Thursday, September 27, 2007

Latest Socks Completed

I was trying to photograph the socks but first I had to remove this creature…

…from the scene. Silly Ms. Polly kept sticking her nose into the camera lens. I think she wanted the kind of attention that the other bloggers’ pets enjoy: her photos and antics recorded daily for her adoring fans, cute thought bubbles included. I never thought of her as being such a prima donna! Sucky for lovin’ though. Anyway, after a cat-ectomy, the artsy shot:

Crosshatch Socks
(for my DIL)

Begun: August 22, 2007
Completed: September 26, 2007

Yarn: Meilenweit Mega Boots Stretch Colour #717, 100g balls = 400m/440yds, 70% wool/23% nylon/7% Elite.
Needles: 2mm Clover Takumi short dpns

Pattern: Crosshatch Lace from More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. (This book has now justified its purchase!)

Comments: This pattern is one of the “true lace” variety with pattern stitches on every row. It has great texture when not stretched. You can’t really see the lace holes until the socks are on. It would make great gloves or wristwarmers as well.

Other than the pattern stitch on the leg and instep and a 1/1 ribbed cuff instead of my usual 2/2, this was my standard sock pattern on 72 sts. 8” (24 rows rib plus 9 patt reps) to heel turn, 7-3/4” (10 instep patt reps) to toe decreases. Dec to 6 sts each needle (24 total), “dog-ear reduction” before grafting.

Have I ever described what I mean when I say “dog-ear reduction”? I think it’s in my toe grafting tutorial. (Link in my sidebar.) But to reiterate, it’s a method to reduce the little “ears” that often stick out of the standard toe after you’ve grafted the remaining stitches together. When the toe stitches are divided on two needles (top and sole) and before I graft the toe together, I lift the second-last stitch on each end of each needle over the last stitch. Sometimes it takes a bit of maneuvering to accomplish but that’s four stitches reduced that you don’t have to graft. It rounds the toe slightly at the outer edges thus eliminating the “ears”. And there ya go!

I spent some time this morning knitting on the Icelandic Lace Shawl. The centre section is now decreasing markedly toward the top. It feels like progress is being made finally. Here’s a progress shot of sorts:

Nice texture, huh? I promise it'll look better after a good wet blocking.

There was some excitement (not the good kind) at my last spinning class yesterday evening. One of my poor students got her shoulder wrenched while trying to hang on in a full bus on her way to class. The driver stopped suddenly and she felt an ominous pop. When she got to the shop, the owner Cara (who is a nurse) decided that a trip to emergency for an assessment of the damage was probably a good idea and drove her to the hospital. The news today is that it was a torn rotator cuff and a pulled muscle pinching a nerve. Ouch! At least she didn’t break anything and it will heal up ok. The shop just got her new spinning wheel in too but now she can’t spin on it for awhile. That’s really gotta hurt!

So my last last class was down to 3 from an original 8. The remainder are all really gung-ho however and I feel it was a good class overall. Cara is still understandably annoyed with me but I’m leaving her with a very capable replacement who actually has real teaching creds and everything. So she’s not going to suffer without a spinning instructor. Meanwhile I get all my Wednesday evenings back. I don’t do evenings well anyhow. I’m always tired by then and my brain isn’t in full gear. It’s veg in front of the TV with knitting time. Now, if anyone wanted me to teach at 6 or 7 am I’d be all for it! Funny thing though — nobody is up for that. Go figure.


Cynthia said...

Oh, Louisa, that's a great idea. I have a toe coming up and I'm going to give your method a try.

The socks are very pretty. I'd love to see a shot of the fabric stretched out.

Suzanne said...

Your socks are lovely - both the color and the pattern. I just got a skein of sock yarn (Seacoast Handpainted, in Truffles), after two weeks of longing and pining, that might just look very good in crosshatch lace.

I just started the white section of the Icelandic Shawl, and am proceeding carefully, since the posts seem to indicate that the shawl knits up better if you pay attention. The group posts also led me to use the written instructions, rather than the charts. I changed the brown tones to purples, blues and teal, since I'm not a "brown" person.

I'd love to really learn to spin. I got roving, a spindle, and a book and am working on it a bit at a time. I figure at the end I'll have a lumpy scarf or enough consistently spun wool to make something else.

I enjoy reading your blog!