Monday, March 30, 2009

tah dah!

okay mom, here's your socks!

the ugly socks are done!

i finished these about two days ago. okay, maybe they're not so ugly. i think they look better in pictures because i can't get the color balance correct. the colors (to me at least) do seem to muddle together.

these were my mindless sock knitting project, and now i'm dying to cast on for something new. i like to always have at least one mindless project on the needles. i might need to go stash diving and pull out something that self-patterns.

because i felt somewhat detached from this yarn, i was more open to the idea of trying some new things (ie: garter stitch on the sides of the heelflap, and a dutch heel). the garter rib wasn't monotonous, and makes a very nice basic sock w/o having to rib every round. perhaps i should had tried a different toe too ...

regardless, yeah they're done ! and here are the specs:

yarn: plymouth yarn rockin' socks, col. 003, 1 skein
needles: 2.25mm susan bates dpns
pattern: garter rib from _sensational knitted socks_ (64sts cast on)

Friday, March 27, 2009

a wee update

it's pretty pathetic when i have to look at my own blog to remember what projects i am (or should be) working on. i had forgotten about the gansey socks! shameful, i know.

instead, i have been plowing through the ugly socks.

almost finished with a pair

i am very close to the toe shaping. i tend to slow down as a project comes near the end. i don't know why. perhaps because it requires thinking ... and measuring ... to make sure i am ready for the next step.

when this sock is off the needles though, i will have to find another mindless socken project.

i have also been working on my midnight socks ... i cast on the mate on sunday, and decided that it can be semi-mindless (as long as i have good lighting). i'd like to finish this sock before the end of the month, though the "due date" for the kal isn't 'til the end of april. the sooner i finish, the sooner i can join the april challenge of ravelry's sock knitters anonymous.

i also happened to cast on for another sock that would qualify for this month's challenge ...


... cat bordhi's spring thaw socks from knitter's magazine #91 (last summer?).
it's a very pretty sock, with twisted stitches, leaves, and cat bordhi architecture. i can follow the techniques, but i'm not sure about the gauge. therefore, i will knit on with little commitment.

and then (i haven't cast on yet) ... i bought/downloaded kieran foley's high seas wrap/shawl. i love its simplicity, and i have some old knitpicks alpaca cloud in stash.

so want to cast on ....

what should i be doing (knitwise)? ... finishing my chocolate aran vest ... at the very least. it's so close to being finished ... but the sight of buds on the trees and springtime rain (and thunderstorms) makes it kinda hard to think about knitting a wool vest.

Monday, March 23, 2009

beauty is in the eye of the beholder .....

i'm calling this the "ugly sock". the colors in the ball looked okay (rose, denim blue, camel/tan, sage). but knitted up ... blah ! (muddy!). because i think this sock is sooo ugly, i'm .... speechless.

mom likes it. so, i'm knitting mom a pair of socks. i have given her a "head's up" that the mate may be in a different stitch pattern, because i don't think i want to knit a garter rib again. it is mindless, but not satisfying.

these socks? beautiful! (at least in my mind's eye).

i thought about a modeling picture, but when i feel the whim of photography, either the daylight or temperature is not cooperating.

on the left, my lovely midnight sock is finished ... awaiting its mate. i did cast on the mate ... and started the lace pattern.

on the right, a sock that will not qualify for the sock knitters anonymous (may) challenge ... because i cast on prematurely. i just couldn't wait. i was dying to knit some k&p stitches! ((sigh ....) gansey!)) .... anne hanson's lighthouse gansey sock.

sock knitting ... always satisfying ... even if it's ugly.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

i don't like nupps

there. i said it. nupps suck. perhaps i knew that long ago, when i was substituting beads for nupps ....

but, i wanted to try a "real" estonian design, nupps and all.

triinu lace scarf

so i knitted nancy bush's triinu scarf from her _knitted lace of estonia_ book. the scarf is absolutely beautiful, as are all the designs in the book.

being lace on circular needles, it was a small project to carry around, stashed in my purse, should i find myself stuck somewhere with some spare knitting time. the chart is quick to memorize. it's mindless knitting.

as i got closer to the end, i knitted more ... eager to see the finished product. yesterday was that day. i still had another repeat of the main pattern to knit, and to knit each of the lace edges on the ends. i did it. i bound off, with my two strands held together.

after i got into bed, i was thinking about how tight the bindoff seemed. i got out of bed and found my book, and recognized the bind off in the pictures was not the same as a basic bind off.


i paged through the book. this should be in the errata (and it's not), BUT the bind off instructions should say to "bind of with k2tog method".

