Saturday, August 21, 2010

I've lost a sock ...

not in the washing machine, and not one of a pair, but a sock that I have knit. Worse is that is has gone AWAL whilst I'm knitting its mate. I have no idea where it is .. but I do have proof that it existed, proof that I did knit it and complete it. This is maddening, for I'm well aware of the lost sock syndrome, where once the laundry is washed, dried and folded there is a sock or two lonely and without a mate. But this is different, this sock should never have left the house, it should never have left the room, it should never have left the end of the sofa where I sit and knit and should be happily waiting for its mate in my work basket .. but it is not. Today I present the second sock ... without its pair, I repaired the cuffs of one of my favorite cardigans (Owls) and it was surprisingly straightforward, and I'm making knitting plans. It has been busy week, I was away Monday and Tuesday .. and teaching all day Wednesday, and out Thursday .. so the week flew by without a blog update.

I guess I need to advertise, my missing sock looks like this,

Lost - One sock, Theodora, purple, size ML, knit in Vintage Purls Sock, Sock Club edition Theodora. If found please return to me ....

Here is the second sock, nearly done and because the first is lost I can not finish this one. I keep a workbook, a knitting journal in which I write the important things, how many stitches, what size needles, any changes to the pattern .. but what I have not recorded is how long I knit the leg of the first sock before I worked the ribbing. Looking at the photos I guess I could estimate how many lace repeats there are .. but I'd rather line the two socks up and work out the length that way. I have no idea where the missing sock is, I meant to take it with me on a work trip to Wanganui on Monday, but when I got there I couldn't find it in my bag so assumed I had not packed it, When I returned home I realized I couldn't find it here either.... I have no idea where it could be. Are there sock fairies and gnomes? Do they take things sometimes? Can any one help?

I distracted myself by repairing the cuffs of Owls, one of my favorite cardigans. I knit this way back in January and February of 2009 so it has done well. The cuffs were worn so repairs were needed. Last post I wrote about repairs to elder cubs cuffs, but that was a top down gansey and seemed easier to plan the repair for. When I posted that Owls needed repairing I also posted I had none of the yarn left .. but M came to my rescue with a part ball of the same yarn. I had forgotten she has a cardigan in the same yarn - that made me happy and solved the what with problem and only left the how problem.

First I removed the cuffs from the cardigan. Because the sleeves were knit cuff up, I couldn't unravel them. Knitting only ravels one way .. the opposite way to the direction it is knit in.

So ... I snipped a thread one round past the ribbing and gently removed the yarn one stitch at a time. I was surprised to find that it hadn't felted enough to make pulling the thread difficult. I'm keeping these as spare yarn should I have to repeat this repair in a few years.

With the cuffs removed I picked up the stitches on 3.25mm needles and knit up new cuffs. The original cuffs has stretched somewhat larger than I liked. As part of this repair I had opportunity to work the replacement cuffs smaller. For the original I had used 48 stitches in 2x2 rib and increased for the cables by adding 12 extra stitches, this time I increased only two stitches and worked a P2, K2, P2, K4 rib. It was nice having details of the stitch count and needles sizes in my knitting workbook (why oh why didn't I record the same level of detail for the missing sock?). I used the original cuff to gauge how long to make the new cuffs, the same number of cable twists.

I think this worked quite well, the transition between the cuff up sleeve and the replacement sleeve down cuff seems smooth and not really noticeable. I wasn't quite sure what kind of cast off would be best, I wanted something durable and hopefully more durable than the previous edge.

In the end I chose my favorite cast off, i-cord, a two stitch i-cord cast off. I worked this on 4mm needles - the same as I used on the body of the cardigan.

The i-cord works well, it provides a clear edge, and seems to echo the rib and cables in scale.One of the reasons for selecting this edge finish was it was used to edge the front bands and the neck of the cardigan. The edge on the cuffs seems larger in scale .. but perhaps will settle a little with blocking and wear. I didn't want to pull it in, so worked the cast off on larger needles and loosely.

Now that my repairs are all done and Owls is in a fit state to travel to with me, I've been thinking about travel knitting. I'm away next weekend to the In the Loop 2 conference in Shetland ---- which is pretty exciting stuff, to have funding and be going to a 5 day conference all about hand knitting. I'll be away 2 weeks, so need knitting to keep my hands busy. This is plan one, Annis from Knitty Spring Summer, by Susanna IC. I'm planning to knit it in lace-weight 100% cashmere. I'm going to feel so special and luxuriant knitting this, and once the lace is done I should be able to just go back and forth easily. I might just cast on before I leave ... peace of mind as I count all those stitches and place stitch markers.

This is travel plan part two, the large yellow cake is hand spun fingering perennial. That I plan to knit into a center out baby blanket, just round and round .. perhaps a pi shawl in celebration of EZ's 100th? Or square with a mini lace cable up the corners between the increases ... I'm still planning and thinking about that so suggestions are welcome. The Orange is Road Cone, and was to be put with the green to knit Elder cub a pair of space invaders mittens, but I've been asked to trade .. and the green is vibrant enough on its own so I'll pair it with the navy-grey instead.

And part three of the plan involves these two skeins, which I think will make a neat pair of colour work mittens for smallest cub ..... probably out of my new book Selbuvotter or Cats by Jorid Linvik from the shop but the dogs are cute as well as are the fish and the Zebras and the frogs (how can one decide with offerings like that?), or Wintergreen by Kate Gilbert, or Deep in the Forest by Tuulia Salmela which are just really really cool. Bother all the things I want to knit are cool .. which makes deciding all the harder. And I need to take a sock to knit .... two weeks with no sock knitting seems just plain wrong, but what sock .. and what yarn? There are still decisions to make .....

take care
na Stella


Annie of Blue Gables said...

So sorry for your missing sock. I've not had that distressing thing happen to me because I can't even get ONE sock knit without just tearing it all out and rolling it back into a ball.
On the other hand, I was cleaning my sewing room and FOUND some things I had forgotten I had even purchased. I am so ashamed to not even know what I own. YIKES. Time for me to get organized. eh? Here's to Theodora being found.

Knitting Linguist said...

Oh, how frustrating to lose a sock that you've never gotten to wear! I'll keep my fingers crossed that it's found before you leave.

Your travel knitting looks wonderful -- I particularly love that green and gray together. I'm so impressed that you can do colorwork as travel knitting; I'm just not quite confident enough for that. Maybe after the cat mittens?

I absolutely can't WAIT to hear all about the conference! It is going to be amazing, and I know your paper is going to be fascinating and that you're going to get to hear all kinds of other interesting papers. Enjoy!

KathyR said...

Oh wow, next weekend and you're away! I certainly hope that Theodora shows her pretty little face before then!

Some very nice choices for your travel knitting but I wonder what you will be coming home with? All the best for a wonderful, wonderful trip. Can't wait to hear all about it and to see all the photos!

Shortly said...

I found a missing sock lately. I too was perplexed where a sock could go - newly knit, photographed, disappeared. It recently turned up at the bottom of a project bag, underneath my current sock project. I hope you have similar luck! And if all else fails, you had better not come and steal my Theodoras from my washing line!

me said...

how sad to lose a sock!!! Hope you find it with some other project, perhaps it was wandering in the yarn the way, your new yarn skiens are lovely! what great colors you have found!!! Hurrah!!!