Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fishing ...

Whilst I was away knitting with the friendly knitters of Greytown, I observed their current passion, sock yarn blankets. Mostly these were being knit modular, in Domino square style .. but James has his own variation. I do have my own sock yarn blanket pushed to the background and this week I pulled it out and made some progress, I also finished the socks, a record I think for me, 10 days from go to woa. I was hoping to work them in a week .. but I had to return to work and that got in the way of my knitting time.

Since I have been back I've been finishing the socks for bear the MIUAIK socks (code for Making It Up As I Knit), I wondered if I could knit them in one week, but no .. they took until Friday, so from Wednesday to the Friday after the following Wednesday - I was back at work so didn't have the luxury of knitting during work hours. I'm pleased with them, and I like the effect of the rib around the ankle. I do have one more sock yarn blank to dye up and hope that I manage to make it a more feminine colourway. I was asked for a pattern .. and I'll work on that, it really only needs the chart and a few instructions for the toe, heel, and how to resolve the banjo cable into the cuff so shouldn't take long.

When I pulled out my fish blanket and laid out all the fish I had waiting, I had enough sock yarn fish to add a boarder right around the blanket. To at least try and make it look organized and not random .. I laid all the fish out around the blanket and re-positioned and re-arranged until I had a pleasing order, or perhaps the least garish order.

Then I stacked the fish in order to be sewn, and lined them up ready to sew. Now it is hard to stack knitted fish, the stack is precarious and needs to be horizontal .. and I realized that one small bump and all my careful planning might go awry.

I also noticed that each fish had two yarn ends that were needed to sew it into the blanket but that also had to be woven in. This is probably the point when I should set this blanket aside and finish it with a boarder and say it is for a small newborn baby and start a new one that is modular and avoids the yarn ends and sewing. But I like my fish and I like the effect of the blanket and I'm more than ready to sit down and sew them together once or twice a year.

I did try and organize the 'workflow' so that my fish pile was not at risk of tumbling. I used one of those long stitch holder pins that is like an over-sized safety pin, and was able to release the fish one at a time.

Now I have only a small pile of left over fish remaining, I've stitched in 53 more fish, (well I have 5 left to stitch but they will be stitched by end of day), so will need to knit more, many more to add. I do have a small collection of left over sock yarn to use .. and I like the idea of putting the left overs to use. I noticed that my sock yarn taste has changed, from the first socks in Opal and stripes to more semi solid and darker colours. I've decided to keep adding fish as a border around the blanket .. that way as the blanket grows it will represent my sock knitting history and illustrate my changing sock yarn palette.

The other bit of knit-news during the week was the latest sock club from Vintage Purls, installment one arrived. I've not photographed it yet but its pretty, and has beads (not too many), and comes with chocolate and knitting post it note. I'm fighting the temptation to cast on now ..... my interest has waned in the mystery Ravelry January Sock ... following 5 charts of unequal length isn't very relaxing. I'm also stalled on the Green sweater, I should re-swatch to try and get recommended gauge ... but I've not yet and until I do ... well its stalled.

not a very exciting post - perhaps I'll have a new project for the next post?
or at least a swatch

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Honey, I'm home

Just, since last Wednesday I've been away and back and away and back, and and now I've gone back to work after what seems like an age of leave. But knitting, yes I have been knitting, I needed a new project for all the travel, first up to Dads to collect the cubs, a whirlwind trip back home to pack and head away to a Sock Knitting Weekend. I needed a new portable project, no charts and no fuss, and it really needed to be socks if I was to continue to knit it at the sock weekend. Then the knitters weekend was at a sock yarn shop (yes such things exist in New Zealand, they really do shops that sell only sock yarn), so some sock yarn was acquired but more about that latter.

I started a new pair of socks, for Bear, armed with a vague plan, 2 balls of hand dyed yarn, a pair of needles, and the size of his paws. I found a neat cable in BW Treasuries, the Banjo Cable, cute and round and decided to work that in.

