Friday, February 29, 2008

Slow & Steady

Not always a lot to blog about, I just keep on knitting. Jeanie's at about 10 inches now. The goal is 70 inches. I try to work on her every day, at least a few rows. That fell through yesterday. Pomato is getting so close to the toe that I just couldn't stop working on that. Best I can tell, one more chart repeat and I'll be onto toe decreases. Have I mentioned what a tactile delight the pomato is?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Mindless knitting report

As I mentioned in my previous post, I needed some mindless knitting for Saturday night. I needed something so mindless I could knit it in the dark. Finally, Saturday afternoon, I was able to put aside the pomatoes and attend to this issue. I needed a yarn not likely to get uppity on me, so I picked one of the balls of Limbo I got on discount not long ago. As I only had one ball of the yarn, I decided they would be socks for my #1grrl, who doesn't have any MamaMadeSocks at the moment. The plan was: toe up socks, short row heel, and the same easy rib from Sensational Knitted Socks.

I did indeed knit on the socks that evening. I had hours in a theatre, and when it was dark, I knitted fervently on the new socks. Admittedly, when it was light, I knitted on the pomatoes.

Come Sunday morning, I measured the new socks--they were 4 inches long. I browsed through New Pathways and for some reason, decided these socks should actually be the Dove Socks in that book. This was courting danger, for not only do those Bordhi increases suck up lots of yarn, but the Dove pattern was committing me to a predetermined height for the legs. I had to be sure I had enough yarn to reach the top of the big diamond. And indeed, as I worked on the increases, I could see the ball of yarn steadily decreasing. That's when I decided I needed to use an alternate yarn for the heels. My daughter was free to pick out her preferred heels.

The yarn did indeed make it to the top of the diamond. I even got four rows of ribbing above it! I knitted until I completely ran out of yarn, as shown in the photo above. Then my daughter changed her mind about having a bindoff that matched the heels, and I had to pick back a row and a half in order to have enough yarn to bind off.

Finished Object!
Started: Feb 16, 2008 (3pm!)
Finished: Feb 18, 2008 (11am!)
Yarn: Limbo
Needle: Size 5 Knitpicks Options circular
Pattern: Dove Socks from New Pathways. Toe up.

I love the incongruous heels. The little touch of whimsy* completely delights me. Oh, the joys of homemade!

*about whimsy... Imogen in The Blue Girl had a very specific definition of whimsy. I'm not sure if dayglo heels conforms to her definition. But I still think of those heels as a touch of whimsy.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bossy little faerie

Things aren't going quite as planned. First, let me make it clear... my enthusiasm for Jeanie has not waned even a bit. The thing is, I need some mindless knitting for tonight. Planning ahead, I picked out a yarn yesterday morning. I wound Miranda, my Sweet Sheep Faerie Feet, into a ball, and purused Sensational Knitted Socks for a nice little easy rib pattern I could do with my eyes shut.

That's where the trouble began. Miranda made it very clear that she was not interested in some nice and easy little rib pattern that I could do with my eyes shut. No, ma'am. Turns out, Miranda wanted to be Pomatomus.

As you can see, Miranda was completely right. Not that I ever doubted her, of course, it's just lovely to see the proof. So now I have two beloved but complicated projects in the works... and no mindless knitting yet for tonight. Sigh.

Friday, February 15, 2008

pansy progress

Jeanie is making steady progress. Although it doesn't show in the picture, I have started dropping stitches. This development is both thrilling and alarming. When the shawl gets a little longer, I'll have a better view of the overall picture.

just in time

Just in time for a new weekend, here is the weekend report from LAST weekend. Things like dead camera batteries, strange computer alerts, and a captivating new project kept this update from happening earlier.

I went on a finishing binge this weekend, which was well-timed. First, I finished the little brave babe that has been languishing on my bedside table. She still needs a complete wardrobe, but hey! she's got hair!

I have a pair of BBS (Big Black Socks) for Socks for Soldiers that has been making turtle progress (slow and steady). This weekend they got that final push and were done.

Also finished this weekend was a set of fingerless gloves for the older kidlet. They still need some decorative efforts, but would you believe I've lost that ball of yarn? Hopefully I'll find it this next weekend.

Monday, February 11, 2008

wise men say only fools rush in

On Thursday, Ember showed me Jeanie. What happened next is a bit of a blur. Fastforward to today... 3 skeins of Dream in Colour Smooshy--Pansy Golightly--arrived from the Loopy Ewe. My planned weekend update will have to come later. No time to blog further. Must... go... cast... on...

