Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Sockish FO

Pink Froth Socks

For 3-year-old granddaughter

Yarn: Sisu, 80% wool/20% nylon, 160 m = 50 g, colour 1001, dyed with acid dye
Needles: Clover Takumi 5” dpns, 2 mm.
Pattern: Modified Basic Socks on 52 sts, cuffs ruffled then 2/2 ribbed for 2”, heel flap is 2/2 ribbed & cont rib on top of foot, foot 4.5” before toe, dec to 5 sts each needle, dog-ear reduction. Completed socks are 6.25” long.

Ruffle Pattern:
CO twice the number of stitches needed for cuff. K 1 round, p 1 round, k 1 round, k2tog around, begin ribbing.

Comments: Socks are cute though the ribbing didn’t segue as nicely down the foot as I might have liked. I haven’t come up with any improvements though. As usual I could have gone a bit further on the foot before beginning toe decreases. Next pair will need to be on 56 sts and go 5” before toe decreases! I already have the yarn dyed.

Note that I tried yesterday to get a photo of her wearing the socks, but Little Miss Independence decided that it would be more fun for her to take a photo of me instead. She got my arm:

And then most of my face:

Very artsy photography for a 3-year-old methinks. Heh! I fruitlessly tried to show her how to look at the screen to see what was in the shot before she took it but she kept trying to squint through a non-existent viewfinder like it was an old film camera instead of a digital. I have no idea where she got that from since her parents also have a digital camera and I’m pretty sure they’ve had one since she was born. Interesting. At least with digital, you don’t have to concern yourself with wasting film on wild shots when a small child wants to harness her inner Annie Leibovitz. All she wants to see is the photo in the preview screen. After that her interest in it wanes and she’s content to let it go. It’ll be fun to work with her on learning how to take more deliberate photos, then actually edit and print them out.

Meanwhile, I’ve gotten to the gussets on the OYT Socks for T-Man and will be heading down the foot soon. I also got a hint of what The Ninja wants for his birthday socks which are my next project. I already have a grey ragg wool but I plan to overdye them and the request was for a soft burnt orange which will be automatically muted by the grey wool. I’m actually kind of surprised at his choice of something other than black, white, grey or red which are his usual colours. Must be mellowing in his old age of nearly-34. Akkkhhh!! My baby boy is turning 34! My own birthdays whip by with nary a ripple in my consciousness but my kids’ birthdays are a lot more traumatic to me. Why is that? I like them as adults with their own lives and interests and wouldn’t go back to their childhoods again even if I could. It’s more fun right now to spend the occasional special time with my offspring’s offspring instead of the 24/7 of parenthood. I truly enjoy being Granny. But I guess there’s still a whiff of the young mother I was lurking around in my brain.

Changing the subject completely (as I am wont to do), I’d like to share a couple of things that I’ve been amusing myself with lately as I work. One is Jane Thornley from Nova Scotia. If you love colour and texture, she is your knitter (and photographer)! Her website is lovely just to look at but do read it as well since she’s an excellent writer. She has links to her free patterns, just to get you started on her style of “free-range” knitting, and more elaborate patterns and a book to purchase in digital or paper format. Some kits are also available if you aren’t into foraging for fabulous yarns yourself. Jane also leads fibre excursions to inspiring places such as Tuscany and Morocco if you are so inclined. She even makes jewelry that coordinates with her knitting. I just love to ogle at everything on her site.

Another thing I’ve been doing is listening to a lot of podcasts. I still haven’t caught up to date on most of them and when I get close I find yet another interesting one to subscribe to. Current favourites (besides the popular Cast On, Craftsanity, CraftLit, Weavecast and Lime & Violet) are Sticks & String, Yarnspinners Tales, Stash & Burn, Knit Picks and Craftcast. There’s even a video podcast Lets Knit2gether. Of course some are more professional than others and some may not turn your crank the way it does mine. Or vice versa. You might even have a fave that I’ve never tried. I’ve only recently discovered Stitch Stud & His Bride, which I didn’t try originally because of it’s rather dopey title but it’s really rather good. And Canadian. I’ve also learned a new word, “podfaded”, which means a podcast that has not been updated in quite some time. There are a number of those as well as ones that have been definitively ended by their host. I think it’s far more polite to tell the listeners if you aren’t planning to podcast any more but I can see how the wish to put out an episode is still strong enough not to close that door entirely. Oh, and when I get tired of crafty talk (as if!) there’s lots of Celtic and other folk music podcasts to listen to.

You don’t need an iPod to listen to podcasts, just a computer will do. Though if you have another portable device that can play MP3s then you can be more mobile. I use iTunes on the computer and Pocket Tunes on my Palm T/X and load my podcasts onto my SD card through a card reader slot on my computer and then just pop the card into the slot on my Palm. If you don’t want to subscribe through iTunes (though it makes it all awfully easy), you can just manually download the file from the podcast’s website onto your hard drive. Of course the video podcasts won’t play on my Palm so I watch them on the computer instead. The big advantage of audio podcasts is that your eyes and hands are free to work while your ears are engaged! I’ve been getting a lot of spinning done.

Which brings me to my madder-dyed yarn. I think I made a mistake in plying my slightly more orangey wool with my more rosy wool. The yarn looks and feels perfectly fine it’s just that I only have 2 skeins worth of this combination and almost 2 more skeins left of rose plied to rose. Neither one is quite enough on its own for the main colour of my planned sweater. Perhaps I’ll have to use the one with the smaller amount for the borders and the larger skeins for the main sections. I might also decrease the area of plain knitting by working more rows of the feather and fan lower section, bringing it up to just under the bust. In a pinch I can make a vest rather than a cardi but I think I’d rather have the sleeves than not. We’ll see when I’ve finished more spinning and plying and calculating.

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