Archive for the “stripey striped sock” Category

The speed at which I’ve been knitting lately has given me a boost of confidence and renewed my energy for knitting. Two hats in five working days, a pair of armwarmers in less than ten hours? When I first started knitting, I never would have dreamed that I could crank out finished products so quickly. (And now, I’m making excuses like “well, it’s worsted yarn, it’s not like it was a pair of socks or anything.”)

So here I am, considering that it’s eleven weeks to Maryland Sheep and Wool, and wondering how many of my current WIPs I can finish before then so that I can feel no guilt about buying more yarn or fibre. (I’m rather pleased that I’ve used all the yarn I’ve bought so far this year. Three balls of yarn in, three balls of yarn out.)

Currently on the needles, I have the neglected Stripey Striped Socks, the not-yet-forgotten Napramach, my current traveling sock (I’ve just realized I’ve never taken a picture of it, nor of the last pair of socks I finished! Must rectify that.) and the light and airy Dancing Cranes stole.

The stole doesn’t need to be finished until the middle of October, but I know it will take a while, so I want to keep up with adding at least a row every day, and preferably two. With around 60 or 90 rows left to work, depending on whether I choose to do three or four pattern repeats, I don’t want to risk the chance of not finishing it in time. I do like working on it, but it’s a solitary sort of project, and I don’t always want to lock myself away to work on it.

The sock will just travel around with me until it’s finished – I’ve almost completed the first of the pair, and then the second will take up residence in my purse. When I’m done with that one, the second Stripey Striped Sock can become my traveling companion if I haven’t yet finished it at home. It’s not the best sock for the job, but it’ll have to do, because I really want it to be done.

Napramach… I actually don’t know how long it will take for me to finish this thing! It took me six weeks to make the first half of it, and I seem to be knitting much faster now. Maybe three weeks? Then blocking, crocheting the sides together, and sewing in the lining, and it’s done. I’m guessing that my friend has probably forgotten about the bag by now, or if she hasn’t forgotten then she’s given up hope that I’ll ever finish it for her. It will be a nice surprise for her when it’s finished – she only knew that I was making a bag for her, but I never told her what it would look like!

The bonus prize of finishing Napramach will be that I’ll have most of each of six colourways of Rowan Felted Tweed to play with after the bag is done. I’m thinking of designing a colourwork hat with the leftovers; there should be more than enough, and I already know how nicely the colours go with one another. The second bonus prize will be on my yearly tally, because I’ll be able to cross off six balls of yarn from my count! I wonder if I should cross off all six balls, because I bought them specifically for this project? Or do I mark each of them as half-used, since there will be enough to make another project?

The Stripey Striped Socks are close to the heel on the second sock, and I can’t seem to find my notes on how many heel stitches I left unworked in the centre of the short-row heel. I think I scribbled them on a tiny piece of paper, not expecting nearly two years to fly by between sock heels. I’ll count stitches on the first sock and try to get the second sock as close as I can.

I’m going to love each of these projects when they’re done. And I hate having the Stripey Striped Socks and Napramach hanging over my head. I see them and think I ought to put some rows on them, and then I go do something else. It’s time to crack down and get these projects done and off the WIPs list so that I can start new things. At the same time, I don’t want to burn out on knitting again; I know that’s more likely to happen when I’m forcing myself to work on projects that I don’t like as much. I’m just going to work steadily on these four projects until they’re done, and I won’t start anything new until at least both pairs of socks are finished. Then, of course, I’ll need a new traveling sock.

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I feel guilty for even thinking about it, but I’m considering the idea of casting on a new sock before I’ve finished the second Stripey Striped Sock. The thing is, I can’t really knit on the Stripey Striped Sock for very long before my hands start to ache, so it’s not a very good traveling sock at all. But then, I know that once it’s finished, I’m really going to love it. The first sock, despite my issues with the yarn, fits perfectly and is delightfully colourful.

I’m going to be hanging out with friends over Memorial Day weekend and I know I’m going to want to have a sock in my hands, so I may be breaking my promise and casting on a simple, 64-stitch, stockinette sock for myself. I’m going to go back to the oldest yarns in my stash, too.



These Lana Grossa Meilenweits are two of my earliest sock yarn purchases. I got them from Red Bird Knits, which no longer seems to be selling yarn, during a “Socktober” sale. One of them is going to become my new traveling sock – but which? I’m leaning towards the brown and gray Magico as I think it will look better in a stockinette, especially the thin jaquard sections. The more colourful Fun and Stripes colourway would probably look good in a simple ribbing as well as in stockinette. Guess that answers that question, then!

