Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Not For The Faint Of Heart

Filed under: Daily Life,Knitting,Rats! — folkcat at 4:03 pm on Thursday, June 28, 2007

Be warned. This post contains graphic photographs of carnage and destruction. Those who are squeamish about fibery demolition may choose to look away now.

Remember the Carnival Glass Shawl? The one I found so many errors in, yet I boldly pressed forward?

I’ve been stalled on it for quite a while. I was working on the border – theoretically, the last portion of the shawl. I found yet another error. As I approached the center point stitch, the repeats in the border didn’t leave me the number of stitches to the center that they should have.

The shawl has been sitting in time-out ever since. I later discovered that Cherry Tree Hill has posted corrections for it, and boy, are they extensive.

I’ve been stewing about this in the back of my brain ever since. And yesterday, I came to a decision. I was unhappy with the process I’d gone through to knit the shawl – with all the errors, it was not enjoyable. I was annoyed to find that there were still more errors than I had found, even, which made the entire shawl as I had knit it questionable.

Simply put, I didn’t like it anymore.

So I came to the only conclusion I could.

Un-Doing: The Carnage BeginsUn-Doing - Near The EndUn-Doing: Back to the Yarn

I may yet knit the Carnival Glass Shawl someday. Or I may not. I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive the pattern at this point.

But the yarn is fully reclaimed, and I’ll spend a little time looking for a pattern that is better written and will be a joy to knit.

Sometimes, the wisest course in knitting is to completely un-knit. I know I feel better for it.

Meanwhile, the Rattie Sisters are feeling better, too. They normally have free run of the armchair I sit in – and by extension, free run of me – when I’m in the room. They have come to treat the armchair, and a little ottoman that sits next to it, as an extension of their own cage.

So much so, that they’ll stop for a mutual grooming session right in the chair, tucked in among the pillows by my left hip.

Sable and Star - Outdoor Grooming

Sable has pinned Star down, and is giving her a good all-over washing. Star is thoroughly enjoying the attention.

As for me, I think I’m feeling the effects of even my slight exposure to the weather and allergens yesterday. Achy all over, headache too.

I’ll be fine, though, so don’t worry. Just need a little rest to get over it. I’ll be staying home tonight instead of going to Panera, I’m afraid!

Take care, and thanks for dropping by again!

Distraction Therapy

Filed under: Crafting Miscellany,Knitting,Papercraft,Sewing,Stitchery — folkcat at 1:52 pm on Monday, April 30, 2007

I’m just so tired and crappy feeling these days. Is it the stress of wondering if Gryphon will find a part-time job soon enough to count? Have we had some low-level bug pass through us? (Our bathroom habits this weekend would suggest that’s a possibility!) Is there a general malaise in Southern NH in the wake of floods, college shootings, and other miserable events dominating the news?

I’ve somehow managed to continue being productive, in spite of it all. Crafting helps to distract me from the aches and pains. The sad thing is that I have to lift my consciousness out of the creative process now and then, if only to eat and sleep. It’s at those moments that my brain has time to notice that I feel like hell.

Truthfully, I’m not too worried about it. I know that whatever it is, it will pass. And with good progress on a number of crafts, it’s hard to feel impaired by anything.

For instance, since Friday I have:

