Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Settling In

Things are finally starting to get more settled here at the new house. We have most everything unpacked and put away. We have some rearranging to do to make everything fit or work the way it should and we still need to get the pictures up on the walls, but life is gradually starting to have a more normal feel. The cats are learning which windows are best for looking out at various times of day and have located and worked out rotations for all of the sunny spots.
Zelda's found her spot

I have managed to knit a little here and there amidst the hubbub, but much slower than my normal pace and (it seems like) with more ripping and restarting than usual. I finished the two pair of socks that I was working on since early August and I cast on for a third pair and am making good progress on those. Heck, I may even cast on for my September “personal sock club” pair today! I also started a shawl out of some lovely fall colored lace yarn. It’s going to be a longer term project than a pair of socks, so I might not post about that much. So here’s a little bit about the socks. Since I’m done knitting them I won’t go thru all of the ripping and re-knitting drama that occurred, but each pair had its challenges:

First finished:

Pattern: Sandalwood Socks by Caitlin Stevens rom Interweave Knits, Winter 2008
Yarn: Araucania Ranco Solid
Size: 2.25 dpn

I ended up really liking these once they were done. That said, I found that because the lace pattern was actually a combination of three separate lace stitches it required a lot of close attention to the chart while working on the leg. Once I turned the heel and was working the lace on the instep only, the pattern got a little easier to follow and I could almost work it without referring to the chart, but wasn’t silly enough to actually try. This was my first time using the Arancunia yarn and I think it is nice. I will definitely use it again if I get the opportunity.

The second pair was my challenge pair. It was definitely that.

Pattern: Staccato Socks by Veronik Avery (from Knitting Socks With Handpainted Yarn)
Yarn: Artyarns Ultramerino 4 colors 124, 252, 143 plus a small quantity of Samantha in Stitches FootCrazy in Purple Thunder
Size: 2.25 dpn worked toe up

I liked the finished socks, but would probably never knit this pattern again as written. First of all, the idea of using up small quantities of leftover yarns is a good one, but you have to be prepared for a hard reality. When the knitting is done, you have something like this

to deal with. Many, many ends to weave in; headache … next, although I searched everywhere for any hint of an error, the pattern as written didn’t come out to the number of rows knitted (seriously) and the foot ended up being a little short when I started the heel (riiii-iiip). Next, the heel specified was unpleasant. I substituted a different heel which required (horror) math on my part. Also, I failed to keep good notes on the changes I made on sock one (due to all of the other stuff going on at the time) so, when I got to this point on sock 2, things might not have come out quite the same. (oh, well) Finally, working the stitch pattern around the leg, made it much too tight to get over my foot, so I had to modify and substitute a 2x2 rib on the back of the leg. I think if I was going to do a sock which purpose was to use up scrap yarn, I’d stick to something simpler. When the frustration with these socks reached a peak, I cast on for these:

I gave some of my nieces and cousins and a few others some socks at the family reunion back in July, but my 12 year old niece has smaller feet, so we discussed a custom pair. I asked what color she liked and she said “neon”. I found this yarn at the LYS near where we were staying and she approved of it, so now I’m knitting her socks. The pattern is Ampersand. It’s sort of a simple pattern, (and I’ve been thinking of ways to modify it while I’ve been knitting). But right now, simple is just the ticket. The repeat is two rounds and very easy to memorize. I need that sort of knitting at the moment. I’ve turned the heels and almost finished the gusset since I took this picture.

Finally, there is the shawl that I started.

A lot of people did the Pi shawl in honor of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s 100th birthday back in August, well I was late to the party but I did have it as a project in my queue. I had even hoped to be able to follow the knit-along that Wendy Johnston was doing, but couldn’t get going in time for that, either. So, I’m about a month off with a great tribute project. I started with the basic EZ pattern and am combining it with Mwaa’s 100th anniversary verson. So far it sort of looks like something I don’t want to step in after one of the cat makes ominous noises. I’m sure it will get better as it gets bigger.

Anyhow, that’s what’s on and off my needles at the moment.  I’ll try harder to stay more current as things get back to normal.  I can’t believe it’s almost fall, but the weather has been dropping hints, so I’ll probably have no trouble getting my knitting routine back.

Happy Knitting!


1 comment:

KnitTech said...

Like those Sandalwood socks. I think I have that magazine laying around, will need to dig it out.