After being in the knitting doldrums for quite a while, I finally got inspired by my friend Scott's great Malabrigo Linen Stitch Scarf pattern. The kit comes with 14 pre-measured balls of yarn, and the pattern, while simple, knits up into really interesting cloth with great color transitions. The scarf is knit long-wise on 300 stiches. (The cast-on is a pain in the butt, frankly.)
I still have to block the scarf, but I think I look rather dapper modeling it.
Now I'm working on another scarf for a friend in four different shades of purple, some solid, some variegated. For this one I cast on 360 stiches, and I plan to make it an inch or two wider, since I have more than enough yarn.
I'm excited to get this off the needles, as the next scarf is for me again, all in great shades of blue. Who knows, with the extended winter we've had here in Minnesota this year, I may still have a chance to wear it. (But I sure hope not.)
In the nine weeks since my accident, I've spent quite a bit of time knitting. Socks mostly. This blue-green lovely and its mate turned out quite well.
I mailed the socks off to my old pal Todd in Atlanta last week, and he was kind enough to send me a picture of himself wearing them.
Looks like I did a good job guessing the right size!
I've got two more socks on the needles at the moment. One toe-up--a gift to myself--and one cuff-down, destined for Darren. My friends tell me I'm in a bit of a knitting rut with all of these socks.
Harumph to that.
In the land of the dislocated ankle and spiral tib/fib fracture, things continue apace. That pace is s l o w, but at least I appear to be moving in the right direction.
I'm not in very much pain--mostly it's just dull aching that sometimes keeps me from sleeping well. The other annoyance is that my cast is now way too loose, because my swelling as receded so much. I'm not sure, but I think I can feel stitches or staples rubbing at times, and that's icky, especially at 2:30 in the morning.
Last Saturday I made my first foray out into the world since the surgery. Darren and I ate a brewpub near our house. We were only out for an hour, but I was totally exhausted when we got home.
This coming Friday morning I'll visit my surgeon's office to have the surgical cast removed, and be fitted with a snugger (and I hope lighter) cast. I'm curious to see the x-rays of my repaired leg.
While the time away from work has been good for me, I'm a bit lonely spending my days here on the couch. But I'm watching a lot of movies, working my way through some of the unread novels I have stashed about the house, and spending quality time with Hudson. And let's not forget the fun the fun paperwork for my medical leave as well as getting refunds for two canceled trips.
Over the past weekend, I decided that I should have a cast-cozy for dressy occasions, and Sunday afternoon I dreamed up a new design. I constructed it sort of like my felted bag, minus the felting. I started with a tidy garter stitch rectangle, picked up stitches around the edge, and knitted six inches of 2x2 ribbing.
The "dress-cozy" will make its debut out of the town tomorrow night. We're going to see Mavis Staples perform live at the Dakota jazz club in Minneapolis. I'm nervous about looking like a dork on my scooter, but once I'm seated I'm sure I'll have a great time.
That's all for now!
Last night I finished my second pair of toe-up socks. I must say, I'm rather smitten with them.
This pair has pretty much sold me on toe-up construction. That being said, I'm not working to finish up a pair of cuff-down socks that I started for Darren back in October. He's been ever so patient with me, and with the frigid zub-zero mornings, I want to help him stay warm.
I'm nearly done with the first sock. Since this pair is made with worsted weight yarn, they'll move along at a good clip. (As long as I don't take another three months off mid-project.)
I've got sock yarn for ten more pairs waiting for me. One pair will be for our friend Tricky...
I just finished my first pair of toe-up socks! Here they are in all their glory.
This was a really challenging project. The the toes and heels nearly drove me mad. However the rest of the socks' construction was really easy. (Except for my disastrous first too-tight bind-off and subsequent major surgery on the cuff.)
I have a huge stash of sock yarn, but I bought more on Friday night anyway. Once I finish the pair of mittens that need thumbs and a few trips through the hot wash cycle, I'll be starting another pair of toe-ups.
