Monday, July 12, 2010

Socking It to Me

Perhaps I am getting back into the knitting a bit. I moved along on the plain pair of socks I am making and started a patterned pair--getting braver again!

I must have measured poorly on my previous socks, as I tried to write down when to start the gusset on a toe-up pair to make the sock fit just right. I ended up making the gusset at least a half to 3/4 of an inch too soon. Gee, can't I even get a basic sock right? The good news is that I now have memorized the number 6, as in six inches to starting the gusset. OK. Six. Got it. More good news is that I just made the gusset longer and the heel a bit deeper as a consequence, and by gosh, the sock fits just fine.

My incredibly white leg wearing the foot portion of a sock in Trekking XXL
I am really, really liking this colorway. It really looks like smoldering embers to me, so it fits with the Flaming Desire theme of the socks I showed last entry. I'm now working my way up the leg in a 3x1 rib, which I like because it looks more stockinette like but does hug the leg more than a plain stockinette leg does. Thus, it will sag less when I wear it, and I do plan to wear these nice, utilitarian sockies.

I guess the next pair I am working on also fits in with the theme of heat. I am using some really lovely yarn. It is Fleece Artist Somoko, which is a blend of wool, mohair and silk, in a colorway called "Sun."

Beginning of Devon sock pattern in Fleece Artist Somoko.
This sock is top-down, and comes from Cookie A's Sock Innovation book, a pattern called Devon, which has yarn-overs on every row. This will be my third pair of socks from this book. I am enjoying going through the book very much. Cookie A says that this pattern works in both solid and variegated yarns, which is why I picked this yarn. Also, it's just plain cheerful. I had almost chosen a more subtle green peppercorn skein, when the happiness of this hank called out to me. While I did once make a sock with some yellow in it, this will definitely be my first orange-yellow one. I am wearing more colors like this lately, so I think in the fall this one will actually get some use. I'll find something good for that other yarn.

I am finding it fun to limit myself to the yarn I have on hand. I have so much sock yarn that it's not exactly horrible to have to choose from what is already there. I'm trying to slowly use up all my workhorse yarns (the Opals and Trekkings and such) and intersperse them with the exotics and hand-dyed ones. This Somoko is definitely exotic. It feels very different from the Trekking in nice sturdy wool and nylon. Having a plain and a fancy sock to work on is perfect--I get lots done on the easy one while riding in the car with my son as he improves his driving, waiting for seats in restaurants, etc., and the complex one keeps my mind of the violent scenes in the Angel television series that Lee and I are now watching every single episode of, thanks to our friend Kira selling it to us.

Perhaps NEXT weekend will be the "get that shawl going again" weekend! Thanks to all who commented on the last post in person, on Facebook or by email. It's nice to hear from you.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Knitting Hiatus

I have been having a hard time with knitting. Every time I knit I start missing people I'll probably not get to see again any time soon, and it saddens me. On the other hand, I am glad to have moved to a different place in my head, and enjoying more time with my family--it's been so much fun having both boys at home this summer. When I am not working, we have done a lot of fun stuff. One, I am teaching Beccano to drive (parent-led course). That leads to a lot of bonding. We are almost done, too! Two, we cleaned the heck out of my 55-gallon aquarium and are making it a much happier home for fishies. That is taking a while, but fish have lived there a whole month now without dying! And three (the big one) we re-did our kitchen! If you want to see the pictures, going from "before" to "after," go here. Here's the aquarium.
Aquarium before fish and before I put in more plants.

I have tried twice to get back on track with the shawl I am working on. I made a mistake on a transition row between patterns and just can't get the row right. I have ripped and ripped, and ripping double decreases leads to more issues. My plan, when I have a few hours to myself, is to put a marker between each repeat next time. And just stop and count EVERY repeat until I get that row right. Then I should be able to move on. But, I feel pretty incompetent to not be able to knit a perfectly straightforward pattern.

I did finish two pairs of socks since we last interacted. Here are the Flaming Desire socks and the Bruce socks that I finished.
Flaming Desire Socks in Pagewood Farm yarn.

Note that the tops differ. I like the one with more flame points, but not enough to re-knit them.
I have a picture of these on my feet, but it's on my other camera. These are Knitivity sock yarn.

Also, I have finished a pair that I hadn't even shown the start on. These are ankle socks in Panda Soy. I like the yarn a lot, though it likes to unravel itself and you have to take care to not split it. The fabric is really soft and has a wonderful feel. I look forward to wearing them next time I wear shoes that socks go with.
I need a better photo, but you get the idea. Generic toe-up socks, ankle length.
Yes, you read me right. I am not wearing socks this summer. I don't even want to LOOK at stuff I knitted. The only thing I have worn is my red cotton top that looks so nice you can't tell it was hand-made.

Don't worry. I'll be back to knitting and loving it again at some point. I've taken little breaks a couple of other times in my life. 18 years ago when I had small children, for example, I did a lot of needlepoint. Right now I am playing Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook. That is totally NOT productive, and I don't recommend it.

I've started another simple pair of socks in some interesting Trekking yarn. It's a prototype of a colorway called Autumn Fire.
It is knitting up very pretty--mostly gray but with lovely spots of red and purple. I will try to show it when I have more to show.

I'd love to hear from any readers still hanging around. I have been getting a lot of spam comments, and I sure wish Blogger would block those!