Saturday, January 24, 2009

Good News on the Sock Front.

I got my mother's antique gold scale today (it was used to weigh gold, it is not made of gold) and guess what? I have enough yarn for the second sock of the Miss Calculus socks! The original sock weighs about 40 grams and I have about 50 grams of the assorted yarn left. I may have to rename it now, since I did not miscalculate. :-)

I will have to start right away, so that at least I will have one pair of socks that I am happy with.

Now, if I only remembered what size needle I used......

Wow! I wrote it down in my project description!!! I love Ravelry!!!

Socks, socks, socks...

Knitting like a fiend with the Hobby Print yarn to have at least one sock in the Jaywalker pattern finished. By the number of stitches I have made at least two and two-thirds of a sock so far, but nothing to show for it yet. Why does everybody else's Jaywalker look so great and mine does not? As I am knitting this infernal sock I am learning a lot about self-striping yarns, how they pattern, and - of course - about colour dynamics (whole blog about that). But this time the sock seems to be really wide in the foot - sock mechanics problem here. Around the leg and heel it is just right although loose, but the foot... Well, I will just follow it to the end and see it how it ends. On the photo the top looks saggy as well. If in the end the pattern does work out for me, I will make the second size smaller (it was too tight in the Lorna's Laces, but this yarn has much more give). Live and learn. By the end I will know the right size in the two yarns, but not a well-fitted pair of socks.

But the Tomatomus looks great, though.

I went to Angela's today just to get extra sets of dbl needles, b/c the Pomatomus pattern specifically spells out that you need five for the foot. Have not gotten to that part yet, but if I get going I do not want to get stuck. I am sure that one could probably wing it on 4 needles, but I will not risk it. I know they are not artsy, but I like metal needles. I have never tried wood or bamboo and with two sons as mad as mine I am not going to try my luck with such fragile items - their life expectancy in my house would be measured in seconds. Do you think I have enough? ;-) I think I found a right ribbon there as well for the Lace Number I am trying to finish.

And I started socks in Tofutsies in a crazy yellow-blue-green colourway. Nice and tight twisted rib, if I only cast on 66 stitches I could be following the Spring pattern, but I followed the 8 Stitches-to-an-Inch pattern by Ann Budd and I have 74 stitches. These will have to wait until after the Tomatomu, Jaywalkers and Jimm's vest aka the Twenty Years Vest are done. Colour looks good, though.

Ideas to follow:

The Little Blue Sweater.

Freedom Knitters.

Pani's Lilac Crochet Sweater.

Things I Crocheted in Poland and Their Stories.

Home Ed Class and the Girls from Rybnicka Street.

The 1933 Sewing Class.

Silesian Lace.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Way of the Rainbow

This is the way this yarn should look!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Things to Do.

1. Stitch together the Lace Peignoir so that I will have enough stitch holders to finish the vest for Jimm.
2. Weigh the remaining yarn and the sock already produced so that I can figure out if I can make a pair of Yaya socks.
3. The colors on the Jazzy Jaywalkers just do not look right. They blend together and the nice reds and oranges are just lost and the overall effect is just washed out limes and green yellows with some purples thrown in. Nothing to be done with this, but I will finish them.

4. Get the CD with the photos of my stash and upload the photos!
5. Photocopy the patterns I want and return the books to the library!
6. Repack the needles and hooks into the new bag from Lena Brown (via Etsy).
7. Prepare the Jimmy Tie and the Starfish Shawl patterns for upload to Ravelry (may be).

Progress report:

I. Lace. Stitched the shoulder seams with Kitchener stitch - it looks great! The Hempathy yarn matches the Blood KidSilk Haze as if they were dyed and matched in heaven! I got lucky here. I am making the edging right now.

II. Repaired Jimm's (now my) Fortune. Reinforced the hemlines and the bottoms of the sleeves and repaired a hole using the brown part of Berocco Sox; looks ok, but of course not perfect. Never make a scarf from leftover sweater yarn for your husband as you may not have yarn for repairs. And he will lose it anyway.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sock Woes.

I got into knitting socks. Over the Xmas holidays I watched people with their projects on Ravelry and got hooked. I decided that I needed Monkeys, and Jaywalkers, and some lacy numbers, and some plain socks in awesome hand dyed yarns. Discovered Sunshine Yarns and ordered two skeins from them, bought Red Rovers by Lorna’s Laces form LYS. Socks were going to be it for me.

