Thank you, Tropical Storm Ernesto.

August 29, 2006

No work tomorrow; the building is closed.

I’m taking work home, but I’m also looking forward to just sitting on my sofa and knitting. Cat, rain, some movie I’ve seen a hundred (or more) times before, knitting. Sounds like a good day to me.

Now I wish I had ordered my yarn for the Simple Knitted Bodice ages ago. Instead, I am still dithering over colors and will not be able to knit on it tomorrow.

Woes, woes.

I love days off in the middle of the week. This is the Florida equivalent of the snow day.


Things that are not knitting.

August 23, 2006

Last night, I didn’t even TOUCH yarn.

I know, I know, it’s hard to believe.  But it is TRUE! Instead of knitting, I made hairsticks.

My hair is kind of ridiculous, so I’ve been trying to do things with it instead of just pulling it back.  Hairsticks are a good option.

Oh, look how steampunk my head is going to be!

Shiny Mud Balls

August 22, 2006

Today, I am utterly fascinated by dorodango. They really are, quite simply, shiny balls of mud. Japanese school children make them.

This article provides more information about their history.

I may need to stop at Home Depot on the way home… to buy some dirt.

In a galaxy far, far away….

August 19, 2006

Hells, yeah.

Are YOU ready for Sock Wars?

I’ve sent in my info and I can’t wait for this to begin. Better get at least one of my own sock projects wrapped up before hand so I won’t feel guilty casting on for yet another pair!


August 17, 2006

I have flipped through Mason-Dixon Knitting. And I wanted to like it, really I did.

You know, it’s just EVERYWHERE in the blogworld.

And while there were some cute things in the book (I am, I admit, enamored of the rag balls), WTF is up with everyone knitting dishcloths?

Is is because they have been labelled “warshrags” (which is just unbearably kitschy)? I mean, I’m southern. My greatgrandmother called them warshrags in a completely unironic way. This just seems so contrived.

And knitted dishcloths? I’m not sure I buy into this idea anyway. I use a scrubby sponge that gets thrown out when it starts to get grungy. I realize this isn’t the most eco-friendly technique, but I also don’t see myself washing a dishcloth after every use, which is what it would take for me to not think the dishcloth was a vile, mold-ridden sop of moisture.

There’s a lot of dampness in the air here, though. Maybe it works for drier climates.

But, seriously. Knit them if you like. But don’t expect me to be impressed by your many, many large photos. It is, essentially, a gauge swatch.

Am I being harsh? Maybe I am. I don’t really like judging other people’s projects. Just… so many dishcloths! Argh!

I am a liar.

August 15, 2006

I am in love.

Seriously, you know how yesterday I said I didn’t knit to relax, that I’m a tense knitter, that my stitches are all mad tight?

That pink and red yarn that I bought on ebay? The big, lovely hank from Over the Rainbow Yarns? It has changed my life, if I’m lyin’ I’m dyin’.

Okay, maybe it hasn’t changed my entire life, but it is SO wonderful and SO amazing that everything I said about being a stressed out knitter does not apply when I am knitting with this yarn.

People, I use metal DPNs because I break the wooden ones in that size. My DPNs are all bent from how tightly I grip them.

But that isn’t a problem here. No, this yarn is soft, it is squooshy, it is lofty, and it is a sheer pleasure to knit.

Obviously, I didn’t get any work done on the Honeycomb Sock. See, I was just going to swatch….

And then I had to wind the whole thing into a ball. And, then, well, I don’t really have any excuse. Just the wonderful rhythm of relaxed stitches gliding across my needles.

Is it time for me to go home and knit some more?

Because Nothing Can Be Simple

August 14, 2006

So, Friday I left work with my yarn and my needles and my good intentions. I was just going to knit a simple sock to try out the Widdershins heel. Nothing complicated. Maybe a bit of ribbing to keep things from getting too dull.

And then I sat down with my lovely round toe and lost my ever-lovin’ mind.

That is the delicious texture of a honeycomb cable pattern. It’s pretty simple; it’s kind of fiddly. It also slows down the knitting by a LOT. There are three plain rows in between each cable row and it’s pretty amazing how fast those three rows go.

That is the bottom of the foot. With perfectly serviceable stripes provided by the self-striping yarn I’m using. What’s wrong with those stripes? Absolutely nothing? Why couldn’t I be satisfied with just those stripes? I have no idea.

You know, I’m complaining, but I’m really only complaining every fourth row. I’m using 5 DPNs to make these and throwing a cable needle in the mix just…. *sigh* Too many needles!

The other thing…. You know how people talk about knitting as a relaxing thing that they do? I don’t knit for relaxation. I knit because it gives me something to focus on other than all the OTHER stuff swirling around in my head. The knitting yells more loudly than the other things over which I find myself obsessing.

This does not make for relaxed knitting. Indeed, one could say, my stitches are kind of tight. Particularly when on a small scale such as, oh, say, SOCKS. So here I have 80 tiny stitches on size 1 DPNs with a cable needle tangling up in things and now I have to cross stitches over each other to form the texture?

What WAS I thinking?

