Saturday, March 27, 2010

Progress report: needs work

I don’t know how grades were reported where you went to school, but my junior high and high school years were divided into six 6-week marking periods.  We also got progress reports sent home in the middle of each 6-week unit if we weren’t doing so well.  I feel like if I were in knitting school, I’d be getting one of those reports this term.

On the one hand, my office sock is zooming along okay.  I finished the first one in a week: IMG_5840 I just put a stitch dictionary stitch pattern on my standard sock to get this.  It worked great.  I even adjusted the slip stitch pattern on the heel flap to flow more seamlessly out of the cuff pattern (I did slip-slip-knit rather than slip-knit):IMG_5842These will be comfortable socks that will go with a lot of things.

Once I stopped bringing this project home to work on in the evenings, though, things went south.  I purposely left it at work because I wanted to get started on another home sock.  And it’s not like I had to think really hard about what to knit next.  I had 8 more projects lined up in my personal sock club basket.  first, I grabbed the Cauchy pattern by Cookie A and some beautiful semisolid yellow BFL sock yarn I got at Sock Summit.

Two issues arose:

  1. This sock has a picot edge, though the pattern encourages the knitter to substitute a 1x1 or 2x2 rib for a different look.  I asked S1 which she preferred, sure that she wouldn’t want the picot (it is a bit girly).  But she said “Have you ever done a picot cuff before? No? Then do that!”  Okay.  But that edge begins with a provisional cast-on that I haven’t done before, and I couldn’t get it started while watching a subtitled movie.  I put it off a few days.  When I finally was ready, I still couldn’t figure out the cast-on – even when I turned the TV off.  Foiled!  I guess I need to check YouTube for help.
  2. So I switched to 2x2 rib just to get out of the starting gate.  But… I’m certain this sock will be too narrow.  It calls for only 60 stitches to be cast-on.  Normally that’s fine.  60, 64, something like that… but this BFL base just seems a bit skinnier than other sock yarn.  I stopped about 3 rounds in.

The next day, I was determined to begin another sock.  I went back to the basket to see which yarn was wound (only 4 or 5 yarns are wound up at this point).  I decided to work on Nancy Bush’s Little Child’s Sock in my Toots LeBlanc Jacob/Alpaca/Mohair.  A serious yarn and a serious pattern.  This time, I had the opposite issue.  Nancy’s sock calls for 72 stitches to be cast on over a doubled strand of yarn (you break the second strand after the cast-on and continue with just one).  Even though I knit on a 2.0mm needle, this sock looks WAY WAY too big.  I slipped it on over my ankle, which was shod in a thick sock already, and it was still too big.  Rrrrrrrrrip.  I need to look at the pattern more closely to see if I can size it down from 72 stitches to something more like 64.

Here are the 3 yarns together:IMG_5837The top yarn is the charcoal merino that I’m using with great success for the Yum Yum Waffle Socks.  The yellow is the skinny BFL.  The bottom is the Toots blend, which seems a little heftier than typical sock yarn.  Maybe it’s just the weight.  It is a heavy yarn – 450 yards in 7 oz (normally I would expect that yardage in about 4 oz).

And then I found a glob of some sticky sap-like substance in the bottom of my knitting bag.  It didn’t befoul any yarn, but it was close.  I spent quite a bit of time cleaning that up.  How in the world did it get in there? 

So that’s my story.

I finished the Night Gulls socks a while back but haven’t gotten good photos yet.  I’ll report back.

Did you get your WEBS 36th Anniversary Sale mailing?  I have my eye on the Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine and Classic Elite Alpaca Sock, perhaps in some solids/heathers for some colorwork socks.  Maybe.  Sale begins April 1.

I have registered for some classes at MDSW but am not yet sure which ones I got into.  The registration is pretty retro.  You snail mail in a form with a separate check written for each class.  Then they mail the checks back to you for classes you didn’t get into.

This is long enough!  If you have suggestions to get me out of my knitting hole, do send them along.


  1. You're so thoughtful about your knitting. I always enjoy reading about your thought processes in deciding what to knit and what to knit with.

    Forgot that I had some Toots LeBlanc yarn from the Sock Summit, too! Also, first manly Night Gull has flown...

  2. You know, I just thought of something. Was that sticky blob yellow? If so, it may have been Eli's missing silly putty, that he lost a few weeks ago.

  3. The blob was different from Silly Putty blob. Silly Putty is opaque. This was translucent and vaguely yellowish - a lot like pine sap. And not nearly as big as a full egg of Silly Putty.

    House rules require all Silly Putty that touches yarn to be thrown away immediately!