Monday, September 29, 2014

Six of Nine

Earlier this year I made the fateful decision to knit my family in California socks for Christmas. That's seven pairs of socks.

I know this about myself - I'm not a fast knitter, and am easily distracted, so I started early. Mom and Lauren sent me everyone's shoe sizes and preferred colours. All the adults chose blue. Fortunately Lauren and Dad gave me alternatives so I didn't have to knit four pairs of blue socks in a row - that way madness lies.

I knit the first two pairs (for Mom & Dad) while we were in Australia this summer. Socks are the best travel knitting. I didn't have a pattern for either of them, just a basic sock recipe, to which I added cables to Dad's and lace to Mom's.

A couple of weeks later we went to California for campmeeting and I actually remembered my plan to trace the kids' feet so I had a visual for their socks, rather than just a shoe size.

I had given myself the goal of getting everything knit by the end of October, which would give me plenty of wiggle room in case I knit even more slowly than usual, or something catastrophic happened, and I wouldn't be frantically wrapping and posting seven pairs of socks on Christmas eve.

I'm pleased to say that I've finished Lauren's, Fin's, Ally's (adult size 4) and Madie's (adult size 6!) and only have Cedric's (who, mercifully, has the smallest feet) to go.

This means that I have knit four pairs of socks (and most of a shawl) in about seven weeks - I am basking in the awesome. And simultaneously worrying like heck about whether any of them will fit. Remote knitting is a bit of a crapshoot.

Also, in a moment of weakness, I recently asked Evie and David if they'd like socks for Christmas and they both said yes. Honestly I wasn't expecting Evie to because she's not a big sock fan but I'd just (again in a moment of weakness) sent her a link to a Spirited Away chart
and she couldn't resist the soot sprites. She also wants them to be tabi socks because her big toe likes its personal space.

This means I have three more pairs of socks to go. Six more socks - fine yarn, tiny needles, thousands of stitches. I love knitting socks, but when I've finished my Christmas knitting I'm casting on something involving bulky yarn and size 15 needles.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Sneak Peeks

Although I can't show you pictures of my current knitting, I can put up a few pictures of some of the yarn, and the awesomeness that is the swift I got for Christmas last year.
Totally beats hand-winding yarn off my knees.

Behold the beauty of tangle free yarn -
And perfectly wound yarn cakes -
These are Knit Picks' Stroll Tonal in Blue Yonder and Thunderhead. I love tonal yarn. Love. It.

OK, here's a little peek of how it's knitting up

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

All the Knitting, All the Time

Actually, there wasn't a lot of knitting early in the year. I had that crisis in Portland that resulted in these socks:

In February, a girl I work with had twins and it took me a while to decide what to make for them, so I didn't get really going until our trip to Kelowna, when I started knitting the first blanket. I (foolishly?) promised a blanket/sweater/hat set for each of them and I've only just finished it over the holiday weekend. Here are the blankets blocking on the guest bed (my first attempt at steam blocking)-

They are the Honeycomb Stroller Blanket, and I love how they look much more complicated than they actually are to knit. I may have had to block them somewhat severely to keep them from being knitted strips, rather than blankets. When you've got that many stitches on the needles it's really hard to tell when you've got a square. I crocheted a border around to help disguise the rather messy edges and I'm OK with the way they turned out.

 I love this little sweater pattern so much. It's Beyond Pueperium and I liked enough to pay for it - usually I'm all about the free stuff.
 The buttons on the green cardi are little white roses
Unfortunately I couldn't get a good picture of the buttons on the blue cardigan. They are the cutest navy blue airplanes.

The hats are just striped baby hats, with little i-cord knots on the top.

The photos were taken on a table at work as I'm hoping to get them to the babies tonight or tomorrow, and see if any of it still fits. They were born at the end of February and were a couple of months early so I made size 6 months - fingers crossed.

What I'm knitting now is for Christmas so I can't put pictures up or it will spoil the surprise.

Monday, September 01, 2014


This post is going to mean nothing to a non-knitter so if you want to just scroll back to previous posts about travel, furniture or news updates, I won't be offended.

I've been knitting for just over four years now. I've been knitting socks for just over four years. Oh, the joy of socks. The hypnotic rhythm of 2x2 ribbing, the soothing stocking stitch of the leg, the fun of a heel flap, the cleverness of turning the heel, the intrigue of picking up stitches for the gusset without leaving little holes at the corners and then...screeching halt as we come to decreasing the gusset. The first decrease, the k2tog goes fine, nice tight little right leaning stitch. We knit across the instep and then, then it all goes pear-shaped. For four years I've idly wondered why, when k2tog makes a tidy, even, pretty little column of stitches, the ssk makes this loose, sloppy, ugly column of stitches. Being an intrinsically lazy laid back person I just accepted that the left leaning decrease was going to look like that, and knit on.

Bearing in mind that I taught myself to knit using library books and the odd youtube video, I thought that you always slip a stitch purlwise - that's just the way you do it. Imagine my surprise when I recently discovered that with a ssk you slip the stitches, one at a time, KNITWISE! This tightens up the stitch and you end up with a tidy, even, pretty little column of left leaning stitches.

This may not seem like an epiphany to anyone else but as a committed (dare I say slightly obsessed) sock knitter, this is like discovering you aren't supposed to drive with the handbrake on.


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