Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week Eight....of the Super Stitches Knitting Project

This week's challenge was:
1) Pyramid Stitch
2) Seeded Check
3) Mosaic Stitch

And let me just add real fast that, of the knit and purl pattern section, this page had the three most fiddly annoying patterns and I mostly didn't enjoy myself this time around. Mainly because I took Vyvyan's whole naptime and only got 2 and a half ugly little square out of it when I could be working on this.
Left mitt of Commuter Gloves, nearing completion
Or this:
What? Swatching for a new sweater? That's preposterous!
After swatching with three different needle sizes (and ignoring the half knit Mosaic swatch I'll show you later) I realized that there was simply no way I could knit my chosen pattern with this yarn.
From Ella Rae's Book number 18, "Island Holiday"
The cascade Ecological wool was just too chunky. At first I thought that I could knit the smallest size (a 11-12 year old size) and turn up with a perfectly fitting sweater, but after much swatching I realized the final product would still be about 10 inches too big. If I fiddled with the amount of cast on stitches (a whopping 92 at the smallest size) the cable in the middle would look totally out of place. So I was forced to give up and then the prospect of working the second half of that ugly puny little swatch seemed all the more disgusting.
Anyways. Moving on from the complaining about my sweater sorrows and on to the post.

(I don't have a picture yet of all three swatches together. gimme a break i'm having sweater trauma.)

SWATCH 1: Pyramid Stitch
At first, at a 16 row repeat I thought this pattern was going to be a pain in the arse. Soon, though I realized that most of the rows were either k7 p1, p7 k1, k3 p5, or p3 k5 only with the stitches a bit out of order. Like instead of saying "p3, k5" it would say k2, *k3, p3, k2* which is totally just p3 k5, yaa' mean?
So this one ended up being pretty easy, but I didn't like it anyways.

Pyramid Stitch Swatch
What's wrong with it? well...when streched out it looks fine. almost like i figured out how to do something cool. But all bunched up as it is normally it just looks....pleated i guess. I don't like the way it folds onto itslef. Maybe with larger needles it wouldn't do that as much, I don't know. Oh, also? I would go ahead and call this reversible even though the book didn't.
SWATCH 2: Seeded Check
I actually really liked this pattern.
1) It was really easy
2) I could tell where the hell I was at all times
3) The little purl sections totally snuck up on me and I appreciated that
4) It would make a nice pattern for a blanket because you can't really get bored too easily.
5) It keeps you on your toes just enough to watch tv or read your favorite blog.
If using it as a base for a blanket I would definitely bump up the squares to maybe 10 or 15 stitches per square instead of 5.

Seeded Check Swatch
Obviously this swatch needs a good blocking and tug in the downward direction, but in real life the swatch is quite nice and the variety of textures is pleasing.

SWATCH 3: Mosaic Stitch

Mosaic Stitch Swatch
Let me just say that uh... I don't like this swatch. It's too much effort for not a whole lot of pretty. Also, I had to cast on 30 stitches! It's a 20 st plus 10 repeat. What's with that?? Again, I'm thinking blanket. No way I'd use this in a garment. Maybe in a pillow. that might be nice. Like a cushion? Actually that's not a bad idea, if you had some really chunky yarn in a bright color. I forgive you stitch pattern.
Also, I like the weird wavy thing going on in the middle but I think if I tried to isolate it, it wouldn't end up working.

Next week tune in for...
1) Vertical Caterpillar Stitch
2) Harris Tweed Stitch
3) Diamond Seed Stitch

P.S. Next week is the last week of the first section of the book! Hurray!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Back online! A FO and a WIP

Turns out they meant it might be out all weekend, and thankfully it won't be. :)
So, then, I promised a finished object and here it is.

Belted Mitts from a lousy pattern (it isn't even on ravelry) and out of hand dyed wool
I have to redo the pattern- look how huge they are!
So, what I LIKED about this project:
1) The color- beautifully hand dyed
2) The belt design
3) The yarn (I LOVE patons)

What I didn't like:
1) The pattern was very badly written
2) Sewing the buttons on (I kept doing it lopsided since I had to sew the button onto the belt and onto the mitt at the same time)
3) How wide the mitts turned out
4) The thumb gusset. It increased too quickly and left a very small thumb hole.

