Saturday, November 22, 2008

FO: Chevron Socks

I am almost embarrassed that these took me so long. I started them in June! But as the weather got colder this past week I was disappointed at the number of hand-knit socks in my drawer so I was inspired to finish them up. I have plenty more sock yarn too, so hopefully I'll be filling my sock drawer with even more. The store bought ones simply don't compare.

These were knit from Artyarns Ultramerino using the Chevron pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. If I haven't said it before, this book is a must-own for sock knitters.

Having said that, I have to express my displeasure with the forethought heel. I suspected it wouldn't be worth the annoyance and fiddliness of creating it, and I was right. On the first sock, it created a hole on the side of the heel. Also, when I kitchener stitched the heel closed, it left an annoying little ear on the edge. I managed to make the second one come out better, but I still prefer the good ol' heel-flap-and-gusset technique. I remain curious about other heel constructions, though, so I'll definitely keep trying them out as I find them.

Friday, November 14, 2008

November: Giving

Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick was perfect for the BAM Challenge theme this month (thanks for the suggestion, Christi!) but it was also just an all-around great young adult novel. I'm so glad I read it!

Struggling with his parents' divorce, Alex is at a particularly low point one evening when he gets drunk and drives over a neighbor's lawn gnome. He is sentenced to community service and must spend 100 hours with a cranky old man at a local nursing home. But as he gets to know Solomon Lewis, he becomes more invested in the home and begins to plan concerts to entertain the residents, and ultimately stays on for a summer job. Through the time he spends with Solomon, he also gains insights into his own problems and becomes more adept at dealing with issues in his personal life. This is a great story of personal growth that avoids being overly sentimental. The writing is witty, the characters are likeable, and it's a super quick read!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sock yarn, I wish I could quit you

I'm really not a yarnie. I knit because I love the process and I love making something beautiful and, hopefully, useful. I don't buy yarn randomly just for the sake of having the yarn; it's the projects I get excited about, and the yarn is just the material that will make the project happen.

But sock yarn, sock yarn seems to be another matter entirely. It's easy to buy because I know how much I need for socks and I know that it's intended for socks and it all knits to a similar gauge. Even if I don't have a particular pattern in mind, it has a purpose, and choosing a pattern for the yarn is easy! In addition, there are more color possibilities because the yarn appears in smaller quantities and is mostly unseen under my shoes.

Yes, I am leading up to something.

Pretty, huh? This colorway was dyed exclusively for the Yarn Pirate Booty Club. I bought it from boringknitter who, incidentally, has lots more tasty (and hard to find) yarns for sale.

The problem, of course, is that I have been acquiring sock yarn much more quickly than I've been knitting with it. Simple math will tell you where that will lead. Consequently, I've renewed my efforts with the chevron socks and I'm happy to report that I've finished the first sock and begun the second.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Zipping right along

I just started this three and a half weeks ago.

The body is done and bound off using this stretchy bind off, which seems to have worked well. I've started the first sleeve, though I'm knitting it in the round, not straight as the pattern instructs. I forgot what a pain it is to knit the sleeve right onto the body rather than knit it separately and attach it later. I have to hold the entire project in my lap and keep flipping it around. But at the rate I'm going, I won't be doing that for long!

Once both sleeves are completed, I only have to pick up stitches around the neckline and knit a few rows and that's it. No seaming! I'll have a finished sweater soon, and hopefully a nice day to model for pictures outside, because photographing a black sweater inside on a dreary day is for the birds.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

FO: Lace Ribbon Scarf

Lace Ribbon Scarf
from in Noro Sock Yarn. I did one less repeat of the lace pattern than called for as I don't really like wide scarves. It curled a lot even with blocking, which is ok as it will be wrapped around my neck. (I do wish I had a decent blocking board, though, but I think that's a subject for another post.) This scarf felt like it took forever. I started it in May and then entered it in the Ravelympics WIP Wrestling and still didn't get it done. But once I was free of St. Enda it practically finished itself.

Although I like the Noro Sock Yarn, I wouldn't use it for socks. It's very thick and thin, and there was actually one bit that was so thin I didn't use it. The rest is fine for a scarf, but for something like socks that will rub up against shoes and be walked on and stretched out around a foot, I wouldn't recommend it. I think I found 3 knots in the skein which is annoying enough as it's hard to weave in ends in lace, but to make matters worse, where there's a knot the color changes quite abruptly. (Look at the third pic for an example of this). That being said, I love the colors and very much enjoyed working with the yarn.

I finished this a week ago, but the weather has not cooperated with me enough to get pictures until now. These were taken at Fresh Pond in Cambridge yesterday. It was the perfect day for a brisk fall walk, because not only were the leaves beautiful but the squirrels were busying themselves preparing for winter so they were both extremely active and adorably plumptious.