Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tools of the Trade

I was thinking this morning about how many tools we have. Usually, they are small so we don't think much about them. Men have more power tools, expensive tools in large boxes, but we might have more tools. I realized that I use many different needles in my knitting projects. Here's what is in action right now.

Old needles
This cotton jacket is being knit on old aluminum tip circulars. (The close up photo is a little out of focus.) I now have one front piece finished and 4 1/2" of the second front. I forget how fast things knit up with large yarn and needles. This is a long term project, being worked from a sewing pattern. I'd like to wear it this Spring. We'll see.

Glass needles
Being 10" needles, I use them for small projects, usually knitting at home with them. They are Pyrex and have been dropped a couple of times, but they are warm to the hands and I don't want to tempt fate and break them. The project is a scarf from 2 balls of Noro Murano, obtained at a gift exchange.

Wooden Needles
I'm using part of a Knit Picks set of sock needles. They call these Harmony needles. They are made of different colors of wood bonded together and come in sets of 6. The sock needle set has 6 sizes of 6 needles, including all mm sizes from 2.0mm to 3.25 mm. The yarn is a sport weight sock yarn. the project is the last Christmas gift for 2009, gloves for youngest daughter with large hands. You may also see stitch markers marking thumb stitches. They are part of a set I made to mark repeats on a shawl.

Square needles
The sock project also has 7" aluminum dp needles for the cuff. The square needles are only 5". My favorite length is 6", but Kollage doesn't make square needles in that length. My Motley Jester sock legs are knit in strips and beaded at the joins. This is the second pair of leftovers socks I've knit recently and I like them. They might have become monster socks, warm but ugly. I might not wear them with Birks, since I ran out of grey on the toe, but there are lots of time when I don't wear sandals.

Crochet hooks
No pictures here, but the beads are being applied with one of two hooks. The larger hole beads fit a #10 hook, which picks up the yarn nicely. The smaller hole beads are applied with a #12 hook, which tends to split the yarn. No hurry on these socks, but I signed them up for the SKA January challenge on Ravelry, which means I should finish them by Feb. 28. That doesn't appear to be a problem.

I will do more tools posts in the future and probably do some with sewing tools. I must remember to take the camera to work for that.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The sun is shining, so I can take photos

Brown socks finished
Only one more Christmas gift to go. It's still January, the month we were supposed to see the couple. These Florida residents decided that there's less snow and cold in Ohio in the summer, so the gifts will be mailed when finished. When I talked to her, we had 12" of snow and temps in the teens. It sure takes a lot of yarn to cover a size 14 wide foot, but he loves the socks.

Sometimes he loves them to death, or at least to the repair shop. The grey sock is repaired. The new pair is reinforced, now that I know where he needs it.

The Motley Jesters have a heel and the foot is progressing. I may run out of the variegated yarn, but the idea was to use up yarn. There are 4 colors on the leg. I knit the second cuff so that I could see how much yarn was left. I can't use that yarn for the heel, but it may show up in the toes. Yes, the second cuff is inside out.

I've been working on a jacket. The yarn is dishcloth cotton in a 3 color seed stitch. It's based on a Vogue sewing pattern which I charted out on graph paper. Some of the yarn is about 20 years old and didn't work for sweater plan A. I'll be happy if I finish this in 2010. I keep having more important things to knit, so it goes slowly. It doesn't help that Ive made major mistakes on the jacket front. No I didn't see the mistakes right away. The picture shows the jacket after frogging for the first mistake. I knit by feel and didn't feel the color mishap of working 2 rows the same color, nor did I feel the section that became rib instead of seed stitch. I was up to the neckline today when I discovered the rib section, about 3" down. There will be a wide border and collar to finish the jacket. The stitch and yarn will be decided when the sleeves are done, probably the ecru cotton in lace, because I can get more of that color.

We've had a death in the family, so there may be knitting time available. Our son's mother-in-law passed Monday night. We knew her over 20 years.

More Socks
I'll be knitting more 2 color socks for Plymouth Yarn, so I decided that I needed a simple one color project. I got the yarn as a holiday gift at our guild party in November. We don't meet in December. I have 2 balls of Noro Matsuri, so I'm making a multidirectional diagonal scarf. The glass needles are great to work with. I got them at a TKGA convention.

I love sunny days! I'm waiting for a little bit more warmth to melt the ice left from all the snow earlier in the month. I don't walk the dog when there's ice on the sidewalks. I don't think that little beings with preschool brains should be in the street, so I don't use that option. We do have a yard and she knows what to do besides chasing squirrels and rabbits. I don't mind the cold. I have lots of woolies that I like to wear, but I'm getting too old to risk icy walks.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Did I say I was tired of knitting socks?

Well, that wasn't quite the truth. I knit a lot of socks to deadlines last year. I was tired of the pressure. This year there will not be so many sockly gifts. I'm still working on one of the last Christmas gifts, to be given when ready. Socks for my Yeti footed son in law. I'm running out of yarn, so will finish the foot with a solid yarn. I was afraid to make the leg narrower. It looks good on DH. Yarn is Saki from Prism.

A fun pair of socks
I was reminded of an old pattern I did for South West Trading Company a couple of years ago. Jester Socks have a fun cuff and then a lot of stockinette. Inspired by recent socks on the Ravelry Sock Knitters Anonymous group, I beaded the cuff. I'm using left over yarn. Wait until you see what I'm doing with the leg.

A wounded sock
This arrived from Florida the other day. Yeti SIL really likes hand knit socks. Apparently this is where most of his socks wear out. How to fix it? How to prevent it happening? The brown socks are reinforced starting just after the gusset. I'll patch this one and send it back with the brown socks.

It's winter in NE Ohio. We have about 12" of snow on the ground and the temp is below 20 F. Seems like a good day to stay indoors and knit.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

It's a new year

The stash buster/leftovers socks are finished. I called them Jackson Pollack socks, because they remind me of paint splashed all over the place. There are 8 different yarns in the socks. The only one I used up is the main color.

I can get back to work on my cotton jacket. The back is finished. One front piece is started. I need to work on it a little each day.

I had great plans for cooking up large batches of food and freezing left overs. I also had cleaning/organization plans. Instead I had a couple of days of flu from the H1N1 shot I got Monday morning and then I got a col/cough from DH. Neither of us felt like eating and I didn't have energy for all my big plans.

I did work about an hour a day doing alterations for the dry cleaner who is my customer. Everyone else can wait until Jan. 4. I also started a pair of socks for my SIL Josh. We were supposed to see the kids for Christmas in January. I was told that they'll be up in the summer. They settled in Florida to stay away from the snow. They'll get their gifts as soon as I finish them.

We have a couple of January birthdays. Gifts will be given when they are finished. Luckily for my knitting time, there are more requests for pajama pants, which only take about an hour of my time.

Just for something different, here's a picture of out fur girl. We don't think to take pictures of her, and when we do, they don't look good enough to share.