I plan to wear these blue and white beauties to work on Friday to give myself a little treat. I deserve it, dammit.
For the past few weeks I've been taking a toe-up sock class with my pal Jay. I'm working on two socks at once to avoid the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome. Both socks are knit as far as the heels, which are half finished.
(No, I'm no the kind of knitter who makes sure he starts his socks at the same point int he colorway to make sure the socks are identical. You'd think I would be, but I'm not. Huh.)
So far, I'm not enjoying toe-up construction in practice, even though I love it in principle. We're doing short row toes and heels, with wraps, and those damn "purl 3 together through the back loop" totally suck. I took ten tries to get the toe on the left to turn out.
I've got a set of new things to try on the next pair. (Ditching the wrapped stitches is high on the list.) I'm not touching these again until class next week, because I don't want to eff up the heels. (I already had one disaster this morning, but I ripped back and things appear to be okay now.) Once both heels are done, the rest will be cake.
I'm also told that self-striping sock yarn is now out of fashion. Why doesn't anyone tell me these things??
To fill my time until next week's class, I've started a pair of my trusty Fargo Felted Mittens. (It's a nice change of pace to be working with worsted weight yarn on size tens! All this work on size zeros is giving me eye strain.)
Here's the mitt, all of which I've done today. (Sorry, the colors of the yarn and the couch don't really agree with each other. The recipient of the mittens requested purple, and purple she'll get.)
That's the latest in my rock-star life. More anon...
I recently ordered this sweater pattern.
My intention, you see, is to knit a sweater much like that shown in the photo.
It remains to be seen if I will do anything of the sort.
First, after waiting over a week, I checked my order's status and found that the pattern is back ordered. Fudge. No ETA at this point.
Next, I'll have to find yarn that I enjoy knitting with and could also comfortably wear. Those two things rarely coincide. No way I'll be able to use the Galway yarn the pattern specifies. Nope. So wooly...
And finally I'll have to get over my fear of knitting things that actually require achieving proper gauge.
I have succeeded once before. I suppose I can do it again.
Like anyone who knits socks, I have a surfeit of sock yarn in my stash. This yarn finally called out loudly enough to get my attention.
(Sorry about glare from the flash.)
I started Sock 1 last night. You'll see that I'm not very far along...
I think this yarn will give me a classy pair of socks if I can keep at it and not succumb to Second Sock Syndrome.
I'm currently making a Booga Bag for the wife of my friend Todd, my tennis-teaching colleague back in the 1980's. (Yes, thanks to Facebook, Todd and I are in touch again. (Kelley, if you're reading this, forgive my comments about your not-then-husband's physical charms. Hey, you of all people know the truth of it.)
Kelley is a talented artist who creates gorgeous hand-made glass beads in her home studio and sells the as stand-alone beads or set into jewelry. She and I are doing a crafters' exchange. I'm eagerly awaiting the delivery of a choker she made me (pictures of that once it arrives), and I'm making her one of my favorite knitted projects, a felted handbag.
Here's where things stand today.
My goal is to finish the knitting in the next few days, then throw it in the wash for three magical felting cycles.
I have to say, I love Noro Kuryeon's colors, but that yarn has so many prickly bits of straw or whatever in it, I swear it was spun in a haystack. Most annoying.
Annoying pricks aside, the Booga is a perfect project to bring to Men's Knit Night, which wraps up its run this evening. (We're basically on an academic calendar.) Good old stockinette in the round--just what the doctor ordered!
Think of Darren and me tromping along in the AIDS Walk this Sunday.
May your weekends kick ass.
Oddly enough, I did no knitting.
You see, prior to heading to The Yarnery, I had succumbed to peer pressure from a certain blogger and knitter (who shall go nameless) and quickly imbibed two rather strong gin and tonics at a bar next to the yarn shop.
So while some of the boys dutifully tended to their knitting, I sat and giggled with the aforementioned bad influence. (Who am I kidding with bad influence--I've been thinking for years that we should make cocktails an official part of Knit Night.)
