Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Birthday Blues

No, no, no -- I've always loved my birthday. But April is my birthday month, so I get to pick the color. Perhaps you think I don't have much blue sock yarn? (Sorry, Linda, hope you're sitting down.)

3500 g right there, and I know there's more in Deep Stash. My aunt always said the family motto was "Any color as long as it's blue." You'll notice that many of those blues look quite similar -- in my defense, I plead that the texture varies quite a bit.

Pat, Lisa, Linda, Michaela: let me know if there are any that strike your fancy, and they're yours!

Semifinalists (narrowed down from 35 to 12):

The Final Four: Ray at Knitivity; Black Bunny Fibers; The Woolen Rabbit; Artyarns Supermerino

Bonus spring socks

As has become traditional, I spent the remainder of the month, after the "assigned" socks were done, finishing up a pair that had been languishing for some time. These were started last year -- I'm really not sure when.

They make me think of daffodils. They do look baggy around the slender ankles of the wooden blockers, but that's the drawback to the plain stockinette sock. They look considerably better when worn by a 3-dimensional leg.

Please observe the very nifty eye-of-partridge heel:

the yarn is Online Savannah 1034

Tomorrow: new month, new challenge

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

In like a lamb

The March socks are finished! I wove in the last ends Sunday night (today is Tuesday), but although my camera does have an underwater setting, I elected to delay the photo shoot until the rain stopped.

The colors didn't come out the way I'd expected them -- well, I don't know what I expected, exactly, but it didn't involve large patches of purple and white stripes. These socks are definitely festive! And they feel incredibly luxurious on my feet. The minute I put the first one on I was committed to knitting the second one as quickly as possible, so that both feet could be happy at the same time.

For my next adventure with Socks That Rock, I think I'll choose the lightweight, and use a colorway with less vigorous contrast. There will definitely be a next time.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just Enough Ruffles

Another scarf finished...if I keep this up all my Christmas presents will be knit before summer!  This is the Just Enough Ruffles scarf knit in Manos Silk Blend.  I can't say enough nice stuff about both this pattern and this yarn.  The yarn is soft, floats through your fingers, feels great and it really warm.  The pattern is fun; you cast on a lot of stitches, knit in short rows for awhile creating the curve that hugs your neck and then you increase like crazy and cast-off just before you want to give up on the darn thing and some how all those increases becoming charming ruffles.  Just enough for a not so girlie-girl like me.

I don't usually model my own work but with my daughter off to college...who else?!?  I ran outside between raindrops and did a quick session in front of the camera.  I needed to pop a little flash in my face to open up my eyes but come on, ya'll came to see the knitting!
Micheala - I've now shown my mad modeling skillz...come on girl, I need to see you!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

They're here!!

Note to self: knit socks this color next February. . .

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Baktus Scarf

Last month Elizabeth and I knitted socks in worsted weight wool and they went pretty quick. I was finished with my pair of socks half-way through the month and so I turned my attention to the Baktus scarf I had started in January. I finished it up and yesterday I washed and blocked it. This scarf turned out really cute and I love it. I knit this scarf on size one needles using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Yarn. It took a lot longer to knit than I anticipated but it's fun to wear and feels just right.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Note to self

In next life, have smaller feet.

Pat and I actually got together today, in person. We realized that every row in my socks is a whole inch longer than one row in her socks!! I am not going to do the math on this one, but -- sheesh! There are a whole lot of rows in a sock. It's 1,000 or more extra stitches per sock for me. One of my reasons for starting this project was to make a whole bunch of socks to keep, but I am sorely tempted to switch to knitting for my size 6 friends. . .

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Two Steps Forward

I've made up the ground I lost by ripping out a few days ago. These socks are going to be pretty vivid! Indoors, at night, they don't look as interesting, but in the daylight the colors really pop. It's quite an adventure waiting to see what will happen next -- and the second sock will probably look entirely different.

Every color but blue is represented -- and I still don't know why it's called Christmas balls, but I sure would like to see the color namer's tree.

Here's something interesting that happened with this sock. See how it looks as if I intentionally managed the colors so the first inch would have that distinct straight edge, after which the colors begin spiraling? It had nothing to do with any planning or manipulation -- that's what happened when I had to interrupt my knitting to accommodate the first knot in the skein. It's fascinating how the simplest thing can affect the way the colors fall. I suspect that once I do the heel flap and pick stitches up again for the foot I'll get yet another change in patterning.

I'm using a slip-stitch rib for the leg -- very stretchy, and fun to do. One row is k3, p2 all the way around; the second row is k1, slip 1 as if to purl, k1, p2, and follow that all the way around. The picture above shows the sock unstretched, as it looks while I knit. See how the slipped stitches emphasize the column effect of the ribbing? I especially like that section where the white is dominant. And here's what it looks like when stretched out, as if being worn:

Tonight the heel. . .

Thursday, March 4, 2010

One Step Forward. . .

I'd love to post a picture of my socks in progress, and this time yesterday I could have. . . but last night, just as I was about to start turning the first heel, I decided the sock was too small and ripped out the whole 7 inches I'd finished. Unless I stay up VERY late tonight, no progress picture tomorrow either, but by the end of the weekend there should be plenty to show again. My skein had 3 knots, which did not make me happy, but the knitted fabric is very bouncy and feels great. The slip stitch rib doesn't show up as well as I'd hoped, but in sections it does very, very interesting things with the colors. Stay tuned. . . .

Clown Barf?

 Elizabeth asked me about how the Socks That Rock yarn was knitting up and what I thought of the color and when I complained she asked if it looked like clown barf...I think that's a fair description.  This colorway; Fairgrounds,doesn't have any light, light colors or any dark, dark colors, just very pretty mid-tones.  Just one very dark or light color running through the skein would make the entire colorway pop but instead the pinks and oranges fade into one another creating a muddy looking color similar to a hot dog.  There's nothing super exciting going on within my socks.

 The yarn itself is really nicely spun and knits up beautifully.  No splitting, no poorly spun stretches, excellent yarn.  I'm using my toe-up cast-on then Cat Bordhi's Houdini Sock construction with minor changes by me.  One of my changes is to knit in some waste yarn where I want to open up the ankle of the sock.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Centerpull Balls...March Sock Knitting

Elizabeth assures me that it is OK to wind my March yarn in February.  I love to wind the yarn, it's peaceful, easy and no real thinking is involved.  I'm using Medium weight Socks That Rock yarn...can't remember the colorway but I will look for the label.  I believe it's prettier in the ball than in the skein.


Winding center-pull yarn balls is an individual endeavor, my mother doesn't do it the same way I do and my grandma had yet another way to do it.  I use a pill bottle, I shove the yarn end into the bottle and put the cap back on.  I wrap the yarn around the outside of the bottle, a few wraps and then turn, a few more wraps and then turn.  My kids tell me, I wrap five times before I turn each time and that I count under my breath...I'm not sure that's true.  The pill bottle gives the yarn plenty of room to expand, yarn does love breathing room.

My goal, my mom's goal and even my grandmom's goal is a nice round ball with the yarn coming from the center.  I think I've succeeded.

If you are wondering about the postal scale; I divide my yarn when I ball it - half and half for both socks...then I knit.