Tag Archives: socks

It’s Kind of Like Cleaning

I can’t stand to throw things away if I know they could be useful someday. And I’m really good at ignoring piles of things as they build up just at the edge of my peripheral vision. And then every so often I realize that the thought of not doing the useful thing and also the giant pile of stuff I’m doing nothing with has become such a backlog of frustration that I must do something about it NOW. One option is just to actually clean the pile of things, put it all away tidily, maybe even find new homes for the useful things I’m just not using. Another option is to leave the pile where it is but spend 2 months knitting from it and saying that this is my way of cleaning the living room, even though for those 2 months the living room doesn’t actually get any cleaner as far as anyone can tell.

 

Anyway, my point is when this feeling also comes at the beginning of a semester, a time when I am historically quite unable to can in any sort of manner and desperately casting about for simple knitting that’s still pretty enough to be a distraction, glorious things can happen.

 

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And then happen again.

 

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And then keep happening.

 

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Like, over and over.

 

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Again.

 

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And again.

 

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Until I’m like, “Whoa, OK, missy, that’s an awful lot of socks to be considered just one pair. Or…4 pairs. Or maybe it’s 28? Hard to say, really, but we’re ready to stop now.”

 

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Pattern: All top down, 60 or 64 stitches depending on my mood, heel flap & gusset, varying cuff & leg lengths. The only really consistent thing I did was make sure to leave enough when I finished one toe to cast on the next cuff with the same yarn. This made a few socks a smidge short and also in some cases there was just enough yarn to be like one side of a long-tail cast-on, but I made it work.
Yarn:
all of them, basically
Needles:
2 mm/US 0 Karbonz circular
Started:
1/26/17
Finished:
3/26/17

 

Yet still the yarn bits remained. Then I remembered the scrappy linen stitch scarf I started a couple years ago to deal with the leftover leftovers that were leftover after I’d used my leftovers in the blanket.

 

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It had been sitting on a broken KnitPicks circular and I had to look up my Ravelry project page to figure out what size needle I had used, and then I had to take a good long look at it to figure out how exactly I thought I had been interpreting linen stitch (turns out it was at least 2 conflicting ways, I think), and basically after a few rows of trying to get back into it the gauge was way off and the stitch pattern was not working, so I just plain started over.

 

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This time I made 2 balls of ends and I’m alternating every other row, which is working with the linen stitch quite nicely to mix up all these colors and not let anything dominate.

 

It’s going so quickly.

 

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It’s fantastic.

Then I remembered the Nether Garments I started and put away a while back. I had gotten them to mid-thigh and was finding the circumference I had reached to be a bit of an endurance test at this gauge, so I set them aside for a while. But this morning I realized that if I keep going at this scarf at this pace I’ll use up everything and then just always have these half-finished leggings taking up an entire Karbonz circ that could be better used in other, actual knitting.

And then I thought about how nice it would be to just call them legwarmers and be done.

 

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Pattern: ostensibly Nether Garments by Elizabeth Zimmermann; more details on my project page
Yarn:
yes, that’s what I used
Needles:
2 mm/US 0 Karbonz circular, 2-at-a-time Magic Loop
Started:
5/8/16
Finished:
4/2/17

 

Of course, unraveling the last few inches of these just made more yarn mess that I will now have to “clean” my way through, but I mean come on, did anyone really think anything I ever did was actually going to lead to less of a yarn pile in the living room?

Surprisingly On Track

I’m still plugging away on my Independence Yay! list, I promise. I actually finished the second-oldest (secret) item on the list, but I can’t show you yet. I wanted to move right on to one of the other secret projects, but that one requires some rethinking and redoing and paying attention, so I wanted to hold off for the weekend. It’s starting to feel a little chilly here in the mornings and I had a hankering for some squishy garter stitch slippers (in doubled fingering weight so they would count towards my ’15-’16:17 list instead, of course) so that’s what I did instead.

