Archive for May, 2007

Long Weekend

This weekend was long and relatively uneventful, but chock full of knitting and crocheting. What more could you ask for?

Friday and Saturday, I worked on the heel turning of the Ultimate Crocheted Sock. After I figured out how to make it sit at the back of my foot instead of the side, it turned out to be a cleverly constructed and fun heel.

Here it is as I was working up the gusset…

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and here it is with the heel completed, ready to start the cuff!

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It’s exciting to be so close to finishing my first crocheted sock. Now I can find an answer to the burning question, "Does Second Sock Syndrome apply to crocheted socks?" (Sadly, I hypothesize that it does.)

In case you were getting worried, Sunday is still for afghans, specifically, my Mother’s Day Afghan. The good news is that after working on it during my Sunday knitting group, I got it to the point where I can start the decrease rows, which means the end is nigh! The bad news is, I’m sick of trying to find places to spread it out to take pictures of it. Just look up the post from last week and imagine it a few inches bigger. Really, it’ll be about the same.

Today I finished a couple of small, baby type projects, but I can’t show them off either because they’re not for my baby! (Pregnant friends who read the blog, pretend you didn’t just read that.) I promise that pictures and details are forthcoming.

Speaking of babies, now would be a good time for a quick pregnancy update. I am nineteen weeks pregnant today, and I have made friends with stretchy elastic pants. I still haven’t had to buy any maternity clothes, but that’s only because I still have a lot of clothes in my closet from my life pre-Weight Watchers. I think I felt the baby move for the first time this weekend, but it’s still hard to tell for sure. I have an ultrasound scheduled for June 5th and I’m hoping to find out the sex definitively then. Besides my gall bladder issue from a few weeks ago, I’m just having normal pregnancy type complaints, so I’m grateful for that. Goals for next week include not having any more nightmares about my Ultrasound (I’ve had 6 so far) and figuring out how to keep myself from imploding from heat. I’ve always been cold natured… not anymore! And it’s only May… what am I going to do in August? 

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As the Heel Turns

This is the sock right after I had completed all the gusset increases and right before I had started turning the heel:
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This is the sock, pictured lying flat with the top side of the sock facing up.
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That little nub sticking out of the side of my sock is supposed to be the heel flap. So far, my heel has pretty much remained located at the back of my foot, not the side, so that could be a problem. If I keep going as it is, this is what my heel flap will look like:
Usc7

I won’t bore you with the details of why my heel flap has migrated to the side of the sock, but I did a little research and apparently it is a problem with interpreting the pattern, and I am not the only one who is having it. Doesn’t that mean someone should edit the  pattern?  The designer left some really helpful comments on the blog, but her comments at least need to be integrated into the pattern notes. I imagine that if I weren’t already pretty experienced with knitted sock construction, I would be feeling like a ship without a sail right about now! I’m all for using patterns as guidelines instead of laws, but this is starting to get silly.

I’ve been keeping notes on all the changes I’ve made, so when this sock is done I should have a much better idea of what I need in a crocheted sock pattern. Even with all the annoying ripping back I’ve had to do, I’m having so much fun making these that I just know there are more pairs in my future! The fact that the crocheting goes by so fast makes ripping back less painful. As soon as I finish this pair, there’s some Cascade Fixation yelling "Summer socks! Summer socks!"

Oh, and in case you think I’ve given up on knitted socks… check these babies out!

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Saga of the Sock

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I don’t mind ripping out a project, as long as it’s a productive rip. As in, I don’t want to have to rip out a project and start it over… and over…. and over…. you know what I mean. Fortunately, the exact opposite has happened with the Ultimate Crocheted Socks. I gave up on the behemoth, which was not only enormous but distinctively lopsided, and began my chain anew.

After significant alterations to the pattern, my sock is just about perfect. By "significant alternations", I mean that I was getting gauge with a hook only one size smaller than the one called for, and now I’m down by two hook sizes. Also, I ended up eliminating a round of increases from the smallest size of the pattern, and really it could still be smaller and fit my foot. If you’ve ever seen my humongous feet in person, you’re probably in as much shock as I am. I don’t know who the pattern is designed for… but it is not for anyone with normal sized feet.

Despite the challenges, I love this sock! The stitches are thick, yes, but very beautiful. See the closeup? So pretty!

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Episode Seven…

of Film and Fiber is available at the podcast website if anyone wants it! (But if you want shownotes, you are probably just SOL until sometime later this week.)

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Mystery Cast On Revealed!

Yesterday’s mess of a cast on picture is destined to become…. Sigma
It’s not just the eighteenth letter of the Greek alphabet anymore!

The yarn is Blue Sky Cotton from a recently frogged halfway done cardigan I was knitting from the top down. Don’t blame the pattern, blame the
knitter. It’s just not in my nature to enjoy extremely looooong rows
stockinette… especially that fiddly purl row. I am an in-the-round,
Zimmerman kind of girl at heart. It’s not that I hate purling so much
as I like knitting better!

Sigma seems like a great pattern, and I have a whole plethora of
compelling reasons why it should be my new summertime knit. (And a
project that I could actually finish.)

