Friday, January 12, 2007

lots of little things ...

Well nearly back to normal. Still on leave from work for another week, so a temporary 'stay at home mom', we bake, we go to the park, we walk to the local shops for a loaf of bread, we feed ducks, we hang out washing and sit on the swing. Life is slow and kind of easy - could I do this full time ? - no! I need the challage of my work, my research, and adult company. Still for short periods of a few weeks it is good. Bedtime is also good, as is another adult coming home to talk to and help parent.

Spent time today tidying wee Poppy's room, purchased some storage cubbies, as kitsets, and assembled these. The households two menfolk were macho busy elsewhere, big one was mowing the lawn, and the little one was busy with a Finding Nemo game on the computer. So we got to be furniture assembly girls without any males taking over.
Then the wee one and I sorted toys. Would Maisy mouse and her clothes live in the green cubby or the pink one? Atomic Betty, did she need a cubby close to the dolls house or a bigger cubby further away. Was the $2 shop doll the same sort as Barbie? Could she live in the same basket on a shelf? And the answer was yes after some discussion - it surprised me that Barbie was seen as different to the cheap tart with too much blue eyeshadow and whose legs fall off all the time (leggless!) from the $2 shop - but Poppy (aged 4 and a half) has no preconcieved notions of Barbie and feminism, so argued she was 'better' for playing with therefore different.

At several times Poppy sighed deeply and said " I've just got too much toys". She is right, in a small way, a spoilt we girl, especially a few weeks post christmas. Imagine that - to many toys. and her mum has a 'new' antique swift, a complete set of 5" Brittney, and new jewellery, we are all spoilt.

latest projects, Well as you can see, Curly bear got a jersey to match Poppy's. A tiny wee pink merino raglan, knit in the round. This was made from the scraps of the jersey I knit for Poppy - known usually as Popsi-daisy, last november. Curly is a well loved bear, as you can also see below. Poppy has very blue eyes, she is a mini me, so not sure what is going on here in the digital photo with the brown ones - digital gremlins?

A few other smaller projects have been flying of the knitting pins a Nano sock, a special request from my Chris, who got a i-pod Nano version 2 for Christmas. But the silicon cases to protect it were all for version one. Version 2 is smaller and slimmer by a few mm's and the case was 'loose', baggy almost, not a good look. After shopping all over town with no luck, and internet cruising Chris found Apple sold 5-packs of 'i-pod socks'. So a formal request was made for a home made one. We have a saying that things are 'knitted with love' to make the kids appreciate my knitted gifts. The sock was made in left over Opal, and on 2mm Brittney needles. Part of my xmas gift from Chris. I was shocked at how short they were, and had thoughts of returning them, but found them a dream to knit with. The 5" length is perfect for small diameter knitting, so easy to turn, much less snagging of the ends of knitting pins on yarn as you go. The sock is shown on my older larger version 1 nano, but fitted his beautifully. On a roll from that I knit a felted bowl for my wee mans i-pod. Toby inherited Chris's old shuffle, which he uses to listern to music in bed and we are working our way thru the story podcast websites. We found the complete audio book of robinson crusoe online for free
Then for myself I have been knitting Widdershins from Knitty. Brenda Dayne - disussed her new found love of toe up socks with a full gusset and heel flap in her podcast late last year. I had tried knitting Widdershins before, but was far to clever so stuffed it up. I had used a firmer guage, so sized it up with extra stitches and got very confused half way thru the heel abou the math - I didn't write down what I did as I knit and lost my way. So that one got frogged - cables and all. No big loss cables and self patterning yarn sort of cancel each other out. My latest version is doing well, I knit it in the same Pattons patonyle yarn, cheerful but cheap, a very 'girly' self patterning colourway. No cables this time, no adjustments to the number of stitches, its just about me understanding the heel.

I tried to get gauge, using the stated 2mm dpns, but even when i when i went up to 2.5mm I got 31stitches in 4" not the required 28. I don't think i am a tight knitter, things flow and are easy, but as I knit alone (not by choice - I can't find a knitting group to join that has out of work hours meetings) I don't have anyone to compare to. Maybe Squeaky the designer is a very loose knitter? Maybe it was 3mm's? Maybe I knit tighter than tight and don't know it? Anyway I completed the toe, as a final swatch and found the stock stretched to my 9" foot ball, when it was only intended to fit an average 8" foot ball, so I continued. First sock image is of the 'backwards gusset', looks like a traditional sock but the needles are on the 'wrong' side of the gusset. I finished this in 3 days, and it fits beautifully. Havn't done a wear test yet, but looks very promising. Also in use here are the short Brittany knitting pins, easily long enough for an adult sock. Next is my foot , all size 9 or 25 cm of it neatly and very comfortably encased in Widdershins sock, The pair or 2nd sock is 1.5" from finishing. My other modification was to knit the leg in 2x2 rib, and the last 1.5" on 3mm needles with a stretchy bind off. I hate socks that fall down.
The last image is of my knitting workbook and sock kit - all I need to work a sock, I went thru the pattern after I completed the first sock and noted my changes and Linkworked out the proportons/percentages for heel stitches, gusset increases, etc.. Only to find today that the designer Brooke Chenoweth, had posted a quite detailed and more mathematical formulae for this very thing. I can work the formulae but am in awe of some who can write script to calculate such things automatically. This sock is fast becoming a classic, as other bloggers have taken up the explaination challange and done simillar work. Maybe this is a new Jaywalker, or classic? Jacywalker snuck in there as i plan to knit her next, I sucumbed to sock yarn on line via webs americas yarn store after tuning in to their podcast/radio show. Very tempting site, lots on sale.

You can see my more manual and old fashioned scribbles along side the printed pattern in my workbook.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Oh wow there are some lovely knitting there, I especially like the little bear jumper very cute.