it doesn't say that. there's information near the front of the book about what kind of bind off methods used, and why/where, etc. the picture clearly represents the k2tog "method" (like evelyn clark uses for swallowtail, etc ....). OTHER shawls with exterior bind offs say to use the k2tog method. i guess it was just an oversight here. an irritating oversight.

so, there in bed i ripped out each of the bind offs, ... i reknitted one, and saved the other for breakfast.

today ... i washed and blocked. i actually was able to block out to the dimensions in the book, 11" x 63". she's sitting on the floor ... drying ... waiting 'til tomorrow when the temperatures are going to drop at least 20* from today.

she's blocking!

regardless (of me being pissed), it's a very beautiful scarf. it has me paging through my book for the next estonian escapade. there are a handful of designs that have minimal nupps or none at all. and there are designs so fabulous that you think, "nupps? ... whatever! i can do nupps!"

knitted with kp's shadow lace yarn in colorway hot rod, on size US4 needles. i had to dip into the second hank for the edge lace and twice binding off.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

craving texture

i looked through my projects the other day, and noticed that the bulk of my knitting is lace or cables, and primarily texture. i don't knit much stockinette because it's boring. it's not even mindless.

lately, i have been thinking more and more about the guernsey and gansey. i think this was spawned by the lastest rowan 45's avignon (ravelry link) ... i couldn't find a proper rowan international link.

i have a very generous amount of this rowan cotton in stash. i have enough for pretty much any sweater i'd like to make. i just have to decide which one is sweater worthy.

in the meantime, i am knitting socks ... yeah. i know. but, i have the pleasure of texture w/o the volume of yardage. and the weather lately .... rain. it has been raining for days. it's going to rain for at least another day. the sky is a solid gray. whether it's raining or not, there is a constant drip from the eaves.

so. the sock ....

almost to the toe



the pattern is anne hanson's lighthouse gansey sock from knitty.

though sized for a man, i am getting a nice woman's medium on my size 2.25mm's. i guess i'm a tighter knitter than anne.

everything about knitting this sock has been a pleasure. i love that i'm constantly changing patterns or chasing charts. i love that i don't have to do any k3tog or other knitter-batic moves. i love the yarn. it's regia's 4 fadig color, in colorway 1903. the colors remind me of these cold and ugly wet days. days i imagine on a foreign beach, full of rocks .... smooth sandwashed rocks. the color reminds me of sunny days to come.

my guernsey/gansey bug has not been bitten. i still have a craving for a traditional sweater. i've taken to some bedtime reading ......

bedtime reading

Thursday, March 12, 2009

i am not finished ...

with my lovely chocolate cabled aran vest, but ... i am about 70% there! the weather threw me off a bit, with amazing days of heat and sunshine. now ... the clouds and colder temperatures have moved back in. i am thinking of my vest again. i'm thinking, "how nice it would be if it were finished and i could wear it over the next several days!". darn.

what has been my distraction?

my goodness!

... socks. what else? lace. what else? lace & socks? ... of course.

i thought this pattern, blackrose from knitty, was just pretty !. i had some "new" sock yarn from that store i went to in hickory, nc, ... a strand of purls. lately, i feel more of an "itch" to cast on with "fresh" yarn ... nothing against the "seasoned" yarn ... it's probably just a guilt thing.

the yarn is Araucania Ranco Solid in shade 'midnight' 120. it IS midnight! i love the color, though it's hard to capture the deep variations. the knitting is slow as i can only knit on this during daylight hours. once a lamp comes on in the evening, the sock is set aside.

there is other knitting going on as well. and then there's the "next sweater" research happening too.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

this i will finish

i sort of started another project a couple of days ago. mom and i went to the miguel's in gastonia, and their patons classic wool was on sale for $4/ball. this particular location didn't have a lot of colors to choose from, but they did have plenty of neutrals.

i went for chestnut brown to make the aran accent vest from patons book 846 _cables_. the smallest size calls for 4 balls, though i think some have knitted it with less. i bought 5 balls because i am the always skeptical knitter. and, i'm sure i could use another hat with the leftovers.


center cables

basket weave side panel

the knitting has been slow with all the patterning. but it's worth it. it's such fun to see the cables grow. i am very close now to binding off for the armholes (the pattern is worked flat, and begins with the vest front).

i suggest if you want to knit this vest, do yourself a favor and investigate all the versions of this vest on (ravelry). a lot of knitters have knitted at least a size smaller. a funny note about the pattern ... the gauge is given in stockinette. there's not one stitch of stockinette in the vest! it's all cables and basketweave, with small spaces of rev. stockinette to pop the cables.

there are three different stitch patterns for the vest, all changing in multiples of 4. there's a bit of increasing, and decreasing, to keep up with as well. my solution was to make an amateur spreadsheet to keep track of everything.

keeping track

i better get off the computer now and back to my vest.