I cast on Herringbone Rib socks in a Berocco Sox yarn (bought originally for a tie for Jimm) and although I persevered and persevered and frogged and knit up again I am not impressed with the results. The stripes are too obvious for the pattern, the colourway not subtle. Yes, I know these are supposed to be self-striping yarn for regular, plain stockinette socks. And the husband, for whom they were made, considers them too nice to wear! Plus on him, the ribbing really stretches and it looks like it laddered even though it did not. One for them, nought for me.

Then I started on a sock from leftover yarn in my late mother-in-law’s stash. I did the gauge, established that it would be the 6 stitches per inch sock from Ann Budd's book and cast on. I miscalculated – well, I am new at this – and what I thought would be enough for a pair of nice socks ended up one nice comfy sock that I am wearing right now and which is keeping my right foot nice and toasty. Well, there is some yarn left over, and this is what Ms Brilliant is going to do: frog it to the top of the heel flap, weigh how much yarn the foot actually needs, see if I have enough left in the stash for the second one, and – if not enough, see if I can divide what is left of the leg into two and make two anklets. If that is not enough, I am considering making it a size smaller. Now I only need a small weighing scale. Yes, of course, before all that I will weigh the whole sock and see if I have enough yarn for the second, although I am pretty sure that I do not.

The Jaywalkers are also a bit of a problem. I cast them on as a treat for finishing a bunch of UFO. Then it started – here is the play by play.
“How on earth does one knit into the front and back of a stitch?!!! Off to the Knitter’s Handbook to look it up. And I thought that I can figure anything out. Bummer…. The colour is not the greatest - where is the wow of hand-painted yarns? Later. This sock is totally not happening for me. I need to rethink both the decreases and the increases = mine are a complete mess right now. I think I have the decreases figured out, but the increases are a different story. Is there really no knit in the middle? 12.1.09 Went to bed and tried to figure it out for a while and finally it dawned on me. The second knit into the front becomes the raised ridge, the first goes off at an angle pushed away by the first knit into the back. Then I had to figure out a backward way for the double decrease, necessary, because I knit Continental and not English. My knits are twisted about 90 degrees wrt to the English knit stitches. After one more frogging I seem to be on my way.”

And now – the zigzag is not happening. This yarn is too subtle for Jaywalkers. Well, an order of Sunshine Yarns aarrived today and I decided to try the Jaywalkers with Florida Sunshine. I just added it on to the existing sock to see how it would strand. Not wowy enough, the zigzag is not showing. More like Easter Egg rather than Florida.

I have to go get me some other yarn for the Jaywalkers and will save the Florida for some lacy number.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"Threads" and lichens.

Many years ago I found Threads magazine at Lichtman's at Atrium on Bay in Toronto. Yes, it was way baaaaaaack in winter 1987 or 1988. I was there with my then boyfriend, current husband. It had an article about crocheted coats and sweaters and what struck me was that the author said how crochet has poor drape when worked horizontally back and forth, and how working on diagonal improves it. I had always thought the same, just did not know how to express it or that anybody else cared! There were photos of a phenomenal full-length coat with appliques of lichens at hem and sleeves. Now, I do not know why, but I adore lichen. It has something to do with its symbiotic nature (algae and fungi together growing where neither can alone), its pioneering - it usually is the first to grow onto naked rock, erode it and make it available for other plants years later and its fantastic colours - golds, russets, greens, greys, blues. The coat was too much for me, I would never wear something like that, but it was beautiful. At the time I thougth that I could not knit, and crochet was the only thing for me. I loved the fact that somebody was actually thinking about the drape and design in handcrafted items. It was a revelation. Of course I bought the magazine even though it was a bit much for my pocket ($5.95!!!!).
The other article was by Alice Starmore and how she used the colours of the islands to design her Fair Isle sweaters' colourways. Wow.
I continued to buy Threads until it became sewing-only magazine. I learned oodles from it over the years and loved the articles on Shetland lace, Fair Isle knitting, glove knitting, shaping and finishing, mitering corners and buttonholes in knitted articles. There was always a little bit of history. There were great photos. I miss Threads.
And lichens? They are still around, and I still love them. The photo was taken this October, at Ball's Falls in Ontario.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Here we go....

This will be about my knitting, my writing and my liff which means my life at home.