Archive | April, 2011

Procrasti-knitting

30 Apr

I haven’t posted for awhile. This is because of two things:

  1. I have been doing lots of things besides knitting socks.
  2. The socks I have been knitting I can’t put up on here until Mother’s Day.

I feel bad that I haven’t posted on here, but I’ve been busy with life and knitting and even some sewing, and none of it really had me running to my computer to update the world.

The Mother’s Day socks I’m working on for my mom are a mixed bag. I have completed one sock, and it looks really great. On the other had, I hate the pattern. I think the directions are poorly written, I totally rewrote the charts for myself after struggling unneccesarily down the leg, and although they look very nice, I don’t think the point of the pattern comes across very well. They’re a bit gimmicky (in a good way), and although I see some nice lace on my finished sock, I have to really look to catch the gimmick. I’m sure my mom will love them, because that’s how moms are, but after waiting for the proper needles to come in so I could even work on these, I’m unimpressed.

I did cast on another sock to fill some spare time. I finished it in a day. It was a very small sock for my stepdaughter, with a very simple pattern, and as soon as I finish the other sock for my mom, I’ll make its pair – and post pictures.

I also cast on a baby sweater. Don’t get excited, I’m not pregnant. I don’t even know anyone I’m close to that is pregnant, but it seemed like a good planning measure. It’s knitting up kind of fast, and is great travel knitting I can crack some rows out on while waiting places. I carry it around in my new bag.

The front of my big new bag.

This is my nice new (big) bag. I sewed it all by myself out of Moda print cottons, laminated Amy Butler cotton and an old handle I had around the house. The button is a giant vintage mother-of-pearl number, courtesy of my mom.

The inside of my big new bag. Laminated Amy Butler cotton.

The inside of this bag makes it the perfect transport for knitting. Needles can be sharp, especially the tiny ones you use for socks, and I’ve had a few purses impaled by my hobby. I’ve been using this bag now for over a week and have yet to experience any impalement issues. And it’s pretty. Win/win.

One top of being a bit burned out over my mom’s socks, I’ve been wanting to use some of the knitting books I recently bought. A small, inexpensive project from Véronik Avery’s “Knitting 24/7” kept jumping out at me, so last night I started the Ropes and Ladders Headband, and today I finished it:

My nifty headband from Knitting 24/7

This was perfect weekend knitting and I think it will be a great accessory for work and play. The yarn was KnitPicks Simply Cotton Sport in Bittersweet Heather. I used about 30 grams from a 50-gram ball. With a couple of silver buttons in the back, this as a fun, fast knit.

I promise I’ll have some more socks on here soon. Damn secrets.

Time And Relative Dimension In Socks

14 Apr

TARDIS Socks

And the reveal… My TARDIS Socks are complete!

For those of you who have never seen the classic, long-running BBC television show Doctor Who, the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) is a space/time ship that The Doctor (a Time Lord!) uses to jet about the universe getting into misadventures with his – usually female – companions. Inevitably he saves time and reality from impending doom tidely within 45-minute episodes. The TARDIS happens to look like a British Police Box and, unlike my socks, is larger on the inside. It’s amazing. And I love it. And I love my socks.

The TARDIS with the Tenth Doctor and his companion, Rose Tyler. Probably copyright BBC or something. Please don't sue me.

As far as sock construction goes, the lettering and windows are done in stranded colorwork, and it’s my first time using the technique. I was surprised by how simple it is with a two-color pattern, though I’m sure advanced fair isle is maddening. I shortened the textured leg pattern – made with long slipped stitches, by one repeat – so while The Doctor’s TARDIS has three panels down the sides, my socks only have two. Alas, they fit better this way.

As with all good socks (in my opinion) these are top-down, with a flap heel and a Kitchener grafted toe. The yarn is KnitPicks Comfy Fingering Weight (75% Pima Cotton, 25% Acrylic)  in Planetarium, Black and White. Though not very stretchy, I really enjoyed working with this yarn and the socks are extremely soft and comfortable, not to mention machine washable. It took one and a half skeins of the blue and barely any white and black, so I have some left to stash (TARDIS coffee sweater???). For needles, I used HiyaHiya US 1 32″ circulars for the plain blue sections and Addi Turbo US 1.5 32″ circulars for the colorwork sections, all magic-loop.

