Tag Archives: 2012 sock project

Where We Are at at the End of the Year

(Well, it’s not the end of the end of the year anymore, I know. It’s the beginning of the year. I started this post yesterday, then I had some errands to run, then I set the oven on fire and burnt dinner – two separate incidents, by the way – and then it was late and I was tired and Dan says he woke me up at midnight and I wished him a happy new year but I seriously have no recollection of it, so. Here we are on January 1.)

I got my yearly wrap-up e-mail from the old blog (none for the new site, so I’m guessing it’s not something Word Press does for self-hosted blogs? ah, well) and thought I’d share some highlights with you here rather than there.

I got 2700 views at the old blog in 2012, plus another 207 here. 54 posts there and 8 here, which means I’ve kept up my 5 posts/month average for another year. I blogged about 14 finished projects , but my Ravelry projects page shows 14 completed this year including 2 I haven’t blogged about, so something’s off there but I don’t know what. (Also, that’s a terrible average and I need to finish more things in 2013.)

My busiest day was the day I launched the internet yard sale. Have you checked out the internet yard sale? It’s where I keep a running list of things I need to find a new home for. In fact, that reminds me I’ve got a few things to add in the near future, as well. Must get on that.

My most-viewed post of the year was the one I wrote about my Essure procedure. Did you know I want so fervently never to have children that I paid good money to have metal coils inserted into my fallopian tubes, there to scar over, ensuring virtually no possibility of pregnancy for me? Well, I do and I did! And you can read all about it here. (Well, not all about it. I haven’t actually written a detailed what-it-was-like-when-they-put-the-metal-coils-up-my-business post. But let me know if there is demand, internet, because I will tell you about it.)

My next most popular posts were about sweaters, one that came out just right and one that still needs a little work. Even now, almost a year later, Francis Revisited still needs a little work. Someday, someday. You know how it goes.

Fourth in line was a post about how much I dislike plying on a spindle. From the comments I received on that post, I found out I’m not the only one. That was quite comforting. Looking back at that post reminds me that I haven’t made much spinning progress at all this year. One of my 2012 goals was to spin more often. At the beginning of the year I did but I think working towards that goal had the opposite effect of what I was hoping for. The more I spun the more I realized my heart wasn’t in it. I got about halfway through some really beautiful fiber that I very much want to make socks out of, but I haven’t been able to make myself finish it. I’d still like to push through to the end of that fiber and another braid I have, but I kind of feel like that might be it for me and spinning. I might feel differently if I had a wheel, but it’s going to be years and years before I can afford one, so for now I think it might be time to set aside the spindle, thank it for the experience, and recommit to the knitting needles I was in love with all along.

The last of my top posts of the year was this one about my Aquaphobia Socks. I was so happy to finally finish them after sooooo long knitting them that I took a million pictures and stared at my socks all day long.

My top commenters for 2012 were Lisa from Wickedly Artsy, Ivy from Pumpkin Spins and Michelle from Tres Bien Ensemble. Go check them out – lovely ladies, all of them.

And that’s it for 2012, except for one more project I managed to squeeze in over the weekend. This brings my blogged total to 15, but Ravelry still says 14 but 1 wasn’t on the blog so I guess that’s 16 things I knit this year? Let’s say 16.

Pattern: Options Slippers for Women by Kris Basta (Now, I just have to say, nothing against this pattern or its creator, but there’s a “crisis pregnancy center” near me called Options for Women and I shudder every time I drive past it. So there was a small squick reaction in the back of my head that I had to get over before buying this pattern. It was worth it, is all I’m saying. You should buy this pattern.)
Needles: 4 mm
Hook: Yes, hook. I chose the crochet seaming option and seamed these with a round of single crochet on an I hook. The doubled yarn and the garter stitch and stockinette going at each other at all different angles made me not too keen on sewing the seams. I wasn’t sure I’d get the needle in the right place. Luckily there’s all kinds of fudging possible with a crochet hook. I think I pulled it off.
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool in Paprika, about 245 yds
Size: Small
Started: December 29, 2012
Finished: December 30, 2012

These were so quick and easy I will definitely be making more and I think this pattern is getting added to my gift knitting repertoire. In any case, I’m calling this one down, 348 to go.

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful 2012 but regardless I hope you all have a better 2013. I’m certainly planning to. I’m at least planning to knit 17 things. Seriously. 16 is shameful. There’s just no excuse.

