Monday, March 27, 2006

Glad Raggs

I finished my socks for the Six Sox Knitalong, just in time. [Yarn is Fortissima/Socka #1060] The new sock pattern will be posted on Saturday, April 1st.

Now I'm back to working on the Pink Ladder Socks, which I'm making for the Princess. She wouldn't wear pink for several years, but now she loves pink. Still can't stand purple, though, so she wouldn't even consider attending my alma mater, Kansas State (school colors are purple & white). Seriously, she took school colors into consideration.

Current status of the Pink Ladder socks:

These were the February sock of the month from I did about 2/3 of the leg plus the heel yesterday. It's going really quickly.

I'm also still working on the Mystery Shawl 3 -- haven't made a lot of progress recently. I'm just finished with row (or round, actually) 100. Not that you can see much, but here's a picture.

It's a damp gray day here in the Ozarks. I just let 3 sad-faced dogs into the warm, dry house. I must be getting soft in the head.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Just suck it up and drive on

I made the sanity-saving decision to pick up those Jaywalkers and just finish them. I was past the gusset decreases, after all, so all I had left to do was finish the foot and do the toe. I got the foot done on Saturday and thought I'd get the socks finished that night. I was mistaken.

I like to do short-row toes. The problem with that on these socks is that there are 38 instep stitches (because the pattern pulls in) and 32 sole stitches, and you have to have the same number of stitches top & bottom to make the short-row toe work. So I thought I'd do the decrease rows from the pattern, but only on the instep stitches, until I had 32 stitches on the top of the sock. I did my short-row toe, and counted the stitches on the needle. 31 -- I lost a stitch somewhere. I ripped out that toe and reknit it, and it worked out right this time. So I grafted it -- one sock done! Or not... the toe of the sock looked a bit like a Bell Curve. I was so disgusted, I didn't even think to take a picture before I ripped it out. Hmm... I'll just rip out the decrease rows, rearrange the stitches so I have 35 on each needle, and do my short-row toe. See? That works -- except that now my sock toe has ears.

Fourth try: I realize the problem is that on the instep pattern, you do an increase at each side, causing the sock to flare when you transition to stockinette stitch for the toe. So I ripped back 6 rows, and reknit them in pattern, except that I didn't do the increases on the first and last instep stitches. And voila! at the end of those 6 rows, I have 32 instep stitches to go with my 32 sole stitches. I managed the short-row toe without dropping any stitches, and finally finished these socks. Yarn is Opal Rodeo #1153.

This whole process took me until sometime on Monday. As soon as the Jaywalkers were done, I started the Glad Ragg socks for the Six Sox Knitalong. I really like the yarn I'm using -- it's Fortissima/Socka #1060, a 4-ply sock yarn with 1 strand of black, 2 strands of gray, and the 4th ply is a bright variegated strand. I'm using a 40" addi turbo, magic loop method. I was a die-hard dpn sockknitter. I had tried 2 socks on 2 circs, but didn't like the extra needle ends flopping around.

I tried magic loop for the first time back in November (and it turned out to be a good thing, as the 2 skeins of yarn differed in color enough that it was noticable, but if I hadn't been making both at the same time, I wouldn't have realized the difference until I had finished the first sock and was well into the second, and then only if I looked at them together). One of the biggest advantages is that both socks are finished at the same time -- no lonely sock waiting for its mate while you get distracted by other projects. And they'll have the same number of rows on the non-patterned parts, without having to count over and over again.

Friday, March 10, 2006

You know you haven't posted in awhile...

when you have to go back and read what you've written in order to make some small measure of sense & create some continuity.

Rogue went to school last week, and was admired by all. Actually, one girl told her it was cute & asked where she got it, and the Princess replied, "Um, my mom made it," (in a "you won't believe this, but..." tone of voice). Others chimed in, in disbelief (really, there's just not much knitting in rural southeast Missouri). End of story. *sigh*

Mystery Shawl 3 is coming along pretty well. My biggest lesson from the Knitting Olympics is what I can accomplish if I focus on one project, rather than ... 20 or so. Actually, I just counted, and it's more like 9. But I have several others that want me to start them. Fortunately, I don't have a LYS, so there's no running out to buy more needles when the ones I need are in another project. [What did I just say? Fortunately? Well, probably so. I have managed to acquire a LOT of yarn without the benefit of having a yarn store nearby.]

Jaywalkers are past the heels, but there is a hole on just one side of each one, at the top of the heel flap, where it joins the instep. Progress on these seems to be going so slowly, I'm considering taking them off the Magic Loop and putting them on dpns to finish. But if I do that, I may frog back and do a short row heel ala Queen Kahuna. I like her "no heel flap" method, too, but not with striped yarn in a sock that starts with the cuff. The stripes would look like spats to me, I'm afraid. (Had the same problem with the Strong Heel socks, from Knitter's issue K72.)

Hmm, apparently no pics of them in their current state. I'll have to remedy that.