Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I Got 99 Problems and My Socks Are One

I've got two different socks on the needles at the moment, and frustratingly, I've gotten a little stuck on both. The Concrete and Tulip sock that I'm working from the toe-up is going to probably end up as a knee-high if I want to use up every bit of yarn, so now I need to decide how to go about doing the calf shaping. Meanwhile the Hieroglyphic Socks, which I am working from the cuff-down, has some heel decisions. I think most knitters in this situation would start a new project. I am tempted, but I also want to wear these socks.

To figure out my socks problems, I've reached into my library to see how others have dealt with the issue. No need to reinvent the wheel. For the Concrete and Tulip socks, I'm looking at the Welsh Country Stockings in Nancy Bush's Folk Socks as an example on how to do calf shaping. (You can see them in the upper left corner of the book.) Those socks are worked top-down, so it isn't a complete match. But now I have an idea on what kind of spacing I'll need for each set of increases.

The Hieroglyphic Socks have a heel problem because I made it one. I didn't care for the recommended heel, but I did like the way stickfia on ravelry worked her Hieroglyphic Socks. Originally I thought I would turn the heel like she did, but I really want all the stripes to match. I realized that I had tackled this problem before, so I broke out Lit Knits to see what I had done. I think I am going to use the dutch heel that was used in Behind The Garden Wall.

What kinds of sock problems have you all encountered? And do you have any favorite books you reference to remedy said problems?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Knit Myself Into A Corner

I started a new vanilla sock the other day because my Hieroglyphic Socks were too complicated for car knitting. I got this skein of Caterpillar Green Yarns in the Concrete and Tulips color way a while back and I have been hoarding it ever since.
So pretty

I want to use every bit of it, so I decided to do toe up socks. These aren't my first toe up socks, but since my last pair, I've been converted to using a heel flap. "No problem," I thought to myself. "It's just like knitting my usual top down pair in reverse. I'll just replace the decreases with increases." That was going well until I got to the heel turn. Going top down, decreases help shape the turn. Toe up.... I had no idea.
What Now?

So I searched through as many tutorials as I could manage until I found one that matched close enough. I'm using Mash-Up Magic Toe-Up Socks Recipe (MUMTU Socks) by Zhenya Lavy, but making a few edits so that it accommodates what I've already knitted. Fingers crossed that this works and I don't have to visit the frog pond.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Baby Is Always The Triforce Of Power

My good friend Elaine is going to have a baby soon, so the call that many a knitter feel: I had to make her something. What started off as a simple baby hat idea quickly grew. She and her husband are big fans of The Legend of Zelda, so I knew that I needed to make the baby an Elven Hero hat. Then it seemed like Elaine would need one too. Of course if Elaine had one, so would Caleb. (I think new dads get a little left out in the baby hub hub, so I wanted to make sure he was included.) And all of a sudden there were three hats.

Connor had been talking about knitting a pair of socks as his fourth project, so I talked him into knitting a pair of baby socks for our friends. He worked really hard. He hardly needed any help at all. I was impressed.

This is Elaine and Caleb's first, so in keeping with the Legend of Zelda theme, we packaged everything to match the different parts of the Triforce. It seems appropriate since the three of them are essentially going to become a Triforce.

 This baby is going to be loved, and now it is also going to be cozy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Perfect Toes On My Jaffa Socks

I just finished my Jaffa Socks! I bought the yarn while I was in New Zealand from Stray Cat Socks.

I used the Jaffa color way. But man, oh man, I could just keep knitting with all her yarn. It wears well, the color sticks, and it isn't splitty. There are so many colors I am tempted by. (Mostly the Halloween colors that are up at the moment. Le sigh.)

Also, after getting some excellent feedback from you all as well as my knit night friends, I went ahead and kept the orange stripe on the tip of the toe. I was able to get the second sock to match by knitting an extra half a round. It really was too perfect to rip out.

So what am I knitting now? Well, I've finally gotten back to working on Equatorial Nights for my Mum. She is leaving on a trip and I was hoping to finish it in time for her to take.

Of course I thought I had until next week, but actually she is leaving this week. Connor called this the "When you have one week to finish a two week project" face.

I'm making good progress, but it is going to be a close one.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Just Around The River Bend

After Joe and Emily's wedding, Connor and I spent a few more days in Kentucky with family. On one of the evenings, we had a big ole potluck. There were even several rounds of volleyball played. I've never had enough relatives to play volleyball with, so it was extra fun for me.
Watch out Hammer! Connor can't see you there.

