Tuesday, February 21, 2006

What's This?

I had a decent time in Florida. The conference was super boring - there was really no reason at all for me to sit there and watch as all the lawyers walked right past my exhibit table. I think I gave out five brochures. That's it. But, I had lots of time to do some knitting and school reading, and each day I read three newspapers. I love reading many newspapers a day, and if I ever have the time to do so again, I will relish the opportunity.

I started my Jaywalkers while I was down there. I'm sure that by now, no link is required for this pattern.

I think its looking pretty good. I love how easy the pattern is, and how cool it looks knitted up. I fear that the sock will be too big for me - I didn't have my gauge thingy with me (I always forget something, don't you?) and I've got an extra stitch or so per inch. I think that if they are really too big, I can always gift them to my mama. She'd love them, I'm sure.

Just another gratuitous shot.

And since I'm now going sock-crazy, I started another pair this weekend in between nesting at home. These are worth linking to, as they are super cool. They're the Elfine's Socks
(that's a PDF to the pattern, so watch out) and they are knit toe-up. I have been wanting to try that method, and thought that the pattern was so beautiful. It took me about four or five starts with the figure-8 cast on before finally getting it to work, and I'm now one full 16-row lace repeat into the instep. The pic below is when I had just finished the toe.

You can see at the tip of the toe, on the yellow side, the larger stitches. When I'm all done, I think I'm going to need to open up that area and tighten those stitches. I guess I still have some learning to do on that cast-on!

Yay! Socks!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Getting Ready

No, not for that. No kniitting olympics for me, as I'll be traveling for work next week and have this pesky grad school thing interfering with life and my running, so I think I've got enough pressure thankyouverymuch.

But seriously. I have a lot going on right now and its starting to feel overwhelming. And I'm not even an official third of the way in to the first semester of the MPA and we're talking three years if I do this degree part-time. I'm tired. Bone tired. So tired that all week I couldn't for the life of me remember what day it was. I've got a zillion pages of reading to do a night, though I made a deal with myself to start skimming, because it can't all be that important and as long as I can debate major themes/topics, I see no need to kill myself with the teensy weensy details. I think this will work to my benefit, as I deal very strongly in my own perception of situations, and knowing that I'm getting it done is what I need to focus on, rather than Reading Every Word For Knowledge. There'll be time for that when I study for the final. Its just this one class... but anyway.

The good news is that I'll be in Florida next week for a conference. At the Ritz, that's right. Sure, I won't have time to go outside but at least I'll be there! And that means two 3-hour plane rides for school reading and knitting, and also manning a conference exhibit table for 3 days with loads o'time for school reading and knitting. It also means Ritz room service and awesome bedding. So, I guess in my own version of the Knitting Olympics, I want to knit the Jaywalkers while I'm there. Or at least one. I'm also going to bring that yarn I got for Knit Picks ages ago to begin a lace stole. The pattern, also from Knit Picks, and missing from their site, is beautiful. I plan to use that as a diversion from the socks if necessary.

Speaking of that yarn, I'm using my brand new swift to wind it up, but I'm finding that I really want a ball winder. Its just too freaking hard to wind 440 yarns of laceweight yarn by hand. I already got a knot and had to break/retie the yarn once. No good. I think today at lunch I'm going to trek over to the Yarn Connection on Madison and see if they have one. I also need the needles for it...

Friday, February 03, 2006

All In The Name Of Science

I fucked it up. I seriously fucked up the sock. I am so not happy about this. And its all because of you, dear blog, that I did this.

Let's set the stage. Its been over a month since I posted a picture. I haven't finished anything in a while, even though I'm so close on a number of items. Mike isn't home, so I knit while watching bad TV. I decide to model the sock for all the people out there that don't read my blog.

This is the sock post-fuckup, and I'm hiding the fuckup spot. Its also post-model, which is why (I think) it looks a little stretched out and weird. As you can see, I've turned the heel (I love saying that) and am now on the actual foot part, getting ready to do the toe.

This is the sock just minutes after the fuckup. You can also see what I was watching, for which I have no shame. Zero. What you may notice if you look at the actual sock is that it is a wee bit funny-looking at the front left. That's because when I tried the sock on the first time (not the time you see here, the second time) two stitches popped right off the freaking needle. I am not good at correcting mistakes, so I sort of fudged getting them back on the needle after they had dropped three rows down by the time I got the sock off my foot and into rescue mode. Oy. I busted out the crochet hook, I got out reference books, and I still goofed the whole thing up. All because I wanted to share a darned photo with blogland.

Eh. Whaddaya gonna do? Its my first one, admittedly my practice sock. But I'm still annoyed, because I kinda like it. I must say, the self-striping yarn has me running hot and cold. I get excited for a color change but when I see the sock as a whole it looks really busy to me.

Here's the heel. The heel looks small to me, but having never done this before I have no way of knowing if I am right or not. Any input? Anyone? Please? I followed the instructions to a T (well, minus forgetting to do the slipped stitches on the flap but that wouldn't make a huge difference for anything besides picking up for joining with the gusset again). It looks small, but when I tried on the sock, it felt ok.

Now I just wanna finish the things so that I can move on.

This is the last photo for now. And I'm only including it because, despite all the issues, I truly am proud of what I've done here. I'm amazed, really. I am making a SOCK. A sock that looks like other socks that I have purchased. As in, its not a tube sock, it has shape and style and even a little sass. And there you have it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Again with the nophotos

I can't prove it, but I am making so much progress on the sock. I "turned the heel," as I have read about so many times, and it was a fascinating thing. I felt such a sense of accomplishment. I am. Making. A sock.

Of course, I fucked it up, but I was able to fudge it afterwards. I didn't slip the first stitch of the heel flap rows as suggested in the pattern because I skimmed over that part (I do this often). That made picking up the stitches later to rejoin with the gusset a little tricksie but not impossible. And, as this is my practice pair, I'm cool with it. Totally. For sure.

I even tried it on, after I finished those decreases before the straight foot part starts (are you with me?), and it seemed to fit. The heel seemed smaller than I would have thought, but as I've never actually touched a hand-knit sock before, I am not sure what it should look like or feel like. I'll try it on again and actually take a damned picture, as I've been promising to do for weeks now. I'm still interested in trying to make the second one toe-up, but I also got an order of yarn from Knitpicks, so I'm half tempted to just put this one aside after I finish sock #1 and move on to the Jaywalker socks. Especially since my skein of Trekking XXL is just not cooperating. The inside pull is getting all tangled on itself and I have to pull out chunks at a time and knit off the chunks instead of from the skein. its quite annoying. Has this happened to others? How do you deal with it? Its so freaking annoying, and makes the sock so much less portable.

On another note, I started graduate school this week. I have now had both of my classes, and I like them for very different reasons. I'll elaborate once I've had more classes, and more sleep, but I'm so thrilled. I feel really good about making the decision to go back to school, and as such, I am prepared to deal with the difficulties that go along with it.