Category Archives: Socks

Crazy Time

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There’s been a bit of knitting.

Lots of rearranging, cleaning, sorting, worrying, stressing, sleepless nights, anxiety, surface of the sun hot flashes…etc etc etc

There has not been enough knitting and way too much of the other stuff.

But…I managed to color my hair so at least when I look in the mirror every day, I don’t see a woman who looks as old as she feels.

Seems there is drama everywhere lately, plus a visit from Honey, Spencer finishing out the quarter, and the annual apartment inspection (today actually).

I felt a brief moment of “down-timeness” this morning on the way into work.  I was cruising on the leg of one of the Chili Socks and everything just felt all nice and chilled out.

That lasted about 5 minutes.

Tonight I am hoping for more chill time.  All I need to do is wash my comforter, sit back, relax, knit and see what’s on TV.

That’s the plan anyway.

Chili Socks in Progress

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The Roasted Chilies socks for Antonella are on the needles.  Yay!  I had plenty of time to cast on and work the toes last night while I waited for Spencer to text me and let me know he’d made it back to school and was safely in his dorm. 

Note to all parents with younger children: No, you never stop worrying about your kids – no matter how old they get.

I also had plenty of time to work half way up the foot of one as I waited for a train this morning.  You know you’ll have extra knitting time when the platform is crowded and people are arguing about who is cutting in front of whom.  I headed straight for a bench and knit on a Chili Sock while I waited for the platform to clear.

There will be no photos to see here.  I’ll post all the details to Ravelry in a few days along with some progress photos so my knitter friends on Ravelry can check them out if they are curious.

Just because she knows that she is getting socks and has seen the yarn (I always get color approval from her before starting her projects), it doesn’t mean that I’m going to show her what they actually look like while I’m making them.

She’ll see them at Christmas.

And now to complete my lunch hour today by spending some time in the bathroom trying to get bacon and cheese grease off my newly washed fleece jacket and my t-shirt.

I got quite the deal when I paid $6.50 for that grilled cheese sandwich – with bacon! – and a cup of soup.  I got the very yummy comfort food soup and sandwich, a nice big double grease stain, an upset stomach and bloating.  Ooh and a hot flash, because here that comes now too.  BONUS!!

Sigh.  I need to start wearing a bib – and I need to stop eating stuff that I shouldn’t be eating.

Some days though you just need the crispy grilled cheese sandwich comfort (with bacon!) that a salad just CAN NOT provide.

Finished Sock, On Deck redo, On the Needles Now, a Happy, Productive Visit

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Knitter’s Husband Marine Life Socks finished the other day.  They are approximately a size 13.  That’s a whole lotta sock.  Told Spencer while he was here for Thanksgiving that his feet are NOT allowed to grow any more.  It’s bad enough he’s at a size 12.

A WHOLE LOTTA sock…

Spencer’s SF Giant’s socks not happening anymore.  The yarn is splitty, the colors are NOT working out in the jumble and I do NOT like knitting them as the yarn has too much nylon and it does NOT flow over the needles.  Spencer has agreed about the colors and has picked a different yarn out of the stash.  Cherry Tree Hill’s “Middle Earth”.  Photos later.  Still keeping an eye out for the right yarn as I do want to make him some Giants socks.  Definitely needs to be self-striping 100% Merino – which is way out of my price range at the moment.  This is how far I went before I had to say “NO MORE” – not black/orange/white but brown/coral/white.

Going on the needles today as I watch Da Bears trounce the Vikings – socks for my partner in crime Antonella.  After slacking off for three days, they are FINALLY going on the needles – Claudia Hand Painted Yarns “Roasted Chilies”.  I have five more pairs to make after these.  FIVE.  Yeah, I should really get going.

 

Once Spence FINALLY got to my house, we had a simple Thanksgiving dinner of lasagna and a salad.  But first we had dessert.  We LOVE pumpkin pie in The Chaos so that had to be eaten first!

