Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Saturday, September 04, 2010
Posted by Dana at 3:08 PM
Saturday, August 21, 2010
It's since become a pair of Skew socks, from Knitty, Winter 2009. This is an extremely clever, albeit extremely fiddly, pattern that yields a funny-looking but good-fitting (for my average-size feet and calves) sock.
The pattern is complex, no doubt. The designer, Lana Holden, is some kind of mathematical genius person and I'm guessing she dreamed it up in some sort of Beautiful Mind trance; possibly Paul Bettany appeared with a little girl and dictated the whole thing to her. For us average knitter types, though, it's a bit daunting. (When printed out, the pattern is 6 pages long.) (Yes, you read that right.)
Each bit of this pattern requires an unfortunate amount of attention to detail as well as Kitchener skillz for the heel. (Yes. The heel.) (I know.) There's very little mindlessness to this pattern because just when you get in the swing of things it changes from increasing every second row to every fourth, or something equally fidgety.
I started the first sock, the left one pictured here, back in the spring sometime, and worked on it sporadically. I hit some sort of snag that I can't remember (maybe Ed Harris, wearing a black fedora, was stalking me?) and set the project baggie aside until July. Then, during our idyllic week on beautiful Camano Island, I got it back out, fixed my mistake, figured out where I was in the pattern, and finished it up, starting the right foot immediately and finishing that two weeks later.
The socks fit well and I love the yarn, though it's a bit, I don't know, ROPY-feeling against my feet. It's a tightly spun yarn (Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in colorway Tahoe) and it may soften over time, I guess.
The verdict: interesting intellectual exercise that yielded good-fitting socks with a lovely diagonal stripe, but not exactly the mindless purse knitting I hope for in socks.
Posted by Dana at 8:25 PM
Friday, August 20, 2010
Picture it: Bellingham, winter 2003. A hugely pregnant me navigates the aisles of Toys R Us with my mom, in search of a gliding rocker for my nursery. We've already been to three furniture stores and the cost of their gliders has nearly made me go into premature labor. This one, simple, creamy, and (best of all) AFFORDABLE goes home with us. Over the next seven years I log hour upon hour in this chair: nursing, snuggling, reading, or simply perching, watching Mr D and then Miss E play. If only these things came with odometers; I've surely glided hundreds of miles, front-to-back, back-to-front.
Posted by Dana at 4:51 PM
Thursday, August 19, 2010
One of the patterns in New Pathways for sock knitters is for the Milkmaid Socks. They are a darling pair of white and blue socks with a lace inset. (Most milkmaids would probably end up with cow pie on their socks, but these must be for some sort of Disney-fied clean and tidy milkmaid, or for one with highly effective rubber boots.)
I received this Lane Cervinia yarn in a swap package and it sat around in my stash for a year or so until, one day, it called out to me that it needed to be socks.
(This was after I tried to force it into becoming an Ishbel shawlette. Epic Fail. It wanted to be socks.)
I dug out the New Pathways book and, remembering how much this yarn hated to be lace, started a standard toe and a plain stockinette foot on size 2 needles. By the time I finished the gusset and heel I decided to spice things up a bit and stole a modified Feather-and-Fan cuff from the Milkmaid socks. (It uses p2tog rather than k2tog for the decreases, which yields a very interesting texture.)
And, where I'd ended up with neck and shoulder pain when I knitted socks on size 0s or 1s, size 2s seemed to work just dandy.
Posted by Dana at 10:20 AM
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I've been a sporadic sock-knitter since I made my first pair in 2007, but for some reason (coughCatBordhicough) I have really been churning them out lately.
It's not just because she's from the Pacific Northwest, or that she's a former teacher, that I think she's a genius. Cat Bordhi's brain really must work differently from other knitters'. I've been working my way (non-systematically) through the various "sockitectures" in her book New Pathways for Sock Knitters, and with her clear directions and clever twists, each pair of socks turns out just lovely.
This particular pair were made for my sister-in-law. She loves these colors, so when I got the yarn on sale from Knitpicks (Felici, in the color Marsh, now discontinued) I knew they would be for her.
I used a Whirlpool toe, then did 2x1 rib across the top of the foot, then the Upstream architecture for the gusset, which creates a triangle shape on top of the instep. Then I did a reinforced heel and a stockinette leg, then ended with a 2x1 rib cuff and Jeni's Surprisingly Stretchy Bindoff.
