Wednesday, March 22, 2006

S.O.B. Socks

No, I haven't been cursing at these socks. I developed this pattern for my S.O.B. (Shades of Blue) colorway. I'm very pleased with the result; the simple knit/purl design helps to prevent the pooling so often seen with hand dyed yarns. Won't these go great with jeans? The yarn is soooo soft, with great yardage. I had 28g left, which means I only used about 330 yards for these socks. That leaves me with lots to add to the CIC stash!

Pattern is available here; yarn is available here.

This brings my official sock count to 6! OTN: Thuja for me, in some absolutely scrumptious merino worsted that is a dream to knit. It is definitely cold enough to keep wearing wool socks, so I'll keep knitting 'em.

Weather update: still lots of snow on the ground, but the sun is out, so at least it's pretty. And melting.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Signs of spring?

I took this picture this a.m. from my back door. No, I didn't have the camera set to greyscale; the black & white & grey all over color scheme is complements of Mother Nature. Ugh. Global warming is seriously letting me down.

I will say, tho', that I'm getting much more use out of my mitts than I expected. Warm & wooly, and a much needed bit of color on a day like today.

OK, I'm done kvetching. Gotta go shovel the driveway.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Count your socks!

I've decided to join Lynda in counting my socks; I currently have 5 pair:

The blue ones on the top row are the very first pair of socks I knit. Knit of some vintage Germantown yarn I scored on eBay, the toes turned out a little funny; somehow, I managed to Kitchener in purl. But, they are recognizable as socks! I still feel a surge of pride whenever I wear them.

Next we have the Blue-Toed Lilacs, my first foray into designing my own socks. I'm a big fan of blue & purple (you might have noticed that). There's something about having those blue toes hidden in my shoes that gives me a little kick all day.

My most recently knit socks are the stripey ones. These are knit from Lion Brand Magic Stripes yarn, and are my first pair with a short row heel.

On the bottom row are my summer socks. First up are the cuffed anklet socks; these are knit with Paton's Grace, a 100% mercerized sport-weight cotton. Last but not least, are the roll-top anklets, knit with more vintage yarn scored on eBay. Great summer-time sneaker socks!

Coming soon: pair #6! Stay tuned.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Happy birthday to me

Just finished these fingerless mitts (this pair's for me) last night. Today is my birthday, and the weather is supposed to be cold tonight, when the b/f & his father take me out to dinner. How perfect is that?

BTW, it is seriously difficult to take a picture of your own hands. However, here is my best effort at a closeup.

I modified the pattern from one I found in a WWII knitting pattern book. The original was made with sock yarn on two needles. I had a skein of hand dyed Fisherman's Wool that I wanted to use, and I didn't want to seam them up. Here is the resulting pattern. I did a pretty good job of estimating yardage; I had about two yards left from my 110-yard skein.

I'm still knitting mitts for CIC. The blue pair was also made from the WWII pattern, but I made them a little larger and longer than mine. I worked the cuff for three inches before the first decrease. Then I increased in 4 of the K3 ribs about an inch before working the thumb hole. I used some Germantown wool that I bought on eBay a while back; took about 125 yards. The two-tone garter stitch mitts are about 3/4 done; when I finish them, I'll probably pack up everything I have for CIC & ship them off.

I'm paying the price for all my fun in the garden on Saturday; I ache all over. Anyone know where I can score some really good pain meds?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

A Good Day

Dirt under my fingernails and compost in my hair--it has been a good day.

The weather guessers were just a little off this time; instead of rain today, it came during the night. When I woke, it was sunny & warm out. After a delicious breakfast of bacon & onion pizza w/5 cheeses, I headed out to my vegetable garden to try to erase some of the evidence of neglect.

The b/f claims I have a garden just so I have an excuse to play in the dirt, and I can't say that he is entirely wrong. When I started gardening here, the soil was just horrible. Hard hard clay and, I swear, absolutely no earthworms. I started composting, and I went to the bait shop and bought some worms. The worms were added to the compost, and the compost was gradually added to the garden, and now I have lots of lovely black garden soil teeming with earthworms. I enjoy plunging my hands down into the soil and admiring the tilth (this helps to explain the dirt under the fingernails thing). I'm pleased as punch when a worm slithers through my fingers. It is such a beautiful change from what I started with. I can only describe my emotion as joy, knowing that this little piece of the planet is in better shape because of my efforts.

Yes, I plant stuff in my garden. I enjoy watching that stuff grow, knowing that it is nourished by all that lovely compost I have been making all year long. If I get anything edible out of the garden, that is a bonus. The biggest joy, for me, was playing with the lovely dirt that I planted the stuff in.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

9 rows = 1 mile

This is my current treadmill project: a sock yarn scarf in a simple lace pattern. It is a 10-row repeat, so I know as I near the end of the pattern repeat, my torture life-enhancing exercise is nearing its end as well. I plan on making this a long scarf; not sure how long I'll be able to keep doing it on the treadmill, tho'. I could roll up the end and pin it when it gets long enough to trip me, but I'm afraid the weight might get to be too much. I don't like a lot of weight pulling on my needles. That's one of the nice things about socks; they're done before they get too heavy.

Speaking of scarves, I finally uploaded the pattern for my Mardi Gras ribbon yarn scarf. You can find it here.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

CIC Mitts

Here's what I've been using to avoid completing the Olympic Tank--fingerless mitts for CIC. I'm using a slightly modified pattern from Weekend Knitting. I checked it out from the library, and I'm taking notes on how I like to do the mitts, so I can continue to make them after I return the book. I don't really see myself making anything else from this book, but I really like these mitts. They're so easy, knit in garter stitch from side to side, rather than from the bottom up, with short rows to made the hand wider than the wrist. I decided I didn't like the thumb hole as the pattern is written; it's only an inch long, and I found it a tight fit. So, I just knit w/o the thumb hole, and I bind off normally rather than do the 3-needle bind off specified in the pattern. Then, I seam 'em up, leaving a 2-inch gap for the thumb, and voila! Super cool warm mitts.

The largest size in the book is a snug but comfortable fit for my medium-sized hand, so I'm working out the details for a slightly larger pair now. The first pair I did in Bartlett Yarns Fisherman Two-Ply in Green Heather. The mitt in progress is made with Briggs & Little 2-ply given to me by another CIC-knit member. The body is knit in a dark charcoal, with short rows done in green. A rather cool effect, if I do say so myself, and it sure makes it easy to keep track of the short rows!

I'm working on getting myself to finish the Olympic Tank. Giving myself little pep talks, like this: "C'mon, Carol, it's only a couple more rows, maybe a little edging, then you'll be done! You can take pictures! Then you can gather up your notes written on little scraps of paper and on the backs of envelopes, and write up the pattern." I think it's really that last bit that's stopping me. That and the fact that the weather is cold again, and I don't feel like I'll ever need warm weather clothing again. You should have heard what I said at the television the other night when someone was whining about global warming. Can't happen fast enough for me.