Recently in Socks Category

Trekking

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Well, I picked up a few skeins of Trekking a few weeks back... sort of on a whim because I came face to face with it and I know I've heard a lot of mentions of it on the blogs. I'm planning to start a new pair of socks with in in the next week or so. (Gotta wrap up a few remaining holiday things first... hat for my brother, another pair of Fetchings, Regia Jubilee socks I started forever ago before I realized I didn't like self-patterning yarn...) I haven't determined yet what the best pattern is to try for my first Trekking socks. I just want something straightforward, and I'm taking a few basic options with me and also found this Trekking pattern. (I found this scarf, too, and I'm not planning to do a scarf, but I wonder if this would work in Koigu?)

I'm still really itching to try Socks that Rock. Maybe 2007 really will be the year for socks for me.

And then, the special Violet Pink Ribbon colorway by Lisa Souza is very, very pretty... and helps Violet of the Lime and Violet Podcast, which is great.

A Beeton

beeton

The Beetons are done. I ended up doing the picot cast-off on the second one. It was really easy, and I was kicking myself for not taking time to look up the cable cast on the first time around and doing it right the first time around. That, too, was really easy, and I'm glad to have learned how to do it. So, I need to rip out the bind off row of the first gauntlet and do the picot cast-off there. Then they'll be totally finished.

The pic doesn't do the Mrs. Beeton justice. I had on a red sweater, which is sitting on top of the picot edge, so you can't see it here. Sorry.

(It seems almost as hard to get a good photo of mittens on oneself as it does to get good photos of socks on oneself. Odd angles...)

Also... in non-Beeton-related knitting news... but following the sock thread... my Jaywalkers have bitten the dust. Well, more precisely, they got washed... and they don't fit. I'd only worn them once. I got them out of the drawer today and tried to pull them on only to find them shrunken and slightly felted. I was heartbroken. I don't make that many socks, and to find that a pair I'd only worn once is now unwearable was almost beyond comprehension. Lesson learned.

Jaywalkers Finished!

finished socks

My first pair of Jaywalkers are finished. I say first pair because I can see myself making these again if only to watch how a more vibrantly colored yarn would show up in the cool zigzag striping of the Jaywalker pattern. It's a great pattern, it really is. I especially love it when I've finished the gussett decreases and then have half rows of the pattern and half plain stockinette. Those rows just seem to fly by.

So, I finished along with the Knitalong, too. I'm proud of that just because I don't do a lot of knitalongs, and I don't always finish on schedule!

I'm 1/2 a Jaywalker

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jaywalker sock

Well, the first Jaywalker is finished. Do others of you have the experience when you near the end of the sock. You try it on and think "maybe 10 more rows, and I'll be at the base of my big toe." Ten rows later you try it on and again think, "Maybe 10 more rows." And then again. Where do those rows go? They don't seem to add any to the length! Eventually, I got far enough and started decreasing. Because I dropped the number of stitches on the bottom of the foot, I had a bit of adjusting to do, but nothing major. It did end up shortening my toe section a bit. That's okay, but I have to admit that when I put the sock on, the toe area feels a little off. It appears to be long enough, but it feels odd. It also looks really square. I did slip the end one stitch on each edge over. I know from when I used to be on the sock knitters list that many sock knitters recommend that. I don't know why patterns are never written to do that. Similarly, I know the sock knitters list always advocated picking up an extra stitch in the gussets to help eliminate a hole. Patterns never say to do that. Am I the only one that always seems to need to pick up 1 to 2 more stitches than the pattern states (1 to 2 stitches more than half the number of heel rows)? It doesn't seem possible that it's just me!

Still, all in all, it's a really pretty sock. I was out signing up for the Jaywalker Knitalong (a bit belatedly, but I'm only halfway done), and I nosed around in the gallery at Grumperina's for a bit. Almost instantly, I spotted another pair of Jaywalkers in the same yarn/colorway. Oddly enough, her colorway worked out much differently than mine - much more striped. I'm sure it's related to how many stitches hers used compared to mine.

Oh, and be sure and take a look at this pair. I LOVE this colorway. I have some Regia Nation in the Italia colorway (red/green/white), but I've never seen this great rainbow version. Very cool. (Hmmmm... I just linked through to Carodan Farm for the Italia link, and I see colorway #5399. I wonder if THAT is the rainbow color? I'm going to have to do some searching around and find out. I think rainbow socks would be very cute, and I love the wide stripe.)