Some day I'm going to revamp this pattern and make it user friendly and add a few cute details. ;)

 As for the new project with the malabrigo? I'm halfway done.
commutuer gloves- they still need a button

Turns out the yarn looks beautiful with the cables.
Unfortunately, once I finished the first glove I had this much yarn left over.
But I figured on that when I started. Thing is, Will bought me this yarn a long time ago at The Urban Sheep in Modesto. I really really wanted to make a hat. So I had them wind it into a cake for me and cast on immediately when I got home. I searched ravelry for a good pattern and settled on capucine(rav link) because the example project was with a nice multi colored yarn and I thought it would look really nice.
I'm not even going to show you what it looked like on. There's a picture on my ravelry project page if you want to see it on my head. Instead I'll show you how it looks on Vyvyan, since he makes everything cuter.
Here's a picture of it laying flat. I had cut the tassle off already (thankfully I never got around to making the other two tassles or I might not have enough yarn to finish the mitts)

So, ripping that out gave me two more little balls of yarn.
Whadd'ya think? Is it enough?
I hope so. I absolutely adore this pattern. It's super easy from the wrist up to the thumb, then the thumb is added later ingeniously (all you do is add in waste yarn) then the top shaping is interesting enough to keep you on your toes but not too hard to do while watching an episode of Dragonball Z.
The finished object is beautiful! And that's even before I add a nice big contrasting button!
I used 3's instead of 4's since I generally knit loose and I ended up with a nice snug mitten.

And maybe when I'm done with these I can finish up the pair of fingerless gloves I chickened out on.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Going offline a while..

We changed our phone number so the internet will be out all weekend.
Not sure how I'll be able to live without Ravelry!
Also, Vyvyan has Roseola. The fever was pretty bad, it got to 104.7, but now he's fine and just has a rash all over his body. Apparently, the rash doesn't hurt or itch so he's acting perfectly normal.

I did make a bit of progress on my fingerless mitts...
And then once it got to the scary part (adding the fingers) I put it away and nearly finished the mitts I started a long time ago. I just have to weave in the ends and sew on a button and then I have a pretty christmas present for a friend. I'll post a picture of that later.

In the meantime I started a new project.
Using Malabrigo Rios and size 3 DPNs
The pattern is from the new Knitty and can be found here.
I think I made a bad yarn choice though, because the multi-color is obscuring the cable pattern....
We'll see.

Oh, also I wanted to share the loot I got from Jo Annes yesterday.
1) Many cute multicolor buttongs
2) Locking stitch markers (always need more)
3) Clover darning needles along with little case (I had one of these but it's gone missing....hopefully I'll find it and then have two)
4) Fabric!!!! (I don't know how to sew, but I'm going to attempt to learn because I want a tea wallet so bad.
5) I also couldn't resist this adorable bag for 1.99

So anyways, I'll be back once we have internet again. I'll try to at least upload my super stitches project on sunday, but I don't have a car so it depends on if someone wants to take me to Wifi.
Happy knitting.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A bit of history.

I was looking into vintage patterns the other day. Not because I have any interest in knitting them, but I suppose I had been doing a bit of thinking about that Mary Frances knitting and crochet book I reviewed and I got to thinking that it would be interesting to find more old knitting brochures.
I found an amazing website called the Antique Pattern Library, which has scans of old pattern books and keeps them as free PDF downloads for anybody to see.
An example is The Lady's Book of Knitting which boasts "Compiled and edited by a Lady Expert who has conscientiously tested all of them."
So far, I've been reading quite a bit from "Beehive Knitting Booklet Number 9 Woolcraft" which is from 1915.

