25 July 2005

Blessed soles

I finished the Fiesta socks this morning. I've got to get ready for a conference. This also means that there must be packing of knitting project for conference. And culling of internet info about yarn shops in San Francisco. Photo, though a bit dim, was magically added as of August.

Saw a nice note in Weekend Knitting comparing the luxury of handknitted socks to nice lingerie. Nobody else but you might know how nice they are, but that doesn't mean they're not worth the having - or the knitting. Half deciding to use the Mountain Colors worsted in steelhead sent by the stunning secret pal from knittysp4! Of course, it's not nylon reinforced or superwash, so I'll reinforce what I wish and handwash them. Need to match up a pattern, if so. The last socks have been a smaller weight.

We'll see in August what I've done. Don't really feel like taking a full sweater project. Besides, I took a leap of faith and pitched most of the holey store-bought wool socks I've been wearing as 2nd pair socks for 2-3 winters. (Why, oh WHY do we let ourselves limp along on holey socks and ratty undies?!?) (I see another cleaning frenzy in August....)

22 July 2005

Notes - children and socks

If you haven't been over to knitty lately, stop by to take note of a wonderfully engaging conversation about having and not having children in this thread on the knittyboard! I'm incredibly impressed with the wealth of responses, the receptive and accepting tone of the contributions.

Recently, in a box of childhood stuff re-claimed when packing up my mother for her retirement move, I found a cute, self-illustrated note my young (junior high) aunt wrote to me, a niece 5 years her junior. I remember that she used to write me quite often. We both did. I'm jumping back onto the letter writing bandwagon. My nieces and nephew are just at the perfect letter writing age. Time for Auntie to get back to her formerly prolific letter-writing habits. This is what all those fun office supplies are for!

On a sock note:
Nearly done with the Fiesta Socks. Hit the first row of the toe decreases for sock one. Skipped over to sock 2 to catch up the foot to the same point. I'm feeling confident about my sock making and have decided not to follow the Norling pattern for the toes - skipping over to a Jawoll pattern which has a lovely rounded toe with graduated decreases distributed all 'round.

Also (gulp) caved in to internet shopping and ordered a little bit of the solid sock wool from Knitpicks. Want to make a secret present. Shh. Secret.

18 July 2005

As hot as it has been...

I'm still knitting. Made progress on the socks, hitting heel flaps, turning both heels, and zipping past the gussets. No photos today, but I'm pleased that I matched requested length of sock work with striping fortune. Almost half way along the foot on one.

I've putzed about in the AC today. Should go home now while it's cool.

13 July 2005

I couldn't believe it either

While I was running between places out of state, I took an extra little run out to a new yarn shop I'd heard about through online resources. I hadn't had coffee or breakfast and it was about lunch time.

I made three slow passes through the store, looking at all areas, not really looking for anything in particular. I fondled, I flipped, I read labels, I took things off shelves, I replaced with care.

I left without spending a dime. Realized that no one had really approached me. I had a hi and a smile from the coffee meister when she thought I was lurking at that counter. See, here I thought I preferred to browse unpestered, hover-free. Turns out I'm bit more susceptible to staff/customer interactions than I thought. I might not think I want much, but touching base with this customer might have kept me from staying at arms length.

Bought Critter Coffee at the end of the shopping area. (I don't want to name names. Did I manage?) Who'd have thought it possible?

Fiesta Ware becomes Fiesta Wear

I packed one, imagine, just one project.  Naturally it begged for simultaneity.  (And naturally the balls were wound in opposite directions at the factory.)   I packed up my aunt's dishes a couple days before I began these socks for her.  She'll have to put her feet up on the table to show what a clever match I've made.

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01 July 2005

I will not overpack, I will not overpack, I will not overpack

I'm doing family things for a week. I should take the Peace Fleece. Of course I take knitting, regardless. I should take gift project #1. However, I will be very busy. I could take Cambio. There will be too much driving and family packing and family cooking and family reunion. I could take something small, and start socks for my aunt. I'm driving, so no knitting by the mile. I could take that other gift project #2, in case I run up to a stopping point.

How's this for logic. If I take too many projects with me, I can't go to any lovely undiscovered yarn shops....

Will report back in a week.

Steps forward & steps back

I went home last night and knit about 5 inches up on the Peace Fleece & Noro - spitting distance of the armscye, what with the choice to make this a quick knit on 11's. It was great, finally a little cooler, so I could enjoy knitting in a bit of a breeze. (It'd been a bit too hot to really enjoy knitting the Peace Fleece last weekend, but I was on a mission.)

This morning, sailing away, I discovered that when I started last night's knitting, I'd manufactured an increase in one of the rows of ribs. How could I not have noticed the shift in rhythm from 6knit 2purl to a sudden 7 knit? The increase cropped up right after the marker at the top of the round. Nuts.

Since it had to come off the needles, I snuck in a fitting - to see where the hem of this lovely soft and drapey boyfriend big rib sweater needs to fall. I hate a fitting that has built-in mid-age body-image sighing built into it. That part took an extra 3 minutes, I swear. And then the real troubles began. I'd thought I was using my noodle and had measured (and fit) the sweaters I wanted this one to be comparable to. This was always and ever going to be a large, comfy pullover, a jeans sweater to upgrade my least-dressed work days when I run between buildings without a coat. And this nice, drapey fabric would be fine, but without the strength of an upper body, it seemed REALLY big.

I remeasured. I spent part of the day playing hookey from my self-imposed work schedule and knit back about half of what I'd frogged, so I wouldn't go crazy and undo the whole thing.

Maybe it's having looked at too many pictures of sharp looking, curvy cropped and current summer sweaters. I must remember that this is not a summer sweater, it'd NEVER suit me cropped, and there is nothing wrong with knitting a simple big rib which of course widens tremendously when yanked off the needles and not finished. And I should just finish the sweater. It will be fine. I don't need to spend an extra half hour rethinking the proportions of the sweater.

Right? I do not need to keep taking steps back on purpose.

Of course, I'm also now fretting about the placement of the remainder of the Noro. I have 3 biggish stripes floating below the bustline. I think I'll have some amount of striping on the sleeves, and I'll continue to think about the contrasting dilemmas for the top of the upper body. Do I run a band across front, back, and top of sleeves when knitting set-in sleeves? Do I have an easier (maybe) time of striping while trying to do a whole lot of "knit the whole thing in the round" experimenting. Is the KISS solution solid upper body and upper arms with contrast accent around collar band?

(This blog business is interesting. I've usually had this fretful second-guess stretch privately. )

The original steps forward were toward a no-thinking raglan roll. I think that was late last winter. I was up to the last sleeve with what was really too tight a fabric and ran out of wool. I was supersizing the sweater (only the sweater, not me) and clearly over-estimated it. The thing sat for a whole winter, and I found an interesting mate in the Noro and a couple skeins of same wool different lot. They sat together for quite awhile. I frogged back the whole thing early this summer.

If it's not finished in summer, I'll never get to it by the chilly part of fall. By then I'll need it. If I'm going to have to look schlumpy on a regular basis, I'm at least going to do it with flair and with beautiful yarn!

Maybe I'll work on the Cambio for a couple days.