Tuesday, May 01, 2007


I've moved my blog. I would be delighted if you would join me at my new blog. I'm holding a contest with yarny prizes to sweeten the deal!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Blocking Tomorrow, the Mai Tai Tonight!

Life has been a social whirl this past week here at Molecular Knitting: three dinners out last week! This did not leave a lot of time for knitting but I did manage to get the Chevron Scarf off the needles. So tomorrow (Monday) evening is dedicated to blocking both it and the Aran Pocket Shawl.

"Block me, baby!"--Chevron Scarf.
"What's to become of us?!"--Aran Pocket Shawl.
"We're gonna be blocked, straightened out, my YOs opened up, your welts flattened out."--CS
"Oh, Mr. Chevron, I have such palpitations when I think of the blocking! Will you be with me and protect me, Mr. Chevron, dear?"--APS
"Look, Doll, you're a shawl and I'm a scarf. No one wears a shawl and a scarf at the same time, not even on the pages of VK. I've got a date with a coffee-colored, wide wale corduroy pea coat. We're kismet. We're destiny. We coordinate. You need to find yourself a nice shell or blouse in a nice navy blue or plum."--CS
"Oh, dear! Oh, dear!"--APS

While my handknits prepared for blocking, M whipped up the quintessential Tiki drink: the Mai Tai.


M as usual did a stupendous job on the bartending front, however, I was not fond of the Mai Tai. It was very sweet, and the orgeat (almond) syrup was over-powering in my opinion. M liked it better, considering it the "ultimate" Tiki drink, but agreed with me that the Mojito and Hemingway Daiquiri were tastier. I guess they can't all be winners. We'll just have to try again next weekend!

I hope all of you had a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sparkly and Shimmery

So Monday evening I finished the first pink cabled sock. I started to cast on for the second but was having difficulty counting to 66. Apparently, I don't count well after 10 in the evening. I decided to work on the chevron scarf as I only needed to be able to count to 5. I finished several inches and then lay down for a night of peaceful slumber only to awaken a few hours later having nightmares about knitting. Yes, I know you can imagine the horror. It wouldn't be entirely inaccurate to say that I became a bit unglued at that point. I didn't wake M because I didn't think he'd understand. A nightmare about being in a car accident or falling from a high ledge, sure he'd be all solicitousness, but a nightmare about knitting? The upshot was that Tuesday evening I was a bit wary of the yarn and sticks, so I played with some sparkly beads instead.

Aquamarine faceted bead and pearl necklace

I was happy to see that I can still make wrapped wire loops that I'm not embarrassed to wear out into the world, so this little aquamarine colored ensemble graced my neck and ears today. The pearls are actually a pale aquamarine, too. It felt good to wear a new bauble. Now I feel ready to pick up the pointy stickes again, as I didn't have nightmares last night of round-nosed pliers coming after me or being stoned with giant Czech glass and Austrian crystal beads.

The pink sock looks good, but I had it on my foot for a while, so it's a little stretched out and wants a soak and block before it's photo shoot. As I mentioned the chevron scarf grows longer, and until about 20 minutes ago, I'd completely forgotten that I need to block the Aran Pocket Shawl. But so as not to post without any knitterly pictures, I did splurge last week when I found the 150 g (600 m) skeins of Sea Silk at Colorsong Yarn.

Blackberry Sea Silk
This is Blackberry Sea Silk. We're in love.

May your knitting dreams be blissful!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Catching Up

I feel I am falling behind in my blogging responsibilities, so let's play catch up.

First up, the pink braided cable rib sock is almost to the toe! It looks a little goofy in the photo below as the instep needle did not care to be photogenic today.


Astute readers will notice that I stopped doing the cabling once I finished the gusset decreases. This braided cable doesn't stretch out as flat as a simple cable, and I thought for comfort, switching to the rib was a good idea. It was a compromise between not wanting to have the cabling only on the leg, but also wanting a comfortable sock. I think it will work for me.

Next up we have an very disappointed chevron scarf posing (but not willingly) on the couch-o-meter. The scarf rather clashes with the threadbare ruby red couch cushions, and it resents be photographed thusly. But it is one couch cushion long! As I want a short scarf, it won't even make it to a full two cushions before the bind off. I plan to knit to about 44 inches (2 couch cushions=48+ inches) and then block.

She better not take my FO picture with me lying on this %#^&*@# couch!--Chevron Scarf.

Third up has no picture, but I am teaching myself to carry and tension the yarn differently. My way of carrying the yarn is becoming more and more awkward and annoying. It is hard to get an even tension without constantly dropping and picking up the yarn again, and my tension gets looser and looser the faster I knit. So, I am trying to finish my current projects in the old method while training myself in the new method behind the scenes so to speak.

Finally, the chevron scarf did not grow any longer than one couch cushion today for two reasons. The first is that I have a new baking pan for uber-cool individual bundt cakes. I tried it out today on Amaretto Cakes from a Buttercup Bakes at Home by Jennifer Appel. The pan worked! It was so cool!

