Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mud season with a touch of green.

Progress continued on the yellow socks. One was finished. I have also started another mystery sock. Do i need more socks??? NO! Do I want more socks??? Yes! Why, because they're pretty, and fun to knit. The yarn for this one is really interesting. I bought it on the guild yarn hop last fall. I was at YarnMarket and it called to me. It's Ty-Dy Sock from Knit One Crochet Too.

The weekend cultural adventure did not see the sock. It was time to work on the shawl I keep in my purse. I probably showed this before, but not recently. The yarn is Zino from Plymouth Yarns. They asked me to make a shawl from it, but I'm getting no response to e-mails, so think they don't like what I've done. Therefore, I have little movitation to work on it.

What was the cultural adventure? Last time was ballet. This time it was opera. This is the third time that the Cleveland Orchestra has presented fully staged opera at Severance Hall. Our director imports the production from the Zurich Opera, which must have a similar stage, not build for theater with wings and fly loft, etc. Scenery is minimal, but effective. So far, all the operas have been by Mozart. This time it was Don Giovanni. We've seen another production of this in the past. This was very different. It also helps that we have seats in the fourth row, so we are right on top of the stage. I hope to see more operas live with the Cleveland Orchestra, but no plans have been announced.

Spring has come to NE Ohio. Warm weather, warm enough to wear my Birkenstocks. Cold weather, like today with a hint of snow. Lots of rain, causing mud. Green things poking out of the ground. So far, I've seen crocuses and snow drops on our dog walks. Nothing blooms in my yard yet, except mud, especially where the snow plow tore up the lawn.

I have been alternating the yellow socks with a one ball scarf. It's much longer now. I'll probably have to spread it out to see the pattern. The yarn is CPY Sausilito, which has color variation. The yellow socks are finished and the sun came out. Here's a view of the socks, some day lilies, and mud covered by dark mulch.

I now have all the clues for the mystery sock, so I'm working on that.

I also made myself a pair of slacks. I found some nice plaid fabric at a very good price. I used it as a muslin for a new pattern. Can't find the one I used last time, so I traced from the last pair of slacks. I like the new pattern better, but it needs a little more tweaking. I'm wearing the plaid slacks now. Nothing like wearing something to know if the fit is right. All it need now is a little taking in at the back waist. Next up is a knit top and then another version of the slacks.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Socks and More Socks

The fireworks socks are finished. They go to knitting guild tonight for show and share and then I can wear them. Even though I went forward on the second sock, not back and forth, it seemed to take a long time.

The socks went to the ballet Wednesday night. I was at the heel flap, and worked before the show and at the two intermissions. I saw Don Quixote with music by Ludwig Minkus. Although the ticket was more expensive than I expected, I'd do it again. All seats were like being in the front row. Before the ballet started, we had 1/2 hour or more of scenes of Moscow. This was the Bolshoi Ballet, of course. During intermissions, we saw lobby shots and back stage shots. There was commentary before each segment of the dancing started, giving the story (not much of one), history of the ballet company, the composer, evolution of this production,and more. This may be normal for this type of show, but I'd never been to one before.

I found it interesting that the Bolshoi has apparently one of the few schools that teach character dancing. Don Quixote is an example. He really didn't dance, even Sancho Panza only danced a little. It was more acting in pantomime.

I've started a scarf from the Sausalito yarn from CPY. It's a drop stitch pattern and quite fun. The yarn is dark and the scarf is short, so no photos yet.

Then there is the next sock. I've adapted a Cookie A pattern from her first book. Because I have a limited amount of yarn, I'm doing it toe up. It may have a short leg. There was some back and forth knitting because the first toe was too wide. More back and forth while I decided what to do with the increases before the heel.

I have the yarn divided in half by weight and will proceed. I'm thinking of reversing the pattern for the second sock. I just need to start the pattern in the middle of the chart to make the waves mirror the first foot.

I had help when taking the picture of the finished sock. I don't often show her, because I don't take her picture. Here Bronte is, keeping watch on her world.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Odd Fellows

The mitts are finished! The yarn colors do repeat, but it takes most of the ball before they do. The yarn is CPY Mini Mochi. I designed these, but need to tweak the pattern before publication. They have been wear tested on this morning's dog walk.

I worked on them at our library's knitting night last night and finished before bed. I was going to stay up if I had to, I was that close.

Tonight, I'm doing something different. Our local movie theater has a showing of the ballet Don Quixote. DH will be out with friends, so I'm going after work. Most of the special showings of things like opera occur when I'm working, but not this time.

Time to knit socks! I've had a break, now back to work.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sock Progress

One Fireworks Sock is finished. The embroidery took a long time, but they fit and look nice. My model foot is a little smaller than my real foot, and I'm keeping these! After all the trouble I went through, there's no way I'm gifting this pair. The next sock is started. No progress today, I got distracted!

