Friday, February 20, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Evil Genius Heel Replacement

As I mentioned, my aunt had worn through the heel bottom of her favorite pair of socks. I got inspired yesterday to try fixing them: although the original socks were knit cuff-down, I figured I could fix them using the heel turn method from my toe-up Evil Genius Socks.

I ran a circular needle through the stitches along one side of the heel flap, across the bottom, then up the other side of the flap. I purled back across those stitches with my replacement yarn, and then followed the Evil Genius Lessons to turn a new heel and work a new flap.

I had to modify the instructions slightly, since I couldn't work the complete sock round to pick up up my wraps (I just left the wraps in place). I grafted the top of the new flap to the bottom of the old cuff, then cut and unraveled the old heel.

It's not perfect. Obviously, the pretty, pale blue sock now has a drab, gray flap stuck on the back of it. (Still, it coordinates better than all the other options I considered at the yarn shop). I'm sure it won't be as comfortable as before.

Both socks began to unravel in unexpected places once I was finished, so I had to do some emergency suturing to keep things together. I expect that there are other areas where the old yarn will work loose from the new heel.

Still, it was worth a try. I'm really rather proud to have figured this out, and amazed that it worked as well as it did. It's probably not permanent (and I hope my family doesn't expect me to make a habit of such repair jobs), but I think it will squeeze a little more life out of these socks.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Mike's new blog

While I barely post often enough to sustain this blog, Mike has three: Moviepalace, Mixed Media Playroom, and now Twitterface. When I set up "Michael's MoviePalace" back in 2001 as a class project for liberry skool, I never dreamed it would stay so strong or that he'd branch out.

Twitterface is Mike's first random blog: all the stuff he wants to say that he can't fit on Twitter or a Facebook status update, and which doesn't fit the topic foci on his other two blogs. His latest post is about the chicken tikka masala we had for dinner last night:
My only complaint is that the smell of curry powder stays in the house for days. But there are never leftovers. Of course, Don & I rarely leave leftovers of anything. We had a mediocre Gew├╝rztraminer with dinner; it's hard to find a really good one these days.
Good meal, bad wine, and after a cup of coffee I fell asleep watching Animal Crackers (and slept for more than 9 hours last night). Pretty nice life.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

On the popularity of knitted fandom

I may be knitting the most gorgeous pair of socks I've ever made.



They're for my aunt. Her favorite pair of socks developed a nasty hole in one heel. So I thought I'd knit her a new pair of lacy socks, and experiment with a heel flap on the bottom to see if she liked that. The instep lace pattern is a design from the now defunct Socktopia.net. It's called Kaylee, after the character on Firefly/Serenity because the central lace motif looks a bit like fireflies.

The designer created many sock patterns inspired by and named after characters with fan-followings (Firefly, Harry Potter, etc.). I can see how that it is an attention grabber -- last month, Wash's Sweater had 15,446 page views. I've gotten email inquiries about finding a knitter-for-hire to make one, and about including the pattern in a proposed book of Whedon-inspired knitting designs.

It got me thinking: what if I miniaturized the big cable from the Wash Sweater to make it sock sized? People might actually buy it!

Early experiments have been mixed. At left, you see a sample of the latest plan, which uses a single line of traveling slipped stitches to sketch out the cable motif. It's not bad, but the fabric it creates seems a little stiff. The advantage is that it requires no purling. I want to try some experiments with traveling twisted stitches over a purl background, and see if that makes something people are more likely to want to wear.