I had planned to work on the cap I started a few weeks ago. As soon as I took it out of my bag, everyone saw what I had been in deep denial about for two weeks--the thing was freakin' gigantic. It was also kind of hideous, and the cotton chenille yarn I was using (and hating) was turning into dust even as I worked with it. The consensus of the group was that I should chuck it.
I took it off the needles, and only then did I see the sheer enormity of the hat I had wrought. I put it on my head, and it immediately slipped down around my neck like a cowl. Nice.
Back to square one. I chose new yarn that met the high standards of my knitting brethren.
I started the hat on Sunday, and the new yarn is a joy compared to the cotton stuff I first used. Clearly I'm not very far along yet. (And the iPhone camera is still total crap.)
Once the cap is off the needles, I know what my next project will be, this bag from Ravelry that my pal Jay is currently making.
What after that, I think socks are in order. I bought some cool sock yarn on Friday and I'm eager to try it out.
What sorts of fabulous things are you knitters out there working on? Anything fun and exciting to tell us about?
Makes socks like hammock knitting...
Not for me. Cool, though. In a slightly insane way.
I'm currently working on a chemo cap for a good friend of mine. I'm using cotton chenille, and I'm not quite sure what I think so far. (Beyond the fact that I knitting with cotton is a pain.) I'm worried the cap is too big. We'll see.
An honest to gosh post with real words and full paragraphs is all queued up for tomorrow!
My goal for the past weekend was to make a good bit of progress on the very simple lace scarf I started before we eft for London. As it happens, I finished it. So, hurray for me!
A close-up of the stitch pattern. (Which is a whopping one row repeat.)
I used Misty Alpaca on size 10s. If you feel like a simple project, this is a good one. Just cast on 24, knit 2 rows, and start the "pattern."
K4 *YO, K2tog, K2*, repeat between * *
I knit for 60 inches, knitted two more rows, and cast off.
Cute and easy. Like me in my youth.
I love the colorwork chart, but I'm a bit concerned about the sizing. It's not supposed to be a stove-top hat! Maybe the decreases will go more quickly than I expect? I'm starting to have my doubts about Hats Off!...
This one stays at home while I'm off to London. I can't quite see managing Fair Isle work on the plane...
As I mentioned recently, I've been having run of bad luck with my hats. Usually they're too big. The last one, another Fair Isle number, was both too big and too lacking in contrast between the master and contrast colors.
So, I've started over, dropping down one pattern size and choosing two new yarns that should make for the "pop" effect I'm looking for. Reading over the pattern, I realized that I hadn't followed it correctly when I knitted the brim last time. It's not just a k1 p1 rib, it's a k1b p1. Adding the twisted knit stitch is a subtle addition, but I like it.
I'm not very far along, as you can see, but I have a good feeling this time. (The flash messed up the colors a bit. It's a gray contrast yarn, not white.)
My first pair of Fargo Felted Mittens of the winter are now dry and ready to go to their loving owner.
Here they are, prior to four trips through the hot wash cycle.
My manly hand provides a sense of scale. (Yes, I know I always repeat the same shots, but I just think it's cool.)
And here are the finished mittens, warm and snug and ready for winter's chill, which has returned with a vengeance today.
Last Friday was Men's Knit Night, always a highlight of the month. I had a bit of trepidation heading to The Yarnery, though, because our boys' gathering was being held the same night as a "meet the author" session.
It's not that I have anything against meeting the authors of knitting books, but sometimes the attendees of these gatherings become extraordinarily... I hate to say it... squealy. (And I'm not talking about the Knit Night boys here, though some of us are more inclined to squeal than your average man on the street.)
More annoying than the squealing that disrupts our usual gabfest is the continual flow of curious women wandering in to take a gander at us menfolk. "Oh, look, everyone, it's MEN! And they're knitting!!"
At any rate, Friday's guest author was Margaret Radcliffe, who was there to promote her book The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques. (Perhaps you already know her useful reference The Knitting Answer Book.) She had brought with her a huge mound of colorwork swatches (some of which are shown on the over of the book) and a trunk of finished projects.
