Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Sock Swap Swag

I got my package from my Hogwarts Sock Swap partner in the mail. I was quite impressed with the stuff she sent me! The socks (which were beautiful) fit perfectly, while the books she got were fun to look through. She got me a nice set of size 3 bamboo needles (which the timing for couldn't be more perfect) and yummy yummy candies. Even the packaging was cute (a little halloween themed chinese take-out box). XD

I had so much fun doing this swap. I would happily (and eagerly) do another. Thanks so much to my Swap pal Daisy Boomslang (as I know her by) for being a wonderful partner. =D

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Vintage patterns

One of the local libraries had a book sale and I decided to sift through the craft section. I came upon quite a few vintage knitting magazines, but only a couple actually caught my eye. One is a 1963 copy of Spinnerin. It's really quite amazing. A LOT of the patterns in it could be knit and be very trendy today. I'll probably have to look up some of the weights/sizes of the yarn, but I think I might knit some of these up. They're quite pretty. There's even a pattern for a coat/skirt set that looks very Jackie O.

The other is a 1974 knitting mag called "For the Family" by Annis Holmes and has a few hat, mitten, sock, and scarf patterns. I'm a sucker for socks and mittens, so I had to grab it.

All in all, it cost me $1. XD

Edit: I stopped by A.C. Moore's knitting demo today and got a free pair of size 17 needles. SWEET! Going to go back on Monday and try to get some 40% off Paton's Classic Wool for a pair of felted clogs.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Size... what? D=

My brother asked me a while ago if I would knit socks for him. So... upon completing the socks for my Hogwarts Sock Swap Pal, I thought it was time. I got 2 skeins of Moda Dea's Bamboo Wool (since I wanted Panda Wool, but alas, I couldn't find any in "manly" colors at my LYS). Well... I really should've thought twice about it. My brother wears size 15 shoes. ^^;;

Well, I decided the fastest and easiest way would be to just knit a very basic sock. No patterns. Just straight stockinette feet with a 4x2 ribbing at the ankle. It took me 3 days, but I'm halfway done. Yep... 1 sock down and 1 to go.

I'm really kinda happy. He likes how thick it is, how short it is (he wanted socks that went shortly past his ankle and 1 skein did exactly that), and the shape and color. Hopefully, these socks will be good for NY winters and will last him a while.

I'll just pray that if they don't last a week... he won't tell me. I swear I'll cry.

Monday, September 17, 2007

New Aquisitions

I'm sorry I didn't post this before now. To be honest, I was a tad lazy. ^^; Anyhoos... I went to the Fingerlakes Fiber Arts Festival this weekend. I managed to talk my mom into going with me (after Maryland S&W, I no longer like going far places by myself). She grumbled for a bit, but quickly enough slipped into the "ooh! soft! must buy!" mode. XD She bought a wooden DPN holder and one of those Rakestraw Spinners, then complained that she spent more than me. Well... not to be outdone, I bought a spinning wheel. My first spinning wheel. It's a Hitchhiker from The Merlin Tree. It's really cute and I like the design.

The only problem is... I have NO idea how to spin on a spinning wheel! XD

It's ok, tho. I know of a place not too far from where I live where they give spinning lessons on a wheel. I'll probably pack up my teeny wheel and head out there sometime for a lesson. I think I've gotten the hang of working the treadle on my own. Well... it's something! XD

Monday, September 10, 2007

Yarn Dieting

Well... I went to upload my new yarn (TOFUtsies) to Ravelry and it said "Hello Nabschan! You are uploading your 20th stash item".


I do believe it's time to go on a stash diet. Most of the yarn in my stash is sock yarn, so I'm going to be trying to knit up some socks before I buy more. I also got my first pair of Addie Turbos. They're teeny tiny for socks. I wonder how they'll work. This might be one rather expensive experiment. I love the cable that holds the needles together already. I have Boye Interchangables and the cables aren't nearly so nice. I hear that Knit Picks interchangables cables are similar. If so, I might bug people to buy me that for xmas. <_<;;

Since there's a sale at Mission Rose Quiltery on Thursday (30% off), I'll probably hit them up and get those 2 skeins of Claudia I need. I got 2 skeins from my mom for my b-day, but they were only enough for 1 sock each. XD

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Since I've been poked to do this....

