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Posts Tagged ‘socks’

If my goal for March was to organize and execute a birth fair/expo and get MASSIVELY sick, then yes, I accomplished my March goals.

Goddamn the end of that month was hard.

I had a really great time working with a friend to put together the birth fair, but then I couldn’t enjoy the afterglow of our success because I immediately came down with the worst sinus/ear infection I’ve had in a long time. It was totally gross. If I say now that my goal was to produce the most snot ever produced by one person, does that mean I win? Because you guys, I totally did. I went through three boxes of kleenex in less than seven days. EPIC is the only word I have to describe my sickness.

Anyway!

I also took pictures during the month of March. Here they are.

2010-03-10

March 10th, 2010 – DeKalb IL
These are raccoon pawprints in the cement of a sidewalk next to the St Mary’s parking lot on Pine Street. It had just rained, or snow had just melted, and the impressions caught the water in such a fun way.

2010-03-18

March 18th, 2010 – DeKalb IL
Some delicious hummus prettily presented at The House Cafe. I love going there on my lunch hour (and it’s where we held the birth fair on the 27th). Everyone there is lovely, and beautiful things like this happen all the time.

2010-03-18

March 18th, 2010 – Sycamore IL
I doubled up on the pictures for this day, which is something I hadn’t wanted to do when I started this project, but you guys, MY SOCKS! I finished them! And they’re so pretty! And they fit perfectly! I love them! SOCKS! I’m kind of chuffed/embarrassed because it took so long to finish them but they are so very awesome. I’m not sure I’ll ever love top-down socks, but these were not so bad once I actually kicked my own ass to finish them.

2010-03-23

March 23rd, 2010 – DeKalb IL
Speaking of OMG PROUD, I freaking love this picture. I took probably 30+ shots when I was trying to get this one, with the pink/red in focus and the white of the church steeple in the background, against all that blue sky. SO COOL. I may have to frame this one just so I can gaze on it forever. I love spring.

Now that it is Tax Day and April is half over, I will tell you that my goal for this month is to get back into the gym regularly (because the Evil Plague knocked me out of my routine for a really long time), choose 12 pictures from last year’s Project 365 and print them out and get them framed, and update this blog at least three more times. This month.

Tonight’s goal: leave work on time, pick up delicious takeout food, and make some gin and juice for my drinkydrink. You know why.

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Which is why they’re going up ahead of my next batch of daily photos.

My Chosen-by-Blog Socks are done! D-U-N done!

DSCF4066

I started these on April 22, 2008 and finished August 23, 2009. Yes, these socks have been in the works for 16 months. I am appropriately shamed.

foot!

This sock (above) was finished first, last year sometime. Then I stalled on the second one, because I wasn’t knitting them at the same time, as is my wont. Apparently I only have 2 sets of 2.25mm / US 1 double points, and one set was tied up in another sock that ultimately died a froggy death because it was too tight. I have learned my lesson and will never knit single socks alone again.

DSCF4067

This sock (above, again) was the second one that got neglected. And by the time I got around to knitting on it again, I had grabbed the wrong pattern like an idiot. (At one point I had downloaded and printed off a bunch of Wendy’s toe-up sock patterns, and for some reason thought I was working on the Toe-Up Gusset Heel, when in reality I had been working from Toe-Up Slipstich Heel) When I realized my mistake I bemoaned my stupidity, cursed my eyes, and threw the socks into the bottom of the workbag.

DSCF4062

I didn’t pick this up until two weeks ago, when Femiknitter was visiting. I had finished most of the baby knitting I was working on (except for the baby blanket, which I’ll talk about later), wanted a simple stockinette project (the better for talking while knitting), and pulled this out. Femiknitter must have some project mojo because every time I have a stalled project around her, I pick it back up and finish it within a few weeks. I pulled back the yarn to where I could start the correct heel and forged ahead like I owned the place.

twisted rib

The pattern is Wendy’s Toe-Up with Slipstitch Heel, and I added three columns of twisted knit stitches along the sides, and topped the socks with 1×1 twisted rib. Delicious.

