Sunday, October 15, 2006

Entry 35 - Lazy Day Sunday Report

Yesterday, I decided to heck with the mail and carried over my Second Sock Syndrome Sock to my sock pal, Elspeth. I've been fairly busy with work and can never seem to find the time to make it to the post office to send my package. I'm one of those people that rely on grocery stores to be open till Midnight, drug stores to be open 24 hours a day, and other such conveniences I take for granted. :)

I felt an overwhelming guilt that is now relieved since my sock pal has received my package...and enjoys it! Another gift project brought to successful completion.

I can finally get started on the other projects I've been letting lay around. My Scarf exchange project is going somewhat slowly. I've been having doubts about it, but I've been plugging along, regardless. Only two inches of scarf done so far. I know... terrible! The due date is Nov. 1, but I'm aiming for ASAP so I can get it to the mail in time. I can't exactly hand deliver it this time (the pal is across the ocean).

I haven't even started the sleeves of my Spartan pullover. I've been letting that lay unfinished while I try to get my scarf done. I'm keeping in mind the deadline of Nov. 3.

Meanwhile, you'll notice I've significantly changed my sidebar buttons. I have some rather skimpy output at these KAL's I've joined. I think the only significant progress I've ever made is the Year of the Sweater KAL. Let me reflect...

Year of the Sweater KAL: Two sweaters...and a half
Socktoberfest/SSS: one sock. Ha.
Knitting Nature: None planned for now.
International Scarf Exchange: I've made a scarf in the last exchange. Working on Scarf #2
Fall Cable KAL: none. I can't really count my Zigzag hat since I made that during the summer.

I've also stopped buying yarn (or at least going to yarn stores). I noticed I have a rather large bundle of yarn of a multitude of fibers and colors stuffed in one rather large bag zippered. The kind of plastic zippered bag in which your down comforter came in when you buy it at Target. I'd like to see that halved at some point. Maybe put myself on a yarn diet for one year?

Okay. Starting today. I'm documenting it. 365 days to go. :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Entry 34 - Spoilers (You have been warned...)

It's done... My first sock.



I love the color, the feel of the sock, the stitch pattern... Wish I could keep it.


Techie info:

Pattern: Jeannie Townsend's Maple Leaf Socks
Link: http://www.menknit.net/mag.html - from Issue #2 (winter)
Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Rosehips colorway - one half hank?
Needles: Clover Bamboo Double Pointed Needles US#1 (stitch pattern, leg, and heel), US #0 for foot length
Techniques: Kitchener toe, Knit Cuff/leg down, Traditional Heel Flap
Size: For Women's size 8 foot (10 inches length; about 8 inch foot circumference)


Comments: I built some (hopefully) negative ease in the foot length to make it a rather snug fitting sock around the foot because I was somewhat dismayed by how wide the leg was. However, I have only my foot to compare, not my sock pal's so I hope it will fit her. It's my first sock though so I hope she'll forgive me. :) I think I made my Kitchener Toe too tight, but I also ended up with almost not enough yarn to close the toe, so I pulled the yarn really hard (oops!). Still, I think it's tolerable. Ah well, I still think it's not bad for a first try.

I LOVE this sock on my foot. The sock is really comfy even though it's a bit too big for me. Alas. You are meant for another.

Socktoberfest Survey

When did you start making socks?

At the beginning of this Second Sock Syndrome Swap, early September of this year.

Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?

Self-taught.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?

I don't know. I haven't even made a 'pair'. You'll have to ask my Second Sock Syndrome swap partner if my sock has held up over time. She has the first sock I have ever made. :)

What would you have done differently?

Used DPN Clover 0's all the way through my sock. I first started with 3's..then 2's..then 1's...now I'm at 0's. I think it's because I was worried the sock was going to be too big. More attention to sizing is what I'm getting at.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?

Regia and Mountain Colors Bearfoot. I think I like the Bearfoot the best so far. It's darn expensive though.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?

I've only done DPN's so far.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)

I've only done flap so far.

How many pairs have you made?

er... one half? O:)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Entry 33 - The Last Day - One Sock Syndrome Blues (er... Reds?)

It is now two hours past midnight. My unfinished sock on my DPN's is just sitting there, mocking me. ("Hah! Hah! Look at all the rows of stockinette you still have left to go before your toe decrease!")

I told you I was going to make this sock or bust! I wonder if I'm the only swapper pulling a knit "all-nighter". Hee hee.

Procrastination. Thou art a cruel mistress.

I question my own sanity...or maybe I shouldn't blog at 2:30 am in the morning.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Entry 33 - Two-Socks Finishes Half a Sock

Now I understand the appeal of socks. They're really easy, but look like they're difficult. The part I had somewhat of a difficulty with was picking up the gusset stitches, but only because I think I picked up the stitches too tightly. I used my favorite method which was using my crochet hook. Otherwise, sock knitting is not so intimidating as the pattern makes it to be. Once I got started and examined my knitting, it all made sense. Double pointed needles are not so bad. Sometimes I would trip up though and drop a stitch. The loops are so small that it's sometimes hard to pick them up, but sometimes I would fudge and increase a stitch on the next row. Hee hee! I'm lazy that way. The sock seems to be unharmed.

