Foot in Hand

Hey, I thought this was a knitting blog!

Oh yeah, I have a knitting blog because I love to knit… And, my fellow knitters, I promise that there has indeed been some knittin’ going on.  It’s just been a bit slow and intermittent, with no FO’s to share.  Over the past 2 weeks it’s been a little knitting while visiting with family, some more while driving to our new place, and lots of little stints of it while watching PB entertain herself.  (sidenote: 8 months is an awesome age!)

I am progressing down the foot of a second sock, knitting at a near frantic pace since I decided I wanted to knit myself a new hat to wear to the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival on Saturday.  And for some reason, I feel I need to finish the socks before I can start.  Could be I’m having a brief turn as a monogamous knitter, or that I am using the painful yet pleasant promise of a new project as motivation to get through the last of these socks.  Either way,  a little something I picked up at my new LYS, Fiber Nooks & Crannys, waiting for me.

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran

Wish me speedy fingers and plentiful knitting time!

Gratitude

I have received a generous outpouring of kindness and support this past week, both in the comments and via email.  Thank you.  It has really made a difference for me during a very difficult time to go onto the computer and read your thoughtful, friendly, and often funny comments.   Your responses were welcome and much-needed.

From Sweetie

From Sweetie

Unfortunately I have no finished objects to show you.  I had hoped to finish a sock this week, but a vicious stomach virus attacked me and I was literally unable to stand or sit up straight for two days.  Knitting was not, for once, at the front of my mind.  I did catch up on some great podcasts while I was laid up, among them Cast-On, Stash & Burn, and my new favorite, Craft Lit.

Heather Ordover does a wonderful job of combining literary discussion with her craft life, then plays a chapter or two from a classic novel each episode.  Since I just started listening, I jumped in with the most recent book, Jekyll & Hyde.  It’s fantastic!  I’m almost certain that I would find the text a little dry if I were reading this myself, but the guy doing the reading has a deliciously wry British accent that punctuates this Gothic tale to perfection.  The book seems to be wrapping up, and next will be The Scarlet Letter.  This is turning into a wonderful way to be entertained while knitting, walking the dog, or cleaning house, while at the same time getting a brief education on some classic literature.  Love it.

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Now that I’m on the mend, I have been focusing my attention on finishing up the Queen of Beads socks from the STR sock club.  I’m about halfway finished with the second sock and look forward to grafting that toe closed in a couple of days.  Believe it or not, I have the opposite of Second Sock Syndrome right now, a syndrome in which I feel highly motivated to finish both pairs of socks I have lying around.  Maybe it’s more of that urge to spring clean, start with a clean slate or something. Whatever it is, I’m giving in to the feeling and getting socks off the needles!

I’ve Got It Baaad.

I’ve got it baaad.

The sock jitters, that is.  My hands are shaking with the desire to knit a new pair of socks with sumptuous sock yarn.  I keep coming across new sock yarn, great new patterns, and feeling an overwhelming sense of excitement and desire to cast on immediately.  And yet, I don’t.  I feel I can’t, actually.  And why not?

Well, the answer is two fold: for one, I have a sock project on the needles.  Last week I finished sock #1 of Waving Lace Socks.

Waving Lace socks from Favorite Socks

Waving Lace socks from Favorite Socks

It was a great pattern to knit, I love the yarn, and both together made me a very happy knitter.  But I couldn’t cast on for the second sock right away.  The dreaded SSS strikes again!

My goal was to finish this pair of socks before I started something new and exciting.  Something that should be arriving in the mail any day now from Blue Moon Fiber Arts

That brings me to my second reason for not starting anything new: I’m waiting to receive my first ever shipment from the BMFA Rockin’ Sock Club!  How could I, in good conscience, cast on for any other sock pattern, no matter how compelling, when I know this is in my immediate future?

I have been sorely tempted, to be sure.  There was the gift I received from my sister, the lovely new book, Knitting Socks with Hand Painted Yarn.  Then, I won a blogiversary contest over on Liz’s blog, which meant I was the lucky recipient of this lovely  hand dyed sock yarn.

Tiny Toes by Interlacements

Tiny Toes by Interlacements

I am trying to wait patiently for my sock club shipment to arrive.  I have been trying to work diligently on projects I already have started.  That hasn’t entirely worked either.  I cast on 2 new (small) projects last week, and one is already finished.  I needed to finish something while I waited, even if it wasn’t the mate to a lone bubble gum pink sock!

Well, I should go check the mailbox, Ravelry, and the RSC blog to see if anyone has gotten their yarn yet.  Maybe it will be me…toes crossed!