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I bought this yarn last year on one of those really terrible “this is a really terrible day, so I’m going to buy a bunch of yarn” days. It did its job of cheering me up, but I’ve had a hard time seeing the red and black one as socks. I also haven’t had any other ideas about what to do with it. Thursday night when I was looking for something quick to knit, though, I could totally see it as squishy slippers.

 

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It did not disappoint. But the best part is that when I went to find the yarn in my queue to record this on Ravelry (I had the full list of 17 yarns for the year queued up in order), it turns out this was actually the next yarn on my list. Totally without meaning to, I got myself back on track for my year of socks. Aside from the fact that this is #6 out of what should be 15 pairs by now. But other than that, I’m totally on track.

 

Pattern: JMCO 8 sts/needle, garter stitch in the round working the toe increases on the knit rounds, increase to 32 sts total, W&T short-row heel without knitting the wraps, elastic bind-off
Yarn: Vice Paradigm, color Hard Hearted Hannah, 64 g
Needles:
3.75 mm/US 5 bamboo DPNs
Gauge: 
20 sts & 40 rows in garter stitch over 4″  
Started:
8/25/16
Finished:
8/27/16

Not gonna lie, I was kind of hoping to get out of this one.

Yesterday morning I went to grab a shirt for work off the drying rack and noticed my husband had hung up these socks too. I was a little “aw dang, I must’ve tossed those in with the regular wash” and figured they were probably shrunk but didn’t think much of it. All my shirts were all still pretty damp (WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THE MIDWEST WAS SO HUMID?????) and that was the much more urgent issue. I grabbed the purple shirt I wasn’t overly excited about from my last Stitch Fix box and put it in the dryer on low for about 10 minutes.

The shirt’s a polyester/rayon blend. Now, I know. I know that rayon isn’t meant for the dryer. But most of my work stuff is of the hang/lay flat to dry variety, and I’ve gone years and years before with most of my clothes being of that same variety, and I’ve found that most of it can stand a little dryer time here and there, especially after several wearings and washes. And this was on low. For barely 10 minutes. Basically, this was the safest risk I could take. Also I have another polyester/rayon blend shirt that recently accidentally went through an entire dryer cycle on high and came out just fine.

Here is an artist’s rendering of how not-fine this thing came out of the dryer:

 

 

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It lost an entire foot of length. The width is still fine, and I can’t explain that, but now I have a super comfy crop top to sleep in. I had to wear a damp shirt to work and let the car a/c dry it on the way, but at least I avoided a lower belly sunburn and some weird looks around the office.

After all that, I was pretty convinced my laundry luck was just bad right now and I was for sure going to find those socks were ruined once I got home and could finally try them on. And once I had that thought, I realized it was kind of a welcome thought. My sock project has not been going very well, despite what I assure you are pure intentions, and I’ve had a hard time getting moving on my finish-all-the-things project too. The thought of these socks falling off the list due to an accident that was beyond my control (well, I mean, yes, I could have actually put them where they belonged instead of in the regular laundry basket, but let’s not dwell on particulars) felt like…absolution.

No such bad luck, though.

 

 

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The thing about ruining socks in the washing machine is it doesn’t work if the yarn is superwash, even if you entirely forget that the yarn is superwash while you are fantasizing about how great it would be if they got ruined in the washing machine. They came out a little fuzzier than after a normal hand-wash, but they still very much fit and they still very much need mates. I could, I suppose, just let it go and say they are an intentionally mis-matched pair, but the thing is I don’t really like the orange and gray yarn knit up all that much and wouldn’t so much miss having a pair of them, while I love love love the brighter, fruity colored one and definitely want a full pair. I could just knit another fruity one and call it a day, but then I’ll have this one sock I don’t even like kicking around and making me feel weird.

So, I know what I have to do. You know what I have to do. Two more ankle socks, knit at the same time, just like the first ones. This shouldn’t feel daunting; they are ankle socks! They should only take me a couple evenings! I can do this! I know I can do this! You know I can do this!

I bet we both also know I’m gonna work on the sock blanket for a while first, though.

Independence Yay!

