Monday, January 30, 2012

Moving right along

I snapped this quick photo yesterday afternoon:

I know that generally backlighting is something to be avoided in photography, but for some things I like the effect it gives.

Anyway. This is the second half of that skein of MCN blend that I'm working up into socks - the first one got finished over the weekend, save the kitchenering of the toe and weaving in of ends. I've been working on these socks as I watch the gameplay of Saints Row: the Third, and because of that - and the fact that the Saints' colour is purple - I've come to think of these socks as my Saints socks. I cast on for the second sock yesterday too - twice, in fact, because I borked up the placement of the cable panel. In retrospect, it didn't really matter - socks worked from the top down start out as tubes, after all, so as long as I make sure I place my heel in the right spot when I get to it I'll have the same overall effect. But, at the time I was riding the alarmist wave - This isn't right, oh noes! - and had only worked a couple of rounds anyway, so it wasn't a huge deal to just yank the needles and start over.

In fact, now that I think about it, I still don't think the cable panel is placed exactly right. I think I moved it closer to centre by one stitch, because the pattern has you do this setup in k1 p1 rib, and I think I tried to maintain that setup where I wasn't supposed to, which prompted me to shift the cable panel so that the cable chart could start with a p1. Hm. I may be starting over a third time. Sigh. Edit: I didn't start over again. I figured out that because I'm working my sock over 66 sts instead of the 64 called for in the pattern, some adjusting is needed. Actually, I think there's an error on the chart, because the part that I thought might not need to be maintained as established in the setup round totally needs to be maintained if you want 1x1 ribbing as a result. In any event, did not rip, proceeding with adjustments. All is well so far.

I also cast off the back of my latest sweater adventure last night, and started in on the second sleeve - no pics yet, maybe I'll snap a shot of the existing pieces once they're blocked. I am loving the way it's going so far. I was planning on some quality time with that second sleeve this afternoon, but I think the second Saints sock might be pulling rank so that I can fix that error. The more I think about it, the more convinced I'm becoming that that will be my plan.

Once I get the kitchen cleaned up, that is.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Promises, promises

Yup. So much for blogging more regularly.

But hey, it's only been, what, twelve days? It's still an improvement over my previous lapse.

And look, I've even got a piccy for you:

Okay, I didn't promise it was a good picture - that's what a spur-of-the-moment-after-dark picture looks like. Yes, the colour is a bit off - that's what happens when you use an iPhone in indoor lighting that isn't really set up for photography.

But hey! It's almost a complete sock! Unfortunately, you can't see the bit of neato cabling in that shot - I started to contort myself to get a shot of it, but quickly abandoned the idea. Posing for sock pictures is much easier when there aren't needles poking out of the work.

I'm really enjoying the yarn. It's A Tree Hugger's Wife Soft Sock that I picked up in Juneau last summer, and when I bought it, I had intended for it to become a shawlette or something that isn't socks, because it's a merino-cashmere-nylon blend. I was worried about cashmere content in a sock yarn - worried it might not hold up well as socks.

Clearly, though, I've had a change of heart. For one thing, I reasoned with myself that there's nylon content in this yarn, so that should help on the durability side of things. For another, I told myself that it was perfectly fine to just knit up a nice soft squishy treat for my feet.

I had so thoroughly convinced myself that I went ahead and, um, picked up a few more skeins of MCN blend yarn on a bit of a sale a few weeks ago - not more Tree Hugger's Wife, though, Have You Any Wool Luxe Sock. And I think those will be socks too.

Friday, January 13, 2012

K'done: Catnip Socks


Pattern: Catnip Socks, by Wendy D. Johnson
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label, in Sunset
Needles: 2.25 mm / US 1

Yup. This yarn was originally supposed to be my September SSP socks, and, well, honestly, these are them. Completed in January. Sigh. In my defence, I decided that the first crack wasn't working out to my liking, and had to start over, but that decision came in October, I think - maybe even November. Either way, well beyond when I should have been done with my September socks.

