This week, Knitty launched its 15th anniversary issue, and I am delighted to be one of the contributors. Since this is a special occasion, Amy did provide guidance to design something inspired by the one of the patterns featured in the past 15 years. Of course, I knew I wanted to do something based on Monkey because what sock designer out there can’t say they haven’t been influenced by Cookie.

I played with several ideas, most of which will never see the light of day. Inspiration finally struck in the middle of the night to do something colorwork. At this point in the process, I had been staring at the Monkey charts so much that I could see them in my sleep. I focused on the triangles formed from the purl stitches, and that was the starting point for Lesula.

As much as I love colorwork socks, the tendency for a jog to occur in the pattern really bothers me. This is a consequence of the fact that knitting in the round is really knitting in a spiral. I admire people who can live with the job, sadly I’m not one of them. There are ways to deal with this. When I worked on Cordon, I incorporated the jog into the pattern. For these socks, I basically broke the jog by incorporating a colorwork seam into the back of the legs.

Technically, the jog is still there. It’s just not apparent because of the seam. That seam pattern also gets reused on the sole, which appeals to my desire to keep things tied together.

The architecture of the sock is the typical top down, heel flap & gusset construction. The only potentially tricky thing is the sock starts in the middle of the back of the leg. If you are working these socks on two circular needles or are working two-at-a-time, you’ll need to rearrange some stitches when you get to the heel flap. Also, since I’m sure someone will eventually ask, the longest float is 5 stitches, so hopefully no one’s toe will get caught.

On a completely different note, I would like to thank everyone for the well wishes earlier this month. The area where I live was extremely fortunate. The hurricane really only caused damage to some trees. I was never without power, and only lost internet for one day (ironically, this was 3 days after the storm). The area has mostly returned to normal. Grocery stores are fully stocked, and gasoline no longer requires sitting in long lines. There is just some remaining debris here and there.

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The kitties and I made it through the night safe and sound. I still have power!!!

I’m a bit tired, so I’ll post more once I’ve had a chance to catch up on sleep.

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Quick Update

I know, I’ve been neglecting the blog lately. Most of my knitting these days is secret knitting, which makes blogging about knitting a bit of a challenge.

I did want to write a quick post where I stand in terms of Hurricane Irma. If you’ve been reading this for a while, you’ll know I moved to the Tampa Bay area of Florida just over 6 months ago. In the unlikely event that anyone reading this hasn’t been watching the news, Florida currently sits in the path of Hurricane Irma, one of the largest hurricanes in recorded history. This is the same storm that devastated Barbuda and the Virgin Islands.

My current plan is to shelter in place with the kitties. My house has been shuttered since Wednesday. Given the storm’s current track, it should weaken to Category 2 by the time it hits Central Florida. The risk of storm surge where I live is low, and storm surge is really the biggest threat to me where hurricanes are concerned. I’m stocked up with peanut butter, water, cat food, wine, and my stash. I also have a contingency plan in the event that I need to leave my house in case of extended utility disruption. I would describe my current state of mind as concerned but not anxious.

I do expect to lose power at some point this weekend, so the blog will most likely return to its quiet neglected state for a bit. When the storm clears, and power and internet are restored, I promise to post an update, since I know some of you are concerned.

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Doing Battle

Over the past two months, I have been engaged in what I now refer to as an epic battle. It started with some lovely Miss Babs Yarn that I picked up earlier this year. It is what I hope to be a sweater quantity of heavy fingering weight yarn, perfect for the lightweight cardigan that a Floridian needs to have on hand (seriously, you would not believe the intensity in which they blast the A/C in restaurants). I made some cable swatches which I am still rather pleased with.

I may have shared these on an earlier post, but my memory is questionable, and I’m feeling too lazy to check.