  • Cut out all the pieces for another 8 to 9 inch tall Maneki Neko papercraft model. The new one will be a different pose than the one pictured at that link, with a medallion focusing on wishing for money.
  • Stitched the stems of the vines along the sides of a path on the miniature knotted rug.NIP - Mini Knotted Rug, First Vines
  • Worked several inches of foot, the short-row heel, and a couple inches of leg on Gryphon’s Socks, Pair Two, Sock Two.
    WIP - Gryphon's Socks, Pair 2, Sock 2, Into the Leg
  • Knit the Nearly Endless Edging as far as the center of my Carnival Glass Shawl. I put it down at this point because the next step involves changing which rows attach to the live stitches for a few repeats.
    WIP - Carnival Glass Shawl, Edging to Center Point
  • Sewed a complete dogbone pillow for Gryphon. He was so taken with mine, and went shopping in my fabric stash to see if anything appealed to him. What he came up with was a discontinued Egyptian print fabric from Jo-Ann’s. Being my second dogbone, this one stitched up in no time, and Gryphon got a better made pillow than I did. (Pictures later – he’s taking a nap before work, and the pillow is in use!)
  • And I have officially turned over the rest of my portion of the PixelHobby craft to Gryphon. He’s just enjoying it too darned much, and he has precious few crafts that appeal to him the way this does. It’s not like I don’t have other things I can be working on, after all!PIP - PixelHobby, 5 done, 7 to go

You see? It’s hard to find time to feel crappy when you’re doing all this. At least the time spent feeling achy and tired is far outweighed by the time I spend successfully distracting myself from it! So, I’m planning to continue this course of distraction therapy. One day soon, I’m sure I’ll be surprised at how much better my body feels when I get up from my crafting.

Endless Doesn’t Have To Mean Forever

Filed under: Daily Life,Holidays,Knitting — folkcat at 1:23 pm on Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Turns out there was a reason I had trouble sleeping Monday night. If you take a medication intended to help you sleep, it helps if you actually take the medication intended to help you sleep. When I went to my 7-day pillbox Tuesday night to do so, I found that the pills for Monday night were still in their little compartment.

Oops.

I know from past experience that such an oversight leads to me feeling extremely crappy the next day. My odyssey of discomfort yesterday included a surprise migraine in the evening, complete with both eyes tearing up. Not the “my head is split open, kill me now” level of pain, but for me, any pain with a migraine is unusual. I normally get more of the other neurological symptoms than the pain itself.

I’m fine today, though, having gotten my proper sleep last night. I just wish there were a way for me to realize sooner than 24 hours later that I forgot my sleep med.

Knitting

Tuesday is Anything Goes Day for crafting, and yesterday I chose that to mean knitting. Specifically, I pulled out my still-not-finished Carnival Glass Shawl to continue the drudgery of knitting the edging.

I took a slightly different approach this time, and found that it doesn’t have to be quite so mind-numbing. Oddly enough, the secret to making progress and not minding the knitting process is just keep knitting. It’s been my practice before this, having found that I was bored silly by the edging pattern, to make myself do four repeats, after which I’d allow myself to set it down and do something else.

Not last night. Last night, I decided to knit the edging during Craft Circle, which meant while chatting with my visiting friends. I could have stuck with the “four repeats and out” plan, but I thought, this time, that since I’d be chatting with my friends while I worked the fairly simple pattern, I might not notice the mind-numbing part so much.

I was right. Eventually, I put down the knitting, not because I had reached four repeats, but because I needed a break on general principles. The evening’s progress has brought me within about 5 repeats of the center point area, and I’ve made enough distance to actually see the difference between when I picked it up, and when I put it down.

WIP - Carnival Glass Shawl, Near Halfway on Edging

There’s still a long ways to go, but with this new strategy – ignore the mind-numbing, distract yourself just enough to do so and keep going – I actually have hope this shawl could be done this year, instead of next!

Special Holiday Note!

Today is World Penguin Day!

Celebrate by:

  • watching Happy Feet or March of the Penguins;
  • visiting a penguin exhibit at your local zoo;
    Penguins at Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, NY
    Humboldt Penguins at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, NY
  • knitting your own penguin to hugAnne's Penguins
    Knitted Penguins from the Knitty.com pattern
  • emulating the penguin experience by wearing a tuxedo and eating whole sardines.
    (Earn Bonus Points: tap-dance at the same time!)

Just a few suggestions – the creative mind can come up with many more penguin friendly activities, I’m sure!

