Adventures in Sock Construction and Candle Making

Yesterday, I knit my first sock. I am very, very proud of myself. ::ms. ann does the happy dance::

I knitted my first practice sock on some crappy, squeaky cheap worsted weight acrylic yarn with dpn’s (d0uble pointed needles), but the damn thing fit and the only thing I have to watch when I do the real deal is the ribbing. I totally got the turning of the heel and shaping the gusset and didn’t have to frog anything. Of course, this sock is this pukey shade of heather green, it makes my foot sweat, the yarn is so cheap, the ankle cuff is loose, and it has no mate, but, like I said, I am proud of the damned thing. 🙂

I am jonesing to do other things to break up the monotony of the Dr. Who scarf. I think I want to make a winter hat for my son. I was thinking of doing either the “Hot Head” hat from the first Stitch n Bitch book or the other hats from SnB Nation.

Today, I made my first candles. Last weekend, I purchased a “starter kit” which contained 1 pound of palm wax, scent, dye, a pouring pitcher, three votive molds, nine votive wicks (all primed), and a thermometer. I also went to Goodwill and scored myself a used double boiler (for melting wax), some used metal utensils, and I found some nifty looking tins that could potentially be used for container candles at a later date.

The candles, I will say, were crap. They’re hard, and they look all crystallized, and they only burn down the middle. I followed the directions exactly, but when I looked at my supplies vs. the instructions provided, they gave me enough dye and scent (which doesn’t smell like much of anything), for 8lbs of wax. The dye and the scent are divided in to four squares, one square being for 2 lbs of wax. The instructions called out to use 1 square of dye/1 square of scent. So I ended up using twice the amount of dye and scent than I needed. The instructions said that the “kit” only had one square each of dye and scent. Next time I do this, I will buy a block of wax, my own dye, and my own scent. I also want to try gel candles.

I have a Flickr account where I will be posting my own pictures of the various things I’ve made. I suppose I should upgrade to the paid account and then I can have as many pictures as I want and organize them.

Later. I have to get to bed now.


My First Scarf

My first scarf 3
Originally uploaded by Ms. Ann O’Malley.

Just thought I’d post a picture of my first scarf ever. This was knitted on Size 13 needles with Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Grass. As you can tell by the sides curling, it is done in stockinette stitch. I knitted this in April/May 2006.

I Knit, Therefore I Am

Okay. This is supposed to be a place for me to bitch, but I am also getting very much into knitting and I also want to test the waters of candle making. So this might end up being a knitting blog more than me venting about the stuff in my life.

Right now, I am working on a scarf for my husband. It’s not just any scarf, its a Dr. Who Scarf. Not just any Dr. Who Scarf, but the Season 16 Scarf. I think I might be biting a lot of, since this is a very long scarf, and this is something I will be working on for quite awhile. This is a project that will test anyone’s patience, because the scarf, according to my husband, is over ten feet long and nothing but garter stitch throughout. The only thing that is keeping things interesting is the fact that there are so many color changes.

There are some differences between my version and the one in this pattern. When I went yarn shopping, the only place nearby that I could find the Lamb’s Pride Nature Spun Sport Weight wanted almost four dollars a skein for it and this scarf calls out for a total of 23 skeins and I didn’t have $92 to drop on yarn (being that it was close to Christmas and all.) So I did some hunting around online and in the local craft stores and other places that sell cheapo yarn. Herschnerr’s sometimes has some good deals on yarns, but their selection is limited. The biggest problem I had was finding yarn in the correct size that matched the colors that are in the scarf.

So I ended up spending about 40 dollars at Hobby Lobby for some of the dreaded Red Heart Super Saver in Worsted weight, because that was the only brand that had all the colors I needed. I really, really wanted to do this with the proper size and proper fiber, but Hubby made me feel better when he said he didn’t mind what yarn I used. He was just happy to be getting one that looked like the real deal. See, when he was younger, his mother took it upon herself to make a Dr. Who scarf, but she crocheted it and she didn’t bother to find out what the correct colors were or what the pattern was. (But then again, she never bothers to ask any of us what we want for Christmas. She just buys whatever she thinks we want and she can’t comprehend that if she doesn’t want us to return what she buys us, then maybe she should actually buy us something we’d actually use. I have gift cards to places I don’t shop at, because she won’t ask what kinds of places I’d like to shop at. But I digress.) So, DH had this albatross of a Dr. Who scarf hanging around his neck that he was embarrassed to wear in front of his geek friends.

This scarf, I should mention, was something I originally wanted to knit for him as a surprise, but given the size and scope of this project, there was no way I could hide the materials from him or do it when he wasn’t around. So I told him I wanted to do it.

Anyway, besides using the squeaky, acrylic yarn (which, now that I think about it, is probably not such a bad thing for a scarf this long, since I shudder to think about how difficult it would be to block out this thing when it’s done), I had to alter the pattern to CO (cast on) 50 stitches on a size 6 needle to obtain gauge.

I don’t have a picture yet, mainly because I’m not feeling very well today, but I will post pictures of my progress soon.

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