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Molly's Needles

My adventures in knitting... and a few other things thrown in for fun.

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Location: Massachusetts, United States

I got back into knitting because of the Harry Potter scarves and sweaters. Although I knit other items, replicating HP-wear remains my first love.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

I will hide in sweaters no more

After reading Margene's post yesterday I reaffirmed my decision to get more fit. My problem is that I tend to nest into my house and read, knit, work on logic or Sudoku puzzles when not working. Now that the nicer weather is coming the ability to wear big sweaters like my beloved Pretty in Pink are coming to an end.

Making the decision is easy. Sticking to it...that's another matter. So, for inspiration and the ability for others to see if I'm keeping my word, I've joined The Giving Flower's I'm Fit and I Knitgroup. The button is in my sidebar if you want to join in. I'll post updates here and hopefully we'll see some results. :)

In knitting news, I finished the second repeat of the Common Welsh sock. Heather, you're right- it is a fun pattern to do! I've also cast on for the second of Murcus' Socks. Hopefully that will be done by mid-week.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A sock and a quarter?

I finished the first Murcus' Sock today. I really played around with the pattern as far as how high to make it and what kind of cuff- I had toyed with the idea of making a picot edge but decided on a simple rib. I love the colors and am so happy to have a cotton blend sock to wear now that it's getting warmer. There is a slight gap where I finished the heel and started on the leg. Nothing that won't be easily fixed. Now on to the second sock!

I also did some work on the Common Welsh Green sock. I'm through 1 1/2 repeats of the first chart. Now that I have some more of the pattern showing, I think it will be fine. I was a bit worried that the yarn would obscure the pattern.

Tonight I'll probably do another repeat of Clapotis. I've reached the point where I've dropped three ladders. Even though I know what's supposed to happen it's always a bit nervous to drop that stitch, don't you think? I'm pretty happy with how it's turning out. The yarn doesn't form a specific pattern across the piece. It's more of a mottled effect. I guess this is because each ply is a different color and it depends on how the yarn twists as you make each stitch. I've tried taking a few pictures of it but I think it would be best outside in the sun. I'll try to get a shot over the next couple of days.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sock news and other stuff

I've been working away on Murcus' Sock. It goes quite quickly and is an easy one to take on the road with me. I'll post a picture of it tomorrow as there will be some of the leg done then and it will really look like something.

Finished the first repeat of the Common Welsh Green Sock. As I said before, this one is going much slower, both because I don't want to mess it up but also because it's knit with 4 dpns and I generally prefer using 5. It wouldn't make sense for this pattern, though, so I'm following the author's recommendation. I am thinking ahead to the second sock and may reverse the 'scales' on it to make right and left socks. We'll see once the first one is finished.

About the contest, I guess it goes without saying that everyone who did not win should enter again. For the winners of the first three weeks, would you mind waiting until the last week to reenter? I've got some huge prizes for that one and will actually be making two winners for that. I don't mean to sound petty but I want to give as many people a chance to win as possible. I hope you all understand.

And I am making sure to keep the lamb far away from the Lord and Master! He has enough toys of his own, not to mention several tail ends of yarn that he has filched from my scrap bag.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Contest News

Thank you to everyone who entered the first week of my birthday contest. From the comments made in the e-mails, it seems that chocolate was a contributing factor in many entries! :D

I put everyone's name into a random generator and the winner this week is trekcelt! Congratulations!

For those of you who didn't win this week, there are still several more chances, beginning today. Here is what's up for Week Two:

There's a skein of Lacey Lamb yarn (825 yds). This is ultra-soft and very fine. I used a skein of this to make my Olympic shawl and absolutely fell in love with it. Also, a cute lamb doll (anyone sense a theme here?) and some more chocolate. There may be one or two other little things that didn't make it into the picture, too.

The rules are the same as last week- to enter, send an e-mail to mollyblogcontest at gmail dot com with the words 'Birthday Contest Week Two' in the message. You have until 6PM EST on Saturday to get your entry in. I'll draw a name at random from all entries and announce the winner next Tuesday.