OK, this is it. Time to declare myself free of that weird crafting guilt you get when too many unfinished things pile up for too long. This is going to feel good. Let’s do this thing. I give you the Official List of Allowable Knitting for the Foreseeable Future, in Approximate Order of On-the-Needles Time:

 

1 Life-Long Blanket

No, I don’t expect to finish this, but I am giving myself a milestone to reach; I want to fill in the pretty jagged top so that’s squared off again and fill in all the side triangles (I have the bottom done & one side complete up as far as I’ve knit rows of squares, so the triangle part of the goal is pretty doable).

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2 Secret Project #1

Almost exactly 6 years old, more than half done (though I need to recheck my gauge and see if I even can continue from where I left off or if I have to start over).

 

3 Giant Oceania Shawl

This one was still in progress when I started typing up this list last night, but honestly once I pulled it out to take pictures I just had that oh god so sick of this feeling I’ve been getting lately, and, well, here:

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It’s really hard to get accurate colors in the spare room. Why those walls? Why?

Pattern: Triangular Shawl Recipe #2: Increasing Triangular Shawl by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Oceania, color Java
Needles: 5.5 mm/US 9 KP Harmony interchangeables for the body of the shawl, then it sat on the cord with stoppers for at least the last 3 years, judging by the date on my last Ravelry notes, and then yesterday I just grabbed 2 tips that looked big enough to bind off with but I honestly don’t know what size
Started: 8/18/10
Finished: 7/3/16

When I started this, the plan was to have a giant blanket-sized shawl to keep me warm at work. It took longer to knit than it took that job to lay me off, though, and it’s just kind of been languishing forever since then. Seeing that this only took 130 g out of 400 and it was this big has me convinced I made the right decision and I never would have knit a giant shawl out of this. Also I just knit the giant shawl of my dreams and I don’t feel the need for another one. I found a friend who will give it a good home and I think we shall all be happier for it.

 

4 Francis Revisited Revised

LOOK AT HER NOW SHE JUST NEEDS LONGER SLEEVES!

And Buddy just needs to play with her ends.

And Buddy just needs to play with her ends.

 

5 Conference Call Socks

Started September 2011; have been nothing but trouble since. The first sock was too small. Then I reknit it and it fit perfectly. Yesterday:

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Maybe I’m done with these? Maybe I give them one more chance? Maybe I try to get the same size on the second one and find someone who’s like half a shoe-size smaller than me? Maybe I don’t have to knit this list in order so I have some time to decide.

 

6 Secret project #2

Started in 2013; high chance this won’t get done; best not to get into too much detail.

 

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(There should be a pair of mittens here but I remember some horrible yarn tangles and I’m not sure if I know where one of the yarns that I need even is right now and also the hat & scarf they were supposed to match have had some stain misfortune befall them, so I’m gonna keep a place for them but not get my hopes up.)

 

8 Scrappy Scarf

Fingering weight leftovers from the sock yarn blanket. I like this but I don’t know how much, really. This one might get ripped out.

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9 Ugly Knee Socks

When last we saw them:

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I tried this one on yesterday to see how the fit was, and everything but the heel was great. I think my recent short-row-heel revelation extends to afterthought heels. Since I didn’t love the yarn anyway, I haven’t decided what to do with these. If I decide to finish, I’ll probably cut the foot off just above the heel and add a contrasting heel flap and then redo the foot. I just have to decide how much I care or how much I would wear these. My original plan was to wear them in my boots on the farm but that’s less useful to me right now. Idunno. But I’ll report back.

 

10 Secret project # 2

I can finish this. I CAN finish this. I can FINISH THIS!!!! And then you can see it.

 

11 Muriwai the Third

Big blob of green cotton. Nothing to see here.

 

12 Worsted Weight Scrap Blanket

I don’t think I ever showed you this! It’s fun.

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I’m just sort of taking leftovers and knitting 20-stitch-wide garter stitch strips. For one strip, I’m alternating 2 colors and changing one of them out every 20 ridges. For the other, I’m splitting it down the middleand knitting until each color runs out. Not sure what I’ll do with the next ones. I think this will be like a 24″x36″ lap blanket maybe?

