24 June 2007

Sock on the -looza

Sock #1 celebrates its new, completed form by lounging on the grass.

Sock #1 heads for the mint patch and dreams of mojitos, chanting, "par-TY! Part-TY!"

Sock #1 asks if we can grill tonight.

Sock #1, rebuffed, chastened, and exhausted from all its activity, catches some rays in the lawn chair.
"Does this color make me look fat?" it asks.

21 June 2007

Things I have learned from Ravelry

-- I am terrible at keeping count of the number of skeins used in a project. Skeins? How many skeins? It's just a bunch of yarn. I will never publish a design at this rate.

-- Monkeys rule.

-- The design for the Noro Fitzgerald sweater is fundamentally flawed - it's not just me (or rather, my husband) who has trouble with the collar spreading out too wide. (It looks so nice and casual in the pattern picture - little does one know how much tugging and adjusting is needed to achieve that effect.)
(This is one I have been meaning to attack with a crochet hook - I think it can at least be improved.)
(And I can't find my picture of it at the moment, so you will just have to take my word for it.)

-- It is possible to lose two hours of your life in the blink of an eye.

-- So THAT'S how you use Flickr.

-- Even though, after a couple of years of watching everyone else's blogs from the sidelines, I feel a little like an outsider in this whole knitting scene, I am just as much a "real" knitter as anyone. (This one is taking a while to sink in.)
I even got an invitation! Me! To Ravelry! Just like the real bloggers do!

15 June 2007

Slow Mail Day

I should be attending to this.

(The Jitterbug says, Hey, shouldn't I be on my way to Susan by now?)

Instead, I have been doing things like this.

And this.

(Extra credit: Name that ballet!) (Photo credit: Paul Kolnik.)

Having friends in from out of town can make you fall in love with the city all over again.

But it does make it hard to get to the post office.

11 June 2007

Everyone's a winner

Drum roll please...

The correct answer to the contest question: my clever idea for masking the change from one color yarn to another overlooked the fact that mosaic stitch and stockinette have different gauges, so there was a rippled stripe of looser knitting, where I did stranded K1 K1 K1, creating a major pucker down the center of the sole of my sock.

Four people got the correct answer, so as promised I drew names out of a hat. Here are the results.

The grand prize of a skein of Jitterbug sock yarn, colorway Ruby, goes to Susan (sb).

First runner-up of two skeins of yarn in the same colors I'm using for my socks: Alli Gator

Second runner up of two skeins of yarn in contrasting colors suitable for stranded or mosaic sock knitting: Helga (Mythen und Sagen).

And for the last-place finisher: the bad news is that you don't get sock yarn. The good news is that you get four skeins of Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere in contrasting colors, plus a little extra for seaming. It goes to Cindy in Oregon.

Thanks to everyone for participating. And sorry to be slow in posting the results. I thought I would have plenty of time to post before my four house guests arrived for the week... but I forgot about the part about cleaning up the house all day Saturday. (So that I could apologize for the mess when they arrived, all the while secretly thinking, You have no idea how bad it REALLY can be...)

Oh, my out-of-town friend said when she saw the yarn closet. You knit?

05 June 2007

Sock and Contest update

We're heading up the leg into the home stretch. I can't decide if it's too busy or not.
Plus, there are two tiny gaps on the foot that are driving me crazy.
Well, we have some time til August, so if I have to rip, I have to rip. I just want to make sure I'm happy with it before I send it off.

No correct answer has come in yet in the Sock Contest (see below). Reminder: a skein of gorgeous sock yarn (2 socks' worth) goes to one person with the right answer to my test question about the mistake I made in designing my sock pal's sock. Very few answers so far, so it should be easy pickings.

Maybe if I add another hint?

Here it is: I followed the directions exactly. That is, the mistake is something within the directions that I didn't figure out, rather than a mistake I made by not following the directions closely enough.