In other news, I've finished the first repeat of Chart A on the Welsh Green sock. Because this yarn is striped, it doesn't show too well in a picture, however, I think it will show nicely when worn.

Murcus' Sock is coming along now that I got the bumps straightened out. I got a fair amount of work done on it last night while visiting with some friends.

The Lord and Master of the House spent the day chasing Mr. Hedgehog (a cohort of Piggy's) and is resting quietly.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

How dumb can I get?

After looking at the yarn some more and reading trek and Heather's comments, I agree that this looks more 'merpeople-ish' than 'squidish', so I'm renaming these Murcus' Socks. Thanks for your input you two. :)

And I have had a lot of chance to look at the yarn. When I picked it up last night as a break from the Welsh Green socks (almost through one repeat of Chart A. Yes, I'm going quite slowly because it would break my heart to have to rip this one back!) I noticed that I had done the boneheaded thing of continuing the stranding across the bottom of the foot. I blame it on my habit of doing cuff-down socks so much. I ripped. Got it back on track and saw that I had messed up when picking up the stitches. Well, I need practice with the short-row toes anyway. Pulled it completely out and started all over. It is now back to where you saw it yesterday.

And these were supposed to be my 'easy' socks!

I've been checking out the colors of STR and have fallen in love with Blue Moon Rock as a possible SSS. Rocky Horror or Tigers Eye have also caught my fancy. Well, that needs to wait until I'm at least close to being done with the Welsh Green socks. Did I mention how lovely that yarn is to work with? I just can't wait!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Squid Socks?

I began working on what I thought would be my Swedish Short Snout Socks (4S for short?) but the yarn has a touch too much green and purplish-blue to work. It really looks more like water to me. I'll have to go hunting for something else.

I did feel like keeping to a HP theme for them so I am doing a simple stranded stitch and call them Squid Socks. Yeah, I know the giant squid doesn't wear socks but work with me here, folks.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Sing along with me!

It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater.
(one-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater)
A one-eyed one-horned, flyin' puple people eater
Sure looks stange to me. (one eye?)

Yup. The Purple People Eater Socks are done. Here they are in all their purple glory. The striping isn't exact but it's pretty darn close, so I'm even more pleased on that score.

This, of course, means that I have free needles. I want to start working on some GoF Dragon Socks. I have the green Step yarn that I plan to use for Common Welsh Green and some Sockotta in a blue/green varigated that will suit the Swedish Short Snout. Last night I cast on the Step using the infamous Pomatomus pattern. We'll see how that works. Definitely a 'stay at home' project.

Also, just a reminder to get your email in if you haven't already for week one of the birthday contests. You have until 6PM EST tomorrow (Saturday). I'll announce the winner on Tuesday.

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bamboo Socks and more

Woohoo for finishing the pair! This one went much smoother since I had already figured out the Peasant Heel as well as the number of rounds to make the foot fit nicely. As I said, this was basically the Universal Sock Pattern with a modified heel. I tried them on with a pair of black mules I have and they fit very well. I think that's what I'll wear to work tomorrow. The mules will show off the Purple People Eater Socks, too, once that pair is finished.

So, some random blog-surfing yesterday brought me to a creative approach at combining love of knitting with love of Harry Potter (and I'm always looking for something to combine those interests!). The Destiny Manifest is working on four pair of socks, each one meant to convey the essence of the four dragons in Goblet of Fire. She's finished two pair so far- Common Welsh Green and Swedish Short Snout. There's some lovely yarn lined up for the Chinese Fireball and I believe she is using Koigu for the Hungarian Horntail. After reading that, I took another look at my Step yarn and think the colors might work for a pair of Welsh Green socks. Now to find a suitable "scaly" pattern.

Now, as for the suprise I hinted at yesterday. A little while back, Margene held a series of contests leading up to her birthday. Although I didn't get any answers right- I guess my knowledge of the Utah Grrl isn't up to par- it was a fun experience. Therefore, I've decided to do the same. There will be four giveaways leading up to the anniversary of my natal day (which should be a national holiday, IMHO).