After we rested a bit after our mini-feast, we went through all the boxes he left in his room.  I made a special pile of them and we made quick work of going through it all.  We came across wonderful things that triggered many happy memories of his grandparents, both gone now.  Here we are in two of the many awesome hats from his hat collection.  Mom and Dad always sent him various hats for birthdays and holidays and hats were his souvenirs whenever anyone traveled.  Here, he wears the Davey Crockett ‘Coon hat his Papa Bernie gave him, and I’m in a fancy Greek hat that Grandma Mary brought back from her Mediterranean Cruise.  He took the furry hat back to UCLA.

It was a Happy Holiday Visit, and we got some sorting and organizing done too!  What more could a Mom ask for…

Except maybe her Honey coming on December 14th for a Happy Holiday Visit and Honey helping sort and organize too!  I’ll have them both in for Christmas/New Year’s so look forward to whipping The Chaos into a bit better shape while they are here.  Looking forward to having access to strong, tall men.  I’ll have to cook and feed them, but small price to pay for all the much needed help they will provide.

SQUEEE.

On Deck

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These yarny cakes are destined to be black/orange/white jumble socks for Spencer.  He’s a big fan of the World Series Champs, the SF Giants.  So I figured it would be cool to make him some SF Giants socks.

Do you know how difficult it is to find black/orange/white yarn?!?  Luckily for me, the World Series takes place around Halloween.  Enter plenty of black/orange/white of just about anything.  Except sock yarn.

It took me a while, but I found some.  I was hoping for self-striping yarn, but this is the best I could do so close to Halloween – a lot was sold out already.  Actually it was the ONLY sock yarn I could get in a wool I could use, that I could afford, and that – most importantly – did NOT include any other colors besides black/orange/white.

Hey now wait just a minute – jumble what?!?  (Insert sound clip of screeching brakes here.)

The color changes on this yarn happen about every 15 or so inches.  Can’t really call this self-striping yarn, so I have to call it something.  So I call it “jumble”.

Best part of jumble yarn?  Don’t have to worry about starting it at the exact same place.  Not that it would be really all that difficult to NOT match black or orange or white stripes.  Unless you were completely in the dark.

Although lately, I’m sure I could find a way.

CKP ver 1.15

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AKA the Cunning Knitting Plan in between 1.1 and 1.2.

Marine Life sock #1 has just been completed.  Sock #2 is ready for me to take it off the dpns and pop it onto my size 1 baby circs.

Defiinitely has helped having the second set of dpns to keep the socks in check while working one heel then the other.

I have decided to exchange the size 2 baby circs for a size 1 like I originally wanted to get.

The most ironic thing about this whole CKP business?

I knitted the heels one immediately after the other and they were done COMPLETELY different.  Something clicked in my brain between heel #1 and heel #2 and the pattern made sense.

Did I redo heel #1?  Of course not.  As usual, they look the same, even though my wrap and turns on the short row/increases for turning the heel were done quite a bit different for each sock.  The end result was the same – the heels got turned.

Knitter’s husband won’t know, and Knitter has never made socks***, so I’M the ONLY ONE who knows EXACTLY where and what is different and I’m not tellin’.

And there will be NO PHOTOS detailing the differences.  You guys only get a photo of the completed pair.

Stay tuned for that, it’s coming up soon.

*** Update: Apparently Knitter has made socks waaaaaaaay back in the day, but hasn’t made any since – and knowing me, I read “never made any” instead of “I have and don’t like it”.  My guess is that the fun went out of it since she HAD to make them and not because she WANTED to make them…that would  take the fun out of anything in a hurry.

Well now…

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I just stripe pattern enhanced myself into tinking the second Marine Life sock.  I do love the colors on these socks – six different shades of blue.  Six different variations of Caribbean blue.  In a certain light, there are about three of the shades that look alike.