I told you that my pattern called for DPN's size 3 (US) needles to make 7 stitches per inch (that's my gauge). However, I read the pattern again and measured the circumference and decided that is way too big. So now, my gauge is about 8.5 stitches per inch on DPN's size 1 needles. I think the circumference is still a bit big, but not too terrible when I tried it on my ankle. The cuff ribbing makes all the difference.

I'm done with the Heel part and the Turning and now I just have to knit the sock length. I was so excited to see it all come together so beautifully and the red colorway is just so gorgeous to my eyes. I wanted to keep it for myself! Alas, it must go to my sock knitter pal. A couple of times, I just wiggled my foot inside just to see how it will all come together and my excitement grew. So much fun!

I'm not used to knitting for long lengths of time though so my fingers were starting to get crampy yesterday. I had to stop. Today I have another day off, so I'm going to knit as much as I can to fit her shoe size. (What's her shoe size you ask, dear reader? Ah, that would be telling.)

I am trying to knit this as fast as I can so I can send of the package to her. I'm sure she is anxiously waiting and I feel very guilty for not sending it to her yet. My goal is to have the package to her by Sept. 30. I'm making that goal or bust! I'd also like to post a photo, but I'm sure all the Sock Swappers are looking at the other blogs to see which socks are theirs and I'd like to keep it a surprise.

After this sock is done, I think I better work on my scarf. My sweater is just going to have to wait. I'd rather have my ISE scarf out of the way since that has a more expectant deadline (Nov. 1). My sweater can always wait for the next charity deadline but not my scarf.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Entry 32 - In Which the Hostess Considers Changing her Moniker

Progress has been made on my SSS, but I'm still only at the ankles, working the stitch pattern. Socks take a lot longer than I thought. I'm somewhat worried that it will be too big, but I really don't want to rip it all out right now. We're in the last week of our swap. I decided just to plug right along. I am somewhat worried about reaching the heel flap part, hoping I won't mess up the sock construction. Well, we'll see.

I've put my sweater on hold, my ISE scarf on hold (hah! Did I even start?), and Any other future projects on hold. Fortunately, the Afghans for Afghans deadline has been pushed to mid-October. Yay! I need every bit of time.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Entry 31 - At Both Ends of the Spectrum - Purple and Red



Here is a little swatch I just made for the Second Sock Syndrome Swap. Yes! I know I'm rather late. But I probably swatched three other times, looking for a good sock to knit with the right color. First I started with blue...then white...then brown..and finally settled on this lovely red varigated color. I'm not saying what the sock is, but the swatch is a good preview, no? I also had to find the right needle size. My initial gauge was 8 stitches to the inch on DPN's 2's when I needed 7 stitches to the inch. I am now using DPN's 3's, Clover Bamboo. I hope to now complete this sock before the end of the month. I should because I don't want to keep my pal waiting.

In other news, here is a new sweater I started for Afghans for Afghans:


Spartan Pullover - child size from Interweave Knits.



My first Fair Isle!



Done by the stranding method! See my floats?

Note to self: I need to choose better lighting because the colors as pictured above are not true to life, in my opinion. Much too orangy.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Entry 30 - Salutations to Second Sock Syndrome Secret Swapper

...and now repeat that phrase 100 times over with increasing speed. ;)

As requested by the KAL hostess, I've posted the answers to the survey I took so whoever is knitting a sock for me knows a bit more about me.

Okay:

1.What are your favorite sock yarns?

Don't really have any. But I agree that Artyarns Supermerino feels niice. Right now, I have some Regia fadig 4-ply that I think I'm going to use.

2. What are your least favorite sock yarns? Anything you just cannot use?

Well, no. Never knitted a sock before.

3. What method do you prefer to use (DPN's, 2 circs, 1 circ, etc.)

Right now, I'm starting on DPN's. They don't seem that hard to use. I'd like to do circs if I actually had 2 circs. :)

4. Is there any method that you cannot use?

Magic loop or whatever method that sounds like it involves 2 circs of the same size. I don't know that many needles yet. DPN's are pretty inexpensive alternative to me.

5. What are your favorite colors?

blues, purples, but I like neutral colors, too. Whites, grays, rich chocolate browns, or even _mocha. The more colorful socks I usually wear with jeans. I work professionaly though, so if I'm wearing socks, they usually have to be pretty classic and neutral colored (with dark brown or black pants.) That being said, I do own some socks with cute little designs prints on them that I have worn yet are in 'neutral colors' of tan, black or white. :)

6. Are you a beginner, intermediate, or more advanced sock knitter?

Beginner, of course.

7. Any other info you want to share (such as other likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc)?

I like unique construction and enjoy other people's works of art. I look forward to seeing my future pal's sock in progress! I'm sure to find plenty of inspiration there.

8. (addenum): What size is your foot?

I wear a size 7 shoe if that is helpful.

And not to leave a post photo-less, here's a little swatch I made for the sock I'm making. Knit on Clover #1 double points.



Added: Hmm, I think I'm going to have to abandon this sock project for now. I was just reading my pal's questionnaire and I don't think my sock is going to be something she would enjoy. Ah well. I only have Regia in blue colors though (I told you my favorite color was blue!). However, I do have some Dale of Norway Baby Ull in a nice neutral cream color. I can try that. :)