Saggy, baggy heels

The Rivulet Socks had a very busy day yesterday. After their involvement with making muffins, they rushed off to drop off at a Boy Scouts' bake sale. They tried to go to Sunday Services, but instead wound up at the children's class. There was much 80s joy at the children's class, and the socks danced about on hard wood floors til they were weary. Then there was some Rock Lobster , and the socks danced about some more. While all the adults there, with their socks, were flopping about on the ground, "Down, down, down!" the children seemed highly alarmed. Seriously, I don't know what to think of a generation that is unmoved by Rock Lobster !

The socks went on for a busy day running errands, going out for tea, and a joyful trip to the snowy, sunny park to enjoy near-springlike weather.

I love the socks. They look fabulous. The yarn is stunning. Sadly, the heels are abominable. I will still wear them, but any further attempts at socks from New Pathways will need some serious tweaking to fit properly.

Friday, February 08, 2008

if it ain't broke...

I am making steady progress on my Rushing Rivulet socks. I will be starting the cuff after just a few more inches. I'm still pondering the picot hem as recommended in the pattern.
Naturally, I haven't worn these socks yet, though I have tried them on. They seem like they will fit, but the real proof will come in the wearing. At this point in time, I'm not completely sold on the Bordhi architectures for my socks. It worked really well for my son's socks, however I'm not convinced I need this custom shaping. These socks include increases through two-thirds of the foot! First of all, it uses a whole lotta yarn. Secondly, do I really need those generous increases? My actual foot is still getting smaller while the sock is getting larger. It makes one seriously chunky heel! I have been comparing these socks to my other socks. In the photograph below, you can see a pair of socks with a short-row heel layered atop a pair of socks with a "traditional" heel, on top of the Bordhi socks. Do I really need that much heel? My socks made with much smaller heel acreage all fit me quite nicely.

As I said above, the proof will be in the wearing, so all this pondering is purely academic at this point. In the meantime, I continue to wonder... if it ain't broke, why are we fixing it?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Rushing along with Rivulets

It just so happens that I have a lot of things I need/want to knit. Things for my kids, gifts, stuff I fancy, stuff I imagine, a couple unfinished objects, etc. I'm longing to knit up my Sweet Sheep yarn and the Lark yarn; it's just sitting by my bed tormenting me, all of it. So I don't have a good explanation why I started on these Rushing Rivulet socks. They are pictured in the New Pathways for Sock Knitters, with a chart, but knitters have to utilize the Riverbed Architecture and figure it out for themselves. The Riverbed Architecture is supposed to be nice because you can fill the socks with a pattern, right to the sides of the heels. I have never before in my sock-knitting days longed to fill the sides of the heels with pattern. So naturally I tried it. Ever since seeing the pic of the Rivulet socks, the pattern has been telling me it would be perfect with my Rio del Plata yarn. And admittedly, this sock yarn has been waiting a lot longer than the Sweet Sheep yarn.

In this pic above, you can hopefully see the V-shape that creates the increases on the sole. It also shows my markers. The book recommends letter markers. On these socks I'm using embroidery floss tied into loops. I don't need letters on my markers to keep track, and most of my markers were too chunky to work nicely with such thin yarn. But my skull markers were just perfect for keeping track of the 3 row repeats.

This second picture above shows the rivulet pattern, a basic pattern of k2tog followed by a yo.

I turned one heel today. I had high expectations of turning two, but I did a lot of Homework Mom duties, which involved many interruptions. One of the tricks I had with this sock was deciding how to carry the rivulet pattern down the sides of the socks as the increases in the sole moved stitches from the sole to the sides. I wound up tracking the increase rows in groups of four. On the third of four increase rows, I would add the rivulet pattern on only one side, on the side where the k2tog occurred within 2 stitches of the existing pattern. On the fourth increase row, I finished adding the four-stitch rivulet pattern on both sides of the sock. This is because every four increase rows meant eight stitches added to the centre of the sole, which meant I could add two four-stitch repeats on the sides. Clear as mud?

What a funky shaped sock this is!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Dashing Done!

I actually finished these last weekend, but didn't get a picture until today. I'm kinda disappointed in the finished product. They're absurdly long, both over the fingers and up the arm. They seem more like outdoor-useful than work-useful. I'm pondering making a pair of fetching for my friend, instead. On the other hand, both my children adore these and each want their own.
Pattern: Dashing
Needle: Size 8 circular
Yarn: Cascade 220 Quatro
Notes: As I mentioned in previous posts, knitting at gauge made these too tight. I had to go up a needle size and make the larger size.
Started and Finished in January, 2008.