January 18, 2005

Woolen fun

I haven't posted a knitting update in ages!

Late last fall I worked out how to do gloves, and used up some of my great Don-blue alpaca yarn I got at Christmas '03. (These I nearly managed to felt on the first day, when I had to do a lot of shoveling; by not taking them off in the car on the way home to Palatine, I saved them from their shrunken fate and simultaneously blocked them into the shape of hands on a steering wheel. But anyway.) Using the exact same pattern at a marginally smaller gauge, I made a pair for my sister out of the brown and cream alpaca yarn I'd used for her hat last year. She seemed to like the present.

Also during December I worked out how to do slip-stitch colour work, and did up a magenta-and-off-white hat for my mom. It actually turned out too long, as in, longer than I meant it to be (getting into her eyes); but better that way, because she wanted to turn up the edge into a brim anyhow. So that one was a success as well. :)

At some point I started a new pair of socks, heavier than any I've done before---the yarn is just shy of worsted weight, and I'm knitting them on some plastic flexible 2s I picked up at the Barrington yarn shop. Not an exceptional pattern; the main feature is a really tall heel flap, because I hypothesise that this will make it hold the heel better. We'll see.

I actually ran out the first ball of yarn on the first sock well shy of the ball of the foot. I threaded the last bit of yarn through and started the second sock with the new ball; I knew there was more in the second ball (which was fresh) than there had been in the first (which I'd already done some swatching and small projects from), so I suspect I'll have enough in the end, but in case I don't, I want to finish both socks the same way. If that involves switching to another colour for the toe, no biggie, but the switch will happen at the same place on each. :)

Just yesterday I got the second sock to the same place as the first one, and now I got a chance to play with one of my new Christmas presents: a really nice kitchen scale, that measures to the half-gram or the .02-oz. Sock #1: 54g. Sock #2: 59g including four needles. Remaining yarn: 41.5g. So, now I know I have enough yarn for about 1/3 more sock, which should finish them off. As I get closer to the end, I can weigh in again---if I get down to 20g left in the ball, then I stop where I am and work the other sock. Fabulous!

Last week I did a little one-off piece designed to hang prettily from a doorknob, with little jingle bells tied on the end, to bell-train my dog. I used some hunter and celery green yarn left over from the last of the wedding afghans, and a Celtic knot pattern from the awesome book Michelle gave me for Christmas. I've been meaning for days to take a picture of it to send her, so if she reads this before I get to that, events are going to seem a bit out of order. ;)

And I guess the big news is that after weeks of madly swatching (over a yard of it, in the end) various patterns and techniques, and planning on index cards, and putting it off, I finally cast on 168 stitches in cable cast on and started in on my diamond-themed sweater. Check back in in a month or two and it should be done.

"If I could get an A in a class where the tests required me to learn all about potlatch blankets, I could handle anything, no matter how boring. The next time I accidentally get stuck in Lincoln Center sitting through all 18 hours of Wagner's Ring Cycle, I could thank my studies of the Kwakiutl for making it seem pleasant by comparison." --Joel Spolsky

Posted by blahedo at 11:33pm on 18 Jan 2005
I love that quote (though I actually rather liked Patterns of Culture). Posted by Michael at 2:34pm on 19 Jan 2005
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