Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sweaters for Feet

After a string of several complicated and involved projects, it was time to settle down for some good old fashioned comfort knitting. And for me, that's socks. I'd bought some charcoal gray Cascade Heritage sock yarn on a whim last weekend, and when I mentioned socks to Janelle, she was ready with a suggestion.

So on Thanksgiving afternoon I started a pair of Anne Hanson's Fishbone Gansey Socks. They're like a fisherman's sweater for one's feet! I like the sideways fishbone pattern across the cuff. It was interesting to make, although I'm already at the start of the heel. It seems to be business as usual from here on out.

And then I get to do it again. And on my rockin' new dpns. I have a lot to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Taste of Honey

The Honey Baby blanket is finished and waiting for its recipient's arrival in February!

I turned the final corner on the edging in the middle of the week, and made great progress while catching up on some Nova episodes in the evenings. When I got to my knitting group Saturday morning, I realized the end was near. By early afternoon I had finished the edging, grafted it together, given it a good long bath and had it on the blocking board. Well, mostly on it.

My blocking board is measured out at 30"x48", with a one inch margin around it. I pinned the blanket right at the edge, and then drew the wires 6" past the short edge, pinning them right into the carpet so that part of the blanket was suspended just above it. Not ideal, but it worked. The blanket in the called-for yarn and needles is supposed to be 44"x44", but with my skinnier yarn and needles, 38"x38" looked about right -- nice and flat without distorting the pattern.

This was my first big complicated lace project with multiple charts. I really enjoyed it. Lace really gets your brain going and highlights the things I like most about knitting -- pattern and symmetry. But it's also about making something built around negative space -- creating little holes and pockets of nothingness that come together to create a thing that is quite beautiful. It's a satisfaction that is slow to arrive, but it's worth the wait.

Now I need to figure out how to present this to the little one's mother. With permission, I'll post some pictures of it wrapped around a little bundle of joy when she arrives in February.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Prime Number Less Than 50

This morning, my knitting group celebrated my birthday. Out of the whole group, mine is the only birthday not in the spring or summer, so I’m the odd man out on many, many levels.
In addition to a thoughtful (ahem) card and a gift certificate to my favorite local bike repair shop, I was presented with a set of 2.5mm 6” Signature Needle Arts stiletto-point dpns, in all their lovely greenness. They are absolutely wonderful and I put one of them to work right away on the edging on the baby blanket – only a little more than one side left to go.

investedAs an added extra surprise, I was hoodwinked into bringing my Hillhead Slipover under the pretense of Staci borrowing it for instruction purposes. When I arrived, I wondered why Jene was wearing an over-the-top Christmas sweater, and then it hit me –- they were all wearing knitted vests. Those whacky gals! It’s one of the things I love about this group – we tease because we love. We share just about everything, and I find that meeting with this group on a weekend acts as a kind of emotional reset button. I really, really miss it when I can’t go. It’s about so much more than the knitting.

Thanks, ladies – I love each and every one of you!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Life on the Edge

I did finally figure out the edging technique on the Honey Baby Blanket. It's a 4-row pattern with the 2nd and 4th rows being knit together with a live stitch from the edge of the blanket. This is repeated 415 (or so) times around the entire outside edge. I say "or so," because I came up with 16 fewer stitches than the pattern said I would. I counted and checked umpteen times and can't figure for the life of me where I missed any stitches. So let's just pretend I didn't.

As you might be able to tell from the above, all this edging is tedious. It would have been more so if I hadn't broken down and bought a 2.5mm 32" lace needle. It.s one of those pointy gold Addi thingies. I bought it for the pointiness (lots of knitting stitches together with adjacent yarnovers -- ick) but love it for it's grabiness. The yarn still slides, but has just enough stick to keep stitches from jumping ship. It's the perfect tool for the job.

I've completed one whole side and about a third of another. The end is in sight. I can't wait to block this thing and see how the design shapes up -- and how big it's going to be.