Sunday, May 28, 2006

Knitters Tea Swap

I don't know if I mentioned this before, but I had signed up for the Knitters Tea Swap.
After a bit of cryptic "anonymous" correspondence, my package arrived on Friday. It turns out that my swapper was our hostess -- Suzie! This is what she sent me: A tin of Tao, a cush of Cascade, a bite of biscotti, a chunk of chocolate and a beautiful card. Please note what a careful gifter our hostess is ... everything matches in colour -- greys and brown -- absolutely lovely! Thanks so much, Suzie! My mind is already dreaming of what I can do with the lovely yarn, the tea has been brewed and is sitting beside me, biscotti at its side, and the chocolate ... or, what's left of it ... has been carefully put away for another day. Suzie, you done good -- if you decide to have a Round Two, count me in!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

SMAK May - done!

(Edited to replace totally crappy pictures with somewhat better but still semi-crappy pictures ... rain, rain, go away!)

My socks for the May Sock-a-month are done:

These are the Denmark socks from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road, done in Novita 7 Veljesta Broder, colour 7173. They are actually a nice, warm, heathered brown, but for some reason they are insisting that, photographically speaking, they are grey. I won't argue, because I am tired of arguing with them. I like them now that they're done, but I didn't enjoy knitting them.

Cabling on socks really slows you down, and it's hard to get a nice, smooth rhythm going. But the end result, in my opinion, is very handsome. I changed the heel flap to Eye of Partridge, and modified them a bit to fit my feet, but other than that they are as written.

Would you like fries or mashed with your ribs? Neither, please -- I'd rather have nupps.

A nice little detail at the top of the ribbing. But see? Grey again.

On another topic, whenever I've used Koigu before, I've always used a different yarn for the ribbing, heel and toe. So I wondered: Can I get a full sock from one skein?

Yes, I can :-) Despite about ten years of sock knitting, these are my first ever toe-ups. These are Koigu PPPM P123. I think they look very happy.

I used the easy and wonderful Magic cast-on from the recent Knitty, further refined to be knot-less by this post by the author, Judy Becker, on her blog. In the Knitty article, under the section on double points, it says, "Work step #9 by knitting ½ of the stitches using one needle and the remaining ½ of the stitches using a second needle." I found it much easier to just work them all onto one needle and then separate them by slipping half of them to the second.

I'm not yet sold on the whole toe-up routine. I don't buy the "cast on enough stitches till they fit" and "easy to try on" drill. You can't tell if they fit when they've got a bunch of needles in them. A toe is, however, an easy and potentially useful gauge swatch. I was paranoid that I'd get the heel on the wrong side, and it just felt weird to see the ribbing grow out of the leg instead of vice versa. I'll do number two and see how I feel then.

June? Yes, June is coming.

These will be finished in June.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Yes, I am a lemming.

Thanks very much y'all (or is that all y'all - I can never remember which is which) for your very kind comments about the Basketcase socks. I hope you enjoy knitting and wearing yours as much as I have mine. And no, you don't have to name them, unless you really, really want to.

There is no progress to report on my Starsky, because I haven't actually touched it since I last posted about it. There is no progress to report on the turquoise cabled cardi either. I have finished one May SMAK sock and cast on the second. However, between the casting off and the casting on, I somehow managed to start three other socks. And I'm not exactly sure how I did that, except I remember a vague yearning for round after round after round of soothing stockinette. Boom, there they were. Two of those socks are ready for heels, which I consider to be weekend work, and the other is beside me right now. The small progress I was making on my Chaos is disintegrating. I obviously have a problem, and that problem is Lack of Focus.

So, as I was saying, I am, or have become, a lemming. I seem to be joining knit-alongs almost as quickly as I have been purchasing yarn. (By the way, I'd like to thank the Income Tax people for giving me back the money that they took from me in the first place - it's all gone now, so please send more.) Oh yes, lemmings. Whither the crowd goest, so go I. I see something that looks like fun, so I jump in. I tell myself the discipline will be good for me. I convince myself that peer pressure and threat of public humiliation will help keep me on track. Of course, it also occurs to me as I type this that none of the knitalongs I have recently joined relate to any current projects, only new ones. I will conveniently ignore that fact :-)

I have admired Sam the Ram for a long time. He looks like a fun challenge. I wouldn't want him to be lonely, so I also ordered the pattern for Sue the Ewe. The knit-along for Sam grew out of a discussion on the Aranknit list. I'm thinking I'll use up some Patons Classic Merino, but the final decision will be made once the patterns arrive.

I have lusted after Brenda Zuk's Tiger Swallowtail Shawl since I first saw it many years ago. I am a member of several lace lists, but so far my lace has been limited to bookmarks and one doily. (I knit a doily several years ago because, well, I just had to -- you know how it goes. I finished it and said, "What the heck am I supposed to do with it now?" I gave it to a friend and thought the lace bug was out of my system. Apparently not.) I have about as much use for a shawl as I do for a doily. Nonetheless, I am now a member of The Amazing Lace, with the swallowtail as my partner. The pattern is ordered, and yarn will be determined at some future point. This knit-along sounds like a lot of fun, but I am also scared like I ain't never been scared before. Send good vibes - I think I'll need them.

Oh, and if you'd like to join in, there's lots of room on the edge of the cliff. Come join the lemming trail ... you know you want to.

(I thought that if I peppered this post with links, you wouldn't notice the total absence of pictures. Did it work?)