Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Rip-Roarin' Time

Greetings and Dear Laura:

Well! You've certainly been making the most of your time without classes!  I've really enjoyed reading about the adventures of getting your oven repaired, and all of the projects you've been working on.  The seafoam scarf went really quickly, and it's lovely!  Your sweet harmony bag is amazing. I can't wait to see it in person! And I'm not going to look TOO closely at your Hanami scarf - I do not need any temptation to cast on another project right now, and I've longed to try that pattern.  However, I'll have to enjoy it vicariously through you for now! 

My oven is working fine right now, but I had to chuckle when I read about what you would go through to use your cook top or oven.  I have several things here that are on "manual operation" status.  A little clip broke on the water softener, so while the dial moves, it never trips it to run, so it runs whenever my feeble brain remembers to cycle it (ha!) or when I notice the water is getting a little orange.  Even more fun is the lift station that pumps my drained water up to the waste pipe that carries it to the septic system.  Occasionally (and I haven't found a cause/effect pattern) it doesn't turn off after it's done.  I'm pretty tuned in to the sounds of the various machines in the furnace room, so it eventually sinks in that it has continued to run long after the last time I ran water.  I can unplug it nearby, but then I have to wait at least 15 minutes before I plug it in again. Remembering to do so is the tricky part!  It has happened that I have flushed and then heard the tell-tale "glug-glug" sound that tells me I have mere SECONDS to get that plugged back in before I've got a real mess!  Hmm, wonder what it would take to convince my landlord (!) to get one of those....what did you call it??....."repairman?"  ;)

 Anyway, I've been knitting too!  I finished that pair of sport-weight socks last weekend, and I really like them.  It's nice to think of wearing them next fall!


I immediately turned around and cast on another pair of plain socks.  I was headed to a Tin-Caps baseball game (local minor league team - used to be the Wizards, remember?)   and I needed something that didn't take much concentration.  I knew I had a pair of plain socks started, but the invitation to the game was last-minute and I couldn't find them, so I grabbed a ball of sock yarn from the stash, some beloved Signature DPN's and the toe-up sock directions from the Summer 2007 Interweave Knits that you pointed out to me, and so here is my current 'portable summer knitting project."  I got the toe done during the game, a
Zauberball Sock
and I did not get knocked out by a foul ball either!  It was a great time! 

February Lady gets some knit time as well, although not enough.  It's getting a little warm for me to enjoy having that much wool on my lap.  I take it to "Sweater Night" at Knitting Today, and occasionally to work on at lunch.  I'm on the lace now, and I noticed immediately that it's not a complicated pattern, so I was happy about that.  Although it occurred to me several times that for a simple 7-stitch repeat, I was finding plenty of mistakes the first few times through, but I was able to do a little fudging.  Then yesterday I realized that I had done a complete row incorrectly two rows back.  Consistently - but wrong.  I toyed with ripping out the 8-10 rows that I had done, but I decided to try to just rip back the two rows,and if I could get the lace back on the needles, I'd move on.  That worked, so I did a full 4-row repeat to cement the pattern in my brain and in the sweater, and now we're good to go. 

February Lady progress

Now, to the Norwegian Rose socks.  I've had a bit of a struggle there! (Imagine!)  I cast them on using a set of my beloved Signature DPN's. It's the first set that I got, and while I cannot express enough how much I love these needles and how addicted I am to my stilettos, when I got my first set, I chose the 5", thinking that would be nice since my hands are not that large.  I thought wrong.  The other sets that I have are 6" and that 1" difference is the world.  It really came to a head with this colorwork.   I was using 1 needle for all of the front pattern stitches, and 2 for the sole, and with the shorter needles, I was always losing stitches on the end and having to pick back up (or not! I notice my count is 2 stitches short on the back.) 

I talked to Lea-Ann at Knitting Today, and we decided that it probably wouldn't be noticable if I switched to Magic Loop.  I've also been fiddling with whether to hold the yarn two-handed, or both in the left.  When I was on DPN's, I mostly held both yarns in my left hand, but when I switched to Magic Loop it seemed easier to do two-handed.  While the front look great, the sole is a mess!  And the side stripes are a jumble.  I called Lea-Ann and told her that the change was really obvious, and she said, "That's ok - it can be a teaching sock!"  I appreciated that, but it still bothered me. 

The directions said to knit the foot until it was 3" less that the total length of the foot.  I noticed in the picture that it was a short row heel, and I thought 3" was a pretty generous heel, but I didn't worry so much about it.  The sock on the model showed the heel place at the end of a second pattern repeat, and since this is a one-sock model, fit isn't a big deal.  I got to the end of the second repeat, and was ready to start the heel.

At this point I was encouraged by you to go ahead and do both socks to eventually wear them.  I looked at the mess on my needles and thought - "Hey, the front looks fine and the foot will be in my shoe.  I'll just make this the sock that I keep, and knit another, more consistent sock for Lea-Ann to display."  I didn't mind it being a teaching sock because my gauge changed, but all of the messy bits along the side do bother me.  This is going to be displayed, and I can do a better job! 

So I measured my foot (9") and the sock (7") and noticed it was not a 3" difference. Since I'm going to wear these now, I didn't want a 10" sock, so I started reading the pattern to find out why the heel was so's not.  Since this is color work and not as stretchy, they have allowed for a 1" of gusset increases before the heel, and then a small 1" flap to decrease back after the heel.   Oh.  More ripping!  I'm just going back 1" to do the gusset correctly, so it's not so bad. (I did have to be talked down from just ripping the whole thing out.  Being a struggling perfectionist is such fun!) 

Anyway, I'll cast on another sock for display, and end up with two socks!  Yay!   I have more to post, but I should sign off now so I can get ready to go Knit In Public today!  More later! 

Keep knitting! 

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

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1 comment:

Cindy G said...

Sounds like lots of effort, but those socks are wonderful.

(And I have Signature envy. That's all.)