It was quite an impressive collection, and the rather low turnout meant that we men represented the bulk of the audience. Margaret was quite charming to talk with, and the swatches we pawed through had us drooling and planning our next color projects. I bought a copy of the book (despite my vow to spend less than $20 for the night), and she signed it for me. It's sitting next to me as I write this, tempting me with delicious patterns.
I'm eager to try the some of the simple but effective techniques she describes, which often involve taking a fairly standard stitch pattern and combining colors to kick up the effect of the pattern. As you know, I'm a big fan of simple patterns that turn out objects that appear to have been torment to make.
I'm sure I'll have some projects to show here in the weeks and months ahead. In the meantime, if you have a hankering to add some color to your knitting, I highly recommend Margaret's book.
"To Graft or Not to Graft" may be a heretical question for a devotee of kitchener stitch like Yarn Boy, but I found this essay in the winter issue of Knitty rather liberating.
I've never made a pair of socks yet that doesn't have at least one donkey-eared toe. I hate it. I spent a week carefully constructing my sock, and then in the last ten minutes, I ruin it. Or at the very least I introduce an annoying imperfection in a very visible spot.
So, food for thought. Do I give up grafting?
Moving on, I'm currently doing the decreases on the Lusekofte hat from the (again I must stress insipidly named) Hat's On!
The hat is supposed look something like this:
and it would look that way if I had made a wiser choice of colors. Instead, the two colors I've picked make the carefully worked Fair Isle motif nearly imperceptible.
Nicely done, WG, nicely done. Another hat for the reject pile.
Yesterday I cast on for the first pair of Fargo Felted mittens of the winter. They will be a belated birthday gift for a friend. Wonder how I'll screw those up.
Whatever. I'm enjoying myself. Little disappointments are unavoidable, right?
There's joy in Yarn Town! Remember that bitchin' Fair Isle cap that turned out too big for my pal Greg? Well it has found a home atop the large manly mellon of our handsome friend Jimbo.
Hurray for friends with huge body parts!
Sure, this is great until somebody goes into anaphylaxis while rummaging through her purse for some Chapstick...
Eying the garbage can of fur next to Hudson' grooming table,
Never had a man spoken these words to me and (alas) when one finally did, he was referring to one of my Fair Isle caps.
Here's the over-sized noggin-wamer in question.
It's a shame, because the color-work is probably my neatest yet. (Even if I do say so myself.)
As I request of everyone to whom I give knitted gifts, my friend Greg followed the rules and spoke up about the sizing issue and sent the hat back to me so I could find it a more suitable home. I will be casting on soon for a smaller version of this plus-sized beauty, and Greg should get several months of wear out of Cap 2 yet this winter.
I do have another recipient in mind. Someone with a big head.
I remain firmly in the grip of Fair Isle mania. Here are the latest two caps off the needles.
Poor choice of background on this first shot, but I was at work about to give the hat to its (overjoyed) recipient, and I realized I hadn't taken a picture yet.
And its Sith Lord twin:
Each of the caps took about three days to make. (Not counting time for blocking and drying.)
Wednesday night I went yarn shopping and came home with these colors. (The flash washed out the colors a smidgen.)
I'm turning to you, my tasteful readers, for suggestions of appealing color combinations. I'm quite taken with the green, but I'm not sure what pairs well with it.
I'm moving on to a different charted pattern, but your help picking colors will be greatly appreciated. Put on your designer caps and send me your ideas.
Have a great weekend, you cool cats!
Remember when I sat for Franklin's camera a few months back? Well somehow my manly knitter's visage made its way unto the spiffy canvas bag Franklin is selling.
Here's the front:
And here's the back:
I suspect he hates me now.
I would hate me.
I do hate me.
Shopping always cheers me up, though, so I bought two of the bags.
I finished my third Fair Isle hat Tuesday night. The pattern, "Norwegian Star" was just something I found online. I'm rather taken with it the finished hat. Here it is after blocking and drying.
