Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Is she still knitting socks?

Yes, she is.

I've finished the Spiralling Socks:

and while I think the yarn is perfect for the job, I'm not so enamoured with the actual pattern.

The hunt was therefore on for a toe-up pattern that was a little more roomy than this one.

I liked the look of the Mojo socks but I also liked the look of Judy Gibson's "You're putting me on Socks" with calculations for using two circular needles by Peggy Pignato. (Except I was using magic loop but it's the same principle.)

The socks certainly look a little odd when they aren't on the foot:

but the addition of a gusset certainly helps the fit of them:

They are very comfortable.

There has been a small hiatus in the knitting department. I have had a wobbly tummy (tt). The upside is that I'm slightly thinner than I was (no bad thing - normally when I'm ill I eat like a horse, this time I didn't eat at all). I was so weak I could do nothing but lie on the sofa like the Lady of the Camellias, watch the Tour de France on TV and knit socks. All better now and able to get on with some lace.

As I said, I've begun MMario's "Spanish Armada". I'm on round 87 and it's going well. It looks like the usual pile of dental floss that the monkey's been playing with:

Woman cannot live by lace alone, of course, and there is yet another sock on the needle. I wanted to use the Trekking yarn I dyed with KoolAid at SkipNorth and decided on Firestarter:

I like the elegant way the cable splits to accommodate the gusset. There's just enough "action" to keep the attention but not so much that it detracts from the colours in the yarn.

The garden is still growing:

We have courgettes:

We have tomatoes:

We have kale:

I suppose I'd better go and cook some of it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Socks and more Socks

The second Jack Sparrow Sock, which is, in effect, the fourth Jack Sparrow Sock, is finished. It looks exactly like the first (third) sock, so I shan't bore you with a picture.

I've moved swiftly on to the next sock. I ordered Zauberball yarn from Modern Knitting specifically for this project - the Spiralling Socks out of the latest "The Knitter" magazine.

I'm using the fuchsia colourway (though I had originally thought of using the Tropical Fish) and they are coming out extremely well:

Here's the afterthought heel:

I can see the point of using an afterthought heel because it means the flow of colour is not interupted, though I found it quite difficult to place the heel - the pattern says to work until the sock is 5cm shorter than the finished length. That's all very well, but the measurement seems to change depending on if you are measuring the sock on the foot or on the table. My advice is definitely to measure the sock on the foot. I think the heel could have been deeper, too, but I'm not so skilled in sock knitting as to be able to alter the pattern. Any advice from all you seasoned sock knitters out there?

I've also made a decision as to what should be my next big lace project. I've settled on MMario's "Spanish Armada". Now I know it doesn't look much in that picture but it was when I saw this version that my mind was made up. I'm using the lace yarn from Krafty Koala that I bought in Coventry and I'm on round 34. No pictures yet, I'm afraid - too busy knitting.

I've also been busy in the garden, or rather Mother Nature has been busy. She has provided us with broad beans:

and courgettes:

My appeal for any news of coil-less safety pins has been rewarded by a very generous Vanessa (of the above mentioned Modern Knitting). Look what arrived in the post this morning:

How very kind. Thank you so much, Vanessa. (Aren't knitters nice?)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Plagued with latter wit

I don't know what I was thinking the other day. I told you all about the excellent service from Modern Knitting and about how the postman is wise to my yarn-buying ways but I failed to give you a picture of the yarn.

This is the Tropical Fish:

and this the Fuchsia:


The Tropical Fish is probably going to be the Spiralling Socks from the latest "The Knitter"; the Fuchsia, I'm not so sure about. All suggestions gratefully received.

I just thought I'd try to find you a link to the Spiralling Socks, unsuccessfully, as it turns out. However, while making the attempt, I came across these Celtic Spiral Socks. That's a Ravelry link, so if you aren't on Ravelry, you need to sign up immediately, or you could just go directly to the pattern chart. Obviously not suitable for this fancy yarn but very striking, nevertheless.

I am, however, getting ahead of myself. I have completed the first Jack Sparrow II for #1 son:

I made even more modifications to the pattern. I still used a toe-up construction, because that's what I like. I know there are some people out there who cannot abide the toe-up sock, nor the magic loop (you know who you are) but you will just have to bear with me on this one.

One of the joys of knitting toe-up is that you have plenty of time to work out what your gauge is before you get anywhere near needing to know this information. Twelve rows before it was time to begin the heel, I started to increase one stitch at each end of every other row on the sole stitches. I increased a total of twelve stitches, which is an arbitrary sort of a number but happened to be the number of stitches I was going to leave unwrapped in the centre of the heel.

I worked a short-row heel as normal on half the original number of stitches. Then I began to work in the round again and decreased away the twelve extra stitches, one at each of the heel on every other row.

Here it is complete:

The addition of those few stitches just adds sufficient room to make it unnecessary to be pulling and tugging and squirming about to get the sock on the foot.

Temperature here at the moment is 91F/33C, so it's a completely academic question - there will be no wearing of socks in this household for quite a while yet.