What’s Next?

New Finished Object!

This was an especially fun knit because I improvised it as I was knitting. That’s right, no official pattern, just a little sketch and a dream of uniting this turquoise and red cotton into a perfect union. I’m pretty happy with the results.

  • Pattern: Improvised. If you’re interested, I’ll translate my notes and share it, just let me know!
  • Yarn: Sugar n’ Cream, 1 skein turquoise, about 10 yards of red.
  • Needles: US size 7, 4.5m
  • Notions: 1 fun button and a tapestry needle

I was on the lookout for a fun button, and happened across this one on my visit to The Point. A perfect match!

So here’s my dilemma: I just finished a project, and I have all this new yarn that wants to be knit. And yet I cannot seem to decide what to make. It’s too hot to start a large project, and I’m experiencing a little knitter’s ADD anyway…Second Sock Syndrom has struck, and while I am a couple inches into Hedera #2, it feels so done. I’m also still working on my granny square afghan, so that is more of a long term project. I need something fairly quick and satisfying that I can knit from my stash. Any suggestions? Help!

Sock Progress

A little while back I declared a new sock knitting strategy for myself. It goes a little something like this:

  • Knit sock 1 of pair A.
  • Knit sock 1 of pair B.
  • Knit sock 2 of pair A.
  • Knit sock 2 of pair B.

This was devised in hopes of helping me avoid the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome that so often plagues us plebian one-at-a-time sock knitters. Well, so far it has worked out just fine…except that I cast on for pair C after finishing the 2nd sock for pair A, instead of going back and finishing the 2nd sock of pair B. Life never seems to go according to plan, does it? But it all works out in the end, since my goal is to only have 2 pairs of socks going at any one time and to not dread knitting either of them.

This weekend I put in another James Bond flick, From Russia With Love, and sat down to finish this:

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I knit for a couple of inches, did some regular old toe decreases, then ended with a flourish with my new best friend, Kitchener Stitch.

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  • Pattern: Diagonal Cross-Rib Socks by Ann Budd from Favorite Socks
  • Yarn: ONline Linie 3 Supersocke 100 in color 833
  • Needles: For the cuff and first couple of inches, size 3 (3.25mm); then I switched to a size 2 (2.75mm) for the rest. This yarn and pattern combine to create a very stretchy sock. I probably could have gotten away with using 2s for the whole thing.

This is a fairly simple pattern to knit up and qualifies as nearly-mindless knitting for me. The only trick is to pay attention to where the traveling stitches are going and remember to help get them there every other row. The stitch pattern gives the self-patterning yarn a little more interest and texture than you’d get with stockinette or ribbing, and it’s simple enough that it doesn’t get lost in the colors.

I love my new sock blockers! They provide a great way to store those single socks as art–I have them hanging up on my office wall. In the past, my first socks would be crumpled up at the bottom of my knitting bag, waiting to be pulled out for reference when knitting the 2nd sock. And this may still be the case when I’m working on a pair. But until then, knitted wall art suits me just fine!

A New Strategy, Part II

I’m on to Sock #1 of Pair #2 (read this entry for background info) Like a new love affair, things are off to a blissful start. The yarn is gorgeous and refreshing, the pattern is simple yet interesting enough to keep my brain engaged, and the whole thing is knitting up really fast.

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  • Yarn: Oceanwind Knits Merino in Shiraz
  • Needles: Size 2 double points
  • Pattern: Embossed Leaves Socks from Favorite Socks by Interweave Press
  • Modifications: Plain 1×1 ribbed cuff, and simple stockinette toe with Kitchener seam.

There has been one tricky bit that I hadn’t encountered in a pattern before: a yarnover before purl stitches. To do a yarnover, you bring the yarn to the front of your work and typically follow with a knit stitch. This creates an extra stitch that, in this case, results in the open work lace effect. So I had to figure out how to bring the yarn forward, and then leave it forward for the next purl stitch, while adding a stitch! It’s not that complicated, but it threw me for a loop (pun intended) the first couple of times. I did it my own way by bringing the yarn forward, then wrapping it over the right needle and bringing it forward again. Sometimes I just don’t have the patience to look these things up and like to improvise!

I think my new sock strategy is working well so far. I was able to finish the first sock last night, and am actually looking forward to getting back to the previous pair and finishing up! And for now, who says a pair of socks has to match?

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My second crack at the Kitchener seam went much better.

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How do you knit your socks? Circular needles, double points, 2 at a time, toe up, cuff down? And do you finish a pair before starting another, or do can you leave a single sock waiting for its mate? I’m interested in the habits of sock knitters and would love to hear from you!