Tag Archives: kristi

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.

Progress Report

Progress on Kristi

I’m happy if I get about 3 rows done a night on this sock. I don’t think there have been any major mistakes and I’m starting to be able to read the chart without checking the key constantly. I don’t know if I’ll have a pair of these by the 21st, when the first of my 2012 socks are due, so I may crank out a single plain sock to complete a half-finished pair if the deadline starts looming.

Progress on Plain & Simple – moving along. Still in blob stage. No photos. ‘Cause it’s still a blob.

Progress with the Spinning

This is Mad Color Fiber Arts Superwash BFL, color Sweet Baby James. I bought a 4-oz braid of this at NH Sheep & Wool 2 years ago, spun about half when I was first learning, and picked up the rest last weekend to try to get back in the swing of things. I tore through it and just have a bit left to finish up this weekend.

Things are swinging more than I thought they would, so I think I may take a big leap this weekend and start in on this:

More from Mad Color (and from the same NHS&W trip), this is Merino/Bamboo/Nylon, color Winter of my Discontent. This needs to be socks and I have known that since we met. I bought this specifically to save until I felt my spinning skills were ready for it. I’m not entirely sure my spinning skills are ready for it, but since picking up the spindle again last week, I’m finding that I get into a rhythm very easily and my spinning is staying fairly consistent, enough that I think I can make this into a decent yarn. Maybe not quite a fingering weight, but certainly something I can get socks out of. Just to be safe, I think I’ll do a little sample first and set this aside again if things get lumpy and weird right off.

Progress Not Related to the AKB

After all the spinning I did last weekend (I picked up the spindle just about every spare moment), my hands needed some large-gauge knitting to help them relax. Not really having anything suitable in the AKB, I reached for the Xmas cashmere and started in on a Luxe Neck Warmer from Knit 2 Together. I finished it up tonight, using every last inch I could squeeze out of it. I had to cheat on the cast-off. It was totally worth it.