Totally printed out the cover page and put it on my wall.
 As in the Mary Frances book, I found a bunch of charming but useless information about how the thicker a needle the smaller its number and how it is impossible to chemically alter wool so that it doesn't felt without destroying all tactical aspects of it.
Again, I have no desire to knit any of these vintage patterns. They're unflattering, often in a ton of garter stitch, require finishing I don't have time or patience for, are badly written, and call for yarns I either have never heard of or simply cannot obtain.
What's interesting to me is the history. It's amazing. In each book, there is always a page with pictures of a woman demonstrating the knit stitch. That same knit stitch- even though I work it differently- has been carried on through hundreds of years.
Printed in 1886
It's also awesome to see how things have changed. Pattern books are no longer all squished together with bold print at random. No longer do we see patterns calling for "Wheeling" or "Vest Wool." Also, in the 1886 booklet (it's 114 pages so I haven't gone through it yet so it might turn up yet) there is no mention of gauge. By the time 1915 rolls around, the concept of gauge is in place:
"To successfully use the directions with another Wool requires great care, any difference in thickness between the one subsituted and that used for the original recipe being sure to produce a corresponding difference in size in the finished garment. The difficlty is reduced to some extent by the system of working to measure."
The author then goes on to mention that if you are using a wool with more stitches to the inch than the reccomended wool, you will end up with a garment too small and that if you use a thicker wool you will end up with a garment that is too big. Of course, it ends saying "the safer plan by far is to, whenever possible, use the exact material reccomended."

I can't wait to delve even deeper into this.
It makes me think of something Meggie Reghetti said, in Knitting in Plain English. She encouraged all the knitters who read her book to contact the people who produce and print the patterns and demand more comprehensive patterns with clear photographs and intelligible instructions. In the end of chapter 5 (Some Words About Patterns and Instructions) there is this encouraging Author's note:
I salute you. You are wonderful! You have changed the way knitting patterns are presented. You insisted on and got better directions. Since the original edition was published, the hand-knitting-yarn industry has changed its ways. And what a difference! Now you get better-written instructions, graphic layout drawings, dimensions of the finished garments, and honest photographs. Congratulations. You deserve a round of applause and a bouquet of red roses.

Knitting is changing. The knitting world is changed. Ravelry is a Google rank 6. That means, out of ten, Google rates Ravelry's importance at 6.  There are 2000+ knitters on Ravelry right now. With the internet comes a whole world of resources! And so much of it is free... This is a good age.

You know, I'm not much of a person for making goals in life but if I did have a goal I'd like it to be about knitting. There's no way I could be as influential as someone like Elizibeth Zimmerman or Debbie New. I'm not a knitting philosipher like Stephanie Pearl Mc Phee. I'm not an amazing knitting machine like Margaret Radcliffe or Cat Borhdi. I can't create my own hit patterns like Cookie A. But I can be a knitting historian. You know how sometimes you're watching that episode of history detectives or whatever and they go to the expert on World War 2 Japanese Internment camp hand crafted canes? That guy exists! There's a guy who's passion is dung beetles. And when you want to write about dung beetles, you go to that guy and you interview him and he knows a ton about them. I want to be that guy. Only, not dung beetles of course.

You know, the best resource I've found in book form on the subject of knitting in history is Richard Rutt's "A history of hand-knitting," and you know what? It's a little....reminiscent of the patterns from 1915. All squished together and bolded at random. It's kind of out of date, and I guess that's because there isn't a lot of interest in knitting as history. Everybody wants the mason-dixon knitting book, or stitch and bitch. But it seems like I've read all the new books and I still want to learn more!

And it's funny because I want to learn about knitting I would never really attempt. I rented a book from the local library on traditional Norwegian mittens and read it cover to cover. I read the patterns. I didn't knit a single thing from that book. I don't want too! They look too hard and I don't live somewhere where I really need mittens and also I don't like the immobility you get with mittens. But reading about them was worth it to me. Each area of the world that had its own knitting specialty- fair isle, estonian lace, aran sweaters, anything!- I want to know more about it all. The funny thing about it is that....I really actually suck at knitting. I buy way too much yarn and I buy way more books than I have room for, and I knit when I could be cleaning the bathroom, and when I'm not knitting I'm reading about it or blogging about it or thinking about it and why???

I don't know. But at least I have a passion. Right?

