Friday, January 27, 2006

Progress! I am making some progress. Actually even more than these show. I just can't seem to manage to remember to do photos during daylight hours. My diet is going moderately well. I am trying. I finished Shiloh's knee socks. Too cute. They are made from knitpicks sockgarden in "new england foliage". Toe up, hourglass heel, 3x1 rib top, with a bit of leg shaping and 1x1 rib at the tippy top. Very fun and fast.
Also, I finished yet another pair of socks from the famous "six pair at once" adventure. Who am I kidding: I have at least that many going now, I just haven't gathered photographic evidence. Very dark pic here, sorry. These are made from woolease. These are the first socks I've done in a really long time with the standard heel flap. I just thought I should give it a go, to see how it was now that I am better at picking up stitches, etc. It was really fun, I find I have a much greater appreciation for it now. In fact, I've been pouring over the library copy of "Folk Socks", which I now must own. And I have, well, let's just say, more socks going with that heel. Oh, I referred to Nancy Lindberg's "Knit to Fit Ankle or Calf Socks" pattern on this one. This is an excellent sock construction pattern. It's a great intro to sock knitting, and a good reference for sock design. I like these socks because I can save them for occasions when I need quiet, polite (bland) socks, yet the large gauge meant I didn't get completely bored before they finished. I did 3x1 rib on this one too. Siri at once mentioned that this was her sort of "standard" top, and I had never used it before. I've used it a few times now and like it. I do find that I have to be conscious to bind off more loosely than normal for some reason, but that's okay. That was one of the many lessons learned on Long Skinny Sock.
I am trying to stay the course. I will go now, as I have delusions of finishing Keith's amber socks for a surprise Valentine's day gift. Did I mention he wears a size 12 or 13 shoe?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I'm on A Diet! A project diet, that is. I call it the 2 for 1 diet. For each two projects I complete, I am allowed to start one new one. Until things get under control or I binge. I decided this last night. I was adamant and enthusiastic all morning. The first project to be completed will be Shiloh's knee socks ( I have one done) and then probably the woolease socks that at the 1 1/2 socks stage. The first project to start after that is to be Keith's amber socks. I've used this diet before, and it works pretty well, because I have to choose my new projects carefully. Once they are started, there are no more new ones until two more projects are finito. It is flexible: I can work on any or all of my different knits whenever. As long as two somethings get done.
But you know what came in the mail today? The happy trails sock yarn. The siren song that left me crashed upon the rocks. Poor, innocent Shiloh. I said (speaking to Keith) "I'm starting your socks." Shiloh said "my second knee sock!!", very excitedly. Me: "um, well, yes, I have your sock started too." Okay, so I did a little amber socks swatching, but now I am decidedly back on the wagon. I have to get the knee socks done before I consider cheating again.
Another funny bit about the new yarn. Not so much funny haha, more like funny "oh crap". I got seven rather that eight skeins. I am short one. I don't know if I ordered wrong or it was written down wrong. All I can say is I meant to order two "fleece". So I need to order another. More shipping. Remember yesterday, how I was listing the cost of stopping by the library? Add this on. So, here's the question: Do I just order the one skein I need, and pay $4.50 shipping on a $5.75 ball of yarn, or do I order some other yarn (to make the shipping less of a percentage) that I had planned on ordering later, when I had squirreled away more cash? Well, the good news is that I called, and she (Nancy Bush!) is going to set aside the one in the dye lot, until I call to order more. I looove the yarn. Pictures and details next time. Right now, I have a sock to work on, and a movie to watch.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Some Of What I've Been Up To: Here are some of the socks that I started when I had the insane idea of working on 6 different pair of socks at the same time. Don't get me wrong: insane yes, but I have not changed my behavior. I still have atleast that many pair going now. What is happening to me? I have enough Cash Iroha stockpiled to do my hourglass sweater, and still it's all socks. Anyway, let's see here. On the left you see the pair of socks that I love, and that almost sent me over the edge. These two socks represent three socks knitted. You mean you can't see the first? Well, it's there, ripped and reknitted into the third. But oh, I do LOVE that colorway. It's Steinbache Wolle Strapez Ringel. I did a 3X1 rib top. And why buy new jeans when I can spend the money on sock yarn? On the right are my Christmas socks. Yes, they were done in time for all Christmas parties. Funny, I hated doing the toe reinforcement. After I finished the second one, I noticed that I did not bother going near as far with it on the first one. But it's pure merino, and I just don't have much faith in the durability of these babies. They will now go in the drawer until next Christmas. Made from Knitpicks sock garden hollyberry, with a GS rib top. Next, we have gobs of koolaid microwave dyed wool. The dark Burgundy color at the back is regia (white) dyed with 2 black cherry, 1 grape per skein. These are going to be socks (Surprise!), "gentlemen's shooting stockings" from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. Well, so, I might as well tell you. So, I have looked at this book many times at work. It has grown on me. So, in an effort to be good, I stop by the library to see if they have it. They don't. But I check out Folk Socks and Knitting On the Road, neither one of which have I ever been totally smitten with. But, they too grew on me. So, the next thing I know, I'm ordering (guess!) more sock yarn. From Nancy Bush. Enough to do Finnish socks for me and Amber socks for Keith. (He said he really liked them, and did not immediately strike down the whole ordering idea, so I acted quickly.) And then so, at work the next day, I of course bought the vintage socks book, AND 3 skeins of Jawoll to make these:
These are the Evening Stockings. Oh, knee socks. Oh joy! I picked a more practical color for me. This pattern is such a pleasure. And the shooting socks are next.