I was thinking that it’s just the coolest, squishy texture ever and it draws the sock up nicely so that it fits wonderfully over all the different planes and angles and curves of my foot. I was thinking that the honeycombs line up almost perfectly with the predetermined length of the stripes. I was thinking that at least I wouldn’t get bored with knitting tons and tons of 4×2 ribbing.

I was thinking that this would make a really neat patternf or the back of the heel flap….

And, really, all my complaints aside, it works up more quickly than I expected. I can’t work on it for too long in one sitting because wrestling the tight stitches leaves dents in my fingers and a suspicious ache between the bones in my hands, but those three magic plain rows make it easy to convince myself to do just one more repeat.

And now I’m at the point where I can begin increasing for my gusset. Now things get even more interesting! I keep reading over the pattern and I think I have a handle on the method of construction, but there’s nothing like actually sitting down and KNITTING it to really see how it works. And I’m already pretty sure that I want to change a few things. I don’t like the make1 increase, so I’ll probaby use a k1f&b, which would be in keeping with the increases on my round toe as well. I like that sort of thing.

So, who knows, this might be a much faster knit than I think!

Of course, I haven’t gotten to the leg portion yet….

The Toes What Knows

August 11, 2006

I started my sock last night. I used a modified round toe.

See, my feet are silly. They are smallish, but wide. And my toes…. My toes are kind of short and stubby. My first toe is longer than my big toe. The rest of my toes aren’t straight across, but they aren’t a nice sharp angle either. I would show you a picture of my toes, but my toenail polish is chipped. And, well, it’s not that I’m obsessive. Or compulsive. Honest. It’s just that chipped toenail polish really bothers me on a fundamental personal level. Okay, maybe I AM a little OCD about it. So, pointy-toed socks? They do not get my love.

Doesn’t it look like a delicious little hat?
Well, it isn’t! It’s a toe! Ha!

The classic round toe calls for you to cast on 8 stitches over 4 needles and then work a plain round. Then you k1f&b in each stitch. Then you work a plain round. Then, because 16 stitches does not make a sock, you k1 and k1f&b, then knit two plain rounds. Then it’s k2 and k1f&b and three plain rounds, and so on from there until you have the number of stitches for which you are aiming.

It’s really pretty.

It’s really pointy.

I, because I fiddle with things, figured out that if I cast on 6 stitches over 3 needles and then limited my number of plain rounds (I use one plain round the first go ’round and then two plain rounds every time thereafter), I could use the same pattern of increases while creating a MUCH roomier toe. It’s still pretty, though not as swirly in texture as the classic round toe, and I just like the rhythm of it.

You might observe that there’s a little ring at the top/center of the sock. That is true. It’s from casting on and knitting a plain round. You can eliminate it by going immediately into your increases, but it doesn’t bother me, so I leave it. For some reason, I think it’s kind of silly and charming. Casting on 6 instead of 8 means I don’t have the little hole that exists in the center of 8 stitches and it means I can increase up to 80 stitches (well, 81, but I leave one increase off and it’s perfect) without really thinking about it.

Yeah, 80 stitches. I have been making socks on 1s and 0s and my foot is really wide. This is one reason I am kind of dreading the leg portion of knee socks. I’m STARTING with 80 stitches and while Grumperina refers to her shapely calves, if she’s complaining about 108 stitches then I’m going to be in for a world of hurt. My legs are fat, people.

Ah, well. Dreams of knee socks carry a stiff penalty of knitting, I suppose.

Not that these are going to be kneesocks. I’ll save that special torture for the pirate socks. I imagine I’ll knit on these until I get tired of them, and then bind off and call it a success. Given that they are going to be (more than likely) a pretty simple ribbed pattern, I’m guessing that I’ll have yarn left over.

At least with toe-up socks, and this new Widdershins heel, I can get the foot out of the way first. The foot of socks is the bane of my sock knitting existence. The leg gets all the fun! While the foot, poor foot, seems like a mile-long slog through the snow.

Not that I’ve ever slogged through snow. I grew up in Atlanta, moved to Thailand, and then moved to Florida where I’ve pretty much lived ever since (except for a few brief Atlanta interludes).

Anyway. The sock, it is calling to me, and I must answer.

Sock it to me.

August 10, 2006

I’ve totally ripped the pirate socks and I’m sitting down and doing something I hate. Math. Well, I don’t hate math, not really, but I hate trying to make numbers work with knitting. Grrr.

In the meantime, I’m going to practice that Widdershins toe-up heel flap. See, I have yarn and everything!

Of course, I haven’t BEGUN the sock yet. But I will do that tonight. The shawl is continuing apace, but I really feel like making socks. Maybe because of the sock yarn I bought on ebay?

Man, that stuff is like a Valentine’s Love Letter to my toes. I can’t wait!


But, seriously, check out these colors!

Now I just have to do the math to make my preferred number of stitches work with the generic Widdershins pattern….

A treat for ME.

August 7, 2006

I just bought this for myself. There was no alternative.

Over the Rainbow yarns on Ebay. They have superwash merino sock yarn!

I can’t wait for this to arrive. I am EXCITED about this yarn.