Friday, January 21, 2011

Pyroclastic Blow Up

That's right.  The Pyroclastic socks now look like this.

No undulating flow of any kind.  After the initial frogging due to moi not reading the pattern, there was another amphibian invasion due to late night candle light knitting and laughter with family and the next thing I knew - total wad o' mess.   Again.

This clearly was not a meeting of the yarn and pattern.  The knitting Goddess did not want this gorgeous Mountain Color to participate in a Pyroclastic flow.

The plain Jane plain stockinette stockings are happy.  I suppose the Mountain Color is just a gently sloping alpine meadow.

Almost looks like a FROG mouth laughing at me.  I fought the sock and the sock won.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Results Unknown

The Christmas gift that started this whole bead thing is taking over!!

This week has included time for experimentation.  Now I am giving crocheted wire a whirl.  This soon to be bracelet is just single crochet with beads perfectly lined up row after every other row.  Never before have I worked with wire so this week of experimenting has generated both pleasure and grief.

The ability of the wire to collapse is either a pain or a design element.  I worry that in the wearing, unexpected, unplanned and unwanted smooshing might occur.   Ah, but that is yet another step in the experimentation.

For this example, I held two strands of 32 gauge together.  This is much nicer than the single strand with breaks with every breath one takes.  A close inspection reveals very lacy work.  Going up to 30 gauge would also work - I presume.  That will be another experiment.

Actually, I was very surprised that the double strand of this stuff worked up so smoothly.  It isn't silk.  But it isn't as fiddly as a single strand of wispy mohair either. 

Here is an end that needs a closure added.  At first it was just straight across from the foundation chain.  But it was just too square for my taste and the only clasps I have in the new stash work best with a pointy end.

So I smashed the wire to a point and wove the end through a few times for strength.  Tomorrow, hopefully, the clasp will get attached and I'll start testing the wearing.

This bit of success has carried me through a major disappointment.   But that is a blog for another day.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Warm Toes; Warm Heart?

After starting the new socks for the new year, I became sidetracked.  Sidetracked for a very specific reason.  Dark nights.  Oh sure, the calendar tells us that each day is getting just a bit more daylight hours.  But just a little bit more daylight does not help my eyes see dark string in the darkness of night.  There is that whole "turn on a light!" issue and that point of view has merit.

However, I rather enjoy an evening of family time in a dim room with candle light attempting to make up for a low watt bulb.  Cozy.  Comfy.  Conducive to knitting.  Alas, at my age, seeing the dark sock pattern by the light of the flickering candle is simply no longer a joy.  So it was that I went stash diving for a lighter shade of something worthy of a cozy evening.

And that is how the Cotton Fleece from Brown Sheep came out of the closet and into the light of the candles.  Once upon a time this particular yarn almost became a t-shirt.  Luckily, I lost interest and had frogged the whole thing ages ago. 

This is a very simple crochet slipper.   It is an "old" style pattern that isn't really a pattern.  I'm sure that several versions exist on line if you go searching.  The whole thing is single crochet and easy enough for a beginner.

My toes are still as warm as if wearing dark wool socks, but this color - and the worsted weight worked with an H hook - made for enjoyable evening work.

The slippers were a nice respite from the socks, but given that the sun is shinning, I'd best get back to the sock knitting and stop gloating about the easiness of making these slippers.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Click Click Click Sound

The needles are once again clicking.  Having taken several moments to actually read all the way through the pattern, I have now re-cast on and am moving along confidently.

 Socks are emerging and I am so very happy!  This yarn has been hanging out in the stash for a while and it has always wanted to be socks for me - no one else.  

This is Mountain Colors Crazyfoot in the Alpine color way - bought on sale.  Not that I mind paying full price for good yarn.  Never.  I own some stuff that cost many a pretty penny and I never batted and eye at the total.   

It is just so fun to get something you absolutely love and pay a huge percentage off!

The pattern is Pyroclastic by Marlowe Crawford.  I chose the pattern because the foot has a shaped arch - something I have never before knit.  What with the new year, it seems appropriate to learn something new.  I can't wait until I am on that section and the brain is firing and rewiring and staying young.  

