Sunday, October 29, 2006

October projects-in-progress.

One reason this blog has suffered somewhat is that I haven't had quite as much time for knitting this semester--not as much of the kind of reading that I can knit while doing, only one class I'm comfortable knitting in, and frankly just not enough downtime overall. Fortunately my craft-y urges are kept somewhat satisfied by my job in the theater costume shop, but for a while there my only knitting project was a slow-moving pair of socks. However, last week was Fall break, and I started a couple of new (inexpensive! but also, alas, fairly quick) projects, to wit:

Mitered square rug. Watch me try to take interesting photos of a bunch of squares!

And the close-up:

This one is on hold until I get over to Bi-Mart and get some more dishcloth cotton. I'm almost out of a couple of colors I need more of. I should actually get in gear and do that, though, because it will be nice to have something between my stocking feet and the linoleum when I'm washing dishes.

And, hey, it's dishcloth cotton, making this one of the few knitting projects out there that is almost as cheap as a comparable storebought [whatever]. Sigh.

Fuzzyfeet, from Knitty. Weirdly enough, I bought the exact color of Lamb's Pride specified in the pattern, completely unintentionally. I had it in my head that the originals were green...

These are actually all done except for one toe graft and the felting. I've never fulled knitting before, except for the swatch for these. Adventure time! Maybe I'll do that this afternoon.

And the very-slow-moving socks: Laila's socks, from Folk Knitting in Estonia.

After finishing the second sock, and before frogging half the foot of the first one. My gauge is a bit smaller than the original, so I had to add some extra repeats of the stripe pattern; I decided halfway through the second sock (the upper one in the photo) that it might look better if I worked an extra repeat of the stripe pattern on the foot before doing the larger motif. This turned out to be the case (well, in my opinion), so after comparing them I ripped out a good bit of the first sock and began again:

I'm now quite close to the toe shaping on the re-done sock. I've been working on these since before we moved in September, but I'm not really that slow; I mostly work on them in one particular class, which only meets for three hours a week. They're a good portable project, so I've been trying to make them last.

Also in progress: some kind of flu-with-fever thing that knocked me flat yesterday and isn't much better today. Pretty much all I've been good for is reading/dozing on the couch and, well, making blog posts (with way more typos than usual, though I think I've caught most of them). Thank goodness the paper I thought was due tomorrow is actually due Wednesday...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Oh. Hello again, craftblog.

...long time no see (by the way, I was excited/amused to find out that this idiom has an almost exact counterpart in Chinese. I never used to use it before, but now for some reason it keeps slipping in to my mental dialogue).

I have many excuses I could offer for almost immediately wandering away from this thing, including travel, dead computer, moving (arg), and the start of school with accompanying Big Thesis Project, but I won't try; this is after all a hobby about a hobby and I've only got so much mental energy. That said, I'd rather manage at least a couple of posts a month after this. We shall see.

When we last left our heroes, the Austrian Patterned Knee Socks had made it through a rough patch and were on their way to getting finished. By the time I had grafted both sets of toes, however, my computer had expired (thankfully not for good--a new part set it right again a month later). Yesterday was one of the first days so far to be cool and rainy enough for thick wool kneesocks, and after I'd been wearing them all day it ocurred to me to take some pics.

Cable-y foot.

They are long. I wanted to get a picture of the picot tops, but it's hard to photograph one's own knees in any way that doesn't make them look funny.
Funny-looking knees.

They do sort of make my calves look chunkier, being pretty thick (I suspect the yarn for the originals was thinner than Kroy, but even they seem to have the same effect in the photos in the book). The coy pose is partly because after wearing them all day, I discovered that one of my shoes had got soaked through and bled brown dye on the left sock! The bright side is that my feet stayed so warm I didn't notice the wet. The dye will probably come out--I've had this happen to cotton socks and they came out white again--but grr!

Here's a close-up of the back shaping:
Clearly I need better lighting.


Pattern: "Austrian-Patterned Knee Socks" from Socks, Socks, Socks

Yarn: Patons Kroy, color "Muslin," four balls (well, three and a half)

Needles: Size 0 Inox aluminum DPs

Mods: Two pretty minor things. Instead of sewing the picot hems down after the socks were done, I knitted the cast-on edge together with the stitches of the last plain stockinette row. I left about a 6-stitch section un-joined in case I wanted to turn the hem into a casing for elastic, but so far the socks seem to stay up all right on their own.

I did about half an inch of plain stockinette before starting the toe shaping--I thought the proportions looked better that way.

Notes: There's a mistake in the center back chart (B) of this pattern, a pretty obvious one--the first row of the chart is given as all purls. Fortunately it's pretty easy to intuit what it should be, based on the other three rows of the chart. I also added a row of k2, p2, k2, p2, k2 at the end of chart E (making it 12 rows instead of 11), because it seemed to make more sense to have it there--if you have the book, look at the chart and you'll see what I mean.

I had never done twisted-stitch cabling like this before--this was the first knitting project I'd been intimidated by in a long time, and the first couple of inches were pretty frustrating. By the time I was halfway down the leg of the first sock, I was doing 6-stitch, three-way crosses without a cable needle. So I'm pretty proud of this project, on the whole.