My current work in progress:

Sundew,by Martin Storey, knit from Rowan Softyak DK, using 3.25mm and 4mm needles.

Archives for September 2006

Newsflash: First “Vague Stripes With Zits” Sock is Done

Exciting, isn’t it?


I am pleased to report that there were no other anomalies or atrocities in the first half of this skein of Opal. Now, onto the second half of the skein and the second sock!

In this colorway it was awfully hard to figure out the beginning of a pattern repeat — but (she says with fingers crossed) I believe that I’ve matched the second sock pretty well to the first.


A number of you weighed in on how to split a skein of yarn into two equal balls — thanks for all the suggestions.

Why, yes, it may seem superfluous to wind the skein into a ball, then weigh it, then wind off two balls. Why not weigh the skein to start with?

I remembered this morning one reason why I don’t.

Because I always forget to weigh it before I start winding. Sad, isn’t it? And I didn’t even think about it when I wrote down the steps I take for dividing a skein into two balls. The first step should really be “forget to weigh skein before starting to wind.” Heh.

I do find it easier, though, to divide after I’ve wound the yarn into one big ball. I am much better at eyeballing what’s half if I do this, so I waste a lot less time stopping and weighing.

The general concensus in the comments seems to be that I was sent Opal color #1127 instead of #1126, and that the skein I received was mislabelled (yes, I double-checked the ballband approximately 40 billion times and it did indeed have 1126 printed on it). I concur that this is very likely, but if so, the colors in the picture for #1127 are way off too. Just sayin’.

Hey, is this a perfect button or what?


I think so.


Whew! These three-day work weeks are rough. Hope y’all have a good weekend!


When Good Sock Yarn Goes Bad

A number of you mentioned in the comments that you like the sock yarn I pictured yesterday — Opal 6-ply #1126.

Okay, I’ll admit that it’s not all bad.

But I ordered it based on this sample picture:


Look at color number 1126, all the way to the right. I ask you, does that look anything like this?


I don’t think so.

And in my knitted sample, you can’t even see the horrible rust purple stripe that’s forming on the needles.

The socks I was attempting to knit from that yarn were not for me, but for someone who would have been horrified with that colorway. Just sayin’.

But it’s all in the past now. The yarn is on its way to a new home where it will no doubt be treated with far more love and respect than I could muster.

Work on the Vague Stripes With Blue Zits sock continues.


The colorway doesn’t suck too badly. (This is also a gift sock, by the way.)

A number of you mentioned in the comments that you don’t like self-striping yarn. Me either. When they first came out, I was fascinated with them, but the novelty soon wore off. That said, I do like some Opal yarns — I’ve knitted a number of pairs from their fingering weight yarn. While the yarn isn’t the softest during the knitting, it softens up nicely in the wash and wears extremely well.

My prerequisite for yarn for these gift socks was that it be sport or dk weight and have some nylon content. I would have preferred a solid color or a heather, but couldn’t find any in suitable colors at the time I was looking. I had knitted with success from the Opal fingering weight yarn, so gave it a shot.

Gotta say, so far this skein sucks. Four places so far where one ply is broken, and I know of at least one knot in the skein (saw it when I was dividing it into two balls). I’m a bit surprised because Opal I’ve knit in the past has always been of high quality. I guess I simply got a lemon this time.

I’ve worked around these imperfections and made good progress on the first sock, so I’ll complete it and make the second sock. But I do hope the second half of this skein is in better shape than the first!

There was a question in the comments about how I divide one skein into two equal sized balls — if I have an easy way of doing it.

1. I wind the yarn from the skein into a ball on my ball winder.
2. I weigh the ball.
3. I start winding a new ball from the existing ball, stopping to weigh the first ball from time to time when it looks like I’ve got about half done. When I’m at half the weight for the first ball, I stop and cut.
4. If the yarn is patterned in any way, I wind the first ball on the ball winder again, so both balls are wound in the same direction.

There you have it. I don’t know how easy you’d consider it, but it works and isn’t too time consuming.

Lucy sez:


“She finally came home and fed me.”