Here I am looking puffy and scruffy (the picture was taken on my work-from-home-bad-hygiene day) in my cute cap.
I plan to start another hat this weekend. I'm totally smitten with two color knittin'.
Happy Halloween, everyone!
When I finished blocking my second Fair Isle hat and tried it on, I was NOT pleased. It was WAY too long (tall). As in, if I flipped up the brim high enough to not have the hat come down to my nose, the color-work was more than half covered.
That sucked, since the colored stitches were the whole point of the cap in the first place.
I sat for a time and stewed. I cursed a bit, too.
After a time, I was struck by the thought that it might be worth a shot to turn the hat under at the bottom, and seam it in place.
Hurray, it worked!!
The hat's handsome recipient, a friend of mine at work, was delighted with his new winter accessory, and I felt happy all day after giving it to him. I do so love sending a finished project off to a loving home!
I'm already two inches along on the next cap. This third one will have a more complicated color pattern. Pictures soon.
Last Thursday night, my friend Jay and I finished our three week Fair Isle knitting class at The Yarnery in St. Paul. We both loved our cool teacher, Shelly, and we were surprised how straight forward two-color knitting really is. The first night was the biggest challenge for most of the students, as we all had to be able to knit in both the English and Continental styles.
I could already knit both ways (I guess that makes me bi?), so the trickiest thing for me was just paying attention to where I was in my color chart. I had to rip back way too many times on this first hat. I chose a Greek key motif for my cap.
The color work turned out well, but I rushed the decreases and botched the crown of the hat. It's all puckered and lumpy, as though it had been made especially to fit the noggin of the Borg Queen on Star Trek.
I was tempted not to finish the cap, but that seemed silly. I did sort of wuss out, though, doing a simple bind-off in 1x1 ribbing instead of the tubular cast-off the pattern called for. (We had started mid-way up the cap with a provisional cast-on, so we could get to the color work right away. Finishing the cap involved picking up the stitches around the brim and knitting downward.) Learning the tubular cast-off was to be part of the last class session, but we ran out of time, and I didn't feel brave enough to attempt it myself.
Anyway, here's the finished hat. I still need to block it, but you get the general idea.
Over the weekend, I started a second cap, this time in three colors. I'm much happier with this one already, and I plan to take special care to make sure the decreases are gradual enough to prevent another Borg hat.
Now that I've just got straight knitting left, I'm going to set the project aside until Men's Knit Night this Friday. Trying to do the color work while gabbing with the boys would be a disaster. I can barely do ribbing at those gatherings.
Here's where the hat stands today. I think it's rather sharp, even if I do say so myself.
My plan is to complete the second band of black, and then switch back to the gray to finish.
I considered doing a tubular cast-on to give the hat a more elastic edge, but instead I opted for a twisted German cast-on, which is nicely decorative while being stretchier than an regular long-tail cast-on. (Plus, I already knew how to do that.)
It had been too long since I picked up some new knitting tricks--I'm excited to take another class soon. Toe-up socks, maybe?
Hey, take a look at this tidy bit of knitting.
No, it's not a gauge swatch for a new project I'm starting. These neat stitches were knitted up by Darren on Sunday afternoon after just one lesson!
Woo-hoo! My man is a natural knitter!
I admit that Darren's grandma taught him the basics when he was a kid, but it has been more than twenty years since he had last picked up the needles. I showed him how to do a long-tail cast on, and he took to that like a duck to water. (I'm sure many of us have tried to help a beginner and never even gotten past the cast-on during that painful first lesson.)
Then we went to knit the first row. Suddenly, Darren revealed himself to be a Continental knitter. I tried to conceal my joy at that development. (You know, not that there's anything wrong with knitting English style...)
I had him do a bit of garter stitch, then I taught him how to purl. He barely even batted an eye at purling, and just look at those even rows!
I don't want to spook him by acting too excited, but my goal is for him to finish a hat by the end of October.
Good thing he never reads my blog, right?
Looks nice, doesn't it?
