Friday, October 29, 2010

Cup weekend!

I finished my mother's socks, and they are in Queensland, all wrapped up and waiting for her birthday. I enjoyed the second sock more than the first, but never really got into the rhythm of the slipped stitches.

Then I cast on the Revontuli - Northern Lights Shawl, in Zauberball I bought at the Caulfield craft show earlier this year. I love the colours, but couldn't see it working well as socks. I'm enjoying knitting this, it's simple enough that I have the pattern memorised, but very effective. I think it will be the first of a number of small shawls over the next few months, although probably the only one that looks like a watermelon.

This morning I have carded some alpaca, changes the bobbin on my wheel and am ready to spin. I have a four day weekend and plan to finish about 60 grams of stripy 8ply alpaca, to make a hat for Leon. I think its going to be a fantastic weekend. It's raining and I'm wearing polar bear pyjamas and waiting for Leon to get up, so I can fry up the pancakes from the mixture I made earlier. Then I have the whole next four days for knitting and spinning, interrupted only by dates to see friends, which I will, no doubt knit right through. I'm reading a good book, I went for a run yesterday when the weather was still nice, so I won't feel obligated to do so in the rain and I have a good supply of tea in the house. It should be a lovely time.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Socktober 24th

It's been a fairly quiet week here,knitting wise. I've been working on my mothers Leyburns. The first one was hard going. I think I quickly understood the relatively simple pattern, but did not understand what was actually going on, which made it a struggle.

Anyway, I've just turned the heel on the second one, so it won't be long now. I want to be with her when she gets them though, as they are a bit tight over the heel, but great once they are on, kind of like Jaywalkers. As she has quite ... generous ankles, maybe I should have chosen a different pattern, but these are so pretty. They are going on holidays on the 28 of this month, so I have to decide whether to send the socks with them, or wait. Ahh, decisions.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The sock love just keeps on coming

I finished the knee high Noro socks: Leon calls them my witchey socks and I think it's obvious why:

I love them, although if I were to knit them again I would do my normal wedge toe, rather than this one, which looks great with the stripes, but is not quite as comfortable.

My intention after this was to knit something other than socks, but it turns out it's my mothers birthday in two weeks. Now I know the date of my mothers birthday, but I had not put it together in my head that the 5th of November is two weeks away. My mother asked me to knit her another pair of socks, as she has worn completely through he soles of the William Street socks I knit her last winter. Clearly she appreciated the knit, obviously she loved them to death, so I judge her as deserving the knit. I had planned to make her Leyburn's for her next gift, I just hadn't worked out that her birthday was coming up before next winter.

To compound the panic, my parents are going on holidays on the 28th of October, so if these socks are to be gifted on her birthday they have to be finished by Wednesday week. I decided to knit a cuff down version of Leyburn, in this pretty wool by Stranded in OZ, that has been in my stash since Bendigo two years ago. It makes the prettiest little flower pattern. I wouldn't be worried about the timing but, despite what the Yarn Harlot said about them I'm not finding these a particularly quick knit. A very pretty one, yes, but not fast. And my hands are getting rather achy as well. If I don't get the pair finished by the time the Parents leave I'll send one to be given on her birthday, and give her the other one on their return.

I'm almost socked out. I'm going to finish this pair and then knit something else, on 5.5 mm needles. Although I will be using sock wool again. I feel like I am burning through the sock stash, I'm going to have used 5 balls of sock wool in a little over a month. I am resisting putting in an order with Blue Moon Fiber arts, but I'm not sure how long that will last. All those pretties.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I am an experienced sock knitter. I just have to state that right now, before I tell you about my sock drama this week. I was knitting on my first stripy Noro knee high sock on Tuesday night at the pub. I got to the heel and knit the heel flap. As usual, I didn't count rows, I just continued until it was square. I then turned it, unevenly, because I had more stitches that the pattern called for. I ripped it back, got a friend to look up a 64 stitch heel pattern turn on their iPhone, and continued down the foot. I was a bit pleased because the stranding was now on the sole of the foot, where it was invisible, and I had had some trouble with jogs were I was changing colour. All hidden on the bottom of the foot.
The toe called for in the pattern is not my usual type of toe. I started it a little earlier than usual, to compensate for the huge heel flap. I stayed up until after midnight on Wednesday to finish it, because I was so close.
On Thursday morning I got up, and tried the sock on. I had managed to make a sock with a huge floppy heel, I was standing on the floats which hurt the bottom of my foot, and the foot was a little too short. Finished at midnight Wednesday, ripped back to the heel at 8am Thursday.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

