Monday, July 08, 2013

Not So Lazy Days

Apologies! My posts are getting rather sparse, aren’t they? If only you could read the ones that I wrote in my head.

While summer might mean relaxing by the pool for some people it is definitely the busiest time of year for me. The garden is a huge time suck: watering, weeding, harvesting, pruning, tying-up, watering…you get the picture. Plus my Urge To Create grows with the light. Long bright days mean that I can actually see what I’m doing! That brightness also means that I can see the accumulations of dust and grunge and the Urge to Clean Battles with its creative sibling. There just aren’t enough hours in the day! But I shouldn’t complain. We all have the same number of daily hours, don’t we?

Currently my kitchen is in disarray while I muck out the cupboards and the accumulation of outdated foodstuffs. I hadn’t realised I was collecting so much crap but I do know I’ve been putting this off for far too long. Most of it has been caused by a shift in diet over the last few years while I try to figure out what my food sensitivities or allergies are. It still seems very elusive and I think I will need professional assistance with the detective work. But not until I get back from The Great Cross-Country Trek in the fall. Meanwhile at least I will know that the house sitter won’t be confronted by something labelled “Best Before Nov 2004”. Ewww…

In the Urge To Create area I’ve completed sewing two tops and cut out 5 pairs of shorts: one for swimming, 2 for sleeping and 2 for either sleeping or wearing under tunics and dresses. They shouldn’t take too long to sew up. And no, I have no photos yet. My camera has decided not to talk to my computer today for some reason.

I do have photos of my latest knitted FO:

Toe-Up Shorties


Begun:  June 17, 2013
Completed:  June 30, 2013

Yarn:  Patons Kroy Socks FX, 57110 Cadet Colors in blues, leftovers from a sweater for grandson Stargazer.

Needles:  Clover Takumi dpns, 2mm

Pattern:  Toe-Up Socks with a Difference from Wendy D. Johnson, free pattern on Ravelry.

Comments:  Normally I’m a confirmed top-down sock knitter but sometimes it’s nice to go the other way. I’ve been looking for a toe-up pattern that I can wear because the usual short-row heels are not comfortable on my narrow heels. I like a heel flap. This pattern has one and also has the gusset under the heel giving a nice snug conformity to the arch. It’s a little reminiscent of some of Cat Bordhi’s “sockitecture” but a lot more understandable, at least to me. (Am I the only one who finds Cat’s incredible creativeness completely incomprehensible? Must be my 2-dimensional brain.)

For the toe I experimented with Judy’s Magic Cast-On. Did you know that there are a number of slightly different variations on this nifty technique depending on how you begin and hold the yarns and which way around you wind? I did it on dpns and used the oldest method from Judy herself but then forgot to untwist the stitches on the second half. I’ve already begun a second pair with another variation that I like better. More on this later.

ToeUps2 Anyway, I followed Wendy’s pattern but making several mistakes along the way which I just fudge-fixed instead of ripping back. I figured this was my first go-round and there is no way that I can be as nonchalant as I am with my top-downs which I have knitted countless of times and can do them in my sleep. These were experimental and I’m still attempting to absorb the pattern in my mind so it will become another autopilot knit.

I started the cuff right after the heel and used a k1/p1 rib so it would segue nicely from the heel stitch into the cuff. I wanted a pair of footlet socks to wear in my shoes for walking. They are quite comfortable and snug my ankle nicely though the heel flap is a little shorter than my usual ones. I haven’t tested them for a long walk yet hoping they will stay up and not slide down in my shoes but they seem good so far. I know the socks don’t match but I was using up scraps (only a few yards left over!) and in real life the difference is not quite so obvious as it seems in the photo.

So now I guess I’d best get back to the kitchen and finish mucking out. Time is getting very short and I’m trying to prioritise in a sensible – rather than totally panicked – way. You know how it is when you have company coming and you want to clean house? Well our house sitter is someone we don’t know well at all (a friend of a friend) and she will be living here for two whole months on her own. Unfortunately my overwhelming urge to deep-clean is brought up short by the lack of time and frankly, I think she doesn’t really care. At least I hope so. Because this is our home, not a rental or a B&B, and we’ve lived here for over 33 years. There’s a big chunk of our lives in this house and, much as we’ve been working on it, we aren’t free of the detritus collected over the passing years. It’s an ongoing process. I am going to write her up a little user manual though for the quirkier things like the fact that the cable modem/network goes out sometimes and there’s an easy fix. Or that the microwave loses its tiny mind every once in awhile and beeps and has odd messages on it’s little screen. Or how to fill the coffee maker so that water and coffee grounds don’t go everywhere. Or the tricks of our complex watering system in the garden. Or…

Back to work, damselfly.


Marlene said...

I like those socks! Toe-ups are my favorites so I'm going to try them after hearing your recommendation.

Louisa said...

Whoo-hoo! Thanks for your comment, Marlene! Hope this pattern works for you. I still keep making mistakes because it isn't ingrained in my brain yet. I like the results though.