Sunday, February 28, 2010

It's All Over

I've finished the damned charted lace socks! I bound off the toes with the three needle bind-off last nite while watching
the tube. When I worked on the first sock, I wondered if I'd ever finish it, never mind the second one BUT the second sock was a lot easier than the first. By the second sock, I understood the chart & could see the pattern & find mistakes before they got out of hand. I tried to get a picture of the heart shaped detail in the closeup here - hard to do on your own feet while balancing on a stack of magazines!!! I now understand the value of a life line if you have to rip back several rows. Those YOs do all kinds of strange things when they're free to move. It's hard to 'read' the pattern in the knitted stitches when some of the rows repeat & others do not in each motif when you aren't used to charts or lace knitting. I have knit a lace sock before but it was a small repeating pattern stolen from a sweater. It was a simple K2, YO, K1, YO, K2 that went on & on. Not a chart to follow. I thank my friend Karen for her lovely 'Counting Bracelet' which also helped me keep track of the rows on my chart. Sixteen days for a pair of socks is almost unheard of for me - unless they're BLACK. Have you noticed how black socks take a very long time to knit???

But, as I said, it's all over. Will I knit another charted lace sock?? Probably. But not right now. I need to knit mindl
ess, plain socks for the Ex who's having problems with athlete's foot & nail fungus again. I told him he has to stop wearing boots or shoes ALL THE TIME. I had him wearing sandals when he was in the house so his feet could dry out. And he has to wear wool socks. He wears cotton socks & as we all know, they get wet & stay that way inside boots. Since he won't wear commercial wool socks - they itch!! & won't fit in his shoes anyway - I am knitting several pairs for him. He likes the hand knits - they're thin, they keep his feet warm - he's complaining of cold feet all the time too, and they don't get wet & stay that way.

I just had to cast-on SKEW from Knitty! Have you SEEN that sock?? It's wild and crazy so I just had to try it out. I think I'm more excited by Arcitectural sock design than pattern right now. Of course, I'll have to wait to see how I feel after I've played with SKEW some more.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

On with the Games!

I entered TWO categories in the Ravelympics - the WIP Dance - you saw the Big Blue Hug afghan in the previous post & Sock Hockey - I knit a LOT of socks so this one's a no brainer, rig

Nope. I just realized today
that I grabbed the wrong yarn. I was going to use the Berroco Sox yarn but ended up grabbing the Regia by mistake but I'm finally into the THIRD repeat of the lace pattern so nothing short of torture is gonna make me rip that thing out again . . . . .

I decided to take on a Challenge. I mean, that's what the Ravelympics are all about, right??? I decided to knit my first charted lace sock - on circs. I normally use 4
bamboo DPs. I've always used 4 DPs. I learned on them & prefer them. I can knit a pair of socks in no time. Not this time.
I cast on during the Opening Ceremonies. Ribbing takes no time & you normally don't have to even watch it much - not this time. The pattern called for a K1P1 with a twisted knit. And then the pattern I chose - Smoldering Hearts - is a charted lace pattern. My fir
st. I decided the pattern was best done on two circs because it's charted in two parts & I didn't want to keep moving stitches around to accommodate the pattern. So far, so good but it's slow.

I ended up tinking about 8 rows because I put a YO in the wrong place twice in the pattern but didn't notice until I was several rows past . . . sob. I did use my Counting Bracelet - made by my pal Karen - but got my rows mixed up anyway . . . so I tinked it back to a recognizable point & started again. You can just see the heart shaping in the pattern in the picture. I'm TWO HEARTS into the pattern & just getting ready to do the third repeat. I'm not sure if I'll even knit the second sock at this rate but, who knows . . .

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Oh What Have I Done??

I've signed on for the Knitting Olympics on Ravelry. I am finishing a WIP begun as a house-warming gift for "he who won't be named" in 2005. It's a giant granny square afghan in blues & greys. Half finished & stuck in a bag. HE wanted a plain blue one but I wouldn't make one because plain blue is so boring . . . so it became blues & greys. I hate sewing things together so it became one giant granny - it got so big that I couldn't tote it around with me as 'car crochet' anymore. So it got stuffed in a bag & neglected. And then HE got the boot. So it sat in the bag - unwanted. I even thought about taking it apart but didn't. So, I entered it into the WIP catagory in the Olympics. I will finish it before the Olympic flame is extinguished or else. It will then go to a new home where it will be loved & appreciated.

And as if I don't have enough to do, I've entered into the Sock catagory too. I am making "Smoldering Hearts". It's a charted lace patterned sock - I don't have the luscious red yarn of the original but do have some yummy purple & pink Berroco Sox that should do the trick very nicely. And I've entered the very same sock into the Harlot's Knitting Olympics too. This is my very first charted lace & a rare patterned sock. I usually make plain vanilla socks in wild yarns. I'm thinking the sock may take longer than the granny square . . . .