Small project mode
I've been doing a lot of little projects this year, trying to use up single balls of yarn. Recently Crystal Palace Yarns sent me a ball of Mini Mochi as a prize for knitting the blue scarf with their yarn. The color is what they call a "lab dip", but it will go with my pink coat. I'm designing fingerless mitts. The mittens I finished recently are wonderful, but too warm for some days.

Later in the day
I have finished one mitt. I'm a little disappointed in the patterns I picked. This is going to be an odd pair of mitts anyway. The colors in the ball do not repeat, so the mitts will not match. I love the feel of the yarn, but it is splitty on #2 needles. A blunt point needle would work better, but that life with a single ply yarn. I did have less trouble with splitting when knitting the blue scarf on larger needles.

I wore my Suzanne Hanson Bohus wrist warmers to work today. My sleeves were a little short, so I covered them. For some reason, I felt like a poodle with those little fluff balls on their wrists and ankles. My wrists were nice and warm, however.

On the remodeling front, DD and son came over today to remove knotty pine paneling from our basement bathroom. It was water damaged and needed to come down so the wall can be repaired. I go to work, and the house gets torn apart before I come home. At least the debris is on the curb waiting for the trash men in the morning.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I can see clearly now

I keep thinking, how did I get into that mess with this sock? The pattern is written well, being very specific on the parts I stumbled on. It says to inc. every 3rd rnd. It says to increase 14 times. It says that the wedge created should have 29 sts. Somehow, I didn't process this information.

Part of the problem was that I went to work on Monday with the sock, but not the pattern. I worked two repeats of the pattern and stopped. That was good! I think that when I stopped I had 29 sts on the sole of foot needle. At that point I misread the pattern and started the heel. The sock was too short!

Of course it was too short! I had 6 more sets of increases to do. A day and a half of Sturm and Drang and I'm back to following the instructions as written, and feeling stupid. I have a daughter who writes a quilting blog in story form with an alias. I wonder if I should have done that here, give myself an alias for when I do dumb things. Instead of Aunt Gertie I could become ????

The sole is now finished. It is the correct size. Wonderful things happen when you follow the instructions.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What was I thinking?

or...If all else fails read/reread the instructions! It's a long story about a fairly easy pair of socks that had a disconnect between written instructions and knitter. Let me tell you about a couple of other things first.

My son is Ph inishe D. finally. Dissertation, defense and everything. It took him 8 years part time. He now has earned a PhD in Statistics. He's now working at Cleveland Clinic. WE don't know what he will do next. Take a break, breathe a sigh of relief, look around, spend time with his kids. He'll figure it out. He will be looking for a better job, but not just yet.

Some successful knitting is the CPY Panda Silk shawlette. The pattern called for 2 balls of this yarn. Perhaps a solid color has more yardage. I'm short one row of zigzags and a double layer hem. I finished mine with 4 rows of garter stitch. I actually like that finish better. I used an old china rose pin to fasten it. I like things to stay put while I work.

I'm sewing myself a new blouse, hiding in the background of the back view shawl. Every so often, I get to sew for me. I really don't need clothes, as I don't tire quickly of the ones I have, but new is nice. I have olive slacks and brown ones. the blouse still needs buttonholes and buttons, which is why it's still in my shop.

The patten is the cover feature of the last Piecework Magazine. It's an Anna Zilboorg design, and not really hard. How could I go wrong? Let me count the ways.

The cast on was fine. I used a crochet cast on instead of the long tail one she specified, because it's provisional. I started with one row of knit and then worked the short rows. This toe starts with 29 sts, short rows to 9 sts, then works back up to 27 live sts. I haven't worked a toe like this before, but I was familiar with it. All was good. Rearrange sts as specified on 4 needles and work until 5 1/2 inches less than desired length. That worked out to 2 repeats of the fan pattern, as shown in the picture. Still good, but here's where it starts to go wrong.
  1. Arch increases begin on the sole; k6, yo front to back, k1, yo back to front, k6. Good. Twist the yos on the next rnd to avoid holes, good. (this is a really flat increase with no bumps on the sole of the foot when worked like this) Work 2 rnds. I read this as 3 rows total. Got to the heel much too soon.
  2. Retreat! Work another repeat of the fan. Realize that the increases are a 4 row pattern.
  3. Retreat! Work increases correctly starting after 3rd fan pattern. realize that k6 + 13 increased sts + k6 does not = the 29 sts I'm looking for.
  4. Retreat back to 2nd fan pattern ( the measurement called for in the pattern). Work increases as the 4 row pattern called for. Triple check math and thought process. I will need 5 fans before the heel. There are 3 increases/fan pattern. I need 8 pairs of increases. (6 + 17 + 6 = 29 with a center stitch) The last increase is in the last fan pattern.
Wish me luck! I'm in the middle of the 4th fan and have increase to 13 sts.

OH NO!!!
I just read further and I was correct to begin with. Increase every 3 rows until you have 6 + 29 + 6. Head desk!!!