By the way, after reading so much about Socks Rocks at January One, where do you buy it? Is it a yarn only sold at fiber festivals?

http://alison.knitsmiths.us/blog_sockapaloooza.htmlsignups are already over. I read about it at Christy's in time to sign up, but I think it's just not "me" right now. For those of you that missed out, if you're looking for another sock thing, you might consider the Red Hot Sizzling Socks knitalong.

Knit Reads

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bookbookbookbook

I need, need, need to get some photos up here, but a fire in my babysitter's house foiled my plans for a few free hours today. Not much I can say about that. One week her brakes went out. One week a beam fell on her on stage after a play. Just a string of bad luck!

I have been getting in a good bit of knitting in the wee hours. My Shoalwater shawl is coming along. I'm a stone's throw away from finishing the first skein of yarn, in fact, and I'm mid-way through the third repeat of four. Since the rows are, of course, getting longer, that doesn't really mean I'm halfway, probably, but it is coming along.

My Jaywalkers are also coming along. I thought I was making them for M because she loves the yarn I'm using. And that was okay with me. I would have picked a more color-laden colorway for a pair for me. But, after I turned the heel and started on the gusset decreases, it became clear that the sock doesn't have enough stretch to be a good fit for her. It's actually really tough for me to get it pulled over my heel (I must have a prominent heel!), but once on, it's a fine fit for me, maybe even a tad loose. So, they'll have to be for me. I'm glad I determined that when I did because I went ahead and decreased the foot down several more stitches to make the foot tighter. Had I not done that, it might not have fit anyone!

Mom and M both put "socks" on their "make for me" list for this year when I was making a rough outline of things I know I want to work on (potentially) this year. It's hard though. M ends up hard to fit. And I'm not sure either are really going to like handknit socks. M only wants stockinette. She says she doesn't like ribbing on top or bottom of the foot. But it seems to me like ribbing would help the fit. Sigh.

While I was home, I read A Good Yarn by Debbie Macomber (sequel to The Shop On Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber). It was a fun, even if slightly unbelievable. That it centers around knitting excuses a good bit of fluff and lightness and made it really compelling. That they were making socks in this one had me hooked! I loved how "special" the socks they made were - and how much the recipients (men in each case) loved getting them and wearing them. The socks, for more than one of the wearers were considered "lucky," and in each case, the socks had special significance and were sentimental in a way handknit items should be - but in a way I guess I don't think of socks being - which is probably why I haven't made many socks for other people. That all the recipients were men was also funny because I received Nancy Bush's Vintage Socks for Christmas and had to admit to being a little disappointed that so many of the patterns are for men. It's just not a good fit for me - now. Give the boys 10 or so years, and maybe it'll be just right... if I can raise two boys who will be young men who treasure handknit socks! Seems like a big if! Hats, yes. Socks? Not sure!

After I finished that, I turned to my stocking stuffer read, Died in the Wool : A Knitting Mystery by Mary Kruger . Again, it's light. It's not Patricia Cornwell or James Patterson. Instead, it's light like Lillian Jackson Braun. That doesn't mean it's not a good read though. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can't help reading these books and dreaming of owning my own yarn store, and that Kruger's store owner lives in Freeport Maine made things all the more perfect (since M and I have always coveted the idea of moving to ME and opening a shop). I have to admit that I can't quite picture the kinds of designs Ariadne in the book designed and wore. At times, I sort of had the "ooh, I can picture what she's got on, and I probably wouldn't get near it" reaction to what I was reading, but then, I don't have enough sweaters to my name to wear something I "made" everytime I leave the house! The treatment of the Internet and pattern piracy on the Web also is a bit niave, simplistic, and trite, I'd say, but again, it's a compelling read, and I'm looking forward to the next one coming out this Spring.

Mom got Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton in her stocking and just finished it. She said she felt a lot of things were left hanging, but it's possible the story line is continued to some degree in the sequel: Needled to Death.

