Friday, July 26, 2013

TdS 2013: round 6, day 6

Presenting, knitting that actually looks like socks!

I have since finished that first foot tier triangle. Three more to go, then the toe, then my first Tour de Sock is all wrapped up! Exciting! But also sad.

I have to go run a couple of errands now, but I should be back in under two hours. Then, knit knit knit!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

TdS 2013: round 6, day 5

Slow and steady isn't going to win me the race here, but it should get me over the finish line.

Finished the leg tier, and the first heel tier triangle, and got the second cast on. I'd like to have the heel done today, leaving just the foot (ha - 'just the foot'!) for tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

TdS 2013: round 6, day 4

Woot - one sock is done!

And look at that - I even got the cuff and the first triangle of the second sock done too!

Since that pic was snapped, I've added a couple more triangles. One more and the leg tier is done. Ideally, I'd get the triangles of the heel tier done today too. But, in just a bit here I'll be popping out to the grocery store to pick up a few things for tonight and tomorrow night. And, I've spent a bit of time with an academic book today; I should put in a little more time to take what I've learned from it and figure out how to use it to my advantage. Plus, there will be company for dinner tonight - my family - which means we'll likely watch a movie, which means some lost knitting time there.

So I may not get as far as I'd like.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

TdS 2013: round 6, day 3

Man. This pattern is fun, but it isn't quick.

At least, it's not quick for me. Seems I'm not the only one - while there are some finishers already, there's only about a dozen or so finished pairs.

I'll definitely get this first sock done today - only two triangles left, plus the toe. Ideally, I'd get through a good chunk of the second sock today too - I'm aiming for getting the leg triangle tier done. I should be able to get at least the cuff done.

Monday, July 22, 2013

TdS 2013: round 6, days 1 & 2

Whoops. I didn't get a chance to get day 1 up yesterday. Can you tell it wasn't a particularly sockracey weekend?

Day 1:

That's a cuff, two completed triangles, and the beginnings of the third triangle.

Day 2:

That's a completed leg tier (that is, I finished triangles three and four), along with the first triangle of the heel tier.

Now, the big question - with the next six hours all to myself, can I finish sock #1? I have high hopes, but they might be a bit too high. Tune in tomorrow to see!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

K'done: Little Deschutes Socks

Round 5 is done done done!

Pattern: Little Deschutes, by Kirsten Hall
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tonal, in Springtime
Needles: 2.25 mm / US 1

Psst. You know what?

These socks have cables.

I know. Duh, right?

These socks were my slowest on the Tour - even though my finish with the Chicane socks was a closer shave in terms of meeting the deadline, that was largely due to lost knitting time. These socks did not suffer any major time losses. I was just really slow with them. Apparently, even though I cable without a cable needle, I cable slowly.

Also, I ktbl slowly. That didn't help overall speed any - there's a fair bit of ktbl in these socks. Like, all over the heel flap.

Still, even though it was sort of slow going, I thoroughly enjoyed the actual knitting - watching the cables develop and admiring all their elegant twists and turns. The charts are large, and a bit intimidating, but there's a logic to the way the cables go, so once you get into the swing of it, you can be less obsessive about consulting the chart. That being said, there's no memorizing of the chart - no real repeat - so you do have to be a chart slave for pretty well the entire sock.

The colour of the yarn is toned down in a lot of these shots, thanks to the white balance of my iPhone, but the socks are a really vivid green. Like, acid green. A big pop of different colour for my sock drawer!

Also, another item I can wear for St. Patrick's Day.

If I were to do this pattern again, I'd change out the heel flap fabric - it's done with alternating rows of twisted and plain knits, I'd replace that with slipped stitches, I think - and I'd widen the heel turn just a tiny bit, it seems a bit pointy as written.

And so, my pile of finished Tour socks grows by another pair. Only one left to go!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

TdS 2013: round 5, day 6

Today's the day - I can feel it!

Only 7 rounds left to go with the chart, then 32 rounds of foot, a final round to close off the centre cable, and then the toe.

I'm postponing some work for this. A hardship, I know.

Let's get 'er done!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

TdS 2013: round 5, day 5

Progress? What progress?

It's there, I swear it is. Tomorrow's shot will be a bit more obvious.

Monday, July 15, 2013

TdS 2013: round 5, day 4

Hey lookit!

I finished the first sock yesterday! And started the second! And got halfway through chart 1!

I'd like to get the heel turned today - I think that'll put me in a good position to finish tomorrow. Think I'll make it?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

TdS 2013: round 5, day 3

It doesn't look much different from the day 2 photo, does it? Yesterday was not so much with the knitting time. Today should be better. I think. Hopefully I'll cast on for sock #2!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

TdS 2013: round 5, day 2

Yup, I am definitely moving more slowly.

Friday, July 12, 2013

TdS 2013: round 5, day 1

A very sockracey day 1 saw me produce this:

A-yup. Part of a leg. Not the entire thing. I still have 10 rounds to go until I start the heel flap. Definitely slower than other rounds. But I bet you can see why, too. Cables. Cables! CABLES! It's a fun pattern, with really faboo results, but oh man. I am not fast with all that stitch manipulation.