I wore them yesterday, because it was a little cool for August, and they fit perfectly. Hooray!

Ravelry project page

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One stitch short

I have returned from the delightful cabin trip to Michigan (we were in this general area), and I am happy.

We didn’t spend a lot of time up there, but the time we spent was awesome. We arrived late on Friday, having survived an hour of bumper-to-bumper sitting (during which we saw four teen-ish-age kids running along the shoulder of the highway oh my god. Idiots.). We went to Wick’s Apple House (and I fully expected them not to have a website) while it rained a bit and bought tasty delicious Vidalia onion-tomato-basil salad dressing, and “Bluebarb” preserves. When we got back to the cabin the weather had cleared up so we went canoeing around the lake, which was beautiful and fun. I love canoeing. I got only a little bit of sun, because it was about 5:00pm when we went out, and because I wore my (handmade) floppy sunhat.

There are no pictures of the canoeing. Some of you may remember the wine-glass incident; there is no way I am bringing my camera into a canoe.

I did, however, take pictures of the campfire because I came over all abstracty.

sparks

fire 13

On Sunday we all slept in until after 1:00pm. Maybe after 2:00pm. It was all overcast every time I woke up so I thought it was very early instead of very late, and there were no clocks. I had turned off my cell phone because I couldn’t get service, I didn’t know where other cell phones were, and there were seriously no clocks in the cabin. And it was LOVELY. I woke up first, ate some leftovers for breakfast, read my escapist fiction novel (the third book in this series), and just sat. I didn’t even knit, though I brought two knitting projects. It was lovely to be still, to be quiet, to not think of the many things that have been making me crazy in the past few weeks, and to just look outside and see green trees and a gentle lake.

I think part of my uptightness has to do with a lack of green space where I live. We are in one of four apartments on the second floor of a multi-business building close to downtown, surrounded on all sides by concrete, streets, and other buildings. We’ve been sleeping with our windows open since the weather got nicer — we hear everything, especially the very loud garbage truck that comes TWICE A WEEK OH MY GOD to pick up the trash in the dumpster (by which I mean “smash the dumpster into the ground a lot, very loudly, at 6:00am”) directly outside our bedroom window. This doesn’t make for a peaceful calm. I find that I breathe easier when I go to my parents’ house on seven acres in the middle of farmland, full of trees and green where it is very quiet. The noises there consist of bullfrogs, cattle, and the occasional coyote. It’s amazing.

Of course, another part of my uptightness is that when I do actually get around to knitting, I screw up.

I skipped one
Click through and see the explanatory and highly sarcastic notes

I forgot to knit a stitch on the Chosen-by-Blog sock, thanks to beer and good conversation, and didn’t realize it until about 9 rounds later.

rip rip rip

So I had to rip it back to where I had ignored that one stitch. And that made me a little uptight. As you might have guessed.

Anyhow, I’m back from the Land of Calm and am determined to bring Calm with me. So far (all of three days) it’s been working out pretty well. Deep breaths and forward thinking.

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I’m sorry for the blog silence these past few whatevers! I’m nuttily trying to finish eighteen billion things at once, so this post’s wondertwin power activates in the form of … LIST!

1. Remember this sock?
Rainbow waves sock 1, side 1

I finished the first one. Yeah, it doesn’t fit. I’m a little bit furious about it. Because it’s my fault entirely — I didn’t try the damn thing on (despite it being toe-up! and so easily tried on during the knitting process!) nor did I really swatch (because it’s socks! why would I swatch!). It lies in the “time-out” basket, and I weep.

2. The Chosen-by-Blog socks are coming along. I’m bringing them on my trip. Oh yes…

3. I’m going to Michigan tomorrow for a one-day conference in Ann Arbor, and coming home latelatelate on Wednesday night. It’s a 4.5 hour train ride (that’s one-way) and I’m taking a bunch of knitting. And a whack of podcasts.