I’d like to see just how much of the Stripey Striped Sock I can get done in small bursts. Doctor’s appointments, lunch breaks, you name it – I’m planning to pull that sucker out every chance I get. Meanwhile, my plans were shattered on Monday when I went to the allergist and had a perfect twenty-minute window of knitting… during which my hand was numb from the shots and so no new stripes were added to the sock. Boo.

This weekend I’ve two five-hour car rides to look forward to, along with lots of family time as we’re all getting together to celebrate my grandmother’s 90th birthday, so I think I’ll bring the Pink Sweater for the car and the new sock for the family time. Yeah, so about that “considering”… I’ve considered, and decided. There shall be a New Sock!

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I’ve been carrying the second Stripey Striped Sock with me almost wherever I go, but almost never working on it. However, I’m not allowing myself to cast on for any new socks until I finish this one. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Rien. I have ten stripes completed and 42 to go (if I count the heel as three stripes, which I am, even though it’s not striped, because it will take longer than two stripes). Last night I put two stripes on while I was waiting for bread to rise, and I’ll do another stripe or two on my lunch break today. It’s not the greatest traveling sock ever, but it’s what I have and so I will work on it. I am determined. I will not start any new socks until this one is done.

In fact, I have a plan to refrain from starting any new projects until all my current projects are done, excepting the Pink One’s Sweater, because that’s not really a new project so much as it is the other half of the Sweaters for Twin Niecelets project, and that’s one of the things that I’m on a deadline for. The twins are expected in the end of March, now. I’d better hurry.

The other night I took out all my sock yarns under the pretense of airing out the tote and moving the bag of cedar shavings around. I don’t expect the cedar to really keep any bugs away, but it does make the yarn smell nice. Just looking at the pile of yarn was enough to give me inspiration and motivation to get going on the works in progress. I really want to start something new!

“Starting something new” is one reason I’m really enjoying working on the hexagon blanket. If I concentrate, I can work up a hexagon in just half an hour. Each new hex feels a little bit like starting a new project, but then I get to watch the blanket grow by leaps and bounds. There are 23 hexagons done, 16 to go, and then an edging which will probably be made up of a few stripes of single crochet. I don’t think I’ll use all seven colours; that might be overkill. We’ll see when I get to that point.

The Purple One’s Sweater has just a little more of the body to knit, and then two lace panels to work up. It goes quickly when I sit down to work on it, but so far I think the best knitting time I’ve gotten on this project was on an Amtrak. Maybe I need to take another train ride so I can get it done faster…

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Swish Worsted in Amethyst HeatherI brought the Stripey Striped Sock with me to Canada, because it fit in my purse and was easy to carry around, but I can’t knit fine-gauge work like socks in moving vehicles or I get horrible headaches. I can, however, knit with worsted weight yarn and size 8 needles! So I also brought along this yarn, which is KnitPicks Swish Worsted in Amethyst Heather, to begin the first of the sweaters that I’m making for the soon-to-be twin niecelets, whose due date has been moved up to the end of March. I’m using the free Presto Chango pattern for both girls; one will get this purple and the other will get a matching sweater in Carnation Pink.

The sweater is begun from the back hem and is knit up and over the shoulders and sleeves before splitting for the two front sides; the button-on lace panel is worked separately. I got started on the train up to Connecticut and was able to get about halfway up the back before arriving. I knit a little bit in the hotel while drinking beer with friends, and I knit in the car on the way back from Canada, and I knit on the train coming home.

(I did not once take out the Stripey Striped Sock to work on it. I think I have built up such mental resistance to it that I can’t even stand the sight of it. I *will* make myself finish that damned sock before the year is up.)

The Presto Chango pattern is, so far, quite good. The yarn… that’s another story. It’s superwash merino, but it feels squeaky like acrylic, and it’s incredibly splitty. I had to drop down to correct a stitch and getting the yarn back onto the needles was a real pain. I’ve got it so I’m going to use it, and it’s washable so it’s great for baby sweaters, but I don’t think I’ll ever be buying this yarn again. It’s unfortunate, because it’s inexpensive and it comes in some really great colours, but I’d rather knit with yarn that feels good in my hands.

