Keeping it Weird

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The post title should give an indication of where I spent my week. If that isn’t enough of a clue, here’s a picture.

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Anyone care to hazard a guess?

I grossly overestimated the amount of knitting that I would get done while away. My entire week was spent with days trapped in a conference room and evenings entertaining clients. Fortunately, I did finish one sock before I left.

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I can see that I’m going to have to play around with camera settings and lighting to really get a good image of the pattern. The color of the yarn wants to hide the stitch work in the center. I’m sure I’ll figure something out. I can also see that I need to dust the top of my little step stool.

Now that I’m back, there hasn’t been much time for knitting either. This one has been demanding attention.

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I suppose it’s nice to know that the kitties missed me.

Posted in cat, Knitting, sock Tagged with: ,

Best Laid Plans

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I had every intention of writing a post to show the progress on that lacy sock business, except all of the photos are horrible, and now my camera battery is dead. Some of the pictures are over exposed. Some are underexposed. My experiments with playing with aperture settings yielded several pictures where a very tiny bit of the sock is in sharp focus, and the rest of it is a blurry mess. While that would be a great way to hide mistakes, I don’t think there are any mistakes to be hidden, so I’ve decided to spare the world my photographic disaster.

I’d take more pictures once the battery has some juice, but I need to pack for a business trip. I promise to show off the sock next week, really I do. I’m getting the hang of this lace business, which probably means that I’m about to get overconfident and make a complete mess. I do have a tendency to forget the last yarn over, but I’m getting better at catching that before I have to tink back several rounds.

The sock in progress is accompanying me on this trip. I’m not actually sure I’ll have much time to knit, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

Posted in Knitting, sock Tagged with: ,

In Memoriam

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Yesterday, I learned that Lisa Grossman (aka, the TsockTsarina) had died this week.

I didn’t know her personally. In fact, I had only met her once at Maryland Sheep and Wool a few years ago. It was a beautiful Sunday morning, and she was tired, but cheerful. I think it was the first year she had a booth at the festival, and she had discovered just how chaotic Saturday can be. She was cheerful, and pleasant, and I was happy to meet her.

I first learned of her on Yarn Harlot’s blog. I was a new knitter, and had discovered the blog, as many of us do. Stephanie was making Vintage, and was blogging about the missteps she had encountered along the way. I remember thinking that those socks looked like one of the most beautiful and intimidating things I had ever laid eyes upon.

I started following Lisa’s blog then not only because of her creativity, but also because I thought she was witty. Lisa didn’t post often, but when she did, there was usually something in the post that made me giggle. At least, that was the case until this past April, when she announced that she was dying.

I will miss Lisa’s creativity. She inspired me. She is one of the people who made me look at socks as more than k2 p2 rib. I don’t think I’d be as adventurous with my knitting without her. She showed the world that this accessory for your foot can be a canvas for something amazing.

Somewhere in my stash I have an Imbas kit and a Vintage kit. I’m tempted to put all of my other knitting to the side and cast one of these on, but I have my own brand of craziness going on right now and a few commitments of my own that I need to follow through on. I’ll save the kits for calmer days, and cherish every stitch when the time comes.

Farewell Lisa, the world will miss your creative fierceness.

 

Posted in Knitting

An Experiment

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I’ve decided to let the blue sock have some time to itself. I’m still on the fence about making a mate for it, which means I’ve cast on something else. Sometime in the last few weeks or months, someone challenged me to do some lace knitting. I’ve always avoided lace. Mainly because it’s not something that I would wear. For some reason though, I felt compelled to try.

I’ve learned a few things from swatching. First, lace is not the same thing as cables. One would think that is obvious. What I mean by this is that the stitches really do behave differently. Cables make sense to me. I can look at a cable chart and visualize the end result. I can also predict the flow of the columns. I can’t say the same for lace. Lace charts look like yarn overs and decreases to me. I can sometimes see the flow of the piece, but visualizing the result isn’t instinctive.

I’ve also learned that lace is very unforgiving. One missed yarn over or decrease, and suddenly the train has gone off the tracks. Unless there is a lifeline, the only option is to tink back and correct the error.

Lastly, I’ve learned that lace really looks like a mess until it’s stretched open. That poses even more challenges when trying to visualize the thing.

All that being said, I’ve thrown caution to the wind and started a lace sock. I’m using a skein of Miss Babs Hot Shot that I picked up at Maryland Sheep and Wool. I feel like I’m living dangerously because I’m not using a life line. I have had to tink back once, but thus far, I’ve gotten through 3 repeats of the pattern. As you can see, it looks like a rumpled mess. If nothing more, this has been a good learning exercise. I’ve finally reached the point where I can read the stitches and predict what should happen on each round. In other words, I don’t need to refer to the chart quite as often, so I should be able to pick up the pace. I will say that I probably should have used a lighter yarn. The stitches are hard to read in the evening.

On a completely different note, something wonderful arrived in the mail this week.

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Little Gidding Farms generously provide some yarn support. This is a lovely blend of alpaca, wool, and nylon. I have no doubt this will knit up to some warm socks. I’ve already started getting a few ideas about what I might do with this. It will need to wait until I’ve finished with my experiment.

Posted in Knitting, sock, yarn Tagged with:

On the Fence

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I finished this sock about one week ago (aside from weaving in the ends). Now that it’s on a disembodied foot, I’m a little bit on the fence about it.

I still like the cable, but I’m not sure this application is a good one. If you look closely, you’ll see where the gauge changes on some of the rounds. There is one round where the gauge is extremely tight, and another where it is extremely loose. This causes the fabric to buckle. It’s also doing strange things in the gusset area. You can’t see it in this photo, so you’ll have to take my word for it.

I’m going to let this sit and think for a bit. Maybe, I’ll find some use for the cable. Maybe, I’ll just move on. The yarn choice may also be a factor here. The gauge is much looser than I normally use when making socks, so it could be throwing everything off in my head.

I’m open for other opinions.

In the mean time, tomorrow is June 1, which means the mystery sock gets launched. This is my first mystery sock experience. I hope people like it. This is the thread where the MOCK will play itself out, so feel free to join in.

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