Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cake for Breakfast

Carrot cake, to be precise. Yesterday, our gaming group got together for some quality Call of Cthulhu, and we decided to have a Cthulhu cookout. We had asparagus (green), grilled squid (tentacular... and smelly, I had to leave the room and didn't get back until they had made it go away), beer, corn on the cob, and carrot cake (cream cheese frosting was supposed to be green, but I forgot the food coloring). We have lots left over, it turned out way bigger than expected -- though why I didn't expect a huge cake when the recipe calls for a 9x13" pan, I don't know...

Not that this is a bad thing. I like cake. It's great for breakfast. I went for a walk/run afterwards, and the amount of energy you get from nuts, carrots, sugar and cream cheese is impressive. In a way, I feel cheated, because fitness for women is usually about looking good, fitting into size whatever jeans, not having jiggly arms or cellulite. Nobody ever mentioned to me that having cake or a some other high carb/high protein meal before a workout gives you an energy burst you won't believe unless you've tried it. Yet football players eat and eat and eat... and now, I know why. They may not fit into size 2 jeans, but they're kickass athletes!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sock Progress!

There has been sock progress.
First off, I cast on Fawkes, which I think of as my Momma Monkey Memorial Socks. She was a very talented designer, and I think she would have loved the bright orange yarn I've picked for this project. Cast on only a few days ago, I'm already done with the cuff -- unless I add another pattern repeat. But I'm afraid I'll run out of yarn if I do that.

And now, a picture of the formerly frustrating toe-up heel! Thanks so much for all the help. Once the concept behind the toe-up heel clicked, I figured out that I was supposed to sl1, k 14 till the marker -- because the next line mentioned 15 stitches on each DPN. Which worked beautifully with the k2tog at the end of the previous row, because it reduced my stitches from 16 to 15. All is well, and the sock fits beautifully.

By the way, the pattern is available for free here!
Other than the tiny miscount, it's very well written and makes for a great first toe-up sock knitting experience.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Sock Knitting Help? Please?

My sock knitting has ground to a halt. Sometimes, pattern instructions can bring you up short and make you wonder if you've been doing something wrong your entire knitterly career. This just happened to me.

I'm knitting the heel of my first ever toe-up sock. The instructions tell me to sl1, k11, then pick up and knit 10 stitches along the edge of the flap, knitting the last 2 stitches together. Except... for me, pick up and knit has never meant "pick up the slipped stitch with the left needle, pull yarn through, then knit the pulled-through stitch" -- it's always been "pick up slipped stitch with your right needle, pull through a bit of yarn, done."
Except, according to my method, you can't really knit anything together. Am I wrong? Have I been doing this wrong my entire knitting life?

And, as if this weren't confusing enough, another question: If I have 6 stitches on one half of the heel, then pick up 10, but knit the last 2 together... That's 15 stitches, right? Because the pattern wants me to sl 1, then knit 15 stitches to center of heel marker. Uh, that's 16. Which I would have if I hadn't tried to k2tog those pick-up-and-knit stitches mentioned above. Unggggh. Am I being dense? Help!

In other news, I have also cast on for a pair of Fawkes socks. I'm using that gorgeous orange yarn I showed you a little while ago, and I'll show you a picture of my progress as soon as I've calmed down enough to type the word "sock" without my usually lower-than-normal blood pressure going through the roof.

Friday, July 04, 2008

FO Friday -- Knitting Content! (picture heavy)

Yes, knitting content! Remember knitting? Believe it or not, I still do it.
And today, I present to you the finished husband socks! For some reason, my crummy camera software doesn't give me an option to rotate images, so here is a sideways picture of the socks. I didn't use flash to bring out the pattern more... click to make bigger.

A closeup of the pattern. I find it very elegant and masculine, just enough to add interest, not enough to overwhelm.

The socks on Mr. Batty's feet. He put them on so I could take a picture of the finished object being worn... and he's still wearing them. I guess he likes them!

A cat head-free closeup of socks being worn. Do you know how hard it was to not have that cat head in this picture? First a black one, then a gray-and-white one? With eyes wide open, though every time I want to take a cat picture on purpose, they squint and scowl?
But I digress. Socks.

Pattern: Classic Socks from The Knitting Manu(ual) -- If you have a guy in your life and would like to knit him something, I highly recommend this book! The models look like real-life guys, and the designs look like clothes real-life guys would wear. And they don't all have intricate cabling all over everything!
Size: US shoe size 10.5/European 45/46; 72 stitches cast on
Yarn: Louet Gems Pearl in a dark navy (no idea where that ball band went...), a bit less than 2 skeins
Needles Us 0 (Not as bad as it sounds. The yarn is pretty thick, and my gauge was bigger than usual.
Modifications: I knit the heel flap for the smaller size (length-wise, not width-wise). Other than that, Everything is done according to pattern. This has got to be a first... no serious mods!

And now, because you know I was having trouble with my first ever toe-up sock, I would like to proudly show that it finally "clicked." The yarn is Panda Cotton in Roses (to me, it looks more like watermelon or strawberry swirl), and the pattern is from the spring issue of Simply Knitting.

See? About 1.5" from my ankle. And then, I get to figure out the heel.

I hope I don't have to start the heel as many times as I had to start this sock. Fourth time's the charm.

Speaking of fourth... Happy 4th of July to all my US readers!

There, that segue wasn't at all heavy handed. Not at all. : )

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Toe Up Trouble

I just frogged my first toe up sock for the third time. Each time because I read the pattern wrong! There's a huge difference between k1, m1, k1 to end of needle and k1, m1, k to end of needle. Urgh.

Stay tuned for actual progress pictures! I'm casting on tonight, and this time, I'm getting it right, dammit!