Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Almost FO

Okay. I'm pretty much done the socks for my dad. All I have to do now is to cast off. I haven't done it yet because I'm going to see one of my patient's tomorrow, and his wife wants to see what I meant by knitting two socks at the same time on a set of circular needles.

So there they are. I didn't do a very good job photographing them, and it looks kinda weird all squished up cuz of the ribbing. But I think they're pretty good on the whole. Hopefully they'll fit.

With Dad's socks pretty much done, it was time to start Mom's socks. Finished the toe of yet another set of toe-up socks, and realized that something I feared was starting to happen.

Yes, that is the start of striping. (Insert scream of despair here.) However, I'm continuing to knit the foot section and am finding the colour alternating just about every round. Unfortunately for me, the change isn't happening at the sides, but I guess that means I can put that part as the sole. I'm not sure if the end result of this will be just a jumble of purple, or actual stripes. And who knows if I'll be able to get the other sock to behave the same way. Ugh. I was hoping it wouldn't do the stripe thing.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Fun with Fair Isle

I can be a bit paranoid sometimes when it comes to Christmas knitting. I generally start thinking about it in the late summer or early fall, and planning/collecting yarn/searching for patterns often consumes a great deal of my mental energy (only because it's so fun!). I am always scared that I won't have enough time to finish everything, and as a result I'm usually finished well ahead of time.

When it came to the Main Street Fair Isle, however, I was afraid that perhaps this project would sit on the back burner for a while, well beyond the Christmas season. I just wasn't all that motivated to work on it. First I had all those gauge issues with the first sleeve, and then I had to start the body 3 times (with more gauge problems), and I was getting tired of looking at all that maroon.

I decided to pick the project up again after finishing my sister's socks, and to try knitting the second sleeve starting with more stitches. This solution was deemed far more acceptable, and before I knew it I had 2 finished sleeves! Then I figured that I should finish the main part of the body and at least attach the sleeves, and soon I had reached the fair isle part. Who knew that a couple nights of tv would suffice to get all that accomplished?!? Clearly I have been doing way too much knitting on teeny tiny needles, or with fiddly annoying mohair (read: Kidsilk Haze).

So, fair isle! I'd never done it before, but how hard could it be, really? Then I realized that parts of the pattern called for 3 colours to a round. Ah, crap.

Main Street Fair Isle colour_02

Green, blue, and purple on one round (at the left), and then maroon, blue, and green on the next round (at the right). That calls for a lot of floats in the back!

Main Street Fair Isle colour_03

Also, I put in a lifeline in case I screwed things up beyond repair. This part of the fair isle turned out fairly well, but there are parts where I think I could have been a little looser with the floats (I tried my best). There is a bit of puckering here and there, but on the body the sweater lies more or less flat so it's not too bad. I think a good blocking should also even things out a bit.

The fair isle got much easier as I went along, mostly because the later rows only called for 2 colours per round (another lifeline couldn't hurt, though).

Main Street Fair Isle colour_04

A photo of the colourwork along with the raglan decreases.

Main Street Fair Isle colour_05

The sweater should be pretty much done soon, way before Christmas! I'm going to make my mom do the bind-off at the neck, because she's probably better/more experienced at doing a sewn k1,p1 bind-off than I am. So she'll get to participate in the making of her own Christmas gift, beyond providing commentary on the gauge/sizing. Oh, and she paid for the yarn, too. =P

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

One down....

One Christmas present finished! These are some socks for my sister (hopefully she doesn't check this blog) that I will be sending across the pond soon. The yarn is Sunshine Yarns sock yarn, in the Neapolitan self-striping colourway. Don't they look yummy? I'm glad that they more or less match in terms of the striping, I generally try to restrain myself when it comes to buying self-striping sock yarn since trying to make the socks match perfectly has the potential to trigger my anxiety issues (see also: Noro sweaters). =P Anyway, I love how these turned out!

Sunshine Yarns Neapolitan socks_03

P.S. There are the ONLY gift socks I'll be knitting this Christmas. =)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Avoiding second sock syndrome

(Oh man...I've always wanted to say that ever since Mr. Seshadri did)

Socks for my dad are now underway.

Please forgive the crappy photo.

As you can probably tell, I'm making 2x2 rib toe-up socks for my dad. This time, I got out my size 4 addi lace needles with the insanely long cord so that I could knit both at the same time using magic loop. It takes a little getting used to, but I've got the hang of it now.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering - yes, I did cheat a little. I knit the increases of each toe on dpns first, transferring the stitches to the circular once I had all the stitches I needed. I haven't quite thought out the physics of how I'm going to do the heel, but I figure it'll become, as Mr. Rice would say, 'intuitively obvious' once I get there.

(and tonight, I'm dragging out all sorts of high school teacher expressions? What's wrong with me?!!)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Start of Christmas knitting

I've decided that everyone in my family is going to get the same thing this year: knitted socks. I was originally thinking of giving my mom those blue ones that I've been knitting (and I really should take a picture of those soon. I'm so bad with pictures), but I just love the colour blue too much, and will probably wind up keeping them.

So there's the yarn that I've set aside for my parents. I don't think I need to mention who's getting which colourway. The purple stuff is some Lorna's laces that I got a long time ago. It looked very, very different when it was in a skein - half dark purple, half light purple and looked like it basically had no transitions. However, once wound, it looks much nicer. The grey/brown stuff is Koigu Kersti. Highly addictive.

I'm starting the pair for my dad first. I came up with some rather strange logic for that choice too. I figured that the closer it got to Christmas, the more pressured I'd feel, and thus the more knitting I would do. So, I'm starting with the project that I think I'll like better so I don't procrastinate in my knitting. Most people would say that I should leave the faster project for later, but I think this will keep me knitting constantly instead of in a huge rush at the end.

Okay...feel free to tell me I'm crazy.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

My first commission!

So, a rather nice lady who works at the hospital with me approached me the other day about doing a commissioned project for her. She was so cute about it too; she said she wanted to hire me to make something for her. She had tried knitting something for herself in the past, but it didn't turn out. What she wants is essentially a scarf with a hood on it.

I'm thinking a little bit about possibly designing my own, but I did find a free pattern for something similar to what she wanted. It's the Hooded Scarf from Knit Picks. I'll run it by her to see if that's the sort of thing she wants, and if so, I'll look over the pattern and decide if I want to make any design modifications. She's quite particular about the type of yarn, so it's likely that the gauge is going to be off anyway.

In other knit news, I've turned the heel on one of those blue socks and will be looking to finish it really soon. The crochet blanket is growing still, and I've realized that crochet really does work up faster than knitting.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

22.2% complete

Progress on the Modern Quilt Wrap continues. I love this project, but I wish it didn't take so long to finish each square.

Modern Quilt Wrap Blocks 1-14