1. No sleeves. No collar. No buttonband.
2. Lots of stockinette in the round- perfect for tv and movie watching.
3. I already have all, or at least most, of the yarn I need for the
project. I hadn’t bought all the yarn for the Cosmicpluto cardi because
I was just picking up a skein or two as I went, but I should have just
about the right amount for a tank top.

That said, there are some challenging elements to the project.

1. 270 stitches in one round. Ouch.
2. Because there are so many stitches, I ended up not having exactly
the right size of circular needle. I have a whole bunch of size six
Addi Turbos in assorted lengths- 16", 20", 24", and 60". There’s a big
gap between 24" and 60"! So my solution was to use the 24" and 60" inch
lengths to knit the top on two circular needles instead of one. I’ve
used two circular needles many times to make socks, but this is my
first really large project to use the technique. It made the cast on
and joining in the round a little harrowing, but I think that I’ve made
it through my first couple of rounds now with no twist. It’s impossible
to tell for sure with so many stitches, so I’m just going to hope that
it’s ok until I’ve knit enough to tell for sure.
3. I’ll have to figure out how to add short row shaping to the bust
area to ensure that the top fits me correctly. I’ve never done that
before, but I’ve been wanting to learn to I guess there’s no time like
the present! I skimmed through what seems to be a very good tutorial on
short row bust shaping on Knitty, and it doesn’t seem that complicated.
Time will tell. Probably a lot of time, what with all those stitches.

I’m planning on making this a very low pressure, deadline free project.
I would like to be able to try it on at least once before my belly
becomes too huge, but if I don’t quite make it, the world isn’t going
to end. Isn’t it nice that we can knit for leisure now? If we don’t
finish a sweater or woolly pair of socks in time for winter, we’re not
going to die from exposure to cold. Modern life does have some perks!

Hmmm… speaking of woolly socks…. how are my Ultimate Crocheted Socks coming along?

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There’s really no way for me to predict the success or failure of this
project at this point. the socks seems ridiculously huge (checkbook provided for scale in the picture… look how w-i-d-e that sucker is!), but when I
put it on and stretch it over my foot it seems to lose a lot of width. But I’ve heard that a lot of people have trouble with huge socks coming out of this pattern, and words like "no negative ease" have been tossed around. I’m trying to decide whether I should rip the whole thing back and go down another hook size, even though I am technically getting gauge with the hook I’m using now. (Size E, in case you’re wondering.) Or I could just rip back to the toe part and do a few less increases. I haven’t quite decided yet. Any thoughts?

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Sunday is Afghan Day

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It’s time to confess a secret that is probably not much of a secret if you knit with me or read my blog- I am starting to feel a little bored with the Mother’s Day Afghan. It’s reached one of the most frustrating points in any project, when it is huge and unwieldy but the end is still nowhere in sight.

I still basically like the project, and I think it will be a great belated Mother’s Day gift once it’s done, but in order to make sure it does get done I’ve decided to assign it it’s own day. Sunday tends to be my most productive crafting day, since I go to an informal group that meets on Sundays at my LYS for 4 or 5 hours, so every Sunday until it’s finished the afghan will be my Sunday project. I always get really excited for Sunday knitting/crocheting, so I’m thinking that excitement will carry over into the project itself. I’m guessing it should only take me 3 more Sundays to finish it up.

Straightrows
You probably can’t tell much from the picture, but I finally started the straight section of afghan. I’m pretty much just gaining height now. I can’t even tell you how much I’m looking forward to the decrease section. I’m sure that anyone out there who has knitted a Clapotis can empathize.

In Non-Afghan News….

Caston

What is this newly cast on object? (Besides a mess, I mean.) Stay tuned to find out… or just listen to my podcast, which should have a new episode out tonight.

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Saturday is for (More) Sweaters

Feeling good about my discovered sweaters from earlier today, I decided I should check out another thrift store in the area. This one is in a much more ritzy part of town than the one I shopped at this morning, and every thrift shop junkie knows that it pays off to follow the money.

Did it? Did it ever!

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Check this out: the green, periwinkle and pink sweaters are all 100% cashmere!! The darker blue one is 85% angora and 15% nylon, but I think it will still felt just fine. But… cashmere! The killer thing is, the only one that had something noticeably wrong with it was the pink- a tiny stain on the front of the shirt. No problem since I plan to felt the crap out of it! I doubt it even shows on the finished fabric.

And wait… it gets better! Bob was more interested in the non-sweater part of the store, and after a walk through the store he casually told me that there was some yarn around. I didn’t get my hopes up, since the only yarn I’ve ever found in a thrift store was some antique Red Heart Super Saver, and even at a bargain price I don’t really want it. (Yarn snob? Maybe just a little.) Approaching the pile of yarn, I could see they were all white and in skeins very similar to Red Heart. I was so sure they were some kind of ancient petroleum fuel fiber that I almost didn’t investigate any closer. But look what I got!
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It may be ancient but it is WOOL!! I ended up buying all 9 skeins. At .75 a skein, can you blame me? That’s right… beautiful undyed antique wool for .75 a skein!! Woohoo! I love Goodwill!

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