You can probably see where this is going.
When I use self-striping yarn – which is a lot because I just LOVE me some stripey socks – I try to start at the same color so that the socks more or less match up.
After I caked up the yarn, I pulled out the centers until I got to a point in the yarn changes where I had the same shade of blue.  Off I went on the sock #1 toe.
A few days later, I put sock #1 aside, out of sight in the main project bag, picked up cake #2 and started on the toe of sock #2.
Last night I decided to compare sock #1 and sock #2 to see how well I had matched up the stripes again, because I’m very good at starting up the socks at the same color and I was ready to admire my latest stripe success.
EPIC SOCK STRIPE FAIL.
A few minutes of tinking later and I’m back here tonight starting sock #2, this time at the correct shade of Caribbean blue.
I STILL do not have my second set of sock needles so I consider this a blessing in disguise.  Now I have something to do on the train again.
Time to re-knit sock #2.  This should last me for a few days while I wait impatiently for my new needles.

Design Features

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Back when I worked in software (shudder) for hours and hours a week, there was a thing that happened all the time called problems, errors, f-ups, mistakes or whatever you want to call it.  In other words, you put in some code, sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.  Sometimes it did something with the product that was FAR from what it was supposed to be doing.  If it didn’t work, you crawled back into your cubicle and spent day and night trying to fix it.  If the program still worked, it was called a “Design Feature”.  Especially if you were before the customer and had no time to change anything.

I was never a coder or programmer, but I did work closely with them.

Things rubbed off.

When it comes to knitting I now occasionally experience “Pattern Enhancements”.

Let me just say that it is extremely easy for me to live with Pattern Enhancements, so it is rare that I actually tink something just for a mistake on one or two stitches.  I’ll tink it because I don’t like it or I have become bored with it, or because I MAJORLY f’d up, but not because there is a small mistake.

That being said, I’ve used this same pattern for every pair of socks I’ve knit.  I’ve read and re-read the heel part of the pattern several times over immediately before execution and have knitted this same heel about 16 times now.  I think every heel I’ve done is different.  Seriously.  It’s not really anything that messes up the heel and they pretty much all look the same, it’s just for some reason I interpret the pattern differently every time I make a heel.  A stitch more here, one less there, a purl instead of a knit, a knit instead of a purl, a turn instead of a wrap and turn, and so on, just one stitch here or there that is wrong.  When it’s all said and done I always end up with the correct amount of stitches in each section and no holes, so I don’t really worry about it too much.

Why am I babbling on about this now?  Well, the foot portions on both Marine Life socks are complete and it’s time to execute my cunning plan of working both heels at the same time.  Time to see if this pair ends up with any “Pattern Enhancements”.  They should at least be the same – in theory.

My second set of dpn’s should arrive tomorrow.  Once I get both socks on the needles, I’ll take a photo.

Another Pair of Socks

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If you asked me 10 years ago if I knitted socks, I would have looked at you sideways and asked if you were out of your mind.

Then I started to get curious.  After a few searches online, reading tutorials, looking at books in book shops, etc, a tutorial caught my eye.  I ordered it, downloaded it and off I went.

Now, all I knit with is small needles and fingering weight yarn.  If I’m not making shawls, I’m making socks.  My fiber of choice is Merino wool.  It’s the only wool I can work with and for some reason, my hands work the best with small needles.  Small circular needles in particular.  The small needles and the thin yarn feel good going through my fingers.  The needles just fly.

I love making socks.

In my newly culled stash, you will find mostly fingering weight yarn.

Tonight I took a shallow dive into the “new” stash and came out with this:

Knit Picks Felici, color “Marine Life”” which quickly became two “Marine Life” yarny cakes.

Won’t be starting the knitting of the socks for the knitter’s husband tonight.  I’ve got a headache.  Time for some ibuprofen and really need to call it a night.  Everything is all set for me to start another day.

Can’t wait to get those little needles going.  I’ve missed knitting socks.

Category: Chaos Knitting, Socks

Soaking Inside and Out

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Simple Things is now pinned out and blocking.

