Tag Archives: jaywalkers

The Week Ahead

This has the makings of an awesome week. A day off to start with (I got in some Farscape, yoga and a tasty, healthy dinner, too). Some time set aside for knitting with friends (hoping everyone’s around for my usual Barnes & Noble meet-up, but anyway I get to make a new knitter on Wednesday and I can’t wait!). 5th anniversary with the man. And I’m on track to finish 2 big projects this week.

The Giant-Size Man-Sweater was here yesterday:

My first experiment with steam-blocking.

My first experiment with steam-blocking.

Yesterday was spent finishing the buttonhole band and seaming. I hadn’t seamed a piece of knitting since my first hat, and I probably could’ve picked something easier than stockinette-to-garter for my first big try at seaming. Too late now. I originally planned to use embroidery thread because this yarn is so thick, but even though the color was a perfect match the thread showed through too much and I was not happy. Going with the same yarn made the seam less obvious. After seaming, this got a good long soak (10 of them, actually; that dye bleeds) and is relaxing on the living room floor for a day or two. Just need to knit one more pocket, figure out exactly where they should go once the sweater is blocked, and sew on the buttons! The sleeves grew about 3 inches while soaking, but that turns out to be the perfect length for Dan. He looks so damned handsome in this thing, I just can’t even tell you.

The stripey Jaywalkers are coming out just like I hoped they would.

Stripey Jaywalkers

These are for a trade on Ravelry – I’m knitting these socks out of someone’s sock minis in exchange for a whole batch of sock minis to keep. I have to say, 2-at-a-time magic loop with about 15 or so stripes on each sock – so, 60 ends dangling from these by the time I’m done? By far the fiddliest thing I’ve ever knit. I’m trying to go back and weave in a few ends for every stripe I finish so it won’t be too overwhelming when they’re done and I’m confronted with all of them. But it’s worth it, because the stripes match perfectly, which I couldn’t have done making them separately, and I’m getting to play with some yarns I’ve never even touched before. There’s some tosh sock, Shibuiknits Sock, and some Wollmeise in there. Beautiful colors in all of them. I think the tosh sock is my favorite.

The baby sweaters have been shifted to a slightly different schedule than I originally planned for. The one I wanted to finish by the beginning of September so it would be ready for a mid-September due date still wasn’t finished by the time the mother went on maternity leave 3 weeks early. It’s a wool sweater I was thinking would be needed this winter, anyway, so this is less urgent now that there’s no longer much point in trying to get it done before the baby arrives. The other sweater I was hoping to finish by the end of September for a mid-October due date, not realizing the baby shower would be held September 1. So, really, that one’s still on its original track, but I did feel kind of silly at the shower saying, “And I’m planning on knitting you the cutest things!” At least the mother likes to squeeze yarn, so I could show her a skein of CotLin and she could ooh over it.

Being just ohsoclose to done with Dan’s sweater has opened up some other knitting time, so I’ve started my September socks – and knit 4 whole rows so far! I had planned to use this yarn to design my own pattern, but the swatch alone threatened to take the entire month and when I thought about it some more I realized I was less attached to the idea of my own design than I was to just cranking out another finished pair, especially with cooler weather coming. So, I gave up the design idea (for now) and decided to go with a plain old stockinette-with-ribbed-top deal, but I’m going top-down so I can try a heel flap experiment I’ve been thinking about. That way I still get a quick-fix project and meet my goal of one pair this month but still get to feel like I tried something new.

Since the plain old top-downs should be a quick knit, I’m planning to start the October socks early, because they’re going to be knee socks and I just don’t think I could knit a pair of knee socks in a month. My birthday present this year was my very first Socks That Rock (aside from the minis I’ve gotten to use in the Life-Long Blanket):

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

These are mill ends obtained through a Ravelry sale. They looked just slightly different in the skein, but in cakes one skein is clearly much darker than the other. And you know what? I don’t care. They’re both gorgeous. I will have fraternal twin socks (why? why do I have to have fraternal socks? couldn’t I have sororal twins instead?) and I will love them.

I’ve enjoyed setting the pair/month goal for myself this year. I haven’t made the deadline every month, but I have had a pair to work on each month, almost all of them finished eventually (still working on July). I’ve turned a decent amount of my sock yarn into socks, which is what it was intended for in the first place, and in turn made more space in the sock yarn drawers for more sock yarn. So, all around, this is a success! I’m already thinking about next year’s goal. I’m thinking a sweater, shawl, or other suitably big project every 2 months. Get through some of that laceweight I’ve been buying just to fondle.