And now, a poem, plucked from the pages of "Knitting and Crochet- a guide to the use of the needle and the hook." And by plucked I mean, since it's a PDF, I copied the whole thing and hand-typed it here for you to enjoy. (Never before have I wanted more readers.)________________________________________________________________________________

To knit a stocking, needles four,
Cast on three needles and no more;
Each needle stitches eight and twenty,
Then one for seam stitch will be plenty.
For twenty rounds your stitch must be
Two plain, two purl alternately,
Except the seam stitch which you do
Once purl once plain the whole way through.
A finger plain you next must knit
Ere you begin to narrow it;
But if you like the stocking long,
Two fingers' length will not be wrong.
And then the narrowings to make
Two stitches together you take
Each side the seam; then eight rounds plain,
Before you narrow it again,
Ten narrowings you'll surely find
Will shape the stocking to your mind;
Then twenty rounds knit plain must be
And stitches sixty-five you'll see.
These just in half you must divide,
With thirty-two on either side:
But on one needle there must be
Seam stitch in the middle, thirty-three.
One half on needles two you place,
And leave alone a little space;
The other with the seam in middle,
To manage right is now my riddle.
Backward and forward you must knit,
And always purl the backward bit;
But seam stitch, purl and plain, you know,

And slip the first stitch every row.
When thirty rows you thus have done,
Each side the seam knit two in one
Each third row until you feel
That forty rows are in your heel.
You then begin your heel to close;
For this choose one of the plain rows;
Knit plain to seam, then two in one,
One plain stitch more must still be done.
Then turn your work, purl as before
The seam stitch-two in one, one more;
Then turn again, knit til you see
Where first you turned a gap will be.
Across it knit together two
And don't forget one plain to do;
Then turn again, purl as before
And sew til there's a gap no more.
The seam stitch you no longer mind,
That, with the heel, is left behind.
When all the heel is quite closed in,
 To knit a plain row you begin,
And at the end you turn no more,
But round and round knit as before.
For this, on a side needle take
The loops the first slip-stitches make;
With your heel needle- knit them plain,
 To meet the old front half again.
This on one needle knit should be.
And then you'll have a needle free
To take up loops the other side,
And knit round plain and to divide
The back parts evenly in two;
Off the heel needle some are due:
Be careful that you count the same.
On each back needle, knit round plain;
But as the foot is much too wide,
Take two together at each side.
On the back needle where they meet
The front to make a seam quite neat.
 Each time between knit one plain round,
Till stitches sixty-four are found;
And the front needle does not lack
As many as on both the back.
You next knit fifty six rounds plain,
But do not narrow it again;
'Twill then be long enough, and so
Begin to narrow for the toe.
Your long front row knit plainly through,
But at its end stitches knit two;
Together and together catch
Two first in the next row to match;
Then to the other side knit plain

Half round, and do the same again;
That is, two last together catch,
Two first in the front row to match.
At first knit four plain rows between,
Then two, then one, ultil 'til seen
You've done enough to close the toe;
And then decrease in every row,
Until to stitches eight you're brought,
Then break the thread off- not too short-
And as these stitches eight you do,
Each time your end of thread pull through;
Then draw up all to close it tight,
And with a darning needle bright,
Your end of thread securely run,
And then, hurrah! the stocking's done!


Now imagine the people who actually learned how to make socks that way.
Antique Pattern Library. Have a visit. It's not just knitting, but all kinds of needlework.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WIP Wednesday

The first thing I did when I woke up this morning (after feeding the baby, of course I fed the baby first) was cast on a new project.
Convertible Fingerless Gloves from Patons "Next Steps Seven- Mittens and Gloves" Book
Using Inca Sportlace and size 2 DPNs
Before I finished knitting the first row (indeed, the first needle of the first row) I remembered that it's Wednesday!!! I dug out an old project to work on instead.
Back of Bernat Harcore sweater
I even looked into intarsia so that when I get there I won't be so scared.
The intarsia on the back is easier than the skull on the front, which is why I'm working it first.
Luckily the chunky was asleep and I got all the bottom stranding done
Six rows before the beginning of the intarsia, a huge garbage truck went by and startled the baby awake. He was so scared; he sleep-crawled to me while screaming.
So, I didn't make it to the intarsia. Next time, maybe. I am a chicken, I know, but working on those huge chunky needles is a pain and I felt like moving on.....
Moving on to those convertible gloves ;)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Finished Object!!! (.....finally)

Today I finally finished the mystery item for my neice's upcoming baby.
Remember this?
 Now it's a full fledged baby bonnet.