I'm sure she'll bring it along when she comes to visit this year. For now, though, I'm completely wrapped up in Sinner : Wayfarer Redemption #4 by Sara Douglass. I got Pilgrim: #5 for Christmas but somehow never had read #4 when I got it last year. I'm totally engrossed now and can't imagine why I didn't read it sooner. I'm also thinking I really should go back and read the initial trilogy again just to re-experience it. So many things are brought up in book #4 that I'd forgotten, and the magic of reading those first three is floating around in my head. Some books are just like that.

By the way... I'm still hoping to catch up on reading some of the classics I missed, but I'm also going to watch a few of them. This 6-DVD collection from my brother for Christmas should help.

Foiled by Mermaid Socks; Onto Jaywalker

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mermaid sock

More superstitious than is probably healthy and big on personal ritual and tradition, I always try and start something new on New Year's. Because I started the Shoalwater Shawl mom gave me before Christmas, I didn't want to start something too involved on top of that. Socks seemed like a good compromise, and M gave me two beautiful skeins of Knit Picks Sock Garden in Geranium.

After flipping through a few books, I deided to swatch for the Mermaid Socks from Lucy Neatby's book. I've always thought they were so cool, so it sounded like a good first sock for the new year. I ended up not actually getting started, and having always heard that what you do on New Year's you do all year long, I'm worried a year of swatching lies ahead. As I told Mom though, if I'd started something, it could mean a year of 'starting,' which also sounds iffy. I think maybe next year I need to have something to finish and to start on New Year's! Crazy.

At any rate, I cast on the next day, but after getting started, the cuff was just gigantic. Makes no sense. I swatched 7 st/inch on 1's and cast on with 2's. The directions say to cast on and work w/ a needle 1 to 2 sizes larger than swatch. I did a quick blog search from the couch, courtesy of my very cool new Palm T/X and saw someone else who mentioned similar trouble. If I drop to 1's for the cuff, I guess I'd need 0's later? I don't even own 0's. But I'm not sure dropping to 1's would make enough difference anyway. Looking at the photo, the wavy part of the cuff looks very short. Mine is two to three times taller, so something is clearly amiss.

Giving up on that sock (for now), the Jaywalker (from MagKnits) caught my attention. I first saw mention of it on Christy's site, and then I ran into it somewhere else, followed the link, and found that I'd stumbled onto a huge blogger craze in the new year. Okay, I'm in.

I think I probably should have made a New Year's resolution to knit "smarter," so I didn't spend so much time ripping things out and putting them back on the needles. I've messed up my Jaywalker more than once already. I think I'm on track now. The first time though (and I post this publically in case some other poor soul does the same thing and logs on searching for info on why her or his sock isn't working), I didn't read the double decrease info carefully enough even though I must have read it a dozen times. I slipped my two stitches one at a time and then passed them over one at a time. It does look different when you slip them together and pass them over together.

I'll post photos soon. I just finally got my Palm T/X synched to my main computer and was able to pull this blog entry from 1/3/06 off so wanted to go ahead and post.

Out with the Old...

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finished socks

and in with the new! Or so the saying goes. This year, in preparation for welcoming the New Year with a new project, I took my Lorna's Laces Knit Happens socks, in progress, home with me for the holidays. I'd finished the first sock but had just gotten started on the second. Luckily, I had just enough time to make good progress on it before I opened any of my new and fabulous knit-related presents, so I finished the knitting of the sock on the 30th. All it needed was kitchenering of the toe, which I saved until the 31st after we arrived back in SF. It was with great pleasure that I finished up the sock on New Year's Eve and then got to wear the pair on New Year's Day.

This yarn was from my wonderful Secret Pal last year, and I just love the color of it and the way it worked up. It was my second experience with Lorna's Sock Yarn. My first was M's bee-striped socks last year. Both times, I've had a really good experience with the yarn. I know some of you don't like it and the way the color works. I didn't seem to have any issues with this colorway. The socks match really nicely. There are a few oddly dark lime spots here and there, especially in the second sock. But, otherwise, they turned out beautifully.

I wore them all day on New Year's Day and, worried about ruining them, I kept my shoes on all day, too, so that I didn't unnecessarily add wear to them running around the house with the kids. I was shocked and disheartened when I took them off at the end of the day to see some signs of fuzzing and wearat the edges of the heels. (Already!!?!?!) The only thing I can figure is that somehow my current favorite Nepalese Birkenstock clogs are hard on the heels. Unfortunately, I only wear Birks...