  1. What type of pet do you choose as your companion at Hogwarts? An angora rabbit. Come on... really, what do you expect a spinner to say? XD
  2. While shopping in Hogsmeade you stop by Honeydukes for some sweets. What treats do you purchase for yourself? A sugar quill. I used to carry Red Hots in my pocket during high school for class snacking.
  3. A potion you are preparing needs an ingredient available only at muggle shops. You don't want to stand out in your wizards robes, so you resort to traditional muggle clothing. Describe your outfit in detail. A sundress, a large floppy hat with flowers on it, and mismatched flip flops.
  4. What is your favorite subject to study at Hogwarts and why? Probably Charms. It seems like the most useful for day to day life.
  5. Likewise, what subject is your least favorite and why? History of Magic. I hate HATE boring teachers.
  6. Back to the potion you were shopping for ingredients for, what type of potion are you making, what color is it, what are the ingredients, and precisely what does the potion do? Nightowl eyes Potion. It's glow stick green (as in it glows). It requires whole lightbulbs from the backsides of lightning bugs. And it increases your ability to see in the dark.. however, the side effects are that you'll end up wearing sunglasses for the next 2 days. ^^;

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ravelry! Finally....

Just a quick note that I am now on Ravelry! You can find me there under "Nabschan". Friend me!! =D

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Firenze the Centaur Socks

We were asked (as part of the Hogwarts Sock Swap 2) to make a Harry Potter themed pattern for extra credit to win House Points. Well... I have never written a pattern before, much less tried to design something, so it was quite the challenge. I wish I could've done this better. The pattern I wanted to use was in the Favorite Socks book from Interweave Press, but when I finally went to buy the book, it sold out! D= Thus, I had to improvise my own arrow pattern.
Before I get to the pattern, there are somethings you should know. This sock knits up a bit tight pulling it over the heel, so I really suggest blocking it. I've also written that you need 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces. I have, as of this writing, only knit one sock, and there is a lot left. You may need only one skein, but I do suggest buying 2... and keeping the receipt. ^^; If you find any errata, please let me know immediately. I have not had any test knitters beta this pattern. Luckily, I'm an airhead, so I had to rely on my own pattern quite a bit. XD

Edit: Pictures have been fixed. YAAAYY!!
Edit 2: Many thanks to Kismatt for making my pattern into a PDF file for download!
Edit 3: On 11/08/07, I found one errata. I can't correct the PDF file, so I've noted the correction here in green. It's after you turn the heel. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have cause you.
Edit 4: The PDF file is no longer available for download. I decided not to renew with my webhost, so there's now nowhere to post it. If I can figure out how to upload it to Ravelry, I will. =)
Edit 5: You can now download the PDF for free on Ravelry!

Firenze the Centaur Socks
By Nabs-chan

I've been a huge fan of Harry Potter for a few years now. And when I had to choose who to base a pattern around, I knew it had to be Firenze the Centaur. I have always loved astronomy even when I was a child, so I did my best to incorporate the stars that Firenze (and all centaurs in the HP-verse) adore. I also incorporated an arrow pattern for the cross-bows that they carry.

This simple pattern is easy to memorize, but just interesting enough that you won't get bored. I chose the Lakeview colorway because it looked like a forest at dusk just as the stars start to come out.
Difficulty: Intermediate

Materials: 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces (80% superwash wool, 20% nylon; 215 yd [196m] per 50g skein) in color Lakeview

US Size 3 needles (either DPN or circular needles)

Tapestry Needle


32 sts and 44 rows = 4" [10cm] in stockinette


CO 58 sts and work 10 rounds of 1x1 ribbing.

Rnd 1: *p2 sl 5 sts purlwise keeping yarn in front of work p2 k20; repeat from *
Rnd 2: *p2 k5 p2 k2 yo ssk k8 yo ssk k6; repeat from *
Rnd 3: *p2 k5 p2 k20; repeat from *
Rnd 4: *p2 k2 lift yarn from Rnd 1 onto left hand needle behind next st on needle and k into next st, drop the yarn that was lifted so that it lies trapped behind st just k, k2 p2 k2tog yo k yo ssk k5 k2tog yo k yo ssk k5; repeat from *
Rnd 5: *p2 sl 5 sts purlwise keeping yarn in front of work p2 k20; *repeat from *
Rnd 6: *p2 k5 p2 k2 yo ssk k8 yo ssk k6; repeat from *
Rnd 7: *p2 k5 p2 k7 yo ssk k8 yo ssk k; repeat from *
Rnd 8: *p2 k2 lift yarn from Rnd 5 onto left hand needle behind next st on needle and k into next st, drop the yarn that was lifted so that it lies trapped behind st just k, k2 p2 k20; repeat from *
Rnd 9: *p2 sl 5 sts purlwise keeping yarn in front of work p2 k5 k2tog yo k yo ssk k5 k2tog yo k yo ssk; repeat from *
Rnd 10: *p2 k5 p2 k20; repeat from *
Rnd 11: *p2 k5 p2 k7 yo ssk k8 yo ssk k; repeat from *
Rnd 12: *p2 k2 lift yarn from Rnd 9 onto left hand needle behind next st on needle and k into next st, drop the yarn that was lifted so that it lies trapped behind st just k, k2 p2 k20; repeat from *

Repeat rounds 1-12 six times or until desired length. End with Rnd1.


