Knitwit's Rambles

My attempt to actually have a knitting blog, and to update it regularly. We'll see how well that works.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

You Learn Something New Every Day the fact that while I've been doing short-row heels since January, I apparently do them wrong. Or at the very least, half-assed.

This is likely because back in January when I was working on my second pair of socks using the short row heel, I was at my best friend Amanda's house in Pickering for New Years and had forgotten to bring the book I had with instructions for short-row heels, so I just did it from my (faulty) memory. The 6 litres of Pepsi I'd drank that weekend during our 24 Season 1 marathon (and, for that matter, the marathon itself, no matter that I'd seen the season before) may have had something to do with it too. It seemed to work and looked fairly good, if a little messier than other people's short-row heels, so I've done it that way since.

However, thanks to the tutorial on Cosmicpluto Knits last week, I discovered that I a) have been wrapping my stitches half-assedly (I would slip the stitch to be wrapped, then bring the yarn to the front, slip back and then bring the yarn between the stitches ready to work the next stitch) and b) have been doing the second half of the heel half-assedly, as I wasn't double-wrapping stitches. I'm already past the heel on both the Boring Socks of Doom, so I can't do the non-half-assed version any time soon, but will have to try it with my next pair and see what it looks like.

Speaking of the Boring Socks of Doom, I may be cursing myself here, but they seem to be almost done. I think if I can get another inch or two on the cuff of both of them, I can call it quits, and Thank God for it. Then I can cast on something more interesting, in time to take with me as travel knitting for th Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival this weekend.

Speaking of CSNF (I'll be there on Sunday, thanks to work scheduling, and dammit, there better be Koigu and Trekking left when I get there!), dammit is there some kind of T-pin embargo on this city or something? I need T-pins so I can block out the lacy sampler scarf, which only has about 6 or 7 inches of edging to go (I'll be able to finish that tonight, really, as each edging repeat is about 1 inch long and it's a pretty quick knit). I want to wear the scarf to CSNF this weekend.

But could I find T-pins in the THREE stores I tried? No! Fabricland? Out. Wal-Mart? Out. Husquvaarna (sic?) sewing store near work? Out. And with work I don't have time to go looking for them elsewhere in town until Saturday afternoon, by which time it'll be about 16 hours before I want to wear the damn thing. I won't even have time to hop off the bus near the yarn store tomorrow, run in, grab them (if they have them in the first place) and get out to the bus, as I have to commute from one branch to another on my lunch hour. If I got up very early on Friday, I could *maybe* have time to haul ass out to the other Wal-Mart in town, but I would then be very grumpy the rest of the day because from now until the evening of Sunday, I'm going to need all the sleep I can get.

Considering the scarf is made of laceweight yarn and very open and airy, there's a chance it might be dry before I need it, but it's cutting it awfully close. Arrgh.

I have bunch of photos to post, but they'll have to wait for next time as they're at home and I'm at work with about 5 minutes to go before I have to be on duty. So next time: photos, I promise! Hopefully I'll get them up before Sunday as I'd like to do some photoblogging about my trip into T.O. (aka "Yarnapalooza 2006") when I get back. But considering my track reocrd, no promises.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Socktoberfest is Here!

Anyone who's been watching the blog for a while should know by now that I love knitting socks. They're practical, they're portable, they're not to quick a knit, and not too long a knit, and there are so many gorgeous yarns. So needless to say, you all should know that I was going to be all over Socktoberfest like white on rice.

So to start off the celebration, Lollyknitting Around has posted a few questions for the Socktoberists.

1) When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?

I started making socks in the summer of 2002. I came home one day to spot my downstairs neighbour sitting on the porch of the house we lived in (we were in a duplex), knitting a sock, and thought, "I should try that!" I taught myself to knit them using some worsted weight yarn and Judy Passman's Generic No-Frills Sock Recipe. I still think that, for those with some experience knitting, this is the best way to learn to knit socks, as it teaches the general proportions and techniques used in sock knitting, instead of getting hung up on exact numbers, allowing you to knit socks with any type of yarn at any gauge.

2) What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?

My first pair were a heavy, 100% wool worsted weight and the first time I wore them (in boots, no less) the soles felted. Needless to say they became house socks after that (but very cozy and warm ones!). They're still around here somewhere--I think buried in one of my storage bins in my closet.

3) What would you have done differently?

Not worn them in boots. I think it was a good idea to use the worsted the first time though, so I wasn't trying to juggle teeny yarn and needles as well as figure out the pattern.

4) What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?

KOIGU. Oh dear mother of God, when I go to CSNF I'm going to mortgage my firstborn for the stuff. Same with Fibre Artist, and I can't wait to get going on the Cherry Tree Hill I got in NY. I like Regia as well, and I kind of like the self-striping yarns, but I think I'm making the transition over to handpaints. I'll probably still get some of the self-striping occasionally though (though in more interesting colourways than the Boring Socks of Doom). When I finally get a credit card I'd love to start trying some of the smaller producers, like people with Etsy shops.

5) Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?

I barely crochet, so no. I Use DPNs as my circular needles are unorganized enough already--I don't need 2 pairs of every kind. Plus, I do two socks at the same time anyway--I have two sets of all my sock-size DPNs so I can two the two socks at the same time, but this way I can also stagger them, so that when I'm knitting the foot on one, I'm doing the heel on the other, etc. Magic Loop... Meh, I might try it sometime, but I don't see much of a reason to switch from DPNs as they're working just fine for me. Plus, they make non-knitters boggle.

6) Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)

I've been doing a lot of toe-up socks lately so I know while there is a way you can do a heel-flap type of heel toe-up, I just stick with the short row. Plus, I find the short row heels fit my heels better, so even the last couple pairs of top-down socks I did were with short-row heels.

7) How many pairs have you made?

Oh Lord. least 20. I've got about 10 in my sock drawer now, at least 5 or 6 in my laundry basket, 1 pair that I just finished, 1 pair that still needs to ahve some ends woven in, I've made a couple for people that asked me to, and I know I'm forgetting a couple more.

And naturally I've got a hell of a lot more sock yarn to knit up.

And to ring in Socktoberfest, I have photos of the COMPLETED Kasshabog Dusk Koigu socks! Wore them today for my first Preschool Storytime and they were so comfortable.


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