Thursday, February 19, 2009

Finishing craziness

I don't know what has gotten into me. After that post the other day, I've been pulling projects out of the UFO black hole I mean, "basket." I finished my Waves of Plum scarf from my own handspun. I dug out the Hey, Teach! cardigan I was making for myself. I even restarted a pair of alpaca socks for a friend. I'm also considering pulling out the Valentine's Day socks after I finish the alpaca ones.

I love the way that the Waves of Plum scarf turned out. It is fantastic. Because my handspun is heavier than the laceweight the pattern called for, my scarf is a bit more like a mini stole. I love it. Have I mentioned that I like the result? Because I do. The color is fantastic and I love the beads at the ends. The only part I really don't like is the way I joined the two halves together. My grafting is all uneven so I think I might rip it out and regraft again. Or maybe just make sure I wrap the scarf in a way so that you can't see the join. Hmmm.

The Hey, Teach! cardigan has been languishing (wonderful word that) since September. I finished the back and the two fronts pretty quickly but was held up on the sleeves. I picked everything up again and was able to get the 3/4 sleeves finished in an evening. Then I blocked everything on towels on my floor, a process my cat loved. I took all of the pieces to the knitting guild meeting on Monday as a way to encourage myself to seam it up. Now I remember why I don't like knitting sweaters in pieces. Seaming is definitely NOT one of my favorite things. The side seams are wonky looking and the sleeves are something I really don't want to talk about! Earlier in the day, I had a horrendous migraine and had to go home from work. After taking an Imitrex and sleeping for 5 hours, I still had a headache but felt human again. In hindsight, that probably wasn't the best situation to be seaming pieces together. Let's just say I'm glad I also took the scarf in order to weave in the ends and the alpaca socks. After seaming for a little bit, I wove in the ends (except for the ones where you graft things together) and got a few rounds in on the socks.

A new member came to the meeting on Monday which ended up having fewer people attend than normal. I met her at the yarn shop last Sunday when I helped her with her Mobius bag. In the course of conversation I found out that she is a librarian, too, and even runs her own small CSA. I wish more people had been there Monday and hope she will come back next month, too. It's nice talking librarian stuff with someone else.

On Sunday, I unearthed a pair of socks (yum, alpaca!) which were supposed to be for my friend *mumble mumble last year mumble mumble*. They were originally a pair of Snicket socks from the now defunct Magknits. There were a bunch of minuses being applied to this pair: the marker which told me where I was on the chart had fallen off, my friend and I have the same size feet but they wouldn't even pull over my foot, and the color and the pattern were definitely "meh" together. So it was definitely time to frog those. Instead, I decided I needed a relatively plain pair that I could get done quickly and which would look good with the color. It is a mix of green, blue, purple and brown which was flashing like crazy with the Snicket pattern. So I decided to pull out the New Pathways book and cast on for a pair of Dove socks. The migraine must have been lurking on Sunday because I definitely couldn't count my stitches per inch correctly. The number I got was absurd the first time I counted. It was something like 10 stitches per inch and I definitely wasn't using that thin of yarn. So rather than counting again, I just kept increasing (these are toe-up socks) until I reached the number of stitches I normally use for socks for myself (60 sts). In three days, I've knit the feet, turned the heels and am 2 inches into the leg.

The sock is mostly a plain vanilla sock with a purl diamond starting on the instep and going up to the leg. The diamond pattern hides the increases on the top of the foot. You increase one row, knit one, and do the purl pattern on the third row. I'm wondering if that is why this pattern is going so fast. I keep thinking, "oh, it's only a couple of rows until I can see the pattern grow some more." On the foot, the increases naturally make the diamond grow outward. On the leg, you have to keep track and keep shifting the purls towards the inside so the top comes to a point. For a plain vanilla sock, it's amazingly good at keeping my attention. For a long overdue project, that is probably a good thing.

I'm considering using this same sockitecture to make the Valentine's Day socks (the red and pink ones). Recently I've been using the Riverbed sockitecture where the increases are on the bottom of the sole. This sockitecture has the increases on the top of the insole. If I do yarnover increases, there will be eyelets in the shape of a v. On the leg, I could have more yarnovers make the top of a heart. Would that be too much? Hmmm. I can definitely see my next project taking shape.

**I just realized that this is another blog post without pictures. I'll try harder to take some! The weather and my work schedule haven't been cooperating at all!

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