Seeing as the baby is still in a belly, Curious George will have to model it for us.
The pattern can be found for free here, and in case you want to make a pixie hat but have no babies to knit for, there's also a pattern using worsted weight yarn for adults.
Straps were sewn on at the end.
The construction was actually rather intersting. The only seaming was at the bottom, where I attached the tie. Technically, the pattern asked me to seam up along the bind off edge, but I used a three-needle bind off instead.
So that was fun.
I figured I had to finish at least one project to make up for what I cast on for yesterday.
I know you can't tell, but this is what it will look like.
Well, not really because the sample horse was knitted with Rowan Cashcroft and I'm using RHSS.
Now I know I pretty much swore I'd never buy Red Heart again, but it turns out I should have sworn never to knit with it again. Apparently I don't have the heart in me to give away yarn, not even bad yarn, and so I'm knitting some of my acquired plasticky stash into plushy toys for my relatives. This pony is going to Emilio, I think, for Christmas.
In a similar attempt to rid myself of stash, I cast on for a behemouth of a project.
It's a blanket, in Bernat Harmony.
I ended up with a total of 11 balls of Bernat Harmony, and I think the best solution is a huge blanket. I'm using 10.5's and it's a pretty chunky yarn and I didn't add any fancy stitches or anything so it should go by pretty fast, I'm hoping. I know I'm not exactly going to enjoy knitting dark green for 56 inches, but I will definitely appreciate the finished object.

I swear I'm not just casting things on willy nilly.
I did do a bit of work on my sweater. S. Plural.
I'm honestly afraid to touch the Ringwood sweater. I'm starting to think it's cursed?
I love working on this
And my top down raglan is coming along slowly. I cherish working on it, and I'm starting to decide I love WOTA. And not just because it's 2 bucks a ball.
Anyways, that's my knitting life.
Tomorrow's WIP Wednesday, and I've pretty  got it narrowed down:::
1) Mystery present for swapee (no pics)
2) 2nd mystery present for swappee (sorry no pics this one's adorable)
3) Ancient guitar man socks
4) the deep freeze scarf
5) Hardcore sweater
6) Smiten garland
7) fair isle sweater.

Wow, that's narrowed down?
Well anyways, I've got to work on something I hate tomorrow, basically.
Happy knitting!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ringwood Sweater Update

How many problems have I had with this sweater so far?
00) Cast on for Victoria Raglan and joined instead of leaving flat: FROGGED (a few rows)
0) Realized my collar mods weren't going to work: FROGGED (a few inches)
1) Cast on wrong number of stitches, using gauge from previous sweater attempt: FROGGED (5 inches)
2) Forgot to switch needles after ribbing FROGGED (7 inches)
3) Did a hideous "full" sleeve FROGGED (7 inches)
4) Tried the fitted sleeve and disrupted Ringwood pattern FROGGED (4 inches)
That was where I was at when I gave up on the sweater and let it sit in a bag for a few days.

Finally, I decided to start working on it again, and this happened:
5) Tried fitted sleeve and increased to 64 stitches, too big. FROGGED to 56 stitches (4 inches)
It only had to sit in the box overnight for that one, but then yesterday THIS happened:

6) Worked from 56 stitches to 2" below armpit, still too big FROGGED to ribbing (10 inches)
Wanna see a picture?
Awww, it's as long as a puppy.

Ripped all the way to the ribbing.
Now the sleeve is starting to turn out.
It is 46 stitches.
So that leads me to a real wtf question:
Apparently (knitting gods EZ and jackie fee to be believed) all the measurements of my body are a percentage of my chest measurement.
My wrists should be 20% of this number, and my upper arm 33.3%
I used those numbers to calculate how many stitches to build up to. That number was 56 stitches. WHY exactly is the more accurate number 10 stitches (TWO INCHES) off???
Am I a freak? Are my wrists freakishly skinny? Is my bust measurement too big for how skinny my arms are? What, exactly, do I look like????

I have to do some measuring and some math, but honestly I'm not sure I want to.
The easier thing would be to work on something else.... yeah....