Lots To Get Done

A state-of-the-projects update:

The July socks have stalled. I won’t see the friend they’re for for a while anyway, so I’m just picking away at them when I get the chance. The August socks haven’t begun, because they’re being made for a trade on Ravelry & I haven’t received the supplies to make them yet. They’ll be stripey Jaywalkers & I’m getting sock minis in trade for the Life-Long Blanket! The September socks are calling my name but I must. not. start them.

The Life-Long Blanket – have I told you about this one? Mitered squares of sock yarn following Shelly Kang’s pattern. It started here…

Big Bad Blankie

…and is now 11 squares wide. I think I’ll go for 20 squares wide. I like my blankets big, so this will take a while, but it’s so easy to get on a roll with those little squares. I’ll sit down for a few minutes & do at least 2 easily.

The drop-stitch scarf has not progressed much but is still so damn beautiful I’m going to show it to you again.

It's like seashells and beaches and waves.

It’s like seashells and beaches and waves.

I really need to work on this some more.

There is a new project on the needles: a stripey baby sweater (the Scrappy Socky Stripey Cardi).

Little Sweater

2 of my work friends are due to give birth in the next few months. I’m glad baby stuff is quick to knit & can be made out of sock yarn. More leftovers for the blanket!

The Giant-Size Man-Sweater is going to fit! I’m partway into the shoulder shaping, just far enough that Dan could try it on the other day. It looks like it’s going to be perfect. I’m so relieved.

The Anhinga sleeve/gauge swatch has been sitting in the basket about 2 rows in for months. And then I got all that Noro Kureyon to make the Hacky Sack Hoodie, which seems way easier, and…we’ll see when the next sweater for me happens.

As for all the stuff I was working on in my last post, I’m still working on it. I’ve added “trying not to get stressed out by not doing these things when I think I should” to the end of the list as well. Tonight, for example, I skipped yoga class & came home because I wanted to give myself a chance to just be by myself, puttering around, doing nothing if I didn’t feel like it. Sort of a moving meditation, I guess. No one to talk to (OK, I talk to the cat sometimes), just settling into my own head & trying to be comfortable there for a few hours. And it’s not so bad so far.

Sundays Are For Selflessness

And for seriously kicking this sweater’s ass.

When I got home from yoga Sunday intending to knit, I had 3 more increase rounds to go on the Giant-Size Man-Sweater sleeves, then straight knitting for another few inches before I could join them to the body. The body also needed a bit more work, which I had left undone when I ran out of my first skein 4 rows from finishing the body. Since the working yarn is intended to stay attached to the body but to be broken on both sleeves before attaching all 3, I figure it made more sense to start the new skein with the sleeves, then rejoin to knit the last 4 rows on the body, then continue with the yoke. Which all became my goal for this week’s Sunday session: I would finish the sleeves, finish the body, and join them together. And, wow – it took me all day, but I did it. I started around noon and finished up around 8. That includes time for a nap, some more yoga, and meal preparation, but mostly I thought about nothing but this sweater for that time.

Giant-Size Dan-Sweater

Feeling remarkably good about the sweater, I moved on to my June sock project. I was just past the short-row heel this past weekend, & I flew through the rest of the foot & toe during the first part of the week. I finished last night (with plenty of time left over, so I’ve already started the toe on this month’s socks).

June: Jaywalkers with short-row heel. DIC Smooshy, color Petal Shower.

June: Jaywalkers with short-row heel. DIC Smooshy, color Petal Shower.

Knitterly info:

Jaywalker by Grumperina
Dream In Color Smooshy, color Petal Shower
2mm/US 0 5″ Clover & Hiya Hiya bamboo double-pointed needles
Smallest size (76 st)
Short-row heel