To give as many people as possible a shot at this, I'm not going to do a question like Margene did. Well, not until the last week, anyway. If you want to be entered this week, just send an e-mail to mollyblogcontest at gmail dot com and put "Birthday Contest Week One" in the message. Get your entry to me by this Saturday and I'll draw a name using a random number generator. The winner will be announced next Tuesday.

What's up for grabs, you ask? Well, a skein of Skacel Merino Lace in a soft white (1375 yards), an egg-shaped container of chocolate (because just about everyone loves chocolate!) and a few other little goodies. Hope to see your e-mails soon.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Weekend goodies

I stopped into my LYS Friday afternoon to see what was new and walked out with all sorts of yummy yarns.

Two new skeins of sock yarn- Fortissimo Colori in what looks to be a white ground with primary dashes of color. Should look fun when it's knitted up and a skein of Austermann Step in varigated greens with a bit of cranberry here and there. This was new to the shop and is so soft; apparently it aloe vera and jojoba oil in it. As soon as I finish the two pair I'm currently working on I'm going to start that.

The Bamboo Sock will be finished tonight. Just have the toe and heel to do. Yay for fast socks! Then I'll cast on for the second Purple People Eater Sock and hope to have that done by mid-week.

The other yarn I got Friday was 3 skeins of Cascade Sierra Quattro in a lovely pastel blend of pink, green and yellow. Very springlike and cheerful. What am I using it for? Well, I'm finally breaking down and making Clapotis. I know everyone and their brother has already made this, but I was much inspired by dreamcatcher's gorgeous version. I've knitted on it over the weekend and have almost completed the increase section. I'm rather suprised by how quickly it goes.

No pictures today although I will have some of the finished Bamboo Socks tomorrow as well as a suprise for you all tomorrow.

Friday, April 14, 2006

And the socks keep coming

Well, parts of them, anyway. The second Bamboo Sock is progressing quite nicely. Funny how a pattern stitch can make the work seem to go quicker than the acres of stockinette.

I started my dad's sock, which has a cuff done on US5, but when I went to switch to the US8s, I could only find 4 of the needles. These had gone a-travelling with me and the bag did tip at some point so I fear it is lost. Well, I have to go to the LYS tonight for some other stuff so I guess I'll grab another set. I just have an aversion to working with 4 needles for some reason.

I also have finished the little tank dress for Dolly. I'm about to start the matching cardigan and then I'll post a picture of all the outfits. If I say so myself, they aren't that bad for coming up with the patterns myself.

Thanks for the praise of my socks, dreamcatcher. I really would like to do a Dobby-ish pair at some point, maybe use up all the odds and ends of sock yarn. Personally, I think he's on to something. I mean, who said that socks have to match? ;)

One more thing to look forward to, coming early next week there will be some fun and exciting (I hope) things posted here. Keep an eye out for it.

Have a happy weekend!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Two pair, two socks

If you take a peek at my sidebar you'll notice that I have two pair of socks going. Would it make sense to complete one pair at a time? Of course. Do I always make sense? Not usually. So, here are the first halves of my new socks. Oh, and please pardon my pale leg. The flash washed it out a bit but it also hasn't seen the sun since last summer!

This is one of the Bamboo Socks. It is knit from Jawoll Superwash in Charcoal on US2 needles. I sort of cobbled together Kathryn's Universal Sock Pattern with The Knitting Fiend's Peasant Heel. The stitch on the leg is the Bamboo Stitch from my 365 Knitting Stitches perpetual calendar, modified to be worked in the round. It was super-easy. As I said before, I had knit this up but the foot didn't fit quite right, which was due to a slight miscalculation on how much length would be taken by the heel. I recalculated and am very happy with the snug-but-not-tight fit I now have.

Here is a shot of a Purple People Eater Sock. I used the same patterns and needles for this sock but knit it from Lorna's Laces Purple Club. The stitch is sort of the same as on the Bamboo Sock. However, I alternated the pattern stitch with a round of eyelets. It made it a bit more open and lacy. This sock had also been previously knit. I was making the Slouch Sock from Socks, Socks, Socks but the color pooled horribly. Part of my reason for wanting an open stitch on this was to try and prevent the pooling. I think it succeeded.