I started Wednesday and knit that night, and what seemed most of Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and look, now I have 1.5 socks. I worked the cable up the middle of the foot and then worked a toe up gusset flap heel with slip stitch under the heel, but it looked wrong, very wrong. To achieve the slip stitch under the heel toe up I had to increase across the heel cup not around it. Working the increases across so the slip stitch pattern lined up meant I didn't get that nice corner that comes when the increases are at the turn of the heel cup. I sighed and frogged and tried a second time, this time a standard toe up gusset heel flap but the colour changed as I worked the heel and where I stopped knitting the heel flap and starting knitting in the round again there was an ugly transition line across the front of the sock, a nasty jar of pale and dark blue. Finally I gave in and worked a short row heel, not my favorite heel, but the right heel for this sock, the perfect heel.

Some where in my past acres of reading about and around socks and sock traditions I stumbled across a description of traditional socks knit with a band of rib above the heel shaping, designed to make the sock fit better. My main issue with short row heels is the shaping is generic, the sock can twist and isn't as shaped to the foot as other heel styles. The idea of ribbing to snug the sock to the foot above the heel appealed, I liked the effect, and worked 7.5cm of 2x2 rib right after the short row heel.

Then as I worked towards the top of the first sock, I began to wonder how best to finish it off. I thought the moss stitch from the center of the banjo's would be a nice band at the top ... but was unsure of how to transition from leg to band, until I remembered the Estonian traveling braid. A little knit stitch that works its way across the row with a little slight of hand knitting. Some how I not only remembered how to work the stitch without my knitting books, but I also managed to finish the little braid as neatly as it had begun, flowing out of the banjo braid. I can't help but be just a little bit proud of the way it all worked out at the end, (and we all know that pride goeth before a fall - so I'm now waiting for the fall). I think I remember how I did it, an increase, knit 2nd stitch, knit first stitch, slip last stitch knit back to left needle ... and at the end a bit of fussing to work out which stitch to slip over which stitch to end it neatly. I even resorted to the basic k2, slip first stitch over 2nd stitch cast off .. as it matched the Estonian braid so well. Just goes to show even the basics have a place.

Finally the weekend, oh that was fun, so much fun, I want to go again. Four of us knitted our way up the South Island, to Wellington by plane, then by rental car to Greytown for a weekend of sock knitting and spinning events hosted by James of Joy of Yarn as part of the arts festival. I met such lovely knitters, and spinners, I ate to many of the treats, and knitted the sock reported above. and I shopped, a little on Friday (the Zauberball, a used but signed copy of KF Glorious Color, two fat-quarters of fabric, and Vintage Purls Sock in Serac), a little on Saturday (fingering Little Wool company), a little on Sunday (the needle case topped and tailed with buttons), and a little last bit on Monday (the Regia in Exotic Zany and more Shoc Chocolate than I care to admit to buying). I finished it all up with finding a copy of KF Glorious Knitting on TradeMe for $8. Those two books have instructions for Kaffe Fassett's Poppy - a design that I will one day play at with knitting.

I'm unpacked and semi-settled and back at work, and still knitting.
There are two socks on the needles and a cardigan waiting to happen, and its all slightly out of control but in a good way.

na Stella

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Still not knitting

There hasn't been much knitting since the last post, not much at all. I sorted my stash, listening to back issues of Cast-On and reading the Yarn Harlots page a day knitting diary seemed to inspire me to sift thru the stash, the annual airing of the stash was mentioned in both places,. In part this was also a response to a growing pile of stuff in the back room that needed to be put away, and a need to find room to put it away.
So one day went as I hauled out all that I had, spinning and knitting and tidied it all away again. I did let some fibre go, all yarn was kept .. its all good stuff, but there is a lot and I did need a reminder of what I have. I followed this up with a WIP sift .. and finally frogged a swatch that wasn't going to progress any further, and I finished the hems and necklines, zips, and cords on all that I was sewing (2 new skirts, 2 new dresses, one hoodie, & some new Tees from Little Radiator - I got a spindle one Hard Core, some knitting ones Got Gauge, As Soon as I finish this row, and one listing Ravelry's most popular patterns. Dressed to knit and ready to go! Oh, and I finished the second spindle .. and found I have a lot to learn about making spindles.

So Frogged, one swatch, started September 17th 2008! Yes 2008, this one has been languishing in the Wip basket and for the last year in the hall cupboard for way to long. I love the yarn, I love the idea of the stole, Print o'the Wave, but it just wasn't what I wanted to knit, then or now. I can't explain it ... so its frogged. Well not actually frogged, not ripped out, but the yarn is back in stash and the pattern in a folder and the needles out. I'll put the two swatch halves with all the other swatches and trials.

