Wednesday, June 20, 2007

All Socks, All The Time

Can you tell that I have a tiny obsession with knitting socks? Maybe more like an addiction. So you see why I had no other choice but to join the Summer of Socks knit along. It starts tomorrow and I am so amped. Well, I’m really not officially starting my summer of socks until this weekend due to another unfulfilled self imposed deadline. I wanted to finish my other Jaywalker by the time the knit along started but a little thing called “housework” got in the way. Here’s where I am and it looks like I won’t finish until this weekend. I’m not too torn up about it though.

Speaking of summer of socks, here’s what I’m planning:

- I’m most definitely gonna knit me a pair o’ dem there sidewinders. Those fillies is looking mighty fine and I can’t wait to give ‘em a go. I gots me here a skein o' Tofutsies that will fit in just right.

- I want to knit at least one pair top down. I seem to be a little set in my ways when it comes to toe up socks so I just wanna try to shake things up a bit.

- I want to knit a pair using my Socks that Rock in the Lucy colorway. I’ve been coveting this skein since Rhinebeck last year and I think it’s time to stop pussyfooting around and just knit it up.

- I want to knit a Cookie pattern and I think it’s gonna be Pomatomus. I’m still taking other suggestions though.

- My number one goal is to design a pair of socks.

I’ve been knitting socks long enough that I want to try my hand at designing some exactly the way I want it. It all started with this. I made that sock when I saw a post on Craftster asking if someone could make a pattern similar to a pictured sock that was in a gallery. So I figured I’d try it out and that was my interpretation. There were still some things to be reworked but I figured I’d get to it when I knit the second one. Well along came this pattern from Knitty and it dashed all my hopes. I thought that it was too similar to the one so I ended up thoroughly discouraged. I didn’t want to seem like I was biting off of anyone else’s pattern. So that lone sock still sits in a bag way down deep in my closet with all the other renegade projects (tiger striped scarf, blue fair isle snowflake hat, etc…).

So when thinking of designing a pattern for the SOS, I figured that maybe I can use the same pattern but put my usual remix on it. What if the open part on the top of the feet was done in lace to give it an open feel? And what if the laces were actually cables instead so everything could be knit in one piece like a regular sock? Here’s my brainstorming and the pattern I finally came up with. I haven’t swatched or anything, I’m waiting for this weekend but I did base it on my socks usually take 64 stitches on a size 1 needle. So far the pattern seems very fiddly and I’m not sure anyone else would want to go through all that just for a pair of socks but I can only imagine the level of accomplishment I’ll feel once they’re done.

Speaking of designing, I’m also trying to design a shrug. I just want something to cover my shoulders and that I can wear to work to try and dress up my tank tops. I’m using my Barbara Walker Book, Knitting From the Top as a reference. I figured it’s about time I worked on something that wasn’t socks, you know, just trying to shake things up a bit (again).

That’s cotton tape yarn that I scored form the Joan Vass sale last year (btw, all you New Yorkers, I called them and they are not having a sale this year but they said they would contact me and let me know when they do). I’m planning on plain stockinette on the back and fronts and a mock cable pattern on the short sleeves that’ll like flare out a little. I know what I’m picturing in my head but it’s hard to put it on paper.

I’ve been lacking in the spinning department. I’ve barely done any spinning. I’m still working on the second bobbin of the yarn pictured in my last post for a three ply yarn. The new Spin Off has a great article on spinning for a striped effect and I wish I would’ve had it before I started spinning this. All is not lost though because I can still use some of the techniques on the last bobbin that I spin.

Well that’s all folks. I should have more stuff stocked in the store by this weekend but we’ll see how the rest of this week goes. Sock On (I stole that outro from the SOS blog, just sayin)

I couldn't just leave you guys with just one sock picture. What kind of blogger would I be if I didn't leave you guys with some more gratuitous sock pics. This is my lone Lisa Souza Crosshatch Lace sock that will have to wait for the end of Summer of Socks for it's mate. Poor sockie.

Friday, June 08, 2007

I Got Nuthin'

As far as a post title. I can say that it seems as if I’ve been swimming in fiber this past week. I’ve been trying to take care of home which translates to less craft time. I was on a road trip this past weekend so I got a chance to finish my first jaywalker. All I can say is Oh Boy. Now I can see how these can become addictive. I’ve never been one to repeat a sock pattern but I may have to make an exception for these.

I wanted to spice things up a bit so instead of immediately casting on for jaywalkers mate, I decided to cast on for something else.

This is the Crosshatch Lace pattern from the second sensational socks book (try saying that ten times fast). I really heart that book by the way. The yarn is Lisa Souza Sock! Merino yarn in the Gendarme color way. When I first started, I increased the toe to 64 stitches, did a couple of rows before I tried it on. #1, it was too big and #2, it was pooling something awful. Normally, I’m a fan of pooling, but I like a pool that more or less sweeps to the side and zigzags and all that good stuff. This pool was just vertical globs of color (yuck). So I ripped (yeah you read that right, I frogged) it back to 60 stitches and just flipped through the book until I found a pattern that I liked and would work for my stitch count. Did I mention that I really heart this book? To make a long story short, now I have a pool that kinda looks like stripes, now how cool is that? I’m usually a gusset gal but I didn’t want to mess with the pool action on the instep so I opted for a short row heel. I have to make another road trip this weekend so hopefully I can finish it during the 4 hour ride and I’ll be halfway to two pairs of socks.

As for the fiber, yesterday I received my package from the fiber swap I hosted and all I can say is Oh Boy. My partner really outdid herself and I can’t thank her enough. Here’s the goodies

Not only did she send about 6 ounces of wool, but she also sent me some of her Mango beeswax lip balm and some handmade soap from her shop. The soap filled the whole package with the most wonderful aroma. Can you imagine the aromatherapy effects once I get to spinning this wool. All I can say is Thanks Maggie and I will definitely will be ordering some more soap from you guys.

Also my buddy Kim gifted me with this lovely mystery fiber out of the blue. I'm not a member of the Eye Candy Friday group but I couldn't resist showing yall a bit of the fiber pron (tee hee)

Like I said before I didn’t get much time to spin this week. I made a learn to spin kit as a door prize for my meetups’ Knit In Public day event but of course I forgot to take a picture of it. I hand painted the spindle and it looks something like this one but not quite.

I should have a couple more spinning kits available in the shop by the end of next week so stay tuned. I would appreciate it if someone (read: Tawanna or Allena) could take a picture of it tomorrow and send it me. I’ll owe you one. I did manage to spin a little though. After reading Abby’s post on plying and getting this book, I can’t wait to try out these techniques. I had some of Abby’s luxury batts in my stash so I kinda eyeballed it and split the whole thing into thirds. I want to ply my first three-ply yarn so I’m trying to spin my singles really thin. I don’t have any plans for the finish yarn but I’m mainly spinning this to practice spinning evenly and plying. My only problem is lack of bobbins. I need like 20 more but I can’t justify the purchase right now. It just aint in the budget so I have to find another way to accomplish my goal. I spun the first bobbin, let it sit for a coupla days, then wound it into a center pull ball. I slid the single right off the ball winder and onto a knitting needle so I can set it up in my makeshift lazy kate seen here.(My Fiber Basket)

Now I can still use my original bobbin to spin the other two singles. I think I’ll just slide them all on the needle side by side and ply them that way. I am so anxious to see how this comes out so of course I’ll keep you guys posted.

Well that’s it for now kiddies, I need to go pack. By the way, if you’re on ravelry…lets be friends!

Happy knitting!