Despite feeling sad that my hard work was already marred to some extent after one wear, I'm proud to have finished them. 2005 was largely a sockless year for me in terms of knitting. I had gotten really into socks in 2004 and thought I'd ride a tidal wave of sock knitting in 2005, but it just didn't happen. Hopefully, finishing up this pair is just the incentive I needed to kickstart my sock knitting again. Mom and M both proclaim to want knitted socks next year!

Pattern info...

    Pattern: Cable Rib Socks
    Designer: Erica Alexander
    Source: Interweave Knits, Spring 2005
    Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, Knit Happens Colorway
    Needles: Addi Circular 1's and 2's

Lilly P Socks

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ll pink-green

Lilly P socks for me, indeed, in the exclusive Knit Happens colorway of Lorna's Laces sock yarn, thanks to my Secret Pal 5. I debated for a while about which socks to make. The one problem I have with the zillion sock patterns out there is with gauge. I do swatch for sweaters, but I find myself unwilling to swatch for socks, and yet every sock seems to have a differnt gauge. It always frustrates me to find a pattern I want to make but discover it's at a gauge that doesn't seem right for me even in the same weight yarn. That's what happened with the Dublin Bay socks. At first I was perplexed by the number of stitches cast on until I realized the pattern calls for a much tighter gauge than I typically get. Since I feel like my history with handknit socks is that mine tend to be a bit on the "too big" side, I kept looking. I finally settled on the Cable Rib Socks by Erica Alexander in the Spring 2005 issue of Interweave Knits. They're a basic ribbed sock but with an elongated cable down each side. They're worked in a solid in the magazine, but I decided they'd be a good choice for this variegated since there's only a little cabling.

The cables down the side, in fact, are very subtle. Still, these are going to be pretty socks. The yarn is almost striping, but not totally. When you take in the whole sock, there are bits of zigzags of lime that break up the striped effect. It's very pretty. Very garden-inspired. I've kept these in a bag by my chair, and I pick them up now and again and do a chunk. The repeat is 10 rows long, with only one of those 10 involving a cable, so it's a very easy pattern to work on.

They are going to go perfectly with my very cool, impossible to resist, new pink Mary Jane Birkenstocks.

Hark the Jubilee

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jubilee sock
I'm still having hand problems, but when it's loose enough to knit a bit, I've been working on a really basic sock out of some Regia Jubilee I bought last year. And I do mean basic. I think, in fact, it may be the first stockinette sock I've ever made.

While I was really jazzed last year when I first spotted the release of this yarn (I went so far as to buy three colorways of it), what I've discovered in working on this sock is that I really don't like self-patterning yarn as much as I like traditional variegated. I like the play of color more than I like this kind of forced patterning. I probably would have done a ribbed sock, but I wasn't liking how the patterning looked in the ribbing at all, so stockinette it is.

Ultimately, the stockinette really showcases the yarn best. Plus, it's probably the easiest on my hand at this point. I'm using Lucy Neatby's basic Simply Splendid sock pattern. So far, so good. I did lose focus on the heel turn and had to do it several times. In part, I wasn't paying close enough attention to the way the pattern was written in terms of how many stitches/repeats/etc. for each size. Her patterns cover many sizes, which is great, but when a few of the sizes dropped off, it took me a few minutes to realize that my size was no longer #4 but now was #1.

My Charlotte's Web is finally blocking on the table (right now), so I should have a finished photo tomorrow. I still had some trouble blocking even though I soaked it overnight. I think I may just not have the knack for blocking!

Tots and Spots

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An outbreak of head to toe rash on Saturday following a week of super cranky baby (which we were attributing to cutting molars) has left the house (and nerves) in an uproar. He was a bit spotty on his belly Saturday morning, and then the spreading began. Three hours later, as I was pacing around the ER with him, he was getting more rashy by the minute... arms, legs, hands, feet. My baby was turning into a red blob.

At first they determined it a non-specific viral rash. Then they decided it was hand, mouth, and foot - also a viral rash, just one with a name. Reading up on HFM, it didn't seem to really match what we saw, especially since that chiefly appears on the named areas and sometimes buttocks. His was much more all-over and not blistery. By Monday, much of the rash had cleared and calmed. His face, which was the last area to show the rash, was then the worst, and he was still really irritable and short-fused.

Today, Wednesday, it seems to have all totally passed.

