Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sock Details

In response to Tonia's comment, here are close-up shots of the thrifty vintage socklets. Here's the heel flap with the seam running down the middle:
The seam continues down the short row heel turn, which is where the seam stitch makes a great stitch marker:
Since it's the center stitch, if your decreases go awry, you'll find out pretty quickly. Interestingly, the decreases in the gusset are all K2tog, rather than opposite slanting decreases. The seam ends after the heel turn, presumably because no one wants to walk around on a bumpy seam that goes all the way down the inside of the foot section. Ouch!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Chicago, Part the Second, in which I contemplate socks

I know this post is a little late, but I only got around to finishing it today. Stitches Midwest was a total blast! Midwest seemed so bigger than Stitches East, or at least it looked bigger to me. Maybe there are just more knitters in the midwest? The convention center was definitely bigger. Stitches was sharing it with the "World of Wizards" fantasy/scifi gaming expo. I saw more than a few Jedi walking around :) Anyhoo, I bought a range of sock yarns and a bit of Icelandic roving. That's Icelandic as in the breed; the sheep themselves were from Illinois. I also got some stuff for my SP11, but I gotta keep that under wraps.

I also took Nancy Bush's Vintage Sock knitting class, which meant I got to meet some of the socks from her books.
I was a little star stuck, but who wouldn't be in the face of both the Nancy Bush and the Blue Stocking? The book in the corner of the photo is a facsimile of some issues of Wheldon's Practical Needlework, the British magazine that inspired the vintage socks book. Trust me, the patterns in Nancy's version are much much much much clearer, with the complete yarn information and standardized abbreviations that we spoiled modern knitters take for granted.

For the class, we knit a little sampler that included a seam line, a Welsh heel and a French toe. It was like the IHOP of sock samplers. Well, at least it was supposed to be sampler, but I made my heel flap pretty much life sized, so I decided to go whole hog and knit actual anklets (ok, that's really more like half-hog, but you know what I mean). So far, one sock down:
I left the French toe out because it takes too much brain power to divide by three when you're using magic loop. Why the odd color choices? I was knitting far from my stash so I had to make do with the yarn I had, specifically two 50 gram balls of Telemark, one white, one brown. The white part it what I completed in class. I switched to brown so I'd have enough white to do the second sock. It was touch and go with the yarn amount. 2 balls of Telemark was probably never intended for a pair of socklets. When I got home, I consulted the kitchen scale and did some grade school math (I heart dividing by 2!) to make sure I'd have enough of both. It turns out that I do - Phew! I can go ahead with the second sock! So, apart from proving once again that one can never have too much yarn on hand, what else did I learn?

1. Seam lines are like built-in stitch markers
2. Back in the "vintage sock" days, they always used Slip 1, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over as a complementary mirror-image decrease for knit 2 together. Slip slip knit is the more modern equivalent.
3. You should always slip as if to purl, unless you are doing something special with the slipped stitch (like passing it over subsequent stitches), in which case you should slip as if to knit. I'm pretty bad about following this one. I'm just accustomed to slipping stitches as they lie.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Secret Pal 11

Hi Secret Pal! My questionnaire is here. Sorry I'm so late posting it. It's not much different from my last one.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Chicago, Part the First, in which I play tourist

Chicago was great, as advertised. The view from the Sears Tower made all the other buildings look only kinda tall.

And we also saw this whatever-this-is from afar:
And this from up close:
So, everyone knows the way out now, right?

More family food fun:
Yes, we ate more than just hotdogs - and how! It's a miracle my pants still fit! Then on to Millennium Park to see the Bean from the outside
and from the underside:

The faces fountain was much appreciated by the kiddie set:

Very cool idea, in both senses of the word. I've gotta say, Chicago loves to throw water around. There were fountains and waterfall landscapes everywhere. The Botanical Garden had them, and so did the convention center, where Stitches was it's usual awesome, overwhelmingly fibery self. But more on that later, so stay tuned.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Comings and Goings

The Dish Rag Tag box came Wednesday and left Thursday. In fact, it was here so briefly, I didn't get a picture of it. But I can show you the goodies it left behind:
A sweet little dish rag and two balls of Hempathy. Thanks a bunch Cass! And thanks to the cheering squad that commented on my last post. Go Yarn Hags, yay!

Tonight I'm heading off to Chicago for a few days to commune with relatives. There'll be eating and late night chats and eating and sightseeing and eating. I'm also spending a day at Stitches Midwest. Hooray! I'm so excited. I will, of course, be bringing knitting. I found a new source to feed my Garnstudio Fabel habit, so I'll have some of that to take along. And I jumped on the monkey bandwagon. I hope to work on these on the plane:
These are monkey socks in Cherry Tree Hill. I was too lazy to follow the ankle decrease and toe instructions, so I just did those in the lazy way I always do. This pattern is great though (even the parts I didn't follow hehehe). It's pretty and easily memorized and works beautifully with variegated yarns. No wonder it's a hit!

(As you can tell from the photos, I'm also bringing Chinese. Bad idea? Probably, but since I still have my final to take, I pretty much have to take my books too.)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Post Sock Post

My Sockapalooza spoilee's socks are in transit as I write this. Here they are dressed to travel:
I gave up on the first sock I started (it was knitting up smaller than I thought - darn gauge!). I do hope this pair fits ok. This being my first attempt at sock knitting from a far, I'm crossing my fingers!