I thought so, too, until I tried it on the other night and nearly had to amputate my foot to get the frickin' thing off.
Can anyone explain why I thought I could cast on the same number of stitches, drop down from a size 2 to a size 0 needle, and still have the sock turn out sized for an adult male foot?
To quote Heathers,
"Because you're an idiot"
The new season of Men's Knit Night got off to a lively start last Friday night at The Yarnery in St. Paul. I'm pretty sure it was the largest gathering I've been to in the nearly three years I've been a part of the group. With at least fifteen guys in a very small room, we hardly had space to work, but the more the Mary-er.
It was especially nice to have five or six new guys show up, including a cool friend of mine from work. Given that four of our regulars weren't even there, and this could be quite a year.
eWAC was even kind enough to bring yummy fresh-baked brownies, still warm from the oven.
The only downside to the evening, as is often the case with the first fall meeting and the last spring session, is that it was hotter than a pistol in the shop, even with the AC going full blast. (I'm afraid I probably looked a bit shiny.) It was a good thing I was using a wool-blend yarn, or I might have felted my project as I knitted it.
During the two hour gathering, I worked on the never-ending sock, which (horrifyingly) is just sock one of the pair. I got perhaps an inch knitted that night. Not exactly record productivity. That's not the point, though. I just had a great time chatting with a bunch of fun guys with needles. It was the perfect way to end the week.
I have sworn a solemn vow to Zeus, Baal, Madonna (Ciccone, not Jesus' mom), and Ryan Reynolds' abs that I will have finished those socks and started a new project by the next time I meet up with the boys.
I'm looking forward to another fun year!
Part the First: Sojourn to Mill City
In which our heroes study the history of a noble city...
Over the holiday weekend Darren and I took a mini-vacation to Minneapolis. We were playing tourists at home, if you will. We got a $90 Priceline deal on a room at the Marquette Hotel (though I think next time I'll bid even lower), and I made us a reservation for dinner at Solera, one of our favorite restaurants.
We started our day in the city by touring the Mill City Museum. I love Minneapolis, and I love baking, so it's a good combo for me.
One display that particularly caught my eye was an exhibit of a dining room table, loaded with very artificial-looking bread, biscuits and other food. Most of the fake food was plastic, apart from these mouth-watering knitted pickles. Mmmmm, that's good eatin'!
I didn't ask for a copy of the pattern.
At the end of the tour, visitors wind up atop an observation platform that provides a panoramic view of the riverfront and the Stone Arch Bridge.
Here I do my best not to squint into the sun. (It looks like I'm sucking in my gut, I know. I'm not. I'm just standing up straight! For reals!)
Darren, looking tall, handsome.
When we left the museum, we decided to stroll across the Stone Arch Bridge to St. Anthony. We found a bar with a nice sunny terrace, and we enjoyed a couple beers and an appetizer. It was sort of like our Berlin afternoons, except we were surrounded by people in University on MN shirts and caps, and they weren't speaking German.
Tomorrow, our story takes a turn.
A turn toward TERROR!!!
The socks I showed off on Tuesday are a hit with their recipient. I ended up sending them to my good pal EWAC, since he has big feet had expressed interest in the socks.
(Darren, who also has big feet, got first dibs, but since he didn't have a burning desire to wear my handiwork, I figured the socks should go to a fellow knitter.)
Here there are, being modeled by my favorite male model.
I'm already two inches into the cuff of a yet another new pair. This time I'm knitting them on size zero needles. I want nice snug socks that don't slide down into my shoes or bunch up around my ankles.
It's good to know that these blue beauties have founda loving home!
I'm sure for the past three days you've been on the edge of panic as you waited to hear how Sock Two turned out.
If you recall, when we last left our hero, WG, he was face-to-face with the deadly kitchener stitch. Would he end up with a nice neat toe, or would another sock be added to the wall of shame in WG's cube at work?
Well, miracle of miracles, everything turned out just swell. I present to you the finished pair of socks.
The sock on the left is the one I just finished.
