Friday, August 31, 2012

FO Friday: RT's Silver Socks

I don't think I can say at last for this pair of socks. They went really quick, the yarn was a scrumptious  merino-silk blend, and they were my first sock commission.

The pattern was interesting, which is what made these socks such a fast knit. The pattern was a little more challenging to keep lined up, so this would be a great pair to do two at a time, just because shifting from a cable 6 away to 5 away seemed to happen more than it should.

As you can see, the socks start at the same place at the toes, and end in opposite places in the pattern by the cuffs.

I learned a new technique, or at the very least succeeded at one I had tried, and failed at before. I did a short row heel, and survived, with insignificant holes.

On top of that I just went off of half remembered directions from the one time I tried to do a short row toe and had such dreadful holes it would have been better to burn the yarn than to reuse it. What I did this time which I did not last time, was knit across and pick up the wraps.

I wholly support shadow wraps. They keep everything nice and tight.They were pretty quick to make, and all I needed to do was slip, pass yarn in front, slip back. then start knitting again.

In terms of the sock count, this brings me up to 5 for the year.

At this late in the game, my little mini goal of knitting 12 this year seems pretty remote. For all I think about socks, I haven't been very good about knitting them this year. Unless man socks count as 1.5 socks, in which case I have knit 6 pair : D.

I have the colorwork socks on the needles, I have a colorwork sweater I can't seem to stop swatching for, and my next big project will be the Evenstar Shawl, because, well, I got it on sale, and the Wollmeise group I am in is having a KAL, because enough of us want to knit it.

In a strange twist, this pair, and my next pair of socks will not be Wollmeise. Shocker, I know. I might even run out of Wollmeise twin before the end of the year. I am super duper close to my goal of 12 skeins knit. I already have knit 12 projects with Wollmeise this year. Isn't that crazy?

So, for now, colorwork sock, then colorwork sweater, then maybe the Evenstar.

Go check out other cool FO's this week!

That's all for now, take care guys

Molly : )

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rocking the Sock

I took my sock knitting to a rock concert. Sorry, there is no photographic proof.

Thankfully it doesn't smell like skunk-ass-pot. The security guard was very surprised about what I had in my bag. And I apparently I made the day of a woman who was stoned and drunk, and wanted to sleep with my friend. The power of socks, social lubricant, and interesting thing to do in between bands.

The concert was Linkin Park + Incubus, and sadly the crowd was too young to appreciate Incubus, and oddly Linkin Park's new album received more of a confused crowd than an excited one. There is just something about being in a stadium, screaming the lyrics of the songs with everyone else. For their older stuff, I think maybe 75% of the crowd was singing along. I think their showmanship was much better than when I saw them 4 years ago in Albuquerque. And I know for a fact the crowd was way more excited in Indy.

I was very close to finishing both socks, but I realized pretty late in the game that sock 1 is pretty different than sock 2. Like half an inch, and a full pattern repeat off. Luckily the guy I am making it for lives across the street, not across the country, so a little A-B test cleared up which sock is better. In the end, both fit, and he didn't care that the pattern was off, so I am just going to roll with it.

 On one hand I am a little frustrated that the socks don't match perfectly. On the other I am relieved that I can finish these up soon.

The picture below is probably the first sock. I just forgot to post a photo. Whoops. They are all up on Ravelry now.

I live dangerously and don't use a row counter, so I think some cables had 5 stitches and others had 6, since I was estimating how far it was from the cable crossing. I think these socks are a compelling argument for two at a time.

I am trying to make the leg length match, which is where I line up the heels and toes and measure the sock from there. In that regard I am to the ribbing. If I line up the toes, I am 1-2 cables away from being done. The goal is to make them look as much as possible the same. Leg length is the part coming out of the shoe, so it will have to work.

Since the last time I blogged I also ripped out most of the butterflies sock. In the end, 76 stitches was not nearly enough. I made different mods to the pattern to get 80 stitches, and hopefully this will work. Apparently the glass is still half full.

Here is where I was with the 76 stitch sock, right before ripping back to the cuff.

 Here is where I am now, in the middle of the first butterfly.

 I got rid of the 2 extra white stitches on either side of the butterfly, and replaced them with 4 stitches of continued stripe pattern on either side. On the incoming side I just continued in pattern. On the outgoing side I figured out what the 4 stitches before were supposed to be, and added those. I did this because the pattern does match at the beginning of the round, so preventing a discontinuity there was more important than a discontinuity at the butterfly pattern.
I made a series of fractals for the challenge this week. You could use as many transforms as you wanted, but they all had to have one variation.

