There's nothing magic about Judy.

This my friends, is a picture of success.


This is my first successful attempt at using Judy's Not-So-Magical Cast on. I picked up a copy of Socks from the Top Up today at Barnes and Noble (I had a gift card to use up). I had every intention of buying New England Knits but I talked myself out of it because realistically, it's going to be months before I work up the gumption to knit up that gorgeous sweater on the cover. But socks? I can do socks now and they would make great airplane knitting. And toe up would be a nice new challenge. I liked the look of most of the socks in the book so I went with it instead.  Well after spending most of the day working on Manda's Something Lacy I wanted something new (I'm still working on the lace back and after 4.5 repeats I'm a little bored with it) so I decided to try one of the toe up socks from the book. I wound up 2 balls of Lorna's Laces in Clara's Garden and picked out a pattern.

That was the easy part. The pattern calls for casting on either with the Turkish Cast On, Figure Eight or Judy's Magic cast on. None of them looked appealing to me but I decided to try Judy's Magic Cast On since it seemed to be the easiest and most useful to know. I do long tail cast on all of the time, this should be a piece of cake! Right?

Wrong. 1 hour and 3 you tube videos later (including one very annoying Cat Bordhi clip) and I was incredibly annoyed and baffled. No matter how many times I replayed the videos and went through it step by step all I wound up with was a series of unknittable yos on both needles. I never have this much trouble trying to learn knitting trick with videos to follow but for some reason this cast on baffled me.

I finally stumbled upon this blog post with a slightly different version of the cast on  and after 2 tries it finally clicked! Turning it upside down and following her clearly written out instructions made all of the difference in the world. I highly recommend this technique if you have any trouble learning Judy's Magic Cast On. I still don't quite understand what was going wrong before but as long as I can memorize this method I could be fine for knitting socks toe up.

On another note, Lorna's Laces is so incredibly soft. I cannot wait to put these socks on my feet.


Sale Alert!

The 2009 Interweave Knits Accessories digital copy is going for $.10 right now. This magazine has the Koolhass pattern in it so that alone makes it worth it. There are several other patterns I could see myself knitting from it too (especially now that we're approaching winter season knitting and I do shawls!). That's $.10 well spent!

Also, my Something Lacy is coming along nicely. I cast on about...40? Extra stitches to make up for using fingering weight instead of worsted. I did do a gauge swatch but honestly, I don't even really know what it means other than I think I hit the gauge that was listed on the yarn spot on but I wasn't sure how to convert that to my pattern so I just started casting on  in multiples of 10 until it looked like it might be wide enough. So now it looks wide enough and I haven't had any major hiccups in knitting the lace so far, though I did do one extra row yesterday when I wasn't paying close attention while knitting and watching Kick Ass (I know I'm late to the party but that movie is a lot of fun!). No biggie, the leaves in one row will be slightly longer than the others. If anything, I think I might be flirting with longer sleeves that are almost down to my elbows but that's much better than having too short sleeves since the whole point of this thing is to cover arms.

It's also going fairly quickly. I've done 2.5 repeats of the lace so far and I think I can get through the whole lace section by the end of the week. So that would leave blocking this weekend then starting the ribbing on the arms and body. I think I can knock this bad boy out in 2 weeks.


Goodies to share.

I've got a couple of goodies to share. I ordered a shawl pin on etsy earlier this week with a gift card I won at work. I thought maybe it might come in handy for wearing my shawl at the wedding. It's really lovely and was shipped quickly. I'd definitely go back to the seller DonnaJs for future pins.

It came all pretty wrapped up.

So pretty I almost didn't want to unwrap it. But I'm glad I did. It's gorgeous!

In action on the Orchid Thief (I think I might be daring and wear it to work tomorrow!)