Feeling that I was on something of a roll, Sunday I also turned out a simple little cap, as modeled below by a pasty fellow you may recall from previous posts. (Like a deer in the headlights he is. Ghastly sight, really.)
So, all's well that ends well.
At least this time.
Well, here we are again. Danger time.
With twenty stitches left on the needles, it's time to graft the toe of Sock 2.
Ooh, I'm so nervous. I've worked on this sock for a week and a half, and I might be about to ruin it in the next ten minutes of work.
Be sure to tune in next week to see how things turn out...
[HA! That's right, I totally went there! They taught me at Princeton that you can't beat a good old fashioned cliffhanger! Good luck sleeping this weekend! The suspense, oh dear God, the suspense!!]
As longtime readers of WoolGatherer know, I don't like watching movies in the theater. Too many morons run their mouths non-stop; too many parents think their collicky babies might be soothed by a night au cinéma.
Nope, give me a wide-screen HDTV, theater sound, a batch of cosmos, a hunky blond Wisconsin boy to snuggle with, and a sweet terrier napping on my lap, and I'm in hog heaven. (Which, as I was taught growing up in the shadow of the Hormel meat-packing plant, is a really wonderful place with rivers of slop and endless mud-wallows.)
So, even though there's no chance in hell I'll go see the new M. Night Shyamalan movie The Happening, which we're reminded is his FIRST RATED R FILM (meaning, one assumes, more gore splashed across his typical formulaic plot and SURPRISE ENDING), this image from the trailer did sort of catch my eye.
Sometimes, when Hudson has eaten too many treats at daycare, I could use a get-up like this when I do my knitting.
"Really," you ask, "this whole post was just the set-up for a lame joke about canine flatulence?"
I admit to being somewhat surprised myself. But here we are.
"...when you wear these socks, or they're going to slide right off your feet."
That's what I may have to write on the note that accompanies these socks when they go to their recipient, and I'm not pleased.
I know the sock looks fine, but when I tried it on, it was distressingly loose. Here's the problem area.
I don't understand what prompted me to make the heel flap a quarter inch longer than I usually do.
Actually, I guess I do know. The Yarn Harlot says just knit the flap until it's square, and then start turning the heel. So that's what I did, even though the recipe I've devised for my socks suggests that smaller flap is just right.
But who am I to question the Harlot?
I'll tell you who I am--I'm WoolGatherer, dammit! I shouldn't have doubted myself. Now I have a Sasquatch sock.
I suppose it could still all work out. I'll make the mate to match, and if the socks prove too big, I'll justt find a friend with bigger feet and he'll get a surprise.
Then I'll start another pair. My way.
Wearing my happy face (and gritting my teeth),
Hey, kids! Look what's on the Panopticon's blog!
Oh heck, I can't wait that long. Look below and then go read what he wrote about the photo shoot. (Why didn't *I* think to bake cookies for Franklin? That Scott thinks he's so damn smart! And he is, too, so that makes it even worse!)
Eric with a C / Going 40 / WoolGatherer
If Franklin comes to your town, haul your butt to wherever he sets up shop, and get added to the collection.
So let it be written, so let it be done!
Last Friday's Men's Knit Night was an extra special occasion. First, Scott and Eric were kind enough to show up with two bottles of wine and a big batch of delicious home-made chocolate chip cookies, still warm from the oven. YUM.
As if that weren't wonderful enough, about halfway through our evening we enjoyed a visit by Franklin, a.k.a. The Panopticon, who was in town to attend the Minnesota Knitting Guild's Yarnover event. He was every bit as charming and witty in person as I expected, and all of us knittin' boys were flattered that he had stopped by.
Here's a picture of us, all smiles with Franklin front and center as the honorary leader of the pack. (Or maybe that's "Queen for a Day.")
Eric, Scott, and I got to spend some more quality time with Franklin on Saturday morning. I picked the boys up at their home around 10:15, and we drove over to Hopkins High School, where the Yarnover event was taking place and Franklin was doing a photo shoot for his 1000 Knitters Project.