I might be happy with the results, and am looking forward to the finished pair (although this currently makes a nice set of Dobby socks), Blaze was not overly impressed.

Friday, April 07, 2006


I finished the first sock last night. I'm sure I'm not saying anything new when I say that you should have very good light when trying to pick up stitches. Especially when the yarn is dark and patterned. I forgot to heed that rule and ended up frogging the entire thing. Well, as I said, the foot was a bit too long so it isn't a complete disaster but it does hurt to rip out a perfectly good piece of knitting. As Margene would say, it is the process.

Needless to say, I did very little yesterday but knit. It was enjoyable, though. I had picked up The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe the night before (in fact, the frogging took place while I watched the extras disc), and I had some lovely decaf Vanilla Chai to sip. The Lord and Master of the House checked in from time to time, and as he didn't attempt to pull the yarn away to play with, must have approved of my work. The heel was finished at 10PM last night. I just need to snug up the spot where the yarn was attached and I'll take a picture of it. I'm pretty happy with it and can't wait to finish the pair.

Beyond that, I think I am finally adjusted to the time change. It's funny to think that one hour in the middle of the night can throw you off for so long but from what other people I've talked to are saying, that seems to be the case. Of course, I fail to see the need for Daylight Savings Time any longer. It seems to be a dinosaur that has outlived its usefulness.

This weekend I will be taking it easy, finishing my Bamboo Socks, possibly my father's cable sock and maybe even the (gasp!) Quidditch Sweater. Another viewing of LWW may occur as well as Goblet of Fire.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

One sock down...sort of

I finished the first of my Bamboo Socks last night. However, I think I'm going to rip a bit back and redo some. I just came across The Knitting Fiend's Peasant Heel tutorial, which is a bit more like what I want for my heel. It's also a touch long once the toe was completed. Rather than just redo the heel and have a slightly big sock for one foot I'd rather have two well-fitting socks. If you're going to make them yourself they might as well fit, right?

I also ripped out the wonky cable sock I had made my father. The best I can figure is that I put it down and when I picked it up again, started the cable pattern in the wrong place so it pulled in too much in one spot. Of course, that would be up at the top of the leg so the whole thing had to come out. At least that shouldn't take long because they were knit on US8 and US5 for the cuff. Then I can send them back down to Dad. He may actually get a bit of wear out of them yet because it can still get chilly where he is. If not, he'll be all set for next year. The moral of that story is to always look at what you're doing so you can catch mistakes before they get too well-established.

To continue with socks, I plan to go to the LYS this week to look for summer weight sock yarn (something with a cotton blend). I have a bit more sock yarn in stash but it's Jawoll Superwash and Wildfoote yarn. Great stuff but a bit too much wool for warmer weather. Hopefully the store will have something.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Musings on Project Monogamy

I can't do it. I really tried but I can't. Maybe it is the warmer weather and knowing that I won't really be able to wear my Quidditch Sweater until Fall, but I've been seduced by other things.

One is a pair of socks. I'm using Kathryn's Universal Pattern to make what I call "Bamboo Socks". Super simple stitch pattern from my '365 Knit Stitches' calendar. I'm only working it on the leg because it might be a bit too bulky in shoes but it looks great. I've gone past the heel area (doing an afterthought heel on these) and am about 1/3 of the way down the foot.

Also, I've finished the purple raglan sweater for my cousin's daughter's Babe. It came out nicely and I want to do a twinset of a tank dress and cardi next. Along with a simple skirt that will give her several outfits. She's going to send me a picture of the doll this week, so once I have it I'll upload it along with the wardrobe. Melissa, you mentioned wanting to make one. They go very quickly and easily. I would suggest making it in the round. I did one flat but think the seams take a bit too much stress. The second doll is standing up to the affections of a two year-old quite nicely. :)

So, based on this, I think I am not meant to make one project at a time and see it through to the finish before starting something else. I admire those who have such determination but I guess I am just too random and easily distracted by new, shiny things to stay the course.

Now if you'll excuse me, I hear some lovely sock yarn or maybe the beginnings of a shawl calling to me. :)