And the second spindle, this one is centered and a classic red with white spots fungi. I realize that I have a lot to learn with these ... there are things that could be much better. but they work, and at 22g are lace weight spindles. Plus once they have a load of singles on them like all spindles they settle down and spin much better.

I enjoyed painting them, complete with gills and spots. I've named them using Latin species names so the Brown on is Psilocybe LBM (Little Brown Mushroom), and the red Amanta Muscaria. I'm away to collect the cubs latter today, and back tomorrow, just a quick trip, then off for the weekend returning to Bear Monday night .. so there will be frantic packing and repacking and early morning flights .. and work Tuesday. If you are in Greytown .. and knitting at the Joy of Yarn Garden Party this weekend .. I'll be there to, knitting and spinning and generally having fibre fun. I'm enrolled in a Pimp-your-socks workshop, and might even start a new portable sock. Imagine that - me knitting a sock on the go, one without charts?

take care

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Usually its the sock

that is the easy project on my needles, the one that I can take out, and pick up and knit while watching tv, but recently the socks have had charts to follow and they have not been so portable or lazy. I realize that for now, my sock project is my challenge and my cardigan is my portable and easy going knit. Yes, I've started the Green cardigan, or rather the swatch has been knit and the cardigan must follow. But I've been distracted, again, the cubs are away with their granddad until latter this week ... so I pulled out the fabric, and patterns and sewing tools and I've been sewing.

But first the knitting, the Green Sweater swatch is done, washed and gently dried. I measured and documented its pre-wash state, but have yet to measure the post wash change. I have hope it will bloom enough to match the required gauge - currently I'm a stitch and a bit out for each inch. I've been reading the KAL and info thread at Ravelry, A Knitters Choice, and picking up little gems of information as I work. The first gem was to ball up the yarn and let is sit for 3 or so days, its a single and fresh, so twisty. The second gem is that several people were confused by the instructions so there are errata(I've collected mine), and other little handy hints. Several knitters are working with a firmer gauge .. and I'm tempted to go that way as well, I can't imagine this yarn worked loosely, but then again I should swatch at the recommended gauge and check .. shouldn't I, before I decide? The yarn does bloom, the fuzzy thread in the photo is the washed strand, and the thinner one as it is when knit. There is biasing .. and the recommended advice from Meg Swansan seems to be 'block it firmly- make it behave, the wool can take it'! So I need to measure my swatch, and decide if I'm knitting the sweater to their gauge or mine .. and if so take some time to work out what size I'd knit to get the size that fits me.

New socks, this time its Sock Knitters Anon on Ravelry's 2010 January Mystery sock. As I'm 2 weeks slow starting it is less of a mystery as I can see the photos posted as others knit theirs. I love the look of this sock, in Vintage Purls Sock (of course), with lime green beads. The garter rib, 3x2 has pushed the cast on edge into little peaks, quite neat. The chart is complex, 5 different charts each repeating over a different number of rounds ... so it is a sit on the couch and focus knit. As I knit with such focus I do wonder why I do this sort of thing .. and then I admire the sock and realize the sock is the why, the pretty sock at the end of the process

Spinning, I finished the first of the yarn from the NZFS 3.0 swap, the green. I spun this not very well using rolags and an improving woolen technique. I've not measured but there are two skeins, one three ply worsted, one 2 ply woolen, so enough for a hat. I thought the thicker yarn would make a nice thick fold back cuff. Currently both Poppy and Bear are eying it up - well will see who gets it, Poppy is due for a hat, Bear has several.

