Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Gosh, did you see that? I modified a pattern, just as if I knew what I was doing! Guess I'm starting to feel a bit more confident as a sock knitter!
My review of the sock? Five stars for the pattern. It's a well written, simple sock. But this may be the last pair of socks I make from cotton. The resulting fabric is a bit stiff - not as comfortable as wool or bamboo. Hope it softens up as with a few wearings and washings! Like a pair of jeans, I imagine. Onto sock #2!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Next on the needles will be a Pro Bono hat. I knit several of these hats last year for the Warm Hands Network. It's a simple ribbed hat, but well-fitting and warm. Really warm when knit with a double strand of wool. Several hats done but no photos taken, which leaves an empty spot on my Ravelry projects page, and I just can't bear it. Time to make another hat for photography purposes.
I think I'm ready for a few weeks of knitting hats and mittens. There's an abundance of patterns on Ravelry, and an abundance of wool in my stash. And what could be better than sharing that abundance?
Friday, March 20, 2009
And the birds! There's been a steady queue of American Goldfinches at the Niger feeder. And crowds of Cardinals and Purple House Finches gorging on Safflower. A cacophony of chirping and tweeting from the trees, shrubs and eavestroughs greets me when I step outside.
A simple knit + family time + sunny weather = a good plan for the first weekend of spring.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
The pattern? Wise Hilda's Basic Ribbed Sock. The yarn? A lilac fingering weight cotton that I had in my stash. It's from a project that I ripped out ages ago - I can't remember the brand. Cotton's a great choice for a summery sock, but, by it's nature it's not stretchy, so a stretchy rib pattern seemed like a good idea.
But what I really like is the charming simplicity of the pattern ... K3 P1 rib. A simplicity rooted in clean, uncluttered, unfussy lines. A simplicity reinforced with a muted, unvariegated, unfuzzy yarn. It's simple enough that it's like a meditation to knit.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." — Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I did cast on Duckies and had a good start on the first sock. But that's about as far as these socks are likely to go. A couple of reasons, really.
Firstly, the sock is meant to be knit with a heavier, thicker yarn than the sock yarns that I have in my stash. With spring coming I'm far more interested in lighter weight knits. And using a lighter weight for this pattern would mean altering the number of stitches and adjusting the pattern to come out to the right size - a bit beyond me.
Secondly, the pattern itself strikes me as a simplified version of the Sprockets socks that I just finished. It's not really the same, but it is a column of holes created by yo stitches. Very simple and repetitive ... and not really what I'm in the mood for.
Finally, the bamboo yarn has a silky effect when knit in stockinette - an effect I was quite taken with. A more architectural pattern of cables and ribs might put this yarn to better use.
So this morning I'm ripping out what I started. And putting aside the yarn until the right pattern comes to my attention. In the meantime I'm inclined to cast on a pair of simple ribbed socks with some left over cotton in my stash.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Of course, I wouldn't cast on a new project unless I'd finished a couple of others! My hat is done and it is gorgeous. The colours are fantastic. And I still love the little seed stitch brim. This picture will have to do for now - until I can find a young child to model for me. My monkey socks are also done - pictures tomorrow once I've woven in the ends and blocked them. New project time!
Monday, March 16, 2009
I cast on and knit most of a hat on Saturday ... and then decided I wanted it smaller, to fit a child of six. The hat I was knitting was going to fit me perfectly. Rip. Rip. Rip. When I cast on again on Sunday, I reduced the number of stitches by 16, or two pattern repeats. Now it looks more like the size I want. Just as well, the yardage of the wool I purchased is only about 140 yds. Not enough for an adult hat. Of course, I could always get more wool...
Friday, March 13, 2009
Found it! The perfect yarn for Bethany's September Hat! It's from Manos Del Uruguay which literally translates as The Hands of Uruguay - a non-profit organization comprised of more than 400 cooperatives scattered across the country, bringing social and economic opportunity to rural women. A gorgeous kettle dyed wool in shades of brown, orange and purple.
And shopping wasn't the only thing I did at the SnB at Creative Yarns last night. I've turned the heel on my second monkey sock. Members of the knitting club from a local public school came out to join us. Aleda, 11 years old, seemed quite fascinated with Fair Isle knitting. And Peter, 8 years old, asked me to show him how to knit on dpns. And when Jody gave them all row counters for their needles, they were over the moon.
Oh, and I also picked up a skein of Noro Kureyon Sock yarn. It wasn't really on my shopping list. But now that I've jumped on the bandwagon with Monkey socks, I may as well see how I like the Noro bandwagon. My monkey socks are almost done, and I have two new yarns in my stash - lucky me!!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The poll has opened in my First Time Sock Knitters Group - the poll to select the pattern for the Spring KAL. Leading now is Firestarter - which is toe-up using the magic loop method of sock knitting. It wouldn't be my first choice, but it would be good for me to learn some new techniques. I've seen knitters using the magic loop method, and I'm frankly a bit nervous.