Julian only

Rings2 only

Spherical only

Bipolar only

I entered the bipolar one, since I liked the stained glass look. This week the challenge is to make an Alien Vase. Yeah, whatever that means.

That's all for now, take care guys

Molly : )

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Unpredictable, but logical

When the Bohus yarn arrived Wednesday, I did not catch Bohus Fever. I didn't even photograph it. It is sitting by my computer. I sent a thank you message to the person who sent it.

What I did do was make a run at finishing the shawl. It was the closest project to completion. I like setting myself up for success. I went on a road trip, so there was plenty of time to knit.

I ran into trouble on the bind off. It calls for a purl bindoff with 2 strands, but I ran out slightly more than halfway through. As I was tinking back I decided that a.) I would need to rip more than 1 row to get enough yarn to finish, and b.) I knew I would have enough if I held the yarn single stranded instead of double.

When I went to block, there was significant dye leakage. The color is fantastic, and the shawl is just as red however I would not advise washing it with any other items.

I decided not to do a straight top, but let it curve more faroese style.

I still need to take beauty shots, but the blood queen is effectively done.

I knit quite a bit on RT's Silver Socks. I taught myself how to do the shadow wrap short row heel. I failed a couple of times, and it turned out the instructions were under the car seat, but I did successfully knit it without holes! Likely the second sock will be started today.

I started Butterflies are Free. I learned something very important this weekend. Swatching for the Bohus demonstrated that I might need to walk before I run. So before I start a 9 color stranded sweater, I might need to get some practice with some 2 color socks.

 The pattern is charming, I am getting a ton of practice knitting in the round with Fair Isle, and I am loving how it it turning out. The DSLO things it looks like old person stuff.

For those who puzzle over the most effective way to knit socks:

Inside out: held stitches in front of you, purls and floats on outside.

Inside in: held stitches behind you, float and purls on inside.
The trick to nice long floats is to knit inside out, because knitting outside in can have slightly shorter floats that you don't notice until you put the sock on.

So the swatch is a little too far off the clown barf side of things. I need to reassess what colors I want to use. The red-orange-yellow multi actually had really poor contrast.

I will need to sit and think about how to proceed. The easiest would be to make another virtual swatch and figure out what it would look like if my MC through the yoke was black (like the pattern).

I will need to wind the black yarn at some point and ponder. The short answer is that the medium value of the blue does not play nice with the other colors (or contrast in the best possible way.)

I also painted pottery Monday. It is easy to forget sometimes what a wonderful thing it is to tune out and be creative.

If I screwed up I am down 20 bucks. If I succeed I will have new house numbers.

I also made a really cool fractal for the challenge.

And I completely forget to enter it. It was the spherical + linear challenge. I would have never guessed that 2 transforms could produce such a rich fractal. Live and learn I guess.

That is all the news that is fit to dish, take care guys

Molly : )

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cables and Lace (and lace with cables!)

Fall semester is coming, soon. So I am trying to clear the decks (when am I not clearing the decks, all you need is a goal).

August 20th marks the beginning of classes, which actually means I will have more time to knit. There is no time like class time to knit. I find that I pay much better attention to what is going on when I knit. I got much better grades in school once I started knitting during class. I need to stay in constant motion, and taking notes in class is not consistent enough to keep me focused on the front of the room. Knitting is easy to put down, quiet, self contained, and the perfect non-distracting distraction.

Of course it does take a little diplomacy to knit in class. I make tons of eye contact the first week, and I generally always try to answer questions. The goal is to solidly demonstrate that I am paying very close attention to what is going on, and that I mean zero disrespect by knitting in class. There was a phase in high school where I meant to convey great disrespect by knitting in class, but I got a C+ that semester, and frankly it was a waste of everyone's time. My MS advisor had to stand up for me a couple of times for knitting in class, and honestly it would have been better if he hadn't needed to.

I suspect that the lace shawl will not be the best project to take to class however. I made the mistake of signing up for an 8:30 class, so I am going to have to haul ass in the morning to get there on time. This will result in me drinking less coffee, and I suspect being awake will result in better shawl knitting performance.

And, it seems like Bohus fever will be striking me soon. Who knows what crazy things I will do once the remainder of the yarn arrives. Fevered swatching, cold sweats when I am away from it, the uncontrolled desire to knit it at any and all hours. It will be messy. Much better to minimize the WIP pile beforehand.