4. Holy crap, I haven’t updated my ipod yet. Or chosen my knitting. Or showered. Or packed my bag.

5. The baby blanket
Almost Finished Starghan
and the baby hat
Blueberry Hat
have been given to the expectant mama, and they were a huge hit. Very exciting.

6. I recently bought a new bar of soap, chosen kind of on a whim. I remember having used it before (it’s this soap), but didn’t really remember it. When I got home and showered, I remembered when I last used this soap. It was on a trip to Oxford, England. And that’s extra awesome because I get to visit Femiknitter next week!

And now it is time for me to actually get my shit together and get ready for this conference!

(huge pre-THANK YOU to Mark and Amy for putting me up while I’m in town!)

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Rainbow waves sock 1, side 1

My policy on colors is this: If they don’t immediately burn your retinas, they’re just not bright enough.

Yes, I have been knitting. And much to my surprise, the sock gets longer when I knit on it. Isn’t that odd? I thought so too.

The picture at the top is one side of one sock, and here is the other side:
Rainbow waves sock 1, side 2

Same sock. It started to pool in this highly amusing (to me) way, but after the heel it sorted itself out just fine. The second sock appears to be doing the same, with green on one side of the gusset/heel and pink on the other, and I love it.

The second sock is getting its gusset just now, and may need some minor repair work after last night’s Drink-n-Tink at the bar. I had two delicious beers and now I have an extra stitch on one side, OR I am lacking a stitch on the other side. Either scenario is possible, and I haven’t sat down to check it closely yet. Moral of the story: knit garter or stockinette when drinking, lest ye botch your knitting.

In other news, did you know that being a grown-up is expensive? Houses are expensive, rent is expensive, babies [NO I AM NOT PREGNANT*] are expensive, student loans are expensive… Do we get a break anywhere? Or was the break when we were kids and had no idea what high-priced tragedy was about to befall us? Stupid adulthood. I called two childcare centers in my town today and asked for a quote on newborn care [because I’m a doula and I’m trying to compile resources for clients NOT BECAUSE I AM PREGNANT BECAUSE I AM NOT PREGNANT*] and the cost per week is anywhere from $215 to $245, which translates to $11,180 to $12,740 per year. Madness. I’ll take my childhood back, please.

*The all-caps are for my mother and for Heather who seem to be very interested in the state of my uterus. Almost in a creepy way.

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Green Socks With A Twist

Sorry for the extended blog silence (well, for me). I got busy with these socks, with preparations for teaching two knitting classes this week, and with hating winter with a bitter cold passion (seriously, what is going on with all this snow? And so often?). I’m feeling better now and am tickled to announce…

A Finished Object. Or two? Does a pair of socks count as one FO or two? The deep mysteries of knitting.

Let it be known that I failed utterly in trying to remember my template for FO posts because it has been so fricking long since I last properly talked about a finished project. It occurs to me that all my Christmas knitting projects just kind of got lumped into one “I’m done! And moving on!” quasi-post and never got their own parades. Not that I’m going there now, because … no. Just no. But we shall rejoice because I did finally figure out my FO template, after going all the way back to October 2007.

First we’ll look at the many ways this project tried to eat my brain.
1x1 rib - fug 2x2 rib ktbl
The first 1×1 rib looked like crap, and the 2×2 rib didn’t work out. It both started and ended with k2. FAIL.

But I got back on the horse that threw me and finished the darn things.
perfect pair

Project
Basic toe-up socks. With cable on both sides. For funsies!
On the hoof

Yarn
Koigu KPPPM in some green colorway. The tag with the number is lost, or hidden under a mountain of sock yarn which I have no desire to move.
More cable

Needles
Knit Picks dpn 2.5mm / US 1.5.
stretchy

Pattern
Wendy’s Fingering weight toe-up socks with slip-stitch heel (that’s a .pdf) I love this pattern so much.
The heel oh my god I love it
Because it makes the gusset look like this.