Lava Flow socks look a bit simpler than the others - frankly I'd prefer something more intricate. Rainy Day socks are pretty, but I'm not sure about how forgiving the fit would be. If the poll results decide in favour of Monkey socks, then I'm almost done already. I can't imagine knitting the same or similar pattern twice - not when there's so many other great patterns to try! My vote went to Shurgatal - much more my usual style.
Monday, March 9, 2009
So far, so good. These are a fun knit and turning out cute!! I love it! And it fits just perfect! jengi33
Finished!!! Love these socks! These are soooo comfy! silvercharm
I love, love love this pattern!!! It’s fabulous and so easy! ... Can’t wait to wear them (even though spring is upon us!) This pattern works up so fast!! I can’t tell you how much I love it? I’m just about ready to turn the heel :) And someone thinks I don’t knit very fast! HA! Did I mention I love this pattern? mushiginko
Finished my first ever Cookie A. pattern. It was wonderful. Very intuitive as I was knitting. I can’t wait to try more of her patterns. gornickmom
I absolutely love Cookies’ patterns! The first sock turned out so nice! MsNASCAR
Finally done with these! Once I actually started working on these diligently, they went very quickly. I love the finished result. Momwithsticks
What a fun sock to work on ... Bring on more Aussi and Cookie A. Palinka
This is the first time I have done a pattern by Cookie A. I have drooled over them for awhile now, but never got around to knitting any. I love this pattern. It is very simple, fast, and a whole lot of fun. navywife
Sunday, March 8, 2009
These socks are pretty far out of my comfort zone. Straight columns of cables, solid or semi-solid colours - that's my usual. A flowing texture with a handpainted yarn is really quite a stretch for me. It's good for me to push my boundaries and open myself up to the unexpected. But you won't be surprised if the next project is more conservative, and not so cheeky.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
No surprise then - the second Sprockets sock is done and off the needles. Time to take a minute and admire these socks. Despite my trepidations about the self-striping pattern in the yarn, I'm happy. I don't think I'd be as happy with much more contrast between the shades. The yarn, Lang Jawoll Silk, was great. Not slippy. Not splitty. Nicely and evenly twisted. And not one knot. The pattern is really cute and well designed right down to the smallest details. The pattern in the ribbing of the cuffs flows into the pattern on the leg and then carries across the gusset. A patterned heel flap is also a nice touch.
I'm proud of these socks. I understood the pattern and followed it correctly. My knitting is neat and the picked up stitches at the heel flap are tight and even. I guess what I'm trying to say is maybe, just maybe, I'm getting better at this!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Monkey by Cookie A. ... the most popular sock pattern on Ravelry. A staggering 8314 pairs are in progress or have been made within the Ravelry Community, with 3881 more Ravelers planning to make them. Imagine that - over 12,000 pairs!
Now that seems like a good bandwagon to climb on. After all, can 12,000 Ravelers be wrong? I've pulled a skein of Fleece Artist Basic Sock Merino out of my stash. It's rewound and ready to cast on. Pretty, pretty colours.
I've turned the heel and knitted through the gusset decreases on my second Sprockets Sock. In the next couple of days the pair should be finished and off the needles. At which point I can swatch for my Monkey socks and join the crowd.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Just a little further than yesterday. The leg is done and I've started on the heel flap. And although you can see the mismatch of the stripes on the leg, I'm still okay with it.
Not much time to knit this morning, or to blog either. Out of the house early to bring the car in for the accident repairs. And then into a rental car. We opted for a Toyota Yaris - a little sub-compact that's great on gas. It's on our list of possible replacements for the Focus when it packs up, so this is working out as a bit of a test drive. So far so good. And I must add that the service from Enterprise Rent-A-Car has been fantastic. Thanks Bernice!
Monday, March 2, 2009
After reading Ravelry posts from OCD-challenged sock knitters expressing their fears of non-matching socks, I had to acknowledge that I recognized myself in that. And consciously decided that I'd face that fear and just knit whatever part of the colour pattern came next.
So my Sprocket Socks are going to be fraternal twins, not identical twins. I've knit the leg of the second sock up to the heel flap. And so far I'm okay with it. I'm channeling Deepak Chopra - learning to let go and listening to what the universe wants to bring to me. Although the striping doesn't match, it's so subtle in this yarn that it's not freaking me out. So subtle in fact that Gavin hasn't even noticed. Yet.