The WIP pile is actually only 2 projects: Blood Queen, and RT's Silver Socks. I want to cast on Butterflies are Free, however, I need to probably finish both of them, or at least one of them. Hence, Lace and Cables. Oddly I am to the part in the chart where I need to cable my lace, Elizabeth Freeman, only you want to cable the lace.

 Oddly I was able to get a shot of blood queen in this late stage, not as a vague bundle of lace.

She is very fetching.

Two rows away from the end of the first edging chart.

The cables have been a lot of fun. I have been knitting on the sock as I read a math textbook, and I have made quite a bit of progress. I got RT's measurement, and they are basically identical to the DSLO's

I was pretty happy how this fractal turned out. The details are nice, the gradient is from my last challenge fractal, and I am a sucker for spirals. They are so quick to make, and I doubt I will ever run out of ideas to try with them. I really love the 3 fold spiral, I could just have a gallery of these and I would be a happy camper.

The next challenge is minimalistic. Spherical+Linear, 2 transforms, nothing else.

That's all for now, take care guys

Molly : )

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ravellenics: The Stunning Conclusion

I did manage to finish 2 pairs of socks in 17 days. Actually it only took 16, because I spent most of Saturday napping, and I was still done before Sunday.


It just pooled a little bit in the gusset. I really like how this pair of socks turned out. The pattern was interesting, and the colors extremely happy.

I was a little worried about finishing, but we had some friends over and we watched a couple of movies Saturday night, which pushed me over from one leg, to a full sock. I think this is proof that I knit faster when slightly distracted.

 I finished most of the leg on Friday. I cast on sometime around 8-9 am, and around 2:30 am I was that far. So day 15 and 16 turned out to be the stunning conclusion.

Normally when I finish a big project (like several socks in a short period) I am day dreaming about the next project.

This time, I am emerging from a big effort with a ton of obligations and WIPs.

My remaining Bohus yarn shipped Saturday, probably. I am knitting a pair of socks for the woman who is sending it, because a.) she won't accept payment, and b.) she has had a dreadful time knitting socks. I have not touched it for the past few weeks because I need to swatch.

I agreed to knit a pair of socks for my friend. I started those last night, because then he won't be able to give me crap about not starting.

Hopefully it works. I got gauge on a size 1, and it looks pretty big. I have not made many toe up socks, so there will be some learning involved. When he gets back I need him to stand on a ruler, and maybe try on a few of DSLO's socks to I get a feeling for instep and general size. The pattern is Boyfriend Socks, the yarn is Spud and Chloe Fine, and I ♥ my hiya-hiyas.

 I spent most of last night's knitting time cranking on the border of Laminaria. I have learned a new lace knitting skill, the double yarnover.

The rows are very very very long now. It takes a significant amount of time to complete each one. I didn't bother to count the stitches. It took a little time to get back into the swing of this project. The 8-ply silk is pretty splitty, so I have to be careful while knitting. And my hands are pretty rough right now, so it any silk contact results in catching on my calluses.

So there is no need to daydream, I am way too busy as it is.

So the 70+ hour render finished. It is not that much different than the five hour one. I wasn't happy with how the rings one turned out. Or at the very least in comparison with the purity of this one. It is a very classical fractal. I am not sure if I will play with this more, because there is only so much that you can do to something like this. The structure is very constrained.

That's all for now, not sure if I can keep up the post every 2-3 days now that I am not knitting so furiously. Take care guys,

Molly : )

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ravellenics Days 13-14 + FO Friday!

It is amazing what setting aside some knitting time can do for the progress of a sock.

I called for two meetings of my knitting group, because 1, we didn't meet last week, and 2, I seem to be pretty bad about just playing on the internet instead of knitting.

 Day 13 saw some decent progress. Gusset completed! See hands for approximate sock progress.

Day 14 was the end of the monstrous socks.

Hurrah! I succeeded with at least one Ravellenics project!

The DSLO, tried one on, and expressed that he as surprised at how well it fit. Grrrr, that Doofus! The last pair I made him were Skews, so it isn't like that type of sock was designed for comfort, they were designed for craziness.

What now? I have to knit myself a sock in 3 days! Go go go!

 The apo challenge this week was to make a spherical gem fractal. I have the original rendering on my laptop. It is going to go for more than 70 hours. The one above took about 6 hours on the workputer. Eight cores, I love you!

I am trying something new, since I cooicidentally finished a project on Friday.

That is all for now, take care guys!

Molly : )