Saturday, September 24, 2011

Slipped

Whoops. So much for my promise of a k'done post for my latest sweater within a week. It's now been two weeks, and not only did I never get around to taking any modeled pictures - or any pictures, for that matter - I also slipped into radio silence.

Sorry. This whole working-for-a-living thing is putting a serious dent in my knitlife.

Today, though, I grabbed my iPhone and snapped a few pics of what yardage I have managed to crank through in the past little while.



This is my September SSP sock. Yup, it's the first sock of the pair. Yup, that's not even a whole leg - maybe a third of what I intend to do? I'm absolutely loving the yarn, which is Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label, in Sunset, and does the knitted fabric ever look like a gorgeous streaky sunset. It's not super obvious in my backlit photo there, but I liked the photo I got, so that's what I'm sharing. More details on what exactly is going on there when the full finished reveal happens. In the meantime, the yarn is lovely to look at, and knits up beautifully, so how come I haven't got more than just this small bit of the first sock to show for myself on the - eek - 24th of September?

Because of a massive sweater bug that hit at the beginning of the month. I'm scrambling a little trying to dress myself for work, and suddenly far more of my available tops are striking me as not quite professional-looking enough for work, so I'm trying to fix the issue by knitting. I know. It's a slow solution, I'd be much better served by just going shopping. The trouble is, there are a lot of sweaters in my queue, and I really want them, and, well. I'm knitting when I can.

In the past three weeks - well, nearly three weeks - I've produced this:



That there is a nearly completed body of Brompton, by Alice Bell. I'm thinking I'll get the bottom hem done up this weekend, but then it'll be set aside for a bit while I wait for some DPNs to do the sleeves - some new Knit Picks Harmony DPNs are winging their way to me, as part of my birthday present from my brother and sister.

I'll just spend some time with my awesome socks, and scheme about which sweater is next.

Who am I kidding? I already know. I've got the yarn wound up, even. I just haven't told you yet.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Whirlwind

Classes have started up - I'm back to work.

And discovering that my stamina has lapsed significantly over the course of my easy-going summer!

I'm relearning how to fit the things a person must do around my new work schedule - including prioritizing eating. The past few days have seen me 'forgetting' to eat my lunch - really what's going on is a failure in organization, so that I don't have a lunch with me at work and don't have time to go fetch one due to class scheduling. Today I didn't have lunch until I got back home again - a little after 4 PM. I'll be working on improving this, promise.

I'd love to be able to tell you that the whirlwind has extended into my knitting, but it totally hasn't. Sure, I started a new sweater for me about a week ago, and have made pretty decent progress along with that - it's Brompton, by Alice Bell, a top-down raglan cardigan, and I've done the yoke and split off the sleeves. I'm about to start my side shaping. My poor September SSP socks have been cast on, but that's really it. I managed to get half of the first round worked, and then I had to put them down, and I haven't picked them up again since. Meep. Plus I have a finished sweater that I haven't taken pictures of yet, so no finished blog post about it yet. That should happen this week, though.

I wore the sweater last week, for my first day of school, hee, and it was great inside, but outside it was sort of hot since it got almost up to 30 C here last Thursday and Friday, and really I was okay until I dropped my car off for a bit of repair work, and the guy suggested I go wait at the nearby Italian café, and they had no air conditioning, and poor air circulation, and boy was it hot in there. Since I was only wearing a camisole underneath, I kept the sweater on, but unbuttoned it, and I was mostly fine, but once the car was ready I had to run a few more errands, so more hot sun beating down on me through glass, and then when I got home the house was on the warm side, and that just sort of finished me off. The sweater came off the minute I got inside. So yeah, no pictures yet.

I'm totally on a sweater kick right now, though. I want more. MORE. I'm having trouble remembering what tops I used to wear to work, which has got me into an I-need-new-clothes mental scramble. While going shopping would probably be much more efficient, I'm chugging away on my current sweater whenever possible, and I've got two or three others lined up in my mental queue - my Ravelry queue is an unordered mess, it's really just my way of bookmarking things I like.