First it went for a soak in unscented SOAK:

And then the rain started outside.  So I was serenaded with rain dripping on the metal covering of the trash chute as I pinned it down:

Another good use for Spencer’s room and old bed?  Undisturbed blocking space.  One of these days that poor bed is going to dressed up.  Soon, really soon, I promise.

This is all that is left.  It will be wound up in a neat little ball and sent along with the shawl to the recipient.  She’s a knitter so I figured she would know what to do with it if she needed to make a repair.

Besides, there is no more room in the hanging stash, so it has to go somewhere!

Off to Ravelry to fill in the final specifics for this project, add the last few photos, and then I start a pair of socks for knitter’s husband.  For those who don’t have access to Ravelry, here’s the highlights, size 4 vintage plastic circular needle, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Solids in Wisteria, one 420yd skein, with a bit left over.  I started it in January, just now finished it after not being able to knit on it for a very long time.

Wish I would have had the socks already with me on the way home today.  Nothing like sitting at the station for an hour after you ‘just’ missed the bus with NOTHING TO DO but sit and dwell on the fact that you ‘just’ missed the bus and now you are sitting on a cold metal bench waiting for the next bus to finally drag its ass into the station and oh here comes some rain.

Yeah, I definitely needed some knitting.

When you start thinking of excuses…

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…not to do something you love doing, it’s time to stop.

What am I talking about? Knitting.

Not stopping knitting, just stopping knitting 2-socks-at-once toe up.

I know I was excited about it, I know there are others who just L.O.V.E. it. Honestly, I think it’s the most wonderful thing since just plain Toe Up and Magic Loop.

(hanging head and sighing) I just can’t do it. I can’t get into a good enough rythym with it and God knows I’ve tried. And tried and tried and tried.

I started making excuses not to pull out my knitting on the train. Not too far out there if you consider that my ride is short and it took me the entire 25 min just to do one full round on each sock. About 10 minutes was spent untangling the yarn and cables. How do people DO this?!?

But then, I started making excuses not to knit on the socks at home, in the evening, when I was doing laundry or watching TV when I had plenty of time (so to speak – it’s multitasking time, but time none-the-less). I started cleaning and sorting and organizing rather than knit.

You know it’s bad when you’d rather clean than knit. Especially if I’d rather clean than knit. I’d rather do ANYTHING than clean.

The 40″ size 1 square needle had to go.

Back came the size 1 bamboo dpns. Ahhh…. I’m back to enjoying knitting socks. They may be one at time, but they are getting done. I’m sticking to the toe-up thing tho, that I absolutely L.O.V.E., whether it’s one-at-a-time or two-at-a-time.

Oh, and after taking apart the two socks, and after knitting for about 3 inches further on one of them, I discovered that they were probably too small. I looked at my calculations, the instructions for the calculations, the sock, and (sigh) something just didn’t seem right. Asked Honey for his measurements again, redid the calculations (redid again) and sure enough…too small!

No worries tho…both socks frogged, yarn cakes remade, new larger socks started. I’m about at the same spot I was when I frogged the one I started with the other method. Knitting one at a time. 🙂

It’s so much easier to knit on the train, and people really avoid sitting next to me again since I have a mini-porcupine in my lap. They seemed to like the bowl of spaghetti better (seriously, with all the cables, yarn, etc – it looked like spaghetti). Guess it didn’t look so “dangerous”.

Anyway, I knit cos I enjoy knitting. Doesn’t matter what I make or how long it takes me to make it. I don’t even care if I have to frog several times before I get it right. Just means I can knit even more. 🙂

At the rate I’m going, Honey’s socks with be ready in no time flat – definitely way before he comes to visit. I might even have my pair AND Spence’s pair done too – and we can be sock triplets cos I’m making them ALL out of the Knit Picks Time Traveler yarn! hee hee hee

Edited to add:

Just want to give a shout-out to Charles Voth, author of Design Your Own Toe Up Socks. I’ve knit every single pair of socks (5 pr complete) since I started knitting socks with his method of measurements and calculations and they come out perfect for the wearer every time. Follow the link and the tutorial is for sale in the right had column.