October 31, 2006
11:03 am est
It doesn't seem possible that it's Halloween already. Where did this year go, anyway?
Socktoberfest has been fun, if mostly unproductive for me. The only completed object is the second Sockotta sock,
which would have been pictured here if I hadn't completely forgotten to transfer the photo from the camera to the disk.
When the Sockotta pair was done, I dug out a gorgeous Opal handpaint in mottled greens and cast it on. After
a couple of inches, it was obvious that it wasn't working well on the US2 needles, so it was off to the Froggy Pond with it,
to be restarted with a US1. Though I love the mock baby cable in Sensational Knitted Socks, this yarn's
colors are so mottled that the stitch just doesn't show up well. It's been ripped again, and will be restarted as a
plain ol' stockinette sock, with maybe a single larger cable down each side. Still pondering on that one.
On other knitting, a few more rows have happened on the Karabella scarf, the Hanging Garden stole and Rose of England.
The past couple of weeks, I've been switching from project to project more frequently than most people breathe. Pondering
why, I realize that it's a desperate attempt to fend off an attack of Startitis; yarns and patterns are leaping off the shelves
and out of the closets and positively demanding that I knit them instead of the existing projects.
Having been through this before, I know that I will eventually give in and start yet another project, but it would be
nice to get at least one item completed before capitulation. No, the Sockotta sock doesn't count as completion.
Holidays are rapidly approaching, and will be ... different ... this year, the first without The Mom. How different?
Good? Bad? Only time will tell.
October 24, 2006
Arithmetic is not your friend
10:03 am edt
Have I mentioned lately that there are times when I do really dumb things? Consider it mentioned. Case in
point: out of generalized morbid curiosity, wondering just how many stitches were on the needles, I "did the math" on
the Rose of England shawl. I'm at the start of Part G (the last part for the tea cloth size), where there are twenty
stitches in each pattern repeat. Hah, twenty isn't so bad. Then I noticed that there are forty repeats in each
20 x 40 = 800
Eight hundred stitches in each row. No wonder it's taking so long to get around! Now, you'd think
that this stunning figure would have quelled my morbid curiosity about numbers, wouldn't you? Nope.
Inner demons compelled me to count the stitches per repeat in the final row of this chart. Thirty-four!
34 x 40 = 1360
The prospect of that many stitches in a single row of a project is daunting, to say the least. Not to mention the
crocheted cast-off, followed by pinning all those little loops for blocking. When will I learn to ignore these numerical
It's enough to make a person revert to garter stitch washcloths for the duration.
October 16, 2006
10:18 am edt
Let me be brutally honest here: I hate to tink. Hate it with a deep and abiding loathing, even when
it's only a couple of stitches. Don't ask me why, it's not a rational thing. Frogging, on the other hand, doesn't
faze me in the slightest. Go figure.
The reason I mention this is that at some point during the weekend of October 7-8, possibly under the influence of the
Splinter Clan, but more probably a cold medicine haze, I managed to have a brain spasm and make a narsty mistake in my Hanging
Garden stole. Of course, it didn't make itself noticed until two rows later (sigh). When it leaped out at me last
Monday evening, my first impulse was to heave the whole thing out the window (being doped to the gills with decongestants
and cough suppressants does evil things to my temper). Somehow, some vestige of sanity intervened, and the Hanging Garden
went into the "timeout" corner instead of the trash. This may have had something to do with the fact that the yarn is
just too yummy to throw away.
Yesterday, having finally emerged from my drug-induced haze, I picked up the silly thing again, gritted my teeth,
and slowly and painfully tinked back to the beginning of the problem row. What amazes me is that what I knitted in that
row has exactly zero resemblance to what's in the chart for that row. Still, it's fixed now, and I can proceed toward
After finding that glitch in the Hanging Garden, it didn't make sense to me to try to knit anything requiring thought
or precision, so I cast on some stash yarn to knit one of Elizabeth Zimmerman's designs, the Tomten Jacket. This'll
probably go to Dulaan when it gets done. The great advantage of this pattern is that it's all garter stitch, basically
mindless, extremely hard to mess up, even for me in a decongestant fog. It's now up to the armholes, in spite of The
Cold From Hades.
On the Socktoberfest front, that mate to the lonely Sockotta sock begun last year has gotten its gusset completed,
and we're cruising down the foot. With any luck, it'll get done and another pair will climb onto the needles before
the month is out. Photos won't happen until The Infernal DigiCam decides to play nice. Miserable machine, it's
probably time to replace it.
October 4, 2006
10:06 am edt
has started off Socktoberfest by asking some pertinent questions about the participants' history with sock knitting.
When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught
by a friend or relative? or in a class? Coincidentally enough, I made my first sock in October of 2002, during a
road trip with friends. It was crocheted, using some weird microfiber stuff I snagged in desperation at a craft store
in the wilds of New Hampshire, after running out of project midway through the trip. Made a bunch in crochet,
still use them. BUT - having learned to knit mumblety years ago, when I was but a wee tot of six or so, I
eventually dug out some doublepoints and tried a knitted sock. Never looked back.
What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time? Those first microfiber socks came out
ginormous, so were gifted to the husband of a dear friend. From what I hear, he still uses them around the house.
What yarns have you particularly enjoyed? Sockotta, Opal, Regia, Blue Moon's Socks that Rock, Koigu.
Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method? Though
I have crocheted several pair, my method of choice is 4 doublepoints. This arrangement fits in my hand better than any
of the others I've tried.
Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?) Cuff down, with flap and gusset heel unless
it's a self-patterning where I want to preserve the stripe, in which case, bullseye (afterthought) heel.
How many pairs have you made? Haven't really kept count, over all, but my project page shows five pair so
far this year. With any luck, at least two more pair will get done.