15 April 2008

Knitter's Elbow

So about that injury, the bemoaned “knitter’s elbow.” I was joking…

My elbow didn’t get the joke.

I’ve graduated to some tingling in the fingers, slight swelling and inflammation and a strict order from my trainer to minimize my time at the computer and knitting and devote that time to ice packs instead. Ugh.

I’ve taken a no-knitting-till-May moratorium and am trying to keep the computer time restricted to work and only necessary Internet addiction feeding. Like I could go cold turkey with giving up both knitting and blog reading!

Don’t tell on me, but I did breakdown and do some crocheting this weekend and I can feel it. It’s so pathetic when your body tells you that you can’t even do the proverbial “old lady” hobbies without pain and strain! At least I burned through my stash yarn on the crochet project so as long as I can keep myself from buying more, I won’t be able to give in to the temptation of the hook. Here’s to hoping the no-yarn-buying moratoriam works its magic!

In the meantime, thought I’d post a few of the sewing projects I’ve finished recently. “Recently” being a relative term here. I think these first two were actually tackled in January!

Amy Butler’s Wide-Legged Lounge Pants from In Stitches

I think I cut these out about a year ago so thought it was high time to actually sew them up. There were many comments on these when they were the project of the month for AfricanKelli’s sewalong so I won’t rehash what I think is already out there in Flickr-land. They are really wide in the leg department, really wide, like wrap the fabric around you twice kind of wide. When you’re wrapped in that much flannel, well, you’re warm, but don’t plan on being as “fast as a cheetah and agile as a monkey” to steal Cousin Andy’s phrase.

As far as fit, well, don’t expect a flattering silhouette with all that fabric tying you up. On me, they fit in the hips but the drawstring waist doesn’t really cinch very well so I never know when they’re just going to fall to the ground. Thank goodness I live alone, right? Nothing sexier than standing there with yards of flannel around your ankles! The whole drawstring concept probably works better on lighter weight fabric but I think even quilting-weight cotton wouldn’t draw up enough.

So, they work and I’ve worn them (as evidenced by the post-washing nubbies that you get with cheap flannel) but I can’t really say they’ll become a staple part of my lounging wardrobe.

Shoe Bags Take 2

I made a set of shoe bags for a friend, also using an Amy Butler pattern, and set out to make another set for myself. I ended up just winging it and actually like these better than the Butler pattern. I think I’m going to try a basic tutorial to give you some ideas on how to use up your flannel stash, because I know you all have flannel stashes, right?

I have a few more sewing projects to share and even some knitting that didn’t make it to the blog before injury struck so again, I’ll put out the hope that I can actually get my hiney into gear with the posting. I’m also doing a little bit o’ spring cleaning and planning some decorating/renovating projects which should at least provide funny stories of breaking things and spilling paint. So far I’ve managed to clean out my stash of Martha Stewart magazines to post on ebay and seriously scrub my bathroom down. Does it get any more exciting than time with Tilex?

04 April 2008

Stress Socks

I suppose it’s appropriate to post pictures of these socks now that I’m FINALLY finished with my campus interviews. I’ve said this many times over the past few months but it bears repeating… I could so NOT be a rockstar. I’m tired of living out of suitcases and constantly having the pressure to perform publicly at a moment’s notice. I have had a wonderful year of searching and am thankful for the many experiences I’ve had, people I’ve met and places I’ve seen, but whew, this chickadee is ready for some stability.

But… back in December when I first started the Book Girl World Tour I needed some travelin’ knittin’ and what better than plain Jane socks? These are simple toe-up, 2x2 ribbing with a short-row heel done out of Trekking XXL. I did learn a few things along the way that I suppose I should record for posterity.

Yarn: Trekking XXL won in a blog contest – love it, love it, love it. It feels slightly thin to me after some of the hand-dyed yarn I’ve been using but I love the color transitions and the overall feel of the socks. It may be a little “crunchier” than some of the hand-dyed that I’ve found, but I actually like the crisper feel for socks. And the yardage can’t be beat. I made these socks a nice length and could’ve probably ended up with knee-highs had I wanted to mess with weighing the yarn and estimating halves.

Needles: Addis Sz 1 for Magic Loop - I think I remember reading that the Addi Sz 1 is slightly bigger than other US Sz 1s and maybe I should’ve gone to another needle. I’m worried these may be a little loose on the bottom of the foot and so may wear quickly. But, the Addis are comfortable with their blunt tip and flexible cable so they’ll always be my needle of choice.

Pattern: I didn’t really have one, just used Judy’s Magic Cast-on (or an approximation that I could remember in the airport) and increased to 64 stitches. The heels are actually different, one being a Sherman heel and one a short-row using Wendy’s directions. I definitely prefer the short-row method and finally was able to do it without too many holes. I’m not sure about the fit of the short-row heel though as it bunches a bit in the front of the ankle. I think on my next pair, I may try the toe-up gusset style heel just to experiment until I can get “my” sock pattern, a standard go-to pattern that I know works.

I’ve said this many times and have never stuck with it, but hopefully I’ll be able to do more blogging this month since I don’t have any trips planned until maybe June! Yay! Yes, I’m a happy homebody.