Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The socks are done. Long knit the socks.

I finished the Elm socks last week and immediately cast on the Rick socks from Sock Innovation. I'm knitting the new socks from A Verb for Keeping Warm Creating sock yarn in color No. 9. The colors are a gorgeous indigo and lovely purple that's knitting up into beautifully mottled socks that I wish were going to be mine, but are probably going to belong to one of my aunts in Japan.

You see, my mother is pretty sneaky. When she was here for a visit last Thanksgiving she asked if I would make her a pair of socks, and I said I'd do it as soon as my Christmas knitting was finished. Then she asked if I would mind making a second pair for my aunt, who just loved the socks my mom had given her (that I had knit for mom). How could I say no to that? Someone who appreciates my knitting definitely gets more.

Anyway, I had happily finished the Elm socks, and happily started the Rick socks, when my mom called to check in. "Oh, I'm working on the second pair, and as soon as they're done, I'll put them in the mail to you."

"Great! Are you making a pair for me?"

I thought I had been making a pair for her. Turns out I was making a pair for each of her sisters, so now I'm on the hook for a third pair of socks. That will probably be knit from Skinny Bugga. That I'd intended to knit up for myself. But I like knitting. I like knitting. I like knitting even better when I get to knit for myself again.

Until next time, Friends.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

This week on the needles:

It can't be any surprise that I'm working on a pair of socks now that the Christmas knitting is finished. When my mother was here for Thanksgiving, she asked if I would make another pair of socks for her. She couldn't have had any idea how under-the-gun I was feeling about finishing the gifts on time, but how in the world could I say no to my mother? I couldn't, so the two of us went through my sock yarn stash looking for superwash yarns that suited her taste. We eventually narrowed the choices down to two, but that was where she got stuck. She couldn't decide between a skein of Miss Babs Windsor (sadly, discontinued) in Light Clematis and the two skeins of A Verb for Keeping Warm superwash sock in color No. 9. Her solution? Would I make two pairs of socks? One for her and one for her sister?

So I've gotten started on CookieA's Elm sock, from The Knitter's Book of Socks by Clara Parkes. The nice thing about the pattern is that it's a relatively quick knit, with simple increases and decreases creating the interest on the leg and instep. I've been knitting these socks two-at-a-time, and after just two short weeks I've turned the heels and am nearly finished with the gusset decreases. Depending on how much time I have to work on them, I hope to have them finished by this time next week.

Another thing I have on my needles is the Sea Cucumber draftstopper from a blog called Jurisdiction of Nifty. It's a simple cable pattern knit a very tight gauge that I'm making out of some leftover Cascade 220 I've had in my stash for a long while. I expect to be able to finish it fairly quickly, but the tight gauge is a little rough on my hands, so I work on it intermittently and massage my hands right after.

That's all for tonight, I think. Until next time, Friends.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

This was once a sweater.

It seems like every year at New Year's I take a look around my house and try to identify things I need to get rid of because they're taking up space or they're not used or don't do what I need them to do. In the case of a sweater I made nearly two three years ago, it met all three of these qualifications.

Since I lost some weight last year, most of the first few sweaters I knit for myself are way too big for me now. It didn't help that I'd made them with plenty of positive ease that I thought would hide me, but in reality only made me look schlubby. Anyway, I've had these ill-fitting sweaters piled on my dresser for the better part of 6 months, occasionally trying them on and deciding that they didn't fit and I couldn't wear them. Finally, on New Year's day (or maybe the next day) I decided I would begin taking them apart to see if they could become something new. I'm hoping that I can make a few things that fit well and which can get me through a little more weight loss too.

The first sweater I decided to unravel was the Flair cardigan I started in February of 2010. I made it from 14 skeins of Rowan Bamboo tape that I bought at the Knit Nook on clearance. At that point, I'd never knit myself a garment, but I had made a stockinette vest for my husband. In the finished photo, it was clearly too big, but it was my first garment and I wore it a few times and then put it up. Aside from the fit issues, the cardigan didn't work because the bamboo tape was very heavy and stretched quite a bit lengthwise and just never draped correctly. I might knit that sweater again sometime in the future, but I'm pretty sure I'll make it out of a wool or an alpaca yarn that will retain its shape.

What took nearly 3 months to do took a mere 3 hours to undo. After a false start along the bottom hem, I found my groove with the ripping and was pleased with how easily it came apart. I think might say something about how I weave in my ends, but I don't want to brag. I still need to wind the yarn into skeins and soak it to remove all the kinks in it and find an appropriate pattern. I'll revisit Rowan's pattern book for this yarn and see if there's anything there I want to knit. I'm sure I'll find something I like, but it will be a matter of making sure the yardage comes out right.

Well, that's all I've got for today, next time I'll tell you about the socks I'm working on. I'm just about to start on the heel flap, and I hope to have plenty of pics then too. Until next time, Friends.