I don't know what it is about Upstream but it fits my foot and leg incredibly well. And, apparently, my sister-in-law's, because she loves these. She's not a knitter, so the idea of seamless socks ("There's no bump over my toe!" she exclaimed) was revolutionary.
As for the yarn--Felici is incredibly soft and silky. I used size 2 needles so I'm a bit worried about wear--the fabric wasn't incredibly dense--but it really was a joy to knit with.
Next up: more socks!
Posted by Dana at 9:11 AM
Thursday, August 12, 2010
April 6? Can that be right? Surely Blogger has made a mistake.
Posted by Dana at 9:12 PM
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
I am not the world's most assertive person.
- wander around the store 10 times (minimum) and take mental inventory of their stock list
- imagine all the projects I could make with all the yarn I see
- inspect the store samples
- fondle the yarns I haven't seen before in person
- pet the old familiar ones
- become completely overwhelmed because of course I don't have my queue with me or even know what's on it and hadn't planned to buy yarn today and - ooh is that Madelinetosh? - and what on earth do I need? needles? a project bag? aaaaaaaaah!
- then, and only then, buy something practical as a souvenir. (Seriously. In Port Townsend last month, I ended up with a row counter.)
Posted by Dana at 10:01 AM
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Mary Janes from Ysolda's pattern...adapted slightly because I ran out of the stripey yarn, so I did blue soles with some leftover Knitpicks Essential.
Posted by Dana at 7:43 PM
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I haven't posted in so long, Safari forgot about "blogger" and I had to type in the whole address. Sheesh.
Posted by Dana at 8:20 PM
Saturday, February 06, 2010
What a couple of weeks it's been.
Posted by Dana at 10:26 AM
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Posted by Dana at 8:24 PM
Friday, January 22, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Posted by Dana at 11:22 AM
Monday, January 11, 2010
Lolly generously tagged the world with this one. I like the title so much more than the old "Random Things" list. It's really hard for me to think of random things because I'm pretty...sigh...boring.
- My favorite TV show of all time, one that can make me cry or laugh just thinking about certain episodes, and which I definitely think has influenced my speech patterns (imitate much?) is "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
- I have the Buffy theme song as my ring tone. Much as it chafed to spend $3 for about nine bits of information, I get a happy little feeling when my phone rings and I hear the Nerf Herders.
- When I saw "Nerf Herders" was the name of the band performing the Buffy theme song, I knew the name was a Star Wars allusion without being told. ("Who's scruffy-looking?")
- Whenever I talk to someone with an accent different from mine, I end up imitating it. I don't mean to--it just happens. Maybe that comes from growing up in the Northwest with no discernible regional accent besides Generic American. (I did just learn from my friend the linguistics professor that we say "beg" for "bag" and "aig" for "egg." So we're getting there.) When I lived in Texas I would come home with a strange hybrid Houston/Mississippi/Louisiana accent, courtesy of the hours I spent on the phone for my job talking to schools in those areas. When I worked in Canada, I picked up BC cadences. (They tend to end with a questioning sound? At the end of the sentences?)
- Up until fall of my senior year of high school, I wanted to become a medical doctor.
- I worked my way through college on scholarships and as a resident adviser. I actually made money every quarter rather than paying it.
- I am a mezzo-soprano now sadly out of practice. I sang in high school, at state contests, in state honors groups, in my college concert choir, and in various church choirs and worship teams. Now, I mostly sing in the shower.
- Both of my children were born without medical pain interventions. I did like the Fentanyl afterward, however.
- In the spring of 2000, I swear that I saw a two-humped camel in someone's front yard near Greenville, Mississippi. I was alone in a rental car at the time and no one can corroborate my story. But I stick by it.
- It doesn't help my believability that, a few months later, I swore I saw a camel on side of I-10 while M and I were driving to San Antonio. My propensity to see imaginary--or were they?--camels is now quite the joke in my family.
Posted by Dana at 8:18 PM
Thursday, January 07, 2010
Anne left a comment asking what felting is. Thanks, Anne, for your comment and compliments on the patterns! Since I couldn't reply via e-mail (why does Blogger do that?) I hope it's OK I answer your question with a post.
Posted by Dana at 8:03 PM
Sunday, January 03, 2010
Posted by Dana at 1:41 PM