Saturday, January 19, 2008

Just knitting, and frogging and knitting around ....

Yes, there has been some knitting, some frogging and then some more catch-up knitting, twice, so an update on the Toby's Possum merino sweater, and I've started, frogged, and started again Cat Bordhi's Barthomomews Tantalizing socks. Then there is new yarn, some bought and some spun.

First the Possum Merino, I still can't get over how nice this yarn is, despite finding 4 knots/joins in the first skein as I knit. The dessert lands of interesting knitting, the stocking stitch torso is now finished, and I spent some enjoyable time putting in the EZ fake seam down each side seam line. I love how this looks, subtle yet surprisingly effective, the sweater just folds along those fake seam lines. I also liked how the fake seam looks with the chain decorated hem.

So after 'seaming' and putting the torso aside, I cast on for a sleeve, worked the same hem, with a band of chain stitches, an inch of twined knitting and a second band of chain stitches. Then I set about increasing 4 stitches every 5th round until the sleeve was just over 33% of K, 64 stitches. I had Toby slip his arm into it this morning and it was very wide, far to wide, so I frogged back past the last 2 increases and am reworking the sleeve at 56 stitches. I think I deliberately sized the sleeve up to avoid the to tight sleeve of the last sweater. Gauge is 6.75 spi, so adding an extra 8 stitches, well it added 1.2 extra inches. On a skinny 8 year old, that was to much extra sleeve, I do have to be more careful with the rounding up. So for now its just knitting round and round until we get to 15.5 or 16 inches - little children grow and I'm not sure how much extra to put in to the length to accommodate next winters growth.

And my sock knitting, well it is interesting, not quite like the old Chinese curse "may you live in interesting times', but in an 'keeps me on my toes' way. Before you begin to knit CB's socks, there are two practice socks (one of which I dutifully knit, the other I didn't), a gauge swatch to knit, measuring (round your foot, along your foot, other parts of your foot ....), calculating (5-6 pages of instructions to get 6 numbers), and then you knit paying close attention to the instructions because these are not socks like we have knit before. Some where between the swatch and the measuring and the book my sock was working out enormous, huge, to big, so I rechecked everything and found my gauge had shifted to the looser side, and the ease in the size I knit was generous.

and so here is my second attempt, knitting both a size smaller and on smaller needles. I'm paying very close attention to the instructions, having just discovered that the increase rate for this sock is every 3 rows, not every 2nd as on most socks. That little mis-expectation resulted in frogging back 5 rows. Still enough of the negative, the positive: wonderfully coloured yarn, which works up magically in the linen slip stitch pattern. Now I have started the sock shaping proper - its very exiting. Oh does that tell you the depths of my sad life? When a new sock shaping is an exiting new event? No thats not sad, thats the sign of an avid knitter at play.

So one of my LYS's has their big sale this month, the kind where they rearrange the shop to make way for huge boxes of yarn shipped in specially for the sale. As part of that they had Opal sock yarn for half price, I resisted all yarn on the first visit (you have to go, just to see what they have, just in case...), but when M from knit night pointed out that Sock-Opal in a rather nice blue was less than half price .... well I called in Friday morning to see if they had any left, and they did, so enough for a pair of socks came home. Much of the sale yarn was thick, chunky and not me.

And what I think of as my 'spinning-homework', or rather my practice for my spinning home work. I was invited a week ago to visit an experienced spinner who advised me to practice spinning loftier and thicker singles. Oh that was hard, while my fine spinning seemed great, my bulky spinning, that was a different story. Rather than 'ruin' the practice roving she gave me, I dug out the grey corridale that came with the wheel, and some other x-breed 29 micron fiber and spun it as thick as I could. but it is not very thick at all, spinning thick and consistent is much much harder than it looks. Still I did see some improvement in consistency and so have made a start on the bag of homework fiber. The workshop is on the 9th, so plenty of time.

I'm back to work tomorrow, after 5 weeks off, so there will be less knitting, and more writing and work type things. I do wonder how many hours it will take to work thru my email in box at work. I have made a deliberate move not to 'work' during my break, which means the emails have not been attended to at all. Lets hope I get the box cleared by lunchtime?


Knitting Linguist said...

T's sweater is looking gorgeous! I love that color; it shows off the chain stitches beautifully. I am so impressed by the Cat Bordhi socks; I've been putting off picking that book up, as socks are my one form of total comfort knitting, and I've been feeling challenged enough in my other work. But you know that someday I'll have to try it :) Your handspun is looking so even and gorgeous! What do you think you'll knit with it?

I'm back to teaching this week myself (although I've been playing catch-up for the last week and a half), so I know what you mean about less knitting (or at least, in my case, slower progress on things). Good luck with the email in-box -- I'll keep my fingers crossed for that lunch finish :)

Diantee said...

What a wrench to have to leave all that beautiful knitting! Hope your first day back is not too hard.

drkim said...

I was looking for you fake seam video which was extremely helpful and noticed the fair isle baby blanket. This is beautiful! I love to fair isle. Did you design this yourself or is there a pattern out there somewhere? Great work.