Taking It Easy

Filed under: Daily Life,Knitting — folkcat at 3:18 pm on Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I’ve had a sluggish few days. The change in the weather, the seemingly endless traffic noise from Route 101 being diverted through our town – and right below our windows. (That link takes you to the WMUR TV news story about the landslide, including a video clip that shows the extent of the damage.) The stress of trying to make a budget work when there just isn’t enough there to do it. They’re all adding up and taking a toll.

I’m not sleeping well, and I’m frazzled during the day from the noise. So, mindless activities and soothing television are the prescription. That has included some knitting, though little else.

I finished the first sock of Gryphon’s second pair on Friday night, and began the toe of the second sock right away. When he came home from work, he tried on the finished sock, and declared it to be an even better fit than the first pair I made for him.

WIP: Gryphon's Socks, Pair 2, Sock 2 Toe

On Sunday, seeking novelty to entertain my brain, I cast on for the double knit afghan I’d recently purchased a kit for. There’s nothing really worth showing yet, but I’ll have pictures when there is. I did manage to cast on all 374 stitches, then, following the chart, knit the first 5 rows Sunday, and another one on Monday.

It was a good choice – enough detail to be interesting, but the simple, familiar act of knitting. Something new with the double knitting technique, but still built on an old, friendly foundation of knits and purls.

You’d think having to follow a detailed chart over 374 stitches would defy the need for simple and mindless. Breaking up the task into tiny, bite-size bits makes the difference. I made a little arrow out of a Post-It tape flag by cutting the adhesive end to a point, and that’s what’s keeping track of where I am on the chart. I simply point it at the first stitch of the group I’m knitting next, and move it when I’ve completed those. By breaking up the row that way, I’m never thinking about more than a few stitches (and what color they are) at a time.

I may have it together enough to knit a little on the Carnival Glass Shawl border tonight, but after that, I’ll probably switch back to the sock. It’s Craft Circle night, and I’ll need “mindless enough to talk while knitting” while the girls are here.

Don’t worry about me, folks – Gryphon and I are working out the stressors, and I’ll be okay. Route 101 can’t be closed forever – touch wood – and the noise will go away one day.

In the meantime, I’ll just take it a little easier than usual.

Knit One, Purl Two, Rip Gazillion, Try Again

Filed under: Daily Life,Knitting,Papercraft — folkcat at 12:11 pm on Friday, April 13, 2007

Yeah, I made knitting progress yesterday, on Knitting Day. I shudder to think about how much progress I could have made, though.

I did four more repeats on the edging to my eternal Carnival Glass Shawl. I never believed all those bloggers who talked about edging hell, endless edgings, etc., until I started knitting one of my own. Maybe it’s the turning the work so often. Maybe it’s such a simple pattern repeat, with no variation. Whatever it is, it seems an interminable amount of work to produce the knitted on edging to this shawl.

Still, progress was made, and will continue each time I work on it. At this rate, I’ll have the FO to show you in a few years.

Better progress was made on Gryphon’s latest sock – Sock One, Pair Two. I picked it up last night about an inch short of doing the short row heel. Made it as far as knitting most of the heel, including working back through the short rows on the far side of the heel.

That’s when disaster struck. A slip of a needle caused some wrapped stitches, along with their markers, to drop, and I wasn’t able to pick them up adequately. Heck, I couldn’t even find where they were, as they seemed to have vanished into the edge of the knitting.

There was nothing for it but to yank out the entire heel and begin over. Which, muttering under my breath, I did.

By the time Gryphon got home after midnight, I had not yet knit as far as I’d gotten the heel before, but I’d made it most of the way there.

WIP - Sock One, Pair Two for Gryphon, Turning the Heel

So there it sits on my untidy desk, with the heel about 2/3 done. Progress, yes, but if the heel hadn’t failed me the first time, I’d be at least an inch up the leg now.

Foo.

Today, it’s P-Day. I think I’ll pick out a Papercraft project to cut out…I’ll let you know which one on Monday.