Things are going. I'm trying to keep up and not lose my sanity. Good times!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Treats for me

I didn't tell you. Yesterday was my birthday.

I am now 33 years old.

On my second venture to Make One, last Friday, I scored myself a couple of skeins of gorgeousness - Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label. One skein looks a whole lot like this:



It's just an iPhone picture, so the colour is very likely not quite right, but it looks pretty good to my unsophisticated eyes. That there is Sunset, and it is my September SSP yarn, already halved and wound and cast on for what I expect to be a very pretty pair of socks.

The other skein? Well, I've taken a photo, and I've actually logged it in my Ravelry stashminder, but I'm not blogging it just yet. I'm saving it. I have a treat for now, and it will be a treat for later.

Happy birthday to me.

Monday, September 5, 2011

K'done: Snow Queen Socks

And the SSP count is eight for eight!



Pattern: Snow Queen Socks, by Emmy Coplea
Yarn: Claudia Hand Painted Fingering, in Cabin Fever
Needles: 2.25 mm / US 1



I'm very pleased with the way most of these socks came out. The swirling pretty colours of the yarn worked out very well in the wide ribs. I'm not sure how I feel about the combination of yarn and lace, though - the lace seems to get lost in the yarn. Then again, looking at the sample that was done up in a semi-solid yarn, I couldn't really see the lace clearly there either. Also preventing me from being full-out thrilled with these socks is the fact that I sometimes perceive the lace as being really close to feather-and-fan, which I don't care for. At. All. (Sorry, feather-and-fan lovers. You will not find it here.)

Also, one skein turned out to have more purple to it. Ah, well, thus are the risks of working with handpainted yarns, no?

Admittedly, I only followed the pattern for the lace cuff, then noted that the rest of the sock was worked in those wide ribs, and sort of took it on my own from there. I worked the leg to a length that hits at a good spot on my leg, but with the width of the lace cuff, it looks sort of short. If I were to do this one again, I'd work fewer repeats of the lace - I did ten, and I think five might suit my short legs better.

I also purled the gussets in the round, worked a standard slipped-stitch heel flap over 31 sts, and continued with the wide ribs centered over the foot down to the toe, where I plunked in a row of purls on the instep before moving on to the toe. I figured that those wide ribs would look odd if they just stopped, and I didn't want them to continue into the toe, so I put in a horizontal line to end them. Be warned, though - if you do this with socks that have deeper ribs that draw in more, you may end up with a sock that looks rather phallic without a foot in it. These ones don't, but in my mind's eye, I can see it. If such a thing would offend you, keep that in mind. If such an effect would make you giggle and smile, also keep that in mind.

There's also a small repair on one sock. I was halfway down the foot, and about to set the sock aside for a moment, when I noticed an odd bump in the lace. Now, the unblocked lace is pretty bumpy anyway, but this bump looked different. Turns out, it was a dropped stitch - one of the double decreases somehow became an SSK, and the third stitch was just dropped. I suspect what happened is I borked the double decrease - pulled the new stitch off the needle during the passing over motion - but got distracted by something (phone ringing, doorbell, someone talking to me) and when I looked down again, I saw the two slipped stitches sitting there on my needle, and thought, Oh, SSK, and did that and continued on my merry way. So I never noticed my stitch counts were off, since they weren't, and everything was fine, till I found the bump of that poor live stitch. At that point, I wasn't about to rip out most of the sock to fix it properly, so I did a ghetto fix - I chained the dropped stitch back up to the should-have-been-a-double-decrease, then used a bit of yarn to fasten it to another stitch on the wrong side. Tie a good knot, weave in the ends a bit, done. From the front, no one's the wiser.

Errors and blurry lace notwithstanding, I'm still happy. These are a win for the sock drawer.

Next up? Boy, have I got a treat for me.