Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Yes, there has been knitting

Contrary to appearances, I have been knitting. In fact I've accumulated quite a few WiPs in the last few months, and there will surely be more before there are fewer. Let's go in order through the most recent beginnings, shall we?
First up is my swatch for the soon-to-take-over-my-life-and-cause-the-cessation-of-any-other-knitting Sock Wars sock. Now, don't feel the need to point out that my swatch is flat, and I should've knit it in the round if I was really striving for accuracy. I'm NOT striving that much for accuracy - I figure this is good enough since I hate making swatches in the round, and I can start the sock and then check the gauge to make sure it's right, without wasting tons of time now. Short-sighted? Maybe, but why waste time now when I can waste it later? The yarn I got on massive sale from Little Knits, only $2/skein! It's Regia something or another, more details later. Next in the started projects queue is the scarf for my Funky Scarf Swap pal. I'm not sure what I think of it. First off, it's very bright. And the beads are a pain in the @ss, and may have been a bad move. I got them to 'funkify' the scarf, and they do go quite nicely with the yarn, and they do add some funk, but beads (even large holed ones) do NOT slide slickly over the thick bits of the thick/thin yarn. So, dear readers, don't make this mistake, you have been warned! I've done a bit more since this photo and I'm going to perservere, so there will be more photos soon. Lastly, I've started my first Christmas knitting. Last year I went way overboard with the Christmas gifts, especially seeing as how I was preparing for my qualifying exams at the same time I was knitting seven hats for people in my lab as well as assorted other gifts. This year, there will be four (maybe five) knit gifts. And only one of them can be disclosed here, since I'm pretty sure the others are all going to faithful blog readers. Without further ado, here is the one you can all see, assuming my grandmother hasn't acquired a computer and internet connection without my knowledge. This is the start of her Christmas socks, which are the Vine Lace Socks from Socks Socks Socks (thank you again no-longer-secret Pal!).

I'm knitting these with KnitPicks Gloss, the 70% merino/30% silk blend, in Dusk. I really like the yarn so far. I started the sock on size 1 needles, but it was seeming very small and the stitches were so tight that it was unenjoyable (and sock knitting should never be unenjoyable!), so I've moved up to 1.5s, which seem better. About these needles - apparently I should guard them with my life, rare specimens that they are. I bought them at a fiber festival of some sort last spring, and now I'm wishing I'd have bought two sets, since none of the LYSs (and there are many, many in Seattle) sell them, and in fact several of the folks I talked to seemed unaware one could buy size 1.5 needles! These are Brittany, and I'm very happy with them. I'll be buying more if I can find them at a festival this year. However, only having the one set and not being able to find more did force me into dealing with the sock that was on these needles. As you might recall, I was making the Elfine socks with some yarn I dyed, and I had taken them to England with me, and was about to knit them on the plane (at 3:00am) when I took them out of my bag and realized that some stitches had jumped ship along with one of my (now precious) needles. It was months before I could face this sock, having tried to fix the mistake in the semi-darkness (I swear everyone on the plane but me was fast asleep). I was putting off dealing with it because I had built it up in my mind as some sort of huge problem that was going to require either a lot of tinking or some outright ripping, but in the end it took me about 2 minutes to fix it...

Tomorrow either more progress on the scarf or my thoughts on fall, depending how much knitting is accomplished tonight and how much science is being accomplished tomorrow!

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