Which reminds me – we’re expecting another nasty storm on Sunday and Monday. Another nasty WINTER storm. Apparently, the Boston Marathon may be cancelled if the weather is bad enough. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Me, I wish Mother Nature would get a new battery for her Palm and get back on schedule. No offense, Ma, but you’re dropping the ball a bit these days.

Wayback Wednesday Comes On Tuesday This Week

Filed under: Knitting,Rats!,Sewing,Wayback Wednesday — folkcat at 12:44 pm on Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Oh-oh! That means that Jen’s got nothing to show for her Monday, right?

Practically nothing, anyway, and certainly nothing worth photographing. I worked a lot on some things I can’t talk about, I did four more repeats of the edging on the Carnival Glass Shawl (all those bloggers are right – knitted on edgings take forever!). I didn’t get a chance to pick up the socks to work on them.

Remember I was talking about making a quilt square – a sawtooth star for a drawing up at my local quilt shop? What I never reported on was that the first attempt was a disaster. I’m not very familiar with my sewing machine, but I made my best effort. Only it seems that the presser foot I was using for the first try, although I could swear I measured and was getting a 1/4″ out to the edge of the foot, was actually giving me a much smaller seam allowance.

So the entire block got sewn together with seams too small, I wound up trimming things to make them fit together, etc.

Wanda at the shop was nice enough to give me material for a second try, as well as some advice about working with the sewing machine. So yesterday, I gave it another go.

Seam allowances are good this time. But I’m still having an issue with things not matching in size. And I know I was accurate about my cutting, I measured both before and after.

So I’m at a loss on this for the moment. It may be that I shouldn’t have tried something with triangles in it for my first square, because those Flying Geese pieces on the sides of the Sawtooth Square block are what I’m having trouble with. I just can’t seem to get things aligned to make them work.

And I’m sure not going to take a photo of the latest attempt in progress – this is a crafting blog, not a horror one. Trust me, you really don’t want to see it.

Wayback Wednesday

I know, it hardly ever comes on Wednesday any more, does it? But you know how it is – lacking real content to show you, let’s take a trip back to one year ago, and see what was going on then:

Mar. 20, 2006: Unifinished Rat Cage

Obviously, we were getting ready to bring the Rattie Sisters home – which we did about ten days later. This is the cage we built, partly done – we have yet to add the shelves or the door.

Mar. 20, 2006: WIP: Gryphon's Burgundy Sweater Vest

And look at that – I’d begun knitting a second sweater vest for Gryphon. Guess what? This is still a WIP, though it’s much further along now.

Exciting, huh? Well, tune in tomorrow, I’ll try to have something current to show you. Meanwhile, Happy Crafting!

Sometimes, Work Isn’t Very Photogenic

Filed under: Crafting Miscellany,Daily Life,Knitting — folkcat at 2:03 pm on Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I’m having a little trouble knowing what to talk about today. Lately, I’ve been feeling extraordinarily busy. But I still have days where, even though I was working on different projects all day long, I come out at the end feeling like I didn’t create much visible progress.

Yesterday is a perfect example. I spent a lot of time fielding messages from a couple of knitting message lists I’m on, mostly caused by people not checking the “To:” field when they hit “Reply”. Absolutely none of the messages were meant for me – they were intended to go either to the group, or the originator of the thread. But because my contribution to the discussion was where they were looking when they clicked “Reply”, my address is the only one that was scheduled to receive their post.

Then I spent time working on a fairly huge project that I can’t tell you about – probably not until nearly Thanksgiving, even. It’s not my project, I’m only assisting, so it’s not my story to release. And it’s going to be far from ready for primetime for many months yet. When I can, I’ll talk about it, I promise.

I spent a little bit of time working on Gryphon’s socks, but I knit no more than about an inch. So no progress worth showing there.