Monday, February 08, 2010

The moving needle knits

I've been in a flurry of sock knitting again. It takes the pain away from unfolding little squares of paper in boxes . . . but the Ex wants some socks. His hear
t medication has slowed his metabolism down so much that he's cold all the time. He used to work outside in a tee shirt & still be warm to the touch! Now he's wearing a down vest even in the summer. Since he loans me money whenever I need it, I'll knit as many socks as he wants!! And, thanks to Gladys, who shops daily at the Dressew yarn sale, I have sock yarn up the wazooo at $2 a ball!

I got some
nice greys & blues for the Ex. Now, he'll wear just about anything if his feet are warm but I got nice yarn which will go with anything so he can brag to his buddies as well. Since I was too lazy to divide the big ball of Regia into two balls before I started to knit, I started two different pairs of socks. One down - in a variegated grey and one in progress. I've made the leg a little shorter & used my 2.5mm bamboo skewers to knit them just a little looser so they have lots of stretch when his ankles swell a little. I always leave sock knitting outside in the car to work on when I'm waiting around but bring them in to turn the heels when I'm watching tv while another goes outside as car knitting. So I ended up starting two pairs of socks at the same time. I think I prefer the darker Regia grey yarn. It seems to be thicker somehow with more of a cushiony feel. It might be the dye but I hope it stays that way when it's washed.

I actually got the new spinner out on the weekend & spun yarn. The new machine - a Majacraft Susie Pro - is brand new this year. It's my first new wheel since I bought the Indian Head spinner in the early 70s when I first learned to spin!! I've spun just about everything on the old wheel from silk to camel but really wanted a wheel that would travel a little better. The Suzie folds in half & has a handle to carry it but Rimu wood is heavy!! Gail, Doris, Karen & I all got together at Gail's house to spin away the day on Saturday. It's been too long since we had one of these get togethers!! I didn't get to spin much because somehow I managed to kink my neck & it looks like I may have a pinched nerve. I'm still having some difficulty turning my head to the right, raising my right arm & bending in that direction. But, it was really nice to spend a whole day spinning & yakking it up with the Girls.

I have another Ho
odie on the needles even though I'm knitting up two pairs of socks at the same time. I found some pink & pink variegated yarn & decided I just HAD to knit a pink hoodie! I have quite a lot of variegated yarn that doesn't really go with much because of the odd colors. But, in the meantime, I'm working my way through the solids I have & trying to make reasonable combinations. I'm not sure it really matters to the kids in the War Zone, but it matters to me.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

As the dust flies . . .

So I spent the last few days preparing for the new tax year. One of the clients dropped off 4 small boxes of paper. What is it about men & paper anyway?? I prefer the guys who save everything as opposed to those who show up with an invoice book & want me to file a tax return! But, why do they take every piece of paper & fold it into a one inch square?? I get boxes of folded, one inch squares to unfold. I think unfolding paper is the worst part of doing a tax return for a small business! So, after two evenings of unfolding in front of the tv - instead of knitting!!!! - I now have ONE box of organized receipts. And 10 bucks, Four Popeye dollars, a SLAB card with several stamps on it, a McGavins card with a full set of stamps & two Canadian Tire dollars . . . I've found uncashed cheques & once, a hundred dollar bill in the boxes of paper! The Canadian tire money is MINE, MINE, MINE but the rest goes back, dammit.

And what, if anything, have I knit?? Nothing. Haven't even finished the socks for the Ex. But I did spend an evening looking through 6 or 7 years of Interweave Knits, Knitters, Cast On & Spin Off. I was looking for a pattern for the next pair of socks. I like my basic formula for socks. I can knit them from memory without any problems but now & then, I like to vary them for fun. I like socks because they're simple, fast, take little yarn, comfortable & fit everyone. But, even with the wild yarns I prefer, it's nice to have a challenge. Yes, I could knit one of Cookie A's patterns but I like the Queen Kahuna heel with no stitches to pick up - I can't SEE in the evening to pick them up!! And until Opticana gets my reading glasses prescription right, I can't read the fine print, neither!! So, I was trolling for something to catch my fancy which I could incorporate into a new pair of socks.

You know how it is, you start looking for one thing & find several others that you want to start, NOW! I love going through piles of craft magazines. But the sheer volume of reading material in magazine collections adds up as quickly as the magazines themselves. I wish there was a simple way to put them all on disc!! But, I digress . . . I found oodles of things I wanted to knit. And crochet. Amazing how your interests & preferences change over time though - I found things I hadn't even noticed before. And I found things I hadn't considered before. I haven't knit any lace patterns since I made my friend Pat a gold lace cardigan in a fine mohair/wool blend about 25 years ago. I planned on making myself one in cherry at the time but never did. I find myself taking a closer look at lace patterns these days.
I've knit several aran sweaters for friends in the past as well. I liked the challenge of the cables & bobbles & collected very complicated patterns at one time. I bought Knitting Ganseys by Beth Brown Reinsel because I loved the simple, basic designs but never knit one for myself as I had planned. Did I find a pattern for my next socks? Nope. But I found my next sweater . . .