A New Way of Looking at a Year of Socks

2012 is winding to a close and I have come nowhere even close to meeting my sock goal for the year (I have finished 7/17 pairs and it is not likely I’ll finish another before the end of the year). Not meeting my yearly goals is typical for me, though I didn’t miss by quite this much the last time I set a sock goal.

I don’t mind this at all. As knitting is not how I make my living, setting knitting goals is arbitrary and entirely without serious consequences. The worst that can happen is that someone gets a gift a little late or that I end a certain period of time with fewer sweaters or pairs of socks than I had hoped for. Still, it is fun to set goals. To make up arbitrary rules and try to stick to them. To come up with ways to rationalize (possibly) utterly irrational ideas. To collect, especially to collect a complete set.

I sat down to write today with sock goals, complete sets and (possibly) utterly irrational ideas in mind. Go read this post over at When Did I Become a Knitter and you’ll see why. Is it that unrealistic, do you think? And even if it is, just imagine how much fun it would be to have a sock drawer you could dip into every single day for a whole entire year before you ever picked the same pair twice. Imagine how big that drawer would be! You could practically swim in that drawer.

Well, if you’re going to set a new goal you should first know where you’re starting from so that you will know how far you have to go. Let’s take a look, shall we?

I have 12 complete, wearable pairs of socks (going by my Ravelry projects page, since I couldn’t manage to hunt them all down for the photo). I have 4 complete pairs that need repairs (3 need darning and 1 toe-up pair needs the cast-off redone). I have 2 single socks that need mates, 7/8 of a sock on the needles, and enough yarn for 12 more pairs.

So, setting aside the completed pairs and those that need repairing, that’s 349 pairs to go. Let’s say that I only ever knit plain stockinette-and-rib dealies in fingering weight yarn and I continued to knit them at my current typical pace, which is around 2-2.5 weeks for a pair. That’s 872.5 weeks, or 16.77 years. Now, of course you need to factor in that I won’t always want to knit just plain stockinette and that will add to the knitting time (hell, I still haven’t started on that Daughter of the Regiment kit, which alone could probably account for 8 of those 16+ years). But you should also factor in that I would advocate all kinds of cheating to attain a goal like this – worsted weight and thicker socks, slipper socks, felted socks, yoga socks, ankle socks – and that would certainly cut down on the knitting time. I say if I really applied myself to the cheating I could do it in 10 years (assuming funds and sock storage solutions made themselves available to me, but I don’t want to hear talk like that right now, OK?)

This is sounding more doable all the time. Maybe this year I’ll set a sock goal for the decade rather than the year. What do you think – sounds perfectly reasonable, doesn’t it?

Well, that took a while.

But I’m finally here! Shiny new website, folks. I can’t say enough good things about Dreamhost’s live support chat. Seriously. They took care of just about everything you’re looking at right now and it took them about 10 minutes each time I turned to them after struggling for a few hours to figure it out on my own. (Though in some cases I did actually figure it out, I just didn’t know how to do it, so I’m still very smart.)

If you’ve followed me here from the old site, thanks for stopping by. If you’re one of the lovely people who has made arrangements to follow the old blog, don’t forget to update your bookmarks/favorites/subscriptions appropriately so you can now follow the new one.  I promise I will continue to provide all the yarn, yoga and cooking content you’ve come to expect.

In fact, let’s jump right into some of that, shall we? These are my two main projects right now, a Grownup Bonnet in Malabrigo Merino Worsted and some ribbed Crazy Zauberball socks.

The Grownup Bonnet is going quite quickly but it’s turning into Frankenstein’s Scarf just a bit. The scarf knit up quickly but was just too short. I’m attempting to knit some extra length and graft, but my attempt on the first end is a bit scar-y. I’m going to see how the other side goes before I decide what to do about the first. Also the hood edge might be a bit too ruffly but I’ve already woven in and seamed over the cast-off end so I don’t know what I can do to fix that.

The socks are making me very happy but the best part about them is the needles they’re on. Those are 1.5 mm Knitter’s Pride Karbonz. I think I have finally found needles that are sturdier than bamboo but don’t make my shoulders seize up like metal. I can finally knit my Zauberball! (The need for needles like this has kept me from being able to knit with thinner sock yarns because I’m such a loose knitter that 2 mm needles don’t give me a sturdy enough fabric.) Now all I need is for them to not snap in half like wood and I will have new favorite needles and spend all my money on lots and lots of these. And it will be amazing.

