Monday, October 31, 2005

Harvest Sock Progress

I've finally taken a few pictures of my Harvest Socks. They were taken right at the time I decided to cut the waste yarn for the afterthought heel.

You can see that the sock was knit in the tube, and the waste yarn was where the two needles are. It was a little nervewracking to cut out the waste yarn for fear I would cut live stitches, but I did manage to avoid it. Whew!

Here's how the sock looks on my foot. Now all I have to do is knit a toe-shaped wedge where the needles are at the heel, and I will have a perfectly fitting heel.

I really love the sideways garter stitch cuff on these socks, particularly because there is no cast on edge. I like the idea of no-beginning-no-end cuffs, for some reason. I'm a little bit afraid I may run out of yarn before I get to finish the toe, so I am currently working on sock #2 until I get to that toe as well, then we'll see how much yarn I have left.

In other news, I finally finished weaving in the ends to my second entrelac sock. This means that I can wear them out in public without fear of being ridiculed for dangly ends hanging out of my socks. The argyles are slow going as well, and I really haven't made any progress on those, except I finished weaving in all the ends. Darn duplicate stitch! The cabled and bobbled hat is still on the needles, though I'm thinking that has to get finished up soon. That project has been around since before I started knitting socks!

I cast on for this lacy shawl yesterday, and it looks really peculiar, and I don't know what I think of it. I keep messing up the stitch count, and it's really slow going. I feel a bit like I'm swimming in a sea of knitting and not really getting anywhere. I think finishing a lot of overhanging projects will help me out, but maybe I'm just sort of in an off month. No real motivation for some reason. I'm sure that will change soon.

Friday, October 21, 2005

This is Getting Out of Hand

I have so much finishing to do, it's absolutely absurd! And I have little inspiration to finish any of them.
  • Weave in ends on the second of the entrelac socks
  • Weave in ends on the second of the argyle socks
  • Weave in ends on the beret
  • Seam my wife's sweater together (she knit it but I told her I'd finish it for her)
  • Finish duplicate stitch on the argyles
By the way, duplicate stitching over black stitches produced from US 1 needles is a huge pain! Going across the argyle diamonds is actually kind of fun, but only because I can see what I'm doing. So I haven't gotten far at all on them, and it's a bit disappointing.

Perhaps I need to dedicate my sit-down time entirely to finishing and save the knitting for when I'm walking.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Fun and Fanciful Beret

Pattern: 45 Fun and Fanciful Hats To Knit, Beret #1
Needles: 1 16" Addi Turbo (US 8)
Yarn: KnitPicks Merino style DK: Nutmeg, Hollyberry, Moss
Special Technique: 2 and 3-Stranded Knitting
Started: October 11, 2005
Completed: October 18, 2005
Recipient: Me

What a difference blocking makes! It looked more like a beanie until I blocked it on a dinner plate. The 3-stranded knitting was a real pain, but it was only for a few rows. I also messed up one of the decreases in a rather obvious place. Perhaps I will go over it with duplicate stitch.

Me as model.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

If You Can't Beat 'Em...

I'm getting tired of trying to do all of these fancy, textury things with self-striping yarn and not having it show up. So on Saturday, I thought I would go more with the flow of the stripe and start a pattern from Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks Warm Feet. The pattern is The Mermaid, and these are going to be for me. I kind of object to naming the socks after the pattern, since I'm not female, so I think I will call them Fall Harvest Socks.

I finished up the sideways garter cuff last night and did a neat little garter stitch graft, and the sock is looking quite excellent. I'll post a picture once I have a bit of the ribbing done.

I also cast on for a beret this morning on the train. This will be made from the leftover KnitPicks yarn as well as some Brown Sheep stuff I have kicking around the stash. I'm slightly concerned that the Brown Sheep will be a bit itchy, with the mohair and coarser grade of wool. Does anyone have any experiences with Brown Sheep against the skin?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Twisted Socks

Needles: 2 24" Addi Turbos (US 1)
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, Watercolor
Special Technique: Twisted Stitch
Started: August 31, 2005
Completed: October 7, 2005
Recipient: Wife

These socks look much better in the foot than on the leg because I wasn't trying to do the twisted stitch ribbing. Textured socks and too much color contrast really don't go together.

It was very interesting to see how the two separate skeins ended up looking. The color lengths were quite different between the two, as you can see better in the picture below. So if you're the kind of person who likes your socks to match perfectly, beware the hand-painted yarns! Me, I think it looks pretty nifty.

A different vantage point.

In Spinning

On Thursday night, I attended the Windy City HandSpinning Guild for the first time and got a few pointers on my drop spindling technique. I met some really nice people, including a spinner who knows one of the other band members of Donnybrook. She fiddles as well with a band called The Crossing. That's the great thing about Irish music in Chicago; you're always bumping into someone you've never met before that plays the music. Anyways, my singles look a lot better than they did, so I'm thrilled! Hopefully, I will go back soon.

I'll just keep spinning what I have so far. My wife is making a scarfy thing out of scraps and what I spin. I'll upload a picture when it's complete.

Music to Knit By

This is off-topic for a knit blog, but I feel I need to spread the word, and maybe you can make it music you knit by!

Cape Breton Live is a free, streaming show featuring newly-recorded live music from around Cape Breton Island. The music is absolutely fabulous, and I heartily recommend you give it a listen!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

On Heel Stitch...

There seem to be two basic approaches to heel stitch. Most patterns tell you to *slip 1, knit 1* to end on right-side rows, then slip 1, purl to end on wrong-side rows. We'll call this Approach A. Other patterns, however, will tell you to slip 1, knit to end on right-side rows, then *slip 1, purl 1* to end on wrong-side rows. We'll call this Approach B. There are many people who swear up and down that Approach B is much faster than Approach A.

Being someone who likes to try different approaches, I gave it a shot. I found Approach B much slower than Approach A. Why? The unknit yarn kept getting in the way when I would go to slip on the wrong side. Moving it out of the way slowed me down. I knit continental, however, so I don't believe this is a problem if you knit American style. This leads me to believe that one's knitting style determines which is more efficient. Continental-style knitters will be able to go faster with Approach A, whereas American-style knitters will be able to go faster with Approach B.

It's a Freakishly Small World After All

For those of you who don't constantly scan the comments section of my blog (OK, that's all of you), Punk Rock Knitter and boyswillbe spotted me on the Western bus yesterday evening while I was adding duplicate stitch to one of my argyles. One of them runs the You Knit What?? blog to which I subscribe. They were coming back from a local SnB meeting, oddly enough.

I overheard one of them talking about crochet, then something about an "ugly pink cardigan." I realized then that their style reminded me of a YKW post, so I later told my wife that I thought I ran into a YKWer on the bus. I had no idea that one of the bloggers lives in Chicago!

What's even stranger is that I hardly ever take the Western bus. I was getting my hair cut near where I used to live and was on my way up to Lincoln Square to help a friend of mine move some stuff. Had I walked just slightly faster, I would have caught the earlier bus and none of this would've happened.

What I would like to know is how they found me on the web. Perhaps it was through the MenWhoKnit or Midwest Knitters web rings.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Tying Up Loose Ends

Well, I finished the second argyle over the weekend. Once I finish weaving in the leftover yarn ends into each sock, they will be ready for duplicate stitch. Weaving in ends has been keeping me busy. I still have some ends to do on the hat, as well as a whole bunch on one of the entrelac socks. This, I believe, is the dark side of color knitting.