Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Hello from under the pile of FO

Well, I didn't think it would be two whole weeks before I'd post again, or else I would have apologized in advance for my unexplained disappearance. The road called once again and in addition to the week I spent in my hometown for work and coincidentally planning a little event in October, I also traveled to Florida for a meeting last week. Not much time for blogging, but lots of time for knitting.

First off, not much progress was made on the hoody the rest of the week I was home for event planning. I just finished the back of the sweater and have since cast on for the front and am not quite up to the section of ribbing at the empire waist. No pictures today since there are a bunch to follow, but how exciting is a piece of hot pink fuzzy back?

I just have to say, I think it's totally funny that everyone commented on the last post about finishing the second sock up in no time flat and maybe even give it away if I really don't like it after I finish the second. I don't think anyone noticed my use of plurals when referring to the socks that I was thinking of ripping back, or the 99% completion in the side bar. Yes, I was indeed considerig ripping out two almost complete socks in all my spazzy perfectionism. I decided against it, and now I present to you:

Simply Lovely Lace Socks
Pattern: by Karen Baumer in Interweave Knits Spring 2006
Yarn: Zen Yarn Garden Superwash Merino (100% superwash merino wool, 250 yards.) ~80g of a 117g skein in color Passionfruit.
Gauge: 26 sts/4 inches on size US3 Addi Turbo circulars, 24" and 32".
Finished size: 4" from cuff edge to top of heel flap, 7" circumference, 9" from toe to back of heel when laid flat.

Started: May 5, 2006
Finished knitting: May 7, 2006
Finished: May 13, 2006

Only a minor adjustment of decreasing one extra stitch on either side of heel gusset (by mistake, but it's okay since my feet are narrower than my ankles might suggest). Also started decreasing more frequently in toe shaping a bit earlier than the pattern would suggest since it looked like the toes would end up too long with their original shape. Also used twisted 1x1 ribbing for the cuff.

Mindless knitting at its best. Had to be the easiest lace pattern to memorize, though the K-tbl stitches between the yarn overs just about made me want to tear my hair out and slowed me down considerably. I couldn't decide if I'm sort of meh about these socks because they're sport weight and seem a bit chunky or if it's because the lace pattern looks like there's a column of knots running down the instep and cuff. Oh well, the Zen Yarn garden superwash is dyed beautifully and it's oh so soft. It does develop a bit of a fuzz to it after blocking, but I like it. Slipping the edge stitches of the heel flap made picking up stitches so much neater. I'll definitely have to try this on all future heel flap projects.

Previous posts on this project:
Legacy on May 9, 2006

Halley's Comet Hat
Pattern: by Marnie Maclean
Yarn: Cascade Sierra (80% cotton, 20% wool. 191 yards per 100g skein) 50 g in color 42.
Gauge: 18 sts/4 in in st st on size US8 DPN (Susan Bates aluminum)
Finished size (when flat): 8 inches tall with brim unrolled, 9.5 inches wide

Started and finished: May 18, 2006

No modifications to pattern except yarn substitution.

I loved this pattern! Partially, this was because I managed to finish the hat in one plane ride to Florida which would have been really nice except that I made it too long and had to rip out some of the length. Even that was easy because the lace pattern was so straight forward.

The hat is a great lightweight summer hat and it'll be perfect for my great grandmother for the arctic air-conditioning. Yes, it's sort of a girlie color, but she deserves something nice is what I think. The pattern used exactly half a ball of Sierra, so now I have enough to make a second one for myself to match! Thanks Marnie for an addictingly quick and beautiful pattern.

In case you're wondering, the color is slightly dustier than shown in the photo of the top, and no, the socks and hat are not the same color. The socks are closer to a bubble gum pink but this doesn't show well in the shade.

And last and also least:

Magic Stripes Socks
Pattern: none
Yarn: Lion Brand Magic Stripes (75% wool, 25% nylon. 330 yards) approximately 40% of one ball in color Denim Stripe. Patons Kroy Sock Yarn (75% wool, 25% nylon, 203 yards) approximatey 40% of one ball.
Gauge: 8 sts/in in st st on size US1 Addi Turbo circulars 24" and 32".
Finished size: 5.25" from sole to cuff, 8.75" long, 6" circumference relaxed.

Started: May 19, 2006
Finished: May 22, 2006

Pattern notes:
Cast on 28 sts by Turkish cast on in CC. Worked short row toe on these 28 sts down to 12 sts. Worked one round plain then changed to MC. worked 28 sts of instep as *K2, K-tbl, P, k-tbl, K2* repeat to end. Worked sole sts in plain stockinette. Heel turned exactly as toe in CC. M1 corners where heels meet and decrease extra stitches away on next round to avoid holes. Worked cuff entirely in pattern stitch as established on instep until ran out of MC. Then switched to CC and worked one round even in stockinette, then 1x1 ribbing. Just before cast off, worked two rounds of "double-knitting": round 1 - Knit 1, wyib, sl 1 as if to purl, repeat; round 2: - wyib, sl 1 as if to purl, purl 1. Cast off using faux kitchener bind off or tubular cast-off.

This project was mostly intended to use up left over yarn. I did manage to do that, but I still have 8g or about 30 yd of Kroy sock yarn left over. Maybe I'll use that to tip some gloves or some other kind of contrast.

I listened to Brenda Dayne's Cast On Episode 22 the other day and she describes the 3.5 rules of knitting. One of them was Knit Crap. I think this one definitely falls into the Knit Crap category. It's kind of freeing to think that it's okay to knit Crap since it gives you an idea of what you really don't like.

In this case, I discovered that I don't like the way the twisted stitches on either side of purls looks. I did this originally because my knit stitches before purl stitches in ribbing inevitably look sloppy and loose so this definitely fixed that problem. But now the purl columns look WAAAY too wide in proportion. I would have done bettern to drop all of the twisted stitches. I also could have flown through this so much faster.

I also learned that I like 1x1 ribbing in twisted stitches for the crisp look, but I HATE weaving in ends with this kind of ribbing. Of course, if I wove in ends like a normal person, and didn't duplicate stitch my way to insanity, then it probably wouldn't bother me that much.

I also learned that I really don't like the link above for the tubular cast-off. It was just ridiculously confusing, and even after I thought I had corrected their seemingly erroneous instructions (they don't seem consistent from beginning with a knit vs. beginning with a purl), the cast off flares and just plain looks ugly. So, *gasp* I tried a different cast off for the second sock, and PEOPLE, the SOCKS DON'T MATCH and I'm okay with that. I definitely like the grafted bind off shown in the link above much better and will be doing this in all toe up socks with 1x1 ribbing from now on. The part where the tubular cast off people say to work 2 rounds of double-knitting? Yeah, that's crap. I don't see any reason to do this if you are working the grafted bind off, so I'll skip this next time.

Whew! What a long post! Thanks for hanging in there and I'm off now to go catch up on all 300 of the posts that I've been missing. Sorry in advance for not commenting on your blogs, but 300 posts!