That’s it for the yarn right now. The winter CSA has started so there is much cooking (cranberry bread! cranberry bread!! CRANBERRY BREAD!!!). And I’m hoping to have some yoga news by the end of the month. I shall return to chronicle all the excitement as it unfolds.

Some Recent Knitting Progress

One blue sock is almost (re)done! I just need to finish the toe tonight, then decide if I cast on the second one of these or the second Kristi.

After finishing Apocalypta I went into Want All the Sweaters mode. I’ve made some good progress on the body of Plain n Simple. I think I’m maybe 2/3 through but it’s tough to measure all squished up on the needles. I’m really hoping to wear this before next spring.

I started a hat in some mystery yarn. I’m aiming for slouchy but I was too lazy to look up a pattern when I started this, so we’ll see how it goes.

Finally, a scarf. My first completed project with my own handspun. I think it needs an applied cord edge but I’m not sure I have a suitable yarn, so we’ll see about that.

Pattern: 1*1 rib over 20 sts
Berroco Peruvia Quick in color 9100/Blanco, all but about a yard of one skein, and handspun Mad Color Fiber Arts Superwash BFL Top, about 60 out of 75 grams. Not sure about the yardage or weight on the handspun. At first it was just about even with the Peruvia but after the first few stripe repeats it thinned out quite a bit. I might block this out a little to play up the difference between the dense white stripes and the lacier-looking teal stripes. But, then, I also might block it out longer and skinnier as right now it only goes around my neck once. Life is a serious of heart-rending decisions.
Needles: 6.5 mm/US 10.5
Started: October 20, 2012
Finished: October 21, 2012

And Then There Were Rainbow Socks

Oh, yes.

Pattern: None in particular. Top down with short-row heel.
Yarn: Knit Picks Chroma in Prism, about 67 grams.
Needles: 2mm/US 0 dpns
Started: August 29, 2012
Finished: September 10, 2012

A note about the heel: Short rows were not wrapped and turned but just plain turned according to directions here (link found via The Knit Cycle, a lovely blog about yarn and bikes to which I am quite grateful for introducing me to this concept; my short-row heels don’t have a sloppy side anymore!).

A note about yarn usage: I had plenty of yarn left and could have done taller socks if I’d done it the proper way and worked toe-up to eke out every last inch. Lately I feel like life is too short for toe-up socks. I can slog through a long leg if I know once I reach the heel there is nothing but excitement for the rest of the knitting – the flap! the turn! the gusset! the toe! or at least 2 of those things depending on the type of heel! – but getting past all the fun stuff and facing the loooooooong leg is likely to lead to ankle socks in my experience.

A note about the rainbows: You guys, I’m not typically into rainbow colored stuff. Or bright stuff. Or, like, I own a lot of black and gray and denim blue, OK? But these socks are best. I got the yarn in a trade and it was so not a difficult trade offer to accept. And now I get to put the yarn in my blanket so my blanket will be best. And I am super excited about these rainbows is what I am saying.

Also? They match my new (oh, yes, that’s a) LeCreuset grill pan (that I got at 40% off for serious)!

(P.S. I am having a yard sale here because I don’t really have a yard. Maybe you need some stuff? I have some stuff. Check it out if you like stuff.)

And I Can Make All the Rules I Want

Hey, you know what’s not Kristi or the blue sock do-over?


Yes, so I am on vacation and have decided to just cast on all the new things that I want because life is too short to sit around trying to finish things just because you’ve started them. Seriously, that is no kind of way to live your life at all.

The proper way to live your life is rainbow socks. RAINBOW SOCKS!

Because I Make My Own Rules

Sometimes the part of me that wants finished projects and wants to have a little self-discipline fights with the part of me that doesn’t care how many sweaters I currently have in progress, it wants Apocalypta, and it wants it now.

Guess which part won the fight this week.

I also won the Great Yarn Cake Battle of Aught-12 this week. Lesson learned: do not use your ball winder on a skein of Seduce. That cake will just collapse and you will lose 3 evenings of knitting trying to undo it.

