Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bad Computer, No Biscuit

I had some lovely photos of my finished Serpentine sock uploaded on my laptop Sunday. Apparently a power surge yesterday caused my laptop's brand new hard drive to lose its mind.  I think I deleted photos from the camera so I'll have to remember to take another pic.  Even worse is that I lost the before picture to my French Press Slippers.  The unfelted slipper was about 2 feet long.  The felted slipper fits a size 9 woman's foot quite nicely, albeit a bit loosely about the top opening. I love to document the huge differences between before and after with felted items.

French Press Slippers
These were a lot of fun to make.  I'd been enamored of them before the Yarn Harlot fell under their spell.  (They remind me of the ballet slipper-like house shoes my paternal grandmother used to wear.) Having had a not-so-fun day on that particular day, I used them as a spot of personal retail therapy. I used some stashed Plymouth Galway in navy for them.  I didn't whip out the pair in 90 minutes, but I did get them knit in perhaps 3-4 hours total knitting time.  I have neither put the straps on them nor purchased buttons. There's no telling how long that will take.

Crabby Socks!
I have started sock number 2 for my sister.  I foresee no reason I can't get these finished by Christmas.  I might not even have to work on them in front of her and pretend that they're mine. (She's used to seeing me constantly knit.)  I don't think I'll manage to get my pair finished, though I should be able to make a dent in getting them started. 

I think I have the hang of the magic cast on for toe up socks.  I had to look it up again for this one, but I think I've got it stored in my brain now.  The slip stitch goes on the top needle and the yarn goes round the needles from under/outside. 

The Russian cast off that Wendy describes in her book seems to be a winner in terms of stretchability and simplicity.  I like having an option I can use in case I don't ahve a yarn needle (making the sewn cast off impossible).  It doesn't always happen, but sometimes I don't always have extra tools available and I'd hate to get stuck with no way to proceed.

Pictures of all this stuff coming soon!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Brief Update

A deceased hard drive in my laptop has rather cut into my blogging lately. It's just not as much fun to sit at the desktop computer in the computer room to blog when compared to sitting in the comfy chair with the laptop  while watching old movies.

On the other hand, I have gotten more knitting done....
The Socktoberfest socks are complete. They're a bit larger in circumference than I'd like but a trip through the washing machine this weekend helped that immensely.  From here on out, they'll primarily be handwashed.

I had a sincere go at the Fall 2009 Mystery Shawl and promptly made a mistake about three rows into it.  I'm in the process of tinking back.  I need to figure out where to put markers in it. There are some motif repeats, but nothing really sticks out as a Place Marker Here spot.  Once I get that done, I think progress will pick up dramatically.

The Tri-Cities Sock is past the heel and gusset shaping.  I don't remember where on the foot I am.  This is back to being a 4-5 row repeat so works pretty quickly.  I won't get both socks done by the end of the year but I might get them done by the end of January.

Taking precedence in the knitting queue is a new project: The Crabby McHappypants socks for my sister and me.  The yarn is Socks That Rock Mediumweight in the Crabby McHappypants colorway (corals and blues).  The whole idea came about when my sister commented that she was named  "Assy Jackass McSmartypants" at work one day for being a Smartass/Smartypants.  Later that week I stumbled upon the Crabby McCrabbypants and Crabby McHappypants yarns.  Since we've both been called Crabbypants before too, we thought Crabby yarn was a must have.  Both of us liked the colors in the Crabby McHappypants better than the Crabby McCrabbypants, even if we do like the latter name a whole lot more.

Now I need to knit at least one pair of socks between now and Christmas.  I'm not sure I can get it done.  I've got a lot of baking and some shopping/shipping to get done too. Ideally I'd like to get both pair finished, but I think that's definitely out of the question.

The pattern I've chosen is Serpentine Socks from Wendy Johnson's new book Socks From the Toe Up.  This is my first foray into toe-up socks.  It took a bit of extra research to figure out Judy's Magic Cast-On, but once I got past that, I figured things out quickly enough.  It was really fun to learn a new technique too.
The only thing I need to keep tabs on now is what numbers I use for cast on stitches, length to gusset/heel shaping, etc.  It's not going to be difficult to do, unless I start getting top-down and toe-up numbers switched around.   In hopes of preventing that, I'm putting an old index card box to good use and creating an index card for each of my sock victims recipients.  The front of the card will hold the relevant measurements while the back will hold the information about the actua socks I've knit for them.  Ideallly this would be kept on the computer, but a hard copy card system should work well enough for now.  I'll build a real database later if I get bored.

Update: I have finished the first of the Serpentine Socks. I'm totally sold on the toe-up method though I still prefer DPNs over 2 circulars.  I hate having to push the stitches over the join to get them to the needle tip. It feels like it slows my knitting immensely.