I crunched some numbers, and I cast on. Technically, I cast on three times. In the first attempt, I bungled the cast on edge, and thought I could live with it until I had completed 2 1/2 inches of ribbing. Apparently, I don’t know me because it finally bothered me enough to rip it out and cast on again. I finished the ribbing the second time, and decided to double-check my number crunching. This was when I realized I made a huge error. The ribbing is denser than the cables, and I based my stitch count on the ribbing (that is a rookie move on my part). Rather than attempt to hide decreasing away over 30 stitches in one row, I ripped it out and started again.

I finished the ribbing. Yes, I know the color looks different, but it’s not. My what a difference the lighting, and the background can make. The grey is the accurate color.

I started the cables.

The stitch counts were correct, and everything seemed to be working swimmingly, but something was nagging at me. I crunched numbers again, and again, and again, and it finally dawned on me what the error was. When the decreases start happening for the neck, too much of the wrong cable would be consumed by the decreases leaving me with something I wouldn’t be happy with.

Yes, I ripped the whole skein out. I know that looks like two skeins, but there was a knot in the skein, so I broke the yarn & rejoined at one of the ends.

It may seem that this cardigan has defeated me, but the cardigan has clearly not met me before.

That’s a fresh skein. The original has been washed to get all the kinks out & will be rejoined at an appropriate time.

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It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. I’ve had a few people send questions with contact form & a some others have sent messages on ravelry. There are a few common threads in these notes, so I thought I’d share a little Q & A.

Why aren’t you blogging as much as you used to?

I’ve been busy doing what a friend of mine calls nesting. I’ve moved, but I haven’t quite settled. There’s been new furniture to purchase, and things like painting and ceiling fans don’t happen by themselves. This has occupied way more time than I’d like it to.

When will you make more videos?

I don’t really know. Even if I weren’t nesting, making a 5 minute video is very time-consuming. I really enjoyed making them and the interaction that they generated, but devoting 8 hours to a 5 minute clip isn’t something I have the time to do right now.

Are you still knitting now that you’re in Florida?

Yes, I am. I’m just not blogging about it much. Here are some swatches that will hopefully become a cardigan one day.

When will you release new designs?

Nomia was just released last month. There are some other things in the works, but I’m not committing to a time-table.

Where can I get a copy of the pattern for Eggses?

Right now, you can’t. Eggses was a mystery sock design that I did for the Sock Knitters Anonymous group last year. Now that the mystery period is over, I’ve disabled the pattern because I want to consolidate the clues and add some decent pictures. In order to take decent pictures, I need to find the socks. They are buried in a box located in what is currently referred to as the box room.

How is your cat/how are your cats?

Everyone is fine, I think. Stripes had a broken canine last month which resulted in the need for some dental surgery to remove the root. He was in pain for a few days, but he’s back to being his lovable/obnoxious self. He managed to break the canine by running full speed into the side of my leg (one could make the argument that this is my fault for having been in his way).

Sonya appears to be fine as of this writing. She had a week of tummy troubles which were excessive (let’s just say that it’s a good thing that I plan on replacing the carpet with tile). Things seem to have settled down. Her blood work is normal, and the vet is recommending a diet change.

Have you retired?

No, I have not retired. I’m still working the same day job that I had before I moved. This is the primary reason why nesting is taking so long. I know some people who took 6 weeks off when they moved to get settled. I, unfortunately, do not have such a generous amount of leave.

Will you retire soon now that you’re in Florida?

Probably not. Truth be told, I was hoping that once the money from my last house settled, I might find myself in a position to be free of the day job. While I am in a fortunate financial position, my ability to retire is currently in the hands of the United States Senate. At the risk of spurring an uncivil political debate, if insurance companies are granted the ability to discriminate against people with preexisting conditions, then I won’t be able to retire until I’m eligible for medicare (assuming medicare is still available 16 years from now).

Are you going to open a yarn store?

This question was only asked once by a friend of mine in VA, but I thought I’d include it just because. While it sounds like a perfectly charming idea, there is a lot I don’t know about running a brick and mortar business. Given my previous remarks about health insurance, I’m not sure I’d be able to generate enough profit initially to be willing to take the risk.

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