Thursday, July 23, 2015

felici socks

Today I was thinking about summer and why I feel like it is just kicking my butt. I mean what's not to like about summer--it is finally warm enough that exposed skin won't freeze, you get to wear sandals, and you don't have to make your kids do homework or get up and get ready early. Summer has the best foods, with tomatoes and sweetcorn and fresh green beans. I love my kids being home, and not having to deal with the after school crankies (although now it is after pool crankies--but I don't have to make them do math in the midst of it). But MAN does it ever take forever for me to get anything done in the summer. It may be because stuff gets piled on. Currently I'm soaking lettuce and broccoli from the farm share, and I've made a year's worth of strawberry and sour cherry jam. The girls want to blueberry pick etc.

Case in point, I've been trying to write this entry for DAYS, before this sock picture got too out of date

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I finished the first sock in the car on the way home from vacation and started the second. I even pulled out yarn so they could start close--and then had trouble casting on. Judy's magic cast on is a bear to do on a bumpy interstate. And so I ended up not being able to start exactly where I thought I should, but not bad matchup eh? I turned the first heel at a baseball game, ripped it out, knit more and turned it again at another that went into extra innings and it looks like that I may actually be turning the second sock's heel at another baseball game. I do love summer.

I wish I could tell you that I finished darning the last "socks of the week" and started a new pair, but alas that didn't happen. One sock is done, but the other still needs heel and some swiss darning.

I should also do an update on the caterpillars. I'll try to get a new picture for next time, as they look totally different now.

Friday, July 10, 2015

bright socks done!

Should I start every entry with: the Summer of Socks continues? Because it does!

The sock I started as a sort of emergency "trip" sock continues to travel, more locally. It has gone to two minor league baseball games. In face, I turned the heel in the 7th inning in the first one (on July 3) and then decided to rip out the heel and knit more foot length at the game last night. I did get the heel all finished, even though I had to stop knitting in the 9th inning because I was making a lot of mistakes and it was getting late. The game went 15 innings with the hometown heroes losing and with us getting in at midnight. At any rate, here is a pre heel rip out picture.

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I also decided to try some swiss darning (or duplicate stitch) on this week's sock. I ended up having to go back to my tried and true weaving a patch for the heel because the stitches were so stretched out. One heel is done. I'll do the other soon and try duplicate stitch on the foot area. Might be next week though as I seem to be running out of week! I knit these in July of 2012 after taking them on vacation. They actually have worn pretty well for having an obviously too narrow heel.

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I also finished the leftover socks, finally! All I really had to do was a few more rows and bindoff. I'm not sure why I need to look at instructions for the bindoff--Jenny's surprisingly Stretchy bindoff is incredibly easy once you have the process in your head. It has been a little hot to wear them but the things I do for this blog.

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And last, but certainly not least, we adopted a few more pets this week. I do a lot of volunteering and it puts me in touch with a wide variety of people. One person that I especially like is an entomologist for a public garden. She is very cool and always is doing something fun and buggy. This summer she managed to breed a few wild moths and ended up with an abundance of caterpillars. Now some knitters might actually be horrified with this but this summer I am helping her raise moths. Many people think of moths as eating sweaters, but really it is larva both of moths and carpet beetles. These moths however are Cecropia and while they do eat a lot, they don't eat wool. In fact my nine eat birch, while my daughters each have 3 eating lilac. They are native to my area, and so releasing them in the spring wouldn't be an issue. In fact, I doubt these would survive if they were outside. Heck, they may not survive being raised by us. they are cute though:
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They like to hang out together which is fun. And I love watching them. I don't actually have a birch tree though so I am roaming the neighborhood and knocking on doors. Well and hitting playgrounds--a surprising number of playgrounds have birch trees.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

car knitting

The only problem with taking a long weekend is that it kind of killed both weeks. We left for a trip "up north" after a busy week and got back mid-week this week. About halfway through last week, I realized I had not started darning the socks of the week, and then I got a comment from Daisy that reminded me about swiss darning, and honestly that would be perfect for last week's socks. I need to dig out my magazine that explains it well and do some research. All of this is a long way of saying I took a two week break on the darning, but I'll be back to it next week.