About those needles: I knit almost all my socks on 2mm needles. I’ve been using the 5″ dpns for about a year now & adore them. I find I can switch between dpns & magic loop pretty easily, & I don’t exactly prefer one over the other. I usually work with whatever I have on hand that isn’t already in another project. But these smaller dpns are really wonderful & much less fiddly than either longer dpns or magic loop. Except. Except they bend really easily. I’ve had some larger bamboo dpns that develop a little curve over time, sort of conforming themselves to the shape of my hand, & I actually find them more comfortable to work with at that point. Since I use bamboo because it’s more comfortable on my hands than metal, that’s actually a selling point for me. These small dpns, though? I think I’m just that much stronger than they are, because they bend more easily & they bend much more, to the point that it does interfere with the knitting. I have 3 or 4 sets of them & have used each a few times. Halfway through the first sock I found one of the Hiya Hiya needles was bent too much to keep knitting with, so on the next round I knit a Clover in in its place. Then, a while later, another Hiya Hiya went. And so on, until 3 or 4 of the needles I started the sock with had been replaced. But then the Clovers started to bend too. It’s not so bad I can’t use them yet, but I’m guessing partway through my July pair of socks I’ll have switched most of the Clovers out for my other set of Hiya Hiyas. I don’t know if there’s a solution for this, either. I may just have to buy several sets of these a year.

June Is For Jaywalkers

A few things to talk about today:

Sleeping for 12 hours is fuuuuuuuuuun. I totally went into the bedroom for something last night around 5 and next thing I knew it was 6:15. Then it was 7:45. Then it was 8:30. I got up for a glass of water, grabbed some yarn and went right back to bed. Consequently, this morning I am well-rested and two-thirds of the way through the sleeves for Dan’s sweater.

I’ve been thinking about my philosophy when it comes to socks. Ravelry tells me there have been about 18 pairs of socks in my knitting past. Every pair has been either plain stockinette or ribbed and I mostly stick to 2 mm needles. I like to be able to wear my hand-knit socks with shoes, so a fabric that’s not too loose or textured works for me. There has been variety as far as construction goes – a few have been cuff-down, some with heel flaps, some with short-row, a few different types of toes – but since I found out about this pattern for a toe-up sock with a gusset heel I have not felt the need to stray too far. In fact, in my quest to knit a pair a month this year, it was May before I used another pattern.

Here, have some proof:

January: toe-up with gusset heel

February: toe-up with gusset heel

February: toe-up with gusset heel

March: toe-up with gusset heel

March: toe-up with gusset heel

 

April: Toe up with gusset heel. DIC Smooshy, color Butter Peeps.

April: toe-up with gusset heel

But for June I’m just plain going wild here, you guys. I’m knitting myself some Jaywalkers in Dream In Color Smooshy, color Petal Shower. This is the first real pattern-y sock pattern I’ve tried. I’m quite liking it, but that’s because it fits my very specific criteria for socks: it doesn’t involve holes, and it doesn’t look so fancy that I’d feel bad hiding it under pants.

I’ve just never really gotten the whole fancy sock thing. They look fun to knit and if someone wanted me to make them a pair I’d be happy to (depending on the someone and whether it was my yarn or theirs and what they were going to give me in return, of course, but other than that I’d do it in a second) but I can’t imagine wearing them myself. I look at all these lovely, lacey, wow sort of socks and think, but why? Also, I don’t want all that structure on my ankles. I just want warm on my ankles. So, anyway, these simple chevron patterned socks are a huge departure for me, but I’m loving them so far.

The only modification I’ve made to the pattern is to do a short-row heel instead of the heel flap.  I’ve come to feel that my small feet are just overpowered by heel flaps. The flaps I’ve knitted (a terrible name for a knitting memoir) have all just sort of chunked onto the back of my foot, instead of cupping it seductively like a lover sock should. I actually knit a whole flap – it was beautiful, too, all those squishy little slipped stitches stacked up in rows – and turned the heel and knit the entire gusset on this sock. I even tried it on at several points along the way, and it fit perfectly every time. Until I was done with all 3 parts. Then there was just something off about the heel, like my sock had a guest room. So, it was rip rip rip and let’s try short rows. I’m not a huge fan of short rows, mostly because I find it difficult to knit the wraps neatly, but I’m hoping this solves the problem because that damn flap lost me a whole day. In fact, it lost me so much time I haven’t stopped to take a progress picture since the very first one:

There really is way more of this sock now.

There really is way more of this sock now.

There are another 20 sock patterns in my Ravelry queue.  I guess I think that I shall become a knitter of sock patterns. And some of them are indeed very tempting: 3 involve colorwork (one of those skills I think I might like to pick up someday),  3 are for slippers,  3 have construction that intrigues me, and the rest are almost all some variation on ribs and cables. In all of them there is only one with holes, and it’s very clearly a feature, not a bug.

So, the only question that remains about my sock philosophy is what to call it. Is this my phisockophy? Philosocky? Socklosophy? I can’t decide.