So yes, the SSP, in the end, didn't work out as I had hoped for 2011. All told, I got nine pairs of socks out of the effort - short of the intended twelve. I'm actually okay with that. Twelve was a pretty lofty goal, I think, and I sort of fell victim to a usual sort of routine - I knit socks very happily, but in September something happened and I got a wicked shawlette bug, not sure where from (though I suspect it has something to do with the fact that I had produced eight pairs of socks by that point). Now, I'm not the sort of person who limits herself to a single project at a time, but I found myself reaching for shawlettes much more often than the socks, and well. Knitting doesn't just happen if you don't touch the needles.

But back to the matter at hand.

I like this pattern a lot. The lace was a nice, memorizable eight-row repeat, with four of those rows being 'rest' rows, and no element of it made my teeth itch. You know how executing some stitch patterns sometimes wears on you, and you start really, really, really looking forward to being on the other side of the project, just so you don't have to execute that stitch again? (1x1 twisted rib is a pretty major culprit for me in this department.) I felt nothing of the sort with this pattern. It all flowed nicely, and even once I'd finished one sock, I didn't feel like I needed a break before casting on for the mate. I did ignore the second sock a bit last week, but that wasn't due to annoyance with the pattern, it was more a case of me being gently knocked down by a sweater bug, and anything that wasn't a new sweater for me was sort of offensive.

They're done now, though, and in the sock drawer, so everything's looking good.

I've also wrapped up a sweater recently, and that pretty much takes care of the knits of 2011 - minus that one sweater I started that still doesn't have a complete sleeve. I still want it, and it'll get some attention. Just later.

And yes, I have started something new for 2012 - remember, sweater bug? More on that in another post.

And this time I won't disappear for a whole month before I post again. Yeesh.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bad blogger

Hello there.

It's, erm, been a while, hasn't it?

Just as I was getting some good momentum built up, then I go and disappear completely from this blog for over a month. If anyone out there is reading this, I apologize. Things just got stupid crazy busy at the end of November, and though I didn't stop knitting, I found myself with a real shortage of time to sit down and blog about what I've been up to. I've wrapped up three or four projects since I was last here, but I never blogged them, and I'm honestly not sure if I'll ever get around to blogging them, because now that they're done, they're not really interesting anymore, y'know? I mean, yes, I like them, and I enjoy having the finished product to wear and use, but I no longer feel the urge to really discuss the items.

I successfully defended my thesis, and did up the required revisions for final submission. As of 15 December 2011, I have completed all requirements of my PhD program. I am finally. Done. With. School.

Once I wrapped the thesis up, I had to throw myself into the usual rush of final exams - lucky me, all four of my classes wrote their exams on the same day. In honesty, three of them would have done that anyway, since they were different sections of the same course, but tossing that fourth group into the mix meant that I had a really big pile of marking to tackle within three business days. And then, pretty much the moment after I hit the Submit button for final grade submission for the last group, I tossed a bunch of clothes into a suitcase and took off for a week in Las Vegas with Someone Else, his parents and brother, and my sister.

Oh, and I caught a cold while I was there, and overdid the shellfish (I learned on a trip to Boston a few years back that shellfish consumed several days in a row = bad news) and had a lovely allergic reaction (fever), followed by a near-fainting episode at the Sephora in the Miracle Mile Shops. That was embarrassing. They called security. I had to fill out a report. The security guy suggested that paramedics be called to check me out; I insisted that that was absolutely not necessary, and I was going to be fine. I wonder how many of them thought I was drunk?

Anyway. It's a new year, I'm almost back to normal again - still have some weird stuff going on with my sinuses - and now that there's no thesis hanging over my head, I should have time to pay attention to this blog, and also knit more to provide more fodder for this blog. Which is good, because, well, I like knitting, and as it turns out, I like talking about it like I have a clue too.

To start, though, I'm doing a bit of a self-imposed ban on further yarn acquisitions. I went a bit splurgy on a couple of sales at the tail end of last year, and I have to admit, there is more yarn kicking around this house than I'm really okay with. Someone Else has described the situation as excessive, and while I have pointed out to anyone who will listen that I don't yet have enough yarn to fill a room, or even a large shelving unit, I do have a fair bit, and I'd like to see some of this knit up before more makes its way in.

Besides, my Rav queue exploded, and there are lots of sweaters in there that I would like to add to my wardrobe. Gotta dress appropriately for work and all that.

Which is just fine, because I think I feel a sweater bug coming on.