Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Back to the frog pond

The two socks in the first picture of the last post? History. I ripped them out, and put the circs back in storage.

The first Nebula handpun sock is done. The Jaywalker continues, as does the pastel sock that would not die.

But not today. Today was adventures in dentistry. Doc is interested in my socks, though, so I wore the Cherry Tree Hill Fish Scales socks for his amusement.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Four socks and a frog

Flush from having finished two pairs of socks last weekend, I was eager to dive into some new projects.

I wanted to try some new techniques and patterns, so I decided to try knitting two socks on two circular needles.

It seems like a good idea in theory. You knit both socks at the same time, so when you are done, you are really done with the pair. But holy cow, what a fiddley mess, with strings and cables going everywhere. I may give it another inch of practice, but I find it extremely unlikely that I will finish these socks in this manner. I don't dislike double points, but I'm pretty sure I could learn to dislike this method without too much trouble.

What's the antidote to a fussy sock? A simple sock, in heavier yarn, for fast 'n' easy knitting.

I got this yarn from the Lime & Violet Etsy shop. It is handspun, using roving in the colorway Nebula from Knitterly Things. The picture doesn't do justice to how gorgeous the colors are - orange and gold with bits of purple. I love it, and I love the quick results I get with heavier yarn and massive size three needles.

Next, I needed to cast on some of the Socks That Rock yarn I bought last summer, and see if the stories I've heard about it were true.

It's twue! It's twue! [/Lili Von Schtupp] The yarn feels great. I am sort of wondering what I was thinking about with the colorway, Aline. I'm sure I was seduced by the gorgeous turquoise. (Again, the picture doesn't do it justice.) But the orange, yellow, and brown? Eh, not so crazy about those. I'm making the web-famous Jaywalker sock. I believe I am the last knitter on the interweb to cast on a pair of these, and it is a fun, easy pattern.

So there are the four new socks on the needles. And here is the frog.

The faithful will remember that this pair of socks has been in progress since long before I started the blog. I finally decided this week that I was never going to love the lace pattern on the first sock, and I should rip back the leg and try something else. I inserted brakes at the bottom of the leg, and started ripping.

(Toe-up tip: don't use the Elizabeth Zimmerman Stretchy Sewn Cast Off unless you are positive you are happy with the sock. It can't be ripped out, only picked out stitch by stitch.)

When I got to the safety sticks, I examined the foot, and realized it didn't match the other sock. It turns out I made the first sock with 60 stitches, to accomodate the five-stitch lace pattern, and the second sock on my customary 64 stitches.

Honestly, I am never surprised when these socks find yet another way to disappoint me. Out came the safety sticks. I ripped out the whole sock.

Is it possible for yarn to be cursed? I swear this yarn hates me. I think it is adorable, but something is always going wrong with it. I'm wondering if I should make a tiny voodoo sock and teach it a lesson. I'm afraid of what might happen, though, if that didn't work.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Socks and more socks

It snowed last night, and I used that as an excuse to give myself a personal snow day. And a productive one it was.

First I finished these:
Plain ol' socks in Opal Zebra.

And then I finished these:
Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in the Champlain Sunset colorway.

They fit, too.
As you can tell, the color doesn't always photograph the same. The second picture is more accurate. The roses and oranges predominate. The colors are stunning in person.

The remainders:
Opal comes 425 meters to a skein, so there is always a nice comfortable pile left. The Cherry Tree Hill was only 370 yards, and there won't be many souvenirs from it.

I also made the decision to frog the lacy leg on the Easter Egg sock. I don't like the way it looks, and if it hasn't grown on me after two years, it never will. I'm going to rip it back down to the heel. The second sock is getting close to the heel. Once they have come to a meeting place, I may try finishing them as two socks on two circs.

Yesterday, I dug out the sock yarns that were still in hanks and wound them into balls. Lorna's Laces, Socks That Rock, Koigu, Artyarns, Mountain Colors - mmm. Now I just need to decide what the next project will be.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

First finished object of 2007

The Malabrigo scarf is done.

Just in time, too. We are finally in the "too damned cold" portion of winter. I'll be wearing this baby to work tomorrow.

There is snow, but the six to eight inches they were talking about a couple of days ago is turning out to be more like three inches. Three inches is hardly worth talking about.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Birth of a fashion designer

A couple of weeks ago, I sent some wrist warmers to my young friend Lillian. I knew she had received them, and liked them, but I was totally unprepared to see this.

The truth? I didn't even recognize the wrist warmer. If Lil's mom hadn't called me out, I would have thought that it was just some funky, off-the-shoulder doll dress. I applaud her creativity in multi-purposing her gift.

Knitting update: Nothing is finished, everything is being worked on, and both socks are getting close to the toe decreases. Snow is in the forecast all weekend, so it should be a good excuse to stay inside and play with the wool.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Malabrigo on my cat

I don't often get away with putting Stuff On My Cat. Katie likes to stay in control of her personal space, so bows, sticky things, and tinfoil hats are verboten with her.

Yesterday, though, while she was in repose on the ottoman as I was knitting on the yummy Malabrigo scarf, I gave it another try. She let me get away with it - once.