It was just the one victory for me, though. Overall, the yarn has won the winding war. After The Untangling I wound the second skein by hand, which we all know just leads to nasty little hand cramps and takes a year and a half. So, now my approach is both the ultimate in laziness and a fine example of efficiency in the skein-to-garment department, if you ask me. I am knitting directly off the swift. With 100-yard skeins, I think it takes less time to knit the skein than to wind the ball. I may, however, just be telling myself that so I don’t have to admit I got into a fight with 100 yards of yarn and gave up almost immediately.

I feel like I’m tearing through this project. I started it a week and a half ago, I haven’t worked on it every night, there were those 3 nights spent untangling, and I’m almost ready to divide the body.

I finished the first Kristi a while back but I still haven’t gotten moving on the redo of the first blue sock. I’ve gotten about half the stitches on the needles, if that counts for anything. I suspect I will have a finished sweater before I have another pair of socks. I think it unlikely I will meet my sock goal this year. In fact, I may make not meeting my sock goal for the year my new sock goal for the year so I can have something to aim for that I stand a good chance of hitting.

Decisions and Revisions Which a Minute Will Reverse

I should have so many socks to tell you about right now. Two, actually, which really is so many when it’s been so long since I finished a pair. A week ago I was doing alright in the sock knitting department. A week ago I was a full pair closer to my 2012 sock knitting goal, which was great because I’m really behind on that goal overall. Today I have regressed by half a pair – and I don’t mean by one sock. I mean by half of each of two socks.

So, what had happened a week ago was that I had finished the second experimental slipped-stitch-and-short-rows-sole sock. With the second sock I had played around with different ways to close the gaps between sole and instep where I turned for my short rows and most of them had worked well enough on one side. The other side still had noticeable gaps, though. I kitchenered the second toe, put the socks on, enjoyed that lovely new-sock hug you get before you wash and block and wear and repeat and it’s still lovely but never quite the same as that first time, and took a good look at those gaps. And I decided that it wasn’t worth it, any way you cut it.

Having a completed pair of socks checked off the to-knit list was not worth having a pair with lots of holes in them. Having just any pair of socks in my favorite sock yarn did not outweigh the desire to have a good pair of socks in my favorite sock yarn. I made up my mind right quick that I would rip out the soles of both socks, get ’em both set up on my new Knitter’s Pride 2 mm 40″ circ I’d been wanting to audition as a potential replacement for all those snapped-in-half Knit Picks tragedies, and finish up the soles all 2-at-a-time style in a weekend.

Quick, decisive action makes me feel like a more accomplished knitter. Wise. Experienced. Pragmatic, even. Ripriprip and those soles were gone. Rip a bit more and the heels were un-turned.  I re-turned that first heel with an image of my glorious, blue-socked future hanging right before my eyes. Then, I started on the second heel.

And one of the needle tips snapped in half.

And I swore a little.

(It helped.)

I don’t have any other 2 mm circs. Nor do I have more than one full set of 2 mm dpns, and the one full set I do have is wrapped up in Kristi. And so, where I was hoping to be able to tel you about a whole new finished pair of socks right now, alas, I can only tell you about three partial socks. My plan is to finish the first Kristi, finish one of the blue socks, then decide whether I alternate a Kristi and a blue sock again or finish up the second blue sock before starting the second Kristi. (Yes, I could probably buy more needles and work on both, but I gotta tell you, I am so over buying needles right now. I need some space.)

I don’t even have pictures to show you. The only project I’ve made real progress on lately is a secret. It’s all terribly sad, sad stuff. I promise I’ll be back soon with more vegetable stories and eventually a sock (or two).

Learning Curves

Back in the fall I decided to finally jump into Cookie A’s Sock Innovation after it had been on my shelf for about a year. I had a rough start, but eventually I chose Kristi as my first project, and eventually Kristi and I started to figure things out.

I worked on that sock here and there for about 2 months but it was slow going. I could knit maybe 3 rounds in an evening. The only way I could keep track of where I was in the chart was to lay a sheet of paper over it to block the rows I had finished and to look down after every stitch, check the row number and reposition the paper to make sure it was lined up properly. The only way I could keep track of what row I was on was to write down where I had stopped each night.

