Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Let's do this right this time

I really want to thank the people who commented on my last post. I've suffered a couple angst attacks that my sockpal won't like the colors, or the pattern I came up with will be too bland for her, and the comments really help, since I can assure myself that there are people who like my work. Thank you bfmomma, alison, knittyref, Melanie and CarryFairie from the bottom of my heart!

Now I have to especially thank Melanie for asking me about the yarn. That question made me go looking for the label to the yarn, since I was planning to send it with the socks. Melanie, this post is for you!

Yarn: Koigu KPPPM color P133 lot 80
Needles: Addi Turbo 2.5mm (US 1) 150cm (80")
Method: Two socks on one circular, cuff-down, eye-of-partridge heel

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Done! What Next?

My Sockapalooza pal's socks are ready for their pre-delivery wash! They came out a lot nicer than I dared expect and the way the striping turned out I am now absolutely sure I did the right thing by re-rolling that one ball from the other end. If they turn out to be too big, I apologize right now. I did end up with a little more yarn left over at the end than I was happy with, but it really wouldn't make more than a quarter of an inch if I could magically insert it into the leg somewhere.

Above is a photo of the finished socks, and below is a photo of the toe treatment. I tried to carry the ribbing down a bit, but I switched from k6 p3 to k8 p1 at the end and then I just went with knit around. I also didn't do an even number of rows between decreases. the first couple were four rows apart, then a couple for three rows apart, then most of them were two rows apart and then a few zero rows apart.

Anyhow, I've washed them and they're lovely. I'm now deciding what to ship them with. I don't have an address for my sockapalooza pal yet, so I've got a little time to make some decisions.

So, what next? Do I want to start another pair of socks? Not right away, I think. I've got some (um, some means twenty skeins, ten in midnight and ten in iris) knitpicks alpaca cloud and I've been thinking I'd like to make a pullover. So I've started doing a little circular swatching.

I'm a bit surprised how nice it's coming out on #2 needles, and I'm considering trying larger needles. At 100 stitches I can get this over my head, though, so maybe I just want to make this the collar and keep on going. I really am lazy enough to try that.

But I've got this unfinished object which is calling me to pay attention to it, too. Like any good knitting project, there's a wonderful story behind it. I bought some really nice Noro yarn on the internet that I couldn't get along with. I simply could not stand to knit with either of two entire lots of very different, lovely yarn. So I asked my friend Ann if she'd care to swap with me. I'd give her the rest of the yarn I couldn't stand, and she could give me back something or other. Anything would be fine.

Hah! Ann never, ever does anything half way. She gave me back not one, but two whole knitting projects, complete with yarn and instructions. And this is how far I've gotten on one of them. Isn't the pattern neat? Ok, so, my knitting is considerably less than perfect. I've gotten the itch to finish this thing with the ribbon yarn and the neat construction and the tricky pattern that I absolutely must use stitch markers to follow. So I've started carrying this around with me and knitting a row at a time. I'm getting somewhere, though slowly.

But part of my problem was my stitch markers were driving me batty. So, when I left my knitting at work and drove all the way to the SnB last week, I went shopping at the oh-so-convenient Michael's right there in the parking lot and bought makings for stitch markers. The picture on the left is three of the ones that I made too large, but I got the hang of it and I'm now happily using my beaded stitch markers.

Doesn't it sound like I've suddenly gotten a case of get-up-and-go? You don't know the half of it! Saturday I went up in my attic and caulked all the places wires and vents go up through into my attic. Today is Tuesday and I still hurt. I have no idea when the bruises on my knees will actually appear. So I will leave you with two pieces of advice for anyone building a house with an attic. This advice is especially important if your attic, like mine, has no single place tall enough for you to stand up.

1/ I know you don't think you'll be in the attic very often. That is the absolute worst excuse to avoid putting any lighting or at least sockets in the attic. I exhausted myself dragging a can of caulk, myself and a light all over the attic. When you have to work in the attic, you need a light and you need both hands. Plan for it and thank yourself later.

2/ I know you don't think you'll be in the attic very often. I know if you do think far enough ahead to actually put some boards in the attic so you don't have to go from rafter to rafter, you don't think that you need to use very good wood. And you're right. Just, please, make sure the wood you choose isn't very splintered. Cut the ends off nice and neat and get rid of the splinters as you go. When your knees hurt so much that you start scootching along on your bottom, you'll really thank yourself for your forsight.

'nuff said.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Almost Done!

I'm starting to decrease for the toes!

See why I like to do two socks on one circular? They'll be done together. They'll be the same (except for variations in color). No second sock syndrome for me!

I was very surprised to get a callus from knitting on my left hand. I wasn't surprised about the callus on my right hand at the junction between my pinky and hand, because that spot hurt for a while. But I was surprised about the callus on my left ring-finger, until I paid close attention to what I was doing when knitting, and noticed that I use that spot on my finger as an anchor.

I'm beginning to think I should knit a pair of knitting gloves. This would be a pair of glove-like things to cushion the spots on my hands that are getting calluses. Considering how much whining I did recently that I couldn't find a pattern for sock-weight yarn to make any gloves with fingers, it's pretty funny that I'm now deciding I absolutley must knit a pair of fingerless gloves.

Go figure.

In other knitting news, I was extremely proud of myself for coming up with a method of reading and knitting at the same time. It was really simple. Just put your book inside a clear plastic bag and cinch up the bag enough that the book would stay open and the pages couldn't turn themselves. Every so often, put the knitting down and carefully flip a page.

I got through two whole chapters of this book using my new method, and was happy with my new method even though I discovered that I knit and read considerably slower when I do both together. But I was extremely proud of myself until ....
Ok, so I was knitting while sitting on the side of the bed, and she jumped up and demanded to sit on the socks. Of course I refused. It's bad enough that I have to remove cat hair from everything I own. I am determined to give my sock pal a pair of cat-hair-free socks. But She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed proceeded to bite and fight with me until I abandoned my book so she could sleep on it.

Hah. At least my book is protected from cat hair.