 

13 & 14 Mismatched 2-at-a-time Socks

Haven’t started the second socks yet, but you can see that I intend to, since I actually know where both the yarns are.

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When they’re done, they’ll look just like this but on the other feet:

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Also then they won’t have to be mismatched anymore if I don’t want them to be.

 

15 Kiemurakukkaset

These don’t need much! Just the thumbs (with conductive thread) and a good blocking. Watch this take the longest of everything on the list.

 

16 NETHER GARMEEEEEEEEENTSSSSSSSSSS

Holy dang these are fun, you guys.

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So…that takes care of everything with a Ravelry project page. But that doesn’t take care of everything.

In less of any kind of order, here is what remains:

 

17 This is a sweater. I swear.

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18 This used to be a sweater.

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Back before the blog, I knit a Buttony.

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While I was super excited to knit an actual garment, I think that face I’m making there pretty accurately sums up how I have tended to feel about the thing since. Like, sure, I’m kinda smiling but I’m not like smiling smiling. It’s nice. It’s OK. It’s lived in a box for 8.5 years.

It’s gonna be a pillow now. Probably a pillow with buttons tho ’cause dang I love those buttons.

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19 Gray & Yellow Shawl in unphotographable yarn

 

20 Myrtle, which I am finally ready to swatch after like 5 years of thinking about it–in unphotographable yarn

 

21 Gray & Teal Scarf in yarn I am too lazy to photograph right now but would probably look fine if I did

 

22 Big Pile of Socks With Problems That I Should Really Fix

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23 Mending

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Not much in this category, thankfully.

 

24 & 25 Mystery Projects 3 & 4

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26 My Current Year-of-Socks Socks

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Hey, so if anybody’s having trouble getting in the right mood to knit short socks, let me recommend Iowa in July with no air conditioning. Let me also note that is the ONLY situation for which I can recommend Iowa in July with no air conditioning. Any time I think about socks lately all I can think is well there’s no point covering up too much of my legs, given that they’re about to melt off anyways.

27 Wild Card

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This meets neither of my “on the needles or significantly along in the planning stage” criteria and I don’t even care. I bought this on WWKIP day to celebrate my local store’s 20% off sale. I have no idea what it’s going to be yet but I’m putting it on this list in case something comes to me.

 

OK, folks, I…think that’s it? Like, I really really believe this is everything. I don’t see how there could be more.

 

Onward!

Make, Mend, Modify

Tomorrow I declare independence from all my works in progress. Aside from my ’15-’16:17 queue, whatever is on my needles — or significantly along in the planning or prep process, let’s say — when I get up tomorrow is the only allowable knitting until all of it is done. (I’ll wait while you finish laughing. Yes, we all know how well this is going to turn out. For the moment, let’s just pretend. A fantasy is nice in summer.) So, I’m spending today getting organized and casting on a bunch of new things just to be safe, and I’ll report in tomorrow with the full list.

I have been finishing things already tho!

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Pattern: none, just my usual approach (64 sts, cuff-down, 2×2 ribbing and stockinette, flap & gusset heel)
Yarn: Holiday Yarns FlockSock Sock, color Barnyard by Nora (there’s a story about the barnyard, the pigs —  pink — the barn — red — but I don’t really remember it anymore; it was nice when the lady who sold me the yarn told it tho)
Needles: 2 mm/US 0 Karbonz DPNs
Started: 4/20/16
Finished: 6/23/16

These were my first entry in the Grocery Girls’ Second Socks of Summer KAL. You’d think short socks would be easy enough to plow through, and yet I totally needed the KAL motivation to get these done. (We’ll talk about the rest of my planned entries tomorrow. There are either 2 or 4 depending on how I decide to live my life between now and then.)

Also, these are #5/17 for my current year of socks. That didn’t seem too bad to me, considering the rough start I got off to, until I checked the math and realized it’s been 39 weeks since October 1 and I should be at 13/17 by now. I swear, one of these years I’ll complete a “year of” project.

