Friday, December 14, 2007

Going to Iowa

Well, I leave for Iowa in just a few short hours. I never blocked my mom's socks, but that's okay. Grandma's socks were a failure. I don't know what I was smoking when I thought I could get those done in a week. I didn't even finish one toe--and I'm doing them toe-up! It's okay, though. Grandma will understand.

In addition to family Christmas tomorrow, my nephew is getting baptized. And I get to be his godmother! I'm very excited!! Yesterday, I went downtown to the Catholic bookstore to get his present. It's hard buying a religious gift for an infant, let me tell you. I finally settled on a little pin that can be pinned onto whatever he's wearing for the baptism and some books. They're those kind of books where all of the pages are really hard so that kids can play with them. One is little prayers and the other is something like Baby Goes to Church.

But, before I can go to Iowa I have to:
  • Pack
  • Go to lab for lab meeting
  • Pick up the rental car
That's a lot to do, so I'd better get to it!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

It only took 3 hours

But I finally got the toe of the second sock done, with the exception of the grafting. I ripped it out several times and ended up having to rip back some of the foot because I realized that the second sock had one extra pattern repeat in it. Ugh! I left the grafting until today because it was pretty late when I finisheed the toe and I wanted to make sure that, in my sleepiness, I didn't completely screw things up. I haven't had the courage to look at it yet in the light of day....

I also wound one of the hanks of yarn for the next pair of socks into a ball. I really need a swift.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sock Toes

When I get to the toe of the sock, I like to do paired decreases at each side,* sometimes with a round (or two) of no decreases in between and sometimes not, depending on how long I need the toe to be. In other words, I just make it up as a I along. The smart thing to do would be to record what I did on the first sock so that when I come to the second sock, I can do the same thing. But noooooo, I just wing it, don't write anything down, then try to figure it out when I come to the toe of the second sock. Why on earth do I do this? I really need to keep better notes on my knitting. I need a lab notebook of knitting. Perhaps I should start that today.

A solution that I had come up with was to knit both socks at the same time using magic loop (I prefer magic loop to dpns for most circular knitting). I stopped doing this because I mostly knit socks on the go. Because they are so small socks make a good travel project. Well, knitting two socks at the same time means two balls of yarn which would sometimes get messy (I also tried using one ball of yarn and knitting with both ends at once and that was okay, but still not ideal) and could be especially problematic when I was knitting during a seminar (because they have the lights down so we can see the slides). Having to carry around enough yarn to work on two socks at once also make the project a bit more bulky. Finally, it felt like it took forever to make progress. I usually knit socks with fingering weight yarn on size 0 needles which means A LOT of stitches. And since I was only working on the socks on the go, I would only be able to knit a little at a time and therefore it seemed like I was making no progress at all. Still, I might go back to it because it does make it easier to make identical looking toes and it's a good way to avoid Second Sock Syndrome.

I bring this up because last night I was working on the toe of a second sock and had to take the time to minutely inspect the toe of the first sock to see how I did it (and I really wanted to know exactly how I did it because I thought I had done a really good job on that toe). I finally gave it up and started to wing it. We shall see how the toe of the second sock turns out! I can't show you a picture because it is a present for Christmas. I'll show you a picture after I give them to the recipient.

*What this means is that, using the magic loop method, I divide the stitches evenly on the two needle points. I knit until the last three stitches, do a left leaning decrease, knit one, switch to the other side in the manner of the magic loop, then knit one and do a right leaning decrease. I then knit on that side until the last three stitches and decrease in the same manner as before. Therefore, I decrease four stitches per round.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Holiday Knitting

*Kristen over at Procrastinating in Pittsburgh just had to put to sleep a beloved pet. Go give her some love.

My family is celebrating Christmas early this year. On the 15th, actually. Needless to say, this is not conducive to knitting gifts. It is, in fact, really the opposite of the ideal scenario for a knitter. Ideally, if your family isn’t going to celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25, then a knitter much prefers it to be celebrated later. After New Year’s maybe. Certainly not 10 days early in any case!

Unfortunately, while I knew my family was celebrating Christmas early this year, that fact did not connect to what my knitting deadline was until a couple weeks ago. I knew Christmas was going to be on the 15th, and yet I was still somehow thinking I had until the 25th to finish making my gifts. Once I put 2 and 2 together I realized I was not going to be able to make all of the gifts I had intended to make. The one that got cut was nephew Benjamin’s baby bunting. It’s this really cute little winter weather thing from Dale of Norway and I was very excited about it, but I hadn’t even started it and since it is a large item, there was no way I was going to finish it by the 15th. I still plan on making it, just not for Christmas.