And so yes, we took a trip which meant car knitting. And I had a slight problem, the socks I had been knitting were almost done and I had not planned another project.
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And I kind of wanted to use the needles I had been using in this project. As you can see I am only like 5 rows away from the bind off. And since I've been using a bind off I rarely use (but should use more often--Jenny's surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off), I needed to have my cheat sheet along. So I decided to put in some yarn to hold stitches and take the needles with me, and finish the socks later.

This did not however, help when deciding, what do I knit on this trip!? The answer, I was sure was maybe a scrap yarn sock. I was thinking a purple pattern with solid purple toes and heels maybe? But purples are super hard to match. I was sure I had a solid purple that would go with ONE of these purples.
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Alas, I could not find it.

I also tried seeing if any of my greens would go together (no), before deciding just to give up. I dug out my last knit Picks Felci and took it along.

I hesitated with this because I have several pairs of socks made from this yarn, and it doesn't hold up as well as many others (proof--I'm darning almost all of the ones I have already knit). But in the end, it was probably the best choice as it doesn't require much beyond a simple toe up sock.

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Now to change needles again just long enough to finish off the other socks.....

Sunday, June 21, 2015

socks, strawberries

Summer is officially kicking my butt. But the socks progress! Actually I knitted so much more than I darned this week, in part because I needed to catch up to the season finale of Game of Thrones, and sometimes I just need to focus on my knitting instead of the tv. So I turned a heel. Even though I can turn a heel while watching, let's just say I watched this heel turn.
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I also got out my skein of Modeknit sock yarn

(in "no Spoilers--Merry Maids") and tried to imagine what it would look like knit up as Neldoreth. And sigh. While I could easily imagine the green ("no spoilers Sherlock's kitchen") in this pattern, I'm feeling that this isn't quite right for me in this colorway. And I hate to even say anything like this at all because I LOVE this yarn, and would love to have about 6 other colorways in my "collection" (ie stash) Merry maids is not quite the color I thought it would be. I looks pinker and muddier than I had thought it would be. I'm sure I'll find the perfect pattern for it, but Neldoreth isn't it. hmmm I may have to buy Lyanna blue and/or Daenerys Eyes if they become available in the sock yarn. Red wedding would probably also be good on Neldoreth. And I can not say enough about how lovely this yarn is to work with.
So, I guess the quest continues to find a yarn to go with that pattern, or a pattern to go with my modesock....
Meanwhile, the darning project continues.
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So many of the socks in my darning pile are from Knit Picks. Either I knit them too loosely or the yarn is weak, but man they get thin fast, although according to ravelry I finished these in Feb 2012. At any rate, both socks needed heel and foot work. Because summer is kicking me you know where, I have only 1.5 of this repair complete at the end of the "week."
Looking at my to do list shows that while the list was long there are still three items on it--only two I'll try to finish today (as I start next week's list). And in case you are wondering--Change the little frogs' water and darn the socks get the attention while cut off capri's does not. Although to be fair, I did one pair of the 2 pairs of capris I promised to make into shorts for my daughter. After weeks of the "how short do you want them?" question, answered by a shrug, I cut measured a pair of shorts I knew she liked, asked if that was the right length and hemmed them to a 7.5 inch inseam. This is evidently too short. So second pair is on hold.
One item I did not put on the list but should have is: make Strawberry jam. Because boy did I ever. I made 4 batches of freezer jam this week--and 2 last week so 6 total. I'm done with (strawberry) jam (will make cherry and peach and have been asked for blueberry --yuck), and now moving on to strawberry lemonade concentrate this week. Maybe strawberry marshmallows. We keep eating them (the strawberries) though. And I can't imagine a scenario where we eat a whole pan of strawberry marshmallows. I may just freeze the puree needed for them and make them at Christmas when I can give a bunch away.



Tuesday, June 09, 2015

leftover bright socks

Because of the way that feedly and facebook show thumbnails, I'm going to lead off with the progress on socks I'm making. I'm not sure why, but I feel like I must finish these plain boring socks before I can start something complex. A smarter person would start the complex socks and have two sets going, one for traveling and places where a simple sock is best and one for times when you need complex knitting. I suspect I feel I must finish these, because I only have the one set of size 0 dpns. Ok that's not true, I think I have 2 or 3 sets of US ) but I LOVE these.