So let's review: In an attempt to save money, I ended up buying a book, 3 skeins of Jawoll, 8 skeins of wooly west happy trails, and 2 skeins of regia. Beware the innocent public library. So, there's 4 more pair of socks waiting on me. There's more going on. But I think I'm getting a little embarrassed.
Did I mention that Shiloh actually asked me to make her some kneesocks? Be still my heart. So I must go. She is so impatient for them that I have to finish one tonight or she is going to make me bind it off tomorrow, however short it is. But, this is only 48 stitches and I only have 3 inches to go. Someday I will begin to reveal the shameful amount of yarn, knitting books and roving I got for Christmas.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Ah, the Vest! Pretty nice huh? Yeah, too bad it fits my body, instead of my husband's. After all, it was supposed to be for him. Just for clarity, Keith is 6 foot, and like maybe 175 pounds. So, I bought the fleece, washed it, carded it, spun it. I knitted my swatch. I made the vest. See the slightly big leap here? From swatch to entire vest, knit on a 24" needle, and never smoothing the baby out and rechecking my freaking gauge? Yeah. Well, it was meant to be a Christmas surprise that I got it done. And I did, working madly. Well, it turned out to be quite a surprise for me too. I did not see this one coming. This vest was so meant for him, in my heart, that for quite a while I could not deal with the tiny bit of finishing. It just lay there, dejected, in the trunk of the car. Well, I've moved on. This vest is so comfy. And it does fit me perfectly. Keith swears I did it subconsciously on purpose. So, details: the wool is a lovely coopworth-Maine island cross, that I got at work. (If anyone is interested, I think we still have some.) Very soft. In fact, as I carried Shiloh up to the house from the little creek that we play in, and that she fell in that day, even bare legged, she swore it wasn't itchy. (It was crazy warm that day, and she did have on pants, until she soaked them falling in. Please don't think I'm a bad mom.) The basis of the pattern is from Nancy Lindberg's "Family of Vests". I have done my version of this vest 5-6 times now, and I love the ease of it. My main changes are that I knit it in the round to the armholes, and that I do a much more gradual decrease, and fewer decreases overall, in the front. I love that the neck and armholes have GS edging knit as you go. The finishing on this takes 10 minutes. It's looking like Keith's vest is going to be out of Donegal Tweed. Isn't life funny.

Friday, January 06, 2006

I'm Back... December was an odd month for me in ways I can figure out, and in some ways I can't . The thing with blogging, I can't knit and type. Anyway, I am trying again. Maybe there is someone out there who might still find my existence. I think I need to live in southern Italy or Mexico, or someplace equally sunny. Italy...Better yarn. Part of my absence I'll leave as nonexistence. Part of it I'll explain as I have the energy. First of all it started because I was having major problems with my blog host. Hopefully that is over. Then, I think I had a semi-serious knitting crisis. I stalled out after the full-skein sock that I had to rip. I will actually finish that pair tonight. People talk about second sock syndrome--how about THIRD sock syndrome?! Actually, I've been cranking on this one because I'm so psyched to finally get to wear them tomorrow.. In fact, I think I'm going to finish them now. I'll get back on the photos soon. Maybe tomorrow I can photograph the vest I made for Keith for Christmas...I'll save the details of that disaster until my socks are on my feet.