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Yesterday I was so tired when I got home that Pirate-Husband suggested that I should take a night off from knitting. “You’ve told me,” he said, “that when you’re tired you shouldn’t knit.”

“No,” I mumbled through a fog, “I can knit on something stockinette. I could, really. I could.” But I didn’t. He made dinner and we watched television with the cats draped across our laps, and then we both went to bed early. Not a productive evening, but a very comfortable one.

I’ve made progress on Michael’s Fleeps, but it will take a minor miracle to have them finished before I see him on Friday. There’s a lot to do tonight that isn’t knitting, like packing for Thanksgiving in New York, but maybe I can find a few moments. And I’m sure that Grandma won’t mind if I knit while we talk about everything under the sun. So, maybe! Fingers crossed.

Both of my socks-in-progress will be coming with me on the trip, too. Pirate-Husband pointed out, “We’ll be taking your car, there’s plenty of room for knitting,” and also commented “I know you love to start new projects, but I think you should finish the current socks first.” He is, of course, right on all three counts.

As for new projects, there is a LOT of baby knitting coming up. We will know the twins’ sexes tomorrow, so I’ll finally be able to buy the yarn for their sweaters. I am going to bring the KnitPicks catalog to New York with me, so that my sister-in-law can pick out exactly which colours she prefers. And my friend Gwen has just announced that she’s expecting her third, due in the end of May! I’m not yet sure what I’ll knit for her. Another sweater? A little toy? I’ll come up with something good.

Due Date …… Project
10/3 ………… Angie’s gifts
11/1 ………… Second Fleep, hand section
12/1 ………… Mom’s sock #2
12/1 ………… Dad’s hat
1/1 ….………. Gift for Janis’s baby boy
2/1 ………….. Mitten tops and thumb caps on Fleeps (almost done!)
2/1 ………….. Jacob Hat
3/1 ………….. Twins’ sweaters
4/15 ….……. Gift for Gwen’s baby

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Last night I was knitting on the Wibbly-Wobbly Jaywalker when I noticed my stitch count was off; I’d forgotten to make an increase two rounds back. Rather than unknit the three rounds to fix it, I took a deep breath, took up my crochet hook, and dropped down to the wrongness. It took a few moments for me to visualize the right way to pick up two stitches into one, but with some concentration I was able to figure it out. Hooray for intrepid knitting!

After a few more rounds of Jaywalking I decided to begin the second Stripey Striped Sock. It’s been a good six months, if not more, since I finished the first one; it’s probably time for me to grit my teeth, knit the second sock, and get it off my WIPs list. I don’t like the yarn at all, but I love how the colours play out, and I seem to remember that the first sock fit me perfectly. I’ll be very, very glad when it’s done, and I think the two matching/mismatched striped socks will look great together.

I’ve mastered the Figure-Eight toe, I think, since this is the fourth time in a row that I’ve gotten a good toe on the first try, without dropping a stitch or mis-counting. I knit the first two stripes last night, and the next two stripes will see the end of the toe and beginning of the foot, at which point the Second Stripey Sock will become my traveling companion. Whatever else I may think about the Kureyon Sock yarn, it travels much, much better than the softer Felici does!

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Stripey Striped SockThis is the first of the Stripey Striped Socks. I don’t think I’ve had a love-hate relationship with a yarn like this before. The only thing that might come close is the Plymouth Sockotta that I used for Pomatomus. The colors are just perfect, but knitting with the yarn… not so much.

I hate to admit it, but I’d kinda like a second pair of these. I’ve seen some gorgeous knee-high versions that alternate white with the colors. What can I say, I’m a sucker for the stripes!

Sibling SockThe Sibling Sock is stripey in a whole different way. Trekking XXL is a beautiful thin yarn which comes together in completely random stripes. This is a skein which Janis gave me as a gift a few years ago. The leg is a little short because I was paranoid of running out of yarn, but that’s all right; I’m sure the leftovers will be put to use somewhere. When the sock is done, I plan to write up the pattern for it in two sizes, and then publish it.

One of my goals for 2010 is to finish all the socks I have on the needles. Another is to publish at least two patterns. I have the first one nearly done and ready to go… but I don’t yet know what the second one will be.