Modifications
The pattern comes in various sizes, and I wanted a size that was between the smallest and the medium-est. So I made up my own numbers for the heel and gusset. It was harder than just changing my gauge, but that’s how I roll, yo. And because I was determined to use up as much of the yarn as possible (one awesome advantage of the toe-up sock method), I worked up to where my calf muscle (the gastrocnemius, and I can’t believe I remembered (a) the medical name and (b) how to spell it) starts and felt it wise to increase two stitches before I started the cuff.
Increases, for the calf
I finished it off with a k1tbl, p1 rib which is pretty and neat and pleases me no end.
the ribbing and the cable

Time Spent
December 21st to February 10th. What the hell is my problem? To make up for the long wait between cast-on and finishing, I wore the socks a full 36 hours straight. That’s how much I love them.

What I Learned
I learned how to make a toe-up sock with a gusset and slip-stitch heel, and that this is my new favorite method of making socks. I learned that I could add features midway (the cable). I learned the suspended bind-off which made my cuffs very flexible. I learned that a 60-stitch sock in fingeringweight on 2.5mm needles with a cable is just a smidge too tight for my feet (I can get them on my foot, but only with some tugging). And I learned that there is a difference between M1R and M1L increases, and that I should have used both of them but didn’t.

I love the bejeezus out of these socks, and the pattern is amazing. Well-written, clear, perfect. Hooray for Wendy!

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I’m going to give you a WIP Wednesday-type post. Because who knows what kind of time I’ll have tomorrow.

Currently, I have two pairs of socks on the needles. Okay, not really. I have one pair of socks and one single sock on the needles.

The pair of socks:
greenish socks
is the greeny Koigu KPPPM purchased I don’t know how long ago (probably a year?) at Wool & Company. The color number is lost forever, and we are sad. 2.5mm needles, 61-stitch sock, Wendy’s Toe-Up with Gusset & Slip Stitch Heel (that’s a .pdf)

Like a meadow of tiny stitches

These aren’t really my colors, but I like them just fine and the yarn was what I had already balled up in two bits ready to start work. It’s just a mindless stockinette sock, which is a perfect foil to this sock…

Hm.
… which is the Synesthesia Sock from Bella Knitting in Cherry Tree Hill (one of their potluck colors, “jewels”) on 2.0mm needles. And let me state that if you knit this sock it will probably look TONS better than my sock, because the pattern is lovely and simple and the chart is clear as day. It’s just the knitter that’s causing the problem.

Not part of the plan

I’m having a really hard time with this project. It started out as a top-down sock, per the pattern, but I couldn’t hack it. I screwed up the pattern on THE SECOND ROUND and had to tink back, which pissed me off, so I ripped it and started it over, toe-up.

I’m knitting it on 2.0mm needles (new for me, and holy hell is there a steep learning curve!) because the pattern is 68 stitches, and my normal stitch count for socks (for me) on 2.5mm needles is 60. (Did I swatch and find that 2.0mm needles were the best tool for the job? Of course I didn’t. That would involve planning and forethought.) And can I just say that performing an innocent k2tog on wee bitty yarn and 2.0mm needles has become the bane of my entire existence.

I have completed one pattern repeat (length-wise, 2 repeats width-wise), and I’m really not sure about it. That bulgy part in the middle is where the 2 repeats meet, and initially I was knitting them on two needles. I’ve switched it to one needle now, but I’m not sure if that’s the answer.

My options are:
1. Keep going, hoping it will work itself out
2. Rip it and start over, this time making an actual swatch
3. Rip it and start an entirely different sock pattern, because this one and I clearly do not have an understanding at all.

Who knows what I’ll actually come up with.

In Other News:
I learned on Sunday night that one of my very best friends, the friend I’ve known the longest (since kindergarten [which I almost typed as “knitergarten”, how cool would that be?]), a non-knitter, is PREGNANT! I get to be an honorary auntie! Now I just have to find patterns that will be appropriate for a California baby in September.

Woohoo!

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