Some Stones Unturned

Knitting, Biking and Some Sober Second Thoughts

Archive for the tag “socks”

Stash Update

All right, well I haven’t done much knitting in a couple of months. Months! I made a small amount of progress on the ugly Skew socks and just last night I finally picked up my $5 in Paris sweater, pulled out the bottom and knit another inch onto it. I appreciate everyone’s comments, but it really was just too short. I never really understood those people who would write about finding an FO in the closet that had been there for months or more when all they had to do was cast off and weave in the ends. I still can’t say I understand it, but it turns out I am one of those people. I still have 16 ends to go and I figure it’s going to take me at least a few days to get through them. Weaving in also forces you to go back and look at all the spots where you might have made a mistake and there are little holes and stuff, which is unpleasant.

But, in spite of the fact that I haven’t been knitting, I did buy a few things. Not too much because, you know, space requirements, but two of my friends were scheduled to go to a yarn-tasting at The Purple Purl in March and one of them hurt her wrist, so I filled in. A yarn tasting, as it turns out, is where a few companies (five the night I was there) have donated yarn that they want knitters opinions on and a group of knitters shows up, knits and describe their experiences (and test their abilities to come up with single-word descriptive adjectives without a thesaurus). Then there are prize giveaways and then they open up the cash and sell some/all of the yarns in the store at a discount (I believe it was 15% off everything in the store the night I was there, but I don’t have my receipt to check). A deal like that is not to be passed up, so I got this Tanis Fiber Arts blue label fingering yarn

Tanis Cobalt

80% superwash merino, 20% nylon. Hand dyed. Colour: Cobalt. Already wound into a ball more successfully than my previous attempt to get something out of a skein.

And also this really soft Debbie Macomber Blossom Street: Read more…

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Skew S’more

So the knitting is done on $5 in Paris (although I still think I may add to the ribbing on the bottom), but I really underestimated the time it would take me to weave in all the ends (two per stripe; sleeve and body), especially given that I am using some of them to fudge holes left by my short row fail. I had hoped to have it done by Wednesday because it was beautiful here so I could do outdoor pictures, but when that didn’t happen, I figured I would take my time finishing it, run it through the wash once, and show it next week.

In the meantime, I’m afraid I must subject you, once again, to Skew.

Skew sock progress

Motivation for learning to dye

I finished one sock. Since my successful plane flight, I have decided to tentatively dip my toe into knitting in public more. I took this sock on the subway (so really a subset of the public who have been self-selected to deal with other people’s weirdnesses and quirks; a perfect place to start KIP) and got about 4 rounds done when I went to meet some friends for dim sum. I should have gotten more done (dim sum is in the ‘burbs), but I messed up on the very first row and had to tink back almost a whole round.

Then last night my usual ride to ultimate Frisbee fell through, so I caught a ride with someone to an earlier game and brought my knitting to keep me busy. Got that bit of a toe done. I briefly contemplated casting on something new to take, just to avoid subjecting more people than necessary to this yarn, but socks travel best and I had a limited supply of sock yarn and limited time before leaving to memorize a new pattern. So Skew it was; if you’re going to get over your embarrassment of KIP, might as well jump in with both feet. Maybe since I was just doing the toe, they didn’t get the full effect of the pastels screaming at them. Or maybe, crazy idea of crazy ideas, they were too busy playing ultimate to notice. Let’s hope.

Skew Fast, Skew Furious

If there’s anything I like almost as much as knitting, it is bad puns and guffawing at my own wit. And there is no better opportunity to combine these interests than in naming a new project on Ravelry. As I mentioned, I’m making another pair of Skew socks. The first pair I called simply “Skew”, missing an opportunity for pun magic.

Skew socks

Maybe I'm (ahem) biased, but these Skew socks could be named better.

But the second, knit in some out-there Christmas yarn that incorporated gold foil, became Skew 2: Christmas Boogaloo.

Christmas Skew socks

Why does one look slightly longer than the other in both these pictures? I swear they're even on my feet.

It wasn’t that long ago that I knit the second pair, or even the first pair, but I couldn’t resist starting again (for one thing, the ankles are just a touch loose on both and I’m determined to get it right this time by altering the gusset decrease).