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20091205snowBy 15:00 today, we had five inches of heavy, wet snow. It is so sticky that it is clinging to the sides of the trees! Unfortunately, the snow meant I had to cancel my plans to go out today. Fortunately, my house is well-stocked with food and yarn! And what better way to spend a snowed-in day than with food and yarn? To those ends, we had fried eggs and toast for breakfast, I now have bread rising in the oven, and there are socks in progress all around.

20091205snow2First off, I decided that I was going to finish the first of the Stripy Striped Socks, already. I knit the last few stripes of ribbing and then started the sewn bind-off. This is the bind-off that I always use for toe-up socks. It’s quite stretchy if you sew loosely, and makes a neat edge. About halfway through the bind-off, I ran into the same issue that other people have had with Kureyon Sock – I came to an underspun section of yarn, and it started to drift apart. At this point I may have said some unprintable words, so we’ll just skip ahead to me overtwisting the yarn, finishing the bind-off, and crossing my fingers that it won’t disintegrate when it’s washed for the first time, ’cause that would really suck.

After I’d sewn in the ends, and sworn that I will never again purchase this yarn no matter how pretty the colors may be, I went downstairs and showed the sock to Pirate-Husband. “Nice!” he exclaimed. “How does it fit?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “I’m angry at it. I haven’t tried it on yet.”

“How could you knit a sock and not even try it on?” he asked, incredulous. So I did. And it fit perfectly. Hooray!

Tonight I am not going to cast on the second Stripy Striped Sock; instead I am going to work with Cascade Heritage, a much more polite and well-behaved example of what sock yarn really ought to be.

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There should have been pictures, but it’s been raining. Obviously I need a piece of white posterboard and all the lights in the house, so I can take pics even if the sun isn’t out. Meanwhile…

I have eight more stripes to go in the first of the Stripey Striped Socks, and I’m hating it. The Kureyon Sock yarn is almost as harsh on my hands as knitting with cotton. Working from both sides of the ball at once has gotten everything all twisted. The thick bits are too thick for my needles, the thin bits too thin. I can’t just knit comfortably without thinking about it. I’m so glad I didn’t buy more of this stuff when I was tempted to. (grump grump. grump.)

On the pro side, when I drop a stitch, it doesn’t fall. And there’s no vegetable matter in this yarn like there is in regular Kureyon. And, the real kicker… the colors are gorgeous and vivid and wonderful, and I love how the stripes come out, and I’ve heard that this yarn softens up amazingly in the wash.

Maybe I’ll put the project aside when I’ve finished the first sock. Take a break from it, work with yarn I like more. Knit the second sock some other time.

Since I seem to have forgotten to put it in my last post, the yarn that Michael bought for me is Cascade Heritage Paints, in colorway 9922. It is squishy-soft and I’ve put it on my desk to motivate me to finish some of the socks currently on the needles, so I can get to knit with this stuff! It might stripe or it might spiral, or the colors might be evenly distributed. I only hope they match, and that they don’t flash too badly over the gusset. I’ll be working up a very simple pattern, probably a 3×1 rib over 72 stitches (gotta check those numbers!), which should go fairly quickly once I get started.

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Janis asked,

So the important question is, what spinning and knitting will you be bringing to Pennsic?

Well!

kureyonsock2For knitting, I will bring the Noro Striped Socks. I’m up into the leg of the first sock, and would like to get them finished, but honestly – they’re not holding me. Counting five rounds of stockinette stitch over and over is sort of dull, and I will be glad when they are done. I was also thinking about bringing the green yarn for the “Verdant” sock design that I started in Cookie A.’s class, and working on that. Or perhaps I could bring some Trekking XXL and work out the heel numbers for the fine-gauge rib pattern that I used for the Bloo Sock; then I’d have heels for two sizes and could publish that pattern, which will be called “Brother’s Socks”.

bullens-wullens_falkland2For spinning, I am definitely going to bring the Bullens Woolens fiber that I picked up at MDSW. There are four ounces each of Falklands and Merino/Silk, and I’m going to spin for a fingering weight with one ply of each. I will almost certainly take another braid or three of fiber with me. I decided against the batts that I carded and the “Starry Night” roving; I don’t want to mess with weighing anything. If I spin from braids, I can just fold them into half or thirds and tear. They’ll be even enough that way.

There will undoubtedly be fiber in Merchants Row to purchase, but it may or may not need processing before I can spin it. I seem to remember some silk hankies last year… in colors that I didn’t care for. Maybe if I get there as soon as they open, I’ll have better luck this year!

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