Fleur-de-Lis, Bavarian, and Cathedral little bundt cakes!

The second reason for lack of chevron scarf progress this afternoon: a Hemingway Daiquiri:

Not your frozen limeade daiquiri by a long shot

I had two such daiquiris today, but since M used my calcium-fortified grapefruit juice, I built strong bones while I drank. BTW, the recipe M used is from the book and a Bottle of Rum by Wayne Curtis. M enjoyed the book immensely.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Cable Hooks

First and foremost I would like to thank everyone who commented so positively on the pocketless Aran Pocket Shawl. Bonus points to JayJay and Abby for noticing the APS channeling Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. Right now, the APS is enjoying a little lie-in to calm her poor nerves before the blocking process. She listened to me tell M about the blocking, and she may have overheard the word "severe." I was in fact saying that the blocking wouldn't have to be severe, but she was already gasping and jumping to conclusions, and so I don't think she understood.

Monday and Tuesday evenings the little pink sock and I spent some quality time together. I cable using a cable needle, and although I may try to go without at some point, it's not going to be while knitting a sock on size one dpns. But even my shortest size 1 dpn was being bothersome as a cable needle. Then I remembered that Mom always cables with a cable hook not a cable needle. I thought I had some from a multi-pack of cabling tools I bought many moons ago. I went to check and found two.

Which to choose? Which to choose?

One was gargantuan, and the other a good enough fit to go with my size 1 dpns (one shown for scale). I don't want to think about using a cable hook as big as the one on the left. How monstrous would that cable need to be to make that hook feasible? The little cable hook was the answer for me and the little pink sock. I just slide the stitches on the short end, drop it down in front or swing it over the back and it is completely out of the way of all the dpns. Then to knit off the cable hook, I just slide the stitches to the long end and knit them.

Easy peasy!

Even with the cable hook, this is a slow sock to knit. There is cabling every other row, and I want at least a 7.5 inch leg. I'm on 4-row repeat 13; I think 16-17 will give me the length I want.

Wednesday evening I spent re-swatching for the Brocade Jacket. As you can imagine, re-swatching is not fun, and the end results were not happy. I have visited my guru Elsie, she of no blog who can knit and read simultaneously, complicated patterns and difficult books. I need to try her advice (she was completely unsurprised by my difficulties), and then I'll report.

In closing here are some yarns that also want to become cable-rib socks with their own unique cable-rib patterns. They are also trying to sneak a sip of the sophisticated, yet very tasty, Suburban cocktail M made for me.

Black Bunny Fibers in Aquamarine, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Gypsy Rose and Fearless Fibers Superwash Merino in Midnight Passion (oo-la-la!).

ETA: The Suburban recipe through the link uses bourbon for the whiskey. M used rye. I'd go for the rye; the bourbon will be way too sweet.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

It's a Wrap

It's late, but she's hot off the needles, ends woven in, ready to block (I'm going to spin it in my "I can spin delicates safely" washing machine, but I'm not worried--much).

"Can you believe she's going to make me, the Aran POCKET Shawl, without pockets? It's a travesty of knitting! I'm made of 50% alpaca yarn! I don't deserve such an indignity! My poor nerves! She has no consideration for my poor nerves!" Aran Pocket Shawl.

I am so glad this knit is off the needles! I knit seven repeats this weekend just to finish her up. I like the shawl, but it's one big rectangle. Now, for just a little attitude adjustment on the shawl's part (50% alpaca?!--has it not seen the 100% suri alpaca in my stash?). Well, it's nothing that a good blocking can't straighten out. Pattern notes to follow. Now I can go back to my pink sock. Yay! And my Victorian lace. Yay! And my barely cast on jacket. Yay! Yays all around!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Seizing the Sock Mojo

A nasty cold has hampered me this week, but even so, I decided I must seize the sock mojo. I finally thought I had a sock success but then I realized that I was using up yarn at an alarming rate. I was forced to come to the conclusion that I would have to either make a shorter cuff than I wanted or start over with a less tight pattern so I could use fewer stitches. I decided to move on to a different sock altogether. I needed sock success. I am not far along, but I have a lot of this Tofutsies yarn (skein of over 400 yds), and I cast on more than my usual number of stitches (66 as opposed to 56 or 60 on size 1 needles) as I chose another cable-rib combination.

Cable 4.11 from Harmony Guides, 220 Aran Patterns for Knitting

I'm really liking this braided cable combined with a single knit rib. The size looks good so far, and I know there is enough yarn. I really like the soft feminine pinks and whites with the cable-rib that in a darker color could be used for a man's sock. I am hoping for a success here, and the Tofutsies yarn is light enough that there should be weather here cool enough for these socks before next November. It is knitting up well for me on size one needles.

I'd say more, but Blogger is going to shut down for a scheduled outage, and I'm running out of time! "We need warp power, Scottie!"

May the knitting mojo be with you!