I really intended to knock out a chunk of my Must Have sleeves over the weekend, but I didn't. I just wasn't 'into' working on them. I won't finish by my birthday next week, but that's okay. I've sort of consciously decided not to finish. That doesn't mean I won't still end up making the mad dash this coming weekend to finish, but I'm not planning on it.

I tried working on the Climbing Roses stole some. It is slow going. My only experiences with lace thus far have been on needles size 5 or larger, and I fell in love with lace, the idea of lace, and the process of lace. Unfortunately, my love affair may have been shortlived.

Working this project on 1's is painstaking, and I'm not one who shies away from 1's, after all, my socks are almost always on 1's. The bamboo may be causing some of the problem as the KnitPicks Shimmer feels sticky on them. The yarn is hard to slide, and working standard k2tog stitches is incredibly tedious. I think the needles just aren't tapered enough for this lace weight yarn. So, I'm not enjoying the knitting. I'm not ready to give in though. It's my first lace weight project, so I'm trying to give myself some leeway and the chance to find a rhythm with the project. I'm hoping once I get another repeat done, I'll be able to see the lace pattern more clearly... and fall in love.

While my own knitting feels stilted right now, I've spent a lot of time yarn hunting online. Mom's coming next week, and on our trip to LEGOLand, she and M. both want to work on a Clapotis. We do have a long car ride ahead (one of us squeezed between car seats in the back), so it's possible some car knitting will get done. That's not M's style, but Mom and I might get something done. Neither of them believes me when I tell them Clapotis is really an easy knit, so this way they can do it together. Mom isn't sure she wants to make her first one out of Lion and the Lamb. Had she, I wanted to give her the yarn for her birthday. I had spotted what I thought might be the perfect colorway... Valentine. Looks like a perfect Red Hat colorway, and Mom is the 'queen' of her Red Hat club. (In further looking, other Lorna's colorways, like Miata, also seem to have the red/purple thing going. I'd have to see one in person to really know, I guess.)

If you have a red-hatter in the family, KnitPicks also has an Eros-style yarn in a Red Hat colorway and a simple shawl pattern for it in their May catalog.

In poking around on eBay and yarn sites, I was again stunned by how many beautiful colorways of Lorna's there are. Just amazing! I think I could work my way through Lorna's colorways in sock yarn and be pretty happy. I also spotted a few small projects perfect as a cluster of to-do items for M's birthday.

So, I wrote much of this entry earlier in the week. It's been in my Palm, tucked away on the back of the bed, so it didn't make its way to the blog.

In the interrim, my hand/wrist is acting up, so I'm having a lot of trouble using my right hand at all without a lot of pain all the way down to my fingers. Probably a tendon flare, but really frustrating. I went ahead and knitted some on a sock last night, which M argued was really silly since the gripping motion especially on the small needles likely aggravates the problem. She's right, no doubt. So, I'm trying to take a break.

Crazy how when you know you should 'not' knit is when you want to most!

iPod socks

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ipod socksLast Friday after M and M's swimming lesson, we went out for Mexican and then walked around the mall. I'd ordered the iRiver wireless FM tranmitter for my car (underwhelmed with it so far), but I realized after the fact that I really needed the Belkin cupholder cradle. So, we stopped in at the new Apple store. Wow! Talk about a ton of accessories. They had great cases, including a cool pink leather one which almost came home with me (and someday probably will). One of the cutest things I saw was the six-pack of iPod socks. Just adorable. No, you wouldn't have access to the controls while it was wearing a sock, but they are cute beyond belief. I might have to whip one up!

ipod socks

Too Big or Too Small

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I canít believe itís June 1 today. Time to flip the calendar over and start marking off school days in one color, swimming days in another, music days in another. Already there are notes on many days for doctorís appointments, hair cuts, and then the week when my mom will be here and weíre heading to LEGOLand. (Yeah!) Iíve never been much of a calendar person, but suddenly this year the tides of time have swung a different direction, and Iím caught up in a calendar tailspin, and we lead relatively calm and decidedly not overscheduled lives.