Also also, these weren’t even next in the queue. They were kind of an accident but it all worked out for the best. A few months ago I was looking for a new swift on Etsy. (I went with one from this shop and I’m really liking it.) I wasn’t sure what size skeins I needed it to be able to handle, and this was the first skein I grabbed to measure. It was still on the coffee table when the swift arrived, so it was the first one wound. Then it was still there when I finished my last socks, so it was the next one cast on. I’m really happy these jumped to the front of the line, though, because this is the same yarn as the Daughter of the Regiment kit, and after pushing myself through the end of that sock, it was so nice to have a good experience with that yarn.

In fact, these made me so happy with the yarn, that it brought up some ideas about how to use the leftovers from Only Child of the Regiment.

I made these socks — very quickly! — in 2009. I think they were my 3rd pair ever? They were so early in my sock knitting career that they were actually the first ever square in my blanket.

 

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But they’ve never been quite long enough. They stretch over my toes something awful. If I wear them, I wear them in shoes, but I don’t wear them often. I’ve always sort of meant to fix them somehow but never really felt like it. But then I was thinking about how much I actually like the FlockSock and realized the gray was actually kind of perfect, and, well.

 

 

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Pattern: cuff-down, 2×2 ribbing and stockinette, flap & gusset heel, from back in the days when I used to knit 60-stitch socks
Yarn: Berroco Sox, color 1435, and Holiday Yarns FlockSock Sock, which is such a perfect fit with those blues and grays I just couldn’t be happier
Needles: 2.25 mm/US 1 originally (goddamn my gauge has changed; I would never think of knitting this yarn on 2/25 mm these days; I’d probably go down to 1.75, actually), 2 mm/US 0 to knit the new the toes
Started: February 2009
Finished: March 2009 originally; June 2016 for realskies

I might still have just one more use for this yarn too, actually. I was thinking how the solid gray is pretty close to the gray in the multicolor socks, and then I was thinking how nice gray and pink are together, and then I remembered that I have some mending on tomorrow’s list.

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One Problem Solved

So, I’ve been having some sock issues lately, you may have noticed. I’ve always had a tendency to knit two socks of slightly different sizes, but historically that hasn’t been enough of a problem to make a pair of socks completely unwearable. Then I started my current year of socks project and suddenly it was like I had no idea what socks were and how feet worked or anything.

I’m slowly getting back on track, and I think I have most of my problems defined. One is just a plain old tension inconsistency problem. I think the longer I knit the same thing the tighter my gauge tends to get, so by partway through the second sock I’m just knitting something entirely different than what I started out with. This is compounded by the problem that I tend to try on the first sock a lot to get the fit right, but I never try the second sock on, so I’m measuring an unstretched sock against a stretched one instead of seeing if the second one actually fits my foot. Then there’s the problem that I’ve been knitting the same basic sock pattern for years without much changing even as my feet have definitely been changing. Not so much that I’m a different shoe size or anything, but spending the last few years on my feet instead of at a desk has had enough of an effect that some of my more snug pairs are actually impossible to put on now. And yet I’m still knitting the same number of stitches. I think it might be time to take all new measurements and do all new gauge swatches and treat it like I’m just learning how to knit socks for the first time.

Anyways, I think I fixed my “never the same size” problem. It just took a little wrestling with my indecisiveness problem first.

 

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I loooooove this yarn and I didn’t want it to pool, so I gave Whiz Bang a try. I was iffy on the toe shaping but the slipped-stitch pattern was looking pretty great so I was going to just deal. I tried it on and it was just way too big and the toe didn’t fit at all.

 

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I tried my usual toe-up toe and fewer stitches with the same idea. I loved how the slipped stitches made their own stripes, but something about this just wasn’t working for me either, and I decided I liked the yarn too much to make a sock I didn’t love. So, I just said screw it and went back to my usual cuff-down stockinette deal.

 

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It worked! It worked out so perfectly. I got just-about-one-round stripes and no pooling at all.