Then there was today sewing, with no cubs to feed and to monitor and to entertain - I just settled down and cut and sewed. It was seat of pants kind of sewing, with a vague plan and basic shapes cut. I had some fine ribbed merino knit in my stash and some floral sports mesh that I thought would line the hood - and then decided it would suit the body as well. I didn't have an open ended zip at hand but did have some more snap tape, so one decision after another the hoodie came together nicely by mid afternoon. There was a moment when I wondered how best to finish the neck and lining and hem band and which order of assembly would give the neatest finish, and wondered if I had backed myself into a corner - but I worked it out, and fudged a little to make it work (a little stretch technique combined with a little tailoring lining technique). With the hoodie done, I worked on the dress, which is either really really cute and stylish - or I have lost the plot completely with the large polka dots and lime green lining. It is just a simple shift dress, with fitted back darts, bust darts and an unfitted front waist. I've still got to add a zip and work the hem .. but essentially its done. Behind it is another variation on the same dress, cut in Italian linen with hints of pink and blue and green amidst the donkey brown .. being linen it will hang differently. These are all part of the sewing I've been working on over the holidays, and are to work with whisper and are probably the reason I said it needed a dress - I had dresses planned and now they are being done.

Today's efforts join the skirts I made a few weeks ago, lime green wool crepe and an old gold & white vintage print, both gored skirts. I've still got to stitch the bias waist band down and hem the green one, but I've been wearing the other. All chores for latter in the week.

Take care
more sewing planned this week, work next week, but lots of knitting to do as well.
na Stella

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

When its done, its done, but then there is the starting

Yes done, today I have blocking and wearing photos of my Whisper Cardigan, taken yesterday, Today I am wearing it, and I love it, love it, love it. Light, surprisingly warm for a cardigan with no front, and for one so light. I've also finished the Soctober TTL Mystery socks 2008 .... and so can show them off (although they are not blocked just on the blockers). Then there is a little bit of fun, knitted and turned fungi ... all for a good cause ... I realize this is all part of a delay before starting on the 'next-big-knit'.

So Whisper, by Whisper Cardigan, Hannah Fettig, in Interweave Knits, Spring 2009, did I mention I love this design, in this yarn? I do. I was a little surprised at how soft and light a felted single could be, its Malabrigo Lace, and was a surprisingly frugal choice of yarn. I have more than 28g of the second skein left, meaning this weighs in at only 71.3g. I bought 3 skeins, playing safe, and now know I have enough to knit another should I want to. I was a little confused about how to block something of Whispers shape, given its is not knit conventionally with a front and back. I know that most lace and lace weight yarns respond well to blocking so I wanted to block - and this is what it looked like. I do have a tiny crease across the upper arm, but that isn't really visable when worn.

And worn - super comfortable, and light and warm - and yes, it needs a dress not trousers .... I didn't dress yesterday to go-with Whisper. It looks better today with a dress.

Socks all done, and Signature dpns all fallen in love with, so pointy, so smooth, so nice to use. As soon as this company does circulars in sock sizes ... I'm there. I worked the socks as written, but followed the 'errata' and knit the leg until row 26 of the chart (not row 16). I used 84.4g of the 100g - plenty left for fish for the fish blanket when I get back to that project. I've got the next sock all lined up, its another Mystery sock, this time with beads, the clues have been up since the start of the month, so I am a few weeks behind - that won't matter, sock knitting isn't an armchair sport IMO. The next sock is the SKA Mystery January 2010 sock by Debbie O'Neil, I've got the colour and the beads all sorted ready to go - and I've cheated, I've looked at the socks others are knitting and its pretty.

But as I worked on these last two projects, trying to clear the needles so I would feel ready to start the next project, I didn't feel ready to start the next project. There was one more little thing I felt a need to do. I had to knit fungi ... I'm off to a knitters weekend latter this month and part of that has a fundraiser charity auction of knitted tulips and mushrooms, raising money for the local Toy Library. Now I'm a past Toy Library supporter, both as a committee member and as a user, my kids favorite toys as babies were often ones that we first learned of of when we borrowed them from the library, then latter bought our own to keep. And the toys that I thought they would love, I learned by borrowing from the Toy Library that my choice in toys wasn't always their taste in toys. I wasn't sure what sort of Fungi I was going to knit, and to be honest the instructions to use Acrylic yarn was a little off putting to a yarn snob, one who likes the finer fibers in life. I do realize that Acrylic would weather better outdoors. The other day I came across these little night-lights, when turned on they glow, and the colour they glow changes - all the hues of the rainbow. I've knitted a spotted cap, with yarn overs and large circular holes and worked the stem in white - all the better to show of the light glow.