I feel like Iíve been knitting in spits and spurts, but I have nothing to show for it. First Iíd started a pair of socks from Knitting on the Road in purple Lornaís Laces. They were looking really pretty but seemed way too small. So I frogged those. I was going to start a pair from Lucy Neatbyís Cool Socks book the other day in the car in between dropping Matthew off at school and taking Spencer to music. Having made Meganís New Yearís socks from Lornaís Laces, I knew my gauge with the yarn, but I didnít know my ankle measurement, so I couldnít even figure out what I needed to cast on. I happened to have Knitting on the Road with me in the bag that day, too, and the Conwy socks call for Lornaís, so with a mental shrug, I figured what the hay. The book is full of great socks, and those are cool and pretty, too, with their cabled legs.

I just wanted a pair cast on that I could work on in off moments, something easy to pick up when working on my Must Have wasnít possible. I started them and worked on the ribbing in the car. I then picked them up late the other night only to find that the stitch pattern is really complicated. Not in terms of understanding it, but in terms of physically doing it. Itís not easy knitting. I was having a heck of a time doing what was necessary, and you have to do the tough stitches every other row and like every two stitches all the way around.

Since that clearly wasnít providing the restful knit I was hoping, I grabbed a skein of Regia Jubilee that Iíd started and frogged last fall and cast on the other night figuring Iíd do something basic since thatís a heavily self-patterning yarn. But, I always overthink and rebel against Ďbasic,í so instead of a simple 2 x 2 or even 2 x 3 rib, I started doing seed panels separated by close rib panels. I worked on it again last night and just felt like I wasnít liking how it looked. So, I ripped that out last night, too, before falling asleep.

So, no socks in the works yet, although I havenít actually frogged the Conwy ones. I want to give that pattern a shot in daylight to see if itís really as tough (for me) as it seemed the other night.

My other failed attempts have been for a Bottomís Up Bucket Hat. First, I was going to make Spencer one to give the pattern a try. I cast it on and frogged it after maybe 10 rows because it just looked huge. I then cast on (using a different yarn) for myself using an Addi 6. Again, it looked huge. But, itís the brim. It will logically be bigger than the hat and draw in when you get past the brim. It drew in but not enough. When I was switching over to the 7ís, after doing all the decreases and dropping to one yarn, there was a moment when I had parts of it on each circular and could see how bit it was.

Think toilet seat cover. Think steering wheel cover. Think shoulder shrug.

All of those things would be closer to the reality than a hat.

I have photos of the hat's demise, but they are too depressing to even show. After pulling it off the needles, I laid it on the floor by a measuring tape. Please don't choke on your laughter when I say it measured out at 58 inches.

And, yes, Megan and I both modeled it as a shrug or the start of a poncho or something similar.

What on earth went wrong? I donít know. (Okay, I didn't swatch.) The only thing I can figure is that with the cotton, my knitting was just too loose on the metal circular. It didn't feel overly loose. The finished product doesn't look really loose. But, I do tend to use bamboo more these days, except for socks, for which I do use Addis always.

I knew Iíd read many complaints from bloggers about working with the doubled cotton for the brim. My mom, too, had said sheíd had trouble with the double stranded section hurting her hands. I didnít really have that trouble. Guess that should have been my first warning that something was wrong.

I should just give up on this hat and call it a wrap. But itís like a record stuck in my head now. I think I have to make it. Unfortunately, I donít have the right needles in bamboo. I need a 16Ē 6 and 7. Or, I might even need to drop to a 16Ē 5 and do the body of the hat in a 6. (If youíre thinking I should swatch, youíre right.)

With all the needles I have (and I feel like I have a TON of circular needles), I couldn't put my hands on these sizes/lengths over the weekend. So, I need to run to a yarn store. I am strange, I guess. I hate to go in just to buy needles. I feel sort of like an interloper. But, I also want Bryspun needles in sizes 2 and 7 for projects I have planned, so a needle run seems inevitable. [Update: Needles ordered!]

I did pick up my Must Have a few times and am working steadily up the back. I havenít given it the attention itís needed though, for sure, although Iím still hoping for completion by June 23 since Iím hoping to start two new projects the week of Momís visit.

Bye Bye Bees

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Here's a picture of the finished Crenellated Socks in Lorna's Laces Bee Stripe Shepherd Sock yarn:

bee socks

I'm modeling them here. We've got very differently sized feet and calves, but they fit me, too. So, if she ends up not wearing them, I guess they'll move to my personal sock collection!

They turned out not so bad, huh.

