Sunday, November 29, 2009

Things to do when you should be......



I should be knitting samples, I have the yarn, the store owner even sent me the needles when I moaned that I didn't have the right size. I have knit the first one, started the second and yet I find myself dreaming of other things.

What should you dream about when you have honest-to-goodness someone-is-waiting for this knitting to do? Well I started by begging the designer I know for a sock pattern, ok I didn't quite beg, just mentioned I was being distracted by sock patterns so she sent me another one to distract me some more (it's pretty, The Drama Queen will love it in purple for Christmas, maybe I can push said designer to publish it so I can share.) and then I distracted myself some more.

Deathflake is a chart that is available both on Ravelry and here. It reminds me of a certain nephew of mine so I pulled out some needles and knit it upside down as part of a cuff down sock. The prototype is nearly done, once it is I will have him check it for fit, already I know of a couple of changes to my basic pattern I want to incorporate into the next version...which then is the question. What do real designers do with their prototypes that don't quite work??

~M

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Techniques



My Miss Marple Mystery socks are complete, not exactly as the pattern was written (I'll get to that) but completely wearable socks in two colors.

Mosaic knitting is not hard, each row only uses one color and you use that one color for two rows. Those would be right side and wrong side if you were knitting flat to bring you back to where you second color is patiently waiting for you to pick it up...when knitting a sock in the round you still knit the two rows(rounds) but just to make the pattern work out, not to get back to your other color.

I think that socks are the perfect medium for learning new techniques. Not a huge investment in materials or time. Deciding that you want to learn cables on a Fisherman Sweater could end up being torture if you don't like doing them!! Want to learn how to work a stranded design? Again a great opportunity to learn while not committing to a fair isle sweater.

I would prefer to knit socks than scarves for much of the same reason...scarves seem to go on forever where with a sock, you start and suddenly you are changing to the heel and either working your way up the leg or down to the toe and you are done.

Now to the more on that later bit....I had all the best intentions of making my socks exactly as the pattern was written. I knew that somewhere in my stash I had a second ball of the black yarn but to get started I would just work from the outside and the inside of the ball until I got to the heels. I got there and went looking...

I looked in the basement stash....no black
I looked in the living room stash....no black
I looked in the bedroom stash...no black

Hmmm.....double check, this time including the kitchen because I am sure that everyone has a bag of yarn on top of the fridge (if you don't, why not?) but still no black sock yarn.

While I was out looking for a specific, absolutely huge set of circular needles for a sample that I am knitting I checked my lys, the craft stores, even the discount store that sometimes has yarn......NO BLACK SOCK YARN to be found! I could find black worsted weight, black and gray sock yarn, dark gray sock yarn, sock yarn that had flecks of black in it, but not a single, solitary ball of black sock yarn and I wanted to finish my mystery socks before the end of the month!!!

I did the only thing that I reasonable knitter would do...when I couldn't work the pattern the way it should be worked I changed the rules!

The foot of these socks should be black lace, instead I switched to the stripes I was using for my contrast color and to make it look like "I meant to do that" I used the very last yards of that single black ball of yarn for the toes.

If you would like to knit the original pattern it is available through the end of the month for free here.

I am off to dig through my stash for some leftovers from other socks...do we want to bet that the black shows up now that I don't need it?

~M

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Swatching is a Good Thing



Not much in the way of knitting I can share with you today, in part because I walked away from my needles to go to a really cool movie theater and watch New Moon with my daughter. No standing in line to buy popcorn or drinks at this theater, full wait staff will bring you an entire meal, right where you sit watching the movie!

This is a swatch using Shepherd Baby Wool 2 ply, I wanted to see how it held up to nupps and truth be told it held up better than the knitter did. Out of 5 attempts there were two nopes instead.

To all my American Friends and Family..

Happy Turkey Day! As life in Colonial America included knitting we should all relax with our needles while the bird is cooking and after we have eaten too much!

~M

Saturday, November 21, 2009

FO Friday on Saturday







You have to check out the Pattern Little Gifts that was published today by Bad Cat Designs! This collection of three little lace projects is just perfect for quick, one skein, holiday gift knitting. I am already scoping out handmade soaps to go with mine in Christmas gift bags!! I used some left over yarn from another BadCat kal, Autumn in New York now has a matching cloth. :)

Stats: Little Gifts by BadCat Designs
US Needles 2 and 3 (I used the 3's only on the spiral)
Yarntopia Treasures Cotton/Bamboo in Starbucks
EcoButterfly Pakucho Lace (doubled) in Cafe

Finally found the needle I needed to finish the toes on my cashmere socks, it is going to be really hard to give these away!

~M

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Knitter's ADHD

Answers to comment questions :

No, the sock is not my design. I blatantly stole the cuff and foot designs from this pattern. I do have cables running down the heel and if I could get my hands on my tapestry needle you would have FO pics, all that is left is to kitchener the toes.

and..

No, mosaic knitting is not hard, even on socks. The third clue is out, but I need to find one more ball of the black yarn, it is in the stash somewhere, just not where I thought it was!!

Now on to today's topic : Knitters ADHD

In the course of your knitting "career" there will come a time when someone asks for you to pass the talent on and to teach them to knit. It is so much fun to see that early fascination with yarn and needles, but mostly fun to see someone work on just one project at a time. The words "Oh, I don't need yarn, I still have (scarf/blanket/socks/insert project here) on the needles is so endearing...and as most of us know it is a phase that doesn't last long.

This past week I have been distracted from the Christmas sweater I should be knitting and the glorious fiber that should be spun into yarn by some other knitting. None of it a large project, a pair of socks here, maybe another one there, couple of little gifts that looked like a ton of fun (and are, just wait til you see them!) But there comes a time when you really should just buckle down and be like the novice knitter, working diligently on your one project.....

Am I fooling you?

No? Oh well, guess you know me just a little too well...see there is this pattern I found.....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Owls Aside




For now, at least, I have put aside Owls and mostly worked on other things. I will eventually make myself one of the sweaters and as soon as I know sizing I will be putting one more in my Christmas queue, but for today I have socks in progress.

Sock Knitters Anonymous on Ravelry has monthly projects. This month is mosaic and/or slipped stitch knitting. I have knit lace socks, plain socks, cabled socks but never a mosaic sock so I jumped right in and joined the party. For those of you not on Ravelry, Keep on Knitting in the Free World has made the charts of this month's mystery knit along available on her blog. It is very fitting for a mystery knit along to be called Miss Marple!

Jade Sapphire makes a sock yarn, and although it knits up very nicely and has great stitch definition it doesn't scream decadence when you wear it. Their Mongolian Cashmere 4ply however does!!! It is probably a little too delicate for hard wearing socks, but the halo and the hand make it hard to resist in a truffles and wine kind of way. :)

On a more serious note....today is Veteran's Day. Like many others, to those currently or previously in the military I must say Thank You!

~M

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More Owls



Dear Son Number Two and his Owls sweater.

If I wore the one I made for someone else, potentially I could get the Christmas pics done this week. :)

~M

Monday, November 2, 2009

Working Through It




A Without the Flowers, Flower Power Elephant Just a little something quick and easy when my hands were tired of...

A bundle of Christmas Owls Sweaters A sleeve and a yoke until Dear Son Number two's is done and then on to the additional one I decided on before hitting mine. If everyone else is having one then it should stand to reason that GrandMa needs one too, right?

But...there is this other Mystery Sock as well!!