100th Post!

Welcome, one and all, to my 100th post! Today, I have tales to tell, some devastating, some encouraging, but all true.

First let me tell you about the sock (this would be the first of two Raven Swirl Socks). Do you remember last year when I kept hitting knots in my Jitterbug sock yarn? And when I ran out of yarn with just a few short toe rows to go on the gold Fascine Braid socks? Or, just the other day, when I broke my yarn (totally my fault, that) just as I was finishing one of the Rogue Roses socks? Well, can you believe it happened again? I had 20 toe-rows to go (that’s a convenient little poem, don’t you think?) when I hit a knot. I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever knit a sock out of a continuous piece of string… The silver lining in this little cloud is that I somehow, without paying any particular attention to anything more than ensuring I had a long enough tail to secure the ends, managed to stop knitting and then start again at the same place (give or take a bit) in the color repeat.

Next, and related to the story above, is that I did indeed finish the sock during lunch. I even got the ends woven in. Then, once back at the office, I found a person whose foot should (theoretically) fit said sock and asked her to try it on. Hallelujah! The design does indeed twist around the leg rather magically, even though when the sock is off the design travels straight up from toe to cuff. YAY!

So with the completion of this sock, my Christmas knitting stands at….1 scarf/shawlette and 4 socks (although only one pair) completed. I still have a long way to go, but it’s only July, and the sock above only took about three days to knit.

My final story is a combination of victory and tragedy. Helena at Clever Knits announced the August Knit-a-Long, a triangle scarf/shawl, and I decided to go for it. I’ve been looking for a project that would fit the Organic Wool I bought last year, and this seemed to be just right. The pattern calls for Aran weight, and the yarn I was planning to use is DK, which translates to a needle size adjustment.

I’ve knit a couple of swatches with this yarn already in an attempt to figure out what it wants to be, so I could see pretty easily that size 8 needles made nice, neat, pleasantly sized stitches; and I knew that I owned size 8 needles (I checked on Ravelry and found several projects where they were used). Of course, even after searching through my knitting bag, my needle case, and my wool chest, I could only find the 16″ circulars (although I did find two sets. Please don’t ask…). According to Ravelry, I’ve knit two sweaters on needles of this size, and I’m quite sure I didn’t use the needles I’d located – at least not for anything but the sleeves. So, somewhere, still buried in the yarn chest, possibly stuck in the middle of a long forgotten (and not Ravelried) project, are my long size 8 circulars. I know that the only way to find them is to go purchase another set (this is why, in my needle case, I have 4 sets of size 10, and 3 sets of 10.5 needles). But for now, I started in on the KaL, and here’s what I’ve got so far.

Springtime Bandit in O-Wool Legacy DK

According to the pattern, I have two more body repeats to go, then I get to do the edging. But I’m afraid that I won’t be happy with the length if I do it this way, not to mention I’ll still have a lot of this green yarn left over. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll find my other needles so I can figure out what to do. For now though, I’m loving this pattern so much that I might just make a couple!

I’ve had a great time with my first 100 posts, and I’m looking forward to the next couple of thousand 😉 . To anyone who comes around just to see what’s up, and to those who leave comments for me, thank you! Have a good day!

Christmas Socks (part 1) – done!

As I sit here and write, the Rogue Roses socks – the first pair of completed Christmas 2010 socks – are soaking in a tepid bath of Euclan. I made Sami wait for me to finish grafting the toe of sock #2 before we left San Diego to come home this afternoon, and as soon as I got into the house, I wove in the ends. Soon (in fact, before I publish this post) they will be stretched out on my new sock blockers, relaxing in a cool evening breeze, prior to being folded and set aside in my gift stash.

(and here they are…)

The problem with these being done is I’m now faced with what to do next. I have several scarves I’d like to make (one of them is in Cashmere – yum!), and several more pair of socks to do. I also want to make some mittens, if only because they’re just as much fun as socks, but without the pesky heel.

In addition to all of these new things, I also have my Eastlake sweater waiting to be finished (just the yoke and sleeves, then the making up), and some Pumpkin (aka Penelope) projects that I haven’t quite gotten done. Oh, and there’s the lovely lace scarf that I started last year <blush> and have been putting off because the pattern is at an awkward part where the edge repeats aren’t shown right next to the center repeats, and I haven’t had the wherewithal to suck it into the computer and rectify this really quite surmountable issue.

