Saturday, September 05, 2009

The next sock and a good idea at the time

First thank you for all the comments (here and otherwise) about how nice Bayerische is, its lovely to get compliments and I really really appreciate them. My Mum taught me to to show appreciation for compliments and so I am - Thanks :-)

Yes, the next sock, or to be totally accurate the next socks. I did enjoy knitting Mojo two at once, I must have finally become so comfortable with knitting two-by-magic-loop so much so that I have decided to continue with the-knitting-two-at-a-time. That decision even surprises me .. the last socks I did two at a time(can't remember which) seemed to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Teeny tiny problem is I don't really have a nice project bag big enough to hold two 50g center pull cakes of yarn, for Mojo I was using a free-with-purchase drawstring hair care product bag, that was ok for bears socks, but for my socks I thought I'd make something nicer. This all brings me to the contents of today's post, there are photos of Mojo being worn, the start of a new pair of socks, a new bag that seemed a like a good idea at the time, and a new book which is making me want to spend time in the kitchen.

Mojo is all done, and when not worn it still looks like the kind of sock [or should that be sox?] that Dr Seuss would have drawn.

But once on the foot, it fits me, and Bear has ever so slightly larger feet and it fits him better. Bear has spent another spring weekend busy in the garden .. so whilst he promised a photo opportunity wearing Mojo .. he was always just on his way somewhere with the wheelbarrow full of garden waste, and/or feeling all hot and sweaty. So these are my feet .. demonstrating Mojo is despite appearances actaully completely wearable ..

I'm most definitely a sock knitter, I know this from many signs, I have screeds of sock yarn in my stash .. and I regularly add to the sock yarn stash. I own many sock pattern books .. and I add sock patterns to my Ravelry queue probably more often than other things. But most arguably the most significant sign is no matter what else I am knitting .. I always, always, always have a sock on the go. My newest sock is Taimi, the final sock in the Winter 2009 Vintage Purls Sock Club. Here are the two toes, mirror images of each other (just because I could). Morag (Taimi's designer) and I discussed mirrored spiral/star toes at knitting camp - and after that I just had to make these a matched pair. From here on in the knitting is plain stocking stitch until the gusset shaping begins and the lace fun starts. I'm not using the green that came in the kit, I've chosen a darker brown green ... from stash, still Vintage Purls sock yarn ... but more of a dark forest floor feel that the new growth sapling green that Taimi was named after.

Before I started I divvied up my 100g skein of yarn into two 50g yarn cakes .. and hunted around for a suitable project bag. Problem struck, the little bags I make are built for one 100g cake of yarn .. not two 50 cakes side by side as are needed to knit two socks at once. I decided to make a new slightly larger project bag, and tossed in an idea I had being toying with. I thought that if I constructed the tops of my project bags from silk organza that knitters could see exactly the project they were looking for more easily, solving the problem of the dance thru a wip basket opening and closing bags looking for a particular project. That was a good idea in theory .. to make the bags neatly the tops need to be a double layer of silk organza and that, it turns out, is not as see through as I imagined. The shorter bag was the first sample (swatch), and was a tad to short, the larger bag works well. These are different to my standard project bags in they have an oval base, and are taller, now I just need to add ribbon drawstrings.

The taller bag easily holds two 50g cakes of yarn and two socks in progress. I can see this shape of bag will also work for a small colour work items ... where two cakes of yarn are needed. I used silk organza for the tops, I love the luxury idea of silk and organza is one of those special fabrics. But I know in my heart of hearts that silk is not a good fabric to use with drawstrings, it abrades, silk wears thin easily and then frays. As a consequence I need to road test these bags and see how long the tops last, if its only a few months of use .. then sadly I'll have to resort to polyester (uuugghhh - shudder - wince), or ditch the idea of the sheer top. I've got my fingers crossed that the silk might last a few years ... then again given that I can't see the yarn thru the silk organza .. perhaps I don't need to use silk?

During the week, Ratio: The simple codes behind the craft of everyday cooking arrived, a gift from Suzanne. Its an amazing book, not so much a recipe book, or a cooking theory book, but a tool box. Ratio aims to provide the ratio of the base ingredients for commonly cooked foods. Using the ratio of say, butter, to sugar to flour, for cookies the cook can make a batch of any size. More importantly than that, once a cook understands the effect of changing the ratio .. the cookies can be crustier, or chewier or fudgeier, whatever they want to make. I like the concept. So far I've made two batches of cookies, one vanilla and the second a concoction of my own making, current and spice, and two sets of muffins, chocolate and pear (shown) and cinnamon and apple. Everything has been a success. So far I'm a convert ... and its got me in the kitchen baking and thinking about cooking and noting ratios on our kitchen chalkboard. Its also got me using scales rather than cup measures, even for liquids ... which could be a good thing. I feel like I can be creative in the kitchen and not have to flick through screeds of cookbooks to find a recipe that appeals and that we have the ingredients in stock for.

Take care -
Ka kite ano Stella



another great posting!

Jane said...

I've been so busy lately that I haven't had much chance to sit and savor your wonderful thinking-into-words. Today was the perfect day to remedy that! I'll be interested in how your project bag road-test goes!

Suzanne said...

Ever so empowering, isn't it? I have been doing a lot more baking since 'Ratio' arrived in my kitchen, and it is fun to look at recipes and note the ratios used. I love the idea of a two-cake project bag for socks and colourwork. When there are socks in progress here, there are always two, and they have to fight over which one gets to be in the adorable pukeko bag you made for me.

Knitting Linguist said...

So many good things here! I love the sound of that new cookbook; over the years, I've very much become a "cook by feel" kind of person, and baking is the last frontier on that journey for me -- maybe this would be inspiration? I love the toes on your new socks. And those bags are absolutely lovely. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that the organza will work, because the idea is wonderful. :)

KathyR said...

Aha! Another two-at-once convert! Admittedly it is not a perfect way to knit socks (I don't think there is a perfect way), especially for experimental folk like you, but whatever you do on one can be replicated easily on the other without having to try to remember what you did. The bag looks lovely - it will be interesting how your "roadtesting" goes.

An interesting cookbook, too. Similar ideas to the one we used in primary school cooking "back in the days".

Erika said...

I've had that Ratios cookbook on my Amazon wishlist, so I'm happy to hear the positive review.