I worked on the Carnival Glass Shawl, but we’re talking about 8 inches of border instead of 4 now. A fair bit of time was spent on studying the information the designer, Renee Leverington, had e-mailed me about the errata and the charts. I wanted to be sure I knew what I was talking about when I replied to her e-mail, and when I posted about it here. So there was another chunk of time. Usefully applied, mind you, but with little to show for it.

I could show you the stacks of Perler Beads in deli containers, and the half empty 22,000 bead jar. Several hours were spent over the weekend – and into Monday – sorting the colors. So far, I’ve identified 46 separate colors, some only from one or two beads. But stacks of sorted beads isn’t nearly as interesting as finished Perler projects will be when I have a chance to do some again.

I could talk about my efforts to bring back exercise. The doctor and I seem to have finally found a cocktail of medicines that reduce the coughing I get from allergies, and so I’m slowly reintroducing some small interludes of workout. Marching in place, my old standby that I had gotten up to 30 minutes, 5 days a week, is currently still at only 5 minutes, 3 days a week, as I’m still trying to build stamina.

On the other days, I have something different I do to get the blood moving a little. Some months ago, I came up with what I think is an innovative armchair exercise, something I can do with less stress and strain, and yet which gets me moving for an extended period of time. I call it the “Armchair Macarena”. Basically, I searched on the web for instructions for dancing the Macarena. Then, I left out any foot movements, and modified the arm movements to suit sitting in a chair.

I let the basic beats of the Macarena play as a silent soundtrack in my head as I go through the routine. Essentially, the steps are:

  1. Right arm extended, palm down
  2. Left arm extended, palm down
  3. Turn right hand palm up
  4. Turn left hand palm up
  5. Place right hand on left elbow
  6. Place left hand on right elbow
  7. Move right hand to right side of neck
  8. Move left hand to left side of neck
  9. Place right hand on left knee
  10. Place left hand on right knee
  11. Move right hand to right hip
  12. Move left hand to left hip.
  13. Keeping hands on hips, shimmy your shoulders (like your sister Kate!), and at the same time, lean forward (still shimmying), and then return to an upright position. (He-e-e-e-ey! Macarena!)

Do that for thirty minutes, and you’ll be feeling it! It may not work anything but your arms and a little upper body, but it does get the blood moving, and it’s an improvement over sitting like a couch potato.

So, there we are. A day spent without a lot to show for it. I try to remind myself that much of what I did was transitional work, moving things along from one point to another, or informational work, studying material and writing about it. And that helps me feel like it was a productive day.

Sure feels like it makes for dull blogging, though. Kudos to anyone who stuck around this far! It’s Craft Circle here tonight, so maybe I’ll have something worth taking a picture of for tomorrow!

Of Socks and Shawls

Filed under: Knitting — folkcat at 3:37 pm on Monday, March 12, 2007

Everyone with me? Everyone get their clocks adjusted? We have so many clocks in the house, it isn’t funny. And three of them are the supposedly automatic-setting Atomic clocks. Only, living in a river valley between two ridges like we do, it’s a bit sporadic when and whether they ever get the signal. If you give up, and set them manually, inevitably they will finally find the signal and actually update themselves, leaving them off by yet another hour. So what we do, we watch to see which one updates itself first, then we swap out the others into that location until they’re all correct.

Just part of the price we pay for living in a more rural part of New England, I guess!

Knits Matter!

I’m blazing right along with Gryphon’s sock! I finally got past my misgivings about the multiple stitch markers needed for turning the heel, and did that on Saturday. You know what I did? The original author, Charlene Schurch, had recommended tying a bunch of individual loops out of something smooth like a crochet cotton. I resisted, then gave in when I realized having a marker to stitch up to would make the heel even more simple minded. So I started tying a bunch of loops in some leftover Sockotta yarn, expecting I’d cut them apart afterwards so I could use them on the heel.

After tying about four, I looked down at my little string of connected loops. A lightbulb didn’t just go on over my head – I think it smacked me hard, leaving little shards of glass in my hair. The first part of the inventive thought was, “I don’t actually need to cut them apart, do I? I can use them all connected like this!” But the winning, second part was, “Heck, I don’t even need to be tying them like this – I’ll just get a crochet hook and make a loose chain!”