A best thing about these socks is that they were knit almost entirely while I instantly streamed episodes of Doctor Who on my Wii. Though I must admit, I threw in a couple episodes of Torchwood, just for variety.

Secrets

12 Apr

Progress continues on my nerdtastic TARDIS socks, and we’re in the final stretch as I’m currently knitting the foot of the second sock. I’m about 4 inches, a toe, and some loose ends from completion. I estimate it will be a few more Doctor Who episodes worth of knitting before they’re complete.

In other news, I’ve cast on a new pair of socks, but the details of these socks are a secret. We’ve now entered a very long part of my year: Present season.

I know, most of the socks I’ve knit so far have been gifted away, but these were not really presents, therefore not really secrets. Now we have real holidays coming up, and the element of surprise is non-negotiable.

Sorry folks, but Mother’s Day, a whole summer of birthdays and the impending doom that is Christmas means there are going to be a lot of secrets on this blog in the foreseeable future.

But, I won’t leave you high and dry. I can still write about knitting these present socks without spilling too many details to the intended recipients. You can read all about my frustration and elation with patterns, yarn and deadlines. And I certainly won’t be knitting gifts exclusively, so about half of my projects can be fully exposed to the public and Interwebs.

The gift socks currently on my needles shall be Mama’s Day socks, for my wonderful and crafty mother. She’s a quilter, chef, pragmatist and fervent enabler of my knitting habit. She deserves some socks, and I know just the ones.

I won’t reveal further details – as per the nature of a secret – and I’m too new to the pattern to have any real feedback. However, I will say these socks are being knit with Crystal Palace Panda Cotton in a warm brown colorway called Bison.

The yarn, two teeny skeins of gloriously stretchy bamboo/cotton/nylon blend, are from The Loopy Ewe, an online yarn shop with serious customer service skills. My order arrived within days, along with a handwritten note from the operator wishing me happy knitting, little yarn samples, and a neat plastic needle chart to track my tools. Bravo. Buy from these fine folks, I certainly will again.

Since I’m keeping secrets and holding back the TARDIS socks for the big reveal, I don’t have any sock pictures for you. Instead, have some yarn porn.

20110412-013401.jpg

Araucania Ruca. DK weight, 263 yards. 100% Sugarcane. I have three skeins.

Writer Socks

4 Apr

Finished Writer socks modeled by Ish

They’re done!

Ismael’s Writer Socks are complete at last. These are special socks in that they are the first I have ever designed myself, and also because they commemorate my husband’s first publication.

Ish is going to college for creative writing and recently found out a lyrical essay he wrote in his first semester at school was selected for publication by a literary journal. I’m extremely proud and there’s  no better way to reward good work than with socks.

These are writer socks because:

  1. They are for a writer
  2. They are perfect for the writer lifestyle – comfy garter cuff and flap heel say, “Take it easy, have another latte.”
  3. They are perfect for the college student lifestyle – ribbing on the leg and foot keep this sock in place while the writer books it across campus to his next class
  4. They look nice, and writers appreciate aestheticism just as much as utility. Can’t you just see yourself, legs stretched out from a small café table in 1920s Paris with these peeking out of your pants? I can.

On another note, these socks match our carpet perfectly, which is unexpected and not entirely appreciated for the sake of photographing them.

Since I finished the Writer Socks Saturday evening and still had some energy in my fingers, I gingerly cast on a new project. This project was stressful for me to start, because it includes colorwork, which I have never done before and have heard some scary stories about. I was convinced I would muck it all up, ruin the yarn I bought specifically for these socks and feel like a knitting failure for all time. This was not the case.

Allow me to introduce my new project:

Time And Relative Dimension In Socks.

TARDIS - Doctor Who

I’m totally geeking out.