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Welcome to my world...

Occasional musings on "life, the universe, and everything" from a fiber junkie.

April 19, 2007

Storm Aftermath
That was one heck of a Nor'Easter that hit us on Sunday and Monday, no?  It caused a lot of disruption from the Carolinas to Maine, and on into Canada.  Being extremely reluctant to risk a broken hip or hypothermia this close to my vacation, I took Monday off from w*rk.  Turns out, I'd have had major problems getting there anyway.  The bus I normally take in the mornings never made it to my stop; it got stuck halfway there, between downed power lines and broken trees and traffic stupidities. 
Speaking of trees, here's the view from the front of my building:
Apparently, the snow accumulated only on the side of the trees away from the building, and its weight pulled them right out of the ground (or partially, at least).  Those were nice young evergreens, too. 
This winter's weather has been particularly weird, with almost nothing in the line of cold and snow through November, December and more than half of January.  Now we get the nastiness, just when everyone's ready for spring.  Ol' Mother Nature always did have a twisted sense of humor.
On the knitting front, the "Monsoon" socks from the February Rockin' Sock Club kit are done.  My version is a little different from the pattern supplied with the kit, but they're toasty warm and the colors work well with a large chunk of my wardrobe, so I'll call them a success.
So, of course, now that those are done, I need to start some new ones.  Decisions, decisions.  Since that luscious Cabin Cove yarn has been whimpering at me for quite a while, I decided to take pity on it and give it a nicely complex pattern - "Gothic Spire" by Cookie A.  It hasn't gotten very far yet, as witness:
Since this one is going to take a fair bit of concentration to get right (there's a chart), I also cast on a hank of Schaefer "Anne" in a blue, green and yellow colorway to make my basic stockinette sock.  Gotta have that mindless project too, especially when it's vacation time.  Alas, that one went into hiding when I reached for the camera, so you won't see it for a while.
And finally, my buddy Mmario has designed a gorgeous circular shawl that he calls "Queen Anne's Lace" because of its resemblace to that flowering plant.  I've volunteered to test-knit his instructions for it, in spite of having umpty-zillion other projects in the queue (can we say "Startitis"??  I knew we could.)  It's starting out well, in some light green Cotton Fine from the stash. 
The aforementioned three projects will, of course, be accompanying me on vacation; they'll be perfect train and cruise knitting.  Thus, the biggest hurdle in the SeaSocks preparation process (deciding what knitting to take) has been overcome, leaving me only the trivialities of laundry and packing.  Onward!
9:45 am edt

April 10, 2007

They say it's a sock, but . . .
I tried, really I tried, to knit the first Rockin' Sock Club kit to pattern.  While I love the yarn, there were some issues with the pattern.
Imagine, if you will, starting a sock with a short row toe in garter stitch, then switching to a smaller needle and ribbing for the foot.  Work about four inches of this and hold it with the toe up. 
Trust me, this does not  look anything like a sock.  Well, not a sock for a foot, anyway.  Quite the contrary. 
Having a rather twisted sense of humor, I did for a few moments contemplate the possibility of taking this to w*rk with me, to knit on during lunch break.  Imagining the reactions of the gentlemen in my department was amusing, to say the least.  (Yes, I have an evil streak.)
Knitting on, I realized that the combination of STR medium weight and a size 1 needle was making my hands hurt - a lot.  The resultant fabric was much too stiff, more like cardboard than anything else. The pattern wanted a 2x1 rib on the top of the foot, and 2x2 rib on the sole, which struck me as unnecessary fussiness.  It also meant I couldn't work this sock on autopilot, as doing so would lead to weirdness, tinking and associated unladylike language.
After about the twentieth episode of tinking and cursing, I had had enough.  Sock went flying into the froggy pond and was restarted top-down on a size 2 needle.  This round went mostly better, except that the cable pattern pulled the sock in so tightly that I couldn't get the leg over my foot, even on a 4.  Froggy pond redux. 
They say the third time's the charm; in this case, true.  After the cable refused to cooperate, I forgot about "Inside Out" and did my own thing.  The leg is 2x2 ribbing, the heel is garter stitch short rows, the foot went back to the 2x2 rib, and the toe is garter stitch.  Having the heel and leg attached makes it look much less . . . um . . . suggestive, that's a good word.  With any luck, these will be done in another week or so.
On another, happier, note, the dithering over which project(s) to take along on my SeaSocks adventure has begun.  It goes without saying that at least one of the projects will be a sock - how could I not ?  However, the choice of yarn and pattern is still in question - do I want something mindless in a spectacular yarn, or one of the Cookie A patterns I recently purchased, in a plainer yarn?  For a secondary project, I'm leaning toward the test knit of Mmario's "Queen Anne's Lace" pattern, but again, in what yarn?  There's Zephyr in the stash, and some Svale, and some Cotton Fine, any one of which would work.  Decisions, decisions.
1:14 pm edt

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"Everything happens for a reason, except possibly football." -- Terry Pratchett