Bee socks go buzzing by

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Rather than make myself crazy trying to finish My Charlotte for this weekend - and still risk not getting it done - I reconciled myself to the fact that it won't be done. It's not really a big deal. Having reached that conclusion. I turned my attention to Megan's second bee sock. Since the bulk of it is basic stockinette, it's a mindless knit and went quickly. Here it is. I'm ready now to pick up the Turkish Heel.

sock

These bzzzers are soon to be a honey of a pair of socks (or a pair of socks for my honey).

Crenellated Sock

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I finally finished the first of the Crenellated Socks for Megan in Lorna's Laces Bee Stripe using the pattern from Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks, Warm Feet. If you'll recall, these were the socks I started on January 1 as my "it's a new year" project. They are also my first toe-up sock and my first Turkish (or afterthought) heel.

bee sock bee sock

I can't say I love the sock.

I can say I think it's fairly ugly. I do like the yarn itself in terms of knitability and hand. But I'm not fond of the coloration. I know Megan was hoping for wider striping when she selected it. So, that's one thing.

I also can't say I love the toe-up process. I much prefer cuff down. Now that I've tried toe-up, I can say that. I didn't know that for sure before.

Part of the trouble here may be that when it came time to choose how to position the toe, Megan selected the triangle toe rather than square. I think it looks odd, and it feels a little funny under my foot. I think if we'd gone square, it might have worked out better.

(Note: I was thinking that maybe I can just pick up stitches about 2 inches down from the toe, rip out the toe, and work it as if I was doing a normal toe on a cuff-down sock. That would work, right? I'm going to go ahead and make a matching sock #2 first. But if it ends up that the toe is a sticking point, I'll rip out both and do them again the other way.)

I can say the afterthought heel was an interesting experiment. I liked the process. I was a bit skeptical as I knitted in the waste yarn and then kept knitting up the foot. But it all worked out nicely. I did consult both a Socknitter's reference and The Keyboard Biologist Knits for sustenance before I started the heel.

I got concerned when reviewing Neatby's directions when I saw something along the lines of "don't worry - you'll have big gaps here" and then in the finishing instructions "now neaten up the gaps."

I like sock patterns that take care of the gaps as much as possible during the knitting rather than going back at the end and taking extra steps to hide holes.

The other sources I looked at all pick up a few stitches in the corners to help alleviate gaps. For some reason, Neatby doesn't.

I did, and that worked out okay.

The rate of decrease for the heel that I used, however, wasn't fast enough. I still had several rows to go when I had M. try it on and found it was already too long. I took out about 7 rows and did the decreases on every row from there on in, and it turned out great.

I like the fit of it, actually.

I think I like the process of the other kind of heel better. But this does fit really nicely.

The garter cuff doesn't thrill me, but then, for myself, I probably don't lean toward cuffs anyway. But M. picked this one, and it turned out nice. The crenellated (picot) bind-off is a cool touch and worked out great. Sort of fun. Sort of unexpected. Sort of funky. Definitely different.

Again, there's not a lot to say except it's an ugly sock. But it's a sock full of "firsts" and adventures in sock knitting - which makes it a good thing regardless!

I went ahead and cast on for sock #2 so that I didn't allow myself the chance to talk myself out of it.

bee sock

Now, maybe, I can consider starting a sock for myself from Knitting on the Road. I do keep a number of projects going at once, but I haven't ever had more than one pair of socks going at a time before. (I don't know how Christy manages it!) But, I think this time, I need a break from the bee stuff and want to work on something I think I'll like!


In other news...

  • I did order the Street Smart pattern booklet for the Must Have Too Cardigan that's making rounds. I can't get it out of my mind, and I really want to start working on a new (as opposed to something started but in the closet) sweater right now. So, hopefully that will get hear by the end of the week so I can get going.

  • My Charlotte is coming along. The auction is March 5, so I've got to get a move on to get it finished in time since wearing it to that is my goal.

  • I love Theresa's iPod stocking and think I'm going to have to make one for my (nameless) mini.

  • I haven't listened to it yet, but I'm anxious to check out Marie's Knitting podCast.

  • I picked up the new Interweave, the old Vogue (so I'd have the flower trellis felted bag pattern), and the British Knitting (Feb. issue - check out the great red cabled zip-up on the cover as well as adorable intarsia heart cardi on the inside) while doing a bookstore run in the rain over the weekend.

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