I also knit another braided necklace. These are so quick to knock out. This one was some leftover berroco alpaca I think. I'll probably be making another one of these tonight. I'm avoiding large projects until this weekend. Manda requested a shrug for the wedding so I'm going to attempt to make her  Something Lacy. I'm going to stop by the new yarn shop that just opened up tomorrow to see if I can find some yarn for it and cast on for it this weekend.


Braided necklace

I found a new quick project that will be perfect for gifts for people. It is the Cable Braided Necklace from OlgaJazzy. Manda found the pattern and asked for one so I knocked one out yesterday/today to see how they work. I used some leftover sock yarn to make this one.

I love how versatile this is. It can be a headband (this one is too long for that) a bracelet or a necklace worn with the button in the front or the back. I can see myself making a ton of these to give out.


My shoes

Today's photo challenge is shoes.

I love my toms. They are so incredibly comfortable.

Orchid Thief FO Pictures

I'm still amazed at how quickly I got through this pattern. But I guess after spending time with 1,000 yards of lace weight anything would feel like a breeze.

I ALMOST had enough yarn with one skein. I ran out 3/4 of the way through the last pattern row. So I basically used the second for the bind off and that was it. Somebody is getting some magenta colored socks soon.

I've got knitters block right now. I want to knit more and I want to knit another shawl(lette) but I can't decide on a pattern or what yarn to use. I cast on for my second Hedera (I never did start that second sock) but as soon as I got to the pattern portion of it I remembered how much I disliked knitting it. I hate yoing before/after purling. I don't know if I'll keep knitting that. I need to knit something though. I'm open to suggestions! Especially one skein projects that use fingering/lace weight.


Orchid Thief the Blocking Edition

Orchid Thief is blocking. I actually knit that bad boy in less than a month. Once I figured out the chart repeats thanks to many posts on Ravelry it was a piece of cake. It was also really fun to knit. Pictures will be forth coming once the weather is nicer outside and she's done blocking.


Something Fun

Today's photo post is something fun. Obvs. I totally wanted to do a knitting related photo since I consider knitting to be my main form of happy fun time.

She's coming along quite nicely. My new skein of Absolute Magenta came in today (super fast shipping, thanks Eat Sleep Knit!) so I can take it with me with no worries of running out of yarn this weekend while I'm out of town. It even seems to be the same dye lot as the original skein. At first I thought the new yarn looked darker/richer than what I have on the needles but when I held the two strands next to one another I couldn't really tell a difference. So yay for that. I think with the left over yarn I might knit up some mittens or glittens or fingerless mitts to go along with the shawl.


Something I made

This seems to be turning into an every other day photo challenge. But that's ok. At least I'm sort of sticking with it. Today is something I made. And today I made...bird nests. The idea is to make them into cute little bobby pins. I followed this tutorial. They're super easy to make but I think I still need to work on my wrapping technique some more. But so far they look cute. I need to find some bobby pins that have the flat bits on them so I can glue them on. I think that will make them more secure.

I started with the lighter wire with the pearls but the pearls didn't fit in that wire so I had to go out today to buy thinner gauge wire and I picked up some blue pearls to see how they look. I like both looks.


Orchid Thief - The I Really Need to Learn to do a Gauge Swatch Edition

So I broke down at ordered another skein of my DIC Absolute Magenta last night. It wasn't instock at my beloved Loopy Ewe so I wound up ordering it from Eat Sleep Knit. This is my first time ordering anything from them but I'm really pleased so far. The price was good, I actually found a 10% off coupon code so it was cheaper than getting it from Loopy Ewe or Jimmy Beans and even though I ordered late last night I had an email waiting for me this morning saying that it had been shipped. Which is awesome because I am so close to finishing this shawl and I don't want to wait forever to get my yarn. I thought I was doing well with the yarn after I finished the last repeat of chart 3 but I didn't count on how much yarn was going to get eaten up doing chart 4. I'm not out yet but it's precarious looking now. I'm on row like 104 and there are 114 pattern rows, so like 20 left to knit and my ball has gotten considerably smaller than it was when I started this chart. I just didn't want to risk running out and I really want to see one all the way through. I probably won't use much of the new skein so there should at least be enough left over for a pair of socks or perhaps some matching mittens or fingerless gloves.