So, what to do, what to do? Any suggestions?

Alien Abduction?

This is the first explanation that came to mind this afternoon when I realized that I knit more yesterday – a work day – than I did today – my day off. Yesterday I finished the heel flap and turned the heel during my lunch, then whipped through the gusset while I waited for Sami to finish at Kempo. That left me with about 4.5 repeats of the pattern to go before I do the toe shaping. “I can easily finish that tomorrow,” I foolishly thought.

Yeah. Well. I still have 1.5 pattern repeats to go, plus the toe. I’m still optimistic that it will be done tonight, but I’ve promised myself that I won’t be bitter if I have to do the last little bit tomorrow durning my lunch.

Why, you ask, did I get so little done? Surely my house is immaculate and I have a 4+ course meal sitting on the table in anticipation of nourishing my family once my beloved arrives home.

Au contraire, mon frère! I did do dishes and a load of laundry. And I had my elves straighten up the toys in the living room. But that’s it. We’re having pizza for dinner. It seems I spent the day reacting to incidents and issues… and I had a nap.

But like I said, I’m confident the sock will get done and whether it’s done today or tomorrow won’t have any sort of detrimental effect on the weather or the volcano in Iceland, so I’m just going to go with it.

Single Sock Parade

In the last week (give or take a few days), I’ve finished two socks. The problem is that they’re two different patterns, so I now have two halves of two more Christmas gifts knit.

Here’s the first sock that I finished, along with its mate-in-progress:

Rogue Roses by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, knit it Trekking XXL

These socks are fun and quick to knit, but they pose an interesting problem. The pattern is designed so the panel of “roses” twists around one sock clockwise, and the other sock counter clockwise. This means that, after a sock’s worth of knitting, I don’t actually have the pattern memorized, because the second sock is almost… well, backwards.

And that, my friends, is why I opted to knit a totally different sock in between the two Rogue Roses. Check this out:

Traditional Turkish Sock by Anna Zilboorg, from Knitting Traditions magazine

These socks are knit on size 4 (!!) needles, and I used some Knit Picks Palette yarn that I’d purchased back when I was working on the Orange Shawl of Doom (isn’t it funny that I was working on my first attempt at the Rogue Roses socks when I bought this yarn?). I started this one (several times, of course) last Tuesday at Knit Night, and finished it on Friday afternoon. That’s like 2.5 days for a sock! However, since the purpose of this sock was to erase the memory of the Rogue Roses pattern from my brain, I’m afraid it might not have been enough. I’m still having problems keeping track of my rows, and have had to back up several times to correct missed YOs or decreases.

Ok, now that you know what I did last week, I’m off to work on RRsock#2. Have a lovely evening!

Socks, Revisited

Yesterday, after I’d unpinned my Annis and showed it to you all, Max and I sort of goofed off for the rest of the day. We visited Karen at Clever Knits, we had lunch, we painted… Well, Max painted, and I stood at the ready with a damp cloth to wipe up spills. No discernible housework was done, nor was any knitting.

When my lovely husband came home, we made preparations to go out to dinner. It is our habit to retire to the bookstore down the street for coffee after we’ve had our fish & chips and/or curry, and as I was getting ready to go out I realized I had nothing to knit  on if we followed our usual modis operandi. I quickly threw open my yarn chest (after moving all the crap I have stacked on top of it onto the bed) and located some sock yarn. I have several pair of socks that need to be knit as Christmas gifts, and more than several skeins of yarn that will work well in this endeavor, so finding my materials wasn’t much of a challenge.

The challenge came in deciding which socks to knit. I was initially calmed by the fact that, since we were going to the bookstore I’d be able to find a pattern without much fuss. Then I happened to glance over at the table where my knitting books are stored. I have two sock books already, and all of the patterns from last year’s Rockin’ Sock Club. There was really no need to buy more.

From my well stocked binder of RSC patterns I pulled the “Rogue Roses” pattern. This happens to be the only one I’ve actually finished so far, and I love these socks. So I’m knitting them again, using Trekking XXL (color 326 – how creative) and size 2 needles. I have one more pattern repeat to go before I start the heel of the first sock, and I’m very excited about how they’re progressing thus far.

I just need to keep my momentum going, and I’ll have my holiday knitting finished in no time!!