. Loaded up some stash photos onto my new Flickr page, got a few projects and stash yarns into Ravelry -- my eyes are getting blurry, but I need to add just one more bit of info, and then another... Somebody stop me quick!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Catching up!

All right, so it took me longer than "tomorrow" to get pictures taken of my recent projects. In my defense, this "school has started, you have to work full-time" thing has taken all the daylight hours where I'm actually coherent. When I get home, even if it's still daylight, I haven't had enough brain cells to do more than eat, stare blankly at my blog feeds and fall over asleep.

Anyway, here's the info on the Kiri shawl:


Pattern: Kiri shawl from
All Tangled Up
(love this shawl, Polly!)
Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr (wool/silk)
Needles: size 5 (3.25 mm)
Started: 4/2/07
Finished: 6/21/07

Here's another view of Kiri, with Katja-the-goofy-dog and one of her favorite toys: In a perfect dog's world, balls would grow on trees. Our neighbor has a lemon tree and an apple tree which overhang into our backyard. We have permission to pick any fruit we can reach. But sometimes, lemons or apples fall off. Katja loves to carry them around, roll them at us using her nose, and eat them. There's not much that's funnier than watching her thought process..."I found a ball!" "hmmm, it tastes funny when I bite down on it" (Looks quizzically at it with her head tilted and the eyebrows raised) "but it's a ball!" Pounce...repeat.

Some Current WIPs:

The Pretty-in-pink sweater, crocheted in purple (of course!). This is the second try at this. The first was ripped out due to a delusional belief that it would be long enough. My gauge is different enough from the stated pattern gauge that I had to recalculate a bit. Because it's crocheted on the diagonal, with the bottom border integrated, it was a little deceptive about the length when I held it up to myself. I kept thinking that "it'll lengthen when I block it"... Who was I kidding? Myself, obviously. When I finished enough repeats and pinned it on myself to check, the border fell right across the middle of my stomach. NOT a good look, at all! So this is being redone, adding 3 inches to the length, which will work out just right (I hope).

Gemini Vest (from LaLana Wools). I love working with this silk! Soft, smooth, great color. According to the pattern, if I do this in silk, I have to go one pattern size down. But I'm adding a little extra length to it. Hope I have enough yarn to make it through, otherwise, I'll have to rip it for the 2nd time...

Ribby Cardi -- I need to redo the sleeve caps on this one, because my upper arms are not that slim. I really should get that done, then I'd have a new fall sweater. Rowan Yorkshire Tweed DK...This was started (eek) almost 3 years ago...

Sweater for A., our housemate. Really should get cracking on this one, as I'd like to have it done for Christmas. But she's a large-size gal, and I'm going to have to redo all the maths on the sweater style she chose. Sage-green Encore, mostly stockinette.

Oh, and I'm coordinating an afghan project for Chloe, AKA one of the Purl Girls. She's had a rough time of it lately, and I really want to send her hugs from everyone. If you can, make an 8x8" square with any yarn you have, in any pattern, knit/crochet/felted - doesn't matter, as long as it includes some red). Drop them off at Purlescence Yarns, or give them to me when you see me. I'm hoping to give it to her by early October, so any squares I can get before the end of September will be very welcome!

Lastly, here are 2 pictures of The Dork.
Here, he's dressed for the first day of 10th grade, which included Matriculation ("I promise to be a good student and citizen and to be nice to the new freshmen, even though I really hate having to wear formal clothes...").

The fencing dork at practice. "Mom, don't take my picture or I'll use my epee on your camera!"