Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Not according to plan

I didn't intend to let another week go by without blogging. In fact, I'd planned to blog last Thursday, but due to circumstances beyond my control (from Thursday evening through Sunday evening, I was unpleasantly ill), I had to shift my planned blogging time, and in the end, for various reasons, it turns out that today is my earliest opportunity to sit down and produce something for this establishment of mine.

For reasons closely related to my not blogging, I also haven't been knitting much. And to make matters worse, I have no good pictures of the few things I have been working on. Fortunately, I have a four-day weekend coming up, so I should be able to get in some good blogging, as well as catch up on the other things in my life that convince people I'm a civilized adult (laundry, vacuuming, etc.).

As I recall, about six weeks ago, I made a resolution about there being real fiber content in every post. Now, it turns out that there are actually several things I could present here: some very pretty yarn sitting on my floor, the very lovely laceweight I acquired a few weeks ago, my first venture into the world of the inimitable EZ, my oldest WIP, or what is likely to become my newest obsession. But for various reasons (mostly the aforementioned lack of pictures), instead you get... more socks!

Are you not just thrilled?

I finished the Hawaii Jaywalkers (finally. I'm a little ashamed to admit that I started them back in August).

The original idea with these socks was that they would be a KAL with my chief enabler (CE). But I was moving/traveling/losing my mind in August and was in desperate need of something simple to knit with yarn that wasn't boxed up and sitting in storage somewhere. So I started (and finished, I think) without my CE, which I guess means we'll have to pick something else to do as a KAL.

I really like the way the pattern knits up and does nice things with variegated yarns. And I really like Lorna's Laces - it's such a smooth, soft, well-behaved yarn. I'm not such a fan of this particular colorway, though. It's a bit too heavy on the bright green for my tastes, but fortunately, I know lots of people (probably 2) whose feet are the same size as mine and who would wear socks with this much bright green.

But come to think of it, I do like them inside out...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Topsy Turvy

Sorry for disappearing from the blogosphere for almost two weeks! I have some excuse, though, I think.

You know how sometimes you're going along, and every thing's going more or less predictably and you feel completely in control of your life? (I suspect that this may be a feeling that disappears forever once one has children. I don't actually know, though.) But then something happens, and it turns out that you really aren't at all in control of your life and that whatever you thought things were, they're actually completely different? That's been my life of the past 4 to 6 weeks, in a good way. At the beginning of January, I thought I had everything in control in terms of work, school, and my rather limited social life. Now, I'm grateful that I'm not actually in charge of my life, since work is better than expected, my grad class is not what I expected, and socially things are so much better than I could have wished for. The only downside to good work, lots of class, and the revival of my obsession with dancing? Not so much time for knitting.

But I have been knitting!

I finished the Monkey socks for my sister.

I'm really pleased with the way they turned out. I really liked the yarn, in terms of the way it behaved, the way it felt, and most especially in the color.

And the Monkey pattern is a delightful one. As far as I am concerned, its best attribute is that it has enough stretches of knit stitches that it can be knit while doing other things, but that the purl bits do a fantastic job of breaking up the monotony if you're just knitting.

On the topic of purls, someone (Kathy maybe?) asked if I had trouble with laddering at the needle changes in purl stitch. I don't, and I think I know why (let's not dwell on how long I spent analyzing my own knitting technique to figure this out).

When I knit, I start a new needle by sticking it under the other needles and into the stitch, like this:

But when I purl, I start the new needle by bringing it over the old needle and under the one that has the stitch I'm about to purl, like this:

The result is that in each case, the working yarn has the least distance possible to go between needles, and therefore less opportunity to ladder.

As you can tell, I've started a sock, but if I tell you about it (and the other knitting I've been doing) now, two things will happen: 1) I'll be up much later than I'd like (I haven't gone to bed before 11 in over a week, and I get up at 5ish on weekdays, so you can understand why I'm ranking sleep so high on the list tonight) and 2) I won't have anything to blog about for the next few days (as I said, I really haven't been knitting that much - it'd be a shame to blow it all on one post).

So, tune in next time for a mystery episode. Will it be socks? Scarfs? Argyle? Baby sweaters? A baby blanket? Only time will tell.