You'll want to re-arrange the stitches so that half of the arrow row on each side will be part of your heel (30 sts on heel flap side, 28 on non-working side). You won't work the pattern on these stitches, but you will work the heel shaping on them. It may be easier to put your knitting on waste yarn to re-arrange them. The arrows are easier to make while they're all on one needle, but if you continue knitting without re-arranging, the arrows will be off center.

Once you've re-arranged your stitches (30 sts), begin knitting the heel flap.

Heel Flap

WS: sl first st purlwise and p to end. Turn.
RS: sl first st purlwise and k to end. Turn

Work these 2 rows for 27 rows. You'll end at the beginning of a RS row.

Turn Heel

Row 1: (RS) sl1 k15 ssk k1
Row 2: (WS) sl1 p3 p2tog p1 [27sts]
Row 3: (RS) sl1 k4 ssk k1
Row 4: (WS) sl1 p5 p2tog p1 [25sts]
Row 5: (RS) sl1 k6 ssk k1
Row 6: (WS) sl1 p7 p2tog p1 [23sts]
Row 7: (RS) sl1 k8 ssk k1
Row 8: (WS) sl1 p9 p2tog p1 [21 sts]
Row 9: (RS) sl1 k10 ssk k1
Row 10: (WS) sl1 p11 p2tog p1 [19 sts]
Row 11: (RS) sl1 k12 ssk k1
Row 12: (WS) sl1 p13 p2tog p1 [17 sts]
Row 13: (RS) sl1 k 14 ssk
Row 14: (WS) sl1 p 15 p2tog [15 sts]

Turn and work 15 sts.

Gusset and Foot

Rnd 1: Pick up 13 sts from the side of the heel flap and 1 extra from the corner near the instep stitches so no hole appears. Continue following the lace pattern above starting with Rnd 2. However, replace the first 2 p sts with k stitches. When you get to the 2nd arrow pattern, replace the last 2 p sts with k sts. Pick up 1 stitch from the corner near the instep, then 13 more along the side.

Rnd 2: k12, k2tog, k. Then work the lace pattern Rnd 3 across the top of the sock making the proper substitutions (replace last 2 p sts in the 2nd arrow pattern with 2 k sts). k ssk k to end of rnd.

Work the rest of the lace pattern for the top of the sock while decreasing (as in Rnd 2 of the Gusset) every other row. You will decrease a total of 14 times over 28 Rnds to end with 58 sts total.

Continue working the lace pattern on the top of the sock only (still replacing the first 2 p sts of the first arrow pattern with k sts as well as the last 2 p sts of the 2nd arrow pattern). Work until the foot measures 1 1/2 inches less than desired finished length.


Rnd 1: k all sts. Place a marker after the 5th k st (the exact middle of the arrow pattern) on each side.
Rnd 2: (k to 3 sts before marker k2tog k2 ssk) twice k to end of Rnd
Repeat Rnds 1 and 2 until a total of 22 sts remain.
If you're knitting on DPNs, re-arrange sts so that the top sts are on one needle, and the bottom stitches are on another (2 needles)
Cut yarn leaving a 12" [30 cm] tail. Graft (Kitchener st) toe closed.


Weave in ends. Block if desired.

Special thanks to Skizzors and Hilaroma.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


It's been a while since I've written. To be honest, there hasn't been much to report. My sock for my Hogwarts Swap Pal is coming along nicely. One of the things that's been bothering me is that I am never in time to answer any of the trivia. I am always horribly horribly late. I wonder if people stalk that thread just to answer. =/

Anyways, one of the things I can do to earn some house points is to write a pattern for something Harry Potter. I do have an idea for a sock pattern, but I have never ever written a pattern for something in my life! D= I'm a little (ok, a lot) daunted by the prospect. I'm also not the fastest knitter in the world, so I'm wondering if I'll be able to get it out by the deadline. =(

Something else... it seems like I'll have a sizable amount of sock yarn left over from my Sock Swap making. I'm wondering if I should keep it or send it on to my sock buddy to play with.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Kool-aid Dyeing

Oh man... that went a whole lot worse than I thought it was going to go. I kept adding packet after packet after packet... In the end, it didn't really get past deep red. D= I kinda gave up in the end. I said "Well... it's a solid shade, it's kinda dark.... good enough." I guess I'm just going to have to give in and buy some professional acid dyes next time. XP

And then because of the way I wound it before dyeing.. I had some horrible tangles in the middle of it. That was my own fault. It should be easier next time because I know now what not to do!

