Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sock It to Me Week 4

My sister and I had a lot of fun on our girl's weekend and I found the sock to be the perfect knitting companion. It occurs to me that I never shared which sock yarn I decided to bring. I chose Spring Fling by Deborah Norville. (I also scored a good sale when we went to JoAnn's so I got three more pairs of this sock yarn over the weekend.)

If you're wondering what I carried in my tool "box" I brought a yarn needle, tape measure, scissors, sock pattern, and a stitch marker (which I lost early Sunday morning so I think next time I'll bring at least two stitch markers.)

I probably could have gotten further, but I was still working on the gusset when we started driving home. Unfortunately we left for home around four which meant I only had an hour of light left. I'm getting decent at stockinette stitch without looking, but I can't do a gusset without seeing the stitches I'm counting.

Since this sock was last weekend's project though I've had time to work on it during the past week.

I absolutely love the pattern that the yarn created in the pink and purple stripes. (The pink looks a little orange in the picture, but it really is pink.) I think that I'm going to have to consider more vanilla socks like this when using self-striping yarns. Now comes the real challenge to starting a sock before finishing the second sock for the cabled sock...deciding who gets a mate first.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Travel Knitting

I wrote this last Saturday before leaving for a weekend trip with my sister, but was unable to publish it. Since I don't have anything ready from the quilting workshop I attended yesterday I decided to share this instead.

My sister and I are going away together for the weekend. We leave Saturday morning and come back Sunday night, so it’s nothing extravagant. Packing went very smoothly since figuring out what to wear is never the problem. The struggle for the past week has been determining how much knitting I should bring. My first thought was to bring my Falling Stars sweater. I’m currently 7” into the 13.5” of stockinet, but because the laws of time and how much knitting this knitter can fit into that time go on vacation when I do I will of course be able to finish the sweater, including the sleeves, which would mean that I’d need to bring the 12 balls of purple and the 15 colored balls for the color work on the sleeve. Around Monday I realized that I make this mistake every time I go on a trip and always come home with most of the yarn still unknit.

Then I decided I’d bring to cabled sock I’ve been struggling with this month. A slightly more manageable project, but it would require me to read a chart in a car. The sock also requires quite a bit of concentration which would mean that I couldn’t work on it and talk with my sister very well.

On Thursday I decided that the sock yarn I’ve been saving for February isn’t going to work well with the pattern I want to do in February, but will make a beautiful vanilla sock. (For those non-knitters reading this, a vanilla sock is just plain sock without lace, cables, or any other pattern.) The logical side of my brain assured me that this was a good plan since a sock could fit in my purse, would be easy to do in the car, restaurants, theaters, etc., and wouldn’t require extra attention during conversations.

Then the voices in my head started fighting.

The Paranoid Voice is screaming that one pair of socks is not enough yarn for an entire weekend. (It refuses to accept that it takes at least a week, usually longer to knit a pair of socks. The Paranoid Voice strongly believes that time takes a vacation when I do and the unprepared knitter will pay.) There is a shopping trip in which more sock yarn is going to be purchased and even the Paranoid Voice admits the likelihood of me knitting two complete socks in 12 hours when not all of that time will be knitting time is small. (The Paranoid Voice does reserve the right to say “I told you so” should I finish my socks in that time and be out of knitting.)

The Rule-Following Voice is not happy with the idea of doing February’s sock in January when January’s sock is not yet finished. I’m the kind of knitter who usually only has one project on my needles at a time. I have grown as a knitter and am now okay with having a sweater and a sock on my needles. I’ve assured this voice that the two projects on the needles now aren’t good travel projects and the thought of three hours in the car without knitting has allowed for a small bend in the rules. The Rule-Following Voice has also accepted the bribe of new sock yarn, some of which will be for February.

The Realistic Voice knows that I will come home with the first sock half finished. It acknowledges that I may have turned the heel by tomorrow, but I will still be in the middle of the foot at best so I really don’t need to worry about scissors, a darning needle, or a second ball of yarn. The Realistic Voice can stuff a sock in it. I’ll have two done on Sunday.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sock it to Me Week 3

Socks and flu are both progressing slowly. I think I may be making a swing in the direction of health, so if no other bugs decide to attack while my defenses are down I might have real progress on my sock goals soon. Saturday is my quilt guild's winter workshop so unfortunately this week I think that my knitting time will be devoted to cutting fabric for the workshop. Our workshop is focusing on the Drunkard's Path block and I've decided to do a full size quilt for our bed. I'll be sure to take pictures as I go so that in the coming weeks I can do a series of posts on my new quilt. Today I'm pleased to report that the first of my January socks is completed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sock it to Me week 2

They say it takes at least two weeks to get over the flu. I'm on week three, but a second bug snuck in there when my defenses were low so health my still be a few days away. Knitting has once again been suffering, but I have made it to the toe of the first sock. Hopefully next Tuesday I'll be healthy and have a completed sock to share. (Frankly I'd just be happy with the healthy part though.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sock it to Me Week 1

I've decided a way to keep myself accountable during my Year of Socks is to add a weekly section showing  how much (or little) I've accomplished on my sock. My hope was to have the first of my socks finished by this time, but our house has been hit by a nasty bug that has zapped my husband and I of most of our energy. That said, I did finish the leg of the sock and turned the heel. I'm still working on the gusset, but hopefully by this weekend I'll have finished the rest of it.

My husband has learned to judge my illness level based on how much crafting I'm doing. (He knows things are serious when I'm surrounded by projects and not working on any of them.) I'm been fortunate with this illness that my Falling Stars cardigan has reached the part where I do 13.5 inches of stockinette. When I first saw this I groaned at the thought of that much stockinette, especially since the sweater is knit in the round so there isn't even purls on the back to break up the monotony. When you've got the desire to work, but can't think beyond insert needle, wrap yarn, pull needle back, 13.5 inches of stockinette have become a blessing.
I put the sleeves on waste yarn last Tuesday (the purple marker in the middle shows where the 13.5 inches starts.) It's less than I'd like to have done by now, but it's better than nothing.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Last Hobbit Blocks

My Hobbit quilt got set aside a bit as I worked to get everything ready for Christmas. (We're just going to ignore the fact that I had originally intended to have the quilt finished by Christmas.) Here's the last of the Hobbit blocks.
The Arkenstone


And of course...The Lonely Mountain.
(The picture doesn't do it justice, but this block is twice as a big as the others and will be the center of the quilt.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Year of Socks

I have decided that this year I want to focus on knitting socks. Of course I'm too scatterbrained to spend an entire year knitting nothing but socks, but I'm hoping to complete at least one or two pairs every month. I've been knitting for two years so socks are still fairly new to me. I'm hoping that by the end of this year my husband and I will have a pair of hand knit socks for every day of the week.

My sister gave me some sock yarn for Christmas and I couldn't resist making them the first pair in 
The Year of Socks.

I'm using the "I Love Gansey" pattern from Sock Club. Cables are probably not the best choice for this yarn, but with a high of 4 degrees I couldn't think of doing a sock with lacy holes. 

The cables and purled hearts get a bit lost in the self-striping socks, but I rather like the effect they have on the yarn. (Don't you just love those needles too? They were a Christmas gift from my MIL.)