Waiting for the new yarn to come in before finishing will be killer though. I'm so close I can taste it! I can't wait to see this one all blocked out.


Something New

I missed yesterday's photo of childhood memory. That's ok, I don't really have anything around here that is from my childhood or reminds me of it.

Today's is something new and these are the newest purchases in the house. Our wedding bands.:) One step closer to getting married.


Someone I love

Here's my photo for day 5 of the challenge. None other than Mr. Kevin.


My favorite color

My friend Manda pointed out a challenge on another blog. 30 days of pictures in the month of August. Obviously I missed the first few days but it looks like fun so I'm gonna try to pick it up from today. This is my favorite color. I love most shades of blue so I gathered up what I could find in my stash and took a photo.

In other news, I decided to fudge it with the Orchid Thief. The extra stitches seemed to only be between the first and second spine stitches and once I got past the second spine with my fudging everything was hunky dory. So I'll trudge along and hope it looks ok when I'm done!

Orchid Thief Now with More Kitteh!

This post is brought to you by the letter G, a tummy ache and the prettiest kitty in the land, Gracie. Also, not a insignificant amount of frustration.

Frustration you say? Well yes. Between being completely over the whole wedding planning thing and not at all interested in making any more decisions related to that, the near constant tummy ache I've had for the past few weeks that changes in intensity during the day but hasn't quite gone away completely (I'm starting to think I may have a food intolerance of some sort) and the fact that my Orchid Thief is has 10 extra stitches, I'm a little annoyed and frustrated.

I've made it through the 3 repeats of chart 3. Other than missing a yo here or there that I had to fudge and make up for everything turned out ok. I think it looks the way it should. I'm not spotting any glaring errors and the pattern worked out fine, I didn't come up with anything extra that doesn't seem like it belongs but some how I'm off my stitch count by 10. The book says I should have 283 and I have 293.

I started chart 4 and was following mitchypoo's written instructions for row 86. It started out ok (at least as far as I could tell). The stitches lined up at least through the first ktbl.

k3, ssk, yo, k10, k3tog, yo, k, yo, k, yo, k, yo, sk2p, k10, yo, sk2p, yo, k11, yo, k, yo, ktbl, yo, k, yo, k11, yo, sk2p, yo, k10, k3tog, yo, k, yo, k, yo, k, yo, sk2p, k10, yo, sk2p, yo, k10, k3tog, yo, k, yo, k, yo, k, yo, sk2p, k10, yo, sk2p, yo, k11, yo, k, yo, ktbl, yo, k, yo, k11, yo, sk2p, yo, k10, k3tog, yo, k, yo, k, yo, k, yo, sk2p, k10, yo, sk2p, yo, k10, k3tog, yo, k, yo, k, yo, k, yo, sk2p, k10, yo, sk2p, yo, k11, yo, k, yo, ktbl, yo, k, yo, k11, yo, sk2p, yo, k10, k3tog, yo, k, yo, k, yo, k, yo, sk2p, k10, yo, k2tog, k3

 The bolded line is where I hit problems. I got through the k11 but I didn't have just one stitch left to do a yo k yo before the next ktbl. I had like 15 more stitches before I got to the next spine and now I'm stuck. I'm not sure if I should just fudge a few decreases to make things work out or keep just knitting until I get to the ktbl. The problem with throwing the decreases in is I'm not sure where they should go since the first bit of the row lined up ok. I think It would help if I knew exactly how many stitches should be in each section (between the spines). I'm determined to make this work. I'll be damned if I'm ripping out anything. I think I even have enough yarn to get through it. There's 2.3oz on my needles and I've got 2oz left to knit with.

But until I figure it out, here's some more kitty.