Friday, February 29, 2008

Cuppa Sock Anyone?

socks 009Mmmmm, looks pretty tasty to me! I finally finished the heel* on one of my Cat in the Hood socks last night, so I decided to reward myself with half an FO and sew up the top hem.

I wanted to use as much of this yarn as possible, however, when I held the sock up to my leg, it looked like it was going to hit my leg at the bottom of my calf. So, I chose a hem top instead of a straight up cast off to avoid any calf shaping. Plus, I personally think it's more stretchy than a traditional cast off. Finally, this allowed me to guarantee the sock would end with a brown stripe. I was concerned about the sock looking too yellow since it ended up so bright. I think it turned out nicely balanced.

So what's with the pint glass? So glad you asked! I've sewn a hem top once before on one of my Carbonite Socks and it was kind of a bitch to do holding such a floppy material in my hands. Inspiration struck about a week ago when I realized that a pint glass was about the right diameter to hold the sock open enough to see the stitches as well as a hard surface to use the needle against.

socks 003I stuffed the sock into the glass and then pulled it back over the top for about 5 inches. Then I flipped enough of the sock up - one 'stripe width' - so that none of the facing yellow stitches would show at the top of the sock and began sewing. I made sure to sew the live stitches to the last row of yellow stitches on the leg to avoid any color confrontation (yes, I just coined that phrase) on the outside of the sock. Also, it should be noted that I placed the stitches on a piece of scrap yarn rather than leaving them on DPNs so the sock would hug the glass smoothly.

socks 005Then, following a wonderful tutorial** by TechKnitter, I slid the needle into the first live stitch purl-wise and tacked it to the corresponding stitch on the leg. Since I knit the socks in k2p2 rib, I ended up sewing purl stitches to knit stitches and vice-versa, no big deal. Click on the pictures to see more detail.

socks 006After that I just worked my way around with the glass keeping the sock stretched well enough that I didn't sew any stitches too tightly. You can see that the resulting hem does not pull in as tightly as the rest of the sock, but rest assured that it stretches out just as well.

socks 007

socks 015

Finally, I leave you with an Ode on a Grecian Sock Urn. :-)

socks 013

*I ended up using this tutorial to work an afterthought heel, which worked SO much better than simply working another 'toe' for a heel. I guess I have fat ankles. The first attempt resulted in a sock that was stretched so tightly, I was afraid my skin would start oozing through the stitches like play-doh.

**She doesn't explicitly explain sewing shut live stitches, but the concept is the same.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Not What I Expected

Smores Orange
Pay no attention to the sun and lack of snow, that's gone now...

Hmmm, this turned out more muted than I expected after the nearly glowing brightness I got out of the yellow overdye. It looked a heck of a lot brighter in the dye pot, that's for sure. Perhaps it has something to do with orange and brown being closer together in the color spectrum. I'm really intrigued by color theory, perhaps this requires further investigation.

Regardless, I have a few patterns in mind already for this yarn. Although a new pair of socks will have to wait until I get some of these WIPs off the needles. I'm almost finished with DW's scarf except I discovered yesterday that I did not work enough pattern repeats at the very beginning. So guess who gets to learn how to graft cables?

Coming soon: WIP updates all around and another FO.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

FO: Shedir

Samantha's Shedir

Pattern: Shedir, Knitty special edition
Yarn: Cascade 220 Wool, #8339 Marine
Needles: Knit Picks Options size 4, magic loop; KP DPNs size 1 & 3 for cast on
Started: Janurary 26
Finished: February 16
Modifications: tubular cast on courtesy of TECHknitter, cabled w/o cable needle
shedir blockingWhat I learned: The tubular cast on really makes for a professional looking FO. Don't work the cast on with DPNs if you can avoid it, I ended up with some funky gaps at two of the joins. Blocking works wonders for really making the cables pop. And stretching the hat to fit properly. I got lucky with a glass pumpkin candy dish we had lying around from Halloween and a cereal bowl.

Samantha's Shedir

Friday, February 15, 2008

Random Insanity

1. I want to try this. Does that make me insane?

2. I also want to try to knit this. Does that make me insane?

3. My ears are ringing. I have no idea why. It's driving me insane.

4. The Yarn Harlot is coming to Michigan. You'd be insane not to go.

Dye Day Friday

I get most of my dyeing done on Fridays since I get to work from home.

2 skeins of Knit Picks Memories in Smores. You've seen this set up from me before. I only have 2 skeins left that I haven't overdyed. I wonder what's next...

These should make some pretty spectacular tiger stripe socks. I'll post more color accurate photos once it dries. The best part of dyeing yarn in the wintertime? I can just plunk the dye pot down into a snow bank to cool.

Friday, February 8, 2008

It's Still Winter Right?

Despite the 6-8 inches of snow we got this week, the freezing cold temperatures and the fact that we haven't seen the sun in days, I found myself wondering if we're not, in fact, still in the middle of winter. Did Punxsutawney Phil predict an early spring this year? He didn't. Then why, pray tell, are ALL THE FREAKING STORES AROUND HERE OUT OF SNOW SHOVELS?! I went to three different chain stores this afternoon looking for new snow removal equipment only to be turned away. And ACO - ye gods - actually had their gardening equipment and supplies displayed. I realize people like to plan gardens early and perhaps even start them indoors, but mid-February? I guess it's just the sickness surrounding the early holiday push seeping into the seasons. I really don't enjoy being forced to shop out of season.

Anyways, on to the knitting. That's what you came here for right?

DW's scarf is coming along at a nice pace, although I suppose it seems that way since it's just the beginning. I 'tried it on' today and it doesn't yet fit around my neck.

The way the pattern repeats are set up make for nice little goals. It doesn't look like much now, it's hard to see the cables, but once it's blocked, I think it will be splendid.

scarf 002This photo shows the true color of the yarn better. And yes, that's me knitting in my Jeep. I like to get out of the office for an hour reprieve, listen to the radio and knit. It's very refreshing.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Why I Love Ravelry

I've been sweating for the past two days on how to design a scarf to match Samantha's Shedir hat, which is done by the way. She can be very, uh, let's say 'particular' about this sort of thing, so I knew I couldn't make do with a cable pattern that kinda matched. I swatched Saturday evening with leftover yarn and all I got for my trouble was a hot mess o' crap. Then, what to my wondering mind should occur, but a forum search on Ravelry for 'shedir scarf' only to find someone else had already asked my question a month ago. Two clicks later and I found the perfect scarf; meet Achernar. Thank you Ravelry, thank you.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Bad Fiction

The Virtual Knitting Commune group is holding a bad fiction contest on Ravelry. If you're a Ravelry member, go on over and vote. I submitted an entry, but I won't tell which one until the contest is over. I'm not trying to mug for votes for myself, just for the contest in general. Voting ends on Paczki day (Tuesday) at noon.

And if you're not on Ravelry yet, go sign up! I heard the wait time is down to only a week now.