Things look a bit skewed in this photo, but I promise even my method for getting same-sized socks worked. I decided that my trying on/not trying on approach was a big part of the problem, so I took the crucial measurements – calf to ankle, heel to start of toe shaping — against my hand. A tape measure or ruler would be more accurate, to be sure, but my hand is something I always have with me when I’m knitting, so.  I also did not try either sock on even once while I was knitting it. I showed such self-restraint and was rewarded with same-size socks. In light of my recent discovery that washing something before you wear it gives you a better idea of how it’s actually going to fit (this is major news I bet you’ve never heard before! tell your friends! blocking works!), I didn’t even try them on once they were done. I gave them a soak and some time on the drying rack, and I wore them to work today and they performed quite admirably.

 

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Pattern: 64 stitches, cuff-down, 2×2 rib, stockinette, short-row heel with gusset mod* as described here
Yarn: Mad Color Fiber Arts Classica, colorway Betta Fish
Needles: 1.75 mm Karbonz DPN’s
Started: 2/21/16
Finished: a…week? or two? ago
’15-’16:17 Progress: 4/17 completed pairs

 

*I’m not sure I like this mod. Honestly, I’m not sure I even like short-row heels anymore. This was definitely the right choice for this yarn, but I don’t feel like short-row heels ever stay on my actual heel and even with the gusset I still feel like I can see the yarn pulling a bit across my instep. I think it might be time to invest in some solid sock yarns for contrasting heels in case I run into this situation again.

I’m Calling It Sculpture

It is good to be honest with yourself, particularly about yourself.

 

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I started Daughter of the Regiment in late 2012.

 

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In early 2013 she fell victim to the Great Knit Picks Needle Plague, which temporarily also infected whatever that bamboo one is sticking out on the left.

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It took until late 2014 before I had the energy to fix what was lost in the plague. But then I didn’t do a whole hell of a lot else with her for a while. I was starting to wonder if we might not be totally meant for each other.

 

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I finished her skirt and got her jacket set-up row done last fall. Then, back in the basket.

 

Yesterday I stumbled across her again, and you know how I was saying recently that I’m having this urge to clear out the things I don’t need/love/use?

 

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Yeah. I just couldn’t stand having this sock sitting around unfinished for another fucking minute. I looked at this last night and all I could feel was DONE. I rushed through the jacket. I did so much wrong, partly from not reading the pattern closely enough and partly from just not even really caring, and I shortened the whole thing significantly and I got to the instructions to switch to 1×1 twisted rib on both sides and I had a good laugh and then knit just enough regular ribbing to squeeze in the last button and called it a day. I barely wove in any of the ends. I completely ignored an entire applied braid thing I was supposed to do at the end, and that second-from-the-top contrasting band of red? I’m not even sure how I was supposed to do that, because I had actually stopped looking at the pattern by then. I just did a chain with a crochet hook and almost cried when I pulled the loose end through at the last stitch.

 

I knew the second I picked her back up yesterday that she would never have a sibling. It felt good to finally admit that to myself.

Don’t get me wrong. This is an impressive pattern. Impressive both because, well, look at it, but also because it’s written in a way that lets you recreate this thing at all. But also, let’s be honest. This is not a sock you would put inside a shoe, and me personally I just can’t see myself lounging around in socks that have both a skirt and buttons — much as the skirt and buttons were almost the whole reason I ever wanted to knit this in the first place. So I’ll need to find a way to put her on display, I guess, because as soon as I snipped that last yarn end, Only Child of the Regiment moved firmly, permanently into the realm of art.

 

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This here is absurdly mistake-ridden and nearly an insult to the pattern, the designer, the yarn, and the buttons. But whatevs. Life is short and this knitting was long and eventually you have to choose sides in that battle.

 

The DONE feeling extended to all the finishing stuff, really, which was a surprise to me. Usually I’m fine leaving ends unwoven or entire items unwashed and unblocked if I’m sick enough of them. This one I wanted to be really, truly done with so bad that I stuck her right in the sink and then played around with making a cardboard sock blocker while she soaked so I could get something like a finished photo right away. (This went about as well as everything else has with this sock, but I blame the fact that I couldn’t find my left-handed scissors.) I didn’t even wait for my husband to get home and photoshop them for me, that’s how DONE I am with this sock.