Beside it is a lace-weight spindle, small, light and hand made. This one isn't perfect (yet), it needs its hook and isn't quite balanced (small mishap with learning how to best center the drill press- although I'm hoping dad will help me set up the lathe to drill dead-center). I'm planning a second one over the next few days that should be much better balanced. Even though this wasn't balanced, I wanted to see how 'mushroom-ie' I could make it, with a darker rim, spots, and gills ....
I think it worked don't you?

Which leaves me with only the secret project, and balling up the yarn from skeins ready for the next Sweater, and the next socks. I deliberately didn't clear the needles for Christmas, or for New Year, but now realize I seem to need a clear out or off of what I'm working on. I do need a space to feel ready to start something new and give it my attention without any feelings that there is something else I should have finished first. Perhaps the end of year clear out/clean up is a human need and I shouldn't fight it? I do know when work gets busy the first thing I have to do is clear my desk so I feel ready. I've already discovered the KAL on Ravelry and plan to spend some time reading thru the posts and learning more about the shaping and options before I start my own Green Sweater. Seems like I do need to feel 'ready'.

Take care
na Stella

Saturday, January 09, 2010

not just knitting

At the risk of turning this into a food blog, I've been cooking. Nothing new there ... usually there is home made muesli, some sort of baking in the lunch box, and dinner is scratch cooked more than half the time, with veggies. But some times the cooking is significant, I mastered Tarte Tatin, not that I've abandoned my fibre loves, I'm trying to master woolen spinning long-draw from rolags (two things to master there long draw and the making rolags), and yes, I'm still knitting those two projects, the Socktober Mystery sock from 2008 and the Whisper cardigan.

Tarte Tatin, one of those things that looks impressive, looks delicious, and looks tricky to make. Two things happened recently that spurred me on to attempt a Tarte Tatin, first in one of those ubiquitous master chef competitions on tv the professional wanna be top chefs had to demonstrate their skill by making Tarte Tatin. Three of the four chefs failed miserably, and as the two chef-judges critiqued their efforts, I learned that a good Tarte Tatin needs to have the pastry properly cooked so it was light and flaky or crumbly. I also learned that the pastry needed to be tucked in around the apples so it formed a wee lip or ridge that would hold in the apple and caramel. In a recent fibre swap I was sent a French cookbook, which has been sitting in the living room, and has inspiring photos and recipes, including one for Tarte Tatin ... I realized it only had a few ingredients - and seemed straightforward. Well its not, my first try was over caramelized and over sweet and toffee like - honestly we had to smash it with our dessert forks to eat it. This was try number two - much much better. I shouldn't really admit that there have been three made (two successful) since the last post .... but there have. I also found inspiration and advice on youtube, I shouldn't be surprised I know and love the food of one of the chefs responsible ... and know his students are well trained so can turn out great nosh. This week I've mastered Tarte Tatin! Go on, invite me for a pot-luck or bring-a-plate, I'm anxious to show off.

I am feeling a little overrun by spinning stash ..... there is so much lovely fibre in my house that I want to spin. I'm trying to clear what is on the wheels, and today spent some time with this green fibre, making rolags. Again you-tube provided a good tutorial, although I'm not quite as proficient with the hand carders as the expert on the video. I had 130g of this fibre, corridale with a small mix of possum, and divided it into 3 equal bumps. I spun the first as worsted, short draw, but it didn't go well, the fibre wasn't really ready for worsted, and I lost the end on the bobbin and couldn't find it. That is when in spinning the singles snap and the end buries it self deep in the singles already coiled around the bobbin - I had to cut what I had spun from the bobbin and start again. It happens ... unfortunately, not often, but it happens. I decided that since I was battling worsted ... trying woolen couldn't hurt. So I made the 2nd bump of fibre into rolags spun.

It worked, the fibre pulls out easily, but does produce a single with character, lots of tufts of possum and slubs ... thats ok. Over the last year I've learned that quite bumpy yarn can ply and then knit into quite acceptable things. I'm enjoying the long draw, its working! Again you tube provided a little more visual 'how-to' that added to the information in the spinning books I have. I do need to say in New Zealand short forward or backward worsted draw spinning seems to be the norm, I've seen one or two spinning from the fold ... but only 2 very short demonstrations of long draw but spinners who made it clear they were not long-draw experts.

My current sock grows ..... I'm giving it most of my knit time, for this sock is more interesting than the 'other' project. The second heel is turned and the gusset whittling away .... shouldn't be long now.

