Thursday, June 26, 2008

Working with Bamboo!

I've been terribly remiss in my blogging, so I'm doing three posts at once. I hope that's okay. (I'd worry more about it if I had any readers, but since I'm pretty sure I don't, I don't imagine it will bother anyone.)

A few months ago, I signed up for the Socktastic Sock-of-the-Month club, at Chameleon Colorworks

I got the yarn and the pattern for April, May and now June right on time. But I was busy with other things, and none of the colorways are the things I would have picked on my own.

April's socks, which came in mix of green, yellow-green, brown and light blue called "Lichen" is my late Mother's colors; but not so much mine.

June's sock is browns and tans, (which makes sense considering the pattern is called 'Rocky Road', after the ice cream, but, once again, not so much my colors.

May is pink and light green, and is a lace sock to boot. Springtime in Paris, kind of feeling. Except that I'm not exactly a lacy pink kind of girl, even if the yarn is just the color of apple blossoms.

So, the yarn went into the stash, the patterns went into the notebook, and it all just sat there.

But the yarn texture is lovely. It's a mix of Bamboo and superwash Merino wool, with just a touch of nylon. It's soft and smooth, and I did really want to try it.

On Monday, I decided that it was time to start.

So I got out my new Swift and Yarn Baller, and made a cake of the yarn (which was a lot of fun, and much faster than doing it by hand, as well as making a better cake.) Then I got out my size 4 needles (larger than recommended, since there is only one size in the pattern, and, as I may have mentioned, I have big feet, and the legs to match) and started.

The first few rows are seed stitch, and went really well. the yarn is beautiful, and it was fun to work with.

Then came Row 5, which was just plain confusing, and which also didn't seem to have any reason to be that way, followed by several rows of alternate knit and yarn over, which I found very confusing, but I think I did them okay, and I like them the way they are, so I'm leaving them this way, anyway.

And then the real fun started.

Now, granted I've only been knitting for a few months, and this is only my fourth sock pattern. But I'd been given the impression that rounds are supposed to start with a Knit Stitch, if possible.

Apparently, this isn't so. Or, if it is, no one told the person who designed these socks.

I'm doing them with Magic Loop, of course, and every. single. needle. starts with a purl stitch.

Every one.

It took me quite a few rows before I really figured out why I kept getting Mysterious Yarn Overs.

It seems that when you're starting a row with a purl stitch, the yarn has to come under the left needle, but not under the cable on the back. Furthermore, it has to be to the right of the loop that you're putting the needle through.

Simple stuff, I know, but it took me rows and rows to figure it all out. (I blame it on the fever I've been running the last few days.)

There are also a lot of purl stitches in this sock. Which is probably all for the best, since I wound up knitting the Jaywalker English (American) style, so I haven't been practicing Continental knitting much at all.

I'm doing it now, though, and since what I needed practice in most of all was the purl stitch, it's just as well that I'm getting lots of it.

So, I'm enjoying it all more than I thought I would, and this is what I have done so far.

partially finished sock leg, still on the needles

The color looks better than I thought it would, too, since there's more blue in it than it looked like there would be. I think I'm going to really like these socks!

Jaywalker Socks - on hold

Things have been happening, even though I haven't had the time to blog about them.

So, after I finished the Toe Jazz socks, I decided to use some Lana Grossa Meilenweit 100 Two In One self-striping yarn I have, and make some socks for me.

I thought I'd also teach myself Continental Knitting at the same time.

So I got out some really cheap acrylic yarn, and did the Continental Knitting for a while, until I thought I had the hang of it, and started a pair of socks.

A couple of days later, I looked at them, and realized that they were looking awfully small. So I tried them on and, sure enough, once again they were too small for my feet.

Once again, I had to frog them, and I used Sock Wizard to get the correct instructions for a plain sock in my size.

I started over, did about half an inch of 1x1 rib, and realized that if I did a whole sock in stockinette stitch, I'd be really really bored.

So I looked through the Ravelry patterns for one that used the same number of stitches I already had. (I wanted them to fit, this time,) and came up with Jaywalkers.

One finished sock, and the yarn left from it.

As I knitted, I realized that I really, really liked the way the striping was falling on this sock. And I began to suspect that a Jaywalker sock takes more yarn that a simple stockinette stitch sock.

By the time I was on the toe (which took weeks, because I haven't had any time for knitting except for a few hours on Mondays, which are my day off,) I knew that I wanted the second sock to be an identical, not fraternal, twin.

For a bit, I hoped that this sock would end just where I wanted to begin on the next one, but it didn't happen.

So I've decided to get more of this yarn, since I'm pretty sure there's not enough for a second sock, anyway, and just wind off as much as necessary to get to this point in the striping before I start the next one.

I just hope I can find the yarn with no trouble!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Toe Jazz Pictures

I know, it's been ages; but life is like that sometimes. In any case, here are the promised pictures of the "Toe Jazz" socks.

Toe Jazz Socks, in the sandals they were made for.

This shows them in their "natural habitat," the way that my partner actually wears them. As you can see, there's not a lot showing, but that separate toe is a very important part.

Socks from the back, with her jeans held up

And this is a picture of them from the back, so you can see the cables. (Her legs are much tanner than they look in this picture, by the way. Just in case you thought she was as pale as I am. :D)

I still need to really block them, and I'm debating getting real sock blockers to do the job. But I'd need them in a couple of sizes, and I'm not sure if they are really worth it, so the debate goes on.

Any ideas?