Holy neglected blog, batman!

Wow! It's been over a month! I've got so much knitting to chatter on about and show you.

Let's do socks first.


2010 4-17 011

are socks I made for Mom out of STR lightweight in Titania. They are the Negative Bricks Socks by Sockbug with a small Hunter-Hammerstein-esque variation: on the purl row that precedes the slipped stitch row, I set up for the slipped stitches by wrapping each stitch to be slipped around the needle twice instead of once. On the next row, when slipping the stitch, I dropped the extra wrap off the needle. I modified this because the slipped stitches seemed to be awfully tight without that extra length, and having those stitches under such high tension made me uncomfortable. It also scrunched down an already-dense fabric, which didn't really fit with my goal of making the socks as tall as possible.

2010 4-3 004

I think that in addition to soothing my OCD tendencies, the double-wrapping helped to break up the colors a bit more than otherwise would have happened. I think that this is a great pattern for yarns like STR, especially ones with high contrast or many different colors. You might be able to tell from the double ribbing on the cuff how the yarn would have spiraled in a more regular pattern.

Next up are my Twisted socks for summer, complete with dramatic balcony shadows:

2010 4-24 013

This is the medium size (64 sts) in Regia Bamboo Color that I've had in my stash ever since I decided that I wanted to make long, sock-weight tube scarves out of Regia Bamboo Color, knit the first one, discovered that this yarn is not really soft enough for scarves, and then put the yarn away for four years. Yeah.

I changed nothing about the pattern, and the only thing I thought about changing was the woven-look heel:

2010 4-24 015

My sock heels need to be sturdy -- I've worn holes in three pairs of socks, all, so far, smack in the middle of the heel flap. Having exposed horizontal threads of yarn doesn't seem like a good idea for my particular socks, even though it looks pretty cool. But, I knit a pair of socks out of a different colorway of this yarn in 2006, and have had no problems with holes and although the heel flap has pilled a little, the fabric is so sturdy that I have trouble pulling the pills off with my bare hands. So I figure this yarn can take it.

Oh yeah! These socks are also the first pair in which I used my brand new, handmade, teeny tiny stitchmarkers:

2010 4-17 017

I spent a lot of time on a recent visit home making dozens of little circles.

2010 4-17 019

I've found that commercial stitch markers can get expensive, and the sets I've seen (a bendy purple and neon green, and a rigid blue and red - can't remember the brands) don't include very many of the smallest size. Because I mostly knit socks and am doing Ten Shawls in 2010, most of the markers that I need end up being way smaller than most of the ones I have. I lean toward not using them if I can get away with it - maybe because I've been used to not having the right size.

Well, not any longer. I think I ended up with five dozen slightly wobbly but still circular and usable stitch markers when I was done. It took longer to make each one than I was expecting, so these represent a big investment of time. And I've already lost two of the green ones, no idea how.

Finally, I've resurrected Apres Surf, now with reservations about whether it should turn out to be a hoodie.

I've given in and acknowledged that I simply cannot keep track of side decreases and increases on the fly and should not try. Instead, I charted out all the waist decreases before knitting, which allowed me to figure out how that would affect the lace pattern on each row before putting needles to yarn. It's currently stalled because I need to chart out the bust increases and haven't done that yet.

Does anyone else do it this way? Why is it that sweaters aren't routinely charted? Are people really able to do all that in their heads? If so, I am impressed.

Even though it's slowing down my progress, I really don't mind having to make the charts myself. Kind of feel like some kind of scientist, with my graph paper.