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Week Seven....of the Super Stitches Knitting Project

This week's challenges were:
1) Andalusian Stitch
2) Waved Welt Stitch
3) Pennant Stitch
apologies in advance for the photography.
I completely forgot it was Sunday, on account of the miserable episode with the Ringwood sweater (more info tomorrow) and didn't start working on this until 9 pm.

SWATCH 1: Andalusian Stitch
This stitch pattern was eerily similar to the Ringwood stitch pattern that I've been working with for way too long to make a sweater that continually needs frogging. (more info tomorrow)
Ironically, it was the only one of the three swatches that I didn't have to frog more than once before completing.
This bad boy was easy and effective. I'm a big fan of this basic stitch pattern. It's basically the ringwood pattern with an extra knit row thrown in because it's not made in the round.

Andalusian Stitch Swatch
SWATCH 2: Waved Welt Stitch
Frogged frogged frogged! I messed this one up multiple times while trying to watch TV in the dark while tired. After I frogged it I just skipped right on to the next swatch, which looked easier. (It was, but I still had to frog that one too.)
This swatch is ugly. It's not my fault. It's not really the pattern's fault either. It just shouldn't exist. I see no reason to knit or wear anything with this stitch. The waved welts look a lot like scar tissue protrusions. The whole swatch is bunchy and it bears no resemblance to the pretty (obviously cotton) swatch in the book.
Plus, the effect is just NOT worth the effort. Not a fan, my friends.
Waved Welt Swatch

SWATCH 3: Pennant Stitch

I've used this stitch pattern before. It's one of the few I've picked and worked with from the book before embarking on this project. The first time, I used chunky yarn and rather small needles and made a scarf for a coworker. The scarf came out stiff and ugly, and I kind of blamed the pattern.
This stitch pattern is easy, and looks great. It lays flat, which I'm a fan of, and though it isn't reversible I kind of like the reverse side as well.
The repeat is 4 rows and it kind of goes:
K 1 row
p1, k4
k3, p2
k3, p2
p1, k4
k 1 row
So you see, it kind of builds upon itself. 1, 2, 3, 3, 2, 1.
If that makes any sense. At any rate it makes for easy going. I only lost track because I thought the reverse side was the right side and added in an extra knit row.

 Why can't I add this picture?
Ha!!! I knew typing something would work.
Anyways, as you can see I had to track each and every row and mark them off after completion. The squiggly line diferentiates between the Waved Welt stitch and the Pennant. Pennant is on the left because, remember, I got frusrtated with the waved welt and moved ahead.
Now, I don't know if it was because it was late at night, or because of the room being dark, or because of my brain being fuzzy, or because of the patterns themselves, but scratching off each row upon completion really REALLY helped for me this time around.

Anyways, that's it for this week!
Next week's challenge is:
1) Pyramid Stitch
2) Seeded Check
3) Mosaic Stitch

And tune in tomorrow for updates on the Ringwood sweater. And for a picture of a puppy.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What I did today...

I knitted a friend.
Harry Bear pattern here.
I used Berroco Chinchilla. It used exactly one skein, including the seaming.
It is very very cute :)
I plan on making more (I was gifted 11 balls of this yarn-unfortunately all in the same dyelot: moldy green) and giving them to the various babies in my family!
1) Vyvyan 1 yr
2) Zoe 1 yr
3) Maliyah 5 mo
4) Layla 2 mo
5) Emilio 2 yr
6) As-Yet-Unknown 0 mo
7) Lara's baby, also 0 mo

Also, I think I may end up keeping this one, because it is oh so cute and it has dead eyes.
For the next ones I'm going to have to actually learn how to embroider decently.
So anyways.
That's what I did today.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ultra Stash Enichment

In the middle of the night last night I was awoken to the words "I brought you a present."
It was Will. I had given up on him; after deciding he wasn't coming after all, I had turned in.
The present, it turned out, was yarn. He threw a few balls at me. I was completely unimpressed because I had been asleep. But, since I was already up I groggily went to the bathroom. And returned to see:
Woah that's a lot more than a few balls.
So then, even though it was midnight, I looked through it and did some sorting.