sock reminiscence

When I was a new knitter I bought Jo Sharp Knit 3, and I knit the knee high socks, with a lace panel.

Stockings

That's the picture from the book, and no, those are not my legs either.

I can't tell you when I knit them, or how long they took, because this was before I joined Ravelry. Because I was a new knitter, I didn't know that lace was meant to be hard, or that knee high socks could be considered a challenge. I knit them with no dramas at all. There were holes where I picked up the gusset stitches, but I sneakily closed them with sewing. They were maybe an inch shorter than ideal, and I cast on a little tight. Anyway, here they are:

This time on my shapely calves.

I didn't knit another pair of socks for 18 months, but I wore them around the house A LOT. And then I became a sock knitter and knit more long socks, but I still wear these on occasion. And then the other day I put them on, walking into our tiled kitchen and thought, hmm, why is the bottom of my heel so cold:

That’s why.

So I cast on for a pair of sOctober knee highs, and wrote this post to salute that first pair of loyal socks, that I made so near the beginning of my journey into the land of knit.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A brief and only partly successful diversion

After I finished the socks I thought I would pause from sOcktober and knit up the rest of my handspun corriedale into a bathmatt. This served a number of purposes. I could get this large, heavy, warm object completed before summer. I would make a little room in the stash and we would have another bathmatt to keep our toes warm on our silly marble bathroom floor.

So off I went, using an Elizabeth Zimmerman short row technique that creates a kind of mitred look. The problems presented in two ways: As this was from my first lot of wheel spun wool the balls knit up to very different gauges and I ran out of wool entirely. So the edges are rather wonky and it is smaller than planned. But the texture of it is nice.

On Saturday I bought some of this fabric, which I have been rather obsessed with since I saw a triangular project bag made by, I think, Julie.

And that's it, I'm off to cast on some major sock satifaction.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I love knitting socks

I love my sheepy project bag that I carry them around in.
I love the fact they are small enough to carry around.

I love the needles I knit them on.
They feel amazing and look pretty too.

I love sock wool.
All of it.

I love the fact that at the end of all this fun, I have a beautiful new pair of socks.
BFF sock pattern, by Cookie A.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bad Tie Monday

Every Monday, Leon and his boss commit a crime against fashion called "Bad Tie Mondays". (Facebook group here) They are not obliged by their organisation to wear ties to work, but on Mondays they choose to. And they choose to wear the worst, most colourful, ugliest ties you have ever seen. Some previous efforts can be seen at their Facebook Group, but this week I assisted them in a triumph of badness.

I was looking through Veronique Avery's Knitting Classic Style, when I found a pattern for a tie. Now, in my opinion, a knitted tie is, by definition, bad. Then I compounded the bad by knitting it in orange Noro, which I had cut out of a ball because it was... ugly.
So here it is, Leon's fugly bad tie.


I'm so happy.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Spinning sock wool

I finished the sock wool that I dyed yesterday. The colours in it remind me of an Australian summer, all burnt browns and hot oranges and dry, dry land.

I am very happy with it, as it is the first time that I have succesfully spun this thing. It' 405 meters of 2 ply. Next time I'll have to try a three ply, but I was using the smallest whorl on my wheel, and found that, for thinner I want smaller. I'll have to investigate getting a lace flyer kit.

I was planning on attending the Spinners and Weavers Guild spinning session today, but day light savings started last night, Leon and I didn't get in until latish and I completely failed to get out of bed. But is is a beautiful spring day and we are off the throw the frisbee on the beach. I'll take my sock in progress with me and see f I can't find a it of time for fresh air sock knitting too.