If my sock pal should read this... I'm sorry it's not superwash! I had one skein of superwash... and it's only 200yards. I thought you'd much prefer 2 socks to 1. ^^;;; It's actually a bit darker than in this picture. For some reason, my camera doesn't seem to like reds. =/

Monday, July 23, 2007

I'm... dyeing!

Dyeing... not dying. XD

A couple of days ago, I got some packets of Kool-aid out and tried my hand at dyeing. It seemed to come out pretty well. The yellow/gold is absolutely perfect. The red needs a bit more dyeing. I'm afraid it'll come out too dark. I wonder if I should just do one packet at a time? D=

This is some nerve wracking stuff! O_o;

Edit: I've used 6 packets and it's still not there. I'm wondering how many I'm gonna have to use. D=

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hogwarts Sock Swap Year 2!!

I've decided to join the Hogwarts Sock Swap (Year 2, since I missed Year 1). As such, I'm going to try to earn my House a few points by filling out this questionnaire. Hopefully Slytherin will win the House Cup. OH! Sign up for the Hogwarts Sock Swap begin July 14th. Sign up with me! If year 1 is any indicator, it should be loads of fun. =D

Hogwarts Sock Swap Questionnaire

  1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into? Slytherin
  1. Shoe size? Size 8.5 ladies
  1. Foot Length? 22.5 cm
  1. Foot Circumference? 22cm
  1. List your three favorite double-point needle brands, including size and length.

      a. Clover Takumi Bamboo DPNs Size 2
      b. Susan Bates DPNs Size 2
      c. Clover Takumi Bamboo DPNs Size 3

  1. Would you like to try a new brand needle? If so, which brand? Size? Length? I would seriously love to have a set of KnitPicks 6'' size 2 DPNs. Seriously.
  1. If you are a RAVENCLAW, do you prefer the colors in the film or the book? Do you have a strong preference? Doesn't apply to me. I'm a Slytherin. ^^;
  1. Allergies? Do you have any? Will your knitting be exposed to smoke or animals? Leather. So don't knit me leather socks, ok? D= My knitting will be from a smoke-free, pet-friendly home.
  1. Are you an international participant (outside US)? Are you willing to have an international Hogwarts Sock Pal? I live in the continental US. As for an international sock swap partner, I can do it if needs be.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Harry Potter... again.

I managed to finish my Harry Potter Socks before the movie release. Unfortunately, I didn't realize I was knitting with the wrong size needles until I was finished. So I had to rip back almost half the sock and knit it up again. (The foot part was fine. Better than fine actually, but the ankle was way out of proportion) Now it seems that my new sock fits a lot better than my first sock. XD

I did enjoy the movie. It was great. The Weasley Twins weren't nearly as bad as in the book. I think I prefer them a bit naughtier.

I also started on my 2nd Slinky sock. Hopefully, this one will be the same size as the first. *crosses fingers*

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Time for a Journal ^^;

As I cast on for my sock, I realized....

... I'd forgotten which needles I'd used to make them. I figured it was the bamboo ones, but now that I'm more than half done, I definitely didn't use the bamboo ones. D= So I finally did it. I thought I'd do fine without one, but it's time to start a knitting journal. And I wrote how I did my last sock while it was still fresh in my mind.

Oh, old age... how you sneak up on me. ;_;

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Uh ohes.... What have I done?!

My family knows I knit. It's fairly common knowledge. They also know not to ask anything of me because I'm notorious for saying I'll do something.... and maybe doing it way way later. ^^;; I do nice knits for my family, but it's never when they're expecting it.

Lately I've been into knitting socks. Lots of socks. =D So, I casually asked what color socks they like. My mother likes turquoise, but since she's diabetic, she can only wear white socks. I also know that if I make her socks, they'll have to be a lace pattern with a lot of give so they don't cut off blood circulation in any way.

