Thursday, January 29, 2009

I think I'm in love...

Aren't we purdy?!?

My Soctoberfest socks are finally done! I managed to finish the last few rows of pattern and do the toe before supper last night and I am so happy with the results. I'm wearing them today and really... I think I'm in love!

As in every relationship we had our ups and downs. The ups were wonderful - that first sock coming together so quickly, so easily, so pretty. Then there were the downs - the first disaster, the second disaster, and so on. The almost continuous frogging and re-knitting. There were times when it seemed the only thing to do was throw in the towel and admit the love was gone. But then I'd look at the finished first sock and think that maybe there was a glimmer of a spark left. I'm so glad I perservered. The picture doesn't do them justice, but take my word on it. They're perfectly lovely! Especially on a morning where the windchill is making it feel like -36C out there.

I'm on a sock kick right now. Greenjeans be damned. I'm just not that into it right now. I just want socks. Lovely little projects that tuck so nicely into my purse and can be whipped out and worked on a moments notice of some spare time.

Being the selfless knitter (ok - we all know I'm not that selfless, but it sounded good I thought), I'm currently working on a pair of socks for (BF)G. He loved the Gentlemen's Plain Winter Socks (Nancy Bush - "Knitting Vintage Socks) that I made for him last year, so I thought why fix what ain't broke... I'm making him a second pair. These ones are out of Ram Wools new house sock yarn, Softly, which although soft enough is kind of splitty, and given it's just merino with no reinforcing power of nylon I'm a touch worried as to how they'll wear for him on a day to day in his workboots kind of basis, but we'll see. It's a great pattern for not having to pay close attention to, which if my Soctoberfest socks taught me anything, we all know I have no capabilities for focusing on anything these days making this ideal for me at this point in time!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Conquering a rogue sock

My knitting has been going no where as of late.  Well, not exactly no where.  In truth, it's been going backwards a lot.

What is it that make one little sock so damned hard to knit?  The first sock was a charmer.  It went swimmingly.  Really quickly.  Fits like a dream. 

The pattern is well written and the yarn (despite my initial battles with untangling it's 400 yds) lovely to work with so it makes a gal wonder what could go wrong?

Apparently my brain and the sudden loss of any ability to follow simple directions.

Back in October I cast on one night at SnB for the second sock of my Soctoberfest Mystery KAL sock.  I was excited.  I figured within two or three weeks I would be proudly wearing a new pair of socks.  But something went terribly wrong.  It took me the whole evening to cast on and do a couple of rows.  I couldn't count properly.  I had to cast on repeatedly before I managed to get all 64 stitches cast on.  Then I twisted my stitches in the round so I had a quasi-mobius-esque type cuff.  Sadly it all came out again.  Finally conquered the cast on and thought I was off to the races.

I was wrong.

I knit the cuff and then compared it with my beautiful first sock.  Something was amiss.  The middle section was huge.  Not just too long, but somehow too wide.  But I decided I could ignore it.  Telling myself, no one's going to see the cuff anyways.  

I took a break from the sock until after Christmas and then decided it was time to finish it.  So I plugged away on the second clue which is the patterned leg.  50 rows into the chart and somewhat alarmed that something seemed a little off, I thought I'd check the instructions to find out how many rows I repeated on the chart the second time.  Much to my horror, it clearly said "Repeat rows 1-32 of the chart once.  Repeat rows 1-16 one more time."  Rows 1-32?  My chart had 64 rows.  

Then it hit me.  I was knitting the foot chart.  Not the leg.  So somewhat disheartened, I began to frog.  All the way back it went to the cuff.  And I started again.  Regaining my confidence with each row I did I began once again to envision proudly wearing my pretty socks.  I finished the first 32 rows of the chart and stopped to admire my handiwork.  I should mention I did think, about 16 rows earlier that something looked a touch off, but I was not going to be stopped in my quest to conquer the second sock.  It was then that the gods of cursed socks struck me well and truly down.  

I had not marked my pattern the last time I'd stopped working on it, and blithely had resumed where I thought I had been instead of carefully inspecting exactly which row I had finished at.  Back to the frog pond I went.  My heart heavy and my mind reeling with the ridiculousness of it all.   How hard had it become for me to follow directions?  Was I that lost in my own world that the simplest of tasks could become so daunting?

I am very pleased to say though, this little tale of woe has a happy ending after all.  Well so far anyways.

Yesterday I picked up knitting and chart with much trepidation.  I carefully examined where I should begin knitting, took a deep breath and began.  I zipped through the remainder of the 32 rows, and continued on with rows 1 - 13.  I had a glimmer of hope that I was on my way to conquering the rogue sock when I inspected my knitting and saw that it was as it should be.  This morning saw the completion of row 14-16, the eye of partridge heel flap, and blessedly the turning of the heel with no disasters.

I know it's early days, but I am feeling brave enough to say that I declare my rogue second sock to have admitted defeat in the presence of my knitting determination.  I shall have a nice new pair of socks after all.

Wish me luck on that foot chart.  Really I've already had practice doing it twice before, so it should be a piece of cake... right?  Next post I do I am determined to have a picture of my finished pair of socks to show you.

Until then, as I said, wish me luck and I hope you're having much more success in your knitting endeavors than I have been lately!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Happy New Year and all that...

I can't believe it's been well over a month since my last posting. I used to be so good at staying on top of things, but that seems to have all gone downhill over the last little while.

We had a lovely Christmas holiday - the kids were home until mid-day on Christmas and then they were off to the sunny beaches of a Cuban resort with their Dad. I will admit to feeling a little twinge of glee when they came back to below normal temps and major snowfall. But that's just because I'm a little twisted and mean and really, that's what you get for going and sunning yourself in the dead of winter (and bragging about it to your poor mother whose stuck here in the frozen prairies! Muahahaha).

I didn't do much in the way of knitting over the holidays at all - but I did discover that I still know how to read - honestly it had been so long since I'd picked up a book for purposes other than cataloguing it, I really wasn't sure if I still posessed the skills necessary to read a whole book! But happily I can say I do and I read several over the two weeks!

I did manage to finish up a couple of projects for the holidays though. G love her alpaca and I have to say the pattern was a dream knit! So easy, so well written. I'm definately a fan! I knit it using a strand of Paton's Classic and a strand of Drops Alpaca held together.

I also finished J's Joey Ramone doll (with much help from N in the desperate hours leading up to Christmas Eve - that kid can do the finishing on a project like no one's business!). Unfortunately, no picture of it, because it went home with J to his apartment before I thought to take one.

N was to be the recipient of a pair of special mitts for doing his target practice in the winter, but given that I have really no concept of the passage of time, they did not get completed for Christmas, but were waiting for him when he arrived home from Cuba. Knit from Cascade 220, the should be warm as well as functional! He was really pleased with them, so I was pretty pleased myself.

Since getting back to work, I've picked up the needles again and am busily finishing up my Greenjeans - just one more sleeve and the ribbing to go! I also resumed working on the Clementine Shawlette - 15 more inches to go on that puppy, and the second sock from my Socktoberfest Mystery Sock KAL - yes, I realize Socktoberfest is long since past, but I got sidetracked for awhile - well let's just say a couple of months.

I am planning to have some 2009 FOs to show soon! I hope that the new year is treating you well so far! Until next time, which with any luck won't be so far in the distant future this time, happy knitting!