Well, that's the goal.  Can this old brain can learn a new trick?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Official Nothingness

It is official.  There is absolutely nothing on the needles.  Nothing.  Nada.  And lest you think that there is a hidden twist to the tale, let me state emphatically that there is nothing on the hook either.  Nothing. Nada.

Convincing my eyes that "it" really did not look that bad was, for a whole two days, an easy thing.  After all, perhaps the knitting fates and foibles (?) had joined to produce something absolutely new and exciting.

Get real, Lenora!  If the instructions clearly state "work these 12 rounds  six times" you can not - as in can NOT - work 12 stitches six times and think the result will be functional.  Especially in a sock that should at least mimic some portion of the lower limb anatomy.

Twelve rounds worked six time results in a whopping seventy two rounds of knitting.  And that just might equal the leg portion of a sock.  It turns out that reading - and rereading a pattern has merit.
Official nothingness on the needle or hook and the project bag are empty.  This new year is not off to the most creative of beginnings.  It is depressing. 

PS - This post is officially post number 251 for moi.  And it is about nothing. 
Very depressing.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mr. Greenjeans Is Not

Green that is.  No, she is not.  Perhaps she is Ms. Greenjeans.  With all respect to Amy Swenson, what came off my needles is definitely feminine.


Mr. Greenjeans by Amy Swenson which can be had on Ravelry or Knitty.

Yarn:  Berroco Vintage which is a hard working 50% acrylic pleasingly functional due to 40% Wool and 10% nylon.  A good workhorse of a yarn.

This was a very quick knit.  The cable rib pattern cinches in the waist - so be aware!.  If you prefer a looser look perhaps a longer stockinette body section and shorter ribbed section will be more to your liking.

The sleeves end with the same cable rib.  The pattern suggests only 3.5 inches of ribbing on the sleeves, but I did the same number of cable repeats as the body of the sweater.  The sleeves, while you can't see in the photo, stay up when pushed upwards and are slim down the lower arm.  No flopping!  

All in all a good use of a few weeks.  I started this one near the end of December.    What with all of the football games, this entire sweater has been a three week journey.   Nice.   Very nice. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Matching Matters

Matching does matter.  Especially as relates to seams and such.  All manner of instruction, both written and in video is devoted to making sure that we lonely at home fiber freaks take care and time to match our seams so as to complete a garment that mimics machine made perfection. There is nothing wrong with machine made perfection.  I wear it all the time.  I enjoy it.

But let's be frank.  I also wear, enjoy and adore loving hands creations.  After all, I make all manner of not quite perfect knit or crochet items by utilizing machine made yarn.  And, let me tell you flat out - machine made yarn can be less than perfect!  But it does not stop me from using it to produce my loving hands creations.

So, in my quest for not quite perfection created from imperfection, there are times when getting as close to perfect as possible matters.    Certainly in matching seams or stripes or all manner of things.  This week, I am being a maniac about matching sleeve length.

I know.  There is not much exciting and thrilling about sleeves that are the same length.  Machines make it happen all the time.   But, I'm not a machine and currently my brain is occupied with non-knitting thoughts and "what ifs."  That's why close attention to matching the sleeve lengths really matters.  I've got old lady mind wandering syndrome.

Just look at this row tracking!  This is how my new sweater is going to be matchy matchy on the sleeves.   You need to know that the sleeves are on a top down raglan.  That's why you see the first note about the pick up (PU) round followed by +11 rounds.  That is followed by a fairly simple chart with columns labeled from left to right: D (as in decrease) 1, 2, 3 (those being plain knitting without the decreases).  Then, easy as pie, eight rows appear under and are used for tracking the following decrease/no decrease rounds before beginning the cuff.

On the first sleeve, each round was marked off with a vertical line; the second sleeve is a horizontal line.  Result is a lovely and large + that makes me feel that progress is being made.  It is a little thing, but it makes me happy. 

Oh sure.  Right now sleeve number two is a wadded up mess.  But it is going to match sleeve number one.

Because matching matters.