Kirsti Knits

Time - such a precious Gift is it; To work, to read, and Yes, to knit. - Minnie Gertz

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Hippo Beast is conquered...

..well, halfway at least. Yep, at SNB last night, I finished the first Pomatomus sock. I had to rip back about 2 inches, when it became clear that the toes were going to be much too long, and then have the frustration of picking the lace pattern back up. But I managed it, and here is the finished result:
Again, click on it for a larger picture. I'm really pleased with how it came out, and it feels really comfy too. So, of course, being rash and impetuous, I started in on the second one, with the plan of reversing the scale pattern. Here's progress so far:

I think I'm about 80% there, and probably should have swatched first ... but I wanted my finished sock! I realised that as well as reading the chart backwards, I'd need to change the "knit 2 together through the back loop" decrease into a "slip slip knit" or something ... but I'm not happy with how it's coming out. The scales and the edges aren't defined enough. Here's a comparison of both socks:
Part of it is the decrease; the other part is the twisted rib. If you look closely at the finished sock, the ridges formed by the "knit through the back loop" lie at an angle, with the right side higher than the left. This emphasises the longer curved edge of each scale, and makes the pattern stand out more. On my reversed version, I really want the left side to stand out, and I'm not quite sure how to do that. So I may very well end up playing around with some scrap yarn and see what I can come up with.

But it's still a very good feeling to have one finished. And in the meantime, I may just begin the Jaywalker with that wonderful Fire on the Mountain sock yarn.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I'm such a joiner...

.. that I've signed up for not one, but two projects. The first is this one:

the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics. I'm going to use it as the motivation to knit Threadybear - the traditional fair isle sweater, steeks and all, but in teddy bear size. Which will hopefully make the idea of cutting - yes cutting! - into my knitting slightly less intimidating.

Olympic Update.. For anyone else participating who'd like something more than the default button, Jen has come up with some wonderful creative ideas here. I'm almost wishing I'd signed up for the "Drunken Lack Lace Team". I may have to ask them to make a "British Ex-pats Team" because joining any Team USA is just a tad too far, but I can't quite go along with the "We're Better Than All Of You" UK option. At least, not yet. Give me a week and my opinion may change. And that is the end of the Olympic Update

Also, thanks to Dana's prompting at SNB last night, I've also joined in with the fun of

- Sockapaloooza. I read a bunch of posts about the previous round, but as I wasn't even thinking of knitting socks then, I stayed on the sidelines. Now, however, with Pomatomus (aka the hippo sock beast) finally on the stockinette toe decreases, I'm looking forward to this. Basically, you sign up with your sock preferences and foot measurements, then you get someone else's information. You knit a pair of socks for them, while someone else is secretly knitting socks for you. Sign up is today only and the socks get mailed out in May - so there's plenty of time to knit, but you have to sign up now!.

Hopefully finished Pomatomus pics will be forthcoming tonight or tomorrow. Then I just have to start the second one... In other boring blog news, I've tweaked the sidebar to more accurately reflect my current knitting progress and goals, the new knitalongs, and I also removed my blog links - mostly because I now use bloglines to keep track of way too many blogs which would take up all the page were I to list them all.

Friday, January 20, 2006

KnitDetroit has vanished...

In case anyone from the KnitDetroit email list is reading this blog and feeling as lost as I am ... I haven't a clue what's happened, and hope that it's just some glitch at Yahoo's end of things. In the meantime, we are using the discussion forums that Julie set up a while back: Hope to see some of you over there.

Now I'm off to pack for the weekend and, oh yes, finish writing the retreat theme song...

Sunday night update...
Amby has set up a new group, until we can figure out what's happened to the old one. Join up here:

Oh, and we did indeed manage to write an uptempo song about failure, the retreat was incredible, and I managed to get about halfway through the foot of the Pomatomus sock. Hopefully I can get to the toes during tomorrow night's SNB.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

