Friday, August 31, 2007

The Little Bag

Doesn't it look like a gray flannel suit--with bow? It's hard to see, but there are little green sparkles in this yarn.

It's a prototype for a little gift. I'll be felting it a bit more and making two more of them for some very special friends.

Today is a celebration day! I thank God that my surgery for skin cancer yesterday and the day before has been successful. We caught it early which minimized disfigurement under my right eye. Accumulated tans over the years caught up with me. My days in the sun are over, and I will be on the lookout for any more "barnacles" on this old ship. I have convinced at least one person to have an annual full body scan for skin cancer, and I plan to take my own advice. I need to use sunscreen daily and wear proper clothing and a hat when working outside!

But I am still here.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Short Row Purgatory

Yes, that little white strip of yarn is a lifeline, and I shouted, "throw out the lifeline" more than once. Frogging is just too cute a word to describe it.

I have read countless online descriptions of how to do short rows with wraps. What seemed to be the hard part for me was exactly how to pick up the wraps. Then I read one that said to always pick up the wraps from the right side of the garment so as to hide the pickup. That really helped, but I still was not sure if I was picking them up from the correct angle.

After one heel was done, I realized there is the little (or big) problem of the hole at the apex of the short rows! Which little stitch(s) do you pick up and knit to alleviate this? Most of the tutorials don't include this and if they do, the description of the hole-fixing stitch does not seem to pierce my brain.

In the end, I did what I felt was a working solution for the hole as I kept telling myself they are only socks, for heaven's sake! If I do this on the toe as well, proficiency may come to me. Or not.

On a brighter note, my Rockin' Sock Club kit came Friday, and it's like cool, man! A real summer love-in!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rainy Day Socks - Finished!

Pattern: The Sock Pattern to End All Sock Patterns by Anne at Knitspot.

Yarn: MC, Lorna's Laces. CC, Regia Silk.

Needles: #1 Susan Bates Quicksilver double points.

Comments: This is a very nice pattern. It allows you a custom fit for your foot in circumference, length, and the sock height. I used the short row heel, my first time doing one in a knit stitch where you pick up and knit wraps. The stitch at the heel turned out to be, let's say, a bit decorative. Having since read a bit more about short rows, I can see my error and hope to correct it next time.

Kitchenering the tip of the toe was also new to me, although I have done the stitch on the bottom of the foot to join a garter toe. This type of toe is not as good a look on my foot as the rosebud finish, but it is certainly less bulky.

The heel is a good fit for my skinny heels, but I'd like to try making the heel a bit larger, especially if using a contrasting color on the heel.

As always, Lorna's Laces is a great yarn to work with and so is Regia Silk.

It Came Without Instruction

I simply loved the look of this tool; don't think I've gotten the hang of it yet. It's a nostepinne.

No, it's not a nose pin and it's not listed in either Wikipedia or Webster's. That's because it's a Scandinavian word for "ballwinder."

Now, I have a friend whose mother taught her to wind the most beautiful centerpull balls of yarn you can imagine but some of us need a little help in this department. Ahem!

It came without directions, just like my swift. Who sells arcane tools without instructions? So I Googled "nostepinne" and got several instructions, a bit conflicting and surely confusing to the neophyte ball winder. Do I wind it in a figure eight at two angles or just wind it at one angle while turning the tool slowly? Apparently I could end up with a football shaped yarn thing or the more desirable yarn cake that sits flat.

If you see me walking and patting my head and rubbing my stomach one of these days, you will know I am just working up to this. Meanwhile, I'm returning to my "New Wool Winder" with the little hand crank. Pretty hard to do that one wrong (turn clockwise, turn clockwise)!

Friday, August 17, 2007

After the Colorful Socks...

My sister looked at my blog and was color blinded! At least that's what she said.

So I thought a nice, calm blue would be in order. Don't want to blind my readers. But the yarn for these socks was a bit boring on its own after all the color I've been working with, so I dug into my stash and added a border.

Are these socks just too, too sensible?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Law Book 2007 - Finished!

This time of the year has always meant lots of typing on a law manuscript that is due mid-August. The author writes all in longhand and I have transcribed it for him since he did his first four-volume set. And I wore the letters off a few of the keys on the keyboard on that original manuscript!

Now we are doing just pocket parts until it is time to revise the whole thing again.

Knitting is a good way to celebrate finishing a knitted object or a typed one, right?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Interweave Knits - Free Sock Patterns

Interweave Knits has five free sock patterns HERE that look really interesting.

I've just got to subscribe to that magazine!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Rainbow Socks - Finished!

: Regia Mini Ringel Color
Pattern: Basic Strong Heel Sock
Needles: #1 dpns
Comments: This is an interesting heel and works well if you want minimal interruption in the patterning of the yarn. There is no heel flap and there are no stitches to pick up. It seems to fit well, and I would use the heel pattern again.

It pleased me how the colors started and ended with blues. The colors are just plain happy!

In this photo you can get a better view of how the heel looks and how little the striping is disturbed by the turning of the heel.

I used a twisted rib stitch at the top of the socks. It's fairly stretchy and has a rather crisp look, which I really like and would use again even though it takes a little more effort to remember to do (no snoozing through the ribbing).

Thursday, August 02, 2007

We Need a Rainbow

You might have heard about the 35W bridge here in Minneapolis that collapsed last night. Such a shocking and sad catastrophe. Our family is okay, but my thoughts and prayers are with those who were affected personally by this tragedy.

At least this sock is a rainbow!

The colors are really pleasing me, and are a bright spot in my life. I truly don't know what I would do without knitting to soothe the pains of life.