The donkeys had been nervous around me the whole time we had been on the farm, but on potluck day they let me feed them. If you'll note that in the back left of the image there is a cow lurking; a cow named Mouse.

Mouse got in on the action. Imagine if you were feeding Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars. That is what feeding a cow feels like. Its tongue is so hutt-like. I did my best to drop the carrot on top of her tongue, but I still got cow spit on me.

In the evening all the cousins went searching for fireflies so I could see one up close. I'd only ever seen them once when I was really, really young. It was the end of firefly season, but there were a few out. Logan caught one for me, but it refused to light up after we put it in a bottle. After releasing the firefly, Connor and I spent some time taking pictures of the cows.
Snowball was an excellent model

The next day a bunch of us went on an 11 mile (18 km) canoe trip. It should have taken four hours, but it took us closer to six.

I'm really glad I got to be part of this trip. The views were amazing and I enjoyed everyone's company.
Just around the river bend! 

Make no mistake, though. By the end of the trip, we were all pooped out. 

But as we drove off, the fireflies came out again to share their magic with us. I can't wait to go back. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Wedding In Kentucky

Connor and I were in Kentucky earlier this month for a wedding. I'm not a big fan of weddings (I find them overwhelming), but there is a short list of ones that I am committed to go to. Luckily that list got shorter now that Joe has gotten hitched. We last saw Joe earlier in the year when he came out and saw Sequoia, the Alabama Hills, and Death Valley with us. At the time he hadn't proposed just yet, but he told us a good story about he and his now wife, Emily. When we learned the wedding date, I felt that our wedding gift needed to be inspired by that story. Although I was a little nervous about going a slightly less traditional route for a wedding gift, the reaction they had when they opened it made it all worth while.

And the gift? Well, early in their relationship, Emily agreed to play Joe's all time favorite video game series: Mass Effect. In the first one, there is a vehicle called the Mako that you drive around for parts of the story. Using that vehicle can best be described as trying to drive a drunken rhino. It just isn't easy. Joe told us about how Emily would drive the Mako as if it was invincible; driving into lava (instant death), driving into oncoming fire (near instant death), without a second thought. He said it was like she was a member of the Cult of the V8 from Mad Max Fury Road. She might as well have been screaming "Witness Me" while facing down hundreds of space pirates. The thought was irresistible, so I drew this for them. 
This picture wouldn't have been completed without Connor's help. He kept encouraging me even after the third and fourth drafts of this picture didn't work out. 

Two days after giving the gift, the love birds were married. It was a beautiful wedding with neat touches. Each table had a book theme. I got to sit at the Lord of the Rings table with Connor's family. Joe sat us there on purpose since Connor and I had an accidental Lord of the Rings themed wedding. Connor delivered his best man speech, explaining how he and Joe were soul mates. He went on to let everyone know that they were so close that the two of them got to the point where they would finish each others..... sandwiches. Things like that.  It was a great speech. As the reception was winding down, Joe and Connor got a last moment to themselves. Then Joe was off with his lady love.
Soul mates to the end

Friday, September 9, 2016

Walk Like An Egyptian

In my last post I was deciding which pair of socks I would knit next. Woollenwilderness liked Roll The Bones while Kiwiyarns liked the Diamondback Socks.... so of course I started the Hieroglyphic Socks. I knew that I wouldn't get very far with these socks since Connor and I were out of town for the last week. I much prefer to absorb my surroundings in new places rather than knit.

The little that I did knit was while we were on the plane. I had cast on at home, but that was it. As I was stitching away on the plane I started to get the feeling that they were looking a little big. Usually with color work socks, I knit 72 stitches with size US 1 needles, which works great for me. If there is a plain cuff, I'll knit 64 stitches with size US 0 needles before increasing 8 stitches and switching needles. I've never knit corrugated ribbing before, so I didn't know what to expect. I figured I'd go with my default color work needle/stitch count combo. 
Sometimes socks look big with just three rounds knit, so I put a few more rounds in. Well, at six rounds in I decided to put the needles down. More rounds wasn't going to make it look smaller. When we got back home I did what any knitter who is too lazy to check their gauge would do: I compared the new sock to an old pair that fits. 

The picture doesn't lie. The Hieroglyphic Socks are an easy 9 stitches too wide. I guess I knit color work a little looser when there are purl stitches involved. I'm thinking I'll just cast on 64 stitches, but keep using the size US 1 needles. Hopefully there won't be too much ripping in my future.
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