There were probably fifty yarn shops from around the upper Midwest represented that day. (Eric and I resisted the urge to buy, but Scott fell prey to the charms of some really lovely alpaca yarn.)
Actually, it's more like 40 stitches to pick up, but who's counting?
(Um, I guess I should be, shouldn't I?)
Anyway, the write-y part of my brain is fried this week, so out comes the sock for a star turn on the blog.
Speaking of turns, I turned the heel Tuesday night, and apart from a few scary minutes on Monday when I discovered a dropped stitch four rows below (back in the heel flap, ugh) things are going smoothly.
I have a sense that it's going to be hard to give these socks away. But that's as it should be.
PS. Tomorrow's Friday. I take strength in that knowledge.
After my recent unpleasant debacle with The Sock That Must Not Be Named, I had begun to fear that maybe I no longer liked knitting socks.
As it turns out, that's crap.
I still love making socks. I just hated that stupid damn Sockotta yarn.
Lesson learned. If I ever pick up a ball of sock yarn, no matter how great the colors are, I won't buy it unless I love the feel of the fiber under my fingers. I never really liked the texture of the Sockotta, and look that all turned out. Tragic.
Two nights ago I started this sock in yummy Regia yarn, and things are moving along briskly. (The camera's flash washed out the colors a bit. The blue is quite a bit darker than it looks here.)
In a couple weeks, this sock-to-be and its mate will be sent to my pal Matt in long overdue payment for the banner images and new color palette he designed for WoolGatherer.
Rejoice with me in the arrival of Friday. This week at work has totally kicked my ass. Next week will be worse, the next week still worse. Then a I expect a let-up, then I'm off to Germany for two weeks. I'm counting the days.
This sock is destined to a solitary existence, for I hate it.
Sure, it looks fine, but I hate the feel of the Sockotta yarn I used to make it, and I hate the stupid effed-up toe.
I've tried the damn thing on, and it fits just fine (apart from the lumpy toe). I really don't care.
It was a cursed project from start to finish. I started it over a year ago, frogged it twice, and pretty much had a bad feeling from cast-on to kitchener stitch, which I screwed up (again).
Yesterday I took the sock to work, tacked it to my cube wall and put a little label above it: Entäuschung in Grün / Blau / Weiss. (Disappointment in Green / Blue /White)
This Sockotta nightmare project has had me "sock-blocked" for six months: I couldn't get myself to finish it, but I wouldn't allow myself start new socks until this pair was finished. Meanwhile I had a eight balls of luscious, exciting Regia upstairs that I was dying to starting working with.
Well nerts to waiting. I'm cutting my loses and moving on.
Last night I finally picked a color and started a decent, soft pair of socks for my friend Matt. I'm an inch into the cuff, and I'm alread loving this new sock.
Here's a picture of the very simple Herringbone lace scarf I'm knitting for a coworker. It's amazing to me that a one line repeat of K2tog, YO, K2 can turn out something that appears so intricate.
I'm using Classic Elite Alpaca Sox yarn, and I've really enjoyed working with it.
Here's a close-up of the stitch pattern:
After my debacle with The Scarf that Ate Minnesota, I think I'm going to skip the blocking on this one and just deliver it to the lucky recipient as-is.
All of you real lace-knitters will just have to forgive me.
I cranked out a gigantic pair of mittens in the past few days. These are the aforementioned mitts for my pal Greg. On Wednesday, I knitted for nearly seven hours--until I got a blister on my left index finger. (I'm pretty sure that was my first knitting-related blister.)
Here they are prior to being put though three hot wash cycles. My dainty little hand provides a sense of scale.
And here are the same mittens, nicely felted and drying. It never ceases to amaze me that hot water and an hour of being battered in the washing machine can work such magic.
Clearly, they're still too big for my wee paw, but Greg is a big strappin' fellow, so they should be just right for him.
Last night I started something completely different--an airy (but simple) lace scarf. Pics of that next week.
Have a great weekend!
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