And Whisper lingers, at 4.5". The pattern calls for 8", and I was avoiding measuring it, as I mentioned last time, as soon as one measured the knitting, especially stocking stitch knit flat .. the progress immediately slows. There is a mathematical truth to that. I'm not sure that expert mathematicians have devoted any study on the phenomena but I truly believe there is a dimensional distortion in both time and space that shimmers and folds time once a knitter measures their progress against the goal. The distortion then means knitters need to expend more time and effort to knit to a determined length than would usually be the case.

Take care, Bear returns to work tomorrow, while I stay home with the cubs for another 2 weeks ... I suspect there will be more domestic things, knitting, spinning, sewing, backing, gardening ... I may as well enjoy my leisure while I can.

na Stella

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Wednesday - Thursday ....

On holiday the days merge, well not merge so much as fuzz into days without names, we get up, we spend the day doing the things one does when there is no requirement to turn up for paid employment or in the case of the cubs ... no formal schooling type lessons. End result is that some days we ask each other what day it is ... and this morning I realized that it was Thursday, here in New Zealand, and I was overdue for a blog post. One of the reasons I was distracted yesterday was mail arrived, two boxes of mail, and you must realize what a treat it is to have mail in the mail box that is not a request for payment, nice mail not bills. So after the unpacking there is more knitting to look forward to, and more spinning to look forward to, a new spin toy, and yet still two wip* projects that I really really want done just so I can start new things.

In one package was 5 skeins of yarn, Briggs Little Sport 1 ply in Fir Green - perfect for, oh, say this. Yes, I splurged and ordered yarn to knit the 'latest' EZ cardigan. I'm being strong, feeling the urge to cast aside my current projects and cast on immediately .. but no, I'm attempting some patience, some calm order rather than urgent action. Wish me luck on that one.

In another package was some of the most beautiful fibre I've had the pleasure of fondling ... silver grey Jacob fleece from Joclyn. I am really looking forward to spinning this, I know she really enjoyed spinning this, and the preparation is beautiful, it looks and feels like it will just flow from my fingers to the wheel. Again I almost can't wait, but I will wait, I have some fibre swap corridale possum on one wheel, and gotland polwarth on another ... and really if I were to fire up a third wheel ... well the wheels might just fall off the tenuous control I have on my hobbies.

When I do start spinning this I have the perfect tool to continue to play with, this prettier than it really should be orifice hook. Another gift, from Suzanne, one that was almost eclipsed by the Signature dpns that they accompanied .. but one that I do appreciate all the same. The copper goes-with the wood of the Wing beautifully.

And knitting, the knitting that stands in the way of my casting on for a new project? My second sock grows, I'm past the rib and well into the leg chart .... and the second time around the chart is even easier to knit to, intuitive even. About the time I cast on with the dpns I wandered into the Remnants area of the Ravelry forums .... a very distracting place, way too distracting to go there often. But whist there I did take heed of a thread on missing dpns, the question being where do lost dpns go, and some answers included to play with all the missing socks lost in the laundry process. Part in reaction to that I dug around in my notions drawer (you know, a notions drawer, a drawer full of the things that 'go with' knitting), and rediscovered these cute little bears. An Addi product these gummy bear like point protectors have been working hard keeping my needles safe and secure. They came in sizes, all colour codes for different numbers and sets of needles.

The other knit project, Whisper grows, again, right now its not the most fun to knit, stocking stitch - flat, for 8 or so inches ... I think I'm about 4 inches in but I'm avoiding measuring it. I've found knitting grows slower if its measured regularly ....

The i-cord edge is turning out, or is that turning under, nicely.

Take care
na Stella

* Wip = Works in progress a simillar term to ONN or on-the-needles.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

I am, it seems, a Sock Knitter

This little fact has become apparent to me only in the last few days, I gathered up a list of my knitting for 2009 and found the following facts:
  1. I knit 49 items in 2009 (more actually as 23 of those were paired items so that statistic could be inflated artificially yet truthfully to read 72 individual items)
  2. The most common item knitted were pairs of socks, a whopping 15 Pair of socks (well one is as yet not finished ... but 14.5 sounds far less impressive, and I'm counting cast on items not completed)
  3. The second most common item knit was Mitts (under which I'm also including wristers and mittens), a warm 8 pair
  4. 5 baby things were generated, blankets, booties, and a single lace singlet
  5. Hats were less common, I knit only 4, 3 for my Dad (one didn't fit - but it still counts)
  6. There were/are 4 proper garments, one Gansey, one steeked Owls, one shrug, and one Whisper (still in progres).
What is clear is that I am now above all other knitterly things a Sock Knitter, plain to see, Fifteen Pairs of socks, 30 single socks in all (ok, ok 29 if we are being totally honest).