Ok the socks!
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As you can see they are going to be more fraternal than identical. That is by design. This yarn not only has large color repeats, but I'm using leftovers of two colorways. The second sock is actually coming out more like how I envisioned both socks. No matter--these are fun and playful. And I take them places because they are just a simple toe up pattern, that I swear I could do in my sleep.

Sigh, I really should at least swatch for a complex sock.

Onto the darning project. This week's sock to darn are these:
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Which I went to look on ravelry for when I made these, and I NEVER documented them. I tried looking for them on this blog and I can't find them. When did I make these? I have no idea. I know the yarn is Lorna's laces and so the fact that they are wearing thin on my heels surprises me, because I think of them as relatively new. Oh hey wait--found the entry from May 2013 so two years. Hmm, why did I not put them in ravelry? At any rate, I have one sock darned, and need to start the other.

I also went through ALL my socks and have a pile of those that need repair. Sigh. It is large. It will take one pair a week all summer.
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And of course it is the last few days of school, so I've been tackling the constant influx of stuff from lockers. Failing of course:
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Thursday, June 04, 2015

summer of socks begins!

I declared this summer to be my summer of socks!

what does that mean summer of socks?  Well it means I'll be working on my socks this summer--both looking at making new ones and making sure the ones I have are in good repair so come fall, I have no big surprises. I did this in part because my handknit sock collection is getting older.  Sure, I add a new pair every year or so, but I don't think I've ever gone through and really thought about which socks might be beyond saving.  So far, I've pulled out four pairs that either are just beyond repair (old darning patches have holes!) or they have holes, and I just don't like them enough to repair them (like maybe they don't fit me right). I also pulled out four pairs that need some repair (And honestly, I need to go through them all and find all the ones with holes).  I hate darning though, so I'm making myself take care of one pair a week.  I started that last week, and promptly didn't do last week's pair. 

This week though, I did that PAIR and this week's pair.
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This is this week's pair.  I did one sock already--this one needed both the heel and the ball of my foot.  Usually most pairs just wear at the balls of my feet.  I'm glad I'm not a 19th century maiden lady looking for a husband because my darning is quite simply atrocious.

And of course, I'm going to try to knit a few pairs this summer.  This has been my traveling sock, as it is just a plain sock pattern.  I was playing around with two different skeins of leftover yarn.  So the toes and heels are in one skein, and the rest in another. 

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Further, I've been playing with something.  First, I know that tighter knit socks SHOULD be less prone to holes, so I am knitting these on size 0 needles.  Second, the gauge I usually use for socks means that when most sock patterns call for 64 stitches, they are way way too big on me. In part because I need a sock smaller than most sock patterns make and I think I'm always a little loose on my knitting. 

I'm thinking about fancier patterns though. Like Knitty's Neldoreth. Wouldn't that look just divine in Modeknit sock yarn?  Of course it would.  I wanted to do that pattern/yarn combination a while ago when I made some just plain green socks.
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I also just lost about 20 minutes looking through knitty at all the other socks I'd like to knit.  That doesn't even dive into the two issues of sockupied I own or all the sock books I own.  I might just have a tiny little sock problem.... First though, finish the plain socks.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Finished: Indigo Cones

I finished it! I totally finished the indigo cones shrug in time to wear it to my nephew's high school graduation!

At first when I finished knitting I was all like--whew done, and then I realized, nope--ends to weave in, buttons to choose and block that puppy. So, I wove in the ends, went through my buttons and asked facebook and in person relatives about which of these buttons:

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And eventually decided on the lower button.

Then I blocked it (and waited for freaking ever for it to dry) and got the button sewed on just in time to pack it. I wanted to photograph it before I left, but eh no time. So, I had my husband take pictures of me on the trip. And no, I have no idea why I al always holding my arms like that:

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For the record:
Pattern: Indigo Cones from Knitty.
yarn: Nashua Creative Focus Linen (discontinued) color: bleach; 3 skeins
needles: US size 3 and US size 8
size: medium
button: totally forgot where it came from.

It was a totally fun trip and when I told my sister in law I had knitted it, she didn't believe it--one of the highest compliments, I think, is that people think your handknits are not homemade looking. And now I feel like the summer of socks might be upon me. I am having a serious hankering to make some fun socks--which means trying to figure out a pattern that I like that will fit my narrow feet (which is a story for another day).