And now for some knitting

So I'm still on my "small fiddly things on tiny needles" kick to recover from all the Christmas knitting. I'm pondering taking on the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics with the teddy bear fair isle sweater as my project. We'll see.
Terry's socks got finished, as you can see here. I altered the cuff ribbing slightly for the second sock (the one on the left in the photo). It's a k2 p2 rib, but I started with only one knit stitch, purled 2, then repeated the ribbing ad nauseum and ended with the remaining k1. This meant that needles 1 and 2 ended with a completed 2 stitches, rather than the ribbing being "stretched" across two needles. As you can see from the picture, this gave me a much tighter cuff, and also avoided the slight ladder I was getting in the first sock. So that's all good. Terry loves them, but wishes I'd done ribbing all the way down the leg so they'd stay up better. Pah.
And now for the big project of the moment.. the Pomatomus socks from Knitty. This has become a matter of pride for me.I started off. Got through the cuff, no problem. Then I took them to Stitch'n'Bitch to keep working on them. Got to row 6 of the pattern and realised I'd made a mistake. Ripped back to where the ribbing began (with all the yarnovers and knit 2 togethers I failed hopelessly to pick up any earlier rows),and started a second time. Got to row 7 ... and yet again, something was wrong. Now it was personal. I ripped back to the cuff once more ... and headed home to give this my full concentration. This time I was sailing along, felt like I was reading the pattern and understanding how it was progressing and had almost finished the first repeat... when...
See how nicely the scale pattern on the right of the sock comes to a sharp point in the middle? See how that fails to happen on the left hand scale. Yes, once again I'd made a mistake somewhere around row 5 or 6, and hadn't spotted it because I was so busy following what I thought the pattern should be, I hadn't noticed my count was off. I was too depressed to rip it out and start again a fourth time... so...
...I figured that there were two ends to the ball of yarn, and I might as well just start on the second sock right away. Thus saving my pride, and yet not abandoning the project. As you can see, this one is progressing quite nicely - and I was even able to work on it at last night's SNB. It's really a great design - the twisted ribbing makes for a nice tight fabric, and despite how complicated the charts look, most of the time you're just knitting the knits and purling the purls, and keeping the rib pattern going. Here's a close-up of the scale pattern as it should look:
The yarn, by the way, is merino wool from the Fleece Artist, who also creates the most wonderful hand dyed colourways. So now I just have to figure out what to do with the second sock. I was pondering reversing the chart pattern so that the scales went in the other direction ... which would mean ripping back to the ribbing again, but for a good reason so I don't mind that! The other option is trying to weave in a lifeline just before the mistake, but that may feel like too much work. We'll see.
So that's the updates. Lots of yarn, and a fair bit of knitting going on. We're off on retreat this weekend and I'm hoping to get a good chunk of the foot done during the free time on Saturday afternoon. Keep checking for updates - I'll try hard not to neglect this blog so much. If nothing else, I now have to inspire my sister in her knitting efforts!

Sock Yarn Pr0n!

So much for my self-imposed yarn diet ... I'm accumulating sock yarn like there's no tomorrow. But at least I'm knitting a bunch of it up. Here's the current stuff in the stash. And, as per usual, clicking on the thumbnails will give you a new window with larger images, for those of you who really want to drool.

Lorna's Laces in their "jeans" colourway. I bought this at City Knits on Tuesday to use for the class I'm taking: 2 socks on 2 circular needles, knitted from the toe up with a short row heel. Lots of new techniques and hopefully a way to churn out even more socks! Sadly, Lynne wasn't feeling well, so the first class was postponed til next week. But I do have the yarn...
Here's the yummy Koigu Painters Palette Premium Merino that Amby bought for me at The Knitting Room's sale. Because you can never have enough purple sock yarn.. at least, not if you're me. And after finishing Terry's socks (be patient! Pictures are coming!), I've decided that I love working with this yarn. I really like how it knits up, how smooth and un-splitty it is, and how vibrant the colours are. So there's enough here for three more pairs.

These are two skeins of "socks that rock" from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. The top colourway is "Fire on the Mountain"; the lower one is "Lapis". Yes, I am going to jump on the bandwagon and make Grumperina's Jaywalker socks, but because I like the pattern, and I really like how this yarn works with it, at least based on other people's blogs. And, just to add to its drool-worthiness, here's a couple of close-up shots.
And, finally, to show off just how wonderful a wife I've got, here's what she got me for Christmas. As you can see from the photos above, it's already been put to good use!

That's it for the yarn pr0n. Next post will perhaps contain some actual knitting!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year!

I had a very relaxing post-Christmas, and have now finally uploaded some pics. As per usual, click on the thumbnails for larger and slightly clearer images.

Here is the pile of knitted gifts, packaged and ready to wrap:
Here's a close-up of the labels, which I made using clip art in Powerpoint, and then printed onto card - two labels horizontally per sheet.
And because I'd said that I was dying to start something small and fiddly ... here's the first completed and second started sock from the Koigu Premium Painters Palette Merino that I bought at The Knitting Room a couple of months back. These will be for Terry, and the colours are just gorgeous - slightly darker than shown here (the flash from the camera lightened everything just a tad), but just as vibrant and vivid. I was a bi worried that I wouldn't have enough yarn to complete the toe, but, as you can see from the scrap of leftovers, I guesstimated quite well. I love working with the Koigu.. and yay for the wonderful Amby who was able to get to the Knitting Room's 25% off sale after Christmas and buy 6 skeins (enough for 3 more pairs) for me! Oh, and on Jan 19th, I'm going to start Lynn's class at City Knits on 2 socks on 2 circulars, knitted toe-up with short row heels. Lots of new techniques and hopefully I can start whizzing through my sock yarn stash that's been building up.

And then I can get going on the Threadybear sweater, the Clapotis and Mariah, which should keep me occupied well into..oh.. Febuary at least.

One final plug - for anyone in the Ann Arbor/Metro-Detroit area reading this, Terry and I have a gig this coming Thursday at the Ark, in trio format along with a couple of friends and equally great songwriters: Trina Hamlin from Manhattan, and Colleen Sexton from Boston. More information is here, and it would be lovely to see any knitters or blog readers that can make the show.