We'll see how much I can get done today. I'm going to get myself to the heel flap, stop to do a bank run and a grocery run, then I'll continue on from there. Should be able to get into the foot today, I think. I hope. I'm pretty sure I won't finish sock #1 today. It sure would be nice if I could, though!

Monday, July 8, 2013

In the rain

It's raining again today.

Here I am - all caught up, work-wise, until after tomorrow's Skype meeting, waiting till Thursday for the next round of the Tour de Sock, and I even cleaned up the kitchen detritus yesterday. There's some laundry hanging over my head, but it's not urgent, and I suppose I could vacuum the house, but meh. That's feeling not particularly urgent right now too, even though it hasn't been done in rather a long while.

No, the drizzly greyness outside is making me particularly lazy. I think I'll give myself a manicure, then hunker down for some knitting, or maybe some video game playing. I have some new stash to catalogue too - maybe that'll also happen today. I got some added over the past few days - my Rav stashminder is now up into the triple digits now. Is there a club for that?

I did start a new video game knit over the weekend, but I may end up pulling out part of it and redoing it. It's a bit of an experiment in short rows, and I think I may want to rejigger how short my short rows are. I think I made them too long.

Or maybe they're fine. I'll have to see what I've got once I'm done the short rows.

But yeah. Today is definitely a day for yarny pursuits, methinks.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

K'done: Walking Through the Maze Gardens Socks

Sparkle, sparkle!

Pattern: Walking Through the Maze Gardens, by Meagheen Ryan
Yarn: Yummy Yarn Studio 80/20 BFL/nylon, in Pomegranate
Needles: 2.5 mm / US 1 1/2

Extra goodies: 8/0 Delica beads, in Strawberry and Raspberry, added using a 1.3 mm / US 10 crochet hook

Full disclosure: I actually finished these on day 5, not day 4, but at the end of day 4 there was really only the toe and four rounds of the last foot repeat to go, so I figured I'd just push through and not stop for the day 4 progress photo.

These socks were the code name Bravo socks, and the supply lists indicated that we would need 500 beads for this pattern. When I first saw that number, my eyes may have bugged a tiny bit. 500 seems like a really large pile of beads! I first imagined a pair of socks that were encrusted with beads, and the thought gave me some tiny doubts as to whether I really wanted to participate in the Tour. Bling, bling, indeed.

As you can see from the pics, it turned out to be not at all what I was imagining. In fact, it's pretty easy to scatter 500 beads over a pair of socks without the things turning into beaded boots of glitz. Here, I just did a bit of math:

On the back of each sock: 80 beads
On the front of each sock: 180 beads

Total per sock = 260 beads

Total for the pair = 520 beads

Yup, I used a few more than the supply lists indicated, and once the pattern release date approached - maybe even once the pattern was released - we were told that beading all the way down the foot would, depending on foot length, take more than 500 beads for the pair. My feet aren't that long, but my preferred sock gauge is tighter than patterns tell me to use, so I needed to go a half repeat longer than the Tour-mandated minimum, which boosted my bead consumption a bit.

Of course, one could not put the beads on the foot, just on the leg. But the ones on the foot were worth bonus points in the Tour! So, away I went.

Not that the two bonus points do anything to my overall score to scoot me back to the front of the pack or anything. Still, I felt compelled to do it.

I really enjoyed knitting this pattern, even if it wasn't the zippiest thing - there are no 'rest' rounds (read: knit or purl the whole way through), so no matter where you are, you'll need to either cable, or place some beads, or do both. Which is fine, it's just that I felt that I never got any real momentum going with it. I did work the cables as little two-stitch cables, not as twists, but I didn't use a cable needle to do so.

My beads were a bit closer in colour when placed on the stitches compared to when they were in their little bags, so my checkerboards are subtle. I can still see the difference between the two, and suspect it's apparent enough to others as well, but when the light hits the beads just right, the shininess just overrides the colours.

The yarn is a skein that I picked up from the dyer directly, and I'm not sure how readily available it is, but I was curious to try a yarn that wasn't merino. My initial attempts to work it up were not terribly successful, with gauge issues all over the place, meaning I would get denser fabric than I wanted, and a smaller circumference than I needed. (Yes, I could have corrected the problem by changing my needle size, except at the time my needle inventory was a bit more limited - I didn't have 2.5 mm DPNs.) I am happy to report that it worked well with this pattern.

We'll see how I feel about the beads once I've worn the socks in shoes. When I put them on to snap these pics, nothing seemed poky or scritchy - though the beads did catch a bit on my toenails if I wasn't a bit careful pulling them on. I may be singing a different song, though, once I've tried to put a shoe on over top.

So. Stage 4 is done. Stage 5 begins on 11 July. That's um, a week from now.

Don't worry. I won't be bored. There may be a new video game knit starting up tomorrow or the next day.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

TdS 2013: round 4, day 3

Not sure I'll be able to finish today, but I'm gonna try!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

TdS 2013: round 4, day 2

Not as far along as I'd hoped, but progress nonetheless.

Once I finish this pattern repeat I should be good to start the toe. Then on to sock #2. Yay!

15 finishers so far.

Monday, July 1, 2013

TdS 2013: round 4, day 1

Cables and beads, cables and beads!

Yesterday's progress: the leg of sock #1, plus a few rows of the heel flap.