So that’s what I did. For each side of the heel, I made a loose crochet chain from the Sockotta. Each time I needed to place a marker, I just picked up the next loose on that side’s chain. My extra markers were always hanging right there, easy to find, and not in a pile on the table in front of me, getting dropped on the floor, sticking to my clothes, getting dragged off by rats.

When I went back down the heel, dropping markers, I just slipped the chain loop off the needle. It didn’t go flying anywhere, it just hung down with the rest of the chain.

I still maintain that I’ve seen easier to maneuver short-row heels than Ms. Schurch’s. But at least, the crochet chain solution greatly simplified the markers problem!

After the heel, I faced the next great issue with Gryphon’s socks. Most sock patterns assume that your ankle measurement is about the same as the widest part of your foot. And apparently, for most people that is the case.

Not for me or Gryphon, however. My ankle is thick, a full inch larger around than my foot. And Gryphon’s – he’s the tall, stringbean type. His ankle is a full inch smaller than his foot. And his leg and calf are correspondingly thinner than normal.

The sock so far had been knit to fit his foot, which meant it would be loose through the ankle and leg. So I calculated how much smaller the sock needed to become. On the first row after the heel, I made two decreases, centered on each side of the center back of the sock. The row after that, I knit straight across those decreases. I alternated these two rows until I had reduced the ten stitches I needed to lose for a proper fit.

That’s when I called Gryphon in for his first try-on. I wanted to be sure the decreases were properly placed – not too low on the foot, not made too rapidly. I slipped the stitches onto some waste yarn, and handed Gryphon the sock.

WIP: Gryphon Sock, First Try On

“It’s a perfect fit!” he immediately exclaimed. I could hear the delight in his voice. Apparently, I got the changes exactly right on the first try. How often do we get to taste that good a success, and so quickly?

Buoyed by the results, I’ve made rapid progress since then. Right now, this is what the first sock looks like:

WIP: Gryphon Sock, Way Up the Leg

That’s an 18 inch metal ruler at the back, to give you a sense of scale.

Now that I know exactly what works for Gryphon’s feet, finishing this sock and completing the second one will be a breeze. I’m not going to jinx myself by predicting a finish date, however!

Shawl Corrections – From The Source!

I had a great e-mail in my box yesterday. Seems that the original designer of the Carnival Glass Shawl, Renee Leverington of Bo Peep’s Wool Shop and Goddess Knits, had heard from a friend who read my blog posts about the errors I found in the pattern, and she decided to write me personally about them. How nice was that?!

She acknowledges that the errors were brought to her attention only very recently, so there was no formal errata available yet. It seems that I was right about almost every error, but had some misunderstandings about the Border Charts. I was interpreting “Right Side” and “Left Side” to mean “as viewed while the shawl is worn.” In other words, I thought the Left Side chart was the part that would appear over the wearer’s left arm, and vice-versa.

Turns out they literally meant “Right Side” and “Left Side” “as the work appears in your hands while knitting the border.” In other words, I should have been working from first the Right Side chart, then the Left Side one as I went across a right side row.

Renee did say that there are errors in the border chart that I had a problem with, but she’s still working out what they are. In the meantime, it appears that my solution of mirroring the good chart was a reasonable one. I’ll have just one visible difference from Renee’s intended design – the YO eyelets that I have along the neck edge of the border, should actually be paired on either side of the center stitch.

Oh, well – if that’s all, I think I can live with it! I still like the design, and may well knit it again. Hopefully, by that time there will be a formal errata for the pattern, and I’ll have corrected charts.

Many thanks to Renee for contacting me about this – I can rest assured now that the people who need to know, know. Oh, and btw – do follow those links to her websites, and take a look at her other shawl patterns. I’m in serious lust, people! Especially the Desert Sun Shawl, the Emerald Isle Shawl…oh, heck, just let me have all of them!

