Thursday, February 23, 2012

FO: Socks for Stitches

I'm heading out to Stitches West this morning and I can barely contain my excitement.  I've packed, walked the dog, fed the goats and chickens, and got the boy off to school.  That leaves me a few extra minutes to take pictures of my feet and write a quick post about my new Marlene socks:

Pattern:  Marlene by Cookie A
Source:  PDF from the Vogue Knitting website
Materials:  1 skein Miss Babs Windsor sock yarn, and US 2 (2.75 mm) needles
Modifications:  None!  The pattern gives instruction for only one size, but the stitch pattern is so stretchy that these would fit a wide variety of feet sizes by simply adjusting for length.

I bought this yarn at Stitches last year, and I'm happy to have made use of it in time to wear these socks when I am back at the convention this year.  I'm especially pleased because I'm taking a class from Cookie A, who wrote this pattern.  Knitting up these cleverly designed socks made me appreciate Cookie A's genius even more.  I can't wait to come back home with new sock yarn and fresh sock knitting ideas.

If you happen to be attending Stitches too, and you spot me, please say Hello!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Turkish Bed Socks pair #2

I am very excited to say that I knit the last few rows of my Oak Knot Hat at our knitting group meeting last night.  I can't wait to wear it, even if it is sunny and unseasonably warm here.

I haven't had a chance to photograph the hat, but I am linking up with FO Friday to post my latest pair of Turkish Bed Socks, which I knit for my wonderful sister.

The socks were finished despite my best efforts to avoid seaming. The pattern calls for sewing up part of the heel prior to knitting the foot of the sock.  When I reached this portion of the knitting program, procrastination reared its ugly head.

I tried to do it right away.  I really, really tried.  I actually threaded a needle, opened my Knitter's Companion to the appropriate page, and seamed a few stitches.

Then, mysteriously, I found a sudden and urgent need to:  build a fire in the fireplace, bake a pumpkin pie, and take the dog for a walk. It's amazing what else gets accomplished around here when there is seaming to be done!

When I couldn't think of any more reasons to procrastinate (and because I wanted my sister to have her socks) I did sit down, finish the seams, and knit on.

Pattern: Turkish Bed Socks by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas
Source:  PDF download on Ravelry or from Churchmouse
Materials:  Malabrigo Yarn Sock in "Persia", and US 2 needles
Modifications:  This is a clever pattern which results in a cute little sock, but as with many published patterns, Ravelers have made improvements on it.  Following the lead of other knitters, I used a smaller needle size for a tighter fabric, and a cozier sock.  My sister's feet are small enough that I could tighten up the gauge without worrying about whether or not I was making the socks too narrow for her feet.  To adjust the length of the sock I just knit extra rows before beginning the toe decreases.

Note to self for future modifications: 
After it was too late for me to change this particular pair, I found these great notes from Raveler "skip8" giving an alternative to seaming.  I will soon make a pair for myself and try this method.  
Isn't Ravelry wonderful?

I admire those knitters who tackle seaming with aplomb.  To me, seaming is kind of like knitting's evil twin who comes along on your playdate despite your best efforts to ditch her.  The best I can say about it is that I have learned to manage it well enough that I don't mind it quite as much as I used to.

What about you?  Does finishing work bring out the procrastinator in you, or have you conquered your fear of seaming?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How I Cured my Knitting Angst

Yippee!  It's WIP Wednesday and for once I am knitting something just for me.  Ever since I received the Juju's Loops pattern book in the mail I've been suffering from severe cast on cravings.  After writing about my knitting angst, I got a grip on myself and dealt with it in a methodical fashion.

First, I seamed, washed and blocked the latest gift in my knitting queue.  (More about that on Friday.)

Then, I mailed the rest of the gifts which couldn't be delivered in person.

Next, I organized my stash to confirm that I didn't already have yarn for the Oak Knot hat.  Fortunately, I  remembered I had some Jimmy Beans Wool reward bucks coming, and ordered some Tosh DK in my favorite color:

madelinetosh in "fig"

Yesterday, I wound the yarn, made myself a cup of tea . . . 

          . . . and had my own little knitting party.

I think I'm cured!