Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sock Show Thursday: Green Again

I realized just now that this is the fourth pair of green socks that I will have knit for the Philosopher. Out of 7 pair, that suggests a bit of a trend. These are probably the most beautiful though.

I finished the first sock on Saturday and I'm only about eight rows into the cuff of the second sock at time of typing. This is, actually further along than time of photos because I had some laptop slowness and what else does one do while waiting for a laptop to decide it's going to cooperate?

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The Philosopher really loves this yarn. I do too, there's such depth of color.

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I'm a little worried that I might not get it done in the next 10 days before the end of the month, which would mean I'm no longer a month ahead on sock knitting. Being only on schedule seems so normal and tedious. Besides, I have lots of other projects where I need to be a month ahead or two. Say, the baby blanket that hasn't been touched thus far this week.

Hmm, I just did some math. If I only finish these socks and the baby afghan for the Blonde, I'll be within 100-150 yards of the stash dash goal. That seems very doable, especially considering I plan to finish another pair of socks next month.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Giant Blue Square

Ever since I finished AudioGirl's bathroom rug, she's been raving of how squishy it is. As that was the better part of two years ago, it's had some decent durability. As I'm casually and sort of optimistically participating in the KnitGirllls' Stash Dash (4K), I decided I would finally get a kitchen rug done for Chez Hedgehog.

This was knit in a very short 15 days. These seem to be marathon projects, done quickly but still requiring a lot. It's already take up residence in the kitchen and I too will attest to it's squishiness.

I knit it out of two pounds of cotton, still of course using yarn from the mass buy when Pisgah changed hands a couple of years ago. Colorways were Gettysburg and Williamsburg Blue. I used a size 11 (8.0 mm) needle.
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Hold the yarn doubled, cast on 60 stitches, garter stitch until you're almost out of yarn, bind off.  I stayed up a little later than planned last night watching a new-to-me podcast "Two Tangled Skeins" and finishing it up. I even wove in all of the ends right away.

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There was one knot in each skein--not anywhere near each other--so I had to deal with those. It's another 788 yards to add to my count for the summer. I've only got another approximately 2800 yards to go.

I don't recommend trying these a lot if you have any wrist trouble. The weight--a full two pounds--gets heavy quickly and having to flip it around a lot gets tiring. Also, do 55 stitches, you get a little narrower/longer rectangle.  This will do though.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sock Show Thursday: Usually 4 Weeks, Not 4 Days

Last week was a marathon of knitting. I don't usually get that many dedicated hours of listening and knitting, even when I'm really concentrating on knitting on the train during my daily commute. I was lucky that none of my faculty seemed particularly troubled by it; they seemed to quickly grasp that I was making better eye contact that way.  A number of them asked about it and it became, as it is in meetings at work, a game for my classmates to ask how far I'd gotten, see the progress, and exclaim over how soft the yarn was.

Thank you Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Tina, and the base that is Socks that Rock for bringing a few more people into the "ooh, those are nice" fold. 

First up during the week, I finished the Dark Blue Socks. 

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These are for me and are now going to go lounge with my other wool socks waiting for winter. I washed and put them all up a couple of weeks ago. The pile of wool socks that I own is getting pretty tall.  

These were 1x1 rib, 60 stitches on size 1 (2.25mm) needles. Flap/gusset heel. The pattern I can knit in my sleep pretty much....

I'd brought another skein of lighter fingering and a skein of BMFA Mediumweight for the trip out to Wood's Hole. I was optimistic that I might be able to plow through the BMFA before the weekend and it's nice to have something move that quickly when you're knitting around other people. 

Four days and my 1.5 (2.5mm) needles later....

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They're a little more fraternal than matching. The bottom one was the first sock and you can see where it starts getting brighter into the toe. The second sock, still stripey (less so in person of course), had many more vibrant punches.

Unfortunately, this was one of Tina's Water-toned One-Offs, which means I can't get more.  The good news is, I've finished all of AudioGirl's Socks for 2013.  These are for her, though they'll be in the gift bin for a while.  If I'm counting right I've now knit her 6 pair of socks?  Something like that.

I did have to advise a couple of classmates that usually I only get through one pair in a month, not one pair plus in a week.  But this does push me up to six pair of socks for the year thus far and I'm even starting to notice an infinitesimal dent in the yarn stash. Yarn is being used and I'm not buying three times what I'm knitting. And at this rate I should make it through 12 pair by December without frantically knitting at at New Year's Eve party. (I'll still be knitting, just not frantically.)

Of course, Stitches Midwest is yet to come this year and I just got a large package from Fiber Optic. It's already dedicated though, so it doesn't count as stash, right?

Finally, I of course couldn't fly home without knitting. And it was a good thing I had something with me, as we were stuck in Boston for an extra three hours. We were ready to turn onto the runway when they shut down Chicago due to torrential downpour.

These are for the Philosopher. I'm using Fleur de Fiber yarn--she's that indie dyer here in Chicago that I bought silk hankies from a couple months ago.

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Back to size 1 needles, though my 1.5 needles got stuffed into a project bag with another skein.  While I doubt I'll get to them in the next week, It's nice to make quick progress.

I'm also participating in Stash Dash 2013 with the KnitGirllls. Laura and Leslie are on their third year of using up and enjoying stash during the summer. This year's gentle goal is 4K = 4375 yards knit up between May 24 and April 5 (Laura's first day of break to first day of school).  These projects bring me to 675 yards. I've a ways to go yet.  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Almost Halfway

Well begun is half done

The Mary Poppin's-ism is fairly true here. As I went to take photos the other day I realized that I'm working on the 6th square for the Blonde's baby blanket and, as I'm only planning on 12 squares, that puts me just about to the halfway mark.

These are going more slowly than I'd like, mostly because I'm only knitting on them at home. I've just started listening to Quicksilver (Stephenson) on the train and that's going to be 30+ hours, so I need to toss three skeins into a bag for the commute.

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This photo is from a little bit ago but shows you my planned color repeats. It's really vibrant. I was worried the blue might drag it down a little but it keeps the yellow and orange from entirely searing the retinas.  The whole thing kind of radiates cheerfulness, which seems appropriate for an infant.

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And proof of finished. These are my finished squares so far.I'm working on the yellow outside one right now and I'm to the yellow.

Unpictured as yet is a new kitchen rug for Chez Hedgehog. I've still got all of those cones of cotton and we don't have one so I've got two pounds of cotton knitting up on size 11 needles/60 stitches. I have about a foot of width so far. I'm just planning to knit until I run out of yarn. I've done that before when I did AudioGirl's bathroom rug. She swears by how squishy it is and anything that makes washing the dishes more enjoyable that I can then use to mop the floor is okay by me.  Hmmmm, maybe I should make two so we can rotate them out. I've got a pound of yellow and one of green....




72 Hours-- Ish

We have reached the period of the calendar year where I am deeply in denial of deadlines, full on avoidance, and procrastination. Th...