Its the first post of 2010 (so Happy New Year to you), and as a tradition at this time of the year its good to review the year in knitting and to think of the year(s) of knitting to come. What will the year bring, well right now the year is looking good, we all have our health (and a little wealth in that the adult bears in this family are still gainfully employed), and that little yet important fact means there is enough. Enough time to knit, to read, to be on line, enough space, enough peace, enough interest and enough love. Some how that last one should be first - but it needs to be last, there is love and friendship and support here and 'out-there' across the world, and it allows that the knitting can happen. By that I don't mean that I am allowed to knit, I mean that because I have family and friends and love and support and interest in what I do that means that I have comfort to knit in, I don't have to steal time, or space or money to knit, and in turn I try enable those around me to do the things that they want to do.

But knitting, and more clearly knitting in 2010 and beyond ....Well, more socks obviously, and at least 2 knit workshops, the annual KSG camp, and a knitters weekend at the end of this month. Beyond the socks, I'm working on submitting a design to somewhere ... its been designed, and knit, and is now mid way thru the test knit of the pattern and should be ready to send at the end of this month. I'm not sure what I want to knit beyond socks, well Toby will need a new jersey - he wears his Gansey daily and is a growing boy, so there will be a jersey for him ... but I know not what sort yet, Poppy has misplaced her Ziggidy-Zaggidy (and we had two name lables in it!) so she will need another warm knit. My Ravelry queue has a few non-sock items in it, a steeked colour work cardigan for me, there are a few queued, chances are I'll modify something to fit the gauge I like to work, beyond that ... well I'm open to finding and wanting to knit things as they are published or I find out about them.

And knitting now?
Well what is left is Whisper, and my not-a-mystery-any more TTL Soctober 2008 sock (Oh and that secret one I'm designing - but I can't let you see that ... yet... if its published I'll let you know and if not I'll offer it up for free - no point in all that work writing a pattern going to waste). Did you suspect at all? That I had another project on the go that was not being Blogged, or Ravelried or Flickr'd? Its been hard keeping it secret, when I solved little tricky problems, when it fitted, when the plan worked and the prototype was done - I so wanted to show you all, but none of the places I'd like to submit will look at a project if it has been made public .. so I can't.

Whisper, Yes I'm still whispering, I cast off the neck of the shrug ribb section using a 2 stitch i-cord, and then worked the back section using Fleegles short row technique. A very nice technique - I will revisit this next I need short rows, it is not invisible, no worse than any other method, but it is symmetrical.

See? Whisper has grown since this photo, the back section is now 3" long, and looking good. I'm not enamored by the rolling edges of the pattern as written, so I've continued with a little fiddle-faddle the i-cord of the cast off onto the edges of the back section. On the purl rows I'm slipping the first and last three stitches, and knitting them on the knit rows. In an effort to reduce the amount of roll that the increases every second row cause, I've cut the increases back, and am working them every 4th row, but perhaps I'll slow them down to every 6th or 8th row.

And the sock, look one sock done, toe grafted ends woven in, done, done, done. Second sock cast on, and one round of the rib worked ... its on its way. In hindsight I could have added a diamond repeat on the instep .. repeated part of the chart ... but I'm happy. This sock looks far more complex and tricky than it is .. honest, go on try it.

Take care
May this and all new years bring good things, heath, and enough, both time and love
May your yarns not be tangled, the knitting interesting when you need a challenge and smooth when you need peace. May your dpns stay as a complete set, and the Wip's not reproach you from the basket. May there be errata that is easy to find and solves the problem that sent you looking for errata. May your stash and skeins have enough yarn to knit the items you cast on, for there is nothing more frustrating than not having enough yarn to finish.

Take care
na Stella