Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Brown but pretty

My aunt had requested brown socks, a chore I wasn't looking forward to. I had thought about using some Trekking XXL for accent stripes, but it was too beautiful and became a separate pair. So...what to do with the plain brown Regia?

It's the "Child's First Sock in shell pattern" from the amazing Knitting Vintage Socks. A lot more work than a simple, toe-up sock with 2x2 rib on the cuff, but I'm pleased with the effect. See how the angle of the light brings out different aspects of the lace pattern? It's been a while since I followed an actual pattern, or knit a top-down sock (let alone with a heel flap and gusset); kind of a nice change of pace. But now I have second sock syndrome.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Knit in Public...Columbus too?

This is pretty much a public message to Caterwauler, Knitting Brow, and other central Ohians: what do you think? Is it worth asking Franklin for a customized Columbus Knit In Public Day design?

Which came first: insomnia or inspiration?

Yesterday on Men Who Knit, Hugh Mannity (note pun) wrote that he wanted to make a pair of Fibonacci socks, but he wanted the series to start at the heel and work outwards in both directions.

Yarmando is intrigued. A strange construction method and design-by-math?

I was lying awake at 3:00 a.m. thinking what ways could be used to start socks at the heel. When Dodger had his usual midnight snot attack (Wouldn't it be great if cats could just blow their nose? Or if you could just give them Sudafed?) I got up and tried a couple of the ideas out. I think I see how it can be done.

One way is to do your favorite tubular cast-on (mine is Turkish), knit your favorite short-row heel, and then begin knitting your tube. On the first round, knit half a round in waste yarn. You then either knit up towards the ankle or down towards the toe. When you're finished, remove the waste yarn, pick up the freed stitches, and knit the other half of your sock.

Another method that works but is significantly more cumbersome and confusing (particularly at 4:00 a.m. and with the "magic loop" method -- better to do it with double points I think) is this one: after knitting your heel, put aside half your stitches on a string holder. With your working yarn and a strand of waste yarn, work a provisional cast-on (alternative directions) for the required number of stitches -- at least half of your circumference, more if you want a roomier instep. Connect back up with the live stitches on the opposite side from where you started the provisional cast-on, and then continue knitting either down the foot or up the ankle, reducing any extra instep stitches you added.

Yeah, this is all too much trouble and offers no advantages over other sock construction methods. But it was an interesting experiment to work through when I couldn't sleep.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Sock Leftovers Scarf

I started this scarf in January, 2005, and it was one of the first things I wrote about when I started this blog. It sits untouched for months at a time, and now I really want to buckle down, finish it, and get it out of my life.

To that end, I've moved it up into the study, where I intend it to be the "official" project for that room. While I sit at the computer and listen to my favorite podcasts, or catch up on the television shows that I missed and have to download (yes, I recognize I'm stepping into a gray area of copyright ethics), this is the project I intend to work on.

Of course, I have to remember that knitted things must be picked up after I've taken pictures of them. This morning, Dodger decided that the scarf was another cat bed.