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The good:

I finished my knee socks!


To recap, there were knit from Scarlet Fleece superwash dk yarn in the “Olives and Pimientos” colorway using 3.25mm needles. I am pleased with them, but the next pair I make, I won’t increase to quite as many stitches — they could be an ootch tighter around the top.

But I love ’em anyway!

The bad and the ugly:

Look at this yarn.


Seems innocent enough, doesn’t it? It’s Opal 6 (dk weight sock yarn) in color #1126.

Yeah, but wait’ll you see it knitted up.

Brace yourself.


What is up with this? Is it just me, or is it seriously ugly?

I couldn’t bring myself to knit any further on it, so here’s the state of the sock now.


Anyone want some slightly used Opal 6 sock yarn already split into two equal balls? First person to leave me a comment saying he/she wants it gets it.

That sounds like a threat, no? If you actually like this yarn, you are welcome to it! I promise not to judge you. 😉

So I dug out my other skein of Opal 6 (color #1255) and started this:


Much better, but still — what’s up with that striping pattern? I think I’ll call it “Vague Stripes With Blue Zits.”

Thank you so much for all your nice comments about the kimono jacket and about my hair (or lack thereof).

About the kimono jacket — I may write up the pattern when I get a chance. Stay tuned.

Lucy is sort of bored by the idea.


This House is Clean


(I could have used Tangina’s help with the cleaning.)

I’ve vacuumed and polished and dusted and scrubbed and I think I’m done.

Here, for posterity, is my little kitchen . . . spotless.


I’ll spare you photos of the rest of the place, but it’s all clean. Woo!

A couple of you asked about the bowl and pitcher in yesterday’s blog entry. They are Aran Ware — from Kara Pottery. Aren’t they great?


They were both gifts and I love ’em.

Lucy thanks you for all your kind words about her story yesterday. Here she is, proving that she loves to play fetch!


I did manage to finish the Kimono Jacket yesterday. Here’s a blurry photo:


It looks better on Gwendolyn.


I did an i-cord loop for the front closure, but I’ve not decided on a button yet because I’ve not received all the ones I’ve ordered yet.


I’ll have them all later this week and will be able to select one then.


I also finished one knee-sock.


Still life with Lucy:


I’m working on the second sock now.

That’s pretty much it for the knitting right now. I’ve really been busy with this cleaning nonsense. It feels good, though. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff. See?


For Debi and the P-Man

While we don’t usually indulge in memes, Debi’s P-Man tagged Lucy to tell five weird things about herself.

1. I was a rescue kitty. The people I used to live with had me declawed and let me outside, where I was attacked by a dog. I am a Ragdoll and we are naturally docile, and the further absence of claws for defense meant I was badly bitten. The humans didn’t want to have to pay for medical treatment and had a friend dump me at the local shelter, claiming he’d found me by the side of the road. Capital Animal Care rescued me and got me medical treatment. Except that you can feel that I have a bite out of my little butt, I’m as good as new. They listed me with Petfinder, and that’s how my momma found me.

2. Even though my first people didn’t care if I lived or died, I approach every human I meet with friendliness and affection. 99% of the time I walk around with my tail straight up in the air because I’m so happy to be alive.

3. Speaking of my tail, you can’t tell because it’s so fluffy, but I have a tiny kink in the very tip of it.


4. Speaking of my being so very fluffy, I am actually a petite little girl. I’m small for a Ragdoll — I weigh about 9 pounds.


5. My favorite game is to play fetch. I think it’s hilarious that my humans get to much pleasure out of throwing a wadded up piece of paper for me, so I always bring it back to them so they can throw it again. I also like to push a piece of paper back and forth across a table with my daddy. If only he’d get me a chess board, I’m sure I could beat him every time.

So there you have it. Five things about Lucy.


I’ve been very busy mucking out the condo and have made very good progress. I’ve still got some work to do, though.

Despite that, I’ve also made good progress on my kimono jacket. I’ve got 24 rows left to do on the second sleeve, so it won’t be long!


Teddy helped.