Sorry for picture quality- it was midnight.
Among the good stuff, was a whole heap of Cotton-ease
There was also some Filtura De Crosa, Bryspun Kid-n-Ewe, Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride worsted, Berroco, Lion Brand Chenelle, Lion Brand Suede, and a ton of Wool-ease and Bernat pink baby striping yarn. Also, 6 balls of Bernat Harmony.
There was also Fun fur, and about 2 of those bags were just Red Heart. And homespun, which I completely hate and probably will donate.
Also tucked into the bag were a few stitch holders (2 different sizes) and a few knitting needles. There was 1 size 10.5 clover straight, 1 size 7 metal straight, and a HUGE size 17 29" circular pair of Addis. Only there was only one tip. So that was pretty stupid. Especially since I was excited as I've never used Addi's.

But my favorite thing in the whole bag was this:
So you're probably wondering where exactly all this yarn came from.
Will's sister Tiffany has a roommate who has a grandmother who used to knit. This grandmother apparently got sick and could no longer knit, and a few months ago sent a big bag of yarn my way. Said grandmother has now passed away.
Knowing kind of made me feel scared as I was sorting thorugh her stash. Like, when I die what is going to happen to these unfinished projects?
What the hell IS that thing she was working on? It's like a rectangle not big enough to be a blanket and not small enough to be a washcloth and there are no armholes and no neck so it can't be a sweater or vest. There's another piece as well, that she wasn't finshed with.
Along with maybe 5 or 6 balls of wool-ease in the same colorway.
The pattern is interesting:it starts off in 4 by 2 rib for 4 or 5 inches. Then it turns into this beautiful basketweave stitch.

How odd, that these peices represent hours of a knitter's life. And yet I'm just going to rip it all out and make a blanket out of it. But, I'm stealing this departed knitter's idea and using the same lovely basketweave pattern.

There was another interesting peice of archaeology as well.
I assume this was going to be a sweater. There is an eyelet pattern at the bottom, but what interested me the most was the stitch definition.

I don't know if you can tell, but I noticed immediately that every other row was twisted! At first I thought this knitter learned wrong and she never learned how to either purl or knit correctly, but then I looked again at the weird magenta objects and noticed that in the ribbing the knits and purls were perfect. I never would have thought to add a twisted stitch on each knit (or purl, but knit is easier) row in order to add a slight texture.
Mysteries. They'll never be explained.

So anyways, now I have a ton of yarn. Also, I have run out of stash storage room.
I also recieved some packages today.
-6 balls of Berroco Ultra Alpaca
-3 balls of Cascade Ecological Wool (because Cascade raised their prices but webs is keeping the old ones until August 1)
and 7 skeins of Misti Alpaca silk/cotton is expected to arrive soon


And finally, some progress.

Will's sock is coming along nicely, though I still have to add the heels.
 Also yesterday, I finally continued working on my Ringwood sweater. After all, I started that knitpicks sweater because I thought I'd need a sweater when I go camping the first weekend in August. Somehow, I thought it would be smarter to complete an entirely new sweater than to continue working on one that needs only the yoke and sleeves. 
Remember, I had thought it was impossible to do a fitted sleeve with the ringwood sweater because of the stitch pattern I chose. Turns out I just had to increase by kfb on the first and last stitch. (Instead of doing what I usually do- keep 2 or 3 stitches in stockinette at the seam and doing an M1 before and after.) 
So I worked on the first sleeve for a while.

I had much more than this.
That whole ball there was knitted up, along with a bit of a second ball.
See the problem was this: I'm not smart.
I did the math for the sleeve and decided to cast on 37 stitches and increase 2 stitches every inch until I reach 56 stitches.
However, I thought that seemed too small because I wanted more ease towards my shoulder. So, I cast on 40 stitches and increased to 64.
After working past the elbow, I realized that it was actually about 2 inches too big.
And frogged up to 60 and started from there.
It was still too big.
I frogged back to 56, and then put the damn thing away because I'm sick of having to redo things over and over and over again.
But, by this morning I think I've forgiven it and am ready to start working on it again.
Hopefully I'll finsh the sweater by the time I go camping.
I'm starting to have a suspicion I'm really going to like this sweater. Even if just because I'm being a perfectionist about it.
Anyways that's all for today.
I have to go find a place to put all that yarn....
(My mom mentioned converting one of our closets into a "yarn closet")