Puttering Around

Filed under: Crafting Miscellany,Knitting,Knitting Groups — folkcat at 3:41 pm on Thursday, March 8, 2007

That’s what I did Wednesday. Not a day of hours spent focused on one project, but rather a day of an hour here, an hour there. It served to pass the time, though, and a couple of neglected projects got attention.

First up was the Carnival Glass Shawl. When last we saw this, I had four rows of the border left to knit. Wednesday, I got through those rows, then after much reading and re-reading of the edging instructions (they could seriously do with a re-write), I began knitting that.

Thankfully, the edging chart appears to be accurate. I managed to get through almost four repeats with little fuss.

WIP: Carnival Glass Shawl, Edging

Another neglected project is the sorting of the Perler beads. Last weekend, Gryphon and I went to a local party store and picked up a stack of deli containers to store them in. This new arrangement actually is making it easier to do the sorting.

Perler Sorting

What you see above is not ten deli containers of beads – it’s ten stacks of deli containers. Each stack contains a color group. For instance, the one at the bottom right is all the different shades of yellow, each in its own container, but stacked to save space.

Now, it’s easy for me to take a scoop of beads and spread them on a tray. Then one by one I go through the stacks of containers, picking each color from the tray as I go. If I have any colors on the tray when I’m done, then I know I found a new color. It gets its own container and is added to the correct color stack for the next go ’round.

By late evening, the brains I had left were only enough to work on Gryphon’s socks. But you know what? There wasn’t any point in wasting pixels on a picture, because really, it would look the same as yesterday’s photo, only about an inch longer. You’ve got enough imagination to cover that, right?

Puttering Around….er, I mean Knitting Around, at Panera tonight. The socks are the current brainless project, so that’s what I’ll bring to work on. And dinner will be one of the new Crispani pizzas they’re making now – yum!

A Sock for Gryphon, Take Two

Filed under: Knitting — folkcat at 2:13 pm on Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Everything I’ve seen on the web about the Special Blauband yarn I’m using for Gryphon’s Beaded Rib Socks suggested that, even for smaller men’s feet, it’s difficult to get much length in the leg from the skein. Given that Gryphon’s feet come in the extra large, size 13 version – and he prefers longer legs – I was having misgivings about the project.

I was also feeling dissatisfied with the needles I was using – 2.5mm Skacel dpns, in a 6″ length. They were tending to fight each other too much at the corners as I knit. So, I went to the local yarn shop yesterday to buy some shorter dpns, and to contemplate yarn I could add to the Blauband to make the socks work better.

What I found was a nice, solid black Scheepje Invicta, a very reasonably priced sock yarn. I bought two balls, and picked up a 5″ set of Brittany 2.5mm dpns while I was at it.

I got back home, and decided to frog the multi-colored toe I’d accomplished the day before. If I’m not knitting to a hard deadline, I have no qualms about that whatsoever – I’d rather get the project right than fuss about time spent re-doing things.

The current plan is to knit the toes and heels in the solid black Invicta, with the multi-colored Blauband for the foot, and as high on the leg as it will go. If needed to get a length that Gryphon likes, we’ll add a band of solid black at the top of the cuff.

These socks (5-stitch repeat, toe-ups from Sensational Knitted Socks), are so easy, I didn’t even have to refer to the book to start the toe again. With very little effort, I’d re-knit everything I’d frogged, and even gained a little ground.

WIP: Beaded Rib Sock, Two-Tone Toe

Gryphon saw this when he came home from work last night, and he likes the socks even better this way. He commented that when he sees high-end, luxury socks, they always seem to be two-toned like this. So these socks will feel even more special to him now.

Obviously, I’m making good progress on these. But today I think my knitting focus will be on the Carnival Glass Shawl. That’s been stalled for over a week now while I work on footwear of various types, and I want to see it done!

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