Wednesday 30 June 2010

I am knitting socks, have I mentioned that lately?
Am I totally out of control here? I have one lace, one cable, one textured and one stockinette sock on the go. One to try the lace in a heavier weight wool, one to test the cable with some variations, one to see if the texture can hold out against the variegated wool and one plain sock because the tweed is so lovely and it's perfect for 'in the car' knitting. I'm not sure that any of these good reasons excuses having so many different socks on the go at once. But I've found myself in this position so it is only good sense to carry on, right? I'm obviously overflowing with good sense as you can tell. We'll see how I feel after the long weekend. I should have at least 2 of these socks done, 4 would much too much to hope for.

Have a terrific long weekend. Ours starts tomorrow, yay! Happy Canada Day everyone.

Saturday 26 June 2010

Elizabeth left me a comment regarding socks: I'm wondering what your favourite weight is both to work with and wear.

Working and wearing are two different things for me and maybe for others too. I like to WEAR sock weight socks and have a dozen pairs of socks made for myself from various sock wools. These are as fine as I can get them using 2.25mm needles which is usually a gauge of 28-30 sts = 10cm.
And although I'm sure I would like very finely knit socks I have never made myself any. I'm a loose knitter and can't face going down to a 2.0mm needle so sock wool which knits to 32-34 sts = 10cm remains totally out of my comfort zone. I own a set of 2.0mm needles which I take out to look at every once in a while, shake my head and put them back. They're just too fine for me.

On the other hand I love KNITTING DK weight socks. Who can resist socks with 48 stitches on them. They are done in a couple of evenings. I have several pairs which work perfectly in my winter boots and as house socks on a cool, drafty winter evening at home. I even have some that are quite fancy.
I wear them to parties. The reality where I live is that from December to March I hardly ever wear a pair of shoes. I loosen up my Birks so I can take them to someone else's house to wear with socks if I must wear shoes but I prefer to put on my DK house socks to show them off. The rest of the time I'm wearing socks with my slippers - did I mention that most of the time I work at home? - and I keep a pair of slippers at the shop for when I'm there. Casual sock wearing rules here.

And believe it or not, I find the summer is the perfect time to knit socks. They're a small project which you can tuck away in your purse and you're not in any hurry for them at present. July is going to be sock knitting month for me. How about you?

Monday 21 June 2010

One sock finished. I really liked this pattern. It's really a fancy type of rib and I'm realizing that some kind of knit/purl combination makes the lace somewhat rib-like and makes the leg fit better.
This one is a Chevron pattern with some lovely lace bits running in vertical lines. I think it will look really terrific in sock weight wool in a lighter colour.
I finished this sock today at the licencing office, getting my car ownership sticker. This was an hour wait which I spent happily knitting. I can't believe the number of people that come in, knowing it's going to be a wait - hello you did this last year and the year before that, right? - and still bring nothing with them to keep themselves occupied. I was the only knitter, I checked. I complain to my kids about the overuse of their blackberrys and phones, etc but at least those young people with them were also busy and not finding the wait intolerable. I continue to be bewildered by this.

Saturday 19 June 2010

The learning never stops. Isn't knitting wonderful that way? I am testknitting lace socks and found a lace pattern which does not work. Amazing and thought provoking. Why does this lace pattern expand at such a rate that the size of the leg is more than an inch wider once the lace pattern begins?

I discovered that the further away the decreases are from the increases the more the stitch gauge is distorted from good old stockinette stitch gauge. Easy lace has an increase (usually a YO) right next to a decrease. As lace gets more complex, the increases and decreases can be several stitches apart. In this case they are several rows apart. Every 6 stitch repeat of the pattern is increased on one row to 8 sts and then 2 rows later decreased back to the original number of stitches. The pattern is actually an 8 stitch repeat half of the time and seems to measure closer to an 8 stitch repeat. A sock which is based on a lace pattern like this may not come out the size you wanted. Interesting isn't it? Lesson learned. 

Thursday 17 June 2010

It's been a busy week. We were down at the TNNA show (the national needlework assoc. show) where you cannot take pictures . . . but I took one of our own booth anyway.
And I scored a little wool too. Lorna's Laces in a DK weight, yummy.
And some Zealander wool with possum in it. It's so very soft.
And some Baby Twist Alpaca in a nice BIG skein of 250g. One whole shawl is sitting there just waiting to happen.
 And last but by no means least some more sock wool from Brown Sheep.
I thought these were manly colours but on reflection, maybe not the red/black but I love it. Hope your week was as fruitful.

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Hang on to that sock leaflet Elizabeth. Those old 'all gauge' leaflets are treasures.
Right now that is what we are trying to do too, writing up sock patterns so that they can be knit in any gauge. It's starting to get a little tougher now that I am onto the patterned socks. Brenda's sock patterns are terrific. My job is to work on any problems with the multi-gauging. Some designers can do all this in their heads but I find I can't really get my head around the various problems I might encounter until I have the knitting in my hands. So I am knitting up socks and trying to sort out all eventualities as far as the sock numbers go. It's fun.
This one is fairly simple to gauge up and down since it's a standard 2x2 rib.
Ya gotta love the old standards. I love these socks and they feel great on.
And then the fancy rib pattern worked out really well too. We're on a roll.
This one is a little trickier. Won't it look lovely worked down the top of the foot?
I'm working all of the lace socks in worsted or DK weight wool. It's really fast and they will be lovely and cushy to wear next winter. I know, I know, who can think of winter when we just got started on summer but we have to work now to get the socks done for our deadline in August. Knitting socks in July will be interesting, eh? Did I mention there is no air conditioning here, it's going to get sticky. And then some poor models are going to have to put their feet in them in August. Ha, ha. Might be a super quick photo shoot!

Saturday 5 June 2010

Fran emailed about figuring out how to make a longer V-neck with short rows and this started some samples. I'd like to find some simple way to work it but nothing is quite working out as simply as I would like. This definitely is not the answer.
And these 3 aren't either but they give me information which is useful just because they didn't turn out as expected. The top right is the closest one where I worked the short rows with a decrease at the end and increased on the Fronts every 4th row. The answer is somewhere in that one.
And the socks keep getting knit. Just a simple ribbed sock but writing it for all gauges of yarn is a bit of a challenge. I am breaking the process of knitting the sock into very small steps to make sure every possiblility is covered. It's interesting work. And there will be many socks at the end, not a bad result.