But the real stumper is my brother. He has been hinting that he'd like a pair of black socks. Now... let me tell you a little something about my brother. He has a bad habit of wearing socks.... for weeks. XP His socks will stand up, walk to the hamper, and put themselves in. So I've been trying to think... what kind of socks should I make him? They would have to be machine washable. Cotton makes a certain kind of sense, but I really like wool socks. And then... I began wondering about making them in a wool/bamboo blend! Not only would it be wool (which I like), the bamboo is anti-microbial (which probably help his extremely stinky feet).

Hopefully, with hand knit socks, he'd be more inclined to change his socks more often. A girl can hope. ;_;

Friday, June 29, 2007

Closure and a New Beginning

Today's been a really great day. I've cast on for my 2nd Gryffindor Scarf inspired sock using the DMC embroidery thread and it's going well. I feel like I can finally let go my my dislike of the stuff and just... finish and forget. I've got the toe already completed, so now I can just go round and round and switch colors until the heel. =3

I think part of my dislike of these socks is the cotton. Unlike wool, it has no give. So if I pull too tight, I have to wrestle with it. If it's too loose, I have to use another needle and even it out some. =( Another might be the gauge. I'm knitting them up on size 3's and that's far too big of a needle. They should probably be knit on size 1 or 2's. XP Either way, they're getting done and it shouldn't take too long since they ARE on bigger needles. =3

Also.... today... I bought a car!!! My very first car. And it's completely paid for. X3 I'm a little disappointed at the amount I had to pay for insurance, but that's only temporary. I'll shop around a bit and find a better policy. In the 10 years I've been driving, I've only been in 1 accident and that was the other person's fault completely (they were speeding). Luckily, my mom's car was a TANK. It only had a busted headlight. Their's was horribly dented. Please... take a lesson from this. If you drive a flashy car with a fiberglass body, don't try to push over a car with a steel body. It's just going to make you cry. ^^;;;

Anyhoo... I just can't wait to drive it home tomorrow. I'll probably be nervous enough to wet myself and all the bad/crazy drivers will be out and aiming for me, but that's ok. At least I'm insured to the gills. XD

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

One down, one to go...

Well, I finished my sock. One of them. I'm really not happy with the color of the yellow. It's far too yellow and not gold enough. I probably will just knit up the other one and add a touch of orange to both with kool-aid dyeing. But it sure did come out pretty. =)

I'll also show you the sock I knit up before. It's a bit.... short for my foot by half a size. XP But I am extremely happy with the colors. I hated knitting in DMC cotton, tho. ^^; I need to find wool in appropriate colors. *sigh* I probably will end up knitting up it's mate... if only to just put it out of my mind. Hopefully the little bit of orange added to the new pair (which is knit in 100% peruvian wool) will make me dance with Gryffindor joy. =3

100% Peruvian wool Gryffindor Scarf inspired sock:

And the DMC Cotton Gryffindor Scarf inspired sock:

Edit: After a bit of wearing, the DMC cotton sock is stretching to my foot size. Maybe it just needed blocking. But it still feels a bit... weird. Sure is pretty, tho! ^^;; I'm gonna have to buy or make a sock blocking... thing.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Ooh! It's my first post!

I've gotten a blogger blog a while ago, but never bothered to try to set it up. This is mostly because I primarily use my Gaia blog to well... show off my knits! There's not a whole lot of knitting blogs on Gaia, so I'm trying to do my best and keep mine up there. And I do spend most of my time on Gaia. ^^;

I'll try to post regularly here. I tried to do a bit of knit blogging on MySpace, but the sheer number of spam posts (and sometimes the inability to edit/delete comments there) is just too difficult to work around. Hopefully it'll be a bit quieter here (spamwise).

What's on my needles now?

Right now, I'm working frantically to get my Gryffindor Scarf inspired socks done in time for the movie release. I'm not quite sure what to do. I bought some very nice yarn from Knitpicks, but the yellow was too yellow and the red was too dark. I might buy some orange Kool-Aid and just... touch up the yellow a bit in the microwave. ^^;;;; Seriously! A touch of orange (not a lot, just the slightest shade) would really help this yellow.And if the orange gets on the red, it's dark enough that you won't even see it. =D

On a related note, I had.... experimented with DMC Embroidery Cotton for making a pair of socks... and naturally, I hated it. But it did come out to be a very good looking sock! And it was exactly the colors I wanted it. It truly looked like a Gryffindor Scarf inspired sock. So I'm kinda debating whether I should just... use up the DMC Embroidery Cotton I have and have closure or just... abandon said sock and forget about it. Opinions?

I also have my 2nd orange Slinky Sock finished up to the toe. I'll be putting that off until Harry Potter season is over. XD I'll also try to get pictures of both versions of my Gryffindor Scarf inspired socks.