04 June 2007

Sock-er Contest

I just spent a week in Maine with my new nephew, who will be two weeks old tomorrow. The sock was very impressed with his beautiful feet (though it got a little worried, since it was already ripped out once for being too big, and these feet appeared to it to be very small indeed. I reassured it that it was indeed the perfect size for its intended recipient).

In honor of the baby, and of the general Sockapalooza spirit, and of hearing for the first time from my sock pal – I have a sock pal! I am sooo excited! – I am holding my very first contest. A skein (2 socks’ worth) of top-quality sock yarn is waiting for the person who can correctly answer my following sock-design-related question.

To pose the question, I have to go back a little into the history of my sock-pal sock. I initially tried to decide between horizontal and vertical stripes, and (as you can see) ended up opting for both: vertical stripes on the sole, horizontal stripes on the top.

I had to rip out my first attempt since due to knitter error it was miles too big.

Here’s how I set out on Attempt #2:

1. I am doing the sole in a slip-stitch pattern, while the horizontal stripes are plain stockinette. (I’m sure most of you know that the slip-stitch pattern for vertical pinstripes is K1, slip 1, K1, doing two rows in the round for each color – with color B, you slip the stitches you knit with color A, and knit the stitches you slipped.)
Since the vertical stripe slip-stitch pattern knits up much tighter than the horizontal pattern on the top of the foot, I threw in two extra rows of the slip-stitch on the sole alone (back and forth once in each color) every few stripes.

2. To deal with the switch from one color to another, which occurs in the middle of the vertical stripes on the sole, I decided, when the color changed, rather than K1A, slip 1B, K1A, etc., to do K1A, K1B, K1A, K1B: that is, stranded knitting rather than mosaic knitting for the four stitches immediately around the color change. This made a firmer join, and I already knew from swatching that there is no visual difference between K1, K1, K1 stranded knitting and K1, slip one mosaic knitting.

3. I got rid of my original idea for a diamond pattern on the top of the sock; in the smaller, svelter size it no longer seemed to need it.

After I had gotten about halfway up the foot of this sock, I had to rip the whole thing out again.

And here is my question:
Why did I have to rip it out?

All the information you need to answer is included in this post. In short, I should have known better – but the answer was only evident to me with hindsight (and with the faulty sock in my hand).

Send your answers to me at diva341 - at - mac - dot - com by noon on Saturday, June 9. If there is more than one correct answer, I will determine the winner by drawing a name out of a hat or some other appropriate container, like a knitting bag.

As for my sock: attempt number 3, I’m pleased to say, is just ducky. In fact, we’re up to the heel turn.

Since roving's been my pleasure

Anyone else share my childhood memories of American folk songs? Ever since this luscious roving arrived, the tune "A-roving, a-roving, since roving's been my pleasure, I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid" has been circling, and circling, and circling, in my head.

(It circled so much that I just Googled it and found the lyric given as "ruin" rather than "pleasure." I stand by my childhood memories and, I believe, the Fireside Book of Folk Song, but if spinning is as addictive as knitting, "ruin" may well be equally appropriate.)

Anyway, this beautiful roving arrived courtesy of Susan, whose contest I won. And because I am only just about to stick my toe into the world of spinning, she generously added some roving more appropriate for a rank beginner. Plus, this wonderful and clever sheep tape measure. I am agog. Thank you, Susan!
(And thank you, Wayne Thiebaud, since your painting was the reason I won the contest. I should knit him a pair of socks or something.)

In the interests of paying it forward, I have an idea for a contest of my own. Stay tuned.

oooh, baby

My brother and sister-in-law would kill me if I posted an actual picture of the infant WSM.

But here, at least, is proof that my knitting was put to good use.

Are those the most beautiful hands you ever saw?

Now that I'm back from a week of intense baby-tending (and tending-baby's-two-older-sisters as well) in Maine, I will endeavor to catch up on some blog business.
(The coincidence that Franklin went to Maine at exactly the same time I did to see his niece, born the day before my nephew, may be amusing only to myself, but because I love Franklin's blog I will take any communality I can get.)