Of course, I had to name this project something different and, sticking with the movie sequel theme, I went with “Skew Fast, Skew Furious”. Technically I guess I should have chosen a movie that was the third in its series, but

  1. Skew rhymes with two, so that makes for more punning potential.
  2. If I want to knit this pattern more than 3 or 4 times, a strict movie number-to-sock number rule would limit me mostly to Police Academy or Friday the 13th titles.

As it is, I’ve already figured on making

  • Ghostbusters Skew (so obvious; will be lime green and white)
  • The Skew Towers
  • The Empire Skews Back OR The Empire Strikes Diagonally (still deciding)
  • Skews (too subtle?)
  • 28 Skews Later
  • The Bourne Obliquity
  • [Insert generic horror movie here]: The Skewering
  • Slant of the Apes (work with me people.  Alternately “Cant of the Apes”)
  • Skew 2: Hyperskew (that’s for all you Canuck sci-fi fans.  Of course, the socks keep moving around in time and trying to stab you in the back, so that’s tricky)
  • I Still Know what you did last Skew-mer
  • Leprechaun: Back Skew tha Hood
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tilts

You get the idea.  Basically, I have a lot of socks left to knit.

Matching socks but not, like, matchy-matchy

For Christmas, I decided to knit a pair of socks for my Mom.  I’m not generally big on knitting for other people, partly because I worry I will have spent a lot of time making something another person doesn’t really like or find useful, but feels obligated to wear because they know I spent a lot of time on it and partly because I’m terrible at getting sizing right even when I knit for myself and I’m sitting right here to check it against.  But my Mom had admired a few pairs of socks I’d worn when I’d gone to visit, so I thought I would give it a shot.  I found a pretty pattern and cast on in early November.  They turned out to be ideal: simple pattern but interesting enough that you don’t get bored and just a really fast knit.  I was done by mid-November and I am not a fast knitter (that also includes me casting on in a Jacquard-patterned yarn, knitting a few rows, deciding that looked terrible, ripping it out and starting again with new yarn).

I still had so much time until Christmas and I happened to stumble across a DNA pattern that would be great for something for my sister.  Why not socks?

DNA socks

I think they were a bit small, but I'm still pretty pleased with my first cabling experience.

Well, at this point the only person I haven’t knit socks for in my immediate family is my Dad and it seems kind of rude to leave him out.  “Sure it’s mid-December now,” I thought, “but I’ll be off work the few days before Christmas anyway; it won’t be a big deal to finish one little pair of socks.”  As it turns out, socks for a man are less little than the socks I am used to knitting.  At 2 am Christmas morning, I finally had to admit that these were just not going to happen in time (in addition to everything else, I could not find my sewing needle, which I was sure I had packed, so even if I could finish the knitting, I would have to either leave the ends hanging out or go digging through my Mom’s sewing closet outside their room and risk scaring them/waking them up).  So I wrapped up what existed of the socks on the needle (I was knitting two socks at a time; my first time trying that) with an IOU for half a pair of socks and put that under the tree.  My Dad’s pretty laid back, so I figured he wouldn’t mind if his socks showed up December 26th or 27th.  Close enough.

And that’s how a slow knitter who doesn’t generally knit for other people ended up trying to finish three pairs of Christmas-gift socks in a month-and-a-half.

But the follow-up is that both my parents wore their socks to a large family get-together (If you are unaware, it is pretty common practice to take off your shoes in other people’s houses in Canada.  I once saw a question about this on the internet and it hadn’t occurred to me that it would be different elsewhere.  I guess when there is snow and slush and salt on the ground for about half the year you just get used to the idea of leaving your shoes at the door and walking around in sock feet in the house).  They told people very proudly that I had knit them: so sweet.  But as they stood there together, I realized something I hadn’t before: I had used the leftover yarn from my Mom’s socks when knitting my Dad’s.  I had thought I was being resourceful, but in fact what I had done was accidentally knit my parents matching socks, his-and-hers style.  My parents aren’t really his-and-hers sort of people.  Are any people in long-term relationships still into those cutesy-couple matching outfits?  I don’t know, but I nevertheless appreciate my parents dealing with it to make my knitting feel welcome.  My paranoia about giving people hand-knit gifts they don’t really like but feel obligated to wear continues.

Broadripple socks

Matchy, but not like...

Bolt Socks

...cutesy-couple matchy-matchy (?)

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