From November to January this was as much as I was able to knit:

In January I put Kristi aside to get started on my 2012 sock goal. I made a few pairs of plain socks and one pair of sorta fancy socks, and then I made OppAtt. OppAtt had charted cables, like Kristi, and there were different instructions for left and right so the socks would mirror each other, also like Kristi, but overall they really weren’t as complicated as Kristi. I didn’t have much trouble reading the charts or keeping track of where I was at all. In fact, they were easy enough to knit that I didn’t really think I was doing anything special with them, but it turns out I was.

I was learning. I know I was learning when I knit OppAtt because when I picked up Kristi again a week or so ago I could understand the chart and follow the correct row without any accessories. I could figure out my place in the pattern just by looking at the chart and at what I had knit. I could knit more than 3 rows in an evening. Suddenly it was all BOOM! Cabled socks? No biggie.

And now we are here:

My one concern now is that, while I originally worried these socks would be too big, now that I’ve knit enough to really try one on I would say it might almost be too small. If I knit these again I would size them up somehow. I’m just plain loving them now that I’ve got the hang of knitting them, though, so I do see more from this book in my near future. Guess I’ll just have to keep an eye on sizing from the start with the next pair.

I’m still waiting for my BOOM! moment with the slipped-stitch sole socks. It’s been a bit of a learning curve figuring out these socks as well, but I mean that a bit more like literally than with Kristi. I had to rip and re-knit the first foot when I realized it was doing this sort of crescent-moon thing, which my foot definitely won’t do. You can see what was happening a bit in this photo – that bend in the middle of the foot isn’t caused so much by the way I laid it down as by the sole bunching up.

In fact, I think it was when I was laying the sock out for this picture that I realized what had happened and what I was going to have to do. (You can see the needles have already been yanked out. I find it’s best to face up to tragedy the instant you see it coming.)

Really, I should have figured this out earlier, but I didn’t because I can never do anything just like I’m told. I got the idea for a slipped-stitch sole when I was knitting Aquaphobia. Like most patterned socks, that sock called for the pattern from the leg to continue on the instep only while the sole was to be knit in stockinette. However, the leg pattern involved a sl 1, k 1 pattern similar to what you’d use on a heel flap to make it stronger. So, I was facing having a very sturdy leg, heel, and instep, but a stockinette sole, and I really didn’t like setting up my socks to wear through on the bottom while the rest still looked good. So, I continued the slipped stitches on the sole as well, I loved how they turned out, and I decided maybe I’d try that trick again but this time just with the sole.

The thing is, because I didn’t change to stockinette on Aquaphobia I never had the chance to learn that my stockinette and slipped-stitch row gauges are not the same. Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t learn this lesson on Aquaphobia, because if I had had one more problem with those socks I think it might have undone all the good the last 15 years of yoga have done. Still, it was a lesson waiting to be learned, so there I was with my sickle-shaped sock wondering what to do next.

I figured out that, with the difference in gauge, over the length of the foot, I needed 11 more rows on the sole than on the instep and they needed to be spaced about 8 rounds apart. So: short rows. I put the end of the round just after the sole stitches. I knit 7 rounds, then turned and purled back across the sole, then turned and continued in the round.This worked to keep the length of the sole and instep the same, but it left gaps between the sole and instep where I turned, which you can see here:

So: wrapped short rows are the plan for sock #2. I will let you know if things start BOOM!ing.

What I Did & What I Got #3

Oh, the week when the CSA share starts containing more things that aren’t leafy greens is a wonderful week indeed! But before I get to all that:

What I Did With Week 3:

My ability to remember what I’ve been cooking has left me this week. I do know there was kohlrabi curry, steamed collards & peas, various egg dishes and baked goods, various greens cooked up with white beans and feta and served over polenta with fresh herbs, and possibly other things which have slipped my mind.

Still left from week 3: bok choy, turnips, some collard greens & kale.

What I Got Week 4:

Peas, potatoes, tat soi, swiss chard, bok choy, turnips, beets, broccoli.

I have big plans for all of this. I need to get a lot of the greens chopped up and into some sort of quiche or baked dish, something that freezes well. We’re getting a bit greened out and I don’t want them to go to waste. I should do up a jar of pickled bok choy, too.

And what is happening with the yarns, you ask?

I’ve been working on Kristi quite a bit this week. I think Solemate may just be the perfect yarn to knit with in summer. I should get some pictures but all our rooms that don’t have someone sleeping in them right now have light bulbs that have burnt out and I don’t feel like going out on the porch at the moment. I promise an all-knitting-all-the-time post any day now.