Archive | March, 2011

I’m a cheater.

27 Mar

Oh dear.

I’ve fallen off the monogamy wagon. Fortunately for my husband, the offended party is just a pair of socks. Unfortunately for my husband, the socks are for him.

Let me clarify one thing, most knitters are not monogamous when it comes to projects. They keep several different items on needles around the house (and car, and office, and purse, etc.) so they can work on all kinds of things when different knitting moods strike.

As of late, I have tried to be a very monogamous knitter. I appreciatte monogamy in other areas of my life (i.e. books and marriage) and I thought that kind of clear-headed, no fuss, one-project-at-a-time approach would be rewarding in knitting. I was soooo wrong.

There are a few different things I really enjoy in patterns:

  • Lace
  • Texture
  • In-the-round construction
  • Occassional ribbing
  • Variety

Close examination of this list points to exactly where my problem with cheating started. Of the past four pairs of socks I’ve worked on (3 complete, 1 in progress) three of them are plain old ribbed socks. Yes, the ribbing is mixed up a bit and offset by pretty self-striping yarn, but only one of those four socks contained lace detailing and required a chart, which I so love to read.

By focusing on knitting gift socks, two pairs for men – who love nothing more than plain, boring socks, I have strayed away from the things I really enjoy in knitting. Sure, a couple of my favorite things made it into my projects, but now I’m bored. I picked up Ismael’s socks Friday night to get down to it, and I just couldn’t make it past a few rows. I strayed. I started holding other  yarn, and looking at other patterns. I even knit a guage swatch.

All the signs were there. I kept trying to knit his socks, but I was emotionally involved with other patterns, some of them not even for socks at all!

Then, today, it happend. I cast on a new project. It’s not even small. I wanted lace, and I went totally overboard and dove right into the Fir Cone Shrug by Veronik Avery from my new book, Knitting 24/7.

Copyright Veronik Avery

As you can see, that’s as lot of lace. And it’s in bulky yarn, the antithesis of sock yarn. I needed a break, so I turned to something so unlike socks that you can hardly imagine you make them through the same process. It’s huge, it uses 1,000 yards of bulky yarn and is worked flat and seamed together. It hangs off your frame and is designed to be slouchy, rather than hug your leg and ankle. This is the knitting equivalent of taking up with the pool boy.

But, I have had my eye on this pattern since I got the book earlier this month. I’d like to say I’ve kept my mind on my socks, but I’ve started to wander, if only in my head, before today. And you know, I’m not a bad person, or a bad knitter, I’m just a knitter with needs that a single pair of socks can’t satisfy. Ismael’s socks will still get made, and quickly, too. This new bulky, lacy, flat project will provide me with blessed relief from the monotony of knitting ribbed socks, and the socks can still hold a place in my heart and my project queue. Socks are tiny, and they will come with me to work, in the car, and wait with me in lines. My shrug will stay at home, where a big project belongs, and it will also be loved and worked on. I can juggle them, because I love them both, but for different reasons.

Hey, at least I’m  not sleeping with the pool boy.

Why do men have such big feet?

25 Mar

The first sock complete and on a foot.

I feel bad that I haven’t written a post in awhile, though not for lack of trying. I would love nothing more than to triumphantly write all about how these socks for Ismael are off my needles and I’m on to smaller and brighter pairs, but that’s not the case. Why? because he has big stupid man feet.

Men, for some unfathomable reason probably divined to annoy knitters, have evolved to have some pretty big feet. I suppose that’s good for supporting their larger frames and all that crap, but it’s not so good for knitting socks with tiny yarn. The first sock took me over 12 hours. Yeah, I know, half a day. And now, I’m only a few inches into the next sock. I haven’t had as much dedicated knitting time this week for some reason, so after some hardcore concentrating this weekend, I hope to report that these socks are at least closer to being finished, but his feet aren’t getting any smaller, and I’ve got miles to go.

A little about the sock that is done:

  • This is the first pattern I’ve written myself. I thought it through, wrote a little chart, compared existing patterns and ran some tests. This is very much my pattern, and I’m extremely happy with the end product.
  • I’ve decided to name these Writer Socks, and when they’re all done, I’ll explain why.
  • This yarn is that good old Berroco Comfort Sock I adore so much in a colorway called Dunedin, which is a very fun word to say over and over in your head as you alternate knitting and purling.
  • This doesn’t really have to do with the sock at all, just please ignore the general mess you see behind it. If Ismael didn’t have such big feet and it didn’t take so very long to knit him socks, I’m sure my  house would look cleaner, I’m just sure of it.

After these are done, I think I’m going to breath a big sigh of relief for a day or so, and continue to search for patterns to use on the two colorways (Autumn and Pacific NW) of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Handpainted Sock Candy I have waiting in the queue…

Until next time, I’ll be knitting.

18 hours

10 Mar

My Cosmopolitan socks.

It might not sound as impressive as 127 hours, but I still have both my arms AND a new pair of socks.

Turns out each sock – for my tiny woman feet – took 9 hours. The grand total is 18 hours for a pair of socks. Since I value my skilled labor at about $10 per hour and the skein of yarn cost me $11.50 (including shipping), I am now strutting around in $191.50 socks.

Feels damn good.

In other news…

Look at all my stuff!

A visit from my parents resulted in the addition of two new books and a set of needles to our family. The books, knit. sock. love. by the awesome and talented Cookie A. and Knitting 24/7 by Véronik Avery, both have gorgeous patterns. I’ve been pining after knit. sock. love. for months. I seriously want to knit every single pattern from this book, and since there are 19 of them, I expect to have lots to do in the next year. Knitting 24/7 was a bit of an impulse buy. I hadn’t heard of it before picking it up at the store, but the balance between modern and vintage in the all the patterns holds real appeal. There are more than just socks in the book, and I very much look forward to exploring it more.

The needles are my very first set of Addi Turbos. They are 32″ size US 1.5 (2.5 mm) circulars. I love them. I love them and I am in awe of them. Le sigh.

The yarn showcased with my new books and needles are some balls I’ve stashed with special projects in mind, though the colors are a bit hard to discern.

Next up on the queue are socks for my hubby, followed by a pair of my own design!