Tuesday, October 20, 2009

M's Socks Christmas 2008: Done

Last night (Monday), I wove in the ends* for M's 2008 Christmas socks! Hurray!

For some reason, the second sock had more pooling than the first sock...

...but I'm not complaining.

I even found the perfect card to go with them at the LYS:


Pattern: Diagonal Lace Socks from Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson

Yarn: TOFUtsies in the Feet First colorway (I think that's the right colorway, I seem to have lost the ball band

Needles: 2.25mm INOX Express circular--magic loop method. I really like the INOX Express needles. They are pointier than regular Addi Turbos and slicker than the Addi lace needles. I wish more stores carried them. I've considered trying the Knitpicks needles in the same size because I bet they'd be pointy and slick enough for me, but I've heard not great things about the joins. I feel like they'd be more likely to give out when you're doing magic loop, but maybe that's just my perception.

Ravelry link: here

Other Notes:
  • Turkish Cast-on
  • Russian Bind-off
  • After doing the increases for the toe, I knit seven rounds even so that the toe would be a little longer
  • Started in August 2009. Ripped out the first sock twice (!) so I could get a good size
I'm slightly nervous these may be a smidge too small for my sister because they seem to fit me perfectly and her feet are a little bit bigger than mine. However, I've got leftover yarn and am prepared to rip out the toes and make them longer if necessary.

So, what is my next project?

Another pair of toe-up socks, this time for my mom for Christmas 2009 (trying to get a head start here, maybe I'll actually have them done in time!).

Pattern: On-hold Socks from Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson (can you tell I like this book?)

Yarn: Socks that Rock-lightweight in the Jasper colorway. On my screen, the color is looking more purply, but in real-life, it's more maroon. This is my first time using STR yarn and when I bought it, I was surprised at how overspun it seemed. The yarn curls up on itself in places which I haven't seen in other yarns. It's a nice, firm yarn, though, and gives beautiful stitch definition. The lace pattern is really going to stand out. I think a lighter color would be really great for a cool knit-purl design.

Needles: 2.25mm INOX Express circular--magic loop method.

I did the Turkish Cast-on for this one since it went so well for M's socks. Other than that, there's not much to say about these socks--I've barely gotten them started!

*I couldn't find my thinner yarn needles (I swear there is a green Chibi around here somewhere with two needles perfect for weaving in the ends for fingering weight yarn), so I went to my new LYS to pick some up, thinking I'd get a new Chibi and they didn't have Chibis! What kind of LYS doesn't have Chibis??? Fortunately, they did have yarn needles in the size I was looking for, but I am flabbergasted at the lack of Chibis!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

One down, one to go

Well I finished one of M's Christmas '08 socks.

This sock fits me so well, I'd be tempted to keep the pair for myself except that this is a seriously late Christmas gift. If they were this year's Christmas gift, I don't think they'd stand a chance of making it all the way to Iowa when it would be so easy to put them in my own sock drawer instead.

I really like how the diagonal lace pattern turned out and I like the stripiness of the yarn. This is my first good toe up sock (I tried it once in the past and while I wear those socks from time to time, the leg is really loose and floppy and the yarn is too thick to make the socks comfortable with regular shoes--I have to wear my Crocs). I learned a couple of new techniques: the Turkish cast-on (lots easier than I thought it would be) and the Russian bind-off (also easy).

I tried the Turkish cast-on because when I've tried doing a short-row toe in the past you could see where the provisional cast-on had been. Maybe this would have gone away in the wash, I don't know (since I never took those socks to completion except the pair I already mentioned which are too loose to really tell anything on), but I thought it would be worth trying a new technique to avoid that potential complication.

As for the bind-off, I first tried my regular bind-off (knit 1, knit a 2nd stitch, slip the first stitch over the 2nd stitch), but it was too, well, binding. So, I decided to try one of the bind-offs suggested in Wendy's book (from whence the pattern came) and the Russian bind-off looked easiest. I did the bind-off as loosely as possible and while it looks a little ruffled off the foot:

When the sock is on my foot, however, it lays nice and flat and is non-binding which is everything you want a bind-off to be in a toe-up sock.

So, now all I need to do is knit the 2nd sock which is easier said than done as most people know. I think if I cast-on (Turkishly) for the sock right away (like, as soon as I finish this post) I might stand a chance actually getting the sock done. Also, I am resisting starting the socks for my mom's Christmas '09 present until I get this pair of socks done. I really want to get Mom's socks done to avoid another situation like the one I have for M's socks so that'll push me to get the 2nd sock done. I think.

Off to cast-on, now (Turkishly).

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Dusting off the old blog

I'm probably not on anyone's blogroll anymore, so I'm not sure why I'm bothering, but it suddenly seems like a good idea to dust off ye old knitting blog and talk about knitting.

First, a little bit about what I've been doing. I finally finished all of my research and am in the middle of (slowly) writing my thesis. After almost 3 years of living apart from DH, John, (he was in CA and I was in Chicago) I moved to Pasadena because there was no reason for me to stay in Chicago while writing. Then, John started a job at the NASA lab, Ames (coincidentally the name of the town in Iowa next to the town I grew up in), and so we moved to the SF Bay area a couple weeks ago.

So, here I am with time on my hands (because I'm having trouble keeping myself working on my thesis because it is boring as hell) so I figured, "Hey, I could write on the knitting blog again." So, here I am.

I've been keeping track of some of my knitting projects on Ravelry (my rav name is e-beth in case you want to look). My current project is a pair of socks for my sister, M. They're a Christmas present. Last year's Christmas present. I bought Wendy Johnson's Socks from the Toe Up and I'm doing the Diagonal Lace Socks (Ravelry link) pattern using TOFUtsies. According to Ravelry, I started on them in August, but it doesn't seem like it was that long ago. Probably because I got most of the first sock done, decided it was far too loose, and started over with smaller needles (size 1).* I've been working on that sock for about a week and I've already got the foot and part of the leg done. Now, I'm slightly worried that the foot could be too small. M's feet are slightly bigger than mine and these socks fit me pretty nicely, but I think there is room for stretching (if not, I'll get them back from her, take out the toe and extend it, but I think it's going to be okay). I haven't decided how tall to make them, yet. I divided the yarn into two halves before I started so I can keep knitting until I run out of yarn if I want, but I probably won't do that since I don't like very tall socks (and neither does M, I think).

At any rate, here are a couple pix from this weekend:

And the Ravelry project notes are here.

I'm also working on a purse for a little girl, but I don't have any pix for that, so I think I'll save it for later.

So, that's it for now. No guarantees I'm going to be particularly regular about blogging, but I'm feeling the urge to talk about my knitting these days, so I'll probably keep it up for a little while anyway.

*Actually, the first time I started the sock, I started the large size and that was WAY too big so I ripped it out and sized down to the medium. To get gauge, I needed to use size 2 needles, but those turned out to be too big. It was one of those situations where you got gauge but somehow it was coming out the wrong size. That's when I switched to the size 1 needles and started over again.