 

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Entirely done. Well, once it dries, I guess. But then, for sure. DONE.

Pattern: Daughter of the Regiment by Lisa Grossman
Yarn: Holiday Yarns FlockSock Sock from the kit
Needles: 8,000,000,000 different 2 mm needles — bamboo DPN’s that I bent, wood DPN’s that I snapped, KP circs that broke, a bamboo circ that snapped, a Karbonz circ for about 5 minutes until I pulled it for another project, and then more bent bamboo DPN’s last night because that was how few fucks I had left.
Started: 12/28/12
Finished: 5/2/16

Snow Day/Sock Day

A couple weeks ago we had hopefully our last big storm of the year, and I got to enjoy probably my last weather-related day off for a good while. It started while I was at work and snowed all day. By the time I got home the roads were slushy and icing up, and at 6 a.m. the next day things did not look like they had improved. I made myself a second cup of coffee and a giant to-do list and set about seeing what I could accomplish, knitting-wise and otherwise.

 

I cleaned out the fridge.

 

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I stared in horror. I made an elaborate grocery list.

 

I worked on my latest socks.

 

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These socks have taken quite a journey. They started out as Whiz Bang but I just didn’t care for the pattern — both the actual look of the sock and the written instructions — and the fit was totally wrong for me. I liked the slipped stitch idea, so I tried something similar that I kind of made up as I went, but that didn’t make me happy either. All that work to try to avoid pooling, and this is what the yarn looks like with just plain knitting; perfect little single-round stripes. These are gorgeous and they will probably be done today and I can’t wait.

 

Cleaning out the fridge led to a serious attack on the dishes because oh damn I guess all the dishes were actually in the fridge this whole time and I got the sink to completely empty, scrubbed and shiny, and there is one thing that a clean, empty sink always makes me want to do.

 

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I washed all my socks. ALLLLLLLL of them. Of course, seeing them all in a nice clean pile in the dresser every morning has made me want to wear them every day, so now most of them need to be washed again. Vicious cycle and all that. But I’ve learned some very important things about my socks in the last few weeks!

 

First, remember these?

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And how I was all upset that the second one was too small? Turns out my habit of putting socks on the absolute second I finish them and making a final pronouncement on how well I did knitting them isn’t the most helpful. After a bath, these both fit me just perfectly, so my year of socks project has a surprise finished pair to add to the total.

 

Pattern: just my standard socks for me, 64 stitches, cuff-down, aiming for about a 7″ circumference unstretched
Yarn: Barking Dog Opposites Attract, colorway Bonnie & Clyde
Needles: 2 mm Karbonz DPN’s
Started: 10/21/15
Finished: some time in November 2015
’15-’16:17 Progress: 3 completed pairs, 2 half-finished pairs, 1 pair this close, out of what should be I think 8 pairs by now?

 

The other thing I’ve learned — or I guess I should say admitted, since I kind of already knew — is that the few pairs I have that I’ve been ignoring the fit issues with for one reason or another really do need fixing. I have a few pairs that are just a squidge too small, and one pair that is just unacceptably small, and I’ve typically avoided acknowledging this by only wearing them in shoes. I guess it’s that the shoes keep the socks in place so they can’t do that thing where the heel keeps sliding forward towards the toes like it wants to fold your foot in half. But also my feet are just…different since I knit them. Maybe it’s arthritis, maybe it’s wearing heels less the last few years, maybe it’s working jobs that have had me on my feet all day, maybe 35 is just a cranky and intolerant age for me, but these socks don’t fit right, dammit, and I want them to fit right, so I am going to fix them somehow. Stay tuned.

Current Situation

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One-third through a new semester. Halfway through a yarn basket organization/untangling. (Please, somebody, stop me from trying to store yarn in this basket. I’m seeing if “shove all the little half-skeins into a cut-off piece of pantyhose and hope that that contains them” is a good strategy to prevent every innocent peek into a container of yarn turning into a days long search-and-rescue effort. Will report back with progress.) Surrounded by notes for school, yarn for a hat for Dan, my coffee can of knitting needles (nearly as disorganized as the yarn basket, though blessedly less tangled). Occupying a just finished and actually-matching-size-wise pair of Jaywalkers. Overall, not too shabby.

Pattern: Jaywalker by Grumperina
Yarn: Funky Monkey! Handpaints, color Apple (That’s my actual skein on the yarn page!)
Needles: 2mm Karbonz 40″ circular
Started: 10/1/15
Finished: 2/20/16
Should Have Been Finished: 10/21/15
Current ’15-’16:17 Progress: Dismal. 2 of what should be 7 or 8 pairs by now.

In other current things, my friend Shannon started a knitting podcast and you should all check it out because it’s fantastic and she’s adorable and she mentions me in one episode and now I feel FAMOUS.

Also I made some new hats for the Etsy shop and one of these days I’ll be home and not forgetful while it’s light enough out to take good pictures and actually get them listed.

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Also also this cat continues to be almost pointlessly cute:

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Trying to Get the Feeling Again

I took a little break from the sock plan after my last post. Clearly something wasn’t working and I felt the need for some space. I got a couple Etsy commissions and then seriously sidetracked with job searching, so it’s just the last week or so that I’ve been able to go back to the socks and try to sort out what’s wrong.

My first thought was that two-at-a-time really isn’t the worst plan. I don’t really enjoy knitting that way, but if my goal with this project is less to enjoy knitting and more to get useful pairs of socks out of it, then enjoyment was what needed to be sacrificed. I was not in the mood to either knit from both ends of the ball or try to weigh the yarn and divide it evenly, so I just went with knitting with two different yarns at once.

 

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Next I figured that ankle socks might help ease my frustration as well. Less length means less to go wrong, and it’s not like I walk around in shorts all the time — or ever, really — so my feet are really the only place I need my socks to keep warm. I did these top-down and they’re the same size and they both fit and I didn’t have to cut the yarn or swear at anybody while I made them. They’re still technically not a pair according to my goal, but one of them is actually not a yarn that I had included in my goal in the first place, so…that mitigates…something, in my mind. Ahem.

After I finished these I decided to revisit the tragic heel-nipple socks. I needed a completely different heel, because these socks really felt tight through the instep, so a short-row or other heel that didn’t give me a little extra fabric to play with was out. I’ve done a bunch of toe-up pairs with gussets but I”ve been wanting to try one with more of a gusset/heel flap style heel for a while and seeing these in the new Knitty had me extra-motivated to give it a go. (I totally want to knit the whole pattern, too. I might need to rethink a couple of the yarns from the sock plan.)

I measured out where I’d need to start the heel.

 

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I PICKED UP ALL THE STITCHES PERFECTLY THE FIRST TIME LIKE SOME SORT OF MIRACLE!

 

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I was expecting this type of heel to be some sort of magic, but it wasn’t. I mean, I kind of think all sock heels are magic to some extent, but I had never read how to do this before and it seemed like a very mysterious thing to me going in, but it was really straightforward to knit.

 

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And then I went the ankle socks route again.

 

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I like having this heel option for toe-up socks but I think the flap section it was a little shorter than it would have been if I’d knit these top-down with a traditional flap. I went right into the cuff after the heel, basically the reverse of what I did with the first socks above, and they’re a bit shallower. They stay on just fine and there has been exactly no heel weirdness, though, so I am calling these a raging success and seriously considering picking my year of socks project back up.

 

Pattern: None in particular. 64 stitches, 3*1 rib on the insole, 1*1 rib on the cuff
Yarn: Chewy Spaghetti Spaghetti, color Pragmatic, 43.5 g (so I guess a little less than half a skein? Ravelry